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Samuel Adams Black Lager | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
2,651 Ratings
Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheJudge on 12-27-2004

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,651 |  Reviews: 1,465
Photo of MistaC
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass beeradvocate style

The color is a black, with dark amber tones when held to light. Pour results in a healthily textured, tan head.

The smell pervades with roasted malt. Caramel aromas prevail over chocholate ones.

The roasted malt and chocolate tastes are tied together by caramel. There are hints of coffee flavors in the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel is a smooth medium thickness feel very consistent with what I expected from the appearance, taste and smell

It lives up to the smoothness of a traditional lager.

This beer is one of the more consistent ones I have tried. Appearance, smell, taste and mouthfeel all flow smoothly across the board. There are no strange aftertastes.

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Photo of Ego
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

deep ruby color, some light does penetrate, half finger of loose off white to tan head that dissapates rapidly into an oring. pretty good looking schwarzbier.

sweet, almost like a dopplebock except with a nice subtle smokiness that balances it out beautifully, some coffee and some toffee

taste etc...
medium to full in the mouth as the carbonation is spot on (the actual body is kind of light, not detrimental though), just a hair of prickly nature to it which makes it refreshing for a "darker" beer, like the nose the flavor is very balanced..with the same elements. maybe it won't titilate of the hardcore hophead but this isn't about that.. it is a nice malty sweet beer with a tinge of bitterness and smoke to carry it out.

damn testy and sessionable, a really good one from a macro company, worth checking out.

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Photo of mghotbi
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark maroon-brown, almost black with just a hint of a short-lived head and not very much lacing.

Smell is strong of caramel, chocolate and toffee. I could keep my nose in this stuff all day.

Smooth but surprisingly thin on the palate. Like many Schwarzbiers, much lighter than one would expect by color alone. Carbonation seems just right.

Taste reflects aroma. Strong caramel and chocolate tones with a light sweetness and fruity middle (figs). Surprisingly clean finish with very little in the way of hop bitterness.

A very drinkable beer - and surprisingly light. An excellent Schwarzbier.

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Photo of lpayette
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours pretty dark, but definitely not black. Has dark mohogany highlights and a healthy head.

Smells- A bit weak on this front. Requires some heavy sniffing to reveal a very slightly fruity alcohol, caramel, and chocolate malts.

Taste and Mouthfeel- A light/medium to medium body with a nice amount of carbonation. Malt dominates the flavor with chocolate being the top dog while caramel malt plays a back-up role. A slight nuttiness comes in play at the end of the sip. Very very subtle hints of fruityness. Quite drinkable as the flavors are delicious and many.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass this beer is looking good, very dark and a creamy head. Nice, Some red hues shine through the glass.

Smell is of pure dark roasted malt goodness. Nothing extra, nothing less. Thats a good thing!

Taist is very well defined. This is a black beer the way it is ment to be, very nice deep roasty taste. Dark roasted malt, hints of carmel and toffee. Well done gentlemen. The hops top it off to perfection. Dry, not sweet and not too bitter. Would go well will full meal, steak, chicken, pasta.

Mouthfeel is a little too light and carbonated.

Drinkability it right there folks. Open up and pour it down. You could drink this all day. Enjoy MK

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Photo of frosty
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this stuff. Very dark dark brown when poured this stuff is nice. The smell of coffee and chocolate fill my nose. As it goes down the same flavors are there with maltiness making this beer great. Very easy to drink and pleasing. I got to give it to the Boston Beer Co. on this one.

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Photo of bort11
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at HyVee as part of a make your own six pack, great way to get some variety on a budget.

A- poured into an Imperial Pint glass. It is dark coffee brown to black in color. When held to the light only a ruby red point of light comes through. Head was a finger high and left a tight lace.

S- Bitter roasted malts and hops. Almost smells like a stout.

T- It's all malt, which is not a bad thing. It's bitter like black coffee and a bit of cereal flavor.

M- Pretty creamy mouthfeel with a crisp bitterness.

D- I liked the SA Black Lager quite a bit more than the Brown Ale I had in the same session. They were pretty similar, but I thought the Black Lager had more to offer.

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Photo of Gaben
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer last night in fact, and Ive always been a fan of the darker beers. To tell the true this isnt the best one/ or not even the least , a good standerd milk stout if anything.

Appearance is great the good olde coffee like look, with an good smell as well. The Taste is of corse the same thing as Mackelson's milk/english stout. Mouthfeel great though thats one thing the did better then Mack's Stout, but yeah its a Sam adams for a reason to get the good feel of beer.

Yeah I could drink this stuff even often but I usualy wait for my buddy to buy it in a mixed sam adams pack.

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Photo of plaid75
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark brown hue with a creamy three finger caramel head. Good retention and lacing.

The smell was a nice mix of sweet malt and toasted malt. Additionally, hints of hop do sneak through.

The taste was a nice warming toasted and sweet maltiness, with a secondary coffee flavor. A nice dry hop finish.

The mouthfeel was suprisingly clean and dry.

Very drinkable scharzbier. A nice alternative to a brown ale or imperial stout.

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Photo of mcallister
3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an amberish brown that is somewhat transparent. A cream colored head nearly an inch high fell to the nethers of the liquid rather quickly with little to no lacing apparent.

Sweet malt aromas, very little hop, lavender, caramel, and choclate.

Chunky caramel hits the tatebuds with smooth choclate malt and subdued hops. Very creamy mouthfeel yet the beer lacks complexity. Signigicantly high in RS. I tend to like a brew like this too have more weight and depth. Bold would be the word.

Brew is very smooth making is have decent drinkability but can't say much else.

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Photo of nicksta
2.95/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: It pours a cola black, with a moderate sized tan pancake on top. Not a whole lot of action going on here. It sits perfectly still only a few moments after pouring.

S: The smell is very similar to other dark brews I have had lately. If you look at my reviews you will know that isn't a good thing. On the plus side their is a sweeter chocolate smell wringing through than what I have found lately.

T: Unfortunately it starts out like most shitty Euro Darks, slightly bitterly chocolate. Thank god it doesn't finish like one. It finishes with a slight, low-fat, weak caramel taste that at the very least makes the beer tolerable (for a couple of them, anyway).

M&D: The mouthfeel is average and the drinkability is no better.

I am about to say screw dark brews until I get my hands on some more Guinness, or until I try Murphy's of Beamish.

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Photo of Folderol
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up with the hope that it would be a sweeter/smoother version of SA Cream Stout. I'm not impressed really, this beer lacks the richness I was expecting from such a dark brew. I think I overestimated the Schwarzbier style.

Appearance was cola-like dark brown with a large bubbled head that faded to a thin, fizzy film and eventually disappeared. Typical lager head really. Smell is sweet dark malts, quite inviting. Taste is mildly sweet, mainly caramel with a little dark bread and very little hops. The dark brown color had me expecting a cocoa flavor but alas, caramel is all I got. Pretty easy to drink overall but not enough flavor or spice to keep me interested.

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Photo of acrawf6
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a nice dark dark brown, mostly black and clear. Tan head rises.

Smell. Nice roasted malts, like toasted malts. Is slightly chocolatety. nice.

Taste. Lots of dark roasted malts, almost stout-ish on the malt character. But it seems to be a bit raw on the flavor, i wish it was a bit more mellow. Small sweet dark chocolate flavor as well. aftertaste is sweet.

Mouthfeel. Lot more carbonation than i was expecting. Bottle says it is medium body, but i think it is a little fuller than that. Good balance.

Overall, i just think this could be a much better beer. It's good, but there are better out there. This one just seems so close to being a great beer, just wish it was a bit more mellow.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brownish blackberry black with a cafe au lait-colored head that retains well. Bubbles are big and soft and crawl upward in long lines along the sides of the glass. Delicate lacing frosts the glass thinly.

Smell: As the bottle says, caramel and chocolate malts, with a touch of diacetyl, dates, and DMS. Noble hops poke through with a little leafy spice.

Taste: Mmm, that great, schwarzy, s'mores-like toasted sweetness, along with a nice toffee flavor from the malts. The bottle accurately describes the hops as lending a "soft spiciness" that's especially noticeable on the roof of the mouth. Finish is clean and burnt.

Mouthfeel: Smooth as silk, really quite creamy with a little tingliness.

Drinkability: Good stuff! I could drink many of these.

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Photo of kgreen2k1
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

In the style of Ebert & Roper this is a two-man review. The idea being that two people’s opinions playing off one another might give you a good idea of where your own thoughts would end up.

Me: This is a Schwarz bier! German for black beer. The black only refers to color though, it's not going to be super heavy. Also unlike porters and stouts the bitterness comes from hops instead of roasting the malts.
Me: It's also got a freshness date, which I wish more beers did.
Me: Mine's best by august.
Him: Mine says best purchased before may.
Him: I’m glad I made the cut!
Me: You make no cuts. You are picked last for the kickball team.
Me: Interesting that mine says "enjoy by" and not "purchase by" like yours.
Him: I’m reading the label and it looks like we should expect caramel and chocolate malts.
Him: It also says it is lightly hopped.
Me: That goes somewhat against the Schwarz bier description.
Him: People this is why we do these reviews...to find out who is lying and actually get down to what this beer is like.
Me: I’m so editing that out.
Me: OK pour! I’m using a pint glass.
Him: Same.
Him: There’s a smell, but I’m not sure I like it.
Me: I quite enjoy. Kind of a smoky chocolate.
Him: I smell some caramel too.
Me: I get a bit of a bark smell also.
Him: The head was small and is now gone after sitting for a couple minutes.
Him: It’s very dark, pretty much the color of cola.
Him: This is definitely a beer we could trick our non-drinking friends into drinking.
Me: Except I don't see any signs of carbonation.
Me: It looks good though. I ended up with more head than you did.
Him: Look on the top, there are a lot of bubbles rising to the surface.
Me: I can't see the top because of the head actually.
Me: I was holding it up to the light though, got a bit of a ruby highlight and no bubbles.
Him: So! If you get a lot of head like he does you wont see bubbles, but if you get no head like I do, you will see bubbles.
Me: (laughs) Stop talking to the audience. I’m editing you all out!
Me: Ready to drink?
Him: When am I not?
Him: I definitely taste chocolate and caramel.
Me: That's actually way better than I remember it being. Maybe I had killed my taste buds with something else the first time I drank this.
Him: Yeah this beer tastes great!
Me: It's a little sweet, yum.
Him: The taste doesn’t linger though... Yeah I think the sugars make my mouth water.
Him: I’d say this is a relaxing beer, no bitterness at all.
Me: Agreed. As the flavor fades there's a little something I don't like.. Don't know what I’d call it. Not a huge deal though
Him: Cover it up with more beer.
Me: Just for fun I had a bit of cheese with it. It brought out the fattiness of the cheese. Not recommended with cheese.
Me: Now I’m talking to the audience.
Him: Stop it!

Me: Appearance!
Him: My head was lacking, I do like the dark beer color, but it is like every other dark beer... 3.
Me: 4 for me.
Me: I got a pretty good head as mentioned and I liked the smooth darkness.
Me: Smell!
Him: I smelled caramel, which I don’t normally smell in beer.
Him: But it was a light smell, so I’ll say 4.
Me: Agree. Liked the scent a lot, every bit as thick as the color. 4.
Me: Taste!
Him: There is a lot going on with this beer. You definitely taste the chocolate and caramel, and it has a smooth finish after a funky taste....4...a tip would be to wash away the funkiness with some more beer!
Me: Yeah the taste was really good. That aftertaste is still bugging me and it's getting worse the more I have. But initially delicious. 4.
Him: Yeah definitely don’t go kiss anyone after this beer, unless they are drunk.
Me: I only kiss drunks as a rule.
Him: I can’t imagine a girl saying "Ooh I just love your smoky musky breath!"
Me: I like the “musky” descriptor.
Me: Mouth feel!
Me: A light feel to it. Not too watery, just very smooth. Very nice pairing with a pretty rich beer otherwise. 4 again.
Him: Yeah I agree with everything you said. 4.
Me: And finally drinkablility.
Him: I think I could only have a couple of these, that muskiness is growing... 2.
Me: Yeah it's like a metallic heaviness. I wouldn't want more than 1. 2 for me too.
Me: Any final comments?
Me: You know, for the audience.
Him: Oh wait I finally get to say something to them?
Me: Sure!
Him: This beer is good and worth a try... but I’m not gonna buy a case of it.
Him: Try it in a variety pack like I did and see which Sam Adams you like best.
Me: (laughs) Sound advice.
Him: Ugh that last bit of it was gross....
Him: NOTE! Gets less pleasant as it gets warmer.
Me: It did the opposite of grow on me. At the end of the glass I realize why I liked it so much more at first sip than I remembered.

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Photo of stacey14
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After having mixed reviews of different Sam Adam's beers, I was happy after trying this one. It poured out to a nice brown color with an average amount of head. The smell was that of roasted nuts and barley and the taste is the same. My favorite part of this beer was the taste when compared to the texture and mouthfeel. I enjoy stouts and other dark beers, but having a good dark lager is like a less-filling stout. I could definitely drink this beer all night and still enjoy it.

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Photo of nitemarebrewer
2.49/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

appearance- black, slight tan head
Nose-dry, slightly roasted, neutral
taste-neutral, malt and hop flavor balanced, almost cancelling each other out, little toasty, smooth, like a guinness without the creaminess, but with significantly less hop bitterness
Mouth feel- thin, not too carbonated
Drinkability- i didnt enjoy drinking it alone, I would prefer to pair it with food

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Photo of wingman14
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a tan head, a great site to see! Roasted smell with hints of chocolate and other sweet characters. A very inviting smell. I love the balance of this beer, not over powering just the right hints of sweet and bitter. This beer is thin like the lager name suggests but packs a flavorful punch, and because of such a great mouthfeel it drives the ease of consumption. If you are a person who likes the flavor of stouts or porters but dislikes the heavy feel to the beer then this lager is right for you. I recommend this beer to anyone because it has something for everyone, one of my two absolute favorite sam adams beers. Cheers!

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Photo of tonistruth
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a color damn near black, some light does get through around the edges. Huge ridiculous head, head to let it settle before pouring the rest of the bottle, which took a while because the head retent is very good. Head is tan and fluffy.

S- very clean, refreshing kinda clean. Choclate smell is in their too, shares the spotlight with the clean smell.

T- very interesting. starts clean (bitterness is in start as in warms and increase with the temp), choclate/roasted flavor in middle that becomes overshadowed by this warming spice flavor, than thespice settles and you have a choclate aftertaste.

M- On the thin side, still nice body to it though. Very smooth and fun.

D- smooth, pending the temperature of your beer the first part can surprie you be the middle and end are great.
Though its easy to drink, this seems more of a have one and move on beer, not because its bad, it very good, just because i think that youd be wasting a wonderful sensation for your brain and taste buds if you try and session this beer. Much to complex for that.

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Photo of acarroll413
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 12oz bottle into a glass

A- beautiful! a nice dark, thick black, not dull at all. i would have given this a 5 but the head was kind of brownish, which i didnt care for. then again im used to seeing the fluffy whiteness of guinness with a beer this dark.

S- smelled like toffee, malt, and a hint of chocolate.

T- bitter up front but not too bitter. the tasted of malt comes through and shines. very tasty. and surprisingly not very dry. i guess thats what seperates this type of beer from an irish dry stout.

M- perfect texture, not thin, but not jello either. and very smooth, much more so than the Guinness extra stout.

D- sure, id probably drink it again if it was on tap or in the single's rack of my favorite liquor store.

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Photo of Greenfloyd
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black Lager...a name much more mysterious than the taste itself. A pint glass reveals a nice deep, very dark chestnut (no it's not actually that black) hue with a rapidly dissipating burnt ivory head. In fact you have to pour somewhat aggressively to achieve a decent head to begin with. Roasted toffee greets the nose as you notice a chocolaty malt flavor, followed by an almost Dry Irish Stout-like bitter finish. The medium body however lends itself to more social drinking, but I'm not so sure I could drink to many in one sitting. I'll try. Have this American Schwarzbier with any meat & potato combo, or a roasted poultry & veggie dish. Enjoy

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Photo of bditty187
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown in hue, not black, but there are ruby highlights. Frothy beige foam, at the apex the head was two finger’s tall. Good head retention, a soapy cap lasted the entire consumption. There was minimal spotty lacing. Overall, this is a good looking beer.

The nose is soft with roasted notes, some chocolate and caramel. It is not too chatty but the aromas do say “Schwarzbier.” I can’t ask for much more… okay, I do wish the aromas were louder. Still, it is pleasant. Inviting.

The palate is juicy, especially for the style. I like the mix of caramel and chocolate with the roasted coffee notes in the background. There is not much going on after that, sweet finish. I like the Schwarzbiers but I don’t think this is all that great. It is a bit sweet for me. Regardless of style, I am not thrilled with it. I’m bored. It is okay to drink in the moment but if I start thing about it… zzzz.

Medium in body, low but natural carbonation, the mouthfeel fits this beer well enough.

Easy to drink but I’m uninterested. Sure, I could drink it again but it is nothing I’m picking out of an impressive line-up. Give me Mönchshof any day. I purchased a six-pack in Sioux Falls, SD but I have seen it in Nebraska since. It is decent. I am happy Sam Adams has beers like this on the market. Props to SA!

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Photo of alexgash
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black, peat-like, with a dense creamy, light andy head. Roasted malts, coffee bitterness on the nose with some sugary malt sweetness. Tobacco leaves too. Nice, sweetish malt melds with singed, roasted character on the palate. Leathery-tobacco notes. Roasted coffee bitter finish. Medium-bodied to light with moderate carbonation. A great offering from SA and I can only hope to find this on tap as frequently as I find the Boston lager...

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Photo of pjwilson
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bought at local corner store in a mixed 6 pack containing: black lager, hefe, and the brown ale. cool idea. i like to try alot of beers, but i am most anticipating the black lager i have never seen any of these beers in california before. best before june 2006, so you know it's fresh.

appearance: dark black color, yet held to the light it turns a deep amber color. the two finger head is awsome, but then settles down to a half inch or so.

smell: more lagery yeasty smell, no hint of the roasted malts. after you've had death and taxes....well you except some ommffff.

taste: an improvment for sure. reminisant of an irish dry stout, but with some more coffee and chocolate tones. frankly, there is little lager like about this beer, i would buy it is as a stout. very little in the way of what i would except in a swarzbeer. (not that the beer claimed it was)

mouthfeel: a nice and thick fullness, greater than excepted. i guess creamy is the word. i'm giving it lower points because this a lager, it should have lighter mouthfeel. if they called it a stout it might be a 4.

drinkability: this is a disapointment. i'm still waiting to find the perfect shwarz, but am still looking. this is not it. still, this is decent, but i certainly wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of Koolbreeze2
2.46/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: I do like the way this beer looks. I'm a stout lover and dark beers make my day. (usually). Dark with some head that vanishes quickly.

Smell:A little toasty, malty. And I do mean a little. Very light on smell of any kind.

Taste: I had several over a few months. At first I was not impressed with the taste. I am still not impressed with the taste. Not a beer I will buy or drink again. Watery, very little taste. I almost feel bad that I don't care for this beer because so many people seem to enjoy it. But I must be true to myself and my picky taste buds.

Mouthfeel: Nice feel. Makes the mouth feel good but it needs something- like taste!

Drinkability: Like the Lager but not the Black Lager. All show and no go.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,651 ratings
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