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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
2,650 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: 2,650 |  Reviews: 1,464
Photo of silenius
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light. The head on this beer is big and foamy and it lasts quite a long time. There was some minimal lacing on the glass.

Smell is on the sweet and roasty side. Like carmelized leeks (without an onion-y smell) or heavily sugared cafe au lait.

Taste is creamy sweet with some nice roastiness to balance the sweetness. This is a very nice beer.

Mouthfeel is on the rich side with a slight carbonation bite.

Nicely drinkable. If it were from GLBC or Bell's people would be buying this up like crazy. It is a real craft brew made by a brewery that many BAs think of as a second choice brewery.

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

I first encountered this beer when I was up in NJ a few weeks ago. Not having tried it before and with little else of interest in the particular beer store I found myself in, I bought a 6 pack.

I was reasonably impressed by this darkish ruby colored, caramel prominent brew. More so than I imagined I might be.

Since my initial encounter, I have acquired another 4 bottles in the Sam Adams Winter Pack that my wife bought for me recently.

Strangely, every time I go to drink this beer I expect to experience the same slight disappointment I get with Saranac beers (they sound and look great, but just don't really hit the spot) however, Sam Adams is not Saranac and I should know by now that they consistently deliver the goods on a regular basis.

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Photo of russpowell
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice mahogony edging towards black color. Head is tan but drops to a1/4" ring fast. Lacing sticks around okay.

Smell: Toasted malts, fruit, & wiffs of licorice & choclate& red wine???

Taste: Toasted grain, fruit, licorice, dark choclate & molasess(sp??)

MF: A little thinner than I preffer my Schwartzes. Good carbonation , balance is getting there.

This is one of SAs better efforts, can't wit tofind some on draft where they know how to talk care of the product!

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Photo of OStrungT
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark brown / ruby color with a light brown head. the head fades slowly leaving a good amount of laces. This beer is a somewhat thin malty aroma. It has a biscutlike aroma. Not much hop aroma. It also has a slightly nutty aroma. This beer has a clean malty taste. It has a biscutlike flavor. It has a slightly nutty flavor also. It has very litle hop flavor. It is kind of boring. Not too much to say. This beer might be a little overcarbonated. It goes down smooth leaving a slightly malty aftertaste. This beer might make a good session beer, because it is low in alcohol, but as far as the flavoe goes, I usually look for a little more. Worth a try though.

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Photo of shbobdb
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer ain't no Köstritzer.

That's a compliment. It isn't the best in its field, but damn, if it ain't good. Crisp and clean as a dark beer can be, but all that without sacrificing the full taste and body of a dark, dark beer. Mmmm. I learned to drink beer on Köstritzer, and I learned to love beer with Kölsch and this beer falls right in the middle of the two.

Well, not quite middle. 90% the former with 10% the latter to balance things out.

Mmmm Lecker!

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the only schwarzbier I've ever had, and if this is similar to what they all are like, I am certainly a fan.

The beer is dark like a porter or stout, but doesnt have the same chocolate malt & roasted characteristics. Very interesting.

Mostly just malt comes through in the nose. Not really any noticeable hop characteristics.

The taste is great! If all lagers tasted this great, and were this dark, it would possibly be my favorite style. Not bitter but still plenty of depth and character.

This is one of my favorite offerings from Samuel Adams. I could drink many of these in a row.

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Photo of beertaster13
3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a liquid oil black with a beautiful mocha head that rises and maintains nicely. The smell is of roasted marshmellows and toast, a nice malt honey with bits of cherry. The taste deep roasted character with a marshmellow chewiness. This is a fabulous beer. Medium bodied and very drinkable, great session beer for these winter months.

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

Cola-esque deep brown with glints of ruby when held to light. Not particularly 'black'. Nice poofy 1" head that lasts and lasts and leaves lace rings for the first half of the glass.

More hints of cola on the nose with an intense bready malt character. Toasty malts. Slightly vinous.

The taste is sweet and like an English dark mild. Brownies, brown ale, mild cocoa. I like the hop interaction here, though there is little of it to go around: just a touch more might make this one a little more refreshing/addictive.

Excellent mouthfeel and slightly above average drinkability.

This is a pretty tasty beer, but I wouldn't drop $8 for it again in that its just not that particularly memorable. Good conversion beer for those 'afraid of dark beer' nancies.

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Photo of fromage
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'll be writing a bunch of review from this holiday sampler, I suppose. A decent haul on average, but nothing to go out of your way to get. If you live in the south, though... :)

Poured into a pilsner glass. Very dark brown, mahogany when held up to the light. Big foamy tan head that lasted half the glass, and then left a good deal of lacing.

Smells good coming out of the bottle. Caramel, toffee, some nuts, grapes and raisins... not really any burnt malt.

Taste is a bit of a letdown. Most of the bite is from carbonation. Roast/burnt malt and molasses, and am left with a nutty, caramel aftertaste.

Medium full body, tacky aftertaste.

Easy enough to drink. Probably better than the Koestritzer I've had.

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

12 oz., with purchase before Dec. notched on the side. Pours into the pilsner glass almost black with cherry red tinges and a 2 finger khaki head that leaves some wisps of lace. Smells of coffee, chocolate, and mild hops with caramel showing up 1/3 of the way through. First sip has lots of roasted and hop bitterness with raisins, coffee, chocolate, earthy malts, and floral/spicy hops that show up toward the end. Caramel also shows up in the taste 1/3 of the way through and the roasted/hop bitterness evens out as I drink. It has a medium body, but seems thick for a lager, coating the mouth well. Pretty good, but not great.

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Photo of tastybeer
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Near black but red tones come through in the light. Lacing is nice. Smells roasty and sweet, an interesting but good combination. Taste is soft bitter and roasted with slight coffee. Has a nice smoothness and very easy to drink.

Suprisingly satisfing. A good 'whenever' beer.

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up on a whim, being a fan of the Saranac offering of the same type. Since then, I've bought a few 6'ers and found each bottle consistently high quality, smooth, drinkable with a very rich taste. This is definitely a beer to be savored. Smell is rich and malty. Taste is rich, with hints of carmel, but much more carefully balanced than some. Full mouth feel with just the right carbonation to be refreshing. What can I say? It's great! I hadn't always been a huge Sam Adams fan until this came along. Those Boston Beer guys (and gals) know what they're doing!

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Photo of cheers2beers
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beeer pours a thick almond colored head that decipates within a few minutes.Dark liquid with redish outerband and laceing all over my glass.The nose is of old style malts and sour fruits.The palate detects a hint of cafe latte,moca,malts,and maybe even a hint of raisin in the finish.This lager goes down smooth,fizzy on my tongue,and coats my mouth with film of caramel malts.
This is definitly a great session brew.I would purchase this one again over boston lager.


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Photo of Manosbeeroffate
4.68/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this stuff!! Sam Adams may be a huge company now but they still put out some good product and this black lager is one of my new favorites. So far I've only gotten it in the mix packs, so mix packs I'll have to buy. Dark ruby/black color, nice smell, taste is a mix of dried fruit, caramel, roasted malt done very well. This is the first black lager I've tried, now I'm looking foward to finding more of this style.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark ruby brown tone only when held up to the light, forms a fluffy tan two fingered head leaves behind evenly dispersed fine chunky lace. Aroma: Dark roasted malts mild chocolate with an herbal German noble hop tone going on, standard for a schwarzbier. Taste: Easy drinking caramel flowing malt backbone blended nicely with the cocoa slightly burnt flavor, herbal German hop character is subtle but dances nicely in the whole mix. Mouthfeel: A nice medium bodied black lager goes down very smooth carbonation does tickle the gullet just a bit, overall easy drinking. Drinkability: Great representation of a schwarzbier Sam Adams does a nice job brewing this German specialty, the only other version I have had that blows this away was Heavyweight's Black Ocean which was a small beer version of Perkuno's Hammer not mindblowing but solid.

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Photo of TongoRad
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

SA Black Lager pours a dark translucent brown/black with a killer long lasting tan head.

There is a moderate yet nearly spot-on aroma. It is a great blend of toasty malt, floral/spicy hops and just the right amount of roast malt character. It is more straightforward than complex, but damn fine nonetheless.

The palate is liquid velvet- very well balanced with a dry roasty finish that leaves you wanting for more.

This is a quality Schwartzbier, and at the affordable Sam Adams prices- quite a find.

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Photo of Fugazme
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours ruby tones at the bottom of the glass and dark brown throughout. Not as black as I thought it would be. Ha!
1/2" off-white head, slightly creamy with some big bubbles. Settles out slow.
Nose is malty and hoppier than expected. I wasn't really expecting any hops, but they are there. Decent roasted aromas and a gentle sweetness. Nice touch of chocolate and even a bit of raspberry.
Smooth mouthfeel, kind of creamy or oily. Mostly grainy flavor. A very good beer and I'm glad it was included in the holiday pack.

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Photo of ghostwalker
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from the Sam Adams Holiday Variety Case. $20 at Sam's Club, always a winter favorite of mine!

Black with ruby/brown highlights. Light tan head, 1/2", fell off quickly.

Malty, roasted barley nose.

Sweet malt and chocolate flavor. I definitely get the smoky, bitter aftertaste that seems to build up as the pint progresses. Even with these flavors, it still always remains sweet. I know that this may sound heavy, but it's not. In fact this is really quite light on the palate for what it is.

Mouthfeel is moderately thin, but still has some body.

Very drinkable. I was recommended this beer by a co-worker. He's right, it's very good. Now that I have tried it in the variety pack, it could easily become a regular purchase in the standard 6-pack.

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

Deep nearly black ruby in color with a creamy light tan head. Nice head retention and sticky sheets of lacing. Smells quite malty - caramel, semi-sweet, roasted chocolate and coffee beans. Rich roasted/burnt black malt flavors - bittersweet, caramel. Medium body with moderate carbonation - dry finish. Very easy to drink.

Good session beer here. Seems like a lighter alternative to a stout - malty and sweet. Enjoyable and not to be overlooked.

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Photo of sacfly
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchase before notched at MAR. Part of the holiday 12 pack 2005

Pours very dark, but you can see through it in the light. A very dark red. Thin, tan head of medium bubbles. Aroma is of roasted grains. Slight coffee. I immediately taste black patent malt. Seems this is where the dark color comes from. (note: the bottle says “Specialty roasted caramel and chocolate malts”, but the taste to me is all black patent and a bit of crystal 120). Light body. Nice and clean in the finish with the burnt character lingering for a while balanced with a bit of sweetness. A “porter light” without the sweetness.

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

12oz. longneck poured into Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: very dark brown with ruby highlights when held up to light. Light tan-colored head that stays and sticks to the glass a bit.

Smell: Sweet malt, molasses, and a distinct impression of black licorice. I'm thinking that last one is the hops.

Taste: Sweetness from the caramel and chocolate malts, a mild spiciness from the hops, and very light bitterness in the finish. There's a bit of a smoky, roasty character reminiscent of a good stout or whiskey, but it's not as pronounced in the Black Lager.

Mouthfeel: Given the taste, surprisingly light. I'd expect this one to coat my vocal cords the way a Guinness Extra Stout or a Mackeson might, but it doesn't. There's undoubtedly some body to it, but it's not at all heavy.

Drinkability: The lightness of this brew and it's pleasant flavour make it easy to drink as a session beer. This is something I could drink all day, and I say that about very few beers.

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Photo of granger10
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a another nice offering from S.A. Pours a deep chestnut color with a large frothy tan head that holds for a good amount of time. Aroma is a bit weak but definitely had a baker's chocolate, nutty, and toasted grain element to it. Taste is really quite nice. Begins with some toasted grains. Then moves to a more creamy, milky flavor. Chocolate sits in the background until the finish which leans on the sweet side. Hops are there and provide balance and some bitterness the whole way. Mouthfeel was leaning on the thin side but it wasn't too thin. This does have a lager feel to it and is quite a nice drinker. Worth trying.

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Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark with thick light tan head. Lacing holds it's own.

Dark chocolate malts with hints of caramel.

Hmmm...Hits hard with the chocolate malts, but disappears quickly, refreshingly.

Medium, nearly heavy body with good carbonation.

Low alcohol makes this a nightly drinker. High sugar content makes this less desirable to drink a lot.
If blindfolded I'd probably have guessed it was Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter. I wasn't sure what to expect from this aside from the usual reviewed adjectives (chocolate, caramel and malts). It is much more than that. Indeed a pleasant surprise.

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

Pours a black brown with a tan head, retention is decent overall. Coffee esque.

Light roasty aroma, malty.

Caramel malts with grain lead into a soft coffee and chocolate character. Low bitterness and spicy hops. Like a roasty Sam Adams Lager. Finishes sweet on the exhale. Well balanced and a good example of the style.

Lighter bodied with smooth carbonation.

Easy to drink yet flavorful, a rare style that may gain some popularity.

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Photo of tomthumbsblues
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A two-finger tan head is produced by this dark brown, almost black beer. Garnet-hued light can be seen through this darkness. Frothy head went down slowly and left good lacing. Aromas of roasted malt and dark chocolate. Smooth coffee like feel with dark chocolate notes. Not bitter at all with a nutty finish. Balanced in the mouth. A highly drinkable beer.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,650 ratings
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