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

Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
Liked This Beer
3.7 w/ 2,599 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,599 |  Reviews: 1,448
Photo of tgbljb
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a deep brown, almost black color with tannish puffy head that lasted throughout the gflass. Some reddish tints noted. Smell is toasty with caramel in the background. First taste is very good with chocolate, coffee, and caramel found, but as the beer starts to warm the taste become less impressive. Finishes very mildly. An OK beer, but not great.

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Photo of jhammerly
4.36/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not being very familiar with Black Lagers, I was excited when I seen this available in my area. Sadly, only two bottles came in the Samuel Adams Mix-Pack. This could be a style that I could get used to.

An almost black appearance with a two-finger width head that dissipated rather quickly. A faint smell of raosted malt. Highly drinkable with a heavy raosted taste that lingers for awhile, with hints of fig. Like a medium-roast coffee that can be gulped instead of sipped.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours opaque, nearly black with a ruby tint. A tan, three finger head with a creamy consistency and good retention that leaves spiderweb lacing. Noble and floral hops in the nose, with a roasted malt aroma and raisin or fig scent. Bitterness is mild, and comes mostly from the hops. Sweet dark fruit flavor from the malt gives it a decent balance. Mouthfeel comes off very smooth with a middle of the road body and carbonation; but the hops fail to dry the sweet finish, and the drinkability suffers.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before Sept '05 on the bottle. I'm pleased anytime an American brewery crafts their version of a Schwarzbier. This one pours a deep mahogany, not quite black. Thick foamy head quickly reduces to a thin lace around the glass. Nose has some charred malt and hazelnut aromas. Imparts some dark chocolate and a nutty peanut buttery flavor balanced by a quick mild hop zing in the finish. Love the fact that its sub 5%-ABV...such an easy drinker, and a true session beer for sure. Mouthfeel is a bit acrid and spritzy on the tip of the tongue at first, but graduates to a smoothness in the finish. One I'd gladly take a few of, and a bit more flavorful than their standard "lager" offering.

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Photo of murrayswine
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I took up a mix pack of Sam Adams to give it a whirl.

The pour gave a decent white head with good lacing that stayed around for the majority of the tasting.

The beer looks black but is actually a dark and uneven mahogany color with crimson tones.

The smell is like a light stout. Cold coffee, burgundy cherries, and some semi sweet chocalate. The smell is actually has little stale finish.

The taste initially reminds me of guiness draugh without the body. It's mellow and a little thin, but the taste overall is nice. Good balance of sweet and bitters, but no real legs.

The mouthfeel, for me was the worst part, like a bad diet soda, though it could be a bad bottle.

Overall this isnt a bad beer, especially for the price, but is a far cry from other blacks.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Royal Falconer in Riverside, CA. knocked off their Old Speckled Hen tap to have this new, heavily advertised (and propped by the servers) tap in a place that doesn't change taps very often.

Poured into Samuel Adams Black Lager logo stemmed goblet.

At first look, is nothing but black, but actually, when held up to light is a translucent dark brown. A small but well-built head of off white bubbles is quite attractive.

Aroma is of dark roasty malt, more toasty than chocolate/caramel. A slight sweetness wafts up from the glass.

Flavor is roasty, almost light smokiness with a moderate hop finish. No carmale, chocolate, more on the coffee end of the spectrum of flavor profile, although it's not really a coffe flavor. Middle of the road, I guess. Not real complicated

Mouthfeel is lager thin, but clean and refreshing, and easily drinkable. Pretty tasty, and went down very easily.

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Photo of sinistermadman
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with an amber hue. Very slight head from pour.
Smell is subtle caramel and other sugary malts.

Mouthfeel is relatively flat and smooth. Subtle chocolate and mocha notes make themselves known before the brew settles into a common hoe hum finish. I could use more hop kick, but then again I have never reviewed a Schwarzbier so this could be the norm. All in all not a bad brew from one of the more mainstream craft breweries.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black w/ two full fingers of creamy light brown head...lacing is quite thick and holds nicely to the side of the pint glass.
Roasted malt, chocolate and vanilla make the smell quite enjoyable.
The taste is more of the same...a boat load of dark chocolate and even some robust coffee flavors in the finish. A decent amount of bitterness as well, ending very clean w/ no lingering tartness.
Mouthfeel is quite thick and the carbonation is sublime...I could throw back a number of these in an evening and would really enjoy finding this one on tap.
My hats off to new favorite of their offerings and one I would gladly enjoy again.

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Photo of Bonhoeffer
3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok... i'm going to try to start writing more reviews. I may not have much to add to what's already been said on this site about all the great beers, but i figure someday i may want to come back and see what i thought about a particular beer.

Anyway, the Black Lager is another solid offering from SA. Not the best of the best, but a good all around beer. Kudos to the Boston Beer Co. for producing a pretty rare style, schwarzbier.

I think of this beer as a porter fermented with lager yeast. Lots of deep roasted malt flavor like a strong porter, but just a bit smoother from the lagering. I believe this one only comes in the case of the Brewmaster's collection, similar to the way they only sell Old Fezzi in the Holiday collection.

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Photo of ypsifly
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz marked best before Sep 05 poured into a pint.

Black with deep brown edges with a light tan head that falls to a cm or so but leaves good lace.

Roasted malt, caramel, cocoa powder, and a nice mix of smoke and dry hops. The nose reminds me of a good porter only not as intense.

The earthy, roasted malts are upfront, but this quickly changes into a hop bite that is amplified by the carbonation. The roasted notes join the hops for a nice finish that again recalls a porter, but the almost watery mouthfeel is a bit of a let down. I will admit that this is my second schwarzbier, so maybe I'm (somewhat) unconciously reviewing this as a porter.

Whatever the case may be, this really is a good brew and if it becomes a year round brew that's easy to find, I could see it making its way into my rotation of session brews.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with Dec 05 drink by date. When poured, it comes out a dark chocolatey color with a rosiness around the edges.The head is tannish and very thin, leaving only specks of Belgian lace.

The aroma is very malty, with hints of caramel and dark chocolate. The taste is good with a very balanced mix of malt and hops. It is not very chewy like a stout, but is medium bodied. There is a good sampling of hops in the aftertaste. Overall, a very good beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Boston Beer Company has done it again, delivering an accessible and quite authentic rendition of another classic style! There's a little bit more caramel flavor and sweetness here than most German examples exhibit, but gosh darn it, it works!

It pours an almost opaque black body that only lets a glimmer of dark ruby-mahogany through beneath its creamy head of khaki colored foam. The head retention is very good, and it initially leaves some nice lace at the outset of the glass.

The nose is darkly caramelish with an almost-burnt-sugar note, and a subtle roastiness.

It's dextrinous, medium body is livened by a fine-bubbled, median carbonation that leaves it gently crisp and then smooth on the palate.

The flavor is as the nose suggests, with rich caramel notes threaded with a note of dark and roasted bittersweet chocolate. Some leafy and mildly spicy hops appear towards the swallow, and in conjunction with its lightly roasty edge, help its firm bitterness to usher in a dry finsh.

Very nicely done! And interestingly enough, the caramel character of this one reminds me very much of my other favorite Sam Adams beer, their Cream Stout. I could enjoy this beer year round, and I think it would be just as appropriate at a bachelor party, poker game, summer BBQ, ski trip, company picnic or Thanksgiving Feast. Excellent!

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Photo of cracgor
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark black to caramel. Tan creamy head. Laces well. Good retention.

Smell: earthy sweet roasted malt smell. A hoppiness stands in the background.

Taste: A chocolate, nutty and strangely sweet taste. Hops add a bit of bite. Not particularly strong on the roasted flavors. It ends up more sweet.

Mouthfeel: Light body. an acidic carbonated feel.

Drinkability: Light enough in body and not bad at all. It could be a bit more interesting.

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

This is from the Brewmaster's Collection sampler case. Expiration dates clearly marked on the case and notched on the bottle! This is the way it should be done!!!

This looks like root beer with a nice, lingering head. Nice deep mahogany with ruby tints. A 2 finger head of tan foam forms after the pour. The head eventually drops to a ring and islands, but lacing is evident the whole way down.

Aroma is really nice chocolatey malts coupled with a faint spicy hop smell. Roastiness is not really present. It smells like a Hershey's bar with hops!

Flavor is a very smooth slightly sweet chocolate covered fruitiness, like cherries, with an appropriate level of bitterness. Spicy/floral hop flavor is there as well. There is no roasted barley presence that I can detect. The aftertaste is smooth milk chocolate.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a nice tingle from carbonation. A little grab at the back of the throat from hop bitterness finishes this very good beer.

Another very good beer from Sam Adams. They don't get every style right, sometimes not even close, but this one is a keeper.

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Photo of BrewAskew
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a thin off-white head with bits of lace. Color is deep, brilliant ruby. Aroma suggests a lagerlike slickness blended with the roastiness you'd expect from a porter or stout. Low amount of noble/spicy hop aroma. Flavor is sweet malt dominant, not really roasty at all. It is on the sweet side of the style--almost too sweet. I was expecting a drier beer. Mouthfeel is medium. Finishes slightly roasty and malty. Could use a bit more bitterness, but overall a pleasant experience.

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

Dark walnut brown with prodigious red and orange sunburst highlights. Ruby when backlit. The golden beige crown is three fingers to start and lasts for a good bit. While it isn't a crazy lacer, it does lay down a respectable amount in the end.

The aroma is more dark malty than anticipated and is huskily, muskily, earthily hoppy. It isn't really porter-like, but then it isn't a porter. Given what I know about schwarzbiers (not much), the nose is right on the money. There's plenty of power, which always helps.

Black Lager is pretty tasty. It isn't a wow! kind of beer, but it's unquestionably well-brewed. There's more flavor than expected and more roasted malt as well. I've had porters that didn't have this amount of black/chocolate maltiness. The hops more than hold their own and are as important in the grand scheme of things as the malt.

The flavor profile consists of cocoa, dark caramel and, surprisingly, black coffee. Those flavors are complementary to each other (as well as to the herbal, earthy, slighty spicy hops) and are soft and powdery in character as opposed to charred. It's as if the brewers stopped roasting the barley at just the right moment. The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, which it maintains all the way to and through the finish.

I never know what to expect from Boston Beer Company. Some of their offerings are yawners and others are very good. Black Lager is closer to very good and was a nice surprise. It's only my third beer of this style and is clearly better than the two German schwarzbiers that preceded it. Good stuff.

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Photo of edmundfitzoil
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer came in a 12 oz. brown bottle with a drink by date of September '05. I'm pouring into my 16 oz. tankard for whatever reason: the mood has struck me this evening.
The beer is a pitch black that lessens on the side where a dark amber allows a little light through. It poured with a finger of head that didn't leave much, if any, lacing on the glass. The beer's aroma swept over my nose with a caramel maltiness that is intoxicating in itself. Something to really close your eyes and just linger over as you allow that idea of the taste to just appear in your mind. The taste mimics the smell but with a bigger chocalate character that introduced itself as it started down my throat. The mouthfeel was definitely on the lighter side. I'm a big fan of porters, and this reminds me of something like a porter light, almost reminiscent of what a Pino Noir is to other red wines. This beer is not overly heavy, and something that has made me want to finish a few more of these tonight, and explore this style more - if not this particular beer.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent blackish-brown with a thick tan head that leaves nice lacing. Aroma is roasted chocolate, molasses and light grainy scent. Taste begins with a chocolate and roasted flavor, followed by a thin grainy flavor that subsides into a molasses sweetness, and a light hops bittering at the end that meshes well with the roastiness. Mouthfeel is a tad thin, even for a lager really. Drinkability is quite good, another very drinkable and flavor offering from BBC.

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

Pours with a thick, frothy full tan colored head that sits atop a deep amber colored beer that shows clear ruby highlights when held up to the light. The aroma is fairly tame with notes of chocolate, and astringent roast coffee. The taste is smooth and almost creamy up front, it then moves to a malty sweet note that accentuates the notes of chocolate that are also found in the taste. It finishes with a bit of hoppy spiciness and a lightly biting bitterness. The chocolate notes of this beer are the most noticeably and make for an easy drinking smooth beer. This is a pretty good attempt, but I must admit I like a bit more smooth roast character in my Schwarzbiers.

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

This brew is a very dark, nearly black, liquid with a slight reddish hue. Moderate size on the cream-colored head. The aroma is very nice: dark chocolate and coffee. It’s a very roasted, even burnt aroma. There’s not a lot of sweetness in this brew…just a hint in the foretaste…instead, the flavor centers on the nice roasted characters. There’s a little caramel, a little charcoal, and a little chalkiness. Just a small amount of hop bitterness in the finish, which is pretty dry. This is a very nice brew…one of the better from Sam Adam’s in recent years.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presented in a 12oz bottle I brought back from Boston. Label bore no freshness date. Served in an imperial pint glass.
Black Lager had a clear dark brown color, slight visible carbonation, and a creamy beige head that collapsed very quickly down to a tiny ring, leaving no lace.
The nose had a decent roasted malt aroma overlaid with hints of chocolate and under-strength coffee. The taste had a sweet maltiness up front as a modest caramel flavor merged with the roasted malt base. Mild chocolate notes slip across the tongue in concert with the coffee flavor, almost caffe mocha-like. Not too much in the way of bittering though I caught some near the finish that reminded me of black walnuts, faintly nutty and bitter. The feel was medium-bodied, moreso than expected, and fairly lively on the tongue despite the seeming absence of carbonation.
Overall, I ended up liking this Sam Adams brew. Easily drinkable and showing decent breadth of character. Recommended.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drink by 11/05... from a 12 ounce bottle poured into a goblet.
This is very, very nice.
An awesome alternative for someone who likes stouts and porters, but doesn't want the heavyness of such just at that moment... like maybe during the summertime.
Smoothness all around. Solid malty flavors, with some milk chocolate and mild coffee flavors rolling around. Doesn't have the hops bitterness that it's bigger beer cousins have and that's fine by me.
This makes me want to check out other brews of the style.
A fine anytime brew.

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

Normal SA label but it is black.

A: Great black color, with only a hint of amber on the edges through light. One finger head pretty good for a big brewery beer.

S: Maly, chocolate, coffee aromas.

T: Same flavors as the aroma, but they are sudbued and not overwhelming like a stout for example. Very good example of a schwarz.

M: Smooth.

D: Really good beer, especially for a relatively large brewery.

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Photo of HoorayBeer
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this Black Lager out of a variety pack the other day, and I was in for a surprise.
The Black Lager had a deep dark reddish brown color, almost like a cherry cola. A little carbonation sticking to the glass. Looks almost like a Bock. It had hints of caramel malts with a hint of chocolate or coffee, very strong aroma.
The taste was cocoa bean right on the front of the tongue. Mixed with a barley made a good combination of flavor on the palate. The toasted malts came through in the aftertaste. The taste was well preserved as time went on. I thoroughly enjoyed this different Sam Adam's brew.

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

Wow! It's a sam adams, but it is good!!!

Plurs black as one would expect, transparent, and leaves a bit of a head.

Smells like coffee, malts and a hint of carmel.

Taste is malty malty malty and coffee and some dark sweetness, maybe vanilla or molassis?

Mouthfeel is fairly creamy, and is present even as it warms.

The body is fair, though I think it was slightly thinner than I would want.

Finish is surprisingly clean - the coffee smacks the back of the tongue, and dissipears as the hops cleans it. No real aftertaste...

I'm not an adams type of person, but this is an exception! Try it!

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 55.3% out of 100 with 2,599 ratings
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