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

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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

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Reviews: 1,434 | Ratings: 2,554
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Plenty dark pour but lower viscosity, substantially in conformity with the style. Imparted more roast than hops in the aroma. Caramel came too.

Taste was sweeter than expected, the hops came through too. Plenty of toffee. Highly carbonated but par for style. Plenty of dry bitterness. Always happy to see these in a SA variety pack.

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Photo of GarrettB
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Sam Adam's Black Lager, is well, black. The color is self-explanatory, I think. Things get interesting with the aroma, where I get a heavy pepper scent, conjuring images of teriyaki jerky. But on second examination there's an even nicer, subtler and more complex touch of peat, adding a low, deep earthiness, thickening the aroma. The flavor is much maltier and simpler - more like your standard winter warmer. The aroma is where the interesting dimensions are, so linger here with your nose. The flavor, while fine, doesn't live up to the aroma's nuance.

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Photo of bmeehan
2.9/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Great for cooking when poured over ribs, okay for drinking when poured into your mouth. Unknown for use in pouring into a toilet to clean the pipes, though probably not great for that.

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Photo of dabarton
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

This rating is of the limited release Black and Gold swarzbier that Sam Adams released on tap only during the 2013-14 Bruins season.

Excellent example of a black lager or schwartzbier. Probably my favorite beer from Sam Adams.

I will have to check out the bottled schwartzbier and speak to the brewers to see if it is the same beer. I doubt it though, as they claimed black and gold was specifically brewed for the occasion.

No listing for black and gold.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%

Schwarzbier night. Like Schwarzenegger night, only better. Well, maybe not...

Note : I'm going to be comparing this beer to the only other Schwarz I've had so far, the Shiner Bohemian Black. I'll make a few notes on it probably.

Appearance (4) : A nice big, creamy head about three fingers tall that leaves webbing hieroglyphics on the glass. Better head than Shiner's. A dark plum-black body with 95% opacity. Slightly darker than Shiner's.

Smell (3.25) : The bouquet is softer on this one, with an overall more muted aroma. What I do get is some malty aromas, honey, fresh coffee bean, a little rubbing alcohol, and a little semisweet dark chocolate. You have to really whiff deep to get these smells (especially the chocolate and bean), so it's not something that pops out at you. Shiner's smell was much improved and a lot louder.

Taste (3.25) : A bit tangy, with coffee bean, caramel, and honey. If I were to walk through it... I get some sweet/bitter coffee bean right off the bat, like a typical mild roast. The faint honey notes follow, with some subdued but rough hop bitterness. The tang I can't particularly place on any flavor or feature. A faint diacetyl butterscotch flavor pokes through as well. Ends with honey and a small freshness that's like pine but not super hoppy. Just the flavor of it, not the bitterness. Three and a quartah.

Note : Shiner also smoked SA in this category, too.

Mouthfeel (3.25) : Roasty, full to medium bodied (it transitions from one to the other this way), creamy, milky. Ends like some kind of spiced milk. About on par with Bohemian Black.

Overall (3.53) : A decent try but Shiner definitely has this one beat. I like the flavors more and the roast comes out better in Shiner's version. This beer focuses more on milk and honey aspects, not so much on the roast and toast. It's still a decent beer, though, and I'd drink it again.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, best before 8/2014. Pours crystal clear deep brown color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, toast, dark bread, chocolate, roasted malt, raisin, plum, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and fruity yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, molasses, toast, dark bread, chocolate, roasted malt, raisin, plum, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, molasses, toast, dark bread, chocolate, roast, raisin, plum, herbal, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; with great robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy, smooth, and lightly chalky/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 4.9%. Overall this is a damn nice schwarzbier! All around good balance, robustness, and complexity of dark/roasted malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

what a fantastic black lager. the best of both worlds here, almost as much a baltic porter as a schwarzbier really, robust malt profile, earthy and heavily roasted, with a nutty middle and a lot of body for such a quick finish. dark in color too, pushing black, with a matte finish, well carbonated, and thin on the head. it smells nutty and toasty like good roasted barley, but not bitter or super dense like some can be, this stays light while holding onto that extremely deep dark grain element. really a great success here. lager yeast has a lot of flavor this time around, and with the dark malt, its like the burnt flakes on the crust of a properly cooked wood fired pizza, it has that char and dough thing working well for it. hoppy too for an almost macro brew, biting in the finish, more than balancing to the flavoring level, but its all in excellent proportion. lively carbonation makes it feel rather light for its color, and it ends up being a sessionable and quenching drink. sam adams has some really solid basic beers in their lineup, and this is a prime example that beer doesnt have to be complex to be delicious.

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Photo of robruiz
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer was pretty good. I like that interesting twist of this dark beer. Very interesting flavor, not very easy to describe. Complex, yet smooth. It has the malty flavor you expect from a dark beer, but different from a porter or stout. I would definitely drink this brew again. It reminded me a lot of Xingu.

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Photo of tmbgnicu
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Grabbed a six pack for my wife because she enjoyed the Guinness black lager so much and I was sick of her drinking my beers! Pours very black with a light caramel hue. It goes down smooth, maybe not quite as smooth as the Guinness black, but there is a lot more flavor here than from Guinness. This is a very solid beer, drinks well and has a lot of flavor. Good brew for a quiet Monday night.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with best before May 2014 notched on the label. Another new beer to me from Samuel Adams, this one a schwarzbier, not a style I am too familiar with. Acquired as part of a mixed six pack at the local Binny's.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a dark cola brown, nearly opaque in the glass with some dark ruby showing near the edges. A finger and a half of khaki-tan head. Some okay scattered lacing throughout.

S - Smell is pretty light, but what's there is nice. Some roasty chocolate malt presence, subtle hints of char / smoke, some creaminess / soapiness, and perhaps just a bit of lightly earthy hop-derived fruitiness.

T - Taste follows the nose - roasted chocolate / caramel malt, some dry graininess, woodsy, smoke & char, and some underlying tart dark fruit (figs, dates, raisins, prunes).

M - Feel is crisp, smooth, creamy, and lightly roasty on the finish. Mild bitterness left on the palate. Medium-light bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, of the three schwarzbiers I have had so far, this has been the best of them. An accessible, approachable take on the style, that's for sure. One of the more impressive beers I have had lately from the Boston Beer Company. Well done, guys.

Samuel Adams Black Lager ---3.5/5

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Photo of Duhast500
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a perfect pint glass.

The color is a dark black with some maroon and dark brown highlights. A single finger of foamy brownish head ans some slight lacing.

The smell has a dark malt aroma, coffee grounds comes out a bit with a little toasted aroma as well.

The taste has a touch of coffee in the flavor more dark malts coming out toward the back. There is a nice biscuit flavor that is there for a moment before giving a slight bitter flavor.

This beer has a nice drinkable feel like most largers with this same amount of alcohol. It has a medium to lighter body and is smooth going down.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Look: Cola black with ruby coming through the edges. A tan colored foam head that calms to a thick film, then recedes completely. Little or no lacing.

Aroma: Sweet roasted malts, very toasty and hearty with streaks of chocolate. An almost toffee-like finish.

Taste: Roasted barley and rich, sweet malts give this some substance. There's some faint chocolate, and light smokiness. A caramel or toffee note to finish it off.

Mouthfeel: Medium in weight, crisp, dry.

Overall: I will remember this beer for it's roasted, toasty profile. Pretty flavorful.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.6/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled back on 2/2/14 and split it with a friend. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a small pilsner flute glass.

Pours a dark brown like cola. A 1/2 finger beige head is seen with a decent amount of lacing. Lots going on with the aroma with burnt brown sugar, chocolate, roasted malts and dark fruit. Even more going on with the taste and sweeter than excepted. Very nice balance of flavors as well as perfect carbonation. One of the better 'black lagers' for sure.

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Photo of shacawgo24
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A-Darkest brown, like raisins. Coffee dark. Sandy head. Average size. Lacing cascades down glass. Average head retention, maybe a little below average. Lacing doesn't last or stick. The opaque black-brown color wins me over, very solid looking.

S-Burnt sugar. Milk chocolate. Licorice. Coffee grounds. Basic dark beer smells. This smoked beer holds true to name, with an awesome smoked meat aroma. Glazed ham and/or bacon.

T-Coffee. Dark chocolate. Resin. Pine bitters. Roasted barley. Smoke. Prunes. Raisins. An unknown dark aftertaste, like, Dr. Pepper I swear.

M-Slightly watery medium body, but retains enough body to be medium. At first that is. The body just dies and thins out too much, becoming extra watery. The carbonation starts out medium-low, (below medium but still medium range). But the carbonation dies and the beer becomes flat. The beer becomes an inky feeling let down that is sour and alkaline in aftertaste. The bitter hops dies as well. The smoke in the beer blows away and doesn't cling and hover around.

O-A great Schwarz bier. Sam Adams DOES knock out of the park rare, hardly done styles, (in America) I must say. Black Lager is not a regrettable purchase. But it could be better. You do get a smoked sense with the brew that is pleasant. But drink QUICKLY. And one bottle at a time. Because the qualities will evaporate. Flavors will die and carbonation disappears. Drink this decent beer I say still. And search out for authentic imported Schwarz biers.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark brown that settles into the glass with a cola-colored body and a foamy tan head.

S- Bready lager yeast, roasted, smoky malts, hint of earthy aromas.

T- Everything in the nose comes through very nicely. Almost like a light stout with lager influences. Roasted malts, bready flavors, hint of smokiness, hint of bitterness at the end.

M- Creamy, with a crisp finish. Again like a light stout. Crisp enough for a lager, smoothness and creamy sets as well.

O- Pretty good beer. Better than I expected. Drinkable, but nice roastiness and flavors.

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Photo of RolandoHH
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours an inch-thick cream head, with low retention and slight lacing.
S - Very decent roasted malt smell with coffee undertones and some cacao notes.
T - Creamy malts, much sweeter than expected. Still nice.
M - Very low carbonation. Enjoyable.
O - A decent beer, very drinkable, but altogether not something particularly special.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.24/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

This is mostly a rate from memory as I have not seen this one in a while. Pours a deep dark brown with slightly brownish off white head. Aroma is dark malty chocolate, some definite roast, with bite that makes it not super sweet. Flavor follows closely, with big roast and a bit of bittersweet chocolate. Interestingly, I didn't get much smoke from this, more roast to me. Rather rich mouthfeel for the ABV, and a pretty solid brew.

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Photo of FLima
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep black color with lots of thick beige head with medium retention.
Aroma of roasted malts with cofee notes and some cocoa.
Likewise, flavor of roasted malts and earthy and herbal hops. Notes of cofee, cocoa powder, molasses and caramels. Hints of soap, pepper, cola, oxidized apples and salt. Sweet, but not too much. Smooth aftertaste with a low to medium dryness and bitterness.
Light body with medium carbonation with a velveted sensation.
Decent schwarzbier, with a twist hard to identify, maybe a late smokiness and hop of choice or ratio. A beer that grows over time.

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Photo of ahommell
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Finger of head. Deep brown in color. Clear. Small amounts of lacing.

S: Chocolate, small amounts of coffee. I smell smooth hops at the end. Smells slightly sour at a point... typical of Sam Adams beers.

T: Creamy. Much sweeter than expected. Plenty of roasted malt. Bitter right at the end is very slight. Chocolate.

M: little carbonation. Creamy. One of the less sour Sam Adam's. I enjoy this one very much.

I liked this beer a lot. It is heavy enough to know

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Photo of bark
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The colour is deep dark brown (70 EBC), the liquid clear. The finger-thick head is brown.

The smell is fresh with a sour touch, some chocolate bar, light clean sweet flavours and a balancing touch of bitterness.

The taste is at first a bit earthy. Roasted sweet notes. It got lots of flavours, but it doesn’t get heavy. Bitterness in the background. Medium body. Chocolate and some roasted malts in the aftertaste as well as passing notes of soap and salty hints. Some cookies in the finish.

The carbonation is medium to light, the small bubbles short-lived. The liquid is somewhat dry.

Not a bad beer at all, although I didn’t like the soapy flavours.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

While recently visiting Highland Pizza, my uncle was very interested in many of the Sam. Adams bottles that they had in their cooler. That, in turn, piqued my curiosity and so I filled out a mixed sixer with ones I knew that I had not reviewed, This is one of them.

From the bottle: "Careful, there's a bit of mystery in this one. - a dark, rich, and roasty beer that's somehow smoother and less bitter than a stout. It was first brewed in the medieval forests of Germany. Depp and full-bodied yet fresh and crisp. You won't taste another dark beer like this one. Cheers! [undersigned] Jim Koch".

I had a great pour with a resultant two fingers of deep-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep brown with garnet highlights and seemingly good clarity, allowing for its extremely dark color. Nose smelled of cocoa powder and I was reminded of my Lunch Duty partner who seems to to really dig on chocolate. Mouthfeel was medium with a definite cocoa/smoky taste on the tongue. She claims not to like beer, but I would bet that she would totally dig this. For me, it was a bit too sweet, but not cloying, which I really dislike. Finish was semi-sweet and a decent drink for the style, even if not my bag.

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Photo of acevenom
3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Samuel Adams perfect pint glass. Pours dark brown with a thick, light tan head and plentiful rising bubbles in the beer. The head recedes somewhat slowly, leaving some lacing behind on the glass. Lacing is left behind on the glass during consumption. The aroma is of dark roasted malt, toffee, chocolate, and some hints of spiciness from the hop varieties that were selected (spalt and hallertau mittelfruh). The flavor is malty with some mild toffee, mild chocolate, water, and some hop spiciness. The body is light with moderate carbonation. The finish is slightly dry and the drinkability is very high. This is a very good beer.

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Photo of FlatRabbitRed
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good beer, straight forward simple black malted beer, nothing like a Guiness, or even like theyre "Holiday Porter".

Coffee notes, dark but not heavy! Easy to drink and very smooth for a dark beer, does not come around often, so grab some if you see them.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

LOOK: Dark brown with an amber hint. Off white foam.

SMELL: Roasted malt and bread. Cocoa.

TASTE: Roasted malts and a simple herbal/lemony citrus hop. Chocolatey and a note of raisin/plum. Coffee like at times. A faint smoke. Well balanced.

FEEL: Medium bodied and well carbonated. Solid overall feel.

OVERALL: A solid dark beer option, and in the same vein of some of my favorite import schwarzbiers. This still tastes like an American take on the style. Tasty beer.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - A dark ruby-brown with an eggshell colored two-finger creamy head. Decent retention. Nice looking rings of lacing.

S - Burnt graininess and some floral hop. Some caramel/chocolate malt.

T - Burnt chocolate malt taste forward. Graininess in the nose also present in the taste. A hint of light fruity hop in the finish, but it's very mild. Fruity yeast esters also kick in near the end of the flavor profile with a kind of aritificial lemon flavor. Kind of an oddly sweet and fruity finish for a Schwarzbier. Not unpleasant, just strange.

M - Ok this is where this beer fails. Light bodied bordering on watery, and...creamy? The creaminess really clashes with the graininess of the taste. Could have used a more traditional clean "lager" finish in my opinion. Medium carbonation.

O - A really bizarre Schwarz from SA. Too many off characteristics that didnt work to be considered a truly good beer. Not a repeat buy.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,554 ratings.
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