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

2,556 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 2,556 |  Reviews: 1,435
Photo of Samadamsfan2
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer produced mixed results for me, it looked and smelled great of chocolate and caramel, however, I tasted it and found that it lacked some flavor and ended being slightly thinner than expected. I'm not entirely let down though, and I would buy it though I hope that it could be improved.

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Photo of ProfessorHomer
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Schwarzbiers, at least good ones, are very difficult to find but this is one of them!

A: Pours a very dark blackish with a two-finger lasting tan head.

S: of roasted hops and mocha.

T: Nice, but citrusy, burst of hops starts the taste, notes of mocha and coffey and sweet malt. Finishes with a touch of hops and that malt.

M: Smooth, some alcohol, and subtle, but bitter, hop finish.

One of my two favorite Black Beers, the other being the *retired* Orilo organic black lager. One of the top five beers from Sam Adams. Nicely done!

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Photo of brewdub17
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark, almost opaque body with small hints of red and a faint tan head.

Smell: Roasty, Nutty and small amounts of sweetness, each positively complimenting each other.

Taste: The roastness comes through small but pleasantly, while there is a small alcohol trace, it is cut by the strong carbonated feel.

Mouthfeel: As said above, it has a strong crispness which is characteristic of a lager and plays an important part in the content of the brew.

Overall: I am pretty impressed. It is a very easy drinking schwarzbier and I can foresee it being utilized in many food pairings.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From old notes.

A: The pour isn't quite black but rather a very dark brown color with a finger of khaki head.

S: Lots of roasted malt aroma with a touch of coffee to it. Slightly acidic, likely from the heavy roasted qualities. Maybe a little bit of licorice and some floral hops. A touch of sweetness comes through.

T: More roasted malt and a touch of char. Definitely coffee and some bitter dark chocolate flavors. Moderately bitter with a sort of drying finish.

M: Medium in body with a moderate to high carbonation.

O: This was one of my first Schwarzbiers, but I found it to be quite enjoyable and still do.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
1.85/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Asphalt coloration with a small half hearted white head. Lasts only for about ten seconds and bam its gone...

Smells of faint black licorice and roasted malts

Tastes of well an afterthought of flavors; used Yerba maté tea bag, spent malts really nothing else... water maybe

Watery in the mouth, thin and diluted, even keeled medium carbonation makes it soda like

Well I hugely disagree with the B+ rating given by most on here. This is a weak flavored, weak nosed, weak textured, weak beer. I did not expect to have my mind blown but hot damn this was boring

This is not something to recommend to anybody without wasting their money

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Photo of KajII
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Lager Glass]

Poured black in color with a small light brown head that dissapated in seconds with fair lacing. The aroma was very light with a hint of roasted coffee malts and a light doughy yeast scent. It tasted of burnt coffee slightly sweet with a bitter finish that stayed with you for a while. Mouthfeel was medium to full bodied with an oily texture but quite creamy. Overall qiute a nice tasting brew.

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Photo of Sigmund
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355 ml bottle, courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 4.9%. Not entirely black colour, rather very dark brown. Thick beige head. Moderate but nice aroma of dark bread, roasted malts and herbal German hops. The flavour is moderately roasty with just a modest sweetness, could be called medium dry. A slight acidity in the finish, more bittering hops would be desirable. Decent enough to drink, but not very exciting.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.31/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: deep, dark brown. head is fluffy and super dense. i can see some solid carbonation escaping to the surface when holding up to light.

S: sweet caramel. a touch of smoke. a really mild hop linger.

T: roasted marshmallow. cashews. i may be being nit-picky on those aspects. not getting a significant hop body, however there is not much malt sweetness that needs to be balanced.

M: moderate carbonation with a crisp finish.

D: easy to drink, but from what i have read not the greatest example of the style.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very black, indeed! This one pours with a large head and moderate lace. Solid start for this lesser-known Sam Adams brew.

Mild chocolate nose, and with a slightly roasty flavor.

Light-bodied, and more than drinkable. I'd compare this one to a light stout, maybe. A tasty sessioner here.

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Photo of yakman
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my everyday drinking beer. I prefer darker more malted styles. Not my favorite, but for the price makes a good drink.

More malty than hops, good color an feel. Easy to drink several on a hot summer day. Much better than the macro breweries offers.

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

Samuel Adams Black Lager has a thick, creamy, beige head and a deep, dark ruby appearance with lots of lacing left behind. The aroma is of dark-roasted barley malt and coffee, and the taste is likewise of dark malts, coffee, and caramel with a slight hop spice showing up. Mouthfeel is medium, and Samuel Adams Dark Lager finishes refreshing, crisp, and mostly dry. Overall, this is a very enjoyable beer, and I highly recommend it.


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Photo of SickGnar
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep Mahogany, just about black, with deep ruby highlights that verge toward purple. Very clear despite the color. A light tan head pops right up, then falls to a ring that stays to bottom, and leaves okay lacing.

S: Roasty malts riding on light, sweet, grainy pils type base. Very Porter like actually - if a tad thin for the style. Rather roasty for a Schwartzbier. Nice enough though, whatever style it is.

T: On the roasty side for style. Aftertaste of an exceptionally clean porter. Nothing really steps out and says, "lager." Dark roast malts mostly contribute chocolate but also lightly tart dark dried fruits. The barest faint hints at coffee. Sweetness also darker on palate than the nose - more toward molasses & toffee. Only getting a vague hint of hops, seems to be just for balance in taste but grows in aftertaste.

M: Just medium body with firmly matched CO2. Makes for a lively mouthfeel that is rather different (but nice) in such a dark beer.

D: I think this is the typical US take on the Black Lager style. Sort of a light, low gravity, understated Baltic Porter. Mostly just in flavor/aroma profile - it does not have the heft & bulk of a real porter. Flavorful & refreshing.

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Photo of stckhndlr
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice dark ruby red with a soft 1 inch head

S- has a good smell of chocolate malts and toasty caramel. has a faint hint of like a black cherry to me as well.

T- Good flavor. chocolate and malts

M- feels pretty good, medium body and tasty pop on the tongue

D- very drinkable. I like this one

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Photo of BeanBone
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A dark, nearly black, reddish brown body with laser-beam red highlights. Up top, two fingers of creamy -cream-colored head that endure almost to the end of the glass, leaving excellent sheets of lacing on the way down.

Aroma: Earthy hops and a dash of something lactic over a husky burnt sugar malt body.

Flavor: Mild earthy and herbal hops over a solid roasty and husky black malt backbone. There's just a twang of something metallic, but it doesn't spoil the party. Lots of roasty and grainy malt in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a little creamy with smooth medium carbonation and a drying finish.

Drinkability: Just as drinkable as you'd expect from a Sam Adams brew with this alcohol content.

Verdict: Still a solid beer by my count, the faith I placed in Sam Adams Black Lager as a beer newbie seems to have been well placed. It's nicely roasty, deep enough to hold your attention, and easily quaffable.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown a large amount of tan head that falls quickly to a descent lace around the rim.

Nose is very toasty chocolate and a caramel sweetness. very mild caramel. Earthy hops complement the toast very well.

Taste of heavy roasted chocolate malts with a faint bitterness that seems to come more from the toasted grains than hops. The middle has a smooth sweetness but not chocolate sweet.

Low carbonation but a medium/heavy body. Goes down smooth and quickly.

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Photo of Shuffledaddy
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer was my introduction to dark lagers, so I thought I should review it.

A - Pours a very dark ruby red with a tan head. Head is thin with low retention and very little lacing.

S - Scents of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts. Garden variety dark beer smells.

T - Coffee notes are very present at first taste, moving to brown sugar and molasses at mid-palate, finishing with dark chocolate.

M - Carbonation is lacking and the mouthfeel is a bit thin compared to porters, stouts, etc. Remember, this is a lager, not an ale, so this is somewhat to be expected. Overall, pretty average.

D - Highly drinkable, and a good choice for a session beer if you don't want the heaviness of a porter or stout.

In closing, this is a nice introduction to dark lagers and is worth picking up on your next beer run.

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Photo of BeerMeInMS
3.04/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drinking Date: 1/30/11
Best-By - March 2011

Glassware - Pilsner

Appearance: It's completely black. An off-white head that dissipated quickly and left very little lacing.

Smell: The beer presented a pungent roasted aroma. As I got close to the brew, I also smelled some spiciness and some fruitiness ( a little citrus, but mostly a banana-like smell, which was surprising). An interesting and varied aroma

Taste: A slight bitterness opened the taste, but was quickly replaced by the roasted flavor of the malt. The beer shifted between the roasted flavor and hints of sweetness. Finished with a lingering taste of those flavors. Though the taste had some variety to it, I thought it was fairly weak. The flavor did not 'grab' me; it was more like the other way around. I was expecting a bigger flavor.

Mouthfeel: As the bottle states, it's medium-body. Has moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: The beer was not heavy where consuming several of these would be a problem to stomach or palate. However, the lack of savory flavor does not entice me for multiple tries.

Notes: I have never had a bad Sam Adams brew, and the Black Lager is no exception. I have read that black lager is typically light in character, so perhaps the flavor is true to the style. For me, after tasting, I would pass this one up for another style.

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Photo of pb9613
2.96/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Apperamce - The Black Lager is dark but not black. There is a distinct dark red hue to the beer. It has a decent head if it is pour directly into the glass and not on an angle to the glass

Smell - A nice malty smell with a little hops aroma.

Taste - This ale has a great malt flavor with a hint of chocolate. The balance of bitterness associated with most dark beers such as porters and stouts is toned down. The hops flavor is similar to a brown ale.

Mouthfeel - This beer has a heavy chocolate feel similar to chocolate mild without the heavy lactose flavor..

Drinkability - This ale went down nice but could use a little bitterness from the hops or the roasted malt or barley.

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Photo of pburland23
3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a Sam Adams Brewmasters collection mixed six pack.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A schwarzbier should be black or at the very dark brown. This beer is a dark crimson-y red. Not what I would expect from the style. There is decent head retention and some good lacing for a lager however.

The smell is quite nice. Malty with hints of smooth roastiness. The taste is similar. I actually think the roasted malt flavor is very pleasing but there isn't enough of it. It's like the beer is lacking that extra oomph that would make it bigger.

The carbonation and mouthfeel are middling. They aren't anything special, but there is nothing wrong with them either.

Despite its flaws, Black Lager is drinkable beer for those people who want the that roasted malt flavor without drinking stout or porter.

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.16/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice two finger head, very pillowy and creamy looking. Smell is very malty, I might detect hints of chocolate notes, but it is very distant. In the taste you get a lot of malts, in the back end you get a slight taste of coffee, which is nice. The mouthfeel is very plain, it almost feels like I'm drinking carbonated water. This beer feels a little too carbonated for the style. The flavor would taste like I'm drinking carbonated water as well, except for the malts and other notes I get. Very average beer.

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Photo of shand
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer sure lives up to it's name appearance wise. It's pitch black with a fingers worth of head that doesn't retain much at all. Color sure is nice though! The smell is on-point, roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, you know the score. I can smell a bit of that signature Sam Adams Boston Lager smell in here - probably the same yeast is used or something to that effect. A little weak, though. The taste is well done, the roasted malts/coffee come in full effect on the taste, with a little chocolate on the background. That "something" that reminds me of Boston Lager is still present on the taste.

Both the mouthfeel and drinkability are good, it's crisp and fairly refreshing for the "darker" flavors presented here. Again, it reminds me of Boston Lager in some strange way - this is almost a "porter-ized" version of Boston Lager - roast the malts and throw in some coffee and chocolate, and there you go, Sam Adams Black Lager!

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle label notched Feb. 2011 for brewery fresh taste

Sam Adams Black Lager poured an opaque black producing a 1-finger tan head that formed light lacing. The aroma is of roasted chocolate and coffee grounds. The taste has a roasted malt character with flavors of bittersweet chocolate, caramel and more coffee with faint hop bitterness. The mouth feel was surprisingly clean and dry.

Sam Adams Black Lager is my first venture into the Schwarz bier style. I enjoyed it...much like a light porter. Black Lager is a nice alternative brew [to Porters and Stouts] for the late fall and winter months.

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Photo of rpardon7
3.22/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up in a mix six pack hope this turns out better than the other two. Poured a nice black ruby color with decent head that was a creamy thick off white color. Smell was toasted and caramel malts maybe a bit of roast. Taste is muted chocolate bit of roasted grain, and dominated by caramel malt. Descent mouthfeel creamy and smooth could be a little bit smoother. Drinkability is nice good refreshing beer.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked this one up in a mixed sixie last week, and I actually had some pretty decently high hopes for it; sadly it let me down. Poured a dark brown color, with a decent light tan head. Lightly roasted malt, decent quality chocolate and some coffee on the nose. Light bodied, with lightly roasted malt, generic chocolate and coffee.

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Photo of Rhynes2
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a decent choice in brews that I got in the variety pack from Sam Adams. Pours a nice dark color with a little foamy head that disappears pretty quickly. Not much lacing down the sides of the glass. Didn't really care for the taste as much as other black lagers I've had. It just seemed a bit dumbed down from where I would have liked it to be. If you're looking for an intense flavor this one isn't your beer but it does have a nice flavor considering the style.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,556 ratings.
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