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

2,596 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: 2,596 |  Reviews: 1,446
Photo of bamojr
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark caramel color in the light and dark black color not in direct light. thick creamy tan head that hangs on for a good long time. Smells nice and malty with some sweet and skunky notes. Very malty and subtle sweet flavors. Has that good punchy roasted taste to round out for that familiar black beer flavor. A perfect amount of carbonation really finishes this one off. I am very impressed and as usual Samuel Adams keeps me coming back for more.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a really deep brown color with a pretty strong head on it. The aromas of some roasted malts and caramel are on the nose along with some hops. The taste of the beer has a good bitterness to it. There's a light burnt flavor in there too. The mouthfeel is a bit heavier than I expected. Overall pretty good beer.

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Photo of bagpiper2005
3.44/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: Very dark brown in color. Streaks of ruby red at the edges when held up to the light. A finger and a half of tan head with decent retention and nice lacing.

Smell: Light aroma of roasted malts, coffee, and a hint of hops. Not much going on here and rather lackluster.

Taste: Things pick up a bit here. Roasted and caramel front end with a dark, fruity middle. Finishes clean with a light coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel: On the thinner side of things, and with rather high carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall: Very sessionable and easy drinking. Flavor is good, just not very bold.

Final Notes: Pretty good beer, but nothing spectacular. Very sessionable and pretty "run-of-the-mill." Great introduction to the world of dark beer for beginners.

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Photo of TacoSaladin
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown (almost black) with lighter brown hues (given a well lit room). A thick tan creamy head with great retention. Beautiful lacing which remained for the duration of the beer.

The smell is smooth of roasted malts with a hint of chocolate. Overall it is clean and crisp but it is not all that 'loud'.

Medium body which is very consistent to the style with a good level of carbonation. The initial taste is of chocolate roasted malts with a crisp finish (on the dry side).

Very solid beer! This is a great choice if you want the feel and taste of a traditional stout without the heavier body (as a black lager should be).

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

The nicest beer I've enjoyed while in Mexico! Importation label lists 5.0% ABV, but also refers to this as a "Schewarzbier" so can perhaps be taken with a grain of salt.

Beautiful dark colour, almost black with burgundy highlights. Perfectly clear with a nice head. Subtle aromas, but delightful full-bodied taste : roasted malts with caramelized coffee undertones. Not as sweet as the schwarzbier I remember from Germany, with a pleasantly dry finish.

Becoming even more delightful as the beer warms up to a proper temperature.

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Photo of JRed
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown with reddish edges and an off white head that lasts. Weak aroma of cinnamon, prunes, medicinal notes, maple. Tastes of maple, cinnamon, prunes, some hop presence toward the finish but a lasting medicinal tang takes over in the aftertaste. Light body with medium carbonation. Tangy with spice but a lil too much.

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Photo of tkepx182
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pleasant dark lager. I was surprised by the burnt taste of the hops and thought that it brought a nice flavor addition to what would have been a normal lager. It seemed to be a nice mix of my two favorite beers, stouts and lagers. I enjoyed this beer and will miss it when I finish the 6 pack.

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Photo of mikedevilsfan
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from a bottle. Very dark pour with a nice beige head. No lacing to speak of. Slight malt aroma. Beer has a crisp chocolate/caramel taste with no real noticeable finish. Solid Lager, one of the best I have had in a while, would definitely buy again.

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Photo of bayougutter
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 oz'er into a tulip and it poured black with brown highlights. Little off white head that didn't last long at all. aromas of chared malts, caramel, with some hop scents as well. Taste was roasted malts at front then caramel, then dark fruits ie; fig. It was balanced out by a little hoppiness at the finish.

Overall a nice refreshing brew that has an aftertaste that reminded me of a smooth porter. It lack a decent head and a little thin on the mouthfeel or I would have reviewed higher, but the taste was very nice indeed.

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Photo of MadCat
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another from a Sam Adams mixed six pack. I've had this way before I joined BA, and I'm impressed that I still enjoy this after that much time. Some Sam Adams beers have been disappointing revisiting them.

Appearance: Just as black as any Russian imperial stout, not too much head, but leaves some lacing

Smell: Good roasted malt smell, with some coffee and caramel hints

Taste: More roasted malts, coffee and caramel hints. Some spicy hints, along with pumpernickel.

Mouthfeel: A little watery with medium carbonation

Overall: Very good, reminds you of a stout or porter, but with some differences. I appreciate Boston Beer Co. producing an uncommon style like this, and doing a good job with it.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer pours a dark brown color. It produced a decent off white head with above average head retention. Very nice amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma of the Schwarzbier had notes of burnt malt, caramel and chocolate. It has a nice medium body and is malty and hints of carmel. There was also some sweetness that balanced this beer out. This is a nice example of a Schwarzbier- It is a little sweet but it would be a great "starter" beer to give someone. This will work for a warm spring or summer weekend.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Back in the day, I used to enjoy this one more when it was warm than cold, but I'm gonna start off on the latter end of the spectrum this time. Shits and giggles, y'see. It pours a dark ruby-brown topped by a finger of slightly dirty sandstone foam. The nose comprises toasted toffee, plenty o' cocoa, and a touch of light coffee. The taste doesn't deviate too far from this, though the cocoa is definitely dominant here (especially as it warms, making a sort of light version of a milk stout after a while). The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a very nice schwarz, one of the best regulars Sam Adams puts out.

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Photo of Homebrew35
3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two finger tan creamy head. Mostly black filtered clear body. Smells yeasty, sweet, some dark chocolate and coffee. Tastes sweet and toffee, coffee, roasty malts, some earthy hops. Medium/thin body, medium carbonation. Some lingering hop and roasty bitterness. Overall this doesn't sit too well for me. The roasted/sweet/thin body combination doesn't work well. This needs more body and Carmel malts for me. I barely finished the bottle. $8.50 a sixer, oh well it'll sit around for some friends to try.

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Photo of kflack
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle, best before 7/2011

Poured a very dark brown, with a little reddish hue when held up to the light. Two finger head with a soft, creamy look to it.

Smells of dark cherries, roasted malts, with mild citrus notes.

Tastes of chocolate with a slight hop limeyness(?) to it. Kinda watery??

Has a nice creamy feel to it, but seems a little thin for my tastes.

Not sure if I would put this in the "Brewmasters Collection" sixes, as Sam has a lot more to offer than this. Overall not bad, but by no means great either.

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Photo of 6thomas3
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Rich darkness allowing zero light penetration, suds cling to the side of my glass in a purposeful manner, slight head retention approximately one of my bony fingers in depth, quick and spirited carbonation bubbles on a mission to reach the top all most as if driven by a force outside of gravity

Smell - Modest hints of coffee and caramel fill my nasal cavities; not overly powerful or impressed perhaps underwhelmed sum it up sufficiently

Taste - A stark contrast to it's appearance, rather light and ginger, tip toeing across my lips with sore feet and the utmost respect for my dignity, leaving a bitter sweet aftertaste of precisely roasted morning coffee

Mouthfeel - Alluring slipperiness postulates a smile and the mouthcoating leaves me wondering, "Is there more to come?"

Overall - My senses and consciousness are conflicted with complexity versus simplicity

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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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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,596 ratings.
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