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

1,434 Reviews
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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 mntlover
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark color can see thru it as a dark red when held to the light nice tan head that falls to a foam cap that laces.
Aroma is malty caramel, chocolate hints of expresso spice and hops pleasant but little light.
Taste is nice rich roasted malt mix with caramel and chocolate very nice. Carbonation brings forth the coffee flavors that mix with a spicey dose of hops for a nice lingering finish.
Mouthfeel is a solid medium nice amount of carbonation adds to the flavor nice smooth little beer.
Drinkability is good only my second of this style should have rated the first better but didn't know so at that time. This beer is fine little lager I would recommend you atleast try. Its nice to have a dark beer thats almost light and refreshing.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.27/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle tells me that for brewery fresh taste I need to purchase it before August of '05...ok, fine.

Appearance: A cola-like pour with ruby edges. A nice crusty two-finger head forms at the top of my pint glass.

Smell: Not much going on in this department. Faint wheat bread and carmel noted but nothing else.

Taste: Smoky, roasty, oatmeal, and some walnut notes going on here. A sweeter, slightly carmel finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and kind of prickly due to the carbonation.

Drinkability: I think this is a marvelously quaffable beer. This may be a good "intro" beer to those macro lovers that might have an inclination towards darker beers.

Nice to see that Sam Adams can still make some goodies while still catering to the masses. Recommended.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.53/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark brown mahogany nearing black. Tan head is impressive. Lingers and laces. Aroma of cookie-dough with hints of roasted malt, sweet and toasty. Aroma actually reminds me of Kalamazoo stout. Flavor begins with an awesome light caramel, cocoa, leather, and chocolate all perfectly rounded and balanced. Slightly roasty. Lager yeast leaves a small gap in the flavor profile. Medium-bodied and rediculously smooth. Cocoaish finish makes me want more.

One hell of a beer.

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Photo of Stimack
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew poured to a very dark brown color, maybe even black in color with some light filtering through. It was poured with a fair sized light brown head that broke down quite quickly but left nice rings of lace down the entire brew. The aromas of this brew are nice; solid chocolate and roasted malt flavors that might even be leaning to a burnt smell. The taste is definitely of roasted malts along with a chocolate flavor that seems to me as being quite smooth. Also notice a nice slight hop taste at the end that goes very nice with this brew, think you could completely miss it unless you are looking for it. Over all I think this is a real good brew, will get some more as I feel that the taste of this will appeal to some of my less adventurous friends.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz, longneck, brown glass bottle, capped, "best by" month notch on label.

This black beer poured a clear, dark, chestnut red-brown color with creamy, tan foam that persisted and clung to the glass a fair amount. The smell was dark malt with a bit of molasses. The taste was lightly sweet malt with a touch of molasses and caramel and a hint of yeast. Very low hop presence. The mouthfeel was very smooth and creamy with medium body and modest carbonation. There was a mildly malty aftertaste. This was a pretty good schwarzbier, but perhaps just a tad too sweet.

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Photo of pentathlete
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours into the pint glass a ruby black with a tan head about 1/2 inch high. Slight lacing. Aromatic toasty malty chocolatey the smell. Tastes malty sweet with chocolate notes and crisp like a lager (like I'm drinking a crisp stout). Little hop taste at all though some must be there to provide what little balance there is. Mouthfeel is creamy and sweet. Nice carbonic bite in the finish. The roasted maltiness is felt throughout. The only thing that keeps this from being a top notch session brew is the sweetness...that would start to wear on the palate after two beers.

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Photo of Citadel82
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought the mixed 12 pack to get this baby and the Scotch Ale. I really like the Scotch Ale and this stuff is not half-bad either...

Pours dark mahogany with ruby highlights and an off white head that is fairly short-lived but leaves thick lacing in its wake.

Aroma is malt and some faint hops, charcoal, faint notes of bread dough.

Taste is balanced, not sweet yet not too dry, notes of espresso, some charcoal, faint yeast notes, some hop bittering definitely not Cascades though I can't place the type yet ... european? Short balanced finish.

Mouthfeel is a tad thin though not so bad that it is mark against the brew. I find this beer superbly balanced and easy to drink.

Some potential as a session beer. Very drinkable indeed.

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Photo of rajendra82
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a six pack of this Brewmaster’s Collection release the moment I saw it. Brown longneck bottle with a notched in freshness date of Aug 2005, so no worries about freshness here.

Clear body with a dark reddish brown color that was not quite black, but was much darker than any other style of lager. The head was small and fleeting, and lacing was sparse.

The smell was roasted coffee with spicy hop notes. The taste was dry and bittersweet, with clean caramelized and chocolate malt providing a creamy palette. Quite thin in the mouth, this did not have the robust stickiness of a porter. Very refreshing however, and would not be too difficult to down a couple at a sitting.

My first Schwarzbier, so I was not quite sure what to expect. Looking through the BJCP guidelines, I think Boston Beer Company’s product meets all the requirements.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Fairly strong, moderately sweet dark roasted malt aroma mixed in with some thick chocolate syrup. Dense, foamy, hazelnut colored head leaves a sheet of lace. Deep brown colored beer with a cola colored hue around the edges. Dark roasted and chocolate malt carries over into the mild flavor and mixes in with a bit of marshmallow. Dry roasted malt finish. Body is on the light side; mouthfeel is kind of a mix between soft and watery. Reminds me a bit of a dry stout; quite tasty.

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Photo of frazbri
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black body with deep mahogany accents, short cream colored head. Homemade carmel corn and chocolate aromas. Toffee flavors, slightly fruity with a little coffee flavor and rounded out by bitterness. Medium body, moderate carbonation with a slightly dry finish.

This is a solid offering from Sam. It was slightly fruitier than I expected, which didn't make it bad, it just made it more porter like. I'm glad to see Boston Beer continue to make seasonal brews, instead of just pushing Sam Light.

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Photo of guinnessman
4.4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I didn't know what to expect from this Schwarzbier style. But I had to try it and see exactly what was going on there. It was a nice black/amber huge, with a small light brown head with very little retention. But it presents itself well! Sweet smelling with chocolate and roasty smells. A nice grainy mouthfeel and nice chocolate and roasted malt taste with a hint of burnt wood. Very very impressed, I will definitely pick up a six pack again soon.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
2.85/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Didn't know what to expect, but overall not a bad beer from "micro-Sam" Couldn't get Porter out of my head as I waited for the beer to settle, still kinda can't (by apperance). Chocolatey taste, then nothing, very hollow. This is the type of beer you won't mind having a couple of-basically just to get rid of. Not overly disappointing but will not buy again.

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Photo of TAMU99
3.27/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a black-brown with a moderate tan head.
Scents of charcoal and toffee waft from the foam
Tastes mirror the aroma - smoke, caramel and coffee - standard stuff for a beer this dark. Not too bitter. Nicely balanced.
Smooth, no significant bite.
Certainly drinakable. The Stout character is tempered by it's lager roots

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Photo of oberon
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of the Brewmasters pack I wish I could get the Scottish Ale again,anyways pours a near black but with some ruby highlights thru out some bitter chocolate deep roasted grain in the aromas just smells sweet.Taste of chocolate and sweet caramel with heavily roasted malt but the caramel sweetness almost becomes cloying after awhile.Wow SA wasnt playin around here making a real sweet scharzbier here would have like a little more drier balance liek others I have tried of the style,well to each there own.

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Photo of ADR
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Included in the recent variety pack. Clear dark brown with mahogany highlights in bright light. Head levels out quickly, big bubbles help it fall in about 50 seconds. Laces minimally, fat strings on one side of the glass. Roasty aroma but not burnt, like a well done glazed pork roast, sweetened by a caramel impact. Medium mouthfeel but lively carbonation. Flavor is pleasant, balanced by dusty hop and a mild astringency, however malts win the day early with chocolate infused whole grains and caramelized sugar. Comes off as a drinkable brew to me, maybe a touch too sweet in early impression and aroma.

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

Served in an American Pint glass

A-a dark brown so dark it looks black with a rocky tan head that last quite a while

S- a very clean roasted malt smell with a bit of hop spiciness in the background

T-an almost nuggety maltyness with a hint of caramel taste and a mellow hop bitterness and a roasted malt finish. just a hint of residual sweetness brings out the roast in the malt at the finish

M- a bit of a creamy mouthfeel but no harshness that you find in dark ales. very smooth.

D- definitely a unique style of beer. I expect a stout but it has a very smooth lager taste. It is a refreshing change from porters and stouts but I still enjoy those styles more frequently.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer. I bought a sample pack with Black Lager, Hefeweizen, and Boston Lager and this is by far the best of the bunch. Pours dark like a porter with a nice head. Malty in aroma and taste with a touch of caramel. Great mouthfeel and very drinkable. I think this would be a great "transition beer" (one going from a light pilsner or lager to a darker, fuller, more flavorful beer.) I definitely recommend this anyone.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12ozer bottle purchased as a single from Town & Country, West Springfield, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" brown head above the very dark mahogany brew. Head fades holds its own, and lacing is good. Aroma is hearty dark malts, with a slight associated bitterness. Taste is just what the nose portended. Dark malt bitter aftertaste lurks in the mouth. Mouthfeel is smooth and pleasantly thin, but not too much, just right, and drinkability is excellent. Hope this one finds a permanent place in their lineup.

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Photo of oracle
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle in a nonic pint glass

Beer poured just like the label says. Black. Coal black. Pancake thick head the faded to a very thin film. Left a small amount of lacing to mark it's passage.

Nose was sweet carmel with a slight coffee and burnt undertone.

Taste was sweet as well, with minor coffee notes and a distinctly burnt flavor to it. I don't know any other way to describe it. Just burnt. Very little hop presence.

Medium bodied with a very short finish.

This would be an excellent beer to give to someone relatively inexperienced with darker color beers, in that it's not going to overpower them as a stout might.

I'm not much of a fan of SA's Boston Lager, but I did like this beer quite a bit.

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

Roasty, malty, a little bit of smoke flavor in this nice and smooth lager. It has a light mouthfeel of a lager with a dark roasted malt color. Interesting experience since you expect a beer of this color to be heavy and full flavored. Lightly hopped and crisp. I would have enjoyed a more bitter character if the malts were a little darker roasted (i.e. black patent).

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

I've only had Kostritzer so my Schwarzbier knowledge isn't too broad.

This ain't your daddy's yellow lager. It's quite dark, but it isn't solid black: a little light can pass through my glass. It has a lovely brown head that's about a quarter-inch thick.

It has a light smell of roasted malts: coffee, chocolate, ya know the drill. I wouldn't expect the smell to be powerful. This isn't a porter or stout, after all.

The taste is good. Plenty of coffee and chocolate flavors, thanks to the roasted malts. Not nearly as heavy as a stout, this is a great beer when you want serious flavor but not such a massive profile. There is a bit of sourness, not bitterness, in the aftertaste that causes me to knock a half-point off the taste score.

The body is light and glassy, as expected. This is one of SA's best brews. Let's hope this beer is successful.

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Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.8/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark, ruby red color and has a thick tan head. The aroma is of chocolate and coffee... Definitely a lot of malt in here. The flavor is exceptionally balanced. There is no really overpowering flavor... a nice meld of the coffee tones from the roasted malt and a nice chocolate flavor as smooth as any fine chocolate beer, but balanced in a way that it does not become cloying at all. The label says it all when it comes to the finish... Smooth, spicy and very clean for all of the flavors going on here. I really like this beer and I hope it becomes a regular in the BBC lineup.

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

I'll put my conclusion first: this is a great all-around beer. Probably the best I've tasted from Sam Adams.

It pours an almost opaque black. There is some light that shines through that turns it a really, really deep brown. I'm talking about the cusp of brown and black. The head is fluffy and cloudlike, with lace that sticks to the top of the glass.

Smells like roasted malts. I can relate it to a nice bowl of hot oatmeal, topped with sugar and cinnamon. Definite brown sugar presence.

Tastes like a good coffee, with a very roasted oat taste. Also, hints of chocolate permeate the flavor. Tasty.

I gotta say, it's a good beer. Could down a few of these at a time, it's light which belies it's taste and color, which I am aware isn't ALWAYS typical. Anyway, it is a delicious brew and one of the best Sam offers.

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

The beer pours a translucent dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, yet sweet malt scent that boasts of chocolate and caramel malts and a lager yeast aroma. The taste is decent. It has an extremely dry, dark malt flavor which is rich in pale, caramel, and chocolate malts. It goes down easy and finishes with an earthy dry lager yeast feel. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinking Schwarzbier. I wish it wasn't so dry, but overall it's a fine offering.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark with red hues, lots of bubble action, looks like Coca-Cola. Decent lace to the thick, light tan creamy head.

Aroma - some initial roasted malt and espresso, also a metallic element. Initial nose fades to just the metallic-like smell.

Taste - sweet and malty, nice roasted flavors are enjoyable, no metal stuff thankfully. No hop presence either, on purpose per the label info. Finish is satisfyingly roasty, prompting another sip.

Mouthfeel - solid mouthfeel, smooth with subdued carbonation.

Drinkability - this is one of those rare beers that is best enjoyed in the bottle to keep those metallic odors bottled up. I really wanted to give a higher Taste score, but the smell dragged it down too much for me, affecting Drinkability as well. It is an otherwise delicious beer worth a sixer.

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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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