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

Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
Liked This Beer
3.7 w/ 2,604 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: 2,604 |  Reviews: 1,449
Photo of drabmuh
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is dark brown and opaque with a thin off white / tan head that break and still manages to leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation low.

Aroma is mild with only minor roast and some pils sweetness.

Beer is thin with a mild roastiness at the back end of the palate, otherwise it's a plain Jane beer. I just don't get much from it, it is unoffensive just not very interesting.

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Photo of thebrood1987
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm going by memory on this one but I remember it pretty well. It looked like a porter and smelled of one too. The only thing that separated this and a porter was that this had a thinner mouthfeel and wasn't as thick in body and flavor. It's like in between a brown ale and a porter really. Very nice almost coffee like roasted malt smell and taste. It ends with a tiny bit of Noble hops to match up with the subtle bitterness coming from the roasted dark coffee like malt. Its a very smooth beer that goes down too easily. If you want a dark beer that you can actually have a session with this is your beer most definitely.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep mahogany almost black, thick and dark. Creamy tan head recedes to thick ring that leaves creamy, sticky lacing.

S- Cocoa, roasted malts, and nutty tones. Caramels and earthy tones.

T- Cocoa and coffee, roasted malts all on the front. Earthy hops in the back with notes of leather and caramel.

M- Medium body with hints of cream. Well balanced, malty

D- On the creamy and roasted side, but slightly watery. Well balanced and easy to drink.

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

Pour into Samuel Adams Glass

A: Deep mahogany pour, two to three fingers of caramel colored head.

S: The first thing I thought of when I smelled this was 'Chocolate Asphalt', which in my own reckoning of the beer, complimented it well. The cocoa, roasted malts had a tarlike and nutty quality, which was almost endearing.

T: The mixture of sweet Sarsaparilla and roasted malts permeate this brew - the coffee bean earthiness brought this beer home. This a well-crafted medium-bodied brew, that is distinctive and well placed in its style.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this Sam Adams selection - what a well balanced schwarzbier, with sufficient complexity to make it one of the most worthy of the style.

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

Bottle drink by date of Feb. 2011
Pilsner glass

The appearance is black with a nice 2 fingers worth of light brown head. Holding the glass to light you can see it is not opaque like a stout, and a lot of carbonation in the form of streaming bubbles is seen. Minimal lacing in this pour.

The aromas were of malts with hints of chocolate and caramel, but the smell was somewhat weak.

Taste was of roasted malts with a low to medium bitterness. There are some burnt flavors but they are kept in check with a slight sweetness I enjoyed. As the beer warmed up I noticed some spiciness coming through. Mouthfeel was medium in body, with a fairly high degree of carbonation and a slight bitter aftertaste.

I think this is a good example of a schwarzbier to be enjoyed in the cold winter months.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - deep black with slight hue of brown/mahogany up to the light. no head and very little lacing.

S - sweet toffee, nuts, hint of chocolate.

T - sweet chocolate, smooth feel, hint of roasted nuts and light malt.

M - medium/light body, creamy smooth feel.

D - fine beer for cold day. Like the Porters, German cousin, after dinner/dessert drink. Only a few per sitting, this is a little sweet. One of my favorite Sam Adams.
This is a must try.

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3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to pint glass.

A: Pours with 2 fingers of khaki colored head, light and airy in texture. The retention is excellent and it produces great lacing in sheets around the glass. The body is remarkably clear and very dark brown in color.

S: Lightly roasted malts in above average quantity, chocolate and caramel come through with prominence. The Bavarian Noble hops incorporate a pleasant grassiness. Yeast contributions are earthy, leathery and leafy. Long flavor duration with a light sweetness from front to back. There is a distinct metallic note in the aroma which works its way into the backend of the palate as well. In spite of this steely quality, Sam Adams Black Lager is still a decent beer.

M: The highlight of the brew...The body is full and the texture is thick, increasing in creaminess as the beer approaches cellar temperature. Gentle carbonation.

D: Not a bad quaff, but again, and as with many of BBCs beers, I'll save any purchases for a desperate situation, and probably enjoy the hell out of it at that time.

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Photo of Richardberg
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - bottle to pint glass. Opaque, dark, fizzy, but no lacing and head doesn't last. Red fringing.

S - some sweet roasty malts, but not much else...seems weak

T - surprisingly tasty after a disappointing smell. Bit of sweetness up front; banana bread; remains balanced throughout.

M - light to moderate body. Not much carbonation for a lager.

D - goes down easily. Not too fizzy -- helps here more than it hurts the mouthfeel. Tasty, with character, but never heavy. Totally sessionable if youre into the style.

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Photo of JDFish
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass:

A: Very dark with a large foamy head. Plenty of multilayered lacing.
S: Sweet malts with a hint of coffee and chocolate
M: Kind of thin, lots of carbontion, burnt nutty finish on the swallow
T: toasted, almost burnt malts, lesser presence of the other smells. Tasty and not bitter at all
D: Very drinkable. Reminds me a little of some non-complex Stouts. Good brew!

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Photo of mikeg67
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pour was dark brown with a small tan head. Nose is roasted malt, spicy hops with some coffee and chocolate notes. Medium to full smooth body. Flavors begin with sweet roasted malts, chocolate and some earthy hops, while finish is dry with coffee notes. Quite tasty beer from SA.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a black color with an off-white head. The aroma is very nice. I get some chocolate, roasted malt and a nuttyness. The flavor is heavy on the chocolate and roasted malt, but I also get a little burnt character as well as some cream notes. The beer is a lot sweeter than I expected it to be, but there is a nice bit of bitterness from the hops and burnt malt at the end. Medium, creamy mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of ronniebruner
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely one of the better black lager beers Ive had in some time. Sam Adams almost always produces a great beer. This beer is smoooth. Not a high ABV for a darker beer, the perfect amont of head, a sweet aroma, and leaves a nice taste on your tongue, but not a bitter aftertaste. Id definitely recommend it, and will check it out again at a later date.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Almost black beer with a one finger head from the pour. Head is light brown in color, thick foam that evaporated in less than a minute. Tight lace that has little cling. Color is a 40 on the SRM beer color chart, can't get any darker than that, although with a strong light shining through the brew, it is actually a very dark reddish brown. Smells of a hint of caramel, coffee, chocolate, sweet burnt malt, and roasted wheat. Flavor is bold but not overpowering. Sort of a sweet coffee taste with caramel and chocolate. The malt flavor seems to have some cinnamon hints. A little wimpy in my mouth, some sense of fullness, but just not quite the zip I was hoping to feel. The flavor grows on me as I work the level in my glass south. Might have to have another to fully appreciate the flavors.

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Photo of gopens44
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very much dark with very little head at all.

S - Toasted malt with just a slight shock of coffee.

T - Like the nose, toasted malts, but less coffee presence. It's still there a little but not as pronounced. Something sweet to this as well. Maybe a tad bit of a creamy taste, maybe a smidge of well masked vanilla? In any case, it's pretty tasty.

M - Very much carbonated. Somewhat thin with not much aftertaste.

This was a bit of a treat, nice and pleasant.

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

poured into a pint glass.
A- pours a slightly transparent black with a whisper of browny head.

S- smell has a fair bit of yeast and soy going on, a fair bit of roasted coffee too. not to bad.

T- is pretty similar to the smell, roasted coffee and with some yeasty soy flavours going on, on warming up there is some chocolate and a bit of hop to, but its pretty nondescript.

M- light bodied with a bit of carbonation, but not quite spritzy, a little more withheld. slightly bitter end, drying the mouth out a fair bit.

D- another beer that i could easily sit back and enjoy a six pack off. quite drinkable.

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Photo of sixerofelixir
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle notched with typical SA enjoy-by date.

Pours a very dark brown, slightly translucent. A nice tan head stays around. Smell is nicely toasted mocha, more sugary sweet than bitter. A surprising burst of citrusy hops starts the taste, and compliments the coffe-ish malts. nicely complex. Finishes bitter and nutty. Very tasty. Feel is creamy and smooth, this brew is easy to drink. One of my faves from Sam Adams.

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Photo of Shrews629
2.76/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Dark brown to very, very dark ruby red. Some slight orange highlights around the edges. Fairly clear with a tan colored head that didn't produce much or have much retention.

Smell - Dark, roasted, chocolate malt. Picked up hints of buttermilk (not my favorite fragrance). It has caramel listed on the label, but I'm not really picking it up. I'm even picking up "cream" hints. Doesn't seem as well balanced as I thought it should be.

Taste - Has a deep roasted, earthy, burnt malt to the taste. Some chocolate in there. Again, no caramel. The taste was more balanced than the smell and was just Ok in my opinion.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel. Mostly dry, creamy and smooth. Coats the palate honorably.

Drinkability - This is not one of my favorite Sam Adams brews, nor is it one of my favorite styles. This is a beer I can finish, but would probably not go for round two. Every time I took a drink, I continually got the "buttermilk" scent. I didn't care for that. Others may enjoy this beer, however I don't think I will try this again.

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

Pours a good black color with some dark amber highlights to light. Smells of roasted black malts, gas station coffee, some metallics and hint of charcoal. Acceptable schwarz smell. Taste is light and crispier than other schwarzs. Malt forward, some tinny adjuncts. Roasted tastes, some earthiness, some complimenting hops in finish. Mouthfeel is good for a lager, not too thin and overly carbonated. Pulls great f from the glass.

Good session ability here; tasty, subtle and roasty without the power or fullness of a stout. Great Thanksgiving beer.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

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Photo of beerman207
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark, nice head and lace remains on the glass for a while.

S: Malt, chocolate, kind of mellow

T: Malt bomb, faint coffee

M: Excellent medium carbonation, easy to drink

D: A good one from Sam. Can't say it's fantastic but it's a good sessionable brew.

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Photo of drizzam
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The body pours a very dark brown/black in color, but with no cloudiness and ruby highlights when held up to a bright light. The body is topped by a thin khaki colored head. Very little head retention, receded to a thin cap pretty quickly and left little in terms of lacing.

S - Heavy on the caramelized malts. There seems to be just the slightest roasty aroma in the background, not quite drowned out by the caramel.

T & M - Just like in the aroma, the caramel takes center stage...but there are other characters in this play. Dark malt and bitter chocolate help to set up a production whose plot doesn't let you down. There aren't a lot of extras or expensive special effects, but the acting keeps you involved in the plot, and on the edge of your seat.

Medium bodied with just the slightest coarseness from the carbonation, making the body a bit more creamy would have put this brew through the roof.

D - I'm actually very impressed by this offering from Sam Adams, I didn't expect this to impress me as it has. Excellent flavor combined with a low ABV makes this a very sessionable beer. I would certainly recommend this to any of my friends.

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Photo of Samp01
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown almost black. Nice lasting tan head. Aroma of malts, caramel, hops. Taste is malts, caramel, some coffee, chocolate. Palate some good carboantion, nice medium to full body smooth beer, Finish is malty, caramel.This a very flavorfull beer. Would drink again. I really enjoyed this brew.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
2.81/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I tried this one a while back and found it undesirable. Now that my taste is more refined I find it, well, somewhat tolerable. It's look is peculiar with the side edges of my perfect pour glass red and the bottom edge brown. There's a thick finger of foam that lasts a few minutes. The aroma is very feint, just a hint of sweet malt. The taste is mild malty but turns slightly sour at the end that throws of my taste buds. I didn't bother to finish the glass because it just wasn't that enjoyable. I'll probably give away my other bottle.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into redwine glass at a friend's house. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a solid black with a two fingers of light brown head that receded into a thick film that left a pretty decent amount of lace.
S: Notes of roasted grains, barbequed corn and roasted vegetables, with a hint of charcoal. This isn't as bad as it sounds though, I like barbequed corn.
T: Flavors of warm roasted grains, dark malt, hints of milk chocolate, burnt caramel, chocolate malt, and barbequed vegetables and roasted marshmallows in the aftertaste.
M: Medium body, thinish mouthfeel with good comfortable carb.
D: Overall very "meh." I liked it but some much of the roasted flavors reminded me too much of barbequed vegetables and corn. The only other beer of this style, Xingu, was much better.

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Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Spot on the style, and one I really enjoy. Hops waft from this opaque black coloured elixir, with generous light brown head that leads a mastery of spider lacing. More roast in aroma and taste, as the beer settles. Very drinkable. Enjoyed in The Samuel Adams Glass.Middling mouthfeel. SUitable carbonation.

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Photo of goalie33
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into 23oz weizen glass.
A: Clear black beer with reddish hues. Off White head disappears quickly leaving a thin layer on top.
S: Lager smell with chocolate notes.
T: Chocolate malts hit me first but the flavor goes away almost as quickly as the head did.
M: Just like the taste, the initial feel in the mouth just vanishes. Nice carbonation.
D: Very drinkable.

This is a good tasting beer with a nice mouthfeel, but they both disappear way to quickly. It's as if my mouth absorbs it all and there is nothing left to swallow. This beer has potential but I would like the taste and mouthfeel to last longer.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 55.3% out of 100 with 2,604 ratings
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