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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
2,651 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,651 |  Reviews: 1,465
Photo of 6thomas3
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
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 brewmudgeon
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

sa black lager

a 4-4.5 cola dark, 2 finger head is pretty tight looking, pretty serious cap and lace remain.

s 3-3.5 a little bit of roast malt and naked alcohol, nothing else while the beer is cold. warming adds some strength to the malts' odiferousness.

t 3.5 this one seems a little rough around the edges compared to my favorite schwarzbier, you know the one in the flip top bottles, monscholtz or something. this one is more burnt and one-dimensional. but it's still pretty palatable. mostly unsweetened cocoa and a touch of coffee. the finish is crisp and clean.

m 4.5 as the looks indicate, this one excels in fine, quality carbonation. the body is light-med.

d 4 maybe it's not my favorite style, but the look and feel are first rate. that alone manages to make this one pretty drinkable.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a weizen glass yields a clear dark garnet body crowned with two fingers of fluffy beige foam that retains at a thick creamy sheet and leaves sticky lacing.

Smells of nutty caramel, dark roasted malts, chocolate and a tinge of smoke.

Tastes sweet and earthy with caramel and tangy molasses; nice dark roasty note of burnt grain with a feel of citric acidity.

Slick with a tingle of carbonation and slightly juicy; excellent drinkability.

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Photo of beagle75
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a becker glass.

A: Clear, dark brown color with less than one finger of diminishing mocha-tinted foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Husky grain is lightly roasted, with a fine thread of dilute chocolate. Carbon dioxide is fairly assertive, undermining to the integrity of other qualities but drawing some attention to a sulfurous component.

T: Begins off-dry, with soft brown malt and dark herbaceous hop aromatics which are mild in intensity. Acidity is understated in the flavor, allowing a smooth transition into an unctuous and refined malty middle. This beer finishes earthy and slightly spicy from ongoing nuanced hop contributions, though bitterness stays restrained.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, creamy on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This beer sets a metered pace early and maintains it to a successful, but not very adventurous, resolution. In a style as traditional as schwarzbeer, such a practiced but reverential hand is appreciated when it comes to matters of concept as well as execution. Neither apologetic nor challenging, this beer maintains a sweet spot of appeal that could change a lot of casual minds about darker styles.

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Photo of beeragent
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, with a freshness date of Mar.2007, into a pint glass. The appearance is dark brown, almost black, with a 3/4 inch head, with slight lacing on the glass. The aroma is a bit weak, with hints of chocolate in the nose. The mouthfeel is about medium, not thin like most lagers, but not as thick as a porter or stout. The taste is very similar to a porter, just a little weaker, with notes of chocolate dominating the flavor, but still extremely enjoyable. This is a beer that I will continue to come back to. Good job Sam Adams!

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Photo of tapman
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a ruby tint when held up to the light. Head is large, 2 fingers or more if poured irresponsibly, tan and creamy.

Aroma is that of lightly toasted and toffee malts. I don't get a lot of chocolate or caramel which takes away from complexity, but the smells that are there are rich enough.

Once again lightly roasted malts, with an abscence of much toffee except for a slight hint, with bready hops. A lack of expected flavors hurts this brew, though the balance between malt and hop is very well done. Lager-like, pilsner hop aftertaste leading me to believe a little bit of stock hops are in there which isn't necesarily a bad thing as it is a little more complex now.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Very pleasant and inviting, though the carbonation is a bit biting and thin, but nothing to cry about.

A nice schwarzbier from a macro company that continues to surprise us. I would recommend New Belgium's 1554 over this one, but if you see it pick it up for the hell of it. For the price its a great buy, comparitively.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown - nearing black if you can believe that - with a pretty solid head that looks whipped and lightly tanned. Decent lacing, no more.

The nose is pretty subdued, but not bad at all for the stated style - smells of lightly roasted barley husks and some resinous hops. A little watery.

The flavor is pretty good, non-confrontational basically. The roast character is pretty evident for this style - not really an introductory black beer for most BMC types. The hops are fairly prominent, although I feel like the roast malt is the driver of the flavor.

There is a little less body than I would like from a great beer, but for the schwarz style it's really not too bad at all. A little watery once again, but it's a decent drinker.

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Photo of sraimondi
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

July 2008 best by date. Poured into a pint glass.

Poured with a nice even 2 inch darker tan head which dissipates to a nice film head.

Very dark color, even held up to light, very dark ruby hue. Some sheet lacing hangs on for the entire drink.

Some caramel and very light roast in aroma. No discernible hops. Sweetness wins out.

The taste is quite interesting, a little bit lactic; probably because the beer is balanced with a slight leaning to the malt sweetness. However, not cloying, nicely balanced.

Feel was pretty full and rounded, quite good.

I liked this one alot. I've only had a few of this style, but BBC has done a very good job on creating a very drinkable, sessionable beer. Hop heads will be disappointed, but this is a Black for the "masses". I will definitely drink this again. Good job BBC.

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Photo of tkepx182
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
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 UncleJimbo
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
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 BlurryVisi0n
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adams signature glass.

Appearance: A super dark brown, not as dark as you think. Light tan head comes off 1/4" off the body.

Smell: light hops, nothing new here.

Taste: Hints of coffee, full hops...surprised didn't transfer as well into the smell.

Mouth: medium to heavy, screams "yum" and that smooth.

Overall: Not bad at all. Pick it up, watch a movie or smoke a cigar this beer is only missing one thing, You! Salud!

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours like cola with about the same consistency. Light comes through at about the same level as well. Head started fizzy but settled down to a nice medium beige base.

S: Not a big nose on this one. Get some faint marshmallow, dried cocoa and crackers. S'mores I'd reckon.

T: Caramely up front with a nice blend of bakers chocolate across the front center of the tongue. Little bit of custard, specifically the buttery egg flavor that comes across. Roastedness comes next; I wouldn't say this is your typical coffee roasted taste, but perhaps what a low roasted cocoa bean might taste like. Finishes lightly sweet with a lingering, gently roasted character.

M: Medium body, soft mouthfeel.

D: Another straight forward and solid beer from Sam Adams. This beer won't dazzle you but its really hard to find a negative aspect to this one. Not enough black beers on the market IMO so I'm thankful for this one.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of those beers that a buddy brought over and I would have never considered buying on my own. But I'm glad he brought it so that I could try it.

Very pleasantly surprised... Very enjoyable.

Very think and creamy 3 finger head that sticks around for a while.
Dark chocolate brown.. But you can see that the beer is somewhat clear.

Slightly sweet aroma, but not much of an aroma at all and I detect a little roasted chocolate in the aroma.

Taste is very nice with a definite chocolate taste. Certainly a roasted, but not a burnt flavor is the main thrust of this beer. This mellows to a nice mellow hop/bready finish.

Wasn't sure what to expect here but I really enjoy this.

Mouth feel is quite light and this seems very drinkable to me.

Scharzbier?? I'm in. The part of this site and tasting beers that I love is that now I will have to go search out for the "best" of the Schwarzbier's to try them.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, with updated labeling. Date notched Enjoy Before Feb
Drank from the bottle, but I assume it is black or near black. Chocolatey aroma with dark and roasted grain. Nice blend of flavors and very stout-like with roasted barley, plenty of dark cocoa, a bit of anise and char with some black tea-like earthy hops. Feel is fuller, creamy, and smooth with a fairly clean finish. Overall, a little better than I remember, but it's been a long time since I had this last. Nice to come back to it. It's very approachable with some nice dark cocoa flavors.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass, best if tasted before June.

A: Pours a very dark brown with a ruby tint and a one and a half inch creamy latte colored head (I'm trying new words so sue me) not much lacing and the head withers down into a thin cap that can be brought back with some swirling of the glass.

S: There seems to be a deeper fruitness that I cannot get a complete grasp of, perhaps this is the hops showing their stuff, creamy sweet almost like a milk chocolate malt aroma upfront otherwise.

T/MF: Nice active carbonation keeps the beer from feeling too heavy and really lifts the beer over the palate, bittering sensations the ultimately leave a drying sensation is felt very readily on the sides of my tongue, the mild malt bitterness tickles the roof of the mouth but the hops do most of the mouthfeel work. Same bittersweet blast of malts and hops though the hops seem to take precedence in this beer, not bad for the mouthfeel but not sure how I feel about it in the taste department quite yet. Can vaguely detect the spiceiness that is referred to on the side of the bottle but there certainly is a detectable graininess to this beer.

D: Overall not bad, well balanced aroma and flavor an enjoyable beer if just a tad on the bitter side. Good representation of the style and quite the easy drinker as well.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Dark with a good fluffy foamy head that has nice retention. Very complex smell. Kind of reminds me of grilled steak. Very rich and complex taste. Lightly roasted. Spice. Kind of chocolate milky sweet. Almost too much of a mixture. Very crisp and warming in the mouth. Complexity makes it less drinkable than it could be, but overall still very drinkable. This is a very good beer that I will look for in the future.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a deep brown, approaching a licorice black. A bit of a golden hue through it all.

S: Slight floral or mildly piney hops smells, a touch of anise, and hints of a chocolate or molasses aroma.

T: Lightly toasted grains, chocolatey & caramel notes. Bitters a little, with underlying burnt flavours on the finish

M: A fair bit of body, a little chewy... not thick like molasses, rather lighter like molten caramel. Tends to lean a little more towards an oily rather than syrupy consistency, though.

D: A little on the heavier side... a tasty enough beer, but I might find myself taking it pretty easy on this one when all is said and done.

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Photo of EGledhill
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

porued into my yuengling beer glass barely had any head which quickly disapated. first tastes were what i was expecting hints of a burnt chocolate taste and somewhat nutty flavor. very enjoyable. mostly into stouts, and this was a pretty good alternative as it's lighter on the stomach. definately would drink again

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Photo of tmbgnicu
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
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 rfgetz
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Rich, dark brown, near black. Disapointing light head and lack of lacing.

S - Toasted malts with small notes of bitter chcocolate and coffee.

T - Toasted malts, roasted nuts. Hints of bitter chocolate and coffee. Some very light dark fruits and spice on the back end.

M - Medium bodied, ample carbonation. Not sticky.

D - Decent version of the black lager, but doesnt stand up to German and Czech versions.

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Photo of Fitzy01
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Reaper16
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Pours a porter-like cola brown color. Not really much viscosity when you swirl the body around in the glass; it looks like a lighter beer. One and a half fingers of thin, beige head sit on top.

This beer smells like some Cocoa Puffs brand cereal drizzled with a bit of honey and eaten with some berries. All that's missing is some lactose sugar and this would be breakfast in a glass. A touch of pecan comes out as the beer warms.

Flavors of cocoa powder and crusty bread. A tiny bit of blackberry runs underneath the malts. This is quite dry, which helps those chocolate malts take on the powdery sort of flavor. There is some astringency that is reminiscent of a roast character, only there isn't much roasted malt flavor to speak of here.

The mouthfeel seems spot-on for the style. It is light and allows the carbonation to play a significant role. This is a pretty drinkable beer, then. Light but not wanting for flavor.

Pretty nice little schwarzbier you've got here, Boston Beer Co. A fine example of the style. This is likely the highlight of the Brewmaster's Collection six-pack that I bought on-sale (other beers are the Irish Red and the Coastal Wheat).

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Photo of ATSJer
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Room Temp

Appearance: The black lager is as you'd expect a very dark brew, and is also very clear. The light does penetrate but not overly so. The almond colored head builds quickly with a nice medium density foam that fades to a layer on the beer. The lacing was nice and even but not thick. I noticed some carbonation streams on the surface.

Smell: The first thing I notice is the hoppy spices which are pleasant, in fact I like very much the way this beer smells, under the spice there is a solid foundation of the dark malts, all of which is touched off with a hint of sweetness. This is a well balanced aroma and has not a hint of alcohol present.

Taste: The hoppy spice and bitterness is apparent upon the first pull, but as my mouth filled I tasted the dark malts. I did not taste any bitterness from the malts at all in fact the malt taste was very well balanced. At the finish I could definitely taste and smell the chocolate malts which give an espresso type taste and smell, or a very dark chocolate. The malts have a nice simple arrangement where I tasted the lighter malts first and then finished with the more robust and darker malts. This lager finishes like some dry stouts in that you get the spice and bitterness at the same time.

Mouthfeel: The lager has a medium body but feels very smooth on the tongue. The carbonation is moderate and pleasant, and there is a very nice dry finish again like the dry stouts.

Drinkability: This is an entirely drinkable brew, its heavier than a Guinness ale (I know different family) but goes down just as easy. The carbonation would keep me from drinking too many of these but I can see having this with dinner and then following it after over a good conversation with friends, although I did noticed some light bloating from the carbonation.

In the end this what I've come to expect from Sam Adams; a good flavorful beer that serves to introduce new flavors and brewing experiences into the American palate.

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Photo of Freshie
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark colour, almost balck. Good one finger head.

Smells of dark roasted malt, some fruit, licorice, and also a faint smokey character.

The taste is rich in flavour but also light in character and finishes rather clean. Some hop bitterness blends well with carmel malt. I had a pretty overwhleming feeling in my palate of smokiness.

The clean finish makes this very drinkable. I believe this is my first schwarzbier, and I look forward to a few more.

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Photo of Strix
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Drinking straight from the bottle.

Smell: very roasted, coffee-like.

Taste: Roasted flavors dominate

Mouthfeel: Creamy, not as dense as the dark taste indicates it might be

Drinkability: Kind of dark for me to want to drink too many at once.

A nice beer if you're in the mood for something dark, reminds me of a porter.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,651 ratings
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