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 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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Photo of bearrunner44
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost-black, reddish brown with a thick head. Retention was pretty good, and there was excellent lacing. The smell is full of chocolate and coffee notes. The mouthfeel is a little thin, but it's smooth as silk despite the carbonation. The taste consists of chocolate and coffee elements that blend seamlessly into the slight bitterness in the finish. The bitterness is at a perfect level, countering the smooth sweetness of the beer without decreasing drinkability. This is a delicious, extremely drinkable beer that I could spend all night with.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass forming a decent 1 finger head that left moderate lacing throughout the duration of the sample. A dark dark brown in color with just a slight red tinge when held up to the light.

Smell is what you would expect from stouts. Some caramel and coffee upfront, with roasted malt and slight chocolate also coming thru.

Had all of the stout taste to it without stout dryness or bitterness. This beer was not sweet, but it certainly did not resemble what one might think it would taste like based on color alone. Each smell was represented in the taste and it was smooth and well balanced to the finish.

Light on the palate. Much more so that a stout but not quite a watery as a lager. A nice balance between the two.

Very easy to drink, nice smooth finish and great flavors. I still stick to my stouts and bitters but not a bad alternative now and then.

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Photo of far333
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temperature. Deep chestnut color with ruby highlights and a fat, thick head of beige foam about a quarter inch high that hangs in there. Aroma is deep and rich - roasted malts, cocoa, leather and smoke. Flavor is roasty, with dark malts, chocolatey, not bitter, not sweet. No noticeable hop presence. Body is light, but mouthfeel is even, round, and full. Sheets of lacey legs slide down the sides of the glass. A pleasant surprise from ol' Sam.

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

A dark brown/ black beer with deep mahogony highlights. Has a Small dark beige. There is a deep roasted malt aroma with a coffee background. A prickely carbonation opens the way for the warm roasted malt flavor to cover your tongue. There is a coffee like bitterness on the finish.

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

what a very good offering from sam adams. pours a deep opaque black with a fluffy dark tan head. the beer has a rich nose filled with chocolate, coffee, molasses, sweeet malty goodness. the beer has a pretty silky mouthfeel, a cross between a thin lager and a malty bock and it is smoooth making for a good session beer.

the flavors are very complimentary - nice full bodied malt, slightly dry finish and in between a german chocolate cake flavor, rum notes, almost like a latte with a hint of coffee. Only problem is these flavors are too short lived, but thats OK since these go down quite easily and no problem opening another.

Good offernig, pick some up

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a mighty tasty easy drinking beer by Sam Adams. Black lager pours black in the glass, but is actually a deep ruby color when held to the light. A creamy tan head forms on top and dissolves slowly to a thick ring around the surface. There's a fair amount of thick lace left of the side of the glass.

A malty aroma with notes of roasted malt, chocolate and nuts floats above the beer. Each sip of this light to medium bodied beer is smooth with a soft fizz felt throughout the palate. The flavor begins nutty. Roasted malt with a hint of chocolate fills the middle and it finishes dry with a taste of hops (grass?). There's a nice sweet malt flavor with a hint of smoke holding it all together.

This is an easy drinking, well balanced, malty beer. Although, I was looking for some more smoky flavor. I had to go to three different stores before I found it! Looks like it may be a new favorite for many people.

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

Served from a long neck brown bottle w/ freshness date (July).

Brown/ruby hue, russet highlights with a quickly diminishing off-white head.

Scent is wonderfully fresh with chocolate malt notes - roasted nuts and faint winey undertones.

Taste is a bit confusing, but the grainy lager notes pull through. A combination of bitter chocolate and a metallic tinge is detected on the sides of my tongue. A nice powdered sugar sweetness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is average with a nice carbonation that keeps things moving along.

Drinkability is good being it's not an intrusive beer and not filling either.

Overall I wasn't impressed with this 'Brewmaster's Collection' offering. I give them credit for a solid attempt at a swarzbier, but I'll stick to Kostritzer for about $1.00 or so more a 6 pk. But not much tops Einbecker!

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's nice to see a brewery that is as huge as the Boston Beer Company now is still crank out a plethora of different styles and rotate these styles often enough to keep things fresh and allow for new brews, such as their Black Lager, to be introduced. This one did not disappoint.

It pours a deep brown to black colour with an off-white head that remains thin but fluffy for a while, but loses its fluffiness after a brief time.

The smell is both malty and sweet at the same time. There's a rugged vibe here, with earth and nut on one side and a touch of caramel and chocolate on the other. Overall, the two balance each other out quite nicely.

The flavour is more of the same from the smell: It starts out nutty, moves into a bit of roasted malt then a sweet chocolate caramel takes over for a bit finally giving way to a dry malt finish that is not completely lacking in some of the aforementioned sweetness.

Mouthfeel is just about right for a schwarzbier as this one is full bodied yet doesn't move into stout or even porter territory, really.

Overall, this one is a nice session brew that's packed with flavour and is hearty without moving outside of the style. Well done.

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

Pours a dark brown/mahoganey, with a lacey head. Aroma is caramel, chocolate, malt, and a hint of coffee. Fairly full bodied, somewhat crisp. Very sweet with malt, caramel, and some burnt notes. Maybe a little too sweet.

Being new to the style, I was pleasantly surprised. For some reason I thought schwarzbiers were lighter bodied. This is definitely one I can come back to.

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Photo of coasterfreak75
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The pour was a very dark mahogany, bordering on black but showed red when held up to light. Had a one finger head that quickly dissapated and left a white ring around the top of the beer.

The smell was heavy in coffee, nuts, and smokey caramel notes mixed with whisps of cream.

The drink started with a frothy malt like kick to the tongue. The middle was a mix of coffee and nuts. The finish was a lingering grainy coffee taste along with a sweet caramel.

This beer is the best of both worlds, it's a damn fine porter and a fine stout. The flavor is more like a good stout, but where the stout harshness would normaly begin the porter sweetness kicks in. This could become my normal stock of beer in the fridge.

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Photo of steinlifter
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured a dark brown, decent head that slowly diminished leaving a nice rich collar all the way through, hints of chocolate in the aroma, but not a very strong aroma, taste is of chocolate and coffee, fairly rich and pleasant, bit of sweetness, smooth and creamy, moderately carbonated, drinkability is good , I wanted to make my 100th review something special like St. Bernadus, but I wasn't able to get to that store tonight, and my eagerness to get my 100th review in, won out, so there it is, I hope I've learned a bit by now, well, this is a decent beer and worth a try. cheers!

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black in color, but reveales some dark brown, slightly red translucent. Big tan head, retention is not the best, but fades to leave a small creamy head with lots of foam sticking to the sides of the glass. Smell is very rich with toasted malt and strong chocolate and medium hops presence. Taste is very roasted and slightly carmel. No flavors are overwhelming and the sweetness stops just short of cloying. Maybe a little too much for a schwarzbier, but still not bad.

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

Sam Adams is very good at introducing good new product. This is no exception. Pours a dark chocolate with a decent head and lacing. Smell is smoky malt with coffee undertones. Taste is lightly sweet with a slightly tart finish. Hint of chocolate is also present. Mouthfeel is very stout like, with a nice dry feel and great dry finish. Very easy on the drinkability scale..refreshing with that great dry finish.

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

Pours a rich chocolate brown with a reasonable light khaki head. Aroma is of toffee and chocolate. Smells rich and creamy. Taste follows aroma. Nice rich toffee notes. Kinda like a subtle Heath Bar with chocolate and toffee notes. A little sweet and perhaps a little lacking in hops to balance, but seems to be on for the style. Mouthfeel is good with a decent amount of carbonation to balance out the sweetness. Drinkability is good, but I dont think I could do more than a couple due to the suiteness. A good solid brew from Sam Adams. I really wish they would but this in a 6 pack instead of the mixed six with the weak Hefe. My friend seems to think that SA got the idea for this when they were contract brewed at FX MATT and ripped off from Black Forest. This is much richer than that. Overall one of the better offerings from SA.

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Photo of EPseja
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this one as two of six bottles in the Samuel Adams "Brewmaster's Collection" pack. Served in a pint glass at just warmer than fridge temperature.

Appearance: Pours smoothly from the bottle with a straight up chocolate color and a medium bubbled head of about 1/2" in thickness. Decent small-bubbled lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell: The smell was fist noticeable from about a foot and a half away as I was typing in my appearance notes! Nice thick, heavy dark bread and toasted malt nose. Notes of candylike (heath bar) sweetness and a very faint clove(?) spicy undertone - most likely from the hops.

Taste: Generous toasty malt on the tip of the tongue, but not heavy in the least. Well rounded although slightly underhopped for my tastes. Very pleasant toasted caramel aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp mouthfeel. Even, medium carbonation with an even creaminess on the tongue. Very nice.

Drinkability: This beer both tastes and feels good. I could definitely drink multiples of this beer without it weighing me down.

This beer is a pleasant surprise and one that will always have a place in my "usuals" roster. Now if I can only find it in 6-packs...

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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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