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

Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
2,616 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: 2,616 |  Reviews: 1,451
Photo of JRed
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
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 +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 mikedevilsfan
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
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 -2.2%
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 +14.1%
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 -6.2%
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 +10.8%
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 -9.2%
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 -11.4%
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 +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 Samadamsfan2
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
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 +13.5%
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 +11.4%
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 +3.5%
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%
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 -8.1%
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 -4.6%
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 -10.5%
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 +3.2%
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 +16.2%
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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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Black Lager has a thick, creamy, beige head and a deep, dark ruby appearance with lots of lacing left behind. The aroma is of dark-roasted barley malt and coffee, and the taste is likewise of dark malts, coffee, and caramel with a slight hop spice showing up. Mouthfeel is medium, and Samuel Adams Dark Lager finishes refreshing, crisp, and mostly dry. Overall, this is a very enjoyable beer, and I highly recommend it.


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

A: Deep Mahogany, just about black, with deep ruby highlights that verge toward purple. Very clear despite the color. A light tan head pops right up, then falls to a ring that stays to bottom, and leaves okay lacing.

S: Roasty malts riding on light, sweet, grainy pils type base. Very Porter like actually - if a tad thin for the style. Rather roasty for a Schwartzbier. Nice enough though, whatever style it is.

T: On the roasty side for style. Aftertaste of an exceptionally clean porter. Nothing really steps out and says, "lager." Dark roast malts mostly contribute chocolate but also lightly tart dark dried fruits. The barest faint hints at coffee. Sweetness also darker on palate than the nose - more toward molasses & toffee. Only getting a vague hint of hops, seems to be just for balance in taste but grows in aftertaste.

M: Just medium body with firmly matched CO2. Makes for a lively mouthfeel that is rather different (but nice) in such a dark beer.

D: I think this is the typical US take on the Black Lager style. Sort of a light, low gravity, understated Baltic Porter. Mostly just in flavor/aroma profile - it does not have the heft & bulk of a real porter. Flavorful & refreshing.

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Photo of stckhndlr
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice dark ruby red with a soft 1 inch head

S- has a good smell of chocolate malts and toasty caramel. has a faint hint of like a black cherry to me as well.

T- Good flavor. chocolate and malts

M- feels pretty good, medium body and tasty pop on the tongue

D- very drinkable. I like this one

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Photo of BeanBone
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A dark, nearly black, reddish brown body with laser-beam red highlights. Up top, two fingers of creamy -cream-colored head that endure almost to the end of the glass, leaving excellent sheets of lacing on the way down.

Aroma: Earthy hops and a dash of something lactic over a husky burnt sugar malt body.

Flavor: Mild earthy and herbal hops over a solid roasty and husky black malt backbone. There's just a twang of something metallic, but it doesn't spoil the party. Lots of roasty and grainy malt in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a little creamy with smooth medium carbonation and a drying finish.

Drinkability: Just as drinkable as you'd expect from a Sam Adams brew with this alcohol content.

Verdict: Still a solid beer by my count, the faith I placed in Sam Adams Black Lager as a beer newbie seems to have been well placed. It's nicely roasty, deep enough to hold your attention, and easily quaffable.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown a large amount of tan head that falls quickly to a descent lace around the rim.

Nose is very toasty chocolate and a caramel sweetness. very mild caramel. Earthy hops complement the toast very well.

Taste of heavy roasted chocolate malts with a faint bitterness that seems to come more from the toasted grains than hops. The middle has a smooth sweetness but not chocolate sweet.

Low carbonation but a medium/heavy body. Goes down smooth and quickly.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,616 ratings
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