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

2,596 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 2,596 |  Reviews: 1,446
Photo of pzrhsau
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice blackish brown color with a smaller head that doesn't really stick very well.
S: Nice notes of coffee and sweet caramel with the very smokey dark malt.
T: Very strong crisp malt flavor with some notes of coffee.
D/M: Very clean and not too heavy. Not overly carbonated. Very good balanced flavor.

 305 characters

Photo of DerekP
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My recent pseudo-complaint about Sam Adams pricing in southwestern PA will not stop me from buying a single now and again. I've been closing in on this brew for a while now: Black Lager (a Schwarzbier).

An almost pitch black body pours into my nonic pint glass. In the light, there are traces of dark copper lying at the bottom. In the nose there are plenty of roasted coffee & dark chocolate notes. Caramel; brown sugar. For fellow homebrewers, I'm also smelling a freshly opened can of malt extract.

The taste is dark roasted, but matched up with an agreeable hops presence. The hops complement the roasted character, while adding in an extra punch, winning the challenge in the end. Brown sugar & caramel pulling through too, in the manner of an American Brown Ale.

As it warms up, the presence of alcohol starts to show itself. Embrace it. This is a tasty brew. Is it too much to ask for this one to be available on tap in the winter around here?

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Photo of jharkins07
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of mavbrew
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of MrDanno96
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours pretty dark and becomes opaque when held to light. Started off with about a finger of tan head, but that quickly dissipated.

S: Strong hints of roasted malt and coffee, along with sweet notes of caramel and candied sugar. Smells a bit like Guinness now that I tihnk about it.

T: This brew really delivers in this department. Some nice roasted flavor up front mixes with strong suggestions of coffee and chocolate. The finish is somewhat smoky with just a hint of hops. Very nice.

M: Fairly light bodied - goes down creamy and smooth.

D: A rare dark beer that boarders on the sessionable. Another style well executed by the boys at Boston Beer Company.

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

Deep brown color, with a nice silky head on it. Smooth and creamy. Smells wonderfully malty with some chocolate and molasses. Tastes like toasted malt, through and through, with a bit of sweetness to it that makes the whole thing much more drinkable than I would have expected.

I really like this one. Not complex, but hands down one of the easiest drinking dark beers I've had in a while. I do wish I could get this in bulk.

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

Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light. The head on this beer is big and foamy and it lasts quite a long time. There was some minimal lacing on the glass.

Smell is on the sweet and roasty side. Like carmelized leeks (without an onion-y smell) or heavily sugared cafe au lait.

Taste is creamy sweet with some nice roastiness to balance the sweetness. This is a very nice beer.

Mouthfeel is on the rich side with a slight carbonation bite.

Nicely drinkable. If it were from GLBC or Bell's people would be buying this up like crazy. It is a real craft brew made by a brewery that many BAs think of as a second choice brewery.

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Photo of foureyedgeek
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with a notch in April 2007 as a 'best-by' date.

Pours a dark brown, with red highlights. I can see the lighting I've held this beer up to through the liquid so its obviousl Nice, fine lacing.

Aroma is very sweet, along with a certain fruitiness. Not really a huge aroma.

Taste is rich and malty, along with some more fruitiness. Not raisins or dark fruit, not molasses either, just a presence of fruit, almost like apples. I'm not sure if that makes this interesting or strange. There's a little roastiness and some nuttiness, too. A little hop bitterness notable in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, quite smooth.

Drinkability is pretty good, this is a pretty tasty beer, my first schwarzbier. It's a good intro to the style and I look forward to trying more in the future. I'd get this beer again, it seems like a beer that fits a certain mood, this would be a good beer for New Year's Day dinner.

 932 characters

Photo of Squelch
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pitch black with a thick foamy lasting head that laces nicely.

Smell: Smells of roasted malts dominate the aroma.

Taste: Chocolate. Roasted malt. Sweet Cream. Mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Needs more carbonation. Medium mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Overall a very nice lager. Clean lager flavor lets the roasted malts shine. Excellent.

 345 characters

Photo of GrumpyGas
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Overall, a very drinkable dark lager.

While I hold no particular desire for the flavor or texture of foam. The head's rapid dissipation in this lager left me wanting.

Happily, the dark color and heavy look didn't translate to a full feeling.

It is reminiscent of Turbodog, and compares favorably, but I prefer the Abita for the fruit over coffee flavor.

Not a bad dessert beer(for dessert, rather than with dessert).

 422 characters

Photo of karengarys
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow! It's a sam adams, but it is good!!!

Plurs black as one would expect, transparent, and leaves a bit of a head.

Smells like coffee, malts and a hint of carmel.

Taste is malty malty malty and coffee and some dark sweetness, maybe vanilla or molassis?

Mouthfeel is fairly creamy, and is present even as it warms.

The body is fair, though I think it was slightly thinner than I would want.

Finish is surprisingly clean - the coffee smacks the back of the tongue, and dissipears as the hops cleans it. No real aftertaste...

I'm not an adams type of person, but this is an exception! Try it!

 611 characters

Photo of UnderPressure
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with off white head.

Nice malty aroma. Lightly crisp, yet roasty.

chocolate malt and slight roasted coffee flavors. 

Medium bodied. Lighter mouthfeel than most beers this dark.

Overall, this beer is decent. Nothing incredibly special. But, definitely not bad.

 288 characters

Photo of Metalaero
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of dbkdev
2.75/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of Biscuit033
3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown that light turns ruby with three finger light tan head that leaves plenty of lace.

S: Bready, earthy, and metallic.

T: Caramel, chocolate, and even a touch of cream.

M: Creamy light a milk stout then the pilsner bubbles kick in. Crisp clean finish for a beer that puts that much flavor upfront.

D: This is easy drinking but something that I would enjoy one or two of evry now and then. Not something I would have for a session.

 445 characters

Photo of wiseguy142
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours mostly black with some translucency and rubyness to it. Nice head retention. Watery and a little astringent, but otherwise very clean. Just a touch of roasted black patent malt, but very clean and appropriate for a Schwarzbier. Mostly clean aftertaste with hints of smoke and charcoal. A faint hop spice accompanies the roasted malt nicely. Medium/thin mouthfeel- the carbonation seems a little excessive. A nice, clean Schwarzbier but I think it could benefit from just a little more flavor overall. It reminds me of the Schwarzbier I used to drink out of a 2 L boot in Germany in terms of its drinkability and overall appeal as a beer.

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Photo of mtstatebeer
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Pours coca cola color with a decent foamy light brown head, fair lacing. Aroma is mainly malty, roasted malt, burnt, coffee, a bit of chocolate, and a touch of hops. Flavor is caramel and roasted malts, a touch of smoke with bit of hops. Medium body, fairly bitter lightly carbonated a bit oily on the tongue. One of the better ones from Sam Adams.

 363 characters

Photo of clemtig76
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been anxiously awaiting to try this brew ever since reading about it in BA. Finally found it as part of a brewmasters collection six pack. Pours a beautiful mahogany brown (almost black) with a thin, dark tan head. Aroma is of coffee, chocolate, caramel, and molasses. Taste is pretty much the same, it could use a little more hop bitterness however. An outstanding offering from the guys at Sam Adams! I wish there was more than two of them in the six.

 460 characters

Photo of ZeroSignal
3.44/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, best by Dec 2010

A - Pours a red and ruby tinted black with a good inch and a half of toasted marshmallow colored head that stops at the very rim of my glass. Excellent retention and sticky lacing.

S - Aroma is earthy and roasted malts; a hint of sweetness and a bit of graininess.

T&M - Roasted and caramelized malts with a bit of medium roasted coffee bean. Medium to lighter bodied and feels a bit thin...almost watery really. Hops hit mostly in the semi-dry finish and have a bit of a spicy quality.

D - Certainly easy to drink and not a style one sees too often. I think I prefer Kostritzer, but I'm okay with biggest complaint is that for me, it was a bit too thin.

 713 characters

Photo of Crumpetsnbeer
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

Photo of Rcaisse
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of WetCoaster
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Jet black, deep mahogany to the light. Moderate carbonation. White head, fairly good retention. Collar throughout.

Smell: A bit of hop spice up front, but soon morphs into a subtle caramel and toffee maltiness, with perhaps a faint hint of chocolate. Non-descript overall sweetness; yeast?

Taste/Mouthfeel: Smooth, mildly chewy butter toffee, toasty malt, a bit of coffee. Finishes roasty with a bit of hop bitterness.

Drinkability: Despite having the horrifying descriptor "clean finish" (re: flavorless shite) in the packaging, this actually is a nicely balanced beer with a tight finish. Not a world beater, but a nice session; it'd be a a good transition beer for the marco crowd.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm enjoying this beer in a pint glass at my folks' place. My dad has been branching out a bit in his beer choices, so I was happy to get the chance to show him this site. Pours a nice coffee black with a half inch of loosely foamy, khaki head that dissipates pretty quickly without leaving much for lacing. The nose is very pleasant, with notes of black licorice and chocolate coming through the malt. The taste is very inviting, with the chocolate and licorice flavors asserting themselves mid-taste, but not overpowering the overall profile. While I know that this style is often much lighter-bodied than other dark beers, I still find the feel to be more watery than I'd like--even so, it's not much of a detraction.

It's great to see my dad branching out a little bit in his beer purchases, and I'm excited to be able to show him a little bit of the BA world. This beer reminds me that I really do need to take the time to review more Sam Adams offerings: I am very rarely disappointed with the quality of their beers, and my experience with their Black Lager is no exception.

 1,082 characters

Photo of Beer4Mike
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Sailracer
4/5  rDev +7%

Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,596 ratings.
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