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

Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
BA SCORE
55.3%
Liked This Beer
3.7 w/ 2,599 ratings
Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
samueladams.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#27,706
Reviews:
1,448
Ratings:
2,599
Liked:
1,437
Avg:
3.7/5
pDev:
12.97%
Alströms:
3.68
 
 
Wants:
85
Gots:
186
Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,599 |  Reviews: 1,448
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Boston Beer Company has done it again, delivering an accessible and quite authentic rendition of another classic style! There's a little bit more caramel flavor and sweetness here than most German examples exhibit, but gosh darn it, it works!

It pours an almost opaque black body that only lets a glimmer of dark ruby-mahogany through beneath its creamy head of khaki colored foam. The head retention is very good, and it initially leaves some nice lace at the outset of the glass.

The nose is darkly caramelish with an almost-burnt-sugar note, and a subtle roastiness.

It's dextrinous, medium body is livened by a fine-bubbled, median carbonation that leaves it gently crisp and then smooth on the palate.

The flavor is as the nose suggests, with rich caramel notes threaded with a note of dark and roasted bittersweet chocolate. Some leafy and mildly spicy hops appear towards the swallow, and in conjunction with its lightly roasty edge, help its firm bitterness to usher in a dry finsh.

Very nicely done! And interestingly enough, the caramel character of this one reminds me very much of my other favorite Sam Adams beer, their Cream Stout. I could enjoy this beer year round, and I think it would be just as appropriate at a bachelor party, poker game, summer BBQ, ski trip, company picnic or Thanksgiving Feast. Excellent!

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Photo of olradetbalder
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Photo of jlindros
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge frothy head in my SA perfect pint glass, fades semi slowly with lather lacing, over super dark coke syrup brown color with slightest hints of light coming through.

Nose has some nice darker malts, light heavy crystal malts, a sweet nutty like malts with hints of cocoa, molasses, vanilla, a light hazelnut like aroma that almost smells like an extract added aroma, slight hints of earthy malts and light crisp lagers.

Taste is lighter but thicker than I expected, a bit frothy, darker malts, heavy crystal malts, light cocoa, molasses, cola flavors, again light hazelnut like flavoring added, vanilla, juicy flavored. Earthy dark malts that hint at a roast flavor but not quite. Then light crisp lager flavors, slightest hint of unhappy lager flavors, not quite skunk but like it got a bit too warm or fermented too fast. it finishes slightly bitter but more from the earthy dark malts than hops I think although a light earthy bitter hop comes through on the finish, creamy but dry, hints of lingering roasty dark malts.

Mouth is fairly full bodied and a bit creamy, good carb.

Overall not bad but kinda lackluster. That weird flavoring like hazelnut addition takes away a bit, and the lack of clean crisp fruity lager flavors doesn't help either, more like a lighter porter.

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Photo of oberon
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of the Brewmasters pack I wish I could get the Scottish Ale again,anyways pours a near black but with some ruby highlights thru out some bitter chocolate deep roasted grain in the aromas just smells sweet.Taste of chocolate and sweet caramel with heavily roasted malt but the caramel sweetness almost becomes cloying after awhile.Wow SA wasnt playin around here making a real sweet scharzbier here would have like a little more drier balance liek others I have tried of the style,well to each there own.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

A: The beer itself is a rich dark brown. The head is thick and creamy leaving a good lace on the glass, but the head disappeared a little bit quicker than I had expected.

S: Strong but sweet smell of chocolate and malt, not overpowering though.

T: Initial taste is of chocolate, malt and hops with a faint taste of coffee. A sweet coffee flavor is more prevelant in the after taste. Very enjoyable taste.

M: Very smooth with decent thickness, not bitter at all as many Sam Adams products tend to be.

D: I could go through a lot of these very easily. The only reason I don't give the beer a 5 in this category is because of the heaviness of it, which is customary for the style of beer.

I enjoyed this beer a great deal, so much so, that it prompted my first beer review. Execellent smoothness and taste. My only complaint about this beer is that to the best of my knowledge, it's only available alone in sixers or variety packs with other Sam Adams beers. 2 per 6-pack; 3 per 12-pack. I don't mind trying the other beers but I would like to buy this beer in alone in a 12-pack or larger.

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Photo of nickfl
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of brownish-white foam on top of a black body. Head retention is kind of weak.

S - Clean, weak malty note, slight hint of raisins. A little coffee like roastiness.

T - Clean flavor of roasted malt/ coffee with just a hint of hops.

M - Light body with high carbonation.

D - Easily drinkable but not a lot of flavor or complexity. It is quite clean, however and overall it is a decent example of a black lager.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: bottle from Total Wine, Cherry Hill, NJ

Poured an opaque coffee black, a nice two or three fingers of foamy, tan head that retains and laces well. Good aroma of dark roasty malts, chocolate tones. Taste starts out on the sweet side, chocolatey, roasty, brown sugar, with a transition to coffee bitterness which comes out mid-drink. Some hoppiness, but the malts are clearly in command. Bitter aftertaste, medium mouthfeel, and quite easily drinkable.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled as part of the Brewmaster's Collection mixed sixpack. The color is almost black with a ruby glow when viewed against a light source. Head is average-sized and light brown. Retention is pretty good for a dark lager. Aroma is a little too low key, but nice bready malts are noticed with just a touch of spice. The taste is primarily of an excellent chocolatey malt. Subtle flavors of roastedness, nuttiness, and spice add layers of complexity. For me, Samuel Adams Black Lager is addictively tasty. Now if they would only start selling this by the sixer around here, I would have no problems with the Boston Beer Company.

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

a- very dark, with strong cranberry color when held to light. Low head with medium lacing. Interestingly it has a very fine bubble structure.

s- strong sweetness almost reminiscent of corn syrup. Notes of rasin and nut in the middle notes.

t- very smooth flavor, a little light. Roasted malt flavor with chocolate notes on the finish. Slight prune flavor in the middle. Flavor has a low complexity, but still nice overall flavor.

m- mouthfeel is a little light, but being a black lager and not a stout I feel it is appropriate to style. very drinkable, not terribly coating to palate. Carbonation is low but pleasant.

o- very drinkable, light but perfect for a traditional schwartzbeer. Great black lager.

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Photo of mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

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

Nice mahogony edging towards black color. Head is tan but drops to a1/4" ring fast. Lacing sticks around okay.

Smell: Toasted malts, fruit, & wiffs of licorice & choclate& red wine???

Taste: Toasted grain, fruit, licorice, dark choclate & molasess(sp??)

MF: A little thinner than I preffer my Schwartzes. Good carbonation , balance is getting there.

This is one of SAs better efforts, can't wit tofind some on draft where they know how to talk care of the product!

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Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very impressive beige head--a solid three fingers thick--leaves Pollock inspired lacing on the glass side. Light barely penetrates through the deep brown (no reddish hue) liquor. Appears to be clear.

Strong dark chocolate notes, a touch of burnt toast, and toasted marshmallow. Similar smells to a well-made porter.

Crisp like a lager should be. The beginning of the taste is surprisingly neutral--malt flavors but not as obvious as the smell might indicate. The real treat comes from the swallow--strong caramel and dark chocolate notes with a wonderful blend of hop spiciness. The carbonation also shows up here. The aftertaste is surprisingly dry. In fact, the entire tasting devoid of any significant sweetness.

A short description would be a "lagered porter", meaning it doesn't have the roundness of typical fare. Working from memory, this is a more flavorful schwarzbier than others I've had. Worthy of a six-pack.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a black body with a thin, light beige head.

Smell: Gentle aroma of roasted chocolate malts with a sprinkling of spent coffee grounds.

Taste: Soft, roasty character with flavors of bittersweet chocolate, coffee, roasted grains. Only the very slightest touch of hops on the crisp, clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Well carbonated. Fairly watery.

Drinkability: About as rousing and stirring as a light lager can get!!

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Photo of Gkruszewski
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of paulish
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours black with some ruby color if held up to the light. Has a tan head with good retention. Decent lacing down the sides.

S: A roasted smell with some caramel and chocolate notes, but overall on the weaker side.

T: Has a slight burnt flavor with a good dose of caramel malts. A little bit of hops to round it out as well.

M/D: Light to medium bodied with decent carbonation. Would have liked a little creamier. Its fine, nothing to write home about, but decent enough.

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

Dark walnut brown with prodigious red and orange sunburst highlights. Ruby when backlit. The golden beige crown is three fingers to start and lasts for a good bit. While it isn't a crazy lacer, it does lay down a respectable amount in the end.

The aroma is more dark malty than anticipated and is huskily, muskily, earthily hoppy. It isn't really porter-like, but then it isn't a porter. Given what I know about schwarzbiers (not much), the nose is right on the money. There's plenty of power, which always helps.

Black Lager is pretty tasty. It isn't a wow! kind of beer, but it's unquestionably well-brewed. There's more flavor than expected and more roasted malt as well. I've had porters that didn't have this amount of black/chocolate maltiness. The hops more than hold their own and are as important in the grand scheme of things as the malt.

The flavor profile consists of cocoa, dark caramel and, surprisingly, black coffee. Those flavors are complementary to each other (as well as to the herbal, earthy, slighty spicy hops) and are soft and powdery in character as opposed to charred. It's as if the brewers stopped roasting the barley at just the right moment. The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, which it maintains all the way to and through the finish.

I never know what to expect from Boston Beer Company. Some of their offerings are yawners and others are very good. Black Lager is closer to very good and was a nice surprise. It's only my third beer of this style and is clearly better than the two German schwarzbiers that preceded it. Good stuff.

 1,586 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

While recently visiting Highland Pizza, my uncle was very interested in many of the Sam. Adams bottles that they had in their cooler. That, in turn, piqued my curiosity and so I filled out a mixed sixer with ones I knew that I had not reviewed, This is one of them.

From the bottle: "Careful, there's a bit of mystery in this one. - a dark, rich, and roasty beer that's somehow smoother and less bitter than a stout. It was first brewed in the medieval forests of Germany. Depp and full-bodied yet fresh and crisp. You won't taste another dark beer like this one. Cheers! [undersigned] Jim Koch".

I had a great pour with a resultant two fingers of deep-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep brown with garnet highlights and seemingly good clarity, allowing for its extremely dark color. Nose smelled of cocoa powder and I was reminded of my Lunch Duty partner who seems to to really dig on chocolate. Mouthfeel was medium with a definite cocoa/smoky taste on the tongue. She claims not to like beer, but I would bet that she would totally dig this. For me, it was a bit too sweet, but not cloying, which I really dislike. Finish was semi-sweet and a decent drink for the style, even if not my bag.

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Photo of Jason
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with a freshness date on the side of the label.

Appearance: Brownish red tone around the black liquid, decent lace around the side of the glass.

Smell: Fresh chocolaty and caramel malt aroma, a little grainy and semi-burnt in the back.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Crisp and full bodied, mild burnt notes with a rounded caramel malty backing. Nice balance between the burnt flavor and malt sweetness though the spicy floral hops barely can balance the rest of the sweetness..

Drinkability & Notes: I wish there was a bit more hop bitterness to this I tad too sweet for my liking, either way it’s a delicious beer.

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Photo of ZEB89
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

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

A – Poured a rich deep dark brown with a towering off white head. Lots of retention kept the head hanging around for a good long time. After a few minutes it gracefully settled down into a nice one inch layer of foam that kept throughout the session. Nice amount of carbonation could be seen coming up as the liquid was not totally transparent. Decent side glass lace as well. Overall this was fairly decent looking, like a nice porter, but I am not sure really what a black lager is, I guess it kinda would be a porter.



S – Aroma was nice and rich. Full of caramel and sweet roasted nuts. A light taste of grain was sitting in the back and everything else was built up upon that. It created a nice foundation and defiantly did its part to push things along nicely.



T – Very nice. A light porter would be the best way to describe it easily. Now there was a good grain presence here that could be tasted right from the start. Needed some little bit of a hoppy bite to really push it over the top and make it stand out, but again I am not really sure if that is what they are going for here as I am not sure what the Black lager should be and as such am looking at it as more of a porter then anything else. A nice roasted or smoked teaser came curling up from the back and gave it a nice little touch in the end without being to overwhelming as to knock it around or take away from its sessionable nature.



M – Nice and smooth. A good light porter. Not too thick, actually a little thin for my taste, but fairly decent and I cannot truly knock it for any reason. Had a decent finish, not very dry and the taste faded kinda quick, but it was about average.



D – Very good. This was light enough to be a session ale, but at the same time had enough body in it and enough flavor to be enjoyed with every sip and not just washed down with spicey Mexican or something .A nice little nighttime session ale for sure.



Overall I am still not really sure what a black lager is supposed to be other then a light porter which is really what I reviewed this based off of. I thought it was a more then decent light porter and in facr quite drinkable. Worthy of being in the brewmaster selection, sure. This was really pretty good. My only thing I would have liked to see would have it be a little thicker. Other then that I thought it was quite good and would defiantly try one again.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in my Spaten lager glass at a very cool temperature.

A - Very dark brown, almost black with fluffy light tan head resembling swiss cheese that left minimal lace.

S - Sweet malty, slightly salty aroma. Bready, slightly burnt rye toast scent. A slightly tea like roastiness reminiscent of earl grey. Aromas of yeast with a nice bavarian malt scent.

M - Light, but substantially malty. Very carbonated but not to the point of excess. Silky and luxurious finish gradually releases a pleasant caramel essence.

T - Roastiness and effervescene snap to attention as the milky sourness with pilsener malt sweetness and nutty brown malt flavors comingle.

D - A great american black lager. Sweet, supple and bready flavors make for a brew that is quaffable, delightful, sessionable, and easy to enjoy in a variety of settings. I happened to enjoy mine with a cheesesteak pizza.

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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 Zaphog
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 55.3% out of 100 with 2,599 ratings
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