Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

McSorley's Irish Black Lager | Pabst Brewing Company

163 Reviews
no score
Send samples
McSorley's Irish Black LagerMcSorley's Irish Black Lager

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by oriolesfan4 on 01-29-2009

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 163 | Ratings: 350
Photo of zeff80
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown (almost black) color with a small, tan bubbly head. There was minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of chocolate, toffee and roasted malt.

T - It tasted roasty with some sweet chocolate. There was a slight bitterness from the hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. When I saw the style my expectations dropped, but it was pretty good with some intricate flavors.

 484 characters

Photo of Infamous7100
3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep, dark brown/black with a very thin, tan head.
S: Nothing leaping out. Faint maltiness along with a bit of smoke and some chocolate.
T: Again, nothing pronounced. You get the chocolate, roasted malt flavor, but its not overpowering. Mild flavor, really.
M: Medium carbonation, but creamy on the pallet. Makes it more interesting than you standard lager.
D: A decent beer you could stand to have few of. If you have nothing better, you could session with it.

 472 characters

Photo of Buebie
2.55/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Producing just under an inch of off white head, settling quickly and leaving a thin cap with thicker collar of retention.
Black in color with violet hues lighting up when held to light.

Aroma is toffee, darker grains and a semi sweet malt backing. Aroma is ok, but subdued and really not coming forward much. Its lacking really any strong oder in a nothing to see here...look away fashion.

Taste is more toffee, sweet malt and a touch of floral leaf hops. Some mild biter roasty grains with a distant flavor of peppermint. Tastes almost like somone breifly dipped a candy cane into the beer.

Mothfeel is thin and watery with mild carbonation.

Not much in the way of drinkability. Skip this and you will not have missed a thing.

 786 characters

Photo of alleykatking
3.35/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Review from notes...

A- Pours a deep brown with amber hues. Two finger tan head dies fast...very fast. Light spotty lacing left on the glass.

S- Smells like light roasted coffee and sugary molasses. Nothing really else in the nose. Kind of muted except for these two scents.

T- Light roasted malts clash with some bittersweet chocolate in the front of this beer. The middle of this has some light coffee notes going toward the ending of the beer. I picked up some faint smoke flavor in the tail end that combos up with the coffee flavor.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little light for my liking with this beer. Creamy mouthfeel almost like a nitro feel to this. Roasted malts on the palate and light coffee in the aftertaste.

D- This is a good average drinking beer. Nothing over the top but gives enough flavor that makes you want to come back for more. Plus the story BA Lukafer has about the actual bar is amazing. Don't trust me? BM him and ask!

 991 characters

Photo of Brad007
3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark red/brown color with a one-finger head into my glass. Looks average.

Aroma is sweet with a hint of molasses/roasted coffee in the nose. Pretty basic with nothing that really stands out.

Taste is somewhat near a stout and schwarzbier with a sweet, bland roasted feel to it and what feels like chocolate as well.

Mouthfeel is definitely bland as well. Again, another identity crisis here.

You can drink it but I'm not sure you can enjoy it. Middle of the road and there are better examples out there.

 516 characters

Photo of HURTemHIZZY
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish black color with a one and a half finger tan head that dissipates pretty quickly to a thin ring. Head is not very sticky and leaves no lacing on the glass.

Smells of a bit of caramel malt, some toasted grains. Not much in the way of hops here. Aroma isnt really off putting, it's just really boring.

Taste is slightly better than the aroma. Still has the base of caramel malts and toasted grains, but it is off set by a faint hop bitterness. Nothing crazy at all, but teh slight bitterness makes it enjoyable enough and makes you enjoy the subtlety of the malts more than I could in the aroma. Mouthfeel is clean and crisp, and it maintains a nice level of carbonation throughout. Not a great lager, but definitely enjoyable.

 744 characters

Photo of bump8628
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black as the name suggests with a light tan head.

Subtle roast throughout like weak coffee. Not much else in terms of malt or hop character other than an offsetting hop bitterness. Finish is clean and crisp as a lager should be.

I would say this falls closer to a Schwarzbier with the more pronounced roasted note. Whatever you want to call it it's another underwhelming lager in the vast world of lager beer.

 411 characters

Photo of AmberMan22
3.92/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Surprised to see this labeled as a Euro Dark. I don't feel that's necessarily an appropriate label, because if it was I'd be giving it some 5's.

Pours a deep brown color with an inappropriately light colored head. The head doesn't stick around long and there isn't much lacing to speak of. The brown borders on black, and has good clarity.

Smell is of dark chocolate, heavy on the malts, a slight amount of smokiness is there too.

Taste is solid, I'd place it between a schwarzbier and a Euro Dark, if that helps anyone. It does have a ton of dark malt though. Along with the malty overload of goodness, is a nice underlying smoky flavor, along with possibly some espresso in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin for a beer this dark and with this much malt.

Overall, a solid brew for my first taste of Lion Brewery. Definitely worth a try -- it's an easy drinker for being so dark.

 899 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

McSorley's Black Lager is pretty average for dark lagers- a caramel, malty base is met with heavy toast and even roasted grains. No fruitiness and the beer shies away from coffee or char. Still dark brown, much darker than it tastes; a little softer on the palate but still not a Schwarzbier either. Heavy carbonation and minerally flavors make the beer taste and feel a bit abbrasive. The beer needs a maltier base and more creamy texture before fading into dryness and lightness. It's an ok beer that has a hard time competing with German Dunkels but has too much roast to even compare.

 588 characters

Photo of JHackney87
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Poured a very dark amber colored, almost black with a light tan colored head.

S-Not really much of a scent mostly molasses with a hint of coffee.

T-Very smooth with a hint of dark chocolate with a finish of coffee.

M-Very lightly carbonated, nice thick beer.

D-Very smooth, a lot better than I expected.

 310 characters

Photo of JoePat
3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a very dark brown almost black in the glass with an off white head that dissipates fairly slowly leaving a small amount of lacing behind.
The smell is not too complex with mostley a faint smell of roasted malts.
The flavor combines chocolate malts with the roasted flavors rounding out to a smooth finish.
This beer is very soom and creamy almost guiness nitro creamy which makes it easy to go down and rounds out the beer great.

 445 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark brown, almost black, with a thin cream-colored head that settles to a thin film. There is a little lacing, but nothing impressive.

S: Smell is rather light. Some coffee and bitter chocolate, along with some fruity notes. Hops lend a floral aroma in the backround.

T: Coffee and chocolate flvors are most noticeable, along with some molasses and caramel. Hops give the beer a slightly fruity, dry finish.

M: A bit light on the palate, but has more body than I expected. It's mouthfeel is is cramy and quite smooth.

D: This beer has more to it than I expected. It's quite good, and easy to drink as well. A good session brew.

 641 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.71/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - $5.00 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Served up a near black body with some ruby-hued highlights when back-lit by restaurant lighting and topped with a finger of beige foam.

Smell: Aroma comprised of relatively mild notes: you've got some coffee, some baker's chocolate, some cola nuts, and some dark fruits in there.

Taste: Lightly roasted taste following with flavors of charred nuts and a splash of the rightfully discontinued Coca-Cola BlāK. Scarcely sweet. Mild dark fruitiness prowls around in the background. Some slight cocoa hints appear as it warms. Modest touch of hops provide a small measure of bitterness. Final notion of sweet roastiness on the relatively crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A simple, drinkable brew. Not bad, not great; it gets the job done.

 856 characters

Photo of whynot44
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark mahogany color with a decent tan head that disappears quickly, leaving just traces of lace.

The aroma is malty, hints of caramel, coffee and dark chocolate and yeast.

The taste is mildly sweet, light coffee, caramel and just a hint of chocolate. The finish is slightly lactic with a lingering coffee andburnt toast note.

Medium bodied, fairly smooth and very drinkable.

 386 characters

Photo of vazy
2.13/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance- a rich black with a burnt brown head. Decent head which dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell- a fair amount of hoppiness with very subtle chocolate undertones. Picking up some dark espresso hints.

Taste- Very rich and heavy. Rich coffee like flavors with mild bursts of nutmeg and cinnamon. Gives a warm and toasty feel to the tongue.

Mouthfeel- Thick and chewy, I get the texture of coffee grinds as an aftertaste. Definitely dense and bold.

Drinkability- I was expecting something different from this beer, not that thats a good thing or a bad thing. Its flavors are rich and overall its decent but its wouldn't be the first dark lager I'd pick up.

 662 characters

Photo of Arenbeer
3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Snifter

A- Pours a solid black with a thin 2 finger tan head that left decent lacing.

S- Sweet malts with coffee. Maby some dark chocolate.

T- Like the smell there wasn't too much going on here. Roasted malts and coffee hit you up front with a bit of bitter sweetness from the chocolate.

M- Medium body with moderate carbonation, really tickles the tounge on the way down and a bit bitter but not bad. One big flaw with this beer is it's extremely dry finish. Leaves you wanting a glass of water when your done. But other than that it's pretty solid for the price IMO a solid darker session beer.


 627 characters

Photo of Ricochet
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So, this was marked "Latrobe PA" for where it was brewed. High hopes here. It's the water. Poured dark like a porter or stout with no head and just a touch of lace. Smelled slightly of burnt malt, but nothing special.Mouth was mild creamy with a distinct wine and chocolate aftertaste.

So, taste notes. Chocolate, burnt malt, slight wine sour touch of alcohol. The malt flavor was intense but was tapered by the chocolate and made a decent drinker. I did notice a taste like better Bock beers too.

So, this is what they are drinking at a small joint in NY. Maybe someday I'll see it, but until then, this is a good sturdy bottle of beer I wouldn't mind having again.

 670 characters

Photo of brando56894
4.65/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I bought this at a liquor store by my apartment and bought it since it said it was an "Irish Black Lager" and I'm of Irish decent. I cracked it open and drank it out of the bottle and was amazed at how great it tasted, definitely one of the best beers I've ever had. It was kind of sweet yet acidic at the same time, no noticeable after taste. Very high drinkability, I could easily drink
a whole six pack in one sitting.

I'm definitely going to get another six pack of this when I kill the current one that I have.

Highly Recommended.

 538 characters

Photo of ShinerStArnoldTX
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this off a shelf, not refigerated. Once again, too impatient to let it cool sufficiently, but aint that how they drink it over there?

Anyway, aroma consists mainly of alcohol and floral hops, pretty faint.

Appearance is clear, jet black, ruby red in the light, with a light tan head consisting of pretty big bubbles and about 1 and a half fingers thick after pouring (into a pint glass). Looks kinda like soda.

Taste has some obvious alcohol notes up front, followed by summore floral hops. After that, a surge of bitter hop taste, then a roasty, corny malt finish. About all that's left afterwords is light corn notes. Medium-bodied, almost watery but clean mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

My inner drunk likes this beer, high drinkability. My only complaint is that it kinda leaves a dry mouth behind, but that encourages more drinking. If you wanna get solidly drunk at 6.99 a 6 pack (Louisiana), pick this up.

 923 characters

Photo of SickGnar
3.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Super dark mahogany, nearly black with ruby highlights. Short tan head that fades quickly and leaves almost no lacing.

S: Dark roasted malts mostly of bittersweet cocoa, hints of coffee, some caramel and sweetness come through as well. It smells pretty good, but it's not a very typical lager aroma. And definetly not a schwarzbier. The nose is more like a thin clean porter (maybe that's the Irish part).

T: Chocolate and coffee dark roasted malts predominate. Sweet, but there is a sharp note in there as well - can't really say if it is burnt or lactic or what. The caramel is not as strong as in the nose - it's more of a dark, sugary toffee. Also some hints of dark fruits. Earthy powder cocoa finish with lingering bitterness. Overall effect is of a mild porter done as a lager. However, it is not all that clean for a lager.

M: Creamy with a medium body and a fine, tight carbonation that adds to the smoothness. Although it is plenty on the sweet side, especially at the start, it finish dry.

D: Pretty decent drinker actually. And sort of an interesting concept. It does have some quirks, but is really quite well put together. Still you do get the feeling that the name preceded the brew (those rascally marketing guys).

 1,241 characters

Photo of association330
2.88/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, no freshness date

A - Pours dark brown with a fleeting, light-tan head. Barely any lace.

S - Stale roasted malt, light milk chocolate and a lactic note. A bit like flat cola (oddly also what it happens to look like).

T - Roasted malt, milk chocolate and a swallow of bananas. Odd roasted malt/cola aftertaste.

M - Light side of medium bodied, with slightly harsh carbonation.

D - A lot like mixture of Killians and Guinness Draught - darker and perhaps a bit more flavor than either. Not something I'd buy again, but I've certainly had worse.

 562 characters

Photo of morebeergood
2.95/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ordered a bottle at the Lansdowne Pub near Fenway. Poured into a standard pint glass. Dark brown almost black color, with a thin white head that faded fast. Smelled a bit like cola syrup. Tasted was interesting. Reminded me of a combination of pumpernickel bread and black licorice. Very thin mouthfeel, with a weird fizz and an acrid aftertaste, like burnt coffee. I can see how some might enjoy a big mug of this, but I don't think it was good enough to encourage me to order another.

 486 characters

Photo of njthebestofme
2.2/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A- was a dark brown.. light head to lacing.. didnt now seem to be over caribanted

S- malty,, no hopw to nose a little coco or a roast smell

T- reminded me if you if an ash tray with Guinness and drank it.. did not enjoy it at all

M- let an after tast a ash

D- not recmoned for a six pack.. try one and see how ya like it.. different tastes for different poeple.. but not for me... cheers

 391 characters

Photo of david131
3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- A very dark brown, bordering on black. The head is a thin ring at the edge of the glass.

S- Sweet chocolate mocha. Sweet and Irish smelling, whatever that means.

T- Same as the aroma with a Coca Cola aspect to it at the end.

M- Sort of sweet then a dry finish. Kind of bitter, but not in a hoppy sense.

D- A generic dark lager. Drinks like one. Drink it and forget it.

 375 characters

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Samuel Smith's pint glass.

A: Poured a dark brown, near black, ruby tinged amber color with a thin head of fizzy off white foam which left little to no lacing.

S: Smells of slightly roasted caramel malt, carob and light herbal hops.

T: Flavor is a bit bland, but the slightly roasted malt character of the brew is decent enough. A slight weak coffee flavor melds with bittersweet cocoa and that light roasted malt mixture. A faint grassy hop flavor rounds our a slightly buttery finish.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied and easy drinking enough.

D: A dark or dunkel lager fan might session this as the ABV seems modest and flavors are alright. If you can have it for a good price and there's really not much available, I'd condone picking it up. Although if there were something available in the way of a true schwartzbier I'd easily leave this one behind.

 895 characters

McSorley's Irish Black Lager from Pabst Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.