McSorley's Irish Black Lager | Pabst Brewing Company

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McSorley's Irish Black LagerMcSorley's Irish Black Lager

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States

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

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Ratings: 351 |  Reviews: 163
Photo of NODAK
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma isn't all that strong at all, but features some dark chocolate and roasted notes.

Taste is a pretty simple one. Body has roasted malt and dark chocolate on it, but it is all rather restrained. I would say it reminds me of a thinner, muted stout. Not much to speak of in the hop department.

A good entry beer here, I think. Drinks very easily and has good flavor, even though it won't punch you in the face.

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Photo of bluetravlr
4.47/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first time trying this brewery. I've heard good things.

A: Black. When held to the light a bet of dark amber/ burnt orange comes through. Moderate head quickly fades but maintains on the side of the glass throughout. Little lacing.

S: Great licorice smell is dominant with back tones of roasted barley and freshly trimmed grass. Slight coffee tones are also present.

T: Like the scent only not as intense. Licorice, grass, dirt, and roasted coffee are all there in a tremendous balance. There is also a caramel sweetness that plays with the tongue during the middle and into the aftertaste of this beer. The finish is very dry, with a nice hop presence . . . not too bitter, but just a reminder that they're in there (more so than most black beers I've tried). Earthy flavors throughout. Stick your head in some great, intoxicating dirt and this is what you have.

M: Light and dry. Perfect for this style. The carbonation is just a little too high for my liking, and the dryness might turn some people off, but this is nitpicking.

D: I don't know what the abv on this beer is, but the only downfall I see in drinkability is its dryness. Other than that, it is a tasty, smooth, and very drinkable lager.

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Photo of suretolose
3.79/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. This beer is a nice black with amber on the edges. About a half inch of head that fades quickly.
Aroma is very light, a slight chocolate and malt.
Taste is better than I expected with such a light aroma. Hints of malt and chocolate and a little coffee.
Coats the mouth a little which I tend to like.
A solid beer, nothing too fancy, just good.

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Photo of GRG1313
2.65/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown with a tan/yellow head.

Nose is simple light coffee and roasted grain with a light cooked fruit undertone. Not bad-just nothing about which to make note.

Mouthfeel is thin and a bit watery.

Flavor profile is very simple and not really appealing. Thin, watery, lack of character and body and with a simple light roasted grain flavor and character profile. Again, not bad-just not noteworthy.

Light thin coffee finish.

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a SA Perfect Pint

Pours a dark brown color, but has some transparency to it. One and half finger tan head arises from an aggressive pour. Not too much lacing.

Aroma of roasted malts (a la Guinness) and a touch of coffee.

Has a maltiness to it, but not really roasted in any way. Small notes of chocolate and coffee play in the background. Finishes clean with a hint of lager yeast and malts.

Neutral mouthfeel, lots of carbonation.

Easy to kick back a bunch, just wish they cranked the flavor up a notch or too, it would still make it a session beer, but a more enjoyable one.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours a cola color, letting enough light through to highlight maroon flecks about the edges and bottom. The quickly disappearing head is tan, and stands about one finger high. Carbonation looks to be medium, and there is no sediment observed. The aroma is dominated by dark, toasty malts. There are also suggestions of toffee, buttery diacetyls, dark chocolate, and a bit of booze. As we sip, roasted malts meet the tongue up front. These continue, softening out through the middle, where they are met with flavors of bittersweet milk chocolate and those buttery diacetyls from the nose. The sip concludes with more bitterness from chocolate, with a twang of metallic character and coffee beans. The latter effectively controls the aftertaste, which is also malty, with a bit of sweetness. Both the body and carbonation are medium. The diacetyls give the beer slickness, helping to increase the ease of drinking. There is also slight astringency, drying the mouth a bit by the end of the session. The abv is fine and, again, the drinkability is reasonable.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its deep and dark aroma. It was certainly unexpected to have such roasty malts, but it was considerably more surprising to find robust chocolate and nice buttery character. The taste followed through for the most part, lacking only in the same assertiveness found in the nose.

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Photo of clings
3.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

There is nothing that is blatantly wrong with this beer, but there is nothing that makes me want to buy it if I have the choice between other beers. It's not bad by any means and for some it may be a good choice however it doesn't do anything for me.

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Photo of Cubsfan1087
4.55/5  rDev +30%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really loved this beer. I had never heard of it before and found it on tap at one of the local Bier Stubes. It was a very dark beer. Similar to a stout. Smell and taste of coffee/chocolate. The great thing about this beer is the lack of aftertaste. Most beers like this have a strong bitter aftertaste that lingers. That wasn't the case here. I will definitely have this beer again.

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Photo of BigBry
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One of the draft taps I had not tried before, recommended by our waiter at "The Saloon".
This arrived deep, dark brown (almost black) color with a half inch of slightly tan head. Foam quickly melted to a thin cap, thin lace lines left behind. Smell had some roasted malt, a bit nutty and bready. A solid Euro dark taste, some coffee notes with nice malt character. Touch of bitterness to finish. Body was a bit thin, but appropriate. Refreshing and drinkable, but at the same time nothing too memorable.

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Photo of TheBigE5
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful black/red color and a nice thick head with a light brown color. Not too impressed with the smell, simply a bold malty scent. Impressive roast flavor at first and then finishes with a mild chocolate/coffee flavor and a good bit of carbonation. The drinkability of this beer is very impressive considering its dark reputation. I have had this on tap and in bottle form and will definitely drink it again.

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

Notes from 11/28/2010:

12 oz bottle at 42* into a pint glass.

A: This pours a nearly opaque black color with a half-finger of slightly off-white head that dissapates quickly.

S: This shows some roastiness up front with some dark fruitiness and a bit of wet bread as well.

T: It is mostly of roasted coffee and dark chocolate early with a toasty/bready finish.

M: This has a rather thin body, but the carbonation sticks around and makes it quite drinkable.

D: This is drinkable but could be much better.

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Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a chocolate brown color with amber highlights and a creamy ecru head that sits like pancake batter atop the liquid and leaves a few strands of lace

Smell: Chocolate, with a hint of roast and leafy hops

Taste: Tootsie roll chocolate, up front, with coffee, roast, and a bit of leafy hop flavor developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the chocolate flavors dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, with a creamy feel and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I note that this beer is now brewed in Latrobe, and I wonder a bit whether the recipe has changed; certainly, I was more impressed than I expected to be reading the reviews of others

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Photo of Suds
3.82/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a wonderful dark color, nearly black with red hues. The aroma is layered with lots of chocolate malts. There's little hop aroma at all, just lots of specialty grains, backed by a touch of alcohol. The taste is similar. It's a dry beer, very clean, with a lot of heavily roasted malt. Balanced, slightly bitter. The mouthfeel is just a touch oily and slick. Easy to drink, and worth a try.

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Photo of cpolking
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours pitch black. It has a slightly spicy aroma. I don't believe it is brewed with rye but it has an aroma of a bit of rye and a hint of smoke. It tastes of dark roasted malt, a hint of coffee, a hint of smoke and a hint of sweetness on the back end. It is flavorful yet not heavy.

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Photo of Zebus0
3.36/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wow this stuff is good. Never heard of it till a local pub picked it up on draft.

A- Very pleasing. Nice black shade, nice frothy head on it that dissipates in a fair amount of time.

S- Burnt aroma, nuts and smoke, plenty of hops. Pretty good. Not a very strong aroma.

T- Seems like it's just a freak. (no negative) it's not quite thick enough for a stout, but a wee heavy to be a black ale. I would compare this to a marriage of 1554 Black Ale and Guinness. Very good taste. More of the burnt/hops taste. A little sweeter than a stout, very close to most black ales really, with some more carbonation added.

M- Fair. I never grade on mouthfeel too heavy. Medium body. Pleasing, quite smooth really.

D- Very good. I love this stuff for happy hour in the afternoon. That "in-betweeness" makes it very attractive for a stout drinker like me. Not TOO heavy if the weather isn't right or you're just not in the mood, but not water thin either. Rightly nice in the middle. Very, very pleasing find.

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Photo of jporf911
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle; no freshness date provided.

Appearance- 4 out of 5. This beer pours with a decent one and a half finger tan head that quickly dissipates; luckily, abundant bubbles soar up to the surface afterward. The liquid itself is chestnut brown around the edges and opaque black in the middle. It loses points for the lack of head retention, but it otherwise looks great.

Smell- 3.5 out of 5. The first whiff brings burnt molasses malt, a little smokiness, and a lot of nuttiness. The undertones of bread and light floral hops make this beer seem like a stout having an identity crisis. If the scents were stronger, it would smell more enticing.

Taste- 4 out of 5. It's like a piece of sourdough bread dipped in caramel and slathered with almond butter. I maintain my opinion that this tastes like a light stout- a tad sweeter but still carries smokiness, roasted malt, and nut as in the smell; however, sipping it brings the taste of bread to the forefront. It seems like the hops are trying to bite the back of my tongue but give up halfway through, though they do leave a nice little floral hint that mingles with the leftover nuttiness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- 3 out of 5. It's dry, which is good, but the lager-thinness doesn't work well with the actual tastes, which leaves something to be desired.

Drinkability- 4.5 out of 5. The upside of the thinness is that McSorley's is very easy to drink. It's the versatile kind of beer you could enjoy on your own or take to a (non-college) party.

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Photo of TheSeeker61
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured a dark brown with a one inch head which dissipated into a ring which hung around.

S- Smelled some dark fruit. Not too impressive.

T- A decent taste. Tasted some dark fruit,malts.

M- Had a pretty good mouthfeel. Medium body.

D- Because of the low ABV and the smootheness of the exprience overall, I could drink a few of these in a session.

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Photo of therica
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Let it warm some (ie don't overchill like it's a ridiculous ColdCoorsLite) and you'll appreciate it more.

A= dark chestnut-brown, some big-bubble carbonated head, modest lacing.

S= roasty, nice malts, light caramel, nutty dryness and some traditional floral hops and dark fruits. Slight burnt molasses and smoke notes.

T= smooth, some nice toasted malts and hints of nut, hints of dark fruits, balanced English-style hops, balanced bitterness, finishes slightly dry and yet slightly sweet as well.

M= nutty, some toasted malts, light hops florals.

D= very drinkable and a contender in this class.

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Photo of gatornation
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap it was dark brown/black color with a tan head,,smell is sweet malts and toffee with some hops..taste is good with hops and toasted malts a touch of nutmeg some light coffee..mouth feel is on the light side with all the flavors not bursting out at you..easy to drink and pretty tasty though try this one

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Photo of huxcrunner
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this is a very dark brown to black beer with good tan head and lacing

good smell of hops and malt

good malt and heavy taste with nice bitterness to it

nice mouthfeel good heavyness to it

great drinkable and a good overall beer even better from the

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

Found this on-tap, at Kevin Barry's in Savannah, GA of all places (8/15):

A: The beer appeared to be cola black, without much of a head that dissipated very quickly. What there was of a head, it was light, and light tan in color. I guess that I expected a thicker, longer lasting head, but this could have been partly to the pour by the wait staff.

S: The aroma is average, nutty with sweet roasted malted barley.

T: Again, the taste was average, lighter than expected, but a sweet malt flavor with maybe a hint of coffee or chocolate.

M/D: The beer was lighter than expected and seemed a bit over carbonated. As for drinkability, I did not finish the pint, but I am not sure that was an indication. The beer was smooth enough and left a decent sweet finish that did not last.

Overall, an average beer, nothing more, nothing less.

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Photo of Kooz
2.93/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Love McSorley's. Love it, love it, love it. McSorley's in a bottle? I'm skeptical, but we'll see.

Looks good. Dark brown, almost black. Not much head; it disappears quickly and leaves nothing behind.

Smells ok; sorta nutty.

Tastes ok. It might be better if I wasn't anticipating a McSorley's dark. On it's own (the bottled kind), it isn't anything special. Not a great aftertaste either.

Maybe a little too acidic--mouthfeel is average at best.

I wouldn't dink much of this. I drink it until I can't drink anymore when I'm at McSorley's, but with the bottled variety, I am good after one or two.

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Photo of Jips
3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

-Mouthfeel: smooth, light-medium, light carbonation
-Color: black-brown w/ a light tan creamy head about 1 finger deep
-Smell: sweet malt, hint o' coffee
-Taste: hop forward (not sharp or too bitter) with dark sweet malty tastefollowing
-After: hardly anything, residual sticky sweetness on back of tounge

Great dark beer, quite a find in a middle of nowhere IL bar in the middle of summer (otherwise

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Photo of AlexLMS
3.01/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: black with ruby highlights when looked against the light and almost opaque due to its colour. The head is beige, well formed and moderately low. Fades rather quickly leaving a little bit of lace.
Aroma: lightly dark toasted sweet malts and hints of dark chocolate.
Taste: quite simple taste that confirms the aroma.
Mouthfeel: smooth, good to high carbonation, low alcoholic strength and very light, almost watery body.
Finish: not very long sweet finish.

Overall: nice but not a really interesting beer. Easy to drink and easy to forget.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I picked this bottle up on a whim. Pouring at cellar temp into a pint glass. The beer pours a deep mahogany color with creamy and fizzy beige head of 1 cm foaming up and fading to a sturdy surface layer.
Aroma is generally caramel malt and a bit of grain, overall pretty mild nose.
First sip reveals an average body with crisp texture. Spacious and gentle carbonation make this beer even easier to drink.
Flavor is sweet malt with a bit of molasses note and caramel mixed in. I do get a bit of earthy hops on the finish but they dont linger and the molasses, sweet malt returns at the end of the swallow.
This beer is enjoyable and I could consume quite a few and not get bored, but also wouldnt feel overly stimulated but insane flavor and aroma mixtures.
A nice every day drinking beer.

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McSorley's Irish Black Lager from Pabst Brewing Company
3.5 out of 5 based on 351 ratings.
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