McSorley's Irish Black Lager
Pabst Brewing Company

McSorley's Irish Black LagerMcSorley's Irish Black Lager
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
German Schwarzbier
Ranked #170
Ranked #44,362
3.49 | pDev: 14.33%
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States
McSorley's Irish Black LagerMcSorley's Irish Black Lager
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 165 | Ratings: 355
Photo of Snamnoum
3.47/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - dark black for such a light beer. Moderate pour produced a small head which dissipated quickly.

Smell - the principle aromas are of roasted coffee, bittersweet cocoa, some smoky molasses, caramel, and a faint hint of burn grains and hops.

Taste - At the front of the tongue I get a very subtle larger-like sweetness. In the middle I get lots of dark toasty caramelized sugar, toffee, and used coffee grounds. The back of the tongue picks up a mellow dryness, burnt barley and a tart acidity I would normally associate with an acidic coffee. The finish subsides disappointingly quickly; had it lingered I probably would have given it a four.

Mouthfeel - rather creamy and full bodied for a euro lager while still remain clean, crisp, and not at all fruity.

Overall - I enjoyed this beer and found it interesting. It has many of the characteristics that I would normally associate with a Baltic porter or a dry stout, without being as rich. Definitely worth a try if you're in the mood for something dark but don't want to crack open one of your bigger beers.

 1,076 characters

Photo of SisuPride
4.21/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When you have the name Irish on your beer there are expectations. When you also stick the word "black" on the label the expectations increase. This beer poured a dark dark brown and even looked plain brown for the last third. A nice tan head with a scent that said "welcome old friend." Smelled just like a beer should. I need McSorley's to make a candle of this beer. Taste was rich not overbearing - I could make a night with a few of these - Very very smooth.

 462 characters

Photo of magine
3.35/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a near black. Has a very small of white head, that settles to a thin layer. Some patchy lace left behind. Average looks.

Brew smells of very faint maltiness, roasted notes. Not much of a nose of this one. Average.

Brew is smooth and creamy, light roasted malts; coffee, nut and some hints of chocolate. Brew is very mild and drinkable. A little thin in the flavor department. Finishes slightly dry. A very sessionable brew. Pretty good tastes.

Brew is very drinkable for sure. Not a ton of flavors, but enough to enjoy a few. Pretty good stuff.

 583 characters

Photo of Haybeerman
3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep, dark brown; ruby on the edges when held to the light. Poured a 1 finger brown head that dissipated to a thin skim. Laced in random spots.

S: Faint toasted malts and maybe some fruit. Also hay and grass.

T: Muted toasted malt flavors; maybe some burnt toast, chocolate. Very smooth to a mild bitter and dry finish.

M: Light body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and fair balance. Dry finish.

D: Easy to drink for sure. Lacks character to be a regular beer though.

 473 characters

Photo of chefelf
3.28/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a toasty, caramel flavor. I will try to be objective since it's from one of my least favorite places in the world: McSorley's Irish Pub. It's not actually brewed there but rather it has a label slapped on it in Latrobe, PA where all the finest beers in America are brewed. Latrobe, PA is 324 miles away from McSorley's. Too close for comfort in my opinion but enough of a buffer that the beer is able to escape the intense pull from the black hole of despair that is McSorley's Irish pub.

Okay, objectivity didn't work out so well.

 546 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black to cola brown and ruby in color. Light beige head that leaves a slow island of filmy foam throughout the twelve ounces of brew.

The aroma is roasted and effervescent. Dark roasted malts and a little grassy hops. Thats it, pretty simple and satisfying overall.

Miedium roasted malt flavor with the astringent hops from America, and a an effervescant yeast gives a little dry palate. The finish is a little musty, but still very drinkable. This is a perfect local pub session Irish lager.

 496 characters

Photo of Buggies
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with dark ruby highlights when held to the light. Nice tan head. Smells of caramel and roasted grains. This one tastes quite nice for the price. Nice rounded flavor of the caramel and toffee. The roasted grains provides a nice balanced bitter bite too. But overall, it's light like a lager should be.

Overall, a nice beer for the price. It was pretty drinkable I thought.

 391 characters

Photo of LacquerHead
3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This wasn't too bad. It had a roasted coffee like aroma, slightly robust. The taste was similar but it was a little thin. Again, it had a roasted nature. It was like mixing a light stout with a well carbonated lager. Overall, I thought it tasted a tad generic. It wasn't bad and for the most part I was happy with my 6pck purchase. I bought it on sale on Sat 12 when every store was having an Irish beer special. So it was worth the price on that day, but I wouldn't go flocking back unless it was on sale.

 506 characters

Photo of chicagoabbot
2.69/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Notice a high score for appearance and nothing else...they got the color of the style right but that's about it. No yeast funk like there should be...the malts lake depth...the hops are forgettable, even though this isn't supposed to be a hoppy style anyway...tastes like an adjunct version of a schwarzbier, which I suppose is what it is...was cheap anyway...avoid

 365 characters

Photo of FoamyMustache
3.27/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a dark brown with hints of deep cherry red from a bottle into a becker glass. Two finger cream head quickly dissipated leaving no lacing.

S - Initially lacked any noticeable smell aside from a faint roasted malt, but as the beer warmed I noticed hints of dark fruit and alcohol.

T - Definitely leaves something to be desired. Restrained roasted malt with very mute chocolate flavors if I strain for flavors. Tastes like a heavily diluted simple stout.

M - Moderately carbonated, appealing initial feel, but finishes dry.

D - They definitely go down easy...mostly because the beer lacks any form of impressive flavor you wish to enjoy.

This was my first experience with a McSorley's brew. Didn't expect much as they're part of Pabst, but overall not a terrible beer. For about a buck a bottle, it's a good value.

 829 characters

Photo of THECPJ
2.68/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: brownish hue black with 1 finger off white head

smell: roasted malts, coffee,

taste: coffee, some cocoa notes, roasted malts, lager yeast

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, thin mouthfeel

drinkability: overall it was just an average lager.



 289 characters

Photo of yesyouam
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

McSorley's Irish Black Lager is a very dim brown beer with a thin, sald colored head that fades to a film and leaves decent lacing. It has a sweet, malty aroma with a lot of roasted coffee and a touch of greenness. It's medium-light bodied, a little watery, pretty smooth and the finish is chalky. It's pretty lightly flavored. It's roasty and tastes a lot like dark malt extract. There's no bitterness, really. It's not sweet or dry. Roast lingers in the aftertaste. It's nothing stand-out. It's a pretty bland session beer with no glaring faults.

 548 characters

Photo of lumberjerk
3.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

Pours very dark, but you can see points of light around the edges. When held up to direct light (think desk lamp; who doesn't drink where they work?), it's a deep and clear reddish-brown. Head was thin and coffee-colored, but constant.

Smell is nothing to right home about. I can smell the dark malts, but nothing outstanding.

Tastes of coffee and caramel roasts, right down to the bitterness of a dark cup of joe.

A very creamy head. Some sharpness from the carbonation. Smooth and light.

Very drinkable. At the price and at 5.5% I won't be slamming these down, but I'd be happy to have this with a meal.

 646 characters

Photo of jsprain1
3.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- A not quite black, topped by a slightly tanned one finger head. Some lacing, though not extensive.
S- Smells sweet. Tends toward a caramel aroma.
T- Definite flavors of caramel, which are quite pleasant, backed up by a bit of a milk chocolate flavor. Low hop bitterness. Quite sweet.
M- Body is light, though not terribly. Carbonation is a bit too biting for me. Carbonation did not help the flavors much here.
D- A decent drinking beer, but nothing that will blow your socks off. Simple and light.

 501 characters

Photo of NODAK
3.9/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

 414 characters

Photo of bluetravlr
4.47/5  rDev +28.1%
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.

 1,220 characters

Photo of suretolose
3.79/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

 383 characters

Photo of GRG1313
2.65/5  rDev -24.1%
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.

 443 characters

Photo of BranfordBound
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

 599 characters

Photo of TheBrewo
3.72/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

 1,394 characters

Photo of clings
3.54/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

 250 characters

Photo of Cubsfan1087
4.55/5  rDev +30.4%
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.

 384 characters

Photo of BigBry
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

 503 characters

Photo of TheBigE5
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

 412 characters

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

 508 characters

McSorley's Irish Black Lager from Pabst Brewing Company
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 355 ratings