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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Reviews: 163 | Ratings: 350
Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a very dark clear brown and produced a one funnier high beige bubbly head. Dissipates fast and leaves not much lacing.
The smell is of coffee , brown sugar, but has a smokey feel to it.
The taste is light caramel and dark fruit up front, and gets a little smokey in the middle. The end is dominated by malt.
Nice simple beer, very drinkable!

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Photo of whendeathsleeps
3.55/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours dark brown, ruby tones revealed when held up to light, tan one finger head with decent retention, nice lacing throughout.

S- Smokey, coffee, dark fruits.

T- Just as it smells pretty much, though more coffee is revealed, and toasty malts.

M- Nice carbonation, smooth, as someone else mentioned, like a light porter.

Overall, a simple beer, that goes down quite well! Would make a great session beer.

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Photo of blakelive784
3.05/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz bottle served in a weizen glass, reviewed live:

A - Pours a dark, non-transparent brown color with a tan 2 finger head of nice creaminess. Retention isn't very good.

S - Smells of cream, roasted barley and coffee. The aroma is inviting, and invocative of something that's not a lager.

T - Afair amount of roasted malt coupled with cream and a nice alcohol sweetness. Smoky/toasty notes. it's a bit simplistic, but I'm having it.

M - Light to medium bodied and coarse. Suits the flavors well.

D - Good flavors and a nice balance. I'd have it again.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.2/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Brown Palace mini-hefeweissbier glass in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a two finger head of fair cream and thickness, and average retention. Solid black colour.

Sm: Caramel, light chocolate, and maybe nuts. A mild strength aroma.

T: Simple light roast with some poorly handled caramelized malt and hints of artificial chocolate. Poorly balanced - especially in terms of structure - wherein all the flavour is contained about the midpoint. Some nutty hints trickle in thereabouts, but never redeem it. It's imbalanced overall and badly constructed.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Suits the flavours generally.

Dr: Drinkable but largely forgettable. I'd never have this again. Awful for the style.


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Photo of GregBlatz
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep dark ruby color with a tan head. Head is large and rocky. Laces the glass aggressively.

S - Chalky. Buttery. Very British. Dark fruit, plums and raisins.

T - Very ale-like. That is the first thing I notice. Somewhat fruity and quite frankly reminds me more of a light porter than a black lager.

O - It is an enjoyable brew. My sample was laser stamped on the neck with 071311. I assume that is a date but I'm not sure if it is a born-on date or a drink-by date. Either way it was pretty good.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.18/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Sprecher nonic.
051711 (followed by more numbers) Utica, NY on the neck.

A - Clear dark rich mahogany in color with a still light khaki head. Good retention but very little lace left behind.

S - Bitter roasted malts tickle the senses with burnt hints, mocha, and a small smoky aspect. While somewhat complex, it remains a bit grainy and acrid.

T - Grainy roasted malts and dry mocha with bitter bottom-of-the-pot, day-old coffee, the flavor isn't much of a departure from the aroma, it's just "cheaper" feeling.

M - Lighter-bodied, the dark color would surprise most. Acrid bitter and crisp with a higher carbonation level and dry, dusty finish.

O - The overwhelming dry, dirt-like component to this beer definitely doesn't do it any favors. McSorley's Irish Black Lager is not something I'd be interested in having again.

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Photo of cbinflux
4.26/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried it on tap at Bubba's Ale House. A great draft beer to complement pub grub! Very smooth and drinkable.

The taste was between Guiness and Newcastle, closer to the latter. The carbonation was also much closer to that of Newcastle.

I loved the fact that it's American made by Pabst; we can sure use the jobs! It's a 'real' dark beer, not at all like Miller's Lowenbrau Dark.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.55/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this into a pint glass to have a lighter beer at the end of the night.

It is a pretty dark shade with minimal foam. I smell coffee and light caramel.

It feels like a very light porter. I find this to be very drinkable. There is light coffee and a little bit of sweetness.

This is a very easy to drink beer. I enjoyed relaxing with it.

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Photo of Naugros
3.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hi. My name is Dave and I'm a beer geek that likes Pabst's Blue Ribbon. Yes, I turn my nose up at Bud, Miller, Coors and their ilk, but finding PBR on draft makes me happy. I know that admission is the first step to recovery but I feel it best that I am weaned off rather than go cold turkey. So let's try a Pabst beer that poses as a craft brew. That should help.

This is beer right? I poured it into the nonic and could have sworn I had poured a Pepsi. It's so highly carbonated that the bubbles continue to sizzle and pop on top for a few seconds. And it's got that dark brown color of colas.

Then I smell it and I swear that someone's messing with me and has slipped a Mounds bar under my nose. Coconut esters are richly surrounded by chocolate and caramel. Caramel? Okay, it's not a Mounds bar, but imagine a Mounds bar with caramel. That would be yummy. Back to the "beer"...I get a little peat with some brown sugar. No hops presence whatsoever.

And to take a, a sip. I don't get nearly as much coconut in the nose, but the chocolate and caramel still remain, but in this case it's well within the framework of a beer. The peat is still there and it's easy to tell that the caramel is coming from the malts. The high carbonation has settled down a little, but it's still fizzy. Despite this it remains pretty smooth for a dark lager...hell, any kind of lager. This is very drinkable and I find that I actually like this.

Yeah, my sponsor's not going to like that. This was supposed to be a "step down" beer, but it further proves to me that Pabst brews beers I like. Shh.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.59/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A cauldron of dark topped with as many fingers as you could furiously pour...Light chestnuts and weak unsweetened cocoa in the nose. Some dark malts there as well.

A tad sweet, some cocoa flavor, hmmm delicious molasses and raisins

Incredibly smooth bodied, just velvety, I with the Irish pubs around here had this on tap.

Over all, a surprisingly good beer and one I'm glad a snagged in a make your own sixer

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.27/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep black/brown with thin tan head. Head does not retain well, hardly laces glass. Smells a bit smokey. Tastes of chocolate, smokey roast coffee beans, hint of caramel or molasses? Overall a smooth drinking brew, not disimilar to a milk stout.
There is a bar of the same name in Manhattan that serves this, though they have nothing to do with brewing.

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Photo of OMGTheyKilkenny
4.5/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft into two 8 oz. glass mugs.

A- So dark, light cannot escape its surface. Pours a thin hazel head with moderate lacing.

S- Smokey. Rich and heavy with notes of milky coffee.

T- Tasting notes include toffee, cream, and cola. A little smokey. Almost like the lager equivalent of a milk stout.

MF- Crisp, nicely carbonated. Not nearly as heavy as I expected. Goes down surprisingly easy.

D- Such a solid beer should not be so easy to drink, but sure enough, it is. I can and have easily made an evening out of this beer. Well balanced, delightful stuff.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is the #24 Euro Dark Lager on the best of style lists, served in a McSorley's stein because I am capable of it.

Beer is black and clear with a thin tan head of small bubbles, low carbonation, low lacing.

Aroma is sweet and mildly roasty, overall a mild aroma.

Beer is thin to medium in body with a mild tartness on the finish and a roasty aftertaste. The forward of the beer is minimally sweet and the overall beer is fine. I wouldn't go out of my way to drink it again and I would outright recommend it either but overall this is an OK beer.

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Photo of GarrettB
2.97/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Guinness is my de facto standard beer for Irish drinking, but it casts its shadows on other up and coming Irish brews - similar in their dark and malty flavor delivered on a light palate, these beers sacrifice tradition and history for flavor and innovation. McSorley’s Irish Black Lager is the newest beer in this category. Like any other dark lager, it promises some of that dark maltiness in a refreshing beer - perfect for easy drinking with strong ale-like flavors. The smell resembles coke, with touches of raisins. The biggest difference between this and any kind of dark ale is the notable absence of fig aromas. That textured sweet smell is gone, leaving a dark yet simpler aroma, clear and clean through the nostrils, and inspiring clear headedness. This straightforward cleanliness paired with flavor is duplicated in the taste, where a nice, dark, roasted malty sweetness hovers along the palate, off-set by a kind of alkaline baseness. Complexity is shunted to the side in this easy drinking beer, itself a fine rival for my attention against Guinness. Guinness, however, continues to be my favorite beer for recipes that call for something dark and sudsy to enrich a dish.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with an off-white foam head. Little retention. No lace.

Good nose. Some dark roasted malt, some cocoa powder, some roasted nuts. A little boiled grain here that reminds me of Guinness, but not enough to detract from the overall picture.

Good medium/middle of the road brew. Leans toward a Munich Dunkel, but not quite there. Dark roasted malt, with some coffee elements. A little creamy sweetness, but this is immediately cut and dried out with light bitterness. Finishes with a light bitter and slightly nutty edge. Surprise here.

A little more watery than I'd like, but not a big deal. Spot-on carbonation. This one just feels a little thin.

Overall, I liked this. Easy to drink, not overdone or over-carbonated. I'd have this again.

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

Pours a nice dark chocolate color with a finger of tan foam at the top.

Smells of peatmoss and dark carmel malts.

The taste iss uperb, smoked peatmoss flavors with notes of molasses and roasted malts.

Smooth full mouthfeel, goes down smoothly. Not a bad beer at all, I was surprised to see this coming from the Pabst company. Goes to show you shouldn't judge a beer before you taste it.

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

Poured a dark black that you could see no light with a small off white head that didn't hang around long at all.

Aroma is a little muted with chocolate and coffee being the main characters. Molasass and fig in there as well.

Taste is somewhat bolder with the chocolate and coffee still the main flavors, dark fruits and semi sweet malts playing a lesser role. A nice little bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel was a little thin and watery to me but it went down very nice.

Overall a solid black lager, a good thirst quincher with full flavor.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.31/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

True in scent to what could be expected of a black lager, this brew bears notes of molasses, chocolate malts, coffee and licorice. Wet barley also makes an appearance here, as does a yeasty aroma.

These flavors translate well onto the tongue, though in far greater strength that would be imagined, given the rather light nature of the aromas. Indeed, the first taste of the lager brings a shock of chocolate malts and molasses, layered with coffee and dark fruit esters. These flavors fade fairly quickly, though still maintain a presence throughout the remainder of the mouthful, being especially focused on chocolate malts and black coffee. Some nice dark sugars bounce around in the background, playing gently with roasted grains. Mouthfeel is fairly light, being only slightly more viscous than water.

Overall, this is a good black lager, but I wanted more bite and wildness to it; I found it slightly too watery, and thought the flavors could have been better emphasized and drawn out.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black pour with a light white head.

S: My allergies might be hindering this a bit, but smells like roasted
malts and dry coffee.

T: Taste pretty much follows the smell. Light up front with roasted malts following.

MF: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O: Good drinking beer. Won't blow you away.

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Photo of jeranbrews
3.29/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Big Puff-ball beige head. Like a root-beer float. Leaves a reasonable amount of stringy lichen lacing. A good bitter-sweet chocolate color body. Dark, brown, and opaque.

S - Nothing too fancy. Some mild chocolate notes, maybe a bit of roasted barley. All pleasant if only a bit too simple. No hops to speak of.

T - Sweet. Simple. Maybe too simple but it's just a generic euro lager so no biggie.

M - Creamy but slightly loose. Not unpleasant but needs a bit more maltyness

D - Another cheapish alternative to the popular and easy to find Guinness. Pleasant and quite drinkable but not so remarkable.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a deep brown color. The head was ok, but nothing rave about. The smell of the beer is roasted and had some hops on the nose too. The taste of the beer has some decent roasted flavors going on that finish with a decent bitterness. The mouthfeel is light. Overall it's a very light beer for such a dark color. It's probably worth checking out.

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Photo of MattyG85
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Retail version. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark brown with a little bit of ruby red coming through when held to light. A decent finger of off white head fades into a thin layer. Lacing is pretty light.

Smell: Dark roasted malts with caramel, chocolate, coffee, and a slightly smoked character. Has a light hint of hops.

Taste: Dark roasted malts with caramel, toffee, grains, and a light amount of chocolate and coffee. A light amount of hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with a medium level of carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

Overall: A good dark lager that is what you expect from the style. A lighter brew with some darker flavors.

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

A- Looks just like it's name implies. Almost black. A touch of light gets through showing a dark amber red. light tan head with average lacing.

S- Some dark chocolate malt with caramel rounding it out. a bit of smoke. smells really good.

T- Coffee and chocolate malt flavor. Has a sweetness to it. something like a dark fruit and a bit of tart on the back of the tongue.

M- Has the watered effect of almost like a stout. goes down quickly and smoothly. Not a bad beer.

O- Pretty good drinking beer. I could drink this one again.

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Photo of Snamnoum
3.47/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of SisuPride
4.21/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

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McSorley's Irish Black Lager from Pabst Brewing Company
3.5 out of 5 based on 350 ratings.
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