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 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 saztheorybook
2.1/5  rDev -40%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Looks exactly like cola, an almost-black brown with no "fizz" after the initial burst. Even my vigorous pour only encouraged about a half a finger's worth of head, suspect because of the plethora of bubbles covering my glass and a head that dissipates in seconds with zero lacing.

S-Caramel and aluminum notes. Obviously the head this the source of most volatiles but there is little to no smell after the head vanishes so quickly.

T- Decent malt profile with a nice roasted flavor that outlasts the negative flavors into the finish. At times there are notes of dirt/grass. Maybe a little DMS, too. This is pretty astringent and a little bit chemical.

M-I could chug this if it weren't for the astringency, but as it stands, it could only be truly quaffable with a sausage in the other hand.

D-I'd get this at a festival and drink it from the bottle. Honestly, I think this might taste better that way. It was cheap, and it's okay, but I don't think I would buy another one at a beer store or restaurant, even though it was relatively cheap.

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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.

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Photo of psulovesbeer
3.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass with good head, nice lacing and a deep black color.
Smells bland and maybe a touch of roasted malt
Taste is clean upfront with a nice roasted grain finish
Mouthfeel is true lager upfront with a nice roasted linger to make you wan another sip this is highly drinkable and a refreshing example of the style... Not standout but good and worthy of a try

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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 FoamyMustache
3.27/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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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.

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Photo of lumberjerk
3.56/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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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.

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Photo of dsr0116
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I think this is an exceptional find for any Irish stout lover. The overall characteristics are very similar to the Guinness 250 Anniversary edition brew. This has the same sourness that Guinness is synonymous with (especially the foreign or extra stout strains). While not as complex as Guinness foreign stout, it seems very similar to Guinness 250 edition. It has slightly more mouthfeel and slightly less maltiness (due to it being a black lager to be sure). If you find it cheaper then Guinness at your market, then this is a definite buy. I'm comparing this to Guinness simply because it seems to emulate it so much: it has the same basic acidity and maltiness of the recent 250 variety (IE it has more flavor then the Guinness draught versions but it's not as heavy as the "foreign stout" versions). The main thing that I like about this beer over other Irish ales is it seems to have the same Brettanomyces strains of sourness that I like in Guinness. This is the first time I've had a McSorley's, and from what I've gleened, this is a relatively new contract from Lion brewery. Will be interesting to see if this keeps going: I think it's good for what it is: a lighter Guinness foriegn stout.

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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.

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