Session Black Lager | Full Sail Brewing Company

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Session Black LagerSession Black Lager
923 Ratings
Session Black LagerSession Black Lager

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: German Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV 5.4% IBU 18

Added by msubulldog25 on 06-27-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 923 |  Reviews: 372
Reviews by StoneBrewFanatic:
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown into my pint glass with about a finger and a half of head, dissipates pretty quickly leaving a nice little ring and minimal lacing.

S - Roasted malts, with a but of cocoa, hops, and maybe some molasses.

T - Mostly I am getting roasted malts, along with a bit of sweetness and some hops. There may also be hints of dark fruit and molasses in there.

M - A little too much carbonation, makes it appear lighter than it is.

D - Very drinkable, I definitely see why it's labeled as a Session beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mintzmeet
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This beer is alright. Out of the bottle, looks kind of weak. No head, thin color. But good malty-like molasses flavor. Almost no smell. Thin mouthfeel but feels "wet"...refreshing!

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Photo of Reidrover
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown coloured beer, small tan head, that dissapears fast yet leaves good lace behind. Roasty,toast like aromas..some toffeeish aspects. Flavour is the same as the nose toasty maltiness, some slight hints of coffee and a touch of hop. Nice mouthfeel to this, silky with an abrubt dry finish. Good drinkable cheap beer what more can one ask for. Hope this sticks around as it would be ideal for Super Bowl and the likes

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Photo of Philousa
2.15/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Sits black with one finger white head. Bubbles are visibly large, both on top and floating to the surface from below. Caramel & roasted malt aroma. I get some yeast and bready characteristics too. Taste starts with roasted malt, caramel, burnt toast, and fades to metallic, thin taste that stays on the tongue. There is some american ale yeast in there too. This beer feels very thin and watery with a wet finish.

Three words: thin and metallic. A beer should never taste metallic, imo. To be blunt, this tastes like the first beer I brewed, when I didn't know what I was doing. I kinda feel the same way about it too: it's not bad, because it's beer, but it could be so much better. Add a little hops and switch up the yeast (or baby it a little to make sure it does its magic properly next time) and you will have a good beer. I'm still going to try their lager, but with much lower expectations than I had going into this one.

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Photo of oberon
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my schwarzbier glass a deep chocolate brown with a fluffy but quick to fade off white head,some light chocolate and mineral notes in the nose but both are pretty light.Chocolate malt flavors with a bit of licorice,and iron.Subtle flavors lends to easy drinkablility,this would be a good tailgating beer or all day sessionable lager.

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Photo of Herze
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Beaver13
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11 oz bottle. Pours a medium brown with a medium frothy off white head that goes to a film that laces the glass.

The aroma is chocolate and roasted grainy malts with a little coffee. Some fruits come out as it warms.

The flavor is lactic chocolate and roasted malts with some coffee. The mouthfeel is fairly full and creamy.

Overall, a nice surprise. This is a very tasty schwarzbier. The first sips are really good, but as it warms I like it a bit less.

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Photo of megamass
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Billolick
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

stubby 11 ounce bottle, available at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. This one pours clearvery dark almond amber, under a slight and fairly quick to depart dark tan head, leaves just barely better then minimal bits of lace. Dark chocolate in the nose. More chocolate malts, dry dark tea notes. In general a fairly bland and unexciting dark lager.

Not really my thing, decent enough, but not likely I'd go for this one again real soon.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark reddish-brown color with an off-white head. The aroma has some roasted malt, as well as some cocoa and a hint of dark fruit. The aroma is fairly sweet overall. The flavor is has some roasted malt and chocolate, as well as a hint of smoke. There is also a little bit of hop bitterness, but not any real hop flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of FMetzger
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Great clarity. Dark brown with a slightly tan head. Brown highlights in the head.

S: Rich malt with slight hoppiness. I love this beer. As it warms the aroma is that of wort after the first hop addition. It is truly fantastic. This beer accurately captures the delicious cereal malty graininess I crave without going overboard and killing me with alcohol.

T: Caramel maltiness, rich flavors of grain. This is a great example of a Schwarzbier/Dark Lager/Euro Dark Lager, or whatever the hell you want to label it.

M: Not much to mention, except that it is smooth and the carbonation is perfect (at least in the bottle I had). Not thick, which is not surprising given the fact that it is a lager, but IS surprising given the rich grain taste.

D: As the name implies, this is a Session-able beer. Only 5.4% abv, so more than one is not going to be a problem, and I am truly astounded by the flavor.

This beer is cheap ($8.99 for a 12pack), and I am very fond of it. The temperature hit 110F today, so I am sure I will be enjoying this beer for a while during the hot summer months. Hats off to Full Sail for this one. Really a pleasant surprise.

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Photo of JC333
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of DubleAs
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of BrianParsons
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of wattoclone
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of maltmelon
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's probably the style more than anything, but this one's not doing much for me. Some toastiness with the thin mouthfeel of a lager is not a good combination, at least where I'm concerned. Have to admit there's nothing else to complain about though. But nothing to compliment either.

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Photo of Karyyk
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I’m always on the lookout for a new beer that might do the trick. I wasn’t familiar with the Full Sail Brewing Company, nor Session Lagers, but looking for something new to try and at $11.99 for a twelve pack (11oz. stubby bottles; 5.4% ABV), I came home with the Session Black Lager.

If pours a very dark brown color, though not quite as opaque as I was expecting from a black beer. On closer examination, there’s also a deep ruby color in the mix (holding it up to a light confirmed this). There was little head to speak of when poured, although if left a nice lacing on the glass as I drank it. The aroma isn’t overpowering, but what does come across are the roasted malts.

As far as drinkability goes, Session Black Lager is up there. It’s much more thin than you’ll be anticipating and it goes down smooth. The roasted malts are quite noticeable at the front end, with hints of chocolate, but they ultimately give way to a much more ordinary, lager-like finish with just a touch of hop at the end (something that Full Sail apparently plays up). I had expected it to be sweeter than it was, and while there’s still some sweetness there, the finish is smooth, lightly-carbonated and surprisingly clean.

I can definitely see myself enjoying these on a regular basis. That would almost seem to be what Session is going for. It’s different, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. Full Sail claims that Session will appeal to all beer drinkers, whether they be the craft beer-types, import drinkers or those looking for something to drink while they mow the lawn. I don’t know how well those claims will really hold up (there are some fairly rigid personalities in those demographics), but I can see someone who just likes good beer making Session one of their regular brews.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11oz twist off medecine bottle at fridge temp poured into a standard pint glass. best before 02 2011.

pours out a dark brown with lots of red in the light. a small off white head that quickly faded to a retentive thin ring. no lace to speak of.

in the aroma there is lots of caramel, toasted grains, and a bit of dark fruits. some lightly roasted malts come in a bit as it warms.

the taste follows suit with lots of rich caramel, toasted grains, and dark fruits with hints of a bit of tart acidity. tastes and feels like a lager. in the finish there is a bit of earthy hops with just a touch of bitterness.

light feel, carbonation is a bit prickly, but just the right amount.

this is a very simple beer with drinkability at the forefront and i think this is exactly what there going for. nothing great to write home about, but i would drink it again, and i would recommend it for $1.50 a bottle.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Full Session Black Lager 5.4% abv 
Appears a beautiful black beer with ruby cola highlights, dark tan head light whimsical lacing left behind it's everything I want in a beer so far. The nose is earthy hops with a kiss of roasted far caramel notes. The flavor is just as expressive with dark malts and pure sexiness than any other dark lager on the market these brewers nailed the essence of a session beer! Light bodied on the palate but balanced to perfection never feeling watered down this is beer everyone can and will embrace.

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Photo of chinchill
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

11oz. bottle served in standard pint glass. Revisited in July 2016.

A - dark orange-brown body. Clear. 1/4" tan head quickly dissipates.

S - subtle

T- little dark malt flavor. Summer schwarzbier? Quite tasty for a lager, with a nice hint of hops.

M - light. Good carbonation level. Exceptional soft and smooth but lively mouthfeel.

Has neither flaws nor any particularly attractive or special qualities. Still, easy recommended as an economical session beer.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of glid02
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Shop in Thomasville, GA.

Pours one shade from black with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of dark malts with hints of dark roast. Also present are slight amounts of earthy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth dark malt flavors that are more robust than the aroma intimated kick things off. Shortly thereafter the flavor profile dries out a bit with the addition of lightly roasted malt flavors. Very slight hints of leafy hop flavors come into play near the end of the sip before receding into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's got a nice thickness however the carbonation is a bit on the heavy side.

Drinkability is good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I found this to be exactly as advertised, a dark beer that's easily sessionable. Worth a shot.

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Photo of DarrellK
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev +8.7%

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Session Black Lager from Full Sail Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 923 ratings