Session Black Lager | Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

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Session Black LagerSession Black Lager

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Oregon, United States

Style: 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

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Reviews: 365 | Ratings: 911
Photo of JodyBeeress
1.44/5  rDev -60.8%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.25

I am a LOVER of dark beer. When I saw "Full-on Blackalishiousness" on the top of the box, I thought I had a real winner!!! This is not dark beer:( It's just light beer in a dark bottle. Why not put it in a goblet an call it wine? It's better than Old Milwaukee and Natural Light.
UPDATE: My wife likes this beer. She likes thinner tasting beers, however.

 355 characters

Photo of Philousa
2.15/5  rDev -41.4%
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.

 930 characters

Photo of SamN
2.19/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Stubby bottle into a dimpled stein.

A- Ahhhh, schwarzbier! Black from far away, a dead-leaf colored brown up close or to light. Not much of a head, some gritty desert tan billows that fade to spotted wisping. Looks nice in the glass, could use better color.

S- Decent metallic coffee notes. Lite porter aromas, earthiness. Flat, far away and somewhat tinny odors.

T-Ergh, not what I expected. Hollow tastes, no depth whatsoever. Starts watery, moves to faint watered-down gas station coffee tastes, ends on a dead stop of sour bitterness. Damn, I am seriously underwhelmed with this beer. This tastes pretty bad.

M- Super thin and watery, a few notches above Miller in mouthfeel. Needs more carbonation, for sure.

Mostly, this is a boring beer. And when it's not boring you with it's looks or smells, it's actively grossing your out with it's poor tastes. A bad example of a great style.

What a disappointment. I bought a twelve pack of this stuff, too.

 959 characters

Photo of corby112
2.26/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a dark amber/chestnut brown color with golden mahogany edges when held to a light and a 1.5 finger frothy white head that quickly fades into a thin lasting ring. Minimal spots of lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy, roasted malt aroma with hints of floral hops, toast, smoke and cocoa. There's also a subtle grassy straw character that compliments the piny hops.

Medium bodied with a decent balance of earthy bitter hops and roasted chocolate malt. Hop forward with dry pine flavor that provides some bitterness that lingers throughout into a dry finish. Slightly smokey with hints of cocoa, hazelnut and coffee bean. There's also an odd chalky character which is off-putting and hurts the overall flavor and drinkability.

This beer has a good balance of hops and malt but it just doesn't taste very good and I had a hard time getting through the 11 ounces.

 868 characters

Photo of bobhits
2.63/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Black lager is black, pours a huge head but it fades and it isn't leaving much lacing.

The aromas are of a dark lager, dark rich caramel without the bitter coffee like elements often seen. Good solid nose.

Opens sweet with a hint of coco and caramel. The beer then goes quickly to the bready and almost sour elements from I assume lager yeast. It is tasting like a dark version of some of the fizzy yellow beers we all know and "love" so much.

Very light and good carbonation. There is nothing thick or "full" about this one.

OK 5.4% is NOT a session beer. It doesn't meet the BA rules which are already very "American" in their 1% bump on the english rules. Ding would not approve. This beer also is fairly heavy for what it is trying to be, yet it lacks the extra sweetness feel that are needed to really make a dark lager work. See Sam Adams Black Lager for an example of how to do this style right.

 908 characters

Photo of negroobserver
2.64/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Stubby 11oz twist-off bottle

COLOR: Dark brown color remeniscent of coffee. Pours with a nice 1/2 inch cream color head, which leaves behind light lacing.

SMELL: Malts. No presence of hops or any other spices or flavors. Light scent of coffee/cocoa.

TASTE: No taste of hops. Notes of roasted coffee/chocolate. Mostly, it tastes like watered down malts. Not very impressed with this beer.

MOUTHFEEL: Light carbonation. Smooth texture. The beer has a well balanced medium body.

DRINKABILITY: I don't like malty beers, so this is not very drinkable for me. For those who like malty beers, they will find that it's very enjoyable. It's not for me.


 669 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
2.64/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11oz bottle served in a pilsner glass.

L - dark brown with a beige head that left a few trails of lacing.

S - not too much of a Schwarzbier aroma it smells more like a lager.

T - some roasted malt upfront but it finishes like a lager.

F - light/medium body.

D - meh

Note: I would have upped some of the ratings if this were listed as a "American Lager".

 359 characters

Photo of wisrarebeer
2.65/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: darker brown color, clear, poured with a thin head that dissipated
S: mild, slight toffeeish quality,
T: light roasted/toffeish malt taste, thin, bordering on mild cloying taste
M: thinner body, nothing offensive or off-taste but just light in body

 251 characters

Photo of Gmann
2.68/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear chestnut brown color with a small tight bubbled head that settles into a sparse cap.

The aroma is a tad grainy with subtle hints of roasted malt, light char and a buttery caramel.

The taste is also quite grainy which leads to a bit of an astringent feel. Almost has an adjunct type flavor to it. There is some light roasted malt flavor but it is quite subtle. Not much going on.

The feel is light and the carbontion is spritzy so it initially drinks easy. But the beer is quite astrigent as it sucks the life out of your mouth. There is also a bit of an odd bitter aftertaste.

A real 'meh' schwarzbier as there isn't nearly enough roasted flavor and it tastes more corny and grainy then anything else.

 719 characters

Photo of stevoj
2.73/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

This far too much like a cereal lager, and not enough of the roast grain bitterness which the style should have. Sweet grains dominate the aroma and taste, almost no bitterness or bite at all. Disappointed...

 208 characters

Photo of JohnG190
2.76/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Not really black, it pours a clear, deep mahogany with thin off-white head and little to no lacing. Aroma of roasted malt. Coffee and faint dark chocolate notes dominate the palate. Light bodied with light carbonation. Overall, a drinkable beer that has light attributes for a dark beer.

 287 characters

Photo of typee1
2.86/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bitterness and carbonation predominate on first taste. A good dark lager, but one that is missing the fine toasted notes I'd hope for in a schwarzbier. Relatively light and easily drinkable, but not yummy. A bit lacking in depth of flavor.

The bottle and label are beautiful. Love the stunted bottleshape.

 306 characters

Photo of Patrick999
2.87/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cutesy bottle. Gave it a furious pour into a large pint glass. Very good head and retention. Kind weak cola-like color.

Aroma of sugar cookie, caramel and soap.

Taste is very generic, with a dull-roast aftertaste and a hint of sweetness that I find bothersome. It's not a big hint, but I'm not really feeling it.

There are better beers around if you want your schwarzbier fix.

Not undrinkable garbage, but very plain.

 425 characters

Photo of jpmclaug
2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Bottle into a pint glass

Dark brown with a small white head. Smells lightly of some toasted malts and caramel. Not much in the aroma though. The taste follows the aroma, once again not too much flavor but some toasted malt flavor. light bodied with a high amount of carbonation. Goes down real easy but it isn't something I really would care to drink a lot of. Worth trying but not really for me.

 397 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from jersey into a glass. The regular session lager was decent so hopefully this is too.

Session black goes into the glass a few shades shy of shiny black. Up to light, some browns towards edges. Tan/white cap with bubbles, semi stick. Smell is somewhat english malt, dark bread, hops are dead at this point, peat. Taste is off the beaten path with the above additions. I really can't explain it. Feel is less than medium, with a light fizz and a low drinkability. Next.

 478 characters

Photo of maltmelon
3/5  rDev -18.3%
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.

 284 characters

Photo of Bung
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11 oz.? Really, you had to go with 11 oz.? Lighter black pour, much brown around. Just a ring of whitish bubbles.

Toasted malt, molasses, tea some chocolate.

Taste is a mild sweet malt and chocolate. That standard lager-y taste that I don't quite know the technical reason for this. It is pleasant, if not unspectacular.

For the lightness and thinness I would like to see the abv for this around 4, not 5.4 to make it a REAL session brew, like it tastes.

Overall its pretty average, but it is fairly true to its name.

 521 characters

Photo of tronester
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with red highlights. Not even close to black. Thin tan head. Very unusual sour smell. Taste is a hint of sulfur up front, along with a hint of wierd sourness. Middle is light coffee flavors. Juicy fruity finish with a hint of earthy hops. Mouthfeel is bland and watery. Low carbonation. Not all that drinkable, many real session beers (less than 4% abv) are richer and have more flavor. I guess compared to a dipa this is sessionable, but it really isn't that good of a beer. It's only a couple of months old too so it hasn't gone bad; I am pretty dissapointed with this one.

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Photo of ptykozoon
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark dirty brown. No head or lacing.

Coffee, brown sugar, light vanilla.

Light coffee, tobacco, cinnamon.

Watery mouthfeel, very subtle simple flavors. Light carbonation, light mouthfeel.

Agreeable taste but not the most complex or satisfying beer in the world.

 267 characters

Photo of Beer-Revelry
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Quite a dark lager, almost gives itself stout qualities in taste, but it's lager qualities keep it sessionable, a great lager, and would probably be a good transition beer for someone wanting to get into stouts as well.

 219 characters

Photo of Minkybut
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this average beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was a dark mahogany color nd poured a tan head. The head however went away very quickly and did not return. Ha Ha.
The beer had a sweet smell. The beer was a little bitter but not too bad but just did not taste black. Just nothing great here. I will not buy again.

 332 characters

Photo of hopfacebrew
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle of this in the pick-your-sixer section at Lukas.

A - Poured the undated brown bottle to a pilsner glass. The beer pours a dark brown though not quite black. Extremely little head and no lacing. Very average.

S - Not a lot of aroma. Slightly sweet malt character. Not much to report.

T/M - Better than the aroma. The beer starts a bit sweet due to the malty character. Mild hop character and bitterness. I find the beer to be extremely thin and watery. The back end of the flavor is a bit metallic. Very average. Thinly carbonated.

O - Average.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 03-26-2011 01:36:36

 759 characters

Photo of gdrydenc
3.01/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark, dark brown, almost black. No head to speak of.

S - Slightly malty, but nothing to write home about. Not a ton of hop character, but there's maybe a hint of it in the nose.

T - Much like the smell, but a bit sweeter. Now, I understand that this is meant to be a session beer, but this is really lacking. I can see myself sessioning this, but I wouldn't seek it out.

M - Good carbonation, fairly large amount of bubbles. Finishes very clean on the palate.

Overall, this is an alright beer. I don't see myself buying this again, but if someone rolled in with it, I wouldn't refuse it.

 603 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear brown color with amber hues. I guess Full Sail doesn't think I know what black looks like. The head is a quarter inch in height, and recedes within twenty seconds into almost no lacing. This is not a very impressive looking beer. The aroma is of caramel, burnt chocolate, and malt. It is a moderately strong aroma, but is rather simple. The taste is like the aroma, but weaker. Even with its simplicity it would be nice if there were a little more pizazz to it. The mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Again not very impressive. Overall, this beer is quite disappointing. I expect a lot more from a Schwarzbier.

 659 characters

Photo of TheBrewo
3.07/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

We pour a brew that looks an awful lot like cola. It holds a tannish one finger head, and has the same medium brown-maroon flecks when light passes through it. Little lacing is left as the head recedes, at a medium pace. No sediment or haze is noted, and carbonation looks active, with lots of tiny bubbles clinging around the bottom of the glass. The aroma is full of malts, which are dark and toasty. They could be caramel, or something a bit deeper. There are hints of white sugar, adding sweetness, flashes of tin, and other adjuncty grain. As we sip grain splashes up front. There is a sweetness of cream and black molasses, and a toasty character. The middle sees milder malts, that here seem more adjuncty, and indiscernibly grainy. We finish on a yeasty note, with more metal poking up, and a sugary sweetness for the balance. The aftertaste breathes of dark grain, and the slightest hint of hop extract, for further balance. The body is medium and the carbonation is a touch above average. The mouth is left a bit dry along the top of the palate, but otherwise wet and unoffended. There is little creaminess to help the drinker along. The abv is within range, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the aroma. While there were slight hints at adjuncts, and filler grain, it smelled very much as a Schwarzbier should. It had nice deep malts, with a toasting, and a mild sweetness to carry through with the balance. Where we lost points was in the lack of flavor. The malts were there, but we would have like to see something a little stronger.

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Session Black Lager from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
3.67 out of 5 based on 911 ratings.
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