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: 366 | Ratings: 912
Photo of Sammy
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lovely little beer,lovely malting, easy drinking. A nice balance of chocolate and roast. Middling mouthfeel. Black colour with significant lace. Very good drinkability. Neutral at best aromas.Very fresh.I would love to have this regularly in the fridge.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: thin head on a murky mahogany brown body.

S: nose is decently full with mostly smokey and toasted malts.

T: flavor is simple with roasted malts and some molasses, licorice and chocolate notes and some mild bitterness.

M: medium to full body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: I don't like licorice so those notes I want to avoid. Its better than I was expecting but the body wasnt as full as I wanted.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-clear dark amber color with a 1 inch light beige head that fades to a thin cap. Thin broken rings of lace form along the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt and slight caramel. Taste is of toasted malt with a caramel/toffee aftertaste. Slight roasted bitterness quickly fades after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer from Full Sail but I don’t like it as much as the Session Lager. A good deal for the price for sure.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

interesting from a marketing standpoint, but i feel like im being cheated an ounce of beer here. smells bitter and roasty, like a cold cup of black coffee. flavor is malty and smooth, a touch of smoke, and just a hint of hops in there at the end. feel is nice, down really easy and still strong enough to warm you up on a chilly day. overall nothing special here, just as it says, a throw them back style session beer with a lot more to be excited about than a budlight or someother can of crap. not sure ill buy this again, but it serves it role.

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Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and poured with a finger high off white head that quickly dissipated into lacy patterns of bubbles in the center of the glass and a ring of bubbles around the collar. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are light aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: The overall taste is quite nutty and the flavors have notes of chocolate and roasted malts. No bitterness is detectable.
M: It feels light-bodied and slightly watery on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and the taste packs in a lot of flavor. I would definitely consider this to be sessionable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A tasty beer for any fan of darker lagers, Session Black has a simple and masculine flavor profile that's remarkably easy to drink.

Dark bark-brown in color, the beer forms a froathy yet dainty slightly tanned head that unfortunately didn't retain or lace well. Brilliant clarity does offer a mirror-like depth to showcase the dark brown color well.

Simple aromas of burnt caramel, heavy toast, and burnt plumbs give convey a moderate intensity with somewhat masculine proportions. The roasted grains come through well, but the depth of caramel is more than usual for Schwarzbiers.

Flavors are also very simple and carry a medium caramel sweet maltiness that's backed with roasted grains for a masculine taste of nutty coffees, walnut, toast, cocoa, and wood embers. Earthy hop flavor develops into a mild bitterness to accent the bitterness of roast while offsetting the malty sweetness.

Medium, but perhaps a bit more malty rich and creamy than the style suggests. The mid palate holds onto a sticky malt feel that never develops into the powdery dry finish that do classic examplex like Kostritzer.

While Session Black Lager is a nice but non-descript dark Euro-lager, there's a few minor characteristics that make it more of a Dunkel than a Schwarz.

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

11oz stubby (we Canucks love dat!), for only a buck-twennie, in agreeably friendly Idaho Falls.

This beer pours a clear dark brick hue, with one solid finger of thin foamy speckled pale beige head, which settles quickly, leaving a low wash of seafront lace around the glass. It smells of toasted biscuit malt, dry chocolate, coffee grounds, and earthy hops. The taste is pretty much in line with the nose - lightly roasted malt, a bit nutty, amongst the usual baker's chocolate and bitter coffee notes. Coming up short, however, are the very subtle weedy, earthy hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium weight, and free any obfuscations that would detract from its session smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the roasted malt very laid back in its 'dominance'.

Well, this is one well-named beer - lots of flavour, and goes down very easily, the extra few percentage points of booze only a consideration if you really take the concept to heart...

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Photo of brentk56
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy mahogany with a one finger head that leaves a strand or two of lace as it fades

Smell: Roasty, with a bitter nut-skin aspect

Taste: Toasty, and verging on roasty, with a caramel and bitter nut-skin character that develops, mid-palate, and lingers after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A decent enough Schwarz but nowhere near the top of the heap

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Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. The head was short-lived and it left little to no lacing.

S - Great roasty aroma with toffee and chocolate notes, too. Some mild floral aromas.

T - It had a rich roasty malt flavor with chocolate and toffee. It had a nice bitter hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a tasty, easy drinking lager. Nicely done by Full Sail, again.

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Photo of nickfl
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured with one finger of light tan foam on top of a black body with amber highlights showing through. The head settles fairly quickly and leaves light lace.

S - A roasty, slightly charred aroma with some caramel in the background.

T - Sweet, brown malt flavors up front. Some burnt caramel in the middle with fruity malt notes. Finishes with light bitterness, a touch of smoky coffee and a hint of dark fruit.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - The aroma is surprisingly excellent but the flavor profile doesn't quite follow through on this. In addition to being a bit less complex than the nose, it has an unbalanced sweetness that hurts the overall drinkability.

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Photo of oberon
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
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 jlindros
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light fizzy head, over clear honey copper orange color.

Nose of typical lager aromas, light and crisp, bit of darker crystal and reddish malts, maybe munich, semi sweet caramel and syrupy.

Taste brings sweet toasty malts, darker crystal malts and some other reddish malts, fairly toasty, some caramel, a lager flavor too with crisp and light fruity lager yeast flavors, light grassy flavor, lighter and crisp, finishes fairly dry, light lingering caramel malts. As it goes a bit of a mineral flavor starts to come through.

Mouth is lighter bodied with decent carb.

Overall not bad, light and crisp, some nice toasty malts, definitely sessionable.

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Photo of chinchill
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
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 Kegatron
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz stubby bottle into a pint glass. Thanks go to Wackyfoot for this in a recent trade.

Pours a deep clear amber, with 1 1/2 fingers of light tan colored head. Retains with a thin yet still frothy look, leaving back some thickish foamy patches of lace. The aroma is smooth in the nose with light roasted chocolate malts that mix in with some citric hop character to give this a tangy smell in the back. A fresh floral feel gives this some brightness in the nose.

Roasted malts once again darken the taste up just enough, while still allowing the sweetness of the chocolate and citrus to really come out. A pleasant tingle of spicy bitterness runs throughout, giving this a light smack of dryness in the finish. The mouthfeel has a lighter-medium bodied feel to it, with an even mix of crispness and a more creamier presence as well. Very easy and quaffable. Earns it's session name well.

This was flavorful and easy drinking but I was maybe looking for a little more roastiness to the overall profile. Still darn tasty though.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains lager yeast, roasted malts, some coffee & chocolate and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready and a little creamy with flavors lager yeast and a hearty roasted malt character. There are some background flavors of coffee chocolate and a little fruit. The hops presence is mild but brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer worth drinking for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of mactrail
3.12/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber brown in the big chalice. A brief foam which subsides to nothing. The last pour seemed to perk up a little, however. Carbonation is average.

Modest caramel flavor is rather pleasant. There is even a hint of roast malt. A touch of butter, faintly nutty. Some bitter twiggy aftertaste. This is pretty basic swill.

Tastes just like the old school dark lagers you used to find at Shakey's and the other pizza joints. Actually, it's a lot like Pabst Bock from the 70s, though this does have a hint of hops. From the 12 oz stubby bought at Trader Joe's.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark brown to black in color with ruby hints. The beer has a half finger tall beige head that reduces to a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate lacing is observed.

S: Some caramel malt notes, some biscuit notes, and some light hints of hops.

T: Nice roasted malt flavor with some caramel notes and some light biscuity hints. There is a light pleasant bitterness in the finsih.

M: Light to medium bodied. Slightly crisp.

O: This is a very enjoyable beer and definitely an easy one to drink. I could easily go through a couple of these in an evening.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11 ounce stubby bottle - $5.00 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep, dark brown body with a sustained inch of light khaki-colored froth which deposits a minor smattering of lace on the descent.

Smell: The malty nose is made up mostly of a basic chocolate scent with lesser, lighter hints of roast and toast and a faint, underlying earthiness.

Taste: Quickly goes from toasty to roasty and then to a smooth, pleasant chocolaty taste. Modestly sweet. With a little warmth on it, it gradually adds some caramel to the mix. Light earthy hops with an expectantly light, brief bitterness, leaving the flavor to tip back towards those initial malty tastes. Finishes drying and malty.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Why, that's a pretty tasty beer, actually! If it's time to have a fine, flavorful beer with a reasonable amount of alcohol then Session Black is a good place to start.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bronzed brown with generous Sunkist highlights... that becomes russet when backlit with bright morning sunshine. The several finger head of frothy foam is the exact color of the inside of a Three Musketeers bar. Attractive lace helps the cause.

More dark maltiness would have been nice. I'm well aware that SBL isn't a porter or stout, but still. Fruity-herbal hops are actually the most noted aspect of the nose. Let's see how many of the original 22 IBUs are still around.

Session Black Lager is on the lighter end of the style spectrum... even for a schwarzbier. That's okay because the goal (if I'm reading the label correctly) was to create a session beer. In my opinion, one thing that session beers need to have is sweet-bitter balance. Mission accomplished.

Flavors include hints of cocoa, medium-dark fruit and bitter tea leaves. It's all a little too simple and lacking in boldness to earn the next highest flavor score, but it sure does go down easily. A little more pizzazz would have made for better beer.

The mouthfeel is light without being watery. That, plus carbonation that is on the gentle side, is exactly what it should be for... you guessed it... a session beer.

For some reason, Session Black Lager isn't quite as good as Session Lager. Call me crazy, but when a beer contains the darker malts, I want to taste them as well as see them. Under the cap: paper. So if you have rock, you have been pwned. Stubbies rule!

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Photo of russpowell
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I managed to find this in Tulsa only 4 days past its sell by date, pretty good for Oklahoma (sigh)

Pours a brown tinged chestnut with 2 fingers of mocha colored head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Brown bread, fruittyness & herbal hops

T: A touch of licorice, dark fruit & woody hops up front. Brown bread, figgyness & leafy hops are all there as this warms. Finishes fruitty, dry & with a bit of brown bread swetness/grainyness, almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation & great balance

Drinks really easy, will pick this one up again if I can get it fresh. Nice Schwartz bier

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

deep, dark brown color coming forward right away. Nice carbonation could be seen through the deep color that was in the glass. NIce head of two inches of off white that came up from the bottom and settled down nicely after a few moments.

The aroma was deep with peat and roasted malts. Almost a touch of rye floating in there as well. Decent caramel after it starts to warm coming through now. The flavor was even more of an adventue. Started with a nice mellow flavor of roasted malts that quickly melted over into a smokey, peat like taste. Very full profile here with a nice touch of spicy, pepper like rye in the finish that just pushed it over the edge. Light hops as it drew to a close were just enough to make me come back in for the next sip

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Photo of womencantsail
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a very dark brown color with a thin layer of off-white head, but minimal retention.

S: Roasted malts and coffee are immediately noticeable. While the more roasted qualities are dominant, there is a really nice dark chocolate note to it as well. It lacks the sharp acidity of a lot of schwarzbiers, which I find nice.

T: Much more chocolately that I was anticipating. Dark and slightly bitter chocolate with plenty of roasted malts and just a touch of coffee. Definitely some earthy hop notes are present as well.

M: Medium in body with a surprisingly creamy feel on the tongue.

O: I thought the regular Session Lager was pretty decent, but this really blows it out of the water. Solid beer.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 07/16/11 notes. Poured from an 11 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with two inches of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. No head retention or lacing left on the glass.

s - Smells of roasted malts, caramel malts, lightly toasted malts, and bready malts. Lots of malts, and pretty enjoyable.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, roasted malts, toasted and burnt malts, and bready malts.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty good beer; seemed a bit porter-like to me. Liked it better than the other Full Sail Session beer. Would have it again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

Pours a clear dark amber brown with a pale oatmeal head that leaves a good amount of lacing behind. The smell is lightly roasted malts, with light hints of chocolate, anise, and wheat. The taste brings back those roasted malts, starting off light and becoming increasingly roasted as the taste floods across the tongue. There's a healthy amount of wheatiness in their as well, not unlike a dunkelweizen with less yeastiness. A slight woddy/nutty quality is also present, but very subdued. The body is on the lighter side and very smooth, allowing this brew to live up to its name.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.43/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Woody welcomes Hood River, OR to PA with open arms! I am so excited that not only has Full Sail expanded to us, but they did not restrict themselves to Philly, as so many are wont to do.

My aggro pour created a cascading action that eventually settled into nearly three fingers of dense, deep-tan head that looked like the top of a root beer float. Its retention was such that I held it up to the light to check for color and clarity only to be flabbergasted by its ruby color and stunning clarity. Nose smelled of dark chocolate and freshly dug soil. Earthy as all get-out! That they could accomplish this in a lager is amazing. We make some great lagers here in PA, thanks to our German heritage, but this is great for a west coast concern. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full and I was getting flavors of dark chocolate, smoke, tobacco and earth in the mouth. Finish was semi-dry and very tasty with the smoky chocolaty flavor really lingering. I might try this out on my work colleague, Spike, who is not generally a fan of beer. I almost forgot to mention the lovely sticky lacing that remained in my glass. It may require a jackhammer to remove.

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Session Black Lager from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
3.67 out of 5 based on 912 ratings.
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