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: 363 | Ratings: 909
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up a few weeks back at the Buy-Rite in Jersey City, having never tried this before. Even though I tend to drink a type of beer such as this in the Winter, I wanted to give it a go and see if ti was a session brew or not. Although I only bought one bottle, this went down just as easily as the Session Lager without feeling weak or watered-down. Without being terribly complex or heavy, there was a lot to like about this beer and it was quite true to stylistic form as well.

As expected, the pour to this was dark, with not a lot of head or lacing to be seen. The aroma was that of oatmeal, cereal, and some burnt maltiness, which was all repeated in the taste. This had a slightly thin and not terribly carbonated taste to it, while feeling roasted and somewhat burnt. There was a hint of caramel stickiness to it as well, without the actual taste of caramel being present. It almost felt like a Root Beer or Birth Beer soda that had been left out a bit too long, and slightly fermented.

The alcohol was good in this and had I bought more, I could have downed a few more in one sitting. Even though it's muggy as anything outside, I enjoyed this beer and thought that it fit the description of what a good Schwarzbier should be. Not as roasted as a Porter, full as a Stout, or roasted and sticky as a Scotch Ale, this has a nice niche of its own and is one of the few dark beers that could be enjoyed year-round. Certainly worthy of the "Session" on the side of the bottle!

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.51/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a pill bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a ruby-brown coloring with a thin ring of film on the surface. Aromas of sweet nut and hints of smoke, with a grainy backbone and charcoal notes. Flavors of smoke and rich, robust toffee and nut. Very balanced, but light. Thin, smooth body with a crisp, clean finish. Smokey sweet aftertaste, with no real linger. Very easy to drink.

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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 BethanyB
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A medium-dark molasses brown with vivid clarity and a massive, fluffy, bubbly, light tan head that, despite its size, is light and leaves very little lacing.

Smell: Dark roasted malt and carob aroma manages to also be soft and round. Quite pleasant.

Taste: Just enough roastiness to bring a kick to an otherwise clean lager. Faint noble hops bring some extra poise to the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light mouthfeel with a watery character that unfortunately distracts from some of the beer's stronger suits. Carbonation is moderate. Could be higher for a less slippery and more refreshing impression.

Overall: A nice, sessionable, yet flavorful Schwarzbier, and a fairly good example of the style. The watery quality does detract from the beer, however.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
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 horshack7
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Poured from a short stubby bottle is a very dark colored beer with a one inch head.

Aroma: Roasty, dark fruits, smokiness, raisins. faint black licorice, plum.

Taste: Malt forward but with some smokiness to balance it out. Raisins, dark bread, licorice, a wisp of pear, plum.

Notes: It's good to see this style there are not too many of them and this one is very drinkable. Cheers.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saw this one at the supermarket today, cheep! What the hey, let's give it a try. I have liked other full sail beers in the past, so I didn't think there was much risk in trying this one on a blind sixer.

Pretty dark but not really black, more like a brown ale in color, clear, head was ok but short lived and there's not a lot of lacing.

Aroma and taste were nice, not spectacular but enjoyable. Roasty and caramel flavors are foremost, along with a little lager-y yeastiness and a decent bittering from the hops.

Body is fairly light but has some chewy-ness, carbonation is well balanced for the style.

Overall it's not going to make the front page of the NYT for setting the beer world ablaze, but it's certainly quite drinkable, and was well worth the price. A tasty beer doesn't have to set records or blaze new territory to be enjoyable.

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Photo of dbossman
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with a thin film of a head; okay lacing

S: Grainy, sweet chocolatey malts--a bit tart and musty; some anise and coffee in the finish as well

T: Chalky chocolatey malts up front with a touch of coffee and cola; musty, brainy, roasty, pretty tasty

F: Fairly medium body and creamy for a lager

O: A decent roasty, easy-to-drink black lager

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Photo of wac9
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

small bottle big taste best schwarzbier i have had in a while pours black in a glass of course its short dark and drinkable so enjoy smells cold and crisp taste smooth and nice a easy drinking beer sit back and enjoy this beer not a bad sip in the whole glass drink and enjoy and smile when you do it

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark chestnut color. The head billows with a creamy, two-finger pale yellow shade. Some lacing is left behind when the head recedes.

S: I notice a decent amount of dry chocolate, brown sugar, caramel, hazelnut, and lager yeast. Pretty damn solid for a basic dark lager.

T: I like the initial chocolate flavors here. Everything after that (the transition to more caramel and lager yeast flavors on the back end) isn't as interesting, unfortunately.

M: It finishes a bit too sweetly for me. However, it does feature good crispness and carbonation (i.e. not too overdone or limp). Decent drinkability.

O: A simple dark lager that gets the job done, but not in an interesting or flashy manner. Not bad, just simplistic to a fault.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11oz stubby bottle poured into a shaped pint glass.

Cola-color brown with red highlights. Has 1 finger of white head that dissipates quickly. Excellent clarity with low carbonation.

Cocoa, caramel, brown sugar and sweet bready malts.

Sweet bready malts and caramel candies. Touches of cocoa and brown sugar. Has a subtle chocolate presence with hints of roasted bitterness in the finish.

Medium bodied, creamy and smooth with just the right amount of carbonation.

A nice Schwarzbier worth checking out if you're a fan of the style.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Another easy drinking beer from Full Sail's session line but this particular one I find to be one
dementional. There is nothing wrong with this brew mind you just lacks depth.
Color is deep copper to brown with barely any head.
Aroma is reminiscent of a porter because the nose is mostly of roasted malts and barley.
Taste is desent but is mostly of roasted malts. Not picking up much else. It drinks smooth and soft and quite refreshing.
Though it might lack in flavor and depth it is a good beer and I could drink it all day.

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Photo of tone77
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 11 oz. bottle.Yes, 11 oz. Has a cola color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some smokiness. Taste is roasted malts, smoke, a bit of hops, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall this is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The latest find at my local six pack shop in the mix and match for 11 dollar section. Pretty cool looking stubby bottle too.

A - Well after pouring I get the lightest colored Schwarzbier I ever seen. Don't get me wrong it's still a very dark clear brown but I guess since its a session ale its forgivable. Head is minimal with just a 1/4 inch that fizzes out rather quickly. Sticky lacing saves the day.
S + T - I grouped them together because literally the beer had no smell. If I were to reach maybe some cocoa and a touch of roast but mostly just a mild fruity yeast. The taste is much better as I get smooth roasted malts, a touch of chocolate like malt, and a bit of hops in the finish.
M - This is all done very light. I find it though pretty adequate even though I not often reach for a session ale.

Overall a fairly well done Schwarzbier "light" worth a single purchase but I would still reach for better crafted takes on the style with the same ABV and more flavor. German made ones to be more specific.

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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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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - deep dark but clear brown, head was only a thin cover that dissipated to some random islands
S - prominent grainy with just a hint of molasses, full earthiness
T - leafy and earthy hops are balanced with roasty and light toffee and cola malts, somewhat spicy and grainy through the finish
M - light and well carbonated, generally refreshing with mild hop bitter finish
O - the look and aroma were marginal but the flavour and drinkability tke this brew home, a nice example of a style that I don't see very often, alway nice to find a dark flavourful brew that is light in body

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Photo of spoony
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From an 11 oz grenade (best by February 8, 2013) into a globe glass.

A-The brew is very dark brown and nearly opaque. A thin, grayish-brown head drops quickly to a patchy ring.

S-The smell is heavy on the malts with lots of cocoa/milky chocolate flavors and roasty sweetness. There is just a touch of hop twang. The smell tends towards sweetness.

T-The taste follows the smell closely. There is a little bit of toffee caramel as the brew warms, but the dominant flavor is sweet, milky cocoa. A touch of bitterness might be welcome here.

M-The feel is mild, smooth, and medium-bodied. Carbonation is low.

O-This beer is a pleasant surprise for me. In particular, the mouthfeel is a nice match for the flavors. It is a touch sweet and not terribly complex, and if I were really a stickler for judging on style, my rating would drop a bit, but for being a month past due, I find it reasonably tasty and drinkable.

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3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours almost like cola - Dark brown/black with a quickly dissipating head

S: Malt, hint of smoke, detectable chocolate and coffee

T: Smokey malt, molasses kind of taste

M: Goes down very easily, as it's not sweet and not bitter, but chooses to kind of ride the line.

Can only be consumed in pairs, as the cap has Rock, Paper, or Scissors printed underneath ;)

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chocolate cherry with off-white film.
Roasty chocolate and dried cran nose with a touch of rye.
Burnt bread crust and roasty sweetness over a biscuity base, then spicy noble hops.
Fudge comeback and a bit of tingle on the linger.
Light, crisp, fizzy.

Knowing Full Sail, this does what they meant it to do. Not approaching a German Schwarz for depth or roastiness, but so drinkable. "Session", indeed.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: poured from a 11 oz stubby into a pint glass, poured a deep brown almost black with a short tan head that dissipates quickly leaving little lacing, clear

S: sweet malt, caramel, chocolate, smoke, coffee

T: sweet and smoky flavored, heavy dark malt flavor, lacks depth

M: light to medium bodied with a sweeter aftertaste, light carbonation

O: lightly flavored and smooth for the style, clean finish

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Photo of Infamous7100
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours deep brown to black as expected. Very thin head with little to no lacing.
S: all kinds of malt, roasted barley, smoke and hints of coffee and chocolate.
T:follows the nose pretty well. Though the maltiness wins out. Burnt notes and a tad bitter at the end.
M: odd. Started out with a nice creamy body. Ended a tad watery. Coats the tongue nicely and finishes with a roasty and long hang.
O: a decent Schwatzbier. Would have liked a tad more earthy flavors and char. Seems just a tad sweet.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from an 11 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a black color (no shock) but with very little head, leaves a tiny bit of lacing. Smells of dark roasted malt, a little chocolate, not much else. Tastes of dark malt, not much else, but quite watery. Beer is slightly overcarbonated, but its light body makes it quite sessionable. Overall, a very slightly above average beer.

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Photo of bigdaddyd069
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from an 11oz chubby bottle into a snifter. Pours nice with a dirty white head that lasts about 2 minutes.

S - Smokey, roasted malt, toasty coffee.

T - Smoked roasted malt with toasted coffee and hint of coca

M - Feels very crisp, clean, and smooth. Not heavy but very well balanced.

O - Very drinkable. Could drink them all night long. Not sweet and not bitter

Food pairing - I try the beer with Spanish Olives, sharp cheddar, white Colby cheese, sweet chicken, teryiaki pork. All foods did not pair as well as I had expected.

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Photo of Seven
4.89/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brown Black.
Roasted Nuts, Chocolate, slight Hop smell.
Molasses, Chocolate, dark fruit.
Full bodied carbonation.
This is a premium dark Lager. Very simular to Black Butte Porter. My all time favorite in the dark variety is, the Abyss and the Dogfish, Paulo Santo Marron.I would consider this in a very simular field. If you are looking for a high quality Dark Lager this is a fantastic choice.

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Photo of rogerboy
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer comes in an 11oz stubby bottle similar to red stripe Jamaican lager ,just the bottle .it is a dark cola color lager ,the aroma is slightly sweet but not to much just right for my likeing ,chocolate nicely carbonated just makes it a very drinkable beautiful bodies beer ,my brother introduced the red session n i desided to try the session black easily one of my favorite beers gotta have a pack in my fridge typa beer I love it ! Thank you full sail brewing company :)

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Session Black Lager from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
3.67 out of 5 based on 909 ratings.
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