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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Ratings: 918 |  Reviews: 370
Photo of tlazaroff
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Well, it certainly is black, with very little light getting through leaving brown highlights. Crisp white head on this one.

S: I get a little roasted malt mixed with a slight scent of toffee. All is incredibly faint.

T: I taste nothing but roasted coffee, but its light and incredibly refreshing.

M: It is light on the palate, smooth, and low carbonation.

D: Quite quaffable.

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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 wingman14
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours black with brown highlights, a nice mocha head that fades quickly. The smell is of roasted malt, sweet notes, a hint of cocoa. The taste follows the smell, big malt backbone, the roasted flavor is the driving force here. It is not very sweet, a nice mix of flavors. The mouthfeel is light, which definitely makes this a heavy beer flavor with a light mouthfeel, allowing the drinker to have a few of these without feeling full. This is a summer dark beer because of these qualities, still good for sipping on a hot day. Overall enjoyable, nothing out of the ordinary but solid flavor, and a well done beer.

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

A-Pours cola brown with a thin, fizzy off white head. No lacing.

S-Whole wheat toast, caramel, lightly roasted malts.

T/M-Roasty, light/medium bodied mouthfeel with soft carmelized sugar sweetness and a lightly bitter finish. Simple, well balanced flavors that mesh well together. This is what a schwarzbier should be. Something more interesting than a light lager that is still refreshing and fairly light.

O-Great value. A good take on the style at a good price.

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Photo of katybee
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I like both the Sessions beers, light and dark. They must be doing something right!

This lager pours deep dark brown, with fair amount of tan head and lengthy retention. And surprisingly, the small stubby bottle fills the glass entirely! lol.

Little smell to speak of; nothing objectionable; on the malty side.

Tasted great. More hearty flavor than the light version, with hints of molasses bittersweetness and carmelization in the toasted maltiness. Just enough sweetness to make it sippable. A hint of spiceyness to add to the complexity.

Light to medium bodied; refreshing, yet sippable all evening long, with slightly distinctive flavor.

Almost as flavorful as a stout. Definitely would drink it again.

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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 RedHunter
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

O!Red's Brew Tube coming at you with Beer Review Numb-Bear two!

This time... Session Black Lager by Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub (Why so Looonng?). This is a 5.4% ABV schwarzbier. "Black Beer" in German, these have a stout-like appearance thanks to roasted malts, but tend to be lighter and more refreshing than it's roasted cousin. :)

Poured from/ 11 oz. Stubby Bottle (like RED STRIPE ;) /into/ Widmer Bros. Hefeweizen glass (Thanks Widmer for handing these out at ACBF 2011! WOOT!)

Bottom of Twist-Off bottle cap is a scissor hand (not Edward) and typed below, "SCISSORS." Oooohhh.... Now I gotta grab one more for Paper lol. Kudos to Full Sail :)

The First Sight through the light produces a see-through ruby brown. Head starts tall and creamy, but slowly disappears to thin ring around the side. No lace trailing down the glass.

The First Whiff gives off dark sweet fruitness, a little alcohol potency, some roasty malty coffee notes + very syrupy molasses. If my nostrils had thumbs, both would be up. One word summary = Delicious.

The First Sip, can't even begin to describe the deliciousness. However, the finish alcohol and thick maltyness deter the excellent first taste. The alcohol gives a dry burn and the brew runs out of steam. That said it makes you want to take another sip to enjoy the beginning again.

When the liquid remains inside you get a very creamy feeling. Kind of a toffee taste. Hops offer up an oily feeling to your gums, but the malt dominates throughout.

I was pleasantly surprised by Full Sail's Session Lager and hoped for a similar quality brew here too. Sessionable, only if you really dig scharwzbiers. It definitely represents the style, but I have not become a fan.

Despite my dislike, I will give Session Black Lager one more go in the future. I feel that because beer is a product of human engineering and since we are not perfect, sometimes things go wrong. Maybe something went downhill here and hopefully won't be as apparent next taste.

Until my next pour, O!Red says, Raise your Glass, I'd Tap That!

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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 TheDeuce
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Full Sail Session Black Lager… a bottle at Dark Horse bar in New York City

Appearance-I pour the bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass. Pitch black color with a not so strong head of fuzzy lace. Ok carbonation, looks almost syrupy in the glass.

Smell-coffee notes, alcohol and molasses mix, sharp spice and chocolate, a little hops and caramel round it out.

Taste/Mouthfeel-rich chocolate and deep coffee hits upfront, medium mouthfeel, much fuller taste than expected, expansive flavor profiles, sours as it goes down as the bready malt rises up to add a chewy texture on the bottom.

Overall-a lot more going on here than I expected, a nice Scharz, well made and easy to drink. Well worth a try.

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Photo of Brad007
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown color with a thin head into my glass. Pretty much the hallmark of this style. Really, what is the point of color as a review marker?

Sweet and unventful aroma. Perhaps a bit of clove on top of the standard aroma.

Sweet malt with in which caramel comes to mind for some reason. Simple.

Ditto on the mouthfeel. Nothing stands out here.

You know, I fully support the idea of breweries making low ABV, FLAVORFUL beer. I can't get behind this one though because it tastes too bland.

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Photo of Dunkelhund
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This has become a personal go-to beer when seeking quantity without sacrificing quality. I find it to be an enjoyably drinkable Beer without paying too much (or too little.)

Pours a deep, dark brown hue with a thin, soft off-white head. Session Black has a rather mild nose with faint hints at it's dark, malty character. Rolls across the tongue with a bubbly character and soft mouthfeel. The flavor is mildly balanced that does lean more towards the dark, roasted malt side of the scales. Not too heavy or filling, this lager asks too be repeated on a warm summer day (or on a cool or cold summer day as we sometimes get here in the Pac NW.)

It is not overwhelmingly exciting, but rather a well-made and delicious unassuming dark Beer.

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Photo of Hoagie1973
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Cool stubby bottle with retro label that reminds me of a 1950's gas station sign.
Pours more brown than black with almost no head; just a light froth. Dark but clear chestnut brown. Loses a few points right off for not being black as the name of the beer states.
Nice malty aroma and flavor. Slightly roasty. Fairly robust and flavorful. Just enough hops to balance, but very unobtrusive.
fullish body with just enough prickly carbonation.
A simple and uncomplex beer, but tasty and drinkable.

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Photo of Francepants06
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was poured in a pint glass by the bar, it has a medium size white head, it smelled of pure roasted coffee beans. it tasted of roasted coffee with a very light body, slight malt in the finish but very clean and short. This beer makes me want to open a second one. It was probably the most refreshing dark beers I have had, plus for the price point you can't get any better.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Looks like a cola. Dark brown with reddish hues, huge tan head that fades fast. Nice carbonation and soapy lace.

The smell is roasty, coffee notes, some nutty hints and sweet caramel. Very bready with chocolate notes and earthy hops lingers in the back.

Very interesting taste. It starts out with sweet chocolate, caramels and some toffee. Hints of vanilla melt away to a nice mild cold coffee. Carbonation comes in and the whole thing cuts off dry with a lingering of earthy hops.

Rather thin, but full of flavor which is so impressive for such a thin, low alcohol session beer. A little over carbonated. Thin, but not watery. Dry finish.

Overall, a very tasty and super easy to drink sessional beer.

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

Stubby 11 ounce bottle. Pours a dark brown with reddish hues in the direct light. Some good carbonation, but very little head.

The aroma is of chocolate oatmeal, caramel, roasted malts, coffee smoke, and molasses. Some light hoppy citrus notes linger in there as well.

Right off the bat there is a creamy chocolate character alongside a dark roasted coffee flavor. The beer continues with notes of caramel, molasses, brown sugar, slight hints of vanilla bean, and smoke. There is a bite to this, some bitterness in the back, as well...a good balance in the malt bill with some good hop characteristics.

Overall, this beer is quite good. Served cold, there is a lot going on in it. It is flavorful, refreshing, and delicious.

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Photo of Kooz
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had at a BBQ--didn't have much chance to take notes. Below is what I've got.

Poured form bottle into (yikes) plastic Solo cup.

Dark, some head. Not opaque, but almost.

Caramel and toast smell.

Tastes good; sour with a sweet aftertaste. Cola taste too.

Some fizziness in the mouthfeel that's not so good.

It is more than drinkable, but not for too long.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark brown that turns ruby red when held to the light. There was a 1/2 inch of foam that quickly faded leaving some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is roasted burnt malts, coffee like without the coffee, there is a hint of a smokiness as well.

T - slight roasted quality, with a bit of a sugary sweetness. Graininess throughout yet it seems very syrupy. Slight cola taste and feel.

M - good carbonation, medium bodied with a sort of cola feel.

D - very easy to drink but nothing outstanding making me want to go back for more

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Photo of colonelk
5/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I loved it. Great price and great taste. Dark beer with a delicious flavor. I highly recommend it. To be fair, I am a fan of dark beers already. I saw that this particular beer won a gold medal in 2010, so I tried it. I am a big fan now. Hopefully I can find 6 packs at Total Wine or elsewhere. So far, I've just been buying them in singles to try. Purchased at Total Wine in Sarasota, FL

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Taken from notes on 4.2.11

11oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Yep, blackish- slight dark brown with a slight dark tan head. The head goes quickly.

S - There is almost no smell here at all. Maybe some nut and cofee scents.

T - Bitter coffee, but faint.

D - Very smooth, and...sessionable.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11oz squatty brown bottle. Twist-off I think? Purchased at Knightly Spirits OBT, Orlando, FL.

Quick review: pours dark brown with soapy tan head. Nose is creamy and roasty like dark coffee with a splash of creamer. Palate is a bit wanky but it was on clearance for a buck (code 082110). Flavors are good though, some coffee notes and a little woodiness. Decent finish but clean. Would try again fresher for sure if I ever come across it.

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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.

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Photo of AngusOg
4.37/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this beer straight out of the bottle, which is how the bar i was at served it. However it was a stubby gernade bottle, so if it is going to be in a bottle, it might as well have some personality. This beer isn't extraordinary or over the top, but for what it is, a session beer it is really good. Malty, roasty, easy drinking and delicious. Knocked back 2 with no problem, could have drunk a couple more. Even my wife, who drinks Miller lite, liked it. I would definitely order this beer again in the right situation.

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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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Photo of vandemonian
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Full Sail Session Black Lager is a decent Schwarzbier. In the taste department, it has some good qualities and some bad ones too.

A: Very dark red colour and a 3 mm head that lasts due to the good carbonation. 4.5

S: Smells like slightly burned grain and maybe a hint of metal. 4

T: Grainy with a hint of roasted malt and musty coffee. The aftertaste is a little blergh. 4

M: Reasonably foamy 3.5

O: I enjoyed this beer.

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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.

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Session Black Lager from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
3.67 out of 5 based on 918 ratings.
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