Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

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

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Session Black LagerSession Black Lager
918 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 918 |  Reviews: 370
Photo of loobear
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Creamy off-white two finger head with decent retention. Dark brown, verging on black body that very little light passes through. Plenty of lacing.

S - Faint coffee scent. Not catching much else.

T - Definite coffee taste. Reminds me of a stout but with a lighter body.

M - Quite a bit less creamy than a stout, but still very satisfying. Good carbonation and a full finish.

O - I typically avoid lagers but this beer is a definite exception. I enjoyed Session black and I'm sure I'll be enjoying it again soon!

 520 characters

Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Huge off white head with good retention. Dark ruby brown body.

Smell - Malty, coffee.

Taste - Malty. No off flavors. Slightly alcoholic finish. Very slight astringency in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth, but not particularly creamy. Good, interesting texture.

Overall Drinkability - Great balance. Good beer overall. Much better than the Xingu I had recently.

 384 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 4/11/11

Note: from a bottle so stubby that I'm inclined to call it "stumpy"

Appearance: Dark brown without much of a head - some tan/white lacing, but it seems like it could use more carbonation

Smell: Basically smells like a lager - there are some hints of roasted malts, but they are faint compared to some other schwarzbiers I've had - overall, very mellow but good

Taste: Like the smell, this is anything but intense - tastes like a roasted lager, as it should - a little burnt, roasty, and toasted - mostly it tastes like a lager with some chocolate malts - simple but undeniably good - just a little earthy

Mouthfeel: Thin, but incredibly smooth considering how thin it is

Overall: It's a mellow schwarzbier that doesn't focus on being a schwarzbier - not intense, super drinkable

This is easily the most mellow shcwarzbier I've ever encountered. And honestly, I think this is a good thing. I could easily drink a lot of these, which fits the "session" concept. I really need to try the Session Lager.

 1,024 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

 821 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
3.36/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11 oz stubby bottle. no date.

appears a dark chocolate brown color with ruby highlights. thin white head. not much aroma, just a bit of roasted malt.

taste is slightly sweet. some roasted flavor, but not as strong as say a typical porter though. thinner body, medium carbonation.

overall - an easy drinking and mildly flavored beer.

 338 characters

Photo of leannlovr
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I liked this beer. It reminds me of the German blacks like Köstriker et al but with less mouthfeel and a bit more macro in flavor. I prefer it to the red labelled lager. I would like to try it as a draft but I don't think they have it. At least not in NYC. Overall a good pounding beer!

 287 characters

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

Picked up a 12-pack at CBX not too long ago. Down to the last few, so I might as well rate the stuff...

A: Poured from a stubby, 11oz bottle (I'm giving this beer an extra 0.5 points here, because of the retro-unique bottle) into an English pint glass... Nice, dark brown body with a light tapioca, one-finger head that recedes pretty quickly - a few specks of lace here and there.

S: Roasted grains; toast; caramel; and touch of coffee and some chocolate, too.

T: Caramel malt sweetness, with some nice roasted notes; again, just a touch of coffee and perhaps some dark chocolate; earthy hops are light and smidge minty.

M: Wow... not too shabby for a "Session" beer. Medium-bodied and a touch creamy; moderate carbonation. Pretty good.

D/O: A great beer here, although not a true "Session" ale if you want to get technical per the traditional definition... that being said, it is highly "Session-able!" - really good stuff, and so far my favorite Full Sail beer. I really enjoy knocking back a few of these at cook outs, tailgate parties, etc.

 1,050 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

 709 characters

Photo of chefelf
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I did not like the Session Black Lager as much as the regular Session Lager. That is still pretty good because I wasn't expecting to like the Session Lager at all.

I'm not exactly sure what it was that made me not like it as much but it just didn't have that same smoothness as the regular lager in my opinion.

However, it is packaged in an adorable little bottle so how can you not like it?

 393 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

 658 characters

Photo of Bung
3/5  rDev -18.5%
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 Patrick999
2.87/5  rDev -22%
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 gdrydenc
3.01/5  rDev -18.2%
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 BeerBuckeye
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark cola brown with a good, two finger head that dissipates quickly, light steady carbonation rising from the bottom

S - While not remarkable, a good amount of roasty malt on the front that fades into some sweetness

T - Good amount of roasted malt, not full, but present, which fades into a hint of chocolate. Again, not remarkable, but pleasant, certainly good for a session beer.

M - Full amount of carbonation in this beer, a good amount of crispness with a pleasant aftertaste. Very drinkable.

Overal - It's everything you might want in a session beer. Nothing outstanding, really, but one that you have no problem just sitting there enjoying. I think this would be great in the summer if you're sitting around a campfire, or just knocking back a few with friends.

 785 characters

Photo of alleykatking
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from stubby bottle.

A- Pours a darker brown color with red hues when held to the light. Half finger tan head shows low retention. Spotty lacing left on the glass when I was drinking.

S- Light smoke and roasted malt in the front of the aroma. Hints of toasted grain in the middle. Backend has a light chocolate malt to it with faded grassy hops. Alcohol is light and doesn't come out very much in the nose.

T- Light toasted grains with a little heaver roasted malt in the front of the beer. Hints of smoked grain in the middle. Light grassy hops and a even lighter chocolate hint mixes with sweet alcohol.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is light for the style. A little watery at times on the palate. Roasted malts with light grassy hops left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly sweet alcohol, roasted malts, and grassy hops. Flavor while a little muted was put together nicely. No real off flavor at all just a little muted to make it seem a little off at times. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer was a fantastic little find. The flavors were not over the top which helps to the overall drinkability. Lighter ABV also means it can be could drunk in a little larger amounts. A nice easy drinker from Full Sail.

 1,241 characters

Photo of Drew966
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Session Black Lager pours an almost black color that shows red highlights with a tan head from a twelve ounce stubby bottle. The aroma has a touch of hops and a bit of a roasty malt smell. The flavor is nice, malty, a hint of chocolate, a bit of roast flavor is the most noticeable. Easy drinking, a nice session beer.

 318 characters

Photo of jera1350
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Transparent amberish brown. The head is a taupe color and pretty thin, but does last a while and contribute a little lace.

Grainy smelling with a little bit of a roasty scent.

Clean, lightly toasted malty grains. A little bit of a hop presence. Quite simple, but quite nice.

The mouthfeel is really, really nice. Soft and smooth. The body is medium, but really feels slick and soft.

This is a really good, and aptly named, session beer. Enough interesting flavor, but not so much that it gets old. A really nice, well priced beer. I'll have to get some more of this for certain guests.

 590 characters

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a good one finger head, it looks a little soda like though, not the best looking head I've ever seen that's for sure. Body is dark brown, not at all black though. Appearance is ok. It smells very good though, it just smells really really smooth. On the smell all you really detect is malt, maybe some chocolate notes too, but not much else, it just smells really crisp and very smooth. Wow, very robust taste that just hits you up front and stays with you for a while. Yeah there are some definite chocolate notes in here, and of course I taste a lot of malt, it's a very simple beer, but really well done! It just tastes like there is nothing wrong with it at all, they didn't do much, but what they did, they did it really really well. I might be picking up a tiny tiny hop bite in the end, but not much at all. For this being a "sessionable" beer, it's really very robust and well done. Is it the best beer I've ever had? No, but I'm very surprised and pleased at how good it tastes. The mouthfeel is more than I expected, it doesn't have a watery feel at all to it, it's a legit mouthfeel. The drinkability I expected to be high and it did not disappoint. I don't know what else to say, very surprised by this beer and very impressed!

 1,244 characters

Photo of tzieser
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

a: 11oz stubby bottle poured into a standard pint. pours dark black in color, almost completely opaque with a thin white head that settles fairly quickly.

s: notes of roasted malts...tiny bit of chocolate. nothing crazy...a bit muted. maybe its too cold.

t: great roasted malt flavor. very well balanced with a touch of grassy hops at the end. finishes clean. a very good black lager.

m&d: good mouthfeel; awesome drinkability.

very good beer for the price and they go down very easy. recommended.

 502 characters

Photo of NYDistiller
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am loving the black lager trend. Such a great looking beer with some real presence, but so thin on the tongue. It's a combo that I think leaves a lot of dark beer drinkers wanting more, but only because it is picked out of place. I love the crisp lightness paired with an actual toasty goodness. Bottle is a nice change.

 322 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
2.98/5  rDev -19%
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 oglmcdgl
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle into a victory tasting tulip.

A- a hard pour yields only a small cap of tan head that settles quickly and leaves a solid foamy ring a just a few spots on the glass. A good swirl does bring the head back a bit. Dark red brown black in color from a far and glows a nice ruby amber when held to light.

S- light roast and some fruit. Rather subdued nose.

T- mild roast again with a bit of nuttiness. Light fruits and some caramel.

M- on the lighter side of body with a carb on the high side of things.

D- its alright not one that will make an impression on ya. Nothing unpleasant by any means but nothing to write home about either.

 653 characters

Photo of mudbug
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Did this one two different ways, One poured into a standard pint glass which resulted in a nice black beer with a one inch bubbly head that held it's own. A pretty beer
Aroma of roasty barley with a tinge of smoke not overpowering but very pleasant the ghost of hops peeks in
Taste is nice and clean with roasted barley, some caramel and a nice unexpected hop bitterness at the end carbonation is quite lively and refreshing.
The other way was straight up from the very cold bottle.
Very enjoyable and refreshing, gets a nice lager bump from the fizz with a smart hop bite.
At ten bucks a twelve pack this is a great deal and will be a go to on hot beach days and fishing trips.
Bravo Full sail

 700 characters

Photo of corby112
2.26/5  rDev -38.6%
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 champ103
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. Some ruby highlights around the edges. A two finger beige head forms with very good retention. Plenty of sticky lace is left behind.
S: Toasted malt, grains, bread, and biscuit aromas. A light sweetness lingers in the nose. Simple, but very nice.
T: Again, simple but I love it. Big toasted malts with a very light sweetness and chocolate flavor initially. Baked bread, crackers, and biscuit. Very dry in the finish.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Very crisp, clean and dry. So smooth at the same time. So easy to drink. All day with this one.

I love this. Without a doubt the best thing I have had from Full Sail. This is really an excellent lager. Everything is so clean, subtle, and enjoyable. Highly recommended.

 765 characters

Session Black Lager from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 918 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.