Schlafly Sessions Black Lager Schwarzbier | The Schlafly Tap Room

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Schlafly Sessions Black Lager SchwarzbierSchlafly Sessions Black Lager Schwarzbier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room
Missouri, United States | website

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Sessions Black Lager is a traditional German Schwarzbier with a refreshingly light body. The dark chocolate malts contribute color and hints of roasted coffee balanced by the delicate aroma of German Noble hops. Translated from German, Schwarzbier means black beer.

Schwarzbier originated in the 16th Century in southeastern Germany where it is still brewed today. The style enjoyed a heyday in St. Louis in the late 1800s, but large scale production of dark lagers failed to resurface after Prohibition. In 2007, the beer community of St. Louis honored St. Louis Dark Lager as the official beer of the inaugural St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival, an annual tasting event that celebrates the many breweries thriving in St. Louis today.

45 IBU

Added by Realale on 10-21-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
42
Ratings:
108
Avg:
3.61
pDev:
18.28%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
5
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 108
Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Where Lagers are generally assumed to be pale straw, the face lift of schwarz gives it the opposite appearance. In juxtaposition, dark beers are assumed rich or bold where this Lager is lighter bodied and even crisp! What the hell's going on!

Its dark appearance strikes the eye as black ...at first. Upon further examination, the beer is dark ruby instead and is only noticeable because of its brilliant clarity as is seen through its ribbons of low light. A creamy colored and semi-firm foam stance holds its structure well and laces randomly as the beer fades.

Fresh-ground coffee, burnt caramel and dark fruit rise to greet the nose with the first whiff. A slight cola-like note provides its caramel-like sweet scent that ties together the charred grain, herbal hops and dark chocolate notes. Its tangy and earthy- like chicory or licorice but in the most friendly way.

Its bittersweet taste is due to its dominant char flavor, that shies away from burnt notes, and its supporting kettle caramelization of pilsner malt. Its balance battles out over the early taste while the middle palate separates the charred toast flavor from the sweetness and links up harmoneously with spicy hops that trail in finish. Easily seen as coffee-type or cocoa bitterness, the finish is delicately earthen with that chicory-licorice blend that was picked up by the nose.

The beer's delicate texture is light even though its taste is more robust. Drinking like Pilsner, the beer's early creaminess separates into trailing bubbles and a linger of malt. Cola-like lightness persists across the middle and lands the beer into a slight watery impression until the hop dryness and light alcohol warmth crispens things up to close the session.

With the likeness of stout-like char upon a body of Lager, Schlafly's Black Lager is easy drinking and characterful but without the challenge of highly complex flavors or high alcohol rates. It's ideal for barbecue and chocolate desserts.

 1,966 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, bottled on 12/9/2011. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a mahogany brown color with about a half inch off-white head. Both the head retention and lacing are decent enough. The brew smells like roasted and bready malt, coffee, nuts and some chocolate. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some caramel and a bit of an earthy flavor. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit creamy and goes down easy. I think it's a solid brew overall. I'd buy this one again, hopefully a fresher bottle next time around. Still, even now it's worth a try at $1.75 for a single bottle. Purchased at Party Town, Florence, KY.

 651 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Freshness date of 10-24-11

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 3 fingers of tan head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit, charred grain & choclate notes

T: Charred grain, stone fruit & some dark chcolate up front.Dark choclate, dryness & a touch of herbal hop spice as this warms, maybe even a touch of vanilla on the edges. Finishes sweet with a touch of caramel & a nice roastyness

MFL Creamy, medium bodied, nice balance

Good take on the style, easy to drink. As usual these guys do a good beer at a nice price

 527 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The body is a ruby black, not quite brown. An off white head recedes to a light wisp, with very light lacing staying around.

The aroma is very faint on sweetness, but brings out roasted malts, grains, and a very sly grassy note.

The taste is very smooth. Roasted malts, faint coffee and chocolate, and a very slight hop finish.

Mouthfeel is medium to light.

Overall, a very drinkable brew. No wonder they canned it and made it part of their Can Sessions lineup.

 499 characters

Photo of gabrielsyme
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can in a basic pint glass. The brew pours a dark chestnut brown, quite hazy, with tan head and lacing. I don't get much in the way of smell, maybe a slightly caramel flavor, but that is to be expected with a lager. The mouthfeel is bright and bubbly, and light-to-medium bodied. The initial taste is nutty, bitter, with some toast. There's not much in the way of aftertaste. At 5%, this is highly drinkable. Overall I enjoy this and would buy again.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty dark, brown to almost black and clear, with a nice two finger head that lasted, leaving nice lace.

Roasty and chocolatey in both smell and taste. Great light smokiness too. A bit of toffee and just a touch of hops too. Quite tasty and easy to drink.

Medium body with a lightly roasty aftertaste. I'm glad I bought a sixer of this one.

 345 characters

Photo of soju6
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very deep mahogany color with a nice tan head that fades slowly to lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, some nuts, and a bit of chocolate.

T: Flavor of roasted malt and some nuttiness with a bit of chocolate sweetness. A nice bitterness throughout and a dry finish.

F: Fairly medium body, smooth with a somewhat creamy texture. Very nice balance.

O: Very enjoyable offering. Not an overpowering beer, but still a beer with lots of character compared to other of this style I have tried. Well worth checking out.

 523 characters

Photo of mrfrancis
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a seriously attractive mahogany with a thick, puffy khaki head.

S: Very clean on the nose with hints of mocha, roasted grain, and heavy cream.

T: Notes of heavy cream, molasses, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted grain, and grassy, herbal hops wash across the palate. The finish is balanced and flavorful with a pleasant mixture of grassy hop and toasty, chocolatey malt flavors.

M: Light to medium in body and very creamy. Carbonation is subtle, but just firm enough to keep this lager from feeling watery.

O: This is a quality schwarzbier. Schlafly continues to impress me.

 585 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle tried 10 Dec 2011. Served in the 0.4 L Eder Pils mug.

Large brown head. Well carbonated. Clear dark molasses brown in color. Light aroma, earthy, light roastiness, moderately sweet. Starts sweet and malty. Some roastiness. Medium body, moderate ethanol. Earthy, malty, finishes lightly sweet. A slight bit of mineral in the finish and aftertaste.

Not a complex beer but tasty.

 394 characters

Photo of DCon
3.93/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap @ Bailey's Range in St. Louis, MO for $5 ("DINNER" size). Tapped from the Black Schlafly Handle w/ a Tan "Schwarzbier" label into a 16oz Pint Glass.

Aroma- Good amount of malt included with some a nice yeasty character. Everything easy going, clean, and nothing big jumps out at me.

Appearance- Received with a 1 finger head that stays for the average amount of time. Has a dark brown colored body but clear within. Leaves a bit of lacing behind.

Flavor- Malty, clean, and sweet. Can tell there is Munich-malt used and has a good amount of noble hops. Light-Medium bitterness but mostly smooth and clean.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, Smooth, and leaves awesome roastiness on the palate!

Overall Impression- While having this many times before, once again, great! Would enjoy many more to come! This is one of my favorites from Schlafly this month and will be going back to this. Would recommend grabbing a 6-pack of this because your friends will also enjoy this smooth, easy going black bier. Enjoy!

 1,054 characters

Photo of Illtryit
3.96/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

"Bottled with Love" 16 days ago. Super fresh. The ABV is 5% per Schlafly's website.

Pours a cola colored brown, almost black, with an off white head 1 finger deep.

Not much to smell on this one. Just a bit of grain.

Taste is semi sweet grains.. I'm also getting a nutty kick at the end. A little chocolate to boot and I'm starting to like this beer a lot.

Mouthfeel is a little light, but it has plenty of character.

Overall I am pretty impressed with this Lager. Light enough to drink a few, but flavorful enough to bring satisfaction. I recommend it.

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a one-finger head of foam. It left thin rings of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled very roasty with some floral notes. Nice chocolate aromas.

T - It tasted of chocolate, toffee and caramel. Some subtle bitterness adds balance.

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

O - This is a very solid schwarzbier. Schlafly is so consistently good with everything they brew.

 458 characters

Photo of TheWhiskerReview
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A ruby-hued black pour has a 1.5-finger off-white head that retains a ring throughout the brew, leaving a bit of sticky lace at the top of the glass.

The nose is dark and clean with unmuddled aromas of dark bread, coffee grounds, toasted pecan and a faint woody spice.

Light-med bodied palate is malty and bready with a nice touch of acrid roastiness bringing the balance with more flavors of coffee grounds and roasted pecan. Bitterness is mild, seemingly bigger with the darker malt, while the finish ends clean with malty bread and a lingering juiciness with final hints back at that pecan.

Overall, quite a tasty Schwarz. Everything I'd expect- clean, dark and quenching- but it's that persistent pecan note really making this delicious.

 746 characters

Photo of Pyramid_Head
4.01/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Schlafly's Schwarzbier is a sentimental favorite, and my favorite lager.
That is to say it's one of the only lagers i would regularly drink if it wasn't a seasonal product.

The black lager introduces a strong roasted and smokey flavor to the wheat taste of a basic lager. It can best be described as an alcoholic iced coffee with a little wheat to it. I personally love it, but it wasn't released in 2012. In 2013 Schlafly released a canned version which i'll review separately after i've given it a try.

 505 characters

Photo of Pintofbrown
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this one into a glass stein.

Appearance- The head builds to about one-finger width with pretty decent retention, beige colored. There is a smattering of small bubbles in the smooth cap.

The body is auburn with some lighter brown highlights, decent amount of carbonation columns in the glass.

Smell- A decent hop smell coming through the malt. Mostly earthy and grassy. Underneath that is roasty malt that blends very well.

Taste- A nice amount of roast rides throughout the drink. The hops are actually taking a back seat to the roast, and I enjoy that about this offering.

The finish has the grassy hop flavors. The malt also has a slight buttery aspect to it.

Mouth feel- A medium body and really creamy drink make for a quite decent feel. Coating is not that spectacular, but it does not matter much with how the carbonation is handled.

Overall- I was expecting this one to be a little more hoppy, but the malts taste great and the feel makes for a great drink. The nose does all right, but it could have more to offer. Try it if you see it.

 1,063 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.06/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I scored this on my most recent visit to Max's in Baltimore and passed one on to my local CAN Trader, tone77 for his inclusion in his own CANQuest (TM).

It is a gorgeous CAN, employing metallic brick red, golden yellow and stark black in its coloring. From the CAN: "Bold Flavor"; "Seasonal".

The Crack was loud and inspiring, so I employed an inverted Glug into my Schlafly CAN Sessions CAN-shaped glass. I had two fingers of dense, light-tan head with good retention. Color was garnet (?)/ruby (?) (SRM = > 34, < 44) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled very chocolaty and I was ready for some beer to hit me. Mouthfeel was big and full and the taste was both caramel and chocolate and I was really digging it. I ate some spicy curried chicken for lunch and this was a welcome respite from the heat. Finish was smoky, chocolaty and caramel. This was more in line with what I expect from Schlafly and I wish that I had another for the upcoming Hula in the Coola Day (01 Feb, annually). Man, I really dig drinking well-made lagers when there are so many crappy ones on the market.

 1,089 characters

Photo of Tone
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, yeast, pale malt, slight chocolate, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of a Schwarzbier. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, slight hops, slight chocolate, hint of pale malt, and a hint of yeast. Overall, great appearance, good blend, body, and aroma.

 469 characters

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Schlafly Sessions Black Lager Schwarzbier from The Schlafly Tap Room
82 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.
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