Samuel Adams Black Lager

Samuel Adams Black Lager “Brewmaster’s Collection”

Boston Beer Company, Boston MA & Cincinnati OH

samueladamsblacklager 264x300History: (from the label) “This traditional lager is medium in body with a deep roasted character. Its dark color and rich malty flavor come from specially roasted caramel and chocolate malts. This brew is lightly hopped with Bavarian Noble hops for a soft spiciness and a smooth clean finish. We use a unique type of malted barley to create the smooth roasted flavor in our Black Lager. The husk of the mated barley is removed before roasting. The result? Rich roast flavor with very little burnt bitterness, and an extremely tasty brew.

Rolling right along in my love of dark beers, it became quite difficult to deny the look and name of Black Lager. I’m a pretty big Sam Adams fan anyway, and though the price tag of $11 a sixer (and we here in Michigan have that extra dime per beverage tax) was a bit off-putting, I’m a sucker for any black brews I haven’t tried, so the battle in my head lasted all of five seconds. And let me tell you, as far as purely tasty beers go, you’d be hard pressed to find another with this one’s delicious characteristics.

The head is so delightfully rich and creamy and stands proud like a meringue. Swirling it a bit (as you all really ought to do with any beer that isn’t an underwhelming Pilsner) to open the nose brings about just a hint of spiciness as is mentioned on the label description. And my goodness does it smell like a chocolate malt. It could easily be mistaken (aside from the obvious beer notes) as some kind of mocha beverage for sure. Nice and bittersweet and roasty.

The flavor is quite unlike the standard dark beer of a Stout or Porter variety, which stands to reason since it’s neither. It is a lager (German: storage, camp, bearing etc.) is one of two main types of beer; the other being ale. Traditionally, lager is stored {aging process} for at least three weeks before being served),it has a nice lager mouth feel, and it finishes as a lager. However, coupled with its lager side are flavors of malt, deep hopiness that belays any hint of bitterness what so ever, and a rich sweetness that plays exactly with it’s chocolaty goodness. And is this brew smooth. Over the last reviews I’ve written, none of the entries were even remotely this smooth. It’s a pleasure to toss it around the tongue and swallow if only in anticipation of another sip. This is one beautiful beer. No wonder Sam Adams, as one of the first microbrews, has such staying power.

Rating: * * * * *

I Said it once and I’ll say it again: This is a beautiful brew.