Samuel Adams Black Lager
B / 3.75
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | drink: 3.5
Appearance: The black lager is as you'd expect a very dark brew, and is also very clear. The light does penetrate but not overly so. The almond colored head builds quickly with a nice medium density foam that fades to a layer on the beer. The lacing was nice and even but not thick. I noticed some carbonation streams on the surface.
Smell: The first thing I notice is the hoppy spices which are pleasant, in fact I like very much the way this beer smells, under the spice there is a solid foundation of the dark malts, all of which is touched off with a hint of sweetness. This is a well balanced aroma and has not a hint of alcohol present.
Taste: The hoppy spice and bitterness is apparent upon the first pull, but as my mouth filled I tasted the dark malts. I did not taste any bitterness from the malts at all in fact the malt taste was very well balanced. At the finish I could definitely taste and smell the chocolate malts which give an espresso type taste and smell, or a very dark chocolate. The malts have a nice simple arrangement where I tasted the lighter malts first and then finished with the more robust and darker malts. This lager finishes like some dry stouts in that you get the spice and bitterness at the same time.
Mouthfeel: The lager has a medium body but feels very smooth on the tongue. The carbonation is moderate and pleasant, and there is a very nice dry finish again like the dry stouts.
Drinkability: This is an entirely drinkable brew, its heavier than a Guinness ale (I know different family) but goes down just as easy. The carbonation would keep me from drinking too many of these but I can see having this with dinner and then following it after over a good conversation with friends, although I did noticed some light bloating from the carbonation.
In the end this what I've come to expect from Sam Adams; a good flavorful beer that serves to introduce new flavors and brewing experiences into the American palate.