Before I dive into this post, let me just say a few things. Beer geeks/fan/snobs can be real jerks and are among the most pretentious people in the world. I include myself in that group, so I will admit to being snobby on occasion. I have my preferences, they influence the beer I taste and the beers that I review here. However, what I will not admit to ever doing is buying into the fad of viewing breweries as “overrated” simply because of their size. A bit of a feud has erupted in the beer community over what craft breweries are “overrated” and whether Samuel Adams is an overrated beer company. You can read a response by Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head here, and you can read Jim Koch’s take here. My last post of Samuel Adams lager may have made it sound like I was one of the crowd that thought Samuel Adams is an overrated brewery. Let me just state for the record that I have tremendous respect for the Boston Beer Company and my views on their beer are not related to their size, just my preferences. Sure, I think Boston Beer has played it safer in terms of beer for a while, but they are delving back into different series and types of beer, and that’s great because a lot of them are really good. So before I review this beer, let me just say that although I may sound snobby, my views on Samuel Adams or any beer I drink are based only on style and my preferences, not on size, or what anyone on Beer Advocate thinks.
That said, here’s a review of another Boston Beer Brewmaster’s Collection staple, the Black Lager. I’ll say up front that I really enjoy this type of beer because of its malt character and I think it’s a perfect style for winter drinking.
Aroma: Some coffee malt scents with some sweet chocolate lingering.
Appearance: Nice head, thick pour, dark brown/black.
Flavor: Great balance of semi-sweet malt and subtle toasty coffee bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, very nice carbonation.
Overall: A pretty good dark lager. I was hoping for more aromatics but it has a nice balanced flavor and good mouthfeel. A very nice example of the style, quality beer here, great for cold weather.