As I intimated in my last post, it is somewhat odd for many people to think that a Lager can be black. Many of us have been weaned on cheaper domestic Pilsners/Lagers, so to think about a Lager that is anything but blond sends many into a Delirium Tremens. I’m not going to go into too much detail here, as I have already written on the subject of Lager beer, but Lager is more of a technique and yeast issue than a color-of-the-beer issue. Suffice it to say that a Black Lager is still an anomaly in the beer world.
This particular beer takes its inspiration from a traditional German black beer. The style was all but lost until the collapse of the Berlin Wall. The isolation of black beer from the Western world was over, so how would it be received? It appears that it has gained some serious steam and the Boston Beer Company has helped with the phenomenon. Here is my review on Sam Adams’s version.
The color was obviously Black to very dark Brown in tint. It had a tan brown head that had a very nice retention. It looked nice and could be mistaken for a Porter style beer sitting in the glass.
In terms of the aromas, there was a fair amount going on. The Lager had some obvious chocolate and coffee notes, along with a malty sweetness. There were hints of wine and honey/molasses. In addition, the roasted malts bled through.
When drinking the beer, there were very distinct toasty and toffee/caramel flavors. It had some of the roasty qualities of coffee without the bitterness, with a slight sweetness. The molasses hints snuck through at the very end of the brew, while there was also slight dryness. One surprising thing about this black beer is how clean and smooth it was to drink.
I highly recommend that you try this beer!