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Guinness Black Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

431 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 431
Hads: 1,917
Avg: 3.08
pDev: 41.88%
Wants: 28
Gots: 283 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mdagnew on 04-03-2010

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (36) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Guinness Black Lager Alström Bros
Reviews: 431 | Hads: 1,917
Photo of Seekerpilgrim
3.49/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pouring a deep, deep brown with strong burgundy tones there are strong notes of burnt malts and a creamy sweetness that seems to be common to the Euro Dark Lager style. On the tongue the same smoky dryness that you get from a Guinness Draught, but more subtle, sweeter, like mild chocolate or weak coffee. The hop presence is slight but discernible, here to add a bit of bite and balance, leaving a mild, crisp aftertaste.

I wasn't really sure what Guinness wanted to accomplish with this new offering, but since it strikes a perfect balance between the bone dry Draught and the chewy Extra Stout my guess is that is exactly what they were looking for; a beer to reach for when you want a Guinness but are put off by extremes. This is actually growing on me, a good session beer with a bit more character, as well as a great companion to a meat heavy pizza or tomato and red pepper soup. Cheers!

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Photo of barnzy78
3.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle, pours a cola-like black with a bubbly, tan colored head that dissipates quickly leaving some bubbly lacing at the top of the glass. Aromas and flavors are similar with roasted barley, chocolate, lager yeast, a little bit of cola in the flavor also. Thinner bodied, finishes clean while the roasted barley lingers a bit. Overall, great drinkability, but pretty one note as far as flavors go.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.13/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Nice dark color with good head. Head was light in color.

Smell: Light malt aromas, but not a very much aroma.

Taste: Some malt flavors, but only a little hops flavor.

Mouth feel: Thin.

Overall: Average. Ok for casual drinking, but it does not have anything that stands out.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.04/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"Guinness Black Lager is cold-brewed with roasted barley to deliver the refreshing taste of lager with the unique character of Guinness. Enjoy ice cold straight from the bottle." Thanks, but I'll pour this into a glass. Brewed in the style of a Euro Dark Lager, available in 6 packs or as part of the Guinness Holiday variety pack.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served above 50º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a mocha cream brown head of a crisp frothy consistency, retention is average at best and the head settles down within a short few minutes. Body color is a very dark brown with some mahogany brown tones, but more dense than not. Lacing is thin and streaked but doesn't last long. I don't expect that one of the selling points for this beer is how good it looks in a glass, but the lack of head quality makes for a less-than-stellar start. 3

(Smell) Roasted barley is likely used in small amounts in this beer- the aroma is very shallow on potency and, like most macro lagers, doesn't smell terribly different from the big name competition, despite a mild air of dry, cold roast. A clean but shallow aroma- I expected a lot more in terms of potency and diversity but the aroma doesn't define much in this beer at all. What little is there isn't off-putting, and I suppose that is about the best I can say for it. 2.75

(Taste) The flavor lets up just a notch of what the aroma must have been holding back on. Clean roasted malt airs on the watery side with a mild acidity for a pairing bitterness and little else to tell. In terms of flavor, it isn't much special, just slightly more pronounced malt character and a touch more sweetness, but ultimately comes out very lightly flavored. I think that the "cold brewed with roasted barley" is an hype-up for this beer, as there is much less roast flavor and more flavorless color than expected. Undoubtedly, it's likely geared for multiple drinks in a row. Presented with a line up of macro lager choices, this one may be a more likely pick than some others but I am still let down by how shallow these lagers are made to be. Guinness seemed to miss the potential for this beer by really creating something underwhelming. 3.25

(Mouthfeel) Peppy carbonation for the mouthfeel, quite spritely, expected for a lager. Mildly dry, slightly chalky finish. Body is just below medium for the style, light amongst all beers. I found the carbonation a bit harsh for this beer. Something that could have set it apart from the macro lager competition was a smoother and creamier texture, which I'm sure is possible even for a lager brew. 3

(Overall) Of all my Guinness choices to date, this has to be one of the more mundane ones out there. Seems like an answer to Bud-Miller-Coors phobias in regards to Guinness Draught. Very clean like a lager should be, but the flavor was dramatically lighter and the carbonation even sharper than I expected. I was really hoping that Guinness could prove what a dark lager was capable of but they missed the mark this time around. Unless the price points are dramatically in favor of this beer, I'd sooner choose their draught or export stout over this. 3

Guinness Ltd.'s
Guinness Black Lager

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Photo of SometimesIfart
2.34/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a very dark ruby with a finger and a half of off-white head. Left very spotty lacing.

S - Nothing but small amounts of corn, rice adjunct and skunkiness.

T - A small amount of very slightly roasted malt malt and sweet cherries, along with a small amount of skunk.

M - Medium bodied with medium to heavy carbonation.

O - Overall, It was okay at best. I don't think I'd have it again. It would be good as a crossover beer however.

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Photo of delta490
2.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a 12 oz. Sam Adams Glass. Pours a nice deep black, as advertized, with a short lived coffee colored head that leaves no lacing. Aroma was minimal, with little hints of the roasted malt but not much depth beyond that. It's taste isn't bad, but it's not quite as robust as a German schwarzbier. It didn't really have the chocolate or coffee profile one would expect, but just a pared down "roast" flavor. Like a schwarzbier, turned down to 5 or 6. It has a good lager mouthfeel. It could be pretty good, I just wish that the roast flavor matched it's dark color.

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Photo of wattoclone
3.55/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a huge fan of Euro dark lagers and schwarzbiers (is there actually a difference?), I had to try the Guinness version. I found this one very smooth and drinkable as they should be. Not the sweetest or most bitter but the balance was about perfect. Sure, I would rather have a draft Kostritzer but since I live in the US, this is not always possible. Right out of the bottle this is a great dark lager which would pair well with any food. If I had more income I would keep this beer in stock but unfortunately in the present economy I cannot afford it. The McSorley's Black Irish Lager brewed by Pabst is much more affordable and IMHO has more flavor.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.17/5  rDev +35.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

My Saturday in main stream Ireland has been very much a surprise. Guinness has provided a nice variety pack.

This opens to a nice aroma. Malty and yeasty. The color is as it should be and there is almost enough head and lace (a little more would be nice).

The taste is well balanced. The after taste is quite nice too, with a little more bite than I would expect. Overall this is a nice easy brew and vastly underrated.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.02/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, char, and a sour, metallic aroma. Taste is much the same with a dark bread and metallic flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer that tastes slightly better than it smells, but that isn't saying much.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Type: 11.2-oz. bottle
Glass: Stone pint glass
From: Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, Calif., on Jan. 5, 2012
Price: $1.79
Misc.: N/A

Poured a black color with 1-2 fingers of khaki tan head. Minimal lacing. Poor retention.

Smelled corn, cereal, caramel, toffee, chocolate, black cherry and slight dark chocolate.

Tasted chocolate, light coffee, black cherry, caramel and still that slightly skunky corn note. Nothing really stood out here.

Medium body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, bitter finish. Easily drinkable though.

My first time rating a Guinness. I have to say this was a bit better than I thought it would be heading into it. Nothing really stands out there, but it gets the job done. Not sure if I’d have it with so many better beers out there though.

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3.19/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark brown, porter like with a 1" beige head...head falls to a cap, then ring quickly...leaves a little lacing.
Very muted nose...a little roasty malt and not much more.
Had to let it warm way up - too cold at first and not much flavor. As it warmed the roasted malts were noticable....tastes decent and simple.
Comes across the mouth thinner than it looks like it will - medium carbonation and a plus one because it never gets cloyingly sweet.
Overall I thought it was an OK beer - there are definitely other Black Lagers I would choose first but this is easy to drink and not un-enjoyable.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.35/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Situation: Day nine of Christmas vacation...
Glassware: Sam Adams lager...
Appearance: dark velvet black body with an off-white head that laces in cirrus whisps--sleek, but Guinness!
Aroma: roasted malts give the beer a distinct shwarzbier aroma; in some way, the lager retains the lactic scent of the draught...
Palate: substantial body; slightly effervescent mouthfeeel with a soda fizz ending...
Taste: a malty payoff, but not much smoke or roast; serviceable in its substance, but limited in its profile...
Overall: Tought to gauge this beer's heart--is it a genuine attempt to expand a good brand, or propaganda riding the word black at the expense of Arthur's good name? At least the brewery made a modest move by staying dark with its first lager... this beer's strenght will be in its weight; however, its lack of roast will be its limitation....

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Photo of tito42
3.06/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle to an imperial pint. 11.2 oz. bottle - I feel like this must be the metric system creeping into my life. Probably exactly 1/3 liter but rounded down to 11.2 oz. I cannot verify but I believe a Julian date stamp says bottled 8/31/2012. Purchased in the holiday 12-pack.

A: Clear, dark cola in color with active carbonation and a foamy cocoa hued head. Looks like a frothy Coca-Cola.

S: Roasted malt and barley with a touch of doughy yeast. Very generic.

T: Very grassy, roasted grains, a hint of black licorice, resinous finish.

M: Crisp and thin with a very high amount of carbonation.

O: Not offensive, but not memorable. My first go of a Euro Dark Lager that I'm aware of.

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Photo of welldigger888
3.03/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a reddish hued black with a white head that disappated quickly leaving ample snow white lacing down glass.

Subdued roast a whiff of adjunct and possibly a hint of noble hops.

Easy drinking roast with a tad adjunct that sports a firm bitterness and a touch of hop flavor.

medium light bodied guzzla that has more taste than your american light lager brews.

Drinkable for sure, prolly not my cup of brew though.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.79/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark cola color with a good amount of opacity for the style. The head is a one finger heavy cream color that leaves behind a good amount of lacing. Poor retention, as expected from a lager.

S: A bit of roasted barley, chocolate...and corn adjuncts. Completely bland, rather than subpar.

T: Hey, a bit of roasted barley to open the flavor profile! That's cool. The corn adjuncts seem to be muted, or at least more muted than I cynically feared. Finish is bit of fruity sweetness, lager crispness, and the faintest 'ping' of chocolate. Better than I expected - but still, don't let it warm up or the adjuncts will come out in full force.

M: Light and crisp, but not quite as dry as the bog-standard Guinness draught. The carbonation is fizzy and even intense as expected.

O: Not horrible. Wouldn't seek it out or probably even buy again, but I'd gladly drink one if offered to me freely. This has its place being the weak link in the Guinness winter selection pack.

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Photo of Kmortis92
3.55/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was my very first black lager and it has been a great introduction into the field! I look forward to trying more since trying this beer very pleased! this was a good change from the usual college beers (hence I'm a college student). I will continue to purchase this beer it has a warm malty taste to it that is welcoming! Ha I tend to crave this taste throughout the day nothing like any other college beer (bud light, miller lite, nat. Lite, etc...). Furthermore, this beer has kept my interest high into beer since I use to think it just tasted like breaded water; this proved that notion wrong by dispelling it to the types of beers I had drank before it. I know I'm a novice but I look forward to working my way through my beers to sharpen my buds! I hope this review helps someone!

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
3.32/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From twelve ounce undated bottle.
A bit of a disappointment from Guinness. Poured black body as expected but with no head or even a film to lace the glass. Scent is reminiscent of burnt chocolate. Taste acidic, burnt grains.
Another toast to my sink drain.

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Photo of shand
3.37/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another one that comes from my parent's fridge. I'm sure it'll be better than most of the swill I get to review from there. Guinness Black Lager pours a muddy brown color with a full head that quickly recedes. The aroma is actually very nice, it does a good job at capturing the roasty essence of Guinness with a nice lager twist. The taste does away with most of the roast flavor, instead presenting a solid Euro Pale Lager-esque import taste with just a bit of the roastiness coming in on the finish. The mouthfeel is thin and light, but the drinkability is rather good. Overall, it's a slightly better than average twist on the Euro Pale Lager. Perfectly drinkable, I wouldn't mind having some of these when it's warmer out.

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Photo of dbrauneis
2.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear but opaque very dark amber in color with some garnet red highlights and light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a two finger sudsy light tan head that quickly reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Very light aromas of roasted malts.

T: Light flavors of roasted malts with a hint of nuts and a very light amount of sweetness. Some very light bitterness in the finish.

M: Slightly heavier than light bodied with slightly more than moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery.

O: The beer is easy to drink but really lacks complexity and depth to the flavors and aromas to make it a more desirable beer in my opinion - also, I thick it could benefit from a little fuller body.

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Photo of punky796
4.09/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - Like most other Guinnesses, very dark brown with an attractive tan head that's thick, leaves pretty liberal lacing.

S - Most appealing part of the beer in my opinion, fresher than other Guinnesses in the expected lager sort of way, with a nice toast/bread scent coming through.

T - Somewhat bitter, but not in a bad way. Dark malts, has that familiar coffee taste, too.

M - Thinner than other Guinnesses, light, medium carbonation, but you get the impression that the bubbles are very small. To me, a good thing.

O - Not bad. A pleasant twist on the regular. Wouldn't let it sit around long, though, I imagine it might get too bitter.

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Photo of Damian74Shensky
2.78/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours dark brown, with a good two fingers thick head, went away pretty quick.

S- Smells good while in bottle , but then blah. Roasted barley, caramel and coffee smell. All very faint.

T- A little bitter than i would expect from a lager. Some roasted barley but nothing great. Very disappointing.

M- Very watery and light.

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

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Photo of mattkoon
3.44/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this black lager from guinness is pretty good. the color is black with a light tan head. the smell is nothing remarkable. theres a little hint of smoke and some nuttiness, but nothing really grabs you. i do like the taste its less potent than guinness draught. which makes it really drinkable. its like you get all the fashion of walking around with a black beer in your hand with out anyone knowing that its tame. guinness is a lot heavier than this you could drink several of these in one sitting. i dont know if this beer will catch on- i dont see die hard guinness drinkers likeing it- and i dont see bud drinkers picking it up but i think is pretty good.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
2.44/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a dimpled mug.

A - Black with brown around the edges, with a pretty massive four-finger off-white craggy looking foam. (I must say Guinness beers do seem to always have a solid head) Head bubbles away pretty quickly. Clumps of patchy lacing.

S - Very faint grainy aroma. Some malt sweetness.

T - Roasted grains forward. Dextrin sweetness in the mid-palate. (Adjuncts?) Some nice musty euro hops carry the finish. Finishes better than it starts. That said, almost zero depth or richness to the flavors, and zero complexity.

M - Watery and thin; medium-high carbonation. Clean finish.

O - Honestly, this tastes like a BMC style dark lager. Only the hops in the finish save this from being complete crap. The malt taste is way to dextrin-like, and the flavors in general are extremely bland. I know Guinness can do better than this. Bleh.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.53/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Solid white foam and decent lacing. Slight amber radiance, but it's mostly dark brown.

Smell: Very pale lager-like smell. Definitely some adjunct in there, something I haven't smelled before in a dark lager. Faint cocoa.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Faint coffee flavor. Pretty decent for a Euro dark. Smooth finish, as always with Guinness products.

Overall Drinkability: Not a bad brew. Still not nearly as good as Good Ole' Guinness Stout.

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Photo of bucho
4.38/5  rDev +42.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As a huge fan of Guinness Draught, this Lager raises the bar.

It pours dark and appears heavy, but sits well after drinking. A very crisp, clean finish with plenty of taste.

A perfect beer for anyone who wants to drink the best.

Great job Guinness - keep it up.

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Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
71 out of 100 based on 431 ratings.