Black is Beautiful

Brewery:  Live Oak Brewing Co
Style:   Experimental Beer (34C)
Package: 12oz Can
Purchased: Beer to go!
Packaged Date:  Aug  5, 2020
Consumed Date: Sept 7, 2020

Details From the Brewer

Black American Lager. Schwarzbier meets Festbier with Cascade Hops. With hints of chocolate, this bright, black, and beautiful beer clocks in at 5.8% ABV.


Aroma – 8/12

Medium high roast and toasted malt aroma.  Deep crust and fresh bread layers in as well.  Clean fermentation.  Lower notes of coffee and cocoa.  There’s a low level of citrus as well.  No alcohol or off flavors detectable.

Appearance – 3/3

Pours a dark brown bordering black with good clarity.  You can’t see through the glass due to it’s dark color, but the clarity it still there.  Small and fine bubbles make up a generous head that lasts with good retention.

Flavor – 18/20

Not as intense as the aroma suggests.  Malt takes the stage with roast and toasted bread notes at a medium level.  Lighter flavors of bread crust and crackery malt.  There’s subtle dark chocolate flavors that blend in with a citrusy hop note.  Low-medium bitterness matches well with the low-medium sweetness.  All of these flavors persist through the finish, slowly fading to a dry and crisp end. 

Mouthfeel – 4/5

Medium-full bodied through out the taste.  It’s bigger than the ABV and flavor profile suggests.  It borders on almost being creamy (flaked corn?) and finishes quickly with no astringency.  Moderate carbonation.

Overall Impression – 8/10

This is a really cool blend of styles.  The range of flavors and aroma presented here are not often seen in a lager, but work well.  The flavors are really well in balance with each other.  The aromas are too, but seem maybe a bit intense for the rest of the beer.  Its definitely not sweet, but I feel like the larger body takes away from some of its enjoyability. 

Rating – 42/50

This was a really cool take on the Black is Beautiful recipe.  A lot of the darker malt character expresses well like you’d see in a schwartzbier, yet there’s also a bready depth that you see in festbier.  The body is a bit bigger than you would think too, reminiscent of a stout.  Overall I really enjoyed this, and hope to see more people experiment with these hybrid styles.