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Samuel Adams Boston Lager | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

very good
2,609 Reviews
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Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our original beer is full-flavored with a balance of malty sweetness contrasted by hop spiciness and a smooth finish.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-27-2001

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Reviews: 2,609 | Ratings: 8,778
Photo of CBOLAND17
1.68/5  rDev -55.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A beer that is considered great by many people..but i am not one of those people. Samuel Adams produces a lager that is way over hopped for that style of beer. Additionally it doesnt seem like they are even using the correct type of hops because it is far too bitter for a lager. This beer looks good but is far from it. Sam Adams claims that it is i craft brewery but in actuality it is right up there with Budweiser and Coors.

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Photo of DevAJ
1.75/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Maybe this is rated so high because it's the most well-known "craft" beer, but it's just not my style. There's only been one beer that I've not been able to even finish half of and this isn't it, but I will definitely never drink it again.

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Photo of omar
1.75/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This has got to be the worst beer Sam Adams makes. Was looking forward to trying it, poured it into a cold mug and took a sip. Yukk.

The beer looks okay, but the smell and the taste are disgusting. Like it's infused with sulphur making it smell strange, also affecting the taste and the aftertaste. Drank a couple more two days later. No improvement. Gave it one last chance on tap at my favorite pub, still rotten.

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Photo of palffyfan
2.18/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - Slightly dark yellow, not too carbonated, head lasted quite a bit.

Smell - Hops dominate the smell, average in my opinion. Was kind of a downer after smelling the Summer Ale earlier.

Taste - A slightly less bitter version of Blue Moon. I will have to agree with a previous poster that it tastes more like a Pale Ale than a larger.

Drinkability - Beer wore on me. Too bitter with no other defined tastes. Other types of Sam Adams are much better.

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Photo of EmmanuelCR28
2.2/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

I wanted to like this beer 'cause of the fame it had... I've seen comercials, banners, good publicity and sure enough it got me into a curiosity mode where I had to try the beer, but when I got to the deal... It wasn't quite what I was expecting... Just a common lager for which I have a pretty standart rating.

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Photo of likethetaste
2.23/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This is actually one of my least favorite Sam Adams brew. It pours a medium brown with a decent head but I just do not like the taste. It has a bitter aftertaste that just stays with you. I like Sam Adams, but this is one of my least favorites by them. I would drink their light before this.

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Photo of Landfill21
2.24/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours into a dark amber color with a nice puffy head. Has a pungent smell. Has a creamy taste with undertones of hops.

I was not overly impressed with the Boston Lager. Has a malty, barley taste, with a hint of hops. The drinkability is poor because of the fullness of the lager.

I would not recommend this lager, there are other Sam Adams brews that are much better.

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Photo of ch473
2.24/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured about 42 degrees F from bottle into a wide, round wine glass. Nice big foamy head. Good amber color.

Smell is not very impressive. Some malt and sweetness but not much else.

I've had this beer before but never really studied it. I'm surprised how watery it tastes. There's a tiny bit of bitterness and mint and some sweetness but not much else. It's almost sour.

Mouthfeel is not very good. Good carbonation on the back of the tongue but mostly watery.

I could only drink a lot of these if they were cheaper. This beer is sour and watery despite its nice color and I can't say it's much better than any pale American macro lager. I was disappointed.

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Photo of fscottkey
2.24/5  rDev -41.1%

Notes: Best before Jan 2015. (consumed 9/4/14). Poured into a nonic pint

A: [4.00] Extremely clear beer. No haze or cloudiness. The color is like light maple syrup. An amber/tan color. The head is 1 finger and is formed of dense bubbles. The is lacing when the beer is tilted. The bottle has a best by date and does not list the ABV or IBU.

S: [1.50] I get no nose. I shoved my nose right down in there and sucked it in. Nothing. Maybe as it warms. But the initial nose is none.

T: [2.25] Slight creamed corn flavor.

M: [2.75] Fairly high carbonation. There is a "zing" on the tongue. The mouthfeel is thin and watery.

O: [2.25] It seems hard to believe but I was disappointed - and I had pretty low expectations. I have had Sam Adams Boston Lager before - but never reviewed it critically. It has no appreciable nose. The taste is not something that I like and the body was unimpressive. Overall this is not a beer I would ever seek out. Even on a hot day I'd skip this in favor of water. I guess if this was the only "craft" beer at a place that server BMC then I'd go for it.

 1,105 characters

Photo of benhemp
2.25/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Although I like most of the Sam Adams beers I have tried, I don't like this one. The appearance is fine, but the smell and the taste repel me. I detect a sulfur odor which affects the taste and the aftertaste. I thought maybe it was just the particular bottle I got, but the 2nd one (to be fair, from the same 6 pack) was the same.

I used to make apple jack from apple cider, and this particular beer reminds me of batches we made that came out bad.

My condolences to the folks in Boston.

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Photo of brewqueno
2.29/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Way overrated. This is not a good beer / lager. Whether from the tap or bottle, it always has a hint of vinegar (smell and taste). Not worth the "premium" charge.

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Photo of 7thInningSuds
2.3/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A - Looked good

S - Smelled good

T - This beer has an aftertaste similar to when you chew on a fir tree limb. Was not impressed after all of their "we love our beer" advertising.

M - Not bad, not good.

D - I'll find something better to invest my beer money in.

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Photo of gerite
2.38/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Color: Golden honey color with lots of bubbles but hardly any head.

Smell: Mostly a bready malt.

Taste: Bitter up front with a yeasty aftertaste.

Mouth feel: Pretty average feel but way too much carbonation.

Overall: Nothing special here. The aftertaste lingers way too long. Not an enjoyable experience. Not as good as some of their other brews.

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Photo of jnn4v
2.38/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

My apologies in advance to all of you who enjoy this beer. While I am clearly more of an ale fan, there are lagers that i do enjoy. This isn't one of them (although given a choice between this and a pilsner such as Bud, MGD, Coors, etc, I'd choose the Sam Adams Lager every time).

A: Reasonable color somewhere between amber and light brown. Translucent.

S: Nothing offensive, but nothing enticing me to want to taste it either. Lager yeasts, toasted malts.

T: Here begin the problems. How do you describe a lack of quality in ingredients? It was both thin on flavor and yet too heavy on negative flavor attributes simultaneously. Not atrocious, but nothing positive here at all.

Ml: Appropriate texture for the genre. Moderate carbonation.

D: Never again.

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Photo of PhxHorn
2.49/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The appearance is the best thing about this beer. Amber colored, with a decent head. No aroma to speak of, maybe a bit of malt, but not much. Taste is a metallic, slightly malty flavor, but just not much going on. This beer is maybe half a notch better than BudMillerCoors, but that's about all I can say that is positive.

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Photo of Vito
2.52/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: It came in a neat-looking bottle with a blue label. There's a picture on the label. At first I thought it was Benjamin Franklin in the picture, but then I figured out that it's a picture of...Sam Adams. Duh.

I poured the beer into a clear glass and saw that it pours an interesting goldenrod color.

Smell: It has a hoppy smell, neither attractive nor repellent.

Taste: The taste didn't impress me -- too bitter. End of story.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation, and thick texture that's almost syrupy.

Drinkability: If it's ice cold, it probably will go down smoothly without too many problems. As it warms, the bitterness really kicks in and slows things down a lot. As a session beer, Sam Adams Boston Lager fails the test for me. I can't imagine drinking more than two of these in one sitting.

Overall: Overrated.

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Photo of rrob311
2.53/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I am by no means a beer expert but I dont see what all the hype about this beer is. I have tried it several times and I must have different taste buds than most people because this beer does not appeal to me.

A- Looks good, darker than average.

S- smells kind of funky to me.

T- I am not impressed with the taste. It must be the hops in it but I dont like it. It is rich tasting but not my style.

M- mouthfeel is normal.

D- I can drink a couple of these the only time I get it is when the only other choice is bud.

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Photo of JimsArcade
2.55/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Samuel Adams Boston Lager pours a clear amber into a pint glass with about a one-finger head. No lacing is left on the glass and the head settles into a moderate layer mix of tight and course bubbles.

There is a fruitiness to the aroma. Peach seems to be the dominant smell. The aroma is non-existent when brought into the mouth.

The first taste is somewhat below average. Malt, minimal hops and a bit of skunk are present, but the beer has not gone bad. The carbonation level is below-average, but remains constant throughout. The malt and hop characteristics increase slightly as the beer warms mid-bottle, as expected. The beer finishes relatively unchanged.

Poured into a glass, Boston Lager weaknesses become apparent. In such a serving it is an average beer at best. This seems to be a beer that is designed to be drunk from the bottle, which is fine in a club but not in a more relaxed setting.

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Photo of ptykozoon
2.56/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Typical sort of pilsner golden honey color. Thin cap.

Honey, malt, bits of grain.

Light earth, bread, light yeast, lemon. Mostly your usual bitter corn earthy taste.

Watery, medium to high carbonation which settle into a dry finish.

Pretty mediocre beer. Nothing stands out, forgettable and boring. Not sessionable as I'd loathe this taste in my mouth for longer than necessary. B+ average? LOL.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
2.58/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had both on tap and from a 12 oz bottle poured in a pint glass. Clear, golden to orange coloured and sparkling beer. Medium-sized blond head. The aroma has citrusy and slightly herbal hops. Clean, slightly bready barley malts. Clean maltiness and light bitterness in the flavor. Dryish and a bit unfresh in the finish. Light to medium bodied, smooth palate. A bit sharp carbonation. Can't do it with this one.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.58/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I wouldn't choose to drink this beer. It tastes a little bit better than Miller Lite, but only a little bit. And given how many calories it has compared to how few a light beer has, I can't saw the difference in taste would be sufficient to make choose Sam Adams Boston Lager...which I can't imagine is a popular sentiment on this site. Now if my choices were Sam Adams Boston Lager or Founder's Red's Rye; well I still wouldn't be choosing Sam Adams.

Appearance of this beer was quite nice. It was very sparkling and clear in appearance, with a fine white head that dissipated in a quite appealing way. Very little aroma. Flavor was a bit malty, but I detected little to no hoppiness. As it warmed up a bit, I got some odd metallicness that I did not care for.

Mouthfeel was a bit flat and watery, and the carbonation made this beer seem harsh and scratchy. Not recommended.

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Photo of Vancer
2.61/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Hmm, from the winter sampler pack – this one turned me off Sam Adams a long time ago. It was on tap at a local place, and I remember the exact same thoughts:
Nice looking pour, mahogany brown with a nice tan head, somewhat malty aroma with just some hints of hops. But wow, is this an awful taste, raspy, hoppy and earthy – just not a pleasant brew at all. Way to unbalanced in my book.

The Boston Ale is good, the lager is a bad rep of a Vienna lager.

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Photo of HalfFull
2.62/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I think Harvard should take on this beer as a case study in Marketing, or perhaps contract brewing.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass it forms a nice dark head that lingers for a while and continues as moderate lacing on the glass. Taste and Mouthfeel disappoint. This is a shallow cousin, perhaps second cousin, of what this beer was ten years ago.

Living in San Diego I've been tasting this beer for many years, but would always cherish a trip to the East Coast to enjoy the real Sam. The one I served in 1986. The one that dethroned many a European beer 20 years ago as for my favorites. Alas, my last two trips have convinced me that that Sam is gone. Sam Adams BL in Boston is now the same as Sam Adams BL in San Diego. The lowest common denominator has won. This is a very sad day. The beer is boring and lifeless now, devoid of much character and tastes as if it's been pasteurized.

edit: Feb. 2009

Poured a bottle of Sam into my new Boston Lager glass. Color is lighter still, golden at best, and clear with a reduced head. Malt presence remains washed out. A bit smoky on the nose, rather dry. What happened to those Vienna malts? I pick up more hops but with a diacetyl butter flavor. Can't retain or regenerate any head. 'A head so thick you can float a bottle cap on it'? I don't think so. The degradation continues. June 2009 freshness date from a Brewmaster's Collection mixed case.

At this rate we'll have Sam Adams Boston Water by 2015. Bon Soir...

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Photo of prodgerm
2.63/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Like most Samuel Adams beers I find this Lager a bit thin and with a mouth feel of a beer that costs much less; such as Yuengling Lager. The color is good and it head is OK; a bit more hops would help balance the malt sweetness. Like all Sam Adams I find this brew over priced for what it delivers.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.64/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed 1/17/2006 (On tap @ BWW, Clear Lake, Houston, TX):

Pours an amber-red color body, with a medium white head and some good lacing. Has a strong aroma of hops. A smooth, balanced flavor, some maltiness. Not too much flavor, slightly bitter finish.

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Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
86 out of 100 based on 2,609 ratings.