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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager

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very good

2,510 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,510
Hads: 8,274
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 10.68%
Wants: 135
Gots: 1,696 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Vienna Lager |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-27-2001

Our original beer is full-flavored with a balance of malty sweetness contrasted by hop spiciness and a smooth finish.
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Reviews: 2,510 | Hads: 8,274
Photo of Beastdog75
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Boston Lager, the flagship beer of the Boston Beer Company, has a wide range of people either slamming it or singing its praises. In my opinion, this is probably the most obtainable "good beer" that you can get. Even chain restaurants serving mostly junk beer will probably have the Boston Lager. I had this beer on many of an occasion when I first started drinking. I took a step back, and many of the lagers that I've reviewed for BA have been of the pale, fizzy type (for a reason). Trying Sam Adams after such a long absence, the difference was immediately noticable (and justifying the "reason" I alluded to). Sam Adams is a very good lager, whose availability is definately a plus.

Boston Lager pours a golden amber color with some orange hints. A decent, white foam head forms and lasts for about 35 seconds before thinning out (but still leaving a decent lace). There is some caramel malt scents here, but there is a very aromatic hop bouquet here: floral and spicy in the nose, and crisp. Thin, lager type of mouthfeel, but not over-carbonated. Once again, crisp. There is an good amount of caramel malt flavor here, but the hops really make their presence known. Floral, spicy, herbal (in some ways a medicine-like bitterness). After previously reviewing weaker beers, the hops seem to hit hard. Quite dry in the finish. The dryness and bitterness in the aftertaste lasts for awhile, and there are some nutty malt flavors remaining. This finishes out with a little alcoholic warmth.

The second one I had seemed to go down smoother than the first, although it seemed less hoppy. This would go with a wide range of foods, from steaks, to turkey (or other poultry), and even Italian food. For a beer of such wide availability, this is an all-around good choice. It may be a simple lager, but it's done right. (1,834 characters)

Photo of Ianhockey91
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a nice copper to bronze hue, with a tall white head, wich does have some lace to it. Smells kinda sweet, malty with hops floating around as well. Tastes quite sweet, perhaps a little caramel in there, the hops are a bit subdued though, would like ot see more of them in here. A good macro beer, probably the best macro out there. (339 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-Tap: Color is a amberish brown, almost dull copper-like, small whitish head thats loose with some retention and spotty and whispy thin strings of lace. Aroma is a dull toned breadish malt, lightly sweet of bagels and a touch of roastyness thats nice, hints of dried herbal hops as well. Taste has a very mellow easy malty roasty sweetness, kinda light breadish quality with a semi amount of dried herbal hops, almost spicy in some transitions of the crisp clean finish. Feel is lighter then medium, smooth and easy, nice touch of carbonation helps it a bit. A nice little lager. Been awhile since I had one of these, was a good choice to have with lunch over the usual macro. (678 characters)

Photo of xgrigorix
3.31/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draught, presented in a shaker pint glass.

Medium amber hue, topped but a rich looking off white head. Foam recedes slowly leaving a sheet of lace cling to the glass. The lace will continue all the way to the bottom.

Full malt aroma, with a tingle of spicy hops.

Big bready malt flavor, clean, with a subtle hoppy finish. Really would prefer this with more hops. Medium bodied crisp & clean. The old standby, when every other beer in the place isn't worth drinking. (477 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light brown color, small white foamy head. Aroma is malty and sweet. .A nice malty and hoppy beer. Flavor is mild, full mouthfeel. Good balance. A simple beer, but well made. Nice beer. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is malty and slightly bitter. (262 characters)

Photo of palliko
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I keep coming back to this beer. I have tried dozens of pale ales, highly hopped like Hop Ottin, Flying Dog, etc. but Sam Adams beats them all. I know: it is commonly found everywhere, so how can it be exceptional? Don't beers have to be from microbreweries that are very hard to find and have to be ordered special from your local liquor store? Not for me. This beer has what I look for: drinkability. It goes well with food. The bouquet is very subtle. It doesn't overpower you with hops. It has a nice malty middle. A delicious but slightly bitter finish. Thumbs up, Sam! (574 characters)

Photo of far333
2.71/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

It's been a while since I've had one, but the other day I was at an airport bar, and this was the best they had to offer, so I gave it another try. Still not impressed. Appearance was pretty good, with a healthy foamy off-white head that left a bit of lace. Light honey color. Aroma was light, a bit corny, not too much hops. Flavor was also pretty light, and unimpressive. Not much balance or character. Very faint light malt, teeny bit of hops, perhaps a bit of sweet corn and honey. Some cinnamon lingers, but a faint acrid note emerges in the finish. (554 characters)

Photo of Andreji
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

#4 of the all american brew spree.

A very nice lager as I expected it to be. Pours a rather light amber translucent tone with a nice creamy head edging between white and light tan in colour. Lasting, leaving considerable lacing behind.

The smell reflected a nice maltyness and a delicate hoppyness suggesting a rather balanced brew with a soft taste.

And so it was. A bit sweet, but mantaining the usual fine lager pattern in a very soft and easygoing body. No excess carbonation (perhaps lacked it a bit) and the reduced and comfortable bitterness at the end compliments it well.

A nice mouthfeel with no excess flavours as one would desire see in a red lager. Nice buy. (685 characters)

Photo of Mustard
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle with "for brewery-fresh taste, purchase before month notched" warning -- in this case September (2003) -- on its label's left edge; $5.99/6 from Ralph's.

Appearance: Pours a crystal-clear, honey brown with a fine, white, three-quarter inch head; nice lacing; adequate head retention.

Nose: Predominantly of sweet, caramel malt and noble hops.

Taste: Gentle sweetness upfront; nicely proportioned hop bitterness in the finish; herbal, earthy hop flavors; mild notes of caramel and grain. Medium bodied; smooth, crisp mouthfeel.

Notes: As so many before me have pointed out, a great "fall-back" beer. How many beer selling establishments would simply be intolerable without SA's Boston Lager? For what it's worth, I prefer this quite a bit to the Boston Ale. (801 characters)

Photo of taez555
3.89/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
This beer poured a big thick white head with a crystal clear orange/brown body.

The nose had a nice mix of soft malt, some soft fruit and a slightly spicy hop smell.

The taste was medium bodied. Very smooth. Light caramel flavor and rich sweet malt. A full even bitterness layered against an earthy hop flavor. It actually tastes like it's been dry hopped somewhat. Surprisingly the hops seem to slightly dominate, although they never overpower the malt.

It ends with a nice even hop bitterness offset by the sweet malt.

Basically it's just a great all around beer. No matter how much Sam Adams seems to sell out, the fact is... they continue to make an extremely drinkable flavorful beer. Easy drinking, malty, hoppy, you can't go wrong. (763 characters)

Photo of Rocko
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice lager. The appearance is really beautiful, dark orange with a nice white fluffy head that leaves a thin coating all the way through.

The nose is fruity and a bit malt. It smells alot like the Boston Ale variant if that gives you any clue. (atleast how I remember it)

The taste is suprisingly refreshing, a bit hoppy and nutty. The carbonation is just perfect and it's very drinkable imho.

This is one of the few american macro brews I like, and yet again it was from Samuel Adams. (505 characters)

Photo of Ellbert
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer. It is hopped very nicely. It is very balanced with a nice sweetness that fades to the hoppy bitterness. The mouthfeel is a little thin. Carbonation is good especially for this style of beer.

Boston Beer company always does a good job on their brews.

Drink up (287 characters)

Photo of SetarconeX
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fairly pretty little color, and with a nice, lingering lace on the top. It's perhaps not exactly the smoothest Lager out there, but it's a fairly nice, thick brew. Taste is a bit unusual, and it's maybe a bit hoppier than I'd like, but that's a personal preferance thing. When you get down to it, it's a fairly solid beer, and if the opportunity came up, I think I could drink it again. (386 characters)

Photo of beergeek279
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color was a darker amber, with a good head. The smell was dry and hoppy. The taste was relatively hoppy, with a nice malt to back it up.......well-balanced. Mouthfeel was smooth. Drinkability-wise, I could definitely have a few of these.

Although a lot has probably been said about Sam Adams' Light and other mistakes, their flagship beer is still a great American beer. With this one available everywhere, this is a great back-up beer in places where other micros haven't yet penetrated. (524 characters)

Photo of dmarch
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably what most people think a craft beer is. They're right for the most part. This beer is very well made and it does possess the adjunct like taste usually associated with macro beer. Deep amber in color with a little bit of lace. The hops in the aroma are apparent, but subtle. The taste is caramel and spicy hops. More sweet than dry. (341 characters)

Photo of TheDM
2.9/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This brew pours a medium head of fine to medium sized white bubbles and a transparent amber colored body. The head lasted a long time. Its aroma was that of mild malts and hops. It had a bitter initial taste then finished more smoothly. It had a typical hop flavor. (265 characters)

Photo of 99bottles
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sam Adams is a very respectable beer and one that I am glad to see people serve as an alternative to some of the other American macros. I believe it was the first "good beer" I had tried, and it did not disappoint me then as it does not now. The beer pours a clear deep red/light brown with a nice fluffy white head. The smell is of floral hops, a highly drinkable blend that Sam Adams is known for. The hops are present, not in the fashion of a pale ale, but moreso than in other lagers. There is a good malt base that gives this beer more prescence and a more fulfilling feel. Although I've branched out and found true happiness in the world of microbrews, I still enjoy a nice big steak with a tasty Sam Adams on occasion. (725 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The first American mircobrew I ever tried way back when (back when it was microbrewed as well). Pours out a good looking clear light amber, small foamy head, and some decent lacing. Nose consists mainly of floral hops, a bit of malt behind it. Flavour primarily spicy hops, some sweet malt to back it up. Creamy mouthfeel, but the whole deal seems to bite on the way down, doesn't sit well. Best before mark on the label says it's alright, yet I can't see this being a regular of mine, given the caustic side effects. (517 characters)

Photo of aaronh
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams Boston lager is a good beer that Bud and MGD drinkers usually appreciate, but don't buy because it is slightly more expensive. It's worth the extra cash as a regular session type beer. It has a nice deep amber color and pours with an attractive head that fades quickly and leaves a hint of lace on the glass. The aroma of the hops in this beer are good. You can taste the malt character, and the beer finishes very clean. This is a good beer to have around for your macro friends, because if they don't drink it all, you won't mind having it around. This was my first "craft" beer a decade ago, and I still like to have one every now and then. It does seem to get a little too sweet for my tastes now, though. (719 characters)

Photo of jcalabre
3.15/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally sampled on 7 January 2003. I am writing this review from my notes. This pours a clear amber color w/ a long lasting head. Very nice appearance. Good aroma. Very simple, typical lager flavor. I'm not big on lagers, but this one is palatable (250 characters)

Photo of euskera
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The first of the "American Micros" I ever tasted. Back then, a revelation. Nice coppery color, good spice and hoppiness and still quite drinkable. While I certainly wouldn't turn one of these down, I won't go and search one out either... (237 characters)

Photo of usualpulp
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the more well known "micro brews" Sam adams has gained alot of popularity. It isnt one of the best beers around, but it is still quite good. One of my favorite fallback beers, mainly because its available almost anywhere I go. The beer itself is very good, pours a nice copper color, with good carbonation and a thin white head, with a nice hop and spice smell. Hops and carmelized malts seem to be the most present flavors, with a hint of spicyness, and a very very small hint of fruit. The brew finishes very dry, and leaves you wanting more. Overall, for being so widely available, this beer is an excellent choice when the alternative is bud or coors. It is a mass produced beer that actually has flavor. (715 characters)

Photo of granger10
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The first real good beer I ever had. It is quite amazing how good an American macrobrewed lager really can be! A very smooth drink that goes down nicely. Nothing really stands out in this brew, maybe a little hoppy, but all in all a great beer that the people at Coors and Bud should try to emulate. (299 characters)

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.06/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a decent brew but not one of my favorites. It poured a beautiful amber with a big creamy head that stayed throughout. The smell was rather sharp after the aroma of malt and some spice.
The taste had a real bite of hops at the end after I got past the blend of fruit, malt and spice. I felt the combination of carbonation and bitterness at the finish tended to overpower the smoothness at the start. The bitter aftertaste really hung around.
This beer just struck me as being too bitter for my taste. (509 characters)

Photo of marburg
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love that this beer has wiggled its way into being very well-accepted and commonly-carried. It makes the ideal beer for drinking when, frankly, there's nothing else worth drinking. It's a damn fine lager, dark amber but vibrant in appearance. Pleasantly pure grainy aromas with a sweet, malty flavor that finishes with a simple hop presence. Straightforward and to the point. And very easy going down. Doesn't get bad as it warms and can be a definite session beer if you need it. (482 characters)

Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
86 out of 100 based on 2,510 ratings.