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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: 8,774
Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a light orange gold beer with a thick foamy white head that sticks around a while. Aroma is of toasty malts with a spicy noble hop accent. Flavor is reminiscent of Aromatic and Munich malts with a nice spicy hop finish. Mouthfeel has an average appeal as the carbonation lends a sharper flavor while maintaining a thick head. Overall this is a nice beer to have as it has a lot of flavor and a huge distribution means that you can get it almost anywhere.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – The one poured a light, clear orange. It had some good, active carbonation with a soft, off-white head that showed excellent retention.

Smell – The American grain came out first. It wasn’t as harsh as it is in many US macro beers. The light, kind of citrusy hops were very pleasant and the even malt aroma was even better.

Taste – The hops were more prominent at the taste. The malt backbone came out quite nicely as well.

Mouthfeel – This lager is light to medium-bodied with some good carbonation and a nice dryness throughout.

Drinkability – This is a good “micro-macro” beer.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had the Boston Lager out of a 22 oz brown bottle and served it in a pint glass. Very attractive and fluffy 1.5 inch head. Freshness date was notched for November 2004.

Appearance is a dark orange amber. Rocky and sticky head with really nice lacings that stay.

This brew smells sweet and has an attractive overall scent. Nice aroma.

Taste is clearly sweet, malty and balanced. Sweet up front and slighty bitter on the finish.

This beer is a staple on many accounts. It works well with many food pairings and can be a session beer for the night as well. Its availibility is plentiful around the Boston area. Many times this beer will compete with all of the major macros in bars and when thats the case, this is usually a solid choice. I have been drinking this beer for many years and I think that its not at the same level it was about 7 years ago, its still a good beer.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Already tried on tap, which was very good. The bottle pours a shiny copper color, like a new penny. Pours a nice frothy, off-white head that leaves a sticky lace around the glass. The aroma is kind of nutty with a background of hops.

The flavor is carbonated nicely with a sour apple and bitter hop taste. This is a good session beer whether on tap or from the bottle.

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Photo of ken3c
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is really growing on me.
Nov 2004 notched as the buy before date. "International Australia GOLD 2003 Award Winner" under the bottle cap.

Clear dark orange color with a half inch of foam. Settles down to a thin layer and laces the glass a bit.

Smells sweet with only the merest hint of hops.

Tastes sweet and sour and bitter. I like the balance. For some reason it tastes better in little sips.

Feels light, bubbly and refreshing.

Very drinkable. Next time, I'll buy a case.

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Photo of Doiv
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If someone were to ask me to name a macro, brewed in the USA, this would be the first to spring to mind. It is now imported into the UK, and I picked it up in a Waitrose in South London.

Pours a golden honey colour with a big white head. Leaves beads of lacing.

Aromas of strawberries, caramel, biscuity and honey malts are apparent, with a light hoppy and floral finish.

Taste is definitely lagerish, but it has a lasting sour and bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy, drinks well. Although not really exciting, this is still a pleasant drink.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

orange amber colored with a white head. the aroma is of light floral hops with a sweet malt background not very complex but certainly not bad at all. light hop flavor with some caramel malt sweetness. i've always noticed that this tastes more like a pale ale than a lager, maybe just me or something. light carbonation and a mediuum mouthfeel. this beer was meant to be highly drinkable and it delivers there. there's nothing to dislike about this beer it's very well rounded.

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Photo of RedBaron
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11 years ago, on my last true summer break (going into my senior year of college), I noticed a few billboards popping up around my town (Chicago) which extolled the virtues, and aroused the tastebuds, for Samuel Adams. Although at the time I thought that advertisers paying good $$$ to advertise a yet-not-so-national brand of craft brew that I enjoyed was truly revolutionary, I must say that though I don't hold Sam Adams Boston Lager in the exact same sacred place I once did (maybe my taste buds have changed; perhaps I've simply tried too many other beers in the interim), but this is still well-made beer, with the integrity it had all along.

Appearance: Strong gold, with a flourishing head which sustained throughout.
Smell: Floral hop aroma (still using the old German Hallertauer perhaps?)
Taste: A little grainy malt flavor, but not bad. Balanced well with a decent bittering hop.
Mouthfeel: About as solid as I'd remembered it being. Good, not over-the-top sustaining feel, but definitely better than any mainstream, light-as-a-lark beer.
Drinkability: The perfect BBQ beer. A great beer to enjoy on a warm summer's evening with friends.

This isn't my favorite SA beer, but as I've been drinking this well-nigh 15 years it still proves itself as a very good beer, beating most competitors, especially in comparitive pricing.

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Photo of DPMomutant
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a medium amber color, very clear and clean body. One finger head, not much there. Does look like some is trying to stick to the side of the glass.

A pretty light smell of hops and just a touch heavier of the malt. Compared to most lagers the best description I can give of the smell is 'fresher' (10/04 freshness date).

The hops are subtle but tasteable. The malt comes out some in the middle. It is not aggressive, but has character.

Good even carbonation in the mouth. Moderate consistency in the body. The finish is smooth with only a hint of hop bitterness.

I've occasionally kicked back with a 6er of this and enjoyed it and probably still could. Easy to drink and not hard on the head and pretty good to boot.

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Photo of bignick
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a all-around solid beer. It is a beer that is both enjoyed by fans of micorbrewed beer and macrobrewed beer, and this is for good reason.

It pours a copper color, with a smallish head, but one that has good retention. The aroma is floral. The beer itself is well balanced, with the maltiness and the hoppiness complimenting each other. The one quality that defines this beer is its crispness. It holds up to any food and is an all-occasions beer. The one gripe I have with this lager is that it goes down a bit harsh. Overall it is one of the best mass-produced beers.

Samuel Adams Lager lacks excitement, but it is a good beer that always delivers.

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Photo of lokicat444
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: A muted orangish brown, with a solid layer of head. The color nicely parallels the solidness of the beer as a whole.

I don't know how to describe the taste and smell of Sam Adams except to say that.. they're uniquely Sam Adams. The taste impact is hugely satisfying, and other lagers seem dull in comparison. Slightly bitter but by no means unpleasant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is just right, neither watery or too thick- perfect for having more than one. Drinkability is excellent- the perfect session beer, since it's cheap in bottles and on-tap everywhere. I find myself ordering at dinner whenever I can't find any other interesting new brews to try.

Bottomline: this is the beer that got me to start liking beer. Perhaps I'm emotionally biased towards SA, but I really think its taste and balance are outstanding.

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Photo of Ricochet
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's rare that I buy this beer because when I want a microbrew, I go to a microbrewery or living in Cleveland, I buy Great Lakes. Every now and then, I'll buy it with dinner.

Red Lobster. No foam, full imperial quart, and ice cold from the tap. It's orange to red and with the first sip, a great microbrew flavor , with a light bitterness. It's a little thin in texture and goes down missing some of the extra taste notes that really mean microbrew to me. Actually, this beer probably got me hooked on Pale Ales and being a hophead.

When I first tried this beer, it introduced me to Micros and a whole other world of tastes to love beer for. It's still a good introduction to "better than American lagers". A good beverage when in the restaurant and all they have are lites and Bud.

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Photo of tjd25
3.49/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A soft fluffly head, with huge irregular bubbles. A nice although transparent copper color. The smell is nice, round dark malts and caramel with some hints of red fruits. The highlight of this beer. The taste is enjoyably malty, caramelized, almost chocolatywith some fruity flavors. The mouthfeel is decent for a lager, a bit creamy, not overly watery with a lasting hoppiness. Maybe not that drinkable, because of the citric grassy hoppiness. My first impression was definitely better than the one I have after finishing the glass.

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Photo of Hunter
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finally got around to reviewing this one, although who hasn't tried it numerous times?

Beer poured a remarkably clear light copper color, with a shock-head head that vanishes quickly. Little carbonation.

A straight up blend of caramel malt and hops in the nose. Direct and unassuming.

The taste backs up the smell. Hops hit the tongue first, are swept up by a short rush of malt, and then reappear on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth with neither the astringency of hops/carbonation nor the cloying feel of malt.

This brew is all about solid beer making, perfectly balanced without bells and whistles. Availability in even the most remote corners makes it a good fallback beer when you'd otherwise be staring at a night of Bud/Bud Light.

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First class lounge at JFK airport in New York - my first time in the U.S. in almost two years. I figure the least this place can offer is Sammy. Sure enough, there it was. My lips quivered in anticipation as the bottle was placed before me. "Um, excuse me, could I please have a glass?" Anyway, welcome back to America!

Pours a slightly amber gold under a one finger off-white head that lingered well and produced some nice lace. The nose is a lovely combination of sweet malt and a crisp hoppy nose. Yeah, that's what Russian beers lack! The mouth is prickly, light and smooth. The taste presents a lovely chorus of malt and crisp hops, slightly sweet in the opening, solid flowery hop bitterness soon thereafter. Throughout, an excellent balance of sweet and bitter. The aftertaste lingers long with a hint of sweet amidst the bitterness. Oh, this is good. No wonder it revolutionized the American beer scene!

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Have had this beer tons of times but this is the first review. This is definately a beer that I frequent when out to eat when the selection is slim pickings. There was virtually no head on this but the color was very nice. Nice crisp aroma. The taste to me just doesn't seem like a lager. Say what you will, but I honestly think this beer tastes similar to a pale ale, not a lager. Overall, this is a great mass-produced beer (one of the finest to be exact), and does the job when you find yourself in the midst of a macro swill swamp.

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Photo of joecast
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

re review 11/06 bottle. best before 01/07.

good beige head, hazy honey colored. nice lacing.
a bit of spicy hops in the nose as well as the malt.
really good stuff. think it suffered from being served way too cold for my first review (cant believe i remember). upped score accordingly.

light brownish-red in color with a thin lace head.
sweet malt/caramel aroma.
taste is sweet up front followed by a clean bitter finish. nice full flavor.
comes back in a nice spiciness when burping (too much information?). maybe a tad much carbonation.
nice beer to sit back and relax with at the end of the day. gives back without requiring too much from the drinker.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Applebees, Sturbridge, MA, in a 23oz hefe-style glass.

Nice frothy 3/4" white head with some staying power, which laced excellently. Copper hue to this brew. Aroma was kind of generic beer - light malts and hops aroma. Taste was as well somewhat generic, nothing bad, but nothing much stood out either. Mouthfeel was good, and drinkability was excellent, you could drink a bunch of it, but knocked down a bit because it may get somewhat monotonous. Sam Adams needs to add a little more excitement into this one...

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Photo of edchicma
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pleasant light amber appearance with a nice malt bouquet. Taste was malty but crisp. Light hop finish. Very easy on the drinkability scale...mouthfeel was medium, with a crisp finish. Could be a good summer session brew. Not a bog lager fan, but this one is worth a second (or third) bottle.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For me this is just a solid all-around beer. No particular area stands out as the most noticible aspect of this beer, its just very good all the way through. This might be my new session beer, especially since it is priced right for the amount of quality it delivers.

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Photo of slitherySOB
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Now this is what a macro lager should be. Mass produced, but still a quality beer. This is a great session beer. One anybody can pound back while playing poker or pool. Anyways, Sam Adams poured a semigloss, almost dark orange. Wasn't really red, but it was nice. Head wasn't big, maybe 1/2 finger, but it stayed and it left alot of lace. Balanced smell leading towards sweet. Good dose of malt, bread, bit of hops to add a kick to the aroma. It was more of what I didn't smell that impressed me. No corn, no rice, no sugar. Ahh, what a taste. Light sweetness, with enough bittering hops to balance and let you know this is not an alcopop, this is a beer. Aftertaste is lightly sweeter, followed by a pleasant sourness. Excellent mouthfeel. It goes down easy, crisp and refreshing. Very drinkable, but with one flaw. Perhaps this only affects me this way, but for every Boston lager I drink, I let out one burp. I have to let it down a half point for that. Sorry.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.89/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the most underappreciated beers out there. This bottled version pours an autumn gold color, very deep gold. Impressive white head that retains well.

Aroma is on the floral hoppy side, but it doesn't suggest that the beer is for hopheads, nor does it scare away the hop-newbies. This beer is about balance, and the aroma achieves this admirably. The hoppiness has a pleasant steel-y metallic aroma, along with fresh bread notes in the mix, maybe even biscuits. On a hot day this is one of the most appetizing beers I reach for.

On the palate this beer welcomes you warmly with that vienna style maltiness, light caramel, but wait, the hops assert themselves to compliment the malty character... leaving you to focus on the oily hops, but then there's the malt again... and so on. I detect a citrusy character as well, but more floral and pleasant metallic flavors.

Medium to full bodied Vienna style lager. Good body, but still refreshing and drinkable. The best of both worlds. This is a beer you can savor and contemplate, but also enjoy regularly with good availability. This is probably the best domestic craft beer in the vienna lager category, hands down.

Beer Snobs, please set aside your elitism and look at this beer for what it is, despite its near "macro" status today.

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Photo of CBFanWish
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's nice to have a goog American lager once in a while. A nice balance of malt and hops make it a near perfect lager. No hints of adjucts. No rice, no corn.
This is the perfect session brew. It has brought many people to the world of better beers, and I'm sure it will bring many more.

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Photo of MattFrenzy
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Sam Adams Boston Lager is a classic, for good reason. Light copper appearance, hinting on red. One of the best American lagers I've tried. Starts off a bit sweet before a slightly spicy, hoppy kick and clean finish. Very drinkable and consistant. You can't really go wrong with this beer.

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Photo of cptnjck101
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is extraordinary! Tastes great. Goes down smooth. An American classic. This is by far my favorite fallback beer. A bit pricey for a college kid as myself, but when I have a few extra bucks to spend, Sam Adams is always high my priority list.

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