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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,531 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,531
Hads: 8,407
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 25.26%
Wants: 143
Gots: 1,846 | 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: 2,531 | Hads: 8,407
Photo of mschofield
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden with a touch of red, medium high white head that laces well
Aroma balanced between malt sweetness and hops with a floral touch.
Flavor is mostly malt, with a touch of hops in the back, a touch of grapefruit.
A medium feel to it, nicely balanced and easy drinking.

This was the first good beer I ever had. It's still great as a session beer, and should be the best choice at any number of restaurants and bars. I don't get it as much as I used to - but these came in the winter pack. It's been passed by some of the beers BBC came up with later, and towers above some of the others.

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

I have to render unto this beer its props for being, usually, the best choice you have available in most restaurant bars (although a fine Chicago pizza scarfin' establishment like Giordano's should know better than to use iced-over glasses). Has a nice dark gold color, darker than any megabrew, under the usual lager head. The malt is very evident, almost but not quite a caramel aspect, again better than megabrewed "barley pop." Hop flavor is nicely balanced, bitterness doesn't really assert itself until after you swallow. Many beer fans have kind of a love-hate relationship with Jim Koch, but this is still the beer that makes his rep.

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Photo of surfmeister
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: cherry wood, off white heads that hung around awhile, pretty
Aroma: bread, I frickin love it, like having a beer in a frickin bakery
Flavor: balance with a frickin capital "B", big malt up front with a hoppy little bite in the ass as you leave.
Mouthfeel: substantial, meaty but not overbearing.
Overall: it's no mystery why this beer is so frickin' popular, they hit on all bases. big enough taste for "serious" beer drinkers but won't scare away macro drinkers.

Addendum 3/19/04:
It's nice to retry a beer months after first reviewing it to see if your opinion has changed...it hasn't.
This beer is magnificent, the full flavors that don't overpower, the incredible balance. Highly underrated, probably due to it's availability and therefore loss of "hipness". This is one of the best beers in the world

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This amber colored brew had a white head that lasted from the first taste to the last drop and laced the glass from top to bottom. The aroma is quite fruity and malty. The flavor is sweet malt and a good hop backbone. The finish is sweet then bitter and that finish lasts. The drinkability is good.

As far as being a good beer, it certainly is. As far as being a good vienna lager, it isn't. Too fruity and too hoppy. I liked the beer, and probably will have one again when something more interesting is not available.

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Photo of winomark
2.8/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a light copper with a small off-white head.

Aroma: Slightly malty, with good hop aroma. Somewhat sweet smelling.

Taste: Fairly mild palate, with the malt being most prevelant.

Mouthfeel: Quite plain, with some sourness. Bolder than most macros, but not much character.

Drinkability: Easy-drinking and a good transition from macros to micros. A solid brew.

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

Pours a light clear amber with a creamy ivory head. Very lacy all the way through the beer. Smells of hay, light apple, pale malt and hops.

Tastes of mown grass. Fresh tasting is the only way I can describe it. Sweet apple flavors and lightly spicy. Mouthfeel is creamy and fizzy. Light-bodied. An understated hoppy aftertaste that slowly builds and rises on the palette. Very smooth, very drinkable.

Still love this beer. It was my "gateway" beer to micros over 10 years ago. Probably still my favorite lager.

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

The beer pours a nice amber color with a medium head. The aroma has some hops and fruitiness. The beer is medium bodied, very smooth, and nicely carbonated. The malt and bitterness are well balanced, and some fruit tones linger into the aftertaste. Extremely drinkable and satisfying. This usually ends up being my beer of choice when restaurants offer nothing beyond the usual macros and imports.

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Photo of farHillsBrewer
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Boston Beer Co is no longer a "micro". So what. This beer is definitely "craft brewed". How many times have you gone to a bar a restaurant and the only decent beer available was Sam Adams? I am thankful that it is around. This lager has a smooth profile and plenty of noble hops to wrap your toungue around. It's nicely balanced and consistenly good. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Rootdog316
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is hoppy, flowery, and spicy. The taste is hoppy and, to a lesser extent, malty. Boston lager tastes sweet at first, then finishes dry. And it leaves a dry aftertaste in the mouth, balanced equally between hops and malt. This beer's hoppy/malty characteristics make it an excellent beer to drink with many foods, particularly steak, beef stew, hamburger, or sausage. The taste of German hops are this beer's strongest asset. Caramel, spice, biscuits, and toasted malt flavors all contribute to the flavor and make this a beer to remember but the hops are what I remember more than anything when I sample this brew.

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Photo of flaminghomer
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

wow, i cannot believe that i have not reviewed this beer yet. ever since i got caught up into the BA community i've been hearing about great beers and having to try them. in that time i seem to forgot my buddy for the past two years, MR. SAM ADAMS!

i'll try to be as level minded as possible in this review.

this beer pours out a golden medium copper in color with a head that just won't go away. head is white/very light tan. it sticks to the glass on the way down like a very good stout.

aromas are straight from the brewhouse. it smells of all the natural ingredients in this beer. very balanced smell. just as complex as the taste.

taste, hmmm.. it's crisp on the tongue with a slight citrus bite. smooth roasted malt flavor. a little too sweet, a little too bitter.
(hey!, maybe that's the secret?) i don't know. it's just good!

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Photo of JISurfer
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Who hasn't had this beer? I think this is the staple for any beer drinker at any level. It is definately a good beer to have around at all times. It's wheaty, malty, and balances out with hops. I must say that this one is fairly reliable on taste. I really can't think of a skunky/watery/crappy Sammy A, that I have had. The color was arich amber with a creamy head that lasted a while. It's mouthfeel was ok, a bit bubbly, but then it went down so smooth. If you haven't had this one yet, then go get it now!

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Photo of TerryW
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice amber colour with a moderate head that lost some of it's volume but still showed good staying power. Decent lace. A good looking beer.

Nice malty aroma. Tatse is slightly sweet malts at the front followed by nice dry bitter hops that like to linger. Nice mouthfeel. A good drinkin' beer.

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

clear light amber color with thick whte head and small bubbles.
very hoppy aroma, almost grassy...this has gotta be the only lager I've tried so far that has this much hop aroma and character. clean malty mouthfeel and taste followed by a spicey dry hoppy aftertaste that drys out the back of your throat. definetly a good session beer since it's available just about everywhere.

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Photo of chaduvel
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber color, decent size head that stays around longer than I remember. Clean smooth malt with just enough hops to keep things interesting. Some spiciness and a good dose of carbonation make this one go down easy. One of the first micro brews I ever had and a good stand-by available at nearly every bar in the area.

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Photo of theozag
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Boston Lager is a full-bodied and flavorful lager. Frothy but light head that stays on the beer but doesn't noticably affect the drinking experience. Dark color with a rich texture that creatively blends hoppy flavor with a slightly more acidic brew than usual in a lager. Starts with an almost wood-like taste that builds to a complex climax before leaving a near-cinnamon aftertaste (one that tends to stick on the tongue, by the way). The beer of choice for those who prefer a dark lager, although the longevity of the aftertaste is something of which to be wary.

- Backdated tasting: I first reviewed this beer on 22AUG03, this post is based on notes from that review, and several tastings since. -

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Photo of grynder33
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amberish color, nice strong fruit hop, aroma. The taste is full bold hop fruit and a sweet malt, there is a slightly sweet aftertaste. Nice lace on the glass. We should consider Mr. Koch and his beers a national treasure. A great quality beer like this, available almost everywhere. Many were the times I would have been stuck with macro pee water had it not been for SAB Lager also being there on tap.

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

Amber/deep golden colour, good head. Smells and tastes like a cross-breed between an ale and a lager. Flowery perfumed aroma (not unpleasant), malty flavour (a tad too sweet), plenty of bitterness in the aftertaste - but COMPLEX is not the word I would use. Decent (and of course infinitely better than the BMC stuff), but I'm sure there are better American beers out there.

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Photo of clvand0
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the local pub. Pours an amber color with a decent sized head and leaves a respectable amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is not very strong, but malts and citrus are there. The flavor was mostly composed of the malt (caramel?) and hops. Very nice. The drinkability was very impressive - I could down these endlessly.

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Photo of TinusTime
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice light amber with a nice tight white head that lingers and laces well.. The smell is a bit of citrus hops with some nice malty backbone.. Its a bit odd the beer tastes maltier than i remember or that it maybe should. The hops definately come in at the finish to help quell the malt sweetness.. The overall mouthfeel is a bit heavy in my opinion. The drinkablity is good- would make for a good session beer albeit not a great one.. A good solid beer with no glaring weeknesses but nothing outstanding.. I always look at it as a safety beer when the choices are limited, as you always know its gonna be solid.

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Photo of JAL67
2.8/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's an ok beer from BBC. If this your first intro to a micro hey it's a start. BBC offers many more beers that are better than SA Lager. I find it boring and other than it's look, I find the taste dull. Why they insist on this being the flagship of BBC is beyond me(I know it was the first born). Boston Ale much better. Not something I normally buy but if it's in the Holiday/Variety pack, I'll drink it.


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Photo of yankeeheel
3.28/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a coppery amber with a nice white head. Some lacing apparent.

Smells very bready, with a moderate amount of hop. The taste is what you'd expect for a decent lager. Nothing overwhelming, fairly balanced. Moderate mouthfeel, slightly hoppy at the end. Again, no big suprises.

If you force me to drink lagers, I'll go with this one. It's everywhere, the quality is consistent, and it goes down easy. For a lot of beer drinkers this stuff is high falutin fancy beer.

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of Ianhockey91
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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Photo of xgrigorix
3.31/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

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Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
86 out of 100 based on 2,531 ratings.