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

very good
2,608 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: 2,608 | Ratings: 8,770
Photo of jmv0009
3.57/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L- Pours a copper clear color, thin white head. Excellent lacing and I mean excellent.
S- very grainy and bready with some alcohol.
T- lots of grain and bread. Some hops and sweet on the finish.
F- smooth, light.
O- I still consider this a macro beer but don't let that scare you off. This is a solid beer especially for the price. Not great by any means but definitely solid.

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Photo of Dinglehacker
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into pub glass. Mild head, but generous lacing that persisted.

Smells mostly of malts, with faint soft hops.

Taste signifies grain, bready ] + slightly roasted golden wheat. Mild hops comes in to play most at the end.

Smooth mouth.

The general consensus is pretty on point with this. It has real flavor, and is very refreshing. Almost the platonic absolute of beer.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 4.9% abv

Appearance- Pours a copper orange with large white head. Very clear.

Smell- Cooked grain, baked bread. Light hints of caramel.

Taste- Grainy malt base, bready flavor. Sweet grains, some very slight roasted notes. Caramel sweetness builds midway in the flavor profile. Hop bitterness rounds out only in the finished, minimal yet worthy of a higher note only since this is a lager.

Mouthfeel- Thin to medium in body with active carbonation.

Overall- An easy going lager with good smoothness and use of malt. Worth picking up on draft should the choices not be mond blowing. A reliable offering, yet not explosive. Good showcase beer nonetheless for the Vienna lager style

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Photo of Sheppard
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours an auburn, amber brown, with red hues. Off white head. It looks really nice and enticing. Minimal aroma. Some malt and some skunky hop. The malt backbone on this Vienna is great, but the grassy bitterness is off putting and hurts the palatability of this beer. It has some awesome sweet caramel and toffee notes but that is undone by the hop character. It is weighty and hearthy. This is one of the beers I drank before I got into craft beer, but now I realize why I don't revisit this often.

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Photo of davidperez
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a shaker, it pours a dark amber color with very nice clarity. It develops a nice one-finger head, frothy, that dissipates quickly.

Assertive bouquet. Bready, biscuity, malty sweetness, and just a tad of herbal notes after swirling.

Yes, it is full-flavored, as stated. It follows the nose very accurately, with the addition of the hoppy bitterness to balance out the strong malt presence, very good balance. It is highly carbonated but it feels right in this particular beer. Long finish, medium body and smooth. I must add the fact that my bottle has a best before date of November 2016.

I agree with the consensus, this falls into the "very good", if not "outstanding", category.

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Photo of Czequershuus
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a straw color with a small head and good lacing. The aroma offers up a somewhat rich whole-wheat smell, with complementary notes of cedar and toffee. The flavor is a somewhat crisp whole wheat toast flavor, with touch of toffee, vanilla, and very mild smoke. The mouthfeel is crips and refreshing. Overall this is a classic standard, and it does not disappoint. It goes great with food. Am I going to go for this often? Unlikely.

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Photo of AleMan66
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I had this poured at a bar. It poured a nice amber color with a nice two finger white colored head. I seems a little chewy to me for a lager. It also seems a bit hoppy for a lager. It's definitely a full-flavored beer, as advertised. I think it's just a little better than average though. I'm not sure why the high reviews.

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Photo of Kubishark
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

As thousands of others have said, it pours an orange/amber color. The smell is bready and a little bit spicy. The taste is incredibly malty, with a little bit of hop bite to even it out. Very drinkable, yet heavy and substantial enough to feel like you're not drinking some light beer. Overall I'd say this is a respectable and quality beer. A very run of the mill, any situation kind of beer. I'd compare it with something like Yuengling; it's a standby rather than something truly special.

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Photo of jdelano
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first non national mass market beer many years ago and will always be dear to my heart. I have moved in since then but it is still a fine lager.

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Photo of kevofficiel
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Look: Orange amber, 1 finger of head. medium carbonation.

Smell: Hops, malt, caramel maybe

Taste: Caramel, malt, the hops is definitely present. No trace of the corn. The carbonation is just right.

Feels: Amazing, very refreshing, goes down really easy.

So overall would I recommend it ? For sure, this is definitely a transition beer from those budweiser coors light, bud light to the Micro beer.

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Photo of LennyOvies
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L- Orange-amber body, very clean and clear. Frothy with small bubbles off-white head, low retention. Leaves a thin layer of foam.
S- Sweet caramel, malty, bready.
T- Sweet malts, caramel, dough. Balancing floral hops towards the end. Fresh. Leaves a very nice aftertaste.
F- Medium, smooth.
O- Pretty good lager, much much better than the "Vienna" BMC offerings I'm used to which have corn adjuncts.

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Photo of Pantalones
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle #4 from the six-pack; best-by date is April 2016.

Nice dark-golden color, bordering on orange; very clear, with a lot of rising bubbles. Foam on top is a thin but fairly dense layer with a nice bubbly texture, thicker around the edges; after a couple minutes it starts to fade away in patches but the outer ring hangs around a good bit longer.

Smell is pretty nice as well; a good bit of malt and also some spicyish hops in there. Sometimes on previous bottles I picked up a bit of a fruitier hop presence in the smell too, but am not really getting that one today.

Getting more malt than hops in the flavor today -- a bit of sweetness, some crackery/toasty type flavor, and a bit of something else I can't quite think of words to describe. Also those same spicy Germanish hops present in the smell, with just a hint of bitterness on the end and a slight crackery-malt/dried-grassy sort of thing lingering for a bit after. That slight bit of bitter-fruity hop flavor pops in occasionally too, despite the fact that I wasn't really getting the corresponding smell in this particular bottle. Actually, I'd almost say grassy rather than fruity, but more like fresh grass than dried like the "grassy" smell/taste I usually get in beers. For such a seemingly basic beer that you can get literally everywhere, there's a lot going on here if you pay attention.

Feel is pretty nice -- very drinkable, but not as light and fizzy as a lot of other lagers in the same ABV range; carbonation is definitely present but never too prickly, just a bit of a fizziness to it. Seems a bit stickier and more substantial than, say, a pilsner, while at the same time not going so far into "big beer" territory. Just all-around pleasant to drink.

Overall, this is a really good beer, especially when drank fresh enough that the hops stand out a bit more (the malt is very nice too, but the malt/hop balance is pretty much what defines this beer so without the hops it's definitely missing something.)

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear coppery amber with a 2 finger, off-white, frothy & variously bubbled, moderately lived head that leaves webby patches, rings & streaks of lacing. Aroma is malty, toasted bread, with hints of grain, lager yeast & grassy hops. Taste is similar to nose but sweeter with notes of caramel throughout & a fine peppery finish. Clean & crisp, peppery, lightly bitter & dry in the finish & aftertaste.

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Photo of BrewsingBuffalo
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Light amber in color, a relatively small white head which persists well into the beer, leaving a nice amount of lacing.
S: Floral and a little spiciness from the hops, caramel sweetness
T: Follows the smell for the most part. Floral/spicy hops provide an excellent balance to a caramel malt sweetness. Has a bready/doughy finish.
F: Light to light-medium body, carbonation is lively but not overdone.
O: A very well balanced lager, that may as well be considered a classic now. I've noticed that I much prefer to let this beer warm a bit, as it allows the malt sweetness to open up more, balancing the brew. I found when very cold, this beer can be a little overly floral and bitter.

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Photo of Aegelis
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Full of hops flavour with mouth-watering scent to match. Good froth, filling, rich amber colour, and a nice crisp bite. A bit heavy for summer time, but very appealing for fall and winter comfort.

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Photo of fallenshadow
3.11/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

L - Orange/Amber colour. Slightly darker than your average beer.
S - Sweet taste followed by yeast.
T - Malty.
F - Hard carbonation upfront, not that pleasant to drink.
O - I don't find this beer anything much more than average. Maybe someday I will understand why its so popular or maybe its just not my style of beer.

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Photo of Brian_L-2056
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark orange/amber color into a typical pint glass. Very light tan creamy head and plenty of lacing. Smell is pleasant with notes of citrus and caramel. Initial taste is quite pleasant with a crisp clean feel and slightly bitter finish. Overall, I feel that this is an honest, good brew and look forward to many more.

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Photo of BostonBeanBoy
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

i used to love this beer, but i guess since then a lot of new beers have come out that are so much better. now i can't stand to drink it. like it makes me angry to drink a beer from a company like this.

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Photo of Samlover55
4.19/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

bb mar 2016
poured into Boston Lager Glass
L- light amber in color with inch thick white head which becomes rocky before dissipating leaving ring of lacing
S- sweet caramel malt, yeasty
T- hits the tongue with sweet caramel, some toffee notes as well, as it lingers there is floral hoppiness and goes down in a yeasty doughiness, leaving a well balanced aftertaste
F- medium bodied, nicely carbonated
O- is an extremely well balanced beer, very drinkable and great tasting, can't ask for anything more in a lager

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Photo of NickTrop
4.41/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Beers don't go "out of style" or "get old" or go "out of fashion". Are we talking about beer or fall fashions? A great beer, is a great beer, is a great beer. And Samuel Adams Boston Lager is just that -- a great beer, a true classic. The craft crowd who diss this one seem to lack appreciation for balance and subtlety. That hop bomb with the silly name you adore? It's most likely an out-of-balance disaster, a gimmick brew. Here today, gone tomorrow. Neither beer nor any food should punch you in the face. Flavors should blend well together. All beers should be as delicious and drinkable as a good ole Sam Adams Lager. This is a beer that makes America proud on the international stage, right up there with best the world has to offer. It's sublime. Been around a while? Sam Adams has gotten too big? It's not brewed in somebody's closet? What does that matter, and who cares?

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Photo of dwillie733
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For a lager, just ok. Sam Adams staple beer just ok for an every day beer but getting a little stale. Wish they can improve this one as it is a staple at airports.

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Photo of 20holmbrew
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is the beer I credit for getting me into craft beer about 5 years ago. It's an excellent transition from drinking macros. I have to admit I used to like this a lot more as this is a bit on the malty side of the spectrum for my taste these days. Would definitely recommend for someone willing to venture into the wonderful world of craft beer.

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Photo of WayneEsten
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The bottle had an "enjoy before date" of March 2016 and came from a 6 pack.

Into a Riedel Ouverture beer glass it poured medium amber. The head was off-white and about an inch and a half high. It's an attractive lager.

The smell was mild and what one would expect from a lager; nothing too special there.

I've had three of these from the six pack I bought. The first one I took out of the refrigerator about 10 minutes before I popped it, poured it and took my first drink. The head was too short, smell too mild and the taste was thin and the after-taste was overly crisp and the finish a bit bitter. However something was there telling me that this is a quality product. The next day I took my second one out of the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, popped it and waited another 5 minutes before I poured it and took my first drink. It was better in all regards. My third one the following day was the charm. I took it out of the refrigerator for 20 minutes, waited 4-5 minutes more and poured it. I then waited another 5 before I took my first drink. Oh yeah, this one was a really good lager and my rating is based on this third one. (My refrigerator is set at 40 F and the room temp was around 71 F)

I had my first Boston Lager while visiting Washington, D.C. in around 1988. I recall that I liked it very much, but had a hard time finding it in Southern California. The next year I drifted to other things, e.g., red wine and Chimay blue label. A couple of months ago I started to come back to beer. After trying some other beers, including SA Winter Lager, I decided to give Boston Lager a try.

Overall, it's a good solid lager I would recommend to friends . . . to drink at around 55F or so. ;-)

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

BB Mar 2016 at 42 degrees into snifter
Aroma pretty much none
Head small (< two cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy, diminishing to frothy four mm ring and partial layer
Lacing poor – few small islands of tiny bubbles
Body light orange, clear
Flavor starts moderately bitter with some malt coming through – pretty balanced – ends with some light chalkiness. No alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 3, Flavor 3.75, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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Photo of Catracho5
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours dark orange, amber color with an off white head, lots of carbonation, beer is clear, head dissipated into a soapy film.

A: Nutty, bread aromas, some vanilla, banana, smells pretty complex but aromas are subtle.

T: Like the nose, nutty, bread flavors, some spice forward moderate hop bitterness in the middle, finish is nut, bread, caramel, hints of banana, has some complexity and depth.

M: Light bodied, semi-dry finish, easy drinking.

O: This is pretty good, it's a safe middle of the road beer, nothing really stands out about it but it has some depth and complexity, easy drinking, a good amount of flavor and aromas, balanced, it's good, enjoyable.

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Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
86 out of 100 based on 2,608 ratings.