Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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

2,552 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,552
Hads: 8,488
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 25.26%
Wants: 151
Gots: 1,918 | 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.
View: Beers (120) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Boston Lager Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,552 | Hads: 8,488
Photo of whatthehull
4.61/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a snifter/tulip/wine glass from a 12 oz bottle

A - Golden copper west coast sunset with 2 finger thick/rich of white head and some sugar legs/lacing

S - sweet caramel, bread yeast, lots of sweet/toasted malts, fresh and toasted grains, floral, lots of green/brown earth, oak that was wet from rain and now drying in the sun and a slight pine note

T - Lots of roasted and sweet malts up front, earthy/floral hops dance on the tongue and give this a bittersweet bite near the end. Fresh baked bread, slight wheat note, lots of full bodied grains, nice sugar, some pine and more sweet/roasted/toasted malts

M - Full bodied, well balanced, nice complexity, medium acidity, medium carbonation and a huge malt bomb from start to finish with a nice hop to balance it out

D/O - Very drinkable, refreshing, lots of flavor but not over the top or under whelming and perfect for any occasion or time of year. This one compliments well with BBQ, grilling and pizza, just really nice all around and for the bud to artisan beer fan alike.

Final thoughts - The ABV is nice for dipping all day at 4.9% and can be found most anywhere. The price can range from $12-17 a 12 pack, I like to stick around the lower part of that barometer.

 1,236 characters

Photo of Strat58cat
4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I opened a bottle and poured into a Samuel Adams beer glass. The eggshell head foams up very abundantly - more than an inch. It hangs in forever. Lacing is prominent to the bottom of the glass - quality malt on display. The color is a slightly red-tinted amber, not fizzy yellow beer as was ubiquitous when Boston Lager emerged in 1985. This lager is pure eye candy. There's no better-looking lager in my experience.

Inhale that incredible honey-spice aroma. It's the unique product of a mysterious interaction between the noble hops and the caramel malt. The pine of a Torpedo is 100x as powerful, and not as divine. Yet, if you try snuffing in another big snout full . . . it's gone . . . instead you will get a slight aroma of the malt - caramel toast, with just the hint of noble hops around the edges. Hey, it's not a Tricerahops or a Stone IPA, okay? It's a lager.

Quaff a nice gulp. The hops and malt have the alchemy to create a honey caramel note. Yet, the second sip isn't as distinct. Chase that initial glimpse of paradise and you can't grasp it. What you will find instead is a substantial and high-quality malt. Chew on that malt. It is something special, bringing home the German saying that beer is liquid bread. The heart of Boston Lager is the malt. The aroma is from the malt, and the taste is from the malt. Boston Lager is a very old beer. Jim Koch states that it is his great-grandfather's recipe from the 19th century. Don't expect citric west coast hops in this brew. Boston Lager is malt-forward. Yet, the IBU is 30, and all those hops make themselves known in the deeper bitterness that balances this complex lager. Sit back, enjoy, and in the finish paradise returns as the hops lend a suggestion of flowers. Boston Lager cannot be pigeonholed. The flavors are complex, unfolding differently on different occasions.

The feel is substantial for a lager. It's not as thick as an Octoberfest, which is very filling. Yet, it's not at all watery, finding a middle ground between an overwhelming malt and a thin beer. It's not trick of carbonation. The malt is thicker than an ordinary beer - hence unrestrained head that piles on top of the glass and retains as well as any I've seen.

With Boston Lager, paradise can be glimpsed - although it cannot be seized. Boston Lager is the original no-compromises lager. With generous helpings of noble hops, a rich malt, and the resulting unique interplay between these elements, nobody does lager better. Samuel Adams started with the best and never compromised. The grandfather of craft beers is still doing it right. It's as good as lager gets.

Note: Boston Lager is widely available. If you buy a six-pack that's been sitting out in a brightly lit grocery store for months, don't blame the beer. Light severely impacts beer, particularly the aroma, even when in a dark bottle. Personally, I buy a sealed 12-pack, which is very affordable, of the most recent vintage that I can find in one of the darker aisles at Bev Mo.

 3,039 characters

Photo of frozyn
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L -- Pour a nice light copper color with a frothy white head that leaves little lacing behind as it quickly dissipates.

S -- Sweet malts, mostly.

T -- Figs and plums come through, a long with a strong caramel sweetness. The note ends with a slight spice, but the major hit is malt.

F -- Light-to-medium, a little sticky from the sweetness, crisp.

O -- I have drank tons of this beer and always enjoy it when I have it. Is it mind-blowing? No, but it's a damn solid beer and for the price it is a great value.

 515 characters

Photo of Savan
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a wondrous light amber hue with delightful thick head that (as commercial suggest) you can float a bottle cap on. This is a favourite of mine when I don't know what else to drink (it ALWAYS satisfies). I will be honest I can not place a smell. the taste is smooth with a impeccable balance of hop and malt! Overall this is still a good beer and one I revisit often and can find anywhere in the country I go.

 413 characters

Photo of JacobusFavier23
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L-Dark amber with perfect head on it. Looks great.
S-I get notes or caramel, sweet smells also. Very malty too.
T-Crisp flavor, malty and exceptional. Slight caramel/sweet flavor.
F-Slight fizzy carbonation. Crispy and creamy. Very refreshing.
O-My overall go to beer. Boston lager was the first "craft" beer that I've ever had. This beer really did solidify my love for beer. Its just so solid. You can never go wrong with this lager.

 435 characters

Photo of Tom_Banjo
2.96/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Historically I have disliked this beer and, as a consequence, have not had it in a long time. As I believe my taste has become more discriminating over time and wanting to be fair to the beer, I thought I'd try it again. Had 1 12 oz bottle at home and 2 12 oz cans a few days later on a Delta flight. Not
nearly as bad as I remembered, but not worth anywhere near the ratings it gets or its reputation, in my opinion. "Harmless" is probably a good word to describe it. Definitely preferable to any American Adjunct, but can't rate it much higher than that.

 557 characters

Photo of puck1225
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Still one of my favorites, always reliable! Had one for dinner tonight at a steak house that prefers you drink wine. It went great with the steak salad I had and inspired me to order a Rebel IPA. Looking forward to my next Boston Lager!

 236 characters

Photo of CraigP83
3.17/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Took me a while to get around ticking this one, poured on tap. Brownish tannic coloration. Smell is slightly metallic. Taste is a richer American lager complete with the slight apple taste I often get from them. Slightly creamier mouthfeel. For such a classic beer I'm very underwhelmed. I'll try it again from another location to make sure it wasn't just an old keg or dirty lines.

 382 characters

Photo of BobbyBill
2.94/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Oops I did it again. I drank this beer, thought I would like it and well, it's Boston Lager. Somehow this is one of the most consumed "craft" beers in America. I guess if it was this or a Bud, I'd choose a Boston Lager but the world ain't like that anymore. It's fine.

 272 characters

Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The best part of this lager is the crispness of it. It's not completely without taste, just mild. Just a little bit of maltiness and hops, but it's very refreshing.

 166 characters

Photo of CDR-HomeBrew
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Dark amber/brown copper. Brilliant. Head was about 1 inch and lasted approx 1 min. 0 sediment.

S: Sweet grain/malt. Slightly bitter on nose. Hints of caramel.

T: More bitter than expected with a smooth caramel aftertaste.

F: Medium body/carb

O: Good beer for grilling and summer nights.

 294 characters

Photo of Alan_Bats
4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: Lovely amber color. Small frothy head. (3.75/5)
Smell: Floral hops are the most prevalent but malty aromas are certainly present. A great mixture (4.5/5)
Feel: Easy to drink yet fills the mouth nicely. (3.5/5)
Taste: Hoppy flavors come through the most but malt appears fairly strongly as well. Nice bitterness takes over the aftertaste. (4.25/5)
Overall: A classic for good reason. The balanced nature of this beer is impressive (4./5)

 442 characters

Photo of TDotScott
4.31/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a wine glass.

L- Between gold and amber with brilliant clarity. A white head builds up and retains very well. I had a small head for over 30 minutes.

S- Dry toast from malt. Very clean.

T- that dry toast comes through, and its balanced impeccably by hop bitterness, without much on the way of hop flavor.

F- lively carbonation keeps things light, and the finish is good and dry.

O- Vienna lager is a simple style, but it's hard to argue with BBco's take on it.

 488 characters

Photo of hopphead31415
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is a classic brew and is so easy to drink any time of year. I have had them many times, but have just now got around to reviewing it. It does have a very wimpy 4.9% ABV, but this one was brewed to be refreshing only.

Look-It pours a dark golden mahogany with a creamy white head and thin bands of lacing that stick around the glass for most of the time.

Smell-It has a pleasant malt-forward aroma with noble hops and a mild grassy smell.

Taste-The taste follows the nose, but with a slightly more noticeable spicy hop flavor singing high above the complex malts. There is a slight sweetness, but is so well-balanced by the hops and spices. Just remember, although there are hops it is not strong and is definitely not a bitter beer at all. Again, it’s a malt-forward beer.

Mouthfeel-The feel is clean, creamy, smooth, with mild carbonation that is fizzy. There is a slightly sweet aftertaste with a pleasant malt and yeast based coating on the tongue.

Overall-This is a classic beer that isn’t anything special. It is a good go-to beer, but is not overly exciting. Drink casually and in your living room or maybe in bed while watching Netflix when its pouring rain out at night. Cheers!

 1,200 characters

Photo of Yarmageddon
4.29/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Nice and dark, like an almost golden mahogany, looks good.

Head: The head was initially fairly thick but soon dissipates, leaving dribs and drabs across the surface of the beer.

Smell: Very fresh, quite hoppy, which was surprising for such a dark beer, after a while the malt does start to come through, very balanced.

Taste: Mostly malt, but some hops lurking in the background, particularly on the aftertaste along with the malt. Quite sweet, almost bitterly so but doesn’t become particularly overpowering.

Feel: Very smooth, went down very easily, although the aftertaste of malt can be slightly overpowering.

Overall: Overall a damn good beer, particularly for the price, you could do a lot worse than this. If you’re looking for something a little bit different for events then I’d say this would be a good choice. One I’ll look forward to trying again in the future.

 898 characters

Photo of NCMatt
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

What else can I say, it's Boston Lager!

Poured from can to glass, it's a nice amber with an off-white head. Decent retention. Not incredibly hoppy, but more so than most in this price-point.

Overall, it's a wonderful go-to when there's not much else offered, or you're looking for a more "budget-oriented" pint. Best part is, it's available almost everywhere, even if "craft" offerings are dismal or even non-existent!

 421 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours brilliant gold to copper gold under a clingy, persistent 2” meringue-like white foam collar.
S: Clean malt aromas with no fruit, moderate hops.
T: Some initial light malt sweetness, graham cracker, rich grains, and a moderately high bitter hop accent.
F: Very creamy, clean, smooth, medium body, medium to medium high carbonation
O: A ubiquitous, well crafted pilsner.

 383 characters

Photo of J30wang
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

The hoppier, maltier version of the blue moon. Whereas Blue Moon is a white beer, this id their Lager alternative, spicy and slightly smokey. Drinkable in party situations, but definitely a little sour for my taste.

 215 characters

Photo of Roadhouse_Blues
4.62/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If it's on draft, I have a hard time choosing anything else.

Look: Deep amber color with a lively and lingering vanilla ice cream colored head with generous lacing.

Smell: Rich, inviting, rather malty aroma with faint citrus notes.

Taste: A wonderful balance of malted barley and hops.

Feel: Crisp and refreshing with just enough carbonation.

Overall: Visually very appealing, delicious and satisfying - my favorite macro lager.

 435 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This was a nice warming ale with an edge of sweetness. Suggested earthy hops, some muted spices and warm, sweet bread. Very smooth and easy-drinking. I liked it more than I expected.

 182 characters

Photo of MWendlandt
4.62/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite American beer so far. It has a great amber look and taste and it pours super easily. As you drink it, it goes down smooth and you can see why it has accolades. Recommended strongly for everyone, at least to try.

 231 characters

Photo of K-Dog
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not bad for a lower alcohol volume beer. Easy to drink quite a few of these. Mixed on of these in after a few ipas and it held up nicely on the palate.

 151 characters

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

Sweet malt balanced out with a little bitterness in the hops. Smooth drinking, dry, and refreshing. A bone simple lager, and very enjoyable. A good all rounder. I could drink this anytime, and it's easy to see why this is Samuel Adams' flagship product.

 253 characters

Photo of Jared40
4.69/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very smooth beer and my favorite go to beer from Boston Beer Company.Very great session beer that isn't too overbearing with the alcohol by volume yet not a weak beer with no flavor.Just a very easy to drink and enjoyable beer.

 227 characters

Photo of Brew_42
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Copper colored with a thick white head

Smells like toasted malts and caramel

Taste follows the nose

Light and refreshing with a decent amount of carbonation

Took me a while to come around on Boston Lager. I am from MA so and it is available everywhere so I had a snobby attitude towards it. Now as I age and drink more beer, I realize that it really is one of the more refreshing lagers out there and the fact that it easy to find is a bonus. In short, wicked good beer.

 474 characters

Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
86 out of 100 based on 2,552 ratings.