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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

6,709 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,709
Reviews: 2,411
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 54
Gots: 448 | 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:
Our original beer is full-flavored with a balance of malty sweetness contrasted by hop spiciness and a smooth finish.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-27-2001)
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Ratings: 6,709 | Reviews: 2,411 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AleEvangelist


3.15/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a solid, average beer. Given that it arrived in an era when decent beer wasn't a thought Americans ever had, it's held up well. Not a bad lawnmower beer, but nothing to write home about, either.

Appearance - A little lighter than I normally like to drink, still this beer looks fairly pretty in the glass. A light-colored head appears, maybe a finger's width, and stays around thinly throughout the enjoyment phase. (3.5)

Smell - This is an area where I'm definitely not impressed with this beer. Some hops, and little else. No malt, no overtones or undertones. Just some aromatic hops. Decent hops, sure, but not a ton of aroma to this beer. (2.5)

Taste - I was surprised when I took my first sip this evening. Almost some wheaty flavors. Definitely more hopping than you expect from a lager. Refreshing, certainly. A light-bodied, refreshing lawnmower beer. Some lingering sweetness on the finish makes you want to take another sip. (3.5)

Mouthfeel - More body than those "other" lagers available everywhere horse urine is sold, but that's not saying much. It's definitely on the thinner side of craft beer, but it's definitely not the wateriest beer on the planet. If it were too heavy, it would not be good at all either, so it's pretty much what I expected. (3.0)

Overall - As I've said before, this beer is refreshing, light, and sold pretty much everywhere, so you're guaranteed to be able to lay hands on it. When Jim Koch started making this beer, the craft brew revolution was still in its infancy. Mr. Koch bucked the trends and got this beer to the thirsty masses, and the rest was history. It's not shooting off fireworks these days, but it's stuck around, and for good reason. (3.0)

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2011 04:31:28 | More by AleEvangelist
Photo of Majestic


3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle.

A - Deep Amber, half finger head

S - Malty with a slight hop character, a bit of caramel as well.

T - For a vienna lager, I think it lacks a bit in flavor, a lot of malt and a bit more hop flavor than expected came through, with some caramel to finish.

O - Good session beer, a little more carbonated that I would have liked, but overall quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 05:24:31 | More by Majestic
Photo of setexascustoms


3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a 22oz mug.

A- Deep amber and crystal clear with two fingers of rocky head that held on for a while, and left nice rings of lacing all the way down the glass.

S- Bready, biscuity malts. Understated herbal hops. I was expecting a little more.

T- Follows the nose. Bready, biscuity malts dominate and a slight herbal hop twang comes in near the finish and tries to balance it out, but to me seems to come up a little short.

M- Medium bodied with cleansing carbonation.

O- Not something I'd normally order, but at a lot of restaurants this is the best they have. It goes well enough with most food and makes for a pretty good palate cleanser between bites. This got me into craft beer, and I still enjoy it in from a bottle from time to time, but I honestly think for some reason it seems to lose a little flavor on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2011 13:08:40 | More by setexascustoms
Photo of Zimbo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really feel for this once trail blazing old stalwart. For quite some time I was willing to ignore how hopelessly out of style it is (it is virtually devoid of maltiness so how it can be considered a Vienna lager is beyond me) but now that this whole 'craft thing' has grown an extra head, various appendages and a couple of spleens it just comes across as rather tired. Sort of like Brooklyn Lager. Yes, it smells fairly pleasant and flowery, looks pretty nice, gives some pretty good head and lacing but there's not enough on the palate to really add to that backbone and lubricate your loins.
Went reasonably well with Mongolian beef from the local Chinese though and felt absolutely no guilt whatsoever for sacrificing its edge to a sustained chilli attack.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 18:52:35 | More by Zimbo
Photo of LeeryLeprechaun


4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a rather enjoyable orange that was very clear with some head.

The aroma was absent of esters and there was the aroma of light grains present.

The beer tasted clean, crisp, and had a nice light hop finish. Also present was the taste of light grains.

Overall the beer was rather refreshing but not very imaginative.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 02:15:55 | More by LeeryLeprechaun
Photo of Arithmeticus


4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in ale glass

A: slightly cloudy, orangish amber; thin head; decent lacing
S: pleasant malty smell
T: mealy, hearty lager; complex flavors through spicing and confident hopping; roasted grains come out in midswig

One of the most prevalent beers, and one of the most reliable; an American classic

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 00:07:16 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne


4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle (freshest before Jan. 2012) into a pint. Pours out a light amber, small head with next to no lace.

Smells like caramel, floral hops and something spicy in the finish.

Very nice sweet caramel start on the taste, not overwhelming. Lemon rind and floral hops follow, a slight spice in the finish. Nice medium lager body.

Did someone say session brew. Here it is. Easy to drink, but not lacking in taste.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2011 07:10:38 | More by OBeerMeGreatOne
Photo of evlu1441

Alberta (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a clear, medium-light amber colour with a nice fluffy white head on top

The aroma is hoppy, with some toffee malt backbone. Quite nice.

The flavour is slightly sweet with a lot of caramel malt coming through to start, with a hint of floral hops on the tip of my tongue. This blends into some slight spiciness in the middle as the malt flavors develop. The finish is clean and not too bitter.

This is one of those beers that I should turn to more often. It's simple, yet delicious, and widely available at a reasonable price. This is one of the better lagers I've had.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 03:45:06 | More by evlu1441
Photo of anakar


2.7/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well, this beer almost fools you, until you taste it...

App: pours a light bronze, with a small white head. Quite clear - not foggy

Smell: smells strong of alcohol and good belgian beer

Taste: ah, the drop, it's kinda like they took aa nice, high alc belgian and pulled away the flavor. keepin a suprisingly weak beer taste and some very high, unpleasent alcohol taste...
Shame, shame, shame

Feel: Feels good, you can take big chugs and it isn't flat...

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2011 07:39:58 | More by anakar
Photo of david18

New York

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a review i did of the bottle version a little while back:

Never my first choice of "bring-to-a-party beer. That's usually sierra nevada or something local like brooklyn. But last night i had no choice and it's a great beer. Great malt character while being very drinkable.

Interesting flavor, great color and, because of it's popularity, always fresh.


Draft is the same. I'm surprised to see that it's considered a vienna lager, like a mexican beer. I guess I'd have called it an amber lager. Anyway, you can never go wrong but I usually like to venture further.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2011 18:50:33 | More by david18
Photo of mvanaskie13


4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a fluted pint glass, color is nice amber very crisp, clear lightly effervescent with a light frothy tan head with great clinging and lace.

Smell is subdued caramel malt sweetness, hints at biscuit with a good hop note on the finish.

Taste is clean, crisp light malt sweetness, hints of caramel and light breadiness, with a great crisp bitterness.

Mouthfeel is just right with a sweet profile that is followed by crisp bitterness to clean it up.

Overall, this is just a solid lager, not many out there and this is a go to brew when stuck with macros and nothing much else.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 23:35:40 | More by mvanaskie13
Photo of Ilovesuds

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was 26 and living outside of Boston when Sam Adams began.

My friend, Bob Pattison, introduced me to great beer. Our buddies used to razz him all the time for how expensive it was but he'd just smile and say "But it's sooo good".

Bob's time was up on September 11, 2001 in Tower 2. I hoist a Sammy tonight for you Bob...


Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 23:10:15 | More by Ilovesuds
Photo of elNopalero


3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer that started it all? Not quite, but definitely one of the granddaddies of the craft beer movement, for better and for worse. I last drank the Boston Lager years ago, long before I became interested in craft beers. [Insert ‘it was better back then before they grew super huge and distributed all over the place’ statements here.] Since that time I had other Sam Adams brews but pretty much dismissed their flagship beer. This spring, however, I took a chance on a sampler pack and found the Boston Lager to be surprisingly solid. So with that in mind I picked up the autumn seasonal sampler. On to the beer!

Poured from a bottle into a 12 ounce mason jar. A vigorous pour resulted in a nice amount of foam that dies down and produces a thin layer of bubbles and residue. The beer is a warm golden-amber color, like autumn leaves. Consistent and clear. There’s a sweet maltiness to the nose, not so much hops as malt. This bears out on the palate as well. The carbonation is there, and there’s a bit of caramel that hits at first, then returns in the finish. Very soft, balanced, and inviting. I am feeling kinda like the guy who stopped listening to his favorite band because it became too popular right about now. The Boston Lager is what it is, and for being what it is—and being so widely distributed (and heavily advertised)—it doesn’t disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 19:34:25 | More by elNopalero
Photo of Cummins9110


3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into mug

A - amber in color with cream head

S - smells of malt and noble halleurtea hops

T - good clean malt taste with medium body and spicy hops ending in nice fresh bread taste

M - good creamy mouth feel and medium to full bodied

Overal its a good beer with nice malty, bready taste and spicy hops without a lot of biterness

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 04:39:13 | More by Cummins9110
Photo of JohnFatAss

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, light copper color with a big fluffy white head that is described in the commercials.

Sweet and malty with with a moderate hop bitterness that is not too harsh.

Leaves a pleasant after taste in the mouth.

Medium bodied and very satisfying.

Just a real good beer you know you can count on.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2011 02:35:06 | More by JohnFatAss
Photo of Celtics76

Rhode Island

3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the first "Micro" brew I've ever had (back in 1998) so I feel I should put a review in. I poured it into a Boddingtons pint glass.

I've had more Sam Adams Lager than any other brew. Why? It's widely available and always reliable. Has a clean, balanced taste, just the right amount of hops for a lager, and goes great with just about any meal. For me, nothing beats watching the Sox with a Sam and a burger.

That being said, I've certainly had better in the years since first trying it. I never buy a 6 pack of it, however I do buy the Sam mix packs so I return to this classic quite often.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2011 23:19:06 | More by Celtics76
Photo of paxchristi


3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was the beer that helped me reconsider my taste in brew after I got out of my college years. For a while, this was all that I drank when I went out to restaurants and such. For how much of this goes out, its a pretty decent beer.

Appearance: Clear copper body with cap of white foam.

Smell: Well, to be honest its pretty average. I get some grain, some caramel-like notes, and a really strange scent that I often get from beers that are trying to be English. Light malts as well.

Taste: Slightly above average, but, there is something going on here that is worth talking about. Starts with a caramel malt. Furthermore, a noble hops middle that is finished with a funky sweetness that I cannot quite put my finger on.

Overall: Hey, if I'm in a place that only has macro lagers, this is probably what I'm getting unless they have Sierra Nevada. Its a great entry level brew that isn't necessarily craft, but it is definitely a crossover into getting beer drinkers to see that one-dimensional macro lagers cheat them out of respecting their beer. :-) However, is it just me or has it gotten progressively worse as Sam Adams has produced progressively more year to year?

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2011 22:44:05 | More by paxchristi
Photo of heebes

Ontario (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

America's World Class Beer
Listed as 4.8%, best before Jan.

Pours a clear golden with a half finger of white frothy head.
Nose is crisp nobel hops, bready yeast, barley, grain. Actually smells pretty fresh.
Taste is typical - refreshing malt base, faint hint of hops, grain flavour standard of a lager.
Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, slightly sticky and dry, good carbonation.
Overall, pretty much the gold standard for its style. Good amount of flavour that could potentially bring in drinkers to craft. It's crisp and drinks well, what more could you ask for here? One of my least favourite styles, here done well enough. I hope this gets enough attention here eventually to enter chain restaurants for an alternative to light macros for when I tag along for after work brews.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 22:03:35 | More by heebes
Photo of ikats

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour clear, light amber in color with fluffy, a bit off-white head. Aroma and taste go together - main attraction is solid malty base (makes for a sweet, but medium body) with a touch of hops for balance. Extremely drinkable. Very mellow. Solid, enjoyable brew.

Sam Adams Boston Lager is my go-to beer since it is available almost everywhere. It always provides a nice background for anything else I'm doing at the moment.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2011 03:23:48 | More by ikats
Photo of jeffbrister


4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorites. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a mug. Poured a nice amber color with a slight off white head that stuck around. Smell is heavy on hops with a undertone of malt. Mouthfeel is very good and easy to drink. Taste is very much like the smell... Heavy hops with malt undertones. Very well balanced. Slight bitterness in the back of the pallet due to the hops, but it's a good bitterness. You could chug these they're so good.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 01:18:05 | More by jeffbrister
Photo of doopydoogle

Nova Scotia (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice amber with a good had that left a cascading lace and lingered with a nice light tan foam. A clean amber with vibrant carbonation.

S - Rosepetals, wild strawberries, sweet sticky buns, honeysuckle, grape cough syrup/chewable vitamins, slight roasted malt with mostly caramel malt

T - Vitamins, slight bitterness that gives way to some grainy malt character. Sweet tarts and apricots (fresh) with similarities to an Alsacian wine. A clean and remarkable finish that has just as much character as the beer itself, leaving a sparkling trail of melons, flowers, and grain, accentuated by some herbs and fresh cut grass.

M - Explosive carbonation and a coating that is full but not overwhelming. Bitter is understated and only really dominates between the opening and the finish.

O - A very flavorful beer for a lager. Not sure how they got away with calling this a lager really. I'm sure they do it lager style, but it seems like they're kind of breaking the rules. Very heavy and flavorful for the style, and quite sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2011 03:54:50 | More by doopydoogle
Photo of CraftBeerTastic


3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ba Review #51
Served On: 9/2/2011
Glassware: Pint Glass

This is such a staple beer for me; I figured it’s about time to review it. This particular bottle actually came in the 2011 Sam Adams Harvest mixed pack.

Look: Poured a very clear copper with some carbonation bubbles floating up. Head was a nice thick 2 fingers of eggshell colored foam.

Smell: Sweet malts mixed with a hop spiciness. Also that typical Sam Adams malty twang that all their beers seem to have.

Taste: First on the palate was a nice spice mixed with sweet malts and a slight sour note. A hop bitterness hit more towards the end with a finish of the sweet bready malts and that sour note. The bitter hops seemed to make up the aftertaste.

This is certainly a complex lager. I would say it’s right in line with something like a Blue Point Toasted Lager.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 16:51:27 | More by CraftBeerTastic
Photo of DirtyPenny


3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle chillin' in my Wacko pint glass.

A: Crystal clear honey amber with 1 finger of off-white head. Lots of bubbles rising to the top. Light crinkly lacing.

S: Cereal grains and floral, grassy hops

T: Warm bread, brown sugar and toasted carmael and pale malts. Finish is grassy and herbal hops with a touch of bitterness.

M: Medium, crisp-ish and faintly dry.

O: One of the best flagship beers out there. I never used to like it and I think my palate has changed a lot over the years. Damn fine day-to-day beer, and absolutely your best bet if the only other thing on tap is Bud or the equivalent.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 21:20:43 | More by DirtyPenny
Photo of bobhits


3.15/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I know I have a review written for this somewhere, but I can't have this as a Sam Adams without a review!

Pours a clear moderately light amber color. Very solid head, retention, and lacing given the relatively light body and low abv. There is even a bit of carbonation to add a bit of flare to it. For Sam Adams this is pretty high praise!

English hops give off a touch of grass, funk, and just that english aromas. The malt balance is rather one dimensional giving off just a sweetness with perhaps a hint of caramel.

The flavor here is wonderfully complex. A mix of caramel, english grassy hops, some english citrus (almost rusty notes), and a lot of subtle (in a good way) spices. I'm not a huge fan of the english flavors but they work for Sam Adams.

A bit over carbonated, but I like the medium body in a lighter beer.

Boston Lager is sadly the best choice at far too many places. I say this as Sierra is a far better "best choice" but Sam Adams has really gotten their name out. I will say this is by far their flag ship and is better than most of their other options. A great beer? Oh god, FAR from it, but I'm always happy to have one.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 02:47:01 | More by bobhits
Photo of CaptJackHarkness

New York

4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle freshness dated November 2011

This is a definitive version for Vienna style lager! Smells exactly as beer should, pours a golden shade of yellow with a big frothy head that lasts well and laces your glass beautifuly!
This is the perfect everyday for everyman (everyperson for the politicaly correct) brew!

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 01:34:04 | More by CaptJackHarkness
Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 6,709 ratings.