1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

6,931 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,931
Reviews: 2,417
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 61
Gots: 550 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Boston Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,931 | Reviews: 2,417 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jeffjeff1


3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Appearance- copper color, clear

Smell- malt

Taste- malt

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- It's pretty good. Definitely one of the better lagers. I will drink it again. Obviously it has to be pretty good. One of the biggest craft breweries there is

09-19-2009 01:06:30 | More by jeffjeff1
Photo of vdread


3.95/5  rDev +5.3%

Samuel Adams Boston Lager pours clear amber color, the thick foamy head hesitantly winds down to a collar that leaves a few spots of lace. smells of sweet malt, floral and light citrus hops.

the malt tastes lightly caramel, very slightly bready/toasty, backed by some spicy floral hops that leave the tiniest bit of bitterness at the end. flavors are subtle and compliment each other well.

clean, adequate carbonation. very refreshing and easy to enjoy. this seems like an easily accessible beer. it seems to find its way many places where the only other options are bud and miler light.i had this with my meal and it was definately a step up from the rest of the beer menu.

i thoroughly enjoy this beer. lately, i've been mixing up some 'patriots', which is a half SABL with a Guinness draught on top.

+ ubiquitous distribution puts SABL even in the least likely places to find craft beer.

= not complex or dynamic or exciting in any way, just a solid lager here.

09-17-2009 13:20:08 | More by vdread
Photo of feelmefoam

South Carolina

3.78/5  rDev +0.8%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a glass mug.

A- pours a honey color with a finger of head that is sort a bit sticky, leaves nice lacing down the glass.

S- smells bready and malty, maybe a little hoppiness in the nose, not too much that I can detect.

T- caramel malts, also a little breadiness, followed by some slight hoppiness that adds a nice flavor to the finish. Not overly sweet, which is good.

M- Good mouthfeel, fairly light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D- A very drinkable beer and a very solid lager. Much better than many of the macro lagers that are on the market today.

09-17-2009 03:26:17 | More by feelmefoam
Photo of BigJim5021


3.88/5  rDev +3.5%

Pours a crystal-clear amber with a nice white head that settles into a permanent ring. Good lacing.

Aroma is pale and caramel malts, but not in a strong sense. A little weak, actually.

Flavor is caramel and pale malts fighting it out with a good dose of piney hops.

Mouthfeel is pretty damn good. The body is medium and very smooth. Almost creamy at times.

Drinkability is just about as high as it gets. SA Boston Lager is almost always available and goes down so easy that it might as well be a $5 whore. At only $2 more per case than BL Lime, there's no excuse not to keep this stuff in the fridge. Having just recently gotten glossy cases in-store, this has become my stock beer. I can say that -- without a doubt -- this is my favorite SA beer. I know that the company might not get a fair shake around here all the time, but they produce quality beer.

09-16-2009 07:08:33 | More by BigJim5021
Photo of jpaltan


4.1/5  rDev +9.3%

pours a hazy golden color with a finger width of head. some lacing on sides of glass. nose is mostly hop aroma, with the maltiness taking a back seat. taste is smooth with a nice bitterness that hits the back of the tongue to balance out the sweetness. some bitter grapefruit flavors. mouthfeel is well carbonated, ,kind sticks a bit to mouth, coating it a bit. drinkability is there with this one. seems to be one of those beers that i always pass up on, but sampling this reminds that i should drink more of it.

09-16-2009 05:02:59 | More by jpaltan
Photo of ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%

Couple of 12oz bottles. Pour is a darker than average golden lager (sitting next to a Heineken it looks positively bold!). A little light on the head, only about a finger that dies down leaving just a slight ring of lace on the top of the glass.

Nose is light and sweet. Just a hint of grassy hops hidden deep in there.

This has got to be one of the more solid lagers out there. Sweet caramel malts which hold back from being overly sickly sweet, actually a bit of a light hop presence in the finish, a bit more body than your average macro lager, no corn or adjunct profile, easy drinking, goes down with anything.

Would definitely drink this again, a great beer for when non-BAs come over, drink it all night on the patio while BBQing.

09-13-2009 15:55:45 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of kegger22


3.75/5  rDev 0%

Poured a crystal clear amber with a respectable head that faded quickly to a collar. There is not much of an aroma, I got a vague lager smell. Malty sweetness and a caramel flavor. Mouth feel was light bodied with a adequate carbonation. Very drinkable, this would make a good session beer. Solid effort, comes in second to GL Eliot Ness in it's class.

09-11-2009 17:47:12 | More by kegger22
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev +1.3%

This beer is a gleaming, coppery shade of auburn that almost reminds one of autumn leaves. There is an adamant stream of carbonation that seems virtually infinite. The beer's appearance is also well-proportioned: a terrific amount of cream-white mousse tops off the last couple inches and ensures all those little bubbles are packed in air-tight.

If you're used to plain, mass-produced lagers than the aroma on the SABL might just knock your socks off. If you're already familiar with what craft beer has to offer then chances are you'll consider it nothing more than average. It has a delicate (but delicious) sweetness with notes of toasty, grainy bread and a 'green' Noble-hop pungency. Mmmm.

That hoppiness is uncharacteristically assertive for a Vienna lager (then again this is an American rendition). It lends very subtle - but definite - vegetable, floral and citrusy notes, the result being a patented flavour I can always identify with this beer. The malts, of which there is a satisfyingly sufficient amount, smack of caramel and freshly-baked whole grain bread. It's like a sweet pastry topped with citrus shavings.

As well as the impressive amount of aromas and flavours, this has (especially for a lager) a lexicon of textures as well. The cookie-like maltiness, doughy and chewy, is typical of pale and Munich malts. It makes the beer filling and provides a lovely residual sweetness. The Vienna malt contributes a little dose of richness and enhances the depth of the flavour as much as it does the deepness of the colour. It's equally refreshing as it is flavourful.

Like the Märzen/Oktoberfest beers that popularized the style, Vienna Lagers make excellent fall-time drinks. Their crisp hop bitterness and nearly limitless quaffability make them great candidates for those still considerably warm autumn days while the reddish-brown colour, the more flavourful maltiness and filling body make them also well suited to the cooler nights that inevitably follow.

09-10-2009 21:33:46 | More by biegaman
Photo of Wisconsin


4/5  rDev +6.7%

12 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a nice golden, amber body with about a one finger head that is white and fluffy in appearance. There is plenty of carbonation that is also present and rising to the top. Good head retention also.

S - Nothing that really smacks your right in the nose but there is a solid smell nonetheless. Malts and some hops along with a slight citrus smell.

T - Malts and a faint amount of hops initially with a slight bitterness and some caramel and toffee notes. Well balanced overall.

M - Medium bodied with an ample amount of carbonation to balance the malts and hops with the caramel and toffee notes.

D - This beer has it all as far as balance and appeal to the masses. No aspect of the beer is overpowering and combined as they are they make for a solid beer that can be enjoyed for a night rather easily.

09-07-2009 05:31:51 | More by Wisconsin
Photo of tone77


3.75/5  rDev 0%

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has an amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of caramel malts. Taste is good, well balanced hops and malts, a bit of caramel.Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has decent drinkability. Overall I'd say that this is a good quality beer.

09-06-2009 22:36:18 | More by tone77
Photo of wahhmaster


3.63/5  rDev -3.2%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a 0.5L branded Pilsner Urquell pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a reddish-tan color with a thick foamy head. The head leaves decent lacing as it dissipates quickly.

Smell: Nice hoppy notes. Grassy smells in the background.

Taste: Has a nice hoppy bitterness. Tastes good, but leaves a little to be desired.

Mouthfeel: Kind of thin with just a bit too much carbonation.

Drinkability: A solid brew. Nothing outstanding but something that I will turn to from time to time. A great session beer.

09-06-2009 17:57:53 | More by wahhmaster
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer


4.18/5  rDev +11.5%

Served cold into a standard pint glass from a 12 oz brown bottle.

Pours a bright copper color forming a nice off white head.

Aroma is slightly sweet with a notable spicy and herbal hop presence.

Flavor is fabulous. This beer is the perfect lager, I've never had a better example of the style. It's got a bold malty flavor and fine dry finish.

Mouthfeel is good, but a bit too sharp and sparkling. I'd enjoy it if it had a softer bite, maybe if it had a bit more body.

Drinkability is great. This is a fine session beer for me, loads of flavor without being heavy. I don't remember it being this good the last time I had it, maybe it came from a different brewery or was fresher. Worth buying by the case.

09-06-2009 02:21:51 | More by BattleRoadBrewer
Photo of mdwalsh


3.2/5  rDev -14.7%

A: Copper and clear are the words I would use here, with a just off white head of medium sized bubbles and a creamy top. Plenty of active carbonation. Looks like it's leaving a decent lace. Nothing to complain about here, just looks like a good beer. Maybe a little more head on it.

S: German malts and hops is what I get. A little sweet, a little bitter. Kinda a little everything which is the problem. This is not a strong beer. It isn't the perfect smell either, just a little off to me. But well balanced.

T: This tastes a little off to me. I can't tell what it is, maybe skunked? I don't know. I know SABL, and this isn't it. This tastes awful bitter in a bad way. I'm going to mark it what it is and hope to come back at a later date.

M: Slightly heavier than BMC

D: Ussually great, not this one.

09-04-2009 18:18:14 | More by mdwalsh
Photo of LukeD23


4.33/5  rDev +15.5%

pours a very nice burnt orange, with a bone white head that lingers only for a moment.

Aroma, hops, earthy herbal aroma backed by a solid sweetness. I havent had this beer in a while and I am so impressed by the aroma.

The taste is balanced, with exceptional interwoven notes of fruits and bitters, currants, black cherries, smooth bready flavors, wonderful bitter finish leaving the palate dry.

Mouthfeel is perfect with the beer. Not thick but not think, a nice balance and I would say that sums up the beer. Wonderfully balanced.

09-03-2009 01:56:53 | More by LukeD23
Photo of stakem


3.63/5  rDev -3.2%

Pours a clear orange initially with a 3/4 finger head of white foam that dissolves fairly fast. Leaves quite a bit of lacing on the glass. Carbination is tingly and mouthfeel is medium to light. Nose is slightly hoppy as well as the taste. More hops are in the taste than what I am use to in a lager...nice. Finish is very crisp, mildly bitter. I am picking up a bit on diacetyl as well which is a fault but it is not distracting. Overall a good beer, nothing super exciting but this sample seems to be lacking some of the hop character that I had with other bottles...perhaps this one has been sitting around too long.

09-02-2009 23:39:57 | More by stakem
Photo of mwa423


3.9/5  rDev +4%

My relationship with Boston Lager has been in an interesting one. I used to hate it, then really love it, and now I'm back to somewhere in the middle. For $2.49 for a 22 oz at the store around the corner, when I just want 1 beer at a reasonable price, this one is it.

A - Pours an exceptionally clear copper with a frothy white head that dies down to a heavy lacing that sticks the entire way down the glass.

S - Helloooo malt. A noseful of sweet malt and really nothing else.

T - The taste is a mixture of bittersweet malt, but a bit of hop bite at the end. Lots of caramel and toffee flavors that I would expect out of a lightly hopped pale ale.

M/D - Very rich mouthfeel for a lager, it makes up for the weakness of most lagers. The drinkability is good because it isn't complex enough that you'll mind putting down a session of them, but there is a lot for when you just want a beer over some paperwork or something.

09-02-2009 14:58:34 | More by mwa423
Photo of burnerfinger


4.22/5  rDev +12.5%

ahhh another old friend. Been drinking Sam Adams for years with my brother Pat back in Los Angeles.
Honestly Boston Lager was one of the the first serious beers I ever drank.

A: Poured from the 1 pint 8 oz bomber to my tumbler. Use by date on the bottle: Oct 09. Deep golden amber color - not too clear. nice. A bit shy on the head: maybe a full finger of head that settled quickly - no lacing to speak of at all.

S: Very very light aroma of a sweet malitness. After it's warmed a bit I can just barely smell the alcohol.

T: I can taste the malitness a bit reminiscent of honey- bread as well as a bit of a hops balance. Of course nothing like an IPA , just a light suggestion of hops by comparison. but a nice balance to the malty sweetness.

M: LOVE this - medium to full body. Carbonation dead on. As this lager warms, the hops take a backseat and the maltiness really steps up to the plate.

D: What with the modest alcohol this will be very drinkable. I would Definitely want another.

09-02-2009 00:51:14 | More by burnerfinger
Photo of GJ40

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +6.7%

Sampled from a 12oz bottle in one of those funky Sam Adams pint glass. Best by date was Dec 09.

A - Copper with a significant beige head. It fit into the Sam Adams glass perfectly. The head doesn't stay around long but it leaves some lacing behind as the glass empties.

S - Toasted malt with a mild caramel scent. It also had a fruity hop aroma that I didn't remember from this beer.

T - Semi sweet with a bready caramel flavor. Not much bitterness or hop flavor coming through.

M - A creamy consistency with a low to moderate carbonation.

D - A reliable and widely available beer that's a good option when nothing better is offered. It also makes a good starter for a BMC drinker looking to make the switch.

08-30-2009 11:19:49 | More by GJ40
Photo of sbe1

New York

3.9/5  rDev +4%

Appearance: Amber gold color with a creamy head that lasts a good while and leaves lacing on the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt, floral hops, a bit of caramel.

Taste: Sweet malt, caramel, light hops with some faint bitterness and graininess at the finish.

Mouthfee: light bodied and refreshing, nice complementary carbonation.

Drinkability: excellent, a wonderful session beer.

08-30-2009 06:58:21 | More by sbe1
Photo of originalsin


3.75/5  rDev 0%

I used to like this beer a whole lot more- I swear. Still, its a great lager and the flagship brew of the craft beer industries biggest brewery for a reason.
This beer is crisp with a big malty and bready backbone that make for great drinkability and a pretty solid beer through and through.

08-28-2009 22:06:16 | More by originalsin
Photo of techtatu


3.85/5  rDev +2.7%

Poured a nice amber color and about a finger and half width of head. Nice aroma to it. I could smell the hops but it was not over powering, just right. It had a sweet hint to it with spicy note at the end, and quite filling for a lager in my book. However very smooth and not too carbonated, which was very surprising considering it came from a bottle.

This is a beer that I would drink at my local bar, and enjoy with a good meal. It is also a good beer to start off with when exploring dark beers.

08-28-2009 17:07:25 | More by techtatu
Photo of cavedave

New York

3.65/5  rDev -2.7%

Pour produces a golden, clear fill of my pilsner glass, topped by a two inch off white head that dissipates quickly to a cap and leaves nice lace on the glass.

Smell is a bready, yeasty, sweet, yet slightly sour, aroma, with hints of herb and alcohol in the background.

Taste is a well balanced blend of bread, herbs, and a bitter finish that lingers only briefly. Not complex, not astounding, not super delicious, but a good flavor that beckons one back for the next sip.

Mouthfeel is as good as any lager I have tried, and I only don't rate it higher because I am not a lager lover, and have not tried very many craft lagers.

Drinkability is excellent, and I imagine a lager lover would drink this 'til the snowflakes fly, perhaps longer.

08-25-2009 21:08:06 | More by cavedave
Photo of gfreed


2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

Always drinkable but never impressive-- that's how I tend to approach this beer. I remember when it was first produced and how it was a powerful antidote to everyday macro beer. Then, it was great. Now, it's rather dull compared to the micros that have sprung up everywhere around it: the color is akin to the hardwood floor in the average New England house, the aroma is better than the old man sitting next to you on the subway; the taste beats a plate of brussels sprouts. The fizz is nice on a hot night.

I categorize this as an escape hatch, much like beer from New Belgium: I'll drink it when the alternatives are Bud, Miller and the like, but it's not a beer I'd seek out for any other reason.

08-25-2009 01:00:58 | More by gfreed
Photo of MadTown1000


4.18/5  rDev +11.5%

Pours a into a pint glass with a light copper color and a big three-inch head - and that's just half the bottle. Foam really is a big pile of foam, and just fizz, and it leaves a good deal of lace. Smell is hoppier than your average lager, but not particularly strong.

Taste largely follows the smell, but with an unexpected caramel sweetness in the aftertaste that eventually resolves into more hop bitterness. Quite complex, especially for a mass-market lager. Mouthfeel is a little bit thicker and stickier than your average lager, almost approaching what I'd expect in a porter, but not cloying. The character of this one really changes with temperature - the sweet notes come out substantially more as the beer warms. At colder temperatures, it seems more like just a hoppy lager. At any rate, a classic.

08-24-2009 23:32:31 | More by MadTown1000
Photo of lhaqq


3.73/5  rDev -0.5%

A: Clear orange-gold body with an off-white head that settles at a few millimeters.
S: Bright malty flavors and some light citrus and floral hops.
T: More mellow than the smell. Main flavor is the malty backbone, some grains and caramel.
M: A bit too syrupy and slightly heavier than I'd prefer.
D: A pretty drinkable beer for the style, not a bad bar beer.

08-24-2009 03:40:58 | More by lhaqq
Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 6,931 ratings.