1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.

7,370 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,370
Reviews: 2,442
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 73
Gots: 778 | 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: 7,370 | Reviews: 2,442 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DovaliHops
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden brown color with a medium white head that diminishes quickly. The scent is quite hoppy with very little malt presence. Taste is quite tasty...Initially I get some malty flavors with caramel, followed by some well-balanced hoppiness. Finishes with more tasty malt. The mouthfeel is pretty full-bodied and not overly carbonated or too light. Drinkability is very high.

DovaliHops, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of aranheaney
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed many times, never reviewed until now. This was the only available even pseudo-craft offering at "the Ralph" this afternoon as I enjoyed watching my beloved Buffalo Bills move to 0-5, but I digress. ($7.50 per btw)

A-always consistently nice amber

S-bright, glorious hoppy notes

T-classic, different and unique, very full of floral notes

M-crisp and clean (with no caffeine, old school 7 Up commercial)

D-could dance with this one all day, only wish my Bills were this good

aranheaney, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of Jeriba
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a summer of nonstop IPA consumption, we had a touch of cooler weather and I was suddenly craving a lager.

A: Hazy dark yellow with amber highlights, and a thin layer of foam that really sticks to the glass.

S: Just a touch of bitter dry hops, citrus, and bready yeast.

T: Yeast aromas, a nice kick of dry hops, and touches of caramel and sweet malt.

M: Slightly chewy, very smooth, and not at all watery. Very good for a light-ish beer.

D: Excellent. If i happen to be in the mood for a lager, this is what I pick up. Plus, it's often on tap big chain restaurants and other places that wouldn't otherwise serve good beer.

Jeriba, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of Nerudamann
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look - Clear golden color. Good two fingers of foam and somewhat slow carbonation.

Smell - Fairly hoppy, but not in the usual sense. This does have a fresher hop smell. Very hard to define, maybe somewhat citrusy, but in a more real sense, as opposed to the fake citrus flavors..

Taste - earthiness to this one. The hops are there, but they're not bitter. And it's not a malty taste. Very smooth.

Mouthfeel - smooth, well-balanced. More watery in texture, but only slightly so.

Drinkability - Smooth enough for easy-drinking, and complex enough (mostly in hop variety) to keep the drinking entertaining!

Nerudamann, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of Aphexwolf
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light amber, clear, medium head, medium carbonation.
Smell: Hops, barley, very pleasant.
Taste: Dark and hoppy with some sweet malt.
Mouthfeel: Chewy, crisp, and frothy.
Drinkability: High. It goes down smooth and it tastes good. Can easily drink another.
Summary: This is an excellent beer. I gave it 8.7/10, or a B+. I've had lots of lagers before and I like this one. It can be paired with just about any cuisine you can think of. It looks great, especially when in its custom glass. Most importantly, it tastes great. I would drink this beer again.

Aphexwolf, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of TheKingofWichita
2.98/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

First of all -- it is a decent session beer. With a 4.75 ABV it rings true to be a good session. It pours a medium amber color with medium head and half decent lacing. Smells fairly bad with a lot of booze and malted barley aroma, some hops in there but kinda hard to discern. Tastes of blended malt and hops with a good hop nose. Mouthfeel isn't too thin -- makes for a smooth drink. Drinkability is good as with most of Sam Adams stuff.

TheKingofWichita, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of jj311
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: I poured it from a 12 ounce bottle into a drinking glass.

Appearance: Light-amber with a gold hue. Thick off-white foam head. I tested the myth and placed a bottle cap on the foam, and it stayed on the top. Showed good retention upon agitating.

Smell: A sweet malty smell with an good balance of floral hoppyness and alcohol.

Taste: Sweet malt, with hoppy overtones, alcohol and a bit of spice. A nice bitter-sweet finish. The malt seems to be well balanced with the Noble Hops.

Mouthfeel: A thicker, "crisp" mouthfeel than your typical lager.

Drinkability: Easy to drink. Mellow enough to want to drink more, but strong enough to keep satisfied.

jj311, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of stephens101
4.43/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sort of coming full circle here, or perhaps just getting back to the basics for a bit. However you look at it, this is one fine and tasty lager that's been a standard for quite some time.

Obviously I'm pouring this into a SA specialty glass. The rolling off-white head fills the glass perfectly and hangs around for a few carefree moments. After it settles a bubbly lace is left around the glass. Color is a golden orange.

Caramel malts and a few notes of hops rise to the nose. Tastes malty with a hint of light fruits and a bitter back end that fuses almost perfectly. Well-carbonated and light to medium-bodied but, still quite sessionable. One of my favorite lagers, and a tad bit underrated in my opinion.

stephens101, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of ProfessorHomer
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has remained consistently exceptional throughout its long and storied, and award-winning, life. So common that I hadn't had one in years, so I was very, very pleasantly surprised when I retuirned to its fold. Way to go Sam Adams! This is the quintessential American-style Lager - copper coloured and slighly overhopped. All-American in the true-blue sense of the term. Bravo!

ProfessorHomer, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of mbusster88
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nicely put together beer. Great for a meal, watching the game or just kicking a few back. Aroma is a nice and full and hints at good things to come. Color is nice with dark orange or red tints. Taste is nice with some hops at the end, more caramel up front. Easy drinker with a rewarding taste, not the most complex beer but a good drink.

mbusster88, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of MoreThanWine
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Honestly it had been a long time since I really paid attention to a Sam Adams Boston Lager I was drinking. Well, it's a cross in color between gold and copper. Has a modest 1/2" head but that head stayed a long long time. Flavorful enough to get noticed but not a powerhouse. You get some sweetness, some caramel, some malt. All in all a quality beer for the price.

MoreThanWine, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of Groomsy
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a nice copper/amber almost kind of rusty orange/red from the tap, but not opaque. A very solid one-finger white head tops the beer, but fades gradually. Decent lacing throughout, but nothing too special.

Smell: There's a very nice and deep malt smell that comes out first with a bit of caramel, balanced with a fresh, almost spicy type of hop smell. Hints of crispness, but not overbearing.

Taste: Very similar to the smell. First thing I noticed was the malts. Sweet and residual, but the beer isn't overbearingly sweet or malty. This is balanced with some very subtle hops in the back, just enough to balance the malt nature of the beer out front. The hop taste kicks in and leaves a fresh, crisp, almost spicy taste as the beer goes down. Nice balance of sweet on contact and subtle bitterness as it goes down. All in all, very solid, if slightly predictable.

Mouthfeel: The relatively low carbonation of this beer is one my favorite things about it. It's not super-thin and watery but isn't so robust that the texture causes one to forget flavor. It starts at a good middle ground and goes down a little more robust than its entry but never gets too foamy. Leaves some slightly bitter aftertaste in a very good way.

Drinkability: I only had one, but I can definitely see having this as a session beer. Well-balanced, flavorful, and a big step above the usual macro-brews. Even if its nature is slightly predictable, this beer is highly drinkable.

All in all, this was one beverage that sort of helped catalyze my interest in beer, specifically in microbrews. A good stepping stone into the beer world, and just an all-around solid brew for America.

Groomsy, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of scott451
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One finger tan head. Reddish amber. Good head retention. Minimal lacing.

Floral fruity malt smells. Taste is malts up front with a fruity hop finish.

Mouthfeel is a light body with medium carbonation. Drinkability is good. Not a bad beer at all, just nothing to get really exited about.

scott451, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of aasher
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one poured a burnt pumpkin orange in color with a poofy off white head. It was well carbonated and appeared very bubbly and active. It smelled malty and had good hoppyness to it. The taste is a nice balance of malt and hops and I'd say that if I had to choose then I would say it every so slightly favored the malt. It had slight sweetness to it, not honey but similar to. It drank fresh and crisp and was very refreshing. It's quite drinkable, although I'd never buy a six pack of it.

aasher, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of FanofHefe
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of 12 oz. Bottle into a beer mug. Not ideal but worked

A: clear amber pour with nice head. Very little lacing.

S: some minor citrus notes with a hint of malt.

T: nice! Very smooth and not too much carbonation. Slight hop biiterness but primarily a solid malty flavor.

M: again, solid flavor that doesn't overpower.

D: continues to be on of my favorite pairings with almost any food, especially steaks/burgers. Doesn't overpower the meal but compliments it nicely. As many have said and I agree, great "gateway" beer to craft because it's just a solid offering.

FanofHefe, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of lstokes
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My department tends to serve bottles of this at happy hours, and despite my extreme beer snobbery, I sat down with this and decided, you know, it's a pretty solid Vienna Lager.

It's dark gold with a surprisingly nice head. The smell is something of an off note, as it's really just light toasted malt, but the taste is complex, with some nice floral hops to go along with your caramel malt, maybe some citrus oil as it warms. A very fine carbonation makes it drinkable and refreshing--really a solid beer, and I'm thrilled it's out there turning people onto craft.

lstokes, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of Sleestak
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap earlier today at Angelos in Anaheim. 32 oz poured in a plastic cup. Amber in color with a decent head but not lasting long. Malts and hops. Hops seem to dominate, especially in the finish but not overpowering by any means. Great drinkability with it's under 5% abv. Well balanced. Washed down my chicken strips and fries nicely.

Sleestak, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of ToasterChef
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a cellar temperature bottle into a pint glass. The bottle has a best by date of Jan. 2011. The beer is copper colored, just like a big brew kettle. There is a large head, colored slightly off-white, made up of various sized bubbles. Initially, there is a lot of carbonation rising in the glass, and pockets of bubbles clinging to the sides of my glass. These pockets have risen to the top of the glass, and the head is receding, leaving some patchy lacework behind, but plenty of carbonation is still streaming from the bottom of the glass.

The aroma of fresh, earthy hops was apparent as soon as I opened the bottle. In increased in intensity as I poured. Now, when I stick my nose into the glass to get the full force of the aroma, I can detect the scents of crisp hops and some pale grains. It is a good pleasing aroma.

The flavor is very balanced. There is a biscuity malt base and hop oils apparent from the moment the beer enters my mouth. The hop oils aren't overly bitter, which is how I usually encounter them, but crisp and reasonably bitter. There is a bit of an increase in the bitterness in the finish, but also some lingering sweetness. After some sips, I get more bitter; others contain more sweet. Both are tasty.

The beer is light bodied. The carbonation isn't as high as I expected; you can feel it but it isn't distracting at all. Let's call it average. A good coat remains after I swallow; it has both sweet and bitter flavors.

I think the Boston Lager is quite drinkable. It's not a beer I usually, but if it is what I decide to enjoy, I can easily have a few rounds. This is a fine selection to have on hand to share with beer drinkers of any kind.

ToasterChef, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of StarshipPoopers
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The appearance of the beer itself is nice. Rich copper colour with a thin white head. The head isn't very appealing though, it quickly thins out to a few thinly scattered clumps on the surface. The use of "soap bubbles" to describe the look is really accurate. Quite a bit of carbonation.

S - Normal lager smell. Grains mixed in with some sweet tones. Nothing too special here IMO.

T - Quite good for a lager. It lacks the kick and excitement of stronger or more complex beers, but for what it is this tastes great. The malts can actually be tasted and offer a sweet tone that helps to balance the grain flavours. There are also slight hints of hops that were a welcome surprise and really balances this beer nicely. While the malts and grains still dominate the taste, the hops add a nice complexity to the overall taste. Sets it apart from more generic lagers.

M - Clean, crisp and refreshing. A solid but light feel with a little bit of a bite. Very nice flavours for a lager, and the carbonation is low enough to allow a reasonably smooth texture.

D - Very drinkable. Being a lager it goes down pretty smooth and isn't overpowering. The taste in this is complex enough to make it enjoyable to drink while still being simple enough to just down a few of these at a time as a casual drink.

Overall a great lager that seems to be readily available in most LCBOs here in Ontario and is refreshing when compared to the other generic lagers that one typically finds in such places.

Definitely a good candidate for a session beer.

StarshipPoopers, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of EgadBananas
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fairly light. Light off white head, a little soapy. Too light. Lighter than on-tap from memory. Though, I hear the bottles from the Variety packs are lighter. No excuse for the difference I think...

Smell is toasty, with some nice caramel, sweet malts. Not hugely aromatic, but it's very nice.

Taste is much better! Nice notes of caramel, toasted malts, little sweetness.

Feel is silky smooth, medium carbonation, light, but upper light in body. Definitely some nice substance.

No brainer, very easy to palate!

EgadBananas, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of CBOLAND17
1.6/5  rDev -57.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A beer that is considered great by many people..but i am not one of those people. Samuel Adams produces a lager that is way over hopped for that style of beer. Additionally it doesnt seem like they are even using the correct type of hops because it is far too bitter for a lager. This beer looks good but is far from it. Sam Adams claims that it is i craft brewery but in actuality it is right up there with Budweiser and Coors.

CBOLAND17, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of sdj5
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a copper color with a cream-colored 2 finger head.

The smell is primarily the excellent floral aroma of the noble hops.

The taste is wonderfully clean, with a taste of bread, small initial taste of the hops and then a bite at the end.

The beer feels good in my mouth with a very balanced amount of carbonation.

I could drink this beer for a long time. Very delicious, smells great, tastes great.

sdj5, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of bigfnjoe
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a perfect pint.

A- pours a dark gold/light orange with a 2 finger white head that quickly fades...lacing is alright.

S- malty goodness...a little corny. Not much, though.

T- really nonoffensive. Some malts, minimal hops, though you can taste a little bitterness...more flavor than an adjunct, at least

M- good feel. Solid body

D- real drinkable lager. Fantastic gateway beer

bigfnjoe, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of Kromes
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A crystal clear light copper with a dense white head that dies down to a soapy layer of bubbles. Good lacing down the glass.

S: A very nice mixture sweet grains and hops in the aroma. The noble hops definitely come through and give it a nice herbal body.

T: The taste is almost a sweet tea-like grain and hop flavor. The malt and hop flavors are very balanced and neither one takes over the other. The finish is sweet with a slight bitterness and leafy hop flavor.

M: The beer is nice and light. Carbonation is not very high.

D: I really like this lager. Hate to admit that this is the first time I've tried it after passing up the opportunity so many times. Definitely recommend this beer. It is light and extremely sessionable.

Kromes, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of jneiswender
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a perfect pint class. Served cold.

A-amber brown body, clear; off white thick head.

S-cereal, grapefruit (slight), floral hop aroma.

T-sweet malt front, some citrus, balanced but not strong hop flavor.

M-medium but well flavored

D-very drinkable. In the Boston area, this really is a reliable beer to go to. On tap is loads better.

jneiswender, Sep 14, 2010
Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 7,370 ratings.