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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

6,703 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,703
Reviews: 2,411
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 55
Gots: 444 | 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: 6,703 | Reviews: 2,411 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drxandy


4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 24oz bottle to tulip glass, pours a golden/reddish color with a nice white head.

smells of maltiness, light hopping, crisp

tastes heavy on malts, they hit first following by bitter hops, butterscotchy, wheat, nicely carbonated and crisp

mouthfeel = carbonation brings out all the malty flavors, very sessionable

a staple in the history of american craft beer

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2008 00:35:21 | More by drxandy
Photo of Lexluthor33

New York

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

Pours light copper with big foamy head that settles to a sticky cobweb lace. The aroma is malts,grains and a hint of hops.
The taste is malty,sweet,buttery and has caramel notes with light hops taste.
The overall feel is medium carbonation,slightly bitter finish with grains.

Notes: It tastes good even as it warms and can be a good beer for session. I have it from time to time and I enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2008 21:09:54 | More by Lexluthor33
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one about a million times, but figured I'd actually do a bottle review. Pours a copper color with a fine head that dissolves quickly down to nothing. Okay but not particularly impressive to look at. Nose is mild hoppiness, a bit of fruit and malt. Taste is similar; some light graininess, piney hops, and some crisp fruit in there as well. Body is solid, although nothing too impressive. Might have to experiment a bit more, but is seems possible that I prefer this one on tap, although it's certainly a solid brew (and better than all the BMC out there in a landslide) in the bottle as well.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2008 19:57:30 | More by soupyman10
Photo of Baileyuk


3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark Golden color with good head and lacing.

S - Mainly malts. Although not unpleasant there was not much complexity.

T - Good at first, as I went further there was a slight metallicy taste. Malty backbone with a faint hop taste.

D - Could be a session beer, but there are better choices for this. A good beer overpowered by great ones.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2008 01:11:45 | More by Baileyuk
Photo of Traquairlover


4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

20-oz in a glass stein on tap.

A = Nice clear orange amber, frothy white head almost like a cappucino with good retention and heavy lacing.

S = Fresh earthy noble hops, bread dough, nicely balanced.

T = Very fresh earthy noble hops, sweet malt like buttered uncooked croissant dough, some citrus at mid-palate, long dry clean finish.

M = Medium body, full, frothy feel and coating, nice carbonation level.

D = Very high. Extremely refreshing at the end of a long day. By American standards, a good session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-21-2008 22:07:55 | More by Traquairlover
Photo of gpogo


3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear light amber with small white head.

A- Sweet bready malts. Slight fruitiness

T- Wonderful malty taste backed with a hoppy bitterness. With a lingering bitter aftertaste.

M- Medium-light body withlwo-moderate carbonation.

D- Yes. Drinking this is always a good call. I remember my first boston lager and being blown away at how flavorful it was compared the the junk I was drinking back then.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2008 00:56:10 | More by gpogo
Photo of rye726


3.03/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours a clear brownish color with a decent light tan head. The nose has some sweet grainy malts and faint hops. The taste also holds some faint bitter hops over a bed of mild malts. The body has good carbonation and an average lager body. A drinkable beeer, but a bit over priced.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2008 17:49:57 | More by rye726
Photo of HalfFull


2.6/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I think Harvard should take on this beer as a case study in Marketing, or perhaps contract brewing.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass it forms a nice dark head that lingers for a while and continues as moderate lacing on the glass. Taste and Mouthfeel disappoint. This is a shallow cousin, perhaps second cousin, of what this beer was ten years ago.

Living in San Diego I've been tasting this beer for many years, but would always cherish a trip to the East Coast to enjoy the real Sam. The one I served in 1986. The one that dethroned many a European beer 20 years ago as for my favorites. Alas, my last two trips have convinced me that that Sam is gone. Sam Adams BL in Boston is now the same as Sam Adams BL in San Diego. The lowest common denominator has won. This is a very sad day. The beer is boring and lifeless now, devoid of much character and tastes as if it's been pasteurized.

edit: Feb. 2009

Poured a bottle of Sam into my new Boston Lager glass. Color is lighter still, golden at best, and clear with a reduced head. Malt presence remains washed out. A bit smoky on the nose, rather dry. What happened to those Vienna malts? I pick up more hops but with a diacetyl butter flavor. Can't retain or regenerate any head. 'A head so thick you can float a bottle cap on it'? I don't think so. The degradation continues. June 2009 freshness date from a Brewmaster's Collection mixed case.

At this rate we'll have Sam Adams Boston Water by 2015. Bon Soir...

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2008 03:42:20 | More by HalfFull
Photo of SaucyA


4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours with a golden orange, bright and clear body, with a slightly off white head. A tiny bit of lacing. Lots of bubbles. Better than average.

S - Smell is of bready malts, as well as light fruits. Nothing crazy, but it's not supposed to be.

T - Light malts, light hops, crisp and clean finish. Slightly spicy hop profile, but mostly fruity and generally light flavors...nothing remotely offensive. Finishes slightly drier and hoppier than expected. It's good.

M - Extremely light and sparkly, but has a nice creaminess thoughout.

D - Completely drinkable. Embodies the word.

Notes: My girlfriend and I stopped at a hole in the wall beer store and this was the only remotely decent thing they had. I saved one to review.

A real winner in the Sam Adams lineup.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2008 21:08:33 | More by SaucyA
Photo of comingbackdown


4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

1st try with this one, poured lovingly and carefully straight from the bottle into a handwashed, air-dried mug.

It poured a beautiful amber color, deep and appreciable.

Consistency: Thin, not watery, it's light and flows freely, but it's not watery.

Head: 3-finger head. Not aromatic, took a long while to dissipate. Didn't get a very good nose off it, so I waited for the head to dissipate and took a good nose.

Nose: Smell a bit of hoppyness, yeast, apple, cherry, vanilla-like, sweet, slightly smokey smell to it. Had to smell something else repeatedly to get all of these. My nose may not be finely tuned enough yet, but it pretty much crippled my sense of smell. It's quite strong for my nose to handle.

Taste: Bitter, but sweet at same time. Strong. Dark and smooth, good malt. Crisp feel. Bittersweet with a strong taste of hops at the finish, and a hoppy aftertaste. Quite nice.
A very subtle hint of salt deep down in the flavor, just a hint of it. I found it after a second review with a mildly chilled beer mug. Just goes to show, beer is a delicate, wonderful, mysterious thing. :) Slightly uneven lacing this time, maybe because of a not-so-great pour on my part...

Mouthfeel: Light, slightly buttery, well carbonated, and very tingly. Leaves a warm taste in the mouth, slightly scratchy feel. I'd give the mouthfeel a 4.0, but... The mouthfeel is a bit too scratchy... Like a light, unobtrusive sandpaper, curiously enjoyable.

Overall: For a beginning reviewer, I think this stuff is great! I'm sure I'll wind up editing all my early reviews as time goes on, but this is good for a first.

So far, Therse are the beers I've tried:
Old Milwaukee, Milwaukee's Best Ice, Sam Adams Summer Ale, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, and this.

Out of that list, This is the best damn beer I've had out of all of them.

Have fun, drink responsibly, and respect the beer.


Serving type: bottle

05-17-2008 03:52:21 | More by comingbackdown
Photo of nrbw23


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

A- Pours a nice deep amber color with a slighty off white head that left an excellent amount of lacing.

S- I could pick up ceral and grainy hops. Maybe even some floral hops here.

T- Very nice here I really enjoy this brew. Sweet malts balanced by some hops bitterness. Also a little bit of a caramel taste.

M- Medium in body with a nice amount of carbonation.

D- Incredibly easy to drink and easy to find.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2008 00:18:40 | More by nrbw23
Photo of everetends


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

12 oz bottle picked up just about anywhere in the US. Poured into a pint.

A: A nice golden copper with a touch of head. Clear and clean.

S: Smells like bread and hops. Thats about it.

T: Got some mildly sweet malt that is perfectly countered with a good amount of hops. A very well balanced beer. You will also find a bit of grains and spice going on in there.

M: Has an appropriate amount of carbonation for the style. Cool and clean on the finish. Very refreshing.

D: Drink it. For mass produced this is good stuff. Never a bad call as they say.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2008 02:59:21 | More by everetends
Photo of KBomb


2.65/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

We get a nice brown color with a medium sized creamy head. Smell of hops and a little toasty bread. Taste is pretty bitter with a kind of sour finish. Pretty one dimensional, nothing really there to compliment the hops. To me the flavor is uninteresting at best. And I really needed something to follow it up to get sour and bitter tastes out of my mouth.

I'm at a loss as to how this beer is so well loved. Maybe a bit richer than macrolagers, but not very appealing. A little bit boring and a little bit unappetizing. Excessive bitterness and a metallic mineral taste put me off quite a bit. BBC has much better offerings than this.

Serving type: on-tap

05-14-2008 19:27:45 | More by KBomb
Photo of cyrenaica

Ontario (Canada)

2.88/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

355ml bottle
4.8% ABV

I tried this beer on December 20, 2007 at "Smokeless Joe's" in Toronto. The beer poured a dark translucent gold colour with a 0.5 inch white head. The aroma was very weak with some barely discernable hoppy notes. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with some mild carbonation. The flavour was alright with no strong overpowering flavours. Very drinkable, but nothing special.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2008 04:01:04 | More by cyrenaica
Photo of PatrickJR

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Transparent copper with a rather small head that dies down to a white collar, no lacing.

S - Very appealing raisin/prune aroma from a great malt and hops balance.

T - Sweet malt begins and then slowly blends with floral and slightly spicy hops. Finish is fairly dry and bitter. Mildly obtrusvie cereal grain aftertaste.

M - Highly carbonated and a little thin. I think less carbonation and increased thickness would help this beer a lot. The flavor is there, but something else is off.

D - A good session beer, but the weird bitterness (like a lot of Sam Adams) holds it back.

I much prefer this beer on-tap.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2008 19:37:14 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of swizzlenuts


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

A bronze coloured beer with a decent sized head, about 1 cm. The head dissipates fairly quickly and looks quite carbonated.

The beer has a bit of hops in the nose with hints of yeast. It also has hints of some fruits. There is definitely a bittering from hops with some malty flavours that come through. The malts are mostly a caramel type taste. This beer is really fucking balanced and the lager taste isn't too dominant. Definitely one of the best lagers around. The mouthfeel is a bit creamy with some carbonation.

I could definitely drink a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2008 17:50:51 | More by swizzlenuts
Photo of MOShepp


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

Dark golden color with medium frothy head.

Smells of bread, citrus, and spicey hops.

Tastes of caramel, floral, nice balance of hops and malt.

Easy to drink,well balanced with a fair amount of body and flavor. You can find on tap at about any bar now and it makes a good standby.

Serving type: on-tap

05-09-2008 03:46:46 | More by MOShepp
Photo of HugoGrim


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

Golden body with a thin, stiff, foamy head. Nice lacing with excellent retention.

Aroma of sweet malts and some crisp hops.

Sweet and bready thick malt flavor is balanced by a healthy dose of hops. For such a widely available beer this does not skimp on flavor. Spicy dry hopy finish.

Almost everywhere that does not serve micro craft or decent imports I can always look for Boston Lager and I'm satisfied.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2008 23:57:55 | More by HugoGrim
Photo of whiplash3825


4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light clear amber with a huge fluffy head that clings to the inside of the glass all the way down to the last swallow.

Surprisingly hoppy in the nose, but with an ample amount of malts to back it up.

The taste is just the reverse of the smell, toasty caramel sweet malts at first, followed by almost the perfect level of hops to balance it all out, with a semi-dry finish. Very nice balance all the way through. Impressive!

Good medium mouthfeel with IMO a perfect level of carbonation.

Can't get much better in the drinkability... almost a perfect balance of flavors to keep it interesting, and the low ABV keeps it from going too much to your head.

To sum it all up, I don't do lagers very often, but this is excellent. Flavorful and well-balanced... a world-class beer! I think my favorite American beer to date.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2008 20:24:30 | More by whiplash3825
Photo of TwinSox33

New Hampshire

4.2/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What can I say, It's one of NE's best. This beer has a strong smooth body. The taste is of caramel malts, medium body hops, and a nice lightly bitter after taste. This amber-hued larger is an American classic. It saved America's pride in Germany when it won a gold medal, and it is a favorite of German execs visiting the states. (I heard one remark it's the only American widely-available beer they find palatable) From a German, that's saying something! Thanks Sam, for saving America's international beer pride!

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2008 03:34:39 | More by TwinSox33
Photo of jkrich


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

12 oz. bottle with "enjoy before month" clearly marked on side of label. I noticed the patriot on the bottle has become much smaller and the words Samuel Adams much larger.

I poured the lager into a pilsner flute which left an incredible slightly off white puffy head which eventually settled to about two inches. The lager was a clear, deep gold to amber.

When opening the bottle I could smell fresh, spicy malts and good hop aroma.

The taste was smoothly sweet without any cloying flavors and a little hop tingle at the end. Years ago I considered this a very substantial brew. Now I am surprised how light on the palette this one is.

Again, this is a light-bodied brew which coats the tongue with tangy maltiness with faint hop bitterness.

Samuel Adams has done a great deal for the craft brewing movement, even if the beers are contract brewed. My Boston Lager was brewed in Latrobe, PA. I used to purchase this same lager that was brewed in Cincinnati, OH. I wonder if the taste varies based on where it is brewed?

With a low ABV and great flavor, this is an ideal session lager for any season.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2008 22:37:51 | More by jkrich
Photo of Durge


4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this plenty of times over the years and would never complain about the choice, usually a welcomed selection. At the Fort lauderdale Airport I had a pint that poured a clear and lively amber color with a solid white creamy head and fair lacing. The aroma brings on some nutty malt and wheat, a little buttery perhaps. The taste is a clean wheat bread and touch of rye. There's a bit of bitter mash, tangy carbonation and nice body for a refreshing lager. Very drinkable with a minor dryness in the finish. Very solid lager, once again!

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2008 05:25:21 | More by Durge
Photo of champ103


3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear orange/red color. Two finger white head forms to leave a little patchy lace.
S: Floral hops, some malt, and a bit of funk.
T: More caramel malt flavor that was detected in the nose. Some nice floral and citrus that gives the beer a good bite.
M/D: Smooth, creamy, and easy to drink.

This is a simple but pleasant beer. I don't drink this all the time, but I have never been disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2008 01:42:23 | More by champ103
Photo of generallee

New York

4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Always a good choice. The Boston lager pours a beautiful golden amber color with great clarity. On top sits a thick white head that leaves good lacing on the glass. A wonderful floral and piney hops fills the nose and leads you to the first sip. The taste is full of these floral and piney hops from start to the finish. The malt character is bready, lightly roasted and hold the hops in perfect balance. The palate has medium body and a smooth texture with average carbonation. Sam Adams finishes with a nice hopy fade. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2008 13:41:08 | More by generallee
Photo of 1099


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

Sampled in a pilsner glass at a local eatery.

A: When brought to my table by the waitress, I was impressed by my first look at Sam Adams. It was a deep, rich, dark copper color. I immediately fell in love with it just based on its appearance. It had a nice one finger head, and as I drank it down, it left lots of lacing.

S: Smell was of malt, with hops showing through very nicely and clearly. There was also a slight hint of alcohol, but nothing overwhelming. Very balanced, very clean smelling.

T: WOW! If this is what a good beer is supposed to taste like, I am hooked from sip one. At first sip, the malt came through very strongly, quickly followed up by hops, and a little bit of alcohol. Carbonation balanced with it all. All in all, a very tasty brew.

M: Excellent. Enough said!

D: Outstanding. I could drink a lot of these in a session.

Boston Beer Company has a good one here. I hope they keep this one coming for a long time!


Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2008 01:13:09 | More by 1099
Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 6,703 ratings.