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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

6,658 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,658
Reviews: 2,411
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 55
Gots: 425 | 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: 6,658 | Reviews: 2,411 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Shadman

Alberta (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ah..the famous Sam Adam's Boston Lager.found in same singles bin as the Tennent's...should have checked the best before..but

Another great looking brew..amber/copper with nice head retention and absolute glue-like lacing.

Smell was subtle, noble hops and a decent malt

Taste..very interesting..goes from a carmel-like malt to a nice hop bittereness..then clean..then back to malt-hop at the finish.

Very smooth almost creamy mouthfeel.

Lives up to the hype..very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2007 01:39:33 | More by Shadman
Photo of pootz

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Re evaluation after finally getting a fresh bottle at TBS.

Puts a light amber-gold lager in the mug with a great 3 finger stick rocky cap that lasts and laces up the glass sides.

Great aroma of fresh cracked sweet cereals..fresh bread and that light herbal aroma of German nobles...this was far better than the other smaple I had previously which were near expire dates.

Medium bodied, slightly malt-forward and with a spicey hoppy finishing character..slick mouth feel.

Up front some chewy bready malts for a second then the nobles flood in to balence with herbal-woody tones...finished clean but wet and toasty with the hops becoming a bit more aggressive...bready-herbal after taste.

A good solid all malt lager with character but not over complicated...well crafted with cold conditioned mellowness....just right for sessions.

Caution: Check the freshness indicator on the bottle...freshness is everything to a malt forward unpasturized lager...my previous samples were bland and stale in the last 1/4 of their advertised shelf life...best before 3 months from botttling if you want fresh tasting beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2007 00:21:51 | More by pootz
Photo of Eirerate


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

Sam Adams Boston Lager was my intro into a larger world of better beers many years ago and I just wanted to revisit it.

Poured from a bottle into a mug.

This a very clean looking beer in the mug. Good carbonation. Poured a nice two finger head that left some lacing in the glass.

Some hops aroma, not very strong.

Nice gentle flavor, not as strong as many of the beers I enjoy, but definitely not weak, yellow, fizz water. Great session beer.

Good mouth-feel, not overwhelming.

I've always enjoyed this beer, even though my tastes have move on a bit. This is often a salvation been because it is so widely available and often the best alternative. Boston Lager will always have a place in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2007 16:20:54 | More by Eirerate
Photo of auntfloyd

New York

3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a US pint glass.

Pours a clear copper color, with a big, foamy, white two-finger head.

Faint grassy hop smell. Not very strong.

The taste is decent, starting with a faintly sweet caramel malt flavor, but finishing with bitter hops. This is a fairly hoppy lager, though not the typical American hops. The flavor is bitter, but not very subtle.

The mouthfeel is slightly watery, but overall decent. It is also a little too carbonated for my tastes.

Drinkability is good; the abv is fairly low, and the beer is pretty smooth.

Overall, I'm kind of "meh" on this one. On one hand, its not bad at all; on the other, there are far better lagers out there. One thing SA has going for it is ubiquity: even places that otherwise only carry macros will have Boston Lager, and for that purpose its great. That said, I don't think I'll be buying it to have at home.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2007 19:17:39 | More by auntfloyd
Photo of goschool


3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The pour is clear copper topped by a long lasting white head.

Smell: The nose has plenty of grains, along with sweet toasted malts, and a touch of grassy hops.

Taste: Semi-sweet, toasted malts are balanced out by dry noble hops, which are more prevalent in the flavor than the aroma, at the finish.

Mouthfeel: It's medium-bodied and dry, yet still fairly smooth with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: While this is a very solid brew, Vienna lagers just aren't my cup of tea. Regardless of the scores, I find Sam Adam's Light to be the more enjoyable widely available beer from Boston Beer Company.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2007 08:39:15 | More by goschool
Photo of jrehmert


4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a fantastic representation of an american lager without being watered down and tasteless. The taste is balanced between malt caramel and american hops. The appearance is beyond expectation for such a widely available bear - with good head retention, lacing, and consistent effervescence 'til the last drop.

This beer is definitely a session beer and one that I'll call a "staple" for years to come!!

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2007 04:09:07 | More by jrehmert
Photo of scarletfire79

New Hampshire

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

this is definitly now one of my favorites as far as widely available beer goes. this puts other large breweries to shame. the color is a nice copper like red. slight head retention, good lacing. the nose is appealing. dry grass like aroma. the taste is caramle sweet with a nice balance of hop bitterness. really nicely balanced. for whatever reason i've put this off in the past. finally gave it a try and will give it a try again real soon.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2007 03:19:56 | More by scarletfire79
Photo of utahbeerdude


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

Visual: Very clear with a deep gold color. Creamy, fairly persistent head, moderate carbonation.

Aroma: At first, mild grassy hops balanced by very slight sulphury malt. As it warms, the sulphur character of the malt becomes more predominant.

Flavor: A well balance blend of flavors to start. The taste then deconvolves into some malt sweetness and hop flavor, and then a pleasant, dry bitterness in the finish that persists into aftertaste. A very small bit of metallic flavor is sometimes noticeable, but not really objectionable.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation initially brings in some creaminess, which gives way as the flavors exhibit their individuality. The light to medium body seems right for the style.

Overall: A well balanced beer with an almost unique quality whereby the initial flavors are so well balanced that the individual components are suppressed, providing a harmonious gestalt. More than any other lager I have tried, this beer is the most like the homebrewed lagers that I have made. It is no wonder that this beer put the Boston Beer Company on the map.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2007 03:24:25 | More by utahbeerdude
Photo of jeffaz02t


3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Light golden, almost orange glow. Nice head that sticks to the glass the entire time.

S: Sweet malts, light hops and a hint of nickel (metal).

T: Sweet malts is the initial taste, which fades to a hops-infused after taste. Nothing in this balanced brew is extreme. The hop bite is very much balanced with the malty sweetness. There is a hint of nickel, penny, whatever kind of metal you want to call it. Over all a very pleasing brew.

D: This is the session beer to end all session beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2007 16:33:01 | More by jeffaz02t
Photo of BigD1972

Rhode Island

4.65/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite of all the Samuel Adams beers. Extremely drinkable brew. Smooth, with a light hoppy bite. Great on a hot summer day or while sitting inside watching the snow pile up outside in the dead of winter. Puts the macro brews (bud, coors, miller) to shame! Sam Adams..Red Sox..Bruins...Celtics....I LOVE BOSTON!!!

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2007 05:09:19 | More by BigD1972
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour a clear golden color with nice white head that left soapy lacing all over the glass. I'm not picking up much on the nose, some light hops. There is a nice balance between the noticable hops and caramel malts, the result is that it finishes smooth. Well carbonated and crisp, light but not watery. A very drinkable beer and a good standby to fall back on now and again.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2007 03:54:34 | More by Gmann
Photo of kgotcher


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

Pours nice clear orange/amber color with a good head and nice lacings.

Aroma is malty and grainy. Taste is crisp but at the same time it is smooth and easy, caramel maltyness with a balanced hop finish with a chewy aftertaste of malty goodness.

Overall a great beer, easy to drink, nothing crazy and nothing strange, just an awesome session beer that tastes great and at $21 for a Costco 28 pack there is no beer than can compare for the price.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2007 03:00:46 | More by kgotcher
Photo of uabigdaz


2.93/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Overall this beer is pretty good, except one thing. Now that that is out of the way, here I go:

Pours a deep amber, copper color with a nice amount of head which fades to a thin layer, with nice lacing throughout the beer. Smell is good, except for a hint of caramel (which is my problem with this beer) which is unpleasant to me. It smells like JW Dundee beer, and I am not a fan of JW Dundee.

Tastes decent, except for the overwhelming sweet, thick taste of caramel. Once used to this taste it starts getting better, but the initial thought of mine was that this beer would be more like pale ale considering the advertisements bragging about their use of so much hops (hoppy, sad billboards all over Tucson). I know I have had this before, but that was before I "Respected Beer", and now this seems lacking in taste to be considered a fine beer in my opinion.

Mouthfeel is actually really really nice. Not watery, but also not too thick, very good balance there. Good job.

Drinkability? I've had 2 out of my 12 pack, and I must say I could drink the rest in one (long) session if I had the time, so yeah, it is drinkable, but I feel with the taste of this beer, it would better serve as a companion with your favorite cut of steak rather than a session beer. I'm going to go fire up the grill.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2007 01:35:47 | More by uabigdaz
Photo of BadRockBeer


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

Serving Type Sampled: 12 fl. oz. crown top bottle. Features “Best Before Date”

Appearance: Golden amber, crystal clear, Wonderful rocky head that smears itself down the side of the glass with every drink.

Smell: Aromatic floral hops, sweet grains.

Taste: Soft caramel malt, nice bitter hop balance. Dry hoppy aftertaste. Lovin’ it.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, slightly creamy with perfect carbonation.

Drinkability: Excellent! Great session beer from the micro monster.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2007 05:28:41 | More by BadRockBeer
Photo of guitarmage


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

Appearance: A nice amber, golden highlights, a slightly off-white sudsy head, hangs around, about a half inch.

Smell: Grainy and rich, nice grassy hops.

Taste: Taste is lightly sweet malt, crisp and clean, finishes with a solid hop dose, hops linger.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, moderate to high carbonation, medium bodied, finishes juicy and smooth.

Drinkability: A tasty lager, very drinkable and clean. No off flavors, or nasty steely macro lager garbage.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2007 03:48:32 | More by guitarmage
Photo of stereosforgeeks


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

Appearance - Very clear copper color with a nice, slightly off-white head.

Smell - Sweet malts with caramel and some floral hops.

Taste - Nice floral hop presence to balance the caramel malts. Nothing too complex here but it's very refreshing.

Mouthfeel - Crisp and clean with modest carbonation. Never overstays it's welcome but lingers long enough to be known.

Drinkablilty - I can drink a lot of these. I mostly partake at bars when I want something I don't want to think too much about, but still is very well rounded.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2007 00:26:38 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of lehows

New York

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

Pours a very nice copper amber color with a classic and fluffy white head. Fine carbonation bubbles rise excitedly to the top of the beer. Nice but mellow aromas of malt and floral hops. Smooth flavors of caramel malt, nice and even display of hops, also a bit of citrus tang that is refreshing. All around an excellent lager and very sessionable. Also a great stand-by as it can be found even at most crappy beer bars.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2007 20:37:09 | More by lehows
Photo of jeffjfindley


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

What a beauty. Say what you will about this one, but I don't see how anyone could dispute that this is one of the prettiest beers on earth. Transparent, yet rich golden amber, with champagne bubbles rising to the surface to fight for air. The head is rich and downright pillowy. The nose is treated almost as well, with a toasty caramel malt profile and a touch of hop bite. The taste doesn't disappoint, but doesn't quite live up to the aroma. Just a little thin on the finish, and ditto for the mouthfeel. Terrific little hop bite, though. Despite a recent trouncing on the forum, I still think that the character of this is similar to Anchor Steam, and I'm convinced that a similar yeast strain is the culprit. Anyway, that's one for the forum. Great drinkability, and a truly great beer that deserves it's status and prominence.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2007 06:32:40 | More by jeffjfindley
Photo of pavandal


4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from the bottle into my pint glass with no real head. The beer had an apple juice color. Nothing special about the look of this one, at least for me.

The smell matched the color, with the apple-juiceness. I also detected hints of caramel and some pine.

When I sip, the first thing I taste is a caramel malt backbone. The hop profile is just slightly bitter, and the final thing I can sense is a bready aftertaste.

A well rounded beer for sure. The best thing to order when you're at a bar that doesn't cater to the micro drinker!

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2007 01:58:07 | More by pavandal
Photo of MrHungryMonkey


4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber, clear. Mild head, great carbonation.

Grape, biscuit/bread, butter/toffee, tart edge, cool and crisp, light roasted/toasted vibe, spice essence, refreshing.

Wave of foamy fruit and bread flavors. Moderate carbonation and a nice sour/tartness make me pucker a little. Finishes out to a smooth and creamy butter/toffee edged apple/grape taste leaving me wanting more.

Not bad. Boston Lager is a well tuned and tweaked brew. This is the quintessential craft brew, the proverbial snowball of the beer world, and it does taste good.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2007 04:32:51 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of Procrastinator


3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Nonic pint glass. Part of the holiday 12-pack with best before date 02-07 on label.

Appearance: bronze orange color with small 1-finger head which soon fades. Tiny bubble carbonation leads to constant lacing.

Smell: floral hops with mild caramel sweetness with hints of toasted bread crusts.

Taste: very clean and crisp flavors with slight hop bite. Nutty and dry on the tongue at finish.

Mouthfeel: carbonation is about perfect for my liking. Slight dryness adds to the enjoyment.

Drinkability: Very sessionable beer. I've been drinking SA lager for over twenty years and enjoying it. It's always that go-to beer where some places serve it as the only alternative to BMC.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2007 23:35:36 | More by Procrastinator
Photo of Atron67


4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle in a pint glass

A- a nice solid amber color very clear, a finger or so of foam but it stayed very well and left some yellowey laces behind

S- Malty aroma although not lacking in hop bitterness, a good strong aroma

T- Transforms great, from a smooth malt start to a bittery end at the back of the throat, taste a sublte caramel that isnt too strong

M- a full, kinda heavy mouthfeel, a nice solid feel, leaves the mouth a little bitter. not 'dry' but not wet eaither which is nice

D- its a good choice to sit down , theres enough to it to keep the enjoyment up

D- its great not overly

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2007 03:29:52 | More by Atron67
Photo of dmamiano

West Virginia

3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice amber beer with a full white head and plenty of carbination. Laced nicely as it was drank.
Mouthfeel was rather full, wih a decent flavor of peppery spice and smooth bready malt.
The finish to me lingered a bit to a bitter ending.
Good session beer for sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2007 02:50:38 | More by dmamiano
Photo of becktone


2.93/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

As with all Sam Adams brews, they look great. This one has excellent head retention and formation. A one finger creamy white head forms when poured and will not diminish. I was expecting something a bit darker. The color here is copper, though with more of a yellow tint to it than a red/orange tint. Of the other Vienna Lagers I've had, they've all been darker than this one. Just a tad dissapointed, still looks good though.

Rich malt influenced background. Very strong malt aromas, a bit of a caramel aroma in there, and something that reminds me a bit of toffee, and perhaps a pinch of vanilla(more of an after thought, really... "I guess that you could associate that aroma with a vanilla character."). Lightly toasted aromas are present too. Overall complex aroma with some noble hops that first grabbed me when I opened the bottle but no longer are present.

The real test, taste. Ohh that tell tale metallic taste is there. I recently bought a mixed 12, so far 4 of the 6 styles in there have had this metallic tang. It detracts from the taste so much that I can't really describe it. Very unhappy with this.

Mouthfeel is good, creamy and full bodied this is pretty much all you could want in a brew. As to the drinkability, I'd much rather buy Elliot Ness than this, its just so much better. This brew goes down easy enough, and makes a good session beer. I'll probably give it another go-round as this is their flagship beer, I'm beginning to think that it was a bad set of batches or something happened during shipping.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2007 20:57:43 | More by becktone
Photo of hefevice


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

Liquid rose gold, creamy off white head. Oh, the aroma! You can get lost in the malts; toffee, caramel, cookie dough with the hops adding some spice and potpourri. Subtle but wonderful aroma. Main impression in the taste is balance - the caramel and toffee sweetness is subltly balanced with a smooth but firm hop presence.

Given the distance this beer has travelled, it has held up very well. A wonderfully balanced, extremely drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2007 10:21:28 | More by hefevice
Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 6,658 ratings.