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

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Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager

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8,022 Ratings

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Ratings: 8,022
Reviews: 2,552
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 119
Gots: 1,363 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-27-2001

Our original beer is full-flavored with a balance of malty sweetness contrasted by hop spiciness and a smooth finish.
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Ratings: 8,022 | Reviews: 2,552
Photo of Ilovesuds
5/5  rDev +33.7%
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...


Photo of elNopalero
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of Cummins9110
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
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

Photo of JohnFatAss
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of Celtics76
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of paxchristi
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
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?

Photo of heebes
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of ikats
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of jeffbrister
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of doopydoogle
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3.47/5  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.

Photo of DirtyPenny
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of bobhits
3.09/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.3/5  rDev +15%
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!

Photo of BradtheGreat7
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle. I borrowed a Sam Adams 'sensory' glass for my latest review. I also had one in one of my standard mugs. Honestly the speciality glass is cool, but I couldnt tell a difference. Some brews I can with the "proper branded" glass, but not this.
A - Light Amber to golden. Thick, creamy head. I could describe the head as off white or even light tan.
S - Very floral aroma. A good bit of malt notes. Not sure what hops are used, but they are there as well.
T - It's a hearty and rich flavor. Sweet malts, but the hint of caramel sticks out. I could taste a pretty good hop flavor toward the finish. The taste of this brew reminds me of a flower garden almost. Idk.. maybe I'm crazy lol. It's actually not bad.
M - Somewhat medium bodied brew. Well.. It's close anyhow. Is a little better than average carbonation.
O - Okay, I first reviewed this brew a few years back with pen and paper. But I wanted to try the sensory glass and review it again. Overall this brew isnt bad. It's not great either. IMHO the sensory glass looks great, but gave me the same experience as the mug. I've always been back and forth with Sam Adams brews. However, this is an average brew. If you are into this style and want something with a speciality glass get the Sam Adams. If you want a great brew in this style get the GLBC Eliot Ness. We dont have tons of options here in town, but everywhere I go that has Boston Lager 6 packs also carry GLBC Eliot Ness. Both are considered Vienna style lagers, both are around the same price. Dont get me wrong, Boston lager is a better than decent beer, but the GLBC is world class for the vienna style. IMO that is.

Photo of Jesse13713
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearence - A bit of a hazy golden straw yellow with hues of orange. Appears to have low carbonation.

Smell - many floral and hoppy notes. I could smell it as soon as I opened the bottle.

Taste - malty with delicious floral notes. Light citrus bites at the tongue. A light note of sweetened caramel as well.

Mouth feel and overall - Much better than the last time I remember having it. I must have gotten a skunked brew on my last tasting. Light, crisp and enjoyable.

Photo of MrDonQuixote
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in 12 ounce bottle at a Black Hawk Casino:

A- Copper color, with a white head

S- Very malty aroma, with a light hoppy edge to it. You can slightly smell the fruit.

T- Perfect malty beer. Very bready, with a nice hop character to it as well. Perfect balance between the two serves for a great tasting beer.

M- Quite smooth and nice carbonation profile

O- Believe it or not this was my first time trying this American classic. I was not disappointed.

Photo of Badbobx
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The color was a light copper. There was a moderate head leaving a smattering of lacing.
The aroma was mild malt with a hint of hops.
The flavor was a malty bread flavor with a nice noble hop overtone.
The mouthfeel was enjoyable, not too chewy.
This is a well made beer that is widely distributed. It is a good go-to reliable beer in a place with limited choices.

Photo of anglagard1
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sam Adams glass. The Noble Hops dominate the aroma in a not very pleasant way. The hops bite in the smell reminds me a bit of bug spray. Thankfully, this does not apply to the taste. There's a faint noble hops taste with a little malt sweetness, and not a whole lot else. Mouthfeel is exceptional. I could see sessioning with this, but it really doesn't stand out tastewise. It feels good in the mouth but leaves no lasting memories on the taste buds.

Photo of dansmcd
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Clear, coppery body with a thinnish bubbly head that dissipates relatively quickly.

S - Caramel and citrus with a hint of apple.

T - A full flavoured experience. Clean and well-rounded. Caramel and barley balanced with a peachy hoppiness.

M - Body is thin to medium. Nicely carbonated creating a bit of a buzz.

O - A good solid beer. Easy to session and tasty.

Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-tap in Las Vegas. Reviewed from notes.

A: One finger head of slight cream, fair thickness, and poor retention. A clear amber-copper colour. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Average.

Sm: Some hops. Caramelized malt and barley. A mild strength aroma.

T: An empty open (and an empty third act as well). A full barley foundation features light floral hops and prominet caramel - on the climax. The malts are nicely sweet but lack depth of flavour. Balanced but lackluster. There's so much more that could be done.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Somewhat complementary of the flavour. A bit overcarbonated. Decent thickness.

Dr: Easy to drink. A good American macro (yes, Sam Adams is a macrobrewery - albeit a craft brewery, but nothing special. Well priced. I do like it, but it leaves a lot to be desired. **After reviewing over 2000 beers (some of which have been deleted due to the duplicate serving type purge), this remains my definition of a C; this is about as average as it gets.


Photo of ChrisCage
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a golden color with just a hint of reddish hue around the edges, and reasonably clear...slightly chill hazed. The head doesn't start out super impressive, being maybe a half finger in thickness, but the retention is superb, virtually staying in the same puffy layer as long as the beer is in the glass. There looks to be ample amounts of carbonation, although they look to be finely producing. The lacing is decent, but not great....good looking overall!

S- A very nice balance overall, with sweet, fruit like esters upfront from the roasted malt, followed by grainy caramel and finally ending with a slight hop bitterness, but it isn't very pronounced.

T- The hop profile is much more noticeable, but it doesn't dominate the flavors. Again, very balanced and I find in reverse order....I detect the bitterness more on the front, with the middle showing more malty sweetness, and a bit of toasty biscuit flavor on the finish. Quite yummy!

M- Light bodied, but leaning ever so slightly to the medium part of the spectrum. The carbonation is creamy, just like it appeared to be, and really allows the flavor profile to shine through

O- This is a very nicely flavored, smooth, and very easy to drink beer. The flavor lingers well on the palate after the swallow, leaving a rich and fulfilling satisfaction. This is a really good everyday beer and would work well in any situation, plus I think this would could be enjoyed by anyone! This reminds me of a light English Bitter....Well done!

Photo of K9AleingPiss
3.09/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Opened this bottle 8/19,notched for 5/19,gonna have to pay more attention,just purchased this bottle. Appearance was very good,nice golden,orange hue,also had a descent frothy foamy top. Truthfully could not smell much of anything...and the taste was also disappointing.I continually tasted a bitter floral/honey-sweet taste that lingered no matter how many times or how I drank this beer. My mouth was quite dry once finished,and I found I needed a drink of water. Im sorry to say it will be a while before trying this ever again.

Photo of afdempse
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz pour into a pint glass.

Effervescent head, dwindles to a lace cap rather quickly. Color on par for style.

Smell of noble hops, carbonized sugar. Taste is a great balance between noble hops and bready, earthy malt with a touch of caramel sweetness. Body seems a bit light, with a hint of metallic/mineral notes in the finish. Carbonation is good, and the finish is of spicy herbal hops and dry malt.

Great tasting beer that I could drink in large quantities. The aftertaste is refreshing and invites you to have another. Definitely my go-to beer when in airports or other bars with limited selections. You can usually find a Sam Adams in even the worst of places...

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Time to review an American classic! A 355ml bottle with a BB of Feb 2012.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A deep golden-amber hue with good carbonation. Forms a large head of white foam that lasts for a few minutes before subsiding. Aroma of sweet golden malt accompanied by fruity hops. Notes of citrus and diacetyl.

Tastes of golden malt with a pleasing aromatic hop flavour. Notes of caramel, citrus, mild stewed hops and diacetyl. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, leaving the palate slightly dry. Faint aftertaste of hoppy malt.

A great lager - very drinkable. It has an aromatic hop character that puts industrial lagers to shame. The only negative is the pervasive hint of diacetyl in the background, which spoils an otherwise fantastic beer. In any case - a must try for all beer lovers.

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Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 8,022 ratings.