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

6,723 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,723
Reviews: 2,412
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 54
Gots: 458 | 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)
View: Beers (129) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Boston Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,723 | Reviews: 2,412 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NCSUdo


3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at RDU airport, waiting for a flight to Austin, TX. Had it before but first time I decided to take notes.

A: Small head, little lacing, clear amber in color. Nice looking for a well known domestic produced lager.

S: Sweet malty nose, bitter hop character with a definite citrus undertone.

T: Crisp maltiness. Huge malt up front, bitter hop finish, slight cereal taste.

M/D: Good mouthfeel, carbonation just right. Crisp and semi-dry, fair drinkablity. Light bodied, good beer to have a simple or complex meal. Definite session quality.

This beer is usually hit or miss with me, but it is almost always the best thing available at most resturaunts in the area.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2007 04:37:15 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of McStagger


3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mmm...Sam Adams. Always a good choice, right? Let's review the ole standard; Boston Lager.

A: Pours out a light amber with hints of burnt orange. Creamy off white head. Excellent retention and great lacing of the head.

S: Favor fairly erupts from the glass. Very prevalent hops are the first thing noticed. Further smells reveal hints of slightly sweetened grain.

T: Beer is still fairly hop oriented. However, the hops are muted in the tasting. Slightly sweet, slightly cloying grain and toasted sugar can be detected on the finish, with the hops returning in a roasted fashion after the mouthful of beer has been drunk.

M: Beer has a creamy beginning that turns into a nice carbonation on the mid-palate that is accentuated by the hops. Excellent texture.

D: While I'm not a huge hop-head, this beer has an excellent balance between hops, toastiness and cream. The cream makes it easy on the palate, while the hops give it enough backbone to stick up to a bar filled with cigarette smoke.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2007 04:15:46 | More by McStagger
Photo of nullforge


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

Clear amber color with a foamy white head that collapses to a thin cover that retains well. The head has some lacing with a respectable stickiness to it. The nose contains gently toasted caramel malt and floral hops. A very sweet and inviting aroma. The taste offers sweet malt with some caramel notes. This is well balanced by a hop bitterness that is both floral and spicy. The body is medium-light. The strong carbonation creates a smooth, slightly silky mouthfeel.

This is a great every day beer. Its simple enough to be inoffensive, with just enough malt and hops to keep it interesting.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2007 04:09:33 | More by nullforge
Photo of Frozensoul327


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

A: Deep orange color with a touch of a reddish coppery hue. Smaller head of white foam. Uniform rings of lacing in the glass.

S: Biscuits and malty grains. Mild sweetness tea leafy quality. Not bad.

T: Medium malt flavor with a balanced hoppy note. A light buttery biscuit note and dough round this one out. Not bad, but slightly one sided.

M: Nominal. Slightly crispy and smooth. Minimal creaminess.

D: Fair at best. It's not a bad beer by any means, but to me it reaks of mediocracy, and is rather forgettable. Just doesn't do it for me.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2007 22:59:20 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of errantnight


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

A pretty, rich brass/gold with a fairly craggy head. Clear as day with excellent lacing... it's purdy.

A fine aroma of biscuity-sweet malt, if a bit faint once the head recedes.

A hearty lightly toasted sweetness with a clean, spicy bittering aftertaste... only the sweetness ticks around just a tick too long. Leaving what is otherwise a fairly light, crisp beer feeling heavier and richer than it really is.

Eminently quaffable, if somewhat forgettable... every time I forget just how delicious and solid this beer is, I take the time to re-examine and see the flaws... still, a stand-out fallback, and worth revisiting from time-to-time for nothing more than a hint of nostalgia (this was one of the first craft brews I was turned on to) and a reminder that even as beer profilerates it needn't be excessively bland and characterless.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2007 04:56:14 | More by errantnight
Photo of brendan13


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

A - Amber colour with a few centimetres of off white head that falls away quite quickly.
S - Floral hops are the first thing that comes to the nose backed up with some sweet fruit notes.
T - Biscuity malt comes through with the taste backed up by a smooth flow of the floral hops.
M - Possibly the best mouthfeel I've had from a lager. Quite full with a refreshing finish yet not too overcarbonated.
D - A nice beer that I wouldn't have any problems drinking lots of. The only problem is that $4.95 a bottle here that limits it somewhat.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2007 10:04:27 | More by brendan13
Photo of bacabuck


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

Not only is this a fine beer, it's a fine beer every time. Pours out a deep copper with lots of hoppiness on the nose. Taste is rather complex and seems to change depending on what temperature the beer is being served at. Colder temps (<45'F) gives a sharp refreshing brew. Temps above 50'F bring out the well balanced hops/malt flavors. A terrific beer that is readily available. Only downfall is that it has lost it's microbrew charm.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2007 07:02:31 | More by bacabuck
Photo of TheDragonTony


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

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into one of those "fancy" Samuel Adams glasses.

Appearance: 3 fingers of cloud like head nice lacing clear and golden.

Smell: Very pleasurable, and very hoppy.

Taste: Sweet up front followed by a nice hop bitterness. Balanced quite well.

Mouthfeel: Very good, perhaps a little more creamy/ less crisp than I would expect from a lager.

Drinkability: I could easily session this beer.

I've had these glasses for a while, but this is the first Samuel adams that I got to try out of them. I am aware that this was not a scientific test but damn this was the best tasting Samuel Adams Boston Lager that I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2007 00:10:10 | More by TheDragonTony
Photo of botham

New York

3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a rich amber color with two fingers of white head that remain for a couple minutes.

smells strongly of hops, with little else. there is a hint of sweet fruitiness that is overpowered by the hops. this should be a bitter one.

taste is full of hops. bitter in the mouth. barley is lacking here, not much sweet to speak of. alcohol is in the background, but still present.

aftertaste is bitter and dry. makes the drinker want to drink more to get rid of the dry.

mouthfeel is somewhat creamy. smooth hops sums it up.

overall, this is a decent lager. although it is technically a "boston lager", which must be a bitter style, it is well crafted for what it is. worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2007 03:11:09 | More by botham
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.05/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown 355ml bottle best before Dec 2007, drank June 2007.

The front label states 'THE BEST BEER IN AMERICA', no mean boast, thought there might have been a disclaimer on the rear label but there wasn't.

Poured into my Hoegaarden Grand Cru stemmed tulip glass, it fitted well, a good deep amber body with a large, strong biege foaming head, bubbles rising through the liquid to replenish the thick head.

Hops and yeast are in the aroma, maybe some caramel too, but no overpowering or exciting esters hit my nose.

The flavour was a little bit sickly-cum-toffee-malty, with a sticky mouthfeel that didn't sit well on my palate.

Not a great beer in my opinion, fine but, I will not be seaching for another in a hurry.

If this is THE BEST BEER IN AMERICA then I must be heterodox and say it is not.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2007 18:34:24 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of DoubleJ


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

On-tap at Fridays. Same old goodness from draft as the bottle, except a touch better with the mouthfeel. Sometimes I think I overlook how good this stuff is as I'm trying different kinds of beer. A good decision when restaurants have a limited tap selection, but it's at its very best when coming from draft at a Boston bar, as it's overall flavor is much sweeter and carameley.

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2007 19:43:42 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of robocrouch


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

A: Poured into a pint glass from the bottle. A great amber/red color with a decent white head. A good looking beer for sure.

S: Caramel sweet malts with fresh hops. Smells awesome.

T: Just like the smell the beer tastes really good. Very balanced between the sweetness of the malts and the sharp hop finish. A very good tasting beer.

D: I love this beer. It is good for any occasion and it is becoming available almost anywhere I go. I will defiantly be seeing more this beer in the future

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2007 19:10:27 | More by robocrouch
Photo of happygnome


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

a: nice golden amber color with about a half inch of head that dissapears fast leaving a good amount of lacing
s: caramel malts dominated by hop aroma
t: for its style the hop presence is very good
m: medium bodied with average amount of carbonations

overall this is a mighty fine beer

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2007 23:58:40 | More by happygnome
Photo of beckscrusader420


4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As far as Sam Adams beers go this is not my favorite but again it is a good beer. Theres just something about the way they brew their beer that gets you really nicely buzzed. If you like lagers then this is the way to go if youre in a supermarket. In a small liqour store you might a bit more selection depending on the season. For the SA's that are year round this is an overall good one if you prefer lagers like myself. If youre into ales theres always the Boston Ale but thats another review.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2007 19:55:08 | More by beckscrusader420
Photo of mdm46410


3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Draft in a pint glass. Pours a darker golden color with a thick foamy lasting head. Light lacing. Aroma is fairly faint. Consists of caramel and a fairly sweet malt scent. Flavor is fairly subdued with hints of malts and a bit of light citrus. Body is light to medium with a heavy dose of carbonation. Leaves a bit of a hoppy aftertaste that is not present during initial consumption. A good session beer, but nothing more.

Serving type: on-tap

05-28-2007 22:44:10 | More by mdm46410
Photo of gunnerman


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

I have had this beer alot and can't believe I have never reviewed my favorite session beer. Poured into a pint glass, pours a rustic brown orange with a fluffy head that leaves thick lace on the glass. Smell is pretty malty and just a hint of hoppyness added to this creation as well. Taste is pretty good I can taste a bit of bread and also some roasted barley and malt in the mix also a bit of bisquit that makes me quite hungry. This beer to me screams chewable, it litterly taste like I can chew it up which is why its one of my favorites, good job Sam Adams.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2007 13:03:12 | More by gunnerman
Photo of ghostmech007


3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap pretty much everywhere now. But I got the big 22oz bomber glass at the wingshack in farmville, Va. I actually got some looks from the people at the bar. (Everyone was drinking Miller Lite or Natty Ice.)

Dark amber color. Creamy, frothy head that sticks to the glass to the very end.

Hops and malts gives you a good nose. Very nice smell.

Malts, caramel, hops, and a good spicy bitterness. Hoppy finish with a drying grain are at the finish.

Nicely done brew. An instant classics if my opinion counts.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2007 03:50:34 | More by ghostmech007
Photo of tugdriver7


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

The Flagship of the Sam Adams brand is really very good; and the fact that you can find it just about anywhere means it is a "go to" selection. Great, dark amber color and heavy foam head with mild malt in the nose. Mouthfeel is surprisingly satisfying for a "find it anywhere" beer and the taste is very well balanced--biscuity malt with a touch of hops bitterness. Extremely drinkable. A great session beer for an evening out or a Saturday afternoon BBQ. An American classic.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2007 22:46:11 | More by tugdriver7
Photo of mshallah

New Hampshire

4.95/5  rDev +32%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the beer that started me and many others to sample and seek "beyond Bud", and after 23 years of consistency I've come to realize just how well Sam Adams goes with food of all types. This vienna lager pours amber, a very rare style in American craft brewing, but seems taken for granted of late. The aroma is alone in the beer world as it is an unforgettable recipe of noble hops. The taste is of balance, but when paired with food the caramel flavors work well with seared, grilled or roasted meats, fish and vegetables. The noble hop aroma and dry finish act as an herbal finish, thus complimenting anything from the main course to side dishes. In the New England area Sam Adams lager is found everywhere from sub shops to chinese restaurants and Italian restaurants and is established in many restaurant chains. In my experience this beer has even saved many dull meals that would not have been as enjoyable if I didn't have Sammy to wash it down. A Boston, New England, American, and now world classic.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2007 17:01:17 | More by mshallah
Photo of Absumaster


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

An amber, bright beer with quite a lot of carbonation and a creamy head.

Smell is strong malty with a light husky hint. I get a tiny little diacetyl and also some bready notes.

Taste is malty and the beer has a nice yeast profile, it appears to be kind of German with some sulfur and light bready notes. It is not a big taste explosion, and taste and smell are not strong, but for what it aims to be, it is a good beer. The beer is dry and pretty bitter, which balances the malt. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. Drinkability is good.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2007 06:55:18 | More by Absumaster
Photo of meadhead


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

for a lager:
very nice
good malt and hops
become apparent
immediately and the flavor
seems genuinely crafted

a sweet caramel nut
with a dry citrus hops
in a sort of understated
consistent to the last drop

feels good and full
in the mouth
a well balanced carbonation

can gulp or even sip
good for food situations

no skunk and doesn't seem watered
so its good for what it aims
a crowd pleasing semi-micro
that puts macro lagers to shame

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2007 23:20:29 | More by meadhead
Photo of basica


3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was curious about this beer and in fact a few other Sam Adams for quite a while and was
regretting not having even tried it when I was in USA. By sheer luck, I spotted it in the
beer menu of "The Pump Room" (bar and bistro at Clarke Quay) and I bought it to go so as
to savour it at my own time and pleasure. The Boston lager has a light smell of hops that
is fairly aromatic and pours out a nice amber color with minimal head. This beer tastes
somewhat like a mix of a lager and an ale (reminds me of Brewerkz's steam beer) with a nice
taste from the hops and most importantly a strong and pleasant malty taste. The after taste
is also hugely malty and lingering. This beer is also very smooth and drinkable. On the
whole, nice hop character, great malt character and definitely a good beer that I would
constantly keep on my order list. Hoping to try the other Sam Adams though.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2007 17:02:56 | More by basica
Photo of albern


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

I used to like the beer a heck of a lot more about 10 years ago, and I'll swear the recipe has changed in that time. The beer still has the same smell and the pour is reasonably heady. The body is medium and color is still amber. The taste is different. I remember it as having a lot more balance, a lot less molasses/caramel malt flavor, and just more interesting hopiness. The aftertaste is also sweetish malt and caramel. It is just too imbalanced and overpowering for my tastes. Blah ... this is a beer I will only drink if it is around and nothing else is available, which is usually at cookouts and the like. It's okay, and I barely recommend it, hence the scores of 3, but it is barely squeeking by, and it might be for nostalgia's sake that I don't sink this one into the thumbs down category.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2007 01:16:00 | More by albern
Photo of BeerBelcher


2.6/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I wouldn't choose to drink this beer. It tastes a little bit better than Miller Lite, but only a little bit. And given how many calories it has compared to how few a light beer has, I can't saw the difference in taste would be sufficient to make choose Sam Adams Boston Lager...which I can't imagine is a popular sentiment on this site. Now if my choices were Sam Adams Boston Lager or Founder's Red's Rye; well I still wouldn't be choosing Sam Adams.

Appearance of this beer was quite nice. It was very sparkling and clear in appearance, with a fine white head that dissipated in a quite appealing way. Very little aroma. Flavor was a bit malty, but I detected little to no hoppiness. As it warmed up a bit, I got some odd metallicness that I did not care for.

Mouthfeel was a bit flat and watery, and the carbonation made this beer seem harsh and scratchy. Not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2007 21:37:03 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of uwmgdman


3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The flagship brew pours a brilliant golden/light copper color into my pint glass with a thin white head. The aroma is moderately sweet, a low noble hob aroma, a bit musty, and metallic. The flavor is moderately sweet, and some spicy toasted grain emerges. The hop bitterness is medium-low, but provides enough balance. The swallow is smooth with a bit of hop flavor. The carbonation is moderate, body is medium-full, and mouthfeel is smooth. It had been quite sometime since I had this beer. Overall I was pleased with flavor and overall feel of the beer. The aroma left something to be desired.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2007 22:12:29 | More by uwmgdman
Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 6,723 ratings.