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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

7,565 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,565
Reviews: 2,456
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 85
Gots: 874 | 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
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Ratings: 7,565 | Reviews: 2,456 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Josievan
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Darker color than one might expect from such a lager, kind of a deep redish-orange. Head and lacing are abundant, helped by my sloshing pour into a weizen glass.

Smell: Hops hit you first, and there's malt in the background, too.

Taste: It's definitely hoppy, but well-balanced from the malt. There's a sweetness that's coming through this time that I don't remember ever tasting before.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium bodied, with just a little hop bite. Doesn't seem to suffer from excess carbonation like some Sam Adams beers do.

Drinkability: You really aren't going to find a more sessionable beer, especially one as readily available.

Notes: It's somewhat uncommon for a brewery's flagship beer to be one of their best offerings, but that's definitely the case with Boston Lager. In fact, Boston Lager might be my favorite Sam Adams beer. I here that this beer is sublime straight from the brewery, so I make it my mission to visit someday.

Josievan, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of Chico1985
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very light brownish-orange with a head that starts out big white and fluffy, turns into a small layer that sits on top the whole time leaving decent lacing. Not too much for the smell here, oats, malts, a little bit of light fruit..maybe orange. Taste is smooth and malty, bready and light fruit (apricot comes to mind). A little metallic tasting at times but seemingly random. Tastes a bit like a macro, but a big step above that. Mouthfeel is okay, refreshing, high amount of carbonation. Obviously not the most exciting beer in the world, but always a pleasure to drink for me. One of the best choices if you're looking for a beer you can find in basically every bar. A nice session beer.

Chico1985, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of generalnotsew
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: The head and coloring on this is flawless. Beautiful thick rich creamy head that has staying power. Never seen a head like this on macro lagers. Color is not far off from an IPA.

S: Sweet and sour bitter malts, hops and barley. There is a lot going on here. Nice pilsner smell without the gagging.

T: Great smooth maltiness with a surprising amount of hops. Don't get me wrong it isn't hoppy by any means but there is something there you don't get in many of the style except maybe Prima Pils. A bit sweet and a bit sour and very tasty.

M: Perhaps the carbonation could be toned down a hair but seems to fit the lager style. Still pretty great.

D: Only 4.5% abv. You can have loads at a friends BBQ. Very refreshing. I could almost drink this in place of water.

I have had this a couple times and decided I finally needed to review it. I was prepared to not like this. For one I don't care for lagers and 2 I was considering Sam Adams to be basically macro. I thought at the least it would be tolerable and a bit better than BMC pretty close to PBR quality.

But what I didn't count on was really liking this beer. I don't mean I think it is ok but I think it is great. Lager or no lager I have to rank this up there. My apologies to Jim Koch. He made a great brew.

generalnotsew, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of degerbah
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clear light brown without much head, but plenty of carbonation. Sweet malty aroma with just a hint of earthy hop smell. The taste is maltier than I expected with the aforementioned hop taste present as well. Slightly flatter than I'd like, and not as easy to drink as a macro-style light lager. Way more flavorful though. Most reminds me of a Yuengling traditional lager as opposed to a Great Lakes Elliot Ness. I feel like if I were drinking it at normal macro tap temp (33 degrees) then it would be an easier to drink.

degerbah, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of ch473
2.25/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured about 42 degrees F from bottle into a wide, round wine glass. Nice big foamy head. Good amber color.

Smell is not very impressive. Some malt and sweetness but not much else.

I've had this beer before but never really studied it. I'm surprised how watery it tastes. There's a tiny bit of bitterness and mint and some sweetness but not much else. It's almost sour.

Mouthfeel is not very good. Good carbonation on the back of the tongue but mostly watery.

I could only drink a lot of these if they were cheaper. This beer is sour and watery despite its nice color and I can't say it's much better than any pale American macro lager. I was disappointed.

ch473, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of Genuine
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was one of my first beers a couple years ago so, I figured I'd try it again and compare.

Poured from the bottle into a clean Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A decent head formed from an aggressive pour. Head was a nice white, not bright white...but yet, not an off white.

Head sat ontop of a golden/orangish body.

Smell - This one smells better than the rest of Sam's brews this past 09 season. I'm happy about that.

Taste - Definitely not what I remembered. I've grown to really like heavy hopped beers so this one tasted lighter to me. But, I will say that the hops do make a bit of an appearance near the end. Just enough. They come out more as the beer warms up. This beer is better when it warms.

Mouthfeel - I thought it was pretty light...almost like water. That was my first impression. Now I feel like it has a very slight medium body to it.

Drinkability - this one is not hard to drink. Not sure if I'd have more just because...I think i'd rather have a SN, but this would be my go to choice at a resturant if nothing else is available.

Genuine, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of brownbeer
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This lager has a nice, amber color which sets it apart right away.

It has a nice hop/malt balance in the nose with citrus and pine blending with caramel malt.

Taste is similar to the nose, medium bodied with earth, citrus, and caramel.

A very solid lager that goes well with a number of foods or just as a tasty session beer. A good standby for restaurants.

brownbeer, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of thegodfather2701
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-I had this on tap and it poured a nice amber with a nice white head.

S-The nose smelled kind of musty which I thought was weird. There was also some grassy notes, but also some hops and malt as well.

T-Much like the nose a nice balance between hops and malt. It also had some grassy notes as well.

M-Kind of thick with moderate carbonation.

D-I would say this is a session beer all the way, it has a low abv. and it isn't very complex or too hoppy.

Overall, I have enjoyed this beer the very few times I have drank it. I can't imagine what it would have been like to try this beer when it originally was released, I'm sure it would have been mind blowing at the time. Thank you Jim Koch for giving us this beer and helping to change beer in America forever.

thegodfather2701, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of meeekyh
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a really, really cold pint glass. Fine for most of the swill served at the fine owl-and-mammary-themed establishment but not ideal for tasting a beer.

Small, tan-white head but nice lacing. Deep honey color and no haze.

After allowing it to warm a bit some malt, caramel and a hint of orange peel come though in the nose.

Nice malty, hoppy-pine start with a slightly-sweet grainy flavour. Really quite a bit of flavour for a mass-produced lager.

Medium body with nice carbonation.

Drinkibility is OK but I would prefer more flavour and a bit of tartness. I can't speak to the specific style though.

meeekyh, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of fastsrt
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle to pint
A: Bronze with a good head
S: Biscuits, herbal hops.
T: Malty, smooth, snappy hops, balanced
M: Thin, spicy hops.
D: Refreshing, snappy hop finish, goes well with food. this is not a beer to savor. I would never drink more than 2.

fastsrt, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of buschbeer
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured into my Sam Adams winter lager pint glass to a generous head. It is golden in color and clear. I smell sweet, bready malts and floral hops. The taste begins with malt but is quickly replaced by the mildly bitter hops. It's an ok beer. It is not one of my favorite offerings from BBC.


buschbeer, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of MTNboy
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can't believe it has taken me this long to rate a beer that I seem to drink a lot.
It is my beer of choice when I go to restaurants that do not seem to have a selection of craft beers. It has a thick and frothy off white almost tan head with a nice amount of staying power and lace. The body is red amber with a slight yellow color to it. The aroma is that of mild hops and bread. It has breakfast cereal like grainy taste. A high quality malt flavored beer with just the right amount of hops. The mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbonation.

MTNboy, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of MadElf25
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a well crafted beer with a very stong hop taste to it. The 1 inch head and the the nice yellow coloring makes the beer very appealing to the eyes, the first sip is the best along with strong aroma that makes this beer very good. i recommend this beer for something tasty and able to enjoy when your out with your buddies.

MadElf25, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of Evocatus
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

when poured, it has a amber color with a slight golden hue and a stable cream colored head that's stable throughout the drink. Aroma is a little weak, but smells of malts. Taste initially like sweet bready malts, but the hops start to kick in after it goes down. Not too thick or too thin like other American lagers and a tiny bit of carbonation. Overall a good beer for any occasion that's practically on any menu or at any bar.

Evocatus, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of bump8628
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a best by month of May notched on the label.

Somewhere betwixt gold and copper in color with an ample white head that leaves rings of lace down my pilsener glass.

Sweet and toasty malt mingle with spicy floral hops on the nose.

Well-balanced with toasted malt reminiscent of freshly warmed bread, a touch of caramel, and spicy and flowery hops. Finish is clean and crisp with some fleeting bitterness.

Really just a well-balanced and flavorful lager. Every component of the beer is well-integrated. Did I say balanced?

A classic American craft beer that can still hold its own and the fact that it's so widely available is nice.

bump8628, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of DIM
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a perfectly clear copper color. It was served to me with a medium sized head that faded to moderate lace.

s: Surprisingly strong noble hop notes along with a little toasted grain.

t: Starts clean before the flowery hop bite kicks in. There was something sweet in the finish that was distracting.

m: Crisply carbonated.

d: Very nice lager, I'm glad it is so widely available.

DIM, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of mikey711
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Ahhh yes, one of the beers that got everything started

A: Copper and perfectly clear with a huge fluffy white head that just hits the top of the glass before fading leaving some nice webbing behind

S: Mild caramel notes, some grain notes and a bit of lager yeast notes. Pretty simple

T: Biscuity at first then slight grainy before a very nice crisp herbal hop taste at the end of it

M: Pretty light in body but there is a nice redeeming creamy quality

D: Yeah this one i could drink all day no problem. Sure it holds a very special place in my heart but in a pinch this is a great go to beer

mikey711, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of bbkd3b
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A: Hits the glass with a bright, golden character with good carbonation. The head was a smidgen light, but it had decent retention and excellent lacing.

S: Nice balance here. Earthy hops meet bready/biscuity malts. It's not very deep, but it's a welcoming scent.

T: Ah, this follows the smell, and it works better on the tongue. The hops were a little more center-place, with a real earthy character coming to the center. It always finished on the bread tones, though. Good stuff.

M: Lighter side of a medium body with good carbonation. It does what it's supposed to do.

D: Hey, it's a lighter beer with good affordability. Drinking a few of these is no challenge for me at all.

Overall/notes: I've had quite few of these over the years, and there's a good reason. Boston Lager is one of the better lagers available, and the fact that it's so readily available boosts its reputation. It's one of those beers that you can turn to year-round and never really frown about, and more than likely one of the best options at a sports bar.

bbkd3b, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of homebrew311
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at dinner at Chili's. This was the best offering available.

A: Clear golden appearance, fluffy white head, nice retention

S: lots of bready malts and a zing from some piney and earthy hops, the malts take center stage

T: very similar to nose. Lots of bready malts, some caramel and toffee character with a bright hop finish, everything is subtle but well balanced

MF: high carb, thin body, on par for style

D: SA BL is a very drinkable and full flavored lager, It is a great option for the times when only macro adjunct lagers are available as Boston Lager is typically one of the "import" selections. It is enjoyable but not a standby for me.

homebrew311, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of erz316
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at the tap room, into a pint glass.

not too much head on this beer, but the colour stays the same. the only real notable character that changes is the toasted or roasty aspect to the malts, which becomes a bit more predominant in the role of the taste. all in all the hop levels and drinkability stay the same, and continue to make a good cheap beer to go with a burger.

erz316, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of Cubsfan1087
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Boston Lager is a great on-tap beer. It's a beautiful amber color and has a decent head. As always, Sam Adams doesn't fail in the flavor department. Boston Lager has a great taste, but isn't too heavy either. Definitely a solid brew that all beer lovers should try.

Cubsfan1087, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of JohnnyP3
4.6/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams pint glass. Bottle says best before June 2010.

A: Amber/copper with a white head about 2 fingers in width. Perfectly fills the glass. As the beer is consumed the head lessens somewhat, but there is white lacing all around the glass.

S: Floral hop aroma and citrus.

T: This lager has a wonderful balance of hops and malt. The tastes from the hops--floral and citrus--are complemented perfectly by the caramel flavors from the malt. In the beer geek community, Boston Lager may not be the "sexy" choice, but I have yet to find another similar-style lager that is made with the same quality craftsmanship, consistency and taste.

M: Very smooth, carbonation just right. Love contrasting the hop/malt flavors in my mouth.

D: I have not come across too many beers that I enjoy returning to again and again like this one. You just can't go wrong with this beer. Complements all kinds of food very well. Extremely versatile.

JohnnyP3, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of rootbeerman
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into its own perfect pint custom glass.

A: pours amber with a one finger head that fell sort of fast but laces well.
S: malty and bready, hops, very light citrus
T: bready sweet malt, hop earthiness
M: mild carbonation, clean in mouth
D: easier than what its marketed to compete with.

rootbeerman, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of TommyW
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear, golden/amber body with a tall, sticky white head.

S- Sweet and caramel malt with some floral hops; very aromatic.

T- Sweet and slightly bready malts with an oily hops that mixes with some spice on the finish.

M- Medium body with a smooth carbonation.

D- Simply a great session beer.

TommyW, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of MetalHopHead6
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Boston Lager poured light clear amber with a thick two-finger head. It left a glass-full of lace.

The smell and flavor were sweet and malty but balanced by more bitterness than usual for a lager, which provided a thick bready feel. I prefer the Boston Ale and was disappointed that the Lager was included in the Winter Sampler; however, as Lagers go, Sam Adams is great. It's a great choice at restaurants that don't have a wide selection of craft beers and it was an unexpected pleasure on a cold afternoon.

MetalHopHead6, Dec 30, 2009
Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 7,565 ratings.