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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

6,696 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,696
Reviews: 2,411
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 55
Gots: 442 | 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: 6,696 | Reviews: 2,411 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of crayphish


3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The old reliable. No matter what podunk gas station or dive bar you find yourself thirsty in, chances are you'll find SA Boston Lager. Availability aside it's a solid, very drinkable beer. The 12oz bottle poured into my pilsner glass to a light crystal clear amber. A small loose head left little lacing as I drank it down. A crisp hop smell, maybe some malt in there as well. Taste is a nice malty hop balance. The hops are a bit more bitter than the smell indicates. The brew feels crisp and refreshing in my mouth. A solid taste, but nothing overwhelming. I have always found this to be a strong session beer, very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2007 06:47:08 | More by crayphish
Photo of david131


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

A- Very clear copper color with a nice, slightly off-white head. Not too much going on here.

S- Very clean smelling. Hops and a little caramel to boot.

T- Surprisingly hoppy. Not very complex, but the roasted caramel flavor really shines after the hops initial presence.

M- Pretty carbonated, but also very clean. This is not going to build on your palate.

D- Good all around beer. Perfect for just kicking back and not wanting to really think about what you're drinking.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2007 16:19:52 | More by david131
Photo of kkosmoski

New York

4.43/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Standard pint glass filled with a 12 oz longneck. Pour created a one-finger, bubbly head with decent retention and some lacing. Beer was light amber in color and had live carbonation. The aroma had a pronounced bready and toast quality along with malt and a slightly fruity hop nose. The first sips of this beer produce a bread and toast-like flavor that is blended with some caramel sweetness and rounded out with a noble hop flavor. There is some bitterness to the finish, which is nice. As the beer warms up by mid-bottle, the hop flavors come out even more and have just as much presence as the malt. The mouthfeel was very creamy with a medium body. This is a great full-flavored lager which is very drinkable. A solid beer that can be found just about anywhere.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2007 14:26:23 | More by kkosmoski
Photo of bgraney


3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Golden, bubbly, sudsy white head.
Malt aroma dominates; bready.
Smooth balance of malts with a little hoppiness. No significant aftertaste.
Thin to medium mouthfeel, brief flavor expansion followed by a fade.
Very drinkable, enough flavor to keep it enjoyable but not so much you'd get sick of it.
I think this sets the standard for the American lager.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2007 15:34:31 | More by bgraney
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.53/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The first time I had a "Sammy" it was on tap at a hotel bar in Pennsylvania where I was staying with my wife and 3 year old son (he's 18 now). We spent the day at Sesame Place and we returned to the hotel for a late dinner. It was late August and the 88 degree, humid day with all it's activity had really taken it's toll on me. It was NFL preseason and there was a Browns vs Eagles game about to begin. I had a "Philly Cheesesteak" sandwich and ordered a Sam Adams on tap to wash it down. Let me tell you, that first sip as I was waiting for my food to arrive made me feel as refreshed as the best beer I ever had made me feel. It's 15 years later and I still enjoy every Sammy I have from the tap or in a bottle as much as I did that first time. By the way, on that first night, my cheesesteak was great, my wife and son ate and then she took him up to the room to go to bed. I stayed at the bar to watch the game. I ended up hanging out with a bunch of Eagles fans and had about 8 more pints of this wonderful beer.... oh yeah, the Eagles won 17-10.
Is this really a lager?
The amber color and exceptional taste say, "ale" but Boston Breweries make "Samuel Adams Boston Ale" which is a whole different story...

Great "eff'n" Beer!

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2007 02:48:53 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of beersalesman

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm always partial to Sam Adams Boston Lager...it was the beer that moved me away from watered down mass domestic and into the Better Beer spectrum. The body is always a beautiful clear amber. The awesome boutique of Bavarian Hops greets your sense of smell. Then the best part is the balance between the hops and malt - one does not overpower the other. I love how the taste dances on your tongue once you've swallowed. Still the best Lager available on the market today.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2007 01:29:21 | More by beersalesman
Photo of vickersspitfire


3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This good looking beer came to me in a pilsner and was a deep amber color with a very little head and mild lacing. it really smells like a beer should; it reminded of cedar mixed in with malts and you could pick up a light alcohol scent as well. It has a mild sweet taste to it, it really warms up your mouth and its not very dry at all, but it does have a mild bitter/tart aftertaste thats semi-crisp; however, it does go down well.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2007 03:20:08 | More by vickersspitfire
Photo of Skidud313


3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was very impressed by this beer. Had heard about it all the time on TV, and how they love hops, and they were right! Hops were very present and rewarding at the end of an easy "entry" if you will upon first hitting your mouth. It was more than I thought it would be, and sparked my interest in the Boston Beer Company and cemented my respect for an obviously passionate brewing company.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2007 20:22:35 | More by Skidud313
Photo of trentley87


3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orange with some tiny carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom. Large, frothy tan head that is long lasting and leaves plenty of lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell is mild with malts and fairly stong hops, espcially compared to most macro beers. It is by no means overly complex but remains appetizing nonetheless.

Taste includes some nice sweetness up front with some balancing hops afterwards and some very subtle hints of caramel and citrus.
Mouthfeel is excellent with a very crisp character and just the right amount of carbonation. Not overly watery.

Very drinkable IMO and lagers are by no means my favorite style. This beer is readily available, reasonably priced, and far better than a lot of beers on the market today. Simply because of the quality for price alone, I will probably start enjoying this beer far more often.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2007 07:28:12 | More by trentley87
Photo of Westsidethreat


3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Muted pumpkin copper color with chill haze present. Head is weak by Sam Adams standards, only a fine layer of off white bubbles now covers the body.

S: Stewed strawberries, toasted cereal, cinnamon and doughy caramel.

T: Very malty with almost a poultry buillon aspect to it. Thoughts of pumpkin, tomatoes and yellow corn come to mind. Almost a tortilla chip like breadiness to it which seems odd to me but thats what it is. Finishes with dark clover honey, some cinnamon and more substantial doughy malts.

M: Medium body with a fairly thick mouthfeel for a basic lager.

D: This beer is really more like liquidfied food than anything else. Nice beer with a lot of flavor. May not be the most complex beer but its anything but boring.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2007 21:52:11 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of cabsandking


3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber/copper color and fluffy white cap with pretty good stick. Nice balance in the nose with some floral hop notes, and earthy malty grains. Hop flavors are of mild pithy citrus and dry bitter character. Toasted pale malts, mild caramelized sugar sweetness, and some faint cocoa powder found in the back. The finish is more grainy with some slight spicy, piney character. Thin body and slightly thicker mouthfeel is a tad cloying. Nice head retention to the end and little lacing left behind. Very drinkable beer and nicely crafted for the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2007 19:41:30 | More by cabsandking
Photo of mattgert


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

Pours crystal clear deep amber with nice white head. Lacing abound with excellent balance in the carbonation. Smell is of mild malt with some sweetness. Mouthfeel is light and very refreshing. Hop and malt balance are 50/50 for me on this one. Hop aftertaste with smooth malt undertone. Great beer and you can get it anywhere. You can't go wrong with this one. Very well balanced when it comes to hops/malts so it doesn't offend those who feel a beer is too heavy or too bitter. ABV makes it very sessionable. A staple in my opinion. And I can't help but add a little to the review before me.... there is no adjunct or corn at all. I am wondering what beer was sampled. Miller and Bud products should not be used in the same sentence with this. There is no comparison.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2007 03:05:37 | More by mattgert
Photo of jpkoch1962


2.68/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I use to drink a lot of this lager in the past. Saw it on sale at Krogers and bought a 6 pack. Poured a light copper color with thick head. Aroma was heavy in adjuncts with some floral undertones. Taste matched aroma. A musty taste of cooked corn dominated the front end. Weak floral and spicy hops tried to break through. The finish dried out - there was little aftertaste.

I always remembered this lager to be moderatly hopped with a smooth but firm malt base and clean finish. Also the color I remember being more of a solid amber, not the current light copper. BA has it labled as a Vienna, which it certainly isn't. While not as bad Miller or Bud, this is a disapointment

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2007 05:07:06 | More by jpkoch1962
Photo of bigone4

Rhode Island

3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has been a great step in convincing many people I know that craft beers are the way to go. Well made and constant. Positively a well known American beer icon. This beer pours a clean orangey brown hue. Light tanish cream colored head that dissipates very slowly. Presentation is very idealistic to what a beer should look like. Strong cling of lace down the whole pint. Smells sweet and floral. Nice mix of the hop aroma and the sweet flavors from the malt. Good nose that makes you want to take a drink. Taste is smooth and enjoyable. Sweet caramel malt tones in the start and then nice bitters from the dry hop finish. Well balanced and full bodied. I have enjoyed this beer for many years especially in bars that do not offer much choice. This beer has proven to be an enjoyable staple. Not a bad session beer either although it can be quite filling. Overall drinkable and well made.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2006 19:05:37 | More by bigone4
Photo of peabody


3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out orange to yellow and clear. Nice white suds and slight lacing.
Not much to smell. Slight hops and yeast and mabey a grapefruit overtone.
Taste is a little bitter but you can taste a little carmel in with the hops.
Mouthfeel is very clean and only leaving a slight resin feel.
This could be a session beer but I would hope for a little more flavor.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2006 09:03:01 | More by peabody
Photo of theopholis


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

Appearance- Very clear golden/amber color with a thick, foamy, white head. Some lacing, but not a lot.

Aroma- Has a mildly sweet, malty aroma with floral hops. Nice hint of caramel. Well balanced.

Taste- At the forefront, floral hops and malty sweetness that finishes with a hop bitterness. Well-balanced, tho this is a bit more flavorful than I would expect out of a Vienese lager.

Mouthfeel- Medium-bodied and quite smooth. Carbonation level is perfect for style. Lingers in mouth and jowels just a tad.

Drinkability- Very nice. Interesting enough to be interesting, but not complex. Easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2006 04:56:45 | More by theopholis
Photo of ndekke39


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

Drank this from that familiar 12 oz bottle. Has a March 2007 best-by date. Pours a clear orange with a thin white head. A few fingers. Smells and tastes of sweet barley, toast, orange. Sharp fizz on the tongue. This is probably the ultimate in simple, drinkable beers. Flavors aren't too strong, but it's not watery and weak. Will gladly pick one of these up any time!

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2006 22:01:34 | More by ndekke39
Photo of GPHarris


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

a - pours a one finger thick, white and pillowy head with a clear golden body . head is bubbly and fizzy and leaves a nice lace throughout.
s - yeasty and malty with a little hops thrown in.
t - hints bread and citrus, mainly grapefruit.
m - crisp and bubbly.
d - easily drinkable and a nice one that i can find regularly in alabama.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2006 14:36:24 | More by GPHarris
Photo of Estarrio


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

Ah, the old Boston standby! Enjoyed during a family holiday get together.

Poured clear gold into an IPA glass with a large, frothy white head. The head and sticky lacings retained quite well.

The mild aroma includes some malt body and a healthy dose of noble hops.

This brew has a sweet malt flavor up front with hints of caramel and subtle citrus rind. A nice bouquet of noble hops is present mid sip and through the finish. This is a very smooth, balanced and tasty beer. The hop profile is really nice in the fresher bottles. My in laws also had some older bottles where the hop flavor had dissipated and the caramel malt created a unique taste that was still very drinkable.

Medium/light body with a nice amount of carbonation, this beer feels great and is utterly drinkable. This is the readily available, fallback session lager that even the most macro-oriented establishment is sure to have.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2006 03:08:54 | More by Estarrio
Photo of mithrascruor


4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a very clear golden/amber color with quite a thick, foamy head. The white head leaves a lacing on the glass all the way down.

Smell: Has a mildly sweet smell with florals and hops. A bit of caramel is also present. The smell seems quite balanced.

Taste: Initial taste is of floral hops and caramel and just slightly sweet. The finish displays a bit more of the hop bitterness. Again, well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied and quite smooth, with a soft carbonation feel.

Drinkability: Goes down fine, time after time -- the alcohol isn't very noticable (in taste or strength) and the taste remains nice.

Overall a very solid and enjoyable offering from Sam Adams. Nothing particularly spectacular, but there isn't anything bad about this beer either. On all points, this is certainly light-years ahead of other domestic beers of the same price & availability. Sam Adams manages to get it right time after time. A great choice out at a bar or restaurant, or just to bring home!

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2006 05:06:42 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of medic25


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

IMHO, this is the prototypical "gateway" beer here in the east for making the move from macro to micro. It pours a pretty amber color, with a frothy white head. aroma is quite hoppy, more so than I'd expect for a lager. Taste is a very nice blend of hops and malt, without one overpowering the other. Drinkability is outstanding; there have been many nights when this beer started and ended the night. Although I frequently forget about Sam Adams (instead blinded by the allure of big IPA's and tough to locate Belgians), I always end up coming back to Sam.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2006 06:44:57 | More by medic25
Photo of Gatch


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

I absolutely love Boston Lager. I can't go a few months without having one. Whenever I feel like drinking a great beer at a fair price, I always go for a BL (sorry, that's what we call them, not to be confused with Bud Light). If I find myself torn about which beer to drink either at a bar or going out to get a 6 or 12, getting BL's is always an easy choice. So much character, balance and body to such an all around great brew. This has been around a while and you know they have perfected it. This beer is what opened the door to drinking & appreciating microbrews.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2006 03:40:39 | More by Gatch
Photo of maddogruss

New Jersey

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

Had this tonight with dinner and it was totally different from when I had it on tap. The appearance was the same; a nice amber color with a decent white head that was fairly retained. The smell and taste were completely different. The smell and taste of hops perforated my nostrils and palette which led me to think I was drinking an American Pale Ale and not a lager. Yeah, the on-tap version has hops in it but it seems to be used more as a balancer than in the forefront. The hops were so prevalent in the bottled version it tasted like a completely different beer. The mouthfeel was still very nice and it was still a very drinkable beer. As I've said above like fifty times, the hops took me pleasantly by surprise.

Update: Had another bottle of this recently and it tasted a lot maltier than the first time I had it with more of a caramel, malty smell and taste that was very good. The exact taste of this beer seems to elude my palate!

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2006 04:17:22 | More by maddogruss
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

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

Well this is overdue. This is my goto beer in restaurants for a while. Always pours that nice amber brown with a decent head. Smells nicely hopped and the taste is there as well. This is one beer that you can drink all night when you can only get to the local gas station on vacation to pick something up. Would take it over any other macro any day. Will always be the go to beer when nothing else is around, well unless I can get Sierra Nevada :)

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2006 01:50:42 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of joe1510


3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle

Boston Lager poured crystal clear golden/copper into my pint glass. There was a 1 finger white head after the pour that faded quickly to a solid white cap. Minimal carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom. The clarity is good but besides that nothing special.

Sells of toasted grains. There is something strange in the nose that reminds me of hot dogs. Surprisingly it's not terrible. There is a mild herbal hop aroma. Smells crisp.Above averge but the more I smell of the hot dog the more off-putting it gets.

Taste is good. I like this on tap much more but it's good out of the bottle. Starts out with the toasted grains. That is the main flavor throughout. Mid-palate there is a mild floral and herbal hop wave that lead to a mild bitter twang.

Mouthfeel is clean and crisp. A little short of medium bodied. Pushes through fairly quickly. Finishes clean. Quenches thirst but there is still enough there to stand up to a meal.

Boston Lager is pretty easy to put away. The body makes it an easily sessionable beer. The taste is solid and consistent.

Sam Adam's Boston Lager is a good sessionable beer that is easy to find and easy on the wallet. 6-Packs usually go for about $6.50 around here. A good beer to sit back and drink a few.


Serving type: bottle

12-17-2006 23:06:57 | More by joe1510
Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 6,696 ratings.