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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.

7,356 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,356
Reviews: 2,441
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 72
Gots: 771 | 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: 7,356 | Reviews: 2,441 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Oahu
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer that made the BBC famous. Definitely not the first I've had.

A) Bright and sparkly. More pilsner than pale ale, just enough amber in there to recall Jurassic Park.

S) Pine, Acorns, earthiness. In a nutshell, I guess it smells like a tree. I'll leaf it at that.

T) Malty with nuttiness and a hop infused background. Kinda empty in the middle like a Jerry Bruckheimer film.

M) Resilient. Coats and stays.

D) Good. I can see having three of these. Not quite a session beer, but there's a reason these are sold in cases.

Oahu, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of Gyle41386
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsener glass.

Pours an orange amber with a huge off-white head. Good retention, eventually leaves rocky foam icebergs in the glass. Good lacing.

Very average nose. Sweet and malty, maybe some hints of earthy hops. Bland, really.

Flavor is dominated by toasted bready malt. Starts out sweet, then a little hop bitterness in the finish.

Light body...thin texture. Probably over-carbonated for my tastes. This beer just isn't keeping me interested.

Gyle41386, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of Oxymoron
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's sad that I haven't had this beer in a long while. But at the airport this was the best option available. So, pours a crystal clear darker amber color with a off white head. Good retention but did hide to the edge of the glass. Good lacing through the entire tasting as well.

The nose is malty with a bit of complexity, but very distinct as well. More along the lines of an American Brown, there are some noticeable chocolate notes that blend cleanly with the malt. Some lighter melanodian malt notes as well. The yeast has lightly ester with some pears and plums but is still very clean and having a lager-esk cleanliness about it. The hops really come out, being more on line with an American Brown, but come floral, earthy and citrus notes are there.

The taste is similar. The malt is a bit more defined and not as complex, but still represented. The chocolate backs off a bit but still is there. Some toasty and biscuit like notes giving more of a bread flavor. The yeast is very clean but does leave some fruity notes in there. A light apricot, plum and fig note. Not big but there. The hops are mostly finishing hops. Some minor bittering but a more Pale Ale-esk taste with a mix earthy, spicy and floral hop note. Some chalky notes in the finish but clean.

The body is moderate and very easy drinking. Almost a session beer with more depth. The carbonation is good. The feel just has a more American Brown or Pale Ale feel with the fruit and hops to be really called a lager. Overall, this is a good gateway beer for new beer enthusiasts. A bit over showed or forgotten for the old school guys, but I am glad I can come back and review staples of the past.

Oxymoron, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of yael6666
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A:very complex for a vienna, amber and golden color, with a very good sprinkiling head that last long.

S:floral hints and caramel

T:caramel and a perfectly well balanced bitter spicy hops, and some hopes again for the afertaste.

It goes down very well, a very pleasant surprise for being a USA lager... but hey Jim Koch knows what he´s doing...
Sam Adams is amazing me in each beer i try... its quality guarantee

yael6666, Apr 27, 2009
Photo of Magpie14
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: soft golds and orange-yellow throughout, many bubbles. Has a nice off white sudsy cap with globs, chunks, and rocky formations on top and strips of film clinging to the glass

S: caramel, pale malts, and grassy green hops. Aroma is nice and favors the hops

T: a biscuit malt character at the backbone with a few pieces of chewy caramel. Hops pull at earthy and grassy notes with a drier spiced finish. I can also taste fruity orange peels sweetening things up. Flavors are overall balanced and easy to drink

M: numerous soft bubbles that lead to creamy and a glassy type feel. Assertively caramelized with tangy hops in the finish

D: not bad. It has been ages since I have had a Boston Lager and I find myself enjoying it

Magpie14, Apr 27, 2009
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A nice copper/oaky amber color with about two inches of off-white head. Laces better than I thought it would.

S- Some sweet and caramel malt, a touch of hoppiness, some cloves actually. Nice, but not mind-blowing.

T- Again, sweet and carmel malts, some clove, mild hop bitterness with a citrusy tang. Nice, but again, nothing mind-blowing.

M- Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Dry finish.

D- One of my favorite session/bar beers. Love it.

LordAdmNelson, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of mjw06
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a nice dark, transparent, golden straw color with a hint of copper and light orange hues. one finger sized tight, soft white head that left a nice lacing.

not much smell here at all, rather dissapointing. not really enough to describe it like i should.

the taste had a very malty presence. kind of sticky to the palate, or shall we say "residual" malt. some sweet caramel notes. just a pleasant tad of florally hops, finishing off crisp, but not clean. a very slight citrus accompanies the hops as well. very well balanced.

medium bodied, with the malt presence playing a big role in the feel. kinda of sticky, but not so much. very comfortable to the mouth and palate, all the way to the finish.

a crisp refreshing brew that wont leave you unfulfilled either. overall this an impressive beer with very little to complain about. samuel adams is an excellent choice for all different seasons, occasions, and pairings.

mjw06, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of hopquaffer
4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very good looking and smelling beer, with a taste that could be pure old school traditional lager, but also reminds me of some English pale ales. Extremely well balanced between the hops and the malt, with a fairly strong blast of both. Definitely a very drinkable beer. I'm sure quite a few could be downed with a great meal. I have to tip my hat to Jim Koch and his team for a job well done. Like many I'm sure, I first discovered Sam Adams in the early eighties along with a few other craft beers, and then began seriously sampling from there. Since then I've tried many different and amazing beers from all over the USA and the world. I recently decided to buy a case of Boston Lager on a whim, because i couldn't find anything else interesting I hadn't tried at the store i was in. I was really amazed at how much i actually enjoyed this beer. I have definitely bought more expensive " high quality micro brews" in the past that were not better than this mass produced lager. Of course I have also bought beers that were far superior to Sam Adams, but for the price they are charging i can't think of any. All in all , a very nice beer that i will probably get again.

hopquaffer, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of BarrelO
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Copper color. Nice enough head.

S: Bready malts with a hint of fruitiness.

T: Toasty bready malt. Just enough hops to balance it out.

M: Light enough. Goes down easy.

D: A classic that still holds up pretty well after 20+ years. It's not the best lager in America, but it is the best widely available one.

BarrelO, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of Bigfatbino
4.65/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A = Pours up a deep yet translucent brown amber. Nice thick head with tight and lasting bubble structure. Leaves a nice lacing in the glass as you drink from a good beer mug

S = Flowery Hops, spicy aroma, and smoky-like grains. A little alcohol smell, not raw but tempered by the very hoppy overtones

T = A perfect blend of the sweet I expect from the Lager family. But there is a very pronounced and resiny hoppy flavor that pushes the bounds of being ale-like, without the yeast-undertones.. A truly exceptional combination that will hold this beer as one of my favorite large-scale brews.

M = Very good, tight bubbles and a nice tingle on the tongue. The resins are palatable to the taste buds, and carry the hops very well.

D = Lower alcohol content than my mainstay of Barleywine style, this beer is the perfect American lager for BBQ's, Poker Games, Bowling matches, and 2nd base-chug summer softball games.

Food Pairing: New York Strip Steak, Grilled to Medium Rare, with Fresh Cracked Black Pepper. (The hoppiness compliments the texture and flavor of this cut of beef, and the sweetness is complemented by fresh cracked black pepper.)

Tobacco: A fine cigar, A nice aromatic pipe tobacco, or if you must choose cigarettes, "Lucky Strike" Non-filters. The toasted qualities of this cigarette are complimented by the blend of the grain and hops in this beer

Overall: Possibly the best Large-scale production beer on the Market today. Extremely versatile, I would place this in my top 5 "gotta have" brews.

Bigfatbino, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Light-to-medium amber color with gold streaks. A good, white head with plenty of lacing.

S: Fairly sweet with some hops coming in.

T: Malty sweetness with some caramel flavors and a European hop profile.

M: Light-to-medium mouthfeel with good carbonation.

D: Highly sessionable. A great all-around brew that always works when you need something quick. Usually the best brew every grocery store carries.

Thorpe429, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of wspscott
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in pint glass (didn't think to use my sam adams glass)

A: Copper with a hint of orange, crystal clear with thin off-white head, lots of lace.
S: A bit of hops along with some grainy sweetness.
T: A little bit of hop bitterness that seems to be all bittering hops vs. aroma hops as there is not much hop "flavor". The malt is also in the background, it just provides some sweetness but not much malt character.
M: Crisp, well carbed, a little dry on the tongue
D: One of my gateways to "good" beer and still a very nice, well-balanced beer. I need to pick this up more often. Very true to style. Recommended.

wspscott, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of JohnQVegas
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught. As a note, I've found this beer to vary widely between nicely balanced and intensely hoppy. This one is of the hoppier variety.

Pours copper, decent head that dpesn't last too terribly long.

Aroma is faint, mainly sweet malt. Some piney hops.

Taste is sweet bready malt up front, sweet but toasty, with spicy pine hops coming out fairly prominently on the finish, a bit earthy. Hops actually linger a bit on the palate for a dry finish.

Palate is moderately carbonated, light to medium body. Very different from the bottled version I've had before - hops come out much more clearly in this one.

JohnQVegas, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of biggred1
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange amber with tiny suspende particles visable and a fluffy light tan head that leaves some lace on the glass. Sweet biscuity malt and honeycomb with faint toasted grain. Tastes malty and rich with just enogh hop bitterness to balance. Medium bodied for the style with a sticky sweet finish.

biggred1, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of lanechaffin
5/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Can't believe anyone could give this beer a low mark. It seems almost perfect to me. Rich complexity, great taste, good aroma..there is a lot happening in a Sam Adams BL- you taste pine, maybe a very slight citrus, wonderfully hoppy and a nice strong beer taste, and with all that, it still is simply beer as beer was meant to be.

lanechaffin, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of Stunner97
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- Golden brown to copper in color, moderate carbonation as beautiful small bubbles can be seen streaming up the glass, nice thin white foam head,

Smell- Pine and citrusy hops, slight malt smell, slight grains as well,

Taste- Plenty of nice bitter hops lace the finish of this one but the malts do a wonderful job balancing out the finish and not making it to bitter, impressively full flavored and nice finish,

Mouthfeel- smooth and nice crisp dry finish that leaves you wanting next sip, yet soft and nice feel on the finish,

Drinkability- One of the better examples to me of the lager style, very full flavored and delicious finish and balance which is rare in most lagers these days, as this being the first time I tried this I think it will be a pretty regular session beer in my fridge from here out and that says something since im usually way more an ale kinda guy, a good brew and a perfect session

Stunner97, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of johnmichael712
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. Freshness date on the bottle is clearly notched in the paper label, and it tells me to enjoy by July 2009. Seconds after I pop the cap off this beer begins to foam out of the top of the bottle, so make sure that you have a glass handy. Boston Lager pours an exceptionally clear golden amber color that is a few shades darker than the Brooklyn Lager I had a few hours ago. The head is an off-white color, and is supplemented by a steady stream of small carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. It has pretty good staying power and eventually fades to a small ring around the top of the beer that doesn't leave much lace behind.

Smell: The nose of this beer is very clean, with a prominent sweet malt aroma that has hints of floral and citrus hops. I'm a fan of the way Hallertau hops smell, and they add a nice floral, leafy dimension to the aroma. Overall, though, the nose of this beer is a bit too clean (or non-descript) to get a very high rating.

Taste: Boston Lager starts out with a very strong spicy flavor thanks to the hops, and then moves to a truckload of sweet malt that is reminiscent of both biscuits and toasted bread. The flavor finishes with more of the hops, but they are less spicy than before. Instead, the hops being a bit of citrus flavor to the palate that is akin to bitter orange peel, but fades quickly to a dry, but not lingering, finish. This is a lager, so a certain amount of blandness was expected, but Samuel Adams' version is definitely an above average version of the style.

Mouthfeel: A bit thinner than the Brooklyn Lager that I had earlier today, this beer is a light bodied lager that seems to be attempting to cover up its flaws with too much carbonation.

Drinkability: I often find it hard to rate lagers on their drinkability, as I could go one of two ways. In one respect they (this beer included) are light, crisp, and clean beers that are easy to session, but in another respect their lack of flavor or flair makes me want something else to avoid boring my palate. In the end, however, I feel like this beer has above average drinkability when consumed as a single glass, but I'll usually be drinking something else to follow.

Notes: Samuel Adams Boston Lager is one of those beers that you drink a lot of and rave about when you first get into craft beer but fades into the background as you experience more of what is out there. Regardless, it's still a wonderful lager and an absolute classic brew, and is debatably the beer that got the ball rolling for the American craft beer movement. I'll probably be buying it, but not very often.

johnmichael712, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of Yeastcakes
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Serving notes - Hefe glass, cool, on-tap.
A - Carmel malt and sweet hops.
A - two fingers of head, that dissipates to a thin quarter inch for the rest of the drink.
M - medium body and carbonation.
T - Nice medly of malts with the carmel being the most forward. Sticky floral hops balance well with the malts. Light sweetness through the tongue.
D - The balance of this beer makes is a great session beer while still maintaining flavor. For all of its popularity, I still like this beer.

Yeastcakes, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of wnh
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a bright clear bronze/copper, with a small fizzy white head that dies down pretty quickly. Looks drinkable enough.

Not a lot going on in the nose. Sweet malt backbone balanced by a little hoppy earthiness. The first sip has that earthy bitterness up front, with bready malt in the background that seems to be struggling to come through. Bitterness comes back at the finish, leaving me wanting another sip.

Light-to-medium bodied with lots of scrubbing carbonation. Nice and crisp. Boston Lager is drinkable by itself, but doesn't leave me wanting another by any means. If this is the only non-BMC product available at a restaurant and I want a beer I'll be happy to get it, but otherwise I'd pass. I'd say its most redeeming quality is its availability.

wnh, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of dismal
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours a nice light copper amber color with a nice frothy head. The head stays for a while and leaves nice lacing all the way down the glass. The smell is sweet and not to hoppy. A hint of caramel comes out as well. The taste is great. Crisp and smooth and goes down pretty fast. I'll take a Samuel Adams any day, and the Boston Lager is one of my favorite offerings from them. Good beer all around.

dismal, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a clear coppery amber. The head is somewhat thick with decent retention that leaves less lacing than I got on tap.
Still pleasantly straightforward: hops and malt with the characteristic hint of caramel. Clean and simple. Nothing different detected out of the bottle.
The taste is equally straightforward with a bit more of a roasted grains character.
Body is light to medium, crisp and clean. Carbonation is light.
Very drinkable and a great option for a session beer.

Brenden, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper hue with nice clarity and foam. Off-white head dissipates slowly to a nice coating, pretty decent lacing as well.

Has a nice, fresh grassy hop aroma mixed with sweet caramel malts. Pretty straightforward, which is probably a good thing for cold fermentation brews. A fine smelling lager with plenty of oomph.

I never remembered this being very tasty back in the day and have not had one on tap in a few years. It is surprisingly quite tasty. A masterful malt blend of toasty burnt bitterness and sweet lighter base malt. German hops are flavorful and assertive without distracting from the overall refreshing lager feel. I like this much better on tap than in the bottle. Body is fairly light and carbonation is medium-high. A most solid quaffer.

twiggamortis420, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of Macca
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The bottle had been resting in my fridge for a couple of weeks and was not handled roughly before opening but that didn't stop it over flowing onto my desk as soon as the top came off.

It subsequently poured with little head. Not sure if this is normal or due to a problem. A dark golden colour.

Definitely not the aromas that I was expecting for a lager. Caramel malt and some sweetness. Nice though.

Caramel continues on the palate with some drying bitterness. More heavy hoppiness than expected.

This beer reminds me more of an ESB than a lager. Maybe that is a sign of my own ignorance.

Macca, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of sarahspat
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A firm pour into a pilsener glass resulted in about 2 inches of weak-looking, quickly dissipating off-white head. The liquid is semi-cloudy dark golden in color.

The aroma is not too strong, but is dominated by very nice, sweet biscuity malt, with floral hops playing softly in the background. The taste is more of the same, but with some light apple notes and the added bonus of bitter hops on the palate. Nothing too complex or strong going on here, but somehow, it's just right. The mouthfeel is light-medium, with a perfect amount of carbonation.

I'm no expert on this style, but everything about this beer is pleasant to me. This is just a great, flavorful session beer that you can enjoy on any kind of occasion. I went from only drinking hop-bomb IPAs and DIPAs and resisting lagers, to really enjoying this style without much effort at all. It kind of surprised me how easy this style is to love, and Boston Lager is a great example of it.

sarahspat, Apr 08, 2009
Photo of epicness
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear copper. Small head. Nice lacing left on the pint glass.

S - Strong smell of sweet roasted malts. A hint of citrus tossed in.

T - Very hoppy, with a slight spice. You can taste some caramel with some nutty taste.

M - Medium - heavier than most lagers.

D - This beer is very easy to drink and highly sessionable. Very smooth and probably one of the better lagers you can find.

epicness, Apr 07, 2009
Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 7,356 ratings.