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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

6,973 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,973
Reviews: 2,418
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.87%
Wants: 64
Gots: 572 | 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: 6,973 | Reviews: 2,418 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thirtysixbelow


4.33/5  rDev +15.5%

a - clear golden color with a foamy white 3 finger head. A small amount of lacing.

s - malty when first poured but quickly disappears, powerful yet nice hoppy smell remains

t - smooth and well balanced. I can taste both the malts and hops it good balance. The main thing that comes into my mind when I drink this is orange. The orange flavor slowly blends with the hoppy aftertaste and a clean finish. Not dry.

m - moderately smooth with good carbonation

d - this is it right here. The beer that started it all for me. It's interesting to keep coming back to this beer as my palate gets more sophisticated. It continues to get better as I notice more things. It's widely available and so easy to drink. I don't think it gets any better for drinkability.

02-10-2008 05:07:26 | More by thirtysixbelow
Photo of BMan1113VR


3.95/5  rDev +5.3%

A very good beer, but what is amazing is how good it is for a mass produced beer. Aroma is moderate toasted ceral malts as well as pine and citrus malts. Pour yeilds a frothy off-white head that has very good lacing for the market. The head stays around for a while. The flavor is still great, but a bit more watery than I remember. A bit over carbonated. By far my favorite common beer that you can get anywhere!

02-07-2008 21:49:02 | More by BMan1113VR
Photo of MrIncognito


4/5  rDev +6.7%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a very slender, slight tapered pilsner.

A - huge billowy head on this one. Took forever to dissipate. Nice brown color with some gold hues, bubbles racing to the top. I've never head a Sam Adams Boston Lager in a pilsner like this and it gives it a very different appearance.

S - real American lager smell. Toasted hops, slight citrus.

T - much smoother and creamier than I ever remember a Sam Adams being. I think this glass made a big difference in taste as well. I may actually prefer it out of a slender pilsner as opposed to a tumbler or pint glass. The hops were much more subdued and the bitterness was lower.

M - nice creamy smooth mouthfeel. Not as much carbonation as it appears in the glass.

I like Sam Adams. When I was new to beer I really didn't like it. Nowadays it's a good go-to beer. I great lager.

02-07-2008 13:16:50 | More by MrIncognito
Photo of CrellMoset


3.55/5  rDev -5.3%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance is a light copper, orange brown. Head is average, and receded in about one minute, leaving full, off-white lacing near the rim of the glass.

Smell is light and faint, hoppy (piney) and slightly sweet (caramel). Not too strong at all, somewhat average.

Taste is pleasant, sweeter than I remember (I haven't had a SA lager in quite some time). It's sweet at first on the tip of the tongue, with a caramel malt flavor, followed by a subtle and well-balanced malt/hop combo, and finishes off with a crisp, hoppy note - piney, slightly citrusy. Not too bitter, not too sweet, but overall very mild.

Mouthfeel is very nice, with a good level of carbonation. Not too light or too heavy for the flavor profile, it coats the mouth well without being cloying.

Drinkability is good. Not outstanding, but good. Just a nice, pleasant, all-around beer, and a classic that you should never be embarrassed to bring a sixer of to any party.

02-05-2008 22:00:19 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of baseballrock


3.88/5  rDev +3.5%

I had the boston lager on tap last night, it wasnt the first time, i drink it on tap quite a bit actually.

A - amber in color, on tap it has a nice thick head.

S - smell was a little piney, and spice.

T - Very balacned, with a little carmal, and the bitterness to let let the taste stay with you.

This beer is very good, i prefer it on tap with a meal. I've had it with many types of food and have had no problems in pairing it with food.

02-03-2008 05:47:34 | More by baseballrock
Photo of JDV


3.38/5  rDev -9.9%

Bottle at Chilis in Sacramento. Nice amber color with a medium lasting white head. Tastes like an amber beer with a hoppy bitterness, and a bit of maltiness. Finish is a bitter bite that has a medium length. Overall a nice hop aroma, and overall beer with a slight hop and bitter bite to it. Very decent.

01-31-2008 21:35:40 | More by JDV
Photo of iconoklaztor


3.53/5  rDev -5.9%

Consumed straight from the bottle! This brew is actually a decent beer. It has a nice simple flavor with a super nice price! The smell is okay but the taste and drinkability are good. Its a nice brew for the money and I would love to make it a staple of my beer diet.

Overall, this brew is good. Its cheap and has a nice flavor.

01-31-2008 04:52:22 | More by iconoklaztor
Photo of CJfromPhilly


3.85/5  rDev +2.7%

Pours a nice copper color with a foamy, 2 finger head that settles into a thin lacing. Modest carbonation. Aroma is sweet & malty with hints of caramel. Taste is an almost perfect balance of malty sweetness mixed with piney, grapefruity hops all swirled together. The finish is dry & bitter, with the pine & grapefruit notes being dominant. Mouthfeel is a medium fullness. Overall, a very good beer. This is very much deserving of it's iconic status in the craft world. I can't understand why so many people want to put this beer (and the others in the Samuel Adams family) down. Why?? Because it's become so successful & mainstream? Because it's gone from a small, one man operation to a high volume player in the beer world, thereby becoming "too big & macro-like"? Bullcrap!!! If the boys at the big 3 brewed something this good, the beer world would be 10 times better off!!! Give this brew, & this compamy, it's proper respect!!!

01-29-2008 17:38:33 | More by CJfromPhilly
Photo of SIRIUS2

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +2.1%

This is good beer! I was expecting a notch above the typical swill but was surprised with the complexity, smoothness, and just the general amount of enjoyment I got out of the brew. The color in the glass was a little more orange-toned than I was expecting and the hops were pretty well balanced with the malts.

I drank this beer with some salty pasta and it was perfect. It cut the saltiness and seemed to enhance the flavor of the pasta. The aroma was lightly floral with a hint of maltiness, which also seemed to go well with the pasta. All in all, this is pretty good stuff and I really did enjoy it.

01-29-2008 02:35:34 | More by SIRIUS2
Photo of zymurgy4all

New York

4.05/5  rDev +8%

This is the good ol standby beer. If you can't get any micros in a restaurant, I have no problems ordering a good Sam Adams Boston Lager (I have no problem saying Boston since I'm from Texas--not NY). It pours a deep golden color with a great aroma of hops. Has a nice white head with good lacing. The flavor is totally impressive for such a mass marketed beer--you can tell Jim Koch was a true homebrewer from the beginning. There is a great hop flavor, slightly citrusy from the noble hops, and a wonderful malt flavor as well. It is crisp and clean, and quite possibly one of the most drinkable good flavor beers I've had. It also has a nice creamy mouthfeel.
Overall, a great beer that you can usually find--even in Alabama where the beer laws are horrible (6% abv limit, bottle size limit--however no limit on abv of wine or liquor--go figure!)
The only thing I don't agree with is the commercial that says hops are to beer as grapes are to wine--that makes almost no sense to me--you don't ferment sugars from hops--only from barley. I would say grapes are more like grain--hops are the spice.

01-28-2008 00:35:27 | More by zymurgy4all
Photo of SirSaranac

New York

4/5  rDev +6.7%

As a proud NY'er born and raised its in my blood to hate everything that comes from Boston... most notabley the Redsox. The one exception would have to be Sam Adams Lager (I'm unable to add BOSTON into the title, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth).... Now on with the review...

A- Poured a beautiful amber color with a frothy 2 1/2 finger head... heavily carbonated... leaves a spiderweb of lacing for the entire glass.

S- Malt.. cookie like malt... hops is also present... Overall a nice nose.

T- Very well balanced taste... Malt up front and then light hops fades out into a refreshing aftertaste. Caramel or other sweet notes are present as well.

M- Light/Light-Med body... heavily carbonated.

D- It's a good beer at a restaraunt or bar... I prefer this brew on tap, and most places have it... I like Sam Adams' approach to brewing, and helping create a national movement towards REAL beer

01-27-2008 07:59:33 | More by SirSaranac
Photo of BoitSansSoif


4/5  rDev +6.7%

A-Pours smoothly and forms a 1/2-inch head that lingers a couple minutes. This lager has a nice shade of marigold, a beautiful color rendered more so by good lighting. Decent lacing, and light but steady stream of carbonation.
S-My first whiff caught a bouquet of fruit, pine and blossom, but that was it. Thereafter it was naught but hops and malt, and I hit a wall that numbed the olfactories. I couldn't place it, so I cheated and went down other reviews to see what it was. The closest thing I can think of is the chalk mentioned by Proteus93.
T-Lightly toasted barley, flowery hops, and a lightly bitter, clean aftertaste. In the back of the mouth I pick up caramel and light butterscotch. Very pleasant.
M-This stuff is delightful...smooth, creamy, carbonation is just right.
D-Boston Lager can stand on its own, or accompany a wide array of foods. This is one of my favorite accompaniments when I eat anywhere that has a limited beer selection. That's why I love this brewery...they're small enough to make excellent beer, and large enough to be found anywhere.

01-26-2008 07:28:04 | More by BoitSansSoif
Photo of Hatch


4/5  rDev +6.7%

12oz brown bottle with pry-off cap. Freshness date found on the bottle.

Pours a copper/amber with a decent white head about one finger thick with some nice lacing, decent lace retention.

Smells of pine and citrus, floral hops, sweet caramel malts. Nice and balanced, and quite aromatic.

While tasting you'll initially get a sweet bite from the malts, crisp, carmalized malts, finished out by hops with taste of pine and citrus which complement each other in a good way; very balanced. In the aftertaste there is some mild bitterness from the hops, and the pine notes come through again.

A medium-bodied brew that feels somewhat oily on the palate, yet remains crisp. Easy to drink; would make a nice session beer.

Notes: In my opinion, Boston Beer Company is the best nationally advertised beer company. They're not my favorite brewery by any means, but I don't think you'll find a better brewery that distributes nation-wide on such a large scale.

01-24-2008 02:43:14 | More by Hatch
Photo of drperm


3/5  rDev -20%

I gave this guy 3.0 all the way across -- not on purpose! It's really not a bad beer, especially when you're in the mood for an American lager. Better than Pete's Wicked Ale, for sure.

A clear, almond color in the glass is quite inviting. A bitter and coriander nose draws you in closer, revealing a taste of bitter hops. Perhaps a bit one-dimensional, but it's a good dimension nevertheless. A smooth finish leaves you pretty satisfied. A great session beer.

01-22-2008 18:57:52 | More by drperm
Photo of Proteus93


3.95/5  rDev +5.3%

A: Honey gold pour, a fizzy and semi-creamy - if shortlived - head.

S: Mild hops, some straw-like malt scents, with a touch of a sweet nose. A little chalky. Sweet noses come out on immediate pour much more strongly.

T: A surprising, but pleasant, resiny hops taste. Malts sweeten it out in the body, a little honey-like... then a little buttery.

M: Quite crisp and refreshing, a nice 'dinner beer,' or something I would be quite satisfied with for watching a game, or lounging with friends, etc... good session beer, in less words. like a happy balance between some of the American macro breweries and the smaller scale craft brews.

01-22-2008 00:37:57 | More by Proteus93
Photo of shabbtastic

New York

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%

I have had this beer a million times both on tap and in the bottle. But for some reason, ultra fresh batch, or whatever, the bottle I had the other day was absolutely delicious!!

This one was in the holiday pack I purchased the other day in my opinion they should stick with their brew master collections or seasonal when putting these packs together.

I would also like to say thank you to Sammy because this brew really started the revolution for me back in the early 90's!

A - Poured a nice copper color with a pristine white foamy head that quickly faded into a mid size cap.

S - Nice floral hops which are not too over powering with toasted malt character in the back of the nose.

T - Old reliable! Very faint on the hops though. I know they try to appeal to the masses so I can't fault it.

M - Not as robust as it used to be, although full enough to thoroughly enjoy.

D - Very drinkable. A low ABV makes for a great session brew for beginner explorers into the world of endless choices!

01-21-2008 16:07:38 | More by shabbtastic
Photo of clayrock81


4/5  rDev +6.7%

Pours a copperish color with a minimal but frothy head that is constantly carbonating. A somewhat earthy, very hoppy smell that leaves some sweet malt like smell evident. It is hoppy and drying when it first hits the tongue but not overbearing like an IPA might be, and it does finish with some spice and smoothness from that carbonation. A creamy, heavy type body that fills the mouth, this can be a session beer but a few can fill you up. In this case that's a good thing, because I am using that phrase not to slam this beer but slam other beers that it takes a 12-pack to maybe break the seal. My ratings are a little biased because this beer is like a must-have beginner beer and disproves the old joke that American beer is like screwing in a canoe - not very good and close to water.

01-20-2008 18:43:49 | More by clayrock81
Photo of deltatauhobbit


3.6/5  rDev -4%

Pours a clear golden/amber, good amount of head and some lacing.

Smell is mostly hops with a bit of malt.

Taste is very crisp, strong hop presence but is evened out from the malt. A very decent lager, one of the better commonly available lagers that populate beer stores, although not the first Sam Adams I'd reach for. This is typically the first resort of most restaurants that carry only BMC products, so I really appreciate this beer more than the score indicates.

01-19-2008 23:50:06 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of TheBierBand


4.43/5  rDev +18.1%

Like I said, I prefer the on-tap version of SA Boston Lager. Everything in my original review applies to the on-tap version.

The big difference between the bottle and the tap version are Taste and Mouthfeel.

Taste is bolder and richer. Mouthfeel is a lot smoother.

01-19-2008 20:44:49 | More by TheBierBand
Photo of udubdawg


3.53/5  rDev -5.9%

served ice cold...I'll have a burger while I wait.

OK, now that my tongue isn't numbed...the beer is a nice very clear amber color. The head has receded to a thin uneven nearly white cap by now, but decent lacing has been left behind.
The aroma is better than decent, exhibiting a lot of sweet malt nicely. Hop aromas are more muted than I recall but still has a nice spiciness. Not bad.

As usual, I find the sweet malt to be almost overwhelming. Ah, there's the nice bitter kick in the finish. Again almost spicy. Without the strength of the hop profile I'd finish no more than half a glass of this.

Feels a bit thin across the palate and goes down easy, but it fills me up fast. Carbonation seemed pretty fine and appropriate as I drank it, but I sure feel full now.

I left an ounce or so of this in my glass, and now that I think about it that isn't unusual for this beer. I like it well enough - I just tire of it. I guess it's drinkable at first, but not for long, whatever that means.
A nice fallback when there is little else to choose from. I'll have it again, but it's down my list of preferred beers and I can't remember the last time I bought a bottle.

01-17-2008 03:06:26 | More by udubdawg
Photo of rsyberg01


3.78/5  rDev +0.8%

S - 12 oz bottle, may notch. 2008. first review though definitely not the first time drunk.

A - Pours a lightly hued copper with an off white head that sticks rather nicely.

S - very nice malt character and the hop is well spoken for. somewhat of a metallic note. clean to the point.

T - slight maltiness, hop is very nice, not too much bitter in there mostly in the corner of aroma and flavor. classic

M - crisp, clean, somewhat lingering. very nice

D - This is my beer of choice in dives if they have it. I will drink it all night long.

01-16-2008 05:50:13 | More by rsyberg01
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%

how many times have i consumed this beer? a googleplex times (just read extremely loud and incredibly close). so isn't it time i rate it? i mean, why not?

nice looking head dies hard and leaves much behind as proof of past opulence. the color is a bright, light amber

some toasty notes of vienna malt come to the nose, as do some spicy, tea-like hops. it is pungent though lacking the delicacy of some german vienna lagers

full-bodied and malty, though not with the kind of cleanliness i might look for. it is certainly flavorful (which i hesitate to criticize), though a bit chunky. quite a bit of hop flavor

i am not a huge sam adams fan, but i must say that this is quite a good beer considering its role in the US market

01-15-2008 01:28:18 | More by bruachan
Photo of MMansfield

Nova Scotia (Canada)

3.35/5  rDev -10.7%

Bottle sent to me by whitaker. Thanks a lot.

Appearance: Pours a golden amber colour with a thick creamy, slightly off white head. Leaves plenty of lace. Retains to half an inch.

Aroma: Rich caramel malts, sweet, floral hops, toasty & biscuity.

Taste: Plenty of caramel malt here, a touch of sulphur to remind me it's a lager and not an amber ale. Little grainy and sweet in the finish. Hops are a little spicy and provide a moderate bitterness. A surprising touch of diacetyl in there as well.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, plenty of body, balanced.

Final statement: What can I say, it's a legendary beer, and a beer all beer geeks should have at least once.

01-14-2008 03:21:27 | More by MMansfield
Photo of youngleo


3.8/5  rDev +1.3%

A- Poured to a two fingered head, that left some nice lacing. Left rings with every swallow.
Kind of a dark gold in color, and slightly off white head.
S-Smelled slightly sweet of caramel and some nice smelling hops.
T- Taste comes on strong after a couple of pulls. Just had a GOOD TASTE. Slightly sweet with maybe a hint of citrus. A hair bitter after taste, and this wasnt a bad thing. Had a slight dark beer taste.
M- Mouthfeel was good. Not to much carbonation.
D- I have got to buy a twelver of these, and try an all nighter. Looking forward to it. There was some effort to make this beer.

01-12-2008 18:31:24 | More by youngleo
Photo of AlexJ

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -0.5%

Orange-amber draft pour into an oversized pislner glass(unfortunately frozen)with an attractive off white head that had decent retention.

Aroma is fresh and malt accented with some caramel, roast, and noble hops.

The freshness is evident as I've had this countless times and it's not usually as flavorful. A nece caramel and roasty sweetness upfront with moderate Noble hops in the finish.

Body is somewhat thin, though the crisp mouthfeel and quaffable texture make up for it. Not the best, but certainly a better option than your standard BMC stuff.

01-09-2008 00:01:01 | More by AlexJ
Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 6,973 ratings.