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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

6,625 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,625
Reviews: 2,409
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 54
Gots: 412 | 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: 6,625 | Reviews: 2,409 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MiScusi


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

I think the main thing to say about this beer is that it is good. I've had a limited number of Vienna Lagers but this one did not miss the mark. You get sweet caramel as expected and a small but pleasant hop bite. In the couple times I've had this on tap, the second time seemed a little to watery/uncarbonated for the style. It still wasn't that bad that time.

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2006 02:59:08 | More by MiScusi
Photo of thelagerheads


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

A muscular blonde with serious density. Busty and thick legged with a heavy lusty swallow to it. A come hither lager that walks on its own and sits on your lap and stays for drinks after a show. You may even want to call it toots if you're brash and chauvanistic enough. But I'd just call it lunch or dinner if I was a better man.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2006 21:57:06 | More by thelagerheads
Photo of escapements


3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= Nice light golden color. A little darker than your typical lager

S= Hoppy aroma, light on malt smell

T=Nicely balanced. Light on the malt, heavier on the hops. (pretty much like it smells). Lagers aren't my favorite, but this is very drinkable.

M=Mouth feel is pretty good, smooth and not over-carbonated. Clean finish. Good with food.

D=Very drinkable as most lagers are...

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2006 00:03:55 | More by escapements
Photo of gbarron


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

From a 12 oz. bottle. I've had this beer hundreds of times, but never reviewed. One of the few ubiquitous micros you can find in most any good bar nationwide. Thank you, Jim Koch.

A - light golden copper, perfectly clear. Head is bright white and very bubbly and tight. Very light lacing.

S - firm aroma of slightly peppery, metallic hops, balanced out with light caramel, toasted bread aromas from the malt. Nice, unique nose.

T - hoppy lager. Somewhat sweet, tangy, almost slightly sour and grainy malt flavors. In stark balance with an assertive hop flavor of flowery sweet, somewhat peppery and metallic noble hops. Nice bready taste and unique hop flavor in this beer.

M - medium thin bodied, slightly dry grainy finish. Carbonation average to slightly above average.

D - tasty beer, and the drinkability gets a small boost because it's always a safe standby. Don't recognize any of the other taps? SA Boston Lager is always a safe choice for a flavorful, well made beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2006 14:53:54 | More by gbarron
Photo of adam42381


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

What can I say that hasn't already been said about Sam Adams Boston Lager? This is by far the finest macro brew in America. Hands down. Appearance: Excellent look, not too dark nor too light. Nice head with decent lacing.

Smell has a nice hoppy aroma.

Taste is very smooth with just the right amount of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is nearly perfect. Nice balance.

Drinkability is quite high for me.

I just realized that I hadn't reviewed this one yet. Probably my favorite American beer at the moment. Ask me tomorrow and it might change. I just drank four and wish I had more. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2006 04:52:42 | More by adam42381
Photo of TheBungyo


4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me first state that I am no expert in terms of this style. I do enjoy the dark golden pour followed by a robust head. Nose is full of toasted malt goodness and hoppy aroma. There's lots of lacing too.
Taste is full of pleasing caramel, tangy hops, and a bit of sweetness. It's too bad you can't find this in a plentiful amount in Seattle or I think I'd buy it often. Light carbonation tantalizes and pleases. Great drinkability in my opinion. A satisfying beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2006 05:56:17 | More by TheBungyo
Photo of rarevos

New York

3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pilsener glass.

A: Pours an amber color. Almost two fingers of head that lingered. Left sticky trails on the side of the glass. Head had great longevity.

S: Smelled of hearty, whole-grain bread. Or hearty crackers. Malty, slight hint of hop bitterness.

T: Very clean flavor, maybe not as whole-grain-like as the aroma would suggest. Hop presence at the end, and the finish is typically abrupt for a light-bodied lager. Pleasant hop presence. Blooms nicely, and the malt gets more and more assertive the warmer it gets.

M: Light-bodied, not overwhelmingly carbonated.

D: Very easy to drink these. Good session beer that has a presence in many places with otherwise uninspired beer lists.

Subjective notes: This is pretty versatile. It's nice and refreshing when served very cold (such as when you're given one at a party and it's been in a cooler), or when it's served slightly chilled, and it has more pronounced breadiness when you let it warm to not-quite room temperature. Is FAR better when it's served around 45 or so degrees F. I know there's a bit of hubbub about the micro/macro distinction, but I don't particularly care. I'm thrilled whenever I find myself in a McBar that has heavy BMC representation, and find this on tap. Plus, as vienna lagers go, it's pretty solid.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2006 21:58:08 | More by rarevos
Photo of BEERchitect


3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Probably the pick-of-the-litter at a local seafood resturaunt that sells ok seafood for a rediculous price. They also sell beer that way too. Kinda disapointed with the SA Boston Lager. I often have this on tap, but from the bottle, it seemed to loose much. The maltiness never came through with the bready, toasty, rich character in flavor or texture. The taste was all spice, and the feel was almost prickly to the toung. Aromas were nice (after the beer warmed to above freezing), of American hop character--very Sierra Nevada Pale Ale-like. Finished with a (dare I say) grain-hull bite-ey-ness. Basically under-bodied, under-malted in comparison to what I'm used to in this beer. May have been past its prime.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2006 12:45:52 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of AaronHomoya


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

12 oz brown bottle.

Light amber color with a nice head. Aroma is a light mix of malt and hops. Flavor is a nicely balanced, light malty-sweet taste with a bit of a hops finish. Good, but subtle. Mouthfeel is light. Drinkability is very good, as this beer is tasty but not very strong in bold flavors or alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2006 13:38:04 | More by AaronHomoya
Photo of villainchiwwin


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

served in tall 22 oz. pilsner-style glass
amber color with off-white head, decent retention and some clumps of lacing.
hint of butter over sweet gingerbread smelling malt.
flowery and brown sugar with caramel-tasting malt and some bittering hops for a spicy kick in the tail. bit of metallic coppery character in there.
crisp mouthfeel, medium bodied with a drying finish.
balanced, drinkable lager on tap. nothing fancy but doesn't fail at fancy games either.

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2006 15:24:12 | More by villainchiwwin
Photo of funkengruven

Ontario (Canada)

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

This poured a nice dark amber leaving a decent head that sat happily on the top, leaving some lacing. Smell is very hoppy, there is nothing offensive in the smell of this brew. The hops are well carried in the flavor, with a very pronounced bitterness that some may have a hard time handling. (I know I didn't care for this one much when I was younger.) Overall this is a well made, well hopped lager that I would most certainly invite to my fridge again.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2006 17:12:48 | More by funkengruven
Photo of

3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap after a very hot day outside, so perception may be biased....
Poured a light copper color, with a moderate head. Smell was nice balance of malt and hops, as was the taste, although the hop flavor won out over the malt, resulting in a slightly bitter finish. Very refreshing and easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

06-29-2006 13:52:42 | More by
Photo of hunteraw


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

Can't believe it's taken me so long to get around to actually reviewing this one...

Appearance: Poured an appealing amber/copper color, moderate head, some lacing.

Smell: Earthy hop aroma, with a little bit of toasted malt.

Taste: Nice to see how big a role the hops have in this one. The flavors are very earthy - I think you could almost say there's a little bit of saltiness. Toasted (maybe a touch burnt?) grain backs up the hops. Finishes on very dry, which I find appealing.

Mouthfeel: fairly light, good level of carbonation. "creamy" is going too far, but it's slightly in that direction.

Drinkability: Very nice Vienna Lager: dry finish definitely helps drinkability, it's flavorful enough that you want to keep drinking, while light enough that you can. Where there aren't many other options, this is a great standby.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2006 05:09:41 | More by hunteraw
Photo of rtratzlaff

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: light crystal clear amber body with little head

S: lager yeast smell, not a whole lot going on

T: clean upfront, flavor his the sides on the tongue in the aftertaste. I guess it's the saaz and hallertauer hops. Plenty of earthy herbal German noble hops. Some caramel sweetness to the malt as it warms.

M: great mouthfeel for an american lager

D: good drinkability but most lagers tend to have that going for them

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2006 16:10:42 | More by rtratzlaff
Photo of DuqTroops


3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - light orange in color, slightly white head atop the body.

Smell - more citrus than hops in smell. not typical of lagers.

Taste - here you can taste the hops more so, but the malt is still there.

Mouthfeel - very smooth tasting.

Drinkability - very good.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2006 04:26:36 | More by DuqTroops
Photo of omar


1.73/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This has got to be the worst beer Sam Adams makes. Was looking forward to trying it, poured it into a cold mug and took a sip. Yukk.

The beer looks okay, but the smell and the taste are disgusting. Like it's infused with sulphur making it smell strange, also affecting the taste and the aftertaste. Drank a couple more two days later. No improvement. Gave it one last chance on tap at my favorite pub, still rotten.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2006 21:32:11 | More by omar
Photo of xduderx


4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I avoided trying samuel adams because honestly I figured with it having commercials all over television and being a mass-produced beer that it must be piss water. I couldn't have been more wrong!!!! This beer is hands down the best mass-produced beer in america next to sierra nevada pale ale.

appearance = a very light copper with very little head

smell = a little hoppiness and slightly sweet smelling

taste = very good fruity undertones reminiscent of a pale ale but a little more suttle.

mouthfeel = not quite medium bodied but not light bodied either

drinkability = very good session beer and goes down very easy.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2006 03:06:27 | More by xduderx
Photo of semihobo


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

Purchase before April on side of bottle ... bought this before April and it sat in the fridge for a while. Another review of beer acquired via the five-finger discount.

Crystal clear red color, good pooling of lace that retains well, head is rough but appropriate for a lager.

Well balanced smell of both crisp precise hops and bready amber malts. Smells tasty.

Very bready, dextrinous taste. Grainy aftertaste of corn and barley, I like this but it is a little clumsy and many may not (and it reminds me of Miller High Life's finish, for better or for worse). Grains are mitigated by the surprisingly strong hop presence... low alphas that do their job. Not complex, really, but it's a fine lager. Not quite as smooth as it warms...

Mouthfeel is nice, very feisty bubbles but not overwhelming. Dextrins really make this a full-bodied beer that you can almost chew on.

Nothing bad and the simplicity of the beer makes it very drinkable. Combine that with the fact that it's so frequently far-and-away the best beer available at bars and restaurants, and I thank the powers that be for Sam Adams Boston Lager.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2006 04:56:51 | More by semihobo
Photo of Erdinger2003


4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is a nutty brown color and very crisp. The head is full and pillowy and stays pillowy and the head and lacing combine and only the middle falls into a thin layer. The head/lacing stays about 5mm over the beer.

A slightly nutty sweet smell is a little sweet and compiments the lager smell.

It has a distinct hoppiness to it with a slight nuttiness covering up most of the lager smell.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated and crisp, has a little bit of bite to it.

I will look for a fresh 6 pack, but only once in a while.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2006 02:16:00 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of scoobybrew


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

I poured this into a standard pint glass. It has a dark golden color with a slight amber hue. The head is decent with good retention. The aroma is malty with a slight hint of hops. Upon tasting, the malt comes through, but the hops are definitely present and very well balanced. Hops are noticeable on the finish also. The body is medium with moderate carbonation.

This is a really good lager. I believe Sam Adams does truly represent a return to flavorful beer in the widely distributed and mass marketed beer varieties.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2006 21:29:36 | More by scoobybrew
Photo of acrawf6


4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a light orange amber with a white head.

Smell. Nice combination of malts and hops, nicely balanced.

Taste. More good balance, nice bitterness from the hops and a solid malty backbone. Aftertaste is malty.

Mouthfeel is good. medium and slightly chewy body.nice carbonation, great balance.

Overall, a classic.A great beer you can always fall back on.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2006 05:21:12 | More by acrawf6
Photo of Blakaeris


3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear amber-gold with a creamy white head that leaves little slight lacing.

Smell is caramel malt, slight hop spiciness, and a touch of fruit.

Taste is similiar to the nose. Strong malt up front, then a nice spicy hop finish. Surprisingly full flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly creamy.

If I would have discovered this brew early on it could have been the one to turn me on to craft beer (luckily I was introduced to Pete's). An easy drinking session brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2006 23:28:32 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of sinstaineddemon


4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - a great golden copper color, with a thick creamy white head, moderate carbonation present

S - mmm, a great musty hoppy aroma, a very refreshing, inviting aroma, with some background sweetness

T - a nice roasted malt flavor, probably my favorite Sammy A offering, very quenching

M - nice and easy on the palate, not offensive either way, overly bitter or overly malty, a la macro's

D - high drinkability, a great ice-breaker for the Bud-drinker into the world of craft

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2006 05:35:59 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of bigdeuce


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

Sam Adams gets a bad rap because they have become commercial. But they should be commercial. This is a terrific, classic, microbrew (yes it is a micro). Sam Adam's beers are always full of flavor and always produces a creamy head, this one being no exception. Great summer beer! Nice micro smell and has a slight hop kickback. A terrific starter brew for those who have never had one.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2006 01:34:11 | More by bigdeuce
Photo of macpapi


3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As many times as I've had this staple brew, have never reviewed it. S.A.B.L. pours an almost clear, light brown color, with minimal white head. Its smell is mostly roasted malts with a bit of citrus hops. There is also a nice sweetness to finish. A good, clean, crisp aroma. Taste is again dominated by malt and hops. Not terribly bitter or complex, but a pleasing swallow nonetheless. In the mouth, this beer isn't very full-bodied. But it does have a decent, crisp and sharp pull on the tongue. On the whole, this is a pretty classic American Beer. It has been much maligned and much respected by many B.A's all at once. I for one have always appreciated Sam Lager for what it is: a very fine and eminently drinkable--if none too complex--brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2006 01:35:52 | More by macpapi
Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 6,625 ratings.