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Samuel Adams Boston Lager - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager

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7,146 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,146
Reviews: 2,429
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 69
Gots: 652 | 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: 7,146 | Reviews: 2,429 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Antilochus
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%

From what I've heard about Samuel Adams, this is the grandfather of American crafts (I suppose the Canadian equivalent would be something like Sleeman... maybe). Found this as a single at a Kingston, Ontario LCBO. 4.80% abv, 355mL bottle.

Orange-amber body. Sudsy head - doesn't stick around for long, leaves a patch of bubbles. A bit of lace though.

Surprisingly hoppy nose - floral with a big caramel malt backbone. A bit of metal. Very clean and forward though.

Palate is sweetish, caramelish malty finish that then gets rather bitter. Spicy like a pilsener. A bit leafy.

Bizarrely APAish for a Vienna, except for the spice. Still easy drinking and tasty though.

Antilochus, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of jayrod20
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%

A - Reddish Orange, with just a little bit of head that dissipated. Left a nice layer on the glass as I drank it.

S - Floral aroma, citrusy.

T - Tasted like it smelled, with definite notes of citrus, and left a nice hoppy aftertaste.

M - Very smooth, low to medium carbonation.

D - An excellent beer, could drink it everyday, if I didn't want to try anything else that

jayrod20, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%

Served in my Sam Adams Sensory Pint. Best before June notched on the label. Poured a translucent pale amber color with copious effervescence bubbling up through the glass. Half-inch off-white head dissipated within less than a minute leaving behind a thin ring of foam around the perimeter of the glass and a densely clustered swirl in the center. Bouquet of floral hops dominates with a wheat backbone. Taste similar to nose culminates in a clean, crisp finish with just a hint of wheat left lingering on the tastebuds. Lively mouthfeel and well-balanced throughout the mouth. In my opinion SA Boston Lager is one of the most sessionable and versatile brews out there.

Jwale73, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of Greggy
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%

Appearance- Very nice 2 finger head that recedes down into a 1 finger head that stays the entire glass. Some nice chunky lacing clings to the side of the glass as well. Has a very crystal clear caramel color.

Smell- Nice noble hop aroma, caramel, light buttered biscuit.

Taste- caramel, light biscuit, tiny bit of bready finish. Smooth and refreshing.

Mouthfeel- A bit more malty than I last remembered, but still is very thirst quenching. A touch more carbonation, because it is pretty low might make it a bit more crisp.

Drinkability- 4.5%, locally available at many bars, and refreshing.. can't complain.

Greggy, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of stewart124
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%

Pours an orange/amber with an off-white head. Good head retention.

Smells of floral with a spice and a sweet note from the caramel malts.

Taste is crisp, has a sweetness from the caramel and has a nice smooth noble hop background. Not overpowering in any way. The blend of malts and hops seems to compliment well.

Very easy drinking. This Vienna Lager finishes dry and it really is a pleasure.

A great session beer and one that I can fallback on when I am stuck in a strange bar with little craft beer choices.

stewart124, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of Spidey13
4/5  rDev +7%

Samuel Adams Boston Lager pours a clear, light amber color with a white head that quickly fades away to leave a bit of lacing on the glass. There is some nice caramel on the nose and some grassy hops. The taste is very clean, with sweet caramel and toffee notes up front, some light hop bitterness and breadiness afterwards. The mouthfeel is medium/thin. This is a very drinkable beer and always a good stand-by.

Spidey13, Mar 31, 2008
Photo of Beerislife652854
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%

Ah yes. What would New England be without Sam Adams Boston Lager on a cool Autumn day or a sweltering summer afternoon? This lager poured into a standard pint glass, produces a clear amber-gold color with a one-inch tall head that fades, but doesn't disappear. There is some lacing on the inside of the glass.

Smells like sweet malt and bitter hops, the taste is much the same. ALL restaurants around my area have this beer available on tap, and ALL liquor stores around here sell it, so I guess ol' Sammy ain't doin' too bad.

Beerislife652854, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of osi
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%

A - Had a nice hue, Light brown with orange tint. Below average head, but left nice spider lacing on the glass.

S - Not too much here just some good ol' malts with hops trailing in at the end.

T - Wasn't too shabby but didn't appear to be any more complex than the smell. Malts with a hoppy follow through. Alcohol was easily prevalent.

M - Slight carbonation at the tongue but went down smoothly without a bite. Medium to heavy body. Pretty filling to say the least.

D - This is always a classic choice if nothing else is available. Usually find it your average restaurants. Make sure you pair it with the right foods though. This beer can easily over power a light dish.

osi, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of sholland119
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%

When my two oldest children were very young, I taught them to read the "Brewer, Patriot" banner above Sam Adams on the label. Sam is no longer on the label so his historical contribution as beer maker (first) then revolutionary is largely forgotten now. In the early days of the craft beer revolution on the East Coast, Sam Adams lager and Red Hook ESB (they carried it at all Houlihan's) were the whole game. Now that there are many more choices, I rarely have a Sam and can't recall the last time I heard Jim Koch tell me about Reinheitsgebot in a radio ad.

But this is still a fairly tasty beer. Lots of toasty malts and a little bit of hops on the nose and in the taste. An odd bitterness on the finish that I did not really enjoy.

Otherwise a nice session beer, especially in an airport bar when it's this or BMC.


sholland119, Mar 28, 2008
Photo of enigmattic122
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%

The best part about living in Boston is you can get this on-tap nearly anywhere.

A - Pours to a medium copper colour with a small head that doesn't last long.

S - Smells like toasted malt and caramel, a bit of hops.

T - Pleasant hop undertones, but mostly toasted malt and caramel.

M - Light body, nice carbonation. Overall great balance.

D - Quite refreshing. Goes good with nearly any food you can think of. It could have a bit more presence, but it does just fine.

enigmattic122, Mar 28, 2008
Photo of bobsy
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Sixer from the lcbo.

Pours a nice reddish-gold with a huge frothy head. The head has really good lasting power, and laces to the bottom of the glass. This is probably the best looking lager I have seen in a long time.The aroma is full of leafy hops with only the faintest hint of malt - its nice but could be more upfront. The taste is very good, slightly sweet malts lead through to a mildly bitter hoppy middle, before tailing off into a grainy dryness. There's a nice caramel and spice flavour underlying it all. The body seemed a bit light, and maybe a bit more weight would have made it more satisfying, but that's a minor quibble. The drinkability is ridiculous - this could be enjoyed all night long.

An eminently sessionable lager, and an excellent flagship beer from Sam Adams.

bobsy, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of halfP1NT
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%

Never took the time to review this, and I haven't had a Boston Lager in a long time, but someone left one in the fridge last night.

A- Dark golden and clear, one-finger creamy head, small bubbles rising from the center of the glass. Hmmm, has some nice sticky lacing.

S- Light, malty, a little bready, slightly floral.

T- Light malts at first, bit of caramel, then hops hit my tongue broadly. Almost a slightly dry finish, starts to remind me of tea after a while (I know-sounds weird.)

It's got that crisp, tiny bubble carbonation that tingles my tounge a bit. This was never one of my favorite offerings from Sam Adams, but it's really not bad.

halfP1NT, Mar 26, 2008
Photo of Kemmerlin
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%

A: Golden red in color with a good solid head that sticks around for a few minutes.

S: Citrus and hops definitely a lot of hops to bad I can't smell te malts though.

T: Barley taste with floral hop flavors and a slight citrus taste as well but not much.

M/D: Very drinkable and I will definitely buy it again as a good sharing beer for doing work around the house. The feel is a little watery but good it helps the drinkability.

Kemmerlin, Mar 25, 2008
Photo of jajablon
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%

Pours a nice white head which dissipates quickly, but leaves lacing all the way down the glass. Color is a clear amber shade.

The aroma is one of malt and hops, a nice balance.

The taste, like the smell, is marked by hops, though not overpowering, and sweet maltiness. It has a mostly dry finish. A very drinkable beer.

When you're out at a big name grill or restaurant (applebee's, damon's, etc.) that doesn't have a lot of options in the brew category, Sam Adams is probably your best choice. Also, in comparison to other domestic lagers, i rank this slightly above the local favorite: yuengling.

jajablon, Mar 22, 2008
Photo of CNeilP09
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%

The only reason anyone would dislike this beer is if they suffered from a glass-jawed toothache and a mental disease.

The middle of the spectrum of beer.

Typical coppery beer color.

Smells of cheap handbags and your grandma's hall closet. Not a bad thing, mind you, just a homey presence that blends into the girth of the beer.

The all American lager. Bud is the king, but Sammy Adams' Lager is the Monarch. Or something. Perfectly balanced in the grain bill and sweet seductive to the point of over exertion. Bill Walton would give a better description.

Drinks like a champ, because it is a champ.

Light and crisp, flavorful and robust for the style. you could drink this beer for hours, if needed.


CNeilP09, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of usmittymc
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint Glass.

A: Pours a clear amber-orange with a 2 finger, bubbly white head from a standard pour. The head recedes, but never disappears. Sticky lacing remains during the session.

S: Bready malt, with a faint floral/ citrusy hop presence

T: Malt dominates the front with a noticable hop tanginess in the middle. Finishes with a little carbonation.

M: Moderately light body with a tad bit of slickness from the hop oils. Good carbonation on the finish.

D: A classic session beer. Relatively low ABV, good flavor and body. Definitely a drinkable beer.

usmittymc, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of mattster
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%

Opened 12 Fluid Ounce Bottle, poured into Nonic glass.

Poured a nice thick head of 1", dies down with lace on glass. Brew is a medium amber with light to medium bubble action.

Smell is of malts and a little bit of herbal/floral tones. Taste is caramel with subtle but ever present hops; nice body, easy finish, mild bitterness.

mattster, Mar 20, 2008
Photo of jbphoto88
4/5  rDev +7%

Sam Adams Boston Lager, a 12 oz bottle with a best by date of june 2008. Pours a golden amber color with a fluffy light head that has decent retention. There is some nice webbing on the glass as you drink.

The smell is initially of hops but then moves into sweet and caramel malts. Light floral aromas follow up.

Taste is balanced but slightly more malty then hoppy. It is sweet malt flavor with a slight astringent aftertaste from the hops. Its not a big hop finish but a pleasant bite and citrus note that is more apparent in the aftertaste.

Great mouthfeel, there is a nice carbonation to this beer that makes it clean and sharp. There is nothing else getting in the way of the brew's flavors. An excellent anytime beer.

jbphoto88, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of jeonseh
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%

Bottle with a best before april 2008 and poured into the Sam Adams glass.

A - actually looks very nice in the glass. A dark honey color that becomes darker as it moves up the glass from a light gold to a dark amber. There was a nice head sitting on top that was composed of big bubbles just sitting on top.Also a ton of carbonation trailing up this one all the time.

S - hints of honey that came up from it and also with a hint of hops that seems to came up from it that adds a bit of citrus to the nose of this one as well.

T - overall, the first impression that I get is a big bready, shortbread flavor of malt that seems to come through. There is also a bit hit of orange, lemon and spice that comes through and counteracts the sweeter flavors that came through earlier. There is also a nice dry aspect to the beer that reminds me of the dry aspect that comes through in a white wine. Makes this be a very balanced beer that is really easy to drink.

MF - overall, a big thick on the palaette and has a nice body to it which makes it a step above the BMC's which of course Sam Adams is. This body in a way makes this beer more like one that I would rather drink by itself instead of with a meal as the bready aspect makes me feel a bit full after drinking it. There is also a nice zesty and alive carbonation that comes through in the later aspects of the glass that really lends to the orange aspect of the beer.

D - Overall this is one of the more drinkable and widely available beers that is out there and is also one of the first steps that most people take from BMCs to the craft beers. This would be a beer that I think you should definitely have at a party for people to drink up with. I thought it was a bit thick to drink a ton of or with a meal but overall a tasty brew that I think you could always easily find and pickup whenever company is coming over. A good summertime beer for sure.

jeonseh, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of trackstar1043
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

A - Med-Light golden copper hue, 1/2 in off white head that didn't last long.

S - Slight toasty aromal, sweet carmels or molasses, very little hoppy character.

T - Minimal hops bitterness, smokey maltiness, sweet hint of carmel, nuts, and rasins.

M - Light bodied, low carbonation with a balanced and clean finish.

D - Refreshing, but a bit on the light side, very easy to drink.

trackstar1043, Mar 14, 2008
Photo of BeerLover729
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%

A: One finger white foamy head atop a light amber brew.

S: Aromatic malts reminiscent of caramel fill the nose with mild hop character.

T: Great balance. Malt has full roundness and nice caramel flavor. Hops are a little spicy, and piny. Mild residual "sugars" provide pleasant sweetness and compliment the residual carbohydrates left over from the decoction mash process.

M: Medium body with crisp carbonation.

D: Easy going drinkable beer.

Notes: Great choice at the bars that don't cater to my exotic taste.

BeerLover729, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of ommegoose
3.48/5  rDev -7%

Picked up in a Samuel Adams Brewmaster's Variety pack. Well within the freshness period.

Head retention was not that good, after a big pour. Rocky, big bubbles. Transparent copper amber color. Would look quite dark to the macro drinker, but seems rather light compared to some other Vienna Lagers. Leaves a ring of medium bubbles around the edge, with some film on top. Nothing left after a sip or two. A few streams of bubbles. I really like the color, but head retention is weak.

Nose is underwhelming. Smells lightly flowery. Getting some earthy hops. A little toasty with some spices. The poor head retention hurts the aroma a lot. Still, I shouldn't expect too much for the style.

The flavor is well-balanced. The malt character is pretty typical for the style. Some toasty, caramel notes, but doesn't go as far as a Marzen, for example. Hops are flowery. Nutmeg and cinnamon are among the spices present. Pretty crisp and dry, finishes with a nice amount of lasting bitterness. Strong amount of complexity for what is essentially a macro beer. Definitely some metallic notes though, which hurts

Carbonation is a bit too sharp. The beer seems a little thin. Must remember that this is a lager.

Very sessionable due to the 4.75% abv. Goes down easy. The satisfying finish makes it easy to pick up and have another sip. Better learn to like this one anyway, since it's the best beer at lots of lesser establishments, and sometimes the most adventurous your friends will get if you're getting pitchers. Also good to re-familiarize myself with this one since so many of the other SA beers have so much in common with the flagship brew. Worth revisiting on occasion.

ommegoose, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of donteatpoop
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%

I used to dislike Sam Adams, but a woman I work with bought me a twelve pack of it and who am I to deny a free twelver?

I really enjoyed it. I don't know what the hell I was thinking the last time I had it, but this was really good.

It had a nice amber hue to the beer with a fair amount of head. It smelled and tasted superb, far better than I remembered. It went down smooth and, other than taking a moment to marvel at how good it was, I did not hesitate to crack open another.

I'm glad I was given another shot at Sam Adams.

donteatpoop, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of kcillini77
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%

Picked up a 12 pack today. Certainly not my first Boston Lager, but my first review of it.

Poured into the Sam Adams Boston Lager glass I received from the company. Beautiful reddish gold color. Nice head with good retention.

Smell is floral, slightly piney, a little sweet.

Taste is mostly of sweet malt with hops on the swallow. Well balanced, definitely sessionable.

Nothing not to like here. Readily available brew from a world-class company. Nothing extreme here, but you know what you are getting and it is hands down the best mass produced lager you will find in the U.S.

kcillini77, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of hellcatsjg
4/5  rDev +7%

Appearance: Clear dark amber with a finger of white head. Surprising amount of lacing as you go. Nice job for a lager.

Smell: Nice mix of malts and hops. Again, very nice aroma for a lager.

Taste: Malts hit the tongue first and the hop flavor kicks in soon after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with a surprising amount of hops in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: Very high. Not the most complex or most delicious beer out there, but a very good beer. It's mix of nice flavor, lightness, and lower ABV make for a beer you could drink several of before you realized it. Very good beer, excellent lager.

hellcatsjg, Mar 11, 2008
Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 7,146 ratings.