1. The BeerAdvocate Store is back! Pre-order your stuff now. Items begin shipping Dec 15. Christmas deadline = Dec 18 @ 5pm EST.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

7,702 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,702
Reviews: 2,465
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 14.17%
Wants: 92
Gots: 943 | 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)
View: Beers (117) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Boston Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,702 | Reviews: 2,465 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend of mine continued to reccomend this beer to me. To be fair, I gave it a try. I love Vienna lager, and I should state up front that my favorite is Bernstein, which this beer varies from in style.

Poured a light gold with a finger of frothy head. Head retention isn't bad, as it lasted most of the beer.

Smell is of sweet malt, a bit of a light caramel is there.

Taste is pretty crisp, buttery malt up front with a mild earthy hop finish. Not bad.

Mouthfeel is very crisp and refreshing, light to medium bodied, good carbonation.

Drinkability is, by far, the best I've had in a Sam Adams yet. Easy to drink and pairs well. In all fairness this is a good beer, hopefully I'll find more of Sam's that are like this.

Photo of ajmoody76
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this comes in the holiday sampler. pours clear golden with a thin white head. the head thins out.

earthy hop nose. no off odors.

good crisp hoppy taste. some sweet tones in there. bitter fruit aftertaste.

mid body. enough carbonation. good beer. i have enjoyed this beer for years and will continue to enjoy for years to come. would like to see them add an additional holiday beer to the sample 12 pack and leave this one out.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the Rochester brewery.

Adequate head with superb retention. Lacing all the way down the glass. Light amber color with constant bubbles emanating from the bottom.

Smells of floral hops and "lager smell." Some whiffs of Stop and Shop diet cream soda.

Tastes of mildy sweet malts balanced by citrus hops, that taste more floral with swallow. Light body, very crisp. Perfectly balanced almost to a fault.

This is what I get at bars that don't cater to beer dorks.

Photo of biboergosum
4.14/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. I've never seen such a bold proclamation for a freshness guarantee on a beer bottle before: the back label is entirely devoted to explaining the Boston Beer Company's offer to buy back old, expired bottles of their product. Mine says Dec 08, so instead of flirting with a refund, methinks I'll just drink it.

This beer pours a clear, pale golden hue, with two fingers of dense, somewhat creamy eggshell white head, which settles none too quickly, leaving some decent mitochondrial lace around the glass.

It smells of crisp wheat cracker cereal grain, rather biscuity, a subtle apple fruitiness, a hint of aged lemon, and a hefty dose of earthy, floral hops. The flavour is a gradual uptick of the same - biscuity, cereal-heavy caramel malt, a reserved citrus fruitiness, and peppy grassy, floral hops.

The carbonation is on the low-key, subtle side, the body medium-light in weight, and everyman smooth. It finishes more on the sweet side, the biscuity malt gaining a strengthened sugary character, and the hops holding fast enough to keep things kosher.

A pleasantly tasty example of the prototypical gateway craft beer, and a lager to boot, which is infinitely more challenging a prospect. Fully satisfying, a little zingy, and worthy of its lore in American brewing circles. Now where's that clam chowda I'm suddenly craving?

Photo of hokies1999
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured the Boston Lager from the 12oz bottle into the Sam Adams signature glass.

Appearance: Sunrise golden with a touch of amber. The Sam Adams signature glass allows for constant release of CO2 due to the laser etching on the bottom. The head is a slight off white that leaves a notch on the glass with each sip but the head dissipates down to 1/8 inch rather quickly.

Smell: First thing I noticed was the hops, they come right out and, as a hop lover, really draw me in. No off aroma's here, hops and what I can only describe as crisp.

Taste, a slight sweetness with a very nice and lingering hop aftertaste. That hop bitterness must have been what Ben Franklin was referring to when he said, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Man, that hop aroma and bitterness is heaven. Gave taste a 4.5 for the outstanding hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: clean and crisp but the CO2 bites a bit like club soda, not smooth like Rogue Dead Guy or Duvel.

Drinkability: IMHO an above average beer on the delightful hop flavor and aroma alone. I'd call the Boston Lager my Old Faithful. You know exactly what you'll get and it's accessible. This beer is always welcome in my fridge.

Photo of KeefD
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

You know, I used to be kind of a BL hater, but I can appreciate it now, as I think my snobbery has receded a bit. Boston Lager pours a nice amber orange color with yellow highlights, with a nice, big fluffy head that leaves some pretty chunky lacing down the glass. Aroma is slightly sweet and floral. Flavor profile is a nice balance between sweet malts and floral, herbal hops. Crisp clean mouthfeel, a perfect session beer. Solid as can be.

Photo of Duhast500
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is red and yellowish gold, clear amber.

Smell is caramel with a hint of grain and hops.

The taste is a bit sweet at first and then a bit bitter once it rolls around on your tongue. Nice toasty malt taste.

Smooth drinkability. Well balanced.

This is a beer I have often and is one of the best beers to have with a meal as well.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.44/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 5 year BA anniversary revision to pay homage and respect to the beer that got me into the world of craft beer. Served in a traditional shaker pint for the old class feel.

A: Pale orange with a good clarity. Milky beige colored head provides only a skim coating with a weak hold. Lacing is minimal. This seems alot lighter in color from what i remebered, always though this was a more amber color. Carbonation is very faint, spacious and slow to rise.

S: Sweet grains, orange blossoms and cinnamon grahm crackers. There is a hint of sweet rich chocolate. The nobel hops are hard to pick up on, im getting a totally different aromatic experience from what i remember, either my senses have changed or evolved, or the beer suceeded in killing enough memory brain cells. I always thought this had a more toasty amber grain base with nobel flowers. This seems much sweeter.

T: The flavor is toasty sweet orange peels and crystal malts. A bit of flowery bitterness. The nobel hops are more detectable, fresh, flowery, whole cone like. There is a touch of cinnamon, dried orange and sweet malt as well some chocolate.

M: The mouthful is crisp,flowery hop feel, with creamy caramel malts.

O: Overall it seems things have changed visually and aromatically, this is still a good beer, sweeter then i remember flavor wise, toasty, and crisp. Still easy to consume, refreshing and holds a special place in my heart . Not sure whats going with the ever changing style category but decent starter.

Photo of pasdachuri
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a nice off-white head, low-moderate retention. A pristine, clear light amber beer.

Low malt with a high hop aroma.

The taste is also well-balanced, with the initial hop bite quickly being replaced by a bready, sweet malt backing. A dry finish leaves some bitterness on the palate.

Mouth feel is very good for the style - good thickness and carbonation make this go down smoothly.

Easy and smooth. One of my favorite American lagers.

Sam Adams Boston Lager is my Fall Back beer when I'm don't feel like takin a chance.

Photo of littlekidlover
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I remember the first radio commercials for Sam Adams when I was in highschool. Jim Koch talked about the revolution he was starting, fresh beer, beer made from better ingredients... This planted the seed that would soon become an obsession of mine. This was the first "real" beer I ever drank so I figured I would go back to it.

It pours a deep copper color with fairly substantial white head. You can smell flowery hops and carmely malt. There are well balanced spicy hop to malt ratio with a light to medium mouthfeel. This is a highly drinkable beer. I would have to put it on my list of desert island beers along with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and a few others.

Photo of johnnybgood1999
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A well balanced lager with nice hopiness. I would agree with the other posts that it has an impressive quality for such a mass produced, readily available beer. I would really like to try more of their beers, but here only the lager, cream stout, cherry wheat, and seasonal offerings are available, such as octoberfest, winter lager, summer ale, and I think that's it.

Photo of Mosstrooper
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz bottle into 19oz unbranded tulip pint glass. Freshness date: March 2009

Appearance: Tan amber color with medium-sized off-white head that dissipates quickly leaving some lacing.

Smell: Earthy and flowery with hop spiciness. Hints of pine, maybe?

Taste: Nutty, with a slight spiciness at the end and a bitter, toasty finish. Becomes sweeter as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium- bodied with a carbonation tingle that is very appetizing. Dry finish.

Drinkability: Samuel Adams' flagship beer is leaps and bounds ahead of other mass-produced American beers. Drinkable, but still full of flavor and highly enjoyable. Good hop flavor in a lager- especially one so common.

Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 12 oz bottle with a freshness date of March '09, poured into my trusty Sam Adams Boston Lager glass; the beer is sure to be twice as good now. Perfectly clear golden-amber in appearance, a steady stream of carbonation rising from the center. Two fingers of head rise from a vigorous pour, but eventually settle to a thin cap.

Smell: The first whiff reveals a pleasant mix of biscuit, toffee-like malt and a touch of noble hops. Floral aromatics appear as it warms, along with a touch of fresh peach. Exceptionally clean stuff.

Taste & mouthfeel: Opens with semi-sweet toasted malt flavors, flowery hops, citrus zest and hints of honey. Biscuity dryness takes over soon after, with fairly mild but pleasant bittering hops following. It's amusing to think that I found this beer intensely bitter only four years ago. An undertone of caramel appears mid-finish, balancing the bitterness to create a wonderfully smooth aftertaste. An exceptionally good session beer all in all, perfectly balanced but complex enough to remain interesting after a few pints.

Photo of matt062286
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Came as part of the Sam Adams Winter Sampler. Poured into a glass tankard from a 12oz bottle. Had the Boston Lager multiple times but decided to do a proper review.

Appearance - Gold with a touch of red. Decent head that is white with a gold hint to it. Maintains a minimal head while drinking, and a decent lacing to the glass.

Smell - Fruity hops and malt. The hops smell unlike any other that I have come across, they are delightful.

Taste - Initial taste of the hops then the aftertaste of the malt. The hops have a unique fruity flavor to them.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, moderate amount of carbonation (not overpowering but evident).

Drinkability - Could be a good session beer for some, although I'd rather have just one at a time. Probably one of the best beers in its class, but I find other Sam Adams beers to be better.

Photo of sevopie
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Golden amber in color with a slightly rocky off-white head.

Smell - Cereal grains with citric and caramel hints.

Taste - Again, rather cereal grainy in flavor, with the caramel taking a bit more precedent. A bit of hop bite on the end.

Mouthfeel - Somewhat oily with a good dose of carbonation.

Drinkability - The cereal grain taste starts to wear on your as you drink it, and the hop bite isn't as clean as it could be, but its not too bad for a lager.

Photo of BeerCon5
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with about 3/4 inch of light beige head.

The scent is of some doughy hopps and some spice.

The taste consists of roasty, bitter hopps, some light wheat, as well as some spice.

Light-bodied, crisp, very smooth feel, with good carbonation.

This is a very easy to drink beer. What I think is one of the better lagers out there.

Photo of jjanega08
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A= solid brown amber color with a small head that dissipates quickly
S= floral hops, little malt, and some buttery bread
T= you can taste the buttery bread right away and it stands predominant, then I noticed a nice mix of the hops and the malts
M= medium body with a medium carbonation. great feel
D= high, this is a great American lager, I really enjoy this one as an everyday beer. great balance and taste

Photo of DoctorDog
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours clear golden, with two fingers of off white head. Head fades gradually into a thin cap, leaving minimal traces of lacing.

S- Mild hops and bread dough/pizza crust. A bit of ambiguous spiciness detected initially, but faded/absent as the beer warms.

T- Crisp on the front, with a distinctly herbal slightly bitter/slightly astringent finish.

M- Medium carbonation. Slight tingle.

D- OK. The herbal coating is a bit beyond my preference, so I probably wouldn't prefer to have more than one or two.

Future outlook: Though I'm not wowed by this offering, as part of a solid Winter Classic mix pack, I'm sure that we'll meet again some sunny day....

Photo of TylerAddisonJ13
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Crystal clear amber color, with a 2-finger white head that seemed to dissipate rather quickly. Leaves decent lacing on the glass, however I would have desired a head that lasts a little longer.

S - A nice balanced smell. Not too sweet, not too strong. Fruity and floral, very nice.

T - Slight malt at first taste, but the bitterness of the hops kicks in and lingers. It's a subtle spice that seems to melt in your mouth. Well-balanced sweet/bitter ratio. I personally would prefer a little more sweetness/fruitiness, though.

M - Crisp, smooth, but full of character and substance.

D - An easy drink. Goes in easy, goes down easy. And leaves you wanting another.

Sam Adams Boston Lager is my "Go-To" beer. It's always good, always reliable.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed by Wisemen Nick and Justin.

Appearance: Pours light copper with 1.5 finger head that is both fluffy and sticky. Good lacing.

Smell: Crisp clove and corainder. Good malty body with lots of herbal and spices aromas.

Taste: Solid malt backbone with herbal/earthy tones throughout. Alcohol is detected, but barely.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and chewy, with a medium-light body, and a somewhat high carbonation.

Drinkability: Easy and smooth. Best American lager we've come across.

Photo of Biscuit033
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear golden orange witha two finger white heat with OK retention and very nice lacing.

S: Earthy, German hop nots with some graininess.

T: Earthy hops, and some slight caramel flavor.

M: Light to medium body, crisp and clean finish.

D: Easy to drink. Nothing wrong yet nothing outstanding. I never mind having a SA Lager.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A go-to beer of course when the bar has nothing else but BMC. I'm amazed I have not reviewed this yet but here we go:

I poured a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass. A nice polished bronze color, almost white head rises fast and hangs around. Really this is a nice looking beer. Lacing ensues.

Aroma is really centered around a beautiful yet subtle hop nose, a nice malt profile is behind this. Good balance all at a low, not in-your-face level. Taste is sweet with some malts, caramel and a nice earthiness. Nice hop profile. It does have a little bit of a bitter hop finish that lingers well into the double digit second range.

Nice medium bodied, fulfilling beer. It's nice to take a step back and appreciate this beer on a sip by sip basis, since most of the time I drink it by the pint and grumble that the bar has nothing better to offer. Perspective is everything, but this beer will always have a place in my house.

Photo of bonkers
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured my Boston Lager into my SA pint glass. An attractive beer, clear gold with a hint of auburn. There us decent head formation with lots of lacing. The aroma is heavy with grain notes. Boston Lager is a slightly sweet smooth beer with a clean finish. Boston Lager is light bodied and very sessionable.

Photo of roadhouse
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap in a 23 oz. glass. Appears orange-copper in color with a once inch off-white head that sinks down to a skim and eventually to a ring. Leaves a bit of lace. Aroma is mildly sweet caramel malts with a nice toasty character that seems similar to an Oktoberfest with a bit more hops in the background that are spicy and earthy. Taste has an initial sweetness that fades into the finish, but it blends with some toasty and nutty flavors before doing so. It finishes with some spicy hops. Mouthfeel is medium-light, crisp and drinkable. Good stuff for the style, very drinkable. Always a solid choice when there is nothing else but macros, Guinness, and Bass around.

Photo of abedenbaugh
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A:A nice clear amber color with a slightly off white head that has some staying power. The head lingers along the side of the glass leaving a little bit of lace behind.
S:At first there is a nice and mild hop aroma that pops into the nose. The hops might be of the noble varity, with a little bit of herbal coming through. Also some caramel is playing a little bit behind the hops.
T: At first there is a slightly sweet, malty flavor but it is quickly followed by the hops, who the beer seems balanced towards. It's not a hoppy beer by any means, but the flavor will be more dominate than the malt. There is a good deal of hop flavor in the middle which leads to a slight bit of bitterness in the finish.
MF: There is a medium mouthfeel with an average about of carbonation.
D: Overall, this is a great beer to sit back and drink. Luckly, this beer happens to be almost everywhere so if I'm in a bar with a poor beer choice then I can always at least hope they have this beer. It is very easy to drink. I love the amount of hops in it, not too much or too little.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 7,702 ratings.