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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.

7,349 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,349
Reviews: 2,440
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 72
Gots: 767 | 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: 7,349 | Reviews: 2,440 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of trevorwideman
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a plastic cup. Thank you Amtrak.

Caramel coloured brew, 1/4 inch of head leaving a little lace. Carbonation is mild from what I can see through my plastic cup. Floral/caramel sweetness mixed with a grassy and floral noble hop aroma. A bit of biscuity Vienna malt to back it up as well. Nice and clean.

Taste is of light caramel with a bit of green apple crisp tartness. Grass and hay and earth from the nobles round things off nicely. Again, very clean and enjoyable. Mouth is lightly dry and carbonation is medium. Medium light body, fairly soft.Very drinkable, uncomplex, and clean, just what the style dictates. Enjoyable brew.

trevorwideman, Aug 04, 2007
Photo of BWMKappaSig
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - A clear gold-copper color with a thin white head.

Smell - A clean, lightly-toasted, maltiness with a hint of hops.

Taste - Very well balanced malt and hops with the slightest bit of bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium light mouthfeel. Crisp, clean, and finishes slightly dry.

Drinkability - Exceptionally drinkable, makes for a great session beer or a good beer to swig down with dinner.

Boston Lager really is an amazing mix of good flavor and drinkability for what is essentially a macro beer.

BWMKappaSig, Aug 02, 2007
Photo of biggmike
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had to come back and re-rate this. Poured amber with nice creamy head that it held for a while. Aroma of hops is immediately evident. Hops evident in taste as well. Good American Lager not like most American pale lager. Very drinkable. Just got it for 6.69/six-pack.

biggmike, Jul 29, 2007
Photo of Cresant
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a six-pack of this after receiving my Sam Adams glasses in the mail (sadly one was broken). I poured the 12 oz. brown bottle into the specially/specifically designed SABL glass. Best by 11/07.The body was a clear, rich golden color. The chunky head was more than two fingers tall and creamy white. The head left faint lacing down the glass. (The glass is very ergonomic and fun to drink from).

Smell was of clean grainy malts. There was a floral, earthy noble hops aroma. Very appetizing.

Taste was nicely balanced with malty sweetness evident first and then a crisp hops bitterness. The bitterness is not quite piney yet earthy and mildly pungent.Flavorful but somewhat understated. I liked this more than I remembered.

Mouthfeel was medium in body with a snappy zip of carbonation.

Cresant, Jul 28, 2007
Photo of wcdoyle
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold, trending toward (reddish) copper. Starts off with a dense, off-white one-inch head. This dropped down to about an eighth inch, but never went away. Great lacing. Nice signs of carbonation edging up from the bottom of the glass that kept chugging along even after a few minutes. In fact, they were still slipping up at the bottom of the glass. [N.B. This is without the new Sam Adams glass.] Smells initially of peach and caramel together (the fruit is light) with some hops backing up. Sweetness (but not oversweet) in the taste comes off like a combination of vanilla and light brown sugar. Hops fill in toward the end and in the aftertaste. Great creaminess to this and moderate carbonation. Very drinkable. While I’ve enjoyed Sam Adams for a while, I’ve never actually reviewed the Boston Lager until now. Two things strike me: first, it’s good to remind myself that lagers can have a depth of flavor (macro-lagers do lagers a disservice). Second, it’s nice to see that Sam Adams’ flagship brew is still a worthwhile beer.

wcdoyle, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of jcdiflorio
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the new SA glass from my draft system. Reviewed in bottle,but not draft wanted to try in the new glass that it was made for. Happen to have it on tap when the new glass arrived.

Very creamy slightly off-white head with very good retention leaving some thick lace curtians down the glass. Medium amber/copper color very clear. Constiant streams of carbination rising from the center of the glass,but not knitted together.

Very spicy aroma cinnamon/nutmeg like,minty,slightly buttery.woody and floral with a slight bit of sweet carmell malt.

Woody earthy taste comes across first,spicy not a spicy as you would think from the aroma. Clean,tangy very well balanced. Very toasty,slightly nutty with some bittersweet carmell notes. Leave somewhat of a tart taste lingering. Very good pleasing taste.

Light to medium body,creamy,grainy and slightly cloying. Very drinkable seems to please everybody,just a bit filling but it takes quite a few for me to reach that point. Classic beer must try tastes a lot different on tap than from the bottle try both see what you think.

jcdiflorio, Jul 26, 2007
Photo of jmalex
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sadly I've had other beers in my new Sam Adams glass before this one, but I'm excited for the chance to have the beer that this glass was made for.

APPEARANCE: Pours a crystal clear pale amber with very slight red tones to it. The white head is small and drops to a patch of haze across the surface of the beer. Small carbonation bubbles ascend from the strategically placed etching at the bottom of the glass constantly keeping some form of bubblage happening.

SMELL: Very clean with a strong toasty element to it. A bit of sweet malt shines through, as does a hint of European hops.

TASTE: The flavor is initially a tad empty and possesses just a sharp bitterness to it, but it mellows out quickly and a sweet toasted flavor prevails. Hops show for just a split second on the finish before becoming quite clean.

MOUTHFEEL: Light to medium-light and appropriately so. Carbonation is at moderate levels and is close to where it should be.

DRINKABILITY: A nice easy drinker. I don't think I need to tell you that one could be drinking these all night long with no problem.

A fine lager and a fitting flagship beer. This shows that the Boston Beer Company produces some quality brews and is certainly no macro brewery.

jmalex, Jul 23, 2007
Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A. Thick, long lasting head on top of a bright golden amber color.

S. Malty up front with earthy accents.

T. Malty with hop bitterness to keep it in check.Light citrus flavor comes in the aftertaste.

M. Pretty smooth with a good carbonation level.

D. Good flavor and mouthfeel make this a good drink. It's also easy to come by and can be available on tap in less than suitable bars.

BeerAndBourbon, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of jayfarley3
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

from a 12oz bottle poured a light golden amber color with a frothy off white head that retained itself fairly well.

has a sweet bready malty and slightly hoppy aroma.

a great tasting beer, it has a nice malty sweet flavor with a good balance of bitterness.

mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation, this beer goes down silky smooth, a very refreshing brew.

this is a great beer that is reasonably priced that you can get virtually anywhere.

jayfarley3, Jul 21, 2007
Photo of neonbrown82
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

After being surprised to find two of the new Sam Adams pint glasses at my doorstep, I figured I owed it to Jim Koch to pick up some of his beer. After not being impressed by any other Sam Adams brews, I was quite surprised to find how much I really enjoy this one. The free glassware surely doesn't hurt my impression either, however.

The beer pours into my Sam Adams pint to a clear golden amber color with a nice active carbonation spitting forth from the laser etched bottom. Great looking head with a decent retention. Very nice lacing.

The smell is good. Has a clean lager aroma with a good dose of hallertauer hops. Nice soft malt profile.

The taste is very good as well, and on par with the nose. Clean pilsener malt taste with hints of other light biscuity German malts. Very crisp and clean. Plenty of hops flavor in the finish with a light refreshing bitterness.

The body is fairly thin and dry. Crisply carbonated. Very easy drinking. I'll be picking this up much more often when I am looking for a session beer. I can't quite comment on how much this glass really improves the beer since this is my first time trying it, but I still love the glass, whether or not it truly does what it is intended to do. Thanks again, Mr. Koch.

neonbrown82, Jul 20, 2007
Photo of cjhofelt
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Copper color and clear, nice creamy head, good lacing.

Smell is dominated by malt with just a hint of the hops

It tastes very good. Malty up front and not overly sweet. More of the hops in the finish, but still some malt sweetness there too.

The mouthfeel is a bit fizzy, but not bad.

I like this beer and I could drink a lot of it. I do think it's a tad pricey, though, and that's why I don't.

cjhofelt, Jul 20, 2007
Photo of Atlas1
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got one of those cool new Sam Adams crazy glasses the other day and I just HAD to put it to use on the Boston Lager. Thank you, Jim Koch and BA people for providing me with a free new crazy glass.

Pours a bright orange/amber color with a slightly off-white lacey head. It's been a while since I've had a Boston Lager and I just didn't remember the beer looking this pretty before. Maybe it just looks good because it's in one of those crazy Boston Lager glasses. Who knows? But I do see the steady stream of carbonation bubbling up from the laser-etched circle on the bottom of the glass, so that's cool. The nose on this beer is smooth and malty; a richer aroma than I remembered as well. Lightly earthen fruit esters emerge, but the rich caramel malt scent is dominant here. Damn, maybe this glass really does work, because this is a very nice scent. It tastes slightly malt-sweet up front, with an herbal quality to it, and finishes with a lingering hoppy bitterness. Not a bad flavor at all, but then again the Boston Lager has always been dependable. Nice sturdy mouthfeel.

Admittedly, this beer has never been my favorite, but it's always been a solid and reliable alternative to the macros and many other inferior craft beers on the market. It's available everywhere these days, which is probably why I don't drink it much, but I'll be glad to give her a go every now and then in the future simply because I have this funky new glass to pour it into. That's some crafty salesmanship right there, it is. But for a solid beer like this, what's wrong with that?

Atlas1, Jul 18, 2007
Photo of EPseja
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle at just below cellar temperature in my brand-new Samuel Adams Boston Lager Beer Glass, engineered especially for this beer. I've had this beer countless times in the past and know it quite well. It will be interesting to see if this glass actually adds new aspects in which to indulge...

A - Pours picture perfectly with liquid up to the blue rim and with a beautiful, pillowy head that actually rises above the lip of the glass. The varying thickness of the glass makes for different coloring at different points -- rich, sunny honey at the bottom changing in gradient fashion to a bright, fire-kissed copper-gold at the top. Lacing is craggy and tenacious, and the etching on the bottom of the glass keeps the surface of the beer completely obscured by the ever-replenishing head. With a proper tip of the hat for as assist from the glass, this beer looks especially beautiful, but because it's the glass that helped, I can not award the perfect 5.0.

S - The first thing that comes to mind is warm biscuits. The malts are especially evident up front. Not far behind is a crisp, punchy hoppiness that is neither citrusy or piney, but slightly earthy, green and dry. Very European. Notes of woodiness and hints of leather. Never picked out those "old" notes before... Interesting and inviting.

T - Candy like maltiness up front -- honey-like notes and a slight toasty character, with a great balance of hoppy bite and bitterness coming in the middle. The hops are not especially aggressive, but existant in a way that keeps the bold malts in place. The sweetness falls off quickly during the swallow, and what's left is a bready, biscuity aftertaste with floral nuances. Alcohol is well supressed. Fiercely balanced, if that dichotomy makes any sense.

M - Not watery, not thick, but well developed in texture. A quick hit of aggressive tingle is replaced by a tickle of fading carbonation as it moves through the mouth and becomes frothy and mouth-filling. Swallow is full of nice body, without gassiness.

D - I've said it once and I'll say it again now -- this beer is the A-number-one go-to beer to always have on hand for both yourself, and anyone else who is ready to enter into the world of full-flavored beers. My wife was a Heineken disciple until she met me, and I served her her first Sam Adams Boston Lager. Today, she won't touch Heineken with a 10-foot pole.

This beer is super drinkable, with enough character to set it squarely apart from others, while remaining surprisingly accessible, despite the high-quality of ingredients and the not-so-mainstream style.

ADDENDUM: The one place where this glass really made a difference was in appearance. Secondly, it was very comfortable to drink from. The effect it has on smell is not really noticeable until the beer drops well into the bowl area, where the aroma becomes more concentrated. Nice glass!

EPseja, Jul 18, 2007
Photo of CharlieMopps
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a transparent amber/burnt orange, with about two fingers of fluffy head that displays above average retention, leaving behind a web of lace down the sides of the glass.

S: A whiff of breadiness and some malt presence, with a backing note of hops.

T: Malts come out up front, flavorful but not overpowering. A pleasing hoppiness comes next, but washes over the palate smoothly. Aftertaste is a clinging hop feel.

M: Carbonation is at an agreeable level, with only a slight oiliness from the hops.

D: A tasty Vienna lager, with more zest than others of its ilk, which proves to be standout and delicious. I'm glad this is a more common option for many American beer drinkers, as it certainly dwarfs the macro lager offerings.

CharlieMopps, Jul 15, 2007
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Continuing with the summer mix pack with this nice lager, 12oz bottle poured into snifter (thought I'd let this one breathe) best before October freshness date.

A: Real nice looking the best of the bunch for this mixed pack so far. Pours a clear brownish orange with a two finger bone white head the fades into a thin cap with nice lacing even on the snifter.

S: Quite nice with a buttery apple sweetness with hints of orange peel floral hop character and a great malt backbone, very inviting I think my mouth is watering.

T/MF: Pretty smooth sweet and slick as expected with a nice hop bite down the center of the tongue. Tastes of apples upfront with buttered cracker on the end, more hops than I would expect for a lager and the apples last through the finish, it's a little hard to pick the malts out of this one as compared to other lagers I've tried Bergoff to be precise, the hops seem more active here. The mouthfeel is quite nice with carbonation active from the front to the back of the mouth, spreading flavor all over the pallate.

D: Quite drinkable and an easy pickup when nothing else is around, not mindblowing or tasty as other lagers but very solid notheless.

bluemoonswoon, Jul 11, 2007
Photo of KevinB
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One of the classics at this point, like many others this was one of the first micros I had back in the day. Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Nice erythrean orange, golden body with a foamy 2 finger white head. Light steady lacing throughout the glass. Pretty solid malt and hops aroma, nice balance between the two. Taste is also a nice balance between hops and caramel malts, resulting in a rich flavor for a some what light ,medium bodied beer. Mouthfeel was pleasant, medium carbonation, pretty clean feel and a tad of dryness in the end. Overall a very good beer and a fail safe option.

KevinB, Jul 11, 2007
Photo of giblet
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i enjoyed this lager yesterday. nice body, nice carbonation but a little less lace than i expected. not as much smell as i like but it is a lighter style of lager.

this is a very good beer. i would recomend it as a much superior option to the macro beers that everyone buys.

good choice as is most of their offerings.

suckem up and movem out!


giblet, Jul 09, 2007
Photo of kwakwhore
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear orange/gold pour with a nice white head which leaves a nice amount of lacing on the glass. Floral hops in the aroma. Nearly perfect balance of hop bitterness and biscuit malt flavors, some sweetness in the malt too. I've had this beer so many times that it's hard to separate the occasions, but this is a consistently good beer. Easy to find, easy to drink, the perfect session beer in the good old US and A. I haven't had another Vienna Lager(including a couple in Vienna) that measures up to it in any respect.

kwakwhore, Jul 01, 2007
Photo of khiasmus
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had this for the first time in a while at a local steakhouse, and was amazed by how good it was.

A- Pours perfectly clear with two fingers of fluffy white head. Bubbles constantly, and leaves a beautiful lacing down the sides.

S- Malty, balanced by american hops, but both are very evident and well-done. No off notes, just a good, balanced aroma.

T- Once again, a well-balanced, basic beer. The balance is a bit towards the malt in the flavor, and a hint of pine and hops in the finish.

M- Smooth, medium-high carbonation, clean, with a hint of dryness in the finish.

D- Of course. It's cheap, available everywhere, and quite good. Order this next time you go out for a steak. It's not disappointing.

khiasmus, Jun 28, 2007
Photo of williamherbert
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The bottle pours a light and relatively clear copper color. Lots of little bubbles of carbonation. There is a minor rocky head that disappears pretty quickly. There is a slight haze in the glass, possibly because it's straight out of the fridge. Only a bit of lace.

The beer has a nice "wet" malt aroma; slightly sweet and even a little fruity. In fact, it has the sweet fruity tones of an ale. Doesn't have any of the bitter smell of many lagers.

The malt is much more bitter in the taste than in the smell. The flavor retains the flowery part, which must be the hops (and the only trace of hops at that). Has a taste more like an ale. Slightly bitter aftertaste.

It feels thick like an ale, but with that ever-so-slight lager "sting" at the end. I must say, it's a very competent macro lager. It really does drink more like a thicker ale. Not bad.

williamherbert, Jun 28, 2007
Photo of eberkman
4.4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Well, I've had God knows how many of these in my lifetime, but I never got around to reviewing it. And with so much else available, I rarely order one of these anymore -- basically I drink it if it's the best option at a party, bar or restaurant. Which is too bad, because it's really much better than that, as I realize everytime I actually have one.

Anyway, it pours a nice, clean, clear orange-gold with a short but substantial white head. Not much head retention, but just enough. Smells are biscuity, malty, yeasty with some hoppy notes at the back end. The taste matches the smell very nicely -- lots of earthy, bready maltiness balanced out very well by pleasant but not overpowering hops. The mouthfeel is crisp with some bite. Extreordinarily drinkable. Probably -- along with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale -- the ultimate American go-to session beer. Certainly the most sessionable lager I can think of, though Brooklyn can give it a nice run for the money.

I should really come back to this one more often. Definitely a classic. And hey, why not support the "locals" (though that would be more rock-solid if I actually had any ties to Cincinnati).

eberkman, Jun 26, 2007
Photo of Stephen63
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Looks like amber nectar!

S - Pleasantly sweet with candy like aroma.

T - The sweetness was very apparent and welcome. Toffee/caramel flavour was dominant.

M - Very pleasing level of carbonation.

D - Extremely easy to drink and could spend an evening drinking this.

Got this at the TGI Fridays in Glasgow. Apart from this the beer list was one which would have you drinking water with your meal, but this was a very pleasant surprise. A fine brew and probably the best lager I have tasted.

Stephen63, Jun 24, 2007
Photo of NCSUdo
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at RDU airport, waiting for a flight to Austin, TX. Had it before but first time I decided to take notes.

A: Small head, little lacing, clear amber in color. Nice looking for a well known domestic produced lager.

S: Sweet malty nose, bitter hop character with a definite citrus undertone.

T: Crisp maltiness. Huge malt up front, bitter hop finish, slight cereal taste.

M/D: Good mouthfeel, carbonation just right. Crisp and semi-dry, fair drinkablity. Light bodied, good beer to have a simple or complex meal. Definite session quality.

This beer is usually hit or miss with me, but it is almost always the best thing available at most resturaunts in the area.

NCSUdo, Jun 24, 2007
Photo of McStagger
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mmm...Sam Adams. Always a good choice, right? Let's review the ole standard; Boston Lager.

A: Pours out a light amber with hints of burnt orange. Creamy off white head. Excellent retention and great lacing of the head.

S: Favor fairly erupts from the glass. Very prevalent hops are the first thing noticed. Further smells reveal hints of slightly sweetened grain.

T: Beer is still fairly hop oriented. However, the hops are muted in the tasting. Slightly sweet, slightly cloying grain and toasted sugar can be detected on the finish, with the hops returning in a roasted fashion after the mouthful of beer has been drunk.

M: Beer has a creamy beginning that turns into a nice carbonation on the mid-palate that is accentuated by the hops. Excellent texture.

D: While I'm not a huge hop-head, this beer has an excellent balance between hops, toastiness and cream. The cream makes it easy on the palate, while the hops give it enough backbone to stick up to a bar filled with cigarette smoke.

McStagger, Jun 19, 2007
Photo of nullforge
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber color with a foamy white head that collapses to a thin cover that retains well. The head has some lacing with a respectable stickiness to it. The nose contains gently toasted caramel malt and floral hops. A very sweet and inviting aroma. The taste offers sweet malt with some caramel notes. This is well balanced by a hop bitterness that is both floral and spicy. The body is medium-light. The strong carbonation creates a smooth, slightly silky mouthfeel.

This is a great every day beer. Its simple enough to be inoffensive, with just enough malt and hops to keep it interesting.

nullforge, Jun 18, 2007
Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 7,349 ratings.