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

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Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager

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8,022 Ratings

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Ratings: 8,022
Reviews: 2,552
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 119
Gots: 1,363 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-27-2001

Our original beer is full-flavored with a balance of malty sweetness contrasted by hop spiciness and a smooth finish.
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Ratings: 8,022 | Reviews: 2,552
Photo of davexisxrabid
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Sam Adams Sensory glass... Produced a clear amber color with lots of visible carbonation. A one inch white head topped it all off. Good retention and lacing during the drinking.

Clean malty/doughy aroma with a piney and slightly citrus hop aroma.

Taste is a clean crisp flavor similar to the malty aroma with a very slight hint of wheat immediately followed by a piney hop bite and a lingering bitterness.

Medium bodied brew, well carbonated, and the piney hop aftertaste remains on the palate for a while. If you like hops, I'm sure you would enjoy this more than me!

Good drinkability, it's easy enough to have a couple in a night although the hoppy aftertaste does get to me after maybe 2 or 3 beers. It's a good standby beer, nothing amazing, but a helluva lot better than a lot of other lagers out there.

Photo of Buschyfor3
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A: Pours an amber body which shows off glimmering golden and deeper amber-ruby highlights when held up to light. Glass produces a two finger thick, slightly rocky, creamy white head. I must say this glass produces the best head I've seen on Sam Adams beers; usually when I order a SABL at a restaurant (i.e. BW3) it is served in 23oz weizen or pilsner glasses and the head is smaller and dissipates quicker.

S: This beer releases a sweet, melted caramel aroma that blends with a bit of flowery hops and a zesty, mildly spicy character.

T: Much like the nose on this beer; upfront there is a wave of distinct caramel-like sweetness that is followed by a pleasant, sustaining hop bitterness. The malts provide a nice grainy balance to the caramel and hop notes. Aftertaste features some lingering hop bitterness while a milder, biscuit flavor rounds out the experience.

M: Goes down exceptionally smooth, accompanied by a nice wave of carbonation that lends a pleasant crispness to this beer.

D: Easily one of the best session beers around. You could easily enjoy 2 or 3 of these with a meal and then finish off another 2 or 3 relaxing afterwards.

SABL is my go-to craft when I'm eating out at restaurants that lack huge craft beer choices on tap. Nothing goes better with some Buffalo Wild Wings than a Boston Lager on draft. Thank you Sam Adams/Boston Beer Co. for introducing me to the beautiful world of American craft beer. I owe you one.

Photo of tj4288
3.16/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

decent beer, i prefer it on tap, (reviewed from notes) looks and smells about average, NOT a beer i would drink from a bottle, tasted much better on tap, in a glass, this is my favorite beer with spicy chicken wings. priced kind of high for what i think its worth, but overall one thumb up

Photo of Whiteweasel
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Old Review:
I should preface this by saying that I my particular tasting was a tad over the "brewery fresh" date, so I may not be getting the best impression.

A-Contrary to most other reviews, I found very little head when i poured this beer into the Seidel that I was drinking it from. Doesn't foam up like most other beers. However, it does have a nice colour. Markdown for the lack of head, but otherwise very pleasing dark amber colour. 3

S-Smelled roughly how it tasted, which I will get into 3

T-Was not a huge fan of this beer. I tried it because everyone I've met has had nothing but good things to say about it. Hops were unbalanced, and toasted flavour was too strong for my taste. Too bitter in my opinion 2

M-Was no different than many other beers I've tasted. Nice feel in the mouth; clear. 4

D-A bit too strong of a flavour for a session beer, and was much more difficult to get down than say, a Heffeweiss 2.5

Everyone seems to love this beer, so maybe you shouldn't listen to my opinion

New review:
Decided to give this beer a second go. I had a bad bottle back then, about a month over the brewery fresh date and I really didnt like hops. So now, with 43 beer reviews under my belt, I will be attempting to give it a fair retrial. Enjoyed out of a seidel and poured from a bottle best drank by May '10.

Appearance: Golden-brown with a ton of carbonation coming up gradually. Head is significant and long lasting and leaves a decent amount of lacing. Clear, yet with bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass. 3.5

Smell: Sweet, malty with a pretty significant trace of hops. Definitely has a certain yeastiness to it as well. Light and a little tangy. 4

Taste: Hoppy in a delightful way. Maltiness barely comes through, and sweetness is toned down from what I may have expected. Roasted flavour is balanced and not too harsh. Something I don't absolutely love about the immediate aftertaste; perhaps the roasted flavour isn't quite perfect or theres some sort of metallic taste. 4

Mouthfeel: Very carbonated and sizzly to the tongue. No alcohol and not an incredible aftertaste 3

Drinkability: Very easy to drink. Delicious and light enought to enjoy a large amount of. 4.5

Photo of steanu
4.83/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-It looks beautiful when poured into a glass.

S-It's got a nice hoppy smell to it!

T-It's got a nice kick w/ the hops to it. It's like a creamy lager beer. It just tastes wonderful.

M-It leave an aftertaste but not a harsh one.

D-It's Samuel Adams' classic brew and it is a fine one.

I have to say if Samuel Adams makes it then I want to have it. I have not tried one beer from them that I didn't enjoy. Everything I had was gold from them. I recommend this beer.

Photo of Epicedion
4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: This is one of the prettiest lagers you can find. Dark gold to amber with significant head and lacing. It's something you just don't usually see in commonly available lagers.

S: Surprisingly yeasty. Grains. Floral hops and a sweet, citrusy twang. Again, something very uncommon in a normal lager.

T: There's a slight malty sweetness that's quickly overcome with a strong, but very palatable hops bitterness. I'm never disappointed by the way this beer tastes.

M: Smooth, crisp, tingly. Medium. Pleasantly long finish, usually cut short with another swallow.

D: With the moderate amount of alcohol, and the above factors, I can drink this one after the other after the other.

It's a sessionable, tasty, inexpensive beer that you can get all the time and just about anywhere. Often the best beer you'll find on-tap in a chain restaurant, and great with all sorts of food. This is really one of the best lagers on the market, and it definitely deserves high marks.

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

From Notes:

P: 23oz glass at Buffalo Wild Wings

A: Crystal clear dark amber color with a big white head that had good retention and lacing.

S: The nose is malty, estery, fruity, hopy, floraly, earthy and citrus. While the grammar is bad, the complexity of the smell is good.

T&M: Hate to take the quick and easy road, but this beer, tastes very similar to its smell. This is a very complex brew, that has the right amount of malt and hops too make it a well balance beer. The body is moderate with a good amount of carbonation; yes yes the tiny bubbles of golden goodness.

D: I want to call this a good session beer, but I can not. Its depth and complexity make it a little too much for this purpose; while it is very drinkable at first the rich flavor tends to overwhelm the tastes buds after a few.

N: this is the beer I drink when I go to places that do not have a good beer selection. Boston Lager is a mainstay in almost every place that serves beer, either on tap or in a bottle. The cornerstone of the American beer revolution!

Photo of nighthawk
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355mL bottle with best before notched into label poured into flute glass.

Pours a clear amber with lots of carbonation visible. Head is tightly bubbled and generous at first, but soon dissipates to a thin haze. Plenty of lacing left though.

Aroma is sweet, with some yeast and grains, and a nice dose of flowery hops.

Taste is a nice mix of sweet and spicy: sweet grains and caramel up front turn to a mildly spicy hop flavour. Finish is grainy, sweet, and lightly bitter.

Mouthfeel is a little sticky, medium body that borders on creamy. Carbonation is mild, but pleasantly so.

Finally got my hands on this classic. It may not be the best beer around, but it's worth trying as a piece of craft brewing history. Would session it if they bring it back to my neck of the woods (and keep it cheap).

Photo of cnally
4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

did you know you could live on beer alone? and if you had to, I don't think there would be much a better option, day in and day out, than this one.

a fantastic head, fluffy and barely off white, sits on the majestic copper amber beer with some carbonation bubbles coming through.

yeasty, grainy scent...sweet as well.

oh man, the flavor...this a a great 'plain vanilla lager' because it has the crisp grain flavor, balanced with a slight hop bitterness, and I do mean slight, and the sweetness just drives me crazy.

creamy feel...just good.

the most drinkable beer in the world. imo, of course.

Photo of donmonkey1
4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Beautiful amber, great head, good carbonation, no room for improvement

Smell: sweet, nutty, hint of molasses, a touch of floral pine

Taste: sweet floral pine, malty with a nice
helping of hops; sweet floral bitter

There's a lot of real taste here. It's a fine beer that isn't as easy to drink as a lot of the weak crap.

Photo of rwrk42
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden color with a nice frothy head which sticks nicely to the glass

Smell: Malts, caramel, citrus/floral hops. Very nice aroma

Taste: Smooth with a nice malt taste, some caramel followed and finished with a nice hop bitterness.

A very good brew which I always have in the fridge.

Photo of drtth
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: Pours out a clear dark amber gold with 1" thick white head that begins to recede leaving behind a layer of form on the glass with patches of lacing. Sipping leaves a find pattern of lacing on the sides of the glass while the ring of foam gets quite small and a patchy layer of foam covers the liquid. This disappears long before the beer is gone

Smell: The clean fresh aroma is of sweet malt and gentle floral/herbal hops.

Taste: My first impression of the flavor is that it contains light rich caramel sweetness from the malt. The malt taste is then followed and balanced by a light bitterness from the hops.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with weak carbonation. The finish is medium long with a clean dry lightly bittered finish.

Drinkability: This is definitely a drinkable beer and one that I could drink several of in a sitting and that I will return to periodically.

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

A 12 ounce bottle poured into my Samuel Adams shaker glass. Appears a clear rich amber color with around an inch of full creamy bone white foam. A very nice looking pour. Smells and tastes of sweet, caramelized malts, toasted grains, floral hops, light citrus fruit notes, and bread. A notch above medium bodied with ample carbonation for the style.

Photo of Poormon79
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Golden to amber look. Thin white head.

S. Has that hint of hops. Little malt coming through

T. Pretty solid tasting Lager. Pretty good balence of malt and hops

M. Pretty decent carbonation. Sticky taste. Pleasent though

D. Very drinkable. Refreshing pleasent beer

Final thoughts: Very decent beer. I enjoyed it very much. Would recommend to any lager fan

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

Ok...I got this Boston Lager at the Wine Garden in Blackfoot, Idaho; I think it was axp. $1.50/bottle. It's a good beer. Aren't they all good beers? That was a rhetorical question...no...they AIN't all good, which is really just plain unfortunate. Ok...This baby looks good. Lots'a big white fluffy head. Nice light brown body w/ crisp and cleat looking. Drinks good. This is a good "lawnmower" lager. Cheers!

Photo of unclejimbay
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sam Adams Lager, Style: Vienna Lager
4.9% ABV, cals = 170 p12os
Re-reviewed 5/6/09 @ Rick's
A 4.0 - warm amber in color, respectable head and retention
S 4.0 - hops notes upfront, malt notes make their presence known
T 4.5 - hops upfront on palate followed by a malt foundation as appropriate. Slightly bitter finish to result in a very balanced but semi hoppy brew.
MF 4.0 - medium body and medium carbo
D 4.5 - Seems right on to style description. After a few more review/tastings, I have really grown to like this brew. It delivers a nice hop jab when you are in a mellow mood and prefer to avoid the hop punch!

Photo of skeeordye11
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pale golden with a thin white head.
S- Sweet malt with a hint of hops. The vienna malt is noticeable.
T- Malty sweetness up front with a nice hop finish. The vienna malt is quite apparent.
M- Thin but refreshing.
D- Extrememly drinkiable. Very good session beer.

Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of Sam Adams Summer Pack.

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Summit Pint Glass.

Appearance: Shifts from amber to gold, depending on the lighting. Only a small head but nice lacing.

Smell: Fruity and toasted malts with slight hop undertones.

Taste: This is a full flavored, perfectly balanced lager. Toasted malts in the beginning which are quickly countered by noble hops. Ends somewhat bitter.

Feel: Medium to high carbonation, with a medium body and semi-dry finish.

Drinkability: Very, very sessionable. No wonder it became so popular.

This was one of the first beers I enjoyed along with Bass (still like it but not as much) and Pete's Wicked Ale (which has been ruined). However, I still enjoy this beer a lot, and actually don't get upset that it is ALWAYS included in every Sam Adams sampler. This is usually my fall back beer in non-beer-centric restaurants and in airports. And you know what, I am always happy to have it.

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

This is the beer that got many of us started. It is more often than not, the only craft alternative we have at a bar. For those reasons alone, Sam Adams is worthy of our praise...but this beer can stand by itself.
Pours a nice clear amber with a big foamy head that laces quite nicely.
The smell is floral and citrus hops with some minor maltage in the back.
The taste is the same, not overwhelming, but flavorful to say the least.
The mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing, which leads to a nice drinkability. I have had this beer on many many occasions and will certainly be having it on many more.

Photo of jkbusman
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - clear ruddy amber with a decent off-white head that left some lacing on the glass

S - strong piney hops aroma with a little bit of toasted malt coming through

T: a beautifully balanced lager with a sweet toasty malt presence to match the hops; nice clean, somewhat bitter finish

M: medium amount of carbonation with a light-medium light body

D: easily on my favorite widely available domestic lager; very drinkable and refreshing; the beer that made BBC famous

Photo of Oahu
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer that made the BBC famous. Definitely not the first I've had.

A) Bright and sparkly. More pilsner than pale ale, just enough amber in there to recall Jurassic Park.

S) Pine, Acorns, earthiness. In a nutshell, I guess it smells like a tree. I'll leaf it at that.

T) Malty with nuttiness and a hop infused background. Kinda empty in the middle like a Jerry Bruckheimer film.

M) Resilient. Coats and stays.

D) Good. I can see having three of these. Not quite a session beer, but there's a reason these are sold in cases.

Photo of Gyle41386
3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsener glass.

Pours an orange amber with a huge off-white head. Good retention, eventually leaves rocky foam icebergs in the glass. Good lacing.

Very average nose. Sweet and malty, maybe some hints of earthy hops. Bland, really.

Flavor is dominated by toasted bready malt. Starts out sweet, then a little hop bitterness in the finish.

Light body...thin texture. Probably over-carbonated for my tastes. This beer just isn't keeping me interested.

Photo of Oxymoron
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's sad that I haven't had this beer in a long while. But at the airport this was the best option available. So, pours a crystal clear darker amber color with a off white head. Good retention but did hide to the edge of the glass. Good lacing through the entire tasting as well.

The nose is malty with a bit of complexity, but very distinct as well. More along the lines of an American Brown, there are some noticeable chocolate notes that blend cleanly with the malt. Some lighter melanodian malt notes as well. The yeast has lightly ester with some pears and plums but is still very clean and having a lager-esk cleanliness about it. The hops really come out, being more on line with an American Brown, but come floral, earthy and citrus notes are there.

The taste is similar. The malt is a bit more defined and not as complex, but still represented. The chocolate backs off a bit but still is there. Some toasty and biscuit like notes giving more of a bread flavor. The yeast is very clean but does leave some fruity notes in there. A light apricot, plum and fig note. Not big but there. The hops are mostly finishing hops. Some minor bittering but a more Pale Ale-esk taste with a mix earthy, spicy and floral hop note. Some chalky notes in the finish but clean.

The body is moderate and very easy drinking. Almost a session beer with more depth. The carbonation is good. The feel just has a more American Brown or Pale Ale feel with the fruit and hops to be really called a lager. Overall, this is a good gateway beer for new beer enthusiasts. A bit over showed or forgotten for the old school guys, but I am glad I can come back and review staples of the past.

Photo of yael6666
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A:very complex for a vienna, amber and golden color, with a very good sprinkiling head that last long.

S:floral hints and caramel

T:caramel and a perfectly well balanced bitter spicy hops, and some hopes again for the afertaste.

It goes down very well, a very pleasant surprise for being a USA lager... but hey Jim Koch knows what he´s doing...
Sam Adams is amazing me in each beer i try... its quality guarantee

Photo of Magpie14
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: soft golds and orange-yellow throughout, many bubbles. Has a nice off white sudsy cap with globs, chunks, and rocky formations on top and strips of film clinging to the glass

S: caramel, pale malts, and grassy green hops. Aroma is nice and favors the hops

T: a biscuit malt character at the backbone with a few pieces of chewy caramel. Hops pull at earthy and grassy notes with a drier spiced finish. I can also taste fruity orange peels sweetening things up. Flavors are overall balanced and easy to drink

M: numerous soft bubbles that lead to creamy and a glassy type feel. Assertively caramelized with tangy hops in the finish

D: not bad. It has been ages since I have had a Boston Lager and I find myself enjoying it

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Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 8,022 ratings.