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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.

7,413 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,413
Reviews: 2,443
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 73
Gots: 800 | 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: 7,413 | Reviews: 2,443 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I’ve had this beer on-tap at several places and have finally decided to officially write a review on it.

A: Pours to a deep gold with a thick, foamy white head, which fades slowly and leaves a thick lace.

S: The aroma is hoppy but not overpowering with little bit malt and alcohol.

T: The taste has the robust hops intensity of an IPA but a very different flavor, a little more floral and a just little bit breadier than that style. Leaves a nice bitter hop after-taste too.

M: Very crisp and smooth, medium body and medium-to-high carbonation.

D: Flavorful and not-to-filling, goes down easy and is the type of beer you want to just keep throwing down.

Around here, most places have this beer as the only alternative to macros (if they have one at all) and it definitely seems to be to me the perfect transition from macro to micro, which is what has made Boston Beer Co. what it is today.

TheManiacalOne, Mar 30, 2006
Photo of Tupperwolf
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I'm always incredibly impressed with the appearance of this beer when poured into a properly clean glass. I mean, really impressed. That doesn't happen very often with any lager. This pours a perfectly toned amber chock full of small, energetic bubbles and a thick, tall, fat, chunky,mountainous, incredible head. I mean, a lot of beers claim good retention - this one wrote the book on head retention. Every single time I drink it, bottle after bottle, the head is the last thing that I tip into my mouth because there's always at least a half inch left when I get to the bottom. And the lacing? Don't get me started. It looks like styrofoam plastered to the glass in rings of incredible thickness - up to 1/4" thick, hanging like white pumice.

Big ol' caramel malts, soft beery alcohol, and grassy hops - it's basic, but so complex in smell. A beer lover's session beer.

Caramel, grassy hops. Boom-boom. Again, so much more complex than I can describe; It's thick, rich, but incredibly easy to drink and satisfying.

Round, cool, a little grainy, but just the right consistency. It's full, but easy to drink, never filling; Just a little bitter on the back end, enough to make you crave the next sip.

It's all about the gulp! It seems like whenever I buy a six-pack of this it's all gone within 2-3 hours. Low enough alcohol to session, way enough flavor to session. Perfect.

Tupperwolf, Mar 30, 2006
Photo of ericj551
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I think this beer is underappreciated but its really grown on me. In my pre BA days (or wanna be BA days) I thought it was too bitter, but now I recognize how balanced and delicious. It pours a golden copper with a nice healthy head and lacing. The aroma is slightly toasted bready malt with spicyhops in the background. The taste is a great balance between the bitter hops and slightly fruity maltiness backing it up. This is a great go to beer when the only other options are BMC.

ericj551, Mar 20, 2006
Photo of mattcrill
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Believe it or not, in two years of beer advocacy I have yet to sample the bottled version of this. Time to make amends for that. This was part of the winter sampler pack.

Label indicates that for brewery fresh taste I should enjoy by March (sample 12Mar06).

Aroma: Nice biscuity aroma, wheat crackers, a little bit of yeastiness in the background. Very inviting.

Appearance: Honey golden color fading to amber in the middle, crystal clear, with a tight off white head that retains throughout the session.

Flavor: Strong bready and biscuit notes dominate the palate with just a bit of carmel sweetness before the dry finish. As the beer warms I do pick up a slight noble hop bitterness which is very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with strong carbonation presence. A clean and cool finish on the palate.

Overall impression: An American classic. Hard to find any flaws with this one. Not my favorite style but very approachable. A good place for people to start. Recommended.

mattcrill, Mar 12, 2006
Photo of CaskofFlyingDog
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Caramel brown w/med. head.
Smell: sour and hops
Taste: dark bitter caramel with crisp hoppiness
Mouthfeel: slightly sticky, med. thickness, clean
I could drink a good amount of these and still really enjoy them. It's a beer that's everywhere I'm more than proud to drink!

CaskofFlyingDog, Mar 06, 2006
Photo of JWFokker
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a stein, it's a good looking beer. It's a crystal clear, coppery brew with a nice eggshell white head. Lacing could be better, but it's a very good looking lager anyway. The smell is nice, a mild malt and hop aroma. It could have a bit stronger nose, but it's pleasant nonetheless. The flavor is quite good. It's an excellent balance of hops and lightly roasted malt. It's a close call whether there's more malt or more hop flavor. All in all, it's a very nice, well balanced lager. The Boston Lager is a very easy to drink beer. A very solid session beer by any standard.

JWFokker, Mar 06, 2006
Photo of BurnsTau
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium-deep amber with a medium amount of head that laces well.

The hops are apparent in the smell, which was surprising to me, I wasn't expecting much of a hop profile in this beer.

The taste was also a surprise. I'll be honest, with my previous experiences in the American lager I wasn't expecting much from this, but I was very pleasantly surprised. The hops are very tasty but not too aparent. It's still a refreshing beer which isn't too heavy. Overall a great, great brew which is readily available (and for a decent price). A staple in the American beer market.

BurnsTau, Mar 06, 2006
Photo of MrHolland
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a pilsner glass which produces a pretty thick head that sticks around for awhile; the beer is a pretty golden brown color, with bubbles moving throughout.

Smell is faint hops not much here.

The taste is very smooth with hops that hit the palate first and a sweet malty aftertaste. Very nice balancing and a good tingle in the mouth. Goes
Down crisp and clean.
First of the style for me and I am very pleased will be buying agian.

MrHolland, Mar 04, 2006
Photo of bozebus17
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yup, another Boston Lager review.

Pours a deep amber orange with a thin but stubborn head. There is significant lacing inside the glass.

Smells very nice with a floral hops aroma. That is all that really stands out to me.

Taste: I'm hit with a very slight bitterness from the hops that is immediately cancelled out by carmel-like malt. The light/medium bodied lager leaves a bit of tingling on my tongue. It has a very crisp and clean taste to it.

This beer goes does easy and makes a great session brew. I have to say that this beer is kind of a sentimental favorite. It was the first beer that got me into better beers. My taste buds have grown but I still enjoy a Sams from time to time. It is an excellant beer to have if you just want to kick back and relax after a hard day. It isn't a complex beer that you have to pay a lot of attention too but it can also be pretty damn tasty. It's also a good BBQ beer.

bozebus17, Mar 02, 2006
Photo of silver0rlead
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a crystal clear golden amber color with a nice, thick white head that leaves excellent lacing. The aroma starts out with biscuity pale malt, caramel, along with some slightly spicy, floral hops. The flavor has a nice biscuity malt presence, along with some caramel sweetness, hop oils and spicy, floral hops along with some bread dough finish out the taste. The mouthfeel is medium with lively carbonation and a slightly bitter finish. An excellent vienna lager, extremely drinkable and complex enough to satisfy beer geeks.

silver0rlead, Feb 24, 2006
Photo of beckerboots
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have been purchasing this lager recently from my local Canadian Brewers Retail in small amount (6 pack here/6 pack there). Have been subject to some not too flattering remarks pertaining to me not buying a Canadian product, however my retort of quality over quantity hopefully hit home. Pours to a very rich amber colour (I followed the directions on the bottle). Ample lacing with serious retention. Had a very subtle well balanced hop bitterness that added to the experience. Have had many of these Vienna style Lagers over the years and was never overly impressed with the longevity of taste. Sam's Lager, however passed the test completely. A session beer if ever their was one.

beckerboots, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of beerphilosopher
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahhh ... the standby. If all else fails, I can usually find this one in most local restaurants and/or bars. This area of the country is beer-challenged, so it's become a reliable friend.

Pours a pleasing amber color with a good solid head that retains very well. Good lacing. Nose is well balanced, with noticable hop character and a solid malt foundation. The taste plays along with a good malty profile upfront, and a pleasing hop bitterness behind. This one tastes considerably better than ANY macro lager. Suprisingly complex and well crafted. Mouthfeel is light-meduim, with good carbonation and a substantive finish ... heavy on the hop dryness. I really genuinely like this beer, and I'm not a huge lager fan in general. Thank God for Sam Adam's and it's availability. It would be nice to have more of the SA collection available around here on tap, but I'm not complaining. I can always count on this one to be a solid, enjoyable beer ... and I count on it often.

beerphilosopher, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of mcarroll10177
4.68/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is one of the more underated beers out there.

A- Pours a nice dark golden brown with a very thick white head.

S- not that distinctive, smells like a beer should with no hint of anything extra. A good clean hops smell.

T- a great tasting beer. Crisp upfront with just the right amount of carbination. Clean finish no real aftertaste.

M- just right for a vienna lager, not to thick not to thin.

D- what can I say, perfect. a great clean finish, very refreshing, and not at all watery.

This is what I call my staple beer. It is perfect with everything and is always availible. This is everything a lager should be.

mcarroll10177, Feb 16, 2006
Photo of Bonhoeffer
4.68/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow. Had this last night on tap, shortly after polishing off a Newcastle. Amazing how much more flavor this old favorite has. I swear, if i hadn't known better i would have thought they were serving me some new American pale ale. Compared to a Newcastle, this is a regular hop bomb (of course, Newcastle isn't supposed to be hoppy, it's just interesting to note how much more the hops jump out at you when it follows something like an English brown).

Man it really hit the spot. As always, i thank God for Sam Adams, sometimes the only beer many places have other than BMC. There is simply no comparison. SA has come to my rescue many times, and i look forward to future rescue operations. Yum.

Bonhoeffer, Feb 15, 2006
Photo of walleye
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from the bottle. poured a nicec amber with a white head that left some nice lacing. aroma. got the usual malts, hops, some spiceyness. flavor got the same malts, hops with a hint of caramel. for just drink without any high expectation this beer came through a very easy drinking beer went well with the pizza. this is the one to serve o your bud friends

walleye, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of hanco005
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bentley’s Sports Bar in White Bear Lake, MN. My first time here and I stopped in for a quick sandwich after hitting golf balls at the indoor driving range. I was very thirsty...

A—copperish, amber, and caramel colors, clear with about 1 ½ off white foamy head which fizzled away after 5 minutes or so. Abundant off white lacing stayed on the glass until the very end.

S—a little sweet and mild, light floral fragrance and slightly malty

T—sweet malt flavors are dominate, a touch of citrus and pine, tastes a little like a Pale ale only with much less hop flavor.

M—a little thin, but still very smooth

D—this is one my favorite “stand by” beers…when all else fails, fall back on this. A good choice over the macros and most restaurants that I have been to have this on tap. Goes down smooth and very easy to drink. Could have had several more, but had to drive home.

Note: This was excellent with my grilled buffalo chicken sandwich. The spiciness of the buffalo sauce and the sweetness of the beer made for a nice flavor. I would highly recommend this with buffalo wings or sandwiches.

hanco005, Feb 09, 2006
Photo of rodrot
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has been one of my favorites since it was introduced way back in the mid to late 80's. In many grocery stores and bars, this is the only craft brew that is available and that makes it a good fall back beer. On to my review. This beer pours a clear light amber color with a one inch head that dissipates slowly. The smell is malty, with a pleasing aroma of hops wafting from the glass. Taste is also malty and sweet, with a pleasant hop bitterness in the finish. This beer leaves a slight citrusy aftertaste in my mouth that blends well with the sweetness of the malt. I don't think this beer's character has changed at all over the years. Jim Koch continues to brew this beer as tasty as it was nearly 20 years ago. I'll take this any day over BMC.

rodrot, Feb 04, 2006
Photo of VoodooBrew
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My other review for this beer was the draft version, which I felt was quite weak. However I believe that this beer can be quite different, and better, out of the bottle.

There is much more of a pronounced hop flavor and bitterness, which become the driving forces behind this beer's success. Crisp, robust noble hops combine with the lager's inherent snappiness to create a rather enjoyable, drinkable beer. There's still enough malt to provide some beef to go along with the hops but I feel that hop character is really what can seperate bottled Sam Adams from its draft counterpart. One slight knock, however, is that I feel this brew is just a tad overcarbonated, most likely to appeal to the expectations of the larger beer-drinking market.

VoodooBrew, Feb 04, 2006
Photo of skillerified
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very clear golden-amber color with lots carbonation rising at a medium speed. About a half finger head that fades quickly to a nice little white cap.

Wow, it's been so long since I've had this. This was one of my early favorites and I always thought it smelled so strong. Things have changed for me. This smells fairly weak in comparison to what I've been enjoying lately. Scent is very citrus hoppy. Far from bad, but could be stronger, more complex. Smells very fresh too. Sort of a cut grass smell.

The taste, on the other hand, is pretty much exactly as I remember it. Good malt character followed by a nice hop bitterness. This is what beer tastes like. That's not to say that there aren't better tasting beers out there, but this is what beer tastes like to me. And I like it.

Medium bodied with a mild carbonation prickle on the tongue. Nothing outragous in this area. A basic start sweet, fade to bitter mouthfeel. Actually gets a little annoyingly slick after a while.

Possible the best macro-lager on the market. Makes a nice session beer if you're short on choices. Not only that, but it brings back good memories for me.

skillerified, Feb 01, 2006
Photo of yelterdow
4.55/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served cold at fridge temperature from a just-purchased sixer. Freshness date reads April, 2006.

Enjoyed in an imperial pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear rich amber color, with a terrific two finger head. The crown leaves a sticky, patchy lace down the glass for the entirety of the session. Well structured and quite impressive.

Smell- Bready, biscuity malts upfront... so nice. The label correctly describes beer as "liquid bread", and not since trying Fat Tire for the first time have I been more olfactorally convinced. Just a hint of hops float amongst the scenery, totally appetizing.

Taste- A subtle interplay of clean, impeccable malts and floral, mild hops. Fresh and delicious, this will compliment my next pizza perfectly. Excellent, considering this is so widely available.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Superior. That is all. Slick, then smooth... a pleasure in the mouth. The balance here is so easy and effortless, it's no wonder this beer has stood the test of time. Possibly the greatest session beer in America.

yelterdow, Jan 29, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful copper/amber color, mellow effervescence, not much head. Dominant hops in the nose with a cool malt aroma in the background.

I've had a few Boston Lagers that seemed less inviting than this, but that was several years ago and perhaps it's my tastebuds that have changed. Flavor is wonderful, not too bitter, not too sweet, not very complex but full, with a slight bite (due more to bitter hops than alcohol, certainly, as this is low ABV). Hops profile is great, good caramel/malt character too. Round, creamy tone in the mouth. You can always depend on this one for daily drinkability.

Metalmonk, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of b33rb3lly
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have yet to have a bad Samuel Adams Boston Lager! Even if the date on the side has passed, it is still better tasting than 85% of mass produced American beers. This lager on tap is just amazing and from a bottle to a nice chilled mug is just as good.. From the color to the aroma to the taste to the last drop of your liter glass. This one never dissapoints.

b33rb3lly, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of benhemp
2.23/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Although I like most of the Sam Adams beers I have tried, I don't like this one. The appearance is fine, but the smell and the taste repel me. I detect a sulfur odor which affects the taste and the aftertaste. I thought maybe it was just the particular bottle I got, but the 2nd one (to be fair, from the same 6 pack) was the same.

I used to make apple jack from apple cider, and this particular beer reminds me of batches we made that came out bad.

My condolences to the folks in Boston.

benhemp, Jan 25, 2006
Photo of sloejams
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Being originally from the Boston area, I got a little sick of hearing about Samuel Adams. What I lost along this path was the fact that the Boston Beer Company do, in fact, make some mighty fine beers. Always a go-to beer when there is not a great selection, Sam Adams Boston Lager always had it’s place. It was something I always enjoyed while enjoying something else – not the focal point of what I was doing. Thus, I decided to crack open a bottle and give it my undivided attention. Plus, I like drinking beer and any excuse is a good enough excuse for me.

Pours a nice copper-amber color into my pilsener glass, a nice head with light lacing. Sweet malty aroma with slight hops. Nice toasted malt backbone balance with a floral hop hue. Feel is smooth, a lil creaminess. At under 5%, this is a fine session lager.

I can dig it.

sloejams, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of jyeast101
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden in color with a carmel color head. Decent lacing on the glass as the beer was consumed. Good amount of carbonation. Smells of hops and grain typical of a Sam Adams brew. Good balance of flavor and very drinkable. I'm sure that the growth of Sam Adams has bothered some, but I find that I can get this very decent beer almost anywhere in the States. For a good micro to grow into the mainstream is a positive any way you look at it.

jyeast101, Jan 23, 2006
Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 7,413 ratings.