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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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7,844 Ratings

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Ratings: 7,844
Reviews: 2,502
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 100
Gots: 1,144 | 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: 7,844 | Reviews: 2,502 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of xare
4.43/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It's about time that I reviewed one of my favorite beers:

Pours as a golden amber color with a thick white head that laces well for a lager. Has outstanding appearance for a lager.

Smells include hops, citrus, and grains. Sweetness abounds from this mixture, enhancing its aromas but I wouldn't say that the smell is quite perfect. It's distinctive and well done.

Sam has a rich and complex mix of flavors but they're light at times as well. There's touches of a variety of things but it all mixes rather well together.

Mouthfeel is probably the weakest area for Sam as it goes down smooth but has an excess of carbonation at times. That kick from the carbonation throws its mouthfeel off.

Drinkability is outstanding for any beer with the complexity of flavors that this beer has. Overall, I wouldn't recommend that it's easy for everybody to drink, but it's pretty close to a perfect lager. Outstanding as a one-of or a session beer, but has a few flaws that prevent it from being a truly exceptional beer in every sense.

Photo of currysage1
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice orange honey coloring, ivory colored silky smooth head that doesn't give up even to the last sip.

Smell is a little wierd, not bad wierd, just heavily fruity with hops and hay. Taste has a little to much hops for a vienna lager, at least I think so- but their the ones bringing home medals now aren't they.

Mouthfeel is nice very smooth does not stick around to long, carbonation is a nice balance as well. Very drinkable, could easily have 3 more.

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

Good ol' Sam Adams 12oz bottle

Pours a deep amber color with midweight ivory head and modest lace.

Scents of thin light grainy/bready malt mix with some wispy hops in the back, very floral with some citrus and hay.

Taste is of grainy bread with a citrusy lemongrass middle. Hints of resiny hops bubble away with the carbonation. Soft grainy finish. Crisp.

Light-medium bodied, mostly clean and just a little sticky. Full carbonation tingle.

Really drinkable. Low abv and a mild yet flavorful balance make it a great sessionable beer. Not overly attractive as a stand out beer, but extremely consumable for what it is, a staple on-hand beer.

Photo of IBUnit63
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at SA-RIC

A little pale honey with solid carbonation and thin head-well made but not overly inspiring

Malty fungal smell typical of sa bready feel

Alcohol and German hop bitterness lead the show here - again, that funky (phenol?) SA familiar slightly off-taste

OK mouthfeel-bitterness hammers back of palate nicely

A bit too heavy for a lager for my taste with this taste profile

Photo of charlzm
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Texas Loosey's, Torrance, consumed 01/14/08.

Medium amber with very active carbonation. Nice thin head stuck with the entire pint. Aroma has a soapy note which is typical of this beer in every draft pour or bottle I have ever had. Flavor is surprisingly malty for a lager: toffee/caramel, I think. Moderate astringency. Some hops on the finish, but not excessively bitter.

This is a lager I can actually drink.

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

Hmmm, so this is a Vienna? I've had Boston Lager about 1,000 time over the years - but never rated it here. I never considered it a vienna, more of an american lager. If I judge to Vienna:

This is quite light in color to style. Nice nose of noble hops, a hint of smoke, complex malt and hop profile.

Easy drinking beer. The key charachter is the spiceiness of the hops.

Again - don't consider this a Vienna - but avery tasty american lager.

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear, light amber colored brew waits patiently in the pint glass with decent head. The aroma is slightly toasted malt, sweetness, and a light dose of hops. Light and pleasantly carbonated, the flavors are slightly sweet, but definitely malty with a mild finish of refreshing hops. Overall a great, drinkable and classic brew.

Photo of diamondc
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had BL in bottle plenty of times, always feeling underwhelmed. Even fresh bottles left me wanting more. On tap, this beer shines. A nice copper color with a long lasting head and sticky lacing on the sides.

The smell was very spicy & earthy. Borderline pungent! I can't wait to take a sip.

The taste was a blast of hops. Something you don't expect from a lager! Very spicy, cinnamon-like. The malty sweetness comes in afterwards, a very balanced beer.

The mouthfeel was mildly carbonated, very smooth. No complaints here.

I can't really sip this beer. When one is presented in front of me, I have to drink and enjoy the flavor, repeat immediately.

Photo of Beaver13
3.17/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a hazy copper orange with a frothy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet and toasted malts with some metallic and vegetal notes.

The flavor is sweet caramel and toasted malts with good balancing bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a pretty solid but not too interesting beer. One of the better lagers I've had.

Photo of Slynger
3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This sammy pours a bright clear golden orange with a pretty big, rocky white head. Malty nose, vienna toasted, with some herby floral hop sweetness. The taste is malty as well. Toasted, grainy, smooth, clean, a bit of sweetness, a bit of bitterness, a bit dry, a bit crispy, a bit watery. Definitely an enjoyable lager.

Photo of dfillius
4.55/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a pint glass.
A: Aggressive pour yields 1 finger of head. Fizzyish, but head is ful of nice small bubbles. Good head retention. I would have liked less fizz.
S: Crisp citrus hoppiness with light malt aweetness in the background.
T: Sweet malt up front and light, but so well balanced, hop bitterness follows up and sits at the end. A terrific lager.
M: A little prickly but fairly smooth and comforting.
D: A terrific session beer, more would be nice!

Photo of skittlebrau
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer was one of my gateway beers and was for many people.

A: Toasty amber brown. Head retention is good with visible carbonation.

S: Biscuity. Malty with a touch of hops.

T: Again biscuity. Malt flavors dominate with a little hops to round out the beer. Pretty tasty.

M: Normal, beery.

D: Drinkability is good. Anybody could session this one.

Photo of dnichols
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer at a local tasting event attended by 17 beer buddies and featuring 17 fine beers from east of the Mississippi and Canada.

A: It poured a clear brownish orange with an off white abundant head that retained well and supported a leggy thin lacing.

S: It smelled of raw grains, lightly toasted malts and citrsy hops.

T: It had a deep toasted malt backbone that featured the floral and bitter hops well. There were hints of brown sugar and caramel and a very noticeable bite of dark spices.

M: It had a medium body with moderate to abundant carbonation that gave it a zesty bite and a clean finish.

D: Nice beer for a night of bar pool. The low ABV, balanced flavor, and low ABV make this a contender for a session beer.

Photo of Hoagie1973
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The class of all lagers. Usually one of the only drinkable lagers on hand at restaurants.

Pours a robust gold with a great head. Good lacing all the way around the glass.

Nice aroma of quality malt and floral hops.

Taste is fairly hoppy, but still very well balanced with nice rich malts. Clean hop finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp.

Extremely drinkable. A great session beer. Full bodied and flavorful, but not too filling.

Photo of wheatyweiss
4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Straight from the bottle into a standard pint.

Appearance is average, but with sticky lace all around.

Smell is awesome for being cold, citrusy hops that are still a bit piney.

Taste is great for a macro. Malty with hoppy tones, everything is balanced nicely.

Mouthfeel is good. Fuller body than most macros. Nice carbonation.

Drinkability is awesome. I could put don A LOT of these.

Overall, for the price and the availability, this is the awesome brew that will be good on even the discerning palate.


I'm gonna re-visit the aroma on this one. I poured another one into a larger mug and I gotta say the aroma is a knockout. For a beer that has this distribution, and sheer volume, this one has an awesome aroma.

Photo of cbleary
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed out of a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

This is a great lager. It smells of sweet malts and floral hops. The taste is sweet, but also spicy and floral with a perfect lager finish. It's very drinkable, I could easily have many in one sitting. Very well-made, a new classic.

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

On tap last night at dinner. Brought to me in a pint glass with just a touch of a sudsy white head resting on top of the hazy orangeish color body. Smell is of very sweet malty cookie like scent with some caramel and a little bit of spices. Taste is very sweet with just a hint of the hops coming through as well. Mouthfeeling is very smooth and light.

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

Can't believe I've never reviewed this classic.

While the days of it being "The Best Beer in America" are long gone, this is still an easily accessible quite good tasting beer, that has been a saving grace for many a beer drinker.. otherwise faced with nothing but Bud/Miller/Coors.

The beer pours to a light amber, the head nice and fluffy and fairly sizable.

The smell is of hops first and foremost, while by no means a hoppy beer, the smell is quite fitting as one gets to the taste...

One could describe this beer as being balanced, neither the hop nor the malt dominating the other. Perhaps a slight edge to the hops, but one certainly won't confuse this with a hop bomb.

The drinkability is quite solid with this one, it's quite easy for a person to drink a few.

While my tastes have evolved through the years, this beer doesn't do as much for me as it did upon first discovering better beer. That being said I still love the fact that it can be found everywhere from grocery stores, to bars.. to chain restaurants. Due to that one is assured of more often than not having access to a nice drinkable beer and sometimes one can't ask for much more.

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

full rich flavor,smooth body,nice lasting head.

taste: slight sweet caramel , roasted malty taste, long smooth finish. I think this one has a well balanced taste.

smell : some floral , citrus notes

good mouth feel through out. This is a good beer to drink with Mexican dish.

overall a very good , drinkable beer.

Photo of Kegatron
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into my Sam Adam's Uber glass.

Pours a clear light amber with a finger width of off-white poofy head that retained nicely and left some pretty decent lace. The aroma is that of a traditional lager. Light roasted malts, caramel sweetness, some citrus and hops.

The taste is bready, toasted malts, dominant caramel sweetness, just a touch of citrus, and a fresh zippy hop character. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation and a crisp feel.

I just love a fresh pint of this beer. The malts and hops are well balanced and always give off a clean crisp taste that makes the drinkibility huge. Just a perenniel favorite in my book and always a go to beer for me.

Photo of CamuMahubah
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A subdued bronze...

Wonderful mix of caramel and citrus...

Excellent, very smooth! Tasty, tasty, and more tasty! This lager has an actual hop profile. Hops just don't linger in the background. They compliment the malt so well!

Very smooth with a medium body that goes down easy with just enough of a lingering aftertaste!

This beer goes great with good friends and a fireplace. Interesting to see what type of pizza this beer goes best with. You know what? On second thought this beer might go splendidly with fish and chips. Don't forget the malt vinegar!

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

a - clear golden color with a foamy white 3 finger head. A small amount of lacing.

s - malty when first poured but quickly disappears, powerful yet nice hoppy smell remains

t - smooth and well balanced. I can taste both the malts and hops it good balance. The main thing that comes into my mind when I drink this is orange. The orange flavor slowly blends with the hoppy aftertaste and a clean finish. Not dry.

m - moderately smooth with good carbonation

d - this is it right here. The beer that started it all for me. It's interesting to keep coming back to this beer as my palate gets more sophisticated. It continues to get better as I notice more things. It's widely available and so easy to drink. I don't think it gets any better for drinkability.

Photo of BMan1113VR
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very good beer, but what is amazing is how good it is for a mass produced beer. Aroma is moderate toasted ceral malts as well as pine and citrus malts. Pour yeilds a frothy off-white head that has very good lacing for the market. The head stays around for a while. The flavor is still great, but a bit more watery than I remember. A bit over carbonated. By far my favorite common beer that you can get anywhere!

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a very slender, slight tapered pilsner.

A - huge billowy head on this one. Took forever to dissipate. Nice brown color with some gold hues, bubbles racing to the top. I've never head a Sam Adams Boston Lager in a pilsner like this and it gives it a very different appearance.

S - real American lager smell. Toasted hops, slight citrus.

T - much smoother and creamier than I ever remember a Sam Adams being. I think this glass made a big difference in taste as well. I may actually prefer it out of a slender pilsner as opposed to a tumbler or pint glass. The hops were much more subdued and the bitterness was lower.

M - nice creamy smooth mouthfeel. Not as much carbonation as it appears in the glass.

I like Sam Adams. When I was new to beer I really didn't like it. Nowadays it's a good go-to beer. I great lager.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance is a light copper, orange brown. Head is average, and receded in about one minute, leaving full, off-white lacing near the rim of the glass.

Smell is light and faint, hoppy (piney) and slightly sweet (caramel). Not too strong at all, somewhat average.

Taste is pleasant, sweeter than I remember (I haven't had a SA lager in quite some time). It's sweet at first on the tip of the tongue, with a caramel malt flavor, followed by a subtle and well-balanced malt/hop combo, and finishes off with a crisp, hoppy note - piney, slightly citrusy. Not too bitter, not too sweet, but overall very mild.

Mouthfeel is very nice, with a good level of carbonation. Not too light or too heavy for the flavor profile, it coats the mouth well without being cloying.

Drinkability is good. Not outstanding, but good. Just a nice, pleasant, all-around beer, and a classic that you should never be embarrassed to bring a sixer of to any party.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 7,844 ratings.