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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.
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)
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Ratings: 7,702 | Reviews: 2,465 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Taipans
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this out of a pilsner glass.

A- Dark golden yellow, 1 finger head, good carbonation, mild lacing
S- Sweet maltiness with mild hop aroma
T- Medium hop bite upfront with a strong malty backbone
M- Tingly carbonation and a medium body
D- Easy to drink, smooth and suprising taste for a mass producer, its hard to just have one.

I have always thought Samuel Adams was a good all around beer, its available everywhere and makes for a good fallback brew when some of the more "Craft" types are unavailable. The flagship boston lager is my favorite offering from them.

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

Appearance - Medium gold/amber. Clear. Tall white to off-white foam that dissipates pretty quickly.

Smell - Sweet light malt combined with a slight hoppiness.

Taste - Begins with a usual light lager sweetness. Quickly replaced by quite prominent grassy hops flavor. Light, but flavorful. Nice to taste some hops in a mass-produced lager.

Mouthfeel - Light.

Drinkability - Certainly a good beer to drink when choices are limited. Simple amount of flavor puts other macros to shame. However, this is not nearly as good as I remember from my pre-Beer Advocate days. But its worth a bump for a good gateway beer.

Photo of cowboy9from0hell
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the boston lager or the flagship of sauel adams. I bought a case of the sam adams summer variety pack friday night and as exspected it was in their. poured an semi deep amber color. smell was of hops. taste was deliscious now this is what i call a beer. i could drink this beer all day. now i see why this beer wins metals year after year and claims bragging rights.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

24 oz. bottle, bought at the Seagate Liquor in Huntington Beach, CA,

A: Pale, light amber, with an average white head, with fairly good retention.

S: Malty, big pale and caramel malts, toffee and butterscotch, as well.

T: Very malty, some caramel and toasted bread notes, upfront, with some, floral, noble hop bitterness, a light bitterness, that complements the beer well.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth, crisp, with a bit of a dryness, from the noble Bavarian hops.

D: A good lager, you can find it almost everywhere, this beer would be a good session choice, a quality macro-micro beer.

Photo of BDIMike
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sam Adams, in my mind, is the consistently best brewery in America. Everything they seem to make is above average at best. Boston lager is the staple of the brand and is a great beer for all occassions. As Jim Koch states, this beer has an almost perfect blend of hops and malt. That blend creates an awesome aroma, very nice mouthfeel, and a very delicious taste.

Photo of ComradeCanadia
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Famous enough brewery, but I rarely see any Sam Adams up in Edmonton, so I snagged this as I wished for a lager. Was not disappointed.

Appearance: Poured a very nice pale caramel colour with an off-white head, which went away very slowly, and reluctantly. Even at the last sip there's a bit of ring. Very nice looking beer.

Smell: Relatively mild smell, bit of citrus from the hops with some grassier undertones, some roasted grains, and well, just general sweetness to the entire bouquet.

Taste: This is -great-. Very smooth with a crisp finish that has just the right amount of hops. One of the best lagers I've tried.

Mouthfeel: Just enough carbonation, and decent enough body.

Drinkability: Low ABV (4.5 I think?) and a nice finish makes this pretty easily drinkable. Kind of a stickiness to it after a bit, but I'd still consume this all night.

Overall: I can't -believe- I'd never tried this lager before. Just great.

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

one of my favoriate beers from sam adams. seems more like an ale to me, but what the hell do i know, i'm just an acolyte.

A- pours a golden brown stained oak color with a rocky puffy 3in of pancake batter head that settles very slowly and leaves sporadic lace trailing down my pint glass.

S- citrus hops, some mild malt and toasted grains and cleam spring water, almost earthy.

T- more cituus, bitter orange & grapefruit, burnt pancakes, loads of floral hops, a little oak sap resin, and roasted nuts. great balanced aftertaste.

MF- slightly chewy and not too dry, thins one beckons more gulps, especially on a hot summer night.

D- completely balanced, great carbonation, it's no wonder that boston lager is the top sam adams seller in my area. many fizzy yellow beer drinkers have been converted thanks to this beer. i know, because i'm the one that pushed it.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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!

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.

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.

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.

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!


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.

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