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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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7,946 Ratings

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Ratings: 7,946
Reviews: 2,530
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 112
Gots: 1,267 | 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: 7,946 | Reviews: 2,530 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kinger
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a basic light amber color and produces a decent head. The aroma is of sweet malts and even a touch of caramel malts. Although present the aroma isn't very strong which is fine by me. Overall great flavor with this lager. The sweet malts really stand out and provide a great drinking experience. This is one of my go to beers during a nice meal out or wherever since most establishments have it on tap.

Photo of schanker21
4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sam Adams was my gateway to the wonderful world of good beer, and sometimes I get so caught up trying new IPAs that I forget that this one is still around.

Boston Lager pours an amber color into my (unfortunately at this bar) frozen mug with a one finger head (helped by the fact that the bartender poured it down the middle). Smells of flowery hops.

Tastes like flowery hops as well, balanced out by the malts, this isn't an overly complex beer, but it is excellent. I used to think this was the hoppiest beer in the world (that was before I ever tried an IPA). This is definitely one to be had on the tap as it is much better than the bottled version. I will admit that part of the reasoning behind my high rating is the fact that such a good beer can be found practically anywhere. It's definitely my fallback beer when nothing else is to be found, but even then it's one worth having when there are other options as I think it is quite good.

Photo of jushoppy2beer
4.72/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Among beers that are widely distributed, easy to find, and inexpensive, Samuel Adams Boston Lager is almost impossible to beat. It has one of the best noses of any beer, with a superb floral hop aroma. The color is just right, the head is well structured, and thus the lacing on the glass is perfect. The flavor is bold enough, with just the right amount of bitterness at the end, to satisfy with a single mug; but, it is smooth enough and reasonably low in alcohol to function well as a session beer. That's why I generally drink it by the pitcher with friends.

Photo of mcmidc
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought of a twelve pack of this brew more so to get the bottles for my first home brew. I knew this was a fairly tasty beer at a fair price. It poured an amberish brown color with nice white head and had nice lacing. The smell was of a little hops. The taste was malty up front with a nice clean hoppy finish. Mouthfeel was medium to light with a good amount of carbonation. Drinkibility is very good on this beer, they slide down nicely.

Photo of TheViceBlog
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The flagship Sam is maybe America's most underrated beer. I think your average beer guzzling yahoo sees it as nothing more than a macro (not that he would know that condescending term), and an overpriced and snobby one at that. "No twist off cap?!" "I'll need a bottle opener for this beer?" "That soooo European." "I thought this beer was named after some American president." Meanwhile, I think your average stuffy beer snob doesn't like Sam either-but it has nothing to do with taste. Most beer snobs have probably never drunk a Boston Lager. "It's advertised on television for gosh sakes!" "It's soooo cheap!" "You can find it in pubs." *shiver*

It's nothing if not a victim of its own success. On both extremes. Heck, I'm not sure if I've EVER met any one that calls Sam their favorite beer. And that's weird, especially since there are people that probably call stuff like O'Doul's and Mike's Hard Lemonade (Strawberry flavor) their favorite "beer." I must admit that even I forget to drink Sam as I'm a much bigger fan of the brewery's terrific seasonals and, of course, their Utopia is an all-time legend. We take this beer for granted. But it's a damn fine brew. And just about the cheapest and most readily available craft beer you can buy in this country.

Good smell, nice and light. Nothing too complex, but tasty. You could drink these all night and you could definitely do worse. One small gripe is that it could probably use about 0.5% more ABV kick in it. At least in my opinion.

A good, solid beer and that's hard for a New York-born and living die hard to admit. I'm supposed to hate all things Beantown. Typically I do. This is the rare case where I don't. But don't tell that to my Boston friends.


Photo of leif86
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Freshness date: March is notched but the year isn't. Let's hope this means March 2009.

A: About 3/4 of an inch of cream colored small bubbled head. The head lingers for quite a while and provides great lacing as it the brew begins to disappear down the glass. Clear yellow-orange bodied brew.

S: Very sweet smell, some caramel and a refreshing aroma of hops.

T: Sweet and caramel at the beginning that gives way to a little cereal character and a well balanced hop character. Nothing great though.

M: Bubbles a plenty but not at all harsh and retaining some nice creaminess.

D: Refreshing but tasty. Nothing that blows you away.

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

This is a rather ubiquitous beer. Though it is contract brewed it does a pretty job of remaining somewhat consistent, though there have been times I've noticed variation. I don't mind variation as long as it is for the better, not when a mediocre batch is mixed in with the good. For an American lager this beer has a great hop aroma that isn't found anywhere else for a beer this widely distributed. I love the amber color. The taste continues the hop theme though the malts make a balanced and tasty appearance. This is simply a good lager and one that I'm always happy to have.

Photo of jokelahoma
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can't believe I'd never gotten around to reviewing this beer. Had it on tap at Old Chicago in Olathe.

Poured a lovely deep copper color, with a fairly decent sized head that lasts an appropriate amount of time. Little lacing, however.

The nose is quite hoppy, with an earthiness to the aroma. There's a good portion of malt smells in there as well, making the aroma overall fairly balanced and appetizing.

The taste is also balanced up front, but then changes to a fight between malt and hops to see who gets to remain in the foreground, shifting back and forth between the two. The hops show the somewhat spicy, somewhat musty European flavors, while the malt is good and caramelly. This is quite hoppy, especially if you approach it from the "this is a Vienna style lager" standpoint. This is not a "to style" beer in most regards, and there's not a thing wrong with that. It's a hoppy amber lager, and proud of it.

The mouthfeel is actually a good deal more full than one might expect from nearly any lager outside of a dopplebock, yet it doesn't seem to distract from the brew overall.

Overall this is an excellent flagship lager for the Boston Beer Company. It has honest to goodness flavor, it's hoppy without being overly bitter, and is a great way to introduce non-craft beer drinkers to the world of good beer. Nicely done.

Photo of Stonebreaker
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Good color, rich amber, thick head with a sticky lacing.

Smell: Maybe it's a bad day for me or the beer, but with a healthy head I can't smell a thing.

Taste: The taste is sweeter than I remember, when this was one of the best beers I'd had. A little light for me now, but a solid lager, very well balanced, sweet with a bitter hop finish. Now that I'm more apprecciative of the hops, I love it.

Mouthfeel: One of the best aspects of the beer, very smooth.

Drinkability: This is a session beer 100%, a reliable, affordable choice. A classic.

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

How could I not review this one? Samuel Adams is the ultimate session beer; not too complex, not the least bit overwhelming, just a smooth, drinkable quaff that is enjoyed anywhere and anytime. No matter where you go, you'll at least find this delicious lager.

I am drinking this on a sultry July day from the glass gifted to me - and other BAs - by Jim Koch and the fine hopsters at Boston Beer Company.

Sam pours a thick, spongy head atop a clear copper body. Lacing is moderate and dissapates quickly. The nose is a flowery bouquet that lingers in your senses - sweet hint of orange ester. Sam hits the palate with a clean crisp wash; minimal hops but noticable, nevertheless.

There is a perfect collaboration of hops, yeast and barley that makes for a sublime balance. All is right in this world.

Every lover of beer should, and probably does, have Sam in their possession. It is one brew welcome by one and all. Thanks Jim!

Now ... I've got to get back to my pint; it's not going to drink itself.

Photo of toastdog
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I swear this beer was hoppier a decade ago. Or maybe, I was just a wimpier beer drinker...

Poured into a 14-oz bar straight-sided bar glass. 12 oz bottle, expires some four months hence.

A: Rich amber gold with a half inch of lacy white head, which slowly dissolved leaving lace on the glass

S: This time, the Hallertau aroma didn't leap right out of the bottle as it sometimes does. That wonderful spice is still present, though, backed by a hint of pale malt.

T: Smooth, rich and balanced. The iconic American Vienna-style lager. Perhaps a hint more carbonation than is strictly necessary, but as it warms the carbonation smooths out and allows some grainy and bittersweet malt flavors through.

M: Full and balanced. Nice.

D: I could, and have, drink this all night. Not always paying attention to it, sure, but not every sip of every beer has to be cause for brow-wrinkling introspection.

It's dependable, it's delicious, and sometimes, it's the gentle Hallertau wallop I need.

Photo of ClavisAurea
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a 12oz bottle consumed from a Samuel Adams Octoberfest stein.

Appearance: deep amber, very clear with a thin creamy head

Smell: caramel, vanilla, sweet malts

Taste/Mouthfeel: malty, hoppy citrus, sweet citrus, little bite from the hops, crisp beginning but smooth finish

This is a pretty good rendition of a Vienna Lager. I bought a 12 pack of this one because the price was right. I seem to have gotten a good deal on some great beer.

Photo of dstc
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden color with a big white head. Head falls but stays. Nice lacing whole way through.

Hoppy aroma with sweet maltiness coming through.

Nice flavor, slightly sweet up front with a hardy hop finish, slightly bitter.

Smooth and carbonated in the mouth.

Easy drinking beer. Always a good choice when the only other beer the bar serves is the big 3. Glad to see this on tap often.

Photo of tbeck
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light amber in color with a white head. Decent collaring that remained, slight laciness.

I have had a couple lagers this weekend that were skunky, so it was a relief to smell some hops. Good hop scent.

The hops were a little overpowering, but overall very good taste. There was a slight bitterness, not to excessive.

Excellent texture, good mouthfeel.

Excellent session beer. I could easily down a number in a evening. Good refresing taste that goes down easily.

Definetly recommend this beer.

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

This is such a classic beer it's tough to rate it less than perfect even if you don't like the style. It's not my favorite, but it's always a safe go-to beer in any season.

Golden amber color, nice head that fades into a nice lacing, slight citrus scent with a nice malt start and slight hoppy finish. Very high drinkability.

I recommend this beer year round and will probably put it on tap this fall or winter as the lighter option.

Photo of bort11
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had the Sam Adams Boston Lager shaped glass for some time now, and I'm just now getting around do a review.

12 oz bottle, with a best by Oct 2008. This 1/4 inch head, but leaves an impressive sheet of lacing on the glass. Color is a warm golden amber.

Smell is an impressive shot of Hallertau hops. Bready malt under notes. Taste is quite hoppy up front, with some tannic tea-like flavoring. Dry biscuity malt character. Clean finish and very enjoyable. It's no surprise this one does so well.

Photo of Saunapoika
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light copper brown color with a one finger white head. Good lacing all the way down to the bottom of the glass. A very inviting brew.

S: Pine nuts, pine trees, sweet maltiness, a bit of earth thrown in there as well. Wonderful.

T: Very good. Smooth, caramel maltiness in the front with a slightly bitter finish that stimulates the tongue in the finish.

M: Very good feel to it. Not too heavy. It could be a slight bit less carbonated.

D: I can and did have quite a few of these. Cheers to the craft brewer who sprouted from the homebrewer roots.

Photo of tronester
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with a medium tan head. Smells of piney hops. Taste is of caramelized malt, with a nice amount of piney, floral hop flavor to match. Impressive bitterness levels. Mouthfeel is smooth, carbonation levels somewhat high. Highly drinkable, a great beer to drink any time of the year.

Photo of Rayek
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

An old favorite from the beginning of the craft beer movement.

A: Clear amber color with very active carbonation. Foamy off-white head is small but has above average rentention. Leaves nice amounts of lace.

S: Sweet, with aromas of toffee, caramel, lemon and grass.

T: Not as sweet as the nose would indicate. Malt has toffee and toasted qualities. Nicely balanced bitterness is spicy with flavors of pepper and cloves, plus a hint of lemon. Semi-dry finish with a mild lingering bitterness.

M: Medium light body feels quite over carbonated.

D: Very. Nice session beer that pairs well with food.

Photo of Tilley4
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew is much better on tap than in the bottle and I liked it quite a bit in the bottle. It just seems hoppier and livelier somehow.

Deep golden appearance with a beautiful head..

Aroma of sweet roasted malts, those SA hops and yeast...

Again, this is just tastier on tap. I could (and did) drink this stuff all night.

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

No matter what your opinion on Boston Beer Co. is, you can't say this isn't an incredible looking and still a good tasting beer. You may say it's not craft anymore, but it's not macro. Beer limbo.

A: One finger head, sporadic patching in the film after the head fades. Copper honey color, just beautiful to stare through. Carbonation moves slowly throughout the entire beer. Lacing is moderate and is seen in levels corresponding to sips as you drink.

S: First, hops, lemon citrus and older pine. Then the malts caramel malts come in with a sweetness that works in conjunction with the hops, smells like baking warm breads.

T: Malts, smooth and toasted oat-like at the start. But the hops steal the show. They come in on the back end, piney and tart citrus.

The beer is well balanced, the malts hold the intesnsity of the hops at bay, which leave a pleasant bitter after taste.

M: Medium light body. Starts out slick, finsihes almost dry.

D: Still a solid brew. I'll glaldy take it anyday over the average offerings at a sports bar or any place else that just gets the job done with their selection.

Photo of Patrick999
4.31/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Good day to finally get around to reviewing this. On tap at a dockside restaurant, had after a long day of fishing.

A - Attractive honey-amber color, very good head and retention. As always, a very fine-looking beer.

S - Grainy with a bit of hop.

T - What a fine-tasting lager. I'm probably rating it higher than I otherwise would have if I'd been sitting at home drinking it. Good juicy hop profile, and comes off as much more "fruit-y" than most lagers. Nice blast of flavor.

F - Crisp and well-carbonated, as it should be. Medium-ight bodied.

D - As far as I'm concerned, there is a 3-way tie for the title of "America's Beer" - this, SNPA, and Anchor Steam. Basically a near-flawless, tasty lager, underrated due to its wide availability. I'm thankful for that, as Boston Lager tends to save the day time and time again. Always a good call.

Photo of ckeegan04
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Bright golden color with one finger white head. Decent retention and good lacing.

S - Spicey sweet aroma. A good smell, but not very strong.

T - A light caramel sweetness up front followed by a surprising spicey hop bite. A surprisingly good tasting brew.

M/D - Very well carbonated, almost too much. Medium bodied and very crisp. A very drinkable beer.

Photo of gestalt162
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Beautiful translucent orange-copper colored body. Cream-colored, small-bubbled foam makes up an impressive 1 1/2 finger head that never dissipates. Leaves sticky rings of lace all the way down the glass. I find it impossible to believe that a beer of this style could look any better than this.

S: Strong hop aroma with many characteristics- fruity, flowery, grassy, and slightly earthy all at the same time. Ever-so-slight hint of citrus. Roasty barley malt base. A mysteriously delicious aroma laden with hops- those TV commercials aren't lying.

T: At first nothing up front- takes awhile to register. First impression is of a roasted barley husk. Crisp, with a touch of earthiness. Toward the end of the sip a bitterly sharp finish hits- very out of character and somewhat unpleasant. There's not much flavor to it, its just....bitter. Although this bitterness mellows out as the beer warms up a bit, it's not exactly what I'd call well-balanced.

MF: Smooth, and a little crisp. Suits this beer well.

D: Average. Although this has been pretty well billed as a beer to drink year round, I remember drinking it outside during the summer once, and it felt very out of place. That bitter sharpness really limits its drinkability- I'd find it hard to quaff another with that kind of character.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz as part of the summer Mix-Pack.. poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass...

2 finger head... leaves beautiful lacing atop a polished copper brew..

Toasty and biscuity... smells of clean malts with a little bit of spicy hoppiness.

Flavor is also clean grains with an herbal hop bite to it... body is lite side of medium with creamy mouthfeel and carbonation.

Reminds me alot of the Boston ale I just had minus the yeasty notes... this brew is a picture of summer drinking.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 7,946 ratings.