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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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7,940 Ratings

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Ratings: 7,940
Reviews: 2,529
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 111
Gots: 1,261 | 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: 7,940 | Reviews: 2,529 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CaptainIPA
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: 12 oz., brown bottle purchased as part of the Samuel Adams Summer Styles 12-Pack.

A: Pours a rusty amber color with a thin, bone-white head that dissipates quickly. Not much in the way of lacing.

S: Well-balanced aroma: floral, spicy hops and sweet, caramel malts.

T: Taste profile mirrors the nose. Opens sweet with caramel malt upfront, followed by a hoppy bitterness with notes of spice. Finishes dry with a bite of grain.

M: Crisp and well-carbonated.

D: Extremely well-balanced and exceptionally sessionable.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Always a good call.
Over the years, I've found this beer to be a saving grace at weddings, airports, entertainment venues, and open-bars everywhere.

Photo of GoodKnight1220
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a great as Sam Adams describes it full flavored beer.

Poured from a bottle into a glass.

The apperance was a nice deep golden color, with a light frothy head.

Taste is a full bite at first then you can begin to taste the multiple flavors of different hops. Ends with a slight bitterness.

Great American Lager.

Photo of Pauly2X
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear light amber, one finger head.

S- Spicy noble hops with hints of caramel malt.

T- Wonderfully balanced from start to finish. Slightly sweet caramel up front with a smooth dry noble hop finish.

M- Nicely smooth with good carbonation.

D- Umm YEAH.

Not only is this a great beer to ween your friends off of the mass produced offerings, but its a great standby as its availability is very widespread.

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

Much better, the malty goodness of a Boston lager. I like this better than their Boston Ale. Recently, I heard on a radio talkshow that people who order this beer at the bar are posers for some reason. One ,the person who said this is a moron. Two, Has he thought that people actually want to taste their beer rather than having alcoholic water like Carona, Budwieser, and Miller. Great Commercial Bee

Photo of Natural510
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured on-tap with minimal head by bartender into 16oz glass. Rich amber color, similar in style to most vienna lagers and amber ales.
Scents a little subdued on this one...malts & hops with the trademark SABL caramel overtones.
Taste is where this differentiates itself from the bottled version. It is much more complex; the malts are a bit richer, bringing out the caramel note, and the piney hops bite harder..leaving the most balanced complexity you'll find in a vienna lager. Simple, yet pleasing on all fronts.
The mouth on this one was a bit flat, but still refreshing. It was poured at a TGIFriday's, which may not turn over Sam Adams as much as Bud or Coors.
Drinkability is off the charts; this is the #1 craft beer in America for a reason. It is smooth, yet complex; malt/hop balance accessible enough for all beer drinkers, whether new to craft beers, or seasoned veterans to all beer styles. Absolutely sessionable for any occasion.

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

This beer seems too complex to be an American Macro Lager.
Pours a copper, amber color with a foamy, off white, head that has good retention and lacing. (if you didn'nt have head retention with this beer try getting your glass "beer glass clean."

Smell is floral hops and moderate yeast along with a hint of wheat.

Taste is fairly thick on the tongue as roasted malts come into play making it a well balanced serving. Detected a light lemon note. Has some bitter hops for a dry finish.

A beer that makes you want to take your time and enjoy the moment.

Photo of hefe300
4.43/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a weitzen glass.

A) Copper, decent lacing. Relatively pale head in comparison with the beer. Head sticks around a while,but isn't too persistent.

S) Hops fragrance with a hint of caramel. Nothing unpleasent, but nothing stands out either. Smells clean.

T. Hops. This is much more Hops-y than the macros I was raised on. I mean that in a good way. A very good way. The hops taste is clear without being overpowering. The malt balances the bitternes of the hops perfectly, leaving a roasted grain taste in the back of the palate.

M. Carbonation is just fine.

D. I want another after finishing the first. This seems like a versatile beer with regard to food pairings and wouldn't be out of place on a hot day in the back yard.

Simply put, a good beer. I'll drink more.

Photo of jbsteiny
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I must say, it's been quite some time since I've had a Boston Lager, as I used to regularly hate on it as an aficionado of Brooklyn Lager, but this bottle that I'm currently enjoying has really turned me around. I still prefer many of their other brews (i.e. the Black Lager), but I will no longer eschew BBC's flagship at BBQs and the like.

Poured into a standard pint glass: clear amber-gold with a mountainous initial head, fading to a decent 1 cm ring that is maintained throughout; chunky retention in loose, thick bands.

Not much in terms of aroma, and I don't think it's just my choice of glassware. Maybe some biscuity malt and hop leaf? Tastes delicious, though. I think part of why I like it better now is that I've come to appreciate tasteful use of diacetyl -- the buttery sweetness is complemented by light hop spiciness and even lighter citrus notes. Solid malt backbone can't be denied.

Finishes somewhat dry but could be crisper for the style and my tastes. All in all, I think it's delicious because of the sweetness of the malt and diacetyl, but I think the slightly syrupy finish hurts its drinkability. Better for a wintery session than a summertime BBQ, and I certainly prefer Brooklyn Lager or Dos Equis.

Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.48/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ah, Sammy, my good ol' stand by. It looks smooth, it pours smooth, it foams smooth, it goes down smooth, it just all around smooth. Plenty of hops give this brew an exceptional flavor that doesn't offend at all, perfect balance. And with it available many places nowadays, I'm happy to go to almost any pub.

Photo of joshwlt
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this plenty of times before and graded it according to previous experiences. I got it a week ago on draft along with a Yeungling and they were actually somewhat comparable in color. The nose was quite hoppy and the taste was just as hoppy matched by barley malt with some slight caramel involved. Usually a great session brew and one of the most flavorful american lagers.

This particular bottle in front of me, however, is less impressive. Golden color with just a slight amber hue. Hop presence can be whiffed but isn't as present as before; subdued in the taste as well. As for the malts... The malts in this actually are skunky, grassy, with a little bit of popcorn minus the butter (odd I know) and actually remind me of a euro pilsner. Not happy with this one.

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

Pours a burnt amber witha a nice three fingers of cream colored head that is chunky as it falls to a thin cap while leaving tons of stickyness.The nose is nice and sweet with hints of floral hops and subtle cinnamon.Boston Lager has some good flavors,not super complex,but,it helps with drinkability.This is malty/caramely sweet and mildly bitter with some spicy hops shining through helping to create a nice balance,I still detect some hidden cinnamon(almost cinnamon toast like,in a way).This is a great brew to keep around when you are in need of flavor and consumability.

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

Served in a weizen-glass. Best by Aug 2008 on the label.

A: Poured a pure golden-amber with a large off-white head that settled slowly to a thick cap and left some nice spots of lace on the glass.

S: A muted caramel sweetness with some floral hops and faint biscuity aromas. Some fruity esters, as well. Not bursting with power, but still a nice smell.

T&M: Just a hint of bready and caramel malt followed by an oily hop flavor that is very much spicy, herbal, and floral. Wonderfully well-balanced, but perhaps just a tad thin for my liking. It has a creamy mouthfeel to it with a medium body and a muted, yet well-balanced finish.

D: Boston Lager is a little bit heavy to be a highly sessionable, but it's a solid beer. There seems to be just a bit missing from the flavor, but it's still a good beer.

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

Poured from 24oz bottle to tulip glass, pours a golden/reddish color with a nice white head.

smells of maltiness, light hopping, crisp

tastes heavy on malts, they hit first following by bitter hops, butterscotchy, wheat, nicely carbonated and crisp

mouthfeel = carbonation brings out all the malty flavors, very sessionable

a staple in the history of american craft beer

Photo of Lexluthor33
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours light copper with big foamy head that settles to a sticky cobweb lace. The aroma is malts,grains and a hint of hops.
The taste is malty,sweet,buttery and has caramel notes with light hops taste.
The overall feel is medium carbonation,slightly bitter finish with grains.

Notes: It tastes good even as it warms and can be a good beer for session. I have it from time to time and I enjoy it.

Photo of soupyman10
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one about a million times, but figured I'd actually do a bottle review. Pours a copper color with a fine head that dissolves quickly down to nothing. Okay but not particularly impressive to look at. Nose is mild hoppiness, a bit of fruit and malt. Taste is similar; some light graininess, piney hops, and some crisp fruit in there as well. Body is solid, although nothing too impressive. Might have to experiment a bit more, but is seems possible that I prefer this one on tap, although it's certainly a solid brew (and better than all the BMC out there in a landslide) in the bottle as well.

Photo of Baileyuk
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark Golden color with good head and lacing.

S - Mainly malts. Although not unpleasant there was not much complexity.

T - Good at first, as I went further there was a slight metallicy taste. Malty backbone with a faint hop taste.

D - Could be a session beer, but there are better choices for this. A good beer overpowered by great ones.

Photo of Traquairlover
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

20-oz in a glass stein on tap.

A = Nice clear orange amber, frothy white head almost like a cappucino with good retention and heavy lacing.

S = Fresh earthy noble hops, bread dough, nicely balanced.

T = Very fresh earthy noble hops, sweet malt like buttered uncooked croissant dough, some citrus at mid-palate, long dry clean finish.

M = Medium body, full, frothy feel and coating, nice carbonation level.

D = Very high. Extremely refreshing at the end of a long day. By American standards, a good session beer.

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

A- Clear light amber with small white head.

A- Sweet bready malts. Slight fruitiness

T- Wonderful malty taste backed with a hoppy bitterness. With a lingering bitter aftertaste.

M- Medium-light body withlwo-moderate carbonation.

D- Yes. Drinking this is always a good call. I remember my first boston lager and being blown away at how flavorful it was compared the the junk I was drinking back then.

Photo of rye726
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours a clear brownish color with a decent light tan head. The nose has some sweet grainy malts and faint hops. The taste also holds some faint bitter hops over a bed of mild malts. The body has good carbonation and an average lager body. A drinkable beeer, but a bit over priced.

Photo of HalfFull
2.62/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I think Harvard should take on this beer as a case study in Marketing, or perhaps contract brewing.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass it forms a nice dark head that lingers for a while and continues as moderate lacing on the glass. Taste and Mouthfeel disappoint. This is a shallow cousin, perhaps second cousin, of what this beer was ten years ago.

Living in San Diego I've been tasting this beer for many years, but would always cherish a trip to the East Coast to enjoy the real Sam. The one I served in 1986. The one that dethroned many a European beer 20 years ago as for my favorites. Alas, my last two trips have convinced me that that Sam is gone. Sam Adams BL in Boston is now the same as Sam Adams BL in San Diego. The lowest common denominator has won. This is a very sad day. The beer is boring and lifeless now, devoid of much character and tastes as if it's been pasteurized.

edit: Feb. 2009

Poured a bottle of Sam into my new Boston Lager glass. Color is lighter still, golden at best, and clear with a reduced head. Malt presence remains washed out. A bit smoky on the nose, rather dry. What happened to those Vienna malts? I pick up more hops but with a diacetyl butter flavor. Can't retain or regenerate any head. 'A head so thick you can float a bottle cap on it'? I don't think so. The degradation continues. June 2009 freshness date from a Brewmaster's Collection mixed case.

At this rate we'll have Sam Adams Boston Water by 2015. Bon Soir...

Photo of SaucyA
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours with a golden orange, bright and clear body, with a slightly off white head. A tiny bit of lacing. Lots of bubbles. Better than average.

S - Smell is of bready malts, as well as light fruits. Nothing crazy, but it's not supposed to be.

T - Light malts, light hops, crisp and clean finish. Slightly spicy hop profile, but mostly fruity and generally light flavors...nothing remotely offensive. Finishes slightly drier and hoppier than expected. It's good.

M - Extremely light and sparkly, but has a nice creaminess thoughout.

D - Completely drinkable. Embodies the word.

Notes: My girlfriend and I stopped at a hole in the wall beer store and this was the only remotely decent thing they had. I saved one to review.

A real winner in the Sam Adams lineup.

Photo of comingbackdown
4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

1st try with this one, poured lovingly and carefully straight from the bottle into a handwashed, air-dried mug.

It poured a beautiful amber color, deep and appreciable.

Consistency: Thin, not watery, it's light and flows freely, but it's not watery.

Head: 3-finger head. Not aromatic, took a long while to dissipate. Didn't get a very good nose off it, so I waited for the head to dissipate and took a good nose.

Nose: Smell a bit of hoppyness, yeast, apple, cherry, vanilla-like, sweet, slightly smokey smell to it. Had to smell something else repeatedly to get all of these. My nose may not be finely tuned enough yet, but it pretty much crippled my sense of smell. It's quite strong for my nose to handle.

Taste: Bitter, but sweet at same time. Strong. Dark and smooth, good malt. Crisp feel. Bittersweet with a strong taste of hops at the finish, and a hoppy aftertaste. Quite nice.
A very subtle hint of salt deep down in the flavor, just a hint of it. I found it after a second review with a mildly chilled beer mug. Just goes to show, beer is a delicate, wonderful, mysterious thing. :) Slightly uneven lacing this time, maybe because of a not-so-great pour on my part...

Mouthfeel: Light, slightly buttery, well carbonated, and very tingly. Leaves a warm taste in the mouth, slightly scratchy feel. I'd give the mouthfeel a 4.0, but... The mouthfeel is a bit too scratchy... Like a light, unobtrusive sandpaper, curiously enjoyable.

Overall: For a beginning reviewer, I think this stuff is great! I'm sure I'll wind up editing all my early reviews as time goes on, but this is good for a first.

So far, Therse are the beers I've tried:
Old Milwaukee, Milwaukee's Best Ice, Sam Adams Summer Ale, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, and this.

Out of that list, This is the best damn beer I've had out of all of them.

Have fun, drink responsibly, and respect the beer.


Photo of nrbw23
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice deep amber color with a slighty off white head that left an excellent amount of lacing.

S- I could pick up ceral and grainy hops. Maybe even some floral hops here.

T- Very nice here I really enjoy this brew. Sweet malts balanced by some hops bitterness. Also a little bit of a caramel taste.

M- Medium in body with a nice amount of carbonation.

D- Incredibly easy to drink and easy to find.

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

12 oz bottle picked up just about anywhere in the US. Poured into a pint.

A: A nice golden copper with a touch of head. Clear and clean.

S: Smells like bread and hops. Thats about it.

T: Got some mildly sweet malt that is perfectly countered with a good amount of hops. A very well balanced beer. You will also find a bit of grains and spice going on in there.

M: Has an appropriate amount of carbonation for the style. Cool and clean on the finish. Very refreshing.

D: Drink it. For mass produced this is good stuff. Never a bad call as they say.

Photo of KBomb
2.71/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

We get a nice brown color with a medium sized creamy head. Smell of hops and a little toasty bread. Taste is pretty bitter with a kind of sour finish. Pretty one dimensional, nothing really there to compliment the hops. To me the flavor is uninteresting at best. And I really needed something to follow it up to get sour and bitter tastes out of my mouth.

I'm at a loss as to how this beer is so well loved. Maybe a bit richer than macrolagers, but not very appealing. A little bit boring and a little bit unappetizing. Excessive bitterness and a metallic mineral taste put me off quite a bit. BBC has much better offerings than this.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 7,940 ratings.