Samuel Adams Boston Lager | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

very good
2,602 Reviews
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Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-27-2001

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Reviews: 2,602 | Ratings: 8,740
Photo of Parmesan
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Golden Amber color. Small white head that dissipates quickly and some carbonation bubbles.

Smell: Floral hops, malt and caramel and some sweet malt.

Taste: A good balance of sweet malt with some floral hops and then some pleasant bitterness at the end.

Feel: Medium carbonation, medium body and overall very easy drinking.

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Photo of josanguapo
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

From Taste of America. In Teku glass. After dinner. Not much foam. High drinkability with a pleasant bitterness. I wish Seville's lagers were like Boston's ones

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Photo of FrothFanatic
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Often a gateway beer to craft beers for a lot of people, this is definitely a superior brew to the other macros: the budweisers, heinakens, and millers. Its Rich lager with balance, hops and maltiness. Not too sweet not too bitter, and it is always widely available, definitely my go to beer when I am out and about.

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Photo of EricLiverpool
4.62/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Another great "go to" beer for me when I'm out. Looks great in its signature glass and tastes great on tap or bottled. Probably Boston Brewing's best beer along with Octoberfest.

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Photo of MarkLinton1
4.14/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

It's been years since I've had a Boston Lager. Two were included in the Holiday Classics 12 pack. This beer brought the craft beer movement to the forefront. Boston Lager was my first step out of the "Bud Light"comfort zone. Sweet malts up front flow gently into a subtle hop bite and somewhat dry finish. Beautiful, flavorful and very drinkable. This reunion with Boston Lager will keep me from overlooking it next time I'm in the craft beer isle.

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Photo of stevoj
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A nice outing for a mass market beer. Amber in color with spare head, nice robust aroma and taste. Very drinkable with a little bit of hops bite. Need to check this one out again.

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Photo of Kevin_Langford
4.52/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an exceptional beer. I had it while on vacation in Maine. We went camping at Acadia National Park and I picked up a 6-pack of this to have by the fire. It was rich, not lacking in flavor, and smooth. I had it with a lot of different food items over the grill and it complemented each of them nicely. I will definitely get this one again.

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Photo of 911CROFT
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle into a conical 2/3 pint glass. Paid £4.99 for a pack of four.

Pours a clear, deep amber coloured body that changes to a bright, golden orange when held to the light. A two-finger in height, thick, off white, bubbly head dissipates slowly with the help of masses of fine streaming carbonation, leaving behind a modest amount of delicate lacing on the glass.

The nose is subtle and simple overall; light amounts of crisp toasty grains, caramel malt and a small dose of floral and grassy hops are present in equal parts. The taste follows suit, crisp, sweet malts and a touch of caramel lead upfront before fading into a slightly dry floral and grassy hop profile mid palate. Towards the finish a mild amount grassy and citrus bitterness builds, cleanly rounding off lingering sweetness from the malty body. In the mouth, fine carbonation and a light to medium body give a feel that starts smooth and creamy and finishes clean, crisp and slightly dry. A tiny amount of astringency on the very end encourages you to take another gulp.

Overall this is a good beer, nicely balanced, extremely quaffable and great value for money, given the choice though I’d probably prefer a Brooklyn Lager.

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Photo of breardon1776
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sometimes I forget how good Sam really is because I drink it so often. Been drinking a long time as northeast born and raised. Such a crisp profile with pine notes and mild hops with great mild bitterness.

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Photo of DirtyMikeandTheBoys
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My go to craft beer. This beer helped me see the light from low grade mass manufactured beer. Pours a nice copper brown, with a nice 4 finger head and good lacing. Smooth and hoppy. Served ice cold on draft down at the local Texas Roadhouse. I can destroy a sixxer with little to no hangover. It's all there and some more

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Photo of swimmatt
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Still one of the best beers I've ever had. Very good out of the bottle, but simply fantastic on draft. Can't go wrong. Great aroma to the beer and a great full taste, but not overpowering. Has a great look and head to the beer whether on draft or bottle.

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Photo of Nyg
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent lager. Copper color,a decent combo of sweet and malty with a bit of caramel . Nice carbonation. A bit on the heavy side. Good for a couple but another I couldn't drink a 6 pack enjoyably of without gut bloat

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours clear amber orange with a creamy frothy off-white head. Smells sweet and malty with caramel, toffee, molasses, honey, some citrus, and herby grassy pine. Tastes like sweet malt balanced with some hops, sweet caramel, dark honey, molasses, toffee, with some fresh citrus and herby grassy pine. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy with moderate carbonation. Overall a nice malty lager.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into a pilsener glass.
The appearance was a nice looking burnt amber color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipates at a nice pace. Light lacing clings to the glass nicely.
The smell starts off with a toasty sweet caramel malt base and gets some nuts to enter for the balance.
The taste was mainly the same with a sweet caramel aftertaste and a quick finish.
The mouthfeel had a light body with a good sessionable feel to it. Carbonation runs fairly light. Moderate sticky caramel malts cling to my tongue.
Overall, well, its a Vienna Lager, what's wrong with that, one knows they got to every now and again.

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Photo of phrimplepoot
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Tried and true - a great tasting and great looking lager. The color is a very nice amber. Carbonation is a little much for my taste, but that's me. Most importantly, this was THE reason we can choose from so many brews these days.

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Photo of dipso123
3.27/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap
Nice looking beer with a lasting head and lacing but too sweet and too much caramel character to be as sessionable as one would hope in a lager. Mouthfeel is thick and a bit pasty in the finish. Other than that quite drinkable.

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

I'm not an expert. Also, I'm Canadian, so I don't know if Sam Adams counts as a macro or micro brew. But I'll just say this. This beer is noticeably better than any macro brew, and holds its own against any good microbrew. Sam Adams Boston Lager is proof that there's no excuse for a bad beer. There is no reason why every beer can't be great, like Sam Adams is. In conclusion I'll just say that you can't go wrong with Sam Adams. It's great beer. Whenever there's a new brew available at my local store, I'm always find myself wondering if the risk of trying the new beer is worth it, considering that I already know that Sam Adam's is great. I usually do better when I just grab the Sam Adams.

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Photo of JamesBondGA
3.16/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

pours an amber color with a thick head and lives a nice lacing on the glass. Not much on the nose to smell. Taste is malty, little bitterish at the end. For a lager this was pretty good.

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Photo of thorkelson
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Now this, my friends is a beer.
I love this beer so much. It's so perfectly malty and sweet with a great balance of grainy taste. Super bready and full. Available EVERYWHERE which makes it even better. A perfect beer to share with non-craft buddies.

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Photo of rockclimberscott1
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm going to be lazy here. To begin with I have tried hundreds of craft beers and I know this is not technically but it is by far my favorite go to beer. Everyone's palate is different but this is perfect to me in every way.

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Photo of stlfatguy
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Great color, somewhere between amber and copper, with an almost creamy thick head. Very nice for a lager. Head dissipates but laces down the side of the glass. Not much on the smell. Not offensive, just neutral. Balanced taste. Nice malt with caramel flavor, but not too sweet. Hops come out more on the aftertaste. The first "craft" beer for many of us, and it's still the way I remember.

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

The bros say, Subtle hops, crisp, with residual sweetness. I'd say that sounds about right. Poured into a four inch snifter, an inch head quickly subsided to a residual froth. Smells of sweet metal and caramel, with an esthery, bubbly air. Just enough sweetness - with a bit of bitterness in the aftertaste to feel like drinking a pretty good beer - but without the impression of drinking a beer that's trying to be highbrow. Nice - golden amber color. Warm, yet hoppy smell - balanced. This beer surprised me - I was expecting something closer to the big brewers, in the vein of an American Adjunct Lager, but was pretty surprised. I will choose this beer again.

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Photo of whatthehull
4.61/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a snifter/tulip/wine glass from a 12 oz bottle

A - Golden copper west coast sunset with 2 finger thick/rich of white head and some sugar legs/lacing

S - sweet caramel, bread yeast, lots of sweet/toasted malts, fresh and toasted grains, floral, lots of green/brown earth, oak that was wet from rain and now drying in the sun and a slight pine note

T - Lots of roasted and sweet malts up front, earthy/floral hops dance on the tongue and give this a bittersweet bite near the end. Fresh baked bread, slight wheat note, lots of full bodied grains, nice sugar, some pine and more sweet/roasted/toasted malts

M - Full bodied, well balanced, nice complexity, medium acidity, medium carbonation and a huge malt bomb from start to finish with a nice hop to balance it out

D/O - Very drinkable, refreshing, lots of flavor but not over the top or under whelming and perfect for any occasion or time of year. This one compliments well with BBQ, grilling and pizza, just really nice all around and for the bud to artisan beer fan alike.

Final thoughts - The ABV is nice for dipping all day at 4.9% and can be found most anywhere. The price can range from $12-17 a 12 pack, I like to stick around the lower part of that barometer.

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Photo of Strat58cat
4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I opened a bottle and poured into a Samuel Adams beer glass. The eggshell head foams up very abundantly - more than an inch. It hangs in forever. Lacing is prominent to the bottom of the glass - quality malt on display. The color is a slightly red-tinted amber, not fizzy yellow beer as was ubiquitous when Boston Lager emerged in 1985. This lager is pure eye candy. There's no better-looking lager in my experience.

Inhale that incredible honey-spice aroma. It's the unique product of a mysterious interaction between the noble hops and the caramel malt. The pine of a Torpedo is 100x as powerful, and not as divine. Yet, if you try snuffing in another big snout full . . . it's gone . . . instead you will get a slight aroma of the malt - caramel toast, with just the hint of noble hops around the edges. Hey, it's not a Tricerahops or a Stone IPA, okay? It's a lager.

Quaff a nice gulp. The hops and malt have the alchemy to create a honey caramel note. Yet, the second sip isn't as distinct. Chase that initial glimpse of paradise and you can't grasp it. What you will find instead is a substantial and high-quality malt. Chew on that malt. It is something special, bringing home the German saying that beer is liquid bread. The heart of Boston Lager is the malt. The aroma is from the malt, and the taste is from the malt. Boston Lager is a very old beer. Jim Koch states that it is his great-grandfather's recipe from the 19th century. Don't expect citric west coast hops in this brew. Boston Lager is malt-forward. Yet, the IBU is 30, and all those hops make themselves known in the deeper bitterness that balances this complex lager. Sit back, enjoy, and in the finish paradise returns as the hops lend a suggestion of flowers. Boston Lager cannot be pigeonholed. The flavors are complex, unfolding differently on different occasions.

The feel is substantial for a lager. It's not as thick as an Octoberfest, which is very filling. Yet, it's not at all watery, finding a middle ground between an overwhelming malt and a thin beer. It's not trick of carbonation. The malt is thicker than an ordinary beer - hence unrestrained head that piles on top of the glass and retains as well as any I've seen.

With Boston Lager, paradise can be glimpsed - although it cannot be seized. Boston Lager is the original no-compromises lager. With generous helpings of noble hops, a rich malt, and the resulting unique interplay between these elements, nobody does lager better. Samuel Adams started with the best and never compromised. The grandfather of craft beers is still doing it right. It's as good as lager gets.

Note: Boston Lager is widely available. If you buy a six-pack that's been sitting out in a brightly lit grocery store for months, don't blame the beer. Light severely impacts beer, particularly the aroma, even when in a dark bottle. Personally, I buy a sealed 12-pack, which is very affordable, of the most recent vintage that I can find in one of the darker aisles at Bev Mo.

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Photo of frozyn
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L -- Pour a nice light copper color with a frothy white head that leaves little lacing behind as it quickly dissipates.

S -- Sweet malts, mostly.

T -- Figs and plums come through, a long with a strong caramel sweetness. The note ends with a slight spice, but the major hit is malt.

F -- Light-to-medium, a little sticky from the sweetness, crisp.

O -- I have drank tons of this beer and always enjoy it when I have it. Is it mind-blowing? No, but it's a damn solid beer and for the price it is a great value.

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Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
86 out of 100 based on 2,602 ratings.