Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,553 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,553
Hads: 8,493
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 13.68%
Wants: 152
Gots: 1,922 | 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.
View: Beers (120) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Boston Lager Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,553 | Hads: 8,493
Photo of boatyard
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been enjoying Samual Adams Boston Lager for some eight years now. Now what I enjoy most about Samuel Adams Boston Lager is its exceptional drinkability. Its one of those beers that you don't have to think to much about it to enjoy it.

As far as the pour goes Samual Adams Boston Lager pours a nice amber color, if poured right it will leave a nice head of which you can float the bottle cap on it.

initially you should be able to taste the body and sweetness of the malt. This beer has real substance, it's not thin or watery. The sweet is followed up by some tartness, but has a very balanced flavor. The complexity is there but not too much a persone can taste the toffee, honey flavor, while moving into the citrus flavoring of the hops.

 753 characters

Photo of BrewMaster
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Applebee's in Chino, CA. I've had this beer several times in the bottle but never on tap so I figured it's about time I review it. It was served in a tall pilsner glass with a nice, off white and creamy head on top of the golen hued beer. The aroma on this beer is nice and hoppy without being intimidating. The flavor is very good with an excellent balance of light malt flavor with floral hoppy flavor. The malt profile is not bready in nature, but more crisp and sweet. This is one of the better balanced beers out there. Very tasty with a soft, light to medium body. This is definately a great stand-by beer for places like Applebee's where they generally serve macro swill and don't tend to serve good beer.

 729 characters

Photo of KroMagnon
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice clarity, a pale amber color with decent head. The aroma is nice, a hint of "noble" minty & woody hops along with a faint clear helping of malt and not much else. The flavor is good as well, not overpowering or awe-inspiring but solid from start to finish with a clean maltiness, a solid backbone of bitterness at the end, some more of that noble hop flavor (again, kind of wood-like to me, hints of cedar and spicy minty) and a little bit of caramel. Good mouthfeel. Samuel Adams is kind of maligned in that they aren't really a micro, but they make a solid product that is way better than BudMillerCoors and the "imports" like Heinekin. It was definitely the best choice I had at the convenience store this past holiday weekend (Christmas 2004) (although the Yuengling lager was my 2nd choice as I have never had it before, the green bottles just keep me away.)

 867 characters

Photo of sabrills70
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber with a good 2 finger head and good lace. Mildly smells of sweet malt with a faint hop aroma. Taste of immediate sweet malt that is quickly followed my the hop "spicyness". Not to overpowering - very well balanced. Crisp. I wouldn't call this a lawnmower beer but it is fairly flavprful for a "average" American lager and very drinkable. This is my standard when eating out because it usually goes well with all types of food.

 446 characters

Photo of FormatKid
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single from my Holiday Sampler. Pours out with a body a perfect shade of amber similar to the Sam Light I had a few moments ago. The head is white, voluminous and robust. I’m actually getting sheets of lace down the side of the glass and the head retention is pretty great as well. The nose is sweet toffee and biscuity malts with a faint sprinkling of earthy bitterness about the edges. As I swallow the first thing I notice is this is quiet a bit sweeter than I remember it being. Nice round toffee flavors up front accompanied by a mild fruitiness, the middle is grainy (in a good way) and is eventually accompanied by a well-balanced earthen bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is light, but has quiet a bit more body than your typical Pale Lager. A great, well rounded beer, flavorful and with nice session appeal. I think I will find myself going to this one more often.

 886 characters

Photo of BigRedN
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed in comparison with a Dos Equis Amber lager (also a Vienna Lager).

Appearance: Darker amber (orangish/brown hue). Good head, about 1/2 inch, lasting until midway through the beer. Lacing in the glass until the finish.

Smell: Malty sweetness noticed, a hint of roasted chocolate. Faint tinge of hops noticed (although subtle, and right after pouring).

Taste: The malty sweetness is noticeable, but is balance by a bit of hop at the finish. Flavor of caramel, chocolate and something else sweet and nutty (almonds?). I seem to taste almonds with malty beers, I wonder why?

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, carbonated.

Drinkability: Very enjoyable, I had forgotten how good this beer is, and I can see why it is so popular, worlds better than BMC.

Final thoughts: I seem to remember this beer as being more robust in flavor, and felt that this has been toned down (its probably been almost a year since I have had ANY Sam Adams products). A very good beer nonetheless. I forgot how mush I missed this, thanks to Scott, my college roomate who introduced me to this in the Fall of '95, and turned me on to better beer.

 1,134 characters

Photo of RocketWidget
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can't believe I've never reviewed this one before! Comes in a custom 12oz longneck bottle, with the best before month clearly notched.

Pours a very clear deep pale pumpkin orange color. Very carbonated for the style. Head is thick, white, and surprisingly long lasting. Clings to the side of the mug nicely. Taste is good. I can honestly say that this macro lager tastes better than some (repeat: SOME) of the craft lagers I've had. It shouldn't win any best of show awards either, but the fact that it is a decent beer in a market of fizzy yellow beers is something of merit. Quite sweet, hops are subtle, there are certainly no bold Czech hops here. Strawlike and sweet, then dry on the aftertaste. If forced to drink a macro as unfortunately some social situations demand, I will most likely ask for this.

 811 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ouncer, with freshness indication on the label. Pours very clear, darker straw shade, clear, supports a snow white tiny bubble head, which exhibits respectable retention and leaves B+ lacing, fine ,segemented and dispersed. bready floral nose, this is crisp and snappy lager, widely available and a useful fallback brew at many "bud-Miller-cooors light " type establishments. finishes clean and drying, with a hint of spice. Nice

 432 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal-clear amber color, fine bubbles, small head but nice head retention.

Aroma: Sweet malt, with slightly peppery hop aroma.

Flavor: Malt is the main flavor, slightly sweet, slightly grainy. Hop bitterness is medium low but provides some good balance, along with some spicy taste. Finish is clean, with enough hop dryness to make it interesting.

Body: Creamy mouthfeel, with medium carbonation.

Notes: As many beer fans say, this isn't an interesting enough beer to drink if there's a choice of micros, but it's not bad and at many bars where it's the only "choice", it can be quite a nice brew to have now and then.

 644 characters

Photo of bearrunner44
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of all the beers that can be found in the average grocery store, this one is my favorite. It shouldn't even be compared to watery macrobrews like Budweiser and MGD- it's several steps above them with both the strength and the quality of it's flavor. The difference is clear as soon as the cap comes off the bottle. The drinker is greeted with a pleasant, malty aroma as soon as it's opened. The taste is smooth and a little sweet at first, followed by a hint of dry bitterness when swallowed. The body is very full and malty. It has alot of taste, but it's also very drinkable- a great stepping stone into the world of better beers.

 636 characters

Photo of niknar
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the beer that started it all for me... an introduction to the wider world of "real" beer that we all celebrate as BAs!

Pours out an orange color with very good clarity and a pretty decent off-white head. Retention is pretty good and the head leaves a little lacing down the side of the glass. Aroma is pleasantly fruity with hints of sweet malt as well. Taste is a nice balance between malty sweetness and a fairly decent helping of hops in the middle. Finishes a semi-dry with hop bitterness lingering. Very good overall. Mouthfeel is a tiny bit thin due to notable carbonation, but still very pleasant. Drinkability is probably the strongest suit for this offering: well balanced and flavorful without going overboard in any particular area. This is an excellent beer that opened my eyes to a wider world many years ago. Probably never going to make the top of the lists, but a solid beer for any occasion and worthy of a place in your refridgerator!

 963 characters

Photo of alexAK
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with a slight touch of honey. Head retention is solid.

Presents just about everything I'd expect to see in a good solid lager. Hops are pronounced but well balanced and help promote the smooth mouthfeal. Perhaps not exceptional but I expect to see this in my fridge quite often.

 300 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep amber orange with a nice 1" fluffy white head. Shiny and clear. Smell is a sweet caramel with some grain notes and a smattering of floral hops. Nice, but nothing to write home about.

First sip has a nice nutty caramel flavor with subtle hints of flowery hop biterness on the back of the palate. A somewhat grainy flavor rides through there as well.

Mouthfeel is nice and easy to drink...a bit thin but that's to be expected. Drinkability is good here as this is a decent brew that is widely available and beats the hell out of the major macro choices.

 575 characters

Photo of aquatonex
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm trying very hard to rate this for style because, apparently, I really don't enjoy lagers...

Pours medium golden, nice hue, looks a bit pissy though. Insane amount of carbonation with a huge foamy head, good retention. After being attacked by bubbles, the taste is dominated by bitter hops and a little bit of toasted notes. At the end, the bitterness lingers as does the carbonation. As with all the Sams I've had, a helluva decent beer for such a large brewery. But, I wouldn't get it again until I start to like this style.

 532 characters

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

Pours a light golden color, which is very clear. Light shoots through the beer without any problem. A fairly thick rolling white head forms as the swirling carbonation rushes to the surface. A nice flowery aroma wafts up gently from the glass. A firm maltiness is shoulder to shoulder with the hops aroma. The hops embrace your tongue immediately, but quickly take a back seat to the semisweet maltiness. Now there's a slight caramel taste. This bit of sweetness fades into a nicely hopped finish, which is softly bitter. The aftertaste is refreshingly dry and on the bitter side. This is an easy drinking lager that will always have a special place in my heart. It's not the best beer out there, but like so many others, it was the first craft beer I ever drank regularly. For that, I'll always appreciate it and there will always be room for it in my fridge. It doesn't hurt that it's very tasty!

 898 characters

Photo of KoG
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sam Adams has always been one of those beers that just does it for me. Quite often it's the only thing besides BMC you can find around here on tap being a "Get people drunk for cheap and make them gamble away their savings" city unless you hit the micro breweries.

Fills the glass with a copper colored liquid that foams up and forms a nice 1" creamy head. Sticks to the glass and doesn't let go.

Smell is of sweet malt, caramel and a bit of flowery hop.

Taste is nice and malty, with a good amount of hops to pull it all together. Hop profile reminds me of a lighter SNPA.

Mouthfeel is great, a bit creamy but still refreshing like a lager and it pairs very well with the pizza I had.

Boston Lager is a very nice brew and is definately one I will need to start having around again.

 797 characters

Photo of Sixpoint
3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I first started drinking this beer when I was 15 years old. I remember ordering it when I would go out to eat with my parents at Uno's restaurant. I have not had it almost nine years now... and it tastes a lot different than I remember.

First of all, the aroma seems lacking. I remember it having a really distinct aroma presence... and I can tell you as a professional brewer, one of the easiest ways a brewery can cut corners and save money is to cut down on the amount of aroma hops they use. I can't tell if this brewery has taken this route, but the aroma seems to be lacking.

The taste is pretty good. I thought I detected DMS in the beginning, but as I tasted some more, it seemed to fade.

The beer was full-bodied for a vienna-style lager. It worked quite well with the generous contribution of flavor hops.

Overall this is a pretty drinkable beer.

 871 characters

Photo of Tballz420
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This guy has a dark gold body, big head(well i poured it pretty damn hard, it had better), cream colored, lace follows it down to the bottom. Clean grain malt scent, light floral hops as well. Pretty much the same for the taste, grain malt up front with nice floral/bitter hop contrast. Full mouth. Pretty damn drinkable Id say.

 328 characters

Photo of WetCoaster
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

For my 100th review, I thought I'd revisit the beer that started it all for me (and probably many BAs, for that matter) -- the classic Samuel Adams Boston Lager. It's been a WHILE since I've had one, so I'm curious to see how it holds up.

Appearance: A light amber/deep honey (what happened to that trademark deep orange hue?) with a dense, pure white head. Fair retention. Champagne-fine, super active carbonation. Leaves lace on the glass and a collar throughout.

Smell: Hmmm--much milder than I remembered. The first scent is an almost-pilsner, possibly Saaz hop spice. As it warms, a caramel maltiness emerges, as does a faint flowery/citrus fragrance.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Slightly malty up front with a hint of chocolate that I didn't remember it having. It's a bit macro-grainy midpalette, but finishes with a bitter, hoppy bite. Clean, dry aftertaste. The Mouthfeel is soft, slightly coating, a bit light and finishes crisp with a zing of carbonation.

Drinkability: Among the best; consistent, flavorful, fairly light, almost always available and usually wallet-friendly--it's sort of this generation's Michelob, I suppose.

That said, I was a bit surprised at how... small this beer seems. I don't know if it's been dumbed-down over the years or I've just gotten used to bigger beers, but it's not the powerhouse I remember it being. It's still a good beer--great on tap, IMHO--and if nothing else, it did ween a lot of people, myself included, off the macro swill and onto bigger and much better things. That ought to count for something.

 1,558 characters

Photo of mgdeth
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Notched for purchase before Feb. 2005. I made a mess on my table with the pour - nice thick white head that lingers. The beer is clear, and is a light amber or ever-so-slightly-orange color.

Smell - Nice malty aroma. I do not detect any hop smell. This has a characteristic "lager beer" smell as well.

Taste - Malty and very smooth. However, this beer packs a good amount of flavor. Clean and crisp. I might also detect some subtle hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Whether or not this is appropriate to style, I really enjoy it.

Mouthfeel - Light mouthfeel, but not at all watery. This beer puts most other mass-produced beer to shame.

Drinkability - Very drinkable. This beer goes down very smoothly, and the flavor is not cloying or overpowering.

Comments - This beer may have gone through some changes over the years, but in my opinion it is still a great brew. This beer is on my "can-always-go-to" list.

 938 characters

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

The famous BBC's Boston Lager is truly a classic beer. I do remember it being a lot heartier in the old days, but maybe it is just my palate that has changed. Either way, I revisit it often and enjoy the beer immensely. It pours a nice amber color and has the trademark thick foamy head that you can float a bottle cap on. The aroma is a truly great mix of noble hops, Hallertau Mittelfruh and Tettnang Tettnanger, and wonderful sweet and malty. The flavor is every bit as good as the aroma and the floral hoppiness is in the forefront and the heavy sweet malty backbone melds the experience into a mind blowing taste nirvana... Ok, maybe that is going too far, but I love this beer and hold it dear to my heart, even though it has become a tad cliche. Once again I thank Jim Koch and the BBC.

 793 characters

Photo of danadeny
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden brown body, light carbonation, and a decent white head. The smell is nice, crisp hops, mild roasted malt. Taste of medium roasted malt front. Mild hops finish. Caramel flavor transfer from beginning to middle. Drink ability is really smooth, overall balance is appealing and the mouth feel is smooth and a little oily.

 331 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'The godfather' of american microbrews. I seem to enjoy this beer more each time I try it. I can't agree that I think the BBC are dumbing down there beers, because they all still taste great to me! Boston Lager is a nice reddish amber colour, with a pretty vigurous head that sticks around for quite a while. This smells wonderfully of malts and hops and tastes just like an American lager should taste. The hops and malts just blend in a perfect unison in this brew! The mouthfeel is medium bodied and just right and the drinkability is damn good as well.

 556 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.63/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my top five favorite lagers. It pours a bold amber color with a huge fine beaded head that coats the glass with ivory lace. The aroma is flowery, malty and a little bitter. The taste is a delicious blend of caramelly malts and sea air noble hop flavor. Theres a great dry bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is slightly oily.

Its amazing that a beer this widespread and affordable is so full flavored and tastey. Excellent stuff, probably my favorite lager.

 480 characters

Photo of hobbes2112
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from the Winter Classics

Pours golden with decent (2 finger) head that rapidly vanishes leaving lace. Smell is light and sweet malt with a slight floral hoppiness. Taste is pretty similar, light malts with a larger hop flavor than expected.

Very drinkable beer that is found almost everywhere. I never pick it over any of the craft beers, but it will do versus the BudMillCoors menus of the world.

 417 characters

Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
86 out of 100 based on 2,553 ratings.