1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

6,069 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6069
Reviews: 2387
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 13.56%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-27-2001)
View: Beers (120) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 6,069 | Reviews: 2,387 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jtw5877


4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber hue with a thick white head, strong caramel maltiness with just the right amount of hop bitterness. An old favorite of mine. This was the first quality American beer I ever tried.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2002 15:46:00 | More by jtw5877
Photo of RBorsato


4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright golden. light amberish color with a nice full lasting head that leaves bits of lace. Very nice hoppy aroma ! Great balanced beer; leans towards the hoppy side and has a nice hop finish. Light-med bodied and smooth.

A TRUE CLASSIC and good intro beer for BudMilCor drinkers. As with most people, one of my first micros and led me down the beer-snob path.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2002 09:05:30 | More by RBorsato
Photo of Zraly


3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This lager has a wonderful smell, a nice floral bouquet with a hint of citrus. It almost smells what essential oil buffs would call "floriental". Now that I've really paid attention to that...I don't think I'll ever look at a Sam Adams the same.

This is truly a sophisticated American lager. It's extra-poofy, frothy head adds a contrasting beauty to the copper color of the brew itself.

I really appreciate the balanced nature of the malt, grain, and bitter components. Neither realm dominates the overall structure of the beer, but they each harmonize into a tight finish. And there is definately a fruity dimension lingering around there somewhere, almost a key lime-orangey subtlety...a really nice touch to an already tasty and drinkable beer.

I really think that Sam Adams Boston Lager is a classic. Even when I had *wine snob* tendencies, I would enjoy this on the occassions that I drank beer.

Great smell, great appearance, great taste...always a great choice.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2002 20:55:27 | More by Zraly
Photo of hyuga

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper-amber color topped off with a nice white head that stays just right and leaves a subtle lace. Nice floral hop aroma dominates the nose, backed by sweet and grainy malt. Hops and malt combine beautifully to create that classic unique Sam Adams flavor. Floral and slightly spicy hop character, a bit oily. Some would say metallic, but I would attribute this to the hops. Malt is again sweet and grainy, a great character. Exceptional balance and a great malt and hop pairing. Flavorful medium body that almost seems like a full body. Sweet and hoppy dry, crisp finish. This beer is a classic in so many ways. A crossover beer that converted many palates and created many beer advocates, as well as being a wonderful beer in itself and a great session brew. The world of micro/craft brewing owes a lot to this beer and this brewery. Appreciate it and enjoy it!

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2002 07:09:08 | More by hyuga
Photo of johnrobe


3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I haven't had this beer for a while...at least a year. When I last drank it, Sam's smiling countenance greeted me from the label and he was offering me a tankard of fresh brew...now he's gone. What happened? It must have been one of those silly marketing focus groups. Oh well.
In the glass the beer is a light copper with a two finger off-white head that dissipates quickly. The caramel maltiness of the past seems more restrained than what I recall. Crisp hops are nicely balanced with the malt....but again, much less assertive than I remember with this beer. It once had a signature hops bite that I really enjoyed, now just a shadow of its former self. Still a decent brew but, imho, it is now being dumbed down for the masses.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2002 23:08:29 | More by johnrobe
Photo of bewareOFpenguin


3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Was at a social event where this was the best choice of beer, Could not drink it from a glass, forced to drink it from the bottle. Peeking into the top of the bottle, it appeared to be golden. It tasted all right, I could make out the hops and the malts. Not bad for what I consider a semi-macro.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2002 11:23:50 | More by bewareOFpenguin
Photo of MaineBeerMan


4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice crystal clear, dark golden almost amber color with a nice sticky white head that left lots of lace.
The smell is a nice blend of floral hops and sweet malt, with a flavor to match.
Sam Adams hasn't been a "micro" for quite a few years, but they still produce a quality craft brewed product at a very reasonable price.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2002 20:22:51 | More by MaineBeerMan
Photo of putnam


3.53/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Several years ago I had to resort to drinking this beer on tap in Chicago. It was gorgeous, so different from the version that we got in Detroit. I have to believe they were from different brewerys under contract to BBC. Now, after years, I open another Detroit sample. It looks great, with reddish gold color and a neat, concise head of off-white, tiny bubbles. Then there's the smell. Other than the dominating notes of brushed metal, it seems like there's quality here. I just have a problem with strong metallic notes in my beer. It appears on the palate as well, where otherwise creamy, fizzy flavors of buttered toast and clean, soft hops appear. I'm willing to bet that I could get used to the metal after a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2002 10:06:28 | More by putnam
Photo of Murph


4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear light copper color with a nice creamy head that laces the glass very well. Nice caramel malt flavors are definitely present along with a fairly aggresive hoppiness as compared to the other beers I have tried in the style. Smooth and not overly sweet caramel malt opens up the brew. The malt holds up and supports the brew as the tangy hoppiness takes over at the end to provide a nice crisp finish. Very full flavored, this medium bodied brew is creamy and nicely crisp with the hop twang at the end. This beer has always served me well as a fall back brew and goes especially nice in the summertime.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2002 23:05:08 | More by Murph
Photo of beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a good off white head that has staying power, settling over gorgeous clear deep golden liquid. Nose smells of light flowery hops with some malt backbone. Taste is fresh, slightly fruity, notes of subdued flowery hops & slightly biscuity malt. Finishes smooth and mellow, with nice hop and malt interplay on the palate...invites another swallow. A great session beer...although it seems to me that when this beer was first rolled out on a wider scale back in the mid-80's, it had a bit more balls in the hop dept. It seems the recipe has been "tweaked"since then. Or maybe since it's made in a few different locations the final product varies slightly, I dunno. Still a damm good lager!

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2002 15:47:38 | More by beerluvr
Photo of zakery


4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: White head that laces down the glass. The body is a clear amber.

Smell: Earthy and a little spicy hops and some caramel malts.

Taste: Very good balance between caramel malts and spicy hops with a nice bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a gentle medium carbonation.

A good lager that you can always rely on. Gotta hate the new "head-less" labels though.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2002 07:06:14 | More by zakery
Photo of Mick

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great beer. Although there has been a lot of gossip and legitimate talk about BBC in the recent, still a great beer. Will one day be revered as a classic; I hope. It does deserve it, as I truly believe that BBC is a victim of their own success as opposed to being a sell-out.

Pours with great head that reminds me of the foamy and creamy looking whitecaps on the ocean. Great looking amber color with tints of gold. The ever-present hops are definitely responsible for the telltale unique bitter flavor that Sam Lager is known for.

Really bright mouthfeel and smooth clear finish. One of my all time favorites.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2002 12:53:21 | More by Mick
Photo of theman336


4.83/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow. Anyone who says that American's can't make good beer have obviously never tried this. There may be better American beers on the market, but none that are as widely avalibale this. You can find it everywhere and it tastes great. The hops are bold and crisp, but the finish is smooth. Its not a chore to drink. I love it and will continue to drink it, regardless of what is said about the management. Cut the BBC a break. They make a classic brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2002 22:49:04 | More by theman336
Photo of ADR


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

I was always going to skip this beer, but given that I had it on tap the other day (St. Paul Grill), I'll throw in some simple notes.

Nice color and good 1/4 inch head. Aroma is pleasant but could be a touch more pronounced. Just excellent balance, creamy caramel malts, and a nice amount of sassy hot cinnamon hop. In many ways, more Pale Ale-like than the Sam Pale Ale. Medium mouthfeel, very refreshing. History aside, and it shouldn't be -- this is a fine brew and an early "ambassador" for beerdom in North America..

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2002 08:43:24 | More by ADR
Photo of ryanocerus


4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am like many others as this was one of my first forays into the microbrew world. I have revisited it since it was my only choice of good beer in a small town. I was not disappointed. The amber hue and thick white head, although short-lived, were pleasing to the eye. The smell was of hops that had overwhelmed its malty companion. The taste went to the malt, however the hops were making a comeback at the end of the flavor. The beer was smooth, yet popped on my tongue with carbonation and this is one of those full-flavored beers that can be consumed en-masse. Excellent.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2002 22:14:19 | More by ryanocerus
Photo of mzwolinski


4.58/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Like many others, Sam Adam's Boston Lager was the beer that introduced me to the possibilities beer actually has. It wasn't until I rediscovered it recently in an airport bar that I was able to realize what a truly impressive beer this is. Trying it on draught is a must. The draught really brings out the sweet, malty body of this beer. The boquet is wonderfuly sweet (hints of caramel) and brings out the hoppy character of this beer -- truly exceptional for such a popular brand!

The new labels on the bottle proclaim that Sam Adams "has led a return to flavorful American beer." They're right, and beer aficionados everywhere have a reason to be grateful.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2002 15:38:01 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of Lupe

New York

4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber color and has a beatiful long lasting head that leaves nice lace througout. Fresh hop nose accompanied by a gentle, but assertive, malt taste.Smooth and very easy to drink with a nice amount of bitterness. One of the best lagers that is mass produced in America.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2002 13:08:17 | More by Lupe
Photo of Jon


3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice amber color with a fairly sizeable off-white head that sticks around. Tastes a bit sweet and fruity with a lingering hop mouthfeel. This one is very smooth and easy to drink. Certainly a classic American lager with which I can't really find any faults. Cheers to the Boston Beer Company for the widespread distribution of this quality product.

Serving type: on-tap

08-12-2002 12:53:54 | More by Jon
Photo of brakspear


4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The ultimate cross-over lager to bigger and better beers. Still, it was the first "national" beer I can remember that decided that a brisk hop aroma was not a bad thing as the macro brewers had seemingly ordained. Amber color with long-lasting medium head. Dominant noble hop aroma over caramel maltiness-very nice. Taste is malty sweetness followed by sharp and crisp hop bitterness. The body varies somewhat between light to medium-perhaps based on the brewery from which it was contracted? A very drinkable American beer that is a great fallback when more unique beers cannot be found.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2002 18:37:10 | More by brakspear
Photo of zerk


4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear light-amber with a head that dissapates quickly and leaves a fine lace. Aroma is very complex, and has a definate hoppy quality. Taste is excellent, has very pronounced hop flavor, but isn't overpowering. Hop / malt balance is maintained.

I really enjoy Sam Adams, as it is a very easy to find, and very well made beer. It's definately not your average lager.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2002 06:57:49 | More by zerk
Photo of bditty187


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

Clear, bronze-gold hue; fluffy, thick, white head, excellent retention… chunky rings of lace are produced. The nose is mild with light caramel, grain, and hops… simplistic and clean yet inviting. Tasty, straightforward palate… the hops are the most noticeable aspect of this beer; the malt (with caramel hints) adds tremendous balance. Very drinkable… enjoyable to quaff. Medium body. Ideal carbonation. The finish is short and clean with hops drying the mouth… aftertaste is largely nil (only faint caramel). Sam Adams' Boston Lager might be the best easy-to-find beer on the market. This is a true classic and a must try for any beer drinker. We would be at a loss without this beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2002 08:22:40 | More by bditty187
Photo of LarryV


4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer makes a great session beer. Pours a beautiful amber-red color. Balanced flavor of malt and hops with a medium mouthfeel. It's also excellent on draught as well. This is one of the best lagers I've had imho. Easy to drink, and easy to appreciate.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2002 07:00:54 | More by LarryV
Photo of canoehornpoint


3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is actually a complex beer. The nose is both malty and hoppy. Color is medium brownish amber, head is moderate. Retention is good. It starts with a malty and mildly citrusy hop taste and finishes with a more noble hop finish.

Re-review Thick white creamy head that stayed pretty decently and clings well, medium amber color with conservative carbonation. Minimal aroma, husky malt nose. German noble hops round out a husky but not offensive maltiness, hop bite at end is relatively neutral in flavor. Starts fairly smoothe but finishes with a bit of bite on the back sides of the tongue. This beer takes some hits but is a pretty flavorful lager (as lagers go).

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2002 18:27:44 | More by canoehornpoint
Photo of psugrad98


4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A great beer. Dark amber with nice head, and lace. Lace quickly dissapears though. Deep and rich tasting with carmel like sweetness and nicely bitter hop floral flavor. Finishes somewhat sweet with lovely bitter bite. A great session beer. My current favorite

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2002 07:09:22 | More by psugrad98
Photo of Dogbrick


3.03/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very distinct flavor but my least favorite of the Sammy's line, as I much prefer their seasonal fare. Nothing to really complain about though, as it is an above-average lager.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2002 17:18:17 | More by Dogbrick
Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 6,069 ratings.