1. 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.
BA SCORE
85
very good

6,054 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6054
Reviews: 2386
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 (117) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 6,054 | Reviews: 2,386 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

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

To be honest I'm not sure if it's me, but I remember this beer as having more bitterness and hop character. I distinctly remember being able to pick out some light hops in the nose and yet I don't find any now. And I know that my palate has become accustomed to hop bitterness over the years, but this is definitely softer than it once was! The label is notched April of 2003; Boston and Rochester, NY. Whether it's been reformulated, or this is just a slightly varied batch I don't know, but this is what I find...

It pours a deep amber body topped by a full and frothy ivory head that holds well. It eventually drops to a creamy collar and thin surface covering, but also leaves some spotty lace about the glass. The nose is surprisingly limited with just some dextrinous malt, a mild fruitiness, and a background note of acetone. A very fine-bubbled and zesty carbonation combines with a firm medium body to create a creamy mouthfeel. What I recall as being an assertively hopped, but well-balanced beer now appears to offer only a lightly caramel-tinged sweet malt that's barely supported by understated bitterness. The finish is simply a diminishing of the flavor that's found in the mouth. It's lightly drying, but basically the maltiness just fades away into nothingness. No hop flavor is present.
Still, I guess it's fairly enjoyable and has a good drinkability - it's certainly not challenging! If this has been reformulated in the hopes of becoming more accessible to the 'common' beer drinker, it's certainly hit the mark. If it's simply a bad (and even "off") contract brew, then shame on Boston Beer for losing quality control. I'm certainly going to try this beer again - on draft and in bottle - with the hopes that I'll find the wonderful lager that once thrilled me.

Re-review 03/07/03: Although this bottles is no fresher (notched May 2003), it is much cleaner. There's definitely no "background note of acetone". It does have a slight hop flavor, but no more bitterness. Still, it remains very much the same.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2003 14:49:55 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
OldFrothingSlosh

Pennsylvania

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

My first venture into the realm of non-macro brews. One that I have had many, many times and one that always tastes great. Included in the winter sampler pack.

Pours a deep amber color with lovely frothy-white that smothers the entire glass.

The aroma is a fragrant hops and malt mix that carries over into the flavor. Malt and hops are well-balanced. Mouthfeel is good. Finishes crisp and clean, with a pleasant hoppy bitterness on the palate.

A beer that you won't have to worry about when ordering. Consistenly refreshing and flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2003 12:08:45 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of kunzbrew
kunzbrew

Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The brew pours a clean crisp amber color with a nice head that does not want to stick around for the duration. The smell amber malt rings the nose but the hops aroma is not to strong. The maltyiness is ok but not great. The hop flavor is non existent. This is a good amber lager but the best I have ever had, but still a quality brew.

Cheers

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2003 17:39:56 | More by kunzbrew
Photo of Dmann
Dmann

California

4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I remember this being my first "real beer" after drinking the usual macro brews for so many years. And it still holds up very well today. The smell has always been interesting to me, with it's lemon like scent. It pours a light amber color with a great head that lasts about 2 minutes and leaves a good lace. The taste is malty with a great little bite at the finnish. Still one of my favorite beers and one to always fall back on since it is available almost anywhere.

Update: 12/22/04

Seems to have more of a hop presence than before, which is a good thing. A great beer indeed.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2003 02:05:40 | More by Dmann
Photo of guinness33
guinness33

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a solid classic amongst micros. pours a medium amber colour. there is a nice malt/hop balance in the flavour here. nothing outstanding about the original SA, but well made all around, and it's available pretty much everywhere you go, so if friends drag you to a bar that serves mostly bud/coors/miller, etc, chances are you'll find SA there too, and it's always a safe, tasty choice.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2003 13:16:03 | More by guinness33
Photo of cretemixer
cretemixer

Indiana

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

Golden amber hue with a fairly frothy off-white head. Head has some staying power and leaves a nice white lace. Smells well balanced but nothing extrodinary, slightly malty sweet and not too hoppy. Not bad...the flavor of the sweeter malts do dominate with a weak hoppy finish. Good introduction beer to wet someone's whistle to what lies beyond the world of the macros. Decent balance, medium carbontaion, medium body. Pretty good overall but not even close to what the true micros have to offer.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2003 06:14:51 | More by cretemixer
Photo of Rifrafboy
Rifrafboy

Minnesota

3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It is easy to bash this beer. It's one of the original micro's, almost to the point of being an expensive macro. This is, however, a good well crafted American lager. The color, smell and thick head are excellent. Taste is of malt and prominant imported hops. Taste is heavy and sweet, almost overpowering in the later. The finish is clean and malty. This is a great beer. I don't drink it often because of it's heaviness, but this is a beer among beers!

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2003 16:56:56 | More by Rifrafboy
Photo of doho95fu
doho95fu

California

4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I went to a steakhouse on Christmas Eve, and this was the best I could do. The last time I had this beer was at least 6-7 years ago, and I do not remember being impressed. But this is a good lager - I was pleasantly surprised. The color is not extraordinary, the smell is a balance of malt, hops, and lemon. The taste is more malt than hops in my book with some sweetness despite the citrus smells. There is a hoppy finish, with an aftertaste of something sweet that I could not place (caramel? molasses?). I am not the biggest fan of lagers, but this must be as good representation of the style as I have had. Obviously it is drinkable and the mouthfeel is good as well.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2002 06:57:38 | More by doho95fu
Photo of kelticblood
kelticblood

Massachusetts

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

A rusty copper dark amber colored when poured from the bottle leaving a long white lace.Great carbonation with bubbles rising to the top the entire time.A medium to full body beer with a slight malt and definate hop flavor and smell.Just a touch of lemon on the finish makes this beer perfectly balanced with no real flaws.A staple beer thats never a let down and always there when you need it.Its always better from the tap.


Note:Tastes of honey noted recently.A long honey finish.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2002 21:22:57 | More by kelticblood
Photo of budgood1
budgood1

Minnesota

3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours out a clear, dark amber colour, with a big rocky head that sticks. a good bit of lace. a fine aroma of hops, spicy in nature with a nice malt background. tastes of light malts, contributing to a medium to light mouthfeel. the spicy hops add good deal of character to the overall flavour profile and add just a slight kick of bitterness in the back end. a nicely hopped lager that is tasty and quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2002 22:02:30 | More by budgood1
Photo of mjohn27603
mjohn27603

Michigan

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

Pours with a large head that overfilled my pint glass. Amber in color which is pretty for a lager. Can't get much off the aroma. The taste is better than I remember. The hops flavor and slight bitterness are what make this beer for me. It makes it so much more interesting than other American lagers. It seems like I don't quite get the full hops flavor in many of these. The only reason I can think of is out of date beer. This one seems to have retained freshness. Leaves a nice ringing aftertaste of sweetness rather than the sour taste many lagers leave. Not a bad option when microbrews aren't around. Still their corporate ethics as of late have made me think twice before picking up a sixer.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2002 18:40:05 | More by mjohn27603
Photo of IrishRedRock
IrishRedRock

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow...so much better than I remember. I previously only ever had this on tap and never liked it all that much, but this bottle is delicious. Compared against other lagers, it's quite good, and against any beer really its good.

The darker appearance for a lager is quite appealing, and the head retains quite well. Aroma is a nice balance of both the malts and hops.

Extremely smooth, a near perfect mouthfeel. Malty and delicious. A true American standard.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2002 19:39:51 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of BeerBuilder
BeerBuilder

Minnesota

3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours to a light copper color with a white head that quickly dissipates. The aroma is of caramel malt, and spicey/floral hops. Again in the flavor I taste the caramel malts, but the malt flavor is balanced out by the slight hop bitterness. The hop flavor is in the background, but a slight floralness was tasted. It is a light-medium bodied beer, leaning more toward light. It is relatively clean, and finishes a bit sweet and smooth. Overall, a good, well balanced lager.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2002 16:57:49 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of Webby64
Webby64

Indiana

3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first review, but not my first "good beer". This brewski really hit the spot today! I keep licking my chops everytime I take a sip. Love the "look" and the smell is good. Lace a tad thin in my mug (considering the big head) but not objectionable. I will definately have this when it is "on sale" at the ole super market, my wallet (and my taste buds) are happy today!

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2002 15:43:27 | More by Webby64
Photo of CharlesRiver
CharlesRiver

Connecticut

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

I have had this beer many times but the time it tasted best was actually out of a keg using a pump tap at a rehersal dinner. I had had SA many times before this and can't figure out why it was so great this time. Maybe very fresh? Anyways, the smell blew me away as the hops were amazing. Balanced, smooth and very drinkable this is a beer that I fall back on many times.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2002 19:16:49 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of chilidog
chilidog

Ohio

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

Its a classic and im proud to say thisone started it all for me. I love the appearance with its massive two-inch off-white head and top to bottom sticky lace. A good balance of slightly more hop bitterness while backed-up by a malty caramel sweetness. A great classic stand-by, of which I judge all others.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2002 03:24:43 | More by chilidog
Photo of rockdick
rockdick

Texas

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

One guy said this was "The Godfather" of the American Amber Lagers, and I totally agree. It poured a dark amber color with a white head that lasted about half way down. Taste was slightly bitter with a hint of sweet malts. Overall, very drinkable. Always a " go to" beer for me when I can't get to a decent liquor store.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2002 10:38:40 | More by rockdick
Photo of Morris729
Morris729

Texas

4.28/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear golden amber color with a medium sized foamy white head. The aroma is sweet malts and grains with some floral notes. The taste is also sweet malts with a bit of spice and a pleasant hop bitterness. This was one of the first microbrews I ever tried—I loved it then, and I still love it.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2002 00:26:40 | More by Morris729
Photo of Shiloh
Shiloh

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good lager, somewhat darker than I anticipated as it was a very deep and rich amber. The head was nothing exceptional but it is the taste that gets you and holds you there. A burning sweetness is the only way to describe this expierience. Mouthfeel and drinkability are equal to the taste in this well rounded brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2002 19:24:18 | More by Shiloh
Photo of Winter
Winter

Wisconsin

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

Poured a clear amber with a nice foamy head about an inch thick. Aroma consisted primarily of hops. Taste is light bodied, but flavorful. Not much up front, but then a toasted flavor is introduced in the middle. Finish has a touch of bitterness and light caramel, followed by a pleasing return to a toasted hop finish. I tried this out of the Winter Classics sampler pack and I have to admit that this was one of the freshest tasting bottles of Sam Adams Boston Lager that I have ever had. Sam Adams was one of the first beers during the microbrew revolution in the mid 90's to get me to convert over to micros.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2002 11:25:21 | More by Winter
Photo of allboutbierge
allboutbierge

Austria

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

This beer has become a standard in judging lagers for many people; I can see why. The appearance is relatively attractive: Color is an amber with very predominate colors of orange. Head poured is fluffy and it leaves a nice trail of lace down the glass. The bubbles of carbonation are tiny but produce a small head that lasts throughout the glass. Fragerance is balanced with a trace of hops. Flavor is good; its well balanced with mellow carmel-like malts with a nibble of hops that hits the tip of the drinkers tongue. Very pleasant brew to drink. Not my favorite, but a beer that I enjoy alot none the less.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2002 17:33:41 | More by allboutbierge
Photo of BeerBob
BeerBob

Nebraska

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

Samuel Adams Boston Lager pours a deep copper amber from a 12oz brown glass bottle. Head of tan and firm bubbles goes over two fingers and laces the glass well on the way down.

Nose is a not unpleasant aromatic floral hops. Palate is a rich and full flavored malt with excellent mouth feel.

New label, but same good old taste, maybe even better this year than last.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2002 00:33:28 | More by BeerBob
Photo of twi1609372
twi1609372

Florida

5/5  rDev +33%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

the beer that started it all for sam adams. this beer started a beer revolution. this is a dark beer in every respect, this is a true beer drinkers beer. sam adams boston lager is a good beer, but once you have tryed it you have to try the other variaties to truely enjoy all sam adams has to offer.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2002 23:47:33 | More by twi1609372
Photo of SchmichaelJ
SchmichaelJ

Pennsylvania

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

While I had heard from many sources that this was a pretty excellent beer, I decided to see for myself if the buzz was truth or hype. The Boston Lager did not disappoint. Straight from a Sam Adams sampler case, the bottle poured a nice golden color with just the right amount of head and subsequent lace on the glass. An enticing malty scent greeted my nostrils, and the taste was everything I look for in a finely balanced, pure amber lager. A slight fizziness on the tongue was complemeted by a filling, creamy mouthfeel. This lager is very drinkable...luckily the sampler only had 6 in the case, or I'd be in trouble! Very enjoyable beer, and its reputation is well-deserved.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2002 17:54:50 | More by SchmichaelJ
Photo of jtw5877
jtw5877

Ohio

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
Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 6,054 ratings.