Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale) - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale)Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale)

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2,002 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,002
Reviews: 968
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 48
Gots: 189 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-12-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,002 | Reviews: 968
Reviews by jazer:
Photo of jazer
2.94/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Rather nice appearance. Well-rounded taste, a little of everything, sweet and bitter. Reminds me a lot of Boston Lager. I think I could have several of these without any regret. Definately more of a bitter beer kind of a drink,though.

Recommended. Sort of.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had no idea that Boston Beer Company was behind this one,have had 3 or 4 times at the Uno here in Greensboro.Poured into frozen mug wich I didnt care for much,not much head but a little lace,smelles sweet and a little grainy.Taste is malty and a little fruity but nothing spectacular.It is better than almost everything on tap there (except Sammy's)so its not to bad I guess.

Photo of tectactoe
3.16/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Josh for the bottle, saving me from having to buy this beer myself. It's a ruddy copper color with some red-ish hues that spike out at the edges. Light clarity throughout with a mild chill haze that clears up over time. The foamy, off-white head is mighty quick to recede to the edges of the glass where it remains as a dusty collar for quite a while.

Spaghetti and meatballs. Seriously, you can stop reading right there, just save yourself the time because I don't know what the hell my nose it up to. But, yeah, I'm getting a total spaghetti sauce vibe from the aroma, and I don't know why, because it seems that I'm the only one with this notion.

Mild bready malt... Sure. Faint leafy hops... I guess. The incessant incision of a mildly tomato-ish and basil-like spice keeps distracting my nose (and eventually my brain) long enough to prevent me from pulling out any other beer related aromas that might actually be there. Does it smell like Mama Mia's Pizza Beer? No. But goddamnit, this stuff is saucy.

In hopes that a sip of this brew would wash away the crazy notions my nose was having, I take a few gulps, only to find that there's still a bit of that spaghetti sauce spice on my palate now. What the hell! Granted, it's not quite a body slam like the aroma, but it's still there. At least maybe it's settled enough to allow me to actually review this as a beer now.

Bright hops, toasty malt, and a slightly sweet, yeast filled finish with a crisp aftertaste that's something you'd normally get from a lager. That's about all I can say for this one, other than the whole pizza sauce debacle. Thin bodied, but I think that was expected. High carbonation, aiding in the crispness and dry nature of the finish.

So I don't know what spices, hops, or malts are used for this beer, by my brains seems to translate the marriage of them into a sensory reminder of Ragu. It wasn't as cumbersome or off-putting as something like Mama Mia's Pizza Beer; it was actually drinkable and not *that* bad. But it's still something I'll be leaving on the shelf next time.

Photo of brownbeer
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber color with a small, dirty white head.

The nose is faint, but it does have is positive. Lemony hops with bready caramel, but the malt does dominate.

Fairly sweet taste, borderline too sweet with thick, toffeeish malt. The hops come in with a late attempt at balance but fall a bit short and the mouthfeel is a little syrupy.

This was a good beginner beer for me a few years ago because the caramel/toffee flavors are so easy to identify, but I don't think I'll be going back to this any time soon.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Crystal clear coppery amber in color; Good off-white colored head of about 3/4" reducing slowly into an uneven layer of bubbles. Good lacing. It just looks pretty!

S: Faint aromas of moderate malts and light hops.

T&M: Relatively light weight on the tongue with a fuller than expected taste. The malt comes on strong in flavor without being sweet. The balance with the malt and hops is very good and quite nice, with a result of a brew with a slightly dry edge. The carbonation in this was fine but abundant and contributes quite a bit to the overall mouthfeel. The finish is mostly clean with just a bit of maltiness on the linger.

D: A cut above average, this is an enjoyable brew to drink. It's similar in so many ways to the Boston Lager but there is a nice edginess to the flavor that I like in a brew. Recommended.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear golden orange with a bubbly one inch head...nice and inviting. Smell has some hops in it along with citrusy grainy tones. A nice pale ale flavor comes through with some subdued hops flavor and a nice malt. Slight bitterness on the back of the palate along with citrus notes. Overall, it's a nice APA that's not to hard on the wallet and easy to drink. One of the better Sam brews that I've tried.

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

Not sure why the (relatively) low reviews for this one. Kind of light colored for an amber ale, but still looks appetizing. There are fruity notes in both the scent and taste. Maybe banana? That's what it seems like to me. Pretty light drinking. I suppose this beer is geared to appeal toward the macro lager crowd without offending them. Its still a good Samuel Adams beer, though. I had a 20oz glass for $5.19, and I'm sure I could have had another. Goes down smooth and tasty. If you find regular Samuel Adams too 'powerful,' then this beer might be better suited for you.

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

I consider this an everyday drinkable beer. Not great, but certainly far above anything AB has to offer. It was a clear orange color with a pretty thick white head. Not much aroma, kind of outdoorsy. A nice hops presence, a little bread. A good beer to drink a few of.

Photo of SD-Alefan
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Pours a lovely clear medium amber with a one-finger head that leaves some spotty lacing.

The aroma is full of yeasty bread, crackers and caramel with a hint of candied fruit.

The taste i loaded with caramel and bread with a hint of spicy hops as well. A little lingering peppery finish is very nice.

Mouthfeel is medium and slightly sticky.

Overall, an excellent beer that is very refreshing and tasty.

Photo of Todd
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. Freshness date clearly scored on the side of the label.

Appearance: Pours an amber coloured beer with orange-red hues. The white head is thick initially and very foamy, creamy and sticky. Excellent head retention throughout the beer's life in the glass.

Smell: Soft hops, a bit fruity with herbal / spice aromas.

Taste: Relatively smooth, however there's a unique hop coarseness to the brew that is leafy initially. Hop flavour is spicy and herbal, with a raw, fresh hop backbone flavour. Bitterness is medium, slightly citrus, although there is an initial bite to awaken the palate. Nice fruity, estery flavour too. Malt sweetness comes around the edges and helps to round this beer off. Body is medium. Finish has some dry grain flavours and a touch of herbal / flowers, but nothing out of balance.

Notes: In my opinion, Boston Ale still stands as one of the best of its kind in America. You simply cannot go wrong with a fresh one. Perfect balance. Perfect drinkability. The perfect fridge beer or fall-back beer, and chances are ... you can always find one.

Accoring to Grant Wood @ Boston Beer Co., Boston Ale is more like an English Pale Ale, "I suppose it is more like an English Pale Ale, more Bass-like. We actually call it a "Stock Ale". It has been krausened and stored on dry hops for 2 weeks."

From Sam Adams:
Samuel Adams Boston Ale was the second beer on the Samuel Adams roster, a robust and spicy ale brewed in 1988 to celebrate the opening of the Samuel Adams Brewery in Boston. The recipe for Boston Ale is from the Koch family archives. Jim's grandfather kept careful brewer's notes which were stored in the family's Cincinnati attic.

Stock ale is one of the few classic beer styles to have originated in the United States, and the style has a strong New England heritage. Stock ales were brewed and fermented in the traditional ale manner and then aged in cool rooms called "stock cellars." The special ales were called "stock" ales because of this extra aging, which gave them a characteristic body and smoothness.

Photo of twi1609372
5/5  rDev +38.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Boston ale is an excellent part of the sam adams line. it has a good taste, it isnt bitter, smeels and appears nice also. not overwhelming flavor but not watered down. tastes the way an ale should, has to be one of my all time favortie from sam adams.

Photo of generallee
4.6/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Always a good choice. The Boston Ale has a golden amber color with good clarity and carbonation. It forms a thick off white head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. Its aroma is malty sweet with a hint of honey and floral hops. On the tongue the malts are bready and lightly toasty. The hops are light and have a nice piney and citrus bitterness that fades slowly into the finish. I really like the balance on this ale and I fined it to be very drinkable and refreshing. Cheers!

Photo of Scribbles
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- a decent 2 finger head from an aggressive pour, a deep copper brown colour only slightly lighter than the bottle it came from.

S- floral hops, citrus and a bit of malty sweetness.

T- lightly toasted malts, some citrus and dry fruit flavours, the floral hops are there in the background. A really good APA imo.

M- light but fairly smooth, not overly carbonated, dry-ish finish and it leaves you with a pleasing taste in the mouth.

D- pretty good drinkability better than most APA's I can remember. I could definitely drink a few of these; quite good in the fall.

Photo of Jason
3.26/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 12oz frozen mug, pale amber hue shows a good clarity and lacing is thin but retains well. Faint aroma of caramel and grain, little hop in the nose … clean to say the least.

Solid crisp carbonation, light bodied and very refreshing. A bit watery in the malt department showing some grain and sweetness, touch of hop oil and bitterness easily keep things balanced. Clean after taste with some grain in the back.

One of the few beers that has any kind of real beer flavour at most Pizzeria Uno establishments. Very easy to drink … a no brainer beer.

Photo of Rifrafboy
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is very similar to Samuel Adams Boston Lager. It pours dark amber with a strong head that lasts until the last drop. Smell is very malty, with citrus and piney tones. Carbonation is medium. Mouthfeel is very strong for the type. Almost a ginger or heavy syrup aftertaste. overall, this is very good. excellent brew on a cold winter night.

Photo of merlin48
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stunning clear amber appearance with a medium head that is slightly off-white in color. Quite a bit of lacing. Subdued floral hop aroma is inviting to the nose. Mouthful is nice, even pleasant, with plenty of carbonation that is well balanced with hops and malt. Taste is well balanced and easy to enjoy. Crisp finish is dry enough to make this ale a very nice experience. Very good drinkability overall. This is a tasty ale that I prefer over most of the west coast's pale ales. The best Sam Adams brew I've had so far.

Photo of Billolick
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, "Enjoy before date notched on label" dating provided.

Pours medium copper amber, light tan head, that stays nicely, leaving a thick collar, nice sheeting and then blobs of thick lacing here and there.

Caramel malts in the nose with some light herbal hops.

More caramel malts carry the load here, hops in place but not on the assertive side. I get a more Brit. style take on things here. Minor citrus notes. Tasty and highly sessionable ale. Respectable if unspectacular offering. Would work fine in a lack of higher quality craft beer pinch.

Photo of nem2006
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank it in a pint glass and tasted it with some sharp cheddar and a fontina. Both cheeses went well with the beer, but the fontina edged out the cheddar with its nuttiness.

The beer had a thin head on it that left some nice lacing. A nice clear copper, amber color. The smell was clean and crisp, giving off a little hint of nuts. The mouthfeel was light with a bitter, hoppy finish. The body had a nutty flavor to it, hence it going well with the fontina. Overall a smooth flavorful beer.

Photo of codysjb
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an Amber color that’s clear with some head that dissipates relatively soon (not instant but certainly not holding on for too long). Smells like a Sam Adams, nothing too special but better than a generic lager. The taste really holds up on this beer, it’s very balanced and while there’s not all that much going on except for some caramel malts, is never fads during the mouthful nor does it taste to watery. I don’t usually drink the Boston Ale as I prefer to go for something that has more flavor but this beer really holds up and doesn’t fall apart which I find to be quite rare for a generic non-flavored ale. Certainly something to have around for a refreshing day.

Photo of badbeer
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice pale color with a soft white head leaving a nice lacing. Toffee, caramel, and light floral hops in the nose. Much of the same in the taste, with a slight hoppy finish. High carbonation and medium bodied. Pretty solid choice here, I could have this on occasion.

Photo of Mora2000
3.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer gushes upon opening. Once calmed down, it pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the biscuit malt, with a little bit of grassy and citrus hop notes. The flavor is biscuit and bread malt, with a touch of grass and orange notes. Low bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of LyonsHead
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enormous head if poured directly down the center of the glass (which is how founder Jim Koch explains on the Sam Adams website). Creamy almost whipped cream look and feel of the head.

Heavy Floral notes, I detect some spiciness in the background

Incredibly smooth, very full-body, as far as overall mouth feel this is one of my highest ranking brews.

Taste: great balance of hop spice/floral with a sweet caramel taste

Finishes very smooth

My initial reaction to this beer was that it drinks more like a lager than anything else. Perhaps that is because it is a "Stock Ale" meaning it was aged in almost Lager like conditions. However Sam Adams does use a top fermenting Ale Yeast.

Great overall beer. One of my favorites in the Sam Adams 21

Photo of Byeast
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: copperish orange/amber , nich sized head of frothy eggshell foam.

Smell: nice stock ale maltiness , mildly fruity , some caramel , slightly toasty , light hop presence.

Taste: Pleasant full maltiness , a bit toasty , some burnt sugar , a little bit of fruity flavor , slight caramel sweetness is quickly balanced by a fair amont of leafy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied , slightly creamed from the carbonation.

Drinkability: A very drinkable stock ale. Really nice flavors to the brew , i like the slight toasted / burnt sugar quality. Would be a welcome sight to see it on tap.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. amber bottle.

When my wife and I visit my parents, my dad always tries to make sure he gets some good beer for me (it sure beats Bud). This visit saw some SA Boston Ale in the fridge, one of the few SA beers I've not tried. Poured a clear and bright amber in color, with a long-lasting thin layer of white head that does a good job of hanging around and lacing the glass. Aromas of malt step up first, but there is an earthy/grassy hop note as well. Flavor is quite tasty, and very well-balanced between the sweet malts and the bittering hops. Finishes quite clean, with not much of an aftertaste. Good creamy mouthfeel. A great session beer. My favorite SA beer to date.

Photo of jakester
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is from the Brewmaster's Collection sampler case. I had this @ 50 degrees F, which seems perfect.

Pours a clear orange with a two finger head of off-white foam. The head eventually drops to islands and a ring, but there is still good lacing all the way down. Pretty beer!

A pleasant, spicy, peppery smell from hops hits the nose first, followed by a clean, estery, fruity caramel. Smells inviting.

At first, a creamy caramel flavor slides across the tongue, and then you are reminded that this is an APA by the bittering hops. Not strong, but balancing this very well. Fruity esters fill your mouth in the aftertaste. Very nicely done.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with soft carbonation. Sweetness is present but not overdone. A nice little grab at the back of the throat finishes this off nicely. This would be great with food. It's very palate cleansing.

Though I'm still not sure what a "stock" ale is, this is pretty good. As an APA, it's real good. Recommended.

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Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 2,002 ratings.