1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,901 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,901
Reviews: 955
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.22%
Wants: 35
Gots: 88 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale) Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,901 | Reviews: 955 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of techdiver
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium amber color with a moderate head that has modest retention. Mild hoppy aroma, smells well balanced, and is. The carbonation gives a crisp, refreshing taste that makes this go down smoothly; adding to it's drinkability. Ranks up there with the Black Lager as my favorite Sam Adams offerings.

techdiver, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of BBM
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass a orange-copper color with a two finger white head that doesn't stick around long. This ale has a sweet smell to it. You can recognize malt and maybe some faint hops.

This is a pretty average pale ale, and not quite as good as their Boston Lager. It's much sweeter, with a caramel flavor hitting the tastebuds, and bitter hops coming through at the end. Overall not quite the balance some of their other beers have. Mouthfeel is light and clean. It certainly is drinkable as something to enjoy during a ballgame with chips.

Overall it's a fairly average ale, but by no means bad.

BBM, Oct 21, 2006
Photo of jcdiflorio
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass,clear with a light copper color.
The head was thick,dense,a bit off white. A.very tempting looking beer.
The aroma was clean,woody,spicey,and fruity.
The taste was caramelly,nutty,chocolaty,and fruity.A nice well balanced taste.
A light,smooth mouthfeel with a clean light sharp finish and a touch of dryness.
A very clean an refreshing taste.You can't get any more drinkable than this.
The perfect everyday beer.The perfect beer to give to the BMC drinker wanting to try something different.

jcdiflorio, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of arnulfooxblood
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle.

Appearance--Mahogany color, with ample head, average retention.

Smell--noticeable malts, smells sweeter than it tastes.

Taste/Mouthfeel--Very nicely balanced ale. At first the hops seem pretty weak, but they kick in eventually.

Drinkability--This is a fun beer to drink

arnulfooxblood, Oct 13, 2006
Photo of harpo111
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

this is a good APA...you can definately tell it is a sam adams..has their distinctive taste..a little lighter in taste than the boston lager...but still very drinkable.
app: nice two finger head, golden amber color
smell: malt and hops..slight carmel
taste: hoppy, with citris overtones...full, not watery...
mouthfeel: smooth, not thick
drinkablility: very nice, light...not as filling as the boston lager...
for those who don't want a light beer, but don't want to compromise taste...this is a good brew...not as full flavored as their lager..but a good pale ale...very much like other good pale ales...not too sweet..but very flavorful.

harpo111, Oct 02, 2006
Photo of tattooedtolley
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light amber/gold in color, poured with a decent head and some lacing.

Smell: Caramel malts and fruity/citrusy hops.

Taste: Mostly malts in the flavor backed with a bit of fruitiness, I guess from the hops? There is enough bitterness in here for me to enjoy it. Good solid taste overall.

Mouthfeel: Medium/light in body.

Drinkability: Sessionable.

Overall not a bad APA, I like mine a bit more on the hoppy side but this was a quality brew.

tattooedtolley, Sep 28, 2006
Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this brew for some friends over the weekend. The audience was "like good beer" but not a hop head / barleywine / belgian group or other high test category. Haven't had one of these in years. This was an intro beer for me back when it came out. I stopped drinking it because even back then it seemed like they changed the recipe.

A bit hoppy, a bit earthy / musty with a lageresque finish. Not bad and easy to drink as a session brew. The crew enjoyed it. Lot's of other reviews already posted so I'll leave it at micro classic and still worth bringing to a party. Easy to find as well.

barleywinebrewer, Sep 25, 2006
Photo of Drew966
2.6/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the original Pizzeria Uno in Chicago on Ohio Street. The glass arrived at the table with almost no head. The beer is amber in color. The aroma is on the malty side. I don't think this is that great of a beer tastewise, almost seems like there's some diacetyl, or something along those lines going on. Malt comes out up front with some hop toward the end. I'd probably go with something else.

Drew966, Sep 20, 2006
Photo of vtfan77
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Golden amber with minimal head but a fairly decent lacing.

S- Quite malty in the nose. Caramel malts and some citrusy hops are evident.

T- Maltiness carries through to the taste. Toasty malts come through with a caramel/ butterscotch flavor. Hops aren't as big a part of this beer as I thought they'd be. Perhaps a bit of a citrus and pine bite in the end with a little bitterness, but that's it. Esters are apparent in the aftertaste and give it a sort of apple-like fruitiness.

M- Medium-light bodied, not much carbonation.

D- Good drinkability. Low abv and smooth. Good quaffer.

A solid beer. Not fantastic, but pretty good. I was expecting more hoppiness. Still miles above any macro, but I've had better pale ales and better beers from Sam Adams (their Boston Lager, for one). Still a good drinker with no obvious flaws. Recommended, but don't expect to be blown away.

vtfan77, Sep 19, 2006
Photo of DaveFL1976
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at Samual Adams Celebrates Pittsburgh in the Pittsburgh airport. An all-around tasty ale. Copper-colored body covered with a fairly sticky off-white head. The smell is familiar -- it smells a lot like their lager. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. It tastes a lot like it, too. Where it differs is that familiar fruity yeasty zing that tickles your tongue at the end of the swallow. It's nice. Pretty well balanced (maybe on the sweet side, if you ask me). With a slightly heavy mouthfeel, moderate carbonation and good drinkability.

DaveFL1976, Sep 18, 2006
Photo of pmcadamis
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This rusty amber brew has a fat three finger head that just doesn't want to go anywhere! When it finally settles a bit, it forms an ice cream scoop mesa in the middle while TONS of frosty lacing is left on the glass. Eventually, islands of fat foam are left in a sea of lesser bubbles...never sank below 1/8 finger, and I sipped this one pretty slowly. I like the looks of this pretty ale.

Tons of thick milkshake malt goodness hits the nose first off, follwed by a dank river sandy smell in the background. This is the same pleasant wet sand smell that is very prevalent in Sam Adams lager....but here it is very subdued and buried under mounds of malt. Maybe this scent is attributable to the water source they use for their beers? Also, nice caramel and vanilla notes with a tiny hint of hops contribute to the pleasing and inviting aroma.

The first thing I taste is a very sweet caramel (I'm thinking of Worther's Original candies...the ones in a gold wrapper and the sappy old commercial about a kid and his grandpa).. This is follwed immediately by hints of vanilla, cinnamon, and maybe ginger. This sweet sensation is soon overtaken by a nice hoppy bitterness that leaves a nice clean and sour aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodided, nicely carbonated, and the finish is just slightly dry. This highly highly drinkable, and could easily become a staple in my fridge. I love this stuff.

pmcadamis, Sep 17, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty clear amber with a full two finger solid white head that melts to very, very sticky lacing.
Aromas are soft and leafy hops.
Taste is first sweet pale malt, then grainy hops that show their freshness in a leafy taste and grainy pepper bite to the tongue.
This is a wonder ale that is unfortunately not found in my area very often.
A solid drinker.

IntriqKen, Sep 16, 2006
Photo of TechMyst
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

PURCHASED @: Sullivans
COST: medium
HEAD: minimal
LACE: none
TASTE: Carmel and biscuits...Fat tire is better...Good for an American amber.

TechMyst, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of assmasterson
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Couldn't really tell without a glass, but again, the head traveled about halfway up the neck nicely. The foam coated the side of the bottle and slowly slid down.

S - Surprisingly, not much of a smell. Very faint hops are present along with an almost floral scent.

T - Sam Adams does it again. The hops are very much present and give this brew a nice rounded taste with a good spice kick. A fairly strong citrus taste comes along soon after.

M - Kind of thin for an ale, but coats the mouth nicely.

D - Goes down smoothly, easy to drink on both a hot day and cold.

Once again, another fine brew from the Boston Beer Company.

assmasterson, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of Alexmc2
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into pint glass. Nice two finger head that stuck around for a while and left some nice lacing. Beer tastes sweet, but balanced with hints of caramel. You don't taste the hops very much on this one, but you notice them enough for it to taste refreshing. Personally I prefer this over their flagship Boston Lager.

Alexmc2, Sep 11, 2006
Photo of hckyfn9999
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bottle dated best by November. Pours a nice copper color with some golden hues when held to light. There is a nice white head that stays around for a while, and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell is of sweet malt and carmel. There is also a faint smell of floral hops as well.

The taste is sweet and there is carmel present as well. There is also a little citrus present. And the beer finishes with a little bitterness. I would like a little more hops but it is solid none the less.

Mouthfeel is decent. There is a nice carbonation level and the beer is medium bodied, and a little sticky. Pretty decent brew from Boston Beer, I would prefer a little more hoppieness but it is a solid beer and I am likely to pick it up again.

hckyfn9999, Sep 11, 2006
Photo of barefootbrewer
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a deep golden amber color. The smell is sweet and malty. The taste is malty and well balanced with light hops. This is a nice mellow beer. The mouthfeel is full and slightly chewy. I consider this a highly drinkable beer that goes down smooth.

barefootbrewer, Sep 08, 2006
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Smell hints at caramel... Smells similar to a scotch ale. Amber body with little head to speak of. Tastest yeasty and sweet, with some malt. Definitely different than I thought. Not such a bad little beer. Not something I’d seek out, but I like it better than most of the Sam Adams beers I’ve tried.

MrHurmateeowish, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of Poser
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a rich amber color with a creamy head.
S: Floral aroma with some subtle spices.
T: Overall, this is a balanced brew, but the hops can be a little overpowering at first. It's a little earthy, but just enough to give it some personality.
M: Medium bodied.
D: Considering it's sligh bitterness, it's extremely drinkable, and one I will be picking up more often.

I don't know where this beer has been all my life. Somehow I've never picked it up.

Poser, Sep 04, 2006
Photo of Dizzy
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange color with creamy white head and some lacing. The aroma is sweet malts, fruit and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is malty with some noticeable hop bitterness and vague fruit flavor. Medium bodied. This is one of Sam Adam's better beers in my opinion.

Dizzy, Sep 03, 2006
Photo of theozag
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber, perfectly transparent, with a white head that fades fast. Smell has caramel, cream, and wheat notes. Start is rough, wet, and bitter. Settles even more rough and quite full-bodied. Lots of hop bitterness and caramel character are obvious. This beer also seems slightly sweet to me; perhaps there is a hint of orange included? Finish is dry and bitter (duh!) with a pleasant aftertaste.

theozag, Sep 01, 2006
Photo of Neehan
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has become my current (always subject to change) favorite session brew. I am glad that this has become much more available in my area in quite a few specialty wine stores and select grocery stores.

This pours a nice hazy caramel with a rather thick head that lingers and hugs the glass as you drink it. An appearance that says "drink me... several of me"

The aroma is of caramel and malts with a bit of citrus.

A very smooth taste with a great balance of a touch of sweetness followed by a good deal of bitterness that is sure to please. Also a nice intertwining of smoky malts and some spices.

A nice mouthfeel of begins creamy and finishes with crisp carbonation.

Fairly low alcohol and the great taste with a nice balance make this very drinkalble. I don't think this beer gets enough credit.

Neehan, Aug 31, 2006
Photo of rarevos
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

A: Coppery with moderate carbonation. Thick, pillowy head with great staying power. When it eventually died down, it left solid lacing and sticky trails, but it was more than sticky trails: there were large foamy areas left on the inside of the glass.

S: Malty at first, which is dominant. A light hop presence that smells somewhat fruity, like caramelized pears and apples.

T: Malt up front, sweet and rich. Pleasant hop bitterness in the finish. This is really pretty good.

M: Medium-bodied. There's a fullness in your mouth, though it's not grainy or chewy.

D: This is nice. A buddy once told me that he thought the Boston Ale and Boston Lager were the same beer. They taste totally different, though the color may be similar. And I'm not sure I would have guessed "American Pale Ale" if I did this tasting blind. It's too malty, more English than American.

rarevos, Aug 30, 2006
Photo of kosmoraios
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams strikes most people as a macro, due to it's high commercial availability. But they brew some very excellent ales, and this is one of them.

This is one of the best APAs I've had in quite some time. Pours a translucent coppery-red color with a nice, 1-finger white head. Carbonation is evident, but not excessive.

Aroma is of lightly fruity hops (apple, pear) and spices (allspice, tinge of clove?) as well as some toffee-like sweetness from the ever-so-slightly toasted malts.

Taste is light and crisp, but complex. There are fruity/floral (jasmine) hop notes, some estery sweet malts, and an undertone of maybe very light caramel.

Mouthfeel is pleasantly crisp and refreshing. There is a tinge of a metallic aftertaste that is points-off for this beer.

Very drinkable ale. One of the best "True" american pale ales.

kosmoraios, Aug 29, 2006
Photo of neenerzig
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a light, clear copper like color with a head that is almost an inch thick when first poured, but shrinks to about 1/4 of an inch about 5 minutes after being poured. Leaves some nice lacing though. Has some floral aromas of cirtus and hops being the most present along with hints of malt and maybe some caramel. It has a somewhat sweet taste with some malt upfront followed by a bit of hop bitterness and also a hint of some spices such as cinnamon. The hint of spices sort of reminded me of a Belgian witbier in a way. Nicely balanced indeed. This beer has a smooth and frothy, creamy like mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. Nicely drinkable as well. I could see myself drinking 3 or 4 of these at a time. Another tasty beer from Sam Adams!


neenerzig, Aug 25, 2006
Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 1,901 ratings.