Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select 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 New Albion Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams New Albion AleSamuel Adams New Albion Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

178 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 178
Hads: 624
Avg: 3.4
pDev: 27.35%
Wants: 6
Gots: 22 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: auxiliary on 07-23-2007

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (120) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 178 | Hads: 624
Photo of Halcyondays
2.93/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a very light clear yellow with a fizzy white head. Solid retention, but not great to look at.

S: Grainy notes, malt, some floral hops.

T: Bready malt with some grass, spicy hop character, but overall on the light end.

M: Light-bodied, crisp, clean, easy drinking. Tastes a bit watered down.

O: An OK drinking beer, I guess American craft had to start somewhere, but not something to revisit.

 420 characters

Photo of dogfishandi
2.94/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Best Before JUL 2013

Pours out a very clear golden to light golden color with 1-2 fingers worth of fluffy white head. Pretty good head retention and lace.

Not much to the aroma, almost lager like in a way. Light cereal grains, some fruity esters, and pretty much no hops detectable

Again, not full of flavor, but it sure is drinkable and refreshing. Definatly nothing off about it. A lightly sweet lager like cereal grain with just a hint of citrus from the hops, hops are once again nearly undetectable. Just a bit of fruity ester. Doesnt have much of a finish to it.

Very light in body, but not at all watery.

This is not really a beer I'd ever come back to, but everyone should try this considering its pretty much the first craft beer ever made in America. Its crazy to think that this 30 years ago was considering new and extreme.

 894 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
2.94/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Lagunitas mason jar
From: Bine & Vine Bottle Shop in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $1.99
Purchased: March 28, 2013
Consumed: April 12, 2013
Misc.: Best by June, 2013

Poured an orange amber color with two fingers of long-lasting white head. Nice looking foamy lacing on the sides. Very good retention on the top all the way down.

Smelled a skunky malt to start. Also some hay, cereal and grass. Some faint lemon late as well. Pretty earthly overall.

Tasted better than the smell. Still earthy, grainy and heavy, but more citrus notes. Malts were grass, hay and skunk. Some hops, maybe resin and faint citrus.

Medium body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Average-to-lively (above average) carbonation. Abrupt finish.

Nothing special about this pale ale. Not even worth a try.

 812 characters

Photo of spokeydonkey
2.95/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pale yellow and crystal clear with many fine bubbles and almost no head.

Smells vaguely of citrus and grain. very subtle.

Tastes grainy and bitter. Only slight citrus hop flavor. Remings me of a slightly amped up pilsener. Very crisp and clean with a touch of citrus. Not what I'd call a pale ale.

Mouth feel is light and very crisp from the carbonation.

Overall its a nice crisp beer but not much about it stands out. I can see how it was innovative back in the day but it doesn't stand up well to modern versions of the style.

 581 characters

Photo of JRed
2.96/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear straw color in body with a white film of a head that leaves lacing. Aroma of subtle citrus hop character, some plastic action figure, cereal notes, pale malt. Tastes like amateur extract homebrew: sharp grain alcohol, grassy hops, vague lemon skin and mild bitterness. Light in body with medium carbonation. A cheap pale ale. As if being Macro-tainted.

 358 characters

Photo of AdamBear
2.98/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A-golden with a white frothy head that thins

S-smells like a bland pale ale using samuel adams malts. maybe some berries? nothing really here to admire

T-comes in with a light and crisp flavor of pale grains. not a terrible flavor, has more to it than the smells lets on, still extremely light though, which is surprising for the abv. the tastes more like it has a 4.2% abv. Faint matching after-taste.

M-medium tangy carbonation with a semi-dry finish

O-I understand the point of trying to resurrect some ancient ale, but why bother if the result is. If this is what the old american ales used to taste like, then i'm super glad i live in the era i live in now. don't bother.

 680 characters

Photo of prototypic
2.99/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

New Albion pours a light yellow color. Looks like straw. It’s crystal clear. Backlighting brightens it up a bit. It’s topped with a nice, soft white head. It rises to about a finger and a half before falling back to a surface covering. Holds there for a bit. Lacing was a little sticky, but lighter. Not bad at all.

The nose is not so great. It’s weak and needs more strength in a big way. It smells very earthy and grainy. That aspect resonates throughout each whiff. The malt base smells slightly sweet and has a strong cracker-like scent to it. There are some hops noted. They’re light and smell very grassy. Smells like noble hops to me. It’s not my preference for hops in an American Pale Ale, but it is what it is. Alcohol isn’t much of a factor at all. Needs work.

The flavor is okay. Maybe a little better than the nose. Pretty average in the American Pale Ale class. The malt base is bready and cracker-like. There’s a mild sweetness to it, but it’s not much. There’s a strong grainy, earthy, and grassy aspect to it throughout. It’s a bit much for the style. There’s an interesting salty flavor that doesn’t add much. Hops are definitely in the mix. They’re very grassy and are very reminiscent of noble hops. They do add a light bitter kick, but it’s not too much. More would be better. Alcohol isn’t very noticeable. At 6%, that’s not a huge shock. Finishes earthy, grassy, cracker-y, and dry.

New Albion has a lighter body. Carbonation is active, but it feels rather soft. It feels a bit too thin for the style. It’s not bad, but more body would be better.

I know the story behind this beer, and I have a lot of respect for Jack McAuliffe. I like that Boston Beer Company resurrected and released this beer. Having said that, it’s a very average American Pale Ale. I understand that it probably was a trailblazer 30 years ago, but it’s just okay by today’s standards. It’s an interesting release with good history behind it. In the name of history, it’s worth checking out.

 2,034 characters

Photo of ckollias
3.02/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a Beligan Tulip glass.

A: Pours a clear golden hue with white head that slowly dissipates leaves a decent trail and ends in a wispy lace.

S: Musty malty aroma with a decent hop background.

T: Similar to the smell there is a musty malt flavor going here. Citrus hops and finishes sort of tart.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Just a so-so APA – nothing I would grab again.

 420 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.05/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color capped by two fingers of foam; both the retention and the lacing were notable

Smell: Really unusual grain bill - smells of bread, corn and a hint of caramel; grassy hops in the back

Taste: The malt bill is even more unusual on the tongue, bringing bread, caramel, corn syrup and a load of diacetyl; although the beer is malt forward, there are some grassy hops that arrive in the mid-palate and linger vaguely into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: The sweetness of the beer gets to me after a while and though I am enjoying the history, this is not a beer that I would want to try again

 673 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.05/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

A - Pours with a small head of white foam on top of a clear, golden body. The head fades quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Earthy, spicy hops with some meaty notes.

T - Malt, some spicy hops, butter... Yeah.

M - Mdium body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - Not very good. If this is what new Albion beer tasted like I'm not surprised it faded away.

 370 characters

Photo of hackmann
3.06/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: rich golden crystal body with a one finger white foam head that leaves … well, nothing to speak of

Aroma: light toasted grains, little grassy, maybe herbal biscuit, really light overall, no wow this is a nice smelling ale factor, it is just okay

Flavors/Mouthfeel: grassy bitter note, toasted grains, dry light moderate bitterness on the back, nice lively carbonation, I have not had a Molson Golden in a long long time but this reminds me of that beer – I’ll have to buy a Molson Golden to find out how bad (I mean good) my memory is.

To the Point: a pretty good tasting ‘golden ale’, people see American Pale Ale as the style and think: big time citrus, pine needles, fruity stuff, good bitterness, - well, just calm down folks for this is a 30 year old recipe. In the early 1980’s we did not think of big bold in your face flavors in beer. Enjoy it for what it is – a retro beer. This is how some Pale Ales or Golden Ales tasted back in the 1970’s and 80’s. A fun retro beer to me but, really in today's beer world - just average

 1,066 characters

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.06/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a tumbler pint glass.

A: Poured a clean, golden straw yellow with a thin head of wispy white foam which had a little clingy lace but had poor retention. Carbonation looked moderate and clarity was good.

S: Some cooked veggies, heated grain husk and a slightly herbal hop nose that grafts to some phenol scents.

T: Pretty underwhelming flavor, but it begins with a pronounced, fizzy malt graininess, almost that of adjuncts including corn and rice, then building a little backbone to support a flash of dry, grassy bitterness that leads to a somewhat boozy or full-feeling finish.

M: Mouthfeel is sort of fizzy and granular at first, but builds a little body and burn towards the end.

O: I kept thinking this was lager the entire time I was drinking it and I nearly convinced myself they got it wrong. That said, it's not a great example of an APA. If it were a $5.99 Trader Joe special, I might consider it in a pinch. Otherwise, head for better options.

 994 characters

Photo of Mitchster
3.06/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$1.59 for a 12oz single @ BevCo. Notched BBF July 2013. 6.0% ABV per the bottle. No info on the website. Pours out to a slightly hazy medium golden, forming a tall white head with excellent retention and lcing, owing in part to it's firm carbonation, ~3.0 carbs. The nose is somewhat non-descript...somewhat crackery malts, a little grassy, very little hop aroma with more of a lager yeast profile with moderate DMS. I suspect 6-row and some corn was used to brew this. Mouthfeel is a little peculiar...lightly tart, medium bodied, with a dry finish. Taste is grassy, crackery, somewhat grainy with some distinct white grape juice esters, a little bit of spicy hops towards the end and a mild to medium bitterness.

A very average beer, somewhere between a MBC domestic lager and a less than average pale ale. Not really offensive, but not interesting either. I'd drink it in a pinch but have no interest in buying it again.

 924 characters

Photo of ubenumber2
3.06/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass , a hazy golden color with a 2 finger head that disapears very quickly leaving no lacing

The smell is kind of just bland , a slight earthy malty smell but not much else going on

Kind of a week bodied beer , would be okay for mowing the yard in 100 degree weather

The flavor just isnt there for me , slight hint of hops to start then almost tastes like a BMC , like there is adjucnts in it ,I'm not sure if they are in there or not but it just doesnt taste that great to me

Overall I wouldn't purchase this beer again , it might be ok like I said on a hot summer day when you are very thirsty

 630 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.06/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Single purchased at Liquor Outlet, Boonton, NJ.

Poured into my Sam Adams Lager glass. Tremendous carbonation streams. Two fingers of snow white micro-bubbles. Pale golden body, good clarity with a bit of haze. Minimal lace.

Grassy hay aroma, more like a helles than a modern pale/blonde/golden ale.

Light sweet malt beginning. Noble hop nip at the swallow. Clean finish.

Light bubbly mouthfeel.

A nice easy drinking piece of history.

 438 characters

Photo of smalenberg
3.08/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I read that the original recipe was inspired by Sierra and that comes through in this version. Beautifully clear in the pour with a thick white head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving a small ring and some lace on the glass. Not much to remark on in the nose - very subtle. Mild citrus in the taste balances nicely with a slight maltiness that lends to a filling, medium body mouthfeel. A nice easy drinking beer, but nothing I'd deliberately seek out with so many other choices.

But a nice homage to a pioneer in small brewing.

 534 characters

Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.09/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, golden colored with a large white head that dissipates leaving some lacing, clear

S: not much, grass, grain, light hops

T: sweeter up front, light hop flavor, corn

M: thinner with high carbonation

O: not noteworthy, sweetness is overpowering

 294 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.09/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured out as a clear yellow color with a nice white head on top. The retention and lacing were pretty good on this beer. The smell was pretty typical, some malt and hops on the nose but nothing that really stands out. The taste of the beer is pretty traditional, it's well balanced but kind of boring. No real dominant flavor really jump out at me. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and light bodied making this beer a very sessionable brew. Overall it's a decent beer but nothing too exciting. Glad I got to try it though to see what it's all about.

 552 characters

Photo of rangerred
3.09/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy dark yellow with a half finger white head. Not much lacing but decent head retention.

Aroma of citrus hops with just a touch of pine. Some floral hop character as well. Quite one-dimensional but nice nonetheless.

The flavor starts off with some biscuit along with lemon and light tropical citrus. More pine comes through towards the finish along with a moderate bitterness. Pretty full and sticky mouthfeel.

Overall, this beer doesn't have a lot going on. Very tame compared to many beers today but I can see how this would have been ground-breaking back in its day. A nice tribute but not something I would think to pick up again.

 688 characters

Photo of GossageBrewery
3.1/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this American Pale Ale from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a yellowish color, produced a average white head, nice retention and lacing left on the glass. The aroma of the APA consisted of malted grain, baked bread and lemongrass. Medium in body, this ale had a foundation of malted grain, some white pepper and lemon citrus. Semi dry finish. Overall, decent beer- One of the founding craft beers, and a great idea for Samuel Adams to bring it back. With that said, craft beer has made advances since this beer was born, but it is nice to go back and taste one of the "first".

 592 characters

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.11/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a clear golden yellow with a loose whtie head that thinly blankets after pouring. It offers very little lacing or head retention. The nose is semi-sweet with a touch of malt. The taste is initially sweet and grainy, but fades to a light and lingering bready, dry, bitter aftertaste. This tastes much more like an adjunct lager than an APA. The mouthfeel is light bodied and drinkable, but with so little flavor that it's not worth drinking. I think this beer could be much better with the right hops. I would never try this beer again as is.

 556 characters

Photo of beertunes
3.12/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into 9oz pils glass. Poured a lightly hazy, very light gold color, about the same color as a nice Pilsener, much lighter than most Pale Ale's, with about an inch of white head that had OK retention and and very light lace. The beer really liked like a nice lager.

The aroma was an even, balanced blend of light grains and gentle hops, nothing really stood out, either good or bad. The flavors started out a bit grain forward,were mostly evenly balanced throughout the majority of the beer, and had a lightly bright hop finish.

The body was mostly light and even, but there was just a bit of stickiness at the back that was a bit unpleasant. Drinkability was pretty good, you could have several of these during a session. Overall, a nice enough little brew, nothing worth going out of your way for, but worth grabbing if you see it.

 840 characters

Photo of davey101
3.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a SA perfect pint. Enjoy by July, 2013

A - Pours a golden amber body, quite clear with rising carbonation. Two fingers of soapy white foam with great lacing and retention. So, it looks good.

S - Eh, less impressive. Floral and piney hops, a sweet corn like aroma that I would associate with light lagers, and some weak caramel malt.

T - Floral and grassy hops, a distinct and quick burst of awkward bitterness, then sweet bready malts. Boring and not particularly great. Mouth feel is well carbonated and medium to thin bodied with a lasting bitterness. Pretty drinkable.

O - An interesting beer to try for sure, it was very cool to see what craft beer of the past was like. Thankfully Sierra Nevada Pale Ale came along...

 745 characters

Photo of justincolts
3.17/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours very golden. Has a thumb's length of head. Nice hoppy aroma, has a typical mouthfeel or a pale ale, nothing great, nothing awful. Has a decent hop filled taste, nothing else I really detect. A solid beer that is very drinkable, inoffensive, and something I would drink again if presented the opportunity. It wasn't something that I think I will rush back and buy another sixer of right away, but I'd have it again.

 420 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.21/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From the 12. fl. oz. bottle.Sampled on March 15, 2013.

It pours a slightly hazy pale yellow with a fizzy white head that lingers. It looks like it should.

The aroma is mostly of grains and bread with a slight hop ester dancing in the background. It smells more like a pilsner.

The body is about medium and astringent.

The taste is much like the aroma with an immediate grain note that eventually evolves into a solidly bitter finish. The finish does not linger. This is said to be based on an original 1980's recipe. By today's standards it is a rather bland and typical pale ale. I did not start drinking crafts until about 1986 or 1987 but I expect I would have been more impressed when it first came out.

 711 characters

Samuel Adams New Albion Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
78 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.