Belgian Session | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Belgian SessionBelgian Session

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.25%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 01-09-2012

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Reviews: 218 | Ratings: 1,138
Photo of lwillitz
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

12-oz bottle into Belgian ale glass

A - 4 fingers off-white foam atop a transparent body of gold; medium/high amount of visible carbonation

S - typical Belgian notes of bananas/cloves; grassy/lemony hops

T - comes in dry with funky bananas/cloves, toasted biscuits, lemon, fruity, yeast; dry, clovey, funky, yeasty aftertaste

M - astringent with prickly carbonation, light bodied

O - Not bad for a Belgian--pretty typical. Belgian ales just aren't really my thing.

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Photo of Mumps
3.27/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Color is a pale golden, slightly darker than the normal American light "beer". Had a very nice 1-1 1/2 head, with good lacing (I've downed it a couple of inches and the lacing is still at the top of the glass). Lots of rising bubbles.

Smells is probably the best attribute of this brew. Sweet malty smell with spice, some light fruitiness.

Taste is fair enough, Fruity and sweet with a lingering beer bitterness. The sweet isn't overpowering.

Mouthfeel is probably where this beer lacks the most. If feels thin compared to most Belgian style beers. Not so thin to make it unenjoyable, but thin enough to be disappointing.

Overall, not a bad brew. I probably would overlook in a six pack to get a better Belgian, but I won't turn it down in the mix 12 pack. I bought the twelve pack warm, and I might not have given this enough time to truly chill (I got impatient!)

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Photo of hustlesworth
3.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- me and jim Koch are gonna tangle if this beer sucks. Clear tarnished amber with a fluffy cream colored head. Nice sheets of lace.

S- very yeasty with clove and banana, some pepper, melon, and pear. Base of sweetish toffe malt and vanilla. Some seaweed. Seriously, fresh ocean.

T- decent taste profile but there's just something missing and it is the... Yeast. Generic yeast is here. Le sigh. It's just somewhat bland but I guess the caramel malt flavor is alright considering there's enough earthy hop presence to keep it in check. Fruity notes of banana and melon arrive in the finish with some spice like allspice, pepper, and cardamom.

MF- nicely dry and properly carbonated but the hops leave an itchy leafy feel and the malt a residual sweet feeling. Still however, refreshing in a way.

D- disappointed in the summer sampler. Boston lager saved the day even though the blueberry hill was a surprising underdog that came strong for the win. Porch rocker? Nix that shit. Send it to wherever Great Lakes sent grassroots ale... This one isn't horrible so I won't be sending jim Koch any mean emails... This year.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.39/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz Bottle from the Potsdam NY IGA for $2

Appearance - Slightly hazy golden yellow colour with a large size fizzy white coloured head. There is a high amount of carbonation showing and there is not much lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Breads/grains, clove/coriander, apples, corn

Taste & Mouth - There is a high amount of carbonation and I can taste breads/grains mixed with some corn and some clove/coriander. There is also some apples and some light pepper. It ends with a grainy slightly sweet aftertaste.

Overall - Drinkable but pretty plain. It's not that far off from a basic lager taste wise.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, straw-yellow coloring with a tall, frothy, clingy, white head. Lots of carbonation action throughout the body. Aromas of bread and butter initially, with floral highlights, some honey sweetness, and a blend of coriander, clove, and all spice. Flavors of caramel in the backbone, with a roasted grain overlay, some light spicings, and a touch of hops at the end. Decent cling along the glass, and the body is light and bubbly. Spiced and tangy sweet aftertaste, with a frothy, slightly lingering finish.

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Photo of DrewsBrews450
2.99/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark golden slight amber, but clear and pale. Head leaves a slight ring all the way down with just a slight lace. Theres not much more then just a generic beer smell with a slight yeast spice. A little bubble gum, yeast and that's about all. Bitterness comes in really no where with maybe some citrus but not bitterness from the hops. Its pretty smooth a little watery but it is a session beer I guess. I think it's decent and would be great to give somone with not much beer experience. But it doesn't come close to tasteing what a Belgian beer should taste like to me so it gets a ok rateing.

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Photo of hreb
3.57/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Cold 12oz bottle, best before December, served in pint glass. Beer is a very pale amber, almost yellow, color, with a medium white head. Crystal clear with only a few bubbles disturbing its clarity. Aroma is pleasant and reminiscent of an authentic Belgian blonde ale: sweet candi sugar, floral yeast notes. Flavor-wise the first thing I notice is that it's a little bit spicy -- but only a very little bit. The whole thing is very mild. And the carbonation is fine and low, yielding an almost creamy mouthfeel, which works pretty well with the mild flavors. Secondary flavors are earthy and bitter, with a final hint of something fruity. Is Belgian "Session" the lowest ABV Belgian ale in the books? (no, not quite) Is it sessionable? Quite possibly. Doesn't seem interesting enough to bother finding out based on this one. It's ok, but these flavors really are best played at high volume.

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Photo of pweis909
3.78/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I like this beer. I wish it were available more regularly. It delivers on its name. It gives a touch of Belgian character, and it is sessionable.

A= Gold, slightly orange, with a thin white head. The head disappears a bit quickly, but maybe that's my glass.
S = Hint of phenolics and esters associated with Belgian beers. This is appropriate for a BPA, which should be subdued in these characters.
T=Once in the mouth there is caramel and a bit of banana. It's slightly leaning towards sweet. I would like to see the banana dialed back a notch, and a bit more biscuit as opposed to caramel.
M=A little bit mouthcoating and slick, but also slightly prickly.
O=Not bad, a gateway to other Belgian ales, perhaps. I think they could use a name upgrade.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.37/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a Samuel Adams pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, hazy, golden straw color with very little head, maybe a quarter of a finger of white foam that almost immediately dissipated into a very thin covering of foam that covered the top of the beer. Unlike the aroma, I’m more impressed with the beer’s appearance, because this beer has…

Aroma: Almost no nose, what-so-ever, just some slight malt and citrus, but really not much at all. I’m very disappointed in the aroma department.

Taste: However, what there isn’t in aroma, this beer completely has in flavor! I get strong notes of malt and Belgian yeast and bright citrus, followed by some spice of pepper and coriander.

Mouthfeel: Medium with excellent carbonation that coats and tingles the taste buds well. It’s a crisp/clean beer that leave a nice lingering finish.

Overall: I like this beer. I think it’s a good offering from Samuel Adams, especially for summer, and I hope it becomes a permanent summer offering.

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Photo of lancecenter
2.58/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Golden color, quickly dissipating head, nice lacing.

S - Small amount of yeast and tropical fruit.

T - Follows the nose, plus a little bit of breadiness.

M - Way too light bodied.

O - I understand what they're trying to do, but it doesn't work. It's watered down to make it sessionable, but there's just not enough character left. I'd rather session an American pale ale. Kudos for trying though.

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Photo of ppvora
2.53/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Poured a cold 12 oz. bottle inta an ale stem. Nice copper color, half finger of head, some mild aeration. Head disappeared very quickly.

Aroma: Classic Belgian session ale aromas. I could've sworn this is a Belgian beer from the aroma. Some tinge of spices, otherwise wheatish aromas.

Taste: Tasted like a 'stale' beer. Checked the date on the bottle and I drank it at least two months before the 'expiration' date, so it's not like the beer was sold stale (drank it within 15 days of buying from the beer store). No complexity. Belgian beers have oodles of complex flavors of spices, the earth, citrus, etc. Here....nothing...just some sour fruit taste. Disappointed. That too from Sam Adams! The label says that the beer has flavors of toffee and caramel -- I didn't find any.

Mouthfeel: Nothing substantial to report. The beer went south the more it sat in the glass. Had to drink it quickly.

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Photo of BigBrewStu
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Not the most authentic representation of a Belgian Ale....but still worth trying if you are a Samuel Adam's fan.

Tastes a little yeasty, but It is missing something. Taste stays in your mouth a bit after drinking, but it doesn't make a memorable impression.

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Photo of plaid75
3.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a light brass hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured herbal hop and a vibrant ester.

The taste consisted of a very clean, sgharp ester and full on herbal hop. Some white pepper noted as well.

The mouthfeel was fill and round.

Overall a serviceable Bekgian style ale. Sessionable and flavorful.

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Photo of BryanCarey
3.31/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A nose of light spice and Belgian yeast greets the senses with this beer. Its clear body shows the beer is well- filtered and the light head of white foam sticks around for only a short time, leaving behind a thin layer as you consume.

The taste of this beer combines spices like coriander with caramel, toffee, and Belgian yeast. There are some bubblegum notes also, and just the slightest taste of hops in the finish. The beer is mostly sweet, with only a small bitter flavor in the end.

Samuel Adams describes this as a session beer, and it is easy to see why. It is milder than most other Belgian- style beers and its taste is easier- going than what you anticipate. The mildness might be too much for some, but I can agree that this beer makes a good choice when you want a little Belgian brew but want something a little tamer than the norm.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - clear brass color with a white head that stayed around being fueled by tiny bubbles.

S - yeasty, Belgian spice aroma.

T - light flavors of Belgian spices, yeast and faint hops on the finish.

F - lighter bodied with a refreshing feel.

O - this was a fairly decent beer.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.47/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy golden color, plenty of yeasty haziness throughout the beer. Clarity is not thy name. Almost an inch of mostly white head to it. Sam Adams usually makes some nice looking beers, and this one is no exception.

Aroma, the belgian yeast is actually nice and mild, not super pungent with band aid phenols and banana. Cool.

Taste is what you'd expect after smelling the beer, although the coriander, yeast, spice aspect comes out just a bit more on the tongue. Mouthfeel is nice once you get adjusted to the belgian yeast. It has a mild malt base that is heavier than BMC lagers. Carbonation is closer to BMC lagers. Bitterness is a little more Americanized than your average belgian, must less one of session strength. Clove is still there, which gets a little tiresome by the 12th oz.

Not a bad thing to have laying around for the summer time, I can easily drink the 2 bottles that came in the variety pack, albeit at different times. Wouldn't want to session these back to back for 24oz.

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Photo of DenverHopHead
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'd drink this beer again if given the opportunity, I found it very enjoyable. I often find it hard to find much fault in a session, and this is no different. The taste is what really sells me; very nice and easy to drink! Take this to a Summer BBQ, you'll score some points with the ladies!

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.34/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

We pour a brew of basic golden orange into our Founders snifters. It holds a two finger head of easily reproducible creamy white bubbles that dissipate at a medium pace. Ridges and craters of lacing are left as it goes. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be mild. The aroma gives big wheat, rye, and pale maltiness. This is met by freesia floral freshness, creamy lactics, bronzy metallics, spicy clove, burnt leather, Belgian yeast bite, honeysuckle, corny adjuncts, sweaty saltiness, ginger root, and cola sweetness. Our first impression is that the flavoring is quite bready, but without enough malty or fruity sweetness to match and balance. As we sip, the taste opens with bubblegum esters, dandelion stem bitterness, green grassiness, mineral, soured and metallic Belgian yeast, plantain rawness, pale malts, wheat, allspice, and blueberry fruit leather. Moving to the peak is sea saltiness, toasty pales, dried wheat flour, rosehip, blueberry juiciness, apricot, and coiny metallic slickness. The finish washes through with mineral watered wet wheatiness, flour, phenolic plastics, banana baby food, bittered Belgian yeastiness, strawberry and cherry fruitiness, resiny bark, and potato starchiness. The aftertaste breathes of light esters, aluminum, freshly baked banana bread, red raisins, cooked carrots, dried straw, earthy hop pellets, fresh floral earthiness, and dried corn. The body is medium, and the carbonation is medium. The heartiness is a bit watery, but the mouth is coated with malty and floral dryness, with chalky and floury astringency down the tongue and palate. Each sip affords decent slurp, sip, cream, froth, pop, smack, and foam. The abv is easy, and the beer glugs back at a decent pace.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its aroma. Compared to the flavoring this aspect was a bit more robust in the end, giving brighter components and more authentic Belgian blend. Actually, this is one of the most floral beers we’ve ever smelled. We lost points through the taste, however, with things becoming overly watered and washed out by the end of the sip. The spice and fruity yeastiness was there in the start, but faded before our eyes. This is an interesting offering from Sam Adams, and certainly an attempt to keep up with the surge of new styles, but this one just seems a bit rushed and incomplete.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as part of a mixed 12 pack. Brewed with Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, and Gambrinus honey malt and hopped with Hallertau Mittelfrueh, Ahtanum, and Strisselspalt.
10 SRM, 4.3% ABV, 16 IBU's, 141 kcal/12oz.

Pours out to a medium golden with peach highlights, forming a tall poofy soapy bone white head with amazing retention and solid lacing. Carbonation is moderately brisk, ~3.0 carbs or so. The nose is of green bananas, a touch of cloves, a little tropical fruit and some cat pee. The mouthfeel is crisp with a very clean finish and a light body. The taste is a recap of the banana, clove, some tropical fruit and some cat pee. A little bit of peach and orange in the finish. No off-flavors or aromas.

This is exactly what it aims to be. A very easy to drink sessionable belgian pale. And it does an excellent job. it's clean, crisp and refreshing and has enough flavor to remain interesting. Very well balanced. I would buy it again and would recommend it.

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Photo of Mavigo
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Pours a clear golden yellow color, with a half inch off white head that dissipates quickly and has medium amounts of lacing.

S: Smells of wheat, grains, yeast, barley, smells a bit off

T: Meh, alright, not as much belgian yeast strain that I've been accustomed to, wheat, grass, grains, malts, a bit sweet, hint of hops, also a bit funky

M: Mouthfeel over all is balanced, a bit carbonated, medium mouthfeel

O: Meh, it's alright, did not cater to my expectations for a belgian style beer, was expecting a lot more yeast, but yeah not that great. Not horrendous enough for me to never drink it again but not good enough for me to seek it out.

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Photo of ranger7
2.79/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

From the dark brown Sam Adams bottle with "Enjoy Before" October 2013 date, poured into a solo cup.

A - Light amber color, with a thick white head, moderately sticky.

S - Smells like lemon and wheat. It's a fairly strong lemon scent that dominates. It is a little sour smelling for my liking, but not too bad.

T - It tastes like it smells. Some hops bitterness in front, which leads into the lemon flavor, followed by hops bitterness in the back and aftertaste. Not great, but not bad either, just average.

M - Hardly any carbonation, which is good. Some hops and lemon aftertaste, which is not great.

Summary - I had my doubts about this when I saw the "Belgian" on the label of a Sam Adams product. I like a bunch of their stuff, but a Belgian is difficult to do correctly, it seems. You can, and should, do much better by getting something else. I suppose you could get it as an entry-level idea of the Belgian style, but I wouldn't buy it on purpose.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before 10/2013.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, yeast, and peppery aromas. Taste is much the same with spicy grain flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some spicy aromas and flavors that I wasn't expecting.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a snifter

A: Clear golden with a white half finger head that headed for the mountains. Light lacing.

S: Floral, fruity. Lemons, Belgian yeast.

T: Kinda watery for a Belgian. Everything is "light" here: citrus, yeasty, malts. I know it's a session beer, but I want some depth.

M: Light with light to medium carbonation.

O: Not impressed. Sam can do better (and often does).

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Photo of Knuckles_Nuclear
3.14/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz pour in a pint glass, low head but sticky lacing. I liked the attractive golden-reddish hue. She poured clear and bubbly. An unremarkable ale, when compared to the greats. Light and drinkable.

It's easy to get sh*tfaced drinking Belgians. This; however, provides a Belgian flavor profile with a lighter ABV; hence the "session" label. A bit hoppy for my taste. Overall mediocrity.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.74/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - A bouquet of foamy head well over an inch, yet not very sticky lacing. Color is a bright orange yellow fed by a ton of carbonation bubbles.
S- Distinct Belgium fruity yeast, some bubblegum, and a touch of lemon.
T - Belgium yeast is spot on it has a mild drying aspect of hops and I am getting bubblegum and fruity sweetness. Not sure the hate but it's tasty.
M - Despite the lower ABV the taste is pretty light to medium in body. Not bad.

Overall this is my second one in the variety summer case and it taste like what they were trying to accomplish a full flavored Belgium pale ale with a session able ABV. May buy this again.

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Belgian Session from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 218 ratings.