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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Pale AleSamuel Adams Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

875 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 875
Reviews: 575
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 14.37%
Wants: 18
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.25% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-07-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 875 | Reviews: 575 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kooz

New York

2.9/5  rDev -16.7%

Drinking this on the back of a Blue Point Summer, and there's quite a contrast!

This pours to a bit brighter than a straw yellow, with a decent foamy white head which sticks around and leaves some lacing.

Smells faintly of hops; not much of a nose to this beer.

Tastes a bit hoppy with some of the hops bite, but its somewhat subdued. Could be a little sweeter--it's just a tad too dry.

Average mouthfeel, which is a rare miss for Sam Adams. It's got some body, but not a ton. It gets a 3 because it's actually just fine, but I have come to expect more from this brewery.

This is not a bad beer overall, and for someone like me who's not a huge hops fan, this is okay and relatively mild.

07-23-2011 00:05:55 | More by Kooz
Photo of CHickman

New York

2.88/5  rDev -17.2%

Poured clear gold yellow with a 1/2 inch creamy head; smells of yeast, grain, hops and a little musty malt.

Tastes like hops, slightly roasted malt, citrus, honey, a touch of caramel and biscuit or bread. A crisp brew with medium carbonation and a bitter dry finish.

Overall a decent beer, but nothing special. There's no real flavor from the hops, which I expect from a pale ale. The roasted malt and citrus come through with hints, but again make it just average tasting. It went down smooth, was enjoyable and is the type of beer to drink all night, but I'd prefer an ice cold Sam Adam's Boston Lager on tap over this pale ale anytime.

10-14-2009 02:32:12 | More by CHickman
Photo of lifebeer

New Jersey

2.88/5  rDev -17.2%

the first time i had this beer it had been sitting in someone's trunkall day in june. needless to say, it was awful and incredibly acidic. i decided to give it another try at the appropriate temperature.

a. amber gold with almost no head

s. muted hops, like previous reviewer said theres a grassiness, sweet malts

t. some funky hops, a sweet maltiness and grassiness with maybe a hint of citrus, maybe some diacetyl, falls flat in the end

m. fairly watery, hardly any body

drinking this beer was slightly more eventful than drinking a budweiser. i just cant help but feel that they used some unidentifiable hop adjunct instead of real hops. honestly, i probably wont buy this one again.

08-08-2008 02:22:21 | More by lifebeer
Photo of stephens101


2.88/5  rDev -17.2%

An opaque, almost rusty golden brew is capped off with a slender, innocuous off-white quickly fading head. Aromas of sweet malts, candy, and grass rise to the nose and make for a very unique smelling APA. Tastes a bit earthy up front and covered with a good malt/hop balance before fading into a subtle creamy/surypiness. Not too bold, very drinkable, and different is about all I can say. Would come back to it, but wouldn't make a concerted effort to do so.

04-18-2008 00:33:02 | More by stephens101
Photo of KrisPaulk77


2.88/5  rDev -17.2%

Poured the beer into a standard pint glass. The appearance was something of a let down. It was crystal clear, golden-amber, but with a miniscule white frothy head. Next to no retention, and minimal lacing. I hate to say, but it looks like Budweiser.
The aroma is bready, with a slight nutty aroma, some butter, and a light floral touch of hops.
The taste very nutty, bready and malty, to me, unpleasantly so. The hops never made much of an appearance.
The beer felt a little watery and thin.
Don't belive I'll be trying this beer anytime in the near future. I am a fan of Sam and their beers, but I am no fan of this brew.

03-06-2010 14:16:34 | More by KrisPaulk77
Photo of ThreeWiseMen


2.88/5  rDev -17.2%

Appearance: "Looks like a Miller High Life", claims one wiseman. Clear and golden with white, head and pretty good lacing.

Smell: Smells sweet and crisp, even a little meaty. Hops aren't too apparent... nothing really is. Reminds me of a pilsner actually. Overall, nice and refreshing.

Taste: I would say it tastes "champagne-like". I'm getting a lot of apple. Malts are very apparent as well. Hops, where you at bro? Fellow wiseman thinks he's found the hops somewhere in the aftertaste. He also claims that "It tastes like a better version of a cheap beer. I kind of like the aftertaste."

Mouthfeel: Thin, fizzy... meh. Guess it's not that bad.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink. Wouldn't mind beer bonging a few of 'em.

07-11-2008 04:55:52 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of AgentZero


2.85/5  rDev -18.1%

A - Golden/orangish color that poured very clear. Big head on this one, left behind some very pretty and surprisingly complex lacing.

S - I smell sweet malts, and maybe the smallest traces of hops. Not a whole lot else really.

T - I have to say, although this beer does not taste particularly great, I think Boston Beer Company does a great job of marketing a higher quality beer to the BMC drinkers who want something better out there, but just don't know where to look. Sam Adams was one of the beers I drank a lot of before people opened my eyes to some of the lesser known microbrews. This is not good, but it's not like it's repulsive. Basically just sweet, malty, mostly caramel. Tiny bit of hops, nothing fancy going on.

M - Light, medium carbonation.

D - Can easily session this, as it doesn't have much flavor and is low ABV.

05-24-2010 05:03:21 | More by AgentZero
Photo of kimcgolf


2.85/5  rDev -18.1%

While Sam Adams beers generally do not rate at the top of the great beer lists (try as they might to make us think they’re craft brewers), most are pretty decent. Unfortunately, this Pale Ale was way off the mark. Had the golden orange appearance of an APA, but there was little aroma, a bland appearance, and a short, stale finish. I’ll rate this above your BMC macros, but not by much.

08-23-2006 01:31:57 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of jonziefle

North Carolina

2.85/5  rDev -18.1%

Appearance: Poured a golden amber with two fingers of bubbly/pillowy off-white head. Decent retention. Plenty of visible carbonation. Nice lacing. Great looking beer.

Smell: Roasted and caramel malts with a mild, apple juice sweetness. Some citrus hops, but not abundant.

Taste: Roasted malts, with biscuit and caramel flavors. Definitely an English pale, with a very dry finish and not much "strong" hope presence.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a little bit of bitterness and carbonation bite.

Drinkability: A decent English pale ale. Heavier on the malts than an America pale, but still enjoyable nonetheless. Had I known it was an English, I probably wouldn't have bought it. However, I have not been let down.

Buy Again? No.

05-29-2010 01:06:24 | More by jonziefle
Photo of rhoadsrage


2.83/5  rDev -18.7%

(Served in a Sam Adams glass)
best before Sept. '08
A- This beer has a crystal clear golden straw yellow body with a good carbonation of tiny bubbles racing up from the nucleation site and a spongy snow white head that lasted for much of the beer.

S- The soft smell of raw grain has some pale malt and field corn notes to it. There was no real hop aroma until it was very warm then only some green notes.

T- The taste of dry raw grain had a raw corn note to it with soft green hop hint at the finish. There was a lager quality to the grain and a sulfur note to the hops. As the beer warmed the hops flavor stayed soft but the pungent bitterness grew after the finish. Still it was very soft.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a tight fizz that cleans up the finish.

D- I figured I can't go wrong with a Pale Ale so I picked up a box of this to try and I couldn't get through more than 3 of them before unloading it on friends. This beer taste like a pale lager more than a pale ale. The one-dimensional malt flavor was clean and dominated by corn notes and the slight bitterness of hops really didn't have any flavor or aroma to support them. I understand that a pale ale is not and IPA but this really had no interesting malt qualities. I would give it another try if it was on cask but not in bottles or tap.

05-28-2008 19:32:14 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of mtstatebeer

West Virginia

2.83/5  rDev -18.7%

12 oz. bottle. Pours a dark yellow/golden color with a fully diminishing little, white head. Aroma is mainly citrus, lemon, and maybe grapefruit with a slight malt/grain. Flavor is mainly the same, a bit acidic, citrusy with a bit of bread. A forgettable beer.

09-02-2008 23:59:21 | More by mtstatebeer
Photo of malcontent


2.83/5  rDev -18.7%

Pours bright orange/gold with a fizzy-looking head. Head disintegrates within seconds leaving almost no lacing.

Faint hop aroma gives way to a sweet-ish corn smell. Distant citrus hints get lost in a musty, sweet nose.

Meek hop taste gives way to a mostly mealy malt flavor. Vaguely grainy.

Fairly thick and full feeling while avoiding heaviness. Carbonation is just high enough to be refreshing but doesn't approach soda territory. Almost perfect in this area which is strange given the beer's other shortcomings; I've had many beers that tasted better and yet struggled with mouthfeel. Weird. The body, in fact, makes this a sessionable beer if the taste was your thing. I'm fully aware that as an English style pale (I know BA feels otherwise) this should not taste like a typical hoppy American pale ale. That said there's nothing to say that an English PA should taste musty and stale as I feel this does. I'm hoping this was just a bad bottle because I expect quite a bit more from Boston Brewing Company.

05-29-2007 14:22:54 | More by malcontent
Photo of ewright

North Carolina

2.8/5  rDev -19.5%

A: Pale straw color with slight hints of amber. Very little head forms and quickly dissipates.

S: Very little hops, virtually no malt aromas... What little I can smell is nice, but it is FAR too subdued.

T: Mild bitterness late, a little sweetness up front... maybe some fruit notes? Nothing is bold enough to be recognizable. At least there is nothing offensive going on.

M: At least this seems spot on for a pale ale. Moderately rich body with decent, but not overbearing carbonation.

D: It's fairly drinkable, but totally disappointing from the taste and aroma fronts. Nothing bad here, but the good is hardly noticeable. One of my least favorite beers from the SA lineup.

07-08-2008 00:24:17 | More by ewright
Photo of Enola

North Carolina

2.8/5  rDev -19.5%

This beer just has a hop taste that is really unpleasant. The beer looks a little lighter than a typical pale ale. The smell is bittersweet. The taste is just a hop bitterness that is not a good hoppiness. There is a harshness to the beer. The mouthfeel is overwhelming bitter. A bitter beer that is not smooth. Below average in the style.

08-25-2006 00:17:07 | More by Enola
Photo of ryanms3030


2.8/5  rDev -19.5%

At this point, I would never intentionally buy any Sam Adams beers. But a co-worker owed me a six pack for a favor I did him and I requested Sierra Nevada because I know the places around where we work don't have much selection and they didn't even have that so he figured another Pale Ale from Sam Adams would be a good substitute.

Well, it is beer and it was free so I can't complain. I give this beer a score of "average" across the boards except for drinkablility which I would rank below average. There is something about the taste that just didn't sit well for a drinking beer. I had trouble even drinking two of these in one sitting because the more of it I drank the less enjoyable it was going down.

It definately has a hoppy aroma and flavor but in comparison to Sierra Nevada it's not nearly as hoppy and the flavor doesn't compare.

I would never go out of my way to get this beer but in certain situations where maybe you're in a bar or liqour store in some depraved part of the world where this is the only alternative to Bud, Miller and Coors then it would be an ok option.

03-30-2006 22:33:29 | More by ryanms3030
Photo of Haufniensis


2.8/5  rDev -19.5%

11.23.2011. Samuel Adams Pale Ale.

Appearance: Golden apple-juice. Head is abundant. Sudsy looking like the top of a root beer float. Nothing special. Head dissipates and leaves nice lacing as the glass is emptied. Grade: 3.5

Smell: Very little. Nothing offensive at least. Grade: 3

Taste: A lighter, hoppier version of the Boston Lager. As such it has that same slightly repugnant I-know-not-what that makes the Boston Lager undesirable. But there is less of it here. So that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s just the golden apple juice color, but I’m tasting apples. Bad aftertaste. Grade: 2.5

Mouth: Crisp. Light-medium. I think I’d prefer it to be a little lighter given the flavor profile. Grade: 3

Overall: I’m not a huge pale ale fan. I tend to like bigger beers. If I am going to drink something with an ABV this low, I prefer it to be non-offensive. This one is (slightly) offensive to my palate. I won’t be seeking this out, but fans of the style might be able to appreciate it more. It’s definitely better than Bass, which is similar; but I don’t care for the latter at all.

Served: 12 oz. Bottle poured into a hurricane.

11-24-2011 20:38:02 | More by Haufniensis
Photo of MikeBrandman


2.8/5  rDev -19.5%

A - Pours a golden yellow. Absolutely transparent with little visible carbonation. 1 finger of pure white head that fades to about a half inch cap. Great lacing. Overall a very attractive looking beer. Could use a little more depth in the color though.

S - Not too much of a smell to this one. Slight hoppy notes. Not enough to really distinguish any kind of hops, for me at least.

T - Sweet and bready. Not very bitter. I feel like it's passed it's prime, but it says August. Slight hop bitterness in the beginning, but overwhelmingly sweet and bready. No fruit or alcohol taste. Not very satisfying.

MF - Light, thin, and syrupy. Doesn't even really feel like a beer. Not impressed.

D - Drinkable, but it's not something I'd like to go back to.

05-06-2010 02:15:46 | More by MikeBrandman
Photo of Rifrafboy


2.78/5  rDev -20.1%

Pours thick with a typical Samuel Adams head. Smell is very hoppy, with malt accents. The Taste is malty and sweet. I don't know if this is what a pale ale is supposed to taste like. Overall, a pretty decent beer. The problem I have with Samuel Adams is the the beers all taste pretty much the same. I drank this out of a sampler, and after a few they all tasted the same.

03-25-2003 16:09:50 | More by Rifrafboy
Photo of Knapp85


2.78/5  rDev -20.1%

Not a bad Pale Ale, it's got a good drinkablity and a mediam body to it. It's got a nice amount of hops and malts on the nose with that going into the flavor also. The Ale has a pleasing yellowish golden color. This is far from Sam's best but it's still a solid brew.

03-30-2011 23:41:39 | More by Knapp85
Photo of Nobody420


2.78/5  rDev -20.1%

Let me start by saying im not a huge fan of ales

the appearance is very light, almost looks like a Budweiser

the smell has a hint of citrus, followed by a hop smell unlike most other hops.

the taste is rather enjoyable, again with the hint of citrus, making me think some people may accompany this brew with a lemon or orange slice as ive seen popular with many other brews of this nature here in KC. It leaves somewhat of a dry aftertaste perhaps to encourage you to take another sip?

drinkability is mid to low, but then again im not a fan of ales

on a side note i am enjoying this brew very much for an ale

06-01-2009 03:55:58 | More by Nobody420
Photo of oriolesfan4


2.78/5  rDev -20.1%

This and the cranberry lambic are the 2 worst Sam Adams beers in my opinion. For being barely over 5% ABV, the alcohol is way too noticeable. Also, not very much of a hop or fruity taste considering it's a pale ale. I tried a few bottles of it and each one was the same but I'm hoping this is some sort of freak thing. One of my favorite breweries+favorite styles=terrible beer?

10-01-2008 21:20:18 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of avisong


2.75/5  rDev -21%

04-25-2012 03:08:14 | More by avisong
Photo of cardinal25

New Jersey

2.75/5  rDev -21%

Serving: 12 oz long neck best before May 2007

Appearance: golden mustard, minimum light sticky white lace

Smell: minimum hops

Taste: very little aftertaste, sharp flavor makes me twinge, lingers for several seconds and then fades fast,

Mouthfeel: soft and smooth on the palate, but taste overwhelms the other senses

Drinkability: my least favorite Sam Adams so far

04-12-2007 03:11:57 | More by cardinal25
Photo of samie85


2.75/5  rDev -21%

Originally reviewed 4/15.

A-Pours a hazy golden color with a two finger white head.

S-Earthy and lemon with floral hop note and a graininess.

T-Grainy taste with some toasted malt notes. Finishes a little bitter, but that's the only hop characteristics I'm getting.

M-Light bodied with carbonation on the heavy side.

D-It goes down easy but there isn"t much to it. The hops are a little pedestrian for what I expect from a pale ale.

04-30-2010 15:15:52 | More by samie85
Photo of EvanWilliams


2.75/5  rDev -21%

12-23-2012 05:49:23 | More by EvanWilliams
Samuel Adams Pale Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 875 ratings.