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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.

891 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 891
Reviews: 574
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 14.37%
Wants: 21
Gots: 19 | 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: 891 | Reviews: 574 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of far333
2.95/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Crystal clear pale apricot colored with a sizzling and popping white head of foam that settles out quickly.

Aroma of bready malt and corn notes, faint floral hops. Flavors of corn and metallic notes, some faint toffee and biscuit. Mild bitterness, no hop flavors. Even mouthfeel, a bit slick, finishes tingly. Not much complexity or balance, not too drinkable.

far333, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of dungaree
2.95/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle. Nice adequate head. Nice golden color. Smells of muted malts and a bit musty. Could have more to it as far as smell is concerned. The taste is pleasant but light hoppiness, not what I've come to expect from an American Pale Ale. Overall, decent, but Sam Adams has better brews than this one.

dungaree, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of elmocoso
2.95/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden, with a slight blanket of head and a little lacing. Very pale head with very tight knit bubbles. Active carbination.

I was dissapointed in the nose of this one. Not much there, but definately not offinsive. Just plain.

Taste is also just above average. Again, not much character but not offinsive at all. I could drink a few of them if I had to, kind of boring, though.

Drinkability is, again, about average. There are difinately worse beers out there but there is also many better ones. Why waste the time.

elmocoso, May 14, 2003
Photo of midaszero
2.95/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Mostly clear light yellow color with 2 fingers of solid white head that sticks around

S - Faint malty scent

T - A litte bitter a little sweet. Some light toasted malt flavor.

M - Medium body with light carbonation

D - Not a good or bad pale just pretty average.

midaszero, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of hoplover82
2.95/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a clear light golden color with a nice 2 finger white hed that has really good retention and leaves ok lacing.

S-Man, this is probably the worst smelling pale ale I've ever put my nose to. It is truely "musky" smelling. Just a musky malt smell. And this is a fresh bottle too. Very poor aroma.

T-The flavor is not bad for an English Pale Ale. It's malty and slightly hoppy and slightly bitter. The hops are earthy of coarse, but not bad. Definentely not my favorite style of beer.

M-Has a medium body and creamy. Not bad.

D-It's drinkable because of the average abv, but I wouldn't suggest going out and finding a six pack. I got it in a mixed 12 pack. Nice for a review if you havent tried it...

hoplover82, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up as a single at my local store, I've never had this beer.
And by my initial first taste, I will probably never have it again. I wanted so much to like this beer, but it has such a watered down, adjunct flavor that it was impossible. Thin, very lightly hopped, almost no hops. Very BMC'ish in the flavor. Very tough to finish.

FtownThrowDown, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of themilkman01
2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

When taking into account the review that I've given this beer ... please remember, I'm a beginner. This beer was my first taste of alchohol for five years. When reading this review and looking at the numbers ... remember, again, this is coming from a beginner ... this is a review from a beginner's view.

Sam Adams Pale Ale is a decent beer, however, it's definately not a beginner's beer. This beer is made more for those who enjoy different types of beer; are into the "Old English" methods of brewing, and enjoy those tastes.

Appearance-wise, this beer looked great. The appearance of the bottle and of the actual beer itself was good, and I was impressed. That's one reason I got this beer ... it looked good, I didn't want to try a dark beer at first, and it's not a lite beer.

The smell was great! From the second I popped the cap, the smell came out and made me want to try it that much faster. It smells like a great classic beer, and if you want a beer with a great auroma, this is a good beer.

The taste, at first, was good, but then became a big dissapointment. This beer tastes good, however has a horrid aftertaste that takes awhile to get out of your mouth. The beer is sweet to the taste, but again, that aftertaste is bad, and even if you sip on something else, it really won't go away.

The way the beer felt in my mouth was also horrible. It was very fizzy ... a lot of carbonation, it almost felt as though I was drinking carbonated water with taste. I tried a couple of mouthfuls, it didn't work, and I could pretty much just handle a few sips at a time. Anything more than that and my mouth felt horrible ... but just taking a few sips means that it takes forever to finish just 12 ounces.

Overall, I didn't like this beer, although given the characteristics, I can see why some people do. But if this is your first beer, or first American (somewhat) Pale Ale ... expect it to be difference.

themilkman01, Jan 22, 2007
Photo of jeffmonarch
2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Transparent copper color with a thin layer of white head that stays around forever.

S - Very hoppy but fairly light in smell.

T - Grainy hops. Not as much bite as I would expect from an Pale Ale.

M - Light bodied with good carbonation.

D - Average beer. Not even close to the pest Pale Ale i've had.

jeffmonarch, Jul 31, 2008
Photo of Mancer
2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a golden color with a one finger high white head. The dissipated quickly, and was non existent half way through the beer. The initial smell of the bear was slight malts, and barley, reminds me of a lager. The initial taste of the beer was supremely mild spices, and barley. This brew had a medium body with light carbonation.

All in all, this is not that great of an example of the Pale Ale style. Seems to me like most of the Sam Adams beers taste the same, I think their best stuff is just the Boston Lager.

Mancer, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of brdc
2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Small capped bottle poured into a pint.

Yellow brew, more or the lighter side of yellow, with a decent white head that shows little retention.
Aroma is mostly hoppy, fruity but not that strong or particularly complex. Same can be said for the taste, which shows a modest hoppiness, a little above most macro lagers but not really all that appealing. Unless you are trying to use this to build someone into craft beer, avoid.

brdc, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of CharlatanSin
2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear yellow color without much head. What little is there goes away quickly and doesn't lace.

S: A big whiff of toasted caramel malt. No hop presence to speak of. A slight skunky quality.

T: The toasted malty caramel dominates, with a fair amount of grain. A minor appearance by the hops on the back end. Nothing that really grabs me.

M: Too light and fizzy for my taste.

D/Overall: It goes down easily enough. It's not a horrible beer, but not one of my favorites from Sam Adams. Doubt I'll go for it again, as I imagine there will always be better options.

CharlatanSin, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of JohnL9013
2.9/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A wonderful drain pour for me from Sam Adams.

A: The appearance is probably the only good feature of this beer. Nice half-inch head with some lacing and a pale-ale green-yellow.

S: Smells of light hops, light barley. Not much.

T: I'm sorry, but this beer is truly mediocre. I realize that Pale Ale isn't my style, but I've had other moderately priced Pale Ales before that not only impressed me, but blew this junk out of the water. There's just not enough flavor, and it's slightly too bitter, and almost sour from whatever citrus they added.

M: Way too carbonated and unpleasant. This is ultimately why I poured the remaining half down the drain...the unpleasant (lack of) taste combined with the unpleasant mouthfeel just creates the perfect storm of mediocrity for me.

D: Did I mention that I had to pour this beer down the drain?? I never have to do that!

Sorry, SA, but you need to look elsewhere.

JohnL9013, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of jwc215
2.9/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best before Aug. notched on side of label.

Pours gold with a one-finger head that descends to a thin cover. Some lacing is left on the glass.

The smell is buttery/nutty with English hop fragrance. Some bready yeast peeks through.

A metallic sharpness upfront that quickly subsides. Rather bland. English hops with some lightly roasted malt. A touch of butter and faint nuts. A chalkiness and touch of lime juice mixed in. Semi-dry, abrupt finish. Restrained flavorrs.

The feel is on the light side.
Easy enough to drink, but bland/boring. Nothing really stands out. This is clearly an English-style (not APA), as the brewery claims, and rated as such. A mediocre English-style pale ale.

jwc215, Apr 11, 2007
Photo of jdhilt
2.9/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a one finger white head that fades quickly to a ring leaving traces of lace. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Crystal clear amber color. Nose is light hops. Flavor is mostly hops but some sweet malts try to balance. Light bitter aftertaste. Best by Jun 2010. $1.85 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

jdhilt, May 28, 2010
Photo of Vancer
2.9/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good start - amber/orange pour with a nice foamy ivory head. But then, just some whiffs of malts and floral hops. Quaff was just as weak, with some subtle hints of doughy breads.

All in all, somewhat watery, weak and lifeless. I’m disappointed in Sammy, their offerings are usually better than this – I’d go for many other P.A.s before this one.

Vancer, Dec 22, 2005
Photo of JDK
2.9/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear honey yellow with a 1/2" head, minimal lacing.
Couldn't really smell or taste much of anything, disappointing.
As much as SA beers are a favorite of mine, I'll skip buying anymore of these. It really reminded me more of a mass produced, main stream beer than the rest of the SA line. I realize that this is a pale ale but I would still expect a more pronounced flavor from this brewer.
The saleman at The Anderson's did tell me that this and the Cream Stout were their slowest sellers so hopefully SA will someday come out with a new and improved version.

JDK, Apr 09, 2007
Photo of Kooz
2.9/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Kooz, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of CHickman
2.88/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

CHickman, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of lifebeer
2.88/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

lifebeer, Aug 08, 2008
Photo of stephens101
2.88/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

stephens101, Apr 18, 2008
Photo of KrisPaulk77
2.88/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

KrisPaulk77, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
2.88/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

ThreeWiseMen, Jul 11, 2008
Photo of AgentZero
2.85/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

AgentZero, May 24, 2010
Photo of kimcgolf
2.85/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

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.

kimcgolf, Aug 23, 2006
Photo of jonziefle
2.85/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

jonziefle, May 29, 2010
Samuel Adams Pale Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
80 out of 100 based on 891 ratings.