Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting 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 Pale Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Pale AleSamuel Adams Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

570 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 570
Hads: 901
Avg: 3.48
pDev: 14.08%
Wants: 21
Gots: 31 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-07-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (120) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 570 | Hads: 901
Photo of Rifrafboy
2.75/5  rDev -21%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

 372 characters

Photo of Nobody420
2.75/5  rDev -21%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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

 614 characters

Photo of cardinal25
2.78/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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

 380 characters

Photo of tykees88
2.78/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- It starts out great. Really bright orange to light orange color. Nice fluffy white head hangs around nice.

S- It is bready and biscuity. I went on an APA kick here and looking at notes, notice that several APA's hang around that malty side.

T- Just a total bust here. bready bready bready malts. Terrible hop flavor if you even wanna call it that. I really hate this taste.

M- It is lighter bodied. Carbonated well.

O- it is from a big time company so the color and mouthfeel is right. It's the taste that sucks. Won't revisit you. I enjoy Sam Adams stuff. But not this.

 578 characters

Photo of nhindian
2.79/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into tulip.

A - Pours a deep, golden, amber and grows a 2-fingered frothy, creamy, snow white head. Lots of carbonation can be seen replenishing the head so that a couple centimeters stick around throughout. Beautiful lacing; seriously, this lacing is a 360 degree coating of the entire glass.

S - Smell is mild and bland, however. Not much in the way of fruit esthers or hops. On the contrary, I'm getting a lot of grain and malts. That's pretty much it. Not complex or deep in the least.

T - Taste unfortunately follows the nose to a T on this one. Fruits and pine are almost non-existent. Some cereal taste and breadiness, and some light bitterness is the only cry towards a Pale Ale. Disappointingly simple and flavorless.

M - Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a ton of carbonation. Unfortunately the carbonation has no flavors to propel around the mouth.

D - Drinkability is low. What began as a beautiful beer turned out to be a wolf in sheep's clothing. The only popping characteristic of this beer is the bitterness at the end, which is unacceptable. Shame.

 1,087 characters

Photo of samie85
2.8/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

 438 characters

Photo of ryanms3030
2.8/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

 1,097 characters

Photo of Knapp85
2.8/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

 267 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
2.8/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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?

 378 characters

Photo of ewright
2.81/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

 679 characters

Photo of mtstatebeer
2.81/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

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.

 260 characters

Photo of kimcgolf
2.82/5  rDev -19%
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.

 389 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
2.83/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

(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.

 1,331 characters

Photo of Enola
2.83/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

 339 characters

Photo of Haufniensis
2.83/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

 1,148 characters

Photo of malcontent
2.83/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

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.

 1,020 characters

Photo of MikeBrandman
2.83/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

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.

 750 characters

Photo of CHickman
2.86/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

 642 characters

Photo of AgentZero
2.87/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

 838 characters

Photo of KrisPaulk77
2.87/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

 626 characters

Photo of jonziefle
2.87/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

 733 characters

Photo of jdhilt
2.88/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

 326 characters

Photo of hoplover82
2.88/5  rDev -17.2%
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...

 711 characters

Photo of JDK
2.88/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

 573 characters

Photo of Kooz
2.88/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

 694 characters

Samuel Adams Pale Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 570 ratings.