1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

885 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 885
Reviews: 575
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 14.37%
Wants: 21
Gots: 18 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 885 | Reviews: 575 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Nytemare
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man I gotta get back into this review thing. I keep tryin' new stuff and just don't get around to writing a review.
I liked the way this beer looked, a nice golden color, pillowy head. It smelled like nice too. Nice bready malts and a sour hops note. Tasted the same. Good English style pale ale. Felt light a crisp in the mouth. Wasn't very filling. Thought it was just a good solid beer. Exactly what I was looking for last night. I could and will definately drink this again. Probably will drink a lot of this again.

Nytemare, Feb 16, 2006
Photo of beerphilosopher
3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint from a 12 oz bottle. A golden amber color with a solid white head, sporadic lacing. Nose is of malt, with some lighter flowery accents. Smells like an English pale, not an American ... malt dominates the taste as well, with the hops only appearing as an aferthougth in the over all taste profile. Moderately sweet and medium-bodied. A pretty good English style pale ale, which is not among my favorite styles, but an enjoyable beer none the less.

beerphilosopher, Feb 09, 2006
Photo of MSchae1017
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from the bottle.

This beer pours a golden orange with a frothy white head that doesn't hold well or lace well. The smell is a mixture of sweet citrus, light berry fruits (maybe cherry) and hops. The taste seems to be quite similar. I would prefer the sweetness to be toned down in this one in favor of some more bitterness. The mouthfeel is a decent thickness and carbonation. Overall it has an above average drinkability but it is not fantastic. There are better Pale Ales out there.

MSchae1017, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of clemtig76
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, best by June 2006 notched on the label. Pours a pale amber orange color with a thick white head. Very nice spicy hoppy aroma, just what you would expect from a pale ale. Taste is also on the hoppy side, but not over the top as is the case of some other pale ales. A good solid offering from the guys at the Boston Beer Company.

clemtig76, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of dickroop
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – a solid-golden, light-bronze clear fluid with lots of very fine bubbles and a persistent creamy-white, thin head that coats the glass and laces nicely. Invites further exploration

Smell- sort of a mystery, not much to go on until it warms up a little, then some sweet aroma notes of breadiness, faint hoppiness, and sweet vapors of malt. Balanced.

Taste- first a gray-bitter mildly-hoppy disappointment. Barely enough flavor here for a hop-head. Balanced to a fault. Finishes malty with clean bitterness and cardboardy astringency.

Mouthfeel – not bad, if a little watery. The modest alcohol level and the good carbonation combine to generate a feeling of more substance than the brew actually has, contributing to its….

Drinkability – surprisingly good. It’s a sophisticated product. I’d love to sample it on tap. I have to remember: it’s a PA not an IPA. It drinks easy, but its flavor is too calculated, not sufficiently bold. It’ll do, but I won’t pay a premium to buy this one again. Sam has aimed for the middle of the PA spectrum, and, while acceptable, it lacks distinction.

dickroop, Feb 04, 2006
Photo of Naes
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a golden brown ale with a small white head that does not retain well, but does leave a decent amount of lacing.
The aroma is of mild hops.
The flavor is mildly hopy up front with the malt becoming more noticeable near the finish.
Mouth feel is light bodied and moderately carbonated.

This is a quality brew, just nothing about it seems to stand out.

Naes, Jan 18, 2006
Photo of Toddv29424
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am not sure why the top of the bottle proclaims "brewmaster's special", because I dont think any brewmaster would want their name associated with this beer. Its extremly weak and the hops are virtually non existant. It looks just like regular Sam Adams, with the translucent gold color. To me, it tastes as if they've added something to the malt that gives it more of a hop flavor, but its hard to call it a pale ale.

Toddv29424, Jan 12, 2006
Photo of jmz62565
3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a clear golden color with a smallish tan head.The smell has a slight hop and malt aroma,but it is pretty faint.The taste has a hop bite as well as a nice malt flavor.The carbonation makes this a very bubbly beer with some citrus flavors.The m/f is light,but it's a little watery going down.All in all, this is a very good beer fron Sam's.

jmz62565, Jan 09, 2006
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 bighoppymonster
3.1/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, clean golden colour with foamy white head and active carbonation. Smells of faint hoppiness with some grainy malts as well. Flavour is similar to nose: A little hoppiness with malt being the dominate feature. Overall just an average brew. Nothing fancy or impressive about it at all. I've only had a couple of their offerings, but I havent been impressed at all with this brewery from Boston. I will, however, try some more of their beers, as it is a respected brewery.

bighoppymonster, Nov 19, 2005
Photo of evanackerman
4.18/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

i am surprised by the low reviews of this beer, i find it extremely delicious.

pours a nice light amber with thick white head that retains well. aroma is reminiscent of sourdough bread. taste is a nice balance of bready malt and english hops. mouthfeel is a bit thin but pretty good. drinkability is very high.

a very nice light ale, perfect for when you want a very refreshing beer with good flavor but not something huge. very quaffable and a nice interpretation of the style in my opinion. i will definitely be buying this again.

evanackerman, Nov 06, 2005
Photo of SixpointJMH
3.08/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one turns out to be a fairly bland offering from the BBC folks.

It pours an alright crisp copper colour with a decent sized head that doesn't hold for very long and leaves minimal to no residue on the glass.

The aroma is malty/earthy and a touch buttery, with an ever so slight sweet hop aroma pushed way to the back. Simple and fairly average overall.

The flavour is pretty much more of the same, although the hop notes are even less so apparent here. The malt truly takes over pretty much the whole way.

There's nothing really to say about this brew. It's drinkable, but very simpe and average overall. I'd like to see the hop flavour kicked up more to give this one some bite. Can I recommend this one? No. Can I say avoid it? No. Try it if you want but don't expect much in return.

SixpointJMH, Oct 18, 2005
Photo of unknownlamer
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is an average pale ale, and much better than the boston ale. It has a decent hppy aroma, and a good hop and malt balance. It goes down smoothly, and leaves a crisp bitterness behind. Definitely not nearly as smooth as a lot of the pale ales I've had before, but still good.

unknownlamer, Oct 17, 2005
Photo of SteveO1231
3.78/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clean amber color with a white fizzy head
Light hoppy scented Pale ale
Light bubbly fizzy head disipates when it hits the lips
A nice bitter flavor w/ a hoppy finish with a touch citrus.
Smooth drinkability, very light flavor and finish for those hot summer days.

SteveO1231, Sep 23, 2005
Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of pale, light crystal, and roasted malts. It has a fruity quality as well as a wonderful English hop aroma. The taste is great. This is what I like about the English style pales. It's malty with a smooth, dry finish. The hops add good balance and it attains a slight fruitiness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is quite possibly the best beer these guys brew. I like everything about it.

WesWes, Sep 10, 2005
Photo of Zorro
4.38/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear deep golden ale with a white head.

Smell is malty and fruity with a good herbal hop scent. Not sweet smelling mostly just an herbal hop scent, the hops have a minty quality to them.

Taste is a little sweet and aggressively bitter. Mild spiciness in the hop profile, this is much like a bitter Pilsner.

Mouthfeel is good.

Exceedingly drinkable. This is NOT another cookie cutter APA full of grapefruit and pine flavor and scent. This is much closer to a Pilsner in bitterness and hops used. This beer is all about the hops, satisfyingly bitterness and very well dry hopped. I did not expect this beer to be so tasty; this is now my favorite Sam Adams brew!

Zorro, Jul 24, 2005
Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks: Crystal clear Golden color. Small pure white head with no lacing.
Smell: Strong sulfer (think lit match) with a bit of hops.
Tastes: Light sulfer and hopes. Finishes with malt and biscuty flavor.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied with healthy amount of carbonation.
Drinkability: Very drinkable. Goes down easy, somewhat refreshing and not overly alcoholic.

Notes: this is a good beer. Not intense, but has a bit of flavor. Also goes well with bar foods, chips and such. The sulfer kills this brew.

NiceGuyMike, Jun 08, 2005
Photo of kmo1030
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

gold colored with a thin white head. 'earthy' hoppy smell with a little malty sweetness. good amount of hop bitterness, with a chewy caramel honey-like sweetnes to back it up. a little thin in the mouth, but nothing get bent out of shape about. overall good drinkability, and worth a try, but for the most part nothing special at all.

kmo1030, Apr 26, 2005
Photo of MrSeth
4.2/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a bubbly white head. It settles then reforms now and again. The body is a beautiful gold. The nose is fruity at first, fresh rasberries.. then a honeyish malt aroma. Good taste, something barely estery.. it's a nice element although it doesn't remind me of any particular fruit. The finish is only mildly bitter and that will add a point to the drinkability.

MrSeth, Apr 18, 2005
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear copper, I mean crystal clear. I can watch the Braves game throught the beer. Creamy and cream colored head with sheets of lacing. Smell is lightly bitter-swee and tea leaf aromas from the hops. Light fruity malt.

A nice balance in the taste with the hops and the malt intertwining flawlessly. Persistent understated tea-like hops and a nice semi-sweet fruitiness of the malt. Creamy up front and crisp in the finish. An easy drinker.

I'm not sharp enough to pick up that East Kent Goldngs and Fuggles were the hops used in this one but I do know enough to taste a stab at the classic British style pale when I taste one. Very well done, in the style of Bass way back in the day. Subtle and well-crafted.

ViveLaChouffe, Apr 13, 2005
Photo of Southernbrew
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange color with a respectable bubbly head.

Fine hop aroma, smells more like a British pale than an American. Good balance of malt and hops.

Medium bodied and pretty smooth. Very English, mild hop flavors backed up with with a decent malt backbone. Some bitterness combines with a sweet, bready flavor.

Easy drinking, but not exciting. If I want an American pale, I'll reach for a Sierra Nevada or Sweetwater.

Southernbrew, Dec 03, 2004
Photo of Gagnonsux
3.08/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer isn't doing much for me tonight. Something seems a little off with the flavor, or maybe this beer is made differently than the APAs that I've had. Anyway, the color of the beer is amber with a large, semi-creamy head. Smell is fairly hoppy, but has a generic quality to it. Flavor is sweeter than I thought it would be and less hoppy. Usually the APAs I've had have more bite in the hops department. The sweetness is a little too strong, but is only bothersome in the finish. The middle of the sip is well-rounded, but not complex and full enough for me. Still, this isn't too bad of a beer, just something seems a little off here. I won't be getting this in the future, I've found APAs I find much more tasty.

Gagnonsux, Sep 25, 2004
Photo of UncleJimbo
3.4/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 12 oz longneck bottle from the Brewmaster's collection sixpack.

This ale poured a clear, light amber color with white foam that settled but clung to the glass a bit. The smell was very modest: lightly malty with a touch of grain. The taste was lightly malty with a hint of citrus and a slight tanginess and medium hoppiness, though the hop bitterness did linger. The mouthfeel was smooth and dry with medium body and medium-low carbonation. The aftertaste was lightly malty with a lingering mild bitterness. This was an OK plae ale, but nothing to go out of your way for.

UncleJimbo, Aug 28, 2004
Photo of Hibernator
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle. Part of the Sam Adams Brewmaster's Collection. Freshness date was notched December 2004.

The beer poured with about a 1/2 inch head that disappeared somewhat quickly. There were some nice lacings present.

Aroma is hoppy and floral.

Sweet malt flavors and hop profile blend failry well together. Sweet and spicy mix together. I am getting a sharp alcohol finish that detracts from the overall enjoyment of this beer.

Overall this is a nice Pale Ale, but there are much better American craft beer options out there for this style.

Hibernator, Aug 21, 2004
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper slightly hazed nice creamy white head leaves nice even rings of lacing. Aroma: Bready with citrus pine edges not bad mellow but nice. Taste: Very nice semi sweet breadiness with flowery hop flavor with a good amount of bitterness, simple pretty reserved English style pale ale. Mouthfeel: Medium body carbonation is solid no complaints. Drinkability: Damn fine session brew in my eyes, not much to say balanced decently hopped ale.

WVbeergeek, Jul 29, 2004
Samuel Adams Pale Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 885 ratings.