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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.

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
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Ratings: 885 | Reviews: 575 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smcolw
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Modest head that dies to nearly no bubbles. Initially light lace, then none. Dark gold color with a touch of green; slight haze.

Pleasant floral hop aroma;

Closer to the British style in the malt flavor. Slightly tart and quite dry. The hop finish is brief and not very pronounced. Good body with a high carbonation level.

smcolw, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of oriolesfan4
2.78/5  rDev -20.1%
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?

oriolesfan4, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
2.6/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours yellow with a long-lasting soapy white head, light lacing.

S: Light smell of English ale hops and baked bread.

T: Bready sourdough form the backbone of this brew. Hops are light with a floral and grassy quality, astringent at times, light acidity, sweet aftertaste.

M: A bit too much acid at times in this one. Light mouthfeel and carbonation.

D: A beer I thought would be better than a lot of the made in England pale ales since it would be fresher, but all and all pretty pedestrian. Wouldn't have a problem drinking it again if I buy another summer mixpack, but wouldn't buy a sixer of it.

Halcyondays, Jun 05, 2008
Photo of stakem
3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a standard SA brown bottle with a brewery freshness month of August into a perfect pint glass. Appears a very light orange color that is strikingly clear with a lively amount of carbonation rising through the liquid in support of the white head atop the brew. Initially the head was more than 2 fingers strong but it receeded to just a thin coating atop and lacing sticks in plenty of patches about the glass. Aroma has herbal hops, faint grainy malt and a slight mineral touch in the backend. The most prominent aspect of the aroma is the herbal hops that have a twing of citrus aspect about them as the beer warms. Taste has a combination upfront of herbal and citrus hops. The citrus aspect is a little more evident than indicated in the aroma. The malt presents itself with a biscuity flavor across a thin body before finishing quite crisp with the herbal, slightly citrus hops lingering in the mouth. The alcohol is mildly evident in both flavor and warming factor. Overall it is a decent pale. Quite light and refreshing it would be easy to throw a few of these back.

stakem, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of wrightst
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

wrightst, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of tempest
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appear clean amber with a short white head. Smells a touch soapy with lemon and dry dark bread crust. The flavor is smooth, sweet white bread with a little toffee followed by a kick of spicy hops. Tastes like there might be a hint of diacetyl. Drinkable and a nice English pale ale - not something you see much of around here. I suppose this beer reminds me of a cleaned-up Shipyard pale ale.

tempest, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a gold color with a medium white head Nose is bready malt with earthy tones. Taste is a bit metallic tasting with a good dose of hops. Mouthfeel is a bit on the light side, good carbonation. Easy enough to drink, flavor was alright, but nothing really stands out.

barleywinefiend, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of mothman
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Pours a ½ finger white head. Fades down to a thin layer quickly and leaves only some splattered lace. Color is a clear light golden orange.

Aroma: Caramel malts, a blend of fruits (maybe some bananas and oranges), and a low level of herbed scented hops.4

Taste: Big caramel flavor as well as biscuit flavored malts. There are some subtle fruits again and I kind of get some lemon here.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp with a large amount of carbonation. Fairly light bodied. Ends with a big biscuit flavored malt aftertaste that is very dry.

Overall, this beer had some nice flavors for it being a pale ale. Nothing to go crazy for, but out of the pale ales I have had, this one isn't too bad.

mothman, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -13.8%

ejimhof, Sep 29, 2013
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.

rhoadsrage, May 28, 2008
Photo of DoubleJ
3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle purchased from the Wine Exchange, on to the beer:

The beer's color appears a hazy orange in my glass, topped by a fuzzy straw-like head. The aroma has some caramel undetones with a tart lemon backbone. now to cover my palate with this liquid...there's something, but something seems missing; the overall flavor seems to go blank on the palate for few brief moments. When I find something, it's a little fruity in taste with some doses of biscuity malt. A trace of mild hop flavor is there, but requires some searching. There are no off-flavors, but seems a little weaker compared to other pale ales.

DoubleJ, Jan 31, 2008
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 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 LXIXME
4/5  rDev +14.9%

LXIXME, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams
Pale Ale

Pours a deep golden color with a good soapy froth. Aroma of buttery toffee, bread, and earthy hops. Mild bitterness, and very much like an English bitter. Soft noble hops and a toffee/butterscotch like note. Finishes with a leafy hoppyness and a slight tang. Light to medium bodied feel with an oily hop and sweet yeast. Overall, a mild, session able ale with a very English character.

Stinkypuss, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of Wasatch
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy tan head which quickly disappears, nice lacing afterwards. Scents of hops, malts, and spices. The taste is hoppy, and kinda sweet, with a nice clean finish. Medium body. Very drinkable, another very tasty brew from SA.

Wasatch, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of BillRoth
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

BillRoth, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of ppoitras
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle scrounged from my parents' fridge to enjoy with dinner after washing sheep at their (small) farm in preparation for a fair this weekend.

Nice 1/2" white head on top of the light amber brew. Slightly hoppy aroma, rounded out with minimal malts. Taste was upfront pale malts, and balanced with a crisp hops bite. Actually, a bit more balanced than I would expect for a pale ale. Mouthfeel and drinkability were both good, placing this brew in the "lawnmower/thirst-quencher" category, in my mind.

ppoitras, May 27, 2004
Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -13.8%

rab53, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of plaid75
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger creamy head. Poor head retention and lacing.

The smell was very subtle. Light traces of hop. Light citrus aroma.

The taste was likewise subtle. Good malt base with light citrus hop character. Has that trademark Sam Adams biscuity/bready aftertaste, which I enjoy.

The mouthfeel was nice. Relatively dry and again, nice aftertaste.

A drinkable ale.

I prefer a bit more hop in an APA. A good beer nonetheless, but not a great example of the style.

plaid75, Apr 28, 2006
Photo of Kelp
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Kelp, Jan 25, 2013
Photo of beerthulhu
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a pale golden color with a soft white head.

S: On the nose was light citrus, fresh grains and a light breadiness.

T: dry, crisp, with some light floral bittering, fresh grains and a light breadiness similar to English style malt.

M: fizzy with dry citrus and a tad thin.

D: Overall a moderately hopped pale with moderate flavor and drinkability.

beerthulhu, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of sendbeer
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

sendbeer, Dec 14, 2012
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Comes out a light copper color with below average head. Aroma is faint floral hops, really smells like Saaz and Tetenang stuff.

Taste is very much a light pale ale. Very light. More flavor than BMC, but clearly the next level, a better introduction to beer. Carbonation seems high on the palate compared with the appearance. Dry, typical Sam Adams underhopping (even for an English style pale) and lemon flavor. Another underwhelming effort from SA.

Beerandraiderfan, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.4/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz from part of the Sam Adams Summer Mix-Pack. Poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

3 finger head dies back leaving pretty nice lacing. Brew is crystal clear golden straw.

Aroma is pale malts and spicy hops... maybe some background toasty notes.. maybe not.

Flavor mirrors the aroma.. but with a subtle yeasty fruitiness.

Body is lite/medium with ever present carbonation.

I would probably pick this up a couple times a year if it was available in 6'ers.

JohnGalt1, Jun 30, 2008
Samuel Adams Pale Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 885 ratings.