Samuel Adams Boston Lager | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager
BA SCORE
3.74/5
9,208 Ratings
Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
samueladams.com

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our original beer is full-flavored with a balance of malty sweetness contrasted by hop spiciness and a smooth finish.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-27-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#22,448
Reviews:
2,705
Ratings:
9,208
pDev:
13.9%
Bros Score:
4
 
 
Wants:
194
Gots:
2,592
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 9,208 |  Reviews: 2,705
Reviews by bgreg3:
Photo of bgreg3
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

app. is a clear amber , that keeps foam around the ring of the glass. smells bready , I smell malt and a little bit of a sulfur note, Tastes like it smells for the most part wheat , barely ,sweet malt. reletively light mouthfeel and a smooth drinker , not really leaving a dry finish , but not a wet one , right in the middle , not bad sam , not bad

 349 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of dmgeng
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

One of the best flagship beers ever and it is a staple of the "craft beer" world. Even-though many consider it to be too commercial to be a true "craft beer" it has all of the flavor and impact that any great beer should have.

A - Perfect light brown color basically a caramel that is crystal clear. Fluffy white head that sits nice and high. Great lacing.

S - Rich malty aroma with caramel and lager notes. Also grainy tones and some noble hops. Smells like any commercial amber lager but with more hop character.

T - Tastes of sweet maltiness with some grain, caramel, and lager flavor. This beer takes you average "beer" and kicks it up to the next level with layers of clean and delicious flavors. Only a light bitterness and some noble hop character to balance the sweet malt character.

M - Medium to light mouth-feel. Moderate to light carbonation. Very balanced in ever respect. Could drink this forever and would go perfectly with thousands of food combination.

Overall, this is a great (once craft, now commercial) beer that is perfect for drinking on Sundays, during the Summer, or just when a heavy stout or IPA just isn't what I'd like. Though big imperial IPAs and imperial stouts have my heart; I would still never turn down a good ol' Boston Lager.

Glass- Samuel Adam's Perfect Pint

 1,303 characters

Photo of NickTrop
4.41/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Beers don't go "out of style" or "get old" or go "out of fashion". Are we talking about beer or fall fashions? A great beer, is a great beer, is a great beer. And Samuel Adams Boston Lager is just that -- a great beer, a true classic. The craft crowd who diss this one seem to lack appreciation for balance and subtlety. That hop bomb with the silly name you adore? It's most likely an out-of-balance disaster, a gimmick brew. Here today, gone tomorrow. Neither beer nor any food should punch you in the face. Flavors should blend well together. All beers should be as delicious and drinkable as a good ole Sam Adams Lager. This is a beer that makes America proud on the international stage, right up there with best the world has to offer. It's sublime. Been around a while? Sam Adams has gotten too big? It's not brewed in somebody's closet? What does that matter, and who cares?

 888 characters

Photo of JohnnyI
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From time to time I love to revisit classics like this one. I still recall my first Sam Adams. It was 1993 and I was all of 14 years old, thinking I was cool to snag such a refined beer for my house party (sorry Mom!). That first one ended up as a drain pour. I was so shocked and appalled at the (gasp) flavor that the beer imparted that it just confounded me. Mind you, this was over half a lifetime ago, and I was still under the impression that fire-brewed Strohs and MillerLite cans were the pinnacle of brewing. I'd like to believe that despite the drain pour, that beer planted the seed in my mind that has grown in to my obsession for craft beer. Well enough nostalgia. Here we go...

The beer pours a bright tangerine color with lively carbonation that sends bubbles streaming to the surface. This one could grace a beer commercial. Perfect, thick white head that falls gradually with lacing all the way to the rim. Impressive. Fruity esters and a buttery malt aroma in the nose. A little bit of citrus and spice from the hops. The flavor is malty, complex and delicious. I think we beer advocates forget just how good this beer truly is. There's just a touch of caramel sweetness, with cereal grain and a well-balanced bitterness in the finish. Hints of orange peel spice and some toffee on the tongue. The body is remarkably fuller than one might expect. I attribute this to a little sleight of hand with the aggressive carbonation. The prickly suds convey a creamy mouthfeel and feign fullness with masterful precision. Nice clean finish that begs for another gulp. At under 5% ABV, this is a powerhouse of flavor and texture. I cannot think of a single small lager that packs as much moxie as the flagship beer from Boston. Still world class in today's glut of aspiring craft kings.

 1,795 characters

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown, glass is raised above the label in the signature of Samuel Adams. Label is new, "It's what's inside" is under the cap ... beefing up the marketing eh?

Appearance: Light amber with golden hues. The head is rocky, creamy and frothy which sticks to the glass all the way down to the last gulp.

Smell: Good dose of sweetness both from the floral hops and caramel malt. Very aromatic and a pleasure to the nose.

Taste: Sweet malt, a little caramel, with a sublime hop oil flavour which lets through a more than ample bitterness that has a spicy bite to it. A hoppy finish with some residual sweetness and drying grain are in the end.

Notes: A very well crafted brew, enough hops to go around yet still very balanced. Soon to be a classic (first brewed in 1984), an excellent fall back or session beer also.

 840 characters

Photo of thorkelson
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Now this, my friends is a beer.
I love this beer so much. It's so perfectly malty and sweet with a great balance of grainy taste. Super bready and full. Available EVERYWHERE which makes it even better. A perfect beer to share with non-craft buddies.

 250 characters

Photo of legendz
5/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Remember that episode of Family Guy...

"Would you like something to drink"?
"I'll have water please",
"I'll have water too but with lemon",
"I'll have a Sam Adams",
"It's 9:30 in the morning"
"And don't you have an outstanding dui"?
"Ya but, I got to get the taste of weed and hooker spit out of my mouth"!
"I'll have a Sam Adams too!"

"SAMUEL ADAMS ALWAYS A GOOD DECISION"!

 376 characters

Photo of JustLikeMyDad
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pleasantly Surprised by this.
Smells good, smooth, flavourful taste.
Feels and tastes like a lager, but with a minor ale aftertaste. Almost feels like both a lager and an ale together.

 187 characters

Photo of NJBeerNut
4/5  rDev +7%

Still holds it own after all these years. So much flavor and perfectly balanced, so easy to drink. The first shot across the bow of the mega brewers and it still works 25+ years later.

 184 characters

Photo of moucon
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love Boston Lager. My new favorite everyday drinker (and I'm usually into Stouts) BL is every bit as good as any micro/'craft' brew - but it's available everywhere, it's consistent, and it's supermarket priced. What more do you want? We live in a wine-making area, and in the past 10 yrs or so we've had an influx craft distilleries, meaderies, hard cider producers, and most recently- an onslaught of "craft brewers". Now this is all great stuff for the local tourist economy, but unfortunately most of the beers being produced are, in a word, awful. Lots of Uber-trendy hop-bombs... joined by the crazy "dump every dried spice/flower/fruit/nut/herb under the sun in the brew" - make crazy labels, and sell it as 'hand-crafted' for $4/bottle at Wegman's. Boston Lager is the remedy for all of that nonsense. It's truly a premium product being sold at the same price point as Genny, Bud, and Miller - but it's so much more complex and as so many others have already stated - balanced. I love the amber color, the just-right bitterness and lingering malty/yeasty-sweet finish... at first flavor hits you with some aromatics (don't really know what's in there - sorry I should have researched this a little better) but is very satisfying without being over-the-top in any one area. My only sub-4 score would be the nose... not even a complaint, more of a statement since all of this is 100% subjective but to me the nose doesn't accurately reflect that first sip. Honestly - forget the 4-stars, I'd give it 5 stars but that has to be reserved for those once-in-a-great-while jaw-droppers. PS - it is quite "Ale-ey" if you taste out of the bottle but don't look at it... it is crystal clear like a good lager but does have ale qualities. Maybe rename Boston LagerAle? LOL

 1,788 characters

Photo of _drummer_
4.52/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an exceptional beer. I had it while on vacation in Maine. We went camping at Acadia National Park and I picked up a 6-pack of this to have by the fire. It was rich, not lacking in flavor, and smooth. I had it with a lot of different food items over the grill and it complemented each of them nicely. I will definitely get this one again.

 350 characters

Photo of andrewh995
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'll be honest, I figured it wouldn't be good because it's mass produced and advertised on TV alot. But I was wrong. One of my favorite Viennas. Mild hoppiness, great malt, perfectly balanced, and so so refreshing.

 214 characters

Photo of kotocar
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I rate all of my beers according to style. This is a beer that is so common that we take it for granted. Because they brew so much of it and it is found everywhere I think less of it.

But when I truly use my senses, it tastes great! Not much beers like it out there. This is a beer that NEEDS to be drank fresh. It's so much better fresh.

I taste biscuity malts, a hint of citrus zest, and caramel. I also taste metal, which is sharp. The hops are definitely in there, but not as strong as piney hops.

 510 characters

Photo of kevin3046
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The granddaddy of craft beer. Clear light amber color. Biscuity dry smell. Thin dissapating head. Decent lacing. Has a malty, caramel, lemony, biscuit flavor with a nice light hop balance. Every place that sells or serves beer should at least offer this. But unfortunately, they don't. They are too busy selling Bud Light to know a decent beer.

 344 characters

Photo of fscottkey
2.24/5  rDev -40.1%

Notes: Best before Jan 2015. (consumed 9/4/14). Poured into a nonic pint

A: [4.00] Extremely clear beer. No haze or cloudiness. The color is like light maple syrup. An amber/tan color. The head is 1 finger and is formed of dense bubbles. The is lacing when the beer is tilted. The bottle has a best by date and does not list the ABV or IBU.

S: [1.50] I get no nose. I shoved my nose right down in there and sucked it in. Nothing. Maybe as it warms. But the initial nose is none.

T: [2.25] Slight creamed corn flavor.

M: [2.75] Fairly high carbonation. There is a "zing" on the tongue. The mouthfeel is thin and watery.

O: [2.25] It seems hard to believe but I was disappointed - and I had pretty low expectations. I have had Sam Adams Boston Lager before - but never reviewed it critically. It has no appreciable nose. The taste is not something that I like and the body was unimpressive. Overall this is not a beer I would ever seek out. Even on a hot day I'd skip this in favor of water. I guess if this was the only "craft" beer at a place that server BMC then I'd go for it.

 1,105 characters

Photo of Cure_Tap
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet malt balanced out with a little bitterness in the hops. Smooth drinking, dry, and refreshing. A bone simple lager, and very enjoyable. A good all rounder. I could drink this anytime, and it's easy to see why this is Samuel Adams' flagship product.

 253 characters

Photo of Roadhouse_Blues
4.62/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If it's on draft, I have a hard time choosing anything else.

Look: Deep amber color with a lively and lingering vanilla ice cream colored head with generous lacing.

Smell: Rich, inviting, rather malty aroma with faint citrus notes.

Taste: A wonderful balance of malted barley and hops.

Feel: Crisp and refreshing with just enough carbonation.

Overall: Visually very appealing, delicious and satisfying - my favorite macro lager.

 435 characters

Photo of Trung_Slim
4.77/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The best lager beer I've ever tasted! I was invited a pint of a dark orange beer, which I firstly thought it was an IPA. Then my friend said that it was a lager. The beer is malty, hoppy and has good after taste! Highly recommendation, especially for lager lovers!

 264 characters

Photo of DrainBamage
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cooper color, high carbonation, and quarter inch head. Has malty aromas similar to a amber ale and slightly hoppy. Goes down a tad bitter and dry. Tastes a lot like an amber ale. Overall a really good beer for the style.

 228 characters

Photo of TDotScott
4.31/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a wine glass.

L- Between gold and amber with brilliant clarity. A white head builds up and retains very well. I had a small head for over 30 minutes.

S- Dry toast from malt. Very clean.

T- that dry toast comes through, and its balanced impeccably by hop bitterness, without much on the way of hop flavor.

F- lively carbonation keeps things light, and the finish is good and dry.

O- Vienna lager is a simple style, but it's hard to argue with BBco's take on it.

 488 characters

Photo of JacobusFavier23
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L-Dark amber with perfect head on it. Looks great.
S-I get notes or caramel, sweet smells also. Very malty too.
T-Crisp flavor, malty and exceptional. Slight caramel/sweet flavor.
F-Slight fizzy carbonation. Crispy and creamy. Very refreshing.
O-My overall go to beer. Boston lager was the first "craft" beer that I've ever had. This beer really did solidify my love for beer. Its just so solid. You can never go wrong with this lager.

 435 characters

Photo of cooldude550
5/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sam Adams beer is perfectly balanced, complex and full bodied!

"You can travel the world and never find a better beer then Samuel Adams, ALWAYS A GOOD DECISON"!

 162 characters

Photo of VoxRationis
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) bottle into a conical pint glass; best by October 2017.
A: Pours a crystal clear golden more amber color with a one inch, white head displaying low retention but good lacing.
S: Floral bouquet with aromas of caramel and toast.
T: Dry with flavors of caramel and biscuit. Bitterness nicely in balance.
M: Light bodied with solid carbonation. Very crisp finish and refreshing.
O: This is really a nicely designed Vienna Lager.

 458 characters

Photo of huthuty
4.57/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a beautiful medium amber with little head, smells sweetly of cereal and a little hops, not to the point it's overpowering, a very balanced and light smell
Taste is complex yet light, a good lager taste with hops that are undeniably present
This is an amazing beer that's also immensely drinkable, not my favorite style, but this sh#t is good

 348 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This classic lager pours a bright clear amber color with
a moderate head of white foam that subsides to a thick ring, thin pool, and light lacing.
Nose of caramel malts, light breaded malts, spicy hops, and light herbal hop notes. Flavors
exceed the nose with caramel malts and light breaded malt notes on the front and sides, subtle
herbal notes hit nicely on the middle and fade into a floral hop note that is perfect for this classic
brew. Nice mouth feel, medium carbonation, and a lightly herbal bitter hop note on the aftertaste.

I still taste the flavors I remember, but the look has changed a touch with the now faster dissipating
head, and while this is not a problem I remember distinctly putting the cap atop the foam to many
peoples surprise and then taking a drink and it was still there. I have many fond memories of getting
this brew and cherishing it back when it was a rarity to find in the Cincy area prior to them brewing
it here. That said, the flavors are still present and I am reminded of how much I appreciated it on the
brew landscape when the best you could get was Sam Smith and Lowenbrau.

Cheers SA, keep up the good work....and PLEASE bring back the foam!

 1,228 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 9,208 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.