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

very good
2,668 Reviews
Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager

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

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

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

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Reviews: 2,668 | Ratings: 9,029
Photo of twi1609372
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

the beer that started it all for sam adams. this beer started a beer revolution. this is a dark beer in every respect, this is a true beer drinkers beer. sam adams boston lager is a good beer, but once you have tryed it you have to try the other variaties to truely enjoy all sam adams has to offer.

 299 characters

Photo of beersalesman
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm always partial to Sam Adams Boston was the beer that moved me away from watered down mass domestic and into the Better Beer spectrum. The body is always a beautiful clear amber. The awesome boutique of Bavarian Hops greets your sense of smell. Then the best part is the balance between the hops and malt - one does not overpower the other. I love how the taste dances on your tongue once you've swallowed. Still the best Lager available on the market today.

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Photo of surfmeister
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: cherry wood, off white heads that hung around awhile, pretty
Aroma: bread, I frickin love it, like having a beer in a frickin bakery
Flavor: balance with a frickin capital "B", big malt up front with a hoppy little bite in the ass as you leave.
Mouthfeel: substantial, meaty but not overbearing.
Overall: it's no mystery why this beer is so frickin' popular, they hit on all bases. big enough taste for "serious" beer drinkers but won't scare away macro drinkers.

Addendum 3/19/04:
It's nice to retry a beer months after first reviewing it to see if your opinion has hasn't.
This beer is magnificent, the full flavors that don't overpower, the incredible balance. Highly underrated, probably due to it's availability and therefore loss of "hipness". This is one of the best beers in the world

 826 characters

Photo of lanechaffin
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Can't believe anyone could give this beer a low mark. It seems almost perfect to me. Rich complexity, great taste, good aroma..there is a lot happening in a Sam Adams BL- you taste pine, maybe a very slight citrus, wonderfully hoppy and a nice strong beer taste, and with all that, it still is simply beer as beer was meant to be.

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Photo of ElijahCraig69
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I gotta say i love the hoppy taste and all of the nice flavor of this beer. It is strong. Tastes sweet and very delicious. Fruity Hops to me anyway dominate the experience in the taste. to me its fruity Hops And i get a malt taste. Unlike coors light, which is what i drink all the time, it has a taste to it that is distinguishable. I like this more. It is Something beer geeks could appreciate. I taste the hops, unlike with budweiser or the AALs. The AALs taste like corn and barley and things like that. This tastes Different. Its been a while since i had it but it tastes like caramel malts with hops. Best i've had besides guinness blue moon and Bourbon stouts.

 667 characters

Photo of streetcommander
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

SABL is the best American beer, period. Anyone giving less than perfect marks to this brew is disingenuous, snobbish, has clearly lascivous tendencies, and is completely undeserving of the freedoms provided by the God-blessed US of A.

-Universally available.
-Consistantly glorious.
-Attractively priced.
-NOT made in China.
-Samuel Adams was a "mob rule antagonist" provoking the Rev. War. God Bless America!

No one need say more.

 437 characters

Photo of Alestorm4069
5/5  rDev +31.6%

Out of a Bottle this is Some of the best dark Lager I've ever had. Out of a can its too carbonated. Good beer. bought a can for 1.00 recently. Some good stuff. Bought in a quest to find the best beer at my gas station. Between this lager, and sierra nevada's pale ale. We have a lager winner and a Ale winner. Blue moon belgian white is better than the shock top equivalent. Over all good buy and an excellent buy for the money. Enjoyable and just easy drinking lager. this is something i would keep around. Beats anything else besides the sierra nevada. Over all a 5 out of 5. Excellent quality at a low price. After all, SA started the craft revolution. Considering this is my first craft style lager, its better than all the Bud miller and coors lagers.

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Photo of RushLimbmalt
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The famous BBC's Boston Lager is truly a classic beer. I do remember it being a lot heartier in the old days, but maybe it is just my palate that has changed. Either way, I revisit it often and enjoy the beer immensely. It pours a nice amber color and has the trademark thick foamy head that you can float a bottle cap on. The aroma is a truly great mix of noble hops, Hallertau Mittelfruh and Tettnang Tettnanger, and wonderful sweet and malty. The flavor is every bit as good as the aroma and the floral hoppiness is in the forefront and the heavy sweet malty backbone melds the experience into a mind blowing taste nirvana... Ok, maybe that is going too far, but I love this beer and hold it dear to my heart, even though it has become a tad cliche. Once again I thank Jim Koch and the BBC.

 793 characters

Photo of Keystone
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Don't like everything Sam Adams puts out but there flagship is defiantly done right. You have to think about what style you are drinking.This beer is perfect the way it is.

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Photo of SoulFroosh
5/5  rDev +31.6%

I tried this once during my "discovering IPA's" phase and overlooked it.

I just came back to it. My, what a beautiful, well-rounded smooth beer it is.

You can't go wrong with it. The perfect gateway into craft beer.
Maltiness, depth, flavor, smoothness, but still just enough hop bitterness.

It's the most recognizable craft beer at the supermarket and rightly so.

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Photo of AustinBeerLvr
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Recently had this on tap at the Washington D.C. airport on a layover to fly to Germany. While I had many awesome beers in Munich, having Samuel Adams Boston Lager is honstly one of my top tasting beer experiences of the vacation.

Unfortunately, you can't find Sam Adams on tap hardly anywhere here in Texas, so having it on tap on the east coast was a real treat.

Anyway, the beer was served in a nice room temperature pint glass. It poured a beautiful copper golden color. Upon the first sniff, my first thought was this batch is as fresh as it comes. The beer had a wonderful mix of grassy hops and slightly sweet malt with floral hops. Upon the first sip, I tasted all of these things coming together with a great amount of balance. One of my favorite things about this brew is that it has a slight sweet maltness that quickly transitions to a nice complex floral, grass hop flavor. I can't imagine a beer being more balanced. This is also an excellent brew because it is very complex, but at the same time highly drinkable for almost any occassion.

Macro, micro, who cares? The BBC brews exceptionally good beer. And for all of you that say an exceptional brew must be hard to find, you need to really give Sam Adams a try and think about why some "micro breweries" might not have their beers as widely available. While in Germany, I tasted great beers, but most of them were honestly right up there but not quite as good as Sam Adams. As for the tiny breweries, I have tasted some brews this good, but they were few and far between. This is the first beer I have ever given a 5 rating on taste. While I love Sam Adams out of the bottle, having this on tap is simply the best. I only wish more places here in central Texas would realize this.

 1,757 characters

Photo of Jdiddy
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I gave this beer the top rating because it is by far my favorite all around beer. Tour the brewery once and you will realize how much time and dedication Jim Koch put's into his beer. I am sure most have had this so I wll save the description but I could drink this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stunning!

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Photo of Ilovesuds
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was 26 and living outside of Boston when Sam Adams began.

My friend, Bob Pattison, introduced me to great beer. Our buddies used to razz him all the time for how expensive it was but he'd just smile and say "But it's sooo good".

Bob's time was up on September 11, 2001 in Tower 2. I hoist a Sammy tonight for you Bob...


 333 characters

Photo of Borgs
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Head retention is good. It has a deep amber color, & is about as clear as can be.

Smell - It has an earthy hop & toasted malt aroma.

Taste - The aforementioned aromas blend well together bringing out a super tasty brew.

Mouthfeel - This lager feels so good on the palate that I always hesitate on swallowing.

Drinkability - I will have another & another & another...

 385 characters

Photo of Nicholas_Vronksy
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I now live in Seattle and I have to say I may be biased, because I am sick to death of over hopped Pacific Northwest crap. Since moving here I have really enjoyed being able to pick up a beer that is complex, but also well balance. I don't need to feel like I'm being punched in the face with hops and floral / citrus / pine or whatever else notes every time I drink a beer.

And for all those people saying this beer isn't hoppy or is too light, SA Boston Lager has 31 IBU's. The point at which the human palette can no longer detect any flavor difference is around 38-40 IBUs.

 578 characters

Photo of rockclimberscott1
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm going to be lazy here. To begin with I have tried hundreds of craft beers and I know this is not technically but it is by far my favorite go to beer. Everyone's palate is different but this is perfect to me in every way.

 224 characters

Photo of caseys
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Boston Beer Company is my favorite brewery, Samuel Adams Boston Lager is my favorite beer , brewed carefully with fine ingredients puts this companys products over the line. Taste is malty sweetness, bitter coffee . aroma is coffee sweet and bitter overall a 5 out of 5 for me a fabulous beer

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Photo of swimmatt
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Still one of the best beers I've ever had. Very good out of the bottle, but simply fantastic on draft. Can't go wrong. Great aroma to the beer and a great full taste, but not overpowering. Has a great look and head to the beer whether on draft or bottle.

 254 characters

Photo of DirtyMikeandTheBoys
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My go to craft beer. This beer helped me see the light from low grade mass manufactured beer. Pours a nice copper brown, with a nice 4 finger head and good lacing. Smooth and hoppy. Served ice cold on draft down at the local Texas Roadhouse. I can destroy a sixxer with little to no hangover. It's all there and some more

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Photo of NatsuruSenou
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice well rounded flavor. One of the first beers I had. Quite carbonated, out of a can.
Smells good, tastes like a lager should, not as strong as an Ale, but clean, slightly bitter bite, a bit of bread like sweetness, (It has been a bit since i had it). Hoppy, but mild, and slightly bitter taste that continues into a aftertaste, with a nice finish. It is a good beer, canned or bottled. Drink up!

 398 characters

Photo of JoLight
4.99/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Light brown/copper body, and a thick, frothy, off-white head that leaves lots of lacing, and retains a finger's width throughout.

Aroma - Somewhat cutesy from the hops? Definitely piney, earthy hops. Maybe a little malt, but mostly just hops.

Taste - Starts off with a malty sweetness, then the piney hops come in. I get lots of nice toasted maltiness throughout. Hop resin. And then at the end, the hops fade, and the taste transitions to more maltiness and a slightly buttery/bready/smooth aftertaste.

Finish - semi-dry. Crisp. Refreshing.

Overall - In my opinion, this beer is perfectly balanced, delicious, and refreshing.

 647 characters

Photo of KnoxBrew1
4.97/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is by far the best American style lager I have had. Maybe they should change the name to Samuel Adams "Perfect Balance". Balance between malt and hops are amazing and hit at the just the right time, neither being overpowering. Carbonation is spot on as well. This is definitely my year-round go to beer. I like a few other SA beers but it's often hard to beat the original, a true American staple I'm proud to drink!

 421 characters

Photo of mshallah
4.95/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the beer that started me and many others to sample and seek "beyond Bud", and after 23 years of consistency I've come to realize just how well Sam Adams goes with food of all types. This vienna lager pours amber, a very rare style in American craft brewing, but seems taken for granted of late. The aroma is alone in the beer world as it is an unforgettable recipe of noble hops. The taste is of balance, but when paired with food the caramel flavors work well with seared, grilled or roasted meats, fish and vegetables. The noble hop aroma and dry finish act as an herbal finish, thus complimenting anything from the main course to side dishes. In the New England area Sam Adams lager is found everywhere from sub shops to chinese restaurants and Italian restaurants and is established in many restaurant chains. In my experience this beer has even saved many dull meals that would not have been as enjoyable if I didn't have Sammy to wash it down. A Boston, New England, American, and now world classic.

 1,013 characters

Photo of ronjohn
4.95/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

IMHO as perfect as beer gets. I'm a fan of rich lagers and IPAs. I enjoy a number of complex IPAs but I have kept coming back to Sam Adams Boston Lager for what tastes to me like a perfect glass of beer. This is a gateway beer for a lot of people who make the jump from Bud or Coors into craft beers - it's an impressive beer on its own. Full hops sweet not bitter rich not heavy. Pretty easy to drink 3 or 4 of these.

 418 characters

Photo of catmanben
4.94/5  rDev +30%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer has a very nice color to it and a very nice rich head that stays for awhile. There is a rich and creamy taste that hits the tounge all at once and stays for some time. I do enjot the aroma and the headyness of this beer, I could enjoy this beer with a nice steak or grilled salmon.

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Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.8 out of 5 based on 9,029 ratings.
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