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

very good
9,085 Ratings
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,085 |  Reviews: 2,680
Photo of theghost3
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is light amber with a thin white head. It has a strong smell of floral hops and a hint of wheat. The taste starts off somewhat malty with just a hint of honey, and it ends up being bitter. Very carbonated, crisp. This is a drinkable lager that can go with almost any food. Typically the one craft beer available in a sea of macros at a lot of the more generic establishments.

 386 characters

Photo of BeerSox
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into pilsner glass

Clear medium amber color with thick well holding head that settles to a foamy cap. Stringy lacing throughout.

Husky malt scents with a touch of caramel sweetness at the finish. Very clean aromas.

Crisp hops up front along with a husky malt backbone. Mostly clean but somewhat dry finish. The higher carbonation lends a little bite. Light bodied. Bits of residual sweetness linger afterwards.

The ubiquitous SA lager, probably the most well known of the craft beer industry. And it's that way for a reason. A solid brew for any time of the year and for any place.

 605 characters

Photo of thedrewski86
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, left a 1/2" off-white head, prefect sudsy lacing with every swallow. Smells like grains, kind of woody. Taste is very refreshing, very malty with a nice bitter bite. Mild carbonation. Drinkability is excellent. I think Sam Adams only tops themselves on this with their Oktoberfest.

 307 characters

Photo of tattooedtolley
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orangish amber in color, decent head and lacing.

Smell: Mainly malts dominating the aroma, a bit of hops.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Good taste, I'm not sure exactly what a typical Vienna Lager would taste like but as far as lagers are concerned I like this one a lot. Its still got the super crisp and clean taste of a good lager and bit more maltiness. The hops aren't so apparent in the taste but it is apparent they balance it all out nicely.

Drinkability: Put'em down at will.

 497 characters

Photo of akolb
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of techdiver
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear medium amber with a two-finger head that dissipates at a modest rate leaving at least a foamy coating on top. Balanced smell and taste with subtle hops following a smooth caramel malt presence. A drinkable brew, much better than their Scotch Ale.

 260 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper hue with nice clarity and foam. Off-white head dissipates slowly to a nice coating, pretty decent lacing as well.

Has a nice, fresh grassy hop aroma mixed with sweet caramel malts. Pretty straightforward, which is probably a good thing for cold fermentation brews. A fine smelling lager with plenty of oomph.

I never remembered this being very tasty back in the day and have not had one on tap in a few years. It is surprisingly quite tasty. A masterful malt blend of toasty burnt bitterness and sweet lighter base malt. German hops are flavorful and assertive without distracting from the overall refreshing lager feel. I like this much better on tap than in the bottle. Body is fairly light and carbonation is medium-high. A most solid quaffer.

 769 characters

Photo of VoodooBrew
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My other review for this beer was the draft version, which I felt was quite weak. However I believe that this beer can be quite different, and better, out of the bottle.

There is much more of a pronounced hop flavor and bitterness, which become the driving forces behind this beer's success. Crisp, robust noble hops combine with the lager's inherent snappiness to create a rather enjoyable, drinkable beer. There's still enough malt to provide some beef to go along with the hops but I feel that hop character is really what can seperate bottled Sam Adams from its draft counterpart. One slight knock, however, is that I feel this brew is just a tad overcarbonated, most likely to appeal to the expectations of the larger beer-drinking market.

 747 characters

Photo of drews240
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dstc
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden color with a big white head. Head falls but stays. Nice lacing whole way through.

Hoppy aroma with sweet maltiness coming through.

Nice flavor, slightly sweet up front with a hardy hop finish, slightly bitter.

Smooth and carbonated in the mouth.

Easy drinking beer. Always a good choice when the only other beer the bar serves is the big 3. Glad to see this on tap often.

 395 characters

Photo of zoso1967
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served up brownish amber with a nice head that has good retention and leaves great lacing. The smell is malty with plenty of caramel and toffee as well as grassy hops. The taste is wonderfully balanced. Malty overall but grassy herbal hops are definitely present. The malt character is wonderful with plenty of caramel, toffee and a nice toastyness. Medium, slightly chewy mouthfeel that finish a tad sticky, but not at all undesirable. Very drinkable and a welcome happy hour find to compliment my meal at a large chain restaurant.

 532 characters

Photo of h00dak
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Boston Lager pours a dark caramel color with perfect clarity. It is active with carbonation, bubbles escape throughout the entire drink.

It is fairly smooth. Light to moderate carbonation. Malty sweet with a nice light, bready falvor. Not much hops presence. Great light taste for a session but also, enough flavor for sipping.

I have been having Winter Lager on a weekly basis for about 3 months now at applebees. Now they have switched to the Boston Lager on tap and there are many similarities. Color, flavor, the only big difference is the alcohol. Not as much flavor in the Boston Lager but it the malt character itself is almost identical.

This is a great Vienna Lager.

 691 characters

Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep copper color with a good dirty white head that drops and leave some good lacing.

Smell is caramel malt and just a bit of sourness.

Taste is a good balance of light hops and maltiness. Some caramel notes with a bit of a metalic bite at the end.

Well balanced and very easy to drink. Makes a good session beer.

 364 characters

Photo of Lexluthor33
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours light copper with big foamy head that settles to a sticky cobweb lace. The aroma is malts,grains and a hint of hops.
The taste is malty,sweet,buttery and has caramel notes with light hops taste.
The overall feel is medium carbonation,slightly bitter finish with grains.

Notes: It tastes good even as it warms and can be a good beer for session. I have it from time to time and I enjoy it.

 395 characters

Photo of aracauna
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is good for a lager, the problem is that I don't really care too much for lager. And I hate trying to sound intelligent in my comments on these kinds of beers. It smells like a beer, tastes like a beer and looks like a beer. The only difference is that this tastes like a good beer instead of a bad beer. There's just no complexities that make this beer different enough from your typical lager taste to really talk about. It does have a darker color than most of the American lagers, so that's nice. For readily available American Beers, it's hard to beat.

 562 characters

Photo of rarbring
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear honey colored amber beer with a white head that leaves good lacing.

The smell is moderate, a honey and bread sweetness from the malt and some nut aromas.

The taste is well-balanced, some honey sweetness, brown bread, apples and pears, a lasting smooth bitterness.

Medium carbonation, small foamy bubbles, a medium body with a dry fresh finish.

Still a good lager, as it has more bitterness than expected.

 416 characters

Photo of caskstrength
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hard for me to be objective here.

First "microbrew" I ever had. Was my favorite beer for years. Bought a pony keg for a graduation party years ago, thought it was the best beer I could get and it tasted like it.

Soft spot in my heart.

But it's not holding up so well in the craft beer world. Sort of thin. Buttery feel and taste, generic, common malt with some floral/buttery hops to balance.

Better than Bud/Miller, etc. But that's not saying much.

Still has that soft spot, however, and all things considered, an important beer. .

 541 characters

Photo of HosP
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on draft with dinner at a restaurant. Poured 22oz. into a 'texas' sized glass.

A- Dark copper, amber in color. Clear with this head to it. Left small amounts of lace on glass.

S- Sweet smelling, caramel malts mostly. Floral hop aroma towards the end of it.

T- Sweeter taste but good balance. Floral hops come through most. Maybe some citrus hop flavor as well. Bitterness is fairly mild as hops are cut into by sweet malts. Good balance and enjoyable.

M- Lighter body, moderate carbonation to it.

O- Not to shabby. Enjoyed 2 glasses of it. Doubt I would pick it over some other local craft, but out at a restaurant wouldn't mind another glass.

 657 characters

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

late 09, early 10, boston lager seems like a very different beer to me. it's comparatively awesome. i could swear it's changed dramatically: lighter in color, the roastiness is about gone, comes across now more like a delicious pale ale/vienna lager hybrid. for a sub 5% beer i'm finding it unmatched (wish it were closer to 4%), and buying it by the 12-pack. what's going on??

In my quest for a standby summer lager, I turned once again to this one by Sam Adams. When I was into trying different beers a few years back, I wasn't too impressed and found it difficult to drink.
Unfortunately, I still can't seem to enjoy it.
The appearance is nice enough. The beer is similar in color to the bottle it came in. A head forms and leaves quickly.
The smell is fairly roasty, and it gives you the idea it's gonna be a bit bitter but without anything floral going on.
The roasted taste is okay at first, but for me becomes too astringent and watered-down coffee like. The hops are vague, the body too thin to match the roasted qualities.
In sum, boring hops and irritating malt.

a 3; s 3; t 2; m 3; d 2.5

 1,103 characters

Photo of bmwats
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner.

A: Light copper color. Medium carbonation pours into a half finger, white, foamy head. Settles quickly into a smattering of foam on the surface. Substantial carbonation continues to rise throughout. Pretty decent lacing, albeit not substantial, remains.

S: Dark roasted chocolaty malt, light hops, maybe caramel.

T: Malt, hops, slight citrus hint, and a subtle indistinguishable sweet spice.

M: Hearty but light feel. Malt flavor comes on pretty strong, then the hops follow-up and stay behind.

D: Very good drinkability. Again light feel, and good flavor.

Can be powered down without a second thought, if that's what you're into; but can also be sipped and enjoyed. Good flavor and atmosphere. Overall, really good quaff.

 752 characters

Photo of DavidST
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this many times but I've only reviewed it on tap. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass best before Dec date. This pours a nice amber color with nice foamy white held with good retention. The smells are of crisp floral hops and malts. The feel is medium. The taste is pretty good, crisp floral hops and a nice malts backbone. This was always one of my early go to beers, and its still good these days even if I don't get it as often.

 449 characters

Photo of J23hc
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Look: very clear orange amber color with good looking lumpy frothy head. Smell: pretty faint spicy hop. Taste: good lager graininess with a good bite of hop spiciness. Lots of grain coming up on the palate. Light bitter aftertaste, faint apple fruitiness. good punchy crispy feel

 279 characters

Photo of herman77
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear dark honey gold/light amber. Frothy, creamy, off white head. One big sheet of lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Slightly sweet cereal grains, a little bit of hops.

T: Lightly sweet carmel and biscuity malt. There is a hint of toastedness to the malt too. Floral hops come punching through to provide a really nice balance. Mildy bitter hop finish with a nice crispness to it.

M: Medium body, fair amount of carbonation. Feels ever so slightly smooth.

D: Mild-straight forward flavors, great balance, low ABV.

 526 characters

Photo of Uniobrew31
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mgbickel
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Like many people below mention...finally decided to review this beer, after many, many pints.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. A nice, thick single finger of butter cream foam formed on top of the golden bronze body. The head retained nicely and has good lacing qualities.

The nose is simple...toasted malts, caramel and a pinch of hop oil.

The taste is a little more complex than the nose. Starts off with a sweet caramel flavor that slowly fades to a roasted malt finish.

Medium to light mouth feel...a little slick but drying at the finish; moderate to high carbonation.

Refreshing to drink and enjoy. A great beer that is easy to get and just as easy to drink.

 690 characters

Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.8 out of 5 based on 9,085 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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