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

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Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager
9,429 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): 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,429 |  Reviews: 2,750
Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a pilsener (also had in a pint glass, nothing changed):

A: deep golden amber colored body with a lumpy foamy white head that leaves some of the foamy lacing in rings down the glass

S: fair amount of malts up front with some light caramel and toffee that are very faint

T: malts and caramel come back but are once again pretty faint, gets hoppy as it warms

M: light to medium, excellent choice for a session, no aftertaste, no finish, carbonation is barely felt

O: well this is Sam Adams' flagship, what can I say, I don't speak bad about this one, its good for the style and good for me

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Photo of gordavidson
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very clear copper color with a nice, slightly off-white head. Not too much going on here.

S- Very clean smelling. Hops and a little caramel to boot.

T- Surprisingly hoppy. Not very complex, but the roasted caramel flavor really shines after the hops initial presence.

M- Pretty carbonated, but also very clean. This is not going to build on your palate.

D- Good all around beer. Perfect for just kicking back and not wanting to really think about what you're drinking.

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Photo of CA_Infidel2o9
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams cup

A- amber body, 1 1/2" off white head

S- citrus hops, lemon zest, caramel malts, spices

T- citrus, zesty hop bitterness, caramel malts

M- medium body, crisp carbonation

O- The brew single handedly started my love of craft brew. With this beer i realized, beer is not supposed to be tasteless and uninspired, and that there was so much more out there to be tasted. This is a great session and i have no problem drinking this all day.

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Photo of rootbeerman
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into its own perfect pint custom glass.

A: pours amber with a one finger head that fell sort of fast but laces well.
S: malty and bready, hops, very light citrus
T: bready sweet malt, hop earthiness
M: mild carbonation, clean in mouth
D: easier than what its marketed to compete with.

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Photo of jslot38
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz, Freshness date marked

Appearance: Pours a copper amber with a frothy, sticky head of about 1/2 inch. Lacing is decent.

Smell: Oily hop aromatics. Slight notes of orange and a tinge of caramel. Malty ale background from a lager - interesting.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Slick oil hop punch (a light jab, a passing blow) rounded out by a smooth barley background. A spiced hint, smooth carbonation and a touch of orange rind.

Notes and Drinkability: Koch claims nothing beyond the German Purity Laws are used in this brew - which holds back from many robust flavours that you see in many popular ales these days. This is exactly what I look for in a lager, and this for me is the prime example of one. A great session brew, a backup beer that I have no problem turning to.

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Photo of ABabbidge
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

First beer review. We'll see how this goes.

L: Light foamy head that dissipated quickly. Very clear amber color.

S: Floral notes. Pleasant smell but not very powerful.

T: Initially a little bit of bite. From the carbonation maybe? Not sure. Like I said I'm a little new at this. Slight hoppy notes, but not overpowering. A bit of caramel in the finish.

F: A little bit of carbonation and bite at the beginning and then a pretty smooth mouthfeel.

O: Nothing bold and exciting about this beer, but nothing terrible about it either. Pretty good neutral flavored beer that most beer drinkers should be able to enjoy.

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Photo of Chris_Cali_2o9
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams cup

A- Copper body, 11/2"fluffy off white head

S- Citrus hops, lemon zest, spices, caramel malts

T- Citrus, pils & caramel malts, zesty hop bitterness

M- Medium body, crisp carbonation

O- Amongs the main stream, Sam Adams has always risen above the tasteless and uninspired. Back in my days of budweiser, coors, keystone, and malt liquor 40's, i heard Sam Adams had over 20the different beers, and i grew curious. I grabbed a 6 pack of this beer and it changed everything i knew about beer. I began seeking out other sam adams, opening me up to a world of different styles and flavors, that i never knew existed. This brew is an awesome session, and i owe it alot.

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Photo of rodrot
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has been one of my favorites since it was introduced way back in the mid to late 80's. In many grocery stores and bars, this is the only craft brew that is available and that makes it a good fall back beer. On to my review. This beer pours a clear light amber color with a one inch head that dissipates slowly. The smell is malty, with a pleasing aroma of hops wafting from the glass. Taste is also malty and sweet, with a pleasant hop bitterness in the finish. This beer leaves a slight citrusy aftertaste in my mouth that blends well with the sweetness of the malt. I don't think this beer's character has changed at all over the years. Jim Koch continues to brew this beer as tasty as it was nearly 20 years ago. I'll take this any day over BMC.

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Photo of mnrider
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. Brown Bottle. Pint Glass

A: Pours a light amber with a thin bubbly white head. A good amount of carbonation bubbles rise to the top. Head quickly turns even thiner with not much lacing.

S: Mostly sweet malts with a crisp aroma. Hops can be noticed faintly.

T/M: Sweet malts and lightly bitter hops are well balanced. Very general and simple but the taste is great and refreshing. The feel is smooth with a little carbonation.

D: A really good and classic brew. Although their are many beers that have surpassed this one, I would still recommend it to the person who wants to get into drinking craft brews. With its great and well balanced taste this brew is great to drink anytime, as it rivals any mass produced beer in America.


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Photo of loren01
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a straw color with one finger width of white head. Not much head retention down the glass.
S: Smell is sweet like toffee, hoppy
T: Taste has a crisp hoppiness. Mildy sweet up front.
M: Well balanced, goes down very easily
D: Good, flavorfull, easy drinking beer

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Photo of July2Nov
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear pale golden with a nice lace and a little head on it.
S: Sweet and buttery with a light fragrance of a fruit nature.
T&M: Light up front with a hoppy end that has a slight iron taste to it. It's got a deep and bold substance to the brew. Strong-bodied. Aftertaste is sweet and mellow leaving that "cotton mouth" feel.
D: As always Sam Adam's always pulls through and this one is no different.

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Photo of rslomin
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer served in a pint glass

Appearance: amber color, small head.
Smell: Hoppy, fruity, a little bit of pine. I even felt some malt on the nose.
Taste: Hoppy, again some fruitiness and malt
Overall a very well made American beer. Has the characteristics of an ale.

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Photo of droomyster
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a small off-white head. Aromas of sweet and toasty malts are very inviting. The roundness of its flavors is amazing. True to its advertising, this lager is mminently drinkable. It is a good beer for inspiring macro-lager fans to sample the micro-brew landscape.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange amber with a firm head that leaves decent lacing and stays ok down the pint.

Decent aroma with sweet malt and hops

Great balance in this beer. Caramel/brown sugar notes with toasty grain and hops.

Just the right carbonation, just the right body to allow this to be a sipper but also gives you a reason to have more than a couple. No sour aftertaste or off notes.

Very good beer. Funny, when reading the reviews, people actually seem to be apologizing for liking this. It proves that mass-produced US beer can actually be good. Thank goodness for Jim Koch. You can travel the country and go where Bud is king and still find this as an alternative (i.e. "Give me the darkest beer you've got"). Never disappoints. Funny, I find that I drink this less often than usual (I get it in restaurants, but don't buy 6-packs) because I want to try different brews. This is not a statement against the beverage, but rather familiarity. If you haven't tried it (and live in the US) -- well, what planet have you been on?

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Photo of ncvbc
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another fairly simple beer that gets the job done with little fuss. Nice lighter golden amber pour with good carbonation and a decent head. Some lacing though a thin layer was formed within a couple minutes. Smell was great. Sweet malts and behind them a burst of hops. Taste is much of the same. Caramel malt flavor and the hops shine again. A little bitter and somewhat earthy hops along with citrus. Good, steady mouthfeel. Not a dry finish and sits very well. A good and drinkable brew here.

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Photo of ScottP
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of johnmichael712
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. Freshness date on the bottle is clearly notched in the paper label, and it tells me to enjoy by July 2009. Seconds after I pop the cap off this beer begins to foam out of the top of the bottle, so make sure that you have a glass handy. Boston Lager pours an exceptionally clear golden amber color that is a few shades darker than the Brooklyn Lager I had a few hours ago. The head is an off-white color, and is supplemented by a steady stream of small carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. It has pretty good staying power and eventually fades to a small ring around the top of the beer that doesn't leave much lace behind.

Smell: The nose of this beer is very clean, with a prominent sweet malt aroma that has hints of floral and citrus hops. I'm a fan of the way Hallertau hops smell, and they add a nice floral, leafy dimension to the aroma. Overall, though, the nose of this beer is a bit too clean (or non-descript) to get a very high rating.

Taste: Boston Lager starts out with a very strong spicy flavor thanks to the hops, and then moves to a truckload of sweet malt that is reminiscent of both biscuits and toasted bread. The flavor finishes with more of the hops, but they are less spicy than before. Instead, the hops being a bit of citrus flavor to the palate that is akin to bitter orange peel, but fades quickly to a dry, but not lingering, finish. This is a lager, so a certain amount of blandness was expected, but Samuel Adams' version is definitely an above average version of the style.

Mouthfeel: A bit thinner than the Brooklyn Lager that I had earlier today, this beer is a light bodied lager that seems to be attempting to cover up its flaws with too much carbonation.

Drinkability: I often find it hard to rate lagers on their drinkability, as I could go one of two ways. In one respect they (this beer included) are light, crisp, and clean beers that are easy to session, but in another respect their lack of flavor or flair makes me want something else to avoid boring my palate. In the end, however, I feel like this beer has above average drinkability when consumed as a single glass, but I'll usually be drinking something else to follow.

Notes: Samuel Adams Boston Lager is one of those beers that you drink a lot of and rave about when you first get into craft beer but fades into the background as you experience more of what is out there. Regardless, it's still a wonderful lager and an absolute classic brew, and is debatably the beer that got the ball rolling for the American craft beer movement. I'll probably be buying it, but not very often.

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Photo of griffey123
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of americancontrarian
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of porters4life
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MrDonQuixote
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in 12 ounce bottle at a Black Hawk Casino:

A- Copper color, with a white head

S- Very malty aroma, with a light hoppy edge to it. You can slightly smell the fruit.

T- Perfect malty beer. Very bready, with a nice hop character to it as well. Perfect balance between the two serves for a great tasting beer.

M- Quite smooth and nice carbonation profile

O- Believe it or not this was my first time trying this American classic. I was not disappointed.

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Photo of steeler
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours out a nice copper color, with a head that sticks. Smells of hops, malt, and very fresh. Taste is very hoppy, and malty, and smoooth. I was surprised how smooth this was. Mouthfeel is nice and full, with just the right amount of carbonation. Drinkability, i would of given this a 5 but its a little on the heavier side, an after 2-3 i just don't want anymore. Dont get me wrong i really like this beer, i just dont see this as a session beer, but for savoring and just having a few, this is a solid beer. I wish Canada could mass produce beer like this. Well done.

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Photo of colts9016
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass and served at 40 degrees.

Appearance: An amber color with reddish copper hues. There was a one finger head but, it is just a foamy off white ring around the glass. There is a lot of effervescence in the beer. The clarity of the beer is very clear and brilliant.

Nose: A moderately rich toasted malty aroma.

Taste: There is a nicely toasted malts with a slight floral hint.

Overall: The body is a lightly medium, with a slight creamy astringent flavor. The finish is bitter and dry, giving the beer a clean finish. I was disappointed to not see a persistent head. The beer is unlike European version where is drier and not sweet, thus giving the beer its own character. It is a very good American beer. This is my mainstay beer and I like to drink on a regular bases.

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Photo of joedon
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I know Sam Adams is now considered a "mainstream" beer, but I like it anyway. Pretty amber color and frothy head. Nice amount of lacing, too.

The aroma stands out for a mass-produced beer: prominent Hallertau hop aroma and a touch of maltiness.

Nicely balanced taste with decent hopiness, malt, caramel and bitterness. Easily drinkable beer.

I had sworn off Sam Adams after their nut-case "spokesman" Koch pulled one of his idiotic promotions with a couple of shock-jocks in New York radio. I have forgiven, and drink the beer again.

Also, my best friend's daughter is now a chemist employed by the Boston Brewing Co. She reports that Koch is just a lush and no longer has much to do with the brewing operation.

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Photo of BenHoppy
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 9,429 ratings