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 Kriztofuhr
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Look - Clear copper/slight amber with two fingers of off white head. A few rings of lacing.

Smell - Grassy, slight spiciness, bready malt sweetness

Taste - Biscuit like sweetness, floral and earthy hop character, hint of caramel sweetness.

Feel - Pretty much perfect for a beer like this. Thin to medium bodied, ample but soft carbonation. Almost creamy but very refreshing.

Overall - A very good lager. Poured out of a bottle it's very good but on tap it's outstanding.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken 03/14/17:

Nice mostly clear amber or butterscotch, but quite cuprescent. Fluffy, rocky, light, but well-structured and immovable head, creamy tan in color with good retention an abundant, delicate lacing. Sweet and malty and grainy nose, with caramel and honey but also a hint of dark fruit. Palate is grain and caramel as expected but more bitter than aroma lets on, although that is not uncommon in lagers. Hops are floral to grassy but stronger and more soapy and peppery than I prefer in a lager. Still, this is a classic and quite drinkable, due to the balance. Lighter body, somewhat sparse but fairly sharp carbonation, yet ending on a softer effervescent note.

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Photo of kevin3046
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of golf_sierra
3.34/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear medium darker amber.
Lasting head.
Aroma is decent.
Sweet and malty some nutty.
Slight peppery spice to hops.
Medium carbonation.
Not my favorite beer.

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
3.27/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

A pseudo craft beer. Not bad and somewhat enjoyable, but watered down in order to appeal to the masses.

Look: Pours a clear orange yellow color with a one finger off white head of foam. Leaves a tiny bit of lacing.

Smell: Very faint, almost no nose. Mild caramel with a toasted bread note.

Taste: Rather sweet throughout. Lots of sugary malt upfront with a slight caramel taste. Notes of honey and apples. Mild toffee. Very sweet with a lingering taste of caramel.

Feel: Body is light with moderate carbonation. Sweet and sugary, somewhat thirst quenching, but very saccharine.

Overall: I can't tell if this beer is old or fresh because Sam Adams uses a ""Best Before"" dating system instead of a proper bottled on date.

I hate ""Best before"" codes - they're useless as far as I'm concerned - because there's no way of telling when the beer was actually bottled. They could be giving this a six month shelf life for all we know, which is not """"""Fresh"""""" for a beer, especially a lager.

Let me decide when the beer is ""Best Before"" by providing me a bottled on date. This is simply a cop out in my opinion and a half assed way to both sell more beer and provide the bare minimum amount of information to the consumer. Sam Adams is having their cake and eating it too, paying the customer lip service but not actually providing any meaningful information to the drinker.

Was this beer bottled three months ago? Four? Six? Eight? There's no way of knowing.

I'd love to know if this is fresh, the date says it's within two months of it's ""Best Before"" date - but it's very sweet and malt heavy - like an old beer...

Theres no way of knowing if the beer is actually intended to taste like this or if my bottle is just past it's prime.

Overall this is good, but it could be so much better. It's thirst quenching with a good mouthfeel and moderately dry aftertaste - but very sweet throughout without much influence from the hops. I will admit I enjoy the taste, but if they just dialed back on the malt a little and added a tiny bit more hops, this could be exceptional.

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Photo of Thy_Philosopher_King
2.84/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This is the go to beer of mine. The beer that I buy when I'm not ready for an exploration night of beer drinking, but one where I just feel as having a few with my boys. It is smooth, it has a great of the few lagers that I truly enjoy. The pour has a beautiful color to it, it looks like a nice hinted golden red to it. The head is a bit of a knock, but other than that it is a fine beer.

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Photo of basaywhat
2.9/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours a clear amber color with beige head. Aroma has fresh, floral hops and some nutty malts. Taste starts with nutty and caramel notes and finishes bitter and hoppy. Medium-light body with good carbonation.

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Photo of DrainBamage
3.99/5  rDev +5%
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.

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Photo of Hackattack
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Everyone knows this beer is one of the founding father beers of the craft beer revolution. It set the bar high for the next generation of craft breweries. Most can't compare to this malty yet hoppy brew. Not so hopped up like the latest trend. Great beer .....I probably should rate it higher!

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Photo of andrewh995
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle,into a Cigar City pint glass.

Thin,frothy,white head with moderate retention and lacing.Light copper colored body,with a slight amber hue.Very nice clarity,with light carbonation.

On the nose I get sweet malt notes backed by some spicy hop characteristics.

The palate follows the nose with sweet malts up front,and spicy hops on the back end.

The body has a medium / light mouth feel,with moderate oxidation on the tongue,and a slightly dry,yet smooth finish.

This is another solid beer from Sam Adams,nothing out of this world,but a good beer.I've had it many times before this review,and will probably drink it many times after.

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Photo of chicagobeerguy
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

L: Deep honey, slight head, good lacing
S: Honey, sweet malts, hints of fruit, hints of earthy hops
T: A crisp clean lager that has a nice malt flavor, with a slight hint of hops to balance
F: Very drinkable, good body
O: A go to beer with wings or saturday day drinking

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Photo of moucon
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
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

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Photo of akirakcat
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Classic, everyday beer that's perfect for dive bars. Amber with a red hue, good carbonation, sweet malts, and a fruity finish. A very nice balance. Out of all beers, probably the one I've had the most. I originally came here expecting people would snub it and intending to bump it up, but it's rated pretty fairly.

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Photo of tucson_brewson
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bought a 12-pk on sale to finally try out America's "macro-craft" beer.

L - Pours a penny-copper red with a thick three fingers of off-white head that leaves a light lacing throughout.

S - Sweet caramel, bready malt, a touch of piney hops.

T - Like the smell, a balance of bitter and sweet with some spice from the hops. The sticky caramel flavor gives way to some bitter, spicy hops but is very balanced. Not strong in either direction.

F - Light to medium bodied, good amount of carbonation with a soft, dry finish. Very drinkable and balanced.

O - This is a beer that prides itself on balance. It's definitely a good run-of-the-mill beer if you want something with a little more "oomph" than a Bud Light, but doesn't sit as heavy as a stout or IPA.

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Photo of AnalogReigns
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Nice beer-beer. Not hoppy, not malty, not heavy, not light. Balance is the key word. Basically built like a German beer but with English Americans. Great to see this everywhere now. Cheers!

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Photo of tjwarren
2.68/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Years ago I considered this a hoppy beer and I usually chose something else. Then as my hop tolerance rose I started to enjoy it and think of it as something special. Through the IPA years I thought it was awful and could not drink it. Now that I am back to a broad spectrum of beer I tried it again and it seemed like just a decent everyday beer. Clean, some taste but nothing to write home about. I really believe a Yuengling IPL is better. Brooklyn lager for sure is a better choice.

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Photo of MinerBob
3.27/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Ok for all the hype this isn't great. Most beers by Sam Adam's are misses except Cherry Wheat and Porch Rocker. It has a strong swallow but not as harsh as an IPA. Nothing as a beer drinker that I'd recommend.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

good looking brew, tons of lacing left on the glass. notes of sweet bready malts, toasted nuts, hint of caramel, a bit of peppery and slightly citric hops coming through for balance. overall a really enjoyable easy drinker!

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
3.32/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a yellow orange with rich foamy head and the lacing is decent. Smells of sweet malt/syrup, mild hops and some spice. The taste is pretty good, I get a malty hops up front with a spicy finish and maybe just a little citrus. This is a fantastic mainstream beer and is what I consider a staple beer to choose over some others. I really enjoy this beer ice cold and have to say a well made beer.

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Photo of acmurphy696
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

After tasting my first Sam Adams in years, I have to say that it is definitely a step up from mainstream American lagers. It actually has a distinctive flavor and a good one at that.

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Photo of thebeers
3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Clear, pale bronze color with a finger of dense white head. Clean, crisp aroma and taste with a lightly toasted caramel malt profile. Slightly sweet, but pretty well balanced by modest hop bitterness, so as to leave a somewhat dry finish. Light to medium bodied. A fine go-to lager when nuthin sexier is available.

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Photo of Holderness
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L --Crystal clear, vibrant, pale orange hue with moderate effervescence. Moderate pour produces a three finger white head that sticks around. Moderate lacing
S -- Very clean and mild. Grains, hops, some fruity esters
T -- Similar in character to smell. Good balance of hops and malts
F -- Robust upfront with a nice, tapering finish. Refreshing
O -- A classic

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Photo of jasadewi
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Copper, dark orange color with foamy white head.
S: Smells like sweet roasted coffee.
T: Very well balanced blend of sweet malts, toasted coffee notes, and the slightest underlying hops.
M: Medium bodied, though sessionable compared to many other darker lagers.
O: Pretty good beer that I was pleasantly surprised with. I drank this a long time ago and hated it, now I can see this being my go-to winter beer. Balanced flavor profile with a warm center makes it a good easily-available choice for the winter months.

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Photo of 1angrydwarf
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Copper or deep gold darker than I remembered. I poured half into a shaker then poured hard the last half to get a good head that left some lacing.
S: herbal hops with some bready malt/grain
F: I really liked the level of carbonation not to harsh but just right. I found it had a moderate mouth feel.
T: Waves of flavor wash over the tongue. the grains with just a bit of sweetness in the middle that is pushed back buy a considerable wave of herbal almost pine like hop that fades to a lingering dry finish. Easy to see why its a classic.
O: I haven't had one in a year or two and still it is a solid full flavor beer. Not my fave but a very respectable offering. The balance and layers of flavors are what will bring me back.

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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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