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

very good
2,676 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: 2,676 | Ratings: 9,043
Photo of Sammy
3.16/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Some malt here Even a bit of hops and flavour? Not too sweet or watery, nice for a lager. Some creamy mouthfeel and balance, crisp and dry aftertaste. Hint of floral aroma.
I had this again 2.5 years later and it was drinkable lager, with some hop in aroma and in taste.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger head, lots of lace. Light amber.

S: malt and spice.

T: starts spicey and peppery and crisp, finished a sweet malty and a touch bitter.

M: medium bodied, moderate carbonation

Overall: this has been a staple for me for years. Few beers this good you can buy a 12 pack of and keep beer lovers dropping by your house happy.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very nice medium orange/brown with a huge 3 inch head that fades to a nice cap. Excellent lacing as perfect rings form as the beer is consumed.

S - Smells of sweet malts and floral notes.

T - Sweet malts to start with a slight bitter hop finish.

M - Crisp and clean and drying after each sip when the hop taste comes through.

D - A very good go to beer that seems to be everywhere at this point. In some places this would probably be the only good option on the menu. I am very glad that this alternative option is quite tasty.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

after about a million of these, ill finally review it this time. everyone knows what it looks like, with its specially made glassware. it smells like english malts, bready and a little sweet, crisp but not light. flavor is pretty standard, but its well made, it really is. more flavor than a lot of mass produced stuff, but nearly equally easy drinking. a real legitimate malt complexion with a quicker finish. perhaps a little more body than i want in a lager, and gets a little filling after a few. at the end of the day its at every bar and it beats budlight by a lightyear. because of that its good, im never going to buy it at a store, but at a shitty pub ill take a pint any day. can be a refresher when its ice cold.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Boston Lager, it's a classic brew. The beer has an attractive mahogany color with a light tan head on it. The head settles but still leave a decent lacing. The aroma has a nice balance of hops and malts. The taste is hoppy which I like. Its got enough malt to keep it in the Lager category. The mouthfeel has a bit of a stinging sensation on the tongue. Overall it's a great beer to drink and enjoy with several friends.

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Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear light amber in color and has a light amount of carbonation. It poured with a thin head that died down and left lacy patterns of bubbles consistently covering the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of grainy malts and floral hops in the nose.
T: There are flavors of caramel and biscuit malts in the taste underscored by a milt amount of bitterness. A little bit of sweetness is noticeable, particularly as the beer warms up. The finish is slightly bitter.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is rather easy to drink and is quite sessionable given its low alcohol content.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like many, this beer was my first into the craft beer world and I still love drinking it to this day. The caramel undertones in the taste and the overall appearance and drinkability make this one a big winner for me. Available anywhere at usually about $1 a beer... it's even at almost any bar you'll come across in the US.. not a bad thing at all.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.37/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Probably the pick-of-the-litter at a local seafood resturaunt that sells ok seafood for a rediculous price. They also sell beer that way too. Kinda disapointed with the SA Boston Lager. I often have this on tap, but from the bottle, it seemed to loose much. The maltiness never came through with the bready, toasty, rich character in flavor or texture. The taste was all spice, and the feel was almost prickly to the toung. Aromas were nice (after the beer warmed to above freezing), of American hop character--very Sierra Nevada Pale Ale-like. Finished with a (dare I say) grain-hull bite-ey-ness. Basically under-bodied, under-malted in comparison to what I'm used to in this beer. May have been past its prime.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. I've never seen such a bold proclamation for a freshness guarantee on a beer bottle before: the back label is entirely devoted to explaining the Boston Beer Company's offer to buy back old, expired bottles of their product. Mine says Dec 08, so instead of flirting with a refund, methinks I'll just drink it.

This beer pours a clear, pale golden hue, with two fingers of dense, and somewhat creamy eggshell white head, which settles none too quickly, eventually leaving some decent mitochondrial lace around the glass.

It smells of crisp, rather biscuity wheat cracker cereal grain, a subtle apple fruitiness, a hint of aged lemon, and a hefty dose of earthy and floral hops. The flavour is a gradual uptick of the same - biscuity, cereal-heavy caramel malt, a reserved citrus fruitiness, and peppy grassy and floral hops.

The carbonation is on the low-key, subtle side, the body medium-light in weight, and everyman smooth. It finishes in a more sweet-ish manner, the biscuity malt gaining a strengthened sugary character, and the hops holding fast enough to keep things kosher.

A pleasantly tasty example of the prototypical gateway craft beer, and a lager to boot, which is infinitely more challenging a prospect. Fully satisfying, a little zingy, and worthy of its lore in American brewing circles. Now where's that clam chowda I'm suddenly craving?

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Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color with a fluffy head that leaves a bit of lacing

Smell: Biscuity aroma, with a smidge of caramel and a very modest dash of noble hops

Taste: Starts out with a nice caramel malt flavor; mid-palate, the bitterness kicks in and provides a nice balance to the malt

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation

Drinkability: Much maligned but nevertheless a decent beer, particularly if you are in a bar that has nothing else but macro lagers

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Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -25%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-tap in Las Vegas. Reviewed from notes.

A: One finger head of slight cream, fair thickness, and poor retention. A clear amber-copper colour. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Average.

Sm: Some hops. Caramelized malt and barley. A mild strength aroma.

T: An empty open (and an empty third act as well). A full barley foundation features light floral hops and prominet caramel - on the climax. The malts are nicely sweet but lack depth of flavour. Balanced but lackluster. There's so much more that could be done.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Somewhat complementary of the flavour. A bit overcarbonated. Decent thickness.

Dr: Easy to drink. A good American macro (yes, Sam Adams is a macrobrewery - albeit a craft brewery, but nothing special. Well priced. I do like it, but it leaves a lot to be desired. **After reviewing over 2000 beers (some of which have been deleted due to the duplicate serving type purge), this remains my definition of a C; this is about as average as it gets.


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Photo of emerge077
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ah Boston Lager, this beer has saved me in more dive bars than I can count. Not the greatest, but not bad in a pinch... be it at a dive bar, bbq, or baseball game.

Pours a bright orange copper color, perfect clarity and saturated tone. Creamy, fluffy head of foam at first that dwindles after 10 minutes or so. Plenty of lace in the glass, and a thin skim eventually.

Smells slightly sweet, toasty and biscuity. Vague fruity apple and pear notes slide in too.

Flavors are similar, some bready malt sweetness, fruity yeast. Feels a bit more full bodied than many lagers. Lingering toastiness with a slight floral hop note. Little to no hop bitterness present. Easy to have a couple with food. A pretty versatile, above average lager.

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Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 12 oz bottle with a freshness date of March '09, poured into my trusty Sam Adams Boston Lager glass; the beer is sure to be twice as good now. Perfectly clear golden-amber in appearance, a steady stream of carbonation rising from the center. Two fingers of head rise from a vigorous pour, but eventually settle to a thin cap.

Smell: The first whiff reveals a pleasant mix of biscuit, toffee-like malt and a touch of noble hops. Floral aromatics appear as it warms, along with a touch of fresh peach. Exceptionally clean stuff.

Taste & mouthfeel: Opens with semi-sweet toasted malt flavors, flowery hops, citrus zest and hints of honey. Biscuity dryness takes over soon after, with fairly mild but pleasant bittering hops following. It's amusing to think that I found this beer intensely bitter only four years ago. An undertone of caramel appears mid-finish, balancing the bitterness to create a wonderfully smooth aftertaste. An exceptionally good session beer all in all, perfectly balanced but complex enough to remain interesting after a few pints.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep copper color beer with an above average size foamy white had with good retention. Aroma is hoppier then expected with a good clean sweet malt presence. Taste is quite sweet with a nice mix between sweet malt and a clean crisp slightly bitter finish. With more character then expected, this is a quite good session lager.

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Photo of zeff80
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an orange/amber color with a white, one finger head. Not much in the way of lacing.

S - It smelled sweet and of malts. Some grassiness.

T - It is malty and has a little hop kick. Nice sweet flavor, too.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice beer. A good session beer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Light-to-medium amber color with gold streaks. A good, white head with plenty of lacing.

S: Fairly sweet with some hops coming in.

T: Malty sweetness with some caramel flavors and a European hop profile.

M: Light-to-medium mouthfeel with good carbonation.

D: Highly sessionable. A great all-around brew that always works when you need something quick. Usually the best brew every grocery store carries.

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Photo of mothman
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass... how fitting.

Pours a 1 finger head that is some what pillow topped. Decent retention with nice lace rings. Color is a clear golden bronze.

Aroma is mainly malts. Some roasted aroma. There is also some carmel. Not to much on the nose.

Taste is probably one of the best lagers I have ever had. It barely tastes like a lager. Taste is very malty. Some roastedness. Some earthy hops. Very complex flavor.

Mouthfeel is a little crisp, but not bad for a lager. Smooths out a tad but still maintains that lager feel. Leaves a very clean aftertaste.

Overall, I have had this many times and I finally reviewed it. This is one amazing beer and it something that I will always buy and have stocked in the fridge. Very easy to drink. Great beer at a great price.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, best before Jan 2013. Pours slightly hazy golden copper color with a nice 1-2 finger fluffy off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of caramel, pear, apple, toast, bread, floral, light citrus, and light herbal hops. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of caramel, toast, apple, pear, light nuttiness, biscuit, cracker, floral, light pepper, and earthy hops. Light herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, light fruits, cracker, biscuit, light nuttiness, floral, and light pepper on the finish for a good bit. Very nice flavor robustness and balance of malt/hops; with zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is completely hidden, with zero warming noticed as expected for 4.9%. Overall this is a damn nice vienna lager. Very nice flavor balance and robustness; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering; and a nice option that is available anywhere.

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Photo of nickfl
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Three fingers of rocky, off-white head on top of a crystal clear, copper colored body.

S - Rich, malty aroma with lots of caramel and a hint of hops in the background.

T - Bready/ malty with a good bit of medium roasted malts. The hops come in the middle they are readily apparent, but never sharp or overpowering and they clearly remain in a supporting role to the malt.

M - Medium body, dry finish and moderately high carbonation.

D - This beer is clearly intended to showcase malt and it does so quite well. I can't say it is a terribly interesting beer, or one that I would actively seek out; but I have to give it points for the countless times it has saved me in america's many craft beer deserts.

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Photo of jlindros
4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just realized i never reviewed the Godfather of craft beers, so here goes.

A: Starts with a creamy head o 1.5 fingers that fades semi slowly over a crystal clear amber toasty wooden brown color.

N: Nose has a nice crsip lager aroma, mostly clean and crisp with some light sweet malts, even crystal malt i think.

T: Start with a nice clean lager taste, some toasty malts and some sweetness, also light crystal malts, a nice crisp and refreshing lager taste. some nice hoppy bitterness in there too with a little earthy and light mild hops.

M: Mouth is medium with good carbonation.

F: Finishes very clean, and perhaps a little too quick, with a slight lingerin earthy hop bitterness, and light toasty crystal malts and crisp lager taste.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To be honest I'm not sure if it's me, but I remember this beer as having more bitterness and hop character. I distinctly remember being able to pick out some light hops in the nose and yet I don't find any now. And I know that my palate has become accustomed to hop bitterness over the years, but this is definitely softer than it once was! The label is notched April of 2003; Boston and Rochester, NY. Whether it's been reformulated, or this is just a slightly varied batch I don't know, but this is what I find...

It pours a deep amber body topped by a full and frothy ivory head that holds well. It eventually drops to a creamy collar and thin surface covering, but also leaves some spotty lace about the glass. The nose is surprisingly limited with just some dextrinous malt, a mild fruitiness, and a background note of acetone. A very fine-bubbled and zesty carbonation combines with a firm medium body to create a creamy mouthfeel. What I recall as being an assertively hopped, but well-balanced beer now appears to offer only a lightly caramel-tinged sweet malt that's barely supported by understated bitterness. The finish is simply a diminishing of the flavor that's found in the mouth. It's lightly drying, but basically the maltiness just fades away into nothingness. No hop flavor is present.
Still, I guess it's fairly enjoyable and has a good drinkability - it's certainly not challenging! If this has been reformulated in the hopes of becoming more accessible to the 'common' beer drinker, it's certainly hit the mark. If it's simply a bad (and even "off") contract brew, then shame on Boston Beer for losing quality control. I'm certainly going to try this beer again - on draft and in bottle - with the hopes that I'll find the wonderful lager that once thrilled me.

Re-review 03/07/03: Although this bottles is no fresher (notched May 2003), it is much cleaner. There's definitely no "background note of acetone". It does have a slight hop flavor, but no more bitterness. Still, it remains very much the same.

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Photo of chinchill
3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle dated 2/2011 served in pint glass.

Appearance: a clear, medium amber body capped with 1 finger of bone head. Good lacing. A small amount of sediment (added).

Smell: Toasted and sweet caramel-scented malts with light hops.

Taste: Toasted maltiness dominates first, but then the hops with a mild citrusy bitterness come forward in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body; crisp; medium carbonation.

A nice step up from other widely available macro-brews, but not as good IMO as such Sam Adams products as the Noble Pils. Very good for style.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into my Sam Adam's Uber glass.

Pours a clear light amber with a finger width of off-white poofy head that retained nicely and left some pretty decent lace. The aroma is that of a traditional lager. Light roasted malts, caramel sweetness, some citrus and hops.

The taste is bready, toasted malts, dominant caramel sweetness, just a touch of citrus, and a fresh zippy hop character. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation and a crisp feel.

I just love a fresh pint of this beer. The malts and hops are well balanced and always give off a clean crisp taste that makes the drinkibility huge. Just a perenniel favorite in my book and always a go to beer for me.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’ve had this beer on-tap at several places and have finally decided to officially write a review on it.

A: Pours to a deep gold with a thick, foamy white head, which fades slowly and leaves a thick lace.

S: The aroma is hoppy but not overpowering with little bit malt and alcohol.

T: The taste has the robust hops intensity of an IPA but a very different flavor, a little more floral and a just little bit breadier than that style. Leaves a nice bitter hop after-taste too.

M: Very crisp and smooth, medium body and medium-to-high carbonation.

D: Flavorful and not-to-filling, goes down easy and is the type of beer you want to just keep throwing down.

Around here, most places have this beer as the only alternative to macros (if they have one at all) and it definitely seems to be to me the perfect transition from macro to micro, which is what has made Boston Beer Co. what it is today.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear amber in color. The beer has a finger tall creamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Moderate aromas of grainy malts with some light amounts of sweetness and floral hops.

T: The beer has flavors of both caramel malts (contributing some sweetness) and biscuit malts. There is a light presence of floral hops that contribute some light bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: This beer is very easy to drink and definitely quite sessionable. To me this was a gateway beer to the craft beer scene, way back in the early 1990s when I first started to drink it. The beer has a nice flavor but it is not one of my overall favorites.

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Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.8 out of 5 based on 9,043 ratings.
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