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

very good
2,666 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: 2,666 | Ratings: 9,023
Photo of ryantupy
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This poured nice golden hues with a nice rocky white head that was a little on the creamy side.

Smell: Very floral on the hops and malt sweetness were most noticeable. Definatly an aromatic beer that was unique in its scents.

Taste: Malt sweetness with a nice creaminess with a nice floral hop flavor that laps through your mouth. It a floral hoppy finish with a little bite.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth as it laps over you tongue and through youre mouth.

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Photo of swid
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Boston Lager pours a dark gold/almost amber color into my pilsner glass. A 1/4" head forms, and quickly dissipates. Moderate carbonation, little lacing. The smell is grassy, with a hint of caramel sweetness and a bit of floral hop spice.

The taste of this beer is very well balanced: there's just enough hop bitterness to complement the moderately sweet, toasty and caramel malts. The mouthfeel is perhaps the only real weak point of the Boston Lager. It's a decent balance between lightness and fullness, yet the finish is somewhat harsher (and is a bit metallic) than what it ought to be. The aftertaste, however, is mildly sweet and bitter and is pleasant enough on its own.

Overall, this is a good fallback lager, and is enjoyable on its own merits.

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

Dark yellow with a huge foamy head that stubbornly sticks around. Smell is mild malt, nothing else too exciting but nothing off. Taste is clean crispy lager with a tiny bit of hops. Mouthfeel is thin, but not too watery for the style. Drinkability is fine for this style. If this is offered, have one. Certainly better than the typical macro.

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Photo of ReebShorts
3.19/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale orange color, decent white head but fades pretty quick to a thin layer. Some lacing evident at the top of glass only.

Smells grainy, maybe grapefruit and/or orange, hops, and caramel malt.

Taste is ok a first (a bit sweet for a lager), but there is a slight mediciney astringent aftertaste. Plus this goes down watery in the last half. Not the best or worst lager i've had. Somewhere in the middle I suppose

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, what can I say? It's a lager. Despite that, it doesn't actually suck. One can detect some caramel malt behind the whole lot of carbonation and the ginormous head, and then the big hit of hops hops and more hops. There's some background warmth of the malt, and a little bit of what might be a sour cherry note, but not much here in terms of complexity. A little more complex mouthfeel than most lagers.

As lagers go, this is a good one -- but lagers, for the most part, are just too one-dimensional to be very attractive.

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

Pours a clear copper colour, with a thin white head and decent amount of lacing. A very pleasant aroma - sweet, floral, caramel and fruity. Taste was very nice - sweet, caramel and floral. Nice sweet malt balanced by a decent amount of hoppiness. Very bold and flavourful lager. Great session lager in my books.

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Photo of Weizenmensch
3.39/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Sam Adams "Boston Lager" - reviewed as a Vienna lager, 355mL brown bottle, no freshness date.

The appearance of a Vienna lager is very important to the style - this conforms to a good standard, but is slightly the wrong colour (a little too pale orange rather than red), has adequate but not great head retention, and acceptable lacing. Average appearance for the style, but it still looks good in this stemmed Grolsch glass.

Smell is very nice: sweetish honey notes, maybe clove or some other earthy vegetable smell, perhaps citrus as well. Complex enough to pull apart into its components; one of those aromas that hits you as a fine, complex beer smell.

Taste: The smell sets the beer up to taste fuller than it does. Bitter hops, malt, citrus perhaps, but with quite a thin mouthfeel. Not the infinite blend of flavours present in some Vienna lagers I've had. A little bit sweet, probably from the choice of malt, and rather bitter. Pleasant but definitely nothing special.

Mouthfeel is too thin for this type of beer. Needs more to back it up. Carbonation is particularly low, and it shows. However, it is full enough to drink a few of - if I could afford a six of this, I'd be content drinking it at a party or something. Overall, quite nice.

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Photo of horshack7
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a nice amber with slight copper hues with a frothy head.

Smell: Caramel notes with floral hops.

Taste: A nice balance between hoppiness and malt with caramel notes.

Mouthfeel: A nice bite of hoppiness yet smooth.

Notes: This one will is and always will simply a great all around brew for any season. Still tastes as good as the first time I had it. A perfect fall back beer. Cheers!

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Photo of bahumutx
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in 12 oz bottle which then was poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Amber color with about a finger head that quickly disappeared. Also some lacing on the glass.

Smell: A slight caramel nose with a strong hop smell coming through. Also slightly citrus.

Taste: Starts with a sweet malty taste then a hoppy citrus flavor in the middle and then finishes with a grainy taste. Overall, a good taste.

Mouthfeel: Clean and smooth. The carbonation is just right. Somewhat watery.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, a good session or fall back choice.

This is my first Sam Adams beer and it was an overall good lager. I wouldn’t drink this all the time but it is a good fall back beer.

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Photo of Citadel82
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a beer you can usually find in most bars in the downtown area as well as most local beer stores. It is a decent brew, but I have to be in a certain mood to drink it. There are so many good alternatives.

I was at the Seaport with friends and running through the taps. I had tried the Summer Ale and the PU Amber this was my final beer of the night.

The beer arrived at the table a tad cold with little or no head. As I let it warm the aroma was hoppy with faint caramel malt. The taste was floral hops and some decent malt in the middle with a decent "leafy" finish. It was not a disappointment and I am willing to drink this stuff when there are no new taps to try or when there is nothing better available. Not a bad beer , I am just spoiled.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

About time I sampled the seminal American "gateway" beer. If only we could get hold of more American craft beer in Aus. Shame.

Slightly cloudy golden brown body, with an off-white filmy head

Sweet caramel with a slight hop fragrance. The sweetness is most prominent though, hints of butterscotch, a little aniseed, and overripe fruit. A nice nose, but a little subdued.

Starts off with the same sweetness as is on the nose but this is quickly followed by a toasted bitterness. A rich finish with hints of honey ties up the package, which, overall, is very tasty.
Mouthfeel is smooth and clean, with a slight tingle.

Overall, a nice beer and a nice style.

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

This was from the Brewmaster's Collection sampler case. Expiration dates clearly marked on the case and on the bottles!! Yay!

Pours a beautiful clear orange with a two finger head of just off-white foam. Impressive looking beer. Head drops to a good coating and leaves perfect lacing all the way down.

Aroma is nice spicy/grassy hops and clean bready malts. Freshly mown grass and black pepper come to mind. A little caramel malt is there as well.

This has a peppery spiciness to the flavor. Noble hops for sure. Tastes clean and crisp. A pretty strong amount of hop bittering is present for a beer of this style. The aftertaste has a long, lingering residual bready sweetness, but not real sweet, if you know what I mean. A well made beer.

Mouthfeel is smooth but crisp. A pleasant soft bite from carbonation skips across your tongue. The finish is slightly sweet, with a bitter grab at the back of your throat at the end.

I would like to see this reviewed in a blind taste test. I think it gets downplayed because it's Sam Adams. This is a damn good Vienna lager. Recommended.

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

Poured from a 12oz. brown bottle into a pint glass the beer yielded a light, white and fluffy head about a finger thick that settled to little more than a sliver and left spots of lace down the sides of the glass. The beer itself was an amber-orange color with about average light penetration and some streams of carbonation running up the sides of the glass.

The nose was suprisingly hoppy with some malt and slight citrus undertones. Some mild scents of oranges as well.

The hop character of the beer suprised me. An innitial malty taste quickly gave way to the hops creating a sharp a bitter crispness to each sip. Not IPA bitter, but a more mild even bitterness that seemed to coat the entire palate. Very well in balance with the maltiness and the citrus scents in the nose were only slightly detectable in the taste.

Moderate mouthfeel with modest carbonation despite the appearance of what looked like more than ample carbonation.

Very drinkable and enjoyable. Enjoyed it alone for the purpose of the review and then paired it with some Hungarian Gulash. The bitterness and hop character of the beer were perfect in neutrlizing the spiciness of this dish and it made a great pairing.

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Photo of BrewMaven
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a "drink from the bottle" road test so the appearance rating is based on the fact that this looked darker than the average macro lager. I was outdoors so I couldn't get a good read on the aromas. Moderate carbonation and mouthfeel was more substantial than a macro type beer. This has more of a Euro lager feel to it. Went down smooth and easy and served it's purpose that day as a cookout beer very well. Also goes well with most any dinner I've had it with. Cheers.

Update: The above review was definitely based on a slightly skunked example of this beer. I've had it several times since and it's quite a tasty/malty beer! Dangerously drinkable.

It ranks as one of my top five or so favorite lager style beers.

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Photo of drunkensailor
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From the tap at the "Galley Yard" (I think that was the name) in Boston, after visiting the USS Constitution. Amber in color with a thin creamy head and noticeable amounts of carbonation. Aroma was sweet, fairly fruity. mouthfeel was thin and fleeting. Taste was a bit fruity with some slight hoppiness. Fairly sweet and light. A good summer beer. Originally tried it out of a plastic cup (not my fault, all they had) so I tried it at home from a bottle with similar, but more favorable results.

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Photo of phishgator
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The best of everything else when your at a night club or country club. This brew really introduced me to good beer. I think though as I have journeyed through the crazy world of fine brews I realize that my tastes evolved. Still reliable but just not the one I used to enjoy.

The taste is spicy for a lager. The body is full and filling with a nice carbonation. An attractive lager compared to all the rest.

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

Pours a light amber with a light head that stuck around for most of my glass. Taste of sweet caramel malt, with a bite of hops that provided more bitterness than expected. Bitterness lasts through the finish. Really a very nice beer, easy for session drinking and versatile when paired with food. You really have to respect what Sam Adams has done for increasing beer awareness.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pouring chilled at 50 degrees (F) into a pint glass, this lager pours a honey/amber color leaving a 1 1/2" light white head. Very clean and nice looking.

Aroma is mainly of some lemon and grainy malts. Some wheat aroma comes through along with some grassy hops. Nothing really exciting about it.

Taking a sip, I get a sharp biting wheat flavor along with some slightly sweet caramel malts, followed up by a bit of earthy hops. Maybe even some slight vanilla comes through ahead of the hops flavor on the finish. Robust in flavor, and tasty overall.

Mouthfeel is rather nice. Not as carbonated as other lagers, and much better balanced than most. Enjoyable on the palete and some slight bitterness makes it interesting.

Overall, this is one of my favorite "swill beer bar" brews. When in doubt, you can't go wrong with "Sammy A.".

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Photo of jhu1995
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is a copper/amber color. Nice head but quickly dissipated. Smell was neither inviting or repulsive and was fairly lacking. The taste however was different. Unlike most mass produced beer, could taste a small hint of hops which balanced well with the malt. Tasted crisp and clean on the mouth and was quite refreshing. A good, but not great beer and very drinkable. A nice backyard barbecue beer.

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Photo of NClifestyle
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When poured into a pint glass, the Boston Lager presents an amber/orange color and a ½ in. head of foam. A smell of bitter citrus follows a hint of malt; this is how a beer should smell, no trace of corn or rice scent in this lager. This beer offers a wonderful taste, with many flavors passing the lips to the throat. There's a hoppy bite at the start, but it is quickly replaced by a caramel malt flavor. A slightly bitter taste remains at the back of the mouth, similar to fruit or ginger, and can be a bit strong, but it lessens as one continues to drink the beer. Some carbonation remains throughout the pint, but nothing too overwhelming.
While Samuel Adams Boston Lager is somewhat full in the mouth, this beer begs for repeated pours. Further, it can be drank anytime, summer or winter. I remember drinking a Sam Adams in early high school, and thinking it was the most bitter beer in the world, and I might not be able to finish a sip, much less an entire bottle. Ah how times change. Brewer, patriot, Samuel Adams. Cheers…

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Photo of scooter231
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's hard for me to describe this beer in a lot of ways- so much going on. It pours pretty enough, a golden reddish amber color, some head around the edges, a few bubbles. The smell is... a lot of things. I got a lot of citrus and lemon, a soury feeling, but there was also some sweetness, which I felt didn't really belong.

Taste is also complicated- same soury citrusness, and some floralness going on. Tart, bitey. Mouthfeel is okay- a bit on the chewy side, and not too watery, with some bubbles bouncing around. But I kept getting a kind of... overdoneness sense at the end of a sip. Too much going on at once- I felt like I was drinking all kinds of beers at the same time. By no means a bad beer, but not my taste on the whole.

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Photo of danielharper
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Target on University, Huntsville, AL.

Believe it or not, this was the second beer I ever tasted -- the first was a bottle of Carta Blanca at a local Mexican eatery. Therefore, this beer holds something of a special place in my heart, although I haven't had any in bottles for some time -- I was trying out a lot of other brews before I came back to it.

When I first tried this beer, I thought it was almost too bitter for words -- the malty aftertaste was really nice, but the taste itself was so extreme as to make this beer almost undrinkable for me. Now that my tastes have matured on much hoppier and more bitter beers like IPAs and Dry Stouts, I find this beer a nice, easy complement to an afternoon of surfing the net or watching TV. Just a note on changing tastes -- what seems difficult today might be downright smooth a year or so from now.

On to the review.

The beer pours a nice reddish-orange color with a thick foamy head. Lacing is pretty solid on this beer, unusual for such a mass-market beer, but to-be-expected for one of this quality. The head sticks around for the entire length of the brew.

Smell is nice, with a nice Sam Adams hoppiness mixed with a sort of caramel aroma on the nose. Sweetness and bitterness mix quite nicely on this brew to create an aroma that is quite distinctive -- I know of no other beer that smells quite like Sam Adams.

Taste is really fantastic, with a fairly simple start with a bare-bones flavor mixed with a very pleasant and tingly aftertaste of malts and hops. For me, the aftertaste is probably the most positive aspect of this brew -- it's very nice to drink this one slowly by itself and simply enjoy the flavors pass by.

Mouthfeel is solid if unremarkable -- a good solid medium-bodied brew with a good foamy head that produces a good mouthfeel. Nice to swish around in the mouth, and the beer isn't carbonated enough to make it unpleasant, but has enough kick to make itself known.

Overall drinkability is high -- the low ABV and really good taste of this could make it a perfect session beer. I've written this review off of a refrigerated-but-warmed bottle, but I actually prefer these straight from the cellar, almost to room temperature. The maltiness really kicks in as the beer warms, and the flavors become much more prominent. I think in the future I may not bother to refrigerate these at all, although it's a really solid beer either way.

The label claims that this is "America's World-Class Beer", and if we limit ourselves to macros and mid-sized breweries, I'd probably argue that the beer lives up to the hype. It's easy for us to belittle a beer like Sam Adams, but this is probably the best beer available in many restaurants and grocery stores, and is an excellent intro to good beer for the unitiated. Now that my tastes have adapted a bit, I'll probably make this an always-have in my beer closet. Quite possibly my favorite of the Sam Adams line -- only the Cream Stout even competes.

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Photo of NiceGuyMike
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearence: Nice dark golden amber with pillowy white head and nice lacing. Streams of bubbles make there way to the surface.
Smells: wonderful hoppy scent with nice malts
Tastes: Initial strong hops, but balances out with maltiness.
Mouthfeel: smooth medium bodied (I would give the tap version full bodied) with perfect carbonation.
Drinkability: Give me a nother one. Terribly drinkable.

Notes: this beer is great at normal beer temperature, but it is also very refreshing at ice temp.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drink by September 2005, as indicated by the little nick in the label.
I never really dug this beer. There was always something about it that didn't quite resonate with me. I still feel that way but after trying all sorts of different brews I appreciate this one more than I used to.
Probably in the top 10 of the super mass produced beers out there.
Pours a pretty deep amber/gold color with a fluffy white head; not too shabby to look at.
Smells slightly sweet.. sweet malts and perhaps a bit of floral hops.
There's a roasted taste in this, almost burnt. Maybe this is what has bothered me about this beer over time. The burnt taste spills over into the mouthfeel.
This may be better as-per-style than I am giving it credit for, but I am no beer guru... not yet anyway. As it stands this beer is a little busy for me; there is a nice complexity to be found and it makes for a good session brew, but this beer falls into a kind of limbo for me- it's not simple or straight-forward enough for more laid back situations, and not big or interesting enough when looking to sit back and savor a brew.
Reminds me of Brooklyn Lager in some ways, but I prefer the Brooklyn version.

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

12oz. bottle that I got in the brewmaster's collection 12 pack.
Appearance: Poured a nice golden-amber color that had a huge head of foam to it that left some lace.
Smell: It had a light hoppy caramel smell.
Taste: It tasted very hoppy, malty, with some caramel in it.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a long lasting light bitter afttertaste.
Drinkability: An excellent beer that you can find anywhere. I would say, spend the extra money for this instead of getting a watery six pack of Bud or Miller. Keep up the good work Samuel Admas.

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Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.8 out of 5 based on 9,023 ratings.
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