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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
2,632 Reviews
Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

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 Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,632 | Ratings: 8,892
Photo of bceaglejoe
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured a medium-orange color into a traditional pint glass, with about a finger-thick head. Retention was very good. Cascading bubbles showed a moderate amount of carbonation. Mild floral hop aroma malt sweetness were present. I was grateful that the bartender did a good pour on this beer.

Tasting: This beer was well-balanced, with slight malt sweetness along with crisp hop bitterness. It had a slightly oily texture on the middle of the tongue, as well as a lightly-hopped aftertaste. This was a medium-bodied brew, and it went down smoothly and easily.

Sam Adams really hit the spot when I was just sitting at the bar, waiting for friends. I could drink this as a session beer or a fall-back beer. I recommend it for anyone looking to get into craft beer, as well as anyone who wants to enjoy a nice, easy drinking lager.

 846 characters

Photo of cracgor
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured the Boston Lager into my favorite pint glass, allowing about a 2cm head to rise just above the lip of the glass. The head is impressive; with a thick cake-like texture that remained attached to the glass to the last drop of the beer. The color of the beer is appetizing, a light, golden shade.

All the foreplay aside, the beer is thirst quenching and very drinkable; the two qualities that stand out most. The malts of the beer outweigh the hops at first sip, but this seems reversed after swallowing. The two row malts are the first taste distinguished by my nose and tongue as I begin the drink. The aroma of the noble hops almost immediately follows as the beer moves around the interior of my mouth. The hops impart piney and citrus notes primarily. They remain in my taste long after swallowing the beer. The malts and hops are well balanced.

I enjoy this beer thoroughly. It is a regular choice of mine for meals of all types.

 947 characters

Photo of ypsifly
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24oz with a best before date of June '05, into a mug.

Clear amber with a small white head that falls to a thin veil inside a ring that leaves some lacing as I drink.

Mostly caramel and light hops in the nose. Not very complex, yet clean and balanced.

The taste is also a nice pair of hop and malt with a clean dry finish. The malt provides a good background for the hops to take center stage and linger after the finish.

Medium to light mouthfeel with just enough carbonation tingle to awaken my tastebuds. Goes down smooth and easy.

A great session beer that is easy to find. My favorite for dinner parties. Goes well with just about any meal.

 674 characters

Photo of oxmasterscream
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, ambered-golden topped by a crisp, white, frothy head.
Smells purely of sweet malt. Just a hint of spicy noble hops and some honey.
Taste is as the smell suggest - solidly malty and quite spicy on the tongue. Finishes extremely clean with just a twinge of bitterness.
Mouth is medium-bodied and very carbonated. Slightly oily; just a bit slick on the tongue.
Easy, tasty drinking but nothing too challenging for the senses.

 435 characters

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

Light, candied sweet fleshy fruit (apricotish) aroma with a pinch of floral hops. Small cream colored head fades quickly to a think film, but leaves a good deal of lace. Not quite transparent copper colored beer with very little carbonation activity. Mildly sweet caramel/butterscotch and toasted malt flavor is enjoyable and balanced by some mildly bitter hops midway though. The bitterness drops back towards the end and the original flavors make a faint reappearance. Body is moderately light, and the mouthfeel is a bit fizzy in the middle, but generally soft. Most of the Boston Lagers I've had were not too bad, but a few, including this bottle, have been really good. It's more miss then hit, but sometimes it just hits the spot.

 736 characters

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright bronze color with an average sized head. It smells of very sweet, carmelized malts. Maybe also a bit of hops as well. The taste is nice also. Very rich and malty with a wonderful smooth, clean finish. Great tasting beer. The mouthfeel is great, almost a perfect amount of carbonation in this one. The smoothness and great taste makes it a highly drinkable beer. If this was the only kind of beer left in the whole world, I'd be disappointed, but not sad by any means. Very good beer, especially for its common availability.

 538 characters

Photo of nota
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was my first real beer and my introduction into craft beer. I still like this beer and drink it everyonce in awhile. This is already a clasic beer. You can read my complete and detailed review of this beer at:

 274 characters

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

Apperance: Clear, light golden apricot. head is white, frothy with lacing that sticks all the way.

Nose: Sweet carmel malt. Slight vanilla in the finish. Some lime.

Taste: Crisp, with some clear hops right away. The hops stays with you all the way through until the end and then vanishes. A little sweet in the middle, syrupy and a little malty. Carbonation sneaks up on you at the end, but it wakes your taste buds up a bit.

Notes: When all they have is Coors, Bud Light and Sam, ALWAYS grab a Sam. In my opinion this is the best, most reliable beer in the US. Great job Jim!!!

 582 characters

Photo of charlatan
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

24oz bottle with June freshness date.

Beer is amber with good head retention. The smell is very generic (think less offensive adjunct lager riff), but the taste is great for anything calling itself a lager (usually a sign of one-dimensionality in my book). Hops are rather understated, with some herbal tones coming from somewhere, and this balances excellently with some creamy malts. This is nothing fancy, but definitely a well crafted beer, and at 4.75% abv would make a great session brew.

Rarely does such a good beer shift so many units in this fine country America. Don't let its ubiquity scare you off.

 618 characters

Photo of Wonka
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 FL. OZ.
Purchase Before JUN

Appearance – golden/amber body; white head that doesn’t show will power; lace is reasonable

Smell – caramel, grains and hops

Taste – nice hop/malt balance; grains (touch of roast), caramel, bit of citrus and Noble hops; balance holds in the aftertaste with a bit of grains and a bit of hop zestiness

Mouthfeel – a bit crisp to open; pleasant medium body from start to finish; clean close; not too heavy for repetition

Drinkability – aftertaste is pleasant, if a bit dry, but the balance lends itself to drinkability

This is a nice session brew and one of my favorite Samuel Adams beers. Its better than I remember from maybe 2 years ago.

 693 characters

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

Found myself in the hub of the universe with this one on 3/18/20005. 12-oz bottle poured in a shaker glass.

After initial down pillow, a loose jail break of carbonation flies out to a trace/trance of frost hoar. Light orange to amber hue and crystalline to the point of a razor’s edge. Somewhat wishy-wash of malt on nose with just a scratch of hop and wafting honey. Slight buttery malt flavor hits right off the bat with an afterthought of grapefruit-like hop. This would be a good session libation.

 505 characters

Photo of arguemaniac
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured this one into a nice pilsner glass (instead of my usual pint glass). At first a nearly one and half inch creamy off-white head which very slowly dissipates down to a very thick white lace. A nice, slightly dark amber color with a very subtle copper hue.

Aroma: A dominating floral hop aroma, with some slight malt scents as well. Some citrus notes too. Also, a faint honey-like aroma.

Taste and Mouthfeel: A pretty heavy maltiness, quite nice and smooth though. While the hop flavors are comparatively light, it is still present enough to balance the beer very nicely. In other words, the above-average sweetness is balanced by the pleasant (but mild) bitterness. That honey-like characteristic is present in the taste as is the citrus. Some slight toffee flavor too. Mild hop flavor in the finish. The mouthfeel is very easy and is medium bodied with carbonation to match. Very drinkable!

A very solid brew: its not overwhelmingly amazing but very, very good. A pleasantly malty brew that is balanced nicely by its mellow hop aroma and flavor. A very tasty brew that is not too much on the palate, and this combination makes it unusually drinkable. This would make a great beer to convert others to craft beer appreciation: it is widely available and is not too rich (which means those accustomed to flavorless macros won’t be scared off by the taste of this one) and it is good enough to maybe, just maybe, open their eyes to a better world of beer. It may sound like I’m getting a little carried away but I have used this particular beer to get a few of my friends turned on to craft beer! In any event, this is a slightly fantastic beer which I have returned to time and time again in the past, and will continue to do so in the future. Highly recommended.

 1,790 characters

Photo of Vipsanius
3.21/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at a local bar while watching March Madness. Came with a nice one inch white head that stuck around a couple of minutes. The color was a little darker than your average lager.

The smell was of floral, hops and a little citrus. The taste was very unimpressive at first, but improved with each sip. Initially it's a sharp but not overpowering, hoppy, floral and slightly citrusy beginning. While most beers seem to fall apart after that, this subsided to bring out some subtle malty and sweet characteristics. Couldn't really pick out anything random or unique but still a better taste than most lagers.

The mouthfeel had a lot more weight to it than I was expecting. Initially, I thought it was going to be harsh but it turned out to be smooth with just the right amount of carbonation. I didn't think it would be very drinkable but four more later, that also proved to be wrong. Overall, this was a beer I'm glad I didn't trust my initial reaction to.

 973 characters

Photo of wolf26
4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I do not believe it is just to put this lager into a broad category such as "Vienna" or "Premium Lager," instead it strattles the line between a fine pilsener and a rich viennna lager. Further, it is labled not by a classic style but by the rather ambiguous "Boston Lager."

Poured into a pint glass from a 24 oz. bottle, it gives a bright red-amber hue. Dense, dissapating head, tart fruity aroma. First taste gives rich slighty sweet, carmal malt tones, quicky backed by a bitter, very piney hops bouqet. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied for a lager.

Definitely, one of the more flavorful lagers I have ever tasted. Although it may not be as easily drinkable as some beers, it holds its place as an "Old Standby."

 715 characters

Photo of claytri
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a nice clear golden with a pretty white head. The aroma was basic: some malt overcome by hops. The taste was also pretty standard, but showed quality. It had a slight malt start and quickly moved to a hops finish that was not overpowering. The feel was nice and light and had a bit of effervesence. I bought this today by default. I had gone to a restaurant and this was the only reasonable choice. I was happy and now feel I will have a reasonable choice in these situations in the future. I was having fish and chips and it set well against them. The hops gave a nice clarifying bite.

 602 characters

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

12 oz. with purchase before May '05 notched on the label. Pours into the imperial pint glass a copper color with an off-white 2 finger head that leaves lots of lacing and rings. The beer is low on aroma, but it smells of caramel malts and floral hops. The flavors are caramel with spicy/floral hops that leave a nice bitterness. There is a hint of fruitiness in the aftertaste. Feels smooth on the palate with a medium body. This makes a great session beer.

 457 characters

Photo of clemtig76
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle. Good through July 2005. One of my all time favorite beers. This beer has one of the best aromas out there. The floral hops aroma is perfectly balanced by the malt. Pours a light copper color with a light white head. Taste - Excellent balance between the bitter hops and sweet malt. A good, sturdy beer like our grandfathers enjoyed. It may not be America's best lager, but is probably America's best lager that is readily available. Cheers!

 460 characters

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

Bright, very clear, medium amber colour. The dense white head that made it to the table reduced to a thin head after a couple of minutes, but this lasted throughout the pint and ringed the glass all the way to the bottom. I was a bit surprised by the citrusy hop aroma, I don't remember it being that pronounced in the bottle (but it's been quite a while). There was also a light sweetness mingled with the crisp nose.

An orange/citrus hop flavour was prominent right from the start and was followed by a mellow caramel sweetness. Bitterness was well balanced considering the mild sweetness and hop flavour. The finish was on the dry side with a moderate citrus character. The body had some weight to it, though it remained on the light side, and the smooth texture and moderate carbonation gave it the lager crispness that I expected.

I was a little surprised how much I enjoyed this beer. It didn't make a huge impression on me years ago when I gave it a try, but it did this time. Sampled at a bar in the Pheonix airport.

 1,030 characters

Photo of Dithyramb
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle (okay, multiple ones, but who’s counting?). They’ve changed the labeling several times over the years. This one is with the new Sam Adams character. During a tour of the brewery, we were told that the original character and subsequent ones aren’t really from original paintings of Sam Adams, but have been commissioned by Lord Jim.

Appearance: Pours an amber tinged gold with a rocky, creamy and frothy head. Lacing clings to the side all the way down.

Smell: This has one of the most pleasant beer aromas out there. You have a very sweet mix that invites you in, with a fine dose of floral hops and roast toasty malts.

Taste: The hops are initially and quickly sharp with an almost lime like acidity. However, delicate sweet malts and caramel smooth it out. Just touches of hop oils and sweetness lead to the fine finish. Mouthfeel is medium well. Well drinkable, even through the years and a varying taste.

Notes: By far the classic American micro. The quality of the beer has remained unchanged, even through phenomenal growth and the blitz of marketing.

 1,107 characters

Photo of ybnorml
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A clean amber beer with orange highlights. Has a very small off white head, no lace. The aroma is very lightly sweet and has a hint of fruityness in the back. Very light mouthfeel, kind of watery. There is a hint of malt sweetness at the start of the flavor with a light hop bitterness just before the dry finish.

 313 characters

Photo of Gaisgeil
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A decent standby beer. Nothing too outlandish, not overly hoppy or malty, fairly well balanced with just the right amount of alcohol and carbonation to make it quite likable and tasty. This really is sort of a standard setting brew by which many are judged and rightfully so.

This really isn't something I drink a lot of, I'm not big on lagers in the first place though, so that probably has something to do with it. I can appreciate why so many like it and I definatly think it's just a good, well balanced all around nice brew and pretty easy to find, which certainly is a good sign for beerdom as a whole in my book. From a bottle it can tend to lean a little toward the too bitter side, but I've never experienced that having it on draft.

Uncle Hamish says: "Noine mare o' these and Oi' migh' actually feel ait!"

 823 characters

Photo of frazbri
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, copper body with impressive cream colored head with good lacing. Floral aroma with grassy notes. Bready & sweet with herbal bitterness, slightly metallic finish. Medium body and modest carbonation.

Many of us were introduced to better beer by Sam Adams. It is still a good brew to revisit, and often the only decent choice in my neighborhood. Boston Lager might not the best beer in America, but it is a good reliable session beer.

 441 characters

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

Pours a clear amber color with a light white head. Many small bubbles are constantly making their way to the surface, lending to very good head retention. The smell is sweet with a nice hops bouquet. The taste is a good balance between malt and hops - neither one dominates the other. The finish is slightly bitter, a nice foil to the initial sweetness. There is also a hint of spice that adds some mystery to the experience. The overall taste is very crisp and refreshing. Although the taste is a little light, this really lends to the drinkability and is a nice change from the heavy beers I am used to.

 605 characters

Photo of stjarnflikka
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an all clear orange beer with quite some head and weak carbonation.

Smell is first malt. Some citric tones together with an upfront hoppy and fruity smell.

Taste is malty, light and somewhat bitter at first. Then theres some sweet and fruity taste and it finsihes lightly bitter, somewhat crisp.

I aint a lager drinker really, this does its job though. an OK brew from samuel adams.

 397 characters

Photo of scubahood
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First thing first...The old Sam Adams label is much better than the more "trendy" one used today. Kudos to the non-twist off cap that seems to haunt many craft beers. Date is marked as February 2005.

Smell: a subtle floral hop aroma perhaps slightly piney.
Appearance: White, lacy head consisting of tiny bubbles. Good head retention. Color is a light amber with a reddish hue.

Taste: Good balance of malt and hops. The aftertaste is that of lingering hop bitterness. Mouthfeel was medium.

Overall a good beer. Nothing special but it is found everywhere and can stand out at establishments with poor beer selections. Given its relatively cheap price and availability I would also have some in the fridge for routine consumption.

 738 characters

Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.8 out of 5 based on 8,892 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!