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

very good
2,624 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

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Reviews: 2,624 | Ratings: 8,849
Photo of thinkbreakfast
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sam Adams lager is always the beer that comes through in a bar/store lacking a wide selection. One of the most widely avalable respectable beers, SA is great for someone who is just begining to appreciate beer, or for a true BA.

Excellent hop presence in both smell and taste. Well balanced. Great session beer. Always a good decision (sorry).

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Photo of skybluewater
2.88/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a standard honey gold color. Smells a bit odd, like squash (!) or something. Taste is malty, a bit sweet, and for some reason a bit sour. Overall, this isn't the greatest brew. But, as it's a bit better than the average macro swill crap, it might be a good fallback brew...

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

12 oz brown bottle.

Foamy, slightly off-white head with decent retention. Clear and thin copper in color. Whispy lacing with some strength.

Slight caramel sweetness with floral aromas.

Moderate yet faint caramel malt and hop flavors balanced evenly. A grainy/wheat flavor to a less than pleasant metallic-like aftertaste. Rather bland.

Mouthfeel is grainy and crisp; tons of carbonation.

Light, consumable, and can be found everywhere, but this is too boring of a lager to have more than one of IMO.

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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 santoslhalper
2.98/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Out of the bottle it's a decent amber color with a fluffy white head. Head stays for most the beer with a little lacing, but nothing special. Smells like your typical too malty lager. Very sweet smell. Altogether I didn't like the taste. When it hit my mouth it really tasted like it was stale. Finished not horribly with a nice hop taste but still stale and bland. I think it could be a lot fuller in the mouth. The thing that makes this beer better than most is it's very available, and compared to what else is available where Sam Adams usually is. So I gave it a 4 on drinkability based on it's the best beer readily available at most bars. A good one to fall back on.

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Photo of mobyfann
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $13.99 as part of the "Brewmaster's Collection" 12-pack.

The appearence pours a light-brown/amber color with a medium head with good retention and good lacing. The aroma from the bottle was nothing spectacular, it was quite different than the tap; less malts and sweet smell from the bottle.

The taste is still there, classic Samuel Adams, with a good mouthfeel throughout every gulp and the drinkability is still the same, this beer is a classic.

Final Thought: Read my review for the on-tap version; it tells the story...

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Photo of Backer2004
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice head and lacing around glass. Amber color with little carbonation. This tastes fantastic from start to finish, though mouthfeel is far from sensational. Can count on a good Sam Adams here at most any restaurant around - - truly a better beer vs. most any other option outside of a brewpub or specialty place.

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Photo of oelergud
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden straw colored body with reddish taint. Off-white rocky head consisting mostly of tiny bubbles but medium and large ones are there too. Good lace and retention. Very little carbonation.
Smell is better than your typical lager smell. A spiced pumpkin like scent to it. Sweetness much stronger than the hops.
Citric twang and a faint spiced flavor. Hops become noticeable late in the swallow and dominate the aftertaste. The malts are having a little trouble getting any attention here.
Decent mounthfeel, nothing bad or special here, little to no coating.
This would be a pretty decent beer to go with a good meal as it does not impose itself and it's not too bland to be boring.


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

A pretty standard beer. Looks a bit reddish, amber, pretty dark for a lager, but still clear of course. No head on this one, no lacing. Smells of mellow maltiness, nothing too much sticks out as far as sent. Tastes pretty good, malty, a few hops in there somehwere, but a little watery perhaps, but tasty. Feels pretty smooth going down the hatch but there is a fair about of carbonation. A pretty solid beer, usually the best thing in crappy bars or other beer-lacking situations, but nothing special in my book. Their other beers tend to impress me more.

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

This is an important beer in the history of American craft brewing because it helped many of us understand that there is more to life than Bud. This is a flavourful beer with a good hop profile and a dry finish. I can buy this almost anywhere and it is often on tap in the States where the next best offering is Miller . Respect is due for this beer as it is still very drinkable and fairly complex.

 399 characters

Photo of redmosquito
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish copper color with little head (as served). Nice malty aroma, toasted and caramel, with a floral/earthy hop aroma. Nicely bitter flavor, with sweet malt balance, some hop flavor but not much and a touch of yeast. Good clean & dry finish. A good beer that that I can count on when I’m in a craft beer oasis.

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Photo of steinlifter
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Never been a big fan of their lager, or ale, but here goes, it poured a light amber, sudsy head, that left lacing all the way down, smell was fruity, piney, the taste hit's you as dry and bitter at 1st, then smooths to a complex, fruity pine flavor, very dry hoppy flavor.
the mouthfeel was a bit chewy, bitter,with a bit of creaminess, in the aftertaste.
the drinkability on this is probably not bad, I feel, an aquired taste,nice flavor overall, but I don't care for the dry hoppiness, maybe it'll take awhile, but not a bad beer!

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.27/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lighter amber color with a thick white head that dies pretty quickly leaving sparse lacing. Aromas of grassy Hallertauer hops, bready malt and a light fruitiness. Astringent taste upfront, then moving caramelly malty and finishing dry with a bit of lingering husky maltiness. Rather thin tasting, but pretty good as a Plan B kind of beer in certain situations where lesser quality beer isn't available. I seem to recall this beer being a little heartier about 10 years ago, now it's kind of bland and adjuncted.

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Photo of Tang07
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sam Adams pours quite well from a bottle; rich copper color, sturdy head and leaves a well laced glass.

The smell is very nice; hoppy with a backbone of malt.

The initial taste is a nice bitter hopp followed by malt and the hoppieness lingers nicely on the back of the tongue.

This is one of the best big microbrew lagers. Definitely one of my favorite lagers. Probably my favorite domestly produced lager. When I opt for a darker beer I usually opt for an ale, but this is something which is nice if I'm in the mood for something lighter or it's often the best beer that is on tap at a chain type restaurant.

I will have to write a separate review for the tap version next time I have it.

It is a nice beer that can be consumed often. Sam Adams can be enjoyed in larger quanitiies because it has a lower ABV and is lighter in calories than many of the beers I consume.

If you like beer with flavor you will like this beer. If you are the target of the Keystone Light "skunky/bitter beer" comercials. You probably won't like this beer. If your favorite beer is made by one of the big three "domestic" companies you probably won't like this beer.

Definitely worthy of drinking.

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Photo of garthwaite
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled many times both on tap & from a bottle. Pours a rich amber with a frothing off-white head that laced very nicely. Subdued aroma of toasty bread, doughy yeast, & mild spicy hops. In the mouth this initially hits with sweet malt and delicate cookie. Hints of toffee & moderate caramel linger and are complimented well by the tame, but spicy, peppery, & floral hop flavors. Actively carbonated and medium bodied. While this is not exactly my favorite style, this brew is well-crafted, consistent, and a fine example.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a light orange gold beer with a thick foamy white head that sticks around a while. Aroma is of toasty malts with a spicy noble hop accent. Flavor is reminiscent of Aromatic and Munich malts with a nice spicy hop finish. Mouthfeel has an average appeal as the carbonation lends a sharper flavor while maintaining a thick head. Overall this is a nice beer to have as it has a lot of flavor and a huge distribution means that you can get it almost anywhere.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – The one poured a light, clear orange. It had some good, active carbonation with a soft, off-white head that showed excellent retention.

Smell – The American grain came out first. It wasn’t as harsh as it is in many US macro beers. The light, kind of citrusy hops were very pleasant and the even malt aroma was even better.

Taste – The hops were more prominent at the taste. The malt backbone came out quite nicely as well.

Mouthfeel – This lager is light to medium-bodied with some good carbonation and a nice dryness throughout.

Drinkability – This is a good “micro-macro” beer.

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

I had the Boston Lager out of a 22 oz brown bottle and served it in a pint glass. Very attractive and fluffy 1.5 inch head. Freshness date was notched for November 2004.

Appearance is a dark orange amber. Rocky and sticky head with really nice lacings that stay.

This brew smells sweet and has an attractive overall scent. Nice aroma.

Taste is clearly sweet, malty and balanced. Sweet up front and slighty bitter on the finish.

This beer is a staple on many accounts. It works well with many food pairings and can be a session beer for the night as well. Its availibility is plentiful around the Boston area. Many times this beer will compete with all of the major macros in bars and when thats the case, this is usually a solid choice. I have been drinking this beer for many years and I think that its not at the same level it was about 7 years ago, its still a good beer.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Already tried on tap, which was very good. The bottle pours a shiny copper color, like a new penny. Pours a nice frothy, off-white head that leaves a sticky lace around the glass. The aroma is kind of nutty with a background of hops.

The flavor is carbonated nicely with a sour apple and bitter hop taste. This is a good session beer whether on tap or from the bottle.

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Photo of ken3c
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is really growing on me.
Nov 2004 notched as the buy before date. "International Australia GOLD 2003 Award Winner" under the bottle cap.

Clear dark orange color with a half inch of foam. Settles down to a thin layer and laces the glass a bit.

Smells sweet with only the merest hint of hops.

Tastes sweet and sour and bitter. I like the balance. For some reason it tastes better in little sips.

Feels light, bubbly and refreshing.

Very drinkable. Next time, I'll buy a case.

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

If someone were to ask me to name a macro, brewed in the USA, this would be the first to spring to mind. It is now imported into the UK, and I picked it up in a Waitrose in South London.

Pours a golden honey colour with a big white head. Leaves beads of lacing.

Aromas of strawberries, caramel, biscuity and honey malts are apparent, with a light hoppy and floral finish.

Taste is definitely lagerish, but it has a lasting sour and bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy, drinks well. Although not really exciting, this is still a pleasant drink.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

orange amber colored with a white head. the aroma is of light floral hops with a sweet malt background not very complex but certainly not bad at all. light hop flavor with some caramel malt sweetness. i've always noticed that this tastes more like a pale ale than a lager, maybe just me or something. light carbonation and a mediuum mouthfeel. this beer was meant to be highly drinkable and it delivers there. there's nothing to dislike about this beer it's very well rounded.

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

11 years ago, on my last true summer break (going into my senior year of college), I noticed a few billboards popping up around my town (Chicago) which extolled the virtues, and aroused the tastebuds, for Samuel Adams. Although at the time I thought that advertisers paying good $$$ to advertise a yet-not-so-national brand of craft brew that I enjoyed was truly revolutionary, I must say that though I don't hold Sam Adams Boston Lager in the exact same sacred place I once did (maybe my taste buds have changed; perhaps I've simply tried too many other beers in the interim), but this is still well-made beer, with the integrity it had all along.

Appearance: Strong gold, with a flourishing head which sustained throughout.
Smell: Floral hop aroma (still using the old German Hallertauer perhaps?)
Taste: A little grainy malt flavor, but not bad. Balanced well with a decent bittering hop.
Mouthfeel: About as solid as I'd remembered it being. Good, not over-the-top sustaining feel, but definitely better than any mainstream, light-as-a-lark beer.
Drinkability: The perfect BBQ beer. A great beer to enjoy on a warm summer's evening with friends.

This isn't my favorite SA beer, but as I've been drinking this well-nigh 15 years it still proves itself as a very good beer, beating most competitors, especially in comparitive pricing.

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Photo of DPMomutant
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a medium amber color, very clear and clean body. One finger head, not much there. Does look like some is trying to stick to the side of the glass.

A pretty light smell of hops and just a touch heavier of the malt. Compared to most lagers the best description I can give of the smell is 'fresher' (10/04 freshness date).

The hops are subtle but tasteable. The malt comes out some in the middle. It is not aggressive, but has character.

Good even carbonation in the mouth. Moderate consistency in the body. The finish is smooth with only a hint of hop bitterness.

I've occasionally kicked back with a 6er of this and enjoyed it and probably still could. Easy to drink and not hard on the head and pretty good to boot.

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

This is a all-around solid beer. It is a beer that is both enjoyed by fans of micorbrewed beer and macrobrewed beer, and this is for good reason.

It pours a copper color, with a smallish head, but one that has good retention. The aroma is floral. The beer itself is well balanced, with the maltiness and the hoppiness complimenting each other. The one quality that defines this beer is its crispness. It holds up to any food and is an all-occasions beer. The one gripe I have with this lager is that it goes down a bit harsh. Overall it is one of the best mass-produced beers.

Samuel Adams Lager lacks excitement, but it is a good beer that always delivers.

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Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
86 out of 100 based on 2,624 ratings.
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