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

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2,645 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: 2,645 | Ratings: 8,936
Photo of allengarvin
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal-clear amber color, fine bubbles, small head but nice head retention.

Aroma: Sweet malt, with slightly peppery hop aroma.

Flavor: Malt is the main flavor, slightly sweet, slightly grainy. Hop bitterness is medium low but provides some good balance, along with some spicy taste. Finish is clean, with enough hop dryness to make it interesting.

Body: Creamy mouthfeel, with medium carbonation.

Notes: As many beer fans say, this isn't an interesting enough beer to drink if there's a choice of micros, but it's not bad and at many bars where it's the only "choice", it can be quite a nice brew to have now and then.

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Photo of bearrunner44
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of all the beers that can be found in the average grocery store, this one is my favorite. It shouldn't even be compared to watery macrobrews like Budweiser and MGD- it's several steps above them with both the strength and the quality of it's flavor. The difference is clear as soon as the cap comes off the bottle. The drinker is greeted with a pleasant, malty aroma as soon as it's opened. The taste is smooth and a little sweet at first, followed by a hint of dry bitterness when swallowed. The body is very full and malty. It has alot of taste, but it's also very drinkable- a great stepping stone into the world of better beers.

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

This is the beer that started it all for me... an introduction to the wider world of "real" beer that we all celebrate as BAs!

Pours out an orange color with very good clarity and a pretty decent off-white head. Retention is pretty good and the head leaves a little lacing down the side of the glass. Aroma is pleasantly fruity with hints of sweet malt as well. Taste is a nice balance between malty sweetness and a fairly decent helping of hops in the middle. Finishes a semi-dry with hop bitterness lingering. Very good overall. Mouthfeel is a tiny bit thin due to notable carbonation, but still very pleasant. Drinkability is probably the strongest suit for this offering: well balanced and flavorful without going overboard in any particular area. This is an excellent beer that opened my eyes to a wider world many years ago. Probably never going to make the top of the lists, but a solid beer for any occasion and worthy of a place in your refridgerator!

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

Pours a deep amber with a slight touch of honey. Head retention is solid.

Presents just about everything I'd expect to see in a good solid lager. Hops are pronounced but well balanced and help promote the smooth mouthfeal. Perhaps not exceptional but I expect to see this in my fridge quite often.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep amber orange with a nice 1" fluffy white head. Shiny and clear. Smell is a sweet caramel with some grain notes and a smattering of floral hops. Nice, but nothing to write home about.

First sip has a nice nutty caramel flavor with subtle hints of flowery hop biterness on the back of the palate. A somewhat grainy flavor rides through there as well.

Mouthfeel is nice and easy to drink...a bit thin but that's to be expected. Drinkability is good here as this is a decent brew that is widely available and beats the hell out of the major macro choices.

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

I'm trying very hard to rate this for style because, apparently, I really don't enjoy lagers...

Pours medium golden, nice hue, looks a bit pissy though. Insane amount of carbonation with a huge foamy head, good retention. After being attacked by bubbles, the taste is dominated by bitter hops and a little bit of toasted notes. At the end, the bitterness lingers as does the carbonation. As with all the Sams I've had, a helluva decent beer for such a large brewery. But, I wouldn't get it again until I start to like this style.

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

Pours a light golden color, which is very clear. Light shoots through the beer without any problem. A fairly thick rolling white head forms as the swirling carbonation rushes to the surface. A nice flowery aroma wafts up gently from the glass. A firm maltiness is shoulder to shoulder with the hops aroma. The hops embrace your tongue immediately, but quickly take a back seat to the semisweet maltiness. Now there's a slight caramel taste. This bit of sweetness fades into a nicely hopped finish, which is softly bitter. The aftertaste is refreshingly dry and on the bitter side. This is an easy drinking lager that will always have a special place in my heart. It's not the best beer out there, but like so many others, it was the first craft beer I ever drank regularly. For that, I'll always appreciate it and there will always be room for it in my fridge. It doesn't hurt that it's very tasty!

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

Sam Adams has always been one of those beers that just does it for me. Quite often it's the only thing besides BMC you can find around here on tap being a "Get people drunk for cheap and make them gamble away their savings" city unless you hit the micro breweries.

Fills the glass with a copper colored liquid that foams up and forms a nice 1" creamy head. Sticks to the glass and doesn't let go.

Smell is of sweet malt, caramel and a bit of flowery hop.

Taste is nice and malty, with a good amount of hops to pull it all together. Hop profile reminds me of a lighter SNPA.

Mouthfeel is great, a bit creamy but still refreshing like a lager and it pairs very well with the pizza I had.

Boston Lager is a very nice brew and is definately one I will need to start having around again.

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Photo of Sixpoint
3.51/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I first started drinking this beer when I was 15 years old. I remember ordering it when I would go out to eat with my parents at Uno's restaurant. I have not had it almost nine years now... and it tastes a lot different than I remember.

First of all, the aroma seems lacking. I remember it having a really distinct aroma presence... and I can tell you as a professional brewer, one of the easiest ways a brewery can cut corners and save money is to cut down on the amount of aroma hops they use. I can't tell if this brewery has taken this route, but the aroma seems to be lacking.

The taste is pretty good. I thought I detected DMS in the beginning, but as I tasted some more, it seemed to fade.

The beer was full-bodied for a vienna-style lager. It worked quite well with the generous contribution of flavor hops.

Overall this is a pretty drinkable beer.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This guy has a dark gold body, big head(well i poured it pretty damn hard, it had better), cream colored, lace follows it down to the bottom. Clean grain malt scent, light floral hops as well. Pretty much the same for the taste, grain malt up front with nice floral/bitter hop contrast. Full mouth. Pretty damn drinkable Id say.

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

For my 100th review, I thought I'd revisit the beer that started it all for me (and probably many BAs, for that matter) -- the classic Samuel Adams Boston Lager. It's been a WHILE since I've had one, so I'm curious to see how it holds up.

Appearance: A light amber/deep honey (what happened to that trademark deep orange hue?) with a dense, pure white head. Fair retention. Champagne-fine, super active carbonation. Leaves lace on the glass and a collar throughout.

Smell: Hmmm--much milder than I remembered. The first scent is an almost-pilsner, possibly Saaz hop spice. As it warms, a caramel maltiness emerges, as does a faint flowery/citrus fragrance.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Slightly malty up front with a hint of chocolate that I didn't remember it having. It's a bit macro-grainy midpalette, but finishes with a bitter, hoppy bite. Clean, dry aftertaste. The Mouthfeel is soft, slightly coating, a bit light and finishes crisp with a zing of carbonation.

Drinkability: Among the best; consistent, flavorful, fairly light, almost always available and usually wallet-friendly--it's sort of this generation's Michelob, I suppose.

That said, I was a bit surprised at how... small this beer seems. I don't know if it's been dumbed-down over the years or I've just gotten used to bigger beers, but it's not the powerhouse I remember it being. It's still a good beer--great on tap, IMHO--and if nothing else, it did ween a lot of people, myself included, off the macro swill and onto bigger and much better things. That ought to count for something.

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

Appearance - Notched for purchase before Feb. 2005. I made a mess on my table with the pour - nice thick white head that lingers. The beer is clear, and is a light amber or ever-so-slightly-orange color.

Smell - Nice malty aroma. I do not detect any hop smell. This has a characteristic "lager beer" smell as well.

Taste - Malty and very smooth. However, this beer packs a good amount of flavor. Clean and crisp. I might also detect some subtle hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Whether or not this is appropriate to style, I really enjoy it.

Mouthfeel - Light mouthfeel, but not at all watery. This beer puts most other mass-produced beer to shame.

Drinkability - Very drinkable. This beer goes down very smoothly, and the flavor is not cloying or overpowering.

Comments - This beer may have gone through some changes over the years, but in my opinion it is still a great brew. This beer is on my "can-always-go-to" list.

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Photo of RushLimbmalt
5/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The famous BBC's Boston Lager is truly a classic beer. I do remember it being a lot heartier in the old days, but maybe it is just my palate that has changed. Either way, I revisit it often and enjoy the beer immensely. It pours a nice amber color and has the trademark thick foamy head that you can float a bottle cap on. The aroma is a truly great mix of noble hops, Hallertau Mittelfruh and Tettnang Tettnanger, and wonderful sweet and malty. The flavor is every bit as good as the aroma and the floral hoppiness is in the forefront and the heavy sweet malty backbone melds the experience into a mind blowing taste nirvana... Ok, maybe that is going too far, but I love this beer and hold it dear to my heart, even though it has become a tad cliche. Once again I thank Jim Koch and the BBC.

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

Clear golden brown body, light carbonation, and a decent white head. The smell is nice, crisp hops, mild roasted malt. Taste of medium roasted malt front. Mild hops finish. Caramel flavor transfer from beginning to middle. Drink ability is really smooth, overall balance is appealing and the mouth feel is smooth and a little oily.

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

'The godfather' of american microbrews. I seem to enjoy this beer more each time I try it. I can't agree that I think the BBC are dumbing down there beers, because they all still taste great to me! Boston Lager is a nice reddish amber colour, with a pretty vigurous head that sticks around for quite a while. This smells wonderfully of malts and hops and tastes just like an American lager should taste. The hops and malts just blend in a perfect unison in this brew! The mouthfeel is medium bodied and just right and the drinkability is damn good as well.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.63/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my top five favorite lagers. It pours a bold amber color with a huge fine beaded head that coats the glass with ivory lace. The aroma is flowery, malty and a little bitter. The taste is a delicious blend of caramelly malts and sea air noble hop flavor. Theres a great dry bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is slightly oily.

Its amazing that a beer this widespread and affordable is so full flavored and tastey. Excellent stuff, probably my favorite lager.

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Photo of hobbes2112
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from the Winter Classics

Pours golden with decent (2 finger) head that rapidly vanishes leaving lace. Smell is light and sweet malt with a slight floral hoppiness. Taste is pretty similar, light malts with a larger hop flavor than expected.

Very drinkable beer that is found almost everywhere. I never pick it over any of the craft beers, but it will do versus the BudMillCoors menus of the world.

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Photo of mynie
4.31/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


My old review was a decade out of date. This is an excellently brewed beer and a fantastic window into a simpler time, when balance was appreciated. It's not otherworldly, but it's great.
The American TV ads for this beer are annoying and do nothing but reinforce the "my beer-cock is bigger than your beer-cock" stigma that I, as a person who loves beer but hates American macros, do not like to live with. When you drink, I dunno, Heiniken or Corona, you are being fancy. I guess I can live with that. When you drink a micro or import that no one has ever heard of, you are being weird. I can certainly live with being weird. But when you drink Sam Adams you are being snooty, at least in the eyes of the people around you.

But despite the stigma, the yuppies, the embarrassing ads, and everything else, this is still a very good beer. Pours a rich amber color with a nice head and good retention. Smells bittersweet, not a very strong odor.

Great bitter taste mixed with a sweet malt. Actually a pretty complex flaovor. Nice and full-bodied, refreshing in its fizziness and it goes down smooth.

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Photo of DFN
3.11/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours easily, with a medium-weight tan-colored head that dissipates fast. Color similar to medium-strength iced tea. Not much aroma. Pleasant but weak flavor. I'd rank Samuel Adams Boston Lager just slightly above the middle of the Big Beer Bell Curve: A decent beer overall, but nothing special.

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

lot of history goes with this beer.

Appearance-nice pour, beautiful color with a big head that sticks around and leaves nice traces on the glass.

Smell-lots of hops, little grain, faint whiff of alcohol, even a touch of molasses almost it smells like

Taste-the hops come out immediately, hint of barley and corn and alcohol, very smooth.

Mouthfeel-those who are fans of lesser hops shouldn't drink this but as for me I loved it when it lingered in my mouth and it went down smooth.

Drinkability-it's expensive but good, not a beer for chugging but a beer to enjoy slowly and nicely, so be good to it.

Overall- a fine American beer what more can I say that hasn't already been said, plenty of hops, more complex than most others in it's class and it goes down well, perhaps a bit expensive but defintiely a good choice for any occasion.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this several times before, but simply never thought to rate it. It pours an orange amber like colour with a snow white head that quickly subsides into only a ring of lace. Laces the glass beautifully. The smell is bit too hoppy for me, as I do not care for the hoppy smell or taste. The taste is very nice. For what it is, anyway. It certainly isn't earth-shattering amazing, and it definately isn't anything close to awful. It's just good. A great beer to sit down with and drink four or five. Perhaps more. The taste has an "allowable" (to me) amount of hoppiness. Nice balance. There is a nice, almost dry, maltiness at the finish that I really enjoy. I would have to say this and the SA Light is to me what, dare I say, Bud and MGD are to most everyone else in the USA. Just a good beer to pound down either in a social setting, or to get totally loaded!

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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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Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.8 out of 5 based on 8,936 ratings.
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