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

very good
2,653 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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,653 | Ratings: 8,968
Photo of Beginner2
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed in Roger Protz' " 300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"
On the "1001" list, this probably deserves to be on the list for its role in bringing a tasty alternative to American palates early in the craft movement. In fact, it could be argued that Sam Adams was the first, and probably is still the best, at marketing.
It is a plus that this beer goes well with many foods, particularly summer salads.

 402 characters

Photo of BlakeA85
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into Pilsner glass. Poured a pretty golden amber color, clear and decently carbonated.
Smells of rich malt and a nice spicy hop character.
Tastes of nice quality malt, hay and a really nice, spicy hop again.
Mouthful is very nice, smooth and crisp.
Overall, extremely nice and balanced lager and I think it deserves the rep it gets.

 357 characters

Photo of Skor
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sam Adams- Boston Lager on Draught. Vienna Lager 4.9% ABV 29 IBU poured into 17.5oz Munique Glass. Consumed & written 4/6/16. Typed on BA 4/28/16

Look- Caramel, filtered light brown/amber hue. 1" head tried to stay. about thumbnail after 15 minutes

Aroma- Sweet and full of caramel

Taste- Caramel, dank, semi dry and lightly bitter finish. Glazed muffin biscuity flavors

Aftertaste- Dry, light bitterness

Mouthfeel- medium-high carbonation, smooth, light body

Overall- Excellent for the style! maybe a little too sweet. Great color, carbonation, and texture. Head retention was poor even with the glass helping it out.

 624 characters

Photo of ShockTop75
4.75/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Aroma is mild yet rich. Pours thick with a nice head. Perfect blend of malts and hops for a refreshing flavour from nose to finish. Great mouthfeel.

 151 characters

Photo of THSdrummer
3.64/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours amber, with a thick, foamy white head. Fair head retention and extremely modest lacing left behind. Aroma of pale malt, and pine hops. Taste is simplistic, with a balance of pine hops and pale malts. Mouth feel is smooth, and easy to drink. Thin-medium. Overall, a good simple brew. Easy to find as well.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

 338 characters

Photo of BeerBobber
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice clear copper color with amber tones. Streaming bubbles and a nice fluffy, rocky somewhat off white colored head.

Smells of barley, malts and a yeasty odor as well. Damn! Smells like a beer!

The taste is like some lightly roasted malts with a touch of caramel. The hops are hiding pretty well in here and can be found somewhere towards the back of the taste.

Mouth feel borders on that medium side but finishes fairly dry cleansing the palate for the next swallow.

I like this beer! Some Vienna Lagers can go overboard with the caramel and sweet notes. That I do not like and I do not find that in this beer. Out of a bottle this beer is pretty darn good. However this beer gets better when you go out and have a cold one on tap. And there supposedly are no adjuncts in this one so that alone does make this that little bit more special.

 852 characters

Photo of Gothish
4.86/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Samuel Adams sensory pint glass, always!

Medium amber color, off white head, medium carbonation and a satisfying mouth feel. Hoppiness with a hint of bread in the nose.

This is my go-to beer when I'm settling in a for a few. Regardless of what I finish the night with, I always start with a Boston lager. Balanced and smooth, but with a kick. At first sip, the hops are evident but not overpowering; a touch of sweetness in the middle gives way to a crisp, dry finish. Excellent paired with many different foods; my favorites are pulled pork, fajitas and of course, pizza. This beer deserves all of the accolades it has received. A true classic.

 677 characters

Photo of wuthrichj15
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Boston lager would be a great way to introduce someone to the world of craft beer. You an tell it's not like bud light or any other macrobrew, but at the same time it doesn't overwhelm the palate. Pretty simple smooth taste

 223 characters

Photo of Jraiona
4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I've always enjoyed this beer, even before I knew what a craft beer was. The beautiful copper color along with the ample head create a great visual appeal. I'm not a fan of very bitter beers and this beer to me strikes a wonderful balance of sweetness and enough bitterness to stimulate and please my palate. At 4.9 ABV I think it would make a great session beer.

 363 characters

Photo of DADDY5000
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A true classic. Anyone starting out with craft beers, or more specifically, lagers, should definitely give this one a shot. Boston Lager is a great beer that never gets old. Easily accessible and perfectly drinkable.

 216 characters

Photo of RozzieBoy
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Have had this beer plenty of times before this review. Could be an easy "go to" beer because it is easy to drink. Poured a slight copper/off-golden look with a small white head which disipated too early for my liking. Not much lacing, either. Had a definite malty smell to it but not overpowering. This beer goes down easy. It is nothing fancy, but overall a good, solid beer.

 387 characters

Photo of KeithTobberman
4.54/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Boston Lager is my "Go To" beer. It is always a great tasting beer that goes alone, or with a variety of foods and snacks. It is on the more filling side, so drinking several in a sitting isn't ideal, but for pure taste and feel, Sam Adams has a winner. I recommend Boston Lager to any beer lover.

 297 characters

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

Pours a clear amber with 1 1/2 finger head. Smells faintly sweet and malty. Tastes of mild bitterness with a strong malt taste. Finishes with a peppery mild bitterness. Mouthfeel is a little watery. Good lacing.

 211 characters

Photo of Spike
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the 4.8% ABV version brewed under licence in the UK by Shepherd Neame for Boston Beer Company.

L: Dark copper. Clear. Two finger, off-white head reduces to a patchy cap.
S: Biscuit malts.
T: Lots of malt, some bitter hops.
F: Moderate to high carbonation. Reasonable level of bitterness.

I used to drink this a lot when living in the States. A good, staple, widely distributed brew. Wish I could compare the US and UK versions side-by-side.

 450 characters

Photo of WriterSean33
2.66/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I really wanted to like this beer, but every time I tried it, it left me wanting more. Perhaps it got too much hype for me. I do like other beers by this brewer.

 161 characters

Photo of matcris
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Rated for the style:
APPEARANCE: A clear caramel colored beer with an ample amount of tiny bubbles rising. About 2 fingers of off white creamy/foamy had that lingers a good while and leaves a tremendous lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Big caramel toast/biscuit. Grassy, spicy, and a slight floral note.
TASTE: Toasty, caramel, a little earthy and spicy. Very good balance between sweet and bitter.
FEEL: Nice full level of carbonation, Medium thin body. A fairly dry beer all the way through the sip.
OVERALL: Just a real pleasant beer. Very nicely balanced between sweetness and a mild bitter quality. Great everyday beer.

 622 characters

Photo of Dentist666
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

4,7% ABV.
Poured into lager glass.
Pours slightly hazy copper beer with beige 2-finger head, nice retention.
Smell - wheat kasha, sweet, a bit caramel.
Taste - wheat kasha, caramel, spicy hops, slight water salinity.
Medium-bodied and smooth. Interesting.

 255 characters

Photo of JakeScully
3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I had this for the first time being European earlier this year, and it felt good. Many European lager wouldn't live up to this classic. Also relatively cheap considering the shipping here. A smooth after work six-pack and the day is complete. Cheers!

 251 characters

Photo of vikinggary28
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

To many, the original craft beer. It is a Vienna Lager and smoother than the ones we are familiar with in North America which includes Dos Equis, Modelo Negro, and Bohemia. Goes down smooth on a hot summer day OR cold winter night. Prost!

 238 characters

Photo of jmv0009
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L- Pours a copper clear color, thin white head. Excellent lacing and I mean excellent.
S- very grainy and bready with some alcohol.
T- lots of grain and bread. Some hops and sweet on the finish.
F- smooth, light.
O- I still consider this a macro beer but don't let that scare you off. This is a solid beer especially for the price. Not great by any means but definitely solid.

 380 characters

Photo of Dinglehacker
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into pub glass. Mild head, but generous lacing that persisted.

Smells mostly of malts, with faint soft hops.

Taste signifies grain, bready ] + slightly roasted golden wheat. Mild hops comes in to play most at the end.

Smooth mouth.

The general consensus is pretty on point with this. It has real flavor, and is very refreshing. Almost the platonic absolute of beer.

 377 characters

Photo of PA-hunter
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 4.9% abv

Appearance- Pours a copper orange with large white head. Very clear.

Smell- Cooked grain, baked bread. Light hints of caramel.

Taste- Grainy malt base, bready flavor. Sweet grains, some very slight roasted notes. Caramel sweetness builds midway in the flavor profile. Hop bitterness rounds out only in the finished, minimal yet worthy of a higher note only since this is a lager.

Mouthfeel- Thin to medium in body with active carbonation.

Overall- An easy going lager with good smoothness and use of malt. Worth picking up on draft should the choices not be mond blowing. A reliable offering, yet not explosive. Good showcase beer nonetheless for the Vienna lager style

 724 characters

Photo of Sheppard
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours an auburn, amber brown, with red hues. Off white head. It looks really nice and enticing. Minimal aroma. Some malt and some skunky hop. The malt backbone on this Vienna is great, but the grassy bitterness is off putting and hurts the palatability of this beer. It has some awesome sweet caramel and toffee notes but that is undone by the hop character. It is weighty and hearthy. This is one of the beers I drank before I got into craft beer, but now I realize why I don't revisit this often.

 498 characters

Photo of davidperez
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a shaker, it pours a dark amber color with very nice clarity. It develops a nice one-finger head, frothy, that dissipates quickly.

Assertive bouquet. Bready, biscuity, malty sweetness, and just a tad of herbal notes after swirling.

Yes, it is full-flavored, as stated. It follows the nose very accurately, with the addition of the hoppy bitterness to balance out the strong malt presence, very good balance. It is highly carbonated but it feels right in this particular beer. Long finish, medium body and smooth. I must add the fact that my bottle has a best before date of November 2016.

I agree with the consensus, this falls into the "very good", if not "outstanding", category.

 697 characters

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

This beer pours a straw color with a small head and good lacing. The aroma offers up a somewhat rich whole-wheat smell, with complementary notes of cedar and toffee. The flavor is a somewhat crisp whole wheat toast flavor, with touch of toffee, vanilla, and very mild smoke. The mouthfeel is crips and refreshing. Overall this is a classic standard, and it does not disappoint. It goes great with food. Am I going to go for this often? Unlikely.

 446 characters

Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.8 out of 5 based on 8,968 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.