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

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Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager
9,326 Ratings
Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager

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

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,326 |  Reviews: 2,728
Photo of 99bottles
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sam Adams is a very respectable beer and one that I am glad to see people serve as an alternative to some of the other American macros. I believe it was the first "good beer" I had tried, and it did not disappoint me then as it does not now. The beer pours a clear deep red/light brown with a nice fluffy white head. The smell is of floral hops, a highly drinkable blend that Sam Adams is known for. The hops are present, not in the fashion of a pale ale, but moreso than in other lagers. There is a good malt base that gives this beer more prescence and a more fulfilling feel. Although I've branched out and found true happiness in the world of microbrews, I still enjoy a nice big steak with a tasty Sam Adams on occasion.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The first American mircobrew I ever tried way back when (back when it was microbrewed as well). Pours out a good looking clear light amber, small foamy head, and some decent lacing. Nose consists mainly of floral hops, a bit of malt behind it. Flavour primarily spicy hops, some sweet malt to back it up. Creamy mouthfeel, but the whole deal seems to bite on the way down, doesn't sit well. Best before mark on the label says it's alright, yet I can't see this being a regular of mine, given the caustic side effects.

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Photo of aaronh
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams Boston lager is a good beer that Bud and MGD drinkers usually appreciate, but don't buy because it is slightly more expensive. It's worth the extra cash as a regular session type beer. It has a nice deep amber color and pours with an attractive head that fades quickly and leaves a hint of lace on the glass. The aroma of the hops in this beer are good. You can taste the malt character, and the beer finishes very clean. This is a good beer to have around for your macro friends, because if they don't drink it all, you won't mind having it around. This was my first "craft" beer a decade ago, and I still like to have one every now and then. It does seem to get a little too sweet for my tastes now, though.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.15/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally sampled on 7 January 2003. I am writing this review from my notes. This pours a clear amber color w/ a long lasting head. Very nice appearance. Good aroma. Very simple, typical lager flavor. I'm not big on lagers, but this one is palatable

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Photo of euskera
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The first of the "American Micros" I ever tasted. Back then, a revelation. Nice coppery color, good spice and hoppiness and still quite drinkable. While I certainly wouldn't turn one of these down, I won't go and search one out either...

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Photo of usualpulp
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the more well known "micro brews" Sam adams has gained alot of popularity. It isnt one of the best beers around, but it is still quite good. One of my favorite fallback beers, mainly because its available almost anywhere I go. The beer itself is very good, pours a nice copper color, with good carbonation and a thin white head, with a nice hop and spice smell. Hops and carmelized malts seem to be the most present flavors, with a hint of spicyness, and a very very small hint of fruit. The brew finishes very dry, and leaves you wanting more. Overall, for being so widely available, this beer is an excellent choice when the alternative is bud or coors. It is a mass produced beer that actually has flavor.

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Photo of granger10
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The first real good beer I ever had. It is quite amazing how good an American macrobrewed lager really can be! A very smooth drink that goes down nicely. Nothing really stands out in this brew, maybe a little hoppy, but all in all a great beer that the people at Coors and Bud should try to emulate.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.06/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a decent brew but not one of my favorites. It poured a beautiful amber with a big creamy head that stayed throughout. The smell was rather sharp after the aroma of malt and some spice.
The taste had a real bite of hops at the end after I got past the blend of fruit, malt and spice. I felt the combination of carbonation and bitterness at the finish tended to overpower the smoothness at the start. The bitter aftertaste really hung around.
This beer just struck me as being too bitter for my taste.

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Photo of marburg
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love that this beer has wiggled its way into being very well-accepted and commonly-carried. It makes the ideal beer for drinking when, frankly, there's nothing else worth drinking. It's a damn fine lager, dark amber but vibrant in appearance. Pleasantly pure grainy aromas with a sweet, malty flavor that finishes with a simple hop presence. Straightforward and to the point. And very easy going down. Doesn't get bad as it warms and can be a definite session beer if you need it.

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Photo of Guardian
4.01/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Great beer!

Looks great, tastes great, but not one that I can easily get hammered on. I find that I may start off with a Sam's lager and then move on to a malt liquor or Ice Beer to get the buzz going.

This is the kind of beer I might have with dinner or with the intention of only drinking 1 or 2.

Overall great quality!

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Photo of hotstuff
3.17/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This Lage poured a medium white creamy head and it had good lacing on the sides of my glass. There was some carbonation observed rising to the top. This brew had a somewhat fruity aroma to it. It was bitter tasting and had an aftertaste that lingered.

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Photo of elmocoso
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was supprised to get a subtle wiff o' the hops with this one; suprised because for some reason, ost of the beers i drink either lack a smell of hops or blow me out of the water with abundance of hops in all their wafting glory. I enjoyed the subtle but present smell in this one for some reason. There also seems to be a butteryness present, i'm not sure why.

It pouired a tarnished bronze color and had a decent blanket of holy lacing across the top and a nice stiff collar around the neck o the glass, a lacing that clings sufficiantly when called upon to do so.

The taste here is also agreeable. I am a slow drinker, and this beer still sits before me after about an hour or so (please, no verbal attacs or terristic threats concerning my "babysitting" habbit) and the taste stays interesting and drinkable well into room tempature. I didn't expect it to. Decent beer, very available.

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Photo of Jarod
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured into the glass a light amber color that had red/orange highlights to it, it was very clear and well carbonated. The beer produced a decent head, white in color and semi lasting in nature. It was fluffy and sticky which was evident in the lace that it left behind. The aromas that came from the glass were of sweet malt, caramel, flowers, hops and a hint of citrus. The flavors were exactly the same, sweet malt, caramel, hops, citrus (light) and flowers. It left a semi hop finish that was light and semi dry. An all around smooth and quaffable beer, it is very easy to drink. A good staple to have around because of its balanced flavors, aromas and drink ability. A must for all those who want to step into the craft world.

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Photo of Wildman
3.16/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured an orange amber color and formed a nice foamy off white head that left latticed lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt and slight touch of hops is also present with some grain elements. A flavor of malt and caramel. The finish is light with a touch of tang to it. Lagers have ceased to be my beer of choice but in my old Bud days this beer easily would have replace it. Still would make a good session beer for drinking with friends still stuck on Bud or Rolling Rock.

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Photo of kindestcut
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams is a beer that, although I don't ever intend to buy one, I seem to have more often than I plan. It's because at many restaurants, it's the only beer available that's drinkable. And that's ultimately what I think of Sam's drinkable.

Sam Adams pours a nice amber with a creamy head. The beer smells of malts and is not overpowering as befits a lager. You know it's a good beer when you fight the head to smell the beer.

Sam Adams has a strong malt flavor with a light hop finish. Just enough carbonation to give it a fine mouthfeel, refreshing and crisp. Not the best beer in the world but very refreshing and satisfying.

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Photo of BierReise
3.1/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is the beer that started it all for me some 15 or more years ago in Boston. Before Sam Adams I was not a beer drinker so I give credit to Jim Koch for introducing me to good beer. Although I no longer drink this one that often, I did have one with dinner the other night at a restaurant. On draught, clear light amber with very little head and only slight lacing. Decent hop presence for a lager but a little too watery which obscured the malt flavor I was looking for. I've been to the brewery in Jamaica Plain MA many times in the past, and I know what Boston Beer is capable of. I just think they've gotten too big to produce something better and more consistent.

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Photo of AudioGilz
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's always a pleasure to enjoy a Sam Adams Boston Lager every now and then. It's always enough to please. It's most definitely one of the best fall-back brews out there. This is my choice when I'm at bars who have a shitty selection and think this lager is the best that they can supply. I love the darker appearance it has compared to any other beer you would drink at said bars. This is my sentimental value me talking now. But anyways, it has a wonderful balance, malty more in the start with a nice hop kick in the finish. And it's very refreshing and perfect for all night sessions. I have gone broke many a night spending 4 dollars a bottle on this stuff from 11pm-2am nonstop. But in all honesty, this beer was the very beginning of my crossover into "craft beer world." This started it all for me and I owe it hugely for that.

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Photo of Redrover
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown longneck with clear best buy date.

Beer pours a nice golden/copper color. Nice head with good lacing.

Beer has more aroma than most US lagers. You can easily pick-up the malts & hops in the smell. Also a little biscuit aroma thrown in.

Taste is solid. Nice interplay of hops and malt. Beer sweetens as it warms.

Mouthfeel is a trifle thin & drinkablity is very decent.

This is often the only "decent" beer available at a lot of events and places and I don't mind having this as a choice. Beer probably gets bashed more than it should. It is a good reliable alternative.

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Photo of Boto
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a decent copper color, with a fair amount of head. I didn't try to float a bottlecap on it, however. Fairly decent maltiness and slight aroma of hops in the nose. Beer is well balanced to the taste. Some sweetness at the start, with a little bitterness at the end. I'd like to call Sam the "Macro Micro". Their beer is decent, available almost anywhere, and a great one to get people moving up the beer chain to better beers.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok second contender in the popular lager division..the Champ ( in some peoples minds).
MM funny they no longer have Sam Adams the patriot on the label..i think its a bad move now the label looks pretty ugly..hope they havent messed with the beer too for popularity.
For a lager this beer has one terrific appearance darker than most non-dark lagers..almost like a copper ale..a small but dense slighly off white head that lingers long..very good so far
Smell also id quite good for a lager..i can smell that hop aroma pretty well..and its good and fresh.
MM great malty tatse but with a solid real hop bite at the end superb stuff.
Very good in the mouth not cloying at all.
An exceptionally drinkable lager indeed.
NOTES i tatses this years ago and havent been bvack dont know why this is a great lager..well Im not the only one it got a Gold medal in England in 2002..says so under the cap..but pleeeze put Old Sam back on the label..pleeeeze

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Photo of Mitchster
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed with 2-row Pale and Caramel 60 malts. Hopped with Hallertau Mittelfruh and Tettnanger.

OG=1.016, 4.9% ABV, 170 cal/12 oz.

Clear, copper in color forming a beautiful sticky head atop small to medium-sized bubbles with excellent retention and lacing. Thick clusters of foam sit atop the head when it thins. Aroma is rich and satisfying with aroma of floral noble hops, pure water, roasted grains, and pale and amber malts. Fermentation is clean without much fruitiness aside from the hops. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Mouthfeel is excellent...soft, easy to drink, with a slightly dry finish making you want more. Taste begins with floral dry-hopped flavor with pleasant, balanced intensity...pale malts and what appears to be caramunich malts fill up the middle with a nice maltiness that balances out the excellent bittering hop finish. There is a very nice cookie-like sweetness towards the middle which nicely complements the bittering hops, reminding me of Rogue Dead Guy Ale. There is a subtle hint of chalk and husken grains towards the end with a smooth and soft mouthfeel. This is an excellent go-to beer that is reliable, easy to find, easy to drink, and has been a staple in my fridge for the last 10 years. BBC deserves applause for bringing better beers to the mass market, and this is an excellent transition brew for initiating your friends into the world of better beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bomber, this one appears a copper amber hue with a frothing white head that looks amazing as the foam starts to settle out to form a trickled collar of lace around the edges of the glass. Aroma consists of a full malty almost bready aroma with a subtle hop aroma that diffuses very well into my senses. The hop aroma presents a slightly piney very aromatic aroma. Taste is predomanitely a buttery malt sweetness balanced by the bittering hops with a very solid all around good and refreshing flavor. Very smoothe mouthfeel that has a silky texture found in this medium to light bodied classic amber lager. I'm glad that Jim Koch found ol' gran dad's recipe, this beer has been the backbone of the Boston Beer Company. One great session beer that I am thankful for it's availability to have as a throwback beer in most cases. I can definitely enjoye this simple yet complex lager one right after another.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.8/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have had more of this beer than any other non-mega brew. Tonight I compared it after trying a Boston Ale. I may have to pop open an ale and a lager at the same time for a side by side comparison. Maybe it's just me, but the lager's color seems a bit brighter, more orangey. I don't know, maybe it has something to do with that pink bunny that followed me home again, today is Easter, after all.

A rougher than average pour yielded a 3-finger head, rapidly pulling back to a half inch or so. Aroma is a little more intense than the Boston Ale. The taste s definitely more intense, some nights it seems even a bit overbearing, but tonight it tastes right on the money. To me, the taste profile occurs via a rapid progression through three stages: 1) Malt flavor, delicious and bold. It's the malt component that turned me into a craft beer lover. Yum. 2) Following next is the brief burn of carbonation, ending in 3) a very nice balanced hop flavor. Stays right in the comfort zone and says "I'm here and I'm a hop", but doesn't inspire gargoyles in the least, unless maybe you're a Keystone drinker, ha ha.

This beer I tend to want to enjoy more slowly and get max flavor for my 12 ounce investment, the Boston Ale kind of invites you to guzzle a bit more. I suppose it depends on the setting as to which one I would prefer, but these days, with two kids and seldom an opportunity to sit down and enjoy a beer, the Lager gets the nod. All you young singles, or married folks without kids, take note - starting a family can wait, good beer has a limited shelf life. :-)

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is a pale amber, and a thick white head tops it off. Aroma is fresh and clean, sweet and malty, with herbal hints. Malt texture is excellent. Hops are in short supply, but there are enough to provide a little play on the palate. This lager is really all about the malt, though and it's quite tasty, with a comfortable mouthfeel. Body is thoroughly on the thin side, and not 1/3 through the pint I'm feeling awfully bored. Not enough of what I like in a beer, but then I don't normally drink this style. Well-constructed, and worth it's popularity and prominence.

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Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Lovely crystal-clear copper color with a huge, rocky off-white head, which retains superbly. Sheets of carbonation surge upward to replenish the head; the lacing is excellent.

Aroma: The aroma is rich with sweet caramel malts and lesser herbal hops.

Tasting yields rich, slightly sweet caramel malts. Towards the middle of the taste, moderately bitter medicinal hops appear. The hops carry through to the finish, where the toasted malt flavors reassert themselves amidst a lingering, mild hop bitterness.

Mouth feel: The mouth feel is smooth and creamy, quite rich.

Drinkability: An unwaveringly fine beer. Say what you will about the Boston Beer Company and Jim Koch, but many of us would not be here were it not for this beer. An excellent choice to introduce friends to the world of better beer.

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Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 9,326 ratings