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

very good
2,660 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: 2,660 | Ratings: 8,997
Photo of niangelo
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a sixer of this because I had heard some recomendations, because I felt bad for never trying it, and because my swill-drinking friends told me they hated it. Good enough for me.

Poured a nice deep orange-gold with a 1.5 inch cream head smells of malt, hop bite, some fruity aroma, maybe figs.

Mouthfeel is jumpy and spicy, plenty of carbonation which tempered a bit as the glass warmed. Taste is extremely well-rounded. Initial malt smack brings out breadiness, mild fruit, caramel and rolls right into an excellent hop finish, with a bit of alchohol.

Extremely enjoyable. I will buy this again.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice two finger head with a coppery color.Very good for a lager
The smell is weak,but this tastes very good for a lager.It almost tastes like an ale,very full of flavors,malt,bread yeast,and some hops.Sam Adams has done a nice job with this beer.This has a medium/heavy feel for a lager with the flavors mixing well. An excellant session beer and one that I'd never turn away.
Great job Sam Adams.

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

Pours a nice golden yellow, nice carbonation, nice medium head. Not a whole lot of lacing though. Scents of malts. Very nice taste a hint of something I cannot put my finger on though. Medium body. Very drinkable, makes a very nice session brew. Another nice beer from Samuel Adams.

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Photo of joedon
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I know Sam Adams is now considered a "mainstream" beer, but I like it anyway. Pretty amber color and frothy head. Nice amount of lacing, too.

The aroma stands out for a mass-produced beer: prominent Hallertau hop aroma and a touch of maltiness.

Nicely balanced taste with decent hopiness, malt, caramel and bitterness. Easily drinkable beer.

I had sworn off Sam Adams after their nut-case "spokesman" Koch pulled one of his idiotic promotions with a couple of shock-jocks in New York radio. I have forgiven, and drink the beer again.

Also, my best friend's daughter is now a chemist employed by the Boston Brewing Co. She reports that Koch is just a lush and no longer has much to do with the brewing operation.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: Brown 12 oz raised lettering, best by Dec 05 notched. Extra label on the back mentions Hallertauer Mittelfrueh hops.

Aroma: Nobel hop nose backed by a serious lightly roasted malt base, almost Oktoberfest in nature (the malt, the hops are too strong for the style).

Appearance: Very clear light amber glass with several carbonation streams feeding a creamy white cap that poured at a nice frothy finger but settled to a full cover, leaving thick lace that gives tidemarks.

Flavor: Rich balanced taste. Starts a bit malty, goes a touch hoppy, then finishes with a very pronounced yeastiness. Impressive balance overall that lets the yeast shine. Funny how when I first tasted this beer so long ago that I found it too hoppy. I noted a bit of a tea late in the glass and the hops show up a bit more as it warms a touch.

Mouthfeel: Fully carbonated but not fizzy, a little foamy in the mouth, medium body and a velvety texture.

Overall Impression: There’s a reason Sam Adams is a cornerstone of the craft beer market. This beer is well made, easy to drink, flavorful and enjoyable. No real flaws, but it’s a bit too carbonated for me, and while the flavor is straightforward, it’s somewhat bland. I was surprised to see I hadn’t rated this classic before now. It’s like the girl next door, you see her so often you don’t notice how sweet she is because you see her all the time.

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Photo of burnstar
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a nice deep gold with a big foamy head. Smell is malt and some nice citrusy hops. This is very tastey stuff very well balanced and nicely hopped. There's some sweetness at first which is perfectly balanced by the hops. Nice slightly bitter finish and a good medium mouthfeel. Very very drinkable. Good with food and very good commonly available beer.

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Photo of bubrewer
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this in our local sports pub, served in one of those plastic pitchers with an ice chamber down the middle, and a frozen glass.

Despite all those points against it, I find the Boston Lager served from a faucet to be a much kinder, gentler beverage than the same thing from a bottle. Bitterness was about the same level as from the bottle, but less harsh and more pleasant. More sweet, carmel aroma and flavor was present, too, that nicely balanced the hops.

This is a very pleasant session beer that goes great with pizza or blackened chicken.

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Photo of Celt44
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden, clear, deep amber color. Very appetizing to look at. Creamy head lasts throughout, with lacing.

Aroma is floral with a strong scent of hops and malt.

Mouthfeel is the least of its qualities - nothing spectacular here.

Taste is superior for a Domestic American Lager

Drinkability as a session beer for the price is unparalleled in my opinion. I'm quite partial to Sam as it was my "crossover" beer from the rock gut I used to drink. No hangover the next day...even after a 12pk.

Brewer and Patriot - Truth in Advertising.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I know exactly what Sam Adams Boston Lager (and most of its permutations) tastes like back in the US, but how will it suit my palate here in Australia? All it cost was AU$7 to find out. Ouch!
Poured in a tall, warm glass, 1/5 of the glass filled with a familiar off-white foam that looked familiar. Below that was a light amber-looking beer with a few bubble trains that wouldn’t let up. I had to wait a few minutes for the foam to settle down enough to allow me to pour the rest of the beer in. The head stuck around for a few minutes at least, and left behind a nice lacing on the side of the glass, and the top of the foam even curled over on itself like soft serve ice cream. Even though it’s a widely-penetrating US “craft brew” I would find it hard to believe that anyone wouldn’t be impressed with the looks of this beer.
The smell is a combination of sweet, yet roasted malt, and bitter, but not floral hops. The taste is, well… just as I remember it, even though it’s 8,000 miles away from where it was brewed. Upon entering your mouth, the back of your tongue senses the bitterness of some long-boiled hops, while the front of the tongue picks up a bit of malty sweetness. Somehow, my cheeks can taste this as well; I’m just not sure how that works, biologically speaking. Mouthfeel is very nice, with a pretty good amount of carbonation, but not feeling soda-like. In summary, I’m looking forward to getting Sam Adams back in the States for $6.50 a 6 pack. Here, in Australia, it’s AU$23 per 6. That’s about $18 per 6 in US dollars.

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Photo of diablo14
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

if this beer wasnt so damn expensive in australia id drink it more often. as it is i only intermittently consume boston lager, like when its getting close to use by date and winds up in the clearance bin. that said, its a nice, easy to drink lager thats got real body and firm flavors that go well with me each time i drink it.

lovely color thats orange to amber, compact head of white foam, and perfect fizz. a moderately complex but not huge nose on this brew. has a nutty aroma, plenty of malt, some hop zing with some dried fruit and cherries coming into play also.i do love the smooth malty taste of this beer, good level of caramel sweetness with that hint of cherries and dried fruit appearing in the mid palate. dry, but not excruciatingly bitter, and quite refreshing for a beer thats reasonably full in body. good balance for the whole journey, always a big positive in my book.

the boston lager, despite the price, is easily the best american lager we can get in this country. you do pay thru the nose for it, fortunately its a beer worth handing over the hard earned for every once in a while.

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

As a hophead, I'm surprised I like this beer so much. It's a great fallback to have at a restaurant instead of BMC brews.

It's a lovely ruby in color with a frothy head. It smells nicely of malted barley.

The taste is quite malty with just a bit of bitterness to balance the sweetness. The body is also good and substantial. This isn't a light beer by any means.

Overall this is a good beer that's very drinkable. Hats off to the Boston Beer Co. This is one of their best brews. I'd say check it out, but this beer is everywhere and you've already had it a million times, no doubt.

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Photo of TongoRad
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle notched Nov/2005

I poured this into a Pilsener glass- it is a deep golden amber color with a tall dense off-white head that lasts a long time and leaves a ton of lacing in its wake. A steady stream of bubbles constantly rises from the bottom. Great appearance!

Aroma is moderate but nicely put together- hops are immediately apparant (some spice, lime peel and a touch of grassiness) as is a good dose of caramel. There is also a bit of toasted bread and an underlying creaminess.

The palate is crisp yet full, perhaps a bit sweet, and dominated by the malty elements. Bitterness doesn't hit you over the head but it's there. There is lingering toasted grain on the finish. Some hop flavor comes on late and adds another facet of interest.

This is a classic beer and a real pleasure to revisit from time to time.

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Photo of bark
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

The colour is pale amber; the liquid is clear. The finger thick head is off-white and airy. No lacing occurs.

The smell is quite sweet with notes of fresh bread and caramel. Some citric fruity notes in the background.

The taste is balanced and smooth with notes of levain bread, caramel and dried exotic fruits. Mild bitterness. Medium body. The aftertaste got more exotic fruits and some citric peels, some caramel and a touch of banana peel. The malty finish got notes of old fashioned toffee and bitter herbs.

The carbonation is fresh; the small long-lived bubbles tickles the tongue. The liquid is smooth.

I reviewed this beer 11 years ago. At the time, I found it balanced and tasty and gave it 4.0. Today, I am not as impressed. It is still a tasty American lager, but the bar has been raised.

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Photo of elricorico
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper with a finger of fizzy white head. The head fades to a thin cap, but leaves some lacing on the edge.

Smell is a very flowery hop bouquet. Not what I expect when I pour a lager, it is a pleasant surprise.

Taste is again dominated by hops. The flavour is big, no watery lager here. This would hold its own with a pale ale or a bitter. The first flavour is a mild molasses sweetness, but the finish is much bigger and bolder. Lingering dry hoppiness leads to the next sip each time.

Mouthfeel is good, light but not watery, well carbonated but not coarse. A little bit of slickness when rolled over the tongue.

A very drinkable beer. Your average swill drinker might find this one to be too much taste, but I find it a pleasant change from a watered down lager.

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Photo of ryantupy
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This poured nice golden hues with a nice rocky white head that was a little on the creamy side.

Smell: Very floral on the hops and malt sweetness were most noticeable. Definatly an aromatic beer that was unique in its scents.

Taste: Malt sweetness with a nice creaminess with a nice floral hop flavor that laps through your mouth. It a floral hoppy finish with a little bite.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth as it laps over you tongue and through youre mouth.

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Photo of swid
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Boston Lager pours a dark gold/almost amber color into my pilsner glass. A 1/4" head forms, and quickly dissipates. Moderate carbonation, little lacing. The smell is grassy, with a hint of caramel sweetness and a bit of floral hop spice.

The taste of this beer is very well balanced: there's just enough hop bitterness to complement the moderately sweet, toasty and caramel malts. The mouthfeel is perhaps the only real weak point of the Boston Lager. It's a decent balance between lightness and fullness, yet the finish is somewhat harsher (and is a bit metallic) than what it ought to be. The aftertaste, however, is mildly sweet and bitter and is pleasant enough on its own.

Overall, this is a good fallback lager, and is enjoyable on its own merits.

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Photo of pentathlete
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark yellow with a huge foamy head that stubbornly sticks around. Smell is mild malt, nothing else too exciting but nothing off. Taste is clean crispy lager with a tiny bit of hops. Mouthfeel is thin, but not too watery for the style. Drinkability is fine for this style. If this is offered, have one. Certainly better than the typical macro.

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Photo of ReebShorts
3.19/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale orange color, decent white head but fades pretty quick to a thin layer. Some lacing evident at the top of glass only.

Smells grainy, maybe grapefruit and/or orange, hops, and caramel malt.

Taste is ok a first (a bit sweet for a lager), but there is a slight mediciney astringent aftertaste. Plus this goes down watery in the last half. Not the best or worst lager i've had. Somewhere in the middle I suppose

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

Well, what can I say? It's a lager. Despite that, it doesn't actually suck. One can detect some caramel malt behind the whole lot of carbonation and the ginormous head, and then the big hit of hops hops and more hops. There's some background warmth of the malt, and a little bit of what might be a sour cherry note, but not much here in terms of complexity. A little more complex mouthfeel than most lagers.

As lagers go, this is a good one -- but lagers, for the most part, are just too one-dimensional to be very attractive.

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Photo of baiser
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper colour, with a thin white head and decent amount of lacing. A very pleasant aroma - sweet, floral, caramel and fruity. Taste was very nice - sweet, caramel and floral. Nice sweet malt balanced by a decent amount of hoppiness. Very bold and flavourful lager. Great session lager in my books.

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Photo of Weizenmensch
3.39/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Sam Adams "Boston Lager" - reviewed as a Vienna lager, 355mL brown bottle, no freshness date.

The appearance of a Vienna lager is very important to the style - this conforms to a good standard, but is slightly the wrong colour (a little too pale orange rather than red), has adequate but not great head retention, and acceptable lacing. Average appearance for the style, but it still looks good in this stemmed Grolsch glass.

Smell is very nice: sweetish honey notes, maybe clove or some other earthy vegetable smell, perhaps citrus as well. Complex enough to pull apart into its components; one of those aromas that hits you as a fine, complex beer smell.

Taste: The smell sets the beer up to taste fuller than it does. Bitter hops, malt, citrus perhaps, but with quite a thin mouthfeel. Not the infinite blend of flavours present in some Vienna lagers I've had. A little bit sweet, probably from the choice of malt, and rather bitter. Pleasant but definitely nothing special.

Mouthfeel is too thin for this type of beer. Needs more to back it up. Carbonation is particularly low, and it shows. However, it is full enough to drink a few of - if I could afford a six of this, I'd be content drinking it at a party or something. Overall, quite nice.

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Photo of horshack7
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a nice amber with slight copper hues with a frothy head.

Smell: Caramel notes with floral hops.

Taste: A nice balance between hoppiness and malt with caramel notes.

Mouthfeel: A nice bite of hoppiness yet smooth.

Notes: This one will is and always will simply a great all around brew for any season. Still tastes as good as the first time I had it. A perfect fall back beer. Cheers!

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

Served in 12 oz bottle which then was poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Amber color with about a finger head that quickly disappeared. Also some lacing on the glass.

Smell: A slight caramel nose with a strong hop smell coming through. Also slightly citrus.

Taste: Starts with a sweet malty taste then a hoppy citrus flavor in the middle and then finishes with a grainy taste. Overall, a good taste.

Mouthfeel: Clean and smooth. The carbonation is just right. Somewhat watery.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, a good session or fall back choice.

This is my first Sam Adams beer and it was an overall good lager. I wouldn’t drink this all the time but it is a good fall back beer.

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Photo of Citadel82
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a beer you can usually find in most bars in the downtown area as well as most local beer stores. It is a decent brew, but I have to be in a certain mood to drink it. There are so many good alternatives.

I was at the Seaport with friends and running through the taps. I had tried the Summer Ale and the PU Amber this was my final beer of the night.

The beer arrived at the table a tad cold with little or no head. As I let it warm the aroma was hoppy with faint caramel malt. The taste was floral hops and some decent malt in the middle with a decent "leafy" finish. It was not a disappointment and I am willing to drink this stuff when there are no new taps to try or when there is nothing better available. Not a bad beer , I am just spoiled.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

About time I sampled the seminal American "gateway" beer. If only we could get hold of more American craft beer in Aus. Shame.

Slightly cloudy golden brown body, with an off-white filmy head

Sweet caramel with a slight hop fragrance. The sweetness is most prominent though, hints of butterscotch, a little aniseed, and overripe fruit. A nice nose, but a little subdued.

Starts off with the same sweetness as is on the nose but this is quickly followed by a toasted bitterness. A rich finish with hints of honey ties up the package, which, overall, is very tasty.
Mouthfeel is smooth and clean, with a slight tingle.

Overall, a nice beer and a nice style.

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Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.8 out of 5 based on 8,997 ratings.
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