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: 9,002
Photo of OStrungT
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a golden yellow with a white head. The head fades slowly, leaving few laces. This beer has a crisp refreshing aroma. It has a slight caramel aroma. It smells sweet. There is also a slight hop aroma. Not piney , just floral. This beer has a clean crisp taste. I can taste a caramel sweet flavor. The hop presence is light, but refreshing. It has a slight spicy finish. It goes down very smooth, leaving a malty sweet aftertaste. I think this beer would make an excelent session beer. It is refreshing, and it tastes good. Also, it is not high in alcohol. I usually have a six pack of this stuff in my second refrigerator. It is good to drink, and it is acceptable by those that do not yet like craft beer.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ah! The beer that started it all. In highschool, I started drinking beers like Coors Light and Busch Light. I snuck one of my father's Sam Adam's Boston Lagers when I was 17, and I've been on the path of craft beer ever since. I've been living in San D for the past 3 1/2 years and have developed a taste for big hoppy bears. I've been drinking Sammy Boston Lager for years and now I will review it with a new palate.

Poured a bright golden orange. Thick foamy white head holds nicely in my glass. Leaves little bubbly lacing as I sip away. Nice slow carbonation.

Great smell of breadlike malts and mild hops. A scent of tea in there.

Very smooth, rich caramel malt sweetness. Mild tea-like bitterness. Very balanced and totally drinkable.

One of my favorite beers, my #1 fall back beer, and definetely a session beer.


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Photo of dmbgator
3.42/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle

What can you really say about this well known Boston creation. I personally am not a large fan of macrobreweries, however, I enjoy some of the high quality brews that Samuel Adams produces. With that being said, let me speak about the Boston Lager. I poured the lager into my Sam Adams pint glass, and noticed a very golden-like hue. At the top of the glass formed a very nice white head, which stayed througout my drink. The nose of the beer was full of fruits and some nice maltiness. The taste of the beer wasn't as good as the smell. I was expecting more of a sweeter taste, however, seemed a little bland with a little spice at the end. The mouth feel was average, and of course the drinkability is quite high. Must say that for an American macrobrew, it is enjoyable. Can put a few of these back easily during the course of a night.

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

Well, what more is there really to say about Samuel Adams Boston Lager?

Everyone knows what its like - a rich golden, smooth drinking, incredibly consistent, flavorful beer.

It's a great thing that a craft brewery has gotten so big, and accepted into the mainstream, that they can compete with the big guns. Often times, Samuel Adams is the only decent beer you will find in a liquor store or bar. They broke the mold, and now hopefully, other craft breweries will be able to follow and gain mainstream acceptance as well.

This beer, and brewery, demand respect.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orange mahogany with perfect clarity. A creamy 1 1/2 finger head shows excellent retention and leaves good sticky lacing. American hop nose, with some toasted crystal malt. The taste is caramel and crystal malt upfront, then some sweet munich malts come out. The aftertaste is herbal american hops and leaves a semi-dry bitter finish with slight residual sweetness. Lightly carbonated,and medium in body with a mouthfeel that is both crisp and smooth. Hop flavor is more pronounced on-tap, and perhaps a bit stronger than appropriate, but the rich malt profile makes a nice balance. Full flavored and highly drinkable, it's no mystery why this wins awards.

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Photo of ski271
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear medium-dark amber with a small, slightly off-white, foamy head that quickly diminishes to a thin film. The smell is mild and bready with light herbal hops backing it up. Pleasant caramel aroma. It has a good balance of flavors: caramel, grain, citrus, and a little tea-like. It has a very nice dry, lightly citrus finish, a medium body, and soft carbonation. I forgot how good this beer is for being one that’s so widely available. It’s an all around satisfying and easy drinking beer, that was a great transition beer for me.

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

The big, frothy white head sat on dark golden liquid, slowly forming larger bubbles from the mass of tiny ones. This head lasted quite a while and gave off a balanced smell of hops and malt, neither overly strong. A flowery sweet smell intermingled in the common beer aromas.

This guy is solid. Great hops, through and through. It is dry but not bitingly bitter. The malt balances it with some sweetness but always a bite of dryness there. Through and through, a great beer, an excellent benchmark.

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

Poured from a brown bottle with a blue label.

A: Amber in color with an orange tint. Good bright head on the pour and good prevailing lacing.

S: Malty and hoppy with some light floral aspects.

T: Continues with malty and hoppy profiles from the scent, but adds some breadiness and caramel. Finishes nicely bitter.

M: Coats the mouth. Has a nice meduim body and not too much carbonation.

D: Definitely a session beer. Almost seems to be the definition of a session beer.

Overall: This is really a nice little lager, and readily available most places. Definitely a good alternative to try.

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

Highs: Flavor complexity
Lows: None

Pours a dark golden amber color with a copious brownish tan head that slowly fades leaving plenty of lacing. Nose is pleasant, of malt and hops with a sweet nutty aroma and perhaps some wood. Taste is quite pleasing, with sweet and bitter mixing along with some hops and complexity that I can’t place. Mouth is quite smooth and enjoyable, making this a very drinkable brew. The finish is nicely bitter.

Overall: A very good to excellent lager. Not a premium beer, but definitely several cuts above most of what is usually available at the local sports bar.

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Photo of Shovelbum
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A billowing white head over a translucent light-amber body. Decent retention and long-lingering lace. A light hop aroma upfront combines with notes of malt. Strikes a perfect balance between flavors of sweet and caramel malts and hop bitterness. Medium-light body with full-flavor, not at all watery. Crisp in the mouth and finishes with a mildly drying hop bitterness.

This is one fine session beer. The price to character ratio, makes this an ideal beer for supplying large thirsty groups. On-top of that it is not too great of a shock for macro-lager drinkers. Combine that with Jim Koch’s recent spate of beer- drinker education propaganda on the labels and this makes a very effective conversion tool. Utility aside, this is one of the few lagers I drink by choice.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

For some reason I usually drink this when I'm traveling through airports. On this trip to Denver I noticed alot of folks drinking Sam Adams which was a nice sight.

This fine lager has a milky smooth head that leaves chunked and thorough lacing with every pull. Amber color with shades of red on the edges.

Malted flavors dominate but its very smooth and not overpowering. Caramel is the strongest taste once again smooth and a slight hop presence to clean up. Carbonation is nicely balanced to create a comfortable mouthfeel.

Low ABV, big Flavor, not a combination you will find too often. This is the flagship beer from boston brewing company and it stands up to that label. The best of the standard offerings by a long shot.

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Photo of cheers2beers
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pouring this beer the head rose about one finger slightly off white,and traces of laceing can be found.The color is syrupy,mahongony.The nose is full of heavy malts.Not good not bad either.Tastes much like the nose malts and a hint of hay in the finish.A thin mouthfeel goes down smooth and easy.
I know i could drink a few of these with no problem.This is definitly a good session beer,and i would purchase this one again.
Overall this is a good beer.


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

This one is copper/amber colored with an inch of white head. There is lots of carbonation floating up in this beer.
The aroma is quite malty and bread like.
The flavor starts out with toasty malt, then moves to a semi bitter hop flavor and goes back to the malt. The hops make a final return in the aftertaste. As the beer warms, the malts take over and it becomes significantly less hopy.
Mouth feel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.
Though this is not my favorite style of beer, I must say that this is a much better beer than I remember.

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

Sam Adam's is a solid beer. It occupies that grey area between BMC and craft brews and does so splendidly! The beer is a nice, dark vienna lager with a pleasant caramel taste which is nicely complimented by the artful use of hops. No one aspect of this beer stands out as being remarkable, but the blending is incredibly pleasant.
Oh, and the mouthfeel! I judge a good beer on its mouthfeel and this beer has got a nice grainy feel to it. It has a hint of the liquid bread aspect that I demand of good beers without being too thick.
It's a perfect beer for drinking with the guys. Even ardent male BMC drinkers will have it (get the light if there are ardent female BMC drinkers. . . I found that out the hard way) and enjoy it, and ardent beer nerds will drink it without complaint. Good stuff. Good, good stuff.

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Photo of woemad
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’d never actually had this beer before, so I decided, what the hell, when I saw a 12’er of it on sale at a Safeway here in balmy Spokane. According to the box, these are best before ‘Feb06.” I really appreciate that fact it was right on the top of the box. It kept me from grabbing the one in the front, which was best by “Oct05.” The bottle labels also feature easily decipherable freshness dates.

Poured a semi-clear copper color with a big, creamy white head that took its time dropping. There was a fairly decent amount of lace. The remnants of the head prominently capped this beer right down almost to the bottom of my glass. This could very possibly be the best looking mass-market lager I’ve ever seen.

O my god! I smell hops in this! Okay, it’s not exactly an IPA, but I’m not used to smelling much hoppiness at all in a lager that’s brewed in as much quantity as this one. It’s not a strong hoppiness. In fact. only a BMC ninny who really thinks hot women will appear when he twists open his bottle of swill would find this level of hoppiness objectionable in the slightest degree. There’s also a mild, caramel sweetness.

The mild, floral hoppiness and the caramelish sweet maltiness seem to hit the taste buds at about the same time and complement each other nicely. There’s a bit of a dry note at the finish, but it’s nothing spectacular. For plain old drinking while watching a game or just hanging out, this beer goes down smoother than my shaved head. I wouldn’t pare it with a fine dining experience, but it would make an outstanding beer to convert your macro-addicted friends, as it’s good, yet not a smack to the taste buds.

This is somewhere between light and medium bodied. Carbonation level is about what I expected.

This would make an outstanding session beer. I could dispatch several of these without regard to my palate and it’s relatively low abv wouldn’t have me at the dreaded “I love you, man” unless I emptied a crapload of bottles.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer departs the bottle a deep copper color with perfect clarity and a finger of head that sits nicely over the beer, falling at a moderately slow pace. Nose is light toasty and toffee sweetness with a mild noble hop. I was not expecting that hop. Flavor is toasty and sweet...not caramel, but similar, with a moderate grainy finish, balancing out with a light bitterness that just lets you know there are some hops in there. Very tasty beer. I'm not as crazy about the grainy finish. Feel is moderate with a moderate carbonation. I really enjoy this brew. The grainy, hop, sweet balance is really nice. This is a beer I could keep around

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Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted this bottle on Oct 30th, 2005. Purchased from local off-sales for €1.92 (sold individually or as a six-pack); (for reference Chimay blue cost €3.16). Labelled as 4.8% ABV, best by May-06.

I have not had a Vienna style lager before, so was a little surprised by how dark (true-to-style) this appeared. A dark amber with no perceived chill haze and a subdued head.

Smelled of malts mostly with a touch of hops. Not a strong smell.

Tasted fairly good, not a complex taste but interesting enough. Very solid beer and reasonably priced. Smooth mouthfeel.

A decent addition to the local (Dublin, Ireland) scene.

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

Pours an amber with a light tan head, decent retention.

Malty spicy aroma, nice and simple.

To the point malts, touch of caramel and grain. Decidedly malty with medium to lower bitterness and the hop character is mildly grassy with some spice. Well balanced and fits the style.

Medium bodied crisply carbonated.

A solid standby beer found everywhere. In a pinch, Sam Adams does the job.

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

A: Good amber-golden color

S: Pleasant, sweet, malty, and slightly floral aromas

T: Sweet malt flavor with a pleasant, appropriate-strength hop bite, no off flavors

M: Smooth, full for the style

D: A first-class American lager, and a classic. The best widely available American beer in America.

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

Presentation: 12 oz longneck. Part of the Holiday sampler. Notched best before of February 2006. Includes pouring instructions on the back of the bottle - if only bartenders would listen!

Appearance: Reddish gold color with a light effervescence. Very nice frothy head that fades slowly to leave a good amount of lacing on top of the beer and the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt with a clean grain aroma, and some nice noble hops in the finish. Very clean aroma.

Taste: Again, a clean and crisp flavor. A nice bready malt start with clean grain tastes, and just enough hops to balance out the finish.

Overall impression: A very well made lager - when this is fresh it is hard to beat. Great gateway beer - most people have heard of it and even the BMC crowd can enjoy it.

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Photo of sacfly
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Purchase before Feb 2006 notched on the side. Part of the holiday 12 pack.

Pours a crystal clear gold with a hint of amber. Small amount of head, small white bubbles. Light earthy hops/crystal malt sweetness in the nose. Not overpowering.

Taste is somewhat sweet and malty at first, but the hops make themselves known in the flavor and especially in the aftertaste. Herbal aftertaste is pleasant.

Overall, a pleasant surprise. This is the first one I have had fresh in a while. Usually I get something that has sat for a while at a BMC type place. Very good fresh. Could drink it all day and it would still stay interesting. If you purchase, check the best by dates. This one turns rather soon after the best by.

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Photo of jayc333
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful amber with a frothy 2-finger head sitting on top. Many tiny bubbles rise from the bottom to the head.

Smells perfumy, and stings the nostrils if sniffed for too long. Caramel also shows in smell.

Tastes sweet, with some caramel still present. Something else to the taste, but I can't put my finger on it. Whatever it is, it isn't a bad thing.

Good feel on the palate. Thicker mouthfeel than expected.

Well I'm quite taken with this brew. For a strange reason it reminds me of a lighter version of a Wee Heavy. A definate recommended beer.

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Photo of numenor1
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rocky head that laces well, and keeps a nice collar throughout. It's a light golden color with absolute clarity. Smell is of sweet toasted malts and a touch of floral hops. Taste is sweet toastiness upfront, and remains so with hops gently edging into the picture and drying out through the finish. Very clean malt flavors and spicy, floral hops. Terrific balance. Mouthfeel is light with solid carbonation, and it is highly sessionable. A standby for when there is nothing else.

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Photo of Daredevil
4.48/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a truly remarkable macro (Boston Beer Co. can hardly be labelled microbrewery) premium lager from the US ... pours a beautiful bronze colour with a small but firm head ... smell and taste are equally satisfying ... the interesting thing is it's very dry bitterness albeight in colour and taste barley is more present than the hops ... seems like the brewer was able to integrate the whole barley sweetness .... the result: an aperitif which stands competition with the likes of Pilsner Urquell or Jever ....

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Photo of EStreet20
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One I always loved even before I got into the craft beer scene. Still one of my usual choices in bars with no craft selection.

A - Pours a clear golden amber color with a finger and a half of near white head. Sporadically leaves rings of lacing on my glass.

S - Smells of nice hops, some caramel type malts.

T - A malty taste initially. Nice hop flavor afterwards. A bit of pineyness in there.

M - Well carbonated and smooth all the way down.

D - Highly drinkable. Definitely one I've had all night at the bar.

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Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.8 out of 5 based on 9,002 ratings.
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