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

very good
2,676 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: 2,676 | Ratings: 9,043
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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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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Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.8 out of 5 based on 9,043 ratings.
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