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

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2,628 Reviews
Samuel Adams Boston LagerSamuel Adams Boston Lager

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

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: 2,628 | Ratings: 8,869
Photo of jhu1995
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is a copper/amber color. Nice head but quickly dissipated. Smell was neither inviting or repulsive and was fairly lacking. The taste however was different. Unlike most mass produced beer, could taste a small hint of hops which balanced well with the malt. Tasted crisp and clean on the mouth and was quite refreshing. A good, but not great beer and very drinkable. A nice backyard barbecue beer.

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Photo of NClifestyle
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When poured into a pint glass, the Boston Lager presents an amber/orange color and a ½ in. head of foam. A smell of bitter citrus follows a hint of malt; this is how a beer should smell, no trace of corn or rice scent in this lager. This beer offers a wonderful taste, with many flavors passing the lips to the throat. There's a hoppy bite at the start, but it is quickly replaced by a caramel malt flavor. A slightly bitter taste remains at the back of the mouth, similar to fruit or ginger, and can be a bit strong, but it lessens as one continues to drink the beer. Some carbonation remains throughout the pint, but nothing too overwhelming.
While Samuel Adams Boston Lager is somewhat full in the mouth, this beer begs for repeated pours. Further, it can be drank anytime, summer or winter. I remember drinking a Sam Adams in early high school, and thinking it was the most bitter beer in the world, and I might not be able to finish a sip, much less an entire bottle. Ah how times change. Brewer, patriot, Samuel Adams. Cheers…

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Photo of scooter231
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's hard for me to describe this beer in a lot of ways- so much going on. It pours pretty enough, a golden reddish amber color, some head around the edges, a few bubbles. The smell is... a lot of things. I got a lot of citrus and lemon, a soury feeling, but there was also some sweetness, which I felt didn't really belong.

Taste is also complicated- same soury citrusness, and some floralness going on. Tart, bitey. Mouthfeel is okay- a bit on the chewy side, and not too watery, with some bubbles bouncing around. But I kept getting a kind of... overdoneness sense at the end of a sip. Too much going on at once- I felt like I was drinking all kinds of beers at the same time. By no means a bad beer, but not my taste on the whole.

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Photo of danielharper
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Target on University, Huntsville, AL.

Believe it or not, this was the second beer I ever tasted -- the first was a bottle of Carta Blanca at a local Mexican eatery. Therefore, this beer holds something of a special place in my heart, although I haven't had any in bottles for some time -- I was trying out a lot of other brews before I came back to it.

When I first tried this beer, I thought it was almost too bitter for words -- the malty aftertaste was really nice, but the taste itself was so extreme as to make this beer almost undrinkable for me. Now that my tastes have matured on much hoppier and more bitter beers like IPAs and Dry Stouts, I find this beer a nice, easy complement to an afternoon of surfing the net or watching TV. Just a note on changing tastes -- what seems difficult today might be downright smooth a year or so from now.

On to the review.

The beer pours a nice reddish-orange color with a thick foamy head. Lacing is pretty solid on this beer, unusual for such a mass-market beer, but to-be-expected for one of this quality. The head sticks around for the entire length of the brew.

Smell is nice, with a nice Sam Adams hoppiness mixed with a sort of caramel aroma on the nose. Sweetness and bitterness mix quite nicely on this brew to create an aroma that is quite distinctive -- I know of no other beer that smells quite like Sam Adams.

Taste is really fantastic, with a fairly simple start with a bare-bones flavor mixed with a very pleasant and tingly aftertaste of malts and hops. For me, the aftertaste is probably the most positive aspect of this brew -- it's very nice to drink this one slowly by itself and simply enjoy the flavors pass by.

Mouthfeel is solid if unremarkable -- a good solid medium-bodied brew with a good foamy head that produces a good mouthfeel. Nice to swish around in the mouth, and the beer isn't carbonated enough to make it unpleasant, but has enough kick to make itself known.

Overall drinkability is high -- the low ABV and really good taste of this could make it a perfect session beer. I've written this review off of a refrigerated-but-warmed bottle, but I actually prefer these straight from the cellar, almost to room temperature. The maltiness really kicks in as the beer warms, and the flavors become much more prominent. I think in the future I may not bother to refrigerate these at all, although it's a really solid beer either way.

The label claims that this is "America's World-Class Beer", and if we limit ourselves to macros and mid-sized breweries, I'd probably argue that the beer lives up to the hype. It's easy for us to belittle a beer like Sam Adams, but this is probably the best beer available in many restaurants and grocery stores, and is an excellent intro to good beer for the unitiated. Now that my tastes have adapted a bit, I'll probably make this an always-have in my beer closet. Quite possibly my favorite of the Sam Adams line -- only the Cream Stout even competes.

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

Appearence: Nice dark golden amber with pillowy white head and nice lacing. Streams of bubbles make there way to the surface.
Smells: wonderful hoppy scent with nice malts
Tastes: Initial strong hops, but balances out with maltiness.
Mouthfeel: smooth medium bodied (I would give the tap version full bodied) with perfect carbonation.
Drinkability: Give me a nother one. Terribly drinkable.

Notes: this beer is great at normal beer temperature, but it is also very refreshing at ice temp.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drink by September 2005, as indicated by the little nick in the label.
I never really dug this beer. There was always something about it that didn't quite resonate with me. I still feel that way but after trying all sorts of different brews I appreciate this one more than I used to.
Probably in the top 10 of the super mass produced beers out there.
Pours a pretty deep amber/gold color with a fluffy white head; not too shabby to look at.
Smells slightly sweet.. sweet malts and perhaps a bit of floral hops.
There's a roasted taste in this, almost burnt. Maybe this is what has bothered me about this beer over time. The burnt taste spills over into the mouthfeel.
This may be better as-per-style than I am giving it credit for, but I am no beer guru... not yet anyway. As it stands this beer is a little busy for me; there is a nice complexity to be found and it makes for a good session brew, but this beer falls into a kind of limbo for me- it's not simple or straight-forward enough for more laid back situations, and not big or interesting enough when looking to sit back and savor a brew.
Reminds me of Brooklyn Lager in some ways, but I prefer the Brooklyn version.

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

12oz. bottle that I got in the brewmaster's collection 12 pack.
Appearance: Poured a nice golden-amber color that had a huge head of foam to it that left some lace.
Smell: It had a light hoppy caramel smell.
Taste: It tasted very hoppy, malty, with some caramel in it.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a long lasting light bitter afttertaste.
Drinkability: An excellent beer that you can find anywhere. I would say, spend the extra money for this instead of getting a watery six pack of Bud or Miller. Keep up the good work Samuel Admas.

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

I was able to buy a bottle to take home at the Delirium Café in Brussels.

The beer has a convincing malty sour smell. And it’s head is nice but disappears very quick.
It has a nice brown light misty copper colour, with the carbonation bubbles sparkling through.
I served me this beer in a 33cl Artois Pilsner glass.
Taste: A very nice sparkling sensation, followed by a hefty deep caramel malty taste that ends in a sugary syrup and very remote signs of citrus and bitter.
The aftertaste is very strong and long-lasting. A dry malty sensation keeps lingering on. Very creamy.

A very nice and surprising taste. I do like this one. Shame it’s so rare over here.

Ut Vivat, Crescat, Floreat!

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Photo of posshogg58
4.68/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I just picked up a 6-pack of this at Kroger when I was grocery shopping, and I thought, what the heck, I'll try this. Everyone I know doesn't like Sam Adams, but they all drink cheap American beer-flavored seltzer water (I can't knock it if I ain't payin' for it though!!). Anyway, I opened the bottle and sniffed the beer. It has a sweet, flowery aroma and I then poured a little into a clear glass. It pours a reddish-amber type color with a brownish head that stayed there for a long while. I then tasted it. Wow, my relatives were wrong! I liked the mellow, sweet taste of Sam Adams. The taste was kinda nutty in the middle of the sip, and left a clean, crisp bite at the end of it, and the aftertaste was a little hoppy, then mellowed a bit. This beer is underrated, taking a backseat to the Big Three; however, I think I might get me another one or five... I'll definitely recommend this gem, and I will be buying this one again!!

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Photo of cubedbee
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light golden orange with a big white forthy head that sticks around all the way to the bottom of the glass. Nose is mainly of carmael malts, just a tiny hint of hops. Taste is pleasantly malty, gently hops finish, pretty well balanced. Medium bodied and a little creamy. This is a solid fallback beer than is becoming nearly as ubiquitous as the big 3.

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well im not sure I can do this beer justice. It is a staple. Well...when I have money. It pours a nice orangey-amber with a nice creamy head. The smell is sweet and crazy floral hoppy. Anotherwords, it smells great. The taste includes a nice balance of hops and malts. Normally on tap tit has more of a nutty/wheaty taste to it but this time it was a blast of hops. Everyone knows about this beer, and it kicks ass. Note: do not be a dumbass and chug it then barf it into a flower pot.

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Photo of Barraclou
4.39/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It pours a golden amber colour with a good white head. It is fun to pour and it got attitude, but it is a little too orange in my opinion.

Smell: It smells floral hops and caramel for sure. It also got some caramel aroma too. The best beer aroma I know.

Taste: One of the tastiest beers I reviewed. It is a wonderful mix of caramel, and some hoppy bitterness. Overall, the flavour is clean and crisp.

Mouthfeel: It is so smooth and creamy. Its carbonation doesn't bother you at all and add up some fun to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: It is probably the best U.S. macro lager available on the market and it doesn't use adjunct! What a well-balanced and tasty lager. Some people might not like it, but it is one of my best reviewed products.

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Photo of evanackerman
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours one of the best colors of any beer i can think of, a beautiful light amber.

The smell is bready with hops easily perceptible.

I think this beer excels in balance, great bready malt taste with just the right amount of hop flavor.

overall, a very tasty brew, i am always happy to have one of these and almost always keep some on hand.

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Photo of HoboAGoGo
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bennigans, the guy can't pour beer worth crap, but I'm not complaining. Not the first time I've had the beer, but I decided to rate it this time.
Clear, golden/copper body, light carbonation and a moderate white head.
Smell is of hops and that unmistakable scent that can only be described as beer. Some herbal in there, sweet.
Taste is of sweet malt on the tongue, followed by a moderate hopping, cleaning the palate and sticking to the tip of your tongue and the sides.
Very good beer, probably my new official back-up beer, since you can find this beer at so many places.

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

Appearance: Clear amber with a nice white head.

Smell: Sweet, sweet malt with a hint of caramel all working in harmony.

Taste/Mouthfell: The sip starts with a nice sweet malt flavor, and ends with some balancing hops. The mouthfell is a little thinner than medium.

Drinkability: This is a quality beer. Although it is not a great beer, it is refreshing and great to drink while watching baseball during the dog days of summer.

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

Appearance: Beautiful red-amber color with an off-white head. I could stare into this beer all day, or at least for as long as it takes me to drink it.

Smell: Smells clean and refreshing. Perfect warm weather beer.

Taste: Clean, crisp, well-balanced. Nice light hop note in the finish and good carbonation. I usually prefer ales to lagers, but this is one is an exception.

Mouthfeel: Nice and light, refreshing carbonation. This is one of those beers I would sit out on my porch and drink on a hot day.

Drinkability: Wonderful session beer. Quenches thirst without being overly filling.

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

Presentation: Poured a medium-orange color into a traditional pint glass, with about a finger-thick head. Retention was very good. Cascading bubbles showed a moderate amount of carbonation. Mild floral hop aroma malt sweetness were present. I was grateful that the bartender did a good pour on this beer.

Tasting: This beer was well-balanced, with slight malt sweetness along with crisp hop bitterness. It had a slightly oily texture on the middle of the tongue, as well as a lightly-hopped aftertaste. This was a medium-bodied brew, and it went down smoothly and easily.

Sam Adams really hit the spot when I was just sitting at the bar, waiting for friends. I could drink this as a session beer or a fall-back beer. I recommend it for anyone looking to get into craft beer, as well as anyone who wants to enjoy a nice, easy drinking lager.

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

I poured the Boston Lager into my favorite pint glass, allowing about a 2cm head to rise just above the lip of the glass. The head is impressive; with a thick cake-like texture that remained attached to the glass to the last drop of the beer. The color of the beer is appetizing, a light, golden shade.

All the foreplay aside, the beer is thirst quenching and very drinkable; the two qualities that stand out most. The malts of the beer outweigh the hops at first sip, but this seems reversed after swallowing. The two row malts are the first taste distinguished by my nose and tongue as I begin the drink. The aroma of the noble hops almost immediately follows as the beer moves around the interior of my mouth. The hops impart piney and citrus notes primarily. They remain in my taste long after swallowing the beer. The malts and hops are well balanced.

I enjoy this beer thoroughly. It is a regular choice of mine for meals of all types.

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Photo of ypsifly
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24oz with a best before date of June '05, into a mug.

Clear amber with a small white head that falls to a thin veil inside a ring that leaves some lacing as I drink.

Mostly caramel and light hops in the nose. Not very complex, yet clean and balanced.

The taste is also a nice pair of hop and malt with a clean dry finish. The malt provides a good background for the hops to take center stage and linger after the finish.

Medium to light mouthfeel with just enough carbonation tingle to awaken my tastebuds. Goes down smooth and easy.

A great session beer that is easy to find. My favorite for dinner parties. Goes well with just about any meal.

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Photo of oxmasterscream
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, ambered-golden topped by a crisp, white, frothy head.
Smells purely of sweet malt. Just a hint of spicy noble hops and some honey.
Taste is as the smell suggest - solidly malty and quite spicy on the tongue. Finishes extremely clean with just a twinge of bitterness.
Mouth is medium-bodied and very carbonated. Slightly oily; just a bit slick on the tongue.
Easy, tasty drinking but nothing too challenging for the senses.

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

Light, candied sweet fleshy fruit (apricotish) aroma with a pinch of floral hops. Small cream colored head fades quickly to a think film, but leaves a good deal of lace. Not quite transparent copper colored beer with very little carbonation activity. Mildly sweet caramel/butterscotch and toasted malt flavor is enjoyable and balanced by some mildly bitter hops midway though. The bitterness drops back towards the end and the original flavors make a faint reappearance. Body is moderately light, and the mouthfeel is a bit fizzy in the middle, but generally soft. Most of the Boston Lagers I've had were not too bad, but a few, including this bottle, have been really good. It's more miss then hit, but sometimes it just hits the spot.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright bronze color with an average sized head. It smells of very sweet, carmelized malts. Maybe also a bit of hops as well. The taste is nice also. Very rich and malty with a wonderful smooth, clean finish. Great tasting beer. The mouthfeel is great, almost a perfect amount of carbonation in this one. The smoothness and great taste makes it a highly drinkable beer. If this was the only kind of beer left in the whole world, I'd be disappointed, but not sad by any means. Very good beer, especially for its common availability.

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

This was my first real beer and my introduction into craft beer. I still like this beer and drink it everyonce in awhile. This is already a clasic beer. You can read my complete and detailed review of this beer at:

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

Apperance: Clear, light golden apricot. head is white, frothy with lacing that sticks all the way.

Nose: Sweet carmel malt. Slight vanilla in the finish. Some lime.

Taste: Crisp, with some clear hops right away. The hops stays with you all the way through until the end and then vanishes. A little sweet in the middle, syrupy and a little malty. Carbonation sneaks up on you at the end, but it wakes your taste buds up a bit.

Notes: When all they have is Coors, Bud Light and Sam, ALWAYS grab a Sam. In my opinion this is the best, most reliable beer in the US. Great job Jim!!!

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Photo of charlatan
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

24oz bottle with June freshness date.

Beer is amber with good head retention. The smell is very generic (think less offensive adjunct lager riff), but the taste is great for anything calling itself a lager (usually a sign of one-dimensionality in my book). Hops are rather understated, with some herbal tones coming from somewhere, and this balances excellently with some creamy malts. This is nothing fancy, but definitely a well crafted beer, and at 4.75% abv would make a great session brew.

Rarely does such a good beer shift so many units in this fine country America. Don't let its ubiquity scare you off.

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Samuel Adams Boston Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
86 out of 100 based on 2,628 ratings.
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