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 cindyjeffsmith
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Light, clear Amber. Nice big off white head and lacing
Smell: nice malt sweetness and a bit of hop and spice.
Taste: much like the nose. Not something I seek out but not a bad brew at all.

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Photo of XsoldoutX
2.34/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Tastes like a bad US IPA, and is pretty gross overall. Every couple of years, for whatever reason I have one of these (this time because I was on a plane and the pickings were slim) and then immediately kick myself in the pants for buying one. Sorry.

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Photo of jakej0305
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful amber color with a fairly large head that thins out. Smells strongly of hopps and a little malt, with the taste to follow. Hopps taste are very strong but not overpowering. Smooth finish with a great after taste. Good beer.

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Photo of ronjohn
4.95/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

IMHO as perfect as beer gets. I'm a fan of rich lagers and IPAs. I enjoy a number of complex IPAs but I have kept coming back to Sam Adams Boston Lager for what tastes to me like a perfect glass of beer. This is a gateway beer for a lot of people who make the jump from Bud or Coors into craft beers - it's an impressive beer on its own. Full hops sweet not bitter rich not heavy. Pretty easy to drink 3 or 4 of these.

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Photo of Tgo2002
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been drinking this since the early 90s. It's my reference beer, a classic. There is value in going into a restaurant 1,500 miles from home and being certain that I'm ordering a good beer. (And I get peeved when all they have is a Sam Adams seasonal, which I usually don't care for.) Amusing that some 21st Century beer snobs insist on dissing it.

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Photo of Sabtos
2.47/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Gold with two fingers of a uniform head that recedes to a thin layer with clingy lace.

Buttery bread and malty aromas. In actuality, the nose is very subdued, almost non-existent.

Sharp flavor--almost spicy--with crackers, bread, and corn.

Crisp finish.

For how proud Jim Koch is of this beer, it's only a small step up from the big AALs, and not something I'd revisit intentionally, given the current state of nearly unlimited options.

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Photo of portwood
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Smell: very malty, caramel, pleasant hops.
Taste: relatively thick mouthfeel (compared to the avg lager), creamy carbonation, malty sweet.
Finish: light bitterness, hint of dry smoke.
(can bb Sep 2016)

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It’s the original Sam Adams beer that started it all, not just for Sam Adams, but arguably for the craft beer craze in America in general. This lager pours a color somewhere between golden and russet with a fairly large white creamy head and a pretty high amount of carbonation. It leaves a nice lacing. The smell is almost nonexistent, but is faintly of malt and a little bit of citrus. The flavor has some bready, slightly caramel, malt character with some hops that come peeking out at the end and a little citrus coming out with it. There is a little bit of an earthy taste to it also. It’s a pretty well balanced beer, but not too exciting. The body is medium, but must have looked heavy compared to all those mass produced beers when this first came out. The finish is crisp. Over all I would say this is fairly average, or maybe a little bit above as far as Sam Adams beers go, but it’s a long shot better than most other mass produced American beers.

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Photo of Guppy314
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Boston Lager pours with a short but dense, white head. The body is clear and dark golden in appearance. The aroma is full of floral, spicy hops. This continues into the first taste. It has a malty sweetness that finishes with a nice hoppy bite. The bitterness and carbonation lingers leaving a refreshing feeling.

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Photo of MusaJames
4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours into a glass with an Amber color. Smells good forgive the lack of details my nose isn't very good but the fact I can smell it is a good sign. The taste is full bodied with plenty of hops. Feels great no complaints in that department. Definitely a beer I could drink regularly.

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Photo of sennoma
3.37/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Solid drinkable lager, finishes just a little bitter and lingers on the palate. Smell is warm, yeasty, beery, comforting goodness. Good mouthfeel, crisp and clean.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.37/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Amber colored lager, 1/2" off white head. Aroma was mild grains, sweetness.

Taste has a nice malt toast caramel impression, somewhere along the lines of an Oktoberfest or Marzen. Minimal levels of hops, bitterness and body.

I can see why this blew up and got big. It does have more substance and flavor than most mass produced lagers. Its smooth. They didn't skimp when making a beer with some specialty malts instead of using loads of corn and 6 row barley. Old world hops.

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Photo of Rock_Glenn
2.98/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Definitely tastes like an American take on a Vienna. While the mouth-feel and it's look in a glass are pretty good the beer tastes like a garbled mess to me. The hop profile seems nice at times to the nose, but comes out tasting bland with almost every sip. The balance of malt to hops is nice, unfortunately neither the malt or hops selection seems innovative or even good tasting.

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Photo of dcjones82
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my go to beer when at a restaurant or bar. I'm a big fan of Vienna style, amber lagers, and this is one of the better ones out there. This review is of a 12 oz. bottle from my fridge.

L- Golden amber color, over a finger of off-white creamy head. Nice lacing on tulip style beer glass.
S- Caramel, malt, roasted nut, hops. Very fulfilling amber lager smell.
T- Very hop forward for this style. Caramel malt flavor, roasted bitterness. Finishes very nice and refreshing.
F- Full mouth feel, heavy style lager. You definitely know your drinking a full bodied beer.
O- I'm a little biased towards this beer, I do buy it often. If I had any negatives about it, it would be that it's heavy, maybe too bitter sometimes. If you love light beers or adjunct lagers, you will probably hate this. This maybe a little too much for someone new to beer to start out on, but it should be tried by everyone at least once. Very nice beer! Highly recommended!

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Photo of abarquerov
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Peach gold with reddish notes. Almost no head.
S: Very fresh peach-critus-champagne aroma.
T: Very similar to the smell. Champagne-ish aftertaste with some bitternes and astringency.
F: Creamy with nice moderate carbonation.

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Photo of Squire123
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bright rose gold, if it were handed to me as a red ale I wouldn't argue.

Aroma: Very nice blend of malt and hops.

Taste: Solid. Rich malt cake with hop icing. Consistent flavor all the way through, finishing clean and crisp with lingering malt touches. What other Viennas aspire to be.

Texture: Medium leaning towards full.

Overall: A very well crafted (yeah, that's what I said) beer in the Vienna style. I say that like I really know what I'm talking about, every Vienna I've had tasted different, but the style brings to mind caramel malty richness with balancing hops and that describes this beer pretty well.

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Photo of bbtkd
3.49/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not too bad for a beer stuck in limbo between craft and macro. Certainly much better than macro AAL such as Bud or Miller as it is sweeter and less dry. I wonder if the recipe has varied or if my taste has, but the first time I tried this I liked it more than the last time I did, where it seemed a bit more bitter and less grainy.

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

This beer really started it all for me, I used to think it was Sierra Nevada Pale Ale but this one really started it for me.

MUCH BETTER on draft, this is a beer I'd order at a bar if there really isn't much to choose from.

The look is gorgeous lets be real. It looks so good and mouth watering.

Some sense of hops, malty and some caramel notes in the taste. It can be filling but it's the perfect beer to go with wings.


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Photo of The_Atom
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber color well into a pint glass. Smells of slightly spicy hops with a strong malt presence - a solid balance between malt and hops in my opinion. A rich, smooth, medium body with consistent flavor throughout the experience. I've been a fan of this classic for a while.

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Photo of ChrisSRT4
3.14/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a dented can into an empty water bottle. Beer was all head and needed 5 ice cubes to chill it down (3 is my max...5 is preposterous). Aroma is very turnip forward (as in a lot of Sam Adams beers) and reminds me of blueberry chill and fun in Hawaii. Taste is that of Vienna, which is quite, minty and slightly of moth balls. Mouthfeel was of a fine aged custard. Overall this is a great beer designed in Boston and maid in Vienna.

*The dented can looked at me very judgemental.

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Photo of fireman7575
4.71/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Nice amber color, looks very good in a pint glass
S: Good spicy hop aroma with notes of sweet malt
T: Same as nose, very well balanced lager
F: Good carbonation, not at all a watery feel
O: One of my favorite lagers, not as flashy as other craft brews but you can never go wrong with it.

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear amber with fast-faded clingy white top that settles to a ring. Aroma is of a spicy hop yielding to sweet bready malt. Flavor is much the same as the nose. While I'm not a hug fan of the hop load, it is excellently balance and appropriate for the style. Finishes a bit dry and slightly bitter.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed in Roger Protz' " 300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"
On the "1001" list, this probably deserves to be on the list for its role in bringing a tasty alternative to the largest number of American palates early in the craft movement. In fact, it could be argued that Sam Adams was among the first, and probably is still the best, at marketing. Boston Lager was first brewed in 1984.
More malty than hoppy (tho still balanced), this beer goes well with a variety foods, particularly summer salads.

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Photo of BlakeA85
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into Pilsner glass. Poured a pretty golden amber color, clear and decently carbonated.
Smells of rich malt and a nice spicy hop character.
Tastes of nice quality malt, hay and a really nice, spicy hop again.
Mouthful is very nice, smooth and crisp.
Overall, extremely nice and balanced lager and I think it deserves the rep it gets.

 357 characters

Photo of Skor
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sam Adams- Boston Lager on Draught. Vienna Lager 4.9% ABV 29 IBU poured into 17.5oz Munique Glass. Consumed & written 4/6/16. Typed on BA 4/28/16

Look- Caramel, filtered light brown/amber hue. 1" head tried to stay. about thumbnail after 15 minutes

Aroma- Sweet and full of caramel

Taste- Caramel, dank, semi dry and lightly bitter finish. Glazed muffin biscuity flavors

Aftertaste- Dry, light bitterness

Mouthfeel- medium-high carbonation, smooth, light body

Overall- Excellent for the style! maybe a little too sweet. Great color, carbonation, and texture. Head retention was poor even with the glass helping it out.

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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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