Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale) | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale)Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale)

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

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-12-2001

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Reviews: 978 | Ratings: 2,088
Photo of laramis
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Dark amber with red color coming through in the light. Decent head of off white, didn't last long but did lace the glass pretty well.

Smell: Bread notes that are quickly dominated by hop spices. There is a slight malt sweet smell but it's very much in the background.

Taste: Hops are very noticeable with a crisp taste up front. This is followed by an apple taste that is then replaced by a bitter flavor that lasted to the aftertaste.

Feel: A bit lighter than I expected, slightly reminiscent of the lager, not too carbonated and certainly not prickly. It is refreshing and pleasant.

Overall: Pretty solid choice. At first I was not super impressed but it grows on you. As with most San Adams beers it's a safe bet, not amazing but always very good.

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Photo of pat61
4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

S: aromas not big.Moderate spicy, floral hop aromas and moderately low bread crust and bread crumb aromas. Caramel malt and yeast derived fruit aromas are low.

L: It pours brilliant copper amber with a lacy 1" off-white to cream colored foam cap that takes 4 minutes to reduce to a thick film.

T: starts creamy and malty with caramel, bread crust, and bread crumb flavors. Hop flavors are moderate. British malt flavors are moderately high with an initial malty sweetness with caramel notes drying on the finish. Yeast driven fruit flavors suggest stone fruit and are moderate. The initial balance leans to the malt but as it progresses over the tongue the balance moves more to the middle finishing with lingering bitter hops and malt flavors.

F: Smooth with no astringency and low alcohol warmth. Medium to medium full body and medium carbonation.

O: This very drinkable beer is more British than American with more malt and less hops but it is very drinkable.

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Pours a copper orange color with a one finger, off white head.

Smell: Aroma isn't terribly impressive, but it's not bad. Rather faint hints of honey and macintosh apples... some notions of caramel malt and a bit of butterscotch. A whisper of floral noble hops hiding somewhere in the back.

Taste: Malt forward, but reasonably well balanced. Sweet, bready flavors of fresh made spongecake with a caramel glaze upfront. Midpalate fruity hints of apples and honey, even vague hints of cotton candy. It ends on dry, bitter flavors of floral hops to help stave off the sweetness, but ultimately caramel malt dominates the aftertaste.

Feel: A little watery. Medium body with light carbonation. Sweet.

Overall: I can see this going well with comfort food like pizza, burgers, tacos, bbq and the like, but it's a little too sweet for me. Not bad, not great.

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Photo of Beaconheath
5/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There may be no such thing as a perfect beer, but this one comes perhaps as close as is humanly possible. The rich, grainy malt base holds its own compared with traditional brews of Europe. The hopping at 34 IBUs is plenty firm but, because the hops are noble English varieties — East Kent Goldings and Fuggles — one speaks in this case, not of "balance" or "harmony," but of seamless integration with the malt. Being a revival of a 19th-century St Louis recipe, it would be inapt to judge this beer by the evolving standards of post-1980 APAs, much less IPAs. For the focus isn't on hops as such, it's about a totality that's more than the parts. Beautiful deep amber, lasting frothy head, full flavor in line with the broad heritage of the last half-millennium. Fads come and go; this is a beer of perennial quality. Most highly recommended.

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Photo of Squire123
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Apearance: Deep Amber.

Aroma: Malt and hops in equal proportion.

Taste: Slightly rougher relation of Boston Lager. Less sweet, or it seems so, probably due to the hops. Bigger and brasher without matching the sophistication of the Lager.

Texture: Good Ale weight, carries a feeling of being substantial without being heavy.

Overall: Something different for customers who already like Boston Lager.

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Photo of bbtkd
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nose and taste are malty and sweet, slight bitterness, but quite drinkable. One of their two premier beers, and while I prefer Boston Ale, this is a close 2nd.

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Photo of Wer34truh
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a well-carbonated amber color with a two-finger large head.

Smell is dominated by grains and barley. There's some sweet fruit in this, but it's overwhelmed by the rest.

The taste is relatively similar to the smell. There's quite a bit of caramel malt sweetness. Mouthfeel is light, but enjoyable.

This is solid, sort of boring, but okay.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For when Boston Lager is just too thick, too heavy for your non beer drinking friends to look for a beer, there comes this, the middle ground between BMC Macro AAL and Big Craft Lagers, there is this, a lighter, more accessible ale for the masses.

Yellow, but sturdy, not overly watery. Keeps away from having the caramel noticebale like in the lager, this is all about the toasted pale malts and light floral English hops.

Nothing wrong with it. Just doesn't really have a place unless you're against the imagery of a normal BMC or if you want something more to your pale ales like aggressive hopping or bitterness.

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Photo of DrCDPriest
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice malt flavors and ale style beer. Good rich color, nice head when poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a cold glass. Excellent aroma, good middle-ground mix of hops and wheat. Flavor is excellent, really an easy ale to enjoy.
It is a typical ale style with fruity notes and sweeter finish than the Boston Lager, which is more crisp and dry, but excellent as well.
Have to agree with The-Adjunct-Hippie, "I may like Boston Ale better than Boston Lager...If you haven't yet, give this one a shot, you may like it."

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours out a toffee color into my Samuel Adams glass, with a thick, buzzy popcorn colored head of 3 fingers. Lace is left pretty generously on the sides. Opacity is 20%.

Smells like toffee, caramel malts, baked nuts, more baked caramel malt, a touch of berry, and just a hint of orange peel.

First taste is of fresh trash, but then it washes back and covers everything in a beautiful caramel malt sweetness. A touch of hop makes an effort to balance this out a bit, but it is by far more malty than hoppy. Aftertaste is of citrus rinds breathing piney air, with fresh bread. There's a certain cheapness about it, but it's also pretty much begging for more drinks.

It feels pretty clunky and syrupy, with only a mild carbonation making an apperance. It ends rough and textured, sappy even, but there's a crispness on the back end that helps it a bit.

I may like Boston Ale better than Boston Lager (although there's no direct correlation or competition of the two besides namesake), but I'd have to try another before I was totally sold on the notion. If you haven't yet, give this one a shot, you may like it.

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Photo of Samlover55
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

bb feb 16
12oz bttle poured into tulip
L- light brown/reddish, thin off white head, no retention leaves lacing
S- fruity, slight malt
T- hits the tongue with real nice fruitiness, and it lingers there along with some slight breadiness followed by a real nice balanced spicy finish to the tune of white pepper
F- medium bodied bubbly carbonation but lightly
O- the nose tipped me off but the fruitiness just explodes all the tongue, real nice balance all around, extremely solid above average ale

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Photo of Brian_L-2056
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep orange color into a typical pint with plenty of off-white head. Smell has kind of citrus notes and even a hint of that Oktoberfest smell that I grew to love this past fall. Initial taste is crisp & lightly fruity. Unfortunately the aftertaste turns bitter and dry. If the aftertaste stayed like the beginning it would definitely be a winner. Overall, honestly not to impressed with this one.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a tag into pint glass in November 2015.

Appearance: Medium Amber with light head. Beer color is clear and not cloudy. Head is thin, and leaves a film on the glass.

Smell: Aroma is a mix of hops, citrus, and some sweetness. There is some pine aromas as well.

Taste: The taste is dominated by the citrus and pins flavors of the hops. There is a little bite from the hops, and some malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Light alcohol, which confirms the 5.4% advertised.

This is a smooth medium-bodied Pale Ale. Good drinking Ale, and something different with a nice variety of flavors.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

[bought a loose bottle - no best-buy date (all 2016) notched on label... poured into a shaker]

L: really creamy-spongy foam, reminiscent of some bottle-conditioned Belgian ales... the liquid's a crystal-clear reddish-amber... somehow held foam till the the end, messy lace top-to-bottom

S: very vibrant aromas of estery dough, light caramel, spice-d hops... if a textbook English pale ale is what they're going for, they've done alright, though the overall smell may come across as a bit canned, indistinctive, and on par with many a larger craft breweries' (Saranac, Long Trail, et al) 'standard English pale' - hope that makes sense... somethings just a bit off in their execution

T: the caramel malt intensity is flavorful, but a bit much - its character more akin to an American amber ale than a British pale... the peculiar xmas spice in the nose is also found on the palate, notably in the finish and aftertaste... thankfully, the bitterness is just biting and lasting enough to give a little depth... arguably metallic and gravel-y tones in the aftertaste

F: rather smooth, like a true, bottled British ale that's been sitting on an American liquor store shelf for 4-6 months... for the perceived flaws in their use of the caramel malt, it does seem to add enough to the body to make this seem different enough from the BL

O: has that unmistakable Sam Adams amber-colored-beer malt character that makes this taste not all that different from their Octoberfest, Boston Lager, and probably a few other brands from their classically bloated portfolio... it's tastes like something produced from lab computations as opposed to something truly 'crafted'... really couldn't drink more than two of these when sober

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Photo of delcobrewzzz
4.74/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

this is good....on all counts....rating reflects the ever-relative style...very English pale with an American touch.

a balanced, less known brother to the famous Lager...which, too, is a classic (like SNevada's Pale)...just can't go wrong with this if you want a balanced, heftier 'session' ale...savor this one and let the not-in-your-face (but assertive enough) mellow malts, crisp/fresh hops, deep tawny color, herbal nose and solid brew do its job...

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Photo of Nyg
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty good for few. Just a good all around ale. I prefer this over the lager. Pour clear/amber with a bit of a caramel malt with a light spice and a short lasting bite of bitter

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 3-20-15. Threshold Beer Glass. BB August 2015.

Appearance: Some smoke on popping the cap. Golden amber. Pours 1 finger sandy head. Very nice retention, rocky 1/8 inch of retention. Significant carbonation.

Aroma: "Aley" smell. Amber ale smell. Caramel mal. Smells very English hoppy.

Taste: Very much an amber ale - dry arrival, caramel malt mid-palate, no sweetness. Turns bitter toward the end. Fruitiness hits mid-palate; blackberry leaf?

Mouthfeel: Hefty. Good carbonation, not overdone.

Overall: More like an amber ale than an English Pale Ale. Exactly what I was looking for. Contrary to the web/reviews this is NOT exactly like the Boston Lager. That is refreshing and has more noble hop aroma. If I think of this as an assertive Amber, it's right up there with the best of them, more assertive than Bell's or Sawtooth. [Postscript: did a side-by-side with Boston Lager, and this is by far the bolder beer in every respect. More hops (which are decidedly English in character, to the BL's noble lineage), more malt, more fruity character (esters or hops, can't really tell; it's subtle), and WAY more carbonation.]

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Photo of drunkenmess
2.68/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Average beer for Sam Adams. Wanted something with a little more hops, so I strayed from my usual (comfort zone) stout and porter thirst. And this is defintley a more bitter beer then I'm used to. Pours a very light amber color with an excellent light tan head. Minimal lacing. Smells of yeast to me and also wheat idk... mayb its me. At first taste it was bitter then quickly went away till the next swig, as i keep drinking it gets smoother. Nice after taste. Overall... not bad Sam, not bad.
P.S. goes really good with sloppy joes

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Photo of TaylorLH22
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Color is a nice light brown. Smells bready, caramel malts, hops, barly that's been toasted. The taste is good nice balance of hops with the barley and malts. This is a good brew for average joes wanting to expand into the more hop forward beers. It can take a long time to develop a palate for hops, especially seeing as how the general public has shunned anything with more then the lowest IBU rating. If you're joe six pack then you are probably wondering what's the point in developing a palate for hops. Well... For one you will get major respect from fellow beer snobs for ordering an IPA. On a flavor level hops can impart a lot of different flavor a other then bitterness. Probably the most famous is a "piney" flavor. This is a great place to start on the road to the holy grail of beerdom, the IPA.

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass

Appearance: pours a 1" off white head that falls slowly with abundant lacing. Color is a hazy amber with moderate streaming carbonation.

Aroma: fairly mild aroma of caramel and toasted barley, a hint of hops as well

Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied slick with a somewhat wet finish.

Flavor: caramel is dominate along with biscuit, toasted bread crust, and a bitter earthy hops.

Overall: very well done and enjoyable.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Pours a clear amber/orange with a one-finger head of small bubbled foam. Rings of lacing.

S - Moderate strength aroma; very bready, almost like raw dough. A hint of candied fruitiness.

T - Caramel malts forward. Baked wheat bread, butter, some toffee. Hints of red apple and in the mid-palate. Sweeter tasting. Mild English hops bring some balancing bitterness in the finish. Hops are earthy, spicy, and floral. Picks up a little "paste" taste in the finish as it warms.

M - Medium bodied, with delicate carbonation. Very pleasant creaminess. Feel matches the flavor profile very well. Crisp finish.

O - Underrated English pale ale, and probably BBC's best regular offering. I remember enjoying these many moons ago and I am pleased to see how well this one has held up over time. Would love to see this included in variety packs over the lager. Not as good as the very best English Pales (Fullers, etc.), but solid nonetheless. I can see me picking up a few of these over the course of a year.

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Photo of jmbranum
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't had a Sam Adams in ages, but thanks to all of the ads during the Sons of Liberty miniseries on the History Channel, I decided to give it another try. (I actually didn't notice until later that this is the Boston Ale and not the Boston Lager)

Pours a light amber with a short off-white head.

Aroma is a bit off to me. I can't put my finger on it but I'm not keen on it.

Thankfully the flavor is nice. Very grain-malt oriented. Nice background of hops. Starts dry but ends sweeter. This seems like a very English-style well-balanced beer.

Nicely carbonated mouthfeel.

This beer was ok but the aroma really hurt it. I'm wondering if maybe I just picked up a bad six pack?

Later edit: I just noticed the freshness date on the bottle. It says best if enjoyed before "August 2014." Oops... well I will review this one again soon when I can find a fresh batch.

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Photo of rhester14
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

In my opinion this tastes ALOT like boston lager, just in an ale (lighter) fare. A wonderful beer for me especially seeing as my favorite beer is the Boston Lager. Cheers!

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Photo of predikit
3.27/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear amber, left a one finger off-white head with good retention. Leaves plenty of lacing down the sides of the glass.

Smells bready, I consider this to be a rather standard 'ale' smell. Hard to put into words otherwise.

Piney hops takes forefront, slightly sweet, with a hint of barley malt for the finish. A little hop forward, but by the time I got to the end of the glass it mellowed out quite a bit.

Medium body, medium carbonation, leaves a bit of residue that sticks around for awhile.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Sampling with now on 11/17/14 with dinner. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a Samuel Adam's Boston Lager pint glass.

This isn't their original 'Boston Lager' at all as the label is different as well as the brew. This 'English Pale Ale' style brew pours a pretty clear copper-amber in color with about a 1/2 finger white head that settles down to around 2mm after a while. A decent amount of lacing is seen when sipped that sticks to the glass. The aroma is very pleasant and is of grains, biscuit, with a hint of caramel also. More going on with the taste with a hint of fruit (dark?) also. Finishes just a tad dry but good. Actually, wasn't sure how this brew was going to be overall. Medium-bodied with perfect carbonation. Overall, it was good and probably even better on tap.

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Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,088 ratings.
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