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

Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale)Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale)
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
English Pale Ale
Ranked #74
Ranked #41,314
3.64 | pDev: 13.19%
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale)Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale)
Reviews: 995 | Ratings: 2,143 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by oldedog:
Photo of oldedog
3/5  rDev -17.6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaconheath
5/5  rDev +37.4%
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.

 847 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

 1,115 characters

Photo of Todd
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. Freshness date clearly scored on the side of the label.

Appearance: Pours an amber coloured beer with orange-red hues. The white head is thick initially and very foamy, creamy and sticky. Excellent head retention throughout the beer's life in the glass.

Smell: Soft hops, a bit fruity with herbal / spice aromas.

Taste: Relatively smooth, however there's a unique hop coarseness to the brew that is leafy initially. Hop flavour is spicy and herbal, with a raw, fresh hop backbone flavour. Bitterness is medium, slightly citrus, although there is an initial bite to awaken the palate. Nice fruity, estery flavour too. Malt sweetness comes around the edges and helps to round this beer off. Body is medium. Finish has some dry grain flavours and a touch of herbal / flowers, but nothing out of balance.

Notes: In my opinion, Boston Ale still stands as one of the best of its kind in America. You simply cannot go wrong with a fresh one. Perfect balance. Perfect drinkability. The perfect fridge beer or fall-back beer, and chances are ... you can always find one.

Accoring to Grant Wood @ Boston Beer Co., Boston Ale is more like an English Pale Ale, "I suppose it is more like an English Pale Ale, more Bass-like. We actually call it a "Stock Ale". It has been krausened and stored on dry hops for 2 weeks."

From Sam Adams:
Samuel Adams Boston Ale was the second beer on the Samuel Adams roster, a robust and spicy ale brewed in 1988 to celebrate the opening of the Samuel Adams Brewery in Boston. The recipe for Boston Ale is from the Koch family archives. Jim's grandfather kept careful brewer's notes which were stored in the family's Cincinnati attic.

Stock ale is one of the few classic beer styles to have originated in the United States, and the style has a strong New England heritage. Stock ales were brewed and fermented in the traditional ale manner and then aged in cool rooms called "stock cellars." The special ales were called "stock" ales because of this extra aging, which gave them a characteristic body and smoothness.

 2,096 characters

Photo of twi1609372
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Boston ale is an excellent part of the sam adams line. it has a good taste, it isnt bitter, smeels and appears nice also. not overwhelming flavor but not watered down. tastes the way an ale should, has to be one of my all time favortie from sam adams.

 251 characters

Photo of EStreet20
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Loved this one the first time I tried it a long time ago as part of my first brewmaster's select 12 pack. Picked a sixer up as part of my contribution to the super bowl party tommorrow but I'm sure no one'll mind me taking one to review for "quality control" today.

12 ounce bottle poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - A very nice translucent copper/orange color with a thick foamy two finger white head. Foam sticks to the glass nicely leaving some lace on the walls of the glass.

S - A bit of a grainy smell with some hops in there. A bit of swetness characteristic of a pale ale.

T - I get the dry grainy taste here a lot with some nice flowery hop taste. A good bitter bite finishes the beer well. All in all a great balanced flavor.

M - A nice feel with some carbonation dancing around. A nice medium mouthfeel that makes this opne nice and crisp.

D - It's better than your average pale ale and really screams SESSION BEER!!!. An interesting enough flavor to make you want more and a beer you can put down all night. Wish they actually had this on tap at some bars in my area.

 1,098 characters

Photo of nullforge
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber color with a foamy, off-white head that slowly collapses to a medium size. The head retains very well and leaves some sticky lace. The nose has a faint pine and citrus hop aroma. It's slightly fruity, but very clean overall. The taste starts with a moderate, earthy hop bitterness that has a dash of spice to it. Malt sweetness helps to balance out the bitterness, but is quite subdued. Crisp fruit flavors follow, backed up by butter (diacetyl). All flavors linger into the finish. Medium bodied with a good carbonation that creates a smooth feel. The feel is also rather slick from the diacetyl. Overall, a very easy drinking pale ale.

This beer tastes slightly different from the last time I had it. It's less malty and more buttery than I remember. Still quite good, though.

 793 characters

Photo of TrevorGW
3.56/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice lush auburn brown color with a dense head that sticks around pretty well.

Aroma is subtle fruits and a little bit of hot metal.

Taste is nice and balanced. Plenty of bread and caramel coming through but not too much else. Slightly more bitter and complex than Boston Lager, but not much more. Nutty finish.

Tight and controlled carbonation, leaving a pretty soft creamy feel in the mouth.

Very quaffable and enjoyable, but certainly nothing to seek out.

 462 characters

Photo of buckyp
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of chasmandocharles
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of WesMantooth
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of ThePostmaster
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is very similar to Samuel Adams Boston Lager. It pours dark amber with a strong head that lasts until the last drop. Smell is very malty, with citrus and piney tones. Carbonation is medium. Mouthfeel is very strong for the type. Almost a ginger or heavy syrup aftertaste. overall, this is very good. excellent brew on a cold winter night.

 348 characters

Photo of Wally1912
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.12/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle a very clear gold with a rich off-white head and some decent lacing.

Sweet and biscuity aroma.

First taste has a sourness that leaps out at you. But there's also a tart and crispness with a sweet maltiness there. Some bitterness at the finish.

Light to mid-mouthfeel with a slick oiliness to the tongue. Medium carbonation.

This is a very sessionable beer. Decent taste for an ale.

 406 characters

Photo of Blueribbon666
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of TrojanWheels
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of beershlitz
5/5  rDev +37.4%

Photo of GFG
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of ManEdward1979
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. amber bottle.

When my wife and I visit my parents, my dad always tries to make sure he gets some good beer for me (it sure beats Bud). This visit saw some SA Boston Ale in the fridge, one of the few SA beers I've not tried. Poured a clear and bright amber in color, with a long-lasting thin layer of white head that does a good job of hanging around and lacing the glass. Aromas of malt step up first, but there is an earthy/grassy hop note as well. Flavor is quite tasty, and very well-balanced between the sweet malts and the bittering hops. Finishes quite clean, with not much of an aftertaste. Good creamy mouthfeel. A great session beer. My favorite SA beer to date.

 681 characters

Photo of scooter231
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a lovely find, especially on a hot summer day. It poured a pretty golden red color, very clear, a good amount of head that fizzled down to a nice ring. Nose is lemony and dry. Tangy comes to mind. Taste is really quite refreshing- citrusy, zesty.

Mouthfeel is bubbly and delicious, smooth, light. Very very drinkable- the perfect beer to have lying around in your fridge always. Lip-smacking good.

 409 characters

Photo of Riccymon
2.82/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep orange from the bottle with a couple nice, frothy fingers of white head. A bit of lacing, and the foam never quite dissipates. I smell a bit of malt and not much hoppiness, which surprised me given the pale ale style it inhabits. There's also a dry, sawdust note in there. I taste some piney hops and more biscuity malt, and I find a buttery flavor and mouthfeel that reminded me of Old Speckled Hen. Mouthfeel is what I expect from a pale ale--a little sticky--and after biking home from work on this 95-degree day, this was nice and drinkable.

This isn't my go-to pale, but it's an enjoyable selection as part of the SA Brewmaster's Variety case.

 663 characters

Photo of diabecktic
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slowly rising carbonation is visible through a translucent light-amber color. The pour left me with slightly < 1 finger of creamy, white head. However, the retention and lacing were both excellent.

A biscuity malt dominates the nose, but hoppiness is also present in decent balance; I found the latter to be a bit subdued. To say it simply, I think of a "hearty" sweetness which features a subtle hint of caramel.

The flavor closely matches the nose. However, I found the hoppiness to be a bit more apparent on the palate. Bitterness is apparent up front; the sweet, caramel-like malth helps "melt" this sensation away.

This beer is fairly rich, but not quite creamy. It's moderately dense with medium body. Though smooth for the most part, hops do tingle the tongue a little bit.

The balance is excellent, so it makes for a great sipping experience. I could see myself enjoying this beer with nearly any food in any season.

I'm not quite sure what others will say, but this beer reminds me of the Boston Lager. Aside from the obvious differences between yeast, I found the overall taste to be quite similar. However, I think that the Ale is a bit more smooth and a bit less crisp than the Lager. I'm quite pleased with this beer. In the future, I would love to do a side-by-side tasting because I'm not sure if I experienced some sort of "memory bias" during the tasting.

 1,440 characters

Photo of littleporter
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Pjev11
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 2143 ratings