Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
974 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 974 | Ratings: 2,076
Photo of DavidST
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle, with use by August date.

The appearance was good, a nice amber color, a fluffy white head with some light foamy lacing. The smell is of caramel malts a little hops but not very prominent. The body is medium light with carbonation. The taste is good, some malty sweetness followed by a little hoppy bitterness on the way down (which was more than expected from the smell). Overall this is a good beer, I prefer the Boston Lager but this is one I'll get again, an easy to drink tasty beer.

 510 characters

Photo of fx20736
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a English Style Nonic.

mellow shade of amber with a faint coppery hue. A Thin offwhite head leaves gorgeous lacing.

Aroma of Pale maltiness, apple-grape fruitiness with a subdued spicy hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: soft but full

taste: broad maltiness with a complex layer of hops which are slightly earthy and slightly fruity but are well balanced with the malt. Ale finishes with a faint bitterness which is stimulating.

Notes: This version of an English Bitter is a great American Beer, full of sublety, balance and flavor. This is two thirds the price of Fuller's London Pride but every bit as flavorful and refreshing. Widely available, affordable and delicious this ranks up there with GLBC Edmund Fitzgerald as one of the great contributions to Brewcraft. I love this beer.

 805 characters

Photo of pzrhsau
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours a great crisp golden color with some nice yellow highlights from the clear body. Nice white head.
S: Nice bready aroma with some hoppiness at the end. Slightly bitter.
T: Crisp and light bready flavor with some woody/bitterness from the hops. Good tavern style ale. Great flavor to have in a nice crowded bar.
M/O: Crisp and refreshing session style beer with great aroma/flavor and texture.

 409 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours out as a an amber color with a white head on top. The beer looks pretty clean and crisp looking. The smell is a little less hoppy as the Boston Lager. The taste of the beer is good, it's a little bit lighter. Overall it's a good ale, it probably won't ever have the popularity of the Lager but is deserves a fair chance.

 336 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours pale orange. A large head rises and retains quite well. Laces good too. The beer is clear and bubbly.

S-Soft nose. A hint of maltiness combined with some light hops. A muted, yet somewhat favorable aroma.

T-Well balanced and pretty mellow. Hops compliment the sugary sweetness well. The flavor is also light. I prefer more agressive flavors but overall, not bad on the tongue.

M-Light and crisp. Like most every other aspect of the beer, the feel is subtle yet attractive.

O/D-Nothing bad to be said about this one, I find Boston Lager to be superior to this beer however. I just can't see myself going into a liquor store and coming out with a six-pack of this. Just doesn't wow me enough. But if anyone is looking for a mellow, easy drinker, give this a shot.

 773 characters

Photo of OldRaysputin
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an amber with a Frothy head. looks like a nice english pub ale

S: There isn't a bunch going on here but some nice sweet caramel and malty notes. But then again i wasn't expecting a bunch here. I tend to love the drinkability of an english ale, not the smell as much.

T: Smoooth. You get some nice light hoppiness in here with some light fruits. But big winner is the malts. They aren't overwhelming but then again, i don't want that in an ale like this.

M/D: This is where im giving big points. Its silky smooth and could drink this all day. Very enjoyable!!!!

 572 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with nearly 3 fingers of eggshell-white head. This settles down into a frothy ½ finger, which leaves back a rich cascade of lacing. The aroma has a fresh leafy spiciness to it, with a ripe citric nature that mingles with the sweet smelling breadiness of the malts to impart a ripe green tang in the nose.

The taste is grassy in the mouth, with a green citric bitterness that is balanced by sweet notes of caramel and toast and even a light splash of butter in the backend. The finish sticks to the tongue with a dry pithiness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a firm crispness to the carbonation, yet it also has a soft underside to it that keeps this smooth in the mouth.

This was decent. Maybe a touch too earthy and bitter in spots but this seems mostly well balanced for the most part and the crisp yet smooth body helped keep this fairly approachable. Ultimately though, if I was going to buy of sixer of something from Sam Adams, I’d just settle for their Lager.

 1,035 characters

Photo of biteme398
3.22/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Color certainly isn't pale but rather a light amber. Head is fairly big and lacing is present. Smell is of hops and flowers and there is actually a bit of a roasted smell there too. The taste threw me off a little bit. The hops that are present in the style are there but not as "forward" as other types. A bit of spiciness too. Mouthfeel is very smooth. I think I would prefer its cousin, the SA Pale Ale, over this. The Boston Ale isn't bad but perhaps a little average.

 472 characters

Photo of bosox941827
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into Great Dane imperial pint glass
A - Pours a clear amber/brown, with very fine carbonation (*almost* similar to nitrogen) that forms a one finger head, which quickly dissipates.
S - Caramel malts mostly, and a bit of grapefruit hops.
T - Malts dominate this one, but it does finish with hoppy dryness. Haven't had this one in a while, and it is less hoppy than I remember it; a bit of sweetness and pale/caramel malts on the front, resolving into a hint of hoppiness, which is not really all too assertive. Has a similar taste to the Boston Lager, but with a less distinctive finish (which I attribute to the Hallertau Milltelfreu hops). Finish is dry and nice though.
M - A bit creamy and smooth, but dry. Very nice.
It's been many years since I had this one, and I used to think it was fairly hoppy. No more, but that doesn't make it a bad beer; will definitely come back to this more often, as it is a tasty, sessionable beer, something that is getting hard to find these days.

 997 characters

Photo of LiquidBread219
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A very clear, darker orange brew with a decent amount of carbonation. A strong head on it that stuck around for a little bit.

S - Not a lot of smell on this. Caramel malts with just a little bit of hops.

T - A beer with nice balance. It is a little sweet from the malts the the hops cuts through it nicely and adds just a touch of bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D - Only gave it a three because it's not quite as drinkable as it should be considering the low ABV. That said, wouldn't have a problem doing at least two.

 561 characters

Photo of wcintula
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad beer, poured into a tumbler with that classic head to be expected from Sam Adams above the orange copper body. Head leaves behind some lacing. A little biscuit-y/metallic in the nose with a herbal hop note as well. As the brew warms, of course the metal fades. The taste follows through but all in all, these two senses are mild. Decent body, with good carbonation. A good, sessionable beer, but I want more from it.

 426 characters

Photo of JesteR14
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Nice copper color. Milky head that leaves a nice lace on the top of the glass.

S- Classic adams malts wth some mild hops and some dark sweetness... Brown sugar??

T- Smooth. Low carbonation which makes this very nice to drink. I get malts, some wheat and grain but it focuses on malts. I love it for the great brown maltness with the dark sweetness to pull this brew all together.

M- Smooth on the tongue and i like it. Great beer!

D- great drinkable beer. Nothing else about it.

 485 characters

Photo of yuenglingfan101
5/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

has in between a golden and amber look to it. Smell of some caramel. Taste of apricot and caramel. The mouthful says it all. A sweet feeling and taste that begs you to drink more and more. Drinkabilty is fine, Goes down easy and able to drink a good six pack

 258 characters

Photo of mikeal1917
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A classic pale ale that I was extremely excited to taste from my 12 pack adventure....

Appearance: Very dark brown, chocolate/reddish hue. Exceptional

Smell: Sweet and nutty smell that begs you to drink the brew. One of the finest beer smells I've encountered.

Taste: Malted and Robust, with definite taste of nuts and possibly caramel, similar to the Scotch Ale. Sweetness as well.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, oily feeling on the tongue. Smooth though.

Drinkabilty: Very heavy, but drinkable. This would be a one or two brew, very hearty.

 534 characters

Photo of Aphexwolf
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance:Pale brown-coppery, clear. Thick head, good retention, excellent lacing, medium carbonation.
Smell: Malty sweet smell balanced with a faint hint of hops.
Taste: Bitter and dark taste of hops, not much malt here. Lingering aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Medium thickness, not as much froth as anticipated.
Drinkability: Medium, leaves a small feeling of fullness. Can drink 2-3 in a sitting.
Summary: This is a good beer. I gave it 7.9/10 or C+. I like the color and appearance. I'm particularly impressed in the head. It has a nice smell to it. This beer works my appetite up and makes me hungry, which makes me think it would be great with appetizers for company. This being the first ale I've tasted with no other ales to compare it too, I would say this is a fine ale and I would drink it again.

 802 characters

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

A solid standby thats always reliable when nothing else craft is available. Hop and malt balance is perfect with hops aplenty to satisfy the hophead in a desperate situation. Hops are less apparent in the nose but extremely foward and even have a certain roughness on the palette.
An almost oily feel on the tongue and tons of wetness.
Defintely a quality brew to quaff.

 370 characters

Photo of avaccani
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Copper to amber in color. Had a decent 2 finger off white head.

S - Getting some caramel, biscuit and faint hop aroma.

T - Nothing great. A sweeter APA. Maybe I just like hoppier APA's but this one just isn't doing it for me.

M - Carbonation was fine.

D - I had 2 and that was enough for me. I wouldn't seek it out again, but I wouldn't turn it down either.

 365 characters

Photo of Tundruth
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Amber in color with a puffy head that has decent retention

Smells hoppy and slighty fruity/sweet

Tastes very much like bread, I also picked up on alot of bitter hops in there as well as a nice maltiness. Kind of has a caramel aftertaste to it.

This beer is smooth with a flavorful, full bodied profile.

Its good, but not great.

 332 characters

Photo of Lauthaha
4.44/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer glass.

Appearance: Deep golden hue, bordering on amber. Moderately heavy carbonation is visible. Head is a cream or off-toffee color, and maintains at about a centimeter. Wispy lacing as the head recedes.

Smell: Light buttery tone to the mix. Gentle toffee-type malt with a marginally more aggressive hop profile. Almost smells like a Belgian brew. Not too overpowering, not too shallow. Just a touch of cinnamon and carrot-cake or pumpkin-pie flavor to the nose as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer is creamy throughout the entire drink. A medium level of sweetness brought on by a sturdy malt backbone is accented here by a very floral hop profile. This is quite possibly the best-tasting Samuel Adams beer I have ever tried.

Drinkability: I think this is even better than their Boston Lager. If it were on tap locally, I'd use this as a go-to beer. Very intriguing little brew here.

Bought this on a whim this afternoon, and it REALLY hit the spot. Lots of flavor, with a normal ABV which allows for maximum enjoyment with minimum revenge later on. Excellent!

 1,103 characters

Photo of fdw3
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with a white head that retains moderately well and laces quite nicely. Smell is slightly sweet but with noticeable hop qualities and is overall pretty mild and straightforward. Taste is well-balanced with a bit of malty, caramel sweetness mixed with fruit and spice notes that ends slightly bitter. Body is moderately light with moderate carbonation that finishes clean and crisp.

A very drinkable "good" beer that isn't complex but also avoids being boring. This isn't something I would seek out, but I would certainly enjoy it if someone handed it to me.

 578 characters

Photo of beastfromtheeast
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours out with a good amount of slightly off-white head with minimal retention. However, there is a fair amount of lacing to nicely complement this beer's relaxing amber color.

Smell: Spicy hops scent accompanied by a subtle, sweet fruity smell.

Taste: Apparent earthy / spicy hops, along with a noticeable yet less powerful sweet caramel malt flavor. Quite bitter.

Mouthfeel: Rather smooth with a very light carbonation and medium body.

Drinkability: Certainly aesthetically pleasing, but the bitterness ends up dominating the taste, although the caramel malt and fruity flavor adds mild complexity. Though it may be of no surprise to some, Boston Ale is an entirely different beast in comparison to Boston Lager, which is a good thing to bear in mind if you consider drinking this beer.

 804 characters

Photo of JMad
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass...

The color was orange, copper with a thick off white head.

I could smell apricot, nutty sweet malt and earthy hops.

There is a light piney hop bite, some dried apricot, and more earthy hops.

This is smooth and medium bodied, has soft carbonation.

This is great, reminds me of some scottish and english ales.

 359 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, "Enjoy before date notched on label" dating provided.

Pours medium copper amber, light tan head, that stays nicely, leaving a thick collar, nice sheeting and then blobs of thick lacing here and there.

Caramel malts in the nose with some light herbal hops.

More caramel malts carry the load here, hops in place but not on the assertive side. I get a more Brit. style take on things here. Minor citrus notes. Tasty and highly sessionable ale. Respectable if unspectacular offering. Would work fine in a lack of higher quality craft beer pinch.

 561 characters

Photo of madjr80
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a perfect pint glass straight from the bottle. A small head that doesn't linger too long. The aroma was bitter sweet. There was author bit of hop to it, but it could have been more. It was Very smooth going down, but it could had a little bit more of something else. A sweet caramel/honey after taste that lingers on the palate.

 340 characters

Photo of mnrider
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12. oz brown bottle.

A: Pours a semi-clear amber, with off white head which starts thick then turns thin within a few seconds of the pour. Not the best head retention either (at least in this pour).

S: Sweet fruits with a crisp small aroma of hops.

T/M: Smooth with a medium hop bite and faint bitterness. Malts are sweet and fruity. Brew goes down clean with a nice clean aftertaste. Medium bodied all the way.

D: Nice brew with great drinkability. Could use a little more hops. Also seems to be watered down a touch from years past. Every one should try this brew.


 581 characters

Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,076 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!