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

Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale)Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale)
Liked This Beer
3.62 w/ 2,102 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,102 |  Reviews: 982
Photo of NatetheGreat
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Has a light copper color with moderate white head and leaves a bit of lacing - steady carbonation seen through the clear liquid

Aroma has some banana and other fruitiness; some sweetness. Tastes balanced between earthy hops and very good malts, which give a nice banana bread like flavor. Not much bitterness - very drinkable and solid mouthfeel. Smooth and flavorful but also light.

This one seems to be in the middle of about any beer. Pretty balanced, moderate feel and good flavor, yet not overpowering at all. It would be an excellent session beer, probably any season. If you're looking for a good tasting ale that won't overpower your senses and will is refreshing more than it is complex and rich, this is a good one.

 727 characters

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into mug.

Pours crystal-clear copper, with a thin, soapy off-white head that doesn't budge for the whole glass.

Nose isn't too big. Toasty malt, a bit of fruity esters, some hop astringency. Eh.

Taste is decent, but nothing extraordinary. Fruity esters and toasty malt up front, oily hop bitterness that's a bit astringent and just a bit medicinal in back. Dry, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is moderate all around - medium-light in body, unremarkable, moderate carbonation.

High bitterness to flavor ratio hinders the drinkability.

 543 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
3.31/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange color with one finger of creamy white head and a lot of carbonation.

Scent of caramel, grain, and a very faint hoppiness. Okay, a bit watery, not entirely unappealing.

Taste of caramel and gain, little to no hops present. Again a bit watery, a decent beer.

Mouthfeel is is light bodied and thin with good carbonation.

 342 characters

Photo of jimj21
4.07/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce bottle bought as part of the Spring Brewmaster's twelve pack. Best by July 2009 marked on the bottle. Poured into a pint glass. The beer is a very clear orangey amber color. Pour produces a finger of off-white head. Not much retention but decent lacing. Some bubbles rising in the glass.

Smell is pretty malty. Sweet aromas of caramel. Some toasted grains. There's a little hop aroma, but I can't pinpoint it. Floral maybe. Some fruity esters are there as well.

This one definitely has an interesting taste. There is a lot of toasted white bread and caramel flavors from the malt. Spicy hops move in as the malt fades. Some fruitiness makes its way into the taste as well. A little bitterness on the aftertaste. This actually reminds me of Boston Lager quite a bit, except that it's an ale instead of a lager. More fruitiness, not as crisp, etc.

Great carbonation in this one. Very creamy and smooth. Medium bodied. Not bad at all.

This is another solid beer from the Boston Beer Company. Not a whole lot of complexity, but something you could drink for any occasion. Good balance. Of note, I think this seems like more of an amber ale or even an English pale ale than an APA.

 1,193 characters

Photo of Slynger
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orangish/bronze/gold color with a cap of fluffy off-white.

Nose is slightly sweet pale malty and fruity with a mild earthy hopiness.

Solid flavor. Slightly sweet malty and fruity with a bit of lemon and some spicy-grassy hops. It's zesty and dry with a good amount of lightly sharp and tingly carb.

Nice beer nice and drinkable with good flavor.

 362 characters

Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours an amber/copper color with about two fingers of head. Decent retention. Laces pretty well.

S- Sweet, with some hops (a little citrus, a little floral). A little malty, maybe a little molasses. I like it--so far so good.

T- Slightly metallic, some sweet/bready malt, a light hop finish. Finishes a little dry. It's not bad, but it's nothing I would seek out. This one might suffer from the fact that I was hoping for a SNPA-esque brew.

M- Medium to light bodied with moderate carbonation. Not bad.

D- Could have a few of these--decent session beer--but I would also probably be grabbing for something more.

 618 characters

Photo of morebeergood
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a sunny afternoon beer enjoyed in the cellar atmosphere of The Dugout on Comm Ave. On tap and served into a pint glass. Light orange in color. Large whispy foamy head. Noticed a bit of lacing. Smell was a faint aroma of pine. Taste was pretty average, but good. Bit malty, bit hoppy. Run of the mill. Easy going down, very light, low in abv. I prefer to order the Boston Ale over the Lager for two reasons. First, you don't see the Ale on tap nearly as much as the Lager. Secondly, I think that the Ale is more more drinkable than the Lager if you are looking for a quick and easy pint. Give me the Ale any day.

 620 characters

Photo of wnh
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a crisp, clear reddish copper with one finger of fizzy, ever-so-slightly foamy white head. Not lively, not dull, but looks tasty.

There's not much in the way of aroma, however. I sniffed and sniffed and couldn't come up with much more than some earthy hoppiness. There's nothing particularly bad about it, just nothing to really note. On the tongue is the slight earthy hoppiness again, though the hop bitterness is more discernible. Well-balanced, I suppose, but with few discernible flavors. Kind of boring, really.

Good carbonation. I drank this with a bison cheeseburger, and cut through the fat of the cheese (and the little fat in the bison) well. Medium-light mouthfeel. Drinkable enough, I suppose, but I don't know in what situation I'd really care for another.

 819 characters

Photo of deapokid
3.34/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass:

Opening with light head and a thin amber appearance, this APA really intrigued me upon first sniff. Packing a big hop presence with a hint of caramel, it seemed more like an India Pale Ale than a regular pale, but its taste made me think that my nose is deceiving me. Its flavors don't make much of an impression, resembling a bevy of nameless American ales.

As it rolls down the throat, high carbonation tickles the taste buds a bit more than necessary. It's pretty easy to take down though, especially with that ABV.

It's not a bad beer, by any means, but not memorable enough to be a repeat performer.

 649 characters

Photo of alkemy
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice orange/copper color with about a 1-2 finger head that seemed to keep decent retention. Nice looking lacing throughout. Somewhat vague hop aroma. This is where I should probably point out that this is the first I've had this in roughly ten years. When I was in college a nearby bar had it on tap and I also treated myself to bottles when I got sick of getting hammered on macros. I don't know if my palate has become jaded, but this just doesn't seem as good as I remember. I don't know if Sam Adams quit brewing this for a while (there seemed to be quite a few years I never saw it) and then brought it back changed or what. This ale is mildly pleasant in it's hoppy taste, but just isn't as flavorful as I remember. All in all, it is still a pretty good beer and would be a great choice for a session beer.

 821 characters

Photo of IronCitySteve
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice copper color. Provides a nice 2 finger tannish head. Some decent lacing.

S: Not overpowering or substantial, but there are some sweet caramel malts along with some bready malts.

T: Just like the scent, but there were some nice grassy hop undertones which gave the beer a little more balance.

M: A decent medium body, left a nice smooth and a tad creamy taste on the palate.

D: A really decent pale ale, nothing too complex, makes it really easy to drink.

 476 characters

Photo of mothman
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Pours about a 1 finger of slightly off white head. Head settles pretty quick but leaves some lace rings. Carbonation bubbles stick to the glass. Color is a clear golden orange with an amber hue.

Aroma reminds me of Boston Lager. Carmel and roasted malts. Some earthy hops.

Taste is of carmel and roasty/bready malts. Again, the taste reminds me of Boston Lager. Earthy hops and a slight hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is crisp like a lager then smooths out. Ends with a slight sticky and boozy aftertaste.

Overall, a very easy drinking beer. I would choose this as one of my top session beers as I can easily drink a lot of these.

 670 characters

Photo of JohnL9013
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I just had one of these, and I'm rather new at reviewing beer, but here goes:

A: Kept it inside the bottle due to a lack of glassware on hand.

S: This really smells pretty good, I almost like it better than the Boston Lager. Sweet smell with good hops that kind of bounces off the nose.

T: Real big surprise here. It's pretty smooth with an appropriate amount of bitterness,, a little creamy, and overall, not completely overwhelming. Just enough flavor to not be boring, but not ridiculous, either.

M: The mouthfeel is relatively light and crisp.

D: Very drinkable stuff. Overall, this beer just has a very good amount of flavor for how light it seems to be in the mouth and in the stomach. If they had this stuff on tap, I'd go nuts.

 741 characters

Photo of bsend
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint.

The beer poured a light amber orange color with a 1 finger white head. The head dissapeared about a 1/4 into the beer. Holding it up to the light shows that lots of light is let through.

The beer has a heavy baked bread smell. We get lots of yeast and bits of toffee.

The flavor mixes a definite toffee flavor with your standard ale. A little spicy. This beer has definite alcohol despite the light abv.

The mouthfeel is creamy. It feels good through out the entire drinking experience.

The drinkability is there. It feels like an English stly pale ale. I could definitely sit there, and drink a few of these at a pub with some friends downtown.

Final Thoughts - My first Sam Adams review (though I have had my fair share of Sam Adams). I love the Boston Ale, and wish they would sell it in 12 packs at my local store. Great session beer to enjoy, especially while catching some rugby matches.

 947 characters

Photo of Vengeance526
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange amber color with an off white head that holds up nicely and leaves good amounts of lacing.

Aroma of light hops and some caramel malt.

Taste reveals a slight hop bitterness along with notes of caramel and grapefruit.

Creamy mouthfeel and very easy to drink. Overall, exhibits characteristics similar to the Boston Lager but taken a step further. Nothing I would actively seek out but for the price, this isn't a bad find.

 440 characters

Photo of mempath
4.16/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

had the spring White Ale hours ago...and just finished the ole Lager awhile ago (reviewed neither...that will be another time)

this pours a nice deep amber, moderate head and good lacing in thick clumps. perhaps a bit cold, i can't catch alot of notes in the nose yet.

i've had this before but it really has been over a decade for sure. wow. very rich, creamy, hoppy classic taste. this reminds of what SA was and still is...a future leaning brewery in retro colonial mode (even if that is part of the marketing). i love the basic lager, but this is the better 'version' of it. seems to have more depth in the finish and mouthfeel. carbonated, crisp, but this side of heavy (in an alloy sense), though nothing metallic or macro about it. part of craftbrew history.

glad to have rediscovered this classic and true bargain. a 12 pack for 11.99 is awesome. truly an everyday brew, a session brew, not an extreme at all, but if anything, it was extreme compared to what was available to me back in mississippi in the late 80s...

 1,028 characters

Photo of teejay76
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Light amber flow with a hard foaming head that just wouldn't quit

Smell - Hops smell with a slight honey scent.

Taste - Nice mellow sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Smooth texture with slight carbonation feel.

Drinkability - Very drinkable, goes down easy.

 264 characters

Photo of drxandy
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz to standard pint, nice goldeny amber shade with a cream colored tightly bubbled head that retained nicely

smells of toasted caramel maltiness, sweet citric hops, slight diacetyl

taste is bready dry malt, caramel sweetness balanced by hop presence, slightly astringent bitterness, spicy hop citrus, grassy, slight diacetyl like the boston lager has, creamy body, like a souped up creamier boston lager.. not bad

mouthfeel is great! probably my favorite thing about this beer, nice and creamy, the malt and hops follow through with great balance.. overall just as sessionable as its lager counterpart but tastier :D

 621 characters

Photo of bum732
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear oragne, decent head, great lacing. Smells of caramel malt, citrus hops. Tastes of citrus sweet malts, some diacetyl, some earthy hops near the end. Finishes quite dry and neutral. Good carbonation for the style.

A good beer, i wouldn't go out of my way to get this, but not bad.

 293 characters

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Re-reviewing this one. One of the first beers I reviewed when I joined BA--I wanted to revisit it after having close to a full year of beer exploration under my belt.

A: Light amber color with a creamy head that retained well and left decent lacing all the way down the glass. Solid appearance for an APA.

S: Caramel aromas, some spices, and a earthy/spiced hop aroma. It's got an aroma that is quite similar to some of the Harpoon beers.

T&M: It's a fairly dry beer that starts with dry, malty flavors that give way to some lightly citric hop flavors. The finish is dry with a lingering hint of malty flavor. Medium body, nice flavor, good finish.

D: Drinkability is solid. More flavor would aid it somewhat, but it's still a decent brew. It's well-balanced and enjoyable. Definitely a good party/social beer--something I could drink a lot of at a bar.

 857 characters

Photo of AChamberlain
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber, off white head, sticks around for awhile. Decent at the edges.

S: Sweet, grainy aroma. A bit of caramel.

T: A nice bit of hop bitterness. Some malty sweetness. Nice, better than the aroma. A bit of funky-ness, not a sour funk, an ale funk.

M: Zesty. A good mouthfeel. Smooth, with good carbonation.

D: Not one I would go out of my way for. Better than the lager. Flavorful and medium bodied.

 405 characters

Photo of Stunner97
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Amber brown with clarity in which you can see nice bubble stream up the glass to a decent yet leaving nice white foam head, really nice carbonation

Smell- Lots of yeast, some hops, definite malts and barley, slight kick caramel even,

Taste- A very nice ale, good kick of hops and slight malt backbone match it out, very well balanced beer with a very tasty but not over powering hop bitter finish, good balance beer, nice finish, very slight alcohol detected

Mouthfeel- Decently light yet slightly smoothness to it, decent carbonation too

Drinkability- very Drinkable and enjoyable ale, I really enjoy the balance in this one, its got plenty of hops but not overally bitter, its got plenty of malts but not overally sweet, good balance to it, great seasonable beer at very fair price, preferred by me alot over the now more popular lager,

 854 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear pumpkin color with a beige head. Aroma is pale and caramel malts with a kiss of sweet citrus, melon, and honey. Flavor is much less sweet, in fact it's very neutral. Some lightly toasty malts are countered by an earthy hoppiness that leaves a very very slight bitterness on the finish. Tastes more English than American. Mouthfeel is great. Light and refreshing without being watery. Characterful enough to maintain interest.

 431 characters

Photo of bunnyhustle
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting beer. Although an APA I think this could easily pass as an Amber. Pours reddish copper, clear, with fluffy head and minimal retention and no lacing. Smell is strong of caramel malt, some sweetness, and a touch of hops. Taste is about the same. A somewhat dry and bicuity malt backbone, some caramel as well. I really cant say I detect much, if any, hops. Mouthfeel was fine. Not really thin, a little more to the medium side with a slightly dry aftertaste. Overall a good beer, and easy drinker, just not a standout APA.

 532 characters

Photo of Beefeater57
3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Amber color, off-white head. Doesn't retain well, but leaves sticky lacing. Well carbonated.

S: Clean, sweet smell. Mostly caramel malt and hints of grain and sugar.

T: Eh. It's sweet right away, but it overtaken quickly by a dry astringency. Citrus is there - mostly lime or lemon peel and the hop bitterness is definitely there. A very leafy hop presence. I like the sweetness of the caramel malt.

M: This is what was strange. My mouth feels like I have cotton in it. The mouthfeel is dry and astringent. Maybe I have a bad bottle, but this mouthfeel masked anything I could possibly detect from the beer.

D: It's drinkable, but I'm probably not going to get another 6pk of it. Very leafy hop flavors take a while to develop and the maltiness is nice, but a tad on the dry side.

 787 characters

Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 45.9% out of 100 with 2,102 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.