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

2,093 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 2,093 |  Reviews: 978
Photo of alkemy
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of mothman
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of JohnL9013
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of bsend
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of Vengeance526
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of mempath
4.16/5  rDev +13%
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...

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Photo of teejay76
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of drxandy
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
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

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Photo of bum732
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of AChamberlain
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

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Photo of Stunner97
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
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,

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Photo of illidurit
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of bunnyhustle
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of Beefeater57
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

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Photo of cottonkoozie
3.27/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice head with good retention. Nice lacing down the glass. Nice deep amber color with redish highlights.

S - Smell doesn't do it for me. Smells like cheap adjuct hops, and even some adjuct grains.

T - Much better than the smell, but pretty average for an apa. Nice hops, and some good malt to balance, but nothing very impressive.

M - Pretty good, not great but pretty full.

D - Pretty drinkable, very smooth

Not a bad beer, but nothing great either. To me its not worth the price tag. Much better ales out there for the same price, some cheaper.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2 fingers of foamy white head form atop this beer. The head is made up of huge bubbles vs. a tight pattern. The beer is a bright amber color with a touch of orange highlights. A touch of spotty lacing.... Head does fade quickly and really leaves nothing on top of the beer.

Aroma is a touch musty along with some light spice, fruit and toasted malt. Interesting.

Flavor has some spice, caramel and fruit right up front. Almost light berries. Then the caramel and toasted malt flavors come back to center stage. Again some light white pepper. And a subtle but present hop bitterness towards the end.

Mouth feel is medium light bodied and carbonation is very light

Fairly nice. Nothing epic but good.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A perfectly clear copper color with a large, fluffy off-white head. Retention is very nice, and lacing is attractive.

S: Some toasted, light caramel malt up front. Some subdued citric hops and a touch of bready, buttery character.

T: Toasted caramel malt up front, along with the diacetyl flavors that characterize many Sam Adams offerings. A solid backbone. Some vaguely citric, spicy hop flavor is present, with mild bitterness.

M: Medium in body. Average carbonation. A somewhat sticky feel overall. Nicely balanced.

D: Very easy to drink. A slightly fuller, hoppier version of the Boston Lager in many respects, although the brewing process is obviously different. Along those lines, it's not spectacular, but it's very well done and wonderfully balanced.

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Photo of JMBSH
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours about three fingers of head after a hard pour. Dense head that takes sometime to shrink to a modest coating leaving some lace on the sides of the glass. A light burnt orange color with some carbonation seen rising to the top.

S - Slightly sweet with a hint of biscuit like malt.

T - Hop bitterness comes up almost right away. There is also the sweetness again. It also makes me think spices. Still very clean. The hops linger for sometime in my mouth and at the back of the throat.

M - Smooth and refreshing. Has lasting flavor. Very good.

D - Very good. I can sip it for sometime and enjoy the flavor without worrying that the flavor will be gone after the last taste.

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Photo of JayNH
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a light clear copper with a two-finger foamy head.

S- Sweet, a pleasant biscuity malt balanced with a tea-like bitterness.

T- Well balanced. A biscuity malt and an earthy/grassy hoppiness. Slightly citric and grassy in the finish.

M- medium body, well carbonated.

D- Excellent. A nice easy drinking, well balanced ale.

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Photo of dotsonjamesg
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep amber and copper in color with light carbonation. Had a one finger head and little lacing.

S: Smell is sweet with caramel malts, citrus, and hops.

T: Sweet with malts, rich with coppery tones and hops and a hint of alcohol.

M: Thin like a lager but with the flavor of an ale. Carbonation is great and the beer is easy drinking.

D: The brew is not very filling so drinking a six pack can be pretty easy. It leaves a nice citrusy bitterness on the tongue that lasts for hours. Kinda nice.


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Photo of buschbeer
3.14/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It pours a orange to amber color with very little head. I definitely get a floral scent with a bit of citrus. I was disappointed with the taste. Left a bad aftertaste. Feels like it coated my throat. I expected more from the hops. It had a sweetness to it. Overall it was not one of the best ales that I have had. I prefer Budweiser American Ale to the Boston Ale. Sam Adams has better products on the market.

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Photo of belzo35
2.7/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It oured orange-gold in color, with not much head.

Smell was of flowers, caramel, and some citrus.

Taste was same but also pretty hoppy.

Watery and clean feel.

I was a little disappointed, but overall not that bad of a brew... Ive had better for less price

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Photo of HalfFull
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear golden color with perhaps a tinge of light amber. Perhaps not. Decent half inch head initially, which slowly succumbs to the powers that be.

Light caramel malts on the nose, then, okay, a smack of hops when swirled. Very random on the nose from first bottle to second.

Taste is smooth and slightly malty, yet surely cleaner and fresher than what I've had on draft of late. Too clean, too filtered, too lagerish however. Bit of smoky malts on the finish add a little variety to the mix and allow for a decent drinkability.

This beer(at least in name) used to rock. Now, a shadow of its former self, I sense a long and slow decline.

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Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,093 ratings.
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