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

2,099 Ratings
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:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,099 |  Reviews: 980
Photo of hoplover82
4.31/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is their most impressive year round offering in my opinion. I love this beer.

It pours an amber color with a medium-sized off white head that stick around for a good while.

The aroma is of citrusy english hops. Lot's of them for BBC. A little sweet malt comes through pretty good too.

The flavor is like the aroma, citrus hops and a little sweetness. Very balanced APA.

Very smooth on my palate. It feels medium bodied.

Very drinkable.

Highly recommendable

 472 characters

Photo of hunteraw
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A pleasing amber/honey color, with a two finger head. Decent retention, sheets of lacing.

Smell: Very clean aroma, with some grain and sweet malts coming through. Continental hops in the background.

Taste: Very balanced and smooth. Grainy malts and a solid bitter backbone. Reminds me a bit of cross between an altbier and an English pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, appropriately carbonated.

Drinkability: This is an underrated beer. Sessionable at 5% abv, tasty, and well-balanced.

 507 characters

Photo of cvfish
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a golden amber color that produced a fluffy white head that had good retention and left a good bit of lacing on the side of the glass

S - The aromas of this beer were slight sweet malts, and a good bit of citrus and floral hoppiness

T - This Pale Ale had the the sweet, bready malts, a good grapefruit and lemon mix, followed by a decent amount of hoppy bitterness on the finish

M - The mouth on this beer had a light to moderate body that had a moderate amount of carbonation, very crisp beer

D - This Pale Ale screamed session beer to me, great taste and body for a session beer, Samuel Adams scores with this creation, very tasty

 658 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6-pack of this at the Wal-Mart in Hazlehurst, MS; one of few 'craft brews' I could find. This was my accompanying beer with Thanksgiving dinner. A 12 oz. bottle, notched at 'enjoy before: Mar 2009', poured to a crystal drinking glass. Beneath the cap, a Gold Medal is cited in 'Providence'.

A: Beautiful warm amber, perfectly clean and clear, with loads of streaming carbonation (could be some etching inside the glass helping?). One finger of dense ivory cream, decent lace.

S: Bread dough and toasted malt. Honey sweetness with a touch of caramel.

T: Notable caramel malt and a generally sweet toasted (cereal) grain. Slight citrus and hints of berry fruit.

M: A crisp effervescent mouthfeel upfront. Light-medium body, malty coating sticks lightly. Pleasant little carbonated prickle.

D: Pretty tasty and very easy to drink. A nice compliment for Thanksgiving dinner, especially the starches and the oily fried turkey. No problem to finish six of these over the course of three days.

 1,003 characters

Photo of krunchie
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber. Light brown/orange, pretty cloudy. Off-white head, 1" (seems to stay thick pretty good!)

S: Fruity and sweet. Some honey and yeast notes. Actually quite boring, non-unique smell for an ale. Very "standard" pale ale smell.

T: Some more yeast and sweetness. Crystal malts. Some hints of bittering hops. Some bread, some weak spices. Almost like lager in the aftertaste

M: A little rough feel and weak fruity bitterness left in the mouth.

D: Like lager. Not bad, but quite standard. It's quite pleasant to drink though, so it's not bad. It's just not an outstanding brew.

Will I buy it again? It was actually very good, despite my quite harsh interview, so yeah I'm gonna buy it again :)

 699 characters

Photo of stevecee2003
4.53/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In America, really is there any brewer who isn't as "wired in" as Sam Adams?

I have seen their Master Brewer on many TV commercials, yet I can't remember his name. But yet that does not matter, because he- and they- make some of the greatest beer coming out of the United States.

This "Boston Ale" is just an example. Good stuff all around. The smell is instantly good. Some caramel(already), some Hops (yes!)

Taste. What a classic taste. This beer from Sam Adams should be perhaps their signature beer, but thats me. Yet I can accept that, as long as my local distributer has the "Ale" version available. I love it!

If you want justification, this is it. This beer from Sam Adams is one GREAT beer.

Overall, try this beer. Good luck.

 742 characters

Photo of usmittymc
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a b ottle into a standard pint glass.

A: A clear honey gold pour with a frothy white head that reduces very slowly to a nice lace.

S: Sweet malt, some honey, some biscuit all melded together with flowery hops notes.

T&M: Sweet and very smooth on the draw with a bitter hop finish that lingers on the palate (citrus). Very good carbonation and a moderate to light body.

D: Very drinkable. An excellent session beer.

 431 characters

Photo of corey0212
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Once upon a time, this was my favorite beer...

Pours a really nice & clear coppery/amber color, darker around the edges, big giant foamy tan head fades into a nice film, sheets and sheets of lacing in the glass. Pretty mild on the nose, some faint caramel and grassy/citrus notes. Caramel malt flavor, not too sweet, biscuity flavor, and some faint bitter citrus, tangerine/grapefruit. Medium-bodied brew, and drinkability is just great could pair this with damn near anything, and have a few.

 505 characters

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

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle with freshness date clearly indicated on the label. Enjoyed just in time, as the date had nearly been passed.

Light golden amber in color with a creamy, slightly off-white head with good retention and a light amount of lacing left behind on the glass.

Nose is dominated by herbaceous, slightly grassy, slightly citrussy hop aromas.

Medium-bodied, smooth and nicely carbonated. Fairly bitter citrus and grapefruit hop notes are most prevalent on the palate, along with varied herbal and resinous hop flavors and the slightest hint of malt sweetness detected as well. Finishes mostly bitter and somewhat dry with a hint of fruitiness.

Fairly bitter in nature but a wonderful beer whose finish leaves on wanting for more. The bitterness may be a bit extreme for some; it isn't overpowering but it is certainly dominating, though a balance exists that is hard to explain. Overall a delicious brew and a good, decently complex and widely available beer to fall back on.

 1,002 characters

Photo of PerzentRizen
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Boston Ale is a good everyday beer. This is one of my favoarite beers to have with dinner.

I poured this one into a Duvel glass. It had great head retention and a frothy texture for the most part.

The aroma is lightly fruity and light malt. The taste is crisp even at 55 degrees. It seems light in the mouth. I could drink quite a few of these before heading in for the night.

I like this beer. It has all the marks of a session ale. I would never hesitate to reach for this one.

 484 characters

Photo of Pleepleus
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Leftover in my fridge from Monday Night Football. I know better than to buy any beer from these guys, but I do love the new Pint Glass they made.
Poured from 12 oz bottle to Sam Adams Pint glass a clear honey copper color with 2 inches of white foamy head that reduced to a minimal sheen with some spotty lacing. Minor metalic smell here with a hint of malts. Tastes better than smell but not much. It seems watered down like so many other Sam Adams beers with a sweet malty taste and a very mellow hop finish. Watery thin feel with decent carbonation. Very easy drinking with only a hint of the nasty flavor almost every Sam Adams has.

 637 characters

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

Pours a nice cloudy copper color. There is a slight bit of carbonation that creates a thin white head that has great retention.
Smell has a nice caramel malt smell. There is a bit of toffee smell to it also. At the end there is a slight hop smell with a bit of fruity smell to it.
The taste of the beer has a little less to it than the smell. However, you can detect a bit of the caramel and toffee but it is much stronger in the hops department. Good strong aftertaste of hops.
Very nice thick and smooth mouthfeel. Goes right down.
This beer is very drinkable because of the very smooth mouthfeel. I wouldn't want to drink a ton of these because of the thickness and nothing exciting about the taste, but a good drink to have a couple with dinner.

 749 characters

Photo of dananabanana
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Hazy orange. No head at all.

S: Lots of sweet malt. Sort of smelled like a marzen.

T: The bitterness of the hops hits hard, and right away. Later, a more subtle sweetness comes through. The flavor tones down a bit after half a bottle or so. Caramel overtones develop later.

M: Chewy. Bitter, but refreshing.

D: The hops weren't that well-balanced. They overpower the other flavors. This wouldn't be a good session beer.

 427 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.39/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not to be confused with their more famous and wide-spread Boston Lager. You will be tested. Out of the bottle this brew was a light copper color with a huge, foamy, tan head. Great retention and it left sticky ribbons of lacing all down the glass. The aroma was malty, biscuits and some semi-sweet caramel notes with herbal hops behind that. The flavors were a little off balance, the first flavor was the semi-sweet caramel malt followed by some nuttiness and roasted malt. The finish was bitter and a bit astringent as though the hops flavor was 'forced.' It's only at the end where the beer really lost me. Otherwise, the mouthfeel is smooth and the carbonation on-point. With a little tinkering this one could be as good as it looks.

 737 characters

Photo of beachbum1975
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got a sixer of these at the Root Cellar - thought I'd try something new and exciting from Sam Adams. This is in the Brewmaster's Collection of beer... Rather uneventful label - look twice or you'd think it's a Sam Adams Boston Lager. Poured into none-other-than my new, hi-tech, lazer etched, hand-blown(?) pint glass!

Pours an attractive, clear, orange/brass/amber mix with a creamy and foamy white head. As I drink I see nice sticky lacing along the walls of the glass.

Smells faintly of caramelized malts and honey with some bready yeasts- pretty light and simple.

Tastes similar to the nose, only more intense.

Highly drinkable, easy and refreshing. Good session beer.

 676 characters

Photo of tedsox31
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a mug. The color is a nice amber color, with a big fluffy head that takes a bit to dissipate. There is definite lacing on the side of the mug.

Smell is malty, and some caramel has well. I notice a hop presence as well in there.

Taste is sweet at first from the malts, and is followed up by a nice bite from the hops. It is a tasty concoction and well balanced. Nothing super special, but it has a great flavor to it in my opinion.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with some creaminess, and also a carbonated feel to it.

A quaffable beer. Definitely a session beer if I have ever seen one, and it was at a decent price of $7 for a six pack (which is good for the north side of Chicago).

 710 characters

Photo of Onenote81
4.26/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this bottle at a local brew store and it had a different label than what is shown. Freshness date clearly marked.

This was an exceptionally beautiful brew. It poured wonderfully, though it took a few minutes with the monstrous foamy head it produced. Excellent sticky webbing attached to the glass sides. Nice orange/amber color to it, a little murky.

Smells nice, a little sweet. Filled with floral tones as well as some apple/apricot scents tagging along.

Taste has an excellent balance of the malt and hops with the hop edge coming through just a bit more. Nice hoppy bitter bite at the end of each sip. Finishes with an almost apple taste too. Very smooth and creamy brew.

I am continually amazed by the quality brews put forth by the guys from Sam Adams...

 773 characters

Photo of Offa
4.52/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is very tasty, nicely balanced ale. It is among the more English-style American ales I've had, both in character and balance.

Amber-copper, it has a large, off-white head shirnks slowly and leaves a little weak lace.

It has a very fruity and leafy aroma is with tea, a little bread, hints of citrus grapefruit, pine.

The taste is earthy and leafy as well, with bread, fruit, a little caramel, citrus and pine. Clean, leafy bitterness nicely balances the sweetness. It is a bit like Old Speckled Hen.

 509 characters

Photo of gonzo46and2
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish amber color. Big lacing head that mostly diminishes into a couple big bubbles.

Smells like roasted nuts and caramel. Big caramel smell really. Bits of butterscotch/diacetyl.

Taste has a bit of spicy bite with little hop profile. This reminds me of a brittish style pale ale with it's light hopping and malty flavor.

Mouthfeel is standard SA which means damn good. Fluffy carbonation that doesn't sting. Goes down easy.

Overall this isn't a SA beer I'd seek out but it's good. There are just too many other SA beers I enjoy more.

 552 characters

Photo of philipquarles
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a large white head. Pretty decent retention and lacing.

Smells of malt primarily, backed up by candied sugar; not really much else there on the nose. Taste is similar, but the roast of the malt becomes more evident. Sweetness from the sugars is definitely there, along with some metallic phenols.

Really pretty drinkable stuff, though it's really nothing extraordinary. The kind of thing you drink when Bud is the only other thing available.

 468 characters

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

new review: nearly the same orangey amber color as brooklyn pilsner. decent cap and lacing.
vague citrusy (orange not grapefruit) smell, sour bread, like the sourness bread develops when starting to get fuzzy.
low in bitterness, but what there is lingers a bit. citrusy sourness (more plain sour than citrus) and a teabag astringency, though the sourness is not extreme.
medium body and very creamy, probably too creamy.
very easy to drink but crazy soft and rather dull. goes down like sourish orangey velvet with a lingering muted bitterness.

old review:
poured a coppery amber, moderately cloudy with visible yeast. respectable off-white head with good lacing. a really beautiful presentation. (4)
smells grainy and citrusy, with hints of lightly roasted malt. (3.5)
sharp and tangy, not particularly complex, (3.5) medium bodied with the right amount of carbonation. (4)
the tang might be a bit much for some, or if you're not in the mood for it, but this is clearly very well-crafted and, in my opinion it's head and shoulders above the Boston Lager.
the only sam adams i know of that i would want to drink regularly (4)

 1,129 characters

Photo of Rifrafboy
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
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 shohog
4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am on my 2nd bottle and I am very impressed. I am drinking from a pint glass. It has a good 3 finger white to off white head. Beautiful clear copper to gold color. Good lacing and has a very pleasant citrus to caramel scent. Good carbonation with a nice and true amber mouthfeel. A slight more of a sweet caramel taste that might be stronger than some prefer but enough hops come right behind it for an excellant balance for a complex exlposion on your tastebuds.

This is my first taste of Boston Ale and as always Samuel Adams doesn't disappoint.

It taste as awesome as it looks!

 586 characters

Photo of bearcamp
3.01/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this at a friends party. She got a mixed back on SA beer and this was one of the many I had. I initially thought that this was the ale version of their main stay lager. I'm more of an ale guy these days.

Appearance is very amber filtered color.

Not much of a smell to it.

Taste is much better than the smell to this beer. Taste of malt and a bit of bitterness bite at the end. Can taste the slightest of caramel.

Mouth feel was good and easy to go down. I will definitely add this to the beer list and get a case of it down the road.

Very good ale!

 561 characters

Photo of Kendo
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is honey-amber in color with a 1/2-finger ivory head. Leaves a little bit of lacing behind.

S: Not terribly strong in the nose -- some grassy hops and biscuity malt.

T: Sweet caramel malt up front, toffee or butterscotch-like. Hop bitterness follows -- grassy and mineral-like, even metallic a bit. Lingering fruity sweetness at the front of the mouth.

M: Somewhat light in heft. Carbonation is good.

D: Goes down fairly easily, even if it's not terribly interesting.

 505 characters

Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,099 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.