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 JohnGalt1
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz from the Summer Mix-pack... poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

2" head lasts forever with pretty lacing ... brew is a clear copper.

Aroma has an earthy/spicy hop component balanced by some toasty malts and light caramel.

Flavor is identical to the aroma but with a yeasty fruitiness.. and a slightly tannic black tea finish.

Body is a little bit less than medium and the carbonation is perfect.... I have always really liked this beer... I just wish it was available locally in 6'ers.

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

A: Amber color has good clarity with minimal carbonation. Very little head and what's there doesn't stay long. Leaves bits of lace.

S: Floral with toffee and toasted grain notes. A hint of cloves.

T: Malt has toasted and toffee qualities. Bitterness is moderate with tastes of citrus, cloves and pepper. Finishes with a lingering citrus bitterness.

M: Medium-light body with the right amount of fizz.

D: Not very exciting to me. Good session beer, but not one I would seek out.

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

Orange Amber with a nice subdued head compared to the lager...

That characteristic caramel orange similiar to the lager...

A fruitiness all of its own. Caramel malt. Nice hop profile. This is one of the few Macros, or whatever you want to call it, that could almost pass for a homebrew. The Ale has that fruitiness to it that I have come to expect form ESB's and homebrews. Must be the yeast. Thoroughly enjoyable almost as if the Boston Lager were brewed with ale yeast. The finish is slightly sour...Nice...

Oh and this beer is severly balanced. Big malt profile matched by a superb hop profile, whatever they are. This is a balanced ale!

Has a crispness and lightness I wasn't expecting from an ale.

Delicous! I have passed this beer up way too many times in favor of the lager. From now I will buy whichever is fresher and be happy!

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Photo of CaptainIPA
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

P: 12 oz., brown bottle purchased as part of the Samuel Adams Summer Styles 12-Pack.

A: Pours a clear copper color with a thin, off-white head that yields spotty lacing.

S: Aromas of malt, biscuit, fruit and yeast.

T: Solid malt foundation balanced with spicy hop notes, followed by touches of sweet fruit and biscuit. Finishes dry and slightly bitter.

M: Rather thin mouthfeeel with moderate carbonation.

D: A less than robust taste profile lends itself to prime summertime poundability.

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Photo of Pauly2X
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Light amber, solid one finger head.

S- Sweet toasted malts with hints of hops.

T- Subtle complex malt profile with a pleasing hop finish.

M- Rich, but not heavy, good carbonation.

D- Too bad this is one of the less popular sam adams styles.

Annother good solid beer from Jim Koch.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper-cider orange body with a thick patch of off-white head, decent lacing on the Yanks mug. Caramel malt weighs heavily on the nose, with modest amounts of citrus hops in tow. I'd prefer to get more hops in the smell, but this is certainly pleasant. As is the taste. Boston Ale strikes a nice balance between malt and hops. Again, I'm inclined to say more of each would raise the stock of this even more. Yet this is really good, faintly roasty, smooth, fairly straightforward but well done.

Easy to quaff, Boston Ale fares nicely, more malted than hopped. Sam Adams has again created a fine ale, different from its other brews. I'd love to see this supercharged with more malt and hops, but it has appeal nonetheless.

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

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a light amber, with a long-lasting medium white head, medium lacing.

S: Strong scent of an English ale maltiness, lots of toffee.

T: Sweet treacle malts dominate the flavour, not the harsh caramel flavour that amber ales can have. Light grassy hop character to balance, overall, I really enjoyed the malt in this one.

M: Very light carbonation, low to medium body, smooth and creamy, would like a bit more heft in this beer.

D: A very good beer from Sam Adams, don't know why it took me so long to revisit it. Similar flavour profile to the ubiquitous Boston Lager, but a smooth overall feel and I think the ale fruitiness complimented the malt better than in the lager. An easy beer to find, and relatively inexpensive for a craft, recommended.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent red/brown color with ok head that leaves minute yet visible lace. Nose is slight copper and a bit of english malt. Taste is english malt with some slight hop flavors. Very lagery taste, red lager. Mouthfeel is on the thin side, but drinkability is poundable. Overall a good summer brew, but If you are expecting a very full flavored robust ale, you will be dissapointed.

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Photo of gpogo
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear copper-amber with off-white head that dissipates but leaves a thin lacing.

A- Sweet malty aroma with a slight hint of hops. Fruity with a bit of caramel.

T- Grainy malt flavor with a bit of spicy hop flavor. A hoppy bitterness attacks the tongue, but is by no means overwhelming. Slightly watery taste

M- Medium-light bodied with moderate-low carbonation. Relatively smooth drinking beer.

D- I'm not sure I'd consider this an apa, Sam Adams refers to it as a Stock Ale. A decent beer all around, just don't expect an apa out of it.

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

Pours an orange/amber color with small head, little retention, and little lacing. Where's the huge rocky head that everyone described?!

Smell is malty and citrusy. Taste is good, nice malt flavor, fruity hops accents, and a nice, clean finish. This is a great beer to just kick back and drink while you're grilling on a fine spring day. Nice interpretation of an English Pale Ale.

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Photo of tempest
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Why is this called an APA? Sam Adams calls it a stock ale (which can also mean old ale) and has a very British character in my opinion. Tastes and smells like an English pale ale really. The aroma is a smooth, creamy bread and carries over in the flavor. Mellow caramel malt with a slight herbal hops note make up most of the flavor. Mostly its all smooth sailing with the creamy yeast character and sweet malts. Quite delicious in all, though not as complex as I'd wish.

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Photo of bboven
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Medium copper body; clear with a thin head that leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Aroma is slightly sweet, slightly sour buiscuity malt, very little hop aroma.

There is a harsh graininess to this beer like tannins went unchecked. the underlying beer seems okay, but the initial harshness in the flavor is carried throughout the entire drink.

Bubbly, slightly drying, everything is where it should be here.

Everything is great about this ber except the flavor. I wouldn't buy it again because of that though. Too many other fine beers out there in this style.

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Photo of rye726
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I feel that stock ale describes this one quite well. It pour a clear amber and has a light tan head. The nose has some grainy malt with some light fruity hops. Taste is malty and has a bit of sweet caramel or honey in there. Body was average with decent carbonation. A good session brew, but needs a bigger malt and hop profile.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Copper body, minimal cream colored head.

s: Caramel and toffee.

t: Caramel and toffee with a light herbal/spicy hop finish.

m: Medium to light body. Smooth and crisp.

d: Not bad. I like the hop profile and the caramel malt. Maltier than the Boston Lager, but the hops aren't as pronounced.

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Photo of pabstsmear
4.65/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Unforunately this brew is hard to find since the lager, light, and seasonal brews are always on display. I was lucky enough to find one 12 pack in my local Shaws on sale for $10.99. The brew is and has always been my favorite from Sam Adams. Well, nothing changed with this purchase, in fact I think I got a pretty lively batch. I have nothing more to say except seek out an American classic- stock ale.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours on the darker side of amber - maybe a touch darker than the Boston Lager, but I'd have to do a side-by-side pour to see. Head is about a finger tall, and a bit of a creamy ring of lacing wraps around the edges.

S: A bit of an herbal nose, perhaps a little grassy - like fresh cut grass, or even a bit like new leaves. Quite nice and light, and the scent hints that it might be nice and refreshing.

T: An interesting hops flavour here... a gentle, caramel hinting malt taste rounds it out. A little more robust than I might have expected from the aroma, but still quite nice.

M: A pretty standard, medium body, with a touch of stickiness on the finish. It would be far more sessionable in the heat if that were not there, but it's alright. A tasty beer, an easy going beer, and certainly a reasonable session beer. I think I might go with the standard Boston Lager in most cases, but this one stands up well.

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Photo of Greggy
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a crystal clear copper color with a 1 finger head that recedes into an unimpressive cap of bubbles.

S- I initially get more maltiness but I sense that it is balanced out with some lighter hops. The light hopiness I gather has a touch of skunk to it as well.

T- Initially I get a very well balanced, smooth, malty taste that quickly recedes. The still is pretty thin, although it does have some good balance. This definitely isn't your average hoppy APA but rather more malty and less hoppy, but yet retains balance. The finish has a touch of dry hopiness to it.

M- The low-med/low carb is a touch cloying but otherwise, ok.

D- This is an ok brew that I can see being a good crossover piece for one entering the craft beer world.

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

Presentation: 12 oz bottle part of the Summer Styles collection.

Appearance: Smooth pour that nets a perfect head with nice retention and lace.

Smell: Nice hop smell. Slight fruit notes.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Medium mouthfeel. Starts a bit sweet. Tastes of caramel malt. Finishes hoppy and clean. A good taste that is balanced.

Drinkability & Notes: Not my favorite Sammy A's but certainly one of the most drinkable in my opinion. Has a solid taste if not quite great. Decent hops but wouldn't classify a hoppy pale ale like a Sierra Nevada.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Transparent amber with pillowy 2 finger head that dies down to thick white cap. Lots of lacing.

S - Sweet malt is mostly what I pick up, but there are citrusy, borderline floral hops in the background.

T - Now this is what I thought Sam Adams "Pale Ale" should've tasted like. A nice balance of sweet malt and spicy/floral hops hits the palate upfront, with a pleasant decrescendo of malt leading to the finish. Midly phenolic late palate, and a bit of an unnatural bitterness. Not a very complicated brew, but I think it acheives what it tries to.

M - Moderately carbonated with a medium body.

D - Very drinkable if not for that damn bitterness. It's not even that the bitterness is overbearing, it's just out of place, and I have this problem with about half of Sam Adams' beers. Whatever great flavors they may have bottled are offset by a bitterness that does nothing but bring the beer down.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

A: Crystal clear coppery amber in color; Good off-white colored head of about 3/4" reducing slowly into an uneven layer of bubbles. Good lacing. It just looks pretty!

S: Faint aromas of moderate malts and light hops.

T&M: Relatively light weight on the tongue with a fuller than expected taste. The malt comes on strong in flavor without being sweet. The balance with the malt and hops is very good and quite nice, with a result of a brew with a slightly dry edge. The carbonation in this was fine but abundant and contributes quite a bit to the overall mouthfeel. The finish is mostly clean with just a bit of maltiness on the linger.

D: A cut above average, this is an enjoyable brew to drink. It's similar in so many ways to the Boston Lager but there is a nice edginess to the flavor that I like in a brew. Recommended.

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Photo of Hoagie1973
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks like the SA Boston Lager in just about every way. From the color to the head to lacing; all good.
Aroma and flavor are rich and malty. Much maltier than its lager counterpart, which lines right up with my preference for ales over lagers (though I don't think I say which of the two from Sam Adams I prefer, they're both excellent). Hops show up at the end of the sip to perfectly balance things out, then they disappear in a nice clean finish.
Good feel and body. Extremely drinkable. An all around solid, flavorful beer. Not fancy, just good.

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

I haven't had their Boston Ale in years because their more ubiquitous lager is more standard fare. The ale is much better than their lager and I'm glad that I had this again. It pours a frothy off white thick head with crisp malts in the aroma. The carbonation is modest and what is most impressive in this beer is the creamy mouthfeel, medium body, big malt flavors, and the nice balance with some hops in the finish. The beer isn't brilliant, but it is an old standby for most any occasion. The maltiness is a bit carmelized, somewhat bready, definitely creamy in texture, and maybe a tad bit of spice, but that's hard to detect. The beer hits all the right notes, and the malts are neither overdone, nor too thin. Again, the balance is what makes the beer, rather than any fancy tastes, spices, or frills. L'Chaim.

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Photo of avalon07
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: When I poured this one from a bottle to a pint glass, it had a decent amber color and a somewhat cloudy consistency. A quarter inch of head and some OK lacing.

S: A very sharp aroma, with hops, malt and mild spices making an appearance.

T: The taste on this one didn't seem to go one way or another. There's a fair amount of hops, a bit of malt and possibly some cinammon. It just seemed indecisive to me.

M: A decent amount of carbonation and a slightly slick finish. This is a medium-bodied beer.

T: Overall, this is just an OK beer. Sam Adams has done better. The taste just wasn't enough of one thing or another to make it compelling.

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Photo of generallee
4.6/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Always a good choice. The Boston Ale has a golden amber color with good clarity and carbonation. It forms a thick off white head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. Its aroma is malty sweet with a hint of honey and floral hops. On the tongue the malts are bready and lightly toasty. The hops are light and have a nice piney and citrus bitterness that fades slowly into the finish. I really like the balance on this ale and I fined it to be very drinkable and refreshing. Cheers!

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Photo of jayrod20
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle smell is sweet and malty with hints of cinnamon. Pours to a yellow bronze with a lacy foamy head. Taste is sweet with hints a cinnamon and a hoppy finish. Mouthfeel is good, carbonation is just right. A good brew, a liitle sweet for my tastes. A little more hopping would make it very delicious. I wouldn't go out of my way to look for it but if someone gave me one I'd have seconds.

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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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