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

2,097 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: 2,097 |  Reviews: 979
Photo of cbleary
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed out of a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The beer poured with a nice light amber color and a medium sized head that left an large amount of lacing. The taste was unique, with a hop profile I haven't experienced before in an APA and a long, delicious malt finish. It was very balanced and mild for an ale but retained the full ale mouthfeel. Excellent, I want to get a case.

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

Pours a nice orange amber. Very sweet and malty. Not much hop bitterness here at all -- well balanced. Head pours nicely and settles down to a hearty lace. Overall, I enjoyed it better then the Boston Lager. This is a great summer beer. I recommend it when you're looking for something above average and acceptable to the non-beer-snobs.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one at Uno Pizzeria under the alias Uno Amber Ale, just after having the Winter Lager. I actually preferred this one. Very tasty. Pours a nice deep amber color with a good bit of head and a touch of lacing. Nose is very fruity, with a nice balance of malt. Grapefruit and other citrus as well. Taste is likewise, a little stronger than the nose, which is a positive. A very tasty beer, nothing really mind-blowing, but good all around. Body is fairly thick, perfect for the style. Overall, one I could drink a lot of. Maybe sessionable with the low ABV.

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Photo of JDV
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Rich amber color with a medium white head from a bottle. Smell was of sweet caramel like malt, and almost a touch of alcohol or tartness to go along with it. Taste was very mild bittering hops, but mostly of sweet sticky caramel, and a touch of unique tartness. Definitely a slightly unique amber, from my experiences, and I'd say, slightly above average as well. Got in a sampler pack and wasn't disappointed.

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Photo of Newglarusguy
4.48/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a nice amberish colour with an orange hue that is very impressive! This one caught me off guard with the perfect balance of hops and malts for a ale, it's very delicious and fairly similar the the lager which isn't bad at all another delicious brew from SA!

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Photo of Traquairlover
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Orange tinted amber, small off white head, good lacing, and good cover of tracery on surface of liquid. Lots of carbonation with small to medium bubbles.

S = Lots of sweet malt smells, light scent of maple syrup, fresh harvested grains, whole wheat bread, also slight smells of lemon from hops.

T = There is more from the hops in the taste than there was in the smell. I get sharp bitterness on the front of my tongue before the malt flavors hit at mid-palate. Although the two tastes at first seem to be at odds, upon swishing the liquid around my mouth, it resolves into a well balanced taste and finishes long with a lingering sweetness on the tongue even while the bitterness of the hops is present.

M = Light to medium bodied, carbonation is a little too strongly felt, mouthcoating is fair.

D = This is a very drinkable APA, less hoppy than many and with a very satisfying malt character.

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

12oz brown bottle with a pry-off cap. Freshness date is present on the bottle.

Pours a medium amber with hints of orange. White fluffy head, foamy, good retention, some lacing that slides down glass.

Smells of some hops, floral hints, mild sweetness.

Initially you taste the malt bite followed by a rush of floral hops, smooth, some sweeter citrus notes, spicy. Some mild bitterness. Mild, smooth, and balanced. A medium-bodied ale that's easy to drink.

Notes: A good balanced brew that's pretty easy to find which gives it points.

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Photo of drperm
3.02/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

What can I say? I'm an ale man, through and through, but I find the Boston Lager to be superior to the Boston Ale. As I say regarding the SABL, "better than Pete's Wicked," but that's not saying a whole lot. The appearance has a strange fogginess to it that I can't quite fathom. The taste is a sweet-over-bitter combo that leaves me scratching my head slightly, and the finish is not quite as smooth as I'd like. Still, I'd have a pint in a pinch.

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Photo of PaleAlien2
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy orange with a white head.
S: Very smooth malt with a mellow caramel scent.
T: This beer has a very smooth tast to it. Tons of malt. Not much hops. Nothing overwhelming about it, but qood. Some leafiness and pine needles at the end.
M: Has a very dry finish with some malt in the backend the leaves an aftertaste.

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Photo of daledeee
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I almost reviewed the wrong beer!! Boston Lager, brown ale oh wait this is Boston Ale.

This pours a nice copper brown color with good head. Head goes away but leaves a nice lace and ring around edge. Smell is hoppy. Nice blend of hops and malt. Citrus is pleasantly mixed in.

I bought this at Walmart!! Price is nice too. This is a very good pale ale.

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

Enjoyed on-tap at a Pizzeria Uno (as its alias)
Served as a mdieum amber colored beer with modrate off-white head.
Smell has a nice caranel profile, with some light citrusy hops in the background.
Taste blends the caramel malt and citrusy hops nicely to present a nice refreshing dinner beer.
Very easy to drink. Would be nice tio session.
Note: When I ordered this beer, our waiter told us it was very similiar to a Sam Adams??

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Photo of CU570M
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a deep rich red harvest color. The smells were average. Taste was smokey, woody flavors; well rounded. The mouthfeel was a nice carbonation and great silky smoothness. The drinkability of this one is pretty good, definately not the best; but a good everyday drinker.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Today is H, 27 April 2017 & while my original on-tap/draft review follows, I am taking this opportunity to revisit this beer in bottle form.

From the bottle: "We celebrated the opening of our Boston Brewery by reviving a family recipe. This cellar aged 'stock' ale is distinctly American, aged in cellars at lower temperatures to create a smooth, full-bodied brew packed with earthy English hops and subtle malt sweetness. Cheers! [undersigned] Jim Koch"; "Smooth & flavorful with earthy English hops".

I have a couple of the special S.A. glasses with the dimple at the bottom for increased nucleation, so following the Pop! of the cap, I felt empowered to go a little harder on my pour than usual. This decision netted me just over a finger of dense, foamy, light-tan head with moderate retention that fell back to wisps, leaving nice lacing in its wake. Color was solid Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was rather sweet, which may have been what threw my untrained sensibilities almost ten years ago. It was quite bready with an earthiness of either/both East Kent Goldings and/or Fuggles hops, but also with a buttery quality. I became curious to taste it again. Mouthfeel was medium, approaching fullness. The taste was sweet, with a bready, buttery, melon-like fruitiness and an earthiness of freshly-turned soil. It may be a year-'round brew, but it struck me as highly appropriate for spring. Finish was in that Twilight Zone between semi-sweet & semi-dry and I simply could not decide between the two. I enjoyed it MUCH more on this revisitation, but I am leaving my original marks in place as a matter of historical record.

This arrived with a big, rocky, off-white head. The color was a beautiful, deep-golden amber. The nose had a malty sweetness, which seemed a bit odd for an ale. The mouthfeel was medium with a fair amount of sweetness on the tongue. The finish had a nice, hoppy bite, but too little, too late. It also created decent lacing throughout. I'd take the BOS Lager over this.

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Photo of BlackBearForge
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice coppery amber with a one finger off white head which faded quickly and left little lacing.

It smells delicious with a wonderful nutty sweet malt aroma and a bit of hop earthiness.

Flavor does not live up to it's aroma, pretty much middle of the line bready malt with a bit of sourness and a bit of hop bitterness and a touch of caramel nuttiness. Improves greatly as it warms with a metallic tang noticed at it's coldest nearly dissapearing. It does have a bit of an aftertaste that it's hard to put a finger on.

Mouthfeel is decent, perhaps too much carbonation initially, medium in body.

Overall this seems to be a rather average ale, definitely a bit middle of the road in most aspects. Not one of my favorite Sam Adams offerings, but not bad. I doubt I will buy it again but I wouldn't turn one down. It may just be that it has a flavor profile that isn't my favorite as it seems to be well appreciated by most.

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Photo of tronester
4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent amber, with a small off-white head. Smells earthy and malty. Taste is a malt-oriented pale ale, with a slight lemon twang and good bitterness. The hop profile is earthy as well. Full mouthfeel, good carbonation. Quite drinkable, a good session ale.

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Photo of abriggs1
5/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is Sam Adam's crowning achievement. Perfect in every way. It's smooth as hell going down but has a lot of character. I love their lager, but this is a cut above anything else they've ever done. This may just be the best mass produced beer around. This and Guiness are my two favorites. If I were rich and could afford to drink as much as I wanted I'd be dead within a few days from drinking this beer 12 hours out of every day.

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Photo of BiereBlanche
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from the Brewmaster's 12-pack poured into a working glass.

Coppery-orange and very clear pour with signs of mid-heavy carbonation. A shade off-white head settles into a light layer atop the ale. Small spots stick along the sides of the glass. The aroma is balanced between sweet malts and light spicy hops. The flavor is much the same. Balanced light caramel sweetness, medium hops flavors and bitters. Light fruit/ citrus hints. Sweet and bitter finish. A bit heavy on the carbonation, medium body. Smooth drink, good balance.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Drink by date is notched for April (drank in November).

Nice clear brown topaz color. Egg white like head that lasts.

Fruity, raspberry like smell.

Fruity, berry flavor with a nice balance of malt. Good hop bitterness at the end.

Smooth tasting and very drinkable. Good session beer. I have always thought that this beer was one of SA's best offerings.

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Photo of pwoods
3.11/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. brown bottle, purchased from Party Source, poured into a pint. Best by Jan. '08

A: Pretty golden orange with slight chill haze. 1 finger of eggshell head that stays fluffy for quite awhile before reducing to a thick skim. Decent patchy lacing.

S: Citrus hops and a clean, crisp, grassy note. Malts are subtle in the background adding a bit of earthy grains.

T/M: Citrus and grassy hops again in the taste. Some of the citrus adds a tart and sourness. Bready malts bring up the rear. Body is very light and has some extra carbonation.

D: Not incredibly complex but easy to drink. There are too many better APA's out there.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle marked "Brewmaster's Collection" into a plain old glass.

A: Poured a clear copper orange with a very thin covering of carbonation that reduced down fairly quickly.

S: Smells flowery and a bit pungent from the hops, but fairly subdued.

T: Taste is a clean and more hoppy, lending some imbalance to this ale. There is some sweetness from the malt, but the bitter, floral pine hops come through more. It's pretty good.

M: Mouthfeel is clean, crisp and refreshing. A little sticky and a little bitter.

D: I could drink a bunch of these easily, and it would make for a great session ale. However, if you're searching for something special, or even another ale that's more economical, I'd look elsewhere, no sense just paying for a name here.

I prefer the Boston Ale to the Boston Lager, primarily because I'm a hophead. This SA brand won;t wow you, but like most of their ales and lagers, it's reliable. It's a good call for an APA.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at The Batdorf, Annville, PA on 11/19/07.

A - Clear amber/orange body with creamy white head and tiny bubbles of carbonation. Head mostly diminished and left only a bit of lacing around the glass.

S - Light bready pale maltiness with some graininess paired with a very light hop aroma. Actually, not much of a hop aroma whatsoever.

T - More malty than hoppy. Initial sweet caramel flavor with a semi-bitter finish. Nice breadiness in the finish.

M - Light to medium body with a fairly dry texture and soft carbonation. Nice, crisp pale finish.

D - This is easy to drink. Nothing spectacular, but a good session beer nevertheless. I find most offerings from Sam Adams quite easy to drink.

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

Poured whilst watching yet another episode of Sopranos. Poured into an Amberbock pint glass.

A - It pours a nice mostly transparent copper, with a 1.5 finger off white head that left good lacing.

S - It has the aroma of slightly sweet fruit with a hint of fresh baked biscuits.

T - A solid beer for an amber, but not much of an American Pale Ale. This is a really tasty beer. Nutty ... some fruit, but not much hops. Only the faintest bitterness in the finish.

M - Low carbonation, and a fairly light body.

D - Very drinkable, and full of flavor for a beer under 5%. A nice beer, but not an APA.

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Photo of littleshamrocks
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle with the enjoy before month clearly notched on the side of the label. Served in a Samuel Adams Boston Lager specialty pint glass.

Pours a deep amber with a creamy looking white head. Markedly hazy with a prodigious amount of bubbly carbonation. Head settles to a nice ring and left a solid wall of lacing on one side of the glass. Aromas are of grainy/biscuity malts, herbal hops, and fruity esters. Taste hit me in stages, starting with the slightly sweet, biscuity malts, followed by some caramel notes and a substantial spicy/herbal hop bitterness. Also noticed some dark fruit skin flavor as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a partially dry, smooth texture and lively carbonation.

Sam Adams labels this as a "stock ale", and while I am not entirely sure what the characteristics of a stock ale are, it does seem to vary from an APA. Maybe, the English Pale Ale is a more apt classification for this beer, due to the balance of the ingredients and the lack of a more intense hoppiness. With that being said, I really enjoyed this brew. Fairly complex flavor, along with extreme drinkability, make this a staple and a winner for Samuel Adams.

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Photo of WJVII
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Strong caramel color with a decent 1/2 in cream color head. Head doesn't last long at all with minimal lacing. This beer doesn't have an overwhelming aroma. There is a nice hops smell and maybe a little oak. This beer has a decent mouth feel with light carbonation. There definitely is a mild bitterness to the aftertaste but nothing too impressive. This is a decent beer, but nothing to write home about.

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

Nice coloring (fairly dark) and pretty good head. It has a nice scent, soft and not overpowering, just a good crisp hoppy aroma. Goes down smooth, with a nice crisp taste. It has a great hoppy (bitter) aftertaste that lets you know you just drank a pale ale, but it's not overly strong.

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Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,097 ratings.
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