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

Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale)Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale)
2,104 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,104 |  Reviews: 984
Photo of eballard
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured an amber color with a nice light head. The head settled into a small layer over the length of the beer and left a lacing down the side of the glass. Good carbonation. It has a strong malt aroma with a flowery hop in the back. It’s a light smell over all but sweet and enticing. The beer tastes strong of malt with a little grain and a nice hop finish. Not a lot of bit but rather a sweet hop that finishes nicely. The beer is clean and crisp. It had a good carbonation that helps the beer go down smooth and refreshing. This beer is very drinkable. It has all the qualities that you would expect from Sam Adams Boston Ale. It’s a smooth beer that drinks easy and has a good flavor. It’s nothing that will knock you down but for a beer with dinner or after a long days work this is the Sam Adams to grab.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A – Poured a nice orange amber, a bit bright with a nice two inch plus head. Great retention as it only faded ever so slowly and still left behind about a half inch or so throughout the entire session. Great side glass lace was apparent throughout as well. A decent amount of carbonation coming up from the bottom also, lots of bubble chains, partly due to the nice Sam Adams glass, but still amply carbonated. Great color and overall look.

S – Aroma was quite light. A nice hoppy bouguet, a bit floral, and not very citrusy though. But this was only on the top as the main body of the smell was made of sugary malts which really domintated here. Lots of light earthy tones were throughout this one as it really just smacked of a nice session ale. Nothing overpowering, just a good solid aroma throughout.

T – Ahh, very refreshing. The taste on this was nothing that was going to knock you over, however, it was subtly very good and a solid offering here. Great malted flavor, light grain and cereal touch to it. A bit of a dry hoppy finis, but nothing strong by any means rounded it out. Had a very earthy feel to it. A nice light ale, almost a pale, but a little bit bolder then that. Still more then decent and very well put together.

M – Really ridiculously smooth would be the only was to describe this one. It was just so sessionable and light in feel, almost effortless. Now I know the carbonation helped in here, but this was really tight. Crisp clean and refreshing a very good example of what the style should feel like.

D – Superb. This was designed to be a session ale and that is exactly what it is. You could really have this one all night long. It was just easy going, light, flavorful, could carbonation and a nice mix of light flavors that would keep you coming back. Would love to see this on tap here, but you can just never get it around here.

Overall I was happy to finally try the Boston Ale. I could not belive that I had actually never tried it earlier. I would have thought I had this one years ago but it was also the lager that crossed my path. I found this to be very enjoyable and a true session ale in every sense of the word. Perfect with dinner or the game or mowing the yard, quality offering here.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light, clear copper appearance. A good deal of carbonation but not much of a head developed, just a thin film. The aroma is a bit disappointing, weak hops and just a hint of nutty caramel malt.

Tangy and toasty breadcrumb malt flavors with a bit of medicinal hops in the finish. Decent bitterness. The taste is a bit drying, especially toward the end. A decent flavor profile overall but it doesn't come out enough. Sharp, but fine carbonation on the tongue. Medium body, not too thin.

This was not one of my favorites out of the mix-pack. It has a decent drinkability but nothing too exciting overall...

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

Another flavor from a Summer Sampler twelve pack.
Drank it straight from the bottle. I have yet to be disappointed by any beer of Sam Adams.

Appearance is good. A really nice head still distinguishable after a few minutes.

Smell is average. Nothing really distinct in the smell.

Taste is good. Nice tasty ale with a slight aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good. Feels nice and frothy.

This beer is very drinkable. A nice overall ale. I wouldn't mind draining a few on a warm summer day.

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Photo of zerofear13
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very good way to start off the Samuel Adams collection. I think this brew is much better than SA's Boston Lager. 12 oz. bottle with a nice frothy head that retains real well. Citrusy smells and light caramel malts. Taste is an immediate sour tang from the citrus, followed by sweet malts and hops in the back. Very crisp taste and medium-bodied. I think for someone knew to Samuel Adams, Boston Ale would be a better choice than Boston Lager. Consistency, taste, mouthfeel are all higher in quality in its Ale over its Lager.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a pint of this from the taps at PETCO Park in San Diego, on to the beer:

This is a malt-mouth's pale ale, and one that tastes more English than American. Lots of caramel, toasty, and dextrin flavors in the beer, ended by a touch of hops. When this beer warms up, it is at its optimal window for consumption. I was delighted by this beer, as well as the first time I found this on draft.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle a very clear gold with a rich off-white head and some decent lacing.

Sweet and biscuity aroma.

First taste has a sourness that leaps out at you. But there's also a tart and crispness with a sweet maltiness there. Some bitterness at the finish.

Light to mid-mouthfeel with a slick oiliness to the tongue. Medium carbonation.

This is a very sessionable beer. Decent taste for an ale.

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Photo of jspruit
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased an "Imported Brewmaster's Collection" 355ml bottle from off-license and decided to give it a shot. Poured a cloudy medium amber color with an off white head a bit more than a finger high. Nice smell, not too complex, and with some hoppy aroma.

You can taste the light hops along with some maltiness and sweetness-very easy going down and tasty but not too strong. Not too complex, but definitely a nice tasting session beer that I would try more of if I get my chance.

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

This was a pretty solid APA.

A: Poured a dark amber body with a decent-sized white head. Retention was okay; about halfway through the beer. Reduces to a nice lacing that stays with the beer until the finish.

S: A mellow, sweet, caramel smell that was very inviting.

T: Taste matched the smell. Nice malts present with a sweet, caramel presence. There was a nice, bitter aftertaste that did well to balance the sweet malts.

M: A decent mouthfeel; nice and refreshing.

D: Definitely a drinkable beer. Good tasting, crisp, and refreshing that was very easy to drink. Definitley a nice, chill beer to have before bed.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.36/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy light amber color with an ample off white head that remains at one finger height. The head leaves great thick lacing all the way down the walls of my glass. In the nose I detect some floral hops, but its difficult to pick out any depth here.

Tastes of subdued floral and spicy hops that mellow out into a nondescript malty sweetness. Very balanced and easy to drink. Nothing really stands out even after I let it warm up hoping for something to appear.

Smooth nearly creamy light to medium mouthfeel. Everything adds up to a highly drinkable American Pale Ale, but nothing jumps at me wishing for more.

Another solid beer from Sam Adams that I wouldn't turn my nose up at, but it's doubtful I'll purchase this one again although I'd try it on tap if given the chance.

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Photo of saintwarrick
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This orangey beer has a very sweet malty aroma absent of any hops. Taste is solid, some sweet maltiness at the front with a nice hop bite at the end with a smooth dry finish. I like this as a session beer more than the lager because of the hoppiness at the end. A very tasty and drinkable pale ale.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.38/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Bi-Rite Drugs and Liquors in Casper.

Pours from 12oz bottle(best by Dec 2007) a clear nice deep gold with an ample head of foam into my very nice Sam Adams glass.
This foam just hangs around forever and it has a ton of lacing.(drinking this at slightly above room temp)

The smell is a nice blend of sweet malt and spicy hops.

The taste has a great malt flavour up front....semi sweet caramel dominates initially. In the background, I get some good hop character by way of hop oil and some grassiness. Further sips in and some grain shows up and it's all done very well. Very smooth, very tasty, both of which make it very drinkable. Now I'm noting some earthy tones as well. How the heck did this one fly so long under my radar?? Very very well crafted brew that I should start enjoying more often. The mouthfeel is just right for the style and the finish is just slightly bitter but overall, the balance just leaves me shaking my head. Darn good stuff!!

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Photo of whiplash3825
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After the disappointment with the first and only Sam Adams product I tried (Cherry Wheat - yech!) I figured I should give them one more chance and try another of their brews.

Poured a nice clear copper with a three-finger head with good retention which slowly fades to a lasting layer of 1/2" foam. The lacing is phenominal, leaving a happy trail down the inside of my glass showing the level after each sip.

Smell is a nice balance of malt and hops with mildly floral undertones.

Taste was primarily of hops bitterness, although I'm super-sensitive to the hops due to my drinking primarily wheat beers (I know that doesn't quite make sense because it should actually make me notice the malt more). Nice sour and floral/citrus flavors in there also along with a hint a pepperiness.

Mouthfeel was average, not bad but nothing to write home about.

I could drink a million of these... while not exceptional, it's a solid, flavorful beer that goes down very easily! Much better than the SA Cherry Wheat; I'm glad I gave ole' Sam another chance.

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Photo of biggmike
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this. Attractive reddish-amber color with slight head. Smoother and more flavorful than the Boston Lager which I prefer it to. A very drinkable beer. Flavor has a bit of citrus and also fruity aroma. Nothing spectacular but a very drinkable ale.

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Photo of Grundle20
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer pours copper in color without much of a head at all and as such no lacing or retention really to speak of.

A good balance of earthy hops and caramel malts in the nose despite a lack of oomph.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
The beer drinks a tad dry up front from some medium carbonation but smooths out about mid drink. This is a well balanced beer in terms of flavor. There's a solid backbone of caramel malts which also lend a touch of toffee that is then paired well with a mildly bitter floral hop character. The finish is clean and there's very little in the way of undesirable aftertaste.

Absolutely an awesome drinking beer. It's low in alcohol and high in flavor.

Bottom Line:
Personally I would call this an English pale ale since the hopping is a little more earthy and balanced but it's still a fine beer regardless of style jargon. This is a pretty difficult beer to find which is a shame since it's probably my favorite Sam Adam's beer.

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Photo of mentor
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2 finger light caramel head over a crystal clear browned golden liquid. Two streamers and the head slowly settles. Smells soured caramel and touch of chocolate. Noble, but woody hops. Touch of ginger in the hops. Toasted grain adds some polyphenols.

Tastes dry malt grainy. Hops are modest but facilitate the dried out malt that has a hint of baker's chocolate. Strong carbonation adds a sour tinge. Overall, missing the esters I'd espect in an ale and the hops are less than I'd expect for an APA. Not very complex, but was enjoyable. Md-thick mouthfeel.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finishing off the mixed 12 with the Boston Ale 12oz, best before October freshness date. Again poured into snifter, like letting the beer breathe.

A: Pours a nearly clear amber brown, a bit darker than the lager I just tried, one inch tanish head fades into a ring around the glass with some nice lacing. Does not show much carbonation with a few bubbles climbing up the side of the glass.

S: Something strange is happening with me or the Sam Adams brewery because this smells almost excatly the same as the Boston Lager and Pale Ale (which I suppose is forgivable for an ale) but that same pervasive apple scent comes through along with some sweet biscut, not too much floral hop character but maybe they are working with the English style like the Pale Ale.

T/MF: Pretty decent hop oil bite on the front and back of the tongue that finishes oily and slick and holds on from sip to sip. They really must like apples down at the Sam Adams brewery because that's all I'm getting here. Maybe it's me but if you placed this next to the lager I wouldnt be able to tell the difference between the two. There are apples here but also some sweet biscut, but honestly these beers seem too close in taste.

D: I've had better pale ales and would choose a lot of others above this before comming back to this one, but to be fair this beer is not too hard to drink and is quite refreshing.

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Photo of KevinB
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Nice looking beer. The pour revealed a dark, ferruginous copper body with a creamy camel colored , one finger head, mild lacing throughout.
Nice toasted malts aroma, with some real mild floral notes.
Taste is a bready, buttery beer with nice balance of flavorful caramel malts, with some lively hops.
Mouthfeel is thin, medium carbonation, somewhat dry finish, very drinkable.
Overall a nice offering, has a little of everything, very sessionable.

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Photo of Gmann
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden amber with a nice dense off-white head that left some nice lacing on the side of the glass. The smell is rather faint, some caramel malt, some fruity esters, and a hint of hops. The taste is of buttery caramel malt, maybe a bit toasted. Some hops detected on the backend to add a bitter kick. The feel is moderate and has a creamy texture to it, finishes a tad bitter. One of the better SA offerings, this brew is well balanced for some easy drinking.

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Photo of arguemaniac
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice orange-amber pour with a thick, creamy and well-sustained light tan head. Slightly sweet toffee malt in the aroma. The nicely toasted palate features a firm caramel note and subdued hop character.

Another solid brew from Sam Adams; great toasted flavors with some tasty caramel. This session ale is drinkable, easygoing but still fairly satisfying.


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Photo of williamherbert
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color is copper with just a hint of red. There is a good, fluffy head. Bubbles of carbonation floating onward and upward. The copper color resembles a rich dark orange.

Scent is a nice mild "ale" scent (you all know what I mean). A ihint of fruit here, and a touch of flowery there. Just a smidgen of deep cherry. The dry malt smell is light, but pleasant enough.

The first sip is an understated bitter malt. There is a combination of dry malt, but with a bitter accent. Has a dark (black?) cherry undertone. The hops are light. Sweet fruit and bitter malt ping-pong in the mouth. Actually sweeter than a normal ale.

The thickness is a nice creamy feel that leaves a film behind. It's easy to drink, even if it is just a *little* too sweet for my liking. Still, it's quite a solid, sweeter-than-normal ale.

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Photo of ndekke39
4.3/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank this from a 12 oz bottle with a best-by date of December 2007. Poured into my new Mikasa ale glass. Medium-sized white head that dissipated pretty quickly after the pour. It's a beautiful golden-red color. Very appealing. Smells and tastes center around the toasted malts. Nice, toasted sweet flavors. Hints of dark fruit like cherries. Little bit of hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Clean, malty finish that I love. Perfect medium mouthfeel. Overall, a nice balanced ale. Not terribly complex, but still wonderfully drinkable. A very strong offering from Sam Adams.

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Photo of jar2574
3.32/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this is a mixed 12 pack. Was disappointed with several of the beers in the summer variety pack, but this one was OK.

Light orange color, nice 1/2 inch of head. Can smell some hops and maybe a touch of citrus as well.

Very mellow ale, well balanced and easy to drink. Not really exceptional in any way, but more than adequate.

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Photo of auxiliary
4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance - Nice amber color, poured a nice fluffy head, but then left a ring around the glass. Some lace sticked, but nothing major. Low carbonation.

smell - Hops are present with s hint of malt there. Kinda balanced I think.

taste - 55% Hops, 45 % Malt. Little spicey too.

mouthfeel - Carbonated, light-medium body.

drinkability - Haven't had this one in a long time. My ol stompin grounds. Wish I had this on tap right now. great beer.

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Photo of nullforge
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber color with a foamy, off-white head that slowly collapses to a medium size. The head retains very well and leaves some sticky lace. The nose has a faint pine and citrus hop aroma. It's slightly fruity, but very clean overall. The taste starts with a moderate, earthy hop bitterness that has a dash of spice to it. Malt sweetness helps to balance out the bitterness, but is quite subdued. Crisp fruit flavors follow, backed up by butter (diacetyl). All flavors linger into the finish. Medium bodied with a good carbonation that creates a smooth feel. The feel is also rather slick from the diacetyl. Overall, a very easy drinking pale ale.

This beer tastes slightly different from the last time I had it. It's less malty and more buttery than I remember. Still quite good, though.

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Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 2,104 ratings
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