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 InsolublePancake
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Golden amber with minimal head but a fairly decent lacing.

S- Quite malty in the nose. Caramel malts and some citrusy hops are evident.

T- Maltiness carries through to the taste. Toasty malts come through with a caramel/ butterscotch flavor. Hops aren't as big a part of this beer as I thought they'd be. Perhaps a bit of a citrus and pine bite in the end with a little bitterness, but that's it. Esters are apparent in the aftertaste and give it a sort of apple-like fruitiness.

M- Medium-light bodied, not much carbonation.

D- Good drinkability. Low abv and smooth. Good quaffer.

A solid beer. Not fantastic, but pretty good. I was expecting more hoppiness. Still miles above any macro, but I've had better pale ales and better beers from Sam Adams (their Boston Lager, for one). Still a good drinker with no obvious flaws. Recommended, but don't expect to be blown away.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at Samual Adams Celebrates Pittsburgh in the Pittsburgh airport. An all-around tasty ale. Copper-colored body covered with a fairly sticky off-white head. The smell is familiar -- it smells a lot like their lager. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. It tastes a lot like it, too. Where it differs is that familiar fruity yeasty zing that tickles your tongue at the end of the swallow. It's nice. Pretty well balanced (maybe on the sweet side, if you ask me). With a slightly heavy mouthfeel, moderate carbonation and good drinkability.

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

This rusty amber brew has a fat three finger head that just doesn't want to go anywhere! When it finally settles a bit, it forms an ice cream scoop mesa in the middle while TONS of frosty lacing is left on the glass. Eventually, islands of fat foam are left in a sea of lesser bubbles...never sank below 1/8 finger, and I sipped this one pretty slowly. I like the looks of this pretty ale.

Tons of thick milkshake malt goodness hits the nose first off, follwed by a dank river sandy smell in the background. This is the same pleasant wet sand smell that is very prevalent in Sam Adams lager....but here it is very subdued and buried under mounds of malt. Maybe this scent is attributable to the water source they use for their beers? Also, nice caramel and vanilla notes with a tiny hint of hops contribute to the pleasing and inviting aroma.

The first thing I taste is a very sweet caramel (I'm thinking of Worther's Original candies...the ones in a gold wrapper and the sappy old commercial about a kid and his grandpa).. This is follwed immediately by hints of vanilla, cinnamon, and maybe ginger. This sweet sensation is soon overtaken by a nice hoppy bitterness that leaves a nice clean and sour aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodided, nicely carbonated, and the finish is just slightly dry. This highly highly drinkable, and could easily become a staple in my fridge. I love this stuff.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty clear amber with a full two finger solid white head that melts to very, very sticky lacing.
Aromas are soft and leafy hops.
Taste is first sweet pale malt, then grainy hops that show their freshness in a leafy taste and grainy pepper bite to the tongue.
This is a wonder ale that is unfortunately not found in my area very often.
A solid drinker.

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Photo of TechMyst
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

PURCHASED @: Sullivans
COST: medium
HEAD: minimal
LACE: none
TASTE: Carmel and biscuits...Fat tire is better...Good for an American amber.

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Photo of assmasterson
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Couldn't really tell without a glass, but again, the head traveled about halfway up the neck nicely. The foam coated the side of the bottle and slowly slid down.

S - Surprisingly, not much of a smell. Very faint hops are present along with an almost floral scent.

T - Sam Adams does it again. The hops are very much present and give this brew a nice rounded taste with a good spice kick. A fairly strong citrus taste comes along soon after.

M - Kind of thin for an ale, but coats the mouth nicely.

D - Goes down smoothly, easy to drink on both a hot day and cold.

Once again, another fine brew from the Boston Beer Company.

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Photo of Alexmc2
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into pint glass. Nice two finger head that stuck around for a while and left some nice lacing. Beer tastes sweet, but balanced with hints of caramel. You don't taste the hops very much on this one, but you notice them enough for it to taste refreshing. Personally I prefer this over their flagship Boston Lager.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bottle dated best by November. Pours a nice copper color with some golden hues when held to light. There is a nice white head that stays around for a while, and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell is of sweet malt and carmel. There is also a faint smell of floral hops as well.

The taste is sweet and there is carmel present as well. There is also a little citrus present. And the beer finishes with a little bitterness. I would like a little more hops but it is solid none the less.

Mouthfeel is decent. There is a nice carbonation level and the beer is medium bodied, and a little sticky. Pretty decent brew from Boston Beer, I would prefer a little more hoppieness but it is a solid beer and I am likely to pick it up again.

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

This beer poured a deep golden amber color. The smell is sweet and malty. The taste is malty and well balanced with light hops. This is a nice mellow beer. The mouthfeel is full and slightly chewy. I consider this a highly drinkable beer that goes down smooth.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Smell hints at caramel... Smells similar to a scotch ale. Amber body with little head to speak of. Tastest yeasty and sweet, with some malt. Definitely different than I thought. Not such a bad little beer. Not something I’d seek out, but I like it better than most of the Sam Adams beers I’ve tried.

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Photo of Poser
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a rich amber color with a creamy head.
S: Floral aroma with some subtle spices.
T: Overall, this is a balanced brew, but the hops can be a little overpowering at first. It's a little earthy, but just enough to give it some personality.
M: Medium bodied.
D: Considering it's sligh bitterness, it's extremely drinkable, and one I will be picking up more often.

I don't know where this beer has been all my life. Somehow I've never picked it up.

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Photo of Dizzy
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange color with creamy white head and some lacing. The aroma is sweet malts, fruit and some herbal hop aromas. Taste is malty with some noticeable hop bitterness and vague fruit flavor. Medium bodied. This is one of Sam Adam's better beers in my opinion.

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Photo of theozag
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber, perfectly transparent, with a white head that fades fast. Smell has caramel, cream, and wheat notes. Start is rough, wet, and bitter. Settles even more rough and quite full-bodied. Lots of hop bitterness and caramel character are obvious. This beer also seems slightly sweet to me; perhaps there is a hint of orange included? Finish is dry and bitter (duh!) with a pleasant aftertaste.

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Photo of Neehan
4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has become my current (always subject to change) favorite session brew. I am glad that this has become much more available in my area in quite a few specialty wine stores and select grocery stores.

This pours a nice hazy caramel with a rather thick head that lingers and hugs the glass as you drink it. An appearance that says "drink me... several of me"

The aroma is of caramel and malts with a bit of citrus.

A very smooth taste with a great balance of a touch of sweetness followed by a good deal of bitterness that is sure to please. Also a nice intertwining of smoky malts and some spices.

A nice mouthfeel of begins creamy and finishes with crisp carbonation.

Fairly low alcohol and the great taste with a nice balance make this very drinkalble. I don't think this beer gets enough credit.

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

Poured into pint glass.

A: Coppery with moderate carbonation. Thick, pillowy head with great staying power. When it eventually died down, it left solid lacing and sticky trails, but it was more than sticky trails: there were large foamy areas left on the inside of the glass.

S: Malty at first, which is dominant. A light hop presence that smells somewhat fruity, like caramelized pears and apples.

T: Malt up front, sweet and rich. Pleasant hop bitterness in the finish. This is really pretty good.

M: Medium-bodied. There's a fullness in your mouth, though it's not grainy or chewy.

D: This is nice. A buddy once told me that he thought the Boston Ale and Boston Lager were the same beer. They taste totally different, though the color may be similar. And I'm not sure I would have guessed "American Pale Ale" if I did this tasting blind. It's too malty, more English than American.

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Photo of kosmoraios
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams strikes most people as a macro, due to it's high commercial availability. But they brew some very excellent ales, and this is one of them.

This is one of the best APAs I've had in quite some time. Pours a translucent coppery-red color with a nice, 1-finger white head. Carbonation is evident, but not excessive.

Aroma is of lightly fruity hops (apple, pear) and spices (allspice, tinge of clove?) as well as some toffee-like sweetness from the ever-so-slightly toasted malts.

Taste is light and crisp, but complex. There are fruity/floral (jasmine) hop notes, some estery sweet malts, and an undertone of maybe very light caramel.

Mouthfeel is pleasantly crisp and refreshing. There is a tinge of a metallic aftertaste that is points-off for this beer.

Very drinkable ale. One of the best "True" american pale ales.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a light, clear copper like color with a head that is almost an inch thick when first poured, but shrinks to about 1/4 of an inch about 5 minutes after being poured. Leaves some nice lacing though. Has some floral aromas of cirtus and hops being the most present along with hints of malt and maybe some caramel. It has a somewhat sweet taste with some malt upfront followed by a bit of hop bitterness and also a hint of some spices such as cinnamon. The hint of spices sort of reminded me of a Belgian witbier in a way. Nicely balanced indeed. This beer has a smooth and frothy, creamy like mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. Nicely drinkable as well. I could see myself drinking 3 or 4 of these at a time. Another tasty beer from Sam Adams!


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Photo of mbatley
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured good with more head than expected. While the head shrank quickly it gave good aroma with caramel and citrus giving a preview of quaffability to come.

Very appealing amber, copper color, but tending toward lighter note.

Taste: Smooth with out malty sweetness. Good long finish and very creamy mouthfeel.

Overall a very drinkable and enjoyable beer that I will consider for a decent session beer. Maybe just a slight bit too sweet for a full session beer but less hoppy than some pale ales.

Hard to find as I only tried it as a part of a SA Mix 12'er.

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Photo of
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle. The beer poured a slightly hazy dark gold, with some hints of orange. A large off-white head formed and faded fast. The aroma was mainly hops of the citrus variety, with a bit of malt coming through and providing a honey smell. Taste was qutie good, the malts hit first and had a bit of a toasted flavor - not much, but surprising. The malt increased in sweetness/fruit as the beer warmed. The hops were quite mild and balanced the malt nicely. The finish seemed to be a bit peppery and acidic, but again, nicely in balance. Mouthfeel was a medium bodied beer, with medium carbonation and very thirst quenching. Overall, an enjoyable beer which improved as it warmed.

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Photo of Koolbreeze2
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-Nice look for an Ale. Colorful.

Smell-Crisp. Just the way I like it.

Taste-Surprising. I really enjoyed this Ale. I paced a few within a weeks time to be sure. Sam Adams is a quality Ale. Nice bite, refreshing, lovely after taste.


Drinkability-Very refreshing. I find good Ales to be very refreshing. This one caught me by surprise. I never tried any Sam Adams beers until recently because I felt that they were too macro. I was wrong.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass hazy with particulates and copper with an off white rocky head which rose tall and fell slowly to coat the glass.

The aroma was fruity, strongly so, with a estery caramel presence and a light bit of diacetyl. Toffee was a contributing factor in the aroma and the hop presence was a bit earthy.

The flavor was lightly malty with a low level of earthy hops. The flavor was not as estery as the aroma, but still contained a bit of fruitiness. The bittering was fairly low and even though the balance was decidely toward malt the beer was not sweet.

The finish was dry with a lasting bit of earthiness and light caramel impression into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a bit of a watery feel to it. Just an average APA, heck, maybe not even an average one. Drinkable for sure, but interesting, nope.

12 ounce bottle.

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Photo of RedChrome
2.93/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Produced a dark orange hued beer which showed hints of red when held to light. Small head of off white color vanished rapidly. Very minimal carbonation.

A very weak aroma of any sort to be detected. Only a light citrus aroma blended with a bland hard to note hops aroma. Very watered down scent.

A very weak flavor of lemon zest was the major taste. A secondary note of peppercorns. All these are overpowered by the taste of alcohol.

A slightly thicker then average ale. A decent burst of carbonation on all surfaces.

Only an average beer offering from a brewery I had come to regard with higher esteem. Would work as a pairing for a chicken dish without much additional flavor, such as grilled or fried chicken sandwich. Better then a macro, but there are better choices for pale ale.

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

On-tap at Pizzeria Uno’s in Attleboro, MA, served in a large Pilsner glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold, with a thick foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The smell is of caramelized malt, hops and some wheat. Overall, though, the smell isn’t very strong.

T: At first the taste is malty with hints of nuts & caramel, with a little hops. As the beer gets warmer the hops become much more pronounced and start to dominate the flavor.

M: Crisp & smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonarion, clean finish.

D: Tasty and not very filling, goes down very easy, worth drinking for the duration of your visit to Uno’s.

This one tasted just like Sam Adams Boston Lager but a bit lighter, however, not as light as Sam Adams Light. So I guess you could call it Sam Adams Not-So-Light.

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Photo of dherling
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clean and light golden with a small off white head. I get more hops than anything else in the head, a little grass, some spice. IT tastes fairly clean, a little malt, but again, hops are dominating here. The hops do a linger a bit on the finish, but basically it's fairly refreshing.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears Golden Amber, slightly active, fat 21/2" thick frothy head. Decent retention.

smells malt and hop balance. Mild nose.

A well balanced malt/hop flavor. robust and clean, this is a non extreme brew that can satisfy a large range of folks. Good for parties usually, unless of course your having a bunch of BA's over!!

Clean and refreshing feel, goes down pretty easy.

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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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