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

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Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale)Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale)
2,107 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: 2,107 |  Reviews: 984
Photo of Dizzy
3.64/5  rDev +0.6%
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 +11%
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 +16.3%
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 +10.5%
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 +5.5%
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 +12.7%
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 +8.6%
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 -4.1%
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 +20.2%
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 -5.2%
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 -19.1%
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 +3%
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 -0.3%
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 -4.7%
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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Photo of ArcTeryx
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly cloudy pale orange color, with a fizzy white head. This beer is characterized by a small malty aroma.

Very slight hoppy tatse present. Malts are more pronounced than the hops, which is kind of the opposite of the Boston Lager, where hops are more prevalent than the malts. Slightly biscuity flavor present.

I like this beer better than the Boston Lager; it's a bit more complex (but not much more). Pretty decent brew.

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Photo of Applesauce1
3.89/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've drank this many times before, but none for the last few months, so I figured I'd go back to an old favorite for a review.

Bottle says the beer expires in December 2006.

Appearance: amber color with a 1/2" off-white head; looks really good
Smell: little bit of hops; some kind of weird smell (maybe some caramel malt?)
Taste: pretty good, little bit sweet; light on the hops for a pale ale; caramel; gets better as it gets warmer
Mouthfeel: light-medium bodied; good carbonation
Drinkability: very easy to drink; could go with 2 or 3 in a row

This beer is pretty easy to find at most good beer shops. It's a reliable beer for a meal or a night out.

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Photo of Budlum
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 ounce bottle in to a pint glass. The pour produces one half inch of foamy white head lasting about 30 seconds. The body is a brilliant orange and red. A well balanced amber color to say the least.

Plenty of hops immediately on the nose with a lingering effect of roasted malt. Faint odors of fresh cut grass and pine. There are subtle hints of vanilla and caramel behind the hops.

The taste is immediately hoppy yet smooth on the tongue. The roasted malt body barely noticeable on the nose is more apparent at the midpoint of a sip. Plenty of sweet vanilla and caramelized sugar flavors working together with the relative hop bitterness. Very well balanced throughout.

Excellent, slick mouthfeel with a relatively light body make the drinkability of this one huge.

The combined smell and taste followed by a great body and drinkability measure make this an excellent choice for any palate. An excellent choice for a fridge stocker.

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Photo of badbeer
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice pale color with a soft white head leaving a nice lacing. Toffee, caramel, and light floral hops in the nose. Much of the same in the taste, with a slight hoppy finish. High carbonation and medium bodied. Pretty solid choice here, I could have this on occasion.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice ale, great head and head retention, rich gold color. Nice rich strong smell. The hops come out strong on the nose. Taste is pretty well balance, but I think they use a little bit too many hops. I personally love that about the beer, but I am judging style. Mouthfeel is somewhat normal for an ale, rich on the palate, but not a lot of carbonation. I could knock a few of these back.

I had to edit this, the malt flavor comes out more as it warms up. When it's cold it's all hops.

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Photo of MarkBlackout
4.45/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I like this. I didn't immediately label it as a Pale Ale upon trying it: maybe a decently hopped ESB or Amber Ale? It has a really nice maltiness and maybe a more spicy, peppery hop flavor (as opposed to fruit/pine oriented which i find prominent in other easily-acquired, major market pale ales). I used to disrespect Sam Adams, but lately I've retried several of their beers and found all three passable or better. May this review serve as a retraction of those statements. Except for the one to the effect that their television ads are indeed as corny and contrived as the commercials for any other product. I'm impressed with the product, though, so I'm willing to ignore the advertisements and proceed to pick more of these up (I only bought one this evening) on the way home from work tomorrow.

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Photo of bodybyadam
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Traditional Sam Adams bottles. Smartly appealing.

A: Poured into my glass an amber to orange hue with 1/4 inch bead of white foam.

S: A mild hop nose and mild note of malt in the nose as well.

T: This one is hoppy * but not bitter in taste.

M: A good smooth, mellow tasting blend, well balanced.

D: Fairly drinkable, I prefer more bitter. Good poolside or in the hot tub.

Elbows Up,

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the tap, and far too cold. Yellow appearance with a small head of white foam. Not so amber, more golden brown. Aromas of fresh mashed malts and grain. Taste is similar to smell; malt, grain, raw molassas, a touch of hops. Mouthfeel was unremarkable, yet acceptable. Drinkability is decent. Not bad with the pizza I had. Worth a try. Then move on.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very nice middle-of-the-road Pale Ale.

Served in at 45 deg F in pint glass. Pours a nice orange-copper hue with a long lasting head. The hops aroma are somewhat subdued. A slight citrusy, floral aroma can barely be detected. This ale begins with a nice balance of toasty, grainy malts and floral bittering hops. They blend nicely together in the middle, before the ale finishes bitter- but not overly so. Just a faint malty aftertaste remains.

A very nice pale ale which can be enjoyed with about any dish or gathering. The alcohol is low enough to to drink a few without worrying about calling a taxis.

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Photo of HoustonTX
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured ice cold from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pale amber color, nice head and lacing, decent retention.

S - Smell is of roasted grains, hops, slight barley, and a citrus tart.

T - Taste is very appealing with it's mild hop backbone. The taste is very solid and suprisingly crisp. Very well balanced and the flavors tend to meld together in a quite unique way. The hops/malt/caramel flavors just go so well together and in such a perfect balance. Fruit ester flavors are also apparent. Delicious.

M - Crisp, smooth, and refreshing.

D - I could drink these all day long.

This is by far my favorite Sam Adams brew, it's just so damn solid. All around this is quite possibly the most well-rounded brew I have tasted. All the qualitys just blend so nicely together. Great session brew, and defintely one of the best American brewed ale to date. Sam Adams has a gem with these, and at $5.99 a 6 pack, it's quite a wonderful deal.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - this ale pours a rich coppery brown color, with a genrous but short lived white head, there is light cabronation

S - a hoppier aroma than i expected, a nice refreshing aroma, intertwined with slight citrus and pine hints

T - hmmm, very nice, a tasty hoppiness in this ale that is of a higher quality than i expected for the most macro brewery among crafts, otherwise not a complex taste,

M - moderate, nice and smooth, but unassuming

D - slightly above average, a nice ale that is easy to throw back, and not too bitter throw off the casual beer enthusiast

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Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 2,107 ratings
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