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

2,094 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: 2,094 |  Reviews: 978
Photo of lackenhauser
3.51/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice, copper color. No head by the time it hits the table. Wonder what it ws like at the bar. Low aroma-decent mix of hops and malt though none of the two stand out. Nice, somewhat carmel like flavor. Definate hop bitterness to it. Reminds me of a mellowed Sam Adams. Good enough mouthfeel. Damn drinkable. I have had this several times at my local Uno Grill. Sometimes it is much fresher then others. Nice step up from my usual BUD at places like this. I often thought it tasted like a "baby Sam". I had NO IDEA it was contract brewed by them. Big world out there I guess...

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Photo of sevineyes
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle featuring Sam Adams lifting a pewter pint.

A: Pours a burnished copper in color. Poured with an ample head that hangs around a while. Leaves very nice lacing.

S: Rich malty presence with ample hops. Behind that I do get some spicyness like fresh ground pepper. Very clean. Very pleasant aroma.

T: Caramel with some burnt orange. Definite toasted presence. Floral flavors that turn into a subtle bitter. Very compimentary to the smell.

M: Coating and rich for the style. Smooth with perfect carbonation.

D: Very drinkable.

Overall: This beer pulled me in a lot more than I guess I was expecting. There are a lot more nuances to this beer than my review attests to. Everything is very fresh and clean. A friend described it as being like after a short rain in the summer and I really can't argue with that fitting the beer.

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Photo of hero27
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Brewmaster's Collection. Best before July 2006.

Clear copper color. Aroma is thick toffee & caramel. Hints of diacetyl in the flavor, but nothing overwhelming. It's definitely a wave of butterscotch and toffee that comes to a very bready and sweet finish. The mouthfeel is fairly thin, which makes this very easy to drink while still having enough body to hold the flavors well. Their Boston Ale has always been a solid beer, and it hasn't changed much over time.

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Photo of Manosbeeroffate
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a mix pack. Pours a nice amber gold color, similar to the boston lager. Can't smell much but that might just be me. Taste is really nice, a balance of sweet malt and hops with a dry biscuity flavor too. Nice mouthfeel, not thin. Overall a really nice beer. One of my faves, they can sell this along with their flagship lager as a regular beer. Sam Adams may be a big company but most of their beers are damn good.

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Photo of mcarroll10177
4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

served from a bottle into an American pint glass

A- golden amber color with a thick white head that disappeared after a few minutes. Leaves really great lacing on the glass as well.

S- some hops but balanced and not over powering

T- crisp and clean upfront with slight hint of citrus. Slightly bitter, just enough to clean the palate as well. Smooth finish with a slight sour or bitterness, just right.

M- the same as almost all from SA, balanced not to thin or too thick

D- an incredibly drinkable ale. Goes down very smooth. SA has another achivement in the drinkablility department.

Notes- this is a very underated ale ( as in my opinon many SA offerings are) this is my go to ale when an English Brown is not availible. A person can also get this anywhere ( I assume you can, but I am from Western MA) and it is perfectly balanced, just enough complexity for a BA yet nothing over powering for someone used to macros.

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Photo of hanco005
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle marked 036451320 poured into a pint glass

A—clear orange amber brown with ½ tan head that slip down to a thin white line in a matter of minutes

S—roasted malts and hops are balanced in the aroma, sweet and a little sour

T—again a nice balance of malt sweetness and hops bitterness, starts sweet then changes to a dry bitter finish

M—medium bodied with good carbonation

D—A good solid beer. I have a hard time finding a dominate taste…it’s really well balanced. Could easily have a few more.

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Photo of Shiloh
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This S.A. product is golden/copper in colour with a crown of a single finger, poor retention, limited lacing and lively carbonation.
The nose is fresh and crisp...of ice.
The body is a medium.
The taste is everything with a nice citrus theme throughout accompanied by a grainy maltiness to lightly attempt to balance.
Also feels a little dry to end.
Very satisfying.

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

mapley color, very clear. spotty, patchy foam. has that sweet, malty, rich sam adams nose.. very similar to alot of their other low abv ales. marzen-ey in its malt richness with accenting spice. initially flavor kicks off with raw cinnamon stick dust followed up by caramel swirls.. finishes with a distinctive hop bitterness without much hop flavor. distinctly tin-foil aftertaste thing happening. very odd beer.. flavorful but lacking in any direction. koch has managed to make a rich, delicious beer here that leaves me frankly puzzled as to what the hell it is that i'm drinking. respectable, but i wouldn't opt for a six-pack.

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Photo of PeatReek
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: pale fuzzy amber-ish color with some distinctly noticeable sediment floating around. Eww. Thin white head that dissolves to a lid right away.

Aroma: a touch yeasty, with very mild bread and roast nut overtones and a slight floral finish. Smells very subtle overall.

Taste & mouthfeel: Initial flavor is one of subtle roasty, malty sweetness, overwhelmed right away by citrusy American hop bitterness, which makes what little carbonation there is seem almost abrasive. Floral flavors are overwhelmed by the grapefruit tang, which I wouldn't mind if it were accompanied by a big hop nose, but as it is, it just muddles the aftertaste. Body is medium.

Drinkability: I'd probably choose not to have too many of these on account of the grapefruity, slightly metallic aftertaste.

The sediment made me suspect the freshness of this beer; there was no packaging date, but this bottle claims not to "expire" until July '06.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Loved this one the first time I tried it a long time ago as part of my first brewmaster's select 12 pack. Picked a sixer up as part of my contribution to the super bowl party tommorrow but I'm sure no one'll mind me taking one to review for "quality control" today.

12 ounce bottle poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - A very nice translucent copper/orange color with a thick foamy two finger white head. Foam sticks to the glass nicely leaving some lace on the walls of the glass.

S - A bit of a grainy smell with some hops in there. A bit of swetness characteristic of a pale ale.

T - I get the dry grainy taste here a lot with some nice flowery hop taste. A good bitter bite finishes the beer well. All in all a great balanced flavor.

M - A nice feel with some carbonation dancing around. A nice medium mouthfeel that makes this opne nice and crisp.

D - It's better than your average pale ale and really screams SESSION BEER!!!. An interesting enough flavor to make you want more and a beer you can put down all night. Wish they actually had this on tap at some bars in my area.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle with best by date of Jun 06. A foamy, white, slightly thin head forms on top of a light bronze colored beverage. Lots of carbonation action going on.

Smell is a bit typical. Nice hop aroma and some caramel malts as well. Smells nice. Toffee aromas as well.

I wasnt extremely fond of the taste. I do taste the hops in there. The malt is balanced with that but doesnt really stand out or lend any specific flavors. Just an overall malt sweetness that keeps the beer in balance.

Dry mouthfeel with some bitterness. Light bodied. This could be an everyday beer. Certainly better than some of the macros in my opinion. If the price were a little more affordable, this might be in my fridge everyday.

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Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - The beer is a clear reddish gold with an appropriately foamy head that never completely disappears. Carbonation is actively rising at all times. Lots of lacing left.

S - The aroma suggests pepper and citrus hops behind the malt.

T - There is first the sweetness of the malt followed by the bite of the hop. All in all it is a nicely balanced ale. There is also a hint of sour citrus.

M - Not thin not thick, good balance between carbonation and viscosity.

D - The more I drink, the more I like the flavor. This would be a good beer to keep in mind if you are ordering in an establishment with limited selection.

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Photo of bearrunner44
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Near-white, creamy head, with light colors that range from burnt orange to yellow.

Smell- Strong, herbal hops up front. Aroma has a slightly burnt, malty character to it.

Taste- The malt gives the beer a smooth, buttery foundation. The hops linger in the finish, providing a tea-like bitterness along the edges. Surprisingly complex.

Verdict- This might be my favorite Sam Adams offering. It's deceptively complex, and very quaffable.

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

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a great clear copper with a white creamy head that is dissipating slowly.

Smell: Earthy, malt and slightly sweet.

Taste: Starts of with a piney taste from the hops and then moves on to an earthy, malt taste that balances the hops great. Ends with a slight hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. Very balanced.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I could have a few of these in a sitting.

Another good beer from Boston Brewing Company. Keep up the great work!!!

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Photo of russpowell
4.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Except for asthetis this was a great beer, so it's still a great beer IMHO

Poured dark gold to bronze with a bubbly head that dropped of rapidly. Bubbles occasionaly rise from the bottom. Minimal head retention and no lacing

Smell: Fruittiness and floral hops in abundance. Some butterscotch notes

Taste: Frutiness, slight hopiness, with slight butterscotch taste (in a good way in this instance) Citric hops bitterness with ever so slight graininess and alcohol on the finish

MF: Perfect balance. Malt & hops are in sync. Slight over carbonation

This worked for me, don't remember it being so good. Drink up!


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Photo of skillerified
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came to the table a nice caramel color with no head. The lacing was decent though.

This was weak in the scent department. A little malt, but not much else.

Taste actually reminded me of a Shiner Bock. There was an okay caramel flavor throughout with a hint of hop flavor at the finish. Seemed to get just a little bit spicy as it warmed.

Medium bodied with a deliciously creamy texture. This beer struck a good balance between early sweetness and finishing bitterness.

A pretty tasty beer overall. Went well with the pizza. I'd not hesitate to order this again next time I visit Uno.

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

Serving from a chilled 12 oz. bottle.

A vigorous pour produced a prodigious head ... which was short lived. Not much in the way of aroma, as I stuck my nose into the glass. Initial aroma seemed almost spicy and peppery. The taste is on the hoppy side, in fact, its almost all I tasted. Some pretty decent lacing was evident during the session. Mouthfeel is a bit thin; no boldness there. The finish is dry with a hoppy aftertaste. For a session beer, its not bad, but a good Pale or IPA would be much better, IMHO.

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

Pours a dark amber color with some orange and gold hues shining through. Thin head that is now gone. Little lacing and lot's of carbonation bubbles. Smell is fruity, cherry like, somewhat medicinal. Taste is of some piney hops with a very strong malt background. I think in this particular APA the malts dominate the hops. Leaves a medicine like cherry aftertaste. The mouthfeel is dominated by carbonation. Over all this is a decent brew. Not outstanding but a good beer to fall back on when some of your favorites aren't available.

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Photo of Jaynuze
3.51/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A brownish-tan color with very little nose. Was hoping for a lot more hops, but was met with a somewhat balanced hoppy/malty brew (stronger on the malt unfortunately - IMHO). There was zero head retention and its mouthfeel was a bit flat (I liked this since I am a big fan of cask drawn bitters - wonder if this would benefit such treatment ... wishful thinking for a macro), though I did have this served to me at a Sam Adams airport bar, so a quality pour was not expected. Though the beer wasn't my preferred style, I would recommend trying it out for yourself. It's an easy drinking beer that would go well with bar fare or a night out with the boys. I think I'll give it another chance to see if it's any different ... maybe from the bottle this time around.

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Photo of Enola
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty good offering from Sam Adams. The color is a light tea color. The beer had a nice one inch head that quickly dissolved into a thin layer. There is quite a bit of lacing on the glass. The smell is of spices and honey. The taste is similar to an old ale. The mouthfeel is good with no harsh tones and a nice lingering bitterness. The drinkability is near the top as far as Sam Adams brews go. I would drink this beer again. This would be an excellent session beer.

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Photo of akahn
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange with a half-inch white head that recedes to a ring, leaving tiny spots of lace.

Caramel malt aroma. Surprisingly sweet aroma for an APA but by no means unwelcome.

Earthy, sweet malt flavor up-front with some caramel. Then, some balancing hop prickliness.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Somewhat creamy mouthfeel, leaving an irksome sweet coating in the mouth.

This beer could use some more balance and personally, I'd appreciate more hop flavor and aroma. I'd turn to Smuttynose Shoal's Pale Ale for a similar but better beer. Despite being about an average APA, this made a good lunch-time beer with a sandwich.

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Photo of bucko
2.63/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark copper color with an almost white head that quickly disappears. The smell is dominated by carmel from the malt. The hop aroma is there, but extremely subdued. The taste is dominated by the malt - carmel comes through. The hop bitterness is there, but the flavors are overpowered by the malt. The mouthfeel is rich and heavier than what I'd expect from an APA. The beer is definitely drinkable, but it took me some time to get over my expectations for an APA. I don't think this beer fits the style very well and think it might be a stretch to even call it an English Pale Ale. That being said, it's a smooth, consistant brew, but certainly not what one might expect within the APA category.

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Photo of jaluria
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A medium-copper color with a bit of head that leaves behind just a touch of lacing. Aromas of malt, hops, and caramel seem to come out. The taste is much sweeter than might be expected for this style. The malt profile is more like a German lager with hints of spices and a subtle aftertaste that sits in the back of my throat. Drinking this beer makes me think it was prepared ever so carefully with just the right amount of this with that. Together, the components make a good session beer, but not one that works within the style.

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Photo of Phatz
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a decent, very sessionable beer but certainly nothing overly exciting! It was severed to me in a pint glass looking a light orange coppery color, translucent, and with a small head. Medium lacing. There was not much of a smell at all; neither good nor bad it was simply missing. As it warmed I may have been able to make out a subtle generic aroma of balanced malts and hops. The taste is very balanced. It is an extremely approachable beer that I would recommend for transitioning Macro-beer drinkers. The hop and malt balance does not excite me very much but it is very easy on the palate and I believe few people would find it very objectionable. I found it a bit boring but overall refreshing. With a very crisp mouth feel and a low ABV, I could drink this beer all night at a bar (if in good company ‘cuz the beer itself won't entertain). I recommend giving it a try!

Hope this is helpful.

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

I have sucked down so many Boston Lagers that its hard to believe I haven't got around to trying this, let alone reviewing it.

This pours out rather placidly into my Boston Lager pint glass a medium copper with low carbonation and just a slight amount of cling.

The nose of the beer echoes the Boston Lager in certain ways - German hops - but has much more of an earthy, fruity, funky thing going on. I'm reminded of cork, mushrooms, and starkly European hops.

The flavor of this beer is remarkably smooth - I would beg to say that it is considerably less hoppy than the BL. Take that how you will...

Not too much to pontificate about here but a smooth, tasty, crisp ale that really hits the spot when you don't crave a super over-the-top type brew.

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Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,094 ratings.
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