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)
2,125 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

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Ratings: 2,125 |  Reviews: 989
Photo of zerk
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear amber with a frothy head that dissapated quickly. Slightly hoppy aroma. Somewhat thin mouthfeel, but with a nice spice / hop flavor. Decent amber ale, but not nearly as good as others in the same genre.

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Photo of Viking
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful looking beer, nice red-amber color with a thick creamy head, which leaves a multitude of lace trails and rings on the glass. Aroma is sweet and malty, with earthy hops. Flavor is solid, sweet malt dominates at the beginning and in the finish. Hops come in to play somewhere in the middle. I'd like the hop bite to linger through the finish of the beer, but then I'd also like to have a Ferrari 360 Modena. Such is life. Mouthfeel is a bit watery, though has some smoothness to it. Very good as a session brew, but don't let it warm much, because the taste can go south pretty quickly.

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Photo of aracauna
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Nice sweet malt. Moderate hoppage but nothing overpowering. Good easy drinking beer. It's something I'd probably take to parties and cookouts since I'm not big on the typical lagers.

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Photo of aaronh
4.57/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was very impressed with this offering from Boston Beer. Having just experienced a poor case of Double Bock and a slightly dissapointing Weiss, this beer was truly a treat. I love the way the malt flavors play off the bitterness of the hops. Wonderful, inviting color and aroma, with a nice thick head that slowly dissipates but leaves a reminder that it was there. Very good ale. It would be easy to drink too many of these.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.7/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich copper color, good carbonation. A rocky, multi-level just-slightly-off-white head with popping bubbles. Nice lacing. A deep floral and fruity hoppy nose. Outstanding balance between the hops and the malt in the mouth. They are both there, working in harmony. Smooth, rich mouthfeel. Bottle doesn't list recipe, but it seems like there might be some chocolate or roasted malt. A neglected star in the Sammy galaxy. The seasonals, the experiments, the Light and the Lager get the pushes, but this one deserves more attention. Next time Jim needs to trim the line, drop the Pale Ale, it might distract people from this.

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Photo of mophie
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aside from Sammy's Double Bock, this is perhaps my favorite Sam Adams. Very, very nice English-style ale! Rich orange/copper hue, with a creamy, just-this-side-of-tan head. Aroma of crisp floral and herbal hops balanced by a delicate sweetness. Initial taste of mild citrus, followed by a mellow, creamy, smooth maltiness. Slightly bitter, refreshing finish. A terrific summer treat!

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Photo of ThreePistols
4.13/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber color with an orange hue, foamy white head, clinging lace to the end. Spicy floral hoppy slightly sweet aroma. Spicy, hoppy, toasted, malty flavor. Very well balanced. Very nice slightly dry finish. Nice lasting aftertaste. Medium body. Definitely a staple in the frig along with SA Boston Lager. Great on those hot Florida days, before, during and after the yard work. Goes great with food, especially grilled hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken, steaks, seafood and all the fixings. Did someone say "Backyard cookout?" Prosit!

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Photo of bmills1608
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep copper-gold color.

Sports a nice thick, off-white foamy head. Smells floral with some spice.

Taste is clean, very British pale ale like (as it should), nicely hopped with a good biscuity barley taste. Very well balanced. Reminds me a bit of Samuel Smith's Brewery Pale.

Finishes dry and a bit hoppy. A very good beer, no faults at all.

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Photo of BrewAskew
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is very similar to Boston Lager, because they use the same grains. The hop character is as assertive as in the lager, but somehow smoother and spicier due to the English and Czech hops and ale yeast, versus the German hops and lager yeast in the other beer. If you want to try a slightly stronger, fruitier, more complex and less grassy tasting verson of the Boston Lager, this is the one. This is good, well crafted beer. It is not the best beer of this type that I have tasted, but it is very respectable in my opinion.

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Photo of frank4sail
3.37/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Mild sweet/flower nose. Golden with a slightly amber hue. Cream/beige color to the head. BIG bubbbles. Medium to hight maltiness. clean finish. But it lacks hop bitterness for my taste. solid but nothing special for me in this beer.

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Photo of Brent
4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For years Sam Adams' lager, like Sierra Nevada pale ale, has held a special place in my heart because SA managed to combine wide distribution and still maintain a consistent level of quality. Even in a bar or restaurant where they sell Bud Lite by the tankerload, you can usually count on a bottle of SA lager in the cooler. For some reason, I just never got around to trying SA's stock ale (distracted by more exotic lures, I guess). Now I'm kicking myself for ignoring this tasty ale for so long. Solid malt and a respectable hops kick - nothing over the top, but quality beer, through and through.

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Photo of jackndan
5/5  rDev +38.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is by far and away my favorite beer in my favorite style, and thus it is my first and only perfect 5. I’ve always loved most of Jim Koch’s beers, but when I’ve got to convince a doubter as to the quality of American beers, I tell them to have a Sam Adams Boston Ale, as it is simply world class. The Beer Advocate, Todd A., hits the nail on the head when he said this was a perfectly balanced beer. This is a “mass produced” (almost) beer you can give to the greatest beer snobs of Europe, and convince them that the Colonies can produce a unique, yet world class, beer. A great beer.

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Photo of budgood1
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

everything i enjoy in an ale. orange-copper in color...a nice sticky head, a combination english/american hop aroma and a balanced malt flavor that leans towards the spicy (hoppy) side. an quintessentially american style ale, it balances everything we all love in ales into one brew. sound impossible? try this stuff.

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Photo of Mark
4.23/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Good solid Ale that I have always thought well of. Believe it or not it is not a regular staple in my fridge... Very smooth and highly drinkable, comes the closest for me to English ales. I have revised my opinion of this brew to a slighlty lower plane. While I still have a high opinion of it, I just don't seek it out all that much. In fact that is kind of what Johnny P. said about Sam Adams beers. Good but they just don't inspire.

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Photo of marc77
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light orange in color and very clear. The head retention is sufficient enough to leave a lace. The mildly grassy and floral hop nose is accompanied by a mellow and pleasant diacetyl note, as well as crystal malt sweetness. Yeast esters are minimal. Boston Ale is very clean all around in flavor profile. The moderate hop bitterness is well balanced by a firm maltiness and fairly dextrinous body. The hop flavor is quite earthy w/ a mellow floral note, and isn't overbearing. Lots of biscuit malt flavors in the somewhat dry finish. Although much cleaner and less estery than a good British pale, this makes for a good session brew if you're into British hop flavor.

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

Appearance: Pours a light amber gold color with a thundering off white head that is scarcely contained by a pint glass. The head did not disappear, even after five minutes it was still quite respectable.

Aroma: Rich spicy, hoppy, bitter citrus aroma.

Taste: The flavor is of hops, citrus, spices, and a faint malty sweetness, finishes with distinct hop notes.

Mouth feel: Smooth, full, soft and pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A superb, well-balanced beer.

Presentation: Packaged in a brown twelve-ounce custom long neck bottle with a pop-off crown, served in a syandard pint tap glass.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This stuff is great, I always drink the lager... I didn’t know what I was missing...It pours a very nice dark amber color with a nice fluffy tan head that dies pretty quick. On the nose it has pleasant floral hops and light caramel malt, as well as vanilla aromas. A hint of hop flavor and a light medium body and malt content round out this brew, grainy. Long, smooth, clean finish.

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Photo of rastaman
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An average ale, with an easy drinking character, not too complex and perhaps a bit of a metallic finish, there are better beers from samuel adams.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of the Sammy sampler... Copper color...soft herbal nose...fairly smooth going down... light toasty malt to start, and the finish goes down with a bit o' hops....pretty nice...

overall: 3.75
appearance: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4


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

Boy I love the aroma of this beer...initially floral, but then a citrucy fruity smell comes through...the hops aren't as strong as you'd expect in the taste but they are very nice...Good maltiness balances this out perfectly. Very flavorfull for a lighter excellent beer top-to-bottom..

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

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. Freshness date clearly scored on the side of the label.

Appearance: Pours an amber coloured beer with orange-red hues. The white head is thick initially and very foamy, creamy and sticky. Excellent head retention throughout the beer's life in the glass.

Smell: Soft hops, a bit fruity with herbal / spice aromas.

Taste: Relatively smooth, however there's a unique hop coarseness to the brew that is leafy initially. Hop flavour is spicy and herbal, with a raw, fresh hop backbone flavour. Bitterness is medium, slightly citrus, although there is an initial bite to awaken the palate. Nice fruity, estery flavour too. Malt sweetness comes around the edges and helps to round this beer off. Body is medium. Finish has some dry grain flavours and a touch of herbal / flowers, but nothing out of balance.

Notes: In my opinion, Boston Ale still stands as one of the best of its kind in America. You simply cannot go wrong with a fresh one. Perfect balance. Perfect drinkability. The perfect fridge beer or fall-back beer, and chances are ... you can always find one.

Accoring to Grant Wood @ Boston Beer Co., Boston Ale is more like an English Pale Ale, "I suppose it is more like an English Pale Ale, more Bass-like. We actually call it a "Stock Ale". It has been krausened and stored on dry hops for 2 weeks."

From Sam Adams:
Samuel Adams Boston Ale was the second beer on the Samuel Adams roster, a robust and spicy ale brewed in 1988 to celebrate the opening of the Samuel Adams Brewery in Boston. The recipe for Boston Ale is from the Koch family archives. Jim's grandfather kept careful brewer's notes which were stored in the family's Cincinnati attic.

Stock ale is one of the few classic beer styles to have originated in the United States, and the style has a strong New England heritage. Stock ales were brewed and fermented in the traditional ale manner and then aged in cool rooms called "stock cellars." The special ales were called "stock" ales because of this extra aging, which gave them a characteristic body and smoothness.

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

I'm in the same boat as Gary. I just picked up a six after a many-year hiatus and really enjoyed the beer. I'll be back for more sooner next time.

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Photo of gwfrankpsu
3.76/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It has been quite a while since I've tried Sam Adams Ale. Had to try one on my way through Boston Airport last weekend. This is a very drinkable beer, while not great, it has something that will bring me back - this time I won't go six years without having another.

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Photo of xXTequila
4.26/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really nice easy drinking ale. Golden amber with fluffy white head that leaves nice rings down the glass.
A light taste of caramel and spicy hops.

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Photo of AaronRed
4.76/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Execellent, smooth ale, not as recognized as their other beers. Goes with all types of food. A good starter beer for someone trying to expand their tastes to full bodied ales.

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Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 2,125 ratings