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)

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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Reviews: 978 | Ratings: 2,088
Photo of Darkmagus82
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – Pours a nice amber color bordering on copper. Upon pouring there are tons of tiny carbonation bubbles seen streaming up through the clear brew. A two finger just off white head sits atop the brew after pouring, which slowly fades over time to give a moderate level of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is a mix of malt, sweet and hop. The malty is of a bready and biscuit nature with the sweet being of a caramel and toffee nature. With these aromas is a hoppy aroma of a more earthy and herbal smell which rounds out the sweet and malty well.

Taste – The taste begins with a more bready taste upfront. With this more bready taste are some flavors of a hoppy nature. The hop begins largely as a citrus and earthy nature. As the flavor advances however the citrus hop fades while a herbal hop takes its place. While this occurs, a caramel sweetness develops and maximizes more toward the middle to the end of the taste. At the very end, the caramel is of moderate strength and mixes with the bready flavor as well as the hop flavor, which is now most potent in a herbal and earthy nature, leavening a malty but bitter sort of earthed flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the brew is on the average side in terms of its thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is on the average side. Both are rather appropriate for the style and make for a rather easy drinker.

Overall- A pretty good ale. A bit more of earthy and herbal hop then that standard ale, but nothing totally out of the ordinary.

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Photo of gr0g
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear shade of copper with a two finger head. Retention is pretty good, and some lacing forms close to the remnants of the head. Aromatics are pretty muted. Freshly baked bread and some toffee. Very faint floral hop note.

The flavor is malt forward but still nicely balanced by the English hops. Dry finish with light bitterness. Bready malt profile with a touch of diacetyl. Mouthfeel is this beer's best attribute: the carbonation has a very soft touch without being anywhere near flat.

A robust, malty take on an English pale ale. It's similar to Boston Lager in its overall flavor profile: malt forward but still nicely hopped. While a far cry from England's finest, this is a well-made English style ale.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Amber and clear, head and lace are pretty good.

A good mix of hops and malts compose both the nose and pallet. Good and spicy with hops that stand out. Caramel and biscuit malts.

Body is a bit slick and lingers in aftertaste.

Overall it's tasty but for a stock Sam Adams I prefer the lager.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes:

A: Pours a clear copper color with a small off-white head with decent retention and thin/sticky lacing.

S: Some biscuity malt with a little bit of earthy/grassy hops and a hint of pine.

T: On the bready side with a touch of sweetness, almost honey like. There is also a touch of nuts in this one.

M: Medium bodied, a little chewy with medium carbonation.

O: Not bad, but not memorable. Something I would order at a Boston bar with terrible beer options.

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

12 oz bottle poured into my SA Perfect Pint.

A -- Clear copper color with a couple fingers of white head. The foam dissipated quickly but left a good layer and had excellent lacing.

N -- Fruity (I get mostly citrus I think) and bready. The smells are subtle but very very pleasant. No funk, not too hoppy or malty. Good balance. Smells like it's going to be a good, smooth drinking beer.

T -- Taste follows the nose (wherever it goes!). The citrus/fruity hops up front, some earthy good tones after that, finished off with solid malted barley. Not highly roasted, but a good, warm, light biscuity taste. Quite good.

M -- Nothing to complain about in the mouth feel. Not had to sip, not hard to glug, just easy to drink. Kind of spicy/bubbly for a bare moment on the backend, leaving a breaded feeling in the mouth.

O -- Very good, straight up ale right here. Like it a lot, wish SA would push it a little more. They do a lot of solid six packs that often slip my mind (black lager, cream stout, and this). It might seem a little boring, but if I was at a party and they were serving this, I would go back again and again. Cheers!

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Sam Adams Brew Club at Newark International Airport (EWR)

A: Pours a crystal clear medium amber in color with some orange highlights when held up to the light and significant amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall creamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass - excellent head retention. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of floral, earthy, and spicy hops over the top of toasted and caramel malts.

T: Moderate to strong flavors of toasted caramel malts upfront with the spicy and earthy hops following afterwards. Light amounts of lingering bitterness are observed.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Easy to drink and sessionable - good flavors and relatively low ABV, reminds me of the local ales I drank when in the UK. Well balanced.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a copper/amber color with 2 fingers worth of off-white head

S: Light bready notes, some fruity notes, and caramel are really all that are showing up

T: Starts off fruity and citrusy and then moves into some bready malts and sweet caramel with some earthiness

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: Definitely follows the English style more than the American style, but not bad overall. Well balanced and easy to drink. A solid stock ale

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

Light amber body with an off white head. Kind of tastes and smells German to me. Sweet and slick, with an earthy presence dominating. Cereal grains come out quite nicely. I get a bit of a metallic/copper taste and feel that I dont necessarily like. Nice hint of caramel, but it has more of a full body than other pales, almost like a stock ale should. When I think of stock ales, I think of North Coast. This is nowhere close to that, but the idea of a thick, earthy, full bodied ale is spot on.

I actually really like this one.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.91/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a beer mug.

A: Pours a golden amber color with good clarity. The head is a two finger offwhite color that settles down slowly and leaves nice rings of lacing on the glass. Nothing out of the ordinary here, but pleasant to look at.

S: Fairly weak. There's a little caramel sweetness alongside some brown sugar and a hint of earthy hops, and that's about it.

T: On the plus side, it tastes richer than it smells. Caramel gives way to a light citrusy fruitiness and a very light bite of grassy finishing hops. Problem is, it's still kind of boringly nondescript. Nothing wrong with it, there's just nothing here that stands out.

M: No problems with the texture - it's light enough to go down easily. The faint dryness from the hops is this beer's best feature.

O: Meh. It's completely middle of the road in every way imaginable. Not too far off from Boston Lager in terms of a similar flavor profile, but somehow not as enjoyable. Just an average beer in all aspects.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by November 2012:

Into a pint glass:

A: clear copper/amber body that leaves a one finger white foamy head that lasts for about a good two minutes. Some spotty lacing speckles the sides of the glass and the body is too hazy for any carbonation to be seen rising.

S: earthy/herbal sweetness combined with some really light hops.

T: bready maltiness to the earthy/herbal sweetness

M: medium to heavy with a slight sharpness on the tongue, sessionable

O: not bad. However, I think I would only have this again on tap.

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Photo of kagent777
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with a best by date of Oct 2012 from the Utah system. Poured into my Perfect pint glass.

Appearance: A very nice clear copper amber beer with about 1 finger of persistent head that is slightly off white that leaves sticky lacing.

Smell: Amber malts with a molasses like sweetness. Maybe a touch of earthy-herbal type light hops.

Taste: Bready malts with a sweet finish. This is not an APA, as the category says. Nothing pale about this one. As the label says this is a smooth ale with a robust rounded taste. A touch more hops are found in the taste as a general slight bitterness to round out against the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: A medium to slightly heavy beer for the style. Rich flavors coat the mouth easily.

Overall: I liked this one pretty well. I think my issue is that there are simply beers I like better than this one. Not saying it is poorly brewed, but I probably would choose another beer.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is not an APA- more like an amber ale.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic tumbler- pours a relatively clear red caramel color, 1.5 finger head, pretty good retention, nice lacing.

Smell is pretty malty- lots of caramel balanced by a little hops.

Taste is better than I expected- still pretty malty, but a nice malt flavor. Lots of caramel, a nice barley flavor, a little bit hop hop bitterness, finishes sweet.

Mouthfeel is nice and refreshing but maybe a little sweet- medium body, light prickly carbonation. This is a pretty good offering from Sam Adams, good session beer. A little too sweet for me.

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Photo of BakerMoore
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Upon pouring not too big of a head forms less than one finger. What head does form is white and a bit fluffy it laces very very well even though the head does not retain. Not so bad. The bubbles rising to the top are not consistent. Its sporadic without the one constant stream. Due to the fact that I have had this before this leads me to believe that appearances can be misleading. The body color is dark copper color and looks just like an ale should besides the bubbling aspects.

The smell is definitely of herbal hops and malt. The other dominant smell is caramel which can be thought to be coffee at first. The smell is strong and aromatic, therefore pleasing to the nose.

The taste is very pleasing as it gives a flavorful bitter taste with a nice blend of caramel and herbal hops. That same blend shows itself in the aftertaste. It goes down well even still.

The mouthfeel is of some carbonation but just enough that it copmlements the taste and goes down smoothly. Its not too sticky.

Overall, its a very tasty beer that I will buy again. Its very enjoyable and I will purchase it again. I enjoy the caramel and herbal hop taste and aroma.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, pours copper in color with a tall frothy ivory head that holds excellent retention and leaves lacing rings all the way down the glass. Aromas are malty, bready, caramel, herbal hop. Tastes are nutty, earthy, caramel, herbal hop, bready malt. Mouth-feel is medium bodied, sharp, and crisp. Overall, loved the appearance of this one, decent APA and what I expected from this brewery.

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

Red/Copper in color. Minimal lacing. Smell is mostly buiscity malts, molasses, rasins. Tastes is similar, nice smooth breadyness, very similar to boston lager, but a bit less roasted, and more spicey with a little more of a citrus hop kick as opposed to grassy hop kick. Minimal hops though. One of the weaker ones in the lineup.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger thick head on a clear, copper-orange body.

S: caramel and toasted malts, toffee and earthy hops.

T: caramel and toasted malt forward APA. Hops are mostly earthy and slightly floral. brown sugar notes.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: this one is much more drinkable than Boston Lager. The flavor and hop character is better than expected as I feel this is the best year-round Samuel Adams beer.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.24/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, best by Oct 2012. Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Clear orange-copper with a 1/8" thick dense off-white head. Big sheets and strands of persistent lacing.

Smell: When first poured - just a hint of citrus an some toasted malt. After about 5 minutes there is practically nothing. Only with a swirl can I get something to come back out, an its only a hint of that citrus hop. A bit disappointing.

Taste: What this beer lacks in aroma, it makes up for in flavor. Smooth malt flavor blending nicely into a rich toasted malt + citrus hop finish. The hop finish has some earthy notes in there too. As far as APAs go - balanced, nothing special, but I will give it points for being a well balanced beer in the taste dept.

Mouthfeel: Rich mouthfeel. Nice thickness, carbonation just right.

Overall / Drinkability: I think overall, it's just okay. On the good side - very nice lacing but a bit of a weak color and a good mouthfeel. On the weak side - smell is weak (almost non existent) and the taste is balanced but not good enough to make up for the lack of aroma. So just okay. Drinkability - I can't see getting this again. Oh well - not every beer can be great.

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Photo of tdm168
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a moderate to light amber; big, white, frothy, dense head; great retention

S - floral, grassy, citrusy, faint bread

T - bread, sweet, caramel, grassy, citrusy, floral, bitter finish, faint pine

M - medium bodied, crisp, smooth

This is an easy drinking APA, but it lacks the depth and character of some of the others on the market. The caramel is overly sweet and a bit sticky and the hops are more subtle and can't stand up to the sweetness. Overall, it's not bad but there are better.

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Photo of ryantho00
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a off yellow brown with a slight fizz and small head that laces well.

A bit light on the nose, I detect a hint of toasted grain, some underlying hops, a hint of some bready maltiness but not much else, a little on the lighter side of smell.

I must say I like the blend of subtle hops, a nice bready taste, biscuits, grain, spicy pine and a nice malt and toasted oaks aftertaste with a dry, almost a hint of sour, finish.

Well balanced brew, not gonna knock your socks off but much better than most widely available beers. Quite a bit less hoppy than Boston Lager, but a fuller taste (less carbonated).


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Photo of Luigi
4.83/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a rich clear amble color with a massive creamy off white head. The head retention is perfect! Stays thick and foamy throughout the life of the beer.

At first sniff I get a big malty. Sweet and bread like. The hop is floral but blends in with malt perfectly.

Mmmm, I love how they perfectly balance malt sweetness with hop bitterness. Very English though!! I get a small hint dialectal finishing the toasted malt. The malt brings out kind of a sweet fruit flavor as well, and along with the hop some citrus as well.

The body is medium and is perfect for session drinking.

This is truly one of my favorite pale ales. You can never go wrong with a fresh 6 pack of Boston Ale.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I did not know this beer existed until yesterday, which is when I stumbled upon it. Best by June 2012.

A clear copper with a dense, tan head with rather excellent retention and nice lacing, this is one good looking beer. The nose is actually pretty nice! It's not really an APA, exhibiting a lot of English hop character, a blend of floral and leafy hops. There's a very nice, complex bready malt backbone as well, a blend of Vienna and a little caramel malt. A touch fruity, but there's also a very faint sulfur note, which is surprising. It does dissipate, though. Quite enjoyable.

The palate, however, isn't quite there. Opening with a surprising level of hop flavor, with rose water, green leaves and twigs, it does take me by surprise. The mid-palate follows with some malt character, not quite as balanced as on the nose. Biscuit, caramel and Vienna malt are present, though it does feel a little watery here. Drying and quite bitter on the finish with dried herbs, and a level of Hallertauer bitterness that almost seems overdone. Medium-light in body with moderate carbonation, this beer is quite nice. Not an APA by any stretch of the imagination, but as a beer, it's a success.

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Photo of wages
4.46/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

appearance - 5/5 - Pours a an attractive orange/red with a creamy looking one finger head.

smell - 4/5 - A pleasant and fairly mild malt aroma.

taste - 4.5/5 - Both surprisingly and not-so-surprisingly similar to Boston Lager, only in Ale form. The malt aroma becomes a mild sweetness balanced by subtle earthy hops.

mouthfeel - 5/5 - Perfect level of carbonation that helps this beer be refreshing while still offering flavors to the palate.

overall - 4.5/5 - Seems to be what Bud's American Ale was aiming for, but of course, done to Samuel Adams level of quality. All I would ask of this beer would be a tiny bit more hops, but it's quite wonderful as is.

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Photo of rangerred
3.17/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy medium copper with a one finger white head.

Smells of toffee and piny, earth hops. Almost like a sweeter version of Boston Lager.

The taste is Earthy hops and sweet malt up front along with a moderate bitterness that lasts throughout. There is a little bit of spice too with a slick, oily mouthfeel.

This reminds me a lot of Boston Lager but not quite as clean and crisp. The flavor profiles are quite similar. An ok beer but nothing I would really seek out again.

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Photo of acevenom
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep amber with a fluffy off-white head. there's a strong aroma of malt. The sweet malt flavor is well balanced with the bitterness from the hops. There's a pleasant medium mouthfeel. This is a very well balanced, drinkable beer from start to finish.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean orange-ish to copper color with an off white head. In the aroma, a small, sweet gingerbread like malt. In the taste, a small sweetness that rides through the mellow maltiness of gingerbread. A small bite and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry spice in the aftertaste. A bit spicy, but just about average for an ale.

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Samuel Adams Boston Ale (Stock Ale) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,088 ratings.
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