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

563 Reviews
Read the review
Samuel Adams Brown AleSamuel Adams Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.35%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by chOAKbarrell on 12-25-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 563 | Ratings: 706
Photo of Erdinger2003
1.84/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance is impressive for a Sam Adams, it's head is thick and creamy and doesn't completely dissapate, the lacing is very sticky. The color is ruby red when held up to the light.

The smell is sour and malty, there isn't any sweetness at all.

The taste is a little off, almost like a lager kind of sour.

Mouthfeel is a notch above water, not bad, not good.

I don't think I'll ever drink this one again.

 417 characters

Photo of orcasteve
2/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

this is malty then bitter, i dont like anything about this beer, this is the worst offering that i have ever had from samuel adams, i am glad that i only had to suffer through the one that my couson gave me. i think that thay need to go back to the drawing board with this one. i will never drink anouther one of these

 318 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.11/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Thin reddish brown, little to no head.

S – Buttered muffins, milk duds.

T – Butter, caramel, cherry gushers.

MF – Buttery-chewy with a slightly bitter hopped finish.

Drinkability - Would be sessionable but it’s just not interesting enough. This is pretty bland and dull brown. Dare I say that even New Castle has more character?

 349 characters

Photo of klewis
2.21/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Best before 8/07

A: Pours a reddish-brown with a bubbly white head. Light flares of lacing.

S: Not much except a bland corn aroma.

T: Malty with with a dry taste of corn, nuts, and grain.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: Bland and boring. Though this could possibly be acceptable to drink, I'm choosing to dump.

 341 characters

Photo of FloppyDog
2.26/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass.

Deep brown color with a finger tall head.

Aroma not too significant, leaning more towards the hops than the malt.

Taste is initially of flavorful malt with an astringent finish that was not enjoyable at all. It tasted almost tannin-like, in a bad way. This astringency lingered in my mouth even after the sip was swallowed.

Mouth feel was fairly light, with moderate carbonation.

Overall, the finish ruined the beer for me.

 455 characters

Photo of tommy78
2.36/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one out of a brewmaster's collection pack. Poured it out of the bottle, and it was a typical copperish color. The smell wasn't very strong. In fact, I really couldn't pinpoint a specific aroma. The taste wasn't very impressive either. In fact, I wouldn't have more than two. It just doesn't settle well in the belly. I wouldn't go out of my way to pick this beer up again.

 381 characters

Photo of LordHarris
2.4/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass a dark brown with a small head that last a short amount of time, but retains some on the edge of the glass.

A: not bad, a nice dark brown that has a small head that vanishes fast, but, keeps a nice amount of it on the side of the glass.

S: A smell of carmel and malt with a slight hint of hops.

T: A slight taste of carmel with a bitter ending that doesn't finish the most smooth.

M: too much carobonation for a brown ale, doesn't finish the most smooth either.

D: This one will be ok, but i'm glad this beer is out of a Brewmasters collection, because its not on my list of best brown ales

 649 characters

Photo of Dizzy
2.43/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours brown with off white head. Aroma of caramel and toasted malt. I can taste roasted malts, maybe even some buttery elements to the flavor. The finish seems a little bit bitter. This beer has too much carbonation in my opinion. This isn't something I'd buy again.

 266 characters

Photo of Jablonski
2.46/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a mahogany color with a small head.

S: It has a nutty smell with sweet malt notes; nothing else that I can pick up, which is a bit disappointing.

T: The tastes I can pick up are honey, nuts, and spices. None of them are that strong though.

M: Way overcarbonated.

D: The beer is a bit light, making it decently drinkable. Overall I'm a bit disappointed, as Sam Adams generally is of a higher quality.

 439 characters

Photo of goochpunch
2.5/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a cherrywood brown with a thick rocky head the shade of almond butter. Leaves thick sheets of lacing. Smells of boring malts and slight ethanol. Not much character to speak of. Faint candy aromas and some noble hops can be detected. Malty body with some toasted malts. Slight diacetyl. Faint hops. Really not a lot going on. Mouthfeel is too prickly with carbonation and a bit too light for my tastes. Not bad enough to dump, but it sucks I have one more of these from the mix 6 pack deal.

Brown ale? More like sickly sweet boring mess.

 549 characters

Photo of peabody
2.53/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours out a dark coffee to Iced tea color with very little brown to white suds that dissapate quickly leaving very little lacing.
Smell is very subtle. Smells like glue that is getting ready to harden.
Taste is watery. Light caramel and malt with very little fruitiness.
Samuel Adams brews suck ass as far as I am concernend.
I haven't tasted one SA brew that rates better than Budweiser to date. In fact, I would rather have a budweiser than any and I mean any of Samuel Adams brews. They all suck.
Any Sam Adams brew I am reviewing will be rated less than budweiser.

 573 characters

Photo of theozag
2.57/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Smell is a little bit sour and quite malty. A whispy, white, thin head lasts for a long time over the top of this beer. The brew itself is muddy brown and completely opaque. Starts dry, mild, malty, and slightly sour. Settles full-bodied with only vague flavors - lime and caramel seem to be present, getting more dry in the mouth. Finishes oily, very sour, gentle fruit flavor. Has a dwelling and somewhat unpleasant aftertaste.

 429 characters

Photo of AltBock
2.57/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle that came out of the Brewmasters 6 pack. It has the usual Sam Adams label of Samuel Adams at the bottom of the label toasting a frosty metal pitcher of beer. Since it's a Brown Ale, the label has 2 different coats of brown. The brown in the middle of the label is a lighter brown color than the brown on the sides where the Government warning and Best Before notched date on the sides are. What's nice was that it was clearly notched Best Before May of 2007. The label at the top of the neck has all the information you need to know about this beer. It even tells where the hops came from.

Appearance: When it was poured into a simple Bell's Brewery American pint glass, the beer was a Chestnut brown with ruby and amber highlights. When it was poured, it had a 1 finger (probably going on 2 finger) head of white foam. It dissipated away too fast into just a small trace of white foam at the top. It did leave some foamy white rings and little white lace around the glass.

Smell: Sweet and sour roasted malts dominates the nose with a trace of Goldings and biscuits in the background. I don't know how they got a sweet and sour roasted malts aroma, but they did. I thought I might have received a "skunked" bottle, but it came to me in a brown bottle that was in a covered six pack box. I guess it's supposed to smell like this. That's too bad!

Taste: The taste was better then the debacle that called "a smell." It was a bit on the thin side with flavors that consisted roasted malts, biscuits, nuts, a hint of caramel, and a pinch of citrus hops at the end. I'm just glad that the sweet and sour malts didn't show up in the taste. If it did, then that would have made this beer a disaster of a Brown Ale.

Mouthfeel: I would have to say that it's light, a bit on the thin side like the taste, somewhat watery, and with a slight aftertaste of roasted flavors. Since it's a bit watery, that makes the beer flow smoothly down your throat. I don't know if that's a good thing or not with this beer.

Drinkability: If you didn't smell this beer, then I would have to say that it would make a nice session Domestic Brown Ale if nothing else was available. For me, it was a bit a thin side and I'm glad that I only got 2 bottles in the six pack. It's nothing I would buy again.

 2,301 characters

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.62/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 2/25/2007 (12oz bottle BB Jul07):

Pours a clear brown colored body, with an off-white color head, some decent lacing, diminishing. Has an extremely skunky aroma, can't describe except for the word bad. A malty taste, dry, somewhat acidic. Average good taste.

 268 characters

Photo of Minkybut
2.68/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured beer into tumbler at 50 degrees. Beer was a nice mahogany brown with a nice head that lasted pretty nice. But whew! what a stinking beer. The beer smelled like a fish for some strange reason and no, I had not had it in a cooler with fish. Taste was average but nice. I thought it was not nutty enough and actually was just kind of a colored lager. Yes I would drink again, but will not purchase.

 402 characters

Photo of xare
2.7/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Deep mahogany overall with darker colors at the top, getting lighter at the bottom. Has a 1/4" tan head that laces relatively well despite being light. Very little carbonation.

Bouquet has toasted malts, nut overtones, a touch of caramel malts, and a faint undertone of hops.

Malty flavor at first but then the soapiness kicks in as hops begin delivering their cuts to your palate. No other flavors and it isn't quite as clean or crisp as I'd like my flavors to have. The two competing flavors don't seem to marry well either.

Crisp then intense bitterness that dissipates almost immediately. Does have a malt aftertaste but no soapy aftertaste from the hops. Overall, pleased with the mouthfeel.

Drinkability is actually very low. I wouldn't buy sixers of this but I might try to finish these if they came in a mixed pack. I have no motivation to attempt to finish this - doesn't deliver on the flavor and there was no reason for me to quaff this down apart from just to finish it.

 986 characters

Photo of magictrokini
2.75/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Darker amber pour with a moderate tan head. Hearty caramel and malt aroma with some hoppiness. Nutty, bready taste with a bitter finish. The bitter tends to get sour as the beer progresses. Good malt backbone. Brown Ales are always hard for me to analyze as the variance between them is so wide.

 295 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
2.78/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Saw a new mixed six of Sam Adams in the grocery store and I hadn't heard of their brown ale and I haven't tried their hefe yet so I had to get it. It pours a perfectly clear red/brown with a half inch of off-white head that leaves some lacing. It smells of caramel malts with hints of nuts, earth and soft hops. The flavor is pretty thin, as is the body, which feels almost like a macro lager does. The main flavors that come through are caramel and a bit of hops. Not quite up to par I would say - I expect more from Sam Adams.

 528 characters

Photo of shabbtastic
2.8/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured from a 12oz bottle into a SA pint glass. Poured a Deep brown with amber highlights. Decent white foam head that quickly disappeared.

S - Nutty with hints, I mean hints, of malt. Raisin tones as well as toffee were also detected. Not a bad nose at all.

T - Skimps on the malt here, also a sourness that lingers a bit too long in the aftertaste. Not very smooth, something is missing on this one but just don't know what...

M - Watery and thin, not as full as the smell would indicate, a real let down here. Too sour and dry at the finish.

D - Overall, not a horrible beer but would reach for another one. SA have better offerings, skip it.

 653 characters

Photo of BeerManDan
2.81/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

When poured, the color was a medium amber brown with a reddish hue. Although, there was a mild smell of roasted malts and hops that I could just pick up. The aroma wasn't really outstanding. The taste was disappointing. There was the taste of roasted malts and hops, but, the tart and bitterness of this brown ale was not to my liking. I expected much more and this is not the brown ale flavor that I expected. Overall, not a lot of flavor and tart/sourness in the finish!

 472 characters

Photo of Kemmerlin
2.83/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Thin finger width head loose lacing down the glass redish brown in color looks like a tannic south eastern river water.

S: Smells like a musty old closet with the malts being most predominant.

T: Malt beer flavoring very typical of a brown ale but less flavor than expected from a Sam Adams beer. The aftertaste is a bitty nutty flavored.

M/D: Highly carbonated which tends to hide the flavors the mouthfeel is definitely average and the drinkability is not the best. I will not buy this one again.

 504 characters

Photo of NCBeernut
2.84/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big 3 finger frothy head, settles down to a layer that coats the amber-brown brew, suggesting some hopiness.

Not really much to taste or smell. Very light with caramel malt and slightly bitter hoppiness, a tad floral. Taste is very clean, with a slick, almost watery mouthfeel, but with good carbonation ...leaves behind some tannins. Nothing really good, but nothing bad. This is definitely the weakest link in the Sam Adams mixed pack, which now includes the Irish Red.

 473 characters

Photo of monkeybeer
2.86/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Deep Red Brown with a creamy pale head.

S- A carmely Nutty aroma

T/M – Rich Carmel Hoppy taste with a slight roasted malt undertone. Slight bettering at end

D – Not a bad beer not for a hot summer day, but good when there is a chill in the air. Be very good with a nice steak.

 284 characters

Photo of cktison
2.86/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle part of sampler pack.

A: Dark brown, ruby tones, with a nice 2 finger head with medium sized bubbles. Decent retention, nice lacing.

S: Buttered bread, malts, spices. Very light aroma though.

T: Very malty, sweet, buttery, bread. Sweeter than expected from the style, hops provide a nice balance, but not enough for me.

M: Watery, light carbonation.

D: This is an okay beer, just a bit sweet, a bit too malty, not enough hop character. I probably wouldn't seek it out.

 496 characters

Photo of Winter
2.86/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an attractive reddish brown in color with a light khaki head. Feint sweet aroma of caramel with hints of nut, but not much really stands out in the nose. Mouthfeel is somewhat thinner than I was expecting. Flavor is thin overall. Light malt and caramel lead to a mildly dry finish. Sadly, this is one of the blandest browns I've ever tasted.

 347 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Samuel Adams Brown Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.5 out of 5 based on 706 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.