Belgian Session | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Belgian SessionBelgian Session

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

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.25%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 01-09-2012

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Reviews: 239 | Ratings: 1,215
Photo of damndirtyape
3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle, best before Oct 2016, served in a Tulip glass.

Appearance: Mostly clear gold-amber with just the barest hint of suspended sediment when held up to the light. Thin off-white ring of foam with some islands and strands of persistent lacing. Nice colored beer.

Smell: Very little aroma until a solid swirl of the beer is given, and then I can detect some toasted malt notes and some fruity esters, but then it dissipates and I only get a bit of cooked grain.

Taste: Not very Belgian in my opinion. Cooked grains, a bit of veggie hops (older hops are to style for some BPAs, but this isn't quite right), some bit of lemony citrus, and an attempt at some fruity esters, but it doesn't quite work.

Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation, a bit thin.

Overall / Drinkability: Not something I'd want again by itself. Maybe better with food? A bit of a miss on this beer. BPAs don't necessarily need to be made into a session beer - you sort of want the higher malt and ABV because a good BPA is a good beer to have all by itself and it doesn't need to be watered down, which is what I feel this beer is. Great looking beer, but it misses in just about all other ways.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

3.25 A: Clear medium orange color. One finger of frothy white head. Retention is not quite average and a short ring of lacing is left behind.

3.5 S: Not a lot of power here, but what is there smells very nice! Big, primarily peppery spiciness. Mild mannered nondescript peachy fruitiness. Bubblegum sugariness and light bready malts.

3.25 T: Like the nose, the taste is subtle and mild. Bubblegum, apricot fruitiness, peppery spicy yeast. A bit more bitter than I was expecting, but still mild. Bready and biscuity malts.

3.5 M: Light to light-medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Pleasantly spritzy with a light creaminess.

3.5 D: Decent beer, but I feel that if they beefed this up just a little bit, it would be very good.

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Photo of ABabbidge
3.71/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L: Deep amber color. Thin white head that faded quickly.

S: Bubblegum and fruity notes.

T: Light bubblegum, some citrus, a little bit of bitterness. Nothing really stands out and flavors aren't that strong. Nothing bad in it though.

F: Moderate carbonation. Dry up front. It is "refreshing" as my wife that just walked into the room and took a drink said.

O: I haven't had too many Belgians before, but this one doesn't seem to have quite the flavor profile that I remember from others I have had before. Not bad and it is very drinkable, but just seems a little bland for a Belgian-style. I'll mark it up a few points though because my wife who never drinks beer liked it.

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Photo of illpass78
4.04/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a gold/amber with a one-inch white head that retains well. Carbonation seems significant. Nice presentation.

Aroma: Sort of pear-type aroma along with a whiff of malt sweetness.

Taste: Some candied sugar, fruits a la pear and grape, some spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Sessionable. Summery.

Overall: Very nice Blegian single type beer. Surprised it's not higher rated. Could be anti-SA bias rearing its boring head.

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Photo of tkdchampxi
4.33/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm surprised this is rated so slow because it tastes exactly like I thought it would when it is called a Belgian Session beer. It's fantastically crisp with light notes of Belgian yeast, honey, and clove. Everything is subtle and amazingly drinkable

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Photo of rypkr
4.19/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours crystal clear light amber. Smell is spicy but mild. Taste is fresh, bright clove, coriander and spicy fresh cracked black pepper. Feel is frothy, viscous and overly filling to lend itself to "sessioning".

Good beer. It would be rated higher if SN, bells or founders brewed it but most BA's are overly pretentious towards boston beer co imo.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a variety 12-pack $14.99 Safeway
Clear golden color
Light mouth feel
Medium carbonation
Slightly sweet, light fruity taste
Overall a refreshing beer on a hot day. Nothing exciting about it, just ok.

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Photo of Pantalones
3.62/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Second bottle of this one from the variety pack; best-by month is October so this should be well within its freshness range (not surprising as Belgian-style beers tend to hold up pretty well.)

The beer is a very clear medium-golden color, with lots and lots of tiny rising bubbles visible even from a distance. Shining a light through the beer reveals that it has a slight haziness to it. The head of foam on top is white and fluffy, with a really nice texture to it as it shrinks down, leaving a tall, thick ring around the edges even as the center has reduced into a thin coating. As I drink, some very nice trails of foam are left behind on the inside of the glass. Very nice-looking beer!

The smell is, not surprisingly, dominated by Belgian yeasty smells -- there's a fruity thing first, not entirely sure what fruit I'd compare it to (maybe something dried and sweetish, with a hint of banana mixed in?) and then some spiciness after. Maybe some very slight hints of a malt-based sweetness in there, too, but it's mostly yeasty smells. Seems to fade out a bit after I've taken a few drinks, and shifts toward an oddly soapy sort of thing that's not nearly as pleasant as the initial smell was.

Taste is similarly yeast-focused, with the sweetish mystery fruit being the most noticeable flavor, popping in right away. I believe my sister compared it to apricots when we split my first bottle of this a while back; I can't remember the last time I had an actual apricot so I'm not sure if that's what I'm tasting or not, but it may be. Spicy yeast flavors afterward, and just a bit of grainy/crackery pale malt on the end, though it is more prominent in the taste than the smell. Around the halfway point of the glass, the sweeter mystery fruit starts to fade slightly and the banana/spice flavors pop out a bit more. Lingering flavors are a bit of the malt and more than a bit of the spicy yeast, fading into a tad of fruitiness after a bit. Burps are definitely fruity. Maybe a tiny little bit of citrusy hop flavor peeking in toward the end of the glass, but I'm not entirely sure -- there is just a tad of bitterness in there which comes across as almost citrus-rindy, anyway.

Feel is light, crisp, pretty dry despite the sweetish yeast flavors. Carbonation is not quite prickly, but not the nice soft bubbliness that I really like either. Seems somewhat thin, but considering that it's barely over 4% ABV that's probably to be expected; it's certainly nowhere near as watery as the "light" beers, there is still some substance to it.

Overall, while I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as I did the first time around, it's still a pretty nice little beer, with a pretty significant amount of flavor for something so low in the ABV range (and without relying on massive quantities of hops or additions of souring bacteria, too!) I imagine getting a low-ABV beer to have primarily yeast-derived flavors might be a little tricky considering that the yeast is also what makes the alcohol -- making a beer like this probably involves a lot of balancing and getting things just right, keeping the alcohol low while also allowing those fruity and spicy yeast flavors to develop.

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Photo of Jared40
4.38/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear looking beer but barely any head to beer and minimal lacing on the glass.Great smell to it!! Just love the smell to the beer.Very crisp taste to it. Can taste the spices and love thats its a easy to drink beer.I wish Samuel Adams would put it out in 6 packs its a shame this beer shows up on seasonal summer packs.

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Photo of Rock_Glenn
2.32/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.25

Weak. I mean a weak effort. Weak malt. Weak hops. Has that Belgian flavor, but just lacks everything that makes a beer a beer. Poor pouring head, odd color, watered down. What I've come to expect from the big craft brew fraud.

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Photo of Labeorphile
3.56/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear and gold with minimal head. No Belgian cloudiness. Almost no nose at all. Let it warm, nothing. Hint of pear and bubblegum, but very week and no follow up. Really thin. Not sure what they were going for here

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Photo of Bulabeers
2.93/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

L. Clear orangish gold with a finger of head that leaves and you get no lacing
S: Bubblegum, pear, a hint of citrus
T: malt forward with a ripe pear or bubblegum finish
F: Lower end of medium carbonation
O: I don't love this beer. Would not buy this if it wasn't included in the summer 12 pack.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

It pours a dark golden with a medium foamy white head. The smell is the common Belgian beer smell of banana esters and spices. The banana ester flavor is fairly strong with this one. Other than that it has some minor spicy notes, maybe some toffee flavor and that’s about all I get. It has a crisp carbonation. It’s fairly full bodied for what I think of as a session beer, but still nowhere near most Belgian fare and for me I think it is definitely session-able. Not bad at all, if a bit pedestrian.

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Photo of 57md
3.42/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden straw with a touch less than a finger of head. The nose has notes of both citrus and funk. The flavor has a touch of funk but it is mostly flat.

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Photo of mchegash
3.34/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

L: Extremely clear orange, seems almost too clear for a Belgian. No carbonation rising up the beer visible. A thin layers of off-white head.

S: Some nice caramel breadiness/yeastiness along with small hints of spice. Smells kind of like a cheap Belgian (which it is, so that makes sense)

T: Tastes similar to the smell. A little more spiciness present in the taste than the aroma. A little watery, overall fairly weak tasting.

F: Fairly watery, as noted above. Medium amount of moderate-high intensity carbonation.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the summer pack.

This pours a dark gold, with a one inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like citrus, a little bit of spicing, bready malt, and light Belgian yeast.

This is pretty basic, forgettable, but pleasant enough. I definitely enjoyed drinking it, and I guess that's all that matters? The malt backbone was the most interesting part, bready, slightly caramelly, and nutty, it was nice. There's a little bit of a citrusy hop kick, and a mild level of clovey yeast.

This has a nice crisp mouthfeel, and a good level of carbonation.

Pretty standard stuff here, good in the hot sun, not good for much else.

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Photo of BlakeA85
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass, pours a dark gold with a small head.
Smells of citrus hops and some nutty wheat malt.
Tastes about the same as the nose, nothing super impressing.
Mouthfeel is standard and medium bodied.
Quite bland, nothing amazing overall.

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Photo of imanidiot777
3.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear gold color and has a three finger head that dissipates very quickly. Not overly impressed with the appearance. Smells nutty and a little citrus is present. Can definitely taste a distinct nutmeg flavor. Starts with a light carbonation in the mouth which smooths out quickly. A good beer that I could have a bunch of, but nothing super amazing.

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Photo of Czequershuus
3.79/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a very clear pale copper with a tiny head. The aroma is nutty at first, with a touch of banana, as well as nutmeg, black tea, and dandelion. The flavor is sharp and crisp, starting wityh the same nutty tone I found in the smell, cashew if I were forced to say, as well as some bubblegum and nutmeg. The finish presents medium bitterness as well as a bit of a metallic taste. The mouthfeel starts crisp, but mellows out as the beer warms. Overall this was a pleasant beer with some slightly unusual flavors. I get the Belgian qualities, but in many ways it drinks like a lager.

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Photo of billybob
3.66/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a light copper gold in color a one eighth inch head that quickly faded and a very light spotty lace. smells floral with a medical note to it. taste slightly sweet, fruity, some spice, some medical notes reminded me more of a spiced tea. I didn't find the toffee, caramel or citrus which it claims. carbonation was there with tiny bubbles. overall a pass for me.

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Photo of MostlyNorwegian
4.11/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pleasant. Light citrus, and lime aromatic with wet grass. A hint of the darker malts. Some caramel and very subtle clove from the yeast in the palate. Slightly tea-ike and this beer pulls several directions into its spell and leaves pleasing lacing which drops to faint whispers, and gives an appearance of what I feel is very inadequate carbonation! Not bad and perhaps that is where the malt comes into play on the back of the palate because it drinks with the steady expressive carbonation of a British, and finishes that way as well. I was hoping for some more sparkle.
Not unpleasing.

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Photo of Wer34truh
4.01/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear looking dark golden color, with a bunch of visible carbonation and a small head.

Smells of spicey malts, and slight notes of banana. A lot of floral notes in general, including but not limited to cloves.

This is a delicious tasting beer. I find it's excellence in its subtlety, but it is great. I get cloves, Belgian yeast, and sweet fruit (basically banana). But it's the carbonation which makes this really work for me, it's light and the carbonation is subtle.

I have not had enough of the style to say whether this is a good Belgian Pale Ale, but it is another delightful beer from Sam Adams.

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Photo of matcris
3.84/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: A very clear, gold. About a finger of off white, creamy head that very slowly settles down to a nice layer on top. Lots of rolling carbonation, and a very nice lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Very floral, fruity, yeasty, cloves.
TASTE: Very nice sweetness, clove, a little spiciness, mild caramel quality, and a nice bread/yeast quality.
FEEL: Medium thin body, creamy, dries on finish, very nice carbonation.
OVERALL: Very nice, plenty of satisfying sweetness, could use just a bit more in the bittering dept. You could crush quite a few at 4.3 ABV. Enjoyed it!

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Photo of OldSwampy
3.24/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Nice amber color with copper tones. Head white, fading somewhat soon. Nose: yeasty, as expected, but also some nice spiciness from hops. Taste: unfortunately does not seem to deliver what the color and nose promise. Somewhat dry throughout. Surprisingly mild. Yeasty taste that would be expected in the style is present but not especially remarkable. Hops are mild as well. Taste seems to grow, fade, and grow again, a somewhat uneven experience. Mouthfeel dry and fading quickly. I'm surprised that this was not especially flavorful; the drink-by date was August according to the label.

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Photo of Caveworm
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belgian Session | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams). Poured from the bottle into a snifter, this brew's head is three fingers thick, with web-like lacing, and a clear medium amber body.

Smells like mild Belgian yeast (spice and funk) with earthy, grassy malts.

I taste more of that yeast, almost leading this towards the realm of Belgian dubbels. Lemongrass and coriander appear mid palate to give it the BPA attribute we are all used to by now.

The mouthfeel I'm getting here is clean and smooth. Medium-light with mild carbonation.

Overall, I'll choose to give Belgian Session | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) a solid 4. This came as part of the '16 summer sampler pack, and I'd honestly pick others within this style over this. It just doesn't know what it wants to be. Yes, the lemongrass and coriander are there. But I think this had the potential to be a very good dubbel ale. Am I the only one who thinks this?

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Belgian Session from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.46 out of 5 based on 1,215 ratings.
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