Belgian Session | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

239 Reviews
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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 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 djbst73
2.38/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Poured in pint glass.

A- Deep golden color with a strong white head- about half an inch, with good lacing.

S=Fruity esters and a strong clove aroma.

T- No hop presence as expected. Strong banana and clove up front with a cloying finish.

M- Thin and light.

O- Hard to see how this would be sessionable given the sweet, unbalanced profile. Hard to get through one let alone trying to drink several.

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Photo of kristenspaintings
2.53/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

If I hadn't read the bottle I might have reviewed this beer higher. If I'm supposed to rate this beer based on the brewer's success in achieving a certain style, then Samuel Adams missed the mark. It doesn't taste like any style of Belgian beer I've had.

It's a butterscotch color with virtually no head and an indistinct flavor, although the flavor it does have isn't bad, it's just not a Belgian beer in my opinion.

I served it in a tulip glass and was thinking I enjoyed using my new glass more than I enjoyed drinking this beer. It definitely doesn't stand out on it's own even if I am not trying to compare it to other beers in the style.

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Photo of ppvora
2.53/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Poured a cold 12 oz. bottle inta an ale stem. Nice copper color, half finger of head, some mild aeration. Head disappeared very quickly.

Aroma: Classic Belgian session ale aromas. I could've sworn this is a Belgian beer from the aroma. Some tinge of spices, otherwise wheatish aromas.

Taste: Tasted like a 'stale' beer. Checked the date on the bottle and I drank it at least two months before the 'expiration' date, so it's not like the beer was sold stale (drank it within 15 days of buying from the beer store). No complexity. Belgian beers have oodles of complex flavors of spices, the earth, citrus, etc. Here....nothing...just some sour fruit taste. Disappointed. That too from Sam Adams! The label says that the beer has flavors of toffee and caramel -- I didn't find any.

Mouthfeel: Nothing substantial to report. The beer went south the more it sat in the glass. Had to drink it quickly.

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Photo of s_taste
2.58/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clove dominates the primary taste and smell. Secondary taste has more varied spices and some fruitiness came through. Both taste and smell are relatively mild for a spiced beer. Also, taste and mouthfeel finish clean for a spiced beer.

I couldn't detect the advertised caramel and toffee. The flavor wasn't over-sweet, buttery, or roasted, as implied by these descriptors.

I would not more than one of these. You should probably try it in a sampler first.

This is probably my least favorite from the Samuel Adams label.

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Photo of lancecenter
2.58/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Golden color, quickly dissipating head, nice lacing.

S - Small amount of yeast and tropical fruit.

T - Follows the nose, plus a little bit of breadiness.

M - Way too light bodied.

O - I understand what they're trying to do, but it doesn't work. It's watered down to make it sessionable, but there's just not enough character left. I'd rather session an American pale ale. Kudos for trying though.

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Photo of scarfacecrowe
2.69/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Served in growler, clear golden in color with a nice white head and good lacing. Strong clove aroma which tends to be a trademark of Sam Adams, taste is alot like smell, a lot of cloves and a hint of grass and almost no hops. Not very complex, I don't really like the flavor. Not much there on the mouthfeel. This is my first Sam Adams Belgian Session and I am sort of disappointed. Maybe these summer ales are not supposed to be strong. I probably would not buy this again.

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Photo of adamette
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Live review. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle that I bought as a part of a Sam Adams "Summer Seasonals" case from Sam's Club a few weeks ago into a clean, clear glass. "Best by" date of Aug 2012 so I am good.

A Slightly copper but mostly yellow translucent body under an all too brief white head that lacks depth in my opinion. I was hoping for a least a nice creamy "Belgian" head. 2.5

S Distant belgian yeast and weak malt smell. meh.. 2.5

T Nice Belgain yeast taste and lightly roasted malt. I might think of referring someone to this beer as a reference for the Belgian yeast taste but not much else. 3.0

M Pretty thin, just some light sweetness. That is to style but it is rather forgettable. 3.0

D/O Drinkability is pretty good and overall it is about an average example of the style. Sometimes I think that it is actually a parody of the Belgian style that it is an example of...kind of a poor man's Belgian Pale Ale. For that, I will drop it down from average to below average. 2.5

Notes: To think that this beer is the same style as Orval should show you how far removed from that level of greatness that this beer is.

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Photo of TeamMathis
2.78/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear and golden. A chunky and bubbly head developed and then quickly dissipated into a very thin foam that remained for the duration of the drink.
Smell: Banana, bubblegum, and light citrus.
Taste: Banana, bubblegum, light citrus, floral, and wheat.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and light carbonation.

The very first smell reminded me immediately of a Leffe, and this made me quite sad. However, the smell did have some citrus in it so that was nice. The taste is only ok. When it was cooler, the banana, bubblegum, wheat, and light citrus were the most pronounced. Then as it warmed, the floral aspect took over with the remaining banana and there was a slight tangy aftertaste.. Oddly enough, the taste really began to disappear as it neared room temperature. I would not get this again.

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Photo of ranger7
2.79/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

From the dark brown Sam Adams bottle with "Enjoy Before" October 2013 date, poured into a solo cup.

A - Light amber color, with a thick white head, moderately sticky.

S - Smells like lemon and wheat. It's a fairly strong lemon scent that dominates. It is a little sour smelling for my liking, but not too bad.

T - It tastes like it smells. Some hops bitterness in front, which leads into the lemon flavor, followed by hops bitterness in the back and aftertaste. Not great, but not bad either, just average.

M - Hardly any carbonation, which is good. Some hops and lemon aftertaste, which is not great.

Summary - I had my doubts about this when I saw the "Belgian" on the label of a Sam Adams product. I like a bunch of their stuff, but a Belgian is difficult to do correctly, it seems. You can, and should, do much better by getting something else. I suppose you could get it as an entry-level idea of the Belgian style, but I wouldn't buy it on purpose.

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Photo of Fatehunter
2.8/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass. Finger and half of head, clear straw colored.

Good smelling. Caramel and lemon mostly. Interesting combo but it's nice.

It tastes like nothing. Faint malt and then bitter are the only signs that it may not be water.

Bubbly, smooth and soft texture.

Looked and smelled good but there's nothing to taste.

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Photo of atr2605
2.8/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours pours golden color with white head with average retention
S-hint of citrus, faint belgian yeast, spice
T-pretty subtle overall all even for the style but has mainly citrus mixing with the belgian yeast profile leaving the hop bitterness and bit of spice in the finish
M-light bodied
O-Not terrible but def tastes a bit watered down. Had the basic characteristics of the style just needed a bit more

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Photo of artdob
2.86/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours an attractive dark, rich orange color. Modest head dissipates leaving small white foam remnants reminiscent of suds on the beach after the waves leave.

Nose is very light.- getting very mild citrus notes on a bed of yeast.

Mouthfeel is crisp. Interesting as the overall taste diminishes very quickly on the palate. However, more than on average, this one continues to resonate in the olfactory areas with quite a lasting dimension. As far as taste itself, not knocking me out. Again, light citrus notes, but there is a breadiness that remains in my nostrils, and I am liking that part of the finish.

Hits the spot on this summer night. Doesn't go to my repeater list; that said, I am still enjoying this one.

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Photo of budgood1
2.86/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours out a dark golden colour, not completely clear with a dirty snow white head with good retention. nice lacing. a spicy nose with lemon citrus accents. the flavour department throws out a crisp and dry malty flavours with definite spicy undertones and a yeasty backdrop. there is a bit of hopping that adds a bitter touch that accentuates the overall dryness and ease of consumption. the body is light, but appropriate for a low ABV beer with a sharp and crisp mouthfeel. again...finishes dry with lingering spiciness/bitterness. drinkability is ok. it goes down easy after a warm day of yardwork.

overall i'm a bit underwhelmed, even though i'm thirsty after a day of labor. i wouldn't make a point of revisiting this.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.87/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Acquired at a local Ralph's market as part of a Sam Adams summer seasonal variety box. Pricing was fair. Best before date: September 2012. Expectations are average given the brewery and style.

Not paired with food.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger head of beige colour, slight cream, okay thickness, and average (~2 minute) retention. Colour is a semitransparent dark yellow. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. A generic appearance with nothing unique or special to offer.

Sm: Spices, slight citrus (vague orange and lemon - likely from hops), clean malts, light toffee, and hints of toasted malt. Almost a very light hint of milk. A mild strength aroma. No yeast or alcohol comes through.

T: Spicey with some nice orange citrus notes. The citrus seems to come from the hops but manifests surprisingly fully. Clean malts provide a firm solid backbone. Some biscuit malt. Hints of very slight caramel malt and biscuit malt. Toffee doesn't come through at all, even when I look for it. Filtered remnants of biscuity yeast come through, though not yeast itself - certainly not lees. It's a pretty well-rounded flavour profile, though comes off a bit too pale to be truly vibrant and complex. Simple but enjoyable. Not at all subtle. No alcohol comes through. Some mild layering is present.

Mf: Smooth and wet. No creamy feel. Somewhat artificial in terms of thickness, with a vague syrupy feel. Adequately carbonated.

Dr: A sessionable beer. Certainly drinkable. I might try it on draught, but I wouldn't recommend it to friends. A mediocre beer in the style. Not one of Sam Adams' best offerings, but not one of their worst. Rather average.

Low C

A poor candidate for aging.

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Photo of roundthewaygirls
2.88/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

poured into a pint glass from the beers of summer variety pack.

A: gold color. a little hazy. half a finger of white, foamy head.

S: banana up front, mild notes of belgian spices and yeast. clove.

T: light and fruity. banana. pale malt. hint of spices and yeast. white grape in the finish.

M: smooth and mellow. kind of watery, but refreshing.

O: interesting attempt by the boston brewing company. enjoyable, but not a masterful brew. pretty mild. i would drink it again, but i wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of ChrisPratz
2.92/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Light amber color pours to less then a fingers worth of head that dissipates quickly to a thin rim around the edges and light patches of lace all around.

S: Very aromatic. Nice belgian yeast scent with some bubble gum and banana. Some very light spice notes as well.

T: Some of that spicyness right off the bat leading into a bready biscuit malt flavor. Alcohol flavor is noticeable towards the end as well.

M: Moderate carbonation, with some dryness at the end with very little to no after taste.

O: Not exactly was I was expecting. Flavors of spicy and then the flavor just seems to hit a bring wall and stops. Also, the dryness is a bit more then I anticipated with an ABV as low as this one. Not a terrible beer but i'd like to try it on tap.

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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 mhaugo
2.94/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. “Enjoy by” dated November 2012. Decanted into a pint glass.
Appearance: The color of a freshly minted penny. Low carbonation and no head to speak of. Just a thin white coat on top.
Smell: Spices and minerals.
Taste: A little spice, a little banana, and a little fruit. All pretty mellow and easy to drink.
Mouthfeel: Sweet, but not too heavy on the tongue. Pretty clean overall.
Overall: It may not be perfect, but it's definitely easy to drink. I don’t know that I would buy a six pack of it, but I certainly won’t throw away the four that came in my mixed case.

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Photo of robby23
2.97/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A thick head to start the quickly turned into a small thin head. It does bubble up after sipping and the head dose stay but its a thin head. It dose have a citrus taste of oranges maybe lemons as well overall it wasn't that impressive. Not there best one but it is worth trying

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Photo of DrewsBrews450
2.99/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark golden slight amber, but clear and pale. Head leaves a slight ring all the way down with just a slight lace. Theres not much more then just a generic beer smell with a slight yeast spice. A little bubble gum, yeast and that's about all. Bitterness comes in really no where with maybe some citrus but not bitterness from the hops. Its pretty smooth a little watery but it is a session beer I guess. I think it's decent and would be great to give somone with not much beer experience. But it doesn't come close to tasteing what a Belgian beer should taste like to me so it gets a ok rateing.

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Photo of larryarms847
3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark golden yellow with airy head of foam.

Toasted malts, mild spicy Belgian yeast.

Biscuits, toast, Belgian yeastiness.

Light-bodied, medium-high carbonation, yeasty.

Overall, a pretty bland beer. Makes for a rather lackluster experience.

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Photo of Fadefury
3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Clear amber/yellowish tint. Pours a thick head that goes away quickly. Decent lacing

S - A sweet bread/malt, with layers of subtle hops and the slight Belgian yeast in the background

T - Sweet malty flavor, but doesn't deliver everything you think from the smell

M - A very mild beer with slight carbonation.

O - This is a very light beer and I could easily drink a couple of these in one sitting. I prefer this over the Summer ale for the hot days, but if they added more spice/flavor it may bring it over an average beer.

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Photo of Brent
3/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Average across the board. Poured gold tinged with caramel. Overall reserved in the Belgian yeast profile, but enough to provide a distinctive Belgian character. Funky note went a bit medicinal at the end, throwing the flavor profile out of whack. One of those "I'll drink it because it is in the mix pack, but won't buy a six-pack" sort of beers.

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