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

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Samuel Adams Pale AleSamuel Adams Pale Ale
911 Ratings
Samuel Adams Pale AleSamuel Adams Pale Ale

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

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.25%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-07-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 911 |  Reviews: 571
Photo of AustinBeerLvr
4.15/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an excellent offering from the BBC. Actually, it's one of my favorite Pale Ales out there. I realize it's not nearly as hoppy or strong tasting as other Pale Ales out there, but the beer is very well balanced, and this is, in my opinion, better than just having the strongest hop flavor.

The beer pours a very distinct light orange color. As its consumed, it leaves a very nice lacing on the glass. The real distinct thing about this brew is its scent. I really can't pinpoint exactly what it smells like, but it has a very good distinct smell of some earthy hops and floral scents. Upon the first sip, I found the beer has an incredibly clean, crisp, earthy, and very refreshing taste. As it warms a little on your tongue, it finishes with a somewhat bitter hop bite mixed with some floral notes to balance everything out.

Like I said, this is by far one of my favorite (if not my favorite) pale ale out there. If you are looking for something that is an overwhelmingly hoppy beer, this is not for you. If you want a pale ale that has a fairly light to medium mouthfeel that is well balanced, this is your brew. I'm looking forward to having a few more of these this Labor Day Weekend! Cheers.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.15/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle picked up in a mixed sixer from Total Wine. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a much lighter than expected pale gold. This looks like a lager. A small finger-width white head on top. Light lacing left behind. Scents of honey, flowers, jello, and faint fuggle hops.

Good crisp ale here. Carbonation level is good, finishes clean. This has great flavor. Excellent balance between the bittering hops and a smooth sweet finish. Floral notes noted in the flavor, as well as some apple notes. This surprised me. I wasn't expecting much, but this is as accessible of a Pale Ale as one can get. A spot in the fridge is set aside for this one from now on.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
4.15/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint.

Pours a medium straw with a two finger rocky head that laces nicely.

Aroma is of caramel malts and hops. Pretty similar hop aroma from most SA beers.

Flavor is nicely malty. Very forward caramel and cream. Hops are there, but not overly done. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is slightly harsh carbonation with a creamy feel on the tongue. Leaves a residue on the teeth almost making it chewy.

Good, nicely balanced brew that would session well. I would look for this again.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.12/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden amber with a 1/4" fizzy white head that quickly recedes to a halo around the top. Thin whispy spotty lacing. Boring appearance.
Smell is of sugary malts, honey and flowers.
Pretty malty for a pale ale. But it works fine as there is just enough floral and piney hop flavors to round it all out. Also hints of honey and bananna. It's a very tasty beer.
Crisp and clean in the mouth.
This is an outstanding tasting session ale. It's a very different take on the style, but a very good brew. Somewhat similar to Highland's St. Therese PA.

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Photo of philibum13
4.12/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought in a variety pack (Sam Adams Summer Styles), I was not sure of what to expect from 'Pale Ale.' Appearance looked great (as does almost any beer), the aroma was enticing (like most of Sam Adams beers). The taste was surprising and good. Containing that distinct bitter & unique characteristic found in 'Boston Lager' and other Sams, the Pale Ale won my vote for a good beer. And I would recommend it to those who appreciate beer, not to those who just like "good" beer.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.1/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Bright gold color. Poured a 1 finger white head dissipated to a skim. Some broken lacing. Lightly decanted.

S: Earthy aromas with citrussy floral hop.

T: Grains and lightly toasted malt flavors. Even bitter finish.

M: Light bodied. Ample carbonation. Smooth and malty. Finish is bitter and clean.

D: I enjoyed and appreciated the more balanced English style; not too resiny and sharp bitter in the finish while being able to taste the malt.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.09/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Fairly light golden with some good carbonation. A bit cloudy in my opinion. Not too much head retention, but some decent lacing is here. Pretty good.

Smell: Delicious spiced cinnamon apples and apricots. Probably the best part of this beer. Great summery smell.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very creamy considering the light appearance. Kind of a cider-like feel to it. Lots of apricot. A good amount of hops as well.

Drinkability: Crisp, refreshing summer brew.

Overall: See drinkability.

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Photo of GoodKnight1220
4.09/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank this one straight from the bottle.
Pale Ale flavor. Started off smooth and tasted of hops and wheat. Ended with a dry fading bitterness. Very good mouthfeel. This is a very good brew and could drink these all night with a nice plate of spicy wings.

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Photo of Freshie
4.08/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Didn't go into this beer expecting much. I have always found this style to be too lackluster for me, except for maybe Sierra Nevada.

Pours clear golden colur with visible carbonation. Nice head with good lacing.

Smells of light hops and some fruit/citric aromas.

Very tasty. Toasted malt character, sweet, with bitter hops coming later. Medium Body. The active carbonation lends to the dry finish very well.

Very Drinkable and enjoyable.


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Photo of cdkrenz
4.08/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - One inch of frothy white head on top of a golden tan body.

S - Light hoppy aroma with a hint of malt.

T - Again, subtle hops and a nice malt/hop finish.

M - Smooth to start and slightly coarse from the middle to the finish. This brew goes down very nice.

~ Once again the Boston Beer Company has made a winner. This is a nice light pale ale that is very drinkable.

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Photo of chaunur
4.07/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass a light yellow tan color with a slight haze, looked 'thin'. Left a very light head with some lacing. Smelled better than it looked, nice floral hop smell yet not overpowering. Again tasted better than it looked, mildly hop for a pale ale, which suits me fine, almost 'dry'. I thought this was a good pale ale, could easily drink several at a sitting, a pity only available in a sampler pack

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.07/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Golden-orange with a foamy head. The head stays for a bit and leaves a touch of lace around the rim of the glass. Lots of fast-moving bubbles rise from the bottom.

Smell: Very balanced smell. Has hints of malt sweetness in the aroma with a good amount of nutty hops mixed in.

Taste: What you smell is what you get! Starts off a bit sweet and toasty, finishes bitter and nutty. Hints of toastiness remain in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Strongly carbonated and crisp. Relatively light-bodied.

Drinkability: Overall another solid effort by Sam Adams. I'd definitely have it again- Sam Adams can always be a good go-to in almost any style. This beer is no different.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.07/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12oz. bottle into a shaker pint the beer was a translucent dark golden color. One-finger of pure white head formed atop the beer and lots of carbonation rushed to the surface.

The nose is suprisingly hoppy and balanced with some sweet maltiness and a bready, fresh bread aroma.

The innitial taste has hops jump to the front of the palate. I was surprised here. I know the style displays its share of hoppiness, but I wasn't quite expecting such a nice hoppy bite upfront. A crisp, assertive hop profile that fades quickly into balance with a bready doughy malt bill. Some prickly carbonation throughout and the hoppy bitterness returns for the last word on the palate.

Medium body, about usual carbonation.

A suprise for me from Sam Adams. Although I enjoy a numer of BBC beers, I somehow had the impression that their stab at a Pale Ale might be a little boring. I was wrong, although this will not excite your inner beer geek, the beer has enough hoppy flavors and crisp bitterness, all kept in good balance, to make it interesting and drinkable.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.07/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle into pint glass on 2/8/08. Best by March 2008.

A - Very clear pale gold body with one-finger bubbly white head that quickly receded into a thin film but left a bit of lacing here and there. Plenty of active carbonation.

S - Sweet caramel mixed with a biscuity/cracker-esque malt aroma and a slight buttery aspect. Light noble hops are primarily grassy with just a touch of citrus fruit. Some faint honey notes as well.

T - Very well-balanced flavor blends a caramel sweetness and a flaky, biscuity maltiness reminiscent of buttery crackers with light noble, grassy hops. Some honey and lemon flavors as well.

M - Light bodied ale with a slightly creamy texture, but just a bit watery. Carbonation provides some modest prickle on the tongue. Crisp, clean finish that's lightly bitter on the tastebuds.

D - Very pleasant and super easy to drink. Mild flavors work well together. Nothing dominates or stands out, but everything is well-balanced and flavors blend nicely.

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Photo of twi1609372
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

very nice ale. nice balance between full bodied and smooth. intricate taste, sort of unusually pale, but it's good. somewhat reminds me of spring ale, but a little more bodied. hard to find this here anymore but i woulden tpass it up when i do. never had a chance to try it but im sure it would be a great tap beer.

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Photo of asabreed
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. One of the two from the summer 12-pack.

Appearance: Light gold and initially hazy yellow. Big frothy head stays amped up and leaves nice and thick clumped lacing all around the glass, which surprised me a lot.

Smell: Bready and initial buttery biscuit aromas with some malt sweetness, slight caramel, slight tinges of roasted malt, and a faint burst of citrus hops, though it's a bit masked by the malts.

Taste: Nice meld of malt sweetness, slight toasted malt and some husk flavors, a bit of diacetyl, and a balanced hop burst with citrus and almost a bit of sour fruit, possibly cherry and oddly some apple too. Very nice overall, clean and balanced.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a creamy carbonation that provides a lot more than I was expecting, helping all the flavors developed and contributing to quite a long and balanced finish.

Drinkability: They should make this a year-round 12-pack, because I think it'd be a nice switch up from some of the others. I really like this brew, and I'm glad I have another bottle. Nothing too crazy and not a lot of risk, but flavorful and balanced until the last drop.

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Photo of JasonCoop
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

curious to try this, one of the sam adams brews you don't see around as often.

pours a crystal clear yellowish amber color. looks light. nice white foam to it. looks ok.

smells pretty malty for a pale ale. interesting. only subtly hoppy. little earthy hops. a bit roasty even.

taste- not at all what i expected. nicely malty, but not malty sweet. more roasty. balanced out with a nice hop kick. not your typical highly hopped APA at all. hops have earthy slightly piney flavor. a very interesting interpretation. props to sam adams for trying something different. this tastes nice and balanced with a great malt character. finishes crisp and fairly dry.

mouthfeel is fair. about medium. nice dry finish keeps it drinkable. recommended to fans of English brewing. overall better than i expected.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice lacing from a tight-bubbled head on top of an amber/orange transparent body

S- Smell is full of good malts and hops competing for dominance

T- Brilliant balance in this beer. Bold, earthy, grainy malts combine with spicy, floral hops to create a very enjoyable, refreshing taste

M- Not much to the feel but sorta crisp

D- Refreshing with no nasty off flavors to detract from drinkability

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Photo of burnstar
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear gold with a medium sized head. Smell is a bit of toasted malt with some floral hops. Taste is a light biscuity malt. Some hop bite through the middle and into the finish. Herbal and floral. Significant sweetness throughout. Balanced. Very British in taste and aroma. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and well carbonated. Quite drinkable. Overall this is a very nice English style pale ale.

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Photo of Offa
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This seems more like a lighter, golden-ale version of an English pale ale.

It is pale golden amber, it has a fairly large, off-white head that shrinks steadily to a thin top with some lace.

The aroma is overall quite good, with bread, grain, leafy and citrusy hints, a little fruit, and pine.

The taste is light grain, hay, citrus, bread, and hints of pine. It's nice, clean, crisp, and very drinkable, if rather light and a bit thin.

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Photo of mynie
4.04/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very light for an APA, dark gold with a bright fluffy white head. And there's these little black bits in the head...at first I thought I had a dirty glass. I drank that beer and poured a new one into a new, freshly-washed glass. Still, little black bits. I pick them out and they smell like burnt hops. Strange, but not bad.

Smells of very rounded English hops. More sweet than bitter, with a very nice and balanced aroma. The hops dance against Boston Beer's distinctive bread yeast.

Tastes much like a less-hopped, sweeter Boston Ale than an APA. The profile is distinctly British, with the Fuggle hops taking center stage at the start of the sip and moving quickly into a sweet biscuit malt middle and finish.

It's very nice, quite solid, but I don't think this is an APA. It's too light and bitter to be an ESB, and it fit the description of an English Pale Ale almost perfectly.

No matter what, it's worth a buy.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After posting this and reading some other reviews, I think some folks are reviewing this as an APA. Its not, it's clearly more of the English style and should be reviewed as such.

Best before April 2010 notched on the bottle
Pours with a creamy thick head with a lot of structure. The color is a perfect copper/amber and is bright with perfect clarity. Thick clumpy lacing everywhere. Excellent retention on the head.

Aroma is bright with tons of biscuit/cracker aromas and a bit of spice. Smells like a Sam Adams product for sure.

Balance is the order of the day here. Slightly nutty (almond) with a little white pepper and a nice toasted malt tone. Bitterness is more English in style. But very nice. Slight mineral taste to it. Again, distinctively English.

Medium bodied, crisp finish.

This beer is well built. Not overly complex, it comes straight at you and it right on point for the style.

Sam Adams continues to be a solid brewery and a great ambassador for the craft community.

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Photo of tj4288
4.02/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from bottle into my favorite pilsner glass

a- beautiful clear golden color, awesome fluffy two finger head, light carbonation

s- very bready and yeasty (which i like) slightly sour smell

t- basic ale taste, hoppy

m- excellent smooth silky fresh

d- i am thirsty! but man this goes down easy!

a very easy but basic bland beer. not getting much in the taste department but all together very enjoyable

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Photo of thespaceman
4.02/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Samuel Adams curved pint glass.

Appearance: Nice light gold in color, pour yields a nice size head, good lacing down the glass. Soapy and sticky.

Smell: Small bits of hoppiness are present along with a toasted malt backround. Biscuit like aroma is pretty dominant here, not much in the way of hop overkill. Nicely balanced in the nose.

Taste: Up front, a small hop presence gives way to a toasted malt elements. Honey, a bit of spice from the malt, and some dry hops are all here. The finish consists of a huge malt backbone, finishes slightly bitter in account of the carbonation, the hops are very subtle but balanced to the maltiness just right.

Mouthfeel: Decent amount of carbonation, although balanced right, this brew gets a bit wet on the tongue when sitting. Medium bodied, and a slight bitterness in the finish.

Drinkability: It's nice to have a Pale ale that has more of a malt figure then a grapefruit hopped mess. Not only is this balanced correctly, but it's a perfect year round beer, refreshing in the summer, and toasty enough to keep your attention on a cold night. A excellent stab at the English style thats a sure go to brew in my book!

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Photo of Boozefox
4.01/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very good British-style pale ale. More malt character than a lot of American style pales, not as ridiculously hopped, but still a good, biting, refreshing ale.

Poured from the bottle, starting soft, then hard, into a Yazoo Pale Ale glass.

A - Pours pale gold, clear with tiny bubbles. Thin white head from a (mostly) hard pour has excellent retention, sticking around for a long, long time. I'm halfway done with this one and it's still got almost as much (not a lot) head as it did right after the pour. Nice.

S - Not a whole lot going on in the nose; just a bit of hops and a bit of clean. Then again, I'm just getting over a sinus infection. But, as I say, not a lot to smell but what there is smells good and crisp.

T&M - Crisp on the tongue without being thin, perhaps a bit sticky on the finish. Malt is present, bringing some sweetness; hops are definitely there without being overpowering. Good hoppiness on the finish, leaving your mouth perhaps not with a bite so much as with a nip. It feels good and it tastes good.

D - High. I could smack these back in a continuous line for quite some time.

Notes: I'm drinking this one with the dregs of a delicious tilapia curry my girlfriend made today and some store-bought naan. This ale is strong enough to stand up to the spices without being strong enough to knock them down. It's definitely a pairing I will be making again.

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Samuel Adams Pale Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 911 ratings
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