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

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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 911 |  Reviews: 571
Photo of Blakaeris
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden-amber with a very dense white head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Aroma is minerally pale and caramel malt with a bit of biscuit.

Taste is mild roasted biscuit caramel malt with a pleasant earthy, nutty quality. Apricot, leafy tobacco and lemon rounds things out. Finishes with peppery herbal hop spice.

Overall a decent session ale. Worth a try.

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3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - 1" white head that falls away some and then retains at 1/4". Straw gold colored pale ale with a tornado of carbonation rushing up from the etched glass bottom. Nice full lacing.

S - Herbal and fruity hop aroma. Subdued overall.

T - Very herbal hops in the flavor. Tea leaves. Light malts. Touch of bitterness in the finish. Fairly well balanced.

M - Light bodied, but not really thin. Mid-level carbonation. Dry finish.

D - Easy drinking and pleasant. More of an English style Pale Ale. Multiply the intensity of the flavor by 2 or 3 and we have a winner.

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Photo of zimm421
3.37/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Appears a clear yellow color with little head that dissipates at an above average rate and leaves very minimal lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, with very minimal hop presence. The taste is similar, but the malts are not as dominating in the taste as in the smell. The hops are very weak in the taste, not impressive for a pale ale. Overall disappointing.

The mouthfeel is decent, but thin with regard to other comparable brews. This goes down very easily for a pale ale, but that has a lot to do with the subdued hops and overall lack of bitterness. A decent brew, but I was honestly disappointed. Have came to expect more from Boston Beer Co.

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Photo of bigdeuce
3.37/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a soapy head, unlike in the Sam Adam's tradition and it fades quickly. No lacing left down the glass. Those are two disappointments and the third is, the lack of hops. You can taste faint hops, but they fall short. That's the bad news. I must tell ya though, Sam Adams is THE BEST large market out there, at least in the u.s. The beer goes down very smoothly, you can drink a keg in one sitting and what can I say, just a smooth, easy drinking, summer ale. Can't complain there.

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Photo of jpro
3.37/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another bottle pulled from the variety pack...

Pours a sparkly clear gold, with a fizzy white head - virtually zero retention or lacing. Aroma is of bready malt, a touch of toasted caramel, and floral hops - also some minty hops in there. Taste is of light sweet grains and grassy / spicy hops - also some lemon zest in the hop profile... well balanced. This one has a little butteriness to it, as well. Mouthfeel is light, with moderate carbonation and a zingy finish. I found it to be a well balanced beer, but nothing too exciting - its very drinkable and refreshing and makes for a great summertime brew.

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Photo of carolinabeerguy
3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Best before DEC 2010 notched on label.

Appearance: Pours a hazy yellow/light caramel color with a 2 finger fluffy white head. Nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet floral and citrus hops with a light malt profile in the background. Fairly weak aroma.

Taste: Sweet citrus up front followed by biscuity malt in the middle and ending with bitter lemon peel at the finish. Aftertaste is light and mildly bitter. Flavor is lighter than expected.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium-bodied with a high amount of carbonation. Goes down pretty smooth.

Drinkability: Very good drinkability. You could drink several of these without much difficulty.

Overall: Pretty good beer overall. Not Samuel Adams' best offering by any means but it's a decent English Pale Ale. The aroma and flavor could stand to be a bit more robust but it isn't a deal breaker. It's worth a try.

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Photo of steveh
3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hmm... a Pale from our friend Sammy.

A -- Bright gold with a thick, light tan head.

S -- Rather thin nose -- some spicy hops eking thru.

T -- Hmm. Rather thin flavor all around, some earthiness that reminds me of... Sam Light. Odd, and it's a fresh bottle. Just not a lot going on, but some vague malt, that Sam house yeast character, and some good bittering in the end.

M -- Soft mouthfeel and a light to light medium body. All in all, pretty good.

D -- Well, it's definitely downable, but compared with a Goose Island Honkers, I'm a little disappointed. I may have to try this warmer -- a la English ale, and see if I have a different opinion.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Gorgeous gold color, with thick white head. Medium head retention, and decent lace.

S- Light notes of citrus hops, with a touch of malty sweetness. But overall it is very light in aroma.

T- Tart bitterness on front end which fades to a dry earthy bitterness on the back end.

M- Mellow and light mouthfeel. nice carbonation and bubbles on the front.

O- Very drinkable, but the flavor is on the light side. Overall this is a decent pale ale but I wish there was a little more hop characteristics or complexity.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Nice rocky head, but still pretty light, around 1 F, beer is light amber

S: Pretty mild, like most SA aroma, crisp, but earthy hops, and a light malt presence that just lets you know its there without giving too much away in the way of flavor expectations

T: Like I was expecting from the aroma, pretty mild, but very distinctive english hops, kent and fuggle, very herbal tasting, more so than some engish pale ale's I've had, malt is barely there just giving it some sweetness, very pale malt

M: I would say it's thin, but most english pale ale's I've had taste thin, so I guess about the norm

D: Nothing great, doesn't stand out among english pale ale's, but that also means its not bad

Notes: Fits in well with Sam Adams line up. Its nothing special, but its a decent english pale ale.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a golden orange color with a white head that leaves a pretty decent amount of lacing around the edge of the glass. Not much malt in the nose, just a touch of caramel and citrus hops. Like the aroma, there is not much in the malt department with some citrusy hops in the dry finish. Mouthfeel is light and slightly fizzy from the carbonation. Overall, this is a decent APA but it does fall a little short compared to the other great Pale Ale's out there.

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Photo of Bruiser81
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This brew poured a clear golden color with a half inch white head and tons of bubbles rising to the surface. The aroma was very hoppy with a grassy smell also a little bit of citrus and not totally void of malts. After that wonderful complex aroma I was expecting a wonderful complex taste but I was wrong. I felt the taste was very thin. The little taste that was there was sort of flowery and grassy. There just wasn't a lot going on with this brew. Hard to pick out any specific flavors, maybe because there wasn't any. The mouthfeel was okay with a nice amount of carbonation. I doubt I will puchase this again but I would take one for free:)

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Photo of albern
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Decent, drinkable, but not brilliant. The beer pours a rather lightish orangy yellow with a very slight head. The retention, if at all, is around the periphery, and lacing is non existent. This is a moderately carbonated, dry, light bodied, British style Pale with plenty of prickly mouthfeel. The smell is malty, dry grass, some citrus, a wet grainy aroma overall. The taste is clearly dry, not much sweetness to this beer at all, which makes this much more a British pale than a characteristically fruity Pacific NW style pale. The dryness is what is most pronounced here. There is a grainy, somewhat sharp, slight tartness in the middle, that rounds out nicely in the finish. It's a refreshing beer but not one I would seek out far and wide. The aftertaste is pretty slight, but so is the beer's flavorfulness.

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Photo of hylton44
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a good example of why Sam Adams often seems to me to be a brewer of all trades, master of none; as my experience here was solid, but not outstanding.

Just a tad watery in appearance, and the head was a little less frothy than I expected, containing what looked to be a lot of larger, less-regular carbonation bubbles. Both smell and taste were just a hint muted; without the sharp, hoppy cripsness I enjoy in the finest beers of this style. Where the taste did come through, I picked up on pine nuts and bay leaf. The finsh was a little thicker & stickier than I prefer. I enjoyed my drink more than this review is probably making it sound like; but compared to the gold standard of the style (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale); well, there's no comparison.

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Photo of matty
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium yellow colored ale with a thick foamy head that fades slowly.Aroma is toasty malts.Taste I can best describe as a faint buttery toffee.There is not a lot going on here but it is refreshing and smooth.I would give this beer another try and recommend to my buddies.

 270 characters

Photo of leif86
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Freshness date: Nov 2008

A: Golden coppery hue on a nice clear body. The head poured about a half an inch thick white/off white foam that lasted about 30 seconds. Some lacing stuck around.

S: Delightfully malty with a little subtle hint of something floral.

T: Something to desire. Starts a little sweet and gives way to a little spice before a unpleasingly tart taste comes through and lingers. It's this unpleasant taste at the end that ruins the beer for me.

M: Creamy and smooth but with a LITTLE too much carbonation for my liking.

D: Light and refreshing. Would be very drinkable if it wasn't for that lingering aftertaste.

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Photo of DuqTroops
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - golden yellow in color. little white head.

Smell - hoppy and fruity to smell! excellent pale ale scent.

Taste - great balance of malts and hops. like a circus in your mouth.

Mouthfeel - see above.

Drinkability - great to have a few throughout the evening, but remember moderation.

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Photo of beergod1
3.34/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I seen the Latitude 48 in a Summer sampler, and just HAD to buy the whole freekin thing, along with Light, Blackberry Wit, Boston Lager and Summer Ale. Dammit. 3 out of the 6 is worth it. plus I never had the Pale Ale before. I think I could drink a lot of these in the summer, but all in all, it's just an O.K. Pale ale. Pours a Crystal clear, bright golden hue. thick white head, looks delicious. Taste has a decent balance of hops and malt, lite body and no lingering aftertaste. At least there was no Cranberry Lambic in this sampler

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Photo of boralyl
3.34/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a clear, Gold-Orange color. A finger's length of creamy foam. Head dissapated quickly with little lacing.

A: In the aroma I can make out a fruity and floral smell, along with some malt.

M: A nice lignt to medium bodied beer.

T: The first taste is slightly malty, then earthly. The end of the taste is bitter and hoppy. The after taste of the hops lingers.

A decent pale ale that would go great with a lot of food, and is also a drink that you could have all night. Deffinetly an easy beer to drink, but not the greatest pale ale

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Photo of gatornation
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- from 12 oz bottle it pored a mostly clear light copper color with an off-white head that dissipated quickly leaving some spotty lacing

S- was faint malts and hops with a grass and bread smell some lemon grass and citrus

T- more of the same very light in hops with a faint citrus hop taste some sweet malts

M- medium carbonation with a watered down taste on hops/malts

O- not a PA i would buy/recommend ..i will stick to SA boston lager or noble pils

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A reliable BBC pour from this beer. Dumped straight into the glass, nothing gets too over-excited and leaves a nice lace to indicate your current pint-status. Easily meringed.

The beer is a buttery copper with a slight chill haze.

The nose is cidery and bready, one would assume Kent Goldings for the former and Fuggles for the latter. A slightly bad-cheese aroma has overwhelmed my nose as well, one could assume from being a bit long in the tooth. Modest noble hopping.

The taste manages to be crisp and meddling at the same time. The hops kick is really never what I was hoping for in a American Pale, but in fact this baby is much more accurate to the original British style. There is an unfortunate gooey and gummy mouthfeel and an overwhelming feeling that this is just not anything too special.

Would make a good session-er if a tad fresher.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This Pale Ale is a soft, golden color with a pretty nice looking off-white head. Both retention and lacing a reasonably impressive.

The aroma features fruity, earthy, English-style hops and a little bit of lightly toasted malt.

This IPA certainly hits the style points of an English IPA: Lightly toasted malts, and a fruity, slightly citric, and somewhat earthy hop profile. It feels kind of toned down though. It seems that all of the appropriate ingredients were used to make a nice IPA, but not in the appropriate quantities.

Mouthfeel is appropriately carbonated and a little light on the body.

This is a drinkable beer, and I think it would be hard to find a person who really had a problem with it. It might also be hard to find a person who really loves it either though.

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Photo of bmills1608
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice copper color, with a nice creamy white head.

Taste was balanced but leaned towards the lighter side. Malt presence was average, hop balance was mostly earthy-herbal. I nice easy drinking beer with a fair amount of complexity, but nothing in it really stands out.

The Boston Ale is the bigger brother to this brew for sure.

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Photo of hero27
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Clear gold color, solid coat of white foam.
Light caramel malt flavor, slightly bitter finish, and easy enough to drink. Would be good crossover beer I would imagine..I say that like it's a flaw, but it's really not...just more soft, subtle flavors that won't overwhelm the casual beer drinker. Overall, no standout characteristics, but a pretty standard rendition of the style.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.32/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle. A firm pour still yields only a thin cap of white foam, which doesn't linger at all. Color is a medium straw with the lightest hint of orange, quite light for the style.

Faint hay and grain on the nose with a very light hop presence. Just a drop of caramel in the background. Opens up only slightly with warming to indicate a light sweetness and a bit of spice.

Flavor follows the lightness of the pour and nose with a touch of citrus and a light graininess. Not bad but just not a whole lot going on, yet at least it doesn't offend. Feel is decent for the beer and more spritzy than the lack of carbonation might suggest. Drinkability matches the feel but one must ponder, why?

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Photo of RichieS2
3.32/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass

Appearance - it poured a medium bodied gold between that of a pilsener and an amber ale. A slight head that dissipated after about a minute.

Smell - Nice floral presence suggesting heavy hops, not much else.

Taste - Definitely the English style of Pale Ale, the hops weren't punching you in the face with their bitterness. The first taste was actually malty before immediately giving way to the hops. The bitterness always remained moderate and never became noticeably high.

Mouth feel - Thin, was able to swash around rather easily.

Drinkability - A respectable entry for the British Pale Ale, I wouldn't be bothered by having another one. Of course I prefer the American style of Pale Ale so I would probably pick another Pale over this one.

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Samuel Adams Pale Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.48 out of 5 based on 911 ratings.
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