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

571 Reviews
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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Reviews: 571 | Ratings: 910
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.04/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Copper colored pour with 1/4" white head. You get some floral aspect of a C hop in here, mixed with noble, seems like one of those old world meets older new world hop mash ups.

Taste hits those light toasted pale and honey malt notes. Carbonation drops in on the mouthfeel in a substantial way. More of the floral earthy lemon hops comes across than Cascades.

There are no off flavors, but ultimately this is one of those pale ales that stresses its malt base more than hop flavor or yeast impact. Gateway stuff.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams
Pale Ale

Pours a deep golden color with a good soapy froth. Aroma of buttery toffee, bread, and earthy hops. Mild bitterness, and very much like an English bitter. Soft noble hops and a toffee/butterscotch like note. Finishes with a leafy hoppyness and a slight tang. Light to medium bodied feel with an oily hop and sweet yeast. Overall, a mild, session able ale with a very English character.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.27/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Pale Ale is brewed in the English Pale Ale style. According to the label, "This distinctive and refreshing American ale is brewed in the classic style with the finest English ale hops and lightly roasted specialty malts. Hand-selected Fuggles and East Kent Goldings hops impart a crisp dry finish to this flavorful authentic ale. Cheers! I scored a 40% discount on a sixer of this at Smokerise Bottle Shoppe a month ago- thanks for all the awesome discounts, guys! Date ticked on the bottle is mid/late-August 2012.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to my Samuel Adams Signature Perfect Pint glass in the mid 40'sº Fahrenheit. The bottle was a gusher- one of my first (hopefully not infected) by Samuel Adams.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy, sudsy white head with lots of big bubbles that recede at an average rate. Lacing is very spotty and thin, and a thin splotchy surface cover remains afloat in the center of the brew as the head dissipates. The body color is a crystal clear pale golden amber with a sufficient amount of relaxed carbonation. A decent appearance overall, but falls a bit short on the head quality which was reminiscent of sudsy bath water and didn't stick around for long. 3

(Smell) The aroma is a medium buttery caramel malt with some mildly bitter earthy hops lingering right behind it. The yeast profile is cider-like and dry. Altogether a decent smelling beer but nothing too striking in the aroma that sets it apart from other English Pale Ales. 3.5

(Taste) Slightly thin caramel and pale malt blend, a touch of honey. Hops are mild in presence but bring some earthiness and balance to the beer. Yeast profile brings a little bit of fruit to the blend; it's faint but certainly there. Finish is mildly dry, a bit tart. Overall I find the taste not all that impressive. The yeast profile brings an odd cider-like tartness to the beer; it doesn't match the malts nor hops and keeps the beer from a pleasant, clean finish- think a mouthful of pennies, for instance... but no, it's not quite that bad. The malt profile runs a little thin and doesn't match the hop presence as much as it should. An interesting take, but perhaps not Samuel Adam's best foray into foreign styles. 3

(Mouthfeel) Mild crispness, scratchy dry and somewhat tart finish. Alcohol presence is light. Body is lighter than the norm for the style and light amongst all beers. I found that the malt presence was a bit too shallow for this one. The carbonation was mild but quite appropriate for the style. 3.5

(Overall) English Pale Ales take a bit getting used to from their American "spin-offs", as the flavors will be a bit more mild, and sometimes... unpredictable. In this particular example, the hop presence was nice and rounded, a good choice of earthy hop blends. The malt presence was too shallow to pair well, however. The yeast profile finished way too dry and tart, a strange variation from the norm for most pale ales. While I wouldn't discount seeking this beer entirely, I caution the drinker that the style may not be for everybody and not to expect a burst of flavor, or even originality, in any department, but rather a highly drinkable beer with the possibility of some ever bizarre and unforgivable imperfections. It is quite likely that seeking this beer out as young as you possibly can might help alleviate these setbacks, however. 3.5

Boston Beer Company's
Samuel Adams Pale Ale

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up looks to be best by March is noticed so this beer seems to be a touch old.

A - Nice orange yellow in color with a minimal of head that turns to an impressive lace ring.

S - Smells of nice bits of hops with pale malts and grains. No hard water smell which is nice.

T - Not a bad pale at all! Taste of mild hops and grainy malts. Very little yeast and taste has no "hardwater" flavor. Tasty!

M - Light to medium body it's easy to drink.

Overall it's a typical pale ale dominated by english malts. So that means it's good to drink but not really something I would seek out again.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle I picked up was seven month old.
Poured into a pint glass. The color was an almost clear medium light gold. The one and a half finger high white head dissipates with little lacing.
The smell is of citrus and lime, with some faint malt.
Tasting this beer, I was actually pleasantly surprised of how refreshing and drinkable it is. Nice lemony flavors up front, some apple and malt in the middle with a mellow finish.
I got more than expected!

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Photo of Celtics76
3.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a Sam Adams pint glass.

This one has a nice gold color. Decent amount of carbonation but it goes down smooth. Doesn't have as strong a hop presence as most of the other pale ales I've tried.

I'm going to enjoy this with some Dragon Rolls I picked up at Eastside Marketplace.

I've definitely had better pale ales, but this is not one I would turn down if offered. I just wouldn't buy a 6 pack, or seek it out in general with better offerings out there.

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Photo of blacklabel67k
3.4/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a bottle

A- A golden yellow lagerish color

S-Not much feint malts maybe

T- Taste is a bit tangy, small amount of hop bitterness. just right imo. A small amount of caramel and earthy notes.

M-Pretty smooth, goes down easy with light carbonation.

O- A decent beer, it tastes like the Boston Lager a bit. Not a big fan of IPA's but I can drink this one. And usually if I can drink it, it's pretty good.

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Photo of nimrod979
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, Pours a slightly hazy straw yellow. Small one finger white head that dissipates quickly.
Slight floral and fruity hop aroma. Pale malt. Nothing to crazy.
Taste is some pale malt with a nice touch of hops flavor. Nothing overwhelming. Has a little fruity sweetness. Nothing too complex but a solid English pale.
Medium bodied with good carbonation. Easy to drink. Quick finish a little metallicy.

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Photo of Haufniensis
2.83/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.23.2011. Samuel Adams Pale Ale.

Appearance: Golden apple-juice. Head is abundant. Sudsy looking like the top of a root beer float. Nothing special. Head dissipates and leaves nice lacing as the glass is emptied. Grade: 3.5

Smell: Very little. Nothing offensive at least. Grade: 3

Taste: A lighter, hoppier version of the Boston Lager. As such it has that same slightly repugnant I-know-not-what that makes the Boston Lager undesirable. But there is less of it here. So that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s just the golden apple juice color, but I’m tasting apples. Bad aftertaste. Grade: 2.5

Mouth: Crisp. Light-medium. I think I’d prefer it to be a little lighter given the flavor profile. Grade: 3

Overall: I’m not a huge pale ale fan. I tend to like bigger beers. If I am going to drink something with an ABV this low, I prefer it to be non-offensive. This one is (slightly) offensive to my palate. I won’t be seeking this out, but fans of the style might be able to appreciate it more. It’s definitely better than Bass, which is similar; but I don’t care for the latter at all.

Served: 12 oz. Bottle poured into a hurricane.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: golden/yellow/straw body, trace head, solid lacing

S: mild lemon grass, malt, grassy

T: light apple, wheat, earthy/grassy malt, light semi-crisp

M: light/med body, light crisp/bubbly mouth

O: Sam Adams has made better, but this is fine
English Pale Ale to start with and you could do worse.


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Photo of WoodBrew
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was excited when this beer first came out because I am a big fan of Sammy A. Their ability to brew micro beers in bulk is impressive. The appearance poured with a nice clear copper color. Little to no head and lace with this bottle. The smell had nice hop aroma, but the other components of beer are missing. Taste was a good balance between malt and hops. The mouthfeel was good....medium body with a nice level of carbonation. Overall a drinkable brew that can be sessioned easily.

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Photo of TheGarvenator
4.3/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a clear golden color with a head that gradually dissipates...

S - smells of citrus hops and malt thats not overbearing..

T - dry and tart from the hops but satisfying...

M - lightly carbonated with a good after taste that begs for more..

I think this is a good pale ale from Sam Adams. Could be way better and I did over-hype it to myself but Im not dissappointed. Its a decent beer that I wouldnt mind to get again...even though I'd prefer a Doggie Style or a Sierra Nevada.

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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 cooncat
3.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a SA glass at fridge temp. A good one inch parchment colored head looks real nice after the pour, but is short lived. The SA etched glass keeps a constant stream of bubbles rising, which produces a thin cap that remains. Some lacing noticed on the swirl, but no stickage to the glass. The color is brilliantly clear 'old gold'.

The nose is pretty light and unremarkable. I do pick up faint English hops, and faint caramel, along with some mineral background.

Taste follows the nose pretty close. Somewhat unremarkable; nothing jumps out and grabs me. I guess that means that it is perfectly balanced. English hop notes (EKG and Fuggles) are light, and so are any malt flavors. That minerally note mentioned in the nose is in the taste as well. I wonder if this was an attempt to "Burtonize" the water, or something else. The mouthfeel is a notch over light. Finish is dry and when well chilled, this is definitely a thirst quencher. Pair it with 'fish & chips' would be my recommendation.

I always respect the offerings from SA, and will drink their brews anytime. I've always been of the mindset that says, "show me your Pale Ale, and I'll tell you what kind of brewer you are". Might have to make an exception in this case, as I've had some very good brews from Boston Beer Company (a.k.a. Samuel Adams), but, unfortunately, this pale ale doesn't quite make it to their usual standards in my book. I think either the malt or the hops need to make a stronger statement.

I'll give this one a recommendation for a try, as your taste buds likely differ from mine. Not Sam Adams' best, but highly quaffable.

Na Zdravje!

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Photo of MTNboy
4.16/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To me this is one of their better beers. It has amazing lace and head that just stick around. The body is a bronze transparent color with a lot of small bubbles. It has grainy aroma with a lot of hop esters. The flavor is cereal like with the hops really balancing out the malt. The only negative about this beer at all is that is does have a metallic aftertaste. It is a very smooth medium bodied beer.

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Photo of Kooz
2.88/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drinking this on the back of a Blue Point Summer, and there's quite a contrast!

This pours to a bit brighter than a straw yellow, with a decent foamy white head which sticks around and leaves some lacing.

Smells faintly of hops; not much of a nose to this beer.

Tastes a bit hoppy with some of the hops bite, but its somewhat subdued. Could be a little sweeter--it's just a tad too dry.

Average mouthfeel, which is a rare miss for Sam Adams. It's got some body, but not a ton. It gets a 3 because it's actually just fine, but I have come to expect more from this brewery.

This is not a bad beer overall, and for someone like me who's not a huge hops fan, this is okay and relatively mild.

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Photo of mattkoon
3.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

the look of this beer is anice rich golden with some nice lacing. The smell isn't too overpowering, it's actually a lot milder than I was expecting. The taste was overall too tame for me. I wish this pale had a bit more bite. That being said, it is very drinkable and smooth so there is a silver lining.

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Photo of Meerkey
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: frothy, huge white head; pale, clear copper.

S: hops, sweet toasted malts, some grain, hint of citrus. not a strong smell, but alright.

T: lots of sweet toasted malts, way less hoppy than expected. still, bitter hops are present.

M: carbonated and lingering bitterness afterward. rather refreshing.

O: not bad. pleasant enough and easy to drink.

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Photo of weller1js
2.49/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

appearance: pours a healthy golden yellow, moderately carbonated, with bubbly white foam with little lacing.

smell: subdued yet balanced scent of corn and light hops, comes off almost pilsner-like.

taste: begins clean and subdued, lacking any significant body, hops perk up the experience, but again tastes of corn are notable clashing with the hops, resulting in a oddly bitter finish.

drinkability: for a basic pale ale, very dissapointing, coming off as more a pilsner or light lager, with its hop characteristics clashing with the grain/corn body; drinkable, but lacking for the style.

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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 mdfb79
3.16/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 05/14/11 notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a hazy orange-golden color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bready malts, light fruity malts, and light citrus hops. Not bad at all, but pretty average.

t - Taste follows the nose. Bready and fruity malts mostly. A little bland, pretty average.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall not a bad beer, but a little bland. Lots of bready malts and fruity malts. Worth trying but wouldn't actively seek it out again.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.14/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours a clear golden orange color with a large, fluffy, white head and lots of sticky lacing.

S: Doesn't smell all that great. Slightly metallic with herbal and grassy hop notes. A touch of citrus and citrus peel along with some toasted bread and malt.

T: A light fruitiness which is categorized, for the most part, by oranges. Fairly strong in terms of the bitterness with some bready malts. Somewhat grassy with a mild astringency.

M: Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: This is one of the beers from Sam Adams that I've been disappointed by each time I've had it. Not one I would recommend.

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Photo of SuperSpy
3.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A perfectly clear, golden-yellow. A two-finger eggshell colored head. The head looks great and leaves some decent lace, but the head itself is short-lived.

Some faint malt and earthy hop resins. Good, but nothing to write home about.

Medium bodied and crisp. The flavor is earthy with some pale malt and a slight sweetness toward the middle. A very run-of-the-mill English Pale Ale flavor. Not at all a bad thing. It finishes earthy with a bit of resin like hop oil that gives it a dry aftertaste. You could definitely drink a few of these in one sitting but it probably wouldn't be the first beer on my mind as I headed to the bar.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's kind of a burnt yellow hazy look to it I'm guessing from the hops. I get a very clean and refreshing smell of hop oil and some sweet grainy malt. It almost reminds me of the smell of some good Pilsners. Definitely more on the European smell and taste just as the beer is described. On the taste I instantly off the bat get a hop oil taste with that a slightly grainy sweet bready malt in the middle of the taste and then ending with that hop oil that is fruity and melding with the fruitiness of the yeast and earthy bitterness that builds as you drink the beer. This is such an easy drinking beer and I actually like this one a lot.

Don't know how a lot of people give this almost a below average score. This really gives all the English Pale ales some big competition. I guess because with so many extreme styles and more intricate tastes in beers I guess I can see why people think this is a very straight forward beer... but its definitely not bad at all. This is Samuel Adams most underrated beer in my opinion even with the very straight forward taste it sure is solid one.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.8/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a bad Pale Ale, it's got a good drinkablity and a mediam body to it. It's got a nice amount of hops and malts on the nose with that going into the flavor also. The Ale has a pleasing yellowish golden color. This is far from Sam's best but it's still a solid brew.

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Samuel Adams Pale Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.48 out of 5 based on 910 ratings.
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