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: 909
Photo of Gaben
1.72/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Had bought this stuff thinking it was going to be a bic hit. Turns out being the other kinda hit... you know the one to the gut!

Alright good olde sammy adams usualy dont let me down but I'll tell a tale of a differnt side this time.

Sam's Pale Ale, Im going straight to the smell and taste.. Was so similar to soap if you ask me.. Thats the first thing I thought of when I smelled if , so of corse it affected the taste aswell. Almost like you said a bad word as a kid and you got your mouth washed out with soap.

So it didnt feel that nice drinkin anymore then one of these , If I was sammy adam's Id sell this stuff 25 cents a beer. Stay away!

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Photo of BeefyMee
2.02/5  rDev -42%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was never a fan of Sam Adams Pale Ale. Not by a longshot. It looks good and all with nice color and a somewhat lacey head, but it falls short in the taste department. It's not very flavorful to begin with and what little flavor is present is quite disagreeable to my palate. It's just bready with an offensive skunkiness. Not sure why they still make this. This will probably be the last chance I give this beer.

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Photo of xare
2.08/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Nice light caramel color with a soapy bit of head (not very much head) - it does the job as far as looks go.

Aroma is of hops and bitterness and something that smells a bit sour but not too much. Decent blend of aromas but something seems a bit off kilter.

Taste is oddly, reminiscent of coffee and has a bit of a bitter touch from the hops but doesn't taste very well done as far as the style goes. Has something musky with the flavor as well at the end. It's quite hard to describe since I can't identify it as much as I can say that it's "musky".

Mouthfeel is decent but not average. It's wet, has the hoppy finish that should be there for a pale ale but then there's a bitterness that lingers long past the swallow. Then some dryness comes and odd sensations/muskiness comes and hits.

I wanted to try this brew as I love most of the offerings from Sam Adams but I'll probably have to take a pass on this one and it definitely isn't one of my favorites from Sam Adams. Wish it was though as pale ales are my favorite and Sam is one of my favorite breweries.

Overall, I wouldn't really finish this beer but I'd give it a try again sometime if it comes in a mixed pack but I won't search this out again just for itself.

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Photo of xraided81
2.13/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

a- light gold, pale color, with a 1/4 inch white foamy head. low carbonation, brilliant clarity
s= moderate earthy hop aroma, adjuncts are present in aroma, corn rice, get the smell i would get in american lager
t: very little hop bitterness, present, very little malt character present, i am just tasting the alcohol
M; very thin body, reminds me of drinking american lager, carbonation is low feels flat.
drinkability- is low, i would not buy a six pack of this, and would be hesistant to purchase a variety pack of this was included, the body is too thin. when i think of an english pale ale, i think of a floral bouquet of hops in the aroma, not here, and would expect a malty back bone.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
2.16/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy tan with a 3/4 inch head. Medium bodied and creamy but really not much flavor to comment on. In fact I'd say this is just a tiny step up from standard mass produced beers like the Bud Lights of the world (or the Sam Adams Lights for that matter, in fact I'd choose this over a SA Light). Granted it is a Pale Ale so it naturally would be more subtle than a lot of other beers.

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Photo of Brad007
2.28/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This Pale Ale pours a pale color. Aroma is somewhat fruity with few hints hops and a malt backbone present. Taste is about the same as the aroma. Too much of a malt presence though a pale ale should never be too hoppy, this one lacks anything remotely hoppy. It's not bad I suppose but I have had much better examples of this style.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
2.38/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours out an orange and sporting white head...

Smells of booze and slight hops

Tastes of malts, water hops and has a distinct something which I get in a lot of SA beers. Maybe a copper on malts sort of thing, interesting for the first few sips, but I am finding it hard to hold any sort of flavor past that

A very water and carbonation mouthfeel, thats pretty solid and doesn't surprise at any point.

It is a slightly sub par beer, but I am not entirely sure why it is even labeled a pale ale as it was more malt forward than anything. I would not recommend it to any beer drinker besides someone new to the sport

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Photo of JDV
2.38/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

One of 6 different SA beers in a sampler pack. This was definitely my least favorite. Honey golden color with a medium sized white head. Smell was a light honeyish malt smell, with very weak hops aroma coming through. Taste is quite bland overall, with mild bitterness, very light sweetness and simply not quite enough flavor. Not awful, but I wouldn't get this again. I'm starting to get the difference between EPAs and APAs, and I much prefer the American style pales.

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Photo of ohoove
2.4/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Unfortunately there's not much that impressed me about this beer aside from it's average appearance. In all honesty I tried one of these following a pale ale from one of the CO breweries. This beer just had no distinctive qualities . Light on every aspect. Being from New England I try to support our locals but Sam Adams continually seems to disappoint me. Sorry.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
2.4/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It pours a golden color with a slight coppperesque tint. Decent gray-cream head.

The nose is hoppy and citrusy. Heavily citrusy when first poured but fades as considerably as it sits.

Big and hoppy up front, yet a very simple quiet finish. Citrus and bitter hops at the start quickly fade into a funky, wierd aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is kind of rocky. Something about the taste presentation just doesnt flow right in this one. Not a bad beer, but there are lots better pale ales out there. Maybe a beginners pale alI. I like most of sam adams offerings better than this one.

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Photo of HardTarget
2.41/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

First review: 6/22/04 (4,4,2.5,3,3)
Standard brown 12 oz. bottle with a purchase before date notched Dec, 2003 (sampled June, 2004)
Aroma: Lightly roasted malt topped with a nice spicy hop nose. Inviting
Appearance: Nice white head of creamy bubbles on an amber (hint of orange) body. Nice thick lacing down the glass with good head retention.
Flavor: I’ll be generous with the score given the out of date bottle, but it has an off taste going. It has a flat, stale raisin taste with a hint of oxidation/cardboard. It’s quite a let down from the appealing aroma. Given all of that the balance is pretty good, but there is a grassy hop taste that is rubbing me wrong as well.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with a slight chew, a bit oily in the finish. A mild numbing of gums
Overall Impression: I’ll revisit at some time, but no time soon. I grabbed this bottle from Whip-In, notorious for out of date sales. I don’t see this beer in these parts often, so I grabbed one for a karma point. Drinkability? Eh, I’m starting to get over some of the off tastes, but I’ll not crave another. I’ve earned worse karma points.

Rereviewed 2/11/05
Standard 12 oz brown bottle with best before FEB notched, time for a fresh bottle.
Aroma: Skunky? Under that is a good dose of hops.
Appearance: Clear dirty blonde glass with a nice cover of small off white bubbles that laced.
Flavor: Dusty flavored malt with solid hops all over it. Hops are more bitter than citric or floral; harsh. Biscuit malt flavors come out a bit as it warms as well as an odd banana/butterscotch like flavor.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation level is a bit high but not too bad. Body is fairly light and faintly oily.
Overall Impression: Just not floating my boat. Given all the good pale ales out there, I’d have to say give this one a pass. I’m on the edge of a drain pour with the rest of my glass. Guess I was in the mood for an AMERICAN pale ale, not an English one.

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Photo of Dlish
2.43/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Crisp and golden, a slight orange hue, about 2 finers of white foam.

S- smells a bit yeasty, hints of a bittering hops

T- woo, not impressed almost nothing going on, get a hint hops, followed by a stale vegetable taste and a unpleasant grapefruit flavor.

M- meh good carbonation

D- did not enjoy this beer, I think sam adams could have spent a bit more time, or maybe I got a bad one. Either way, I'm hesitant to drink the rest.

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Photo of mcallister
2.48/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale copper very clear and transparent with a moderate white head that has long retention. Some lacing exists.

Very pale malts and floral hop aromatics. A hints of cereal grain but not much else. Definitely aroma hop driven.

Very light pale ale. Not what I look for in the style. Basically the same as the aroma, very pale bready malts with floral aromatic hops moderately bitter. Finish is short and to the point. Could have used more flovorful hop varieties.

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Photo of acarroll413
2.48/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a glass.

A- It had an amber color, a bit darker than I was expecting but that's a step in the right direction. Nice and crisp looking anyway, with a big fluffy "mother-of-pearl" head. Good color for a pale.

S- Wow, this may have been one of the worst smelling beers I've ever had. It smelled really really strong and was very unpleasant. I'm sorry I can't describe this any more but all I can say is whew!

T- Strong wheat flavor and light hops flavor. Not as potent as I had expected but certainly not bad.

M- Tasted just fine in the mouth, went down smoothly but was a little bit thin, even for an APA.

D- I wouldn't drink it again, but I'm glad I tried it. Definitely not the best APA. If you can find it, go for the Berkshire APA or EPA.

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Photo of Ricochet
2.48/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Lighter amber orange. Typical SA head with standard lace and carbonation. Average.

S: Big commercial APA smell. Mild at best with little hops note and malt as the primary scent.

M: Sour tang with watery wash, note of creaminess.

T: Malt and malt. That's all. A bit of bitter from the hops without any character. Even JW Dundees, my comparison for bigger brewers APAs, has more flavor.

D: Why buy this when there are so many others in the crowded APA field.

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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 burnerfinger
2.52/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

poured from the 12 oz bottle into my new belgium goblet.

asuper clear. 2 fingers of fluffy head completely disappeard within a minute. this is the color of apple juice

s understated to the nose, just a bit of a hoppy/ maly armoa

t: not too good. better than some but the least appelaing from SA that I've ever had.a bit tart and NOT in the right way

m: hard to keep the mouthfeel seperate from the taste, but good body here, pretty nice score here

d: does not quite make the grade. will be looking for OTHER brews...

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Photo of semihobo
2.53/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12 oz. best this month so time to get with the drinkin'.

Pours with a head that fills the pint glass, leaves good lacing (looks like white flames) as it settles up top with a solid 1/8" covering, then dies. Nice dark gold body, fairly clear, moderate bubbling.

Mineral smell with starchy malts and assertive grassy hops.

First thing noticed in the taste is a mineral, adjunct-like note. The mild roasting of the malts is definitely perceptible. Some low alpha flavoring hops as well as a decent dose of bitterness, very grassy and vegetable-like. Dry.

Medium body and thick but tickly carbonation.

Grass and minerals... otherwise has aspects of a nice reserved English Pale Ale. Don't want more though.

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Photo of mschofield
2.58/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a highly carbonated, golden-amber topped with a three finger rocky off-white head, leaves thick webs of lace.
Perfumy, herbal aroma, caramel, and a lot of butterscotch.
Nutty, caramel, floral-perfume taste. I didn't like this at all before it went on hiatus, I decided to give it another try, but I still don't like it.
Medium bodied.

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Photo of osi
2.61/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - A Golden brown color with yellow tint. More than average head with nice spider lacing down the glass.

S - Sweet caramel malts, some hops with a subtle alcohol finish. Lighter fruit also coming from the body.

T - Grains mostly finishes with hops but i would expect a little more. Roasted rye and barley almost too apparent. Alcohol as well.

M - Low carbonation with a smooth, flat finish.

D - Go get a good pale ale and don't worry about this one. The appearance was the most impressive thing about this brew. Maybe the hop crisis is taking a toll on this. I expected more from Sam Adams

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.61/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours yellow with a long-lasting soapy white head, light lacing.

S: Light smell of English ale hops and baked bread.

T: Bready sourdough form the backbone of this brew. Hops are light with a floral and grassy quality, astringent at times, light acidity, sweet aftertaste.

M: A bit too much acid at times in this one. Light mouthfeel and carbonation.

D: A beer I thought would be better than a lot of the made in England pale ales since it would be fresher, but all and all pretty pedestrian. Wouldn't have a problem drinking it again if I buy another summer mixpack, but wouldn't buy a sixer of it.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
2.68/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours a piss yellow/orange with a limited white head that leaves quickly. Nose is almost nonexistent, but there is some slight metallic maltiness. Taste follows with weak malts and extremely weak hop flavors. I understand they were going for an english style pale ale here, but my god the hops in this are pathetic. The Fuggles and EKGs are barely noticeable at all. I taste more hops in boston lager, by far. Mouthfeel is thin and slightly undercarbonated. Drinkability is very poundable. Overall this may be the weakest attempt at an english pale ale I have yet tried. It does however have its place in the summer pound it as fast as you can on a hot day mix pack that it came in.

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Photo of thekanna
2.68/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a transparent yellow bordering on amber with about 1 finger of foamy, white head which dissipates quickly.

S: Toasted malts with some diluted hops floating in the background.

T: Malts hit upfront but are subdued in taste; hops try to crop up but don't quite make it. Somehow, everything about this brew seems like it was diluted from a stronger, better pale ale. There's an undesirable watery quality to it, and overall the flavor lacks focus. There's also a slightly metallic, medicinal quality to.

M: Somewhat watery, with medium carbonation.

D: This doesn't really hit the right notes for me. I would have preferred a stronger, hoppier pale ale.

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Photo of bigpatvoodoodad
2.7/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is my bench mark for comparison to other Pale Ales. I bought this since I like pale ales. I must say that the first sip took me by surprise, and not in a good way. The aftertaste was a little off by my standards for a pale ale. The smell is ok and the mouthhfeel ok. In comparison to ther pales I've tried, this one will rank lower. However, it may suit someone else's taste. It really isn't a bad beer, just not for me. I like the more bitter after taste of SN, plus it is a bit spicier.

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Photo of philbe311
2.71/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Very light copper color... Very very slight carbonation, otherwise extremely still... Soft white head is minimal and quickly fades...

S - Light mild malt scent... Traces of toffee... Not much else...

T - Biscuit... Earthy... Extremely mild and plain... No complexity to be found...

M - Dry with tingly carbonation on the tongue...

D - If I didn't know any better I'd think that I was drinking a flat ginger ale... I hate to be rough, but this brew deserves it... On par with a BMC...

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Samuel Adams Pale Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.48 out of 5 based on 909 ratings.
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