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 lifebeer
2.9/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

the first time i had this beer it had been sitting in someone's trunkall day in june. needless to say, it was awful and incredibly acidic. i decided to give it another try at the appropriate temperature.

a. amber gold with almost no head

s. muted hops, like previous reviewer said theres a grassiness, sweet malts

t. some funky hops, a sweet maltiness and grassiness with maybe a hint of citrus, maybe some diacetyl, falls flat in the end

m. fairly watery, hardly any body

drinking this beer was slightly more eventful than drinking a budweiser. i just cant help but feel that they used some unidentifiable hop adjunct instead of real hops. honestly, i probably wont buy this one again.

 691 characters

Photo of Mancer
2.9/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a golden color with a one finger high white head. The dissipated quickly, and was non existent half way through the beer. The initial smell of the bear was slight malts, and barley, reminds me of a lager. The initial taste of the beer was supremely mild spices, and barley. This brew had a medium body with light carbonation.

All in all, this is not that great of an example of the Pale Ale style. Seems to me like most of the Sam Adams beers taste the same, I think their best stuff is just the Boston Lager.

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Photo of stephens101
2.9/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An opaque, almost rusty golden brew is capped off with a slender, innocuous off-white quickly fading head. Aromas of sweet malts, candy, and grass rise to the nose and make for a very unique smelling APA. Tastes a bit earthy up front and covered with a good malt/hop balance before fading into a subtle creamy/surypiness. Not too bold, very drinkable, and different is about all I can say. Would come back to it, but wouldn't make a concerted effort to do so.

 459 characters

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
2.91/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: "Looks like a Miller High Life", claims one wiseman. Clear and golden with white, head and pretty good lacing.

Smell: Smells sweet and crisp, even a little meaty. Hops aren't too apparent... nothing really is. Reminds me of a pilsner actually. Overall, nice and refreshing.

Taste: I would say it tastes "champagne-like". I'm getting a lot of apple. Malts are very apparent as well. Hops, where you at bro? Fellow wiseman thinks he's found the hops somewhere in the aftertaste. He also claims that "It tastes like a better version of a cheap beer. I kind of like the aftertaste."

Mouthfeel: Thin, fizzy... meh. Guess it's not that bad.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink. Wouldn't mind beer bonging a few of 'em.

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Photo of brdc
2.92/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Small capped bottle poured into a pint.

Yellow brew, more or the lighter side of yellow, with a decent white head that shows little retention.
Aroma is mostly hoppy, fruity but not that strong or particularly complex. Same can be said for the taste, which shows a modest hoppiness, a little above most macro lagers but not really all that appealing. Unless you are trying to use this to build someone into craft beer, avoid.

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Photo of CharlatanSin
2.92/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear yellow color without much head. What little is there goes away quickly and doesn't lace.

S: A big whiff of toasted caramel malt. No hop presence to speak of. A slight skunky quality.

T: The toasted malty caramel dominates, with a fair amount of grain. A minor appearance by the hops on the back end. Nothing that really grabs me.

M: Too light and fizzy for my taste.

D/Overall: It goes down easily enough. It's not a horrible beer, but not one of my favorites from Sam Adams. Doubt I'll go for it again, as I imagine there will always be better options.

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Photo of JohnL9013
2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A wonderful drain pour for me from Sam Adams.

A: The appearance is probably the only good feature of this beer. Nice half-inch head with some lacing and a pale-ale green-yellow.

S: Smells of light hops, light barley. Not much.

T: I'm sorry, but this beer is truly mediocre. I realize that Pale Ale isn't my style, but I've had other moderately priced Pale Ales before that not only impressed me, but blew this junk out of the water. There's just not enough flavor, and it's slightly too bitter, and almost sour from whatever citrus they added.

M: Way too carbonated and unpleasant. This is ultimately why I poured the remaining half down the drain...the unpleasant (lack of) taste combined with the unpleasant mouthfeel just creates the perfect storm of mediocrity for me.

D: Did I mention that I had to pour this beer down the drain?? I never have to do that!

Sorry, SA, but you need to look elsewhere.

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Photo of jwc215
2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best before Aug. notched on side of label.

Pours gold with a one-finger head that descends to a thin cover. Some lacing is left on the glass.

The smell is buttery/nutty with English hop fragrance. Some bready yeast peeks through.

A metallic sharpness upfront that quickly subsides. Rather bland. English hops with some lightly roasted malt. A touch of butter and faint nuts. A chalkiness and touch of lime juice mixed in. Semi-dry, abrupt finish. Restrained flavorrs.

The feel is on the light side.
Easy enough to drink, but bland/boring. Nothing really stands out. This is clearly an English-style (not APA), as the brewery claims, and rated as such. A mediocre English-style pale ale.

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Photo of jeffmonarch
2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Transparent copper color with a thin layer of white head that stays around forever.

S - Very hoppy but fairly light in smell.

T - Grainy hops. Not as much bite as I would expect from an Pale Ale.

M - Light bodied with good carbonation.

D - Average beer. Not even close to the pest Pale Ale i've had.

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Photo of Vancer
2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good start - amber/orange pour with a nice foamy ivory head. But then, just some whiffs of malts and floral hops. Quaff was just as weak, with some subtle hints of doughy breads.

All in all, somewhat watery, weak and lifeless. I’m disappointed in Sammy, their offerings are usually better than this – I’d go for many other P.A.s before this one.

 352 characters

Photo of elmocoso
2.94/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden, with a slight blanket of head and a little lacing. Very pale head with very tight knit bubbles. Active carbination.

I was dissapointed in the nose of this one. Not much there, but definately not offinsive. Just plain.

Taste is also just above average. Again, not much character but not offinsive at all. I could drink a few of them if I had to, kind of boring, though.

Drinkability is, again, about average. There are difinately worse beers out there but there is also many better ones. Why waste the time.

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Photo of midaszero
2.94/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Mostly clear light yellow color with 2 fingers of solid white head that sticks around

S - Faint malty scent

T - A litte bitter a little sweet. Some light toasted malt flavor.

M - Medium body with light carbonation

D - Not a good or bad pale just pretty average.

 269 characters

Photo of dungaree
2.96/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle. Nice adequate head. Nice golden color. Smells of muted malts and a bit musty. Could have more to it as far as smell is concerned. The taste is pleasant but light hoppiness, not what I've come to expect from an American Pale Ale. Overall, decent, but Sam Adams has better brews than this one.

 322 characters

Photo of far333
2.97/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Crystal clear pale apricot colored with a sizzling and popping white head of foam that settles out quickly.

Aroma of bready malt and corn notes, faint floral hops. Flavors of corn and metallic notes, some faint toffee and biscuit. Mild bitterness, no hop flavors. Even mouthfeel, a bit slick, finishes tingly. Not much complexity or balance, not too drinkable.

 361 characters

Photo of LairdChisholm
2.97/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A darker golden color with a finger white head with good retention. A little bit of lacing here. Also, a decent amount of carbonation that fizzles up to the top.

S - Not too great here. I get dirt and almost a plastic smell. no floral hops like I was looking for. Not very appealing.

T - Up front, some very mild hops. This is followed by some citrus, most predominantly lemon, grass and maybe a hint of wheat and bread. I'd just like something to jump out at me a little more.

M - Nice mouth feel. Good amount of carbonation and a light mouth feel.

D - This isn't the best pale ale I've had but it's on the easier side to drink.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.98/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up as a single at my local store, I've never had this beer.
And by my initial first taste, I will probably never have it again. I wanted so much to like this beer, but it has such a watered down, adjunct flavor that it was impossible. Thin, very lightly hopped, almost no hops. Very BMC'ish in the flavor. Very tough to finish.

 339 characters

Photo of johnnyirishman
2.98/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Pint glass.

Apperance- Golden Yellow with a decent head and retention that dissapated to decent lacing.

Smell- A malty nose with subdued hops poking through.

Taste,Mouthfeel-Decently balanced pale ale, with a decent body and good carb.

Drinkability- A good sessionable pale ale

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Photo of BeerdedEric
2.98/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

A white head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a foggy yellow quite fizzy with bubbles. leaves a healthy dose of lacing on the glass.

Not much in the way of smell. Maybe I'm missing something but I smell very light hops and malts, very faint. Kind of shocked for Samuel Adams, usually they emphasize on smell; the way they design their glasses is for your nose to enter the glass as you taste the beer.

Some carbonation seems light and smooth. Leaves the mouth kind of dry.

It has that signature Samuel Adams taste. I don't know what it is, but I can always tell it's a Sam Adams. Its not bad. Light hop flavor and malty background. Slightly bitter.

Drink Ability: Its pretty light for not being a light beer. Doesn't seem heavy at all, which is always good. Would I want more than one? Maybe two, but they're so many other beers to try!

I did finally realize there was a pleasant odor halfway through, so it saves some points in the aroma department . It smelled more malty, to me, than hoppy. Overall, its good. If they had it on tap at a bar I'd have one.

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Photo of Radome
2.99/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter.

A - Beer is a medium golden color and crystal clear. Creamy, solid white head made of tiny bubbles; lots of lacing. Very attractive pale ale.

S - Interesting smell. I get some malt, but mostly a nutty, earthy smell that I believe is the hops. This is listed as a British style pale, so I was not expecting Northwest US hops aroma, but this is not like the British pale ale aromas I remember, either. I don't get any fruitiness or alcohol.

T - This has a round malt taste along with some of the earthy, savory taste of the hops. The bitterness is noticeable, but fairly low. No yeast notes or alcohol taste.

M - Medium body, little carbonation fizz. There is some mouthcoating in the end that gives an odd "dusty" sensation.

D - This is a fairly drinkable beer. It is very different from what I picture as a British pale ale, but still enjoyable. I would enjoy it more with some crisper hops and maybe some British yeast fruitiness.

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Photo of beerkittycat
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a really subdued crystal-clear yellow. I mean it looks thin. Average off-white head. Not much foam or lacing. Aroma has some faint bready malt and flowery hops, more like Noble than grassier or earthy English hops. Flavor is a bit thin with some malt and flowery hops again, but no earthy malt tones or grassy hops that are found in English pale ales. Mouthfeel is thin but the drinkability is definately there. This tasted more like an American blonde ale and nothing like an English pale ale. However, this would make a tasty alternative to your average industrial American lager.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Comes out a light copper color with below average head. Aroma is faint floral hops, really smells like Saaz and Tetenang stuff.

Taste is very much a light pale ale. Very light. More flavor than BMC, but clearly the next level, a better introduction to beer. Carbonation seems high on the palate compared with the appearance. Dry, typical Sam Adams underhopping (even for an English style pale) and lemon flavor. Another underwhelming effort from SA.

 451 characters

Photo of tzieser
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: pours a clear, fizzy, pale-amber color. not quite as pale as expected.1-2 finger white head that quickly disappates into a thin lacing. not bad.

s: pretty boring aroma. buttery/bready malts are noticeable with hints of hops. not much else.

t: crisp character. weak hop finish. buttery dicetyl is pretty noticible but kept in check from the hops. boring fish

m&d: slick mouthfeel; not a very good beer and therefore keeps me from wanting more.

not the beer it once was. definitely needs an overhaul.

 505 characters

Photo of plaid75
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger creamy head. Poor head retention and lacing.

The smell was very subtle. Light traces of hop. Light citrus aroma.

The taste was likewise subtle. Good malt base with light citrus hop character. Has that trademark Sam Adams biscuity/bready aftertaste, which I enjoy.

The mouthfeel was nice. Relatively dry and again, nice aftertaste.

A drinkable ale.

I prefer a bit more hop in an APA. A good beer nonetheless, but not a great example of the style.

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Photo of david18
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've reviewed a number of Boston Beer beers lately and this one is like many of the others; a good example of the style but not a real standout. Their best beers are the ones that were originated from the brewery. this one is, again, a good example but there are many pales I'd have before this one.

 299 characters

Photo of Monkeyknife
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle a bright clear golden yellow with a light white head. Lacing was light but sticky.

Aroma is pretty straight forward malt.

Taste is lighter than many pale ales I've had. Some malt presence and not much hops presence to speak of. Also has a bit of a tin taste to it similar to some English pale ales.

Mouthfeel is light and somewhat drying and the carbonation level is low.

This is more of an EPA than an APA. Not a bad pale ale but by no means a memorable one.

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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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