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

Samuel Adams Pale AleSamuel Adams Pale Ale
Liked This Beer
3.47 w/ 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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 911 |  Reviews: 571
Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- transparent deep yellow with thick white soapy head. great head retention.

S- hops and malt. good balance.

T- the first hit is some floral light citrusy fruits and malt followed by a floral hop aftertaste.

M- light carbonation and light body. goes down prety smooth.

D- this is a good drinkable pale ale. Its probably a good transition beer too.

 360 characters

Photo of daledeee
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours into a golden clear with a nice fluffy head; kind of mirange looking. The head goes away and leaves a skim of bubbles. The nose is mild. Maybe a hint of malt but not much worth reporting. Taste is kind of boring but not bad. Not much hops with some malt and hops at the finish. Medium carbonation on the tongue; a little seltzer like. This is tamed down Samuel Adams. Mouthfeel is average and not annoying. Easy to drink but not very strong flavored. I tend to like stronger flavored beer regardless of the style. This is OK to drink but not remarkable.

 559 characters

Photo of davidshamoon
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Pale Ale is no epic beer, but it's not aiming to be. What it does, it does right.

A thick, white head sets off the amber color of this refreshing ale. Its palate of flavors is fairly simple, but delicious. I tend to be sensitive to hops, so that's what dominated my tasting. Which is not to say that the hops were jarring or unpleasant -- like most other Sam Adams beers I've enjoyed, this one is expertly blended.

I have to recommend sampling this beer with some sharp, cheddar cheese. Other hard cheeses would probably be tasty, too.

 555 characters

Photo of PaleAlien2
3.64/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, golden color. White head does not retain very well, save for a faint ring around the glass.

Smells very malty, bready.

Unfortunately, I'm a fan of American-style pales, so the fact that this is an English is a bit disappointing.

That said, this is in keeping with the style.

A little light-bodied and thin.

 325 characters

Photo of aval89
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a copper color with about a 1 finger head.. Didn't really last too long.. Not much carbonation going on..

Smell: at first I picked up lightly roasted malts... Kind of sweet.. Little bit of spice in there... Maybe cloves? Ginger? Just a tad bit of hop aroma.. Also some caramel in there.. Also some pear..

Taste: kind of nutty at first.. Sweet malts come into play with hints of caramel.. Finishes a bit hoppy with a dry finish.. I'm getting some fruity flavors.. Maybe apricot? Yes.. Finishes with an apricot/ hop finish..

Mouthfeel is pretty light, not much carbonation..

Easy drinking brew..

 604 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It's transparent gold (almost looks copper). Head is foamy and about one and a half fingers. Average retention and lacing.

Smell: It's a nice blend of caramel malts, citrus scents (orange and grapefruit), and a nice dose of hops.

Taste: It's got an initial sweet taste that's attributed to the mix of malt and citrus flavors. There's a bit of grapefruit, orange, and maybe lemon in there. Hops provide a nice, dry bitter taste.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Light bodied and extremely drinkable. Carbonation is excellent. I could session this with no problem. Overall, it's a good beer. There's better APAs out there, but this one is pretty good.

 662 characters

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass, best before October.

A: Not too interesting to look at. Pours a clear and light orange brown with a cream colored and bubbly one inch head the fades into a cap with some decent lacing. The color is a little light for my taste.

S: Smell is a bit skunky which seems sort of off to me as I was expecting a floral hop punch. Instead there are hints of apple and a loose bready scent, but again is dissapointing and does not have me licking my lips like most other APAs I've tried.

T/MF: Lots of apples up front and boy do I means lots, it is almost like bitting into a sour apple wrapped in bread. That being said this brew is a bit more on the malty side of the APA spectrum. Hop bitterness attacks the center of the tongue but the malts kick in after the bitter apple and gives a nice taste of buttered bread and finishes rather slick and sticky.

D: This is sort of a suprising beer, when I saw pale ale on the label I figured this one was going to be like all the other APAs out there (big hop hammer with bitter grapefruit and citrus) but this one seems to fit more into the English Pale Ale category as it relies more on the nutty malt character instead of the fruity hops. Nice offering and a sort of nice suprise but I've had better.

 1,284 characters

Photo of jsh420
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

drink by oct 09

pours clear gold with a 1 finger head that leaves spotted lacing

smells of sour spicey bread

taste is spicey earthy hops and nice bready malts

mouthfeel is light and refreshing with plenty of carbonation

drinkability - is very good on this 85 degree day

 274 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Nonic. Best by Aug '09 notched on label.

A - Clear, light golden budy with little carbonation bubbles feeding an otherwise nice, dense, off-white and lumpy head. Low retention and little lacing.

S - Piney and floral with a touch of fruity hop aromas coming fourth. Spices a little bit? A sort of crystal light iced-tea aroma. Low levels of malt on the nose with a very subtle sweetness.

T - Dry straw flavor, no malt, with a strong hop presence yet not asserting itself in any certain way. "Green" and flowery hop flavor. A tad spicy maybe.

M - Dry, crisp, and bitter with a strong carbonation kick to it.

D - Its a nice lawnmower beer but there isn't a whole lot of depth to it. The malt level is almost non-existent while the hops are just there. It's certainly easy to drink though.

 817 characters

Photo of neenerzig
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Although this site this claims this beer is available year around I have never seen this beer before until a few days ago when I saw it as a part of a Sam Adams Summer Seasonal mix 12 pack. This beer pours a deep light to medium clear golden color. The head is about 1/4 inch thick when poured and settles very quickly to a decent film layer. Very little lacing here. Aromas of malt and hops are somewhat present along with some citrus. Sweet flavors of malt and honey are present followed by some citrus and floral hops. The flavors are very nicely balanced tastewise, I just wish they were all a bit stronger overall, especially the hops that round out the taste. Not bad by any means, but I have come to expect a bit more from the fine folks at the Boston Beer Company. Has a crisp, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in the way a good beer should be. Not bad. A good solid beer here, but nothing too great either.


 963 characters

Photo of Budlum
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with one inch of foamy white head lasting well in to the first few sips. Amber, pale body with a strong orange hue. Displays quite a bit of carbonation. Nice lacing on the glass.

Sweet and aromatic on the nose. Very fresh and clean hops mixed with a sweet and bready malt smell. The presence of pine and vanilla is notable.

Immediately loaded with fresh hops providing a pine and nutty taste. The hops are followed by sweet and toasted malty flavors. A fine balance between the malt and hops unveils some vanilla flavors. Pleasant finish with faint hops dominated by a malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel is creamy and light at the same time. Great effervesence adds to the enjoyment.

Drinkability is great. A very refreshing brew. The flavors and balance make this an enjoyable session choice.

 806 characters

Photo of IronCitySteve
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear golden color with a small white head that quickly disappears.

S: A decent amount of bready/toast smell with just hint of sour smell.

T: A decent balance between the bread and toast which is most prevalant on the front end with a nice amount of hops on the back end.

M: A decent light bodied beer, good carbonation. Leaves a nice dry feel.

D: Very easy to drink this pale ale. Not overly complex but a nice summer beer.

 441 characters

Photo of Pittsburgh
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another solid but not spectacular offering from Sam, true to the style, what you would expect to get for it, but nothing really different or over the top, but done well. Stands to be a solid offering, I would get it at a bar, or at dinner and be happy to get it in the mixed 12 pack. Doesn't stand up to some of the other pale ales I like better.

Nice golden yellow pour, decent head, crisp and clean looking. Smells faintly of hops and citrus.

Nice and smooth, goes down easy, very easy drinking.

Pretty hoppy, a bit bitter but not overly so, not that dry for a pale ale. Has a nice finish, hits you in the back of the throat. Not a lot to describe though, I think they could have done a little more with it. Slight citrus flavor as well.

All in all pretty good, but not wowing me, worth a try in the mix pack but don't go out of your way to get it.

 854 characters

Photo of rowew
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, same as the rest of the SA line. Best by month notched on the label.

Appearance: Pours clear gold with just a hint of red, medium sized head. Nice retention.

Smell: Floral hops, and light bready malt.

Taste: Nice combination of bready malt and subdued hops.

Overall impression: Certainly not a thrilling beer, but a solid offering. Nice combination of malt and hops makes it highly drinkable.

 427 characters

Photo of mjurney
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

[Appearance]: Golden color, clear, a little carbonation, head is fairly good.
[Smell]: Fruity, bready malts, mild spicy from the hops.
[Taste]: Mild caramel malts, fruity (green apples/green grape like), some hint of spicy. Taste reminds me of "Bass Pale Ale"
[Mouthfeel]: Light to medium bodied, carbonation is mild.
[Drinkability]: Drinkabitlity is good.

 358 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of standard brown bottle this beer was a light orange color with good clarity. The head was slightly yellow in tint, a little more than a finger thick and displayed decent retention and good lacing. The aroma was a blend of slightly musty malt, pale malt and light, floral hops. The flavors were dry and bitter, but lacked the malt sweetness to balance it. I tasted some citrus rind and herbal notes at first followed by the dry biscuit-like flavor of the malt. Towards the very end I got a flash of bitter hops, but it was very subtle and short lived. The body was med/full, the carbonation good and the acidity high. Nothing much to speak of.

 648 characters

Photo of Greggy
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pouring into a pint glass, it leaves a 1 finger head that recedes slowly into a thin cap with some nice lacing. The beer has great clarity but the pale straw color isn't overly appealing.

S- This isn't your average APA, but more of the English styling because of the English hop varieties used. Because of this, This beer has balance and on the nose, I can pick up some light hopiness and some really nice toasty grains. Nice.

T- Initially, I get a little funky hopiness and some sour and tart maltiness. It's a bit of an odd combo, but there is some balance there. The finish of the beer is a light hop dryness.

M- Low/med carb works well with the style and the dryer finish is nice.

D- This isn't a good representative of the American Pale Ale styling. For the stereotypical APA, I think of sierra nevada, and this simply is a bit more of an english pale, and not a great one, that an APA. I really can't see myself having this again.

 946 characters

Photo of goblue3509
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a yellow color to it. Aroma is inline with other pale ale's. The taste is slightly more complex than other pale ale's. The taste is clean and but not too dry. It is sweet while not being overly bitter. Sweeter than more pale ale's. Very drinkable. More malty than bitter so it is easy to drink.

 305 characters

Photo of Tballz420
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very clear, golden bodied. Medium sized white head, dissipated but still leaves a trail. Sweet malt and nice floral hops on the nose. Basically the same thing for the taste: sweet malts well blended with a nice floral hop background. Somewhat acidic, thin to medium mouth. One of those beers you could drink all night long

 322 characters

Photo of grmarcil
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear straw color, orangy against light. Pours with a small white head.

Scent is mostly malt - a little weak - with a hint of peach on the nose.

Taste is a good mix of malt and moderate hoppy bitterness. Not too heavy, nice carbonated fresh mouthfeel.

 259 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

($1.29 - 12oz. single at Total Wine in Kennesaw, GA)

Appearance: Pours a light, pale copper body with a small, white head.

Smell: Biscuity malt aroma with some caramel and with a faint nutty, buttery character.

Taste: Manages a delicate balance between sweetness and bitterness, aided by the fact that neither side is overwhelming. Dry, biscuity flavor with a brief caramel sweetness. Hops remain light and indistinct, but provide enough bitterness to counter the light, sweet malt taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: After the previous gut-wrenching gluten-free "beer" I just punished myself with, this beer tastes like a beautiful dream!

 678 characters

Photo of Dewey0603
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a clear golden color with a smallish tan head.The smell has a slight hop and malt aroma,but it is pretty faint.The taste has a hop bite as well as a nice malt flavor.The carbonation makes this a very bubbly beer with some citrus flavors.The m/f is light,but it's a little watery going down.All in all, this is a very good beer fron Sam's.

 349 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle (best by 11/2010) poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Clear golden yellow with orange notes. Lots of carbonation coming up through the beer to end in a dense 1/8" thick white head. Tendrils of lacing here and there along with some thick chunks and walls of lacing on other parts of the glass.

Smell: Hints of yeast and biscuit-like inhaling from a bag of flour with some hoppy notes at the end. I'm having to take a deep inhale to even get this though - it's not very strong. As it warms up some of these smells go away and some apple-like smells dominate, but it's still faint.

Taste: An even balance between English bitter hops and malt sweetness with some cider-like notes at the end. The cider-notes become a bit of an aftertaste after awhile - but not in a bad way. It's okay.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation on the tongue, but not so excessively carbonated that it feels like your tongue is scrubbed clean, but it does cleanse the palate. Thicker than water, but goes down slick and easy.

Drinkability: Went fine with a meal (Vegetarian chili and cornbread) and I could see myself drinking it alone. It's way too carbonated to be a true cask English pale ale, but despite this it hits a lot of the flavor notes well and it's an enjoyable beer.

 1,289 characters

Photo of Poser
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sam Adams brings another great brew -- pours a good golden color with a nice head. Smells woodsy but very crisp. Taste is good on the hops with a little sediment.

Overall, a very solid pale ale. I think this one may be a little under-rated because Jim Kock does commercials now. This one is always a safe bet and is available in most areas that generally specialize in the BMC crowd.

 386 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Apricot orange with a creamy two finger white head. Retention is good and a big pillow stays atop the ale. A sufficient coat of lace on the glass.

S- Pretty hop forward. Tropical citrus, floral and earthy. Some light biscuit caramel malt as well. Overall the strength could be better.

T- Starts out with a lot of floral notes and caramel malt. Finishes with a big citrus zest note balanced by a nice bready malt profile. A little buttery hint.

MF- Light, highly carbonated body. A bit creamy, on par in what you would expect in the style. Some bitterness and a fairly dry finish.

DB- Nice malt and hop flavors and certainly refreshing. Sam Adams makes a lot of solid beers with nice flavors. Maybe just a tad too hoppy and bitter for the substance of this one.

 767 characters

Samuel Adams Pale Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 30.7% out of 100 with 911 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.