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 Sammy
3.18/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Opaque yellow with a bid of off-white head. Beery heesy smell, mostly. Medium or lighter mouthfeel, balanced bitterness and malt, though more caramel sweetness and grassiness. Fuggles there but they haven't added much to the experience. A fresh drinkable but not exceptional beer.

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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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Photo of oriolesfan4
2.8/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This and the cranberry lambic are the 2 worst Sam Adams beers in my opinion. For being barely over 5% ABV, the alcohol is way too noticeable. Also, not very much of a hop or fruity taste considering it's a pale ale. I tried a few bottles of it and each one was the same but I'm hoping this is some sort of freak thing. One of my favorite breweries+favorite styles=terrible beer?

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.15/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's beer. That's about all you can say. Nothing outstanding, but not much wrong. Lacking of character when compared to other great Pale Ales. Lightly toasty, yeasty, and spicy, but not enough to make a statement. Aromas are light, but refreshing. Flavors are a bit bland (maybe I've been spoiled with bigger pale ales.) Caramel and barley malt in low levels. Hops add a light metalic luster. Light and refreshing body with crisp carbonation. Finishes lightly dry and airy with a mild sweetness. Good beer, just don't expect much.

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Photo of zeff80
3.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a golden/orange color with a foamy, white, two-finger head. It left sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of grass and roasted malts.

T - It tasted very earthy/grassy. A nice malt flavor with a sweet caramel kick.

M - It was fairly soft and smooth. A light-bodied beer that really felt like an english ale.

D - This is a pretty good pale ale. It really reminded me of something from Samuel Smith's not Samuel Adams.

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Photo of mothman
3.57/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Pours a ½ finger white head. Fades down to a thin layer quickly and leaves only some splattered lace. Color is a clear light golden orange.

Aroma: Caramel malts, a blend of fruits (maybe some bananas and oranges), and a low level of herbed scented hops.4

Taste: Big caramel flavor as well as biscuit flavored malts. There are some subtle fruits again and I kind of get some lemon here.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp with a large amount of carbonation. Fairly light bodied. Ends with a big biscuit flavored malt aftertaste that is very dry.

Overall, this beer had some nice flavors for it being a pale ale. Nothing to go crazy for, but out of the pale ales I have had, this one isn't too bad.

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Photo of oberon
3.21/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this in my father inlaws garage fridge and grabbed a few to take home,poured into a standard pint glass a light clear golden with a tight pillowy one finger white head that settled nicely into a creamy mass.Light lemon and toasted grain notes in the nose mainly,quite clean on the palate hints of lemon, faint leafy notes,tea, with that underlying toastiness.Kinda ho hum flavors but its not bad,it could appeal to the people trying to venture into ale territory but for me just average.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Pale Ale pours a clear amber with gold and orange highlights beneath a frothy head of off-white. The head retention is quite good, and it leaves attractive walls of sticky lacing throughout the glass.

The aroma is fairly limited, but keep in mind this is done in the English style. It offers a moderate amount of gently caramelish malt and a smear of leafy hops.

The flavor follows suit, and the delicately caramel-accented malt works in harmony with the leafy, grassy, and lightly floral hops to deliver a round, nicely balanced ale. It finishes dry with a hint of spiciness and some grassy hops.

Medium bodied and gently tingling in the mouth.

Quite a nice ale. Very drinkable.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, tea, citrus, and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is on the malty side for the style, with flavors of caramel, tea, honey and citrus. There’s also a little bit of smokiness to it. The hops presence is mild. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, this one seems to lean toward the English style Pale Ale. I could drink several of these in an evening, but I would probably want something with a little more of a kick to it.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.67/5  rDev +5.5%
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!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Rich golden amber with a definite orangish hue. The cap is pastel lemon parchment in color and is frothysoft, yet is sticky enough to hang around and to throw up a pretty good looking lace display. A classic English pale look that, hopefully, gives some indication of good things to come.

I wish that the nose was more bold because what's appreciated is pretty nice. Let's get the style question out of the way first. As far as I'm concerned, any pale ale that uses Fuggles and East Kent Goldings is an English pale ale. Period. It's hard to get more English than those two varieties. The aroma is soft, golden fruity and lightly earthy.

I like the beer just fine even though it lacks much of any excitement on the palate. Lightly toasted pale malt? Check. Fruity-herbal-earthy-citric, gently bitter hops? Check. Balance and drinkability? Check. So why, I wonder, doesn't Samuel Adams Pale Ale give me warm fuzzies? Dunno.

It might be because there isn't an abundance of ingredients in the bottle. Balance is all well and good if malt and hops are both well-represented; not so good if neither one is all that interested in standing up for itself. This is a fairly well-made, unchallenging beer that everyone and his brother should be able to get his taste buds around. Why isn't it more widely distributed?

The body is pale ale medium, perhaps a half-notch lighter, and the mouthfeel is soft. It was never well-bubbled to begin with--despite the fairly large head--and is beginning to feel a bit lackluster in the mouth by the final few ounces. Passable, easy going, almost in line with the rest of the beer's attributes, but not a standout.

I've been looking for this particular beer for a while now and have never been able to figure out why it's so hard to find. I would think that an easy drinking English pale would be one of BBC's most widely distributed offerings. In any case, I give them credit for not releasing yet another Cascade-hopped APA (even though I love them). Too bad that this one doesn't have a bit more charisma.

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Photo of russpowell
3.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours effervescent honey gold with 3+ fingers of cream colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Some cereal notes & a touch of herbal hops

T: Herbal & floral hops, cereal & grainy notes up front. Floral & citrussy hops shine as this warms. Finishes with some honey malt & lemon hops

MF: Medium bodied with assertive carbonation, a touch too much & alright balance

Drinks easy, got better as it warmed, a decent EPA. This would be a bit of a dissapointment as an APA

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A – Poured a nice light amber, pretty pale with a good amount of yellow in the color. A very nice towering two inch plus white head of foam toppled over on this one like a beast. A large amount of carbonation came steaming up from the bottom of the glass throughout the session. The large head faded after a few minutes and left behind nothing more then a touch of side glass lace. Overall pretty decent for a pale.

S – Aroma was light. Full of grain and a touch of a floral hop presence, A nice orange peel, or some other citric hoppiness was definatly present and formed a good overall punch on here. However the overall aroma was a little light. Maybe a touch of peach or apple, possibly some other fruit combo in there, but overall it was kinda light.

T – Very nice plae ale. It had a nice tight little hoppy punch right in the front of it, then as it mellowed down brought out some more flavors of grains, a touch of cereal and a little bit apple, or maybe even apricot. Proably in the yeast. But very nice overall package here on this one. I really did like what was done with it. It was a decent classic hoppy plae ale. Nice mixed in light malted back as well.

M – Very nice, light with huge carbonation really helped it roll quite well. Had a nice smooth feel to it and a really crisp, quick and very clean finish. No residual left on this one at all. A really decent pale for sure.

Overall this was easily the most sessionable out of all the ones in the mixed pack. It was just very light but had just the right amount of fruitiness or hoppiness to get you to really wanna put down a few. Now don’t get me wrong there are a lot of very fine pales out there that this cannot hold a candle to, but for what it is I really have no complaints. If you see it around you could definatly do worse and I would say go for it and give it a shot. Proabaly very nice on tap indeed.

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Photo of smcolw
3.54/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Modest head that dies to nearly no bubbles. Initially light lace, then none. Dark gold color with a touch of green; slight haze.

Pleasant floral hop aroma;

Closer to the British style in the malt flavor. Slightly tart and quite dry. The hop finish is brief and not very pronounced. Good body with a high carbonation level.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Country Garden six pack in Lancaster, Pa. Poured chilled into a tumber from the 12oz brown bottle.

A - The appearance of ginger ale --a dark golden pale shade.
The head is full, about 2.5 fingers w/ pockets of air and a smooth creamy appearance. The lace is copious and the bead is tight

S - The aroma is piney w/ a more English type fruity ester, slight hints of plum and cherry w/ twiggy notes and spiced phenols

M - A mild sweetness like honey kissed tea w/ herbal textures and dry grainy/light toasty malts. A nice crisp feel from the full carbonation

T - Very respectable English style pale w/ ekg-like flavors w/ subtle fruit on the palate from the yeast. The flavor seems a bit dry as it warms w/ more nuts and spice . The hops open up more too w/ subtle pine notes. The flavor is lively and very satisfying

D - I really like tasting this again after a few years have gone by - the flavor is refreshing and this is a well made tribute to the English style Pales w/ an American twist. I would certainly drink this quaffable ale again.

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

Full flavoured pale ale leaning towards English style, good balance to make for a beer that one could sit down and have a few and not be overwhelmed in any aspect. An all around good pale ale and a decent stab at the English style.

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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 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 Gagnonsux
3.08/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer isn't doing much for me tonight. Something seems a little off with the flavor, or maybe this beer is made differently than the APAs that I've had. Anyway, the color of the beer is amber with a large, semi-creamy head. Smell is fairly hoppy, but has a generic quality to it. Flavor is sweeter than I thought it would be and less hoppy. Usually the APAs I've had have more bite in the hops department. The sweetness is a little too strong, but is only bothersome in the finish. The middle of the sip is well-rounded, but not complex and full enough for me. Still, this isn't too bad of a beer, just something seems a little off here. I won't be getting this in the future, I've found APAs I find much more tasty.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.21/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sam Adams sensory pint glass.

I wanted the Latitude 48, so I had to get the whole Summer Styles box. Oh well, I guess I'll suck it up and drink the extraneous bottles. Tee hee. This one pours a clear pale golden straw with over a finger of white froth on top. The nose comprises some light wheat, bready-ish yeast, and hops. Just hops. Deal with it. The taste holds notes of everything above, along with a weak hoppy bitterness and some grass. The body is light, with moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a decent enough pale, but I'm not at all impressed. At least it's not objectionable.

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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 WVbeergeek
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper slightly hazed nice creamy white head leaves nice even rings of lacing. Aroma: Bready with citrus pine edges not bad mellow but nice. Taste: Very nice semi sweet breadiness with flowery hop flavor with a good amount of bitterness, simple pretty reserved English style pale ale. Mouthfeel: Medium body carbonation is solid no complaints. Drinkability: Damn fine session brew in my eyes, not much to say balanced decently hopped ale.

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Photo of stakem
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a standard SA brown bottle with a brewery freshness month of August into a perfect pint glass. Appears a very light orange color that is strikingly clear with a lively amount of carbonation rising through the liquid in support of the white head atop the brew. Initially the head was more than 2 fingers strong but it receeded to just a thin coating atop and lacing sticks in plenty of patches about the glass. Aroma has herbal hops, faint grainy malt and a slight mineral touch in the backend. The most prominent aspect of the aroma is the herbal hops that have a twing of citrus aspect about them as the beer warms. Taste has a combination upfront of herbal and citrus hops. The citrus aspect is a little more evident than indicated in the aroma. The malt presents itself with a biscuity flavor across a thin body before finishing quite crisp with the herbal, slightly citrus hops lingering in the mouth. The alcohol is mildly evident in both flavor and warming factor. Overall it is a decent pale. Quite light and refreshing it would be easy to throw a few of these back.

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