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 ZimZamZoom
4.42/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice clear golden color, with a pretty dense white head that is very persistent. Really a nice presentation from this bottle, out of a mixed case.

Aroma has a really nice grassy hop profile, with very light lemon notes and subtle sweet malty undertones. Tastes of lemongrass, mild hints of other herbs, sweetness from malt in background again but giving good support. I love the herbal notes from the hops in this English Pale Ale. Some other American brewers could take a lesson in moderation and balance from this beer, IMO.

Nice light body, yet has some substance. This is by all means a quaff-able beer any time of year. BBC has the right idea with their take on this style.

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Photo of jonziefle
2.87/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a golden amber with two fingers of bubbly/pillowy off-white head. Decent retention. Plenty of visible carbonation. Nice lacing. Great looking beer.

Smell: Roasted and caramel malts with a mild, apple juice sweetness. Some citrus hops, but not abundant.

Taste: Roasted malts, with biscuit and caramel flavors. Definitely an English pale, with a very dry finish and not much "strong" hope presence.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a little bit of bitterness and carbonation bite.

Drinkability: A decent English pale ale. Heavier on the malts than an America pale, but still enjoyable nonetheless. Had I known it was an English, I probably wouldn't have bought it. However, I have not been let down.

Buy Again? No.

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

Pours a one finger white head that fades quickly to a ring leaving traces of lace. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Crystal clear amber color. Nose is light hops. Flavor is mostly hops but some sweet malts try to balance. Light bitter aftertaste. Best by Jun 2010. $1.85 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

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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 steveh
3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hmm... a Pale from our friend Sammy.

A -- Bright gold with a thick, light tan head.

S -- Rather thin nose -- some spicy hops eking thru.

T -- Hmm. Rather thin flavor all around, some earthiness that reminds me of... Sam Light. Odd, and it's a fresh bottle. Just not a lot going on, but some vague malt, that Sam house yeast character, and some good bittering in the end.

M -- Soft mouthfeel and a light to light medium body. All in all, pretty good.

D -- Well, it's definitely downable, but compared with a Goose Island Honkers, I'm a little disappointed. I may have to try this warmer -- a la English ale, and see if I have a different opinion.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.87/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden/orangish color that poured very clear. Big head on this one, left behind some very pretty and surprisingly complex lacing.

S - I smell sweet malts, and maybe the smallest traces of hops. Not a whole lot else really.

T - I have to say, although this beer does not taste particularly great, I think Boston Beer Company does a great job of marketing a higher quality beer to the BMC drinkers who want something better out there, but just don't know where to look. Sam Adams was one of the beers I drank a lot of before people opened my eyes to some of the lesser known microbrews. This is not good, but it's not like it's repulsive. Basically just sweet, malty, mostly caramel. Tiny bit of hops, nothing fancy going on.

M - Light, medium carbonation.

D - Can easily session this, as it doesn't have much flavor and is low ABV.

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Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: SA Pale Ale pours a healthy golden-yellow color with a bright-white colored head that's very firm and frothy. It falls slowly and leaves a few splashes of lace on the glass, yet retains well. Good looker.

S: Flowery hop presence with a light golden fruit aroma. Some faint biscuit-like and grainy malt smells, as well. Par for the course for an English pale.

T&M: Very average flavor. A slightly herbal and floral hop flavor balances with a dry and slightly sweet pale malt backbone. Light fruit esters come in on the finish with a light black tea flavor (or should I say flavour). Well balanced and crisp on the palate, with a zesty carbonation level.

D: A very enjoyable English style pale. It's not really up to the supreme standard of Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale or Fuller's London Pride, but a nice effort nonetheless. Glad I have another bottle in my "Summer Styles" mixed pack.

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Photo of Seanstoppable
3.76/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark gold color with a finger of fluffy white head. No visible carbonation in the glass. Head retention is pretty good. Nice amount of lacing on the glass.

Very muted scent. Some earth malt smells are there if you take the time to find them.

Light caramel malt flavor, some minor earthiness. Some mild bitterness at the end. Very nice proportions to the flavoring. Nice and smooth and easy to drink and enjoy. Nice wet finish as well.

Definitely a thirst quencher, this beer is easily enjoyable for hours on end. Found myself licking my lips from time to time to make sure no drops escaped.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.72/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, best by 9/10, into a Duvel tulip.

A: Crystal clear pale amber body with a finger of coarse white foam. Average retention and lace. Not bad, but thoroughly boring.

S: Floral hops and biscuity, caramel malt. Simple, straightforward, and enjoyable.

T: Follows the nose - hops up front, malt in the middle, and a clean, bitter finish. Again, simple and good.

M: A little light on both body and carbonation.

D: Pretty solid here. I could easily have several.

Notes: Nothing exciting here, just a nice, balanced, drinkable ale.


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

12oz bottle obtained at Shaw's Supermarket in Derry, NH. pours a clear golden yellow color with about an Inch and a half of off white head that leaves some pretty lacing around the glass. scent of herbal hops immediately jumps at the nose with lemony citrus in the background. flavors of bright grassy hops immediately hits the tongue with hints of bready malts and lemon zest. light/medium body with light/moderate carbonation with a slight after taste from the hops. semi easy drink and a good beer, there are better Pale Ales out there but this one wasn't too bad but it also wasn't over the top either IMO.


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Photo of sixerofelixir
3.62/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drinking a few 12 ounce bottles from a Samuel Adams Summer Styles 12 pack. 'Enjoy before' date notched August 2010.

Poured golden amber, mostly clear. Head started off white and tall but very soon turned to a diminutive ring. Fresh green hops on the nose, not much else to note. Taste twists into some bitterness midway through, followed by some mellow malts. A bit of citric aftertaste; feel is carbonated and acidic. Nothing really stood out a lot about this beer, but it was worth the try in the sampler pack.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.09/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Fairly light golden with some good carbonation. A bit cloudy in my opinion. Not too much head retention, but some decent lacing is here. Pretty good.

Smell: Delicious spiced cinnamon apples and apricots. Probably the best part of this beer. Great summery smell.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very creamy considering the light appearance. Kind of a cider-like feel to it. Lots of apricot. A good amount of hops as well.

Drinkability: Crisp, refreshing summer brew.

Overall: See drinkability.

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with enjoy before date of August 2010

Sam Adams Pale Ale poured a clear golden amber color with a slight orange tint and produced a 1 + finger white head. The head showed good retention and left behind considerable lacing. Smell is soft/light, of floral hops and light grain. Taste is of light piney hops and soft caramel malt to keep the ale balanced. The mouth feel is clean, crisp and has a dry and slightly bitter finish.

Sam Adams Pale Ale is a good example of an English Pale Ale that is very drinkable.

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Photo of aval89
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
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..

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

Pours golden-amber with a very dense white head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Aroma is minerally pale and caramel malt with a bit of biscuit.

Taste is mild roasted biscuit caramel malt with a pleasant earthy, nutty quality. Apricot, leafy tobacco and lemon rounds things out. Finishes with peppery herbal hop spice.

Overall a decent session ale. Worth a try.

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Photo of nelnutter
3.81/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12oz. bottle into SA pint glass.

A: Pours clear light copper color with 2 finger foamy white head that dissipates steadily leaving patchy lacing.

S: Nothing stands out, just a subdued smell of sweet malt and some subtle earthy/piney hops in the background.

T/M: Well balanced between sweet malts and some earthy/piney hops, and a touch of lemon. On the lighter-side of medium in body with ample carbonation that finishes on the bitter and dry side.

D: A solid beer that I will turn to often. Very sessionable and refreshing.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.11/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from the summer seasonal mixed twelve pack. expires in august. drank from a standard pint glass.

A- this one pours out a golden amber colored body with a solid finger of an eggshell colored head. the head lasts for a while and leaves behind small rings of lacing.

S- the smell is pretty mild on this one. a little bit of sweet caramel malts and then nice balancing of earthy hops.

T- the taste starts out with the sweet caramel malts that i can smell. after that comes a small amount of slightly bitter herbal and earthy hops.

M- light to medium bodied with a nice level of carbonation. very crisp.

D- easy enough to finish but not very interesting. this is something i dont think ill be picking up again.

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Photo of DrinkinBoy
3.2/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Pale Ale pours a bright gold with a white head that has decent retention and lacing.

The smell has definite hop characters and citrus notes, but with some sweetier malty notes similar to the english style.

It taste starts off with the slight sweetness of malt, but by the mid palate and on to the finish delicate bitter notes appear.

The mouthfeel is medium with decent carbonation. With a decent crispness, the beer is decently sessionable.

Samuel Adams Pale Ale is an overall decent Pale Ale, especially if you remember it is the English version not the West Coast style. It is worth a try.

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

It's a murky yellow, and the translucence allows you to see the carbon dioxide escape to the surface. The top presents a thin, patchy head, though most of the beverage surface is covered.

The smell is also on-point for the style, smells like an English Pale Ale. As with the smell, Sam Adams' tastes commonly run into each other. There are surely better pale ales out there, but there's a consistency and fulfillment of expectations that Sam Adams lovers expect. In that context, I deem it an average pale ale.

The mouthfeel's got the subtle hops, but the "specialty malts" have got to be your average pale malts. The hop presence offers a bit better feel than your baseline pale ale.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.1/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Bright gold color. Poured a 1 finger white head dissipated to a skim. Some broken lacing. Lightly decanted.

S: Earthy aromas with citrussy floral hop.

T: Grains and lightly toasted malt flavors. Even bitter finish.

M: Light bodied. Ample carbonation. Smooth and malty. Finish is bitter and clean.

D: I enjoyed and appreciated the more balanced English style; not too resiny and sharp bitter in the finish while being able to taste the malt.

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Photo of MikeBrandman
2.83/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a golden yellow. Absolutely transparent with little visible carbonation. 1 finger of pure white head that fades to about a half inch cap. Great lacing. Overall a very attractive looking beer. Could use a little more depth in the color though.

S - Not too much of a smell to this one. Slight hoppy notes. Not enough to really distinguish any kind of hops, for me at least.

T - Sweet and bready. Not very bitter. I feel like it's passed it's prime, but it says August. Slight hop bitterness in the beginning, but overwhelmingly sweet and bready. No fruit or alcohol taste. Not very satisfying.

MF - Light, thin, and syrupy. Doesn't even really feel like a beer. Not impressed.

D - Drinkable, but it's not something I'd like to go back to.

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Photo of ZeroSignal
3.78/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A - Pours a light golden color with a one finger white head. Retention is minimal, and carbonation seems brisk.

S - Nose is a little malty. Slight hints of a buttery character and light sugary fruits.

T&M - Very crisp and medium bodied with a nice, carbonated zest. Some lemon character in the crispness, and some background malt.

D - Very refreshing...I'm not terribly familiar with the English style of Pale Ale, but this seems like a great intro to the style.

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Photo of rootbeerman
3.83/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into perfect pint

A: pours clear light gold, with a foamy finger thick head.
S: very light, light roasted malts and a bit of floral hops.
T: simple flavor, would be a great brew to wean someone off of macros, light roast malt, lighter than most pale ales on hops.
M: light and crisp, medium carbonation
D: drinks very easy, probably going to be my other drinkin beer.

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Photo of samie85
2.8/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Originally reviewed 4/15.

A-Pours a hazy golden color with a two finger white head.

S-Earthy and lemon with floral hop note and a graininess.

T-Grainy taste with some toasted malt notes. Finishes a little bitter, but that's the only hop characteristics I'm getting.

M-Light bodied with carbonation on the heavy side.

D-It goes down easy but there isn"t much to it. The hops are a little pedestrian for what I expect from a pale ale.

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Photo of mjw2808
3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice transparent amber color with a white head slightly less than one finger. Some lacing is left behind. The nose is full of sweet malt accompanied by fruity citrus notes and hops. The taste is very well balanced, sweet malt with a nice hop bitterness with a refreshing dry finish. Very refreshing beer that is very enjoyable. I could drink this every day and not get tired of it.

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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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