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 NeutroMan
3.89/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle (part of a "Summer Styles" variety pack) into an imperial pint glass.

Pours a mostly clear golden color with a one-finger off-white head that fades to a thin cap. A fair amount of carbonation.

Has a sweet caramel malt aroma, with some mild fruitiness (mostly citrus).

Taste is one of earthy hops, caramel malts and toasted grains. Not as bitter as I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with moderate carbonation. An easy-drinking brew that has definite session potential thanks to the lower bitterness (for the style).

 540 characters

Photo of vegantreats
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours with a watery caramel color and slight head which dissipates quickly.
I experienced an interesting smell of sweet candy cherry.
Smooth mouth feel, the taste is light upon first sip followed by a mellow sweet tart mixture with a very carbonated finish.
This beer is decent for drinking, and the Summer 24 packs can be nice if you're having a group of people over due to the mixture of several different beers. All in all a nice beer for a summer barbeque due to it not being overpowering, and being quite smooth.

 530 characters

Photo of GodOfBeer
3.32/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale straw golden colour with a nice white head and lacing.

Smells of honey, sweet grain, citrus, and some grassy hops.

Very underwhelmed by the taste, was expecting more of a hoppier beer, but it is an english pale ale, pretty good for the style, but not my cup of tea. Some sweet malty grain, bready, a nice slightly bitter hop finish. Sort of like a hoppy pilsener.

Carbonated, thin mouthfeel, nothing special.

 424 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 ujsplace
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pale orange yellow with a nice, fluffy white head and decent residual lacing.

S: Sweet malt, yeasty with mildly citrus hops.

T: Nice balance of malt and hops. Mild caramel malt up front, and the hops pull up the end and leaves a mild hopped finish. Somewhat muted character, I think it may be a bit milder than I would have expected.

M: Light and thin, a good summer beer. Nicely carbonated and smooth

D: This is definitely an easy drinking beer that would please even casual beer drinkers.

 524 characters

Photo of magine
3.87/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a golden orange, has a nice fluffy head that settles nicely.

Smells of citrus hops, a somewhat bready smell.

Nice creamy mouthfeel, citrus hops very balanced and very drinkable. A bit of roasted malts in the flavor.

Has an extreamly easy to drink balance and character. Very tasty, very much a party pleaser. Not overly hoppy for "hop heads" - but its very nice.

 398 characters

Photo of dbmcrorie
3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown long neck bottle poured into an American pint glass. Part of the Summer Mix Pack. Freshness date notched on back of bottle.

Pours a clear golden body with a small puffy white head that doesn't stick around to long. Very little lacing.

Malty nose; pale and lightly toasted. Soft hop aromas are clean and earthy with faint citrus in the corners. Buttered biscuit and faint yeasty notes in the finish.

Bitter toasted grain, slightly husky. A handful of English hops really stir up that earthy bitterness. Interesting contrast between toasted bread and peat. Smooth mouthfeel with a medium-light body. Fizzy carbonation accentuates the dry finish and bitter aftertaste with distant nutty notes.

Very sessionable. Though it doesn't stand up to English Pale Ales from England, it's decent enough as is. What it lacks in complexity and flavor, it makes up drinkability (don't think Bud Light). The bitterness is a bit heavy along the tongue with little flavor to back it up; but that makes it ideal for pairing with food, or just having multiple pints in one sitting.
Might pair greatly with nutty or bitter cheeses. Also would go nice with blackened burgers, salty pork, and any good ol' fashioned pub grub.


 1,271 characters

Photo of greengorilla
3.15/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this from a 12 ounce bottle into a mug.

It is a golden color with very little head and almost no lacing.

The smell is pretty good with a hint of fruit and hops.

The taste is a little disappointing. It just seems like a middle of the road english ale. No taste really stands out.

The mouth feel is pretty smooth and it is reasonalbly drinkable. I probably wouldn't buy this again. There are just too many other pale ales that I prefer.

 447 characters

Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Had nice look to it, less pale than I expected. A foamy head that stuck around for quite awhile with decent clarity to it. The lacing on the glass lasts the entire drink as well. Didn't smell quite as strong as I expected. The hops were present, but not quite as noticable as I expected. Tasted pretty good, again not quite as hoppy as I would have expected but the hop flavor does stand out. The mouthfeel and drinkability was also good. Overall very crisp and refreshing. On a side note, my wife and I did burrito's for dinner and this beer goes excellent with mexican in my opinion.

 629 characters

Photo of tempest
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appear clean amber with a short white head. Smells a touch soapy with lemon and dry dark bread crust. The flavor is smooth, sweet white bread with a little toffee followed by a kick of spicy hops. Tastes like there might be a hint of diacetyl. Drinkable and a nice English pale ale - not something you see much of around here. I suppose this beer reminds me of a cleaned-up Shipyard pale ale.

 392 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a gold color with a medium white head Nose is bready malt with earthy tones. Taste is a bit metallic tasting with a good dose of hops. Mouthfeel is a bit on the light side, good carbonation. Easy enough to drink, flavor was alright, but nothing really stands out.

 270 characters

Photo of scottyshades
3.15/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a completely transparent copper color that produces virtually no head and leaves little lacing. Pretty average so far.

S: Grainy right off the bat. A light toastedness lingers along with a small hop character. Slightly tart, metallic notes are present.

T: Similar to the nose, which is pretty plain and again, average. Grains, light toasted malts, light hops (almost so light that they provide no aroma or flavor, just balance), and a lingering metallic note.

MF/D: Extremely light, a little too carbonated, but a good summer session

Definitely a lower caliber brew from the BBC

 591 characters

Photo of nms1987
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks fine. Gold-ish color. Maybe a little darker.

Nice smell. Good balance of sweetness and hops mixing on the nose.

It is a little too "meh" on the palate. It is not bad, but it isn't really memorable either. Some gentle malty sweetness and a little bit of lemony hops, but just a little too watery and indistinct.

It is really nice in some ways, but the total package just isn't there. Too bad, I love what Sam Adams/Boston Beer Co does.

Nice and sessionable though

 473 characters

Photo of Vonerichs
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'd say this English Pale Ale is just barely better than average. Nothing special in the appearance, which is a light golden variation of the style and borderline yellow. The head was tall but thin and whispy and left no lacing.

Smell and taste are toasted malt and bittering hops, consistant with the english style of pale ales. Aside from the bitterness, the hops don't add much else.

It's thin bodied, heavy in carbonation, and a dry finish. Sessionable? For sure.

 471 characters

Photo of Mosstrooper
4.07/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Golden-orange with a foamy head. The head stays for a bit and leaves a touch of lace around the rim of the glass. Lots of fast-moving bubbles rise from the bottom.

Smell: Very balanced smell. Has hints of malt sweetness in the aroma with a good amount of nutty hops mixed in.

Taste: What you smell is what you get! Starts off a bit sweet and toasty, finishes bitter and nutty. Hints of toastiness remain in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Strongly carbonated and crisp. Relatively light-bodied.

Drinkability: Overall another solid effort by Sam Adams. I'd definitely have it again- Sam Adams can always be a good go-to in almost any style. This beer is no different.

 725 characters

Photo of dudecandle
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into pint glass:

A: Very transparent gold with light carbonation, a thin head leaving a small cap.

S/T: Bready and metallic, a lightly acidic fruit, a very sweet caramel, with a huskiness and a hop astringency.

M: Very long finish, surprisingly chewy, modest.

D: It starts off face-cringingly bothersome, but once the hops take over a bit more in time, it becomes tolerable. This was one of my first "craft" beers, one that got me into good beer as it was, so coming back to it was very disappointing. Oh well.

 534 characters

Photo of burnstar
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear gold with a medium sized head. Smell is a bit of toasted malt with some floral hops. Taste is a light biscuity malt. Some hop bite through the middle and into the finish. Herbal and floral. Significant sweetness throughout. Balanced. Very British in taste and aroma. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and well carbonated. Quite drinkable. Overall this is a very nice English style pale ale.

 406 characters

Photo of JMD
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Light copper color with 2 inch head, that dissipates quickly. Minimal lacing.

S: A malty, somewhat sweet aroma. Carmel and sweetbread. Also some citrusy hops.

T: For some reason this beer reminds me of fresh brewed tea. Herbal and grassy. Notes of carmel and bread. Also, some light citrus on the backend.

M: Moderate carbonation, fairly light bodied.

D: This is a fairly bland pale ale. It's easy to drink, but nothing really notable to make me want to crack open another one.

 484 characters

Photo of gordavidson
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A very clear dark yellow color with just a hint of sediment floating around. The head is rather limp, but there is a bit of retention there.

S- A bit of citrus, vegetables, and some caramel. Smells like it is going to be a bit on the sweet side.

T- Same as the aroma, but everything tastes pretty fresh and blends together nicely here. There is nice bittering effect from the hops.

M- A nice, dry aftertaste with a lively feel from the carbonation.

D- An enjoyable beer that I enjoyed, but there are better options out there when looking for a Pale Ale.

 560 characters

Photo of Buggies
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear light golden color with a big fluffy head which stays around.

S: Sweet malt with a mild fruitiness. Slight hint of hops too. Nothing really outstanding tin the nose.

T: Pretty balanced. Sweet malt with a hint of caramel. Earthy hops is present as well. Finish is dry for the most part... if anything... a slight hops bitterness and a tinge of sweetness left on the palate.

Nothing really amazing about this ale. It's simply drinkable. Although it isn't a stellar example of the style, it is quite drinkable and worth it as a good session brew.

 555 characters

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, this ale shows a crystal clear gold, giving rise to a short-lived pure white soda-pop head, fading almost as quickly as it appeared. Some tiny beads of lace remain on the glass as the beer goes down; these pearls won't garner any attention from an appraiser, though.

Aroma is snappy, herbaceous and somewhat grassy, maybe a tad spicy. No real discernible malt present in the nose.

Very light and effervescent, with a crisp bite; a touch of sweet-and-biscuity malt flavor trys to grab hold of the taste buds before being wiped away by a hop zing that mimics the nose quite well, herbal and a bit resinous and grasslike, leaving behind a clean, lightly dry, hoppy finish.

A passable pale ale, but certainly nothing special and falling short of any really good English or American interpretation of the style. Easily drinkable and quite refreshing, but a bit one-dimensional and lacking much real character.

 936 characters

Photo of OldeEnglishD
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly copper color with a nice 2 finger head that leaves nice lacing. The aroma is slightly sweet with a hint of pine. The taste is a nice smooth experience with some caramel notes and not a lot of hoppiness. It is not mind-blowing, but a good overall session beer for a summer night.

 295 characters

Photo of JAStheAce
3.39/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a light, clear dirty-gold with barely any head. Smells hoppy but otherwise like any standard beer in that nothing sticks out in my nose. Tastes hoppy, fruity, and bitter and leaves a light bitter aftertaste. Creamy mouthfeel and a balanced carbonation. A solid beer, nothing exemplary but I'd have another.

 316 characters

Photo of Mdog
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Yellow-gold, ok head, good lacing.

Smell: Slight caramel, earthy note.

Taste: Bready, mild caramel sweetness, I got a metal finish on the first few drinks but did smooth into more of a tea-like taste later.

Drinkability: Not my favorite flavor profile and I've never seen this in 6 packs.

Last beer from the SA summer pack, a pretty generic english-style pale ale. Not a whole lot to distinguish it from the pack. Glad the metal finish went away after a few sips.

 479 characters

Photo of PintOHops
3.94/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears golden/amber with a fingers worth of head, the retention was poor and definitely lacking. Medium-high carbonation can be seen, and leaves some very broken, spotty lacing that's almost not worth mentioning. Average appearance overall. Smells of dominate toasted malts, molasses, hint of grains, and slightly burnt caramel. Some fruity grape & raisin notes, nothing floral or hopy about it, comes off more chocolaty & caramel like.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Taste, big caramel malt profile! Molasses, caramel, hint of chocolate, graininess, finishes with a lightly lingering toasted biscuit & lite chocolaty note, and subtle hop bitterness. Just a hint of fruity orange peel & grape notes come in on the finish as well. Mouthfeel comes in lightly crisp first, than goes down very smoothly, works well with the flavor profile. Lite-medium bodied.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - I was excited to see what, if any unique twist Sam Adams gave to there Pale Ale. The only thing a bit different than others is that it's very smooth & caramel like, with not allot of hop bitterness at all, which I didn't mind. I really enjoyed the light roasted-toasted flavors this beer offered, and the well complimented mouthfeel. Sam Adams has this one down, if your looking for a Pale Ale that offers smoothness and semi rich caramel/molasses flavors, than look no further. I could enjoy about 3 pints of this stuff on any given day, pretty good stuff. Cheers!

 1,506 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.