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

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Samuel Adams Pale AleSamuel Adams Pale Ale
912 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 912 |  Reviews: 572
Photo of Hibernator
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle. Part of the Sam Adams Brewmaster's Collection. Freshness date was notched December 2004.

The beer poured with about a 1/2 inch head that disappeared somewhat quickly. There were some nice lacings present.

Aroma is hoppy and floral.

Sweet malt flavors and hop profile blend failry well together. Sweet and spicy mix together. I am getting a sharp alcohol finish that detracts from the overall enjoyment of this beer.

Overall this is a nice Pale Ale, but there are much better American craft beer options out there for this style.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
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 GreenWBush
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A reliable BBC pour from this beer. Dumped straight into the glass, nothing gets too over-excited and leaves a nice lace to indicate your current pint-status. Easily meringed.

The beer is a buttery copper with a slight chill haze.

The nose is cidery and bready, one would assume Kent Goldings for the former and Fuggles for the latter. A slightly bad-cheese aroma has overwhelmed my nose as well, one could assume from being a bit long in the tooth. Modest noble hopping.

The taste manages to be crisp and meddling at the same time. The hops kick is really never what I was hoping for in a American Pale, but in fact this baby is much more accurate to the original British style. There is an unfortunate gooey and gummy mouthfeel and an overwhelming feeling that this is just not anything too special.

Would make a good session-er if a tad fresher.

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Photo of HardTarget
2.41/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

First review: 6/22/04 (4,4,2.5,3,3)
Standard brown 12 oz. bottle with a purchase before date notched Dec, 2003 (sampled June, 2004)
Aroma: Lightly roasted malt topped with a nice spicy hop nose. Inviting
Appearance: Nice white head of creamy bubbles on an amber (hint of orange) body. Nice thick lacing down the glass with good head retention.
Flavor: I’ll be generous with the score given the out of date bottle, but it has an off taste going. It has a flat, stale raisin taste with a hint of oxidation/cardboard. It’s quite a let down from the appealing aroma. Given all of that the balance is pretty good, but there is a grassy hop taste that is rubbing me wrong as well.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with a slight chew, a bit oily in the finish. A mild numbing of gums
Overall Impression: I’ll revisit at some time, but no time soon. I grabbed this bottle from Whip-In, notorious for out of date sales. I don’t see this beer in these parts often, so I grabbed one for a karma point. Drinkability? Eh, I’m starting to get over some of the off tastes, but I’ll not crave another. I’ve earned worse karma points.

Rereviewed 2/11/05
Standard 12 oz brown bottle with best before FEB notched, time for a fresh bottle.
Aroma: Skunky? Under that is a good dose of hops.
Appearance: Clear dirty blonde glass with a nice cover of small off white bubbles that laced.
Flavor: Dusty flavored malt with solid hops all over it. Hops are more bitter than citric or floral; harsh. Biscuit malt flavors come out a bit as it warms as well as an odd banana/butterscotch like flavor.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation level is a bit high but not too bad. Body is fairly light and faintly oily.
Overall Impression: Just not floating my boat. Given all the good pale ales out there, I’d have to say give this one a pass. I’m on the edge of a drain pour with the rest of my glass. Guess I was in the mood for an AMERICAN pale ale, not an English one.

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

Seemed more yellow than amber to me, looked like a standard pale ale. There was a nice head to it, and it didn't disappear too quickly.

The aroma seemed to be of tart, citrusy hops. I enjoyed it, as I like a good strong hop character sometimes.

The taste was rather bitter, with strong hop character and not a lot of maltiness.
Overall a good solid beer, a nice rounding out of their offerings.

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Photo of granger10
3.17/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a medium copper color with a small fizzy pale head. Lots of bubbles rise to the top. Little lacing. It was almost too dark for a pale ale imo. The smell was very floral and hoppy. I could almost get a crispness from the smell of this beer. The taste seemed a little too one-sided to me. The hops were very flavorful but not really bitter at all. The malts seemed weak but ones that were there were toasty. The finish is quite crisp and refreshing. This was a decent beer but nothing to get too excited about.

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Photo of twi1609372
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

very nice ale. nice balance between full bodied and smooth. intricate taste, sort of unusually pale, but it's good. somewhat reminds me of spring ale, but a little more bodied. hard to find this here anymore but i woulden tpass it up when i do. never had a chance to try it but im sure it would be a great tap beer.

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

12oz bottle scrounged from my parents' fridge to enjoy with dinner after washing sheep at their (small) farm in preparation for a fair this weekend.

Nice 1/2" white head on top of the light amber brew. Slightly hoppy aroma, rounded out with minimal malts. Taste was upfront pale malts, and balanced with a crisp hops bite. Actually, a bit more balanced than I would expect for a pale ale. Mouthfeel and drinkability were both good, placing this brew in the "lawnmower/thirst-quencher" category, in my mind.

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Photo of mschofield
2.58/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a highly carbonated, golden-amber topped with a three finger rocky off-white head, leaves thick webs of lace.
Perfumy, herbal aroma, caramel, and a lot of butterscotch.
Nutty, caramel, floral-perfume taste. I didn't like this at all before it went on hiatus, I decided to give it another try, but I still don't like it.
Medium bodied.

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

Another brew from Sam Adams that doesn't get enough of respect I think. Poures out a light amber color with a good amount of carbonation. Smell is on the sweet side a little bit. Some hops are there but it's mostly malts with a very slight toasted aroma to it. Taste was malty in the beginning with some hop bite blending in the middle and lasts all the way through the end. Aftertaste is mostly that hop bite that seems to last quite a while. Solid brew.

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Photo of edchicma
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An all around, above average brew. Appearance was a light caramel gold with a very nice head and very nice lacing. Smelll was distinctly malty with a ligh hop undertone. Taste was lightly sweet followed by lightly tart on the finish...smooth. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium-bodied. Smooth qaulity lends itself to very easy drinkability. A definte warm weather pleaser.

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Photo of merlin48
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber body with a two finger, offwhite head that demonstrates good retention and laces the glass with considerable patching. Aroma features pale malt, a hint of caramel, and a restrained, but evident, English style, herbal/floral hops note. Mouthfeel is light bodied, and has medium carbonation. Very mild hops bite on the tongue. Taste is of a well balanced, British style, pale ale, similar to Bass. A sweet malt backbone is balanced by a subdued, but pleasant, hops presence. Don't expect an American style, IPA here. This is nowhere close to a hoppy, SNPA, but compares favorably to a Bass Pale Ale. Finish is clean, and slightly dry. Drinkability is very good. A very nice alternative if you're faced with a limited selection in a store or restaurant.

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Photo of yeagerbm
3.92/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a gold color with a thin white head. pleasing smell with some malt and hops.
taste: mild pale ale with some noticeable hop flavor and grainy character makes it more flavorful than bass, but milder than snpa. good drinkability with some lingering hop bitterness, and light mouthfeel. good alternative for light beer drinkers that may not scare them away.

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Photo of waughbrew
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale gold, medium white head, some retention, some lacing, very clear. Spicy and slightly earthy English hops. Lightly biscuity malt. Nice simple malt character with complementary spiciness and light orange peel. Finish is grassy and herbal. Crisp and light feel, very drinkable, very nice, rather distinct. Impressive.

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Photo of genaro
3.71/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Pale Ale poured a fairly clear gold with a lasting creamy head (about one inch high). The lace was very good. The aroma was not as strong as I was expecting. It was mellow, floral, citrusy, with a bit of maltiness. The taste was also not what I anticipated. It was a litle laid back with nice hop flavor, some sweetness, caramel, and decent hop bite. The finish was dry, and a bit sweet with some hop flavor. Overall I found it to be milder than what I was expecting in a pale ale. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it. I found it to be quite drinkable and subtle enough to go with a variety of foods.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.97/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

New Brewmaster’s Collection Series, same old beer. 12oz brown bottle.
It pours a shiny brass color with a thin to medium-sized white head and a fair amount of sticky lace.
A blend of doughy malt and citrusy hop aromas fade rather quickly.
Lightly roasted biscuity malt with a light caramel sweetness provides a good foundation for the generously applied hops.
Citrusy tartness and a mild metallic tang mix with a light tea-like taste.
This Pale Ale is dry from start to finish. I would have liked a little more sweetness, but will still enjoy it.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.27/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presented in a 12oz. bottle with a "buy before Jan 04" date on the label. Had a slightly hazy orange color and a bubbly, fast-fading white head that left no lace.
Aroma was of grainy malt tinged with toffee and buttery notes and floral hops. The taste had a lightly sweet malt presence and some caramel before a more assertive earthy herbal hoppiness built upon the palate, finishing with a clean, long bitterness. The hops profile clearly outdid the malt aspect of this beer. The feel was on the light side of medium-bodied and a bit thin despite the effervescent carbonation.
Overall, a brew I found to be only marginally above the average. Drinkability is decent but I'd have liked it better if it had a stronger malt profile.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.06/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden color, medium white foamy head. Aroma is fruity and sweet. Medium hoped, medium malts. A nice hoppy pale ale. Good balance of hops and malts, with a crisp hop flavor. Finish is very clean and crisp. Aftertaste is very hoppy and slightly bitter yet smooth.

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Photo of au1sec
3.77/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden orange color, about two fingers of quickly dissipating head, but some lacing throughout. I liked it quite a bit. Many American Pale Ales have quite a bit more hop bitterness than English Pales, but not this one. The aroma was pretty strong and I was expecting a pretty big bite, but the taste was very well balanced. Pour a Sierra Nevada and a Bass together, and you'd probably come pretty close to this beer. Maybe it caught me at the right time, after a hot late August day on the golf course, but it really hit the spot. Great summer session brew.

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Photo of alexgash
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another slightly better than average brew from Sam Adams. This one poured a pale golden with a creamy off-white head. Smell is of metallic hops and slight malts. Taste is nice, not too sweet, bready malts up front, witha pleasant hop finish. Not too hoppy, or malty. Maybe I'm crazy, but I swear there is a lemon-tart component in here. Not my type of pale ale.

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Photo of Rumrunner
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle
A very easy drinking pale ale.

It pours a light golden color. A small head with little lacing. The smell is weak. A bit malty with some yeast. There is a small fruit scent as well.

The flavors are quite mild. A nice balance of hops and malt. Some caramel and some hop tang with no real bite. Mild body. A touch of wheat.

It feels very nice. Easy drinking and not heavy. A great ale when a person wants to have more than one or just to sit back on a warm day and relax.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light yellow-orange color. Very active carbonation, but not enough to sustain the initial one-finger head.

Aroma is faintly of malt and yeast, nothing off there, but nothing that great either.

Taste is pretty pleasant. Not a whole lot of malt, but enough to taste easily and it's a nice combo with the bubbly mouthfeel. Relatively, there's more hop presence which is the most distinctive part of this brew, and yet it is just average, maybe slightly above average.

Clean mouthfeel, not exactly crisp, the hops leave a soft bitterness which is rather noteworthy.

A good summer drinker with burgers, dogs, and all the fixins!

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Photo of elmocoso
2.94/5  rDev -15.3%
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 kbub6f
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought locally (Grapevine refrigerated shelves), a few weeks in my fridge, reviewed 45F-70F.

A fairly big, dense, cream-colored head leaves some nice lacing. The beer is a deep amber and ever-so-slightly cloudy.

The smell is malty and slightly sweetish. Nice. A caramel front gives way to a full, deep, malty middle with some caramel and a little chocolate at temperature. The finish is dry, a little nutty and shows some buttery toffee. Overall, this is good.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An all-around good beer that tastes much as it looks - refreshing and flavorful. This beer poured a hazy amber with an ample 2 finger head of creamy ivory. The head is long lasting and creates very good lace affect. The nose is a bit light but gives off some malt, a trace of hops, and a small sense of citrus - not much. The taste leans to the malt side and starts a bit sweet. The hops do balance the malt very well and the finish is dry without any sense of bitterness. Mouthfeel is moderately full and creamy. Very drinkable pale ale - I like it.

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Samuel Adams Pale Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 912 ratings