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

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Samuel Adams Pale AleSamuel Adams Pale Ale
928 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: 928 |  Reviews: 574
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.

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Photo of Vancer
2.93/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good start - amber/orange pour with a nice foamy ivory head. But then, just some whiffs of malts and floral hops. Quaff was just as weak, with some subtle hints of doughy breads.

All in all, somewhat watery, weak and lifeless. I’m disappointed in Sammy, their offerings are usually better than this – I’d go for many other P.A.s before this one.

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Photo of bighoppymonster
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, clean golden colour with foamy white head and active carbonation. Smells of faint hoppiness with some grainy malts as well. Flavour is similar to nose: A little hoppiness with malt being the dominate feature. Overall just an average brew. Nothing fancy or impressive about it at all. I've only had a couple of their offerings, but I havent been impressed at all with this brewery from Boston. I will, however, try some more of their beers, as it is a respected brewery.

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Photo of evanackerman
4.18/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

i am surprised by the low reviews of this beer, i find it extremely delicious.

pours a nice light amber with thick white head that retains well. aroma is reminiscent of sourdough bread. taste is a nice balance of bready malt and english hops. mouthfeel is a bit thin but pretty good. drinkability is very high.

a very nice light ale, perfect for when you want a very refreshing beer with good flavor but not something huge. very quaffable and a nice interpretation of the style in my opinion. i will definitely be buying this again.

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

This one turns out to be a fairly bland offering from the BBC folks.

It pours an alright crisp copper colour with a decent sized head that doesn't hold for very long and leaves minimal to no residue on the glass.

The aroma is malty/earthy and a touch buttery, with an ever so slight sweet hop aroma pushed way to the back. Simple and fairly average overall.

The flavour is pretty much more of the same, although the hop notes are even less so apparent here. The malt truly takes over pretty much the whole way.

There's nothing really to say about this brew. It's drinkable, but very simpe and average overall. I'd like to see the hop flavour kicked up more to give this one some bite. Can I recommend this one? No. Can I say avoid it? No. Try it if you want but don't expect much in return.

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

This is an average pale ale, and much better than the boston ale. It has a decent hppy aroma, and a good hop and malt balance. It goes down smoothly, and leaves a crisp bitterness behind. Definitely not nearly as smooth as a lot of the pale ales I've had before, but still good.

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Photo of SteveO1231
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clean amber color with a white fizzy head
Light hoppy scented Pale ale
Light bubbly fizzy head disipates when it hits the lips
A nice bitter flavor w/ a hoppy finish with a touch citrus.
Smooth drinkability, very light flavor and finish for those hot summer days.

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Photo of WesWes
4.2/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of pale, light crystal, and roasted malts. It has a fruity quality as well as a wonderful English hop aroma. The taste is great. This is what I like about the English style pales. It's malty with a smooth, dry finish. The hops add good balance and it attains a slight fruitiness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is quite possibly the best beer these guys brew. I like everything about it.

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Photo of Zorro
4.33/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear deep golden ale with a white head.

Smell is malty and fruity with a good herbal hop scent. Not sweet smelling mostly just an herbal hop scent, the hops have a minty quality to them.

Taste is a little sweet and aggressively bitter. Mild spiciness in the hop profile, this is much like a bitter Pilsner.

Mouthfeel is good.

Exceedingly drinkable. This is NOT another cookie cutter APA full of grapefruit and pine flavor and scent. This is much closer to a Pilsner in bitterness and hops used. This beer is all about the hops, satisfyingly bitterness and very well dry hopped. I did not expect this beer to be so tasty; this is now my favorite Sam Adams brew!

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Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.74/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks: Crystal clear Golden color. Small pure white head with no lacing.
Smell: Strong sulfer (think lit match) with a bit of hops.
Tastes: Light sulfer and hopes. Finishes with malt and biscuty flavor.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied with healthy amount of carbonation.
Drinkability: Very drinkable. Goes down easy, somewhat refreshing and not overly alcoholic.

Notes: this is a good beer. Not intense, but has a bit of flavor. Also goes well with bar foods, chips and such. The sulfer kills this brew.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

gold colored with a thin white head. 'earthy' hoppy smell with a little malty sweetness. good amount of hop bitterness, with a chewy caramel honey-like sweetnes to back it up. a little thin in the mouth, but nothing get bent out of shape about. overall good drinkability, and worth a try, but for the most part nothing special at all.

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Photo of MrSeth
4.22/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a bubbly white head. It settles then reforms now and again. The body is a beautiful gold. The nose is fruity at first, fresh rasberries.. then a honeyish malt aroma. Good taste, something barely estery.. it's a nice element although it doesn't remind me of any particular fruit. The finish is only mildly bitter and that will add a point to the drinkability.

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

Pours a crystal clear copper, I mean crystal clear. I can watch the Braves game throught the beer. Creamy and cream colored head with sheets of lacing. Smell is lightly bitter-swee and tea leaf aromas from the hops. Light fruity malt.

A nice balance in the taste with the hops and the malt intertwining flawlessly. Persistent understated tea-like hops and a nice semi-sweet fruitiness of the malt. Creamy up front and crisp in the finish. An easy drinker.

I'm not sharp enough to pick up that East Kent Goldngs and Fuggles were the hops used in this one but I do know enough to taste a stab at the classic British style pale when I taste one. Very well done, in the style of Bass way back in the day. Subtle and well-crafted.

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

Pours a nice orange color with a respectable bubbly head.

Fine hop aroma, smells more like a British pale than an American. Good balance of malt and hops.

Medium bodied and pretty smooth. Very English, mild hop flavors backed up with with a decent malt backbone. Some bitterness combines with a sweet, bready flavor.

Easy drinking, but not exciting. If I want an American pale, I'll reach for a Sierra Nevada or Sweetwater.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
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 UncleJimbo
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 12 oz longneck bottle from the Brewmaster's collection sixpack.

This ale poured a clear, light amber color with white foam that settled but clung to the glass a bit. The smell was very modest: lightly malty with a touch of grain. The taste was lightly malty with a hint of citrus and a slight tanginess and medium hoppiness, though the hop bitterness did linger. The mouthfeel was smooth and dry with medium body and medium-low carbonation. The aftertaste was lightly malty with a lingering mild bitterness. This was an OK plae ale, but nothing to go out of your way for.

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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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Samuel Adams Pale Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 928 ratings