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 Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Comes out a light copper color with below average head. Aroma is faint floral hops, really smells like Saaz and Tetenang stuff.

Taste is very much a light pale ale. Very light. More flavor than BMC, but clearly the next level, a better introduction to beer. Carbonation seems high on the palate compared with the appearance. Dry, typical Sam Adams underhopping (even for an English style pale) and lemon flavor. Another underwhelming effort from SA.

 451 characters

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

This beer is not often available in Ohio. I picked up a bottle in Detroit this week, and am now chugging it from a Sam Adams uber-glass. The beer is brilliantly clear, golden colored, with a neutral aroma more malty than hoppy. The taste is neutral-to-sweetly malty, nothing offensive but then again nothing spectacular. Easy to drink but nothing TOO special.

 359 characters

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

Part of the summer variety pack. Poured into a pint glass, it was a dark yellow with a medium head and a little bit of lacing. Aroma was some sweet grain, not anything else. Mildly hoppy taste. While it was crisp and refreshing as advertised, I didn't think it was that outstanding.

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Photo of ZAP
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I haven't had a lot of experience with pale ales, but this one ahhhh "pales" in comparison to the one I had at the Green Mill restraunt in St. Paul...this is definitely on the dry side...almost spicey a bit on the finish..crisp..and pretty easy drinking...tastes very clean and crisp...certainly not a bad beer, but only slightly above average in my book.

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Photo of Gusler
3.42/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer as it sets in the pint pounder a crystal clear golden amber with the head large and white, the lace adequate to cover the glass. Nose is crisp and fresh, lightly floral, but malt dominates. Start is lightly sweet, the top light in feel, the finish strikingly acidic, the hops pertinent to the style and a darn good session beer any old time of the year.

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Photo of mynie
4.04/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very light for an APA, dark gold with a bright fluffy white head. And there's these little black bits in the first I thought I had a dirty glass. I drank that beer and poured a new one into a new, freshly-washed glass. Still, little black bits. I pick them out and they smell like burnt hops. Strange, but not bad.

Smells of very rounded English hops. More sweet than bitter, with a very nice and balanced aroma. The hops dance against Boston Beer's distinctive bread yeast.

Tastes much like a less-hopped, sweeter Boston Ale than an APA. The profile is distinctly British, with the Fuggle hops taking center stage at the start of the sip and moving quickly into a sweet biscuit malt middle and finish.

It's very nice, quite solid, but I don't think this is an APA. It's too light and bitter to be an ESB, and it fit the description of an English Pale Ale almost perfectly.

No matter what, it's worth a buy.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Nonic. Best by Aug '09 notched on label.

A - Clear, light golden budy with little carbonation bubbles feeding an otherwise nice, dense, off-white and lumpy head. Low retention and little lacing.

S - Piney and floral with a touch of fruity hop aromas coming fourth. Spices a little bit? A sort of crystal light iced-tea aroma. Low levels of malt on the nose with a very subtle sweetness.

T - Dry straw flavor, no malt, with a strong hop presence yet not asserting itself in any certain way. "Green" and flowery hop flavor. A tad spicy maybe.

M - Dry, crisp, and bitter with a strong carbonation kick to it.

D - Its a nice lawnmower beer but there isn't a whole lot of depth to it. The malt level is almost non-existent while the hops are just there. It's certainly easy to drink though.

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Photo of Pencible
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear light gold with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like bready yeast, with earthy lemon hops and some muddy caramel.
T: It tasted like lemon hops and bready yeast, with earthy wheat and faint caramel. It had a light bitter aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with bubbly carbonation.
D: This was very unimpressive, only a half step up from a macro lager. It was more bready yeast than hops, making it seem like a wheat beer rather than a pale ale. It wasn't very clean either, but it was at least bland enough to drink quickly and easily. Not recommended.

 579 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.42/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden yellow with a white head, about average. Aroma is malty and just slightly fruity, not strong but still appealing. Flavor is malty and a little fruity, just a shade hoppy, fair to middling. Texture is smooth and a little fizzy. A nice mild beer.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy pale orange color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into nice fluffy lacing. The aroma is of floral hops with a touch of honey, and a nice caramel and toffee backbone. The taste has everything the aroma does, but it is all just a little quitter. The mouthfeel is a touch lighter than medium bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, this is a nice English Pale Ale. I could easily drink this again.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.78/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliantly clear medium yellow color with a nice topping of white foam. Good retention and leaves some nice lacing. Pretty light in color for a pale ale, but overall a good looking beer.

Smell is typical sam adams toasty-caramel malts with a bit of floral and grassy hop aroma, but not enough to make you think 'pale ale' right off the bat. Smells eerily similar to the boston ale.

Taste is clean and fresh with just a mild influence from the hops, a slight bittering and a bit of floral flavor. The beer is well balanced and actually is pretty damn tasty. While it is not exactly flavor-packed, this makes a fine session beer and is quite easy to drink. As an EPA, it is no bad at all. I actually find this to be one of the more enjoyable SA beers in the lineup.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A little light on flavor considering the great aroma and autumn color. Not Sammy's best offering by any means but I actually like this more than their flagship beer. It is not as good as their Summer or Winter brews though.

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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 tavernjef
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is opaque, light yellow, small white head with very light, sandpaper, misty like lacing. Smell is faintly bright hop thats a touch on the citrusy side. Taste is mildly smooth, has an immediate little bite that fades quickly and lends itself mostly bright and clean with a a dry bittering effect thats very subtle, not bad at all. It trys to be hoppy but is a little on the weak side but very tolerable in the drinking department. Feel is bright and dryish with a light tipping toward a medium body. Very drinkable and mildly smooth. I was pleasantly surprised that it was better then it looked. Not a favorite but not a turndown by any means.

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Photo of Gmann
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden brown color with an average eggshell head that dissipated into a decent cap. The smell is of malt, a bit on the sweet side, and a hint of hops, not very distinct. The taste is of lightly toasted malt followed by some light hop bitterness. The hop taste is not very pronounced. A very neutral brew. The feel is light and moderately carbonated, finishes a bit astringent and bitter. A weak American Pale Ale but good for English Pale Ale standards, though not as sweet and a bit more bitter than the English counterparts.

 540 characters

Photo of argock
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Enjoy by date notched on front label. Purchased as part of 24-pack summer sampler for $25.22 from Sam's Club.

A: Mellow orange amber with 1-2 finger off-white head with good retention and serpentine formations of lace down the glass.

S: Nose is subtle and underdeveloped. THe main aromas are caramel and pale malts with an equal part of herbal, earthy, and mildly citrus hops.

T: Very approachable flavor profile with medium-heavy pale malts in fornt with a touch of huskiness met with modest herbal and fruity hops. Good but not terribly ambitious.

M: Somewhat thin and mirrors my flavor commments in that more malt and hops could have been used with much more impressive effect. Aftertaste is leathery and on style.

D: Drinkable enough but unspectacular. A bolder attempt with bigger malt and hops additions would make this brew go from simply good to great.

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Photo of jsh420
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

drink by oct 09

pours clear gold with a 1 finger head that leaves spotted lacing

smells of sour spicey bread

taste is spicey earthy hops and nice bready malts

mouthfeel is light and refreshing with plenty of carbonation

drinkability - is very good on this 85 degree day

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Photo of birchstick
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a clear yellow with a small head
S - smells of malts and honey oat bread and a touch of hops
T - tasted as the nose suggested...a bit of toasted malt and a bread taste with only the slightest bit of hops
MF - a bit thin and not overly carbonated
O - This was decent, not as bitter as other pale ales I have had but easy to drink nonetheless. Very good to drink one after another after another...

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

Pours a sparkling even gold color with an inch of frothy white foam. Looks good. Classic SA sweet toasted malt notes in the aroma. Light, clean, almost creamy fruitiness and a subtle spiciness from the hops. Taste follows the smell pretty closely...sweet, toasty, herbal, finishing with some earthy grain. Don't be fooled, this is no APA. All English hops were used and pretty lightly too. Nicely balanced, light bodied, and mildly bitter. Not bad all around, just don't expect a big citrusy ale. Simple and sessionable.

 520 characters

Photo of Bierman9
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly dark-golden color...mild nose; hard to discern.. a bit fruity; ...somewhat nice on the tongue but flavors are mild to the point of blandness...average bier....IMO...

overall: 3
appearance: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | mouthfeel: 3 | drinkability: 3


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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 Reagan1984
4.03/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After posting this and reading some other reviews, I think some folks are reviewing this as an APA. Its not, it's clearly more of the English style and should be reviewed as such.

Best before April 2010 notched on the bottle
Pours with a creamy thick head with a lot of structure. The color is a perfect copper/amber and is bright with perfect clarity. Thick clumpy lacing everywhere. Excellent retention on the head.

Aroma is bright with tons of biscuit/cracker aromas and a bit of spice. Smells like a Sam Adams product for sure.

Balance is the order of the day here. Slightly nutty (almond) with a little white pepper and a nice toasted malt tone. Bitterness is more English in style. But very nice. Slight mineral taste to it. Again, distinctively English.

Medium bodied, crisp finish.

This beer is well built. Not overly complex, it comes straight at you and it right on point for the style.

Sam Adams continues to be a solid brewery and a great ambassador for the craft community.

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Photo of prototypic
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It's transparent gold (almost looks copper). Head is foamy and about one and a half fingers. Average retention and lacing.

Smell: It's a nice blend of caramel malts, citrus scents (orange and grapefruit), and a nice dose of hops.

Taste: It's got an initial sweet taste that's attributed to the mix of malt and citrus flavors. There's a bit of grapefruit, orange, and maybe lemon in there. Hops provide a nice, dry bitter taste.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Light bodied and extremely drinkable. Carbonation is excellent. I could session this with no problem. Overall, it's a good beer. There's better APAs out there, but this one is pretty good.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle a bright clear golden yellow with a light white head. Lacing was light but sticky.

Aroma is pretty straight forward malt.

Taste is lighter than many pale ales I've had. Some malt presence and not much hops presence to speak of. Also has a bit of a tin taste to it similar to some English pale ales.

Mouthfeel is light and somewhat drying and the carbonation level is low.

This is more of an EPA than an APA. Not a bad pale ale but by no means a memorable one.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.22/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very pale, with a pretty white head. A fingers plus, and it's gone fast. Slight lacing.

Smell is very slightly citrus, but mostly bready, biscuity malts. Hint of sweetness.

Taste is a bit more sharp with the bitterness, but there is more the sweet malts showing up. It's a less frequented take on the style, but it's not bad at all though.

Feel is a little light, decent carbonation, and slightly slick.

Average drink. A sort of bland, not exciting rendition.

 464 characters

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