Friday, August 21, 2015

Samuel Adams Boston Lager (2015 re-review)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1434) - Albany, New York, USA - AUG 21, 2015
There are certain beers that are milestones in the history and development of the American craft beer movement and Samuel Adams Boston Lager might be one of the most significant of them. We literally have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the craft beer selection, so old standbys like this tend to be overlooked and underappreciated. But when given the same treatment as the must-have beer of the moment, this does hold under scrutiny and over time.

I poured a 12oz bottle into the official Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass. It came as part of a 12-pack for $15.99 ($1.33 a bottle or $0.11 per ounce). The freshness date was notched at 12/15.

Appearance: Beautiful dark amber/copper hue. Completely clear with consistent carbonation visible. Pours to a fairly large, white, frothy head which retains and laces extremely well.

Smell: Mostly a standard lager scent, though cleaner than most with a slight malt presence. Faintest floral aroma from the hops.

Taste: This beer tastes how a standard, traditional, no-frills, well-made lager should. I get distinct malt and hop notes at right times. First, a slightly toasty malt character with a touch of nuttiness. At the crest the hops appear and create for a light spicy sensation; akin to rye bread (which really complements the bready malt character well). There’s a dry bitterness on the finish with a mild floral sensation in the aftertaste. These flavors repeat and become a little stronger as the beer warms. This isn’t a massively complex brew by any means – but it’s not supposed to be. For a lager it’s plenty flavorful and enjoyable and that’s why it’s endured for literally decades now.

Drinkability: There was a time when this beer’s 4.9% ABV was considered rather heavy. Certainly, it’s got the body of a beefy brew when compared to other lagers of the potency. The mouthfeel is fairly soft in texture, but still light enough and carbonated enough to create for a crispness as it goes down. I would not consider Samuel Adams Boston Lager refreshing, though it’s arguably sessionable and yet strong enough to stand up to any American fare.

RATING: 8/10

Read and watch my 2009 original review here:


  1. It is always a pleasure when I have a Boston Lager again. It is really a quality beer and as you said, often overlooked. I always felt it was more of an American Pale Ale than a lager though...

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