Review: Boston Lager, Samuel Adams

Boston Lager

  • Style:  Lager
  • Bitterness:  30 IBU
  • ABV: 4.9%
  • Malts: Two-row Harrington, Metcalfe, and Copeland pale malts, and Caramel 60
  • Hops: Hallertau Mittelfrueh and Tettnang Tettnanger
  • Calories: 175 per 12 oz.
  • Sampled:  12 oz. bottle

Description:  Samuel Adams Boston Lager helped lead the American beer revolution, reviving a passion for full-bodied brews that are robust and rich with character.  When it was introduced in 1984, Samuel Adams Boston Lager was unusual in a world of thin, light-bodied beers that were being churned out for mass market consumption. Following his great-great grandfather's recipe, Jim Koch used only traditional brewing processes as well as the finest ingredients to brew his Samuel Adams Boston Lager. "My great-great grandfather named his beer after himself: Louis Koch Lager," said Jim Koch. "I renamed my beer after the patriot Samuel Adams, who helped lead the Revolution and was a brewer by trade. I thought the name was assertively American.”  — The Boston Beer Co.

Random thoughts:  Boston Lager was included in the Samuel Adams Fall Harvest Collection and is recognized as one of the beers that launched the craft beer renaissance in the US. I just recently tasted it for the first time. 

The tasting:  Gold in color, crystal clear, with lots of effervescence. Its white head dissipated very slowly leaving plenty of lacing all over the glass. It's a very nice looking beer. Aroma of bready malt with spicy and earthy hops. Flavor mirrors the aroma with the addition of caramel malt. The alcohol isn't noticeable and there's not a lot of malt sweetness or hop bitterness. Overall, it's nicely balanced. Boston Lager is light to medium bodied, has a crisp mouth feel, and finishes with bready malt and spicy hops. It's a very easy drinker and a fine session beer.

Rating:  3 star.  Good. I would drink this again if someone gives it to me.  Although this is a solid beer, it wasn't particularly memorable for me. Boston Lager is widely available around the country. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat if my options were limited. If you're a macro drinker and you see Boston Lager the next time you're out on the town, give it a try. You'll be glad you did.

Have you tried Boston Lager?  What are your favorite Sam Adams beers?

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  1. The only Sam Adams brew I've had was an Imperial Stout I think. It was the only beer I've had so far that I just plain hate (even Budweiser doesn't taste "bad"; it just doesn't taste like beer). I got off to a bad start with Sam Adams, so I'm not too excited about trying them again.

  2. I have not tried their Imperial Stout. You should give them another try. Overall, their beers are very solid IMO. I just saw their winter seasonal mixed pack in the store. I'll pick it up soon and write about each of the beers.

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  4. Never have been a fan of any of their beers. Just not my taste I guess. I think what they are more notable for is their marketing.

  5. I think their beer is solid. I understand why it may not be popular here in Portland given the size of the brewery and the multitude of great beer options we have here. But I think Sam Adams offers a great alternative to macro brews in parts of the country were craft beer option are limited.


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