Samuel Adams Boston Lager Review


Samuel Adams Boston Lager debuted in 1985, and, according to some, began a craft beer revolution in the United States. Opinions are mixed as to whether or not Boston Lager qualifies as a craft beer, however. Depending on whom you ask, it is either a still-innovative and wildly successful craft product or a former craft brand, now too insulated by the behemoth size of parent Boston Brewing Co. to be relevant or cutting-edge. Regardless, it put in a decent performance in Cheapism's two budget beer taste-offs, occupying third place in the craft category in both sessions.

When stacked against three other craft brews and five American-style lagers in the 2016 competition, Samuel Adams Boston Lager was deemed good but not great by our review panel. The "middle of the road" mildness and "bitter, but not too bitter" end satisfied most of the seven tasters. Others enjoyed the underlying flavors of "malt, hops, and flowers" and the brew's "extended finish." Two of the panelists called Sam Adams one of their favorites, while others gave it an average rating of 5 out of 10.

Expert reviewers are more enthusiastic about Sam Adams Boston Lager than our two tasting panels. A certified beer judge at The Beer Connoisseur awarded it 92 points, or an overall rating of 18 out of 20, and warmed to its notes of caramel and toast and its substantial, silky head. An editor from Wine Enthusiast magazine gave the brew an impressive 91 points, calling it a "classic" in her review.

Mid- to low-cost for a craft beer, a six-pack of 12-ounce bottles was $8.99 on sale ($9.99 regular price) at the local supermarket. This averages out to about 12 cents an ounce, or just under 14 cents an ounce at regular price. The ABV is 4.9 percent.

Whether your assessment of Sam Adams Boston Lager meshes with the experts or our review panel, this tried-and-true craft brew remains a solid choice and a decent value.

Gina Briles

Gina K. Briles writes family, household, and shopping-related product reviews. She is a displaced Jayhawk and a coffee addict living in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two small children, and Vizsla dog.

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