Samuel Adams Boston Lager
Here it is. The flagship beer that started it all for Samuel Adams back in 1984 when Jim Koch started up his craft brewery. This was the first recipe that he used and I’m not sure it has changed as much in these 26 years. This beer will be the first lager that I have reviewed, so I should briefly touch on the differences between lagers and ales. Actually, I will make it very brief as I can probably write enough on this subject to lend it’s own post eventually. So I’ll leave that for another time. I had to pause my movie to knock out this review, so let’s get right to it!
This beer is classified as a Vienna Lager, which is usually darker and more flavorful than it’s pale cousin. They can often times resemble Oktoberfests, although that style has a classification all it’s own, by being malty and amber colored. Vienna’s are so named due to the development of the style around the area of Vienna, Austria. Several great composers lived in Vienna, such as Mozart and Haydn, and I bet they all drank Samuel Adams beer. That is not up for debate either.
This beer should be properly served out of a lager glass, and my lager glass totally kicks glass.
The beer pours a light to burnt orange color with a frothy white head. The wide lip of this glass lends itself to a fantastic forming head, which I so eloquently demonstrated in pouring this beer. Even after sitting for awhile, the head is still present and lots of carbonation bubbles are streaming up from the bottom of the glass. A little light in color, but nonetheless very pretty to look at.
The aroma is first up heavy malts and grain, with a fair bit of hopped backbone. Lagers of this style are not typically known for their hop concentration, but the Boston Lager is a bit of an exception here. This particular beer also smells a bit dusty, but only in the slightest. Best before May 2011 so it’s still good.
Flavor is bready and malty, with a bit of dry bitterness towards the end. This bitterness is drawn from the hops which are more felt than tasted. There is certainly no lack of flavor here, which Samuel Adams usually prides themselves on. The finish is also fairly dry and leaves a light bitter touch on the tongue. Hops can be tasted after the swallow.
4.9% ABV. Certainly sessionable and was made to be that way, but it would go better with a meal rather than a drink all it’s own. The bitterness on the finish may be distasteful to some, but given a chance, this beer is well made and has merits of it’s own.