Samuel Adams Winter Lager - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

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5,383 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,383
Reviews: 1,938
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 72
Gots: 839 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Bock |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-25-2001

Samuel Adams Winter Lager is a dark wheat bock. Bock beers are traditionally strong dark lagers.

This beer is a lager, and hence not a Weizenbock (an ale).
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,383 | Reviews: 1,938
Reviews by mbrown26:
Photo of mbrown26
3.96/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty solid 4 out of 5 offering from Samuel Adams. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: A nice amber hue and a dirty looking head that dissipated fairly quickly, but left a nice lace through the end of the beer.

S: Nothing to write home about for a seasonal bock beer. Smelled caramel, toffee and coffee notes.

T: A great tasting beer that had a nice balance between alcohol and flavor. Neither overpowered the other. Best characteristic of the beer was the taste.

M: Didn't make my cheeks pucker and got me to think about what flavors I was tasting. It drink like a beer should drink.

D: Easy to drink. Every sip made me look forward to the next.

Recommendable and will hopefully buy more.

More User Reviews:
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%

This one has been sitting in my beer fridge staring at me for the longest time. I gotta drink this one or else it will start crying.

Appearance (4.25) : Pours an aggressive tan-beige head. I'm measuring about four fingers. Actually I have a tape measure sitting right here. 3 1/4". Impressive. Leaves lacing as it slowly recedes. The body is a dark honey color with about 30% opacity. Nice clarity on this one. Due to the massive head, the generous lacing, and the clarity of the dark body, I'm giving this one a solid 4.25.

Aroma (3.75) : Barley malt, oats, some faint wild berry, toasty grains; and finally darker earth notes upon very deep inhalation. Complex, characteristic. Bouquet is soft and weak, however.

Taste (4.25) : Well, this is quite interesting. The berry notes and the malt-heavy toasted grain play well with each other and are very loud. Hop bitterness is cheering from the sidelines, still present but kept on a margin by the barley and berry. The sour lambic-type taste gives it an interesting spin and the hops help balance out the malts nicely. It's very forward, very strong in the taste department, and for this reason it is a sipper and not a chugger. I will say, it is pretty impressive. I like the flavor, it's a true craft.

Mouthfeel (3.25) : Airy, light, estery...ends a tad papery and semi-dry. Medium bodied.

Overall (4.12) : If someone pushed this glass in front of me and told me it was from a top craft brewer, and they charged $15/4 pack, I would believe them. I would probably also try to find the beer to purchase it. This is actually a fine, fine beer and to think that Sam Adams made this is pretty incredible. It's got a great craft feel to it, a bit lambic and a bit festive, not too malty, not too hoppy, and that extra berry sourness just makes things interesting. The bottle talks about spice but I'm not intercepting any spice. Just good, berry, malty, hoppy goodness.

Edit : I see that this is a Bock. It is absolutely nothing like a Bock. I would knock the rating down but it's too good to do that. Approach it like a Bock and you'll probably be sorely disappointed. Approach it like a winter beer and you'll be jumping rope.

Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have drank this seasonal over the last few years on tap and in the bottle,went out last night and had this on tap.Pours a brownish amber with alight but somewhat sticky head,aroma is rich and malty.The flavor has a nice flavorful holiday spice to it its a nice rich tasting brew,this beer is served at alot of the big name bar and grilles wich is great compared to most of there other offerings.A beer with some nice spiced notes and is slightly warming.

Photo of RoyalT
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – The body of this lager is brown and very clear. The head frothed up quickly and laced the glass as it went down.

Smell – The grain here came out nicely, which is a welcome surprise from an American brewery. The cinnamon, allspice, and sharp clove where terrific, and the toasty malts created a solid backbone.

Taste – The grain reserved itself for the finish, giving me a joyful mouthful of heavily spiced beer. There were some good maple notes along with toffee and a hint of cocoa. The light herbal bitterness brought up the rear.

Mouthfeel – Thin but a little better than light-bodied with little carbonation. The body was a bit light in the ass for the big flavors in this beer.

Drinkability – This is a solid entry into the Winter Warmer style.

Comments: I didn’t care at all for the 2003 offering, but the 2004 sample that I had was so above and beyond the ’03 that I completely rewrote the review.

Photo of tectactoe
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice copper-amber color, decent clarity with a beige colored head that left a surprisingly nice amount of lacing. Nice mix of aromas on the nose, albeit overall very faint. Spices, malts, bread, yeast, cinnamon, orange zest, maybe a bit of ginger, and a slight hint of floral hops. Smooth and creamy to the mouth, starting off with a hefty helping of carbonation. First come the yeasty-bready flavors following quickly by the spices. The beer gives a nice warming feel and sensation, it really hits the "winter lager" feel quite well. Hops and bitterness are low, but still present in small amounts to balance out the heavy malt that is relevant throughout.

A tasty winter style lager, Samuel Adams usually does not disappoint. Easy to drink, fairly cheap, and highly sessionable. Drink this one next to a fireplace.

Photo of ExtraStout
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finishing up the winter pack, poured into a SA Perfect Pint Glass

A - Pours a nice deep amber color with about a fingers worth of white foamy head. Nice lacing along the glass as well.

S - Dark malts with a bit of hop in the background. Some spice scents in there as well.

T - Mostly malts up front with a small, almost indiscernible amount of spice at the end. I was expecting a little more here to be honest.

M - Light to medium body with decent carbonation.

D - I could kick back with a few of these. Nothing to crazy going on here but a solid brew that I'll probably have again before the seasons change.

Photo of Rijtjeshuis
4.09/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look ~ a deep coppery brown. decent head: rose to about a finger or two; fell at usual rate with relatively little lacing. Clarity is excellent.

Smell ~ munich/vienna malt is really dominant with, which has very nice levels of caramel and melanoidin (I often find the former too high in bocks); some breadcrust in there; no burnt/roasted notes. spicing gives a bit of sharpness to the softer malt notes and plays really well. Any yeast aromatics play into the overall melanoidin fruit or spicing and aren't strong at all. no hops, no alcohol.

Taste ~ similar to nose. the malt was wot amazingly complex, but tasty. strong munich/vienna malts with great levels of melanoidin and caramel. some lighter breadcrust. overall, more delicate than many bocks. Bitterness and spicing come in at the same time in the finish: bitterness is light, good for balance; spicing is delicate, with cinnamon up front.

Mouthfeel ~ a bit of a lighter body and higher carbonation than most bocks: medium body and medium-high carbonation. Surprisingly dry finish really supports spicier end.

I really like all bock varieties and this is a solid offering by SA. Not as complex as some continental varieties; it is very tasty and more balanced than many others. Spicing is a nice addition to the style!

Photo of brownbeer
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a tan head.

Smells a lot like they've spiced Boston Lager. Quite a malt character with ginger, orange, and peppery hops.

Taste has a caramel sweetness that lasts through the swallow. Fades into a gingery, hoppy spiciness.

Medium bodied and slightly syrupy leads to a quick and smooth drink, though, not the most exciting.

Photo of Dmann
4.06/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Sam Adams Winter Lager is a beer that I look foreward to every year and this year's version is just as good as ever. The beer is a very pretty dark amber color and looks great when held up to a light. The smell is very malty with hints of cinnamon and some other spices. The taste, unlike the Old Fez, is a much more balanced beer with less emphasis on the spice and more emphasis on the balance. There are many different layers of this beer, from the cinnamon flavors to the hint of orange this is a very complex brew. Given all the spice flavors, this is a beer I could start out on but not one I could make a session out of.

Photo of skybluewater
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber color. Head disappears quickly, no lace. Very standard lager smell, nothing special here. Taste isn't all that bad, although I'm not crazy about that special Sam Adams flavor.

Overall, this is an average brew. I'd return to it again, but only if I had to.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice deep amber red pour with a tan head on top. Leaves some lacing in its wake as well. Caramel, cinammon, hints of citrus peel and spice. An odd grainy smell finds its way in there too...

A nice sweet caramel nut malt swirls with a nice blend of spiciness, cinammon and hints of cherries. Hints of wheat grains pop out as the brew goes down.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side but it smooth and easy to drink. I could have a few of these and it's nice on a cold night. Almost reminds me of a spiced up oktoberfest brew. Worth a try.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown color. Aroma of cinnamon and ginger which blends with the roasty sweetness of the malted barley and hint of citrus from the orange peel. This winter lager is rich and full bodied, robust and warming.

Another solid seasonal offering from Samuel Adams.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Went to my local dive and decided to try some winter brews, 'cause I hadn't had them for a while. The first one I had (which will remain nameless) wasn't very good. This Sam's was much better. It was a nice red color with a good head to it. It had a fruity smell to it and a pleasant fruity flavor, with a hint of hops. A very smooth, drinkable beer.

Photo of Todd
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle with freshness info scored on the label.

Appearance: Pours a deep, bright, dark copper beer, topped with an off-white, tight, creamy lace with some stick & stay. Carbonation bubbles are very tight.

Smell: Quite clean for the boasted spices. Musty ginger, orange, faint cinnamon.

Taste: A bit thick, chewy, slick, smooth and malty upfront, with a quick, crisp, carbonation interruption ... smoothing back into a malty / spiced character of caramel, burnt sugar, bold and zesty ginger, cinnamon, toasted malts, sweet orange, orange peel, touch of chocolate, grainy, earthy and a hint of dates. Flash of hop bitterness peaking with the orange/citrus flavours. An alcohol presence/spice helps to round of the flavours, providing balance and a small, but ample, kick. Hop bitterness, overall, is mild and nicely blended with bit of a raw leafy feel that scrubs the palate nearer the end. Finish is dry, a tad grainy with metallic notes.

Notes: Spices are quite distinct, bold and adds another level of complexity to this brew, but without being overwhelming or artificial. Also has a nice warming effect that tends to sneak up on you. A pretty damn tasty winter beer.

Photo of twi1609372
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

good beer to drink around the holidays, nice sweet taste, something to look forward to around christmas, very filling and full bodied, wouldent reccomend drinking with a full course meal, but better as somethign to enjoy talking with friends and family, making fun of louis for breaking the christmas train ect...

Photo of generallee
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The label has a best before date printed on it.

Appearance: The body has a very dark coppery color with a thick off white head on top. The head is thick, creamy, has good retention and leaves some lacing on the glass as I drink.

Smell: Its aroma is light with just a hint of spices coming though a modest, sweet dark malt.

Taste/Mouth Feel: The flavor has a good layer of dark sweet malt with notes of sugar, caramel and lightly roasted grain mixed with just hint of spices. The spices don't really jump out at you but they add just enough subtle complexity. The hops adds another level of leafy/spice and some bitterness for balance as well. The hops come out a little more in the finish and leave a slight mineral note behind. The palate is smooth and slick with light carbonation and a solid medium body.

Notes: This is a great winter beer with a good balance of flavor, complexity and drinkability.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.46/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a beautiful red mahogany color, it has a good head retention with lacing. The aroma is full of malt and typical Christmas beer spices. The taste of of a light bodied malty sweetness and finishes with a spicy dryness. As a lager is suites well making this a easy to drink but full flavored beer.

Photo of Doomcifer
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear dark amber color with a nice frothy, off white head that retains well. Light lacing on glass. Smells of maltiness and some hop spiciness. Taste is malty, great balance, smooth, light spiciness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, well carbonated. Good drinkability.

Photo of Guden
3.21/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Brilliantly clear orange/amber in color. A pale tan head sticks around for a little while before fading away, leaving lots of thick lacing.

S- Caramel and orange peel predominate with a touch of peppery spice.

T- Smooth with a finish of orange peel, and a bit of a muddled crust flavor. Wasn't sure what this was spiced with until reading the bottle, I now notice that the cinnamon flavor slowly builds but I don't get the ginger at all.

M- Medium low body and low carbonation with the orange peel bitterness giving it a puckering effect.

O- I can't say I loved this one. The spice levels could've certainly been higher and the overall beer better balanced and interesting. It is a fairly easy drinker, just nothing exciting.

Photo of Jason
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark orangey color, good clarity with a quick to froth carbonation and a decent head retention that leaves some lace behind. Wet spicy aroma, a tad malty with some herbal hop in the nose. Creamy medium body with an ample sweetness from the toasted and caramel malt flavors. Spicing and hops keep it balanced with some cininimon and ginger undetones and a spicy herbal hop bitterness. Finishes a bit sweet with warming spices.

I remember when this beer used to be a little bit bigger, badder and ... well better. It used to be closer to 7% abv and with a lot more brawn you would expect from a bock. Todays version is decent, a good pick if you are going to a house or dinner party and don't want to rock the boat.

Photo of Rifrafboy
2.9/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours typical of Samuel Adams. The smell is sweet, with accents of yeast and wheat. This is a very malty brew, with a thick mouthfeel. Goes down smooth and pretty filling. I liked this although I don't know what a "winter lager" is. I think it supposed to be like an Oktoberfest with a heavy malt taste?

Photo of BlueHammer
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is poured from the bottle... the pour is nice, with a decent amount of head that is a light creamy color. The beer pours something of a reddish-amber color. That decent head disappears fast, no lacing.

Taste is good but similar to a lot of other beers. I often have this beer on tap, because it is the best choice out of a lot of not-so-spectacular choices (i.e., Bud, Coors) at a restaurant I frequent.

The taste starts out on the sweeter side but finishes more on the bitter side. It's a pleasant, familiar taste.

Sam Winter is a decently-priced seasonal choice. It's enjoyable but not particularly memorable.

Photo of Billolick
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I sampled a 12 ouncer with "purchase before" dating notched onto the label. Pours a fairly dark shade of almond, clear, witha soft tan head, which is showing respectable retention. Alot of bubbles continue to rise to the top. Real nice long lasting and well developed lacing left behind after a swig or two. Nose is malty with some faint spicing noticable. This is a smooth drinking winter warmer.Its lighter in body then others of the style. They call it a "dark wheat lager". Mouthfeel is quite creamy. Notes of vanilla and nutmeg in a generally bready flavor profile. Nice, highly drinkable cold weather brew. Well worth a try, enjoyable sessioner, that packs a punch at 6.9%!

Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: a dark clear amber pour small carbonation and small head

Smell: soft caramel, spice--maybe cinnamon, small hops

Taste: slightly hoppy with cinnamon

Mouthfeel: smooth with a slightly bitter finish

Drinkability: I like it. It is not offensive. It tastes like a very tame IPA with a touch of spices

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a reddish-brown color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is ginger and cinnamon with some toffee and wheat mixed in. A little bit spicier than I was expecting. The flavor is just like the aroma. I get some wheat, ginger, cinnamon, caramel and toffee. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Pretty good, but nothing too exciting.

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 5,383 ratings.