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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,609 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,609
Reviews: 1,850
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 40
Gots: 252 | 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:
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).

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-25-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,609 | Reviews: 1,850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Miles228
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Miles228, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of chrishensley
3/5  rDev -16.4%

chrishensley, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of ramblinwreck101
3/5  rDev -16.4%

ramblinwreck101, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of larrynevins
3/5  rDev -16.4%

larrynevins, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of HaysAmerica
3/5  rDev -16.4%

HaysAmerica, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of robmoak
3/5  rDev -16.4%

robmoak, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of cvignola94
3/5  rDev -16.4%

cvignola94, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of Flyer
2.98/5  rDev -17%

Pours a beautiful ruby red with a nice head and good lacing. Unfortunately, the appearance is the best thing about this solid but uninteresting beer. Cherry-ish aroma. Flavor is sourish, somewhat watery cherry spice. Also some notes reminiscent of a watery doppelbock -- for reasons I can't explain, this always reminds me of meat. A decent hoppiness at the end at least does a good job of balancing the fruity notes up front.

Flyer, May 08, 2007
Photo of dustylong
2.98/5  rDev -17%

Alright...I haven't reviewed for a few months...so here goes. Pours a dark copper color with moderate head and some lacing (poured from a bottle into a pint glass). The scent is not very strong, has a sweet aroma. Has a fairly malty taste, with a clean finish. Has a thicker mouthfeel to it. A decent beer, but nothing all that impressive. Worth trying over the holiday season.

dustylong, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of artdob
2.98/5  rDev -17%

A-Color of a well brewed tea - rich brown nut orange color. Nice initial head about an inch deep and brown tinged. Decent lacing

S-Sweet bread with spice notes

T-Toast that is slightly overdone with underlying sweetness of caramel. Taste transforms into bitterness with considerable after taste. Hops are very mild.

M-Medium thin body. Mild to low carbonation.

D-Decent drinkability though getting a bit of a metallic sense in the aftertaste which I find commonly in lager styles.

artdob, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of notwolf
2.98/5  rDev -17%

...did anyone else notice that this was a flavoured malt liquor? Not at all what i was expecting from Sam Adams. Certainly explains the lightness of this Winter Brew. The spices were nice, but t still feels like a K-Mart version of a Winter Brew to me.

notwolf, Nov 27, 2007
Photo of mjw06
2.98/5  rDev -17%

A - Transparent cherry red appearance, small beige color head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing if any at all.

S - Sweet cherry scent, with hint of spices, yeast, and whiskey

T- Initial malt flavors with bitter hoppy and liqour-like alcohol finish and unpleasant aftertaste

M - Watery and smooth, little carbonation that carries a strong presence however

D - Drinkable, however im not so sure i would go out of my way to have another. Doesnt pack the presence and flavor that id expect from a winter beer.

mjw06, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of woosterbill
2.98/5  rDev -17%

2010 bottle into a Mad Elf tulip.

A: Crystal clear mahogany body with two inches of ultra-fine off-white head. Great retention and lacing. Stellar.

S: Whoa, where are the spices this year? There's maybe just a hint of ginger on the front end of the aroma, but this smells much more like a straightforward bock (plenty of German hops, some caramel malt) than the sumptuously spiced winter warmer that this beer was last year. It's a decent enough smelling bock, but I miss my cinnamon and toffee.

T: Thin and sharp, with ginger and earthy hops dominating the front and back ends, respectively, followed by a little bit of bitter citrus on the aftertaste (orange peel, I presume?). Some bready malt shows up as it warms, but this doesn't have any of the candied fruit and spice complexity that I loved about last year's version. Disappointing.

M: Light and prickly. Not enjoyable.

D: While I'm upset by its thinness in terms of flavor, the hops do give it a nice crisp finish that avoids all potential pitfalls of being cloying or over spiced. Pretty easy to drink.

Notes: Perhaps I just got used to drinking last year's Winter Lager after a few months had mellowed it and sweetened it considerably, but there's just no way this can be compared to the 09 I drank just a couple weeks ago. The spices here just seem like a distraction from an average lager. Booo.


woosterbill, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of magictrokini
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%

Bottle. Auburn pour, minimal head. Weak aroma of malt, spice, and some citrus. Flat flavor. More malt than anything else. Not really what I expected from a bock. Thinner than it should be, and lacking in substance. Didn't quite get the spiciness everyone else raves about. Decent, but a lot weaker than I hoped for.

magictrokini, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of jonB
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%

This lager pours a red-tinged amber with little foam. There also appears to be very little carbonation. The taste is very light and void of taste for a beer of this color. A biscutty maltiness dominates the taste with faint spices in the finish. Every year I try it and every year I walk away mildly disappointed.

jonB, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of bowersdm
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%

12oz bottle poured into an SA sensory glass

A - red-orange like color, more red than anything. 2.25cm of stiff white head that stayed throughout the beer.

S - caramel malt, some spice and orange zest (exactly like the bottle said.)

T - caramel malt, some spice and orange zest (exactly like the smell) there's some hops in there too. To me this beer always seemed to be Boston Lager with different color and some spices added.

M - as I've said in other SA reviews, they always seem to get the carbonation level right in their beers.

D - eh, I didn't really enjoy this beer. This review is based off of the '08 release which I though was far inferior to the '07 release.

bowersdm, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of aasher
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%

This one pours a dark hickory in color with a light off white head. It's pretty thin in consistency. The smell is just so-so. It smells of light malt, slight wheat, and light spices. The taste is better. It's pretty sweet and a little dry. It has moderate maltiness and has a maple like sweetness. It drinks pretty light and crisp. It's ok, nothing special and is easy to drink, although I don't think I'd want to have another one.

aasher, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of jameaterblues
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%

I was out at bar a while ago and noticed the Sam Adams seasonal on tap. While I normally like Sam Adams i had never had their winter lager. The beer was a nice color, an amber/brown. The smell was of spice, and predominently of spice.

While drinking I found that it tasted much more of spice than of beer, and it might just be that I like the beer before my spice. I understand what the brewer was going for a nice robust holiday brew with added flavor, but I think it falls short. There is just too much going on and I feel that it takes away from the beer overall.

The beer feels like a lager would feel in heavyness, but again the spice was just too much. If you like the spice I say go for it, but to me I could never drink more than one in a sitting.

jameaterblues, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of PossumMunsen31
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%

Very mediocre offering from Samuel Adams. Pours dark with little head. Taste is avg. initially but gets better with a pretty solid finish. You can taste the advertised ginger and a little bit of cinnamon. However, doesn't really warm you up as advertised. I thought this beer used to be a lot better.

PossumMunsen31, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of NuclearDolphin
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%

Poured into a Pilsner Glass

Appearance - Clear Dark Amber color with quite a bit of carbonation. Good head retention

Smell - Caramel, Malts, Barley, and Yeasts. Not really a complex scent but it rests quite well on the nose.

Taste - Caramel, Wheat, Yeasts, Hops and Malts. Strong resin aftertaste, even by bock standards. Aside from the resin aftertaste and slight caramel flavor, there really isn't a whole lot here in terms of flavor.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied and not really any carbonation. Comes off as very watery.

Overall - It doesn't taste like anything really, aside from the slight hop and caramel taste. There are better bocks and winter ales out there than this.

NuclearDolphin, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of StonedTrippin
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%

not crisp and cold and refreshing like most lagers, and not even fully seasonally applicable due to its average abv and dumbed down flavor. sam makes some epic beers, but this ones just average. pours a light indian brown color into that funny sam adams glassware, good head. smells like a malt bomb, but tastes a bit cinnamon and clove spice, thick mouthfeel drags it down and sits in the gut. not a good session lager. of the winter brews the cream stout and the scotch murder this one. id say pass it by but its so damn common in the northeast...

StonedTrippin, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of Mitchster
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%

Brewed with cinnamon, ginger, orange peel, 2-row pale, caramel 60, Wheat malt, and Munich malts. Hopped with East Kent Goldings, Tettnenger, and Hallertauer.

5.8% ABV, OG=1.0164, 200 cal/12 oz.

Brilliantly clear dark amber with ruby highlights, forming a 2-finger tall beige head atop medium bubbles with medium carbonation. Retention is average and lacing is sparse. Aroma is similar to an Oktoberfest, with a clean fermentation, amber malts, and subdued hops, yet there is a hint of a wheat bock character in there too. I don't pick up any obvious spices in the nose. Mouthfeel is initially bright and lightly acidic, with a medium body. Starts with a medium brisk fizz with mild German Noble hop spiciness, fading into a nutty, toasty amber wheat malt profile, a light metallic off-note, a black pepper character, very faint nutmeg ruddiness, and ending in a semi-astringent metallic note with some thin malts, black dirt, orange peel, and rubbery hops. Despite not being able to taste the spices, I know they are in there because of the ruddy finish and queezy feeling in my stomach. I am feeling the alcohol in this one, though it's well disguised in flavor. Everybody is mentioning ginger and cinnamon in here, so I went to the cupboard and refreshed my memory...I still don't pick up on these at all.

At the bottom of the Sammy collection...this is a beer that I would only drink one of, and is entirely forgettable.

Mitchster, Mar 02, 2003
Photo of Jishguy
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%

I had heard good things. This beer didn't live up to the hype.

A- Medium brown color with very thin head. Almost no retention.

S- Fairly decent. Hints of cinnamon and possibly nutmeg? More hops than malt

T- Average for bock style. Very tiny hints of cinnamon. Nothing incredible, but nothing terrible. Decent hop and malt balance.

M- Decent carbonation. Not too crisp.

D- Very limited and very heavy. Three or four maximum.

Overall, I wasn't too impressed. Nothing terrible, but nothing spectacular. Average is the best word.

Jishguy, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of NilocRellim
2.93/5  rDev -18.4%

The lager poured out of a bottle into a pint glass and had a clear amber colour to it. It had a typical 'lager' smell of hops and barley, with a hint of ginger and other spiced I could not quite pinpoint. There was not much of a spice taste to it, nor anything unusual. Slight bitter finish and a slightly sweet aftertaste, but nothing suggestively strong or lingering.

Would I buy this beer again? Probably not.

NilocRellim, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of bundy462
2.93/5  rDev -18.4%

A: Amber with a frothy tan head.

S: Very malty, very faint whiffs of holiday spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

T: Very sweet all the way through, very slight hops for bitterness. Mixed spices that seem strained in the finish. It's average.

M: Thin bodied, average.

O: Too sweet in my opinion to be drank as a session brew.

bundy462, Dec 12, 2010
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,609 ratings.