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

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Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

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5,322 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,322
Reviews: 1,923
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 65
Gots: 722 | 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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Ratings: 5,322 | Reviews: 1,923 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CloudStrife
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. May notched on the label.

A: Pours a clear dark amber brown with a slightly tanned head on top. Some visible carbonation in the body. Leaves some lacing behind on the sides of the glass.

S: Spiciness is the first thing I pickup. A mix of cinnamon, clove, allspice and orange peel. A touch of dark fruitiness from the malts.

T: As with the aroma, there is a spice laden flavor to this one. All the same spices that you get in the aroma. Fairly powerful spice but doesnt overwhelm and make it seem like its no longer a beer.

M: Medium body with ample carbonation. A bit of stickiness but still quite drinkable.

Overall this lager fits well into the winter scene with its pleasant dose of spice. Always pick this one up in the winter as its well priced for its flavor.

Photo of king75
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- a amber colored lager with very little head

S- Can make out wheat, ginger, and a little malt

T- has a big gingery like flavor at the beginning, wheat flavor comes in towards the end, a little malt. Not bad, but seems a little off balance in some way.

M- Light and a little watery.

D- an easy drinking beer, nothing really special but a solid brew in its own right.

Photo of shbobdb
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me start this by saying I don't like spiced beer. However, I did not hate this beer, in fact, I drank both bottles from the sampler. It is much less spicy than the Fezziwig ale, and the spice is brought more in line with the malt flavour. The clean, lager yeast also helps cut down on the random assault on the tongue. I found this to be a highly balanced, even enjoyable, brew. I never thought I would say such nice things about a spice beer! It even makes me curious about other spice beers, maybe they don't all suck.

Once again, say 'thanks' to Jim for producing a solid 'gateway' beer into a style I had not considered even remotely drinkable before. I'm sure it's not the best of its style, but it's tame enough for everyone to enjoy.

Photo of PhilHeinricke
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I'm not a big Samuel Adams fan. Years ago when Coors was the best beer available, the addition of Samuel Adams Lager was like heaven, but now compared to IPAs and porters and microbreweries, Samuel Adams is just boring and unexciting.

My neighbor is a beer fanatic, and he has a keg in his man cave so when he invited us over for x-mas dinner, it was a no-brainer. The only problem is that he had just finished off a keg, and he hadn't replaced it so the only thing he had was this.

And I was pleasantly surprised.

This is good stuff. It's got a reddish hue to it with a head on top that you have to respect. It's a strong lager taste but with a cinnamon/ginger spice with it making it a pleasantly interesting taste.

Photo of goldbot
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tawny amber color with thin, white head that dissipates quickly. Muted, bready malt aromas with a pleasing crispness and ample caramel malt. Clean malt flavors, toasty and slightly nutty; more caramel abounds. Hop bitterness balances the maltiness nicely, without much in the way of any real hop flavor. Crisp, dry mouthfeel. A very drinkable, sturdy beer; a winter classic in my book.

Photo of BeerSox
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into mug. The label says "Winter Brew" because the alcohol by volume is too high for it to be labeled as "Winter Ale" because of Texas laws. Still the same light blew label with snowflakes as decoration.

Deep copper color with a light tan head that doesn't last too long, and settles to a foamy cap. Sticky lacing throughout.

Strong caramelized sugar smells similar to an Oktoberfest. Grainy malts in the background.

Light flavors all around, but still spicey and malty enough to have good complexity. The light-medium body and medium carbonation give it a little kick. Some sweeter flavors can be tasted throughout. Hop bitterness is at a minimum. A clean finish, with a bit of lingering husky grain throughout the mouth.

Slightly complex, with no overpowering flavors. A good choice for the winter. Recommended.

Photo of Kromes
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The beer is very clear and a brownish amber color. There is a decent off white head at first that quickly fades to a thin line of bubbles.

S: A bit of toasted malt and a little earthy hop with honey and ginger notes. At first it wasn't very aromatic, I think I had it too cold. Once the beer warms up a little, the nice aromas start emerging.

T: The ginger flavor starts right up front and continues all the way into the finish. There is a nice sweet toasted malt flavor in the background and there is also a citrus peel bitterness to the flavor.

M: The carbonation level is good and the mouthfeel is somewhat dry in the finish. It is pretty nice.

D: This is a one off beer. I don't think I would want to have more than one due to the strong ginger flavor, but it is tasty when you are in the mood for a winter spice beer.

Photo of SebD
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice copper/amber color to it. It has a thin white head (came like that) but I swirled it after drinking a bit and got a decent head and it leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of sweet bready malts, caramel, spices and a slight fruitiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a sweet malt character, nice spices, a bit of caramel and light hops giving it a very slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a sweet overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas.

Photo of Craigory
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a SA Perfect Pint glass.

A: Pours a clear, deep amber body, with an inch of off-white head. This quickly fades to a spotty cap.

S: Dark fruit, orange peel, spice--this is a winter warmer crossed with a weizenbock, and smells just like I would expect.

T: A splash of cinnamon across the tongue, followed by orange peel, sweet malt, and a little malt bitterness to close things out. Quite nice, really.

M: Prickly carbonation--too much. Otherwise, this is a nice, medium-bodied lager that supports the flavors nicely.

O: This is a good, easy drinking winter brew. It's like a cute little nephew to the German weizenbocks.

Photo of AleWatcher
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another from the winter pack... I don't remember drinking this one previously, but if it was part of the pack 4 years ago, then I'm sure I did!

Served in my SA perfect pint glass.

This is a dark reddish (nearly purple!) brown. Nice 2 finger tan head-- good retention early, but after a few sips, nothing is left. Some small chunks of lacing are left behind.

The smell holds big malts. Some Ginger and cinnamon come up too. Not bad. No notice of hops.

Taste is sweet. Caramel malts and toffee notes hit first. The sweetness dries out with some toffee and coffee notes-- very mild bitterness. Still not a big hop presence: perhaps a slight noble hop spice?

Body is solid for a bock-- medium full with good carbonation.

This is the best ofthe winter pack so far. I will happily drink this one again! (I do have a few more varieties to go!)

Photo of phenomenologian
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

opened it and a little smoke came out. poured it into a glass. this is a seasonal beer for after the fall changes have occurred and its cold as balls outside. it even says on the neck label that is supposed to make winter seem "just a little warmer." Pouring this beer lead to a one finger head which took awhile to dissipate. some of the head clinging to the side of the glass. its kind of a white-ish head; maybe less than white. the color of the body is dark orange-ish. some of the bubbles leftover from the head pool into the middle.

the smell is definitely of wheat (not necessarily in the Kansas City, MO brewed Boulevard wheat sense). a bit malty smell but I kind of pick up cinnamon as well but maybe Im confused into smelling cinnamon as malt. The malt and wheat smell come together for a very nice smell.

The taste confirms my smell of cinnamon as with the malty and wheat smell you can taste hints of cinnamon. The wheat smell is pretty subtle but still tastable with the malt. it after tasting and re-recognizing the smell its faintly Christmasy. These tastes other than wheat and malt are very faint keep in mind. the mouthfeel is very nice as its smooth and you can get it down pretty well (its not harsh like any steel reserve). mouthfeel is almost silky (or maybe Im overexaggerating). and...the song silver bells has returned to haunt my brain.

overally I really like this beer because its cold outside (at least in Nebraska it is) and this beer really does seem to go well with this kind of weather and the coming Christmas season (and Thanksgiving which has since passed). You can find it in stores now but only until spring comes which is awhile off right now. Give this one a try especially if you live in a cold area during winter. compare it to Blue Moon winter, Winter Tilt by Empyrean in Lincoln, NE, and Goose Island winter.

Photo of BirdFlu
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a beer that I really, really enjoyed before I got really into beer... That said, I was a bit afraid to try it again, as I didn't know if I would like it as much. It was a bit disappointing compared to my enthusiasm for it last time, but its not a bad beer at all..
Pours an amber colour with a bit of a copperish tone.
Smells a bit malty, a very little bit spicey.
Taste isn't too sweet for something of the bock family, but the bit of holiday spice is a very nice touch. A bit cinnamon-like, a bit ginger-ish. Its very festive and makes you feelt like its christmas time. I will say, again, I don't notice these notes as much as I did last time I had the beer, now that I'm more used to drinking lots of craft brews and "extreme" beers.
Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side for a bock, but in general is simply a light moderate. Its crisp and has a good amount of carbonation. Its easy to drink with a good flavor and nice subtle notes. I suppose if you are more keen on really big flavored beers this may disappoint, but I do remember it being extremely enjoyable during x-mas time while its snowing outside.
And I love the colors on the label.

Photo of spointon
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at my local Chili's restaurant on 10/31/2008.

A= This lager poured poured a very clear dark coppery amber color with a dense 1/2" light tan head. The head retained well and left layer upon layer of ring lace down my glass.

S= I found a lot of malty sweetness in the aromas of this beer. Definite notes of caramel, cinnamon, and molasses, as well as maybe the tiniest bit of nutmeg.

T= This beer was clean and slightly malty sweet, with a subtle spicing throughout. The maltiness is full of rich caramel flavors. The spices are faint yet they add a lot of depth to what would otherwise be a nondescript beer.

MF= Medium bodied with a slightly oily smooth feel. Carbonation was crisp enough to cleanse the palate but overall not terribly high.

D= This was an easy drinking beer that I will gladly order again when I am at a "non-beer" restaurant. Moderate alcohol and good flavor make this highly sessionable.

Photo of Wattsox
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle, consumed Feb 2011.

A - Amber / orange body with a tight bubbled head that hangs around for a while, leaving good lacing.

S - Spicy aromas lead with some malt undertones.

T - Sweet caramel malts lead, good balance with hops and spices though not quite as much as the nose suggested.

M - Smooth and slightly warming, medium body.

D - Very drinkable, particularly for the season.

Photo of Grundle20
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a high direct pour the beer produces an eggshell white minimal head which shows poor staying power and minimal lacing. The color is a deep copper with tangerine hues when held to light. The beer is crystal clear with a little bit of wispy carbonation.

The scent is kind of stout like or porter like with notes of cocoa powder and vanilla. The smell isn't overly potent but it's smooth and warming and seems to serve the beer well.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Being built on a medium caramel malt body seems to work well with this brews underlying notes of cocoa. The beer drinks relatively flat with just a little bit fizz toward the back of the drink. The finish is a little bit potent and after a few of these your mouth would most likely taste like malted cocoa.

This beer goes down really easy which is nice for a darker style. The only detractor here is that the finish isn't as clean as I tend to like, but decent none the less.

Bottom Line:
I think this tastes more like a vienna lager than a bock but who really gives a shit anyways. This is a pretty decent beer and should be a Godsend to folks without good beer distribution in their area. Another above average but less than amazing brew from Smadams.

Photo of afksports
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I whip my hair back and forth I whip my hair... Whups.

I had this on tap at a random Mexican food restaurant in Noho after boot shopping all day in Soho. Reason being we had to catch the end of the wild card game where Marshawn Lynch went into beast mode to beat the Saints. Context is important for beers, so this one hit at perfectly the right time.

It's smooth, filtered amber body sits underneath a tiny head that retains with great lacing. I'm sure the barkeep could have given me more head on it - the appearance is certainly a strong point. There's not much more than malts by way of smell, but those malts come out strongly in the taste. Brilliantly sweet and subdued at the same time, this brew is just strong enough in flavor and alcohol to warm up a winter afternoon.

It's an easy taste with a balance of hops that favors the malts and lets them shine, Sam Adams Winter Lager is a bock for the cold weather. And a highly drinkable one at that.

Photo of Rennpferd
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clean pint glass.

Pours a rich amber color with a half in head that quickly settles to a slight slick of foam over the top of the glass. Very little carbination or activity can be seen in the beverage.

A slight touch of hops and malt that blends for a light smell of wet wood wafts off the beverage.

The Lager tastes of bitter hops. It is smooth and leaves a slight alcohol aftertaste, it is quite brisk on the palate.

A good brew that tastes strong. This is a good beer that could be an every day beverage if not for that fact that it is seasonal.

Photo of tempest
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I dont know about "bock," but this is still a nice beer. It's smooth and creamy from the wheat, with sweet, almost spicey, barley malt flavors. I was a little surprised when I found out this was a wheat beer, as there isn't much wheat flavor apparent. A little bland in the flavor department, but its a solid offering and worth a try.

Photo of bashiba
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a good dark copper with a thick tan head, good retention and lacing.

Smell Was light toasted malts with a touch of juniper.

Taste had a great buscuity toasted malt flavor with hints of copper, has a nice bit of minty and juniper hop finish.

Mouthfeel is light and a bit oily.

A tasty and drinkable beer, Sam Adams makes another winner.

Photo of AbiesIrishRose
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a- pours w/ a generous tan head which reduces soon to scattered patches w/ collar, scattered lacing. The body is clear reddish amber.

s- very yeasty, a little bread, faint hops

t- somewhat sour w/ quiet hops upfront, ending in a warm malty flavor w/ slight spices. A little "toasted". Wouldn't be surprised to find they used some wheat malt in this. Not a "big" taste, but pleasant.

m- rather light-bodied, nice tingly carbonation, smooth

d- Oh yes. Easy to repeat.

Photo of soupyman10
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber with a good bit of slightly off white head that leaves a touch of lacing as it goes down. Nose is nice, lots of sweet malt, some grapes and fruitiness. Taste is similar, very tasty. Not the post complex beer I've ever tasted, but one I'd drink a fair bit. A nice surprise, actually, much better than I expected. Feel is medium bodied with good carbonation. Overall, this one was a nice treat. Not a super beer, but one I could sip on for days.

Photo of adpietsc
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a staple of mine in the winter time. It is highly drinkable with a good warming feeling. It is a good beer in the winter evenings. It is a dark lager that has a seasonal flavor. I buy this beer in the Sam Adams winter pack. I would recommend this beer to all my friends

Photo of tronester
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a an amber color with a tannish orange head. Smells of wheat malt. Taste is dry, pretty hoppy, with some spices. Hints of caramel and wheat. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Pretty drinkable, a little high in alcohol for a session beer, but smooth and refreshing.

Photo of ypsifly
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottled dated BB March.

Deep copper with a decent white head that falls with some stickiness.

Smells of malt, ginger other unidentifiable spices, and some alcohol. Not a very strong smelling brew as it takes a few good deep whiffs to register all of the aromas.

The taste starts off with malt, some spiceness, and then a dry finish. Not bad at all...but nothing impressive.

Nice full mouthfeel coats the tongue without being chewy. Very drinkable, especially during a cold snap.

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A: Pours clear, orange-brown. Two-inch white head settles into a modest crown. Wispy, patchy lacing.

S: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger supported within a malt backbone that smells of caramel, bread, and brown sugar.

T: Follows the nose. A medley of the aforementioned spices plays well within the supportive malt base. Caramel, brown bread, brown sugar. Ghost-like tastes of herbal hops. Very slight metallic edge.

M: Medium bodied, full, and somewhat fluffy. Moderate carbonation rounds it out nicely.

O: A good winter seasonal. Spices are reined in just enough. Nice body too.

Notes: In years past, I have found this beer to be far too unbalanced, with the spices over-stepping their bounds. Maybe it's just me, but this year's batch seems far better than some of its past iterations.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 5,322 ratings.