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

Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,324 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4324
Reviews: 1849
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.33%

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)
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Ratings: 4,324 | Reviews: 1,849 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BeerWithMike


4.66/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sampled tonight on 3/12/14 though I last had this on draught in January at a local bar * grill. From their seasonal 'Winter Sampler" (or comes in a 6-pack). Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a brandy snifter.

Pours a nice dark amber in color with about a half of a finger off-white head that settles down to a thing layer on top and sides. Lacing was seen with each sip. The aroma is of caramel malts with a few spices. The taste of the caramel malts comes right though with some toffee, cinnamon and nutmeg. Very tasty with perfect carbonation. No harsh or bitter aftertaste at all. One of the better Sam Adam's seasonals.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2014 01:29:18 | More by BeerWithMike
Photo of FLima


3.31/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Transparent copper color with a thick head with medium retention.
Predominant aroma of caramels and white bread.
Sweet flavor of caramel malt, licorice, cinnamon and just a bit of soap, nutmeg and earthy and citrus hops (maybe just the orange peel). Wheat gave it some good roundness. Mildly dry aftertaste.
Medium body with low carbonation.
Decent beer for who likes malty beers with lots of caramels.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 12:46:38 | More by FLima
Photo of RVigz


3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark amber color with an off-white head.

Smell: Typical lager maltyness with hints of sweet hops.

Taste: Sweet start with a malty bite and finishes with a sweet/malty/hoppy balance.

Mouthfeel: This is probably the best part of this beer as it is incredibly smooth and well carbonated.

Overall: A good "anytime" lager that isnt too special and isnt too heavy, but very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2014 22:59:11 | More by RVigz
Photo of LiquidAmber


3.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium coppery amber with a one finger light tan head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of mild caramel malt, slight holiday spicing. Flavor of sweet caramel malt, mild toffee, light cinnamon, finishes with caramel malt and light grassy hops. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. A pleasant light bock style beer with an appropriately mild holiday spicing. Is as I expect from Boston Beer, a nicely made, mellow ale that doesn't push the envelope, but is a satisfactory and enjoyable example of its style.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 02:17:07 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of Bone53


3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served from a bottle into a tulip glass at around 45°F

Appearance: Dark amber with very little off white head that dissipates as fast as it arrived.

Smell: Sweet with caramel, cinnamon, and ginger notes.

Taste: To me this tastes like they ruined Boston Lager by adding spices to it.

Mouthfeel: Light as expected from Samuel Adams.. Goes down fast and easy.

Overall: I had low expectations and they were met. I'll stick with a Boston Lager if I want a Sam Adams.

*Following my last gulp the empty glass smelled just like a ginger bread cookie. It reminded me of some childhood memories. This was by far the highlight of this beer for me

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 21:48:09 | More by Bone53
Photo of illpass78


2.84/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish brown with a half-inch off-white head. Head retention is decent. Lacing is a little more than average. Looks like an attractive dark lager.

Aroma: I'm a little let down by this aspect of SAWL. The ad copy says it's made with cinnamon, orange peel and all these other good-smelling things. I expected it to smell like potpourri. It does not. It smells like malt and wheat. Citrus is very, very faint at best. Forgettable aromas.

Taste: Follows the nose, which means the flavors teased in the ad copy are nearly nonexistent. I didn't expect them to dominate, but orange is faint and cinnamon is very, very faint. Tastes like a decent wheaty dark bock. It's not bad but I expected more.

Mouthfeel: Kind of thin and watery. Not super impressed by the body of this beer; there are bocks out there that make a bolder statement on the palate.

Overall: This is a decent straight-up bock. There are better bocks, and better winter seasonals, on the market. I had this with a homemade pizza and some roasted vegetables, and it didn't fail to compliment the meal, but it didn't add much either. This is the kind of beer I would only get again if it was the only thing on draft that wasn't a BMC lager or a light beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2014 00:14:16 | More by illpass78
Photo of bgillespie

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A clear dark amber, small tan head that dissipates to a lacing.

Smell: Malty with some caramel and cinnamon.

Taste: Toasted malts, hint of caramel and some orange.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, easily drinkable. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: The taste is what stands out here and I am a fan. Easily drinkable, good for a winter beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 03:07:55 | More by bgillespie
Photo of Boca-X


3.34/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a snifter, nice light brown red amber color. Decent head with noticeable lacing.

Malty on the nose, very little spice, somewhat sour bread.

Light wieght on the month with light carbonation. Some honey & Carmel upfront, with a sour bready finish. Honestly I think this is very plain tasting beer, no complexity.

I'm a SA fan and have had a dozen of their brews, this is my least favorite, just not enough there. Easy to drink but the sour finish is a turn off for me. Taste like a honey lager...where is the winter spices? Not terrible but I won't be buying again, to many other great winter brews to choose from.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 19:37:50 | More by Boca-X
Photo of MDDMD


3.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown color with a hint of crimson, decent off-white head and little lacing

S-malt, caramel, spice, hint of pine

T-toasted malt, caramel, little fruit, hint of spice, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-easy drinking, but flavor is not overly compelling

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 20:49:14 | More by MDDMD
Photo of TeamMathis

West Virginia

3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber. Small lace left.
Smell: Malt, honey, spice.
Taste: Spice, honey, malt.

This is very drinkable. Neither the smell nor the drink blows me away, but together I could find myself drinking this all the time. The main things I gather are malt, honey, and spices. I will get this again next winter out of habit of course.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 04:09:49 | More by TeamMathis
Photo of cyclonece09


3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours red orange with a nice one finger slightly off white head. Smells of winter spices and slight berry, nice compliment to the malt tones. Tastes of some dark roasted malts with fruity tones such as berries, with very slight wintertime spice. Beer is carbonated nicely light body, sessionable. Overall, a very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2014 17:30:07 | More by cyclonece09
Photo of Haydn-Juby

Quebec (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: An amber brown color topped with a finger of beige head. Good retention and lacing as well.

S: I get no spices as advertised however there is an appealing breadiness and its quiet malty.

T: Once again very little spices show up but they are in the background. Something in the vein of nutmeg or cinnamon pokes its head in the finish but I probably wouldn't know if no one told me. A nice malty body shows up , like in the Boston lager, being similar to bread crust and a little bit toasty. A bit of noble hops show up too being a bit spicy and earthy.

M: A bit creamy and a substantial body size. A fairly dry body and its easily drinkable.

O: A really good beer. Perhaps not what I would pin as great spice beer or bock for that matter ,its a very drinkable and nice lager.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 21:44:34 | More by Haydn-Juby
Photo of Utica_Brew_Review

New York

3.59/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark amber color with a great creamy head and mild carbonation. Fruity, spiced aroma. Taste is similar to the aroma with more depth and malt. The carbonation is more noticeable than it appears. Maybe a bit too crisp...not bad but. Slightly sweet. Finishes a bit maltier.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2014 04:50:56 | More by Utica_Brew_Review
Photo of BoulderBarrovecchio


4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Clear cooper rose and garnet color, alive with 1/4 inch head.
S: Medium biscuity malt scent, tiny citrus hints.
T: Medium bready malt on front end with a middle pop that provides a slightly sweet taste on the back end that lingers.
M: Light-medium smooth body with normal carbonation.
O: A solid winter bock.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 01:39:01 | More by BoulderBarrovecchio
Photo of karabearaesquire


4.14/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - clear, darkish amber; moderate head
Smell - highly aromatic - smokey, sweet cinnamon; (smells like "winter"!)
Taste - tastes like it smells; alot of flavors swirling around; not a light or watered-down tasting beer; bold, spicy sweet
Mouthfeel - light with moderate carbonation. Goes down smooth

Just like the name implies, this is a tasty beer for cooler weather. Brings to mind winter holidays, sitting in front of a fireplace. Easy drinking, strong taste and aroma - cinnamon and spice, mostly.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 20:42:24 | More by karabearaesquire
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead


3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had this one a few times at various restaurants, now I have a bottle.
Poured into a stange; dark amber, clear with a nice big creamy-yellow head that descends very slowly, leaving lots of lacing.
Smells of caramel malt, light sweetness. Bready, with a hint of spice.
Taste is clean, bready and lightly sweet. Nice and malty, not much hint of spice in the flavor. Slight metallic finish.
Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and smooth, nice body for the style. Slightly more robust than a lager, but less than a doppelbock.
Overall, it's about what I'd expect from a standard beer from SA; to-style, well-made, but relatively boring. But, it's a fine tasty beer that would be great with a meal, for cooking, or alone. I think I might actually save this one as an idea to help bridge macro drinkers into craft (isn't that so often the domain of Sam Adams...).

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 04:58:19 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of Omnium


3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Clear amber with a finger of off white head, little on the lacing.
S - Spices of coriander, a little pepper, cinnamon, dark fruits of fig, cherry, some apricot, lots of bread and biscuit malt.
T - Wheaty and yeasty, slight pepper, raw cinnamon underneath, a little sweet and tart cherry pops in the middle.
M - Kinda dry and floury feeling.
O - Decent, I used to like this a lot but it just isnt my kinda beer these days, still I like the cherry in it though.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2014 02:04:38 | More by Omnium
Photo of Craigory

South Carolina

3.76/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 03:01:55 | More by Craigory
Photo of tillmac62

South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

EBD 6/14. Pours a medium amber with a nice ruby hue. Solid head with a well formed lacing. Nose is of sweet malt with a bit of spice. Light medium bodied, normal carbonation and mouthfeel. The taste is quite interesting and well balanced. It has a slight sweetness over a soft spice background. Crisp finish with a carbonation burst of slight bitterness and spice. A very well done lager.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 20:18:50 | More by tillmac62
Photo of Rhf9120

Rhode Island

4.69/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Big fan of this one. Smells of cinnamon and nutmeg with hits of citrus. The taste is a pleasant mixture of the spices and citrus with a slightly bitter after taste. I really enjoyed this one although doesn't really remind me that much of winter more of a fall beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 23:36:04 | More by Rhf9120
Photo of Bosoxfan20


3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep, clean, amber with a 2 finger off white head that hangs around for about 20 secs before leaving a soft, thin layer.

S- Cinnamon and nutmeg blend with citrus fruit notes. It is an interesting combination, but it has peaked my interest. Reminds me some of a fall/pumpkin style lager to this point.

T- Sweet notes come before same tangy flavors, and then finishing with a common lager bitterness. Once again, more fall than winter character, but they come on pretty strong for the style, so it hits the spot nonetheless. Spices flow quite nicely with some of the juicy, acidic citrus. Love the complexity

M- A bit light for the style, but overall well done here. Thin on the tongue, but goes down rather easy. A nice touch of warmth in the back of the throat.

O- Maybe my favorite offering from Boston Beer Co. Yeah, so I feel that it is more of a fall beer than that of winter. So what. Still a damn fine brew that gets the job done in January.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 01:31:57 | More by Bosoxfan20
Photo of leaddog

Alberta (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a medium copper with a half finger of beige head.

Smell - Sweet malts, dark fruits, light winter spices (nutmeg, cinnamon), caramel.

Taste - Strong flavour of sweet malts along with the dark fruits. Spices not as prominent as expected by the aroma. Caramel sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall - An average winter offering from Samuel Adams. Aromas fell a little flat for the category and I was hoping for depth in the flavours.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 04:19:58 | More by leaddog
Photo of arc3636


3.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A - very clear light brown with a little less than 1 finger of white head that fades completely away

S - light aroma, I get some malt and cinnamon and ginger spice notes

T - fairly balanced between malt and spices

M - medium body, the spice flavor leaves a nice aftertaste

O - more full bodied and flavorful than I expected, very drinkable beer

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2013 00:00:50 | More by arc3636
Photo of Retroman40


3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was really impressed with this beer which I got as part of a mixed case of six "Beers of Winter" at Sam's Club (for 25.98 so it's a great value too).

A - Outstanding clear, copper color with a lasting one finger head.

S - Malt with orange and cinnamon infused.

T - Citrus-like early with a nice orange/cinnamon finish.

M - Not a "thick" as I would have liked, but pretty good for a lager.

O - A great holiday beer. I would definitely buy again.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 11:25:08 | More by Retroman40
Photo of bullseyestrat


4.43/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Samuel Adams Winter Lager is one of my winter favourites. Its a very full bodied and bold beer by any standards. Rather complex and filling but more willing to let you have another after another. I've had Sam Adams Winter Lager in a bottle, can, and on tap. Honestly there's no difference in taste other than the can is a wee bit more foamy like other Sam Adams cans available. The appearance is more of a dark brownish black like most bock beers and dark lagers. Looks imitating at first to most light beer drinkers but its easy to get used to. Smellwise its more of a full bodied smell with a bit of ginger in there. Tastewise its a rather complex beer without being too pretentious in itself. Very full and bold with some ginger and spices that aren't easily obvious. In the mouth Sam Adams Winter Lager is very tame and smooth. Very odd for a full Bock Lager like as such really. Overall Samuel Adams Winter Lager is probably the best winter beer available in my opinion. I mean I do like Harpoon's, Narragensetts, or Long Trails offerings but Sams Winter Lager will always be a winter favourite. Even though I prefer Octoberfest but Winter is a close second.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 03:51:04 | More by bullseyestrat
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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 4,324 ratings.