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

1,946 Reviews
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Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

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).

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-25-2001

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Reviews: 1,946 | Ratings: 5,738
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Pours a beautiful copper color. The head is two fingers high and off-white in shade. This beer's head really leaves behind a ton of lacing on the glass, though its retention isn't amazing.

Almost immediately, cinnamon and ginger invade my nostrils. You know, as much as people say Hardywood GBS invokes gingerbread - this does that very same thing nearly as well. Also adding to the experience are touches of wheat and apricot (though I don't get much orange peel here). This offers a very intriguing aroma, spiced in all the right ways.

As it washes over the palate, I initially pick up flavors of ginger, molasses, and wheat. Orange peel rounds out the mid-taste, with a nice kick of cinnamon finishing things off. It's not a particularly deep beer, but it balances all its elements extremely well.

Creamy and soft textured, this just feels rich - not just for a 5.6% lager, but in general. The finish is dry, keeping it an easy drinker. Carbonation is gentle, and this seemingly aids this beer's substantial body.

I've always felt Sam Adams do lagers better than ales. The standard Boston Lager is still quite tasty, Double Agent is probably their best hoppy offering, and Noble Pils is tragically missed (or is it - hi Spring pack!) This reaffirms that belief. It's not comically cinnamon-heavy like so many Winter warmer-cum-pumpkin ale offerings, nor is it some dinky, watery weakling in terms of mouthfeel. This is a perfect "please the masses" kind of beer that works great for parties or guzzling by the pitcher.

3.53/5: A worthy offering that I overlook too often in the winter

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Photo of theskjoung
3.61/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color but appears red with lights. It has a creamy top.
Malty sweetness and has a hint of flowery or citric smell and taste.
I would say the body is light and dry, but less than Sam Adams Sparkling Ale which i had before this one.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into cylinder glass. It pours a dark amber with a thick, fluffy bright white head and extensive lacing. It doesn't have much of a smell: bready malt with spice and a whiff of citrus. It has a nice flavor: roasted malt, nuts, some subtle orange, spice, and a slightly bitter finish. This lager is medium-bodied, nicely carbonated, and easy to drink at 5.6% ABV. Overall, this is a pleasant bock beer; it has a nice flavor blend and is very drinkable.

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Photo of KLHBB
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Perfectly fine "go to" beer if there is nothing more exciting on the menu. Part of a winter seasonal pack. Pours a jewel-tone dark amber, minimal lacing. Smells of malt, tastes of malt, spice, a tiny bit of citrus and sugar. Medium carbonation. I buy this in six-packs for family Christmas. Readily available and far superior to the 3.2 grocery store they usually buy.

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Photo of willic
4.32/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L- Dark amber color with a beautiful light creamy head
S- Malty, rich with whisps of citrus
T- The flavor mimics the smell! The citrus is definitely orange withsome ginger
F- Typical Sam Adams, typically very good!
O-This is a very fun beer. I look forward to the next one!

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Photo of weaselface89
3.91/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L- dark copper in color and an off white head.
S- bready malts and a lemony hint and possibly spices
T- follows the bready and spicey nose with some roasted flavor and slightly sweet
F- medium and smooth. medium carbonation mouthfeel
O- I enjoyed this one a lot. maybe its because I just finished the sparkling ale right before this and this one is more to my liking. a good addition to a variety and maybe even its own sixer.

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Photo of Steev-o
3.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Copper-colored with a thin head that goes away quickly. Initially I detected a plum-like fragrance but as the beer warmed it became a spice odor with a bit of ginger. A very drinkable beer for me, well-balanced, smooth.

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Photo of stlfatguy
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got in a mixed 12. Dark amber, brownish color. Smell is a little malt, spice. light caramel with malt, some spice, sweetness in the taste. Ok. Wouldn't buy on it's own.

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Photo of RobertDBrase
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The color is a beautiful amber pour with a quickly dissipating slightly off white rocky head.

The smell is like freshly roasted bread with some hidden spice notes.

The taste I get is cinnamon and spice with that roasted bready malt notes.

Overall on this one I have to say for a winter "gimmick" beer I liked it. It really hit a lot of those sweet Christmas notes for me. A roasty sweet beer to sip on Christmas eve whilst the children continue to come out and bother papa bear while he tries to write beer reviews.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a variety 12 pack. Amber color, malty smell, very flavorful of different spices, medium mouthfeel, overall a good beer that's perfect for winter months.

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Photo of hman43
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: It pours amber with ruby highlights. The head is off white and leaves some lacing.

Smell: There are aromas of cinnamon, bread, dark fruits, cherries, hints of roast, and herbs.

Taste: The initial flavors of cinnamon, ginger, herb, and dark fruits highlighted by cherries is the first impression. Bread and some roast are also present flavors as well.

Feel: It has a light medium bodied texture, with low moderate bitterness on the palate.

Overall: It is a fairly easy drinking beer with a little bit of spark provided by the herbs, and dark fruits.

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
2.81/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Really drinkable beer. I like this better than the regular Sam Adams. Very dark Amber color. Not much of a smell at all and relatively milf taste; balanced slightly more malt than hops. Not as complex or bold as I usually prefer, but this is a beer I could easily all night long.

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Photo of akolb
3.42/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Look: Pours clear copper red into a pint glass. The head is thin and white. 3/5
Smell: Mostly malt and bread with a hidden spice. Cheerful and enticing. 4/5
Taste: Some bitterness at the finish, along with some spices. 3.25/5
Feel: Average on the carbonation side. Body is medium-light. Nothing exciting here. 3.25/5
A drinkable, refreshing beer that would go be great washing down some sausages, but rather falls flat on its own. 3.25/5

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Photo of AndrewCalebRay
3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

For a winter lager from a large scale brewery that puts out a ton of product this isn't bad. It is definitely a beer for the season. Spicy notes with a warm kick, yet very smooth going down. Great choice from your local grocery store for a beer on a cold night.

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Photo of BrewThru_29
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Usually not a fan of the lager style of beer, but for some reason this beer has always had a sweet spot for me. Good variety of citrus flavors mixed in with a small amount wintery spice. This beer is not anything crazy or overly innovative. Just a straightforward winter stand by.

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Photo of NateDyk47
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L- light brown, slight orange tint
S- orange & cinnamon
T- a little bitter citrus flavor
F- medium body & carbonation

Not bad overall. Better than most Sam Adams beers.

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Photo of sgt_187em
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper in color with a 1/2" thick head. Tasted a hint of citrus and wheat, but no cinnamon or ginger as advertised on the bottle. Medium body, pretty avebrage brew.

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Photo of Bluerabbitbell
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had from a bottle from aa mixed pack we bought in Lafayette IN at a meijers. Average taste. I wouldn't say that there is anything special about this offering. Didn't even notice much spice notes.

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Photo of BrotherDave
2.34/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

12 pack cans.

Nice head, color similar to a Märzen beer, but not very much nose and not very much flavor. Certainly lacking in hops - both bittering and aromatic.

I hate to say it, but I give it a "meh." ... now I have 11 more to get through. Maybe I'll save them for company, after all it is the season for giving :-).

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Photo of PatrickCT
3.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip

a: Beautiful rusty orange body. Clear. 1 1/2 finger off white head. Some lacing.

s: Bready malts hold up a spicy, herby aroma.

t: Toasty, crisp malts. Some cinnamon, ginger and hop bitterness.

mf: Medium body with medium high carbonation. Creamy up front with a sweet finish.

o: Boston Lager with some stuff.(Yes, I know it is a different beer) Very drinkable and festive.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark amber with off white small head that dissipates quickly. You can smell notes of ginger and malt a little cinnamon maybe some nutmeg and spices. Taste is not spectacular malty you can taste the spices a little no big flavor. Pretty light taste feels goes down easy not much aftertaste. Overall an ok beer nothing great or terrible.

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Photo of WayneEsten
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle had an "enjoy before date" of April 2016 and came from a 12 pack.

Into a Riedel Ouverture beer glass it poured dark amber with a hint of ruby. The head was light tan and about an inch and a half high. It's a very attractive winter lager.

I could smell the malt and caramel as others have noted, but I also detected a very faint trace of the orange peel.

The taste was malty and a bit sweet, but not overly so. I've had four of these over the last couple of days and on a couple of occasions the orange came through clearly. It was probably because I let those bottles warm up a bit longer when I set them out of the refrigerator before pouring. This beer fills the mouth, not like a stout, of course, but more than most lagers I've had. The carbonation is mild and the finish is very, very smooth. Earlier today I had a bottle with fresh ground peanut butter spread on a hot thick piece of wheat toast. Wow, what a combination. My new winter treat.

Overall, I really like this beer. I've always thought Sam Adams Boston Lager was well made, just not for me. I like my beers a bit darker. This one is just right for me. Given that it's a seasonal beer and only shipped in November and December, I'm stocking up on 12 packs to hold me until early spring.

UPDATE/EDIT 1/4/16: This was my "go to" beer this past December so I've had over 24 bottles of it. I reduced my rating for LOOK, TASTE and OVERALL from 4.5 to 4.25. This beer is so much better when it is removed from the refrigerator 15 to 20 minutes before it is popped and poured. I still really like it.

UPDATE/EDIT 5/14/16: Well I finished all the SA Winter Lager I had stashed away about two weeks ago. I reduced my final rating for LOOK, FEEL and OVERALL from 4.25 to 4.00. I nice everyday beer with lunch.

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Photo of beerboy21
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Yet another spiced number from SA. Enjoyable. Original recipe was much better, being a spiced weizenbock hybrid clocking in at 6.9% abv. Bring it back, SA!

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark amber brown producing 1.5 fingers of beige, moderately lasting, frothy head that leaves a wash & motes of lace. Aroma is caramel and dark bready malt, roasted nuts, notes of cinnamon, ginger & nutmeg. Taste is sweet caramel & toasted malt, dark bread, roasted nuts, notes of orange, cinnamon & ginger with roasted malt & light herbal hops in the finish. A lightly roasted & bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, spicy with average carbonation.

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Photo of Catracho5
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a dark red, mahogany color with an off white creamy head, clear, very little carbonation, has a beautiful color to it, looks very nice.

A: Malt, caramel, not getting any of the ginger, cinnamon or orange peel, smells pretty plain, was hoping for more.

T: Malt, caramel, hint of vanilla in there, some ginger in the aftertaste, but no cinnamon or orange peel, it's just no there, the ginger does become more noticeable as the bee warms.

M: Light bodied, dry finish, easy on the palate.

O: This is not all it's advertised to be, it sounds like a big beer, a lager with some spice in it for cold weather, but it lacks body, cinnamon and orange peel, it tastes like a regular bock with a hint of ginger that seems out of place in the flavor.

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 1,946 ratings.