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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,896 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,896
Hads: 5,399
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 74
Gots: 873 | 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).
View: Beers (119) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,896 | Hads: 5,399
Photo of Quaffer
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The label states, "A dark wheat lager brewed with winter spices."

Appearance: This was a slightly hazey, amber-red beer. The cream colored head rose up to two fingers and settled back down quickly. It ended up as a thin layer of fine, dense foam floating over the top of the brew. Lacing was non-existent. I wouldn't think of rating an ale that looked like this above average. But considering it was a lager, it looked pretty good.

Smell: There was a very mild, clean aroma of caramel, cream, and sweet chocolate. I could not detect any of the "winter spices" touted on the label.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and creamy upfront, with a heavy carbonation as it slides into the back of the mouth.

Taste:The flavor consisted mainly of chewy roasted malt combined with a good dose of ginger. There was a floral hops bitterness on the finish that balanced this brew out nicely. There were some other spice flavors that flitted about on my tongue, but they were so fleeting that I just couldn't put my finger on any of them.

Not a bad brew, but I would like to see SA crank this beer up a notch. Really, it's pretty unique in my beer experience. I haven't had a lot of spiced, dark wheat lagers in the past. (1,213 characters)

Photo of cokes
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep golden crimson with a dwarfed tan head.
Sweaty wheat aroma mixed with cherries and nonspecific spices
Taste begins cherry like: both sweet and tart. Actually a bit off-putingly tart, leaning toward sour. Switches to a husky, psuedo-wheat flavor. Spicing pales compared to what the nose offers, but brings forth ginger and cinnamon. Tiny bits of German hops close this out. Rather simple.
Relatively thick, and smooth given the heft.
Decent, but far from a special weizenbock or winter brew. (500 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
2.98/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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. (1,433 characters)

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a reddish/copper with a nice foamy head. Initial smell is a wonderful combo of gingerbread/alcohol/and a bit malty. Taste is of sweet caramel, somewhat bready and spicy malts. The mouthfeel is well rounded, a great warming feeling is left after drinking this one, making it very drinkable.

Notes. To me, this is what a winter lager should be, loved this beer--very complex. (384 characters)

Photo of Fabric8r
4.62/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Loved this winter lager. Seemed like an ale though. Nice malt flavor with spices flavors that are just perfect for the holiday season. You can just pour you a glass and sit down and enjoy the evening. I can't find it now, but look forward to more next winter. (259 characters)

Photo of BittRnessabounds
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've never had this on-tap, so I was eager to try this when my local pub added it. The healthy off-white head sat nicely on this deep copper colored brew. A good amount of lace clung nicely to the glass for the whole pint. Caramel, hops, and malt were the three strongest smells. The taste was nicely spiced and sweet with just a touch of hops. At first touch to the tongue it is crisp and spicy, but finishes very smooth. Overall a fine warming winter brew that is not fabulous, but also should not disappoint. (511 characters)

Photo of marburg
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

There was almost no head on this dark brown/chestnut/dark copper brew. The place I was in was a little smokey, and I'd had a few already, but there wasn't really much noticeable aroma -- a little bit of a sweet scent but nothing dramatic by any means -- pretty much par for the course for a lager without much head I suppose. It tasted fine but *felt* watered down -- not much body to it, certainly not very full at all. It had a nice caramel malt sweetness going, and it was a solid beer for what I paid -- $3.50 for a legit pint. (531 characters)

Photo of stegmakk
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark copper with a nice tan head.
Aroma is slightly malty.
Flavor has malt, tiny hint of alcohol, could have been some spice. Again...not enough to make it a good winter brew, however still better than their regular lager.
OK...but I will not buy again. (256 characters)

Photo of beernut7
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tall head in the glass sits atop a light amber colored body. The trademark Sam Adams hop aroma is backed up by a nice mellow malt. The first sip brings forth a smooth body supporting a crisp caramel malt flavor and mellow hop spice. Very drinkable winter brew and one of the only guaranteed decent brews on tap in most an bar locally. (334 characters)

Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.37/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark copper color with a small amount of light tan head. Aroma of roasted malts, spices, and alcohol. Smooth, slightly sweet malt flavors dominate and include caramel and a hint of chocolate. Spice and alcohol flavors really compliment this beer well. Hops strike a wonderful balance in this one, keeping the malt in the forefront, but not overly so. Slight bitterness at the back end. Finishes well, with a slight lingering sweet flavor that leaves you longing for more. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Good drinkability, although some feel the spices are a little overboard. I find them quite to my liking.
This is by far my favorite Sam Adams offering and one I will look for every year. Overall, a very good wintertime lager. Seems to be one of those beers some really like while others just don't care for it. (827 characters)

Photo of JISurfer
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not a bad brew. When I first got it, I wasnt too keen on the taste, but it grew on me after a while. It started out very bitter in the first few sips, but then mellowed out to something more enjoyable. The appearance was very nice too. It was a golden brown color with a good foamy head to it that lasted a little while. The aftertaste was wheaty and was actually good with an orange slice. I like to try things like that in my wheat beers. (440 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.77/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured this rather roughly (intentionally) to get a good 2-finger head. Just hoping to get a good aroma release, I was not disappointed with the caramel and spices and a bit of citrusy hops before the head quickly melted away.

Color is a reddish iced-tea color, with bubbles quickly forming on the bottom and sides of the glass.

The solid carbonation gives it a crisp edge, but the good caramel malt character keeps it in check. It is not overly sweet and the following hop component is light enough to offend only the most inexperienced palate.

Good balance and full bodied without being heavy. Enough flavor to endure all evening. (643 characters)

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It was with some trepidation that I tried this beer from the sampler pack, given my lack of enthusiasm about the Old Fezziwg offering. Still, being the devoted beer quaffer that I am, I presed on. I'm glad I did.

Poured an intense copper color with a creamy, tiny-bubbled head that laced nicely.

Wonderful Christmas holiday smells are evident with this beer (most notably cinnamon).

I was surprised that the rather intense aromas didn't carry over into the falvor, but I think this is a good thing. The combination of everything working together in this beer (alcohol, spices, carbonation, medium hop influence and some malty sweetness floating around in the background) really make for a tasty beer.

Finished with the spicy character lingering for a while and combined nicely with the "warm, fuzzy feeling" from the alcohol. A perfect beer for the season. (870 characters)

Photo of SchmichaelJ
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Impressed with Boston Beer Co.'s overall lineup, I was excited to try this, my first Sam Adams seasonal. It poured an amber, mahogany color. A small head with good retention, active carbonation and tight lacing rounded out the beer's appearance. A sweet malt odor dominated the smell, accompanied by a hint of hops and indeterminate spices. The same malt presence was evident in the taste, along with the complementary hops and spices. It actually tasted like the Boston Lager loaded with choice spice and maybe a little more hop presence. The medium body fit the lager style and made for a decent mouthfeel. All around, this was a very enjoyable winter lager, and an excellent representative of the Sam Adams line. (715 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is really quite a good beer. The best winter lager I've sampled. Nice amber color, clear with beige brown head that is very steady. Aroma is dark, rich, sweet malt that is close to molasses, and pushing cloyingly sweet, but, fortunately doesn't get there. Superb. Taste is a very rich sweet lager with dark roast flavor. Despite the richness one is able to take big drinks and enjoy a full flavor without being overwhelmed. Not necessarily a sipping beer. Spices are subtle. Medium fullness and carbonation feel without excessiveness. Overall a very nice winter brew. Even warms up very well for a lager. (609 characters)

Photo of CharlesRiver
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light amber in color with a small white head. The smell is malty and sweet with hints of something fruity. Doesn't seem to be overly carbonated which is one of the things I hate. The taste is similar to the smell but the fruit is much more pronounced in the end. A slight bitterness comes through in the end as well.

Seems like when I am out at a bar and they don't have much to offer I can usually fall back on this one. During the winter months, that is. (460 characters)

Photo of mzwolinski
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Described on the label as "rich, hearty and dark," this beer is, as one would expect, a bit underwhelming given its big-label origins. Nevertheless it is a not unsatisfying experience. Clear amber in color with a thin bubbly head. The aroma is sweet and sugary with something of a gingerbread character. The flavor is mildly fruity with a citric hop taste, with lots of malty sweetness and a understated (perhaps too understated) spicy character. Dry finish with a slightly sweet aftertaste, and a medium body. Heavier than the typical Sam Adams product, but a bit light on the warming effect, and not enough body to feel very _substantial_. (641 characters)

Photo of MaineBeerMan
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice looking beer, deep red-brown and quite clear with abou a 1" head of beige foam that fades to a sticky collar that leaves rings of lace.
Aroma is full of malt caramel and spices, notably cinnamon, a fairly full aroma at that.
Slick smooth mouthfeel with a great flavor of toasty sweet malt and just a hint of the spices noted in the aroma. A bit of herbal hop flavor makes an appearance about midway through and lingers on a nice long finish.
A very tasty Winter offering from Sam Adams, I'll be sure to have a few more of these before Winter ends and they dissappear. (576 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruby red body topped by a big off-white foamy head of micro bubbles. Aroma is a lively blend of spices, including nutmeg and cloves, caramel and wheat malt, and perhaps some floral hops. Taste seems to indicate that the spices have been scaled back this year, to me a very good thing. The various malts roll in and down the throat, living the spices to battle it out with the hops in the aftertaste. I believe it's the best batch in several seasons for this beer, and I am quite pleased. Take the spices out altogether next year, and I'll be down right euphoric. (562 characters)

Photo of jward
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

With a lovely ruby body and a fluffly tan head, this seasonal offering begins with an impressive appearance. A delicate nose suggests orange peel and malted wheat. On the palate, the sweet malt flavors are restrained by the hops blend and holiday spices (namely, the cinnamon, as I don't really detect the ginger that is also supposedly there). The spices are, however, quite subtle, and never really threaten to overpower the flavors of the more traditional ingredients. This spiciness resides at the back of the palate during a long and pleasant aftertaste that compliments nicely the 'warming' effect of the 6.9% ABV.

In general, I'm not a huge fan of spice beer, even during the holidays, but this one seems to be well-balanced, subtle and successful. (758 characters)

Photo of Suds
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This year's Winter Lager seems to be better than last year's.
It's a spectacularly attractive beer. Thick, sticky head on top of a deep, dark, brown brew. Aroma is malty and spicy. There's a bit of citrus, maybe cinnamon, and a few fleeting smells that are hard to nail down. Supposedly a wheat lager, but I had trouble picking out the wheat tastes. Instead, there's countless layered flavors....sweet-ish and occasionally peppery....good hop balance. They've done a good job with his one: its interesting, drinkable, and available everywhere at this time of year. (566 characters)

Photo of QXSTER1
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful in the glass. A rich amber with ruby highlights. Pours a decent, dense, quiet head with good retention. A bit spicy in the nose but not very aromatic. The taste is par for the course for a holiday brew. A bit of molasses and plums along with some subtle spices. Seems to be an attempt at a craft brew for the mainstream masses. Not bad at all, but the mass marketing of Sam Adams may affect my attitude. (413 characters)

Photo of elmocoso
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice beer, with a great color. dark copper.. Great mouthfeel, kind of sweetly ritch and malty. Seems very well balanced. Aftertast is not the best, but it is one of the better sam adams available around here. (208 characters)

Photo of oelergud
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark amber to a light ruby in color, the head is good
but does not stay as long as I would have liked.
I havent tried this beer served cold as I prefer it just
slightly chilled, maybe that would improve the lace as
I don't get much with this beer.
Smell : The smell carries spices with it that promises great
taste
Taste : A great tasting beer! the alcohol is noticeable but
combined with the spices, of which I can only detect
the ginger, it helps giving the beer a warm and
cozy feel to it. This is a great christmas beer and I
will definitely be drinking my fair share of it this year.
As I understand this is a seasonal beer that ends in
Feb. so be sure to stock up.
Mouthfeel : Slightly thick and leaving a smooth feel on your
tongue and on the roof of your mouth.
Drinkability : This is a beer I will not get tired of, it smells and taste
great and although still a novice in the way of beer
tasting I think this is one of the best winter beers
out there

Oelergud - Cheers! (1,032 characters)

Photo of budgood1
4.36/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a re-review. clear deep amber color. huge off-white colored head that holds. lots of nice lace makes for a overall pretty looking brew. nice malty aroma, earthy hoppiness and spice. extreme creaminess makes for an amazing mouthfeel for a high ABV winter brew. rich maltiness balances well with slight spicy flavors (orange, chocolate and nutmeg come to mind). a slight spicy hop finish. all this goodness totally masks the 7% ABV. i was looking forward to re-reviewing this brew, thinking my first review was poor and my scores probably too high. well my first review WAS poor but i didn't ratchet down my lofty numbers a bit. an exceptional lager! (648 characters)

Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 1,896 ratings.