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

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Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

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5,384 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,384
Reviews: 1,939
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 72
Gots: 840 | 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: 5,384 | Reviews: 1,939
Photo of Gusler
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Release 2003

The color as it comes fresh from the bottle a pellucid burnished copper with a mastodonic head that is frothy in texture and the color light tan with a thick sealing sheet of lace. Nose is sweet malt, fresh and pleasing to the senses with the start lightly sweet and decently malted, top is fair to middling in feel. Finish is modestly carbonated, the hops relatively unobtrusive in their spiciness, quite dry aftertaste, another of those benign beers that are just plain good to drink when you’re not in the mood for a “Bad Boy” beer. I’ve always found Samuel Adams beers to be quite drinkable and always a good session beer.

Photo of JAL67
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer for the winter...warms you right up. I needed to get use to the winter lager after having the "light" beers of the summer ale and the octoberfest, but after awhile the winter lager goes down smooth. I really enjoy the color of this beer and the taste. not too spiced like some of the other winter brews out there. Does have a stong kick(6.94%) and that is a good thing so as to warm you up on a cold winter's night. I can easily put these down...just a damn good beer! I don't find this beer too filling at all. I do find a difference when you drink this from draft and from bottle. I like the draft better...but hey as loong as I have SA Winter Lager at this time of the year I'm a happy man.


Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
3.57/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is bronze-to-copper with a distinct redness in the main body. Translucent bronze when held to light with decent carbonation. White head of about one finger of foam fades shortly to a spotty ring of foam around edge of glass. Aroma is very sweet and malty; a vaguely citric hop presence makes itself known in the middle of the nose as the beer warms. Spices, which are also vague in the aroma, are much more prominent in the flavor: slightly nutmeggy and clovey, with cinnamon gradually coming to the fore. This balances nicely with a sweet maltiness, and more citric hop that begins early in the palate and lasts. Mouthfeel is refreshing and sort of wet (because this is a "wheat lager," according to the label?) with a slight tingle of carbonation. I'm not sure what food I'd match this with, but this ought to be a very solid session beer. Comfortable and easy-drinking.

Photo of hbis2gut
2.65/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I am consistently surprised at a brewery that can simultaneously make beers like the flagship lager and ale, and then make "beers" like the cherry wheat. This one finally falls in between. I neither like it nor hate it. The aroma is immediately sweet and somewhat attractive. You can definitely smell the spice. It pours nicely with a off-white head to reveal a medium2dark amber color. The flavor is, in my humble opinion always a bit off and unbalanced(I've had several six-packs to make sure I wasn't just tasting the occasional off-batch). Did anyone say that a spiced beer shouldn't be hop balanced?

Photo of xgrigorix
3.26/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap, presented in a mug.

Medium amber hue, clear, with thin lines of carbonation racing to the top. A thin off white head leaves rings of lace behind.

A deep malt aroma, mixes well with a host of baking spices - nutmeg, cinnamon, & ginger.

A well balanced bit of malt goes nicely with the spices from the nose. Crisp & smooth like a lager should be. Just a tingle of hops at the back end remind you that its beer.

Photo of Foxman
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours a deep amber hue, with a pretty light tan head that lifts, then recedes slowly to a crepe of foam with the occasional denser islet within. The lace thins to spots on the side of the glass.

The first stage of the aroma is malt, followed by mild hops, with hints of sour cherry and maybe even berry of one sort or another.

The malt comes first as you taste, a slightly roasty sweetness followed by some hop bitterness on the tongue. There's a fleeting metallic tang that takes away slightly from the overall crisp flavor. However, while not deep in dimensions, it's pleasant.

It's lighter bodied than the color might lead you to believe at first blush. It doesn't coat the mouth so much as pass by, leaving a bitter tingle on the sides of the tongue.

Very good, and while not great, a fun stronger lager for the colder months. I sip it by the fire with She Who Much Be Obeyed when I'm of the mind to drink what she drinks. They flow easily and tastily. She looks forward to the fall release each year, and while I'm not quite as atwitter as she, I certainly don't dread it.

Photo of putnam
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Auspicious beginnings with a effluence of viscous, beige foam over reddish brown liquid. The aromas are deliciously malty. Nutty, baked plum fruit and cedar notes are most evident.
In the mouth it is fluffy. Elements of lean, woody, hop tannins coexist with raw sugars, balancing out more-or-less dry. Some maraschino cherry and cranberry fruit prevails on the mid-palate together with sweet spice flavors.

Photo of PatandDavid
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not bad by any means, but not a holy grail or anything either...Color when served was clear Irish Setter red, no head to speak of. Aroma was malty. Taste to me was of a sweet biscuit mix, hops were nowhere to be found. Not sure where the spices went. I would have again if at a bar where this was about it...pleasant and easy to drink, but no big deal. pat

Photo of BierManVA
3.61/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark red-amber with nice head that disappears rather quickly. I don't perceive too much aroma however which is strange, the bottle says "brewed with winter spices", (whatever they are) but I can't detect them. Perhaps my nose is stuffed up.

The tatse is quite similar to Sam's regular lager in my opinion. Perhaps a bit fuller.

Nothing over the top with this brew, but if you enjoy Sam Adams usually, you will enjoy this one.


Photo of BigPapaLager
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a brew I usually look forward too every year, as it was one of my first winter beers. Pours a crystal copper color with a medium head. Lacing was not significant. A sweet one with some hop bitterness as well. Drinkabilility is good but not one of Sammy's best IMO. Though it did get easier to drink as the night progressed.

Photo of SilentSabre
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I could tell right away upon pouring this one that it was going to be good. Had a nice, dark, bronze colour with a quite thick tan coloured head. One can tell from the smell that this is a sweet, spicey one. The taste, however, is even sweeter and spicier than the smell seems to indicate. Not a lot of carbonation in this one, which makes it easy to drink. I feel confident that I could knock out quite a few of these lovelies with little trouble. I'll certainly be buying more of this.

Photo of mschofield
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a strong 3 finger tan head, slowly dissipates to lace.
Biscuit aroma, a bit like the Old Fezziwig but turned down a notch.
Slight hop bitterness, and an orange flavor amoungst other fruit, carmelized sugar, maple syrup and some spices.
Medium feel and very easy drinking - very smooth, no overpowering alcohol sense. Might be the best easily available winter beer out there. Drink it in the same session as Old Fezziwig and you won't like it as much, seems like a weaker version. It's preferable on it's own.

Photo of dpend
4.23/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer in my fridge every winter for the last three years and I still get excited about it when I see it in the stores.It is my favorite of the Sam Adams seasonals.

Color is deep copper with an sticky off white head that trails down the glass.Aroma is definitely of a spiced lager.Picking up citrus,nutmeg,cinnamon, a bit of wheat and a slight alcohol scent on the end.Milky feel and mellow balance of malt and hops.Nice warming effect with even taste of spices and citrus.Finish is slight spice with dryness.A very interesting take on a winter beer.I like this a lot and will continue to look forward to it in winters to come.

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Released from its 12oz brown bottle, Sam Adams Winter Lager poured a clear brown color with a foamy ¾" off-white head that slowly dwindled to a bubbly little cap. Some minor amounts of bubbles were noted slowly creeping up the side of the glass.
This brew certainly has its sweet side. Aromas of caramel, vanilla, hints of dark dried fruits, and just a little nutty scent. The taste was a mirror to the smell, except the vanilla lessened and a citrus hops bite came out in the form of a mild orange peel flavor. Some mild spiciness was picked up on in the finish. The feel was medium-bodied and smooth.
Winter Lager has an easy drinkability and a pleasant malty flavor. It's a nice brew for a quiet winter's night.

Photo of sabrills70
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a crystal clear medium copper with a huge head and good lace. Smell is malty with hints of vanilla, raisin and maple. a bit nutty. Taste is just like the smell but with some hop bitterness that hits last. Fairly well balanced. Finishes a bit heavy and dry. Good drinkability. A good brew, but could be better. It another example of Sam Adams trying to appeal to much the masses insted of producing a finer beer that only those who truly appreciate would enjoy. Although that is what buisness is all about, right?

Photo of 86MonteSS
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It wasn't until the third bottle, after my taste buds had been taken hostage, that I was able to appreciate this beer. Upon the first sip, I didn't really find it all that engaging. Maybe I expected too much from this contract brewer, but Winter Lager's presence still seems a little onerous. It's got a great appearance and a heavenly smell, but once it hits the tongue, it's sticky and hollowly bitter. The alcoholic notes impel me to call this a good beer despite its shortcomings, but as a seasonal I can't say this is something I'll look forward to every winter.

Photo of Admiraldinty
4.28/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This might be my favorite Sammy brew. Had this in a 25 oz. mug. Wow, I didn't realize how hard this one can hit you. Copper with a small white sticky head. The coloring of this one is great - perhaps because of the clarity. Aroma is sweet with caramel, some orange peel. Slightly alcoholic, with just a hint of wintery spices. This beer is extremely smooth. Medium to full-bodied. Starts a little on the spicey side, and then moves to the sweetness and ends with a slight bit of hops. Really nice warming effect from this beer. The drinkability suffers on this one only because it is so unexpectedly strong.

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

Amber, copper color, small white head. Smell is faint. Some ginger, some hops, some caramel malts, hint of citrus. Taste is thin, clean and mostly of caramel malts, touch of hops and a touch of ginger or citrus. Too subtle on the spices in my opinion. More robust in years past maybe [?]

Photo of shippos
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

amber reddish color with a farily decent white heead. cinnmon and orange along with a juicy malty aroma. smooth crisp tastewith nice malty finish. spices are very well balanced, not over powering. slight bit on cinnamon in the aftertaste. very good and drinkable winter beer.

Photo of PSUDREW
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours with mild head retention and it's dark amber colored, but nice lacing through and through

Smells like a light wit, not to much to it.

I think the malty flavor is the dominat taste in the beer. The "sam adams spicyness" is present, but as almost a complimenting afterthought to malty flavor.Has a nice warm feeling to it, prob due to the abv, but in all honestly, the alchohol is not domminant like many beers similar.

nice winter standard, possibly a "conversion beer". I know alot of people knock the BBC, but I do feel this is a delightful little concotion of thiers

Photo of flaminghomer
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer is a medium golden copper. wtih a very nice, light tan head that sticks to the glass on the way down.

aromas are traditional sam adams. it didn't smell too spiced. a little like a spiced belguim white.

flavors match aromas equally. i was hoping for a little more spice though, since this is the first winter beer i've ever had. but if it had more, i'd probably say it was too much.

this is a good beer that alot of drinkers will enjoy. like most sam adams products, it does seem to be a little filling.

oh yeah. for being nearly 7% abv, it is very smooth with little alcohol taste.

Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have drank this seasonal over the last few years on tap and in the bottle,went out last night and had this on tap.Pours a brownish amber with alight but somewhat sticky head,aroma is rich and malty.The flavor has a nice flavorful holiday spice to it its a nice rich tasting brew,this beer is served at alot of the big name bar and grilles wich is great compared to most of there other offerings.A beer with some nice spiced notes and is slightly warming.

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 2003 Winter Classics Pack

Pours deep amber with a lacy off-white head. Smells sour and spicy. Orange and grape (?) aromas. Lightly malty sweet.

Taste is malty and sweet. Much maltier than I remember this beer being before. Fruity undertones with hints of citruc and cloves. Medium bodied and sticky. Caramel and molasses aftertaste with a moderate hoppy finish. Very drinkable with a suprisingly full body.

I may have sold this beer short in the past. this is damn good, especially for a lager. Worth a second look.

Photo of Beastdog75
3.24/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Samuel Adams "Winter Classics" pack, 2003)

Samuel Adams Winter Lager is a dark wheat lager brewed with some "winter spices." All in all, it is a pretty drinkable brew for the winter months. It is brewed to be very drinkable, therefore there is nothing really overwhelming about this beer and it won't scare away your average beer drinker.

This beer pours a very nice ruby reddish color with some orange hue to it. A nice, light tan foam head forms and begins to dissipate in under 2 minutes, but leaves some decent lacing. The smell was a little dissapointing, as all I detected was a very slight malt aroma and some extremely light spiciness. The mouthfeel was a little on the thin side and was only lightly carbonated which suits this brew quite well. This has a nice flavor to it, although it wasn't as strong as I would have liked it to have been. Slightly on the sweet side, as the caramel-like malt really pops out at you every few sips. There are some regular malty flavors here, and some spices are present but certainly not overdone (if anything, underdone). It's hard for me to name any specific spices here, but ginger came to mind, and maybe even some orange/citrus peel-like flavors. There is a moderate hop bitterness in the finish. In the aftertaste, there are some cracker-like and toasted notes along with some dryness. It all finishes out with some alcoholic warmth.

This beer supposedly nears the 7% abv range, but it really doesn't seem all that strong to me. I only had one of these out of the sampler (my brother had the other one), so maybe a six-pack of this brew would help me distinguish more characteristics here. For a lager, it is more complex than your average dark brew, but this one would be even better if it were a bit more assertive in the aroma and flavor department.

Photo of winomark
3.22/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a nice deep copper with some reddish hues and a frothy head.

Aroma: Sweet malt and some spices dominate. Hop citrus in the back.

Taste: Quite malty and sweet up front, with the hop bitterness balancing the finish.

Mouthfeel: Coating and slightly thick, but finishes in a nice, dry fashion.

Drinkability: A good everyday winter brew. Has character and interesting notes, but not too heavy and sweet.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 5,384 ratings.