Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,907 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,907
Hads: 5,501
Avg: 3.64
pDev: 22.8%
Wants: 80
Gots: 967 | 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 (120) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Winter Lager Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,907 | Hads: 5,501
Photo of HoppyBastard
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a Shaker pint glass, date on bottom of can is "JUN 2015".

APPEARANCE: pours a clear amber color with one-finger off-white head that dissipated slowly until a thin, almost unbroken layer of small bubbles remained, medium carbonation and some lacing was present on the glass.

SMELL: molasses, bread, spice, subtle to the nose.

TASTE: the taste is initially sweet molasses, this is a malt forward beer, next there is a mild hop bite with some spice, the last note is the orange citrus, there was a slight metallic taste that was not appealing to me.

PALATE: this beer has a smooth mouthfeel, medium carbonation and body.

OVERALL: this beer looked better than it tasted, it was good but not great, I would probably not seek this one out again as there are better options available, Sam Adams makes a lot of beers but many are underwhelming.

 878 characters

Photo of PorterPro125
3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type: 355 mL Bottle

A- Pours a deep reddish amber colour that is quite good looking. This is topped by about a finger width of dirty white head that quickly dissipates into a thin layer that lasts throughout the session. The head retention just plain sucks but other than that, Winter Lager is a great looking beer.

S- The aroma of this lager is fairly complex and I really dig it. Deep maltiness and a slight hop character that is finished off by cinnamon spice. Pleasant and inviting.

T- Identical to the smell but with the hops less pronounced. Well balanced and easily palatable.

M- Light to Medium body. Medium carbonation. Finish is fairly dry. Slightly astringent.

O- After only having access to Boston Lager and Latitude 48 IPA for the longest time, I have to say that I was a little excited when I saw Winter Lager on the shelf.
Overall, Winter Lager is a beautiful beer that sports a strong malt backbone that is well complimented by a cinnamon-like spiciness. Easy to drink and quite tasteful. I recommend.

 1,038 characters

Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not particularly unique or memorable -- just a good, solid beer for a winter evening.

Scent of caramel with a little hay. Clean, crisp with decent amount of carbonation. Not as heavy or filling as a double bock but still some of the same rich taste with the malt dominating.

 277 characters

Photo of PhilHeinricke
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

 724 characters

Photo of Wer34truh
3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A big head, with an amber dark body.

The taste is mostly of malt, with some ginger and caramel embedded. It's a approachable and enjoyable taste, without being complex. If you are looking for a deep winter warmer, this is not it. But it is a solid drinkable beer for the winter months.

 287 characters

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light hazel color with an eggshell white head that trails the glass. The smell has bits of sweetness from the malt with some spice like nutmeg and clove coming through as well. The taste was a bit heavy with the spice and heavy characters from the malt coming through. A mainstay for the season and a very decent one at that.

 333 characters

Photo of DrewsBrews450
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Red cooper color with a thing head and lace.. A/T ginger and cinnamon spice, wheat and crystal malt, earthy bitterness.. Thin with low carbonation.. It is decent and I like drinking it in the samuel adams variety packs.

 219 characters

Photo of Beric
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Serving: Bottle into pint
Served: 31 December 2014

Appearance: Pours a deep brown with amber notes- definitely darker than your average bock. Creamy off-white head sticks around for a while before collapsing and leaving minimal to no lacing.

Smell: Grainy and farmy with some perceptible malt sweetness.

Taste: Much like the nose, the sweet notes from this bock are dominated by a weird farmy astringency. The bottle says there's spices in this but I can't pick up on any.

Feel: Good carbonation makes this one go down easy.

Overall: A typical Sam Adams brew.

 564 characters

Photo of VTR
3.05/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Purchased the variety pack and poured into a Harpoon Pint Glass. Ok the carbonation is light but makes it enjoyable. The nose was average and nothing special. The taste pretty much followed suit but added a little extra with some nice spiciness. This was not overpowering it was just enough to keep it lively. Nothing to really hold my attention or make me yearn for another one. Overall it is a Sam Adams and usually they are all just average drinkable beers. I hate to say that because I have just moved from Vermont and love the New England Area beers but Sam Adams just seems to produce more average brews than strong ones and this beer, Winter Lager, just happens to be one of the average ones.

 706 characters

Photo of ClavisAurea
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Fresh 12oz bottle in a pint glass.

Appearance: reddish brown and very clear with a voluminous head of off white foam. Very rocky head.

Nose: very malty and clean, no hops aroma, smells almost too clean, classic pilsner malt

Taste: clean lager taste, no hops, slightly spicy, very malt heavy without being too rich

Overall: Classic holiday spiced lager, very drinkable, great color and a nice change to the usual ales I consume.

 431 characters

Photo of JohnnyI
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice copper color with bright amber highlights. Accentuated by a rocky, antique white head that dissipates quickly, leaving ample lacing on the glass. Nice clarity for such an amber beer. The aroma is fruity, mildly tart with a familiar lager scent, but does little to conjure the spirit of winter. The flavor follows the nose, finishing with some mellow spice and faint toasted grains. Without the hints of ginger and cinnamon, this would be quite pedestrian. Sam lists orange peel as a special ingredient, and might help explain the fruity tang that the beer conveys. The caramel malts and spices do mesh well with the Noble Hops, delivering a harmonious brew. Rather inoffensive and easy to drink. The mouthfeel is medium-thin, with effervescent carbonation that awakens the gentle flavors. Not as rich as my ideal bock, but tasty nonetheless. Like many Sam offerings, it's a nice gateway in to bigger, bolder things. I would certainly not turn my nose up at this beer if offered, but I'm unlikely to ever seek it out. Especially with so many other superior seasonal offerings widely distributed. Stock this at a holiday party and it's sure to be a hit with some casual beer drinkers.

Edit: I actually had a holiday party, and found that I ended up drinking a lot of these myself. I kept coming back to it for the smooth, easy drinkabiIity and pleasant flavors. I've revised the score up a little to reflect the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed it and have developed an appreciation for for this subtle spiced lager. Perhaps I will seek it out again after all!

 1,571 characters

Photo of TheGrunt
4.55/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Best winter lager in my opinion! In fact, my favorite winter beer and something I just need to have during the christmas time. Dark copper color, very fruity almost lemon smell and something resembling Hefe wheat beers. Average carbonaton, light foam. Taste is very fruity with mild hops, very ale'ish in fact and not lager. Bit sweet, a hint of Hefe here too. Just terrific product in my opinion!

 397 characters

Photo of CIBoy10
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Solid seasonal offering by Sam Adams. Look is nice - an amber brown with clarity. Smells lagery with a hint of wheat. Taste is like an amber ale with a little hint if winter flavor. You get a tad of the wheat on the tongue. Feels like a good refreshing lager that isn't watered down. Overall I prefer some of Sam's other offerings but this is good.

 348 characters

Photo of Bunman3
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very nice beer, overall. It pours nicely and behaves like I would expect a Sam Adams beer to behave. The head hangs around, the carbonation is steady, and it smells of biscuity caramel malt. There are hints of nutmeg and orange that wrap around the caramel and cola to produce a very pleasant combination.

 315 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Copper brown in color with excellent clarity. A fingernail of beige colored foam covers the majority of the top. Light aromas of caramel and dark malt are in the aroma. The flavor is subtle caramel and dark malt. The body is smooth and gentle.

 247 characters

Photo of relynnjr
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a brown color with a redish tint about two fingers of foam and leaves no lace. Aroma is coriander, orange, and maybe a hint of nutmeg but is not overwhelming with aroma very subtle. Taste is very much like the nose, but bread, some orange and spices. However flavor is subtle as well.

 290 characters

Photo of leantom
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

It's been a while since I had a Bock. Here goes:

A: Good. Clear brown with a very large white head; also leaves plenty of lacing. Somewhat pale for a bock, though - expected the beer to be somewhat darker.

S: OK, I guess. Very toasty, which is good, but the beer also has some bready and grainy notes that I do not like. Albeit, the caramel malt is very good, but it's rather faint relative to the grainy notes. Some German hops as well.

On a side note, there's this sourdough yeast smell that's somewhat off-putting. Almost like a homebrew gone wrong.

T: Very mediocre for a bock. Grainy and somewhat sour (I hated the sourness of this beer), giving it the feel of a bad homebrew. Some caramel malt, which is good, but this is totally overtaken by the grainy and sour notes.

M: Very light and watery - not filling at all.

O: A very mediocre beer. Some good notes, but I will not be having it again.

 921 characters

Photo of larryi86
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- A clear light brown/reddish color with a two finger off white head.

S- Toasted malts, hint of some hops, not really getting cinnamon, ginger or orange peels, but it does a nice spice quality to it.

T- Toasted wheat/malts, hints of sweet malts, mild spices, hints of the ginger and cinnamon.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- Not a bad winter beer, but didn't wow me. I am enjoying it and wouldn't pass it if it was offered to me, but I would buy it at a store.

 500 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: crystal clear; deep amber; 1 finger creamy, khaki head that receded to a thin cap; very nice lacing;

S: caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit;

T: dark fruit and weak cola up front; mixes with caramel at mid-palate; a little harsh cough syrupy bitterness at the end;

M: medium bodied; moderate creamy carbonation;

O: the harshness at the finish is a turn off for me;

 367 characters

Photo of predikit
3.75/5  rDev +3%

On tap, drafted into a frosted mug. Poured a transparent brown, left a two inch off-white head with plenty of lacing on the glass.

Scent is a little malty, with some hops throwing out some citrus.

Tastes of roasted caramel malts, barley, a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. Hop overtone rounds it out into a well balanced brew.

Light-medium bodied, high drinkability, not disappointed.

 384 characters

Photo of Redog
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nicely balanced, sprightly taste – it teases the tongue.
One wonders,"What's going on with this brew?" It's fun.
For best take on mouth feel and taste get a bite of the head.
Got mine from Costco where I can afford it, in a variety pack with
eight not just four bottles of this one, and glad they packed it that way.

 319 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter from a twelve ounce bottle. Not sure whether a snifter is kosher for a lager but it looks so good there.

Creamy, frothy and chewy head, cream-colored. The head retention is exceptional and walls of lace around the edges abundant. Dark amber and light brown with trickles of carbonation and medium clarity. 4.5

Sweet, bready, caramel-like with spiced notes. Lager-like yeasty aroma, faintly floral, sweet is detectable with more inspection. 3.75

The flavor is spiced, I'm thinking notes of clove mostly but maybe anise, and it's a nice complement to the bready, subtly sweet malt. Floral, grassy and earthy hop flavors move in and finish strong. The flavor is pretty nice, but somehow I want more. 3.75

Lighter body with a medium carbonation and a potent bitter finish. The spice is restrained and not overwhelming. 3.75

Solid beer, pretty enjoyable for the season. I could drink a few more this season.

 930 characters

Photo of ordybill
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a toasted malt and sweet bread aroma.
Appearance- A clear dark amber with a small white head.
Taste- Has a nice toasted malt with a bread flavor, faint taste of sugar and citrus thrown in.
Palate- A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. the beer finishes with a semi-dry hoppiness.
Overall- Another good Boston Beer product. I will drink this again.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.6%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a good winter beer. Good balance between malt and sweet and hops. Very drinkable.

 652 characters

Photo of PostRockandCats
3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On draught

L: dark red. Clear. Small head. Tight, spindly lacing.

S: malty and spicy. Biscuity.

T: toasty malts with some citrus spice notes.

M: smooth. Not too light.

O: pretty solid. I don't remember liking this as much before. I'd like it to be a tad stronger for the style, though.

 294 characters

Photo of ArchimedesSox
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Pours a crystal clear, dark brown color with a large pillowy head that hangs around a while leaving good lacing down a 20oz pub glass.

Smell is good. I get the sweet malts with maybe a little hint of some spices at the end of the sniff.

Taste is pretty good, I get the sweetness up front with some bitterness after the sweetness gives way. The very end gives those spices and the aftertaste is of the malts and spices.

Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation.

Overall, a good beer. Sam Adams seasonal are pretty decent and this one is about average as far as they go. The Summer ale is probably my favorite.

 624 characters

Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 1,907 ratings.