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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,453 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,453
Reviews: 1,850
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.33%
Wants: 32
Gots: 174 | 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:
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: 4,453 | Reviews: 1,850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of L337ish

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice looking dark amber color. Off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly, and leaves a nice lace.

S - Smells pretty nice. Malty, not really hoppy, almost kind of a pleasant burnt smell in there

T - Similar to the smell, malty. It starts off very flavorful and then ends with a nice bitterness.

M - Kind of grainy, but overall pretty smooth. I think its just the right amount of carbonation with this brew.

D - Very easy to drink. Goes down smooth and leaves you wanting another sip pretty soon thereafter.

Poured into a regular pint glass.
I had one of these cold, and one that was just cool. Obviously the one that was cold didn't match up to the cool one at all. The cool one really brought out the flavors and drinkability. This was one of the first "good" beers I had and I must say, after learning how to appreciate beer properly, this brew is so much better.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2010 21:53:27 | More by L337ish
Photo of srandycarter


3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark amber, copper body, off white tight head leaves to ring fast. Lots of residual lace.

S - Malty, burnt candy type smell.

T - Malt is king here, bittering enough to calm it down.

M - Medium body, good carb and coat, nice balance too.

D - Can think of others I would session, but it is not a bad beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2010 07:38:52 | More by srandycarter
Photo of CHL


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

From their holiday pack. Pretty clear amber sort of color.

Some spices accompanying a weakish malt base, a little sweat biased with just a vague hint of hops. Not quite a bock, but a maltier-than average spiced lager.

Good taste, and very drinkable. I think this is one of their better seasonals.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2010 04:00:25 | More by CHL
Photo of ruckus232


4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce brown bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Clear brown in color with a nice white to off white foamy head that leaves nice lacing on the glass

Smell: There is a nice fruity maltiness to this with only a little caramel scent.

Taste: Very similar to the smell there is a very nice sweetness to it but with a little hint of bitterness at the end.

Note: Good taste, not overpowering and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2010 18:40:51 | More by ruckus232
Photo of Andreji


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

Appropriately named, I had this one recently on tap in some bar in NY (can't remember the name of the place).

Pour is thick coke-like tone sort of expected for a winter one. small head but generous on the lacing, apparently a constant thus far.

Smell is very subtle, i expected this one to be a bit more aggressive i guess. malty, some liquor sweetness to it. hops aren't a major thing here.

Taste is mostly sweet and- at risk of being corny- warming. it is very coherent with the season and plays sweet and kind to the palate, thick bodied with a kind of grainy feel. alcohol is generally well hidden although comes out from time to time. very smooth creamy bitter end.

very drinkable and well balanced for the winter, but there's better stuff out there for the cold.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2010 16:26:56 | More by Andreji
Photo of h00dak


3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The labels of winter beers always get me to fantasize about sitting by the fireplace in a cabin surrounded by snow covered mountains and pine trees. In this daydream I take a sip of a smooth, full bodied beer that warms me from the inside and keeps me perfectly comfortable despite the raging winter just beyond the walls.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager doesn't do such a bad job living up to my vision but its not a perfect fit either. It looks and smells good enough for most people I suppose. Tan head, lacing, blah blah. A taste provides a good variety of malt and hints of spice. The aftertaste leaves a bit to be desired.

Personally I think any beer that is emblazoned with the "winter" title should be stronger and richer. It feels like it has been dumbed down to appease simpler tastes.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2010 15:31:41 | More by h00dak
Photo of Jesstyr


3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed with grilled lamb chops

First off, I dont believe I would call this a bock. Seems like a dark lager, or something of that sort. Poured with no head (the glass), but with excellent lacing, dark brown with a orange hue. Smell is heavy of belgian sugar and wheat.

Taste is nice, but leaves something to be desired. Nicely full, with a smooth finish, but lacks a flavor that keeps me coming back for more. Easy to drink for a dark lager, which I attribute to the smooth finish.

Overall, better than I expected, but not quite good enough for a regular drink. I'll be looking forward to my summer ale...

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2010 00:46:46 | More by Jesstyr
Photo of JMD


3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark Amber with big pillowy off white head that leaves some small lacing on the glass.

S: Malty nose with hints of carmel and brown sugar. Some spice as well. Nice aroma, just a little too faint.

T: Sweet carmel malt, brown sugar, and molasses. Hints of winter spices, like cinnimon and nutmeg. Finishes with a light touch of hops.

M: A little to light for a winter lager.

D: This is one of my favorite offerings from Sam Adams. Nice full flavored lager that makes a great session beer on those cold New England nights.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 22:26:35 | More by JMD
Photo of SamN


3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Just reviewed the abomination that is Samuel Adam's Cherry Wheat, so I decided I'd reward my abused tastebuds with something better, a winter bock! Hooray! Poured in a Samuel Smith tumbler.

A- Rich amber color, light tan head. Just a beautiful color, a thing of wonder.

S- Fishy, herbal smells- Relatively faint. Don't have much experience with single bocks, so I can't compare this to other examples. Average, simple smell. Nice hints of apples and pears here, mild hop aroma.

T- Nice warming taste, the spices blend well with the wheat grains to give it a unique character. Obviously spiced, but it's not overkill; in fact, the balance here is it's high point. Wonderful range without preference to one aspect.

M- Average mouthfeel; medium light body, not too thin, not too thick. Inoffensive.

D- I could see drinking a lot of these playing poker in the dead of winter. The spices son't overpower, and it stays smooth and balanced throughout. A nice take on a spring beer for winter.

You have redeemed yourself from the Cherry Wheat.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 19:52:18 | More by SamN
Photo of streetcommander


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

A: Color reminds me of a 50% 90w gear oil w/ 50% 10w30 mixed.. and a touch of ATF to give it that red tinge.

S: Delightful

T: Delightful, again. I like all the SAs but the Winter Lager has a particular appeal. I can find it at any grocery store including the ethnic grocers. Availability plays a key role to me. Downright reliable.

M: Feels nice to me. Non of that ethanol flavor or that feeling you get from chewing on aluminum foil

D: Glorious. Beer that actually has flavor but doesn't feel like your drinking a protein shake. I can drink 6 or 8 and not wake up feeling terrible. Really one of the best pound for pound readily available beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2010 02:02:28 | More by streetcommander
Photo of rosmhuire

New York

3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at a Marriott hotel bar in NJ.

A: Dark red/almost brown color.

S: Definitely picking up those "winter" spices. Seems like cloves, cinnamon, etc. Also getting that bready malt smell.

T: Good spice integration and malt profile. Just seems like what a winter beer should taste like.

M: Medium-bodied - nothing too distinctive here.

D: I generally don't classify winter beers as exceedingly drinkable, but this one is fairly sessionable, as far as winter beers go.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2010 22:35:51 | More by rosmhuire
Photo of WeisGuy

New York

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

a - pours a deep murky brown color, one-finger ivory head, light retention and lacing

s - very spicy, cinnamon, clove, allspice, roasted malt and light graininess and booze, some nice caramel notes in the nose as well

t - fairly sweet maltiness up front with a punch of spice, lots of cinnamon and clove and caramel on the mid-palate, light oak and more spice on the finish, not much hop flavor to be found, lingering spice and boozy notes

m - medium-bodied, higher carbonation, very active in the mouth, light sweetness on the finish and mild alcohol warming

d - the spices limit drinkability for me as they wear on the palate a little bit, not all that interesting, but I wouldn't have a problem drinking a few bottles on a cold night

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2010 05:08:41 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of pzrhsau

District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Nice rich brown color with hues of orange and ruby red. Finger measure of head.
Smell: Nice scent of dark malt, spices (cinnamon, all spice nutmeg), and a slight hint of orange peel.
Taste: Nice deep malt flavor, almost like bread dough. Has great undertones of cinnamon.
Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Very rich holiday beer. Nice to enjoy with a good meal. Good carbonation, feels great on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 23:56:05 | More by pzrhsau
Photo of eljefe21


3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark copper brown in color with a nice head that fills the glass. Nice fine lacing on the sides.

S: Subtle hints of cinnamon and spice. A bit of cherry or some other fruit.

T: Nutmeg and other spices. Tame and tasty. Nothing special, but very solid.

M: Clean carbonation that cleanses the palate. Some lingering malt and spice flavors manage to hang on in the middle of the tongue.

D: An easy drinker if you're in the mood for a holiday beer with a little spice twist. Nothing too memorable, but not over the top spiced either, which is nice. A lot of bars rotate the seasonal Sam's and this is certainly a solid offering that I'd take in those situations.

Served: in a standard pint glass.

Review from notes taken on: 12/6/09.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2010 14:36:13 | More by eljefe21
Photo of Whiteweasel


3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a bottle due to social and material contraints.

Appearance: Unfortunately could not tell how this beer looked since it was in a bottle. Gave it an average 3.5 based on the rest of the review as not to negatively affect it.

Smell: Hoppy roasted flavour. Rather spicy, as well as somewhat dry

Taste: A tad malty balanced with a yeasty and hoppy flavour. Spices perhaps like cardamom, paprika and cinnamon were blended together but still noticable.

Mouthfeel: Better than average. Very carbonated, smooth, and no concievable detection of booziness. Very frothy.

Drinkability: A little heavy but complex enough to keep me interested in the beer. Good but not great.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2010 11:39:52 | More by Whiteweasel
Photo of caskstrength


1.98/5  rDev -45%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Have had this several times recently when nothing else was available and a beer was in order.

The pour is fine. The smells are underwhelming.
The taste/mouthfeel is thinner than you'd expect, some buttery character. Simple malts with some balancing hops. All subdued and watery, to be honest. some hints of spice that don't counter the buttery, watery, diluted character in this mess of underwhelming boringness masquerading as a beer with some flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2010 16:58:11 | More by caskstrength
Photo of buschbeer


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

I poured my Sam Adams Winter lager into my Sam Adams Winter lager pint glass to two fingers of head. It is a very dark amber. I get the cinnamon right away on the smell. I also get sweet malts. The cinnamon and orange are apparent in the taste. I also taste toffee. The are some muted hops. It is a real easy drinking beer. I have had a lot of these this winter.


Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 05:44:17 | More by buschbeer
Photo of MrMcGibblets


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

deep chestnut/mahogany brown with reddish highlights. minimal light tan head. perfect clarity.

vague holiday spices, caramel, sweet dark bready fruitcake. on the malty end as expected.

same as above, balanced out by the spices as much as by the muted hop bitterness underneath. finishes almost dry with some lingering baking spice flavors.

almost medium-bodied, carbonation somewhat light. roundish for this abv.

decent. well-balanced.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 20:21:01 | More by MrMcGibblets
Photo of jeffjeff1


3.13/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I got this in one of those variety packs.

Appearance- reddish brown color, thin head

Smell- bready malt, very faint spices

Taste- malt, bit of spices

Mouthfeel- light to medium bodied

Drinkability- It was pretty good. I did enjoy it but it's mostly average.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 07:10:26 | More by jeffjeff1
Photo of AbiesIrishRose

New York

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

a- pours w/ a generous tan head which reduces soon to scattered patches w/ collar, scattered lacing. The body is clear reddish amber.

s- very yeasty, a little bread, faint hops

t- somewhat sour w/ quiet hops upfront, ending in a warm malty flavor w/ slight spices. A little "toasted". Wouldn't be surprised to find they used some wheat malt in this. Not a "big" taste, but pleasant.

m- rather light-bodied, nice tingly carbonation, smooth

d- Oh yes. Easy to repeat.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2010 15:45:47 | More by AbiesIrishRose
Photo of brystmar


3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured into a pint glass with about a finger of thick, creamy head which departed soon thereafter. Minimal lacing. Body is very dark amber in color.

S: pretty faint -- I was having trouble smelling pretty much anything really. Malty for sure, maybe some caramel too. I liked what I could pick up, just wish it was more poignant.

T: malty with a flash of bitterness up front, but quickly turns spicier before ending dry. Hints of the winter spices described on the label (cinnamon + nutmeg) every now and then; quite pleasant overall.

M: medium-bodied with an average level of carbonation. Smooth on the way down with virtually no trace of booze.

D: easy drinking here; matches perfectly with most winter holiday meals -- and especially desserts like pumpkin pie.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2010 00:46:22 | More by brystmar
Photo of elgiacomo


2.9/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nov 26, 2009

12oz. bottle. Pours reddish-amber with a small off-white head. Light aroma, some caramel, light spice. Flavor is caramel malts, spice, slightly sweet. Decent mouthfeel, not too carbonated. A fair winter brew, especially when considering the price.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2010 04:46:03 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of drtth


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

Served in a shaker pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a clear deep reddish copper color with a 1/8" light tan head that quickly recedes to a ring of foam thin film with patchy tendrils of foam on the surface. Through out the beer sipping leaves widely scattered speckles of lacing.

Smell: The aroma is faint but contains sweet caramel malt with traces of spices but it has an almost metallic character. I don't pick up any trace of hops in this one.

Taste: The flavor is full of malt with traces of spices (a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg I think). I don't really pick up any hops or alcohol here so this one seems to be all about the winter spices and the rich caramel malts.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is a bit on the light bodied side with moderate to active carbonation that scrubs the tongue nicely. The finish is relatively short and mostly malt and wheat finishing up their work and moving on.

Drinkability: This is a pleasant enough beer to have with dinner or as something to drink while engaged in chatting with friends. It has an interesting mix of flavors but it not so complex as to demand your full attention. It would be interesting to have 3-4 of these of an evening to see if the flavors grow on one. While I won't go out of my way to have one of these again I also won't make any special effort to avoid it. This is a good workman-like beer and a good value for the money. One of the strengths of this beer is that the spices are subdued and enrich the flavor without taking it over.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2010 00:39:34 | More by drtth
Photo of strictly4DK


3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sixer of 12 oz bottles bought from Montana West bottle shop. Poured into my Duck Rabbit pint glass.

A - Dark copper with ruby hues, translucent, pours a 1.5 finger fizzy off-white head. Recedes to a collar with no lacing.

S - Spices (cinnamon, ginger) are faint but definitely present. Sweet citrus from the orange peel compliments the winter spices and doughy malt backbone.

T - The same aspects from the nose are all present but the spices exude a greater influence while remaining balanced and complimented each other. Finishes with the traditional lager notes, slightly sulphuric and toasty. Solid backbone for the sweet spices upfront.

M - Slightly thin body which makes it very refreshing. Carbonation is slightly biting which I think fits well with the light spices. Toasty grains linger on the palate.

D - This is a tasty, refreshing lager that provides exactly what it advertises (cinnamon, ginger, orange peel). I think it could honestly do without the orange peel but either way it's very easy to drink a sixer. Will definitely anticipate this beer for next winter.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2010 00:26:47 | More by strictly4DK
Photo of jwillcourt


3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Bright, amber color. Very clear. Lots of rising bubbles. Two-inch, tight white head that dissipates quickly. Lots of sticky lacing left by the head. Not much lacing as I drink it. Head is easily resurrected with a swirl of the glass.

S/T - Yeasty, bread aroma. No trace of winter spices in the smell. Light flavor. Sweet caramel malt. Slight hop bitterness in the aftertaste. The winter spices are barely present in the flavor too, which is more refreshing and appreciated.

M/D - Light-bodied. Lively carbonation. No lingering effects. Very drinkable. Refreshing alternative to heavier winter ales.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 19:31:09 | More by jwillcourt
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 4,453 ratings.