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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.

4,607 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,607
Reviews: 1,850
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 40
Gots: 250 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,607 | Reviews: 1,850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jsanford
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%

Poured into a pint glass

A - Dark amber with red highlights. Creamy, off-white head dissipates quickly, leaving a slight haze.
S - Sweet caramel malt, muted earthy hops, cinnamon and nutmeg.
T - More caramel malt and spicy, earthy hops dominate with some toasted nuts and crackers around the edges. Ginger and cinnamon are noticeable, but not a prevalent as the nose would suggest. Orange peel flavor gets strong as the beer warms up, providing a nice bittersweet balance.
M - Medium-thin body with medium carbonation. Nice and smooth.
D - Moderately drinkable, I could probably have two.

A nice winter beer, but it pretty much tastes like Boston Lager with spices added to it.

jsanford, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of SovereignBCS
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - I absolutely LOVE the color of this beer. It looks like it ought to be drank under a hand-knit afghan while sitting by a crackling fire on Christmas eve. The appearance is rich amber, and it just looks warm and inviting.

S - Smell is good, but nothing exceptional. Warm cinnamon and orange peel, some other spice, maybe coriander?

T - Extremely malty, but a good flavor overall. The cinnamon and spices come through in the flavor, but the orange zest is conspicuously absent, even in the aftertaste. A great winter beer, wouldn't want this in the summer months.

M - Very little carbonation, almost flat.

D - Heavy but drinkable, I don't think I would want more than two of these in a session, however.

SovereignBCS, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of bigrzman
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%

Reddish brown color, almost flat very little carbonation. Head disappeared on contact. Very sweet and malty to the nose with hints of orange zest and cinnamon. This beer is spiced with cinamon and ginger, orange peels come up. Besides that it is very malty and it is heavy. Mouthfeel is medium to thick zero bubble feel. Minimal hop drying and presence. Surpisingly drinkable though. Solid seasonal beer.

bigrzman, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of flagmantho
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%

Had this on tap at my local Red Robin last night.

Appearance: rich amber hue with a thin, creamy ivory head. I won't fault the beer for the pour I got, and I love the color. Good stuff.

Smell: aroma has a light, nutty maltiness. Aroma is a bit light but I like the composition.

Taste: lightly nutty malt with just a hint of fruity yeast character and a solid balancing bitterness. Slight caramel around the edges as well. I quite like it.

Mouthfeel: light body with a moderate level of carbonation. Tingly, but not much creaminess; still, it's OK.

Drinkability: quite quaffable. Flavor is not overpowering and the overall experience is quite refreshing.

flagmantho, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of scottfrie
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%

12oz bottle into shaker pint at a Greek restaurant.

A: Pours dark brown with a thin off-white head that quickly vanished into a faint collar that left no lace.
S: Notes of light malt, citrus and cinnamon. Not pickup up the ginger.
T: Malt dominates followed by big notes of cinnamon and orange zest. Hints of ginger and lemon and maybe some vanilla as well.
M: Medium-full body with a nice thick mouthfeel and light carbonation.
D: I was surprised by this one. All the spices work really well. Not a bad brew overall.

scottfrie, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of king75
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

A- a amber colored lager with very little head

S- Can make out wheat, ginger, and a little malt

T- has a big gingery like flavor at the beginning, wheat flavor comes in towards the end, a little malt. Not bad, but seems a little off balance in some way.

M- Light and a little watery.

D- an easy drinking beer, nothing really special but a solid brew in its own right.

king75, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of DrDemento456
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%

Got this in my winter variety pack. Hope its better than last years because it was nasty.

A - Looks to be a nice amber, maybe copper as others described. As always a nice inch of foam from these beers.

S - Well it has some spice but really dominated by a dry grain.

T - Yep the grain is pretty harsh. Almost makes me wonder why it is considered a bock with "lager" in the title, but it just tastes like a spiced lager which the spice is having a hard time covering up the lager funk.

M - Light to medium, it drank rather well.

D - Well thankfully I only have one more since I only sprung for the half case but it really hasn't improved much from last year. Still mostly lager in taste and if I wanted a lager I would take the Boston since it at least carries more sweetness.

DrDemento456, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%

Pours deep coppery red, slightly cloudy, rising bubbles, beautiful two finger head that dissipates into a thin foam fairly quickly, nice lacing.

Smell doesn't impress much. Lightly spiced with a bit of roasted malts but not much else.

Tastes quite nice. Spicy, almost pumpkin-esque in the spices used. A nice mix of hops, malts, grains and sweet brown sugar give it a festive, holiday type flavor.

Feels a bit above average. Ample carbonation, medium body.

Drinks a bit above average as well. I'd buy again, good for holiday festivities to be sure.

AlCaponeJunior, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Served in a Sam Adams sensory pint glass.

Workin' my way through the Winter Styles pack. This one pours a nice clear dark ruby brown topped by nearly a finger of ecru foam. The nose comprises caramel, light roasted malts, light milk chocolate, rye bread, and orange zest. The taste is very similar, but a bit spicier: Newcomers nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, and cola add some complexity to the flavor, but seem to somewhat overshadow the other parts. Or, rather, it comes in phases. However you prefer to hear it, everything doesn't mesh perfectly. Yeah. The body is a nice medium, with a moderate carbonation and a semi-grainy feel. Overall, a very nice brew, one that could use some tweaking, but is still an easy and enjoyable drinker.

TMoney2591, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of Frosty80
4.18/5  rDev +16.4%

Color: pours light brown and sits a brilliantly clear dark, reddish copper

Smell: very clean malt sweetness with VERY subdued adjunct ingredients. the cinnamon, ginger and orange zest are so well balanced and subtle they are barely perceptable

Taste: clean malt sweetness with more obvious notes of cinnamon and ginger than in nose. orange zest is subtle. finishes dry and slightly bitter. flavors wake up a little at beer warms up

Mouthfeel: smooth low-medium body with medium carbonation

Notes: nothing extreme here and no ingredients that dominate the nose or palate. just a balanced but shifting brew. good concept of a winter bock

Frosty80, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of damndirtyape
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%

Single bottle (with the new label - best by March 2011) poured into a Shaker Pint glass.

Appearance: Deep orange-red coppery color with 1/8" light tan head. Head dies down to something thicker than a thin film. Thin strands of lacing here and there.

Smell: With a good swirl I can smell caramel malts and ginger. Without the swirl - smells are muted.

Taste: Mild caramel malts up front that run into a spicy finish. The spices really run together, cinnamon first then merging into ginger with a spicy heat on the tongue. If there is orange peel in there, I can't find it. It's okay.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation - I think the spiciness on the tongue is more from the ginger. A little watery otherwise.

Drinkability: Okay - I think this really isn't a bock but is instead more like an attempt at a watered down winter warmer. The spices become more of a bitter finish as the beer warms up - I dunno...maybe it a bock lager after all but the spices take away from it. I probably won't get again - there are better winter beers out there.

damndirtyape, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of Arithmeticus
3/5  rDev -16.4%

A: not much of a head, but very good carb with a steaddy burst of beads; copper-red color;
S: sweet slightly malty aroma
T: savory spices; bitter; I can see what they were getting at: a bit of a coriander-and-thyme-type of approach but personally it doesn't work for me
M: good vibes from the abundant carbs
D: flavor is a drawback here

If given one again I would probably pair it against something sweet

Arithmeticus, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of AdamBear
2.83/5  rDev -21.2%

A-translucent brown, light tan head

S-very light hint of roasted barley

T-very light hint of roasted barley just like the smell. it is however crisp and refreshing. there lacks an after-taste. quite disappointing.

M-medium carbonation, fairly creamy

D-well...considering there are no negative tastes in it and the taste doesn't diminish...its fairly drinkable. not sure i feel the need to buy more tho

AdamBear, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of Docer
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%

12oz. from a holiday pack..

- Pours a clear dark red... white fizzy head... leaves a bit of a dusting and a small ring.

- Lightly sweet, subtle grains, oats... light grassy and earthy hop... slight spicy zest....

- Sweet grains, light sugars, molasses.. slight spicey touch... earthy grassy hop... subtle... little zing of ginger to the finish.

- Overall light to medium bodied, plenty carbonated.. slightly cloying..

- Overall not too bad, but doesn't stand out much among the others in the holiday pack....

Docer, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of brewerburgundy
3.23/5  rDev -10%

12oz bottle, snifter, March notched on the best before scale.

Blood red with a creamy head for a lager that comes in a yellowed tan. It doesn't really lace.

Wet malt, ginger, a spike of alcohol, clove, spicy spices, and possibly rich red grape.

A wet sweet blanket of malt with biscuit tones backed up by moderate bitterness and those additions of clove, ginger, and orange. The malt is musty and whole wheat. Fortunately not horribly sweet, but it can't seem to figure out what it wants to be; sweet or bitter, spicy or hoppy.

Fizzy with a moderate body.

The performance is just not sure in any one aspect, it isn't cohesive. It feels too easy. I wish I could have tasted it as a meatier 7% guy as I've seen it mentioned it was in the past. I respect Sam Adams, but I'm afraid they've gone close to the lowest common denominator here.

brewerburgundy, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of Kolsch
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%

On tap at Roboykio, Greensburg PA

Appearance: dark brown with very small head. Does not last long at all

Smell: very faint chocolate malt with some cinnamin thrown in. Nothing extrodinary.

Taste: smooth and slighty sweet. For a bock, not too sweet at all. Some hops show a very small bite but taste is malt dominated, though quite muted. I would have actually liked to see more malt. Very easy drinking and would have again.

Overall: Not a bad showing by SA. Not a show stopper but quite quaffable for a bock.

Kolsch, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%

New label this year, not sure if I like the new light green as much as the classic pale blue colored one. Doesn't look quite as wintery to me. 12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Comes out dark brown/amber in color with excellent clarity. There is a slight off-white creamy head that dissipates after a few minutes. There isn't as much lacing as I origionally expected, but a little bit, and there's a ring of foam around the top of the liquid.

The smell is good, dominated by malts in a big way. In addition to it there is some holiday spiciness involved. Hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and some slight orange zest.

The taste is much like the smell. A big malty start. After the malts hit your tongue you get the tastes of cinnamon and nutmeg. No hops really present in the flavor but it has a slight earthy bitterness at the end.

The mouthfeel is good, certainly full bodied. Rich, well balanced and full of flavor. A perfect winter beer, especially if you're not particularly in the mood for a stout or porter. A versatile beer and extremely drinkable. Another winter favorite.

AndyAvalanche, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of shand
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a mug.

Appearance: A red-amber color with less than a fingers worth of head. Lacing and retention are poor. About average in general, but below average for a Sam Adams.

Smell: The spices take center stage on the nose. I can catch some roasted malts in there too. Smells good, but it's something I've smelled before for sure.

Taste: Lighter than expected off the nose. Orange peel and malts come in right away, followed by a bouquet of spices. Just a hint of hops come in towards the middle-end. Not much of an aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Decently high carbonation, it goes down really smooth. Great mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable, there's nothing offending in the start or the back that'd make you not want to drink more.

Why is this a winter seasonal? I think I could, and would drink this year round. A great beer that I'm sure to drink a lot of this season.

shand, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of 9InchNails
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%

12 oz bottle Poured into a Pint Glass.

An off white color head that seems to evaporate quite quickly. A lot of bubbles rushing to the top of the glass. The beer is a light reddish brown color. A decent amount of lacing throughout the glass.

A slight spicy malt with a hop smell alongside a hint of metallic aroma.

A decent amount of carbonation. A nice body, not too thick or heavy.

Definitely a spice kick to it; its very well balanced, not annoying in any way. There is a hint of citrus fruit with maybe caramel. Very tasty and seems smooth enough to have more than just one.

I've had this about two years ago on tap; I remember enjoying it. I never was a big fan of Samuel Adams, this is one of their first brews I enjoyed. Since my visit to the Brewery I learned to appreciate and wanting try more of their beers; I'm glad I did.

9InchNails, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of philbertk
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%

1998 6.94% ABV (3.5 / 5.0) Dark Red amber color. Medium spicy body. Touch of alcohol finish. Nice and rich. Very similar to Portland Brewing Oktoberfest. Spice replaces fruit. Sampled 11/6/1998.

1999 6.90% ABV. (4.25 / 5.0) Dunkelweizen--Clear rich thinish red color. Spicy malty front. Smooth rich body. Sampled 10/26/1999'

2000 6.94% ABV (4.25 / 5.0) Wheat Lager but clear thin bronze red color. Mild spicy nutmeg front with toasted fruit notes. Where is wheat? Smooth spicy body with mild sweet fruit notes and rich texture. Ends spicy rich and smooth. Sampled 11/28/2000.

2001 6.90% ABV. (4.0 / 5.0) Clear rich deep amber red color. Light roasted mild spice mild hop front. Sweet smooth lager body. Light toasted creamy black cherry body. Richly laced head. Mild easy winter spice end. Sampled 11/26/2001.

2002 6.90% ABV. (4.25 / 5.0) Clear garnet red amber color. Gentle winter spice wheat nutmeg malt hop front. Rich thick sweet wheat spiced body. Smooth caramel cherry notes linger through mellow spice end. Nice lacy head. Rich, tasty. Sampled 11/3/2002.

2003 6.94% ABV (3.75 / 5.0) "Dark Wheat Lager Brewed with Winter Spices". Clear pretty bright amber red color. Light head & lace. Mild spiced malty hop front. Smooth clean rich malty wheat caramel sweet mild spice body. Mild hop end. Sampled 10/30/2003.

2004 5.80% ABV-25 IBU's? (3.75 / 5.0) "Dark Wheat Lager Brewed With Winter Spices" Big lacy head. Clear amber red color. Spicy toasted nutmeg mild hop front. Rich sweet tangy toasted cherry caramel wheat body. Spicy sweet mild hop end. Sugary. Sampled12/2/2004.

2005-A 5.80% ABV-20 IBU's? (4.0 / 5.0) Rich light tan lacy head. Clear bright dark amber color. Rich cinnamon wheat spice mild hop front. Thick creamy sweet malty mildly toasted wheat malt caramel body. Creamy bland mild hop end. Nice Dunkel. Sampled 1/21/2006.

2005-C 5.80% ABV-20 IBU's? (4.25 /5.0) Foamy lacy rich head. Clear bright copper amber color. Mild coriander wheat spice hop front. Crisp tangy mild toasted caramel fruit mellow wheat ester body. Tangy clean cinnamon wheat spice mild hop end. Sampled 1/12/2006.

2005-C 5.80% ABV-20 IBU's? (4.25 / 5.0) Foamy lacy rich head. Clear bright copper amber color. Mild coriander wheat spice hop front. Crisp tangy mild toasted caramel fruit mellow wheat ester body. Tangy rich clean cinnamon wheat spice hop end. Sampled 1/26/2006.

2006 5.80% ABV-25 IBU's? (4.5 / 5.0) Lacy auburn head. Clear pretty amber orange red color. Spicy toasted coriander wheat spice mild hop front. Tangy malty mild sweet caramel ester wheat fruit body. Subtle hot tangy Winter spice mild hop end. Sampled 10/18/2006.

2007 5.80% ABV-20 IBU's? (4.25 / 5.0) 6-Pack $6.99. Rocky dense off white mild lace head. Clear rich fizzy amber red color. Mild toasted cherry vanilla wheat ester mild hop front. Creamy cloying sweet toasted cherry cinnamon hint smooth mellow wheat body. Cloying malt mild hop winter spice smooth end. Sampled 11/10/2008.

2008 5.80% ABV-25 IBU's? (4.0 / 5.0) Rich dense lacy off white head. Clear rich bright copper red color. Mild hop mild cherry ester vanilla cinnamon hint front. Lager smooth mild creamy mellow sweet toasted cherried toffee wheat mild spice body. Mild hop cloying malt mild fresh Winter spice end. Sampled 11/6/2008. 6-Pack $7.79.

2008 5.80% ABV--25 IBU's? (4.0 / 5.0) Rich lacy tan white head. Clear pretty bright thin amber red color. Mild toasted cherry mild hop front. Cloying sweet smooth mild creamy light toffee black cherry malty mild cinnamon vanilla wheat body. Mild hop nutmeg smooth crisp wheat spice end. Nice Winter. Sampled 11/4/2008. 6-Pack $7.79.

2009 5.80% ABV--25 IBU's? (4.25 / 5.0) No sediment. Rich lacy dense off white head. Clear bright rich bronze copper red color. Toasted wheat vanilla ginger nutmeg coriander Winter spice mild hop front. Zesty toasted malty sweet toffee wheat orange peel spicy body. Mild hop cloying Winter spice end. Sampled 10/26/2009. 6-Pack $6.99.

Winter Lager--Malt Beverage Brewed With Spices--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 5.60% ABV. 20 IBU's? (3.5 / 5.0) No sediment. Thick pour. Thin fizzy thin lace off white head. Clear pretty bright rich copper red color. Mild cinnamon ginger orange peel toasted wheat ester mild hop front. Tangy zesty mild sweet toasty wheat mellow fruit spice Dunkel body. Mild hop odd end. Sampled 11/2/2010 from 6-Pack purchased for $7.49 at Seattle Fred Meyer--Ballard on 11/2/2010.

philbertk, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of soju6
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%

A: pors a clear deep copper color with a creamy head that fades to nominal lacing.

S: Malty aroma with a hint of spiciness, not overpowering.

T: Has a good malty tase with a mild spicy flavor to round it out. Finishes with aslight bitternesss.

M: Has a fairly medium body. A very well balanced brew, smooth and goes down very easy.

D: Good seasonal brew, easy to drink. Well worth a try.

soju6, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of Groomsy
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%

Review taken from notes, consumed on Nov. 3, 2010.

12 oz. bottle marked with freshness date of March 2011; poured into a mug.

Appearance: Absolutely beautiful in my eyes - pours a very sexy red/ruby color with a very solid 1-finger beige/tan head, although I could have maybe poured this a little harder. It leaves some very good lacing at first down the glass, but the head dissipates to a few millimeters (though it sticks around) and leaves only some minimal spots down the mug. Looks like a beer from a dream.

Aroma: I actually find the aroma a little hard to discern, it took some concentration. But when I was able to narrow it down, the malts were the first thing that blasted my nose, especially caramel/toffee; this beer is loaded with them. I also detected some spices like cinnamon and even a little bit of orange in there as well. Hop aroma is there, very earthy, but not nearly as prevalent as it could be. Weak, but promising for what it is.

Taste: The taste starts off with a strange but inviting mixture of tangy orange peel and roasted malts, with flavors of caramel being the most evident. The malts really dominate in the beginning here. There's just a bit of earthy hop bitterness in the middle as well, followed by some cinnamon and almost a sugary dough type of taste in the finish, which is dry and crisp. The alcohol in this brew almost overwhelms the taste, but not quite. Very warming and hearty with some spices going down. Wonderful taste here.

Mouthfeel: There's a ton of carbonation in this beer which brings out the various flavors, and going down, the beer isn't overwhelming, but it's pretty thick and creamy. I guess the word would be "heavy"; this is a beer to handle gently. It finishes on a slightly bitter/alcoholic note.

Drinkability: Definitely a good beer with wonderful flavor, but I couldn't slam these down. This is a beer to enjoy on a slow night while having conversation with friends and is definitely a "sipper" type of brew. I couldn't imagine having more than 2 or 3 in one sitting, no matter how wonderful the flavor is.

A great seasonal from Sam Adams, and a solid way to dive into the Winter Variety pack. Enjoy this one and savor it.

Groomsy, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of geryeb624
4.13/5  rDev +15%

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a nice dark amber with a little over a finger of creamy head. Looks very nice, decent retention as well.

S- Malty, a caramel Oktoberfest type way. Also some light spiciness in the background from the cinnamon and ginger, though by no means overwhelming.

T- Very nice bready, crackery maltiness with a little dark fruit and a little spice. Does well to not bash you over the head with the spice. Quite a hearty flavor, with some nice holiday notes.

M/D- Smooth & creamy mouthfeel, very drinkable and quite delicious.

A very nice winter seasonal that captures the season without killing you with gimmicks. Other than maybe Brooklyn BCS, my favorite beer of the season so far.

geryeb624, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Clear, dark red and amber with a brownish hue. Light beige head with okay lacing, nice retention, wonderful clarity.

S: Spiced lager with a decent hop presence and a big blast of roasted malt. Brown sugar is detectable, along with some caramel and grains; mostly corn.

T: Surprisingly refreshing and forward for a lager, this beer is hoppy and malty at once with spices lingering in there. Middle is slightly bitter, but it doesn't carry over to the finish, which is sweet and buttery with that brown sugar hint really hitting home on the way down the throat.

D: Definitely drinkable. Possibly my favorite Samuel Adams beer so far. Excellent fall/winter beverage.

Value: For once,I don't mind spending 8 or 9 bucks on a sixer of Samuel Adams.

WeezyBoPeep, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of speter
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%

A: Pours a deep copper color with a solid two-finger fluffy head that persists. Good lacing.

S: A blend of bock and a wit. There's a high level of malt, along with the wheat and spices.

T: Follows the nose closely as a blend of a bock and a wit, which works surprisingly well.

M: Medium body with brilliant carbonation. A touch of warmth.

D: A nice beer for a winter evening.

speter, Nov 03, 2010
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,607 ratings.