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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.

4,624 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,624
Reviews: 1,851
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 40
Gots: 258 | 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: 4,624 | Reviews: 1,851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jimj21
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce bottle purchased as part of Winter Classics twelve pack. Best by date notched on the side April 2010. Poured into a glass. Pours a reddish orange color. Very clear. Topped by about two fingers of cream colored head. Retention is so-so but eventually drops to a small cap. A few streams of bubbles rise in the glass. Minor lacing.

Aromas are faint and mostly nondescript. Malty and spicy, a good amount of cinnamon. Some hops in the background. Not too much going on.

Taste is pretty close to the nose. More flavors stick out. Malty sweetness with holiday spices. Cinnamon and some nutmeg stand out. Wheat bread. Slight hop bitterness on the finish.

Heavier side of medium bodied. Pretty smooth and creamy. Carbonation is on the lower side but it definitely works for this beer. Slightly dry on the finish.

This is a good seasonal beer. Quite good all around. Easy to drink. Right now, it's a nice way to say goodbye to the winter.

jimj21, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of brewcast6
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: rich malt aroma, with undertones of spiceness

Appearance: Copper colored with a slight tan head that has very little retention

Flavor: Well balanced flavor of sweet malt, molasses, and spices, undertones of plum

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with a malty chewiness, low carbonation, slight alcohol warmth

Overall Impression: Great beer!! I had this beer in the cellar since the winter of 2008 and it has a best if used by date of may and I was very impressed with how good the beer is even after having it in the cellar for close to a year and a half!!

brewcast6, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of smithza9
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is one of the best beers I have had. It looks dark in the glass and smells wonderful. The spices brewed into it really add a lot to the flavor and smell. This is like Guinness in the way that you can't drink a lot at one time. Enjoy the winter months with a Winter Lager.

smithza9, Feb 26, 2010
Photo of TAPJMartin
4.38/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am currently living on Okinawa on a military base and this is one of the very few good brews I can get here.

The pour is dark with a cream colored head that fades fast leaving minimal residue. The taste is mostly malt with a minimal about of hops. This is a very drinkable beer..

TAPJMartin, Feb 20, 2010
Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass yields a darker amber colored brew with a hint of orange. One finger off-white head that dissipated quickly leaving a light ring of lacing.

Smell is good, malty with some winter spices, cinnamon and nutmeg maybe?

Taste is also good, maybe not my favorite SA brew, but good nonetheless. Nothing overpowers here, I get the spices, but also a little bit of sweetness and a hop finish to balance.

I like the way this beer feels in my mouth. Nicely carbonated, not too thick, finishes crisply with a bit of sweet aftertaste.

A very drinkable brew. Maybe not as wintery as say Great Lakes Christmas Ale, but still a solid offering from SA.

bigbluebeerguy, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of FreshHawk
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark copper brown with a medium off-white head.

S - Spicy with a slight malt smell as well.

T - Toasted caramel malt with a lot of herbal and spicy flavors to it. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, some orange peel amongst other wintery spices. Slight hop bitterness that probably also contributes a bit to the slight citrus flavor.

M - Medium bodied (maybe a touch on the light side), and mid carbonation.

D - Fine, but probably depends on your mood. The spices aren't overpowering but after a couple I think it would probably get to be a bit much.

Notes: Good winter ale that is warming. The spices combined the way they are, really do remind me of winter.

FreshHawk, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of showell
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was actually about what I was expecting. After trying several Sam Adams beers, I have grown to really enjoy their offerings. Their Boston lager just blew me away, but the Winter lager isn't quite as exceptional. Still good, but not as complex, and quite a bit weaker. Still a good beer though. It pours a little browner than the Boston lager, with a white head. Smell is malt, with a hint of spice. Taste is the same, but I think it's still a bit weak for a winter ale. Mouthfeel is fine, and I'd have more if I had them. If you like a decent lager, it's fine. I think I'd get the Boston lager first though.

showell, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of dpodratsky3
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Clear looking, but darker, chestnut brown, not really amber colors at all, a little orangeish around the edges, fluffy light head, off white and 1 finger tall

S: Has that characteristic Sam Adams smell, crisp lager aroma, slightly sweet and grainy malt, a hint of spice

T: Much more powerful than smell, very spicy and flavorful, starts like a mid-dark lager with just toasted malt, then comes in a burst of spice, maybe some coriander and bitter peel, then some sweetness to balance, mild hop flavor peeks out at the end, kind of earthy

M: Feels full, but just over medium

D: Good, pretty easy to drink, but spices could be a bit much after a while

Notes: A good Sam Adams beer. I would recommend trying this if you are already a fan of SA. It definitely has their characteristics. I wouldn't say it is a stand out bock beer, but it is a good seasonal offering to mix up your every day beers with.

dpodratsky3, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of SickGnar
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Warm, yet dark copper. A sort of orangey-red, and crystal clear. Short head with minimal, spotty lacing.

S: Malts dominate - sweet and vaguely german - just leaning toward the robust and roasty. Holiday spices waft throughthe malt sweetness. There seems to be multiple spices, but nothing stands out - effect is on the reserved side. Some burnt sugar and a hint of alcohol. Not really much of any hops detected. Sweetness get a bit grainy as the brew warms.

T: Palate follows the nose, but is a tad more rounded out. Quite malt forward - toasty and caramel - with a sweetness that lingers. This is just slightly less than balanced more by spices than be hops. Cinnamon and nutmeg for sure, maybe some ginger and even orange peel. Hints of noble hops and possibly faint dark fruits. The spices hang around the aftertaste for a bit.

M: Creamy, medium body with average carbonation. Finish is both malty sweet and drying from the spices. Just a touch warming.

D: Pretty nice. The spices to a great job of balancing the malty sweetness without being cloying or intrusive. The alternating finish is quite attractive. I would like this beer to be just a bit bigger, a bit more bock - (even) maltier and more heft.

SickGnar, Feb 11, 2010
Photo of Stigs
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass

A - poured a brief flash of off white tight foam which very quickly fell to just a ring around the outside. the beer is crystal clear, strong amber color.

S - big whiff of cinnamon, ginger, and lightly roasted malt...cinnamon a bit dominating

T - malt dominates before our old friend cinnamon joins in, bringing along some buddies in the form of wheat, brown sugar, malted candy. very mild grassy hops finish. somewhat pleasing yet one dimensional.

M - spot on carbonating, bright and lively...thinnish body, refreshing.

D - seriously, enough cinnamon. dont recall it being this bold in the past. highly accessible "winterized" bock...might pair well with some carb-heavy German food.

Stigs, Feb 11, 2010
Photo of NicholasSchell
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Fairly clear dark amber color, minimal head, appears to be lightly carbonated.

S- Sweet malty scent, noticeable floral/spicy hop aroma but balanced well with sweet maltiness, cinnamon, lightest hint of sweet dried fruits.

T- Flavor of malt and hops are very well balanced though not as much complexity here as in the nose still quite good, clean finish.

M- Medium body, prickly carbonation.

D- Good beer, average ABV, I'd drink a few more.

NicholasSchell, Feb 11, 2010
Photo of HeroicDoses
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle into a pint glass. Perfect for a winter day. Has a nice blend of spices, with some great cinnamon and brown sugar hints. Actually has solid drinkability as opposed to the Sam Adams Summer, which to me becomes a little overbearing after a few. I personally prefer a little less spiceyness in my lagers (ala Brooklyn), but when it's in the right setting, there are few winter lagers I'd prefer to pour. Thumbs Up.

HeroicDoses, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of Arenbeer
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Notes- 12oz bottle into a glass

A- Poured a dark amber brown with a thin whitish tan head that quickly dissapeared leaving a small amount of lacing but not much.

S- Malts, and spices. Amost cinnamon or brown sugar.

T- Good solid malt with not to much spice. I can pick out cinnamon, brown sugar, real wintery spices with a hoppy backround and finish.

M- Medium body and pretty decently carbonated but not to bad.

Overall it's a solid bock, easy to drink and has a decent flavor to it. I wouldn't mind drinking one on a snowy day next to a fireplace.


Arenbeer, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of clooney
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - dark amber with a creamy ivory head

S - spicy, with a little yeast and malt mixed in

T - Love the hops aftertaste. I can taste come winter spices, corriander, cinnamon maybe

M - not as much carbonation as I like but typical of lagers

D - Super drinkable with most foods. I love it on a cold snowy day with a bowl of hot soup or chilli.

Serving type: bottle

clooney, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: white head fizzes up but fades fast leaving a ring of foam around the edges; light movement in the body

s: warm toasted sweet malts; some spiciness

t: warm sweet toasted malts; light hoppy aftertaste; dry wheat husk; pretty mild flavor;

m: med body; light carb

d: ok, but pretty weak as a winter offering; drink only if nothing else available

hoegaardenhero, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of jmerloni
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A bright brownish amber with good creamy head that has moderate lacing though not much retention.

S - Yeasty and malty with some spice. A little dull, however.

T - Follows the nose almost exactly with a little bitter hop action at the end. Can't my finger on the spice I'm tasting. A little bit metallic.

M - Light and moderately hoppy and moderate carbonation. Definitely has lager feel.

D - Very drinkable and a true winter beer. Sessionable. It's warming and packs a good kick after a while, though you'd have to drink more than a few to be wasted.

jmerloni, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of beerman207
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Reddish/orange in color - leaves 1 finger of head

S: Malt is definately the strongest to come through. Also some sweet presence coming in the finish.

T: Malt and some sweet caramel. Not a whole lot in the taste but really easy to drink

M: Medium carbonation and easy to drink

D: Very easy to drink. Looking forward to the next.

beerman207, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of AmberMan22
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Il Gato for a friends birthday recently.

Pours a singed bronze/copper, good color for a bock -- not stupidly dark and not too watery.

Smells nice and malty, roasted caramal, toast.

Taste, like most of the BBC beers, is just solid. The great thing about drinking their beers is when you crack one open, it just nails the style on the head every time.
Assertively malty but not overdone, pleasant toasty and caramel feel, just what you want after coming out of the cold.

Mouthfeel has a warming sensation to it, not too thin like most bock's fall victim to.

Overall, a great beer that most people can appreciate, especially in the cold midwest winters. It isn't too polarizing to put people off, but rewards the ones that try it.

AmberMan22, Feb 05, 2010
Photo of FreshmanPour77
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 2-3-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Dark reddish/brown, 2 fingers of foam with a ring of lacing. Not a lot of carbonation present

S - Sweet malts and spices mixed in with a touch of wheat? Yeah it seemed like I could pick out wheat

T - Medium bodied, big on the malt flavor. Taste some sweetness but not a lot. Seemed sweeter due to the smell but wasn't. Can taste some hops but no real wheat flavor either

M/D - Overall another good brew from Sam Adams. Medium bodied and very easy going, with a sweet malt taste with a fair amount of spices, not overly done just well rounded. A pretty good seasonal that I could drink a couple of and share the beer love with others.

FreshmanPour77, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of Chico1985
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Original review:
Pours dark reddish-orange, nice off-white head, leaves thick lacing. Surprisingly great-looking. Smells of malts, bread, fruit. Taste is sweet malts, bread, orange, winter spice such as cinnamon. Reminds me a bit of the Octoberfest but better. Taste is a little funky at the end. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Easy to drink but I'm not sure I'd want to session it.

Extra notes from 2010 batch:

Didn't like it as much this year, maybe due to different tastes this year or just a recipe change. Has kind of a artificial Hi-C fruit punch taste to it, mouthfeel is weak and prickly, seems unbalanced. Still, not a bad beer. The spice and bready malts are nice.

Chico1985, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of bushbeer75
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with label notched on May

Sam Adams Winter Lager poured a clear dark amber color and produced a nice pillowy 2-finger off white head that left behind good lacing. The aroma is clean, malty and with a little spice thrown-in. Flavor is dominated by malts, with a touch of spices [cinnamon, ginger] and a light hoppy finish. Mouth feel is medium at most - was expecting a little more fullness. Carbonation was to the lighter side.

This Winter Lager is a nice addition to the Sam Adams winter sampler.

bushbeer75, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of L337ish
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

L337ish, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of srandycarter
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

srandycarter, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of CHL
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

CHL, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of ruckus232
4.13/5  rDev +15%
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.

ruckus232, Jan 31, 2010
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,624 ratings.