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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.

4,821 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,821
Reviews: 1,863
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 57
Gots: 352 | 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: 4,821 | Reviews: 1,863 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mlazzaro
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sam Adam has consistent visually appealing beer. The clarity is impressive. Burgundy color, over a white head. decent carbonation. Head retention is below average. Has a clean lager smell. nice malt character to the aroma as well. Flavor is similar to the nose. Spiced clean flavor. Sooo much better than the double bock from S.A. Brewing Co. Decent viscosity to the beer, suiting mouthfeel. Very similar to pumpkin beers of the fall, with out pumpkin and with lager yeast. I am surprised how much I enjoyed this beer.

mlazzaro, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of machostacos
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A: A rich reddish amber color; clear as day, with a small fluffy white head that shrinks to a thin film.

S: Bright lagery-ness with a definite spiciness. Caramel and toffee, ginger and a bit of citrus. A hint of cinnamon. There's also a hard-to-define and rather perplexing barnyard funk quality (though not like a saison)...it's not really a good thing, but it's very mild. Could just be me.

T: Full bright-lagery maltiness with a well-balanced spiciness. Definitely get the ginger and a bit of citrus from the orange zest. Not much cinnamon, though the quality is somewhat evident. A bit of rich caramel and toffee. More sweet than bitter, with a semisweet and spicy finish that is a bit dry. I don't drink lagers much, but this is definitely one of the better lagers I've had (along with the Boston Lager.)

M: Quite full and rich. Lively carbonation. Quite nice.

D: I'm definitely a biased ale man, so lagers aren't exactly my cup-o-tea (or ale, I guess ha.) So with that in mind, it's a little easier to understand my criticism with lager drinkability. It's certainly one of the best American lagers that I've had (along with Yeungling), and it has a nice, full flavor. However, its ultimate lack of real complexity coupled with my finding it a bit cloying keeps me from reaching for another. Definitely one of my go-to lagers, though, and one I keep going back to around the Holiday season (especially considering its inclusion in the Sam Adams Holiday sampler.)

machostacos, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of NeutroMan
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear dark copper/brown color with a half-finger white head that receded to a thin cap.

Smell: A strong toasty malty aroma with some alcohol.

Taste: Toasted malts dominate, with a little bit of spiciness, cinnamon, and ginger to add to the complexity. Fruity notes of orange zest and apple. A lot going on here, and I like it.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and carbonated. Alcohol warmth is not as noticeable as it was in the nose.

Drinkability: Nicely balanced and a lower ABV than traditional Bocks make this a nice holiday brew.

NeutroMan, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of Phelps
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours from the tap a perfectly clear light maroon, topped with a seafoam-textured head of medium tan that slowly falls away to a thick, scummy top layer and bubbled webs of lace.

Grainy in the nose, with lots of pale cereal malt, crackers, nutmeg, and cinnamon in lighter amounts. Earthy.

In the flavor: apple, cinnamon, crackers, clove and earthy, soil-like yeast. It's got a nice spiciness along with a lightly sweet finish and a subtle tang that builds between sips.

The high, prickly carbonation is actually kind of painful on the tongue. The body's a tiny notch above light, a little runny, before a crisp lager finish.

A very drinkable winter lager. It's not as jam-packed with Christmas spices as other winter ales, but what is there is nice and in decent balance. I'd never buy a bottle, but when the tap list isn't too impressive, this is a brew that can be relied on.

Phelps, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean orange-ish to copper color with a light tan head. In the aroma, malty lager standardness, hints of spice, mainly cinnamon. In the taste, cinnamon stands out with a standard lager undertones. A small cinnamon bite and medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a dry cinnamon aftertaste. Big cinnamon and still quite lager like, average.

OWSLEY069, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of JDFish
4.58/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite brew out of the holiday pack. It has a deep dark red color with medium almond head. Malty smell with some caramel. The flavor and drinkability are off the charts. Not as spicy as some xmas brews, but thats why I love it. Christmas Ale from Great Lakes is very good, but this goes down easier for me. One of my favorite Sam Adams

JDFish, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of joemcgrath27
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into the Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass
A - clear amber red, one thumb head dissipated to random islands with a respectable lace ring
S - toasted grain and caramel, leafy hops with a metallic or blood like hint
T - hearty malt backbone of toasty and caramel malt, a nice spice note of cinnamon and ginger, just enough hop characteristic of leafy greens and orange zest
M - medium body with a creamy smooth start moving towards a spicy and dry finish
D - the nose seemed a little plain but the spices and light hops really round out the flavours, easy drinking enough to be a nice winter session beer

joemcgrath27, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of Satchboogie
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

From notes reviewed on 12/3/10:
12oz bottled poured into a SA Perfect Pint glass
best by: April '11

A: Pours a light mahogany color, clear, dark red-orange hues when held to light, 1.5 finger bubbly head that dissipated quickly. Leaves a little lacing.

S: Smells exactly like a Boston Lager but a little spicier and sweeter. Orange zest is noticeable in the background.

T: Lots of malt, not a whole lot of hop character, spices are there but don't contribute much besides the orange zest, which helps to balance out the heavy malt bill. Alcohol seems more noticeable than a Boston Lager. This is basically a spiced up Boston Lager, but it isn't anywhere near as good.

M: Medium to high carbonation, medium body, a little chewy and sticky. I like the mouth feel on this better than the standard Boston Lager.

D: Alcohol seems too noticeable and "harsh" when compared to the Boston Lager. Has the same unpleasant aftertaste of SA lagers. It doesn't make me want to take another sip.

Overall this is pretty much a last resort for places that don't carry craft beer. I'd take the standard Boston Lager over this every time.

Satchboogie, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of rpardon7
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a amber color with a thin off white head that faded and left trace amount of lacing for the remainder of the beer. Smell is of caramel and toasted malt some citrusy hops and a faint cinamin/herbaly spice note. Taste is mostly sweet bready malt with a hint of cinamin and spice with a tiny citrusy hoppy twang. This beer seems subdoed from years past. Mouthfeel is clean and light, very light bodied beer. Drinkability is quite easy on this one nothing too comples or over spiced, good balance but I could have used a bit more body and presence by the spice and hops in this beer.

rpardon7, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of russwbeck
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear brown pour with a nice sized off-white head. Nice retention, minimal lacing.

S: Very malty smell, caramel.

T: Roasted malts up front, small amount of spices to finish it off.

MF: Light to medium bodied. Some carbonation.

D: Very high, not much to this one.

russwbeck, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of jmich24
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Crystal clear ruby red color. Small head gone very fast. Barley any lacing.
S: Fruity, spicy, sweet, orange.
T: Sweet carmel, fruity, oranges. Nice earthy bitterness at the end.
M: Fairly high carbination. Thin body.
D: Drinkablity is good.

Just okay, would not buy in a 6er.

jmich24, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of Fish113d
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper color with a finger thick of khaki-colored dense head that forms but quickly dissipates to a surface layer with a bit of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is of mild sweet caramel malts along with some grains. Nothing real flashy to report here.

Sipping reveals a bit of sweet biscuity malt along with some slight caramel. The finish is mild and decent feeling. Some slight cherry or other berry flavor comes through as well.

Sharp carbonation up front, as a typical lager, with a medium-body. A bit watery finish, but not bad. Decent overall.

I got a growler of this to enjoy during a football game, and it's an easy-drinking brew in both decency and the abv is low enough to not "kill" you prior to finishing it! Cheers!!!

Fish113d, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of RunForYourBeer
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a light copper color that shows bubbles rushing up the glass. Has about 2 fingers of head from a fairly aggressive pour.

S: Smells of faint chocolate malt.

T: Starts out with some chocolate/caramel malt then some spices come out. The biggest one I get is cinnamon.

M: Very smooth.

D: High.

It would be easy to drink a six pack of this in one sitting. Another good holiday one from Sam Adams.

RunForYourBeer, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of DCon
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a "Brewtus" at Applebees, enjoyed this beer while watching a Mizzou basketball game.

Appearance - Amber color, light head

Smell - Malty beer with cinnamon and other holiday spices

Taste - Like another other Samuel Adams with a kick of spices to it

Mouthfeel - Light/Medium bodied but with a warming feel

Drinkabilty - Anyone could drink this beer all night and not get sick with it. I would rather stick to my craft beers and sample many throughout the night. But then again, Samuel Adams isn't my favorite brewery. With my ongoing pattern of trying holiday/winter ales, I discovered this one was lowest on my list so far.

DCon, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a reddish-brown color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is ginger and cinnamon with some toffee and wheat mixed in. A little bit spicier than I was expecting. The flavor is just like the aroma. I get some wheat, ginger, cinnamon, caramel and toffee. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Pretty good, but nothing too exciting.

Mora2000, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of ramseye4
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful dark reddish copper color with a monster head, so-so lacing, excellent head retention. Great looking brew. Aroma is malty with a bit of faint spice, nothing too intense going on here. Tastes again of mostly malts, with some hop bitterness coming through, a bit of orange and other subtle fruits, spices aren't as prevalent as the label would have you believe. Sticky mouthfeel, drinkability is hampered by the sweetness.

Overall its pretty average, I would buy it again though, and it definitely is nice and comforting to curl up with under a blanket with the dog while watching some football.

ramseye4, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of bubseymour
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I have never been a huge fan of Sam Adams line of brews but this one was decent and more drinkable to me than some their other brews. Perhaps it was a good tapping at the pub which I had it. Still plenty of flavor, but much more drinkable and smooth than say their Boston Ale. Very light hop aftertaste. Nice color. Good beer Jim!

bubseymour, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of msfoster77
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was dissapointed with this beer. It poured an amber color with a tan head that went away very quicly. At first taste I get the hops bitterness and then I taste the ginger. I think the bitterness also comes from the orange peel. I bought a six pack and I think that's all I really need of this beer. This beer was very average in every way and nothing stood out.

msfoster77, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of BennyL1
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finishing up the winter pack, poured into a SA Perfect Pint Glass

A - Pours a nice deep amber color with about a fingers worth of white foamy head. Nice lacing along the glass as well.

S - Dark malts with a bit of hop in the background. Some spice scents in there as well.

T - Mostly malts up front with a small, almost indiscernible amount of spice at the end. I was expecting a little more here to be honest.

M - Light to medium body with decent carbonation.

D - I could definitely kick back with a few of these. Nothing to crazy going on here but a solid brew that I'll probably have again before the seasons change.

BennyL1, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of HockeytownBrew
4.35/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into the Samuel Adams perfect pint glass.

A - Pours a dark, deep ruby color. Thick head which dissipates after a while, and leaves behind plenty of lacing.

S - Malty with subtle notes of hops and spices. This is gonna be a great one.

T - Very robust flavor of malt with notes of spices and a bit of citrus. Subtle hop notes as well.

M - Full bodied and bold, perfect for winter. Just the right amount of carbonation.

D - A very nice session beer.

Samuel Adams continues to amaze. Winter Lager is fantastic.

HockeytownBrew, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of Richardberg
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drunk straight from the bottle. Caramel malty flavor, enough hops to neutralize the sweetness. Otherwise pretty watery. My recollection was of a beer with more body and malt backbone. Mouthfeel has some carbonation but doesn't have the crispness of other lagers. Very drinkable though.

Richardberg, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of SuperBreeze
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from 12oz bottle at fridge temps into a perfect pint glass.

Appearance: deep red-amber,2 finger off white head that dissipated to a ring of bubbles. some lacing.

Smell: darker malts, spice, citrus

Taste: malty, carmel at first than cinnamon, orange peel, hop bitterness mid with a crisp finish

Mouthfeel: medium body, high carbonation.

Drinkability: at first I would say the drinkability was average, but as the beer warmed up a couple of degrees and carbonation went down, it became much more drinkable.

Overall: solid beer, good option for a winter brew. The spices are not overpowering, which can be a problem with some spiced beers. I feel it is best with an aggressive pour and a couple min to warm up.

SuperBreeze, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of ztaylor1
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- a dark caramel color with a light tan head with decent lacing.

Smell- toasted malts with very faint hops. Crisp.

Taste- malt is the dominant force, ginger notes with citrus rind.

Mouthfeel- heavier yet still crisp. Almost sticky. Very enjoyable.

Drinkability- has a clean finish that makes me want more...

ztaylor1, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of pauleyh
4.9/5  rDev +36.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sam Adams does it once again. i will admit that i am a very big fan of their beers specially for a high end beer with such a beautiful colorful top, the body presents a beautiful amber color. it's smell of orange ginger and grounded cinnamon. the taste is smooth very refreshing experience, its not lame or dry. this kind of beer will creep up on you. you cant drink real fast or down them you got to take exceptional sips to enjoy its lusty aroma. i will admit it is one of my favorite seasonals yet.

pauleyh, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of jsprain1
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep mahogany with a two finger head, dissapates to very little.
S- Dark malt, some fruit, and spices.
T- Starts with dark malts than moves to spice. Cinnamon and coriandor.
M- Slight less than average body with slightly more than average carbonation. A bit fizzier than what I think a bock should be.
O- All in all a good beer. Significantly different on tap than in bottle.

jsprain1, Dec 09, 2010
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 4,821 ratings.