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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.

4,666 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,666
Reviews: 1,851
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 43
Gots: 282 | 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: 4,666 | Reviews: 1,851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bob3701
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass. Big off-white head with a dark amber body. Laced pretty good. Roasted malt and the slightest hint of orange in the finish. Very mild flavored taste. This beer seems weaker to me than in prior years. Overall not a bad tasting brew.

bob3701, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of maleman
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz bottle into an SA glass. freshness dating noted on bottle.

A - poured a slightly darker than tea color. a very thin head that receded into a thin cap very quickly. thin, sticky lacing

S - roasted malts, chocolates

T - nice blend of the malts and hops, with neither overbearing. slight hint of alcohol.

M - medium-bodied, not too much carbonation. smooth finish with little aftertaste.

D - good brew, wish it was available longer in the season. gets me in the Christmas spirit!

maleman, Dec 16, 2009
Photo of roblowther
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear reddish copper with no head. Smells appropriately seasonal...cherries, cinnamon, cloves. Taste is cherry, wood, a bit of cinnamon in the aftertaste. Finishes clean. Mouthfeel is well carbonated but a bit thin. Drinkability is very good. Not a challenging beer at all, it passes mostly unnoticed. Maybe a good trainer beer, but I like the Boston Lager much better.

roblowther, Dec 16, 2009
Photo of californiakulak
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a couple pints of this beer at dinner an thoroughly enjoyed it.

A. Dark, reddish brown color. Kind of bright looking. Not much head or lacing.

S. Roasted malt aroma and a little clove. Some slight hop scents as well. Kind of nutty.

T. Spiced up and malty. Roasted malt and cinnamon. Maybe nutmeg, caramel and maple flavors. Very good beer.

M. Kind of a heavy brew. There is a long aftertaste that is very pleasant. Pretty dry as well.

D. This beer tastes like Christmas. It is really good and goes down easily. I think that I will get it in my kegerator next year.

californiakulak, Dec 15, 2009
Photo of BigBry
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft pint, on tap at the Yard House in Glendale.
Dark amber in color, thin ring of eggshell foam. No real head or retention. The smell is maily malt with some faint, indistinguishable spices. I am guessing nutmeg or other 'Christmas' flavors, but pretty tough to tell. No real overpowering flavors, good balance between malty sweetness and some earthy hops in the finish. Low carbonation keep it smooth, slightly creamy, and easy to drink. Good but not great, nothing really helps it to stand out. Lighter body, as expected from a lager.

BigBry, Dec 15, 2009
Photo of berley31
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured with an average-sized, off-white head that diminished very quickly to a thin film. Body is a beautiful dark-amber, almost ruby color, and completely clear.

S: Nice aroma that is quite malty, with a light presence of different spices.

T: Sweet malt in the beginning, and it ends pretty much sweet as well. The spices in the aroma are present, and the finish has a light bitter bite to it.

M: Light-bodied, slightly creamy, with average carbonation.

D: Pretty easy to drink; not heavy at all, and the 5.8% ABV keeps it to sessionable levels.

berley31, Dec 14, 2009
Photo of rarbring
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber, orange clear liquid, nice firm foam.

Small and well balanced smell, a hint of "Christmas orange".

Rather small, but noticeable bubbles,

Well balanced taste, a hint of hops, a pleasant bitterness that is lingering a bit - that's positive.

In general e very well balanced beer, and rather ale-ish for a lager (which for me is a good thing).

rarbring, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of alkemy
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber pour hinting of ruby. The malt dominated the spices. There was an earthy hops aroma, but it was fairly weak. Cinnamon and nutmeg are there in weak amounts. It's malty sweet and the spices are hinting...it's tough to pick out a single one. This is actually a good thing. No single flavor overpowering another. Nice and balanced. I've always enjoyed this, but I was more fond of it this year than previous years...maybe it's my fancy pants Sam Adams glass I just got!

alkemy, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of WWWade
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sam does it again. The change of seasons brings new weather and new beer. For the past few winters I have been excited to try all of Jim's new brews almost as much as a child getting giddy about opening christmas presents.
I have to admit that I prefer dark full-bodied beers. This is surprisingly a very drinkable and smooth beer. Making a smooth drinkable full-bodied beer is not easy, but Sam Adams does this better than most.
A- perfect head and dark

S- not strong, but not weak. Honestly I don't have a great nose. It is usually stuffed up, so I'm sorry.

T- Smooth with perfect carbonation.

M- rich

D- Amazingly drinkable. I had to slow myself down as I could hardly contain myself.

WWWade, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of Clockwork420
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - An awesome brown rusty amber. With a perfect 3 or 4 mm light cream head. Nice bubbles around edges of glass. Looks great.

S - Sweet flowery. Hints of rust smell. Bread. Fruit. Sugary.

T - Creamy and smooth. Perfect carbonation. Rusty taste almost. Alcohol ting. Sour aftertaste. Only downside.

M - Feels right. Carbonation is not over powering. And neither is the balance. Slippery and easy to drink. The after taste is something I could get rid of though.

D - I only drank one but the drinkability is fairly high.

Cant say very much negative about this one. Except that the after taste is kind of sour and lingering. But you would expect that from any brew in this type. Its just preference and nothing more. I did not dock points in any area that wasnt totally deserving and not a trait that cant really be helped.

Good beer.


Clockwork420, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a slightly hazy maroon color with a thin white foam head that leaves some spotty lace.

S- Some spice and earthy hops are present in the nose. Some slight fruity aromas as well.

T- Some light bitterness initially with a sweet caramel malt flavor in the finish. Dark candied cherries and spice show themselves throughout.

M- Light/medium bodied with ok carbonation. A bit thin.

D- Overall a nice drinkable brew.

projectflam86, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of Mardukk
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red amber with some good lacing and a small off white head.

Smells of cinnamon and holiday spices.

Quite the mix of cinnamon and nutmeg with maltiness more dominant than the hops. Slight touch of floral hops amongst the abundant malt. Medium bodied with a somewhat dry spicy finish...yummmm.

This is very drinkable as the flavors are all subtle and it is medium bodied with a medium carbonation.

My favorite of the Sam Adams catalog of beers(Octoberfest close second). Finally, a winter beer that is more interested in being medium and drinkable rather than overpowering.

Mardukk, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of Josievan
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A semi-translucent dark amber color. Head is so-so.

Smell: Spices and malt intermingle, but overall aroma is not very strong.

Taste: Sweetly malty and mildly spicy. Its rather undiscernable what specific spices are at play. I detect more winter/spice characteristics than bock characteristics.

Mouthfeel: Relatively thin-bodied. Highly carbonated, as are most Sam Adams beers. Quite smooth if not for the carbonation.

Drinkability: This beer's drinkability score is a notch higher than its other scores because the alcohol is completely hidden and it goes down so easily.

Notes: My perception of this beer is about the same as my perception of most Sam Adams beers: not exactly a stellar brew, yet never a bad choice either. Not my favorite winter seasonal or my favorite Sam Adams beer, but a decent beer nevertheless.

Josievan, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of fsimcox
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle.

Pours a clear amber, somewhat transparent color. White foamy head that dissipates after a few minutes to a long lasting thin white cover. Nice lacing.

Smells of hops, and spice, perhaps a hint of cinnamon, but smell is week.

Taste is crisp, malts, and spicy. Finishes dry with a little cinnamon aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is nice, some carbonation, and mild spiciness.

A solid winter beer, and very drinkable during the holiday season.

fsimcox, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of Kinsman
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice copper color with a thick tan head. Rather sticky, leaving a decent lacing down the glass.

Smell is a bit overly spicy. Most noticeable would be cinnamon and ginger. A bit sweet to balance this out and little or no hop aroma.

Taste starts off a bit sweet, definitely malty. Then come the various spice note and a little bit of a citrus/fruity flavor. Hop bitterness is minimal.

Mouthfeel is a medium-bodied, with a lots of carbonation. Spice and alcohol give this winter brew a nice warming effect.

Overall an enjoyable winter brew, but not quite the bock I was expecting.

Kinsman, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of NicholasCasber
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: The pour produced little to no head, which if any did dissipate quickly. The color was a dark amber, and almost brown.

S: The smell was very rich in hops, with light tones of cinnamon.

T: The taste, was one of my favorites for the winter season. I tasted a little bit of an orange peel, but overall the beer was just a fairly dark wonder of joy.

M: The beer was fairly silky, and left you wanting another drink.

D: I rated the drinkability low on this beer, mostly because of the seasonal aspect of it. During the hot summer months this would not quench my thirst.

Overall, great beer, and another solid attempt by Sam Adams, although I think some of my local breweries do it better. I highly recommend this to you and yours, as always, Cheers.

NicholasCasber, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of popatop
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I like this beer because you have to wait for it every year to be released. It kind of lets me know Christmas is coming and all is right with the world. I know thats far fetched but it really is a great beer. What I like most about this beer is the fact that although you can taste the extra spices they don't overpower the drinkability. So with that said, Happy Holidays!

popatop, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is burgundy with a beautiful creamy off-white long-lasting head that leaves some faint lacings.

S: Spicy, light roasted malt with a dryness from bitterhops. A bit fruity where dark dried fruits dominates. Some floral hops, but faint.

T: Full in taste, sweet and bitter at the same time. Dark dried fruits together with cinnamon and other spices.

M: The long-lasting aftertaste holds a lot of bitter dryness. The body is full and the carbonation is medium.

D: A nice beer, a real winter beer. In Sweden this is marketed as a x-mas beer - but this doesn't go to well with x-mas food (at least not swedish). This is a really nice winter beer, but not the best x-mas beer.

Evil_Pidde, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of josefnewsong
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark reddish brown with an inch or so of foamy head
S - Not too much here, toasty malts and a bit of hops
T - Toasty malt with a hop finish makes this beer well-balanced
M - Mouthfeel is particularly nice, smooth and full bodied to start with a crisp finish due to carbonation and hops
D - Definitely a drinkable brew perfect for the winter season

josefnewsong, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of kratos69
4.43/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The winter lager, which was the last Sam Adams I had yet to try, got me extremely excited to try it. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Amazing dark colour, with a slightly tan head, and mild lace that stuck to the side of the glass.

Smell - Potent hops, with slight notes of vanilla and what I suspect was orange or some other citrus fruit. Slightly spicy, as a winter beer should be, but by no means overwhelming.

Taste - Very hoppy, the citrus notes are more present in the taste than in the smell. Slightly sweet, and just enough spiciness to be pleasant. I experienced virtually no aftertaste, but I did happen to experience a number of flavors while sipping, including something of grapefruit and perhaps chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth, not as harsh as the Boston Lager, oerhaps not harsh enough. I remember trying a beer once, I think it was He'Brew Genesis Ale, which was actually too smooth to be enjoyable. This, however, was very pleasant.

Drinkability - I enjoyed drinking this beer. Heavy enough to satisfy, yet not so heavy that it becomes a chore to drink the beer. Would definitely get a 12-pack next time around.

kratos69, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of farrago
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

About a half an inch head of loose tan foam which swiftly disperses to a thin surface layering, minimal lacing at best. Clear red amber liquid with more orange zinc hue around the rims, easily transparent. Whiff of nutmeg and ginger in the nose, toasted cocoa and caramel, close to white pepper at times, moderate apricot, apple fruit and close to zero citrus presence, it's really all over the place, sometimes smells like Dr. Pepper. Light-bodied with sufficient carbonation to churn it up into a larger presence. More metallic and herbaceous here with the malts, caramel and molasses a diminished force. Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg remains strong, contributes to its overall dryness. Regrettably, it is a touch boring and suggests more personality than it delivers.

farrago, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of VTaler
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - reddish brown color. Nice big head that takes a while to go away. Kind of dark honey color.
S - Nice hops. Floral hops come first then followed up by the yeast
T - The first taste is on the hops and then quickly followed by the spices. THe malt is there but not very big. The yeast is a big flavor. Overall a pretty spicy beer.
M - medium body with heavy concentration
D - very drinkable and refreshing

VTaler, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint. "Ale in TX" printed on the label. Interesting... APR Notched on the label as well, no other info.

Thanks to Sweemzander for this bottle!

A - A moderate pour gives the Winter Lager a big, light tan/cream-colored head three fingers tall. Good retention and clumps of lace down the glass. The beer is a clear amber color with few bubbles coming up.

S - Lightly toasted malts swirl around with a small bit of white chocolate and vanilla with a nice caramel sweetness at the end. A little bit of spice comes out. Some white pepper it seems like. A dry flour-like smell on the finish hinders it.

T - The flavor looses a lot of the initial nuances the aroma has but ends up being better in the end. Toasted malts with a light caramel sweetness that is balanced very well by a smooth hop addition. The end has spice notes, particularly white pepper, and possibly a touch of clove. The finish leaves a lingering dry but sweet vanilla flavor.

M - Winter Lager is creamy and smooth with a well-balanced dry finish and a touch of carbonation bubbles. Medium-bodied, it's mouthfeel is probably the best part of the beer.

D - A good winter seasonal but one of the weaker seasonals from Saumel Adams in terms of their Christmas offerings. I'd stop at two pints too. The whole beer is good but overall a bit cloying with extended consumption.

BeerFMAndy, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of witster18
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours caramel - a lil' hazy. nose is same rich caramel and beer. Taste is malty backbone with a slight hop/herbal/spice and regular bock-esque finish. This is a dunkel/bock/winterlag if you ask me.... and has most of the good qualities of each. A very beer tasting beer(yes i meant to say it that way). Hints of ginger, dried apricot, and sherri.

Toned down for a 'winter' beer. WIth about 1% more alc maybe this would shine better because it is really headed in the right direction.... wish they made a slightly stronger(in every way) version - but this is definately top 5 for readily available Sam....

my sam top 5 for ref(not counting utopias/hallertau imperial/tripbock etc):
1.Boston Lager
2.Black Lager
3.Cream Stout
4.Winter Lager
5.Summer Ale

very drinkable for the style.
good breakfast beer.

witster18, Dec 04, 2009
Photo of Stunner97
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- very dark amber red in color, average white head quickly fades away to reveal nice clarity and carbonation,

Smell- slight citrus and almost faint spice of cinimmon to my nose, also slight hop and malt nose

Taste- overall a nice smooth balanced winter lager, not to overally spiced up in flavor though you can slightly pick it up in the background, I was worried this would be an over spiced up beer, but overall a decent balance and finish

Mouthfeel- very rich rich and nicely warming finish on a medium bodied beer

Drinkability- Overally this beer actually was not to bad at all, nothing I personally would regularly probably seek out as I am not hugely into a lot of winter lagers but it exceded my expectations so it is one I would give another look, overall just a very nice rich ale that is not bad if you just want one easy drinking beer at the local pub or by the tv,

Stunner97, Dec 02, 2009
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,666 ratings.