1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

4,454 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,454
Reviews: 1,850
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.61%
Wants: 32
Gots: 175 | 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)
View: Beers (127) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Winter Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,454 | Reviews: 1,850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of caddybuyer

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark medium clear amber with a light tan head that quickly fades

S-Malts with a tinge of spice. Very light nose

T-Malt with a "hint" of cinnamon and light spice. (Hello...spice...I'd like to see a bit more of you) A bit of hop backbone for balance and a clean finish. A bit of citrus on the aftertaste. Refreshing overall

M-Well balanced carbonation and feel

D-Good overall effort. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Won't wow you, but will not disappoint either. Well done. I would have liked to see a bit more head retention, and some more robust nose, but I very much like it notwithstanding.

Re-review...drank a lot of this over the winter, bottled and on tap, and it was solid all around. Like most of Jim's beers, I'd like to see it taken up a notch, but kudos to him for what he is doing, and I must remember he is brewing for the masses. SA seasonal is usually the only viable choice in the sea of macros available at such places as Fridays. I definately prefer Winter over the standard SA Boston.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2008 00:16:30 | More by caddybuyer
Photo of Rayek


3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Deep red amber color with a small and fizzy head. Clarity is good, but head retention is poor. Left only bits of lace.

S: Toasted bread, grass, pepper and a bit of toffee are what came through to me.

T: Toasty and dry, with maybe a touch of the label mentioned cinnamon hiding out in the back. Bitterness has a pepper quality. Finishes with a bittersweet toffee flavor.

M: Medium-light body feels a touch watery. Carbonation level is about right.

D: Tastes pretty much like I remembered from when it first came out. Not too terribly interesting, but a good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2008 16:09:43 | More by Rayek
Photo of OtherShoe2


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

Received a clear deep orange pint with a decent white head with some retention and lacing.

Smells a bit of sweet malt, some hop leaf. Aroma is decently present, but nothing exceptional.

Sweet malt, kinda a toasted sweet bread/caramel effect. Some hop bitterness, and a spice in the background, but a mild spiciness. Decent, well crafted, but not knocking my socks off. Overall, good, enjoyable flavors with no off-notes and solid balance pushed this from 3.5 to 4.0, but that's really a fine line on this one (and I guess I'll give Jim Koch the benefit of the doubt).

Beer was decently carbonated and finished well. Was not overly mouth filling.

I guess you could have these one after another, but I couldn't buy a case of this stuff. Decent, but not over the top. Can sip or have with food. Worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2008 13:04:26 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of drseamus

New York

3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Nice ruby body with a good slightly off white head. Super clear, as it should be. Some visible carbonation.

S: Sweet caramel malt aroma. Some toasted biscuit.

T: Sweet and malty with a touch of spice or bitterness. Again, some toasted character.

M: Medium to light bodied, pretty smooth.

D: Nothing stands out good or bad. It's fairly drinkable but it might be hard to get all the way through this keg.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2008 02:29:27 | More by drseamus
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

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

12oz bottle served in SA Sensory Pint. Best by March 2009 notched on the bottle. Poured a deep translucent copper with a half inch loose white cap embedded with clusters of grape-like rings. Head quickly dissipated into a swirl of foam with a solid ring around the shoulders. Nose is malty with a touch of spice. Taste follows nose with some additional caramel character and a light hops bittering at the finish. Mouthfeel fell between light- and medium-bodied, but closer to light with a subtle background effervescence. Easy drinking and flavorful seasonal.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2008 01:31:38 | More by Jwale73
Photo of SpecialK088


3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a sam adams pint

A-Dark amber good head/lace

S-Spicy, with good malt notes and small grain and alchol notes

T-pretty much the same as the nose with a small amount of roasted charecter, seems this year they skimped a bit on the spices.

M-Fairly straight foreward not very complex brew but good carbonation level.

D-This one let me down a little this year I remember really liking it last year and im not sure if its due to how much my palate has changed or what, but with all the fantastic winters out there I cant see picking this one up again this year.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2008 01:19:17 | More by SpecialK088
Photo of Spikester


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

Use by date Apr. 2009.
Clear dark amber with a fat one finger cream head. Some lacings.
Aroma is malty and some spices.
Taste is moderately sweet quickly balanced by some hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel was quite robust for a lager.
Drinkability is very good if you are looking for a spicy winter lager.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2008 00:32:08 | More by Spikester
Photo of CityBoy1986


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

Pours a chestnut colour with a foamy head that is gone quickly. Lacing is good. Smell is of malts and nutmeg.

Taste reminds me that it is the holiday season. Spices and bitterness are the two main aspects. Thin mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Drinkability is good; the spices give a warming sensation. That is welcomed on a day with cold rain and snow and a temperature near freezing.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2008 00:07:50 | More by CityBoy1986
Photo of JayNH

New Hampshire

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

A- pours a nice clear reddish copper with a foamy head.

S- Sweet, a little spicy. a little fruity.

T- Sweet wheat flavor, slightly fruity and mildly spicy.

M- Moderate carbonation. Medium bodied very smooth. A little creamy/silky.

D- Excellent winter beer. Sweet with a well balanced spice note. These go down very nice on a cold winter night.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2008 23:47:54 | More by JayNH
Photo of Kendo

New York

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

2008 release.

A: Poured into a pilsner glass. Body is deep amber/copper -- almost reddish/orange in certain light -- with a 1-finger khaki-colored head. Active carbonation looks good. No lace.

S: Like a lager (malt-based, with a touch of toffee or caramel malt) with a hint of spice (nutmeg or cinnamon, maybe both).

T: First impression is that it's like it smells, more or less: like a malty lager (toasted cereal grains) with a hint of spice (mainly cinnamon, I think). After a couple sips, the drying finish becomes more pronounced, providing nice balance. Also feel a little bit of warmth in the belly from the fairly strong (for a lager) ABV.

M: Light-to-medium in heft with good carbonation.

D: Very good.

Notes: A good sessionable winter offering from SA. It hits the right notes (hint of winter-type spices, some warmth from alcohol) without going overboard anywhere. Nicely balanced and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2008 02:53:56 | More by Kendo
Photo of GilGarp


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

Pours into the curvy sam adams glass with a beautiful red amber color, perfect clarity, and a good half inch of creamy white head. It diminishes quickly but leaves a little lacing behind.

Aroma is a bit less remarkable. Sweet and malty with a bit of hops but nothin exceptional.

Flavor is similar to others in the mix pack, notably the fruits and spice of the winter season. Cherries, plums and raisins mix with cinnamon, clove, and ginger to create a pleasant, if not unusual, flavor. In a way, it's what a Belgian brewery might make if they did a dark lager.

Mouthfeel is good in that it's clean and well carbonated.

Drinkability is good but the sweetness and spice would get old pretty quickly.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2008 06:18:58 | More by GilGarp
Photo of RJLarse


3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Applebee's. Served in a 22 oz glass.

Appearance a light nut brown color and clear. Foamy off-white head, not very resilient.

Smell is sweet and floral. Perfume-like.

Taste is a sharp sweetness over a malted grain flavor. Mild bitterness and a distilled bourbon flavor at the end.

Mouthfeel is smooth ad a little thin. Slightly cloying.

Very drinkable brew. A nice easy drinking amber lager.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2008 07:09:02 | More by RJLarse
Photo of righlander


4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a crystal clear amber with a decent big bubbled head that dissipates rapidly. Smells slightly sweet some what metallic. Cant detect any spices or much hops. Taste is nice, toasty malt, ginger, honey, maybe nutmeg or something i cant quite place. Very nice taste. It has a warming feel to it. Carbed just right. It has a very soft feel to it, very enjoyable. It's almost cottony toasty sweet. Wonderful brew, probably my favorite sam adams beer. A must have on a cold night like tonight. I'm so glad I bought a 6 pack! Yummy Yummy Yummy!

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 05:48:18 | More by righlander
Photo of colts9016


3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper hue with a thin white head. The nose is nutmeg, cinnamon, toasted malt, wheat, hints of honey and citrus. The taste is peppery, really citrus and acidic. There where hints of spices. This wasn't a bad lager is was rather nice and warming for those cold nights.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 04:43:29 | More by colts9016
Photo of MillySox


3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this at a Christmas party where I think it is intended to be had.

Poured dark although I did not know what to expect. The description read like a Dunkelweizen with some spices. This beer had a very faint smell. Upon tasting a found very little hops or spice and nothing that felt like a wheat beer.

Smooth like all Sam Adams products but not much else.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 02:05:20 | More by MillySox
Photo of bmwats


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

Poured into a pilsner glass. . .

A: Medium-dark amber, lightly colored head hangs around for a little while, doesn't break up easily and lacing remains. Fair amount of carbonation, continues to make its presence known for the entire quaff.

S: Nothing special in terms of smell. Light malt-citrus-spice.

T: A little bitter, but also a little sweet and a slight hint of spice. Real roasted malty-ness. Nice combination of flavor attributes.

M: Wakes up the taste buds, sits "heavy" in the mouth, and pleasant aftertaste that hangs around.

D: Good drinkability. Goes down easy, refreshing, good flavor.

Better than average atmosphere, good flavor and drinkability. Really good balance.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 20:49:17 | More by bmwats
Photo of jlb307


4.33/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A pleasant burnt orange color. Nice rolling head.

S: Nicely aromatic. Smacks of spice.

T: Kind of light in body, but sweet malt really comes through.

M: Very smooth. Not a very heavy beer either.

D: Goes down very well, an excellent cold weather drink!

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 20:49:00 | More by jlb307
Photo of Dodo2step


3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Market Cross Pub In Carlisle

A- a nice frothy head after the pour is very aromatic. Spiderweb lacing as well. a nice amber orange color with red highlites.

S- some damp ginger and cinnamon. faint on the malts but somewhat roasted.

T- bitter tangy citrus hops. a malt toasted caramel and musty cinnamon character. Ginger does come out in full force after a few put backs.

M- dry and bitter put back. Not as smooth as one would think but it is the flavors do contradict each other sublime.

D- A nice dinner beer when out. A great beer to have on draft and if you are a BMC person and want to get into something different, this is it.


Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 19:22:47 | More by Dodo2step
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer


4.15/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams Winter Brew

A- Mahogany red/brown color. Transparent. Nice big spotty head leaves pretty lacing

S- Smell is like figs, caramel malts, mild hops, and mineral water

T- Taste is good, but I would like some more hopping too cover up some off flavors.

M- Medium-body with a very good watery characteristic that makes it easy to pound

D- Drinks damn well for a hearty brew

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 04:16:50 | More by EnojysAnyBeer
Photo of djeffbee


4.33/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Love this beer... Thoughts of Thanksgiving football and snow when this is released.

A - Amber 2 fingered head with sticky lacing.

S - Malty and sweet with spices. No real hop presence.

T - Malty and sweet, spicy, warming.

M - Delectable, low carbonation, smooth.

D - Low ABV, excellent flavor that screams winter is here..

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 04:02:25 | More by djeffbee
Photo of Jedimaster1


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

Had this one on-tap at Outback Steakhouse.

A: Nice, mostly clear amber color. Head stays throughout the life of the beer. Lacing throughout.

S: Smell of spices.

T: Nice malty, spicy taste. What you expect from this class. Good overall, satisfying flavor.

M: Just need to say, SMOOTH. Just a smooth beer.

D: Goes down easy. I had a few of these just because it is just so darn smooth.

Overall: A great beer and a wonderful one to have during the holidays. So much so that my wife initially drank most of my first beer and then ordered one for herself -- and she is not a beer drinker. You can't go wrong with this one. Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2008 01:45:36 | More by Jedimaster1
Photo of xhcadamx


3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured aggressively into a pint glass a murky copper color with little to no head. Tons of tiny bubbles rising to the top. Smells of malt and spice but not overwhelmingly so. Tastes pretty much the way it smells. Sweet malt and spices with enough bitterness to balance it all. I have and will drink a few more of these.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 01:35:30 | More by xhcadamx
Photo of wescj


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

12oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a deep red, with and impressive cascading head. Head is off white, a bit lumpy, and retains only a thin layer which leave a moderate amount of lace.

Smells spicy, as you would expect, and a bit of malty sweetness.

Taste is somewhat mild. Sweet malts, and a bit spicy. Aftertaste is somewhat bitter.

Good beer, overall. Easy to drink enough to drink, though there are some barely noticable odd notes in the taste and mouthfee.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 22:13:52 | More by wescj
Photo of Baileyuk


4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well I had expectations of a traditional lager when I capped this one. Defiantely darker than I was expecting before I saw it was classified as abock.

It was an attractive dark amber. Head was great although for its size faded quickly. Lacing was minimal but present, moreas the beer developed.

Smell was mainly malts, weakest part of the beer but still not bad. Ithought there was a slight fruity smell.

Taste was extremely pleasant. Very smooth. Malts were mainly dominant, maybe a few hops it in there. It was defiantely sweet malts. There was a light bitterness at first butavery sweet finish although not unpleasantly so.

I was very surprised with this one, an all around good beer. Very drinkable, a lot of people who are new to beer may appreciate this. Very refreshing.

After reading the description of a bock this was really true to style, more like a review of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 21:49:56 | More by Baileyuk
Photo of Haybeerman


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

A: Dark reddish/brown color. Poured a 2 finger off-white that disipated fairly quickly. Broken, light lacing.

S: Sweet, malty smell. Mellow roasted malts and faint spices. A litllem cloves, cinnamon or rye maybe?

T: Taste not as predominant as smell. Malt and bitter hops to balance. Some dark fruits in the background. A bit of a dry, lingering bitter chocolate finish.

M: Medium body. Good carbonation to balance. Smooth and creamy ahead of the dry finish.

D: Very drinkable. Good choice depending on what may be available. More flavor would helb this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2008 20:27:11 | More by Haybeerman
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 4,454 ratings.