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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.

4,502 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,502
Reviews: 1,850
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 34
Gots: 195 | 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)
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Ratings: 4,502 | Reviews: 1,850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IBUnit63


3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had Sammy Winter a few times during the season so I'm not 100% sure where these notes are from, but if I had to guess I'll go with the Halfway Cafe in Watertown...good thing I keep all of this in my Treo memo section. Anyway...

Dark bourbon body in this one - almost an amber hue. Head is very flat and really just a little wispy.

Slight spice is pleasant - this one could be on the path to a Winter Warmer with a more copious dose. Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg but brings about a dry sensation. Hops and their accompanying pine are a little subdued. Malt carries an almost Marzen character.

Taste really follows the nose here - husky, spicy sweet malt with a little hop pine and spice of the seasons.

Finish is warming yet quenching at first, but the bottom of the pint gets a little heavy.

I tend to be a fan of the Sammy seasonals - no exception here. Solid session effort.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2008 11:21:01 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of everetends


3.05/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle from the Sam Adams mixed holiday case. Served up in a pint glass.

A: Pours a pretty nice, amber/brown. When held to the light a nice orange/red color comes through. A vigorous pour yielded about a finger of head but it disappeared quickly. No lacing to talk about at all. This brew is pretty mediocre and a bit boring in the appearance area.

S: Smell is mostly of some ince caramel malt and undefined spices. There is a slight bit of hops citrus coming out as well, but most of the scent is of a basic bock.

T: Taste is a bit better. Tastes like supped up boston lager. A lot more caramel malt coming out with just a touch of grapefruit hops flavor. Soices change things up. A decent amount of nutmeg and ginger. There is also a buttery, nuttiness toit as well. Damned tasty.

M: Medium in body an a bit of wateriness to it. ABV is not noticable at all. Carbonation is a bit lower than I expected. The brew does have a crispness to it and goes down pretty clean with little aftertaste at all.

D: Pretty drinkable. Really nice session winter brew that goes down easy with decent flavors. Sure the look and smell isn't that great but this is a brew you have several of in a session and pound. Still pretty damned good.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 05:04:38 | More by everetends
Photo of blackjack000


3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Burnt reddish amber with an eggshell head.

Smell: Small bits of toasted brown sugar, a tad of citrus and black pepper.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Delicately sweet malt with an almost peppery hop taste. The aftertaste leaves a little bit of sugar on the tongue with a burnt hops taste prevailing. The carbonation works well with the hops profile.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2008 19:16:35 | More by blackjack000
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 10/29/08. Bottle. Pours a deep amber/brown with a thick, fluffy off-white head. Aroma of sweet wheaty malt and faint cinnamon. Flavor of sweet malt with a slight vegetal quality and some buttered popcorn (seems to be a common flavor among Sam Adams beers...). Nice and tasty. Sam Adams knows how to make their lagers!
7/4/7/3/14 (3.5/5)

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2008 18:01:28 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of Spidey13


4.43/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap the day after Christmas. It showed up at the table looking clear and dark amber with a small white head on top. The aromas was very nice and sweet, with cinnamon and malt notes. Some orange peel was also detectable.

The taste is also very nice; sweet with cinnamon and caramel notes. Quick finish. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

Overall, this is a super-drinkable, sweet malty beer that I look forward to having a couple of times each winter.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2008 12:20:01 | More by Spidey13
Photo of glid02


3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at Mellow Mushroom in Tallahassee.

Pours a clear light brown color with a one-finger white head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. Lacing isn't very sticky.

Smells of caramel malt, diacetyl, and light spices as the beer warms.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet caramel malt flavors up front are followed by light buttery diacetyl flavors and even lighter toasted malt. Spices come out more as the beer warms, and there's a very mild bitterness to end things.

Mouthfeel is good. It's light, but not overly so.

Drinkability is good - though it's best when the beer is about cellar temperature. Be sure not to let this one get too cold.

Overall this is not significantly better on-tap, although I kind of get the impression that the tap lines might not be the most clean in the world. Worth a shot either way.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2008 02:43:40 | More by glid02
Photo of thekanna


2.85/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Champps in Fairfax, VA.

Appearance: Pours a nice clear off-copper color with not much head.

Smell: Very artificial sweetness; almost like the smell of Nestea artificially flavored raspberry iced tea, but as a beer.

Taste: Like sugar-free candy; at least the taste of artificial sweeteners are pretty characteristic. Slight notes of citrus, apples, cloves, bread. Strange hop bitterness at the end to round it out.

Overall: Like most Sam Adam brews, I'm not quite a fan. Their attempt to make micro-brewed taste with macro-brew practices lands them somewhere in between. I wish they could focus more on improving their flavors and less on targeting the mass consumer with generic flavors that prove a "jack of all trades but master of none."

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2008 07:05:23 | More by thekanna
Photo of JeffV


3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great beer to tide you over until february when the good beers come out.

I had this in a pint glass.

Some of the best head I've ever seen. It has Great lacing. Huge lumps of head on the side of the glass.

A little spiciness up front, finishes sour. Great session beer.

Thanks jim.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2008 00:15:45 | More by JeffV
Photo of MarzenMan


3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark red with a small offwhite head that leaves some lacing.

S - Light spiciness, maybe some orange peel, floral hops like regular Boston Lager.

T - Very very smooth but basically tastes like a muted Boston Lager. Just a touch of spiciness, not really detecting the cinnamon but something in there. As it warms a nice maltiness comes out.

D - Pretty drinkable because its smooth and light but nothing interesting. I was hoping for more.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2008 19:49:01 | More by MarzenMan
Photo of saradad


3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on-tap at Olive Garden (not what I expected) in a 220z pilsner glass (again, unexpected) and found it quite tasty (as expected) the beer was a medium amber with orange-ish color under a 1" off-white head that dissipated pretty quickly leaving some decent if not overly impressive lacing on the glass. The smell was hard to quantify perhaps due to the restaurant surroundings but light malt and even a lighter spice were present. The taste was first sweet malt (caramel?) and spice (nutmeg, allspice?) with a very light hop finish overshadowed by the spice. The beer was a bit thin but with decent carbonation so the mouthfeel was rather nice. The drinkability was good and I'd have had a couple of more if I hadn't been driving. Ciao Bella

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2008 18:08:16 | More by saradad
Photo of philbe311


3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper in color with a slight orange hue... Fast carbonation that doesn't rise perfectly straight, it has an ever so slight diagonal trajectory to it... Thin tan head quickly fades leaving an nice lacing... Translucent with refractive qualities...

S - Very faint aroma... Wheat... Malt... Even fainter yet are hints of toffee and coriander...

T - Malty and spicy upfront... Biscuit... Nicely surprised the layer of piney hops that follow.... Simple, yet effective...

M - Hearty... Creamy... Rich... Coats mouth fully... Slightly warming feel which is a bit of a surprise given a relatively low ABV...

D - A seasonal winter brew that could be enjoyed year round... Easy to drink and highly sessionable... Not overly impressed by any specific characteristics, but it's just a solid and enjoyable brew...

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2008 01:41:24 | More by philbe311
Photo of Vengeance526


3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with best by date of May 2009...

Pours to a copper amber color that leaves a decent tan head and laces the glass nicely.

Smells of light spices and a mild piney character.

Taste is similar to the smell, definitely a bit spicier than your average Sam with added notes of citrus and caramel.

I've started the Christmas meal off with one of these for the past couple years and it complements the heavier menu nicely which apparently is something they were aiming for with this brew. You could easily drink 2 or 3 with the course of the meal although I usually move on to something a bit heavier after the first glass. Nothing extraordinary but surprisingly good for something that is so common. In all likelihood, I'll be having this again at the next holiday gathering.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2008 19:38:29 | More by Vengeance526
Photo of Hoagie1973

New York

3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice orange-amber color with a full rocky head. Retention is very good with some nice rings of lacing.

Smells malty-sweet, but with a touch of mild spices and a bit of hops thrown in for good measure.

Aroma is reflected in the taste. Very malty with a toasted breadiness, caramel, a little clover honey and maybe some orange/citrus and a hint of cinnamon. Spices are very subtle though. Some balancing hops show up at the end. Overall its sweet and malty, yet ends up being pretty well balanced by the time you finish a sip.

Mouthfeel is good, typical of other Sam Adams products. Medium body. Not too filling.

Tasty and highly drinkable. My father had a six for me on Christmas eve and I had no problem killing it dead. I might've even kept going had there been more.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2008 18:18:25 | More by Hoagie1973
Photo of drxandy


4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz to standard pint, pours a nice amber brown shade with a creamy tan head that eventually fades

smells of spice, zesty hops, yeastliness, caramel/biscuit/toffee malts

taste is of sweet malty goodness, burnt caramel/biscuity malts pop from the start, cinnamon hides but is still present and spices up things nicely, hops are zesty and complimenting, bock yeast ties things together and is a great backbone, carbonation is at a perfect level, dry aftertaste, an excellent winter seasonal from sam adams

mouthfeel is crisp, dry, and quite sweet. very easy to drink/session - yum

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2008 02:47:04 | More by drxandy
Photo of skeetermoses


3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on Friday at a christmas party. Dark pour, wheat flavor, nice hoppy beer, nice spices as well, not bad I am warming up to Sam Adams beers. Overall this beer was a pretty good beer, my friend stuck with the Hoegaarden. He tends not to like hoppy beers.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2008 17:25:31 | More by skeetermoses
Photo of smedley


3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear, brown-orange color. About 1/2 inch of creamy off-white head which disapaited quickly. Decent lacing. Looks delicious.

S - Was expecting more from the adverstisement of winter spices. Malty, caramelly (if that's even a word). Maybe some orange peel and cinnamon.

T - Malty, spicy and sweet beginning. Ends with a slight hop taste.

M - nice carbonation, medium body, crisp, very slight bitter ending. Something festive about this beer.

D - I could have a few of these. This is an enjoyable winter brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2008 22:06:29 | More by smedley
Photo of Mistofminn


3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Pilsner glass.

Clear copper color, noticeable carbonation leading to a decent off-white head.

Aroma is of caramel malts, wheat and sort of a metallic smell.

Taste is of sweet malts and grains. Also some spices present. Great taste.

Medium to full body, light carbonation. Very smooth.

Compared to others in the style, this is very drinkable. I will definitely have this again, time after time. I love the winter seasonals!

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2008 15:33:19 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of karst


4.43/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very clear reddish mahogany with excellent depth of color. Good retention of light tan creamy head. Some minor lace and reddish glints from the low 4 PM sun on a 9°F winter day.

Medium malt aroma (lightly toasted bread. Low note of chocolate and some alcoholic presence. Initial bready notes are more wheat like but fade quickly after each pour. Very clean lager character. NO diacetyl, very low esters and no DMS expressed.

Flavor of malt is moderate and a bit similar to Klostritzer Swartzbier. Lightly sweet and bready with low German Noble hop flavor (spicey) Very evenly balance with only a little bitterness in finish - giving a nice crisp ending and adding to its excellent drinkability. Overall a bit of Munich like malt character that suggest some sweet (lower heterocylcics) melanoidins. Nice addition to its complexity.

Body is slightly more than medium (wheat) and carbonation is moderate. Alcoholic warmth is noted (and appreciated today!). Not astringent. Overall roundness on palate gives a slightly creamy Mouthfeel.

A great session beer. Heartier in body and flavor but a bit short of the "Dark wheat Bock" indicated on its lable. Wheat does add to the body of this very clean lager and the noticable alcohol is well supported. Elegant balance with a micro-burst of bitterness to clean away any residual sweetness (very low)

Spices are understated and difficult to characterize. This may be problematic for some drinkers but I found it refreshing.

Highly recomended for your winter enjoyment.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2008 04:51:13 | More by karst
Photo of lhaqq


3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark copper, a bit cloudy, with a small off-white head.
S: Diacetyl, wheat, some caramel and malt.
T: Ends with more hoppy bitterness than would have expected from the smell. Begins with spices and some malty sweetness.
M: Really compact carbonation, but still smooth, great cold.
D: Definitely easy to drink for the flavor it has.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2008 04:02:16 | More by lhaqq
Photo of GreenCard


3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: copper brown, great clarity, medium layer of tight-beaded foam, good head retention

Aroma: caramelly malt, wheat, light brown sugar, iron

Flavor: medium sweetness with a bready note; hints of cinnamon, ginger, and grains of paradise; finishes semisweet with not much bitterness

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, gentle carbonation, soft texture

Other comments: A good beer, but would be improved with just a touch more bitterness maybe approaching the level of bittering used in their Boston Lager. I used a bottle of this and a bottle of Old Fezziwig in batter for cod last night and that was damn good!

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2008 22:53:14 | More by GreenCard
Photo of friendofthedevil


3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I tried this on tap last night while out for dinner. Overall an enjoyable beer. Appearance is a dark amber color, slightly darker than the normal sam adams. As I drank it down the beer left a bit of lacing on the sides of the glass. Mouthfeel was not outstanding but gave a 'full sensation' and went well with my steak. Certainly a beer that I would have again but not an all time favorite.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2008 18:16:48 | More by friendofthedevil
Photo of teamhex


4.55/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a frosty mug

A dark amberish color, the head disappears quickly.
Smells of spices, and syrup.
Taste is mostly the spice. The cinnamon in this beer isn't very pronounced but blends well with the other spices to give a unique taste.
Drinkability is a 5.
Cold or Warm its a great beer.
Prefect pair with chicken and spicy food.

Serving type: Bottle poured into mug

Reviewed on: 12-10-2008 16:24:57(My Birthday)

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 22:25:07 | More by teamhex
Photo of pseudo

New York

3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass
Appears a nicely dark amber color, nice head quickly dissipates.
Smells of average mellow malts and grains, some spiciness. Very nice.
Taste is mostly of the grainy variety, with malty breadiness being very apparent and well done in this beer. There's supposedly cinnamon in this beer, however i just taste a miscellaneous spiced quality at the back end, nothing too harsh.
Mouthfeel is slightly watery. Carbonation is pretty high but works well for the style making it nice and refreshing.
Drinkability is definitely high. I can imagine being snowed in and drinking a six pack of this, nice balanced brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 16:24:57 | More by pseudo
Photo of angelmonster


3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice 1/2 inch off white head. Dark brown in appearance, medium carbonation

Smells of slightly roasted malts and faint metallic hops. Nothing much else

Taste is a creamy mix of malts and a coin like metallic after taste. Has a nice creamy finish

Nice creamy mouth feel. Medium good carbonation

Very drinkable , light refreshing. Is advertised as being brewed with winter spices but i really could not pick any up. Malts are very pronounced , would buy again

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 03:28:11 | More by angelmonster
Photo of TLove

District of Columbia

3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A light bock that acts more like a winter lager in substance. Having had this a number of times, this is determinably darker than the Boston Lager, but is more dry and less cohesive in flavor. On tap this beer is a lot smoother and a lot ashier. The ash component gives the beer a nice smoked caramel flavor.

The Winter Lager finishes well, with a slight bitterness and smokiness that lingers on the palate.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2008 03:20:39 | More by TLove
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,502 ratings.