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Samuel Adams Winter Lager - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

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5,125 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,125
Reviews: 1,882
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.93%
Wants: 63
Gots: 502 | 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: 5,125 | Reviews: 1,882 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of divineaudio
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pint glass.

a - pours a transparent amber color with a few streams of bubbles. formed a thin cap of tan head that quickly calmed to a thin film. a few legs of lacing sticking up.

s - toffee with a peppery hop character.

t - toasty malt character with peppery spice notes. a touch of brown sugar sweetness and notes of lemon pop up before a fairly pronounced, pungent bitterness. finishes a little on the dry side. not getting the orange zest or ginger.

m - lighter side of medium with a little more co2 than i like. feels kinda coarse in the mouth.

o - decent, but nothing memorable. fits the style i suppose. probably the least enjoyable out of the winter sampler pack for me so far.

Photo of stakem
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Eric for gifting me with one of these to try. Poured into a matching SA sensory glass, this brew appears a clear amber color with a finger of off-white froth across the top. A constant stream of carbonation rises to the surface and supports the creamy topping that resides. As it slowly recedes, it leaves patches of lacework sticking to the glass.

The smell of this brew initially has some malty sweetness faintly of caramel with some fresh noble hop character that comes across a bit herbal with a slight metallic touch. More sniffs reveal a spiced inclusion of cinnamon and something along the lines of orange peel with the faintest accent of something along the lines of coriander.

The taste of this brew immediately gives a nod in the direction of the cinnamon and orange peel that was noted in the aroma. However, it is a bit more earthy almost like nutmeg is also included and the orange peel has a brightness about it more so than the typical orange rind character, not quite coriander but sort of. The toasty malt inclusion tastes more like toffee than the caramel that was indicated in the aroma. The hops are present with a mild herbal quality that provide enough contrasting bitterness to keep the sweetness of the malt in check.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. The sensory glass really gives the visual perception of this looking over-carbonated from the constant stream of bubbles but it is pleasantly modest and not overdone in the feel. The finish is quite crisp and while the spices are very upfront and noticeable, they are not overdone. This was a refreshing spiced brew that is a well done example of a spiced winter offering, I wouldn't mind having this again.

Photo of fatmcb1
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber, reddish color with a nice off-white head that leaves nice retention.

Sweet malt, paired with some spices, mainly cinnamon.

Theres more a malt/hop balance in the taste. It still leans towards malt, but there is a nice hop backbone. I don't get much spice in the taste. There is a bit of citrus, from the orange.

Mouthfeel is medium and it is well carbonated.

Photo of Keithstone44
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a Perfect Pint:

A: Dark-amber with a beautiful 2-finger cream-colored head; little to no lacing.

S: Citrusy and astringent, with notes of cinnamon

T: Orange gets through the most, whilst the cinnamon and ginger are barely discernible.

M: A little watered-down for my liking, but the carbonation holds the beer up well.

O: Average beer, and probably my least favorite from the winter pack. The combination of flavors just didn't appeal to me.

Photo of UDbeernut
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the dutch, deep amber small off white head with moderate retention. Nose of cereal and light grass. Malty cerealness caresses the palate balanced with lightly cutting bitterness. Flowery and grass. Medium bodied and quiet enjoyable of this mid fall day.

Photo of 160Shillings
4.45/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: The aroma is sweet and dark malt accompanied by mild ginger and orange peel with a faint hint of cinnamon.

Appearance: Pours with two inches of tan head that collapses into nice lacing. The color is deep copper.

Flavor: Big broad malt flavors. The spicing is mild, evenly spread between ginger, cinnamon and orange peel. There is the clean flavor of lager yeast fermentation.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is medium-heavy.

Overall Impression: Overall I find this a very well executed winter lager. It is very good bock with just enough spicing to enhance the beer without overpowering the underlying flavor of the beer.

Comments: Sam Adams’ specialty beers are sometimes poorly executed, however this one is certainly a success. This beer is based on a very good bock with a sensible addition of typical holiday spices.

Photo of Sudsy89
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle, chilled.

Pours with a big foamy head to it, amber-brown color to it. Big, bubbly carbonation. Aroma is good, has a citrus hint to it but I didn't notice the ginger, a bit of cinnamon is there. Lighter-bodied than I expected, but still highly drinkable, not too much ABV. Overall this beer is similar to their Octoberfest, but I think the flavors weren't as prominent so I would go with the Octoberfest instead. Still not bad, I got this as a gift and enjoyed it.

Photo of ChadQuest
2.58/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour gives a fading head to a collar over a amber/ruby hued body.
Aroma is weak, not very lofty, just has some meak malts.
The flavors are all spiced up, all of the spices noted on the bottle are detectable. Orange zest, cinnamon, the ginger adds a bit of zing to it. The Malts balance out the spices. not a big fan of how these spices come together though, mostly the ginger i think.

Photo of ZenAgnostic
1.65/5  rDev -54%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Side of from label notched Enjoy before April.

Appearance - Clear medium amber body. Pours two finger off-white head with good stick and decent retention.

Smell - Malty. Seasonal spices. Perhaps vanilla or cinnamon? Maybe even some Pumpkin. Can't quite pinpoint it, but it's not bad.

Taste - Spicy. Metallic. Very bitter and metallic. Unpleasant all around. Hopefully the bottle meant April 2012 and not 2011...

Mouthfeel - Acidic. Astringent. Some frothiness from the head. Perhaps even light to medium bodied... but I can't focus on anything but the acidity and astringency.

Overall Drinkability - This has to be the worst beer I've had from Sam Adams. Usually they get decent scores from me, but not this time around!

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

A: nice amber color, deeper than I thought it would be. Pours clear with a one inch head that dies down very slowly.

S: big malt character, with mostly pale. Some breadiness and yeast show up with some spice.

T: tastes much the same as it smells, but with a slight bitter hop presence. Tastes very seasonal.

M: smooth and coating, but still has carbonation. Medium body.

O: solid beer overall, I'd have it again. Might not be a go-to at times, but it hits the spot sometimes.

Photo of diamondc
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Dark mahogany, little head, almost non-existant lacing.

S: Woodsy, some subtle caramel & cinnamon notes, but not much of anything else.

T: Bready, brown sugar, getting some of those pumpkin pie spices with a bitter orange peel flavor lingering long after the subtle dirt-like hops.

M: Very carbonated, maybe too light bodied for a winter warmer type beer.

O: An average holiday spiced beer. I always pick up a single every year hoping this beer gets better, but have yet to be wowed.

Photo of elNopalero
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another one of their seasonal selections, sold in the variety pack and, if I’m not mistaken, separately in sixers. Poured in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass a clear amber/brown color. For some reason this feels exceptionally cold right now—as I’m not picking up much of anything on the aroma at first. Even as it warms there’s not a very noticeable aroma. Muted, malty. Taste is a different matter as I can definitely catch a blend of holiday spices with each sip. It’s spicy, not as in hot but as in flavorful, with a finish that invites another sip, although I can’t escape the feeling that this is just Sam Adam’s Lager with spices.

Photo of WMEugene
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a rich and deep amber color with a nice, thick white head and good lacing.

S - I smell caramel malts and spices (such as cinnamon). Really subdued orange as well.

T - Nice malt flavors, I picked up some of the advertised flavors of cinnamon and orange and there is a general sweetness as well.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and wet finish - very drinkable. Pretty well carbonated.

O - Samuel Adams Winter Lager is a solidly done bock. It's very drinkable and a solid offering in the winter pack. Well done!

Photo of MrOH
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brilliant deep amber with a solid two fingers of light khaki head. Pretty good retention. Spotty lace.

Munich malt with subdued cinnamon and ginger on the nose.

Deep malts, bready, rich, and sweet. Ginger and cinnamon and the little bit of orange make it very much like a pfefferneus cookie. Malts linger in the finish, and the orange makes itself a bit more known there as well.

Sticky but not heavy. Appropriate carbonation.

A great but easy to drink holiday style beer.

Photo of tdm168
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, ruby amber with a thin lacing of loose head. The nose is caramel malts and lager yeast. The taste is caramel, apples, sweet, and there's a hint of lager yeast in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, heavily carbonated, and very crisp.

Some sips come across like soda, but overall this is an enjoyable bock. I look forward to it every year.

Photo of SawDog505
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a 13 oz tulip. Pours a ruby red with a 1 inch one head, leaves some lacing. Smell is dark fruits, cinnamon, little nutmeg, clove,and a little orange. Taste is similar, Cinnamon & dark fruits have a power struggle, but those are the dominant flavors. Body should be heavier, but plenty of carbonation. Dribkability is almost too easy. Not what I remember it being years ago.

Photo of gtermi
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is a nice orredish orange, with a very thin head.

S: I am picking up a lot of spiece and some malt.

T: The beer has a nice amount of malt, spices and also some sweetness on the finish.

M: The beer is pretty carbonated. I dont really care for highly carbonated beers, but it isnt bad. It is easy to drink.

O: I find this to be a very average beer. It is a good winter beer and gives your body a warm feeling.

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

twelve ounce bottle freshness dated to April 2012.

Pours a ruddy brown body with thin off white head. head dissipated almost instantly. Light spotting of glass, not lacing. Aroma is indistinct and bland. Tastes of sour caramel and too acidicaly sweet.Not nice tasting spices. Aftertaste is cloying. drink the Holiday Porter or Fezziwig instead!

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

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a Golden Amber color. Has a light malty smell with a hint of spice toward the end. Plenty of carbonation. Tastes of hops an spice throughout. Little to no off-white head and leaves minimal lacing. Great beer. Makes me want to be in the ice house or by a campfire up north.

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a golden orange color with about a fingers worth of slightly off-white head

S: Malty with a touch of spice. Orange peel, cinnamon, and some candied ginger mostly, with maybe something else

T: This tastes pretty much like Boston Lager with some spices added. Some wheat also, which is also different from the BL

M: Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation

O: Certainly not the best winter seasonal I've had, but far from the worst. Some of their other 'seasonals' from the mixed pack work better IMO, but that's up to BBC. Still a solid beer though

Photo of rangerred
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance is a clear dark amber with about one finger of head that is slow to fade.

Smells sweet with some spice and bready malt. Not bad.

Taste begins with some spice that fades to a caramel, bready maltiness. There is a sweetness throughout but it does not become cloying. It is well balanced.

Overall I really enjoy this beer and look forward to it every year. Like many Sam Adams beers it has great flavor and is easy to drink several in one sitting.

Photo of gregb13
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice looking reddish amber. Very thin head and light lacing. Smells a little sweet, malty, some pie spices and what I could swear is pumpkin (this smells very similar to their Pumpkin Ale). Taste follows the nose. I definitely get some pumpkin. Pleasant, easy drinking, not spectacular but solid and sessionable. About what I expected.

Photo of Jesse13713
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I remember enjoying this quite a bit last year. Let's see if this year is the same story.

Appearance - A light, watery root-beer like brown that is lightly carbonated. Slightly clumpy dirtied clouds that linger on top of the brew. Transparent and fresh-looking.

Smell - There is definitely some noticeable malt in the aroma. A bit of barley and bread notes as well. Faint spice.

Taste - More watered down than I remember, but there's definitely some heavy malt characteristic. I get the very faintest hit of spice in the aftertaste. Pretty bland, actually.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability - I could definitely drink quite a bit of this, but it just isn't that special. I remember it being better last year. It's holiday properties are weak and dwindling at best. It also exceptionally dry. It's an alright bock/lager, but it's just sort of average.

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

To be enjoyed by April

A - Medium red-amber body with a nice light tan head. Pretty color, nice looking beer.

S - dry fruits, spices, caramel, toffee, vanilla malts.

T - Malty first and foremost. The other things from the nose are quite muted. A lot of neutral malt flavor. I remember this having more going on. Oh well.

M - medium-thin bodied, smooth, every so slightly drying.

O - this is fine, not great. The nose is quite good and would be much appreciated also on the tongue, but it's not there.

Photo of hdf561
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been hitting the seasonal beers hard lately so I figured this would eb a good one to go with.

I can definetly smell the spices in it, it smells like Christmas in a bottle

Tastes really good not overpowering just the right amount of flavor and taste to enjoy the beer. Often times brewers get overboard by trying to add new flavors and ruin the beer this is a great blend.

I would definetly get this again, and I would recommend it to beer drinkers everywhere.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 5,125 ratings.