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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.

4,882 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,882
Reviews: 1,866
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 58
Gots: 382 | 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: 4,882 | Reviews: 1,866 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GeeButtersnaps
2.78/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance was very enticing, deep amber in color and very clear. Gave off a fairly faint aroma although I could smell the malt and what smelled like a hint of spice. Taste was pleasant but a little bland at first however I did not like the way it finishes. Hard to describe with my unrefined palate but it tasted a little harsh at the end, hardly inviting me to take another sip.

While this is the first Winter Lager I've ever tried I would have to say that to me this beer is a C possibly C+ at best, wouldn't recommend.

GeeButtersnaps, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of phideltashaggy
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into Boston Lager perfect pint.

A-I think the appearance is my favorite part of this brew. It pours a beautiful rust/brown color with a straw-colored head with ok lacing.

S-Hops and darker malts dominate the nose. I sense a touch of spice and fruit, but both are faint.

T-Not as much spice as I was expecting, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The malts are very upfront with a slight dry hops finish.

MF-On the thinner side for a Sam Adams.

D-This is a decently drinkable beer, I could easily drink two or three, but not terribly quickly. Not a session brew for me, but a nice beer to sit down and enjoy over a conversation.

phideltashaggy, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of mbrown26
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pretty solid 4 out of 5 offering from Samuel Adams. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: A nice amber hue and a dirty looking head that dissipated fairly quickly, but left a nice lace through the end of the beer.

S: Nothing to write home about for a seasonal bock beer. Smelled caramel, toffee and coffee notes.

T: A great tasting beer that had a nice balance between alcohol and flavor. Neither overpowered the other. Best characteristic of the beer was the taste.

M: Didn't make my cheeks pucker and got me to think about what flavors I was tasting. It drink like a beer should drink.

D: Easy to drink. Every sip made me look forward to the next.

Recommendable and will hopefully buy more.

mbrown26, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of Vixie
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice red color with about a half inch of tan head.

Smell is malt, coffee, toffee. It almost reminds me of the smell of spiced cider.

Taste starts nice and sweet, a bit like apple, a bit like apricot. There is some spice there, can't quite put my finger on exactly what, does leave a bit of a peppery taste in the finish. I can detect just a hint of hops at the back end as well.

Not bad, a bit watery, but the carbonation and spices helped make it a bit more solid.

I found this one easy to drink and to like. Just a nice pleasant beer, nothing outstanding, but very much worth trying if you want a nice easy to drink beer. I'd happily have more of this.

Vixie, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of MirImage
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beer pours a dark reddish with a white head, okay lacing.

Smell: Smells a little biscuity with some nutmeg and orange peel notes.

Taste: A slight orange at the beginning. A little bit of the orange bitterness proceeds with some hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: has a bit of a carbonation bite. Medium body.

Drinkability: Fairly easy to drink.

MirImage, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of puboflyons
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle with a date of April clipped off the label. The pour is a nice looking amber-red with about a finger of cream colored sliky head. I like the label on this year's edition better than the snow white one from 2009. The aroma is well-spiced with nutmeg and malts. The taste also has an enjoyable nutmeg, toasted maltiness to it. A very likeable beer.

puboflyons, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of wmtxbb
3.05/5  rDev -15%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Copper amber, very clear. Head dissipates into nothingness. Not very impressive.

Smell: Almost non-existant, maybe a little malt smell... that is about it.

Taste: Amber malts with some spice. Sort of an interesting zing flavor from the yeast. Maybe a little ginger. I'm having trouble finding the "cinnamon, orange zest and ginger for a rich, satisfying brew...". I like the aftertaste, but this beer isn't a quality brew. There needs to be more of a malt presence.

Drinkability: Overall, this brew is drinkable, but not above average. I haven't been impressed by Sam Adams yet. They make better beer than some of the other big brewers, but most of their beers lack malt character and aroma. A sure sign they are cutting corners to make a subpar product for the masses.

wmtxbb, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of bohemiandonut
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

All of these beers are pouring marvelously. Fluctuating inches of creamy head atop a darkly cherry body. The scent is everywhere, tart spicy drafts that just beckon a cool November breeze. Very tart. Amazing.

Taste almost supports the smell but not to the degree I'd hoped. Still, a good length away from Boston Lager and a much more drinkable affair in my book. If this veered away from the spicy sweetness it offers in the mouth toward the cherry vagueness of the smell I could see this being an absolutely impeccable ale. If Sam Adams ever does a Wild we are in for one helluva treat.

A nice dessert for Santa.

bohemiandonut, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of JayS2629
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle my buddy brought over.

A- Nice copper amber with a sudsy foam.

S- Either its weak or my sense of smell is. Slight orange peel. I smell the hopps a little bit.

T- This is supposed to be brewed with cinnamon, orange zest and ginger. I really don't taste any of those. Not complex. I sense hints of the orange zest and maybe a bit of ginger, but it isn't much different than the regular lager. They water down the taste. I sense no cinamon at all. It seems like I almost taste wheat?

M- this is ok. Its smooth. Watery.

D- Easy to drink, but nothing impressive. Watered down for the masses. I won't buy again, and I love Sam Adams. Its redeeming factor is that it has that signature Sam Adams taste, and thats a winner.

JayS2629, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of thebrood1987
4.28/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smells like a really nice sweet malt with some cinnamon and some orange on the back. The taste is a very nice malty full bodied beer. Its like a wheat beer but with a bunch of rich malts thrown in to mix with the wheat. The malt tastes like a hint of chocolate with bready and toffee/carmael like malt. Like I said this blends very well with that cereal malt wheat taste that Samuel Adams uses in some of their beers. The cinnamon blends in so well as well. The hops are very mild but mix in with the orange corriander like finish. There is also some very slight ginger in there as well to mix in with the cinnamon and malts used which reminds you of Christmas in a way. I guess that's why they call it Winter Lager and now give it it's new more festive label. This is a very good beer and my favorite seasonal from Samuel Adams besides the Noble Pils.

thebrood1987, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of BeerPhan86
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear toffee brown with a two finger tan head. Great retention and lacing on the head.

S - Slight malt and wheat but not much else.

T - Surprisingly sweet at first with tons of wheat flavor, and hints of brown sugar and spices. Finishes dry and hoppy and overly boozy.

M - Light bodied and slightly overcarbonated.

D - Definitely drinkable on a cold winter night, as I can attest to.

Overall, this is a decent dark wheat lager, but nothing overly special. Worth a try.

BeerPhan86, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of Andrew644
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

A- Nice amber color but the head starts average and then disappears quickly

S- Nice malt smell but the spices overwhelm the hops.

T- The maltiness is perfect but having three spices in the beer really overpowers the hops, I get almost no hop flavor and the ginger overpowers not only the hops but also the other two spices.

M- There is little carbonation for a lager which leaves the mouth looking for more.

D- The drinkability is average, it is a nice beer for the winter months.

Andrew644, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of thebeerdoctor
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle, this copper colored holiday annual has a subtler nose this year, with less emphasis on immediate aromatics, although there is plenty of malty depth. The palate has lost a bit of its chocolate profile, but there is a cherry note here. The Saigon cinnamon that once almost sent this lager into the land of wassail, has been properly applied again this year. Other so-called craft breweries could learn from this careful recipe. It is festively tasty and bright, and very well matched for the winter season.
Being analytical towards this brew is all fine and dandy, but in the long run, it is probably best to just sit back and enjoy. Your beer taste buds are smarter than you think.

thebeerdoctor, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of RichieS2
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Medium ruby with light carbonation and a quickly dissipating head.

S - Pleasantly malty promising sweetness.

T - Pleasingly sweet to the tongue while still retaining the trade mark twang of wheat beer followed by satisfying hops finish.

M - Pleasingly thick.

D - High, SA's best seasonal beer IMHO.

RichieS2, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of dwilson01
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz into my arrogant bastard pint glass, a dark caramel red color to the body is topped with reddish brown off white head which dissipates moderately leaving a nice film on the top.

The scent is very malt forward, a thick maple syrup type smell emanates from the brew. It's very smooth and mellow with a slight spiciness to it reminding me of the winter holidays.

The flavor profile is pretty impressive on this one, I get a honey wheat bread type flavor in the beginning fading into the sweeter maple and brown sugar body of the brew which is the bulk of it. The end finishes with a slightly nutty aftertaste, like candied walnuts in my mind.

The mouthfeel is great, full bodied malty and smooth as crystal clear water. This is the first of the winter pack this year and so far I am impressed, this is a very good American take on a classic German style.

dwilson01, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of fourplayed
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From Holidau 12pk. 12 oz bottle into 12oz SA glass. 2 finger head, lite brown head breaks up fast with very little lacing, Clear Red Amber, small and medium bubbles rising.

Smells are very mild Bready Wheat and some mild spices.

Tastes are again, mild, Citrus and spice, lite sweet maltiness.

Mouthfeel is Lite to med body, medium carbonation zip, some dryness, very little alcohol warmth.

A fair brew that's subtly flavored, goes down easy.

fourplayed, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of HotHands
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Lager brewed with cinnamon, orange zest, and ginger."

A - pours a translucent amber into my glass stein with a fluffy white head. The beer leaves good lacing on the glass.

S - bready, slightly sweet malt, spicy hops, and orange zest. Smells like Boston Lager with orange zest.

T - a malt-forward beer, with somewhat sweet, biscuity malt up front. Herbal flavors are present, and some orange zest as well. Some ginger in the finish with a bit of spicy hops. Cinnamon is a bit hard to detect.

M - slightly thin body, nothing major, with average carbonation. A bit of a slick coating effect.

D - definitely drinkable. A nice easy beer for lazy winter nights.

HotHands, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of JerseyPaul
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear copper color with orange highlights around the edges; good carbonation; thin tan head dissipates quickly but leaves good lacing

Smell: Sweet caramel malt; light spiciness; light hop scent

Taste: Sweet malt with some caramel & spices; no hop bitterness; slight alcohol warmth

Mouthfeel: Medium body; smooth; carbonation good

Drinkability: Easy drinking; goes down smooth; 6pk consumable in one sitting

Overall, Winter Lager is one of my favorite seasonals from Sam Adams. Although the smell is average at best, the beer has a warming taste to it that makes it a good pick for the colder months. It's not overpowering, which allows you to have as many as you want ... or can handle.

JerseyPaul, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of wvu9787
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle from the Sam Adams 2010 Winter Clasics mix pack. Poured into my 22oz. basic beer mug. Clocks in at 5.8% ABV.

Apperence- Dark Red/ Light Brown color, Head has a tan bubble like tone, bubbles rise from the bottom and look very carby.

Smell- Spicy, little bit carmel, malt

Taste- Malts, Little carmel, spices such as cinnamon and ginger. Its somewhat yeasty and there is a good bit of hoppy citrus that i didnt smell comming, bottle says orange zest but i taste more lemon then orange. Its a nice mix of malt then hops at the end taste.

Mouthfeel- Good, its a refreshing drink to me, not too watery and not too heavy.

Drinkabilty- Very good drinkabilty, i enjoy this beer and could down a sixer of it with pleasure.

Overall I would say this is one of the better Sam Adams beers i have had yet, its the 2nd of the Winter Classic I have tried and the 2nd best by the company overall i have had, only behind the Pumpkin Harvest Ale(by the way they really need 6-packs or 12-packs of it next year) Very surprised with this one, I will for sure be drinking this a few more times this winter.

wvu9787, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of lovindahops
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

oh yeah! Sam winter and the leaves are just starting to fall.... strange how sam works

A- pours a light amber look with a good head of foam. Clearly darker than the usual brew

S- the classic sam spiciness is present as well as a mild hop presence.

T- the warming bock taste with some caramel flavor. A tad bit of brown sugar is at the end which is a treat

M- surprisingly light bodied and carbonated

D- not bad. Goes down pretty easy. Hopefully not the best brew of the package

lovindahops, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of ZeroSignal
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, best by March, 2011

A - Pours a light amber-brown with about an inch of off-white head; retention settles quickly to a thin skim, nice lacing

S - Malty smelling with a bit of caramelized malt, a hint of cinnamon as well.

T&M - Medium bodied and smooth feeling. Malty, with a hint of hop bitterness not present for me in the nose. More spice in the taste then I got in the nose too; more cinnamon for sure, and maybe some nutmeg or ginger? I get a bit of yeasty breadiness in the finish.

D - Smooth and malty; a great winter warmer with a very reasonable ABV, with a good flavor punch.

ZeroSignal, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of earthboundagain
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Notes:

copper with orange highlights topped by a tan head that lasts a while.

The nose is earthy hops and spice mixed with a malty background.

The flavor is all malt and the hops are no where o be found. There is some nice Christmas time spices and a slight sweetness to the brew.

The mouthfeel is about right for a winter lager.

earthboundagain, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of karait95
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very nice pale amber - reddish light brown color, not cloudy but nos clear against light, a small 1 finger head with faded beige color

S: Some caramel aroma a fain but delicious cinnamon smell that makes the combination really pleasant.

T: Very balanced flavor with a sweet start with the cinnamon and caramel flavors also involved and lasting in the mouth all the way.

M: Good refreshing feeling not matter the sweetness, a very little bitter ending that last just good enough.

Really an excellent season lager

karait95, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of treque
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

dark reddish hue, has a light creamy foam has little retentio and waste are few. Constant small bubble carbonation.

Slightly sweet aroma with a touch of cinnamon, cloves and caramel

Malty flavor, with a final carmelo that becomes a little bitter, and slightly sticky

light body

Nice Bock, no the best but could be a first one of this style

treque, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of crusty123
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a creamy tan cap.

Smells of sweet caramel malt and spicy clove and cinnamon.

Munich malty flavors with holiday spice and noble hop bitterness.

Medium mouthfeel and easy drinking. I wouldn't turn this beer down but wouldn't seek it out either.

crusty123, Jun 10, 2010
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 4,882 ratings.