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

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Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

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5,343 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,343
Reviews: 1,928
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 68
Gots: 756 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-25-2001

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).
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,343 | Reviews: 1,928
Photo of rosmhuire
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at a Marriott hotel bar in NJ.

A: Dark red/almost brown color.

S: Definitely picking up those "winter" spices. Seems like cloves, cinnamon, etc. Also getting that bready malt smell.

T: Good spice integration and malt profile. Just seems like what a winter beer should taste like.

M: Medium-bodied - nothing too distinctive here.

D: I generally don't classify winter beers as exceedingly drinkable, but this one is fairly sessionable, as far as winter beers go.

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

a - pours a deep murky brown color, one-finger ivory head, light retention and lacing

s - very spicy, cinnamon, clove, allspice, roasted malt and light graininess and booze, some nice caramel notes in the nose as well

t - fairly sweet maltiness up front with a punch of spice, lots of cinnamon and clove and caramel on the mid-palate, light oak and more spice on the finish, not much hop flavor to be found, lingering spice and boozy notes

m - medium-bodied, higher carbonation, very active in the mouth, light sweetness on the finish and mild alcohol warming

d - the spices limit drinkability for me as they wear on the palate a little bit, not all that interesting, but I wouldn't have a problem drinking a few bottles on a cold night

Photo of pzrhsau
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Nice rich brown color with hues of orange and ruby red. Finger measure of head.
Smell: Nice scent of dark malt, spices (cinnamon, all spice nutmeg), and a slight hint of orange peel.
Taste: Nice deep malt flavor, almost like bread dough. Has great undertones of cinnamon.
Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Very rich holiday beer. Nice to enjoy with a good meal. Good carbonation, feels great on the palate.

Photo of eljefe21
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark copper brown in color with a nice head that fills the glass. Nice fine lacing on the sides.

S: Subtle hints of cinnamon and spice. A bit of cherry or some other fruit.

T: Nutmeg and other spices. Tame and tasty. Nothing special, but very solid.

M: Clean carbonation that cleanses the palate. Some lingering malt and spice flavors manage to hang on in the middle of the tongue.

D: An easy drinker if you're in the mood for a holiday beer with a little spice twist. Nothing too memorable, but not over the top spiced either, which is nice. A lot of bars rotate the seasonal Sam's and this is certainly a solid offering that I'd take in those situations.

Served: in a standard pint glass.

Review from notes taken on: 12/6/09.

Photo of Whiteweasel
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a bottle due to social and material contraints.

Appearance: Unfortunately could not tell how this beer looked since it was in a bottle. Gave it an average 3.5 based on the rest of the review as not to negatively affect it.

Smell: Hoppy roasted flavour. Rather spicy, as well as somewhat dry

Taste: A tad malty balanced with a yeasty and hoppy flavour. Spices perhaps like cardamom, paprika and cinnamon were blended together but still noticable.

Mouthfeel: Better than average. Very carbonated, smooth, and no concievable detection of booziness. Very frothy.

Drinkability: A little heavy but complex enough to keep me interested in the beer. Good but not great.

Photo of caskstrength
2.02/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Have had this several times recently when nothing else was available and a beer was in order.

The pour is fine. The smells are underwhelming.
The taste/mouthfeel is thinner than you'd expect, some buttery character. Simple malts with some balancing hops. All subdued and watery, to be honest. some hints of spice that don't counter the buttery, watery, diluted character in this mess of underwhelming boringness masquerading as a beer with some flavor.

Photo of buschbeer
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured my Sam Adams Winter lager into my Sam Adams Winter lager pint glass to two fingers of head. It is a very dark amber. I get the cinnamon right away on the smell. I also get sweet malts. The cinnamon and orange are apparent in the taste. I also taste toffee. The are some muted hops. It is a real easy drinking beer. I have had a lot of these this winter.


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

deep chestnut/mahogany brown with reddish highlights. minimal light tan head. perfect clarity.

vague holiday spices, caramel, sweet dark bready fruitcake. on the malty end as expected.

same as above, balanced out by the spices as much as by the muted hop bitterness underneath. finishes almost dry with some lingering baking spice flavors.

almost medium-bodied, carbonation somewhat light. roundish for this abv.

decent. well-balanced.

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I got this in one of those variety packs.

Appearance- reddish brown color, thin head

Smell- bready malt, very faint spices

Taste- malt, bit of spices

Mouthfeel- light to medium bodied

Drinkability- It was pretty good. I did enjoy it but it's mostly average.

Photo of AbiesIrishRose
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a- pours w/ a generous tan head which reduces soon to scattered patches w/ collar, scattered lacing. The body is clear reddish amber.

s- very yeasty, a little bread, faint hops

t- somewhat sour w/ quiet hops upfront, ending in a warm malty flavor w/ slight spices. A little "toasted". Wouldn't be surprised to find they used some wheat malt in this. Not a "big" taste, but pleasant.

m- rather light-bodied, nice tingly carbonation, smooth

d- Oh yes. Easy to repeat.

Photo of brystmar
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured into a pint glass with about a finger of thick, creamy head which departed soon thereafter. Minimal lacing. Body is very dark amber in color.

S: pretty faint -- I was having trouble smelling pretty much anything really. Malty for sure, maybe some caramel too. I liked what I could pick up, just wish it was more poignant.

T: malty with a flash of bitterness up front, but quickly turns spicier before ending dry. Hints of the winter spices described on the label (cinnamon + nutmeg) every now and then; quite pleasant overall.

M: medium-bodied with an average level of carbonation. Smooth on the way down with virtually no trace of booze.

D: easy drinking here; matches perfectly with most winter holiday meals -- and especially desserts like pumpkin pie.

Photo of elgiacomo
2.88/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nov 26, 2009

12oz. bottle. Pours reddish-amber with a small off-white head. Light aroma, some caramel, light spice. Flavor is caramel malts, spice, slightly sweet. Decent mouthfeel, not too carbonated. A fair winter brew, especially when considering the price.

Photo of drtth
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a clear deep reddish copper color with a 1/8" light tan head that quickly recedes to a ring of foam thin film with patchy tendrils of foam on the surface. Through out the beer sipping leaves widely scattered speckles of lacing.

Smell: The aroma is faint but contains sweet caramel malt with traces of spices but it has an almost metallic character. I don't pick up any trace of hops in this one.

Taste: The flavor is full of malt with traces of spices (a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg I think). I don't really pick up any hops or alcohol here so this one seems to be all about the winter spices and the rich caramel malts.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is a bit on the light bodied side with moderate to active carbonation that scrubs the tongue nicely. The finish is relatively short and mostly malt and wheat finishing up their work and moving on.

Drinkability: This is a pleasant enough beer to have with dinner or as something to drink while engaged in chatting with friends. It has an interesting mix of flavors but it not so complex as to demand your full attention. It would be interesting to have 3-4 of these of an evening to see if the flavors grow on one. While I won't go out of my way to have one of these again I also won't make any special effort to avoid it. This is a good workman-like beer and a good value for the money. One of the strengths of this beer is that the spices are subdued and enrich the flavor without taking it over.

Photo of strictly4DK
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sixer of 12 oz bottles bought from Montana West bottle shop. Poured into my Duck Rabbit pint glass.

A - Dark copper with ruby hues, translucent, pours a 1.5 finger fizzy off-white head. Recedes to a collar with no lacing.

S - Spices (cinnamon, ginger) are faint but definitely present. Sweet citrus from the orange peel compliments the winter spices and doughy malt backbone.

T - The same aspects from the nose are all present but the spices exude a greater influence while remaining balanced and complimented each other. Finishes with the traditional lager notes, slightly sulphuric and toasty. Solid backbone for the sweet spices upfront.

M - Slightly thin body which makes it very refreshing. Carbonation is slightly biting which I think fits well with the light spices. Toasty grains linger on the palate.

D - This is a tasty, refreshing lager that provides exactly what it advertises (cinnamon, ginger, orange peel). I think it could honestly do without the orange peel but either way it's very easy to drink a sixer. Will definitely anticipate this beer for next winter.

Photo of jwillcourt
3.26/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Bright, amber color. Very clear. Lots of rising bubbles. Two-inch, tight white head that dissipates quickly. Lots of sticky lacing left by the head. Not much lacing as I drink it. Head is easily resurrected with a swirl of the glass.

S/T - Yeasty, bread aroma. No trace of winter spices in the smell. Light flavor. Sweet caramel malt. Slight hop bitterness in the aftertaste. The winter spices are barely present in the flavor too, which is more refreshing and appreciated.

M/D - Light-bodied. Lively carbonation. No lingering effects. Very drinkable. Refreshing alternative to heavier winter ales.

Photo of obywan59
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber with raised designs of hop flowers and something else. Oranges???

Poured a thin reddish copper with an off white head of 3 1/2 fingers. Nice lacing. So transparent, you could almost read through it.

Light spice, malt and hops in the aroma.

Fairly dry, with a light sweetness of malt, and a more pronounced hop bitterness. Nothing over the top. Surprising burn of alcohol for then 5.8% ABV. Light spiciness at first that's overpowered later by the pleasant hoppy flavor.

Thin for a winter brew, but pleasant.

Way, way drinkable. It would be easy to overdo it. I could have finished a 6-pack in a snap if it didn't finish me first.

Photo of burnerfinger
3.06/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

poured into my new belgium goblet - from the 22 oz bomber
during the NFC East game 2010

a generous almost 3 finger head
deep red and very clear
thick foam tastes a bit carmelly and has an amber tinge medium lacing at best

s light on the nose - a bit of maltiness cut by an off-frutiness

t heavy, great malty flavor, following the aroma: I get more of a fruitiness than a spiciness. Sotra wrecks the great malty taste.

m lots of carbonation, heavy body no alcohol bite

d: for me I really cant get past the taste of slight fruitness. wont go back for another but I recognize this as a quality beer (just one that I dont like)
next I'll reach for a really great homebrew!

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

First, much respect to Boston Beer Co, which has done more to put craft brewing on the map than all other breweries combined! Thanks Jim.

Served on tap at Rachel's Roadhouse with meal.

A--Orange with hints of red in the hue. Some lacing in the glass

S--spicy esters, cinnimon, nutmeg.

T--Not bad, get some caramel notes towards the end, spicy, but not a real big flavor profile.

M--A little thin but fine.

D--It is what it is. Would this be my choice if you gave me options for the style? No, but a solid seasonal that is often the "best" choice at some restaurants and bars who do not carry lots of choices.

Photo of unclejimbay
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Winter Lager
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Style: Bock
ABV: 5.80 %

reviewed 12/5/09 @ Sangrias in St. Augustine

I did not take detailed notes for this one by I did record what I could mentally. I have had this several times this year and this brew is really starting to grow on me.

It's a nice amber/dark copper color with a respectable light tan head.

Aromas are lightly spiced on solid malt smells wafting out of the glass. Hops are back seat but present.

Tasts as it smells. Solid malt, hops, and spices present and very equally balanced. I typically do not like spcied brews, but this one is nice and mellow, equally malty, and very sessionable.

Mouthfell is medium+ for a lager, a bit light for abock, but works very well to make it sessionable. Carbonation is medium/appropriate as most SA products.

I will look fwd to this seasonal in years to come. One of the better seasonal offerings by BBC/Sa in my opinion. One of the only spiced brew I have really really enjoyed in a sessionable context.

Photo of elniko
3.31/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Bottle marked best by May 2010.

A: Rich amber coloring with fairly good size head that stuck around. Heavy lacing and very high carbonation apparent.

S: Fairly faint nose which I found surprising. A little breadiness which just a hint of spice to it. Pretty average.

T & M: Medium bodied creamy mouthfeel. Taste just slightly on the thin side but definitely malt dominate, the slight spiciness from the nose comes through in the finish.

D: Drinkable, I think that the brewery went just a tad on the conservative side for a winter brew.

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

Poured into a nonic pint.

Pours a translucent and hybrid ruby red/dark caramel brown color, which forms a thick off-white foamed head. The carbonation is easily seen throughout the glass, as it's not too dark in appearance. Fairly translucent as well. The head's foam creates a nice amount of speckled lacing all around the glass too.

Smell is particularly heavy in roasted caramel malt like the Oktoberfest, but also has some hoppy scents to it and a nice nutmeg spice characteristic. Under all of these scents is a slight metallic undertone. Taste is quite pleasant surprisingly. I've had so many of these, but straight from a bottle, so poured into a glass created quite a difference. Upfront the palate is hit with a beautiful nutmeg, cinnamon and slight peppery essence and eases nicely into the bready malt. A very minute hop bitterness is discerned through the end as well as more bready flavors.

Mouthfeel is nice and crisp, but just a bit substantially thicker than other traditional lagers. Good for the style. Coats the mouth very well and lingers for just a few seconds. The drinkability is decent - I honestly don't see myself having more than one or two of these for a night, but it's still very pleasing. Not a bad seasonal by the BBC.

Photo of FickleBeast
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours a clear ruby red / brownish color with a full two fingers of fluffy foam. The smell reminds me of bready malts and lager yeast.

Some kind of spice hits my palate first... I can't pick out which one it is, though. It is followed by a kiss of malty sweetness, quickly overwhelmed by a bitter, dry finish. Mouthfeel is dry, with a lingering metallic aftertaste.

Overall, I am not very impressed with this offering from Sam Adams - I won't be seeking it out again.

Photo of TommyW
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark orange with a thin, sticky white head

S- Caramel malt with some orange peel and a whiff of hops

T- Caramel malts upfront with some orange peel and ginger. Orange zest, spices and some alcohol round nicely into some floral hops

M- Slick feel with a carbonation that livens up toward the middle and back of the tongue.

D- A nice beer that has some interesting stuff going on but isn't too over-the-top.

Photo of mempath
4.68/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours a bright deep orange-red...agian, being a whiskey drinker, i see Elijah Craig's ghost. incredible pancake-batter-just-thrown-into-the-skillet appearance that slowly settles into a tight film. thick slabs of 'lacing' make this beautiful in all senses.

simultaneous malty-hoppy(!?) scent knocks through, allowing the subtlety ofthe winter spices to hint around. nice. some hefty breadiness makes my mouth water.

taste is a complete bready-malty KO with a slight hoppiness keeping things from getting sweet. wonderful. i didn't get this before drinking this at a party out of the bottle...not getting the spicey punch i expected (did out of the bottle...), but this is really stellar. please stop slamming the lambic and the coastal wheat into the winter sampler....the perfect thick/chewy nature of this make this flow along at a steady, festive pace. a brew to completely raise to the season and holidays and count what blessings ya might actually have. i like now that the spices stay back and inch in in the finish...VERY drinkable...a true winter session beer that would be fine alone but i'd like to slalom between this and the Fezziwig from now until the Olympics are over...should still be fresh by then.

nothing cloying. a true SA lager with hops backed off slightly to let spices make merry. finishes dry.

man, if i could just find someone who love the coastal wheat and cranberry lambic but hates the winter lager...TRADE? ;)

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

we approach the end of the winter seasonal variety pack with great trepidation. i have ribs marinating in half of this bottle. i mean, not like the way i said it.
a translucent amber with a ring of white. cinnamon and nutmeg a little wheat aroma, all of it muted. this all blends together really nicely in the flavor, full bodied, nutritious, nice maltiness, finishes a bit astringent.
if i'm in the airport tomorrow in newark and this is the best thing they have available for $8, i'll probably get it - as long as it comes with a $1 shot.

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 5,343 ratings.