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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.

4,609 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,609
Reviews: 1,850
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 40
Gots: 252 | 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: 4,609 | Reviews: 1,850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drotski
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%

Poured a nice clear amber color, with a thick foamy head that quickly dropped to a thin foamy layer.

Smells of sweet malt, and spices. Very sweet, sugary aroma. Notes of cinnamon, ginger, and citrus.

Very nice taste. Spicy, lightly fruity. Somewhat bitter on the finish. Nicely balanced.

Very pleasant mouthfeel. A little on the thin side, with moderate carbonation.

Very drinkable Beer, perfect thing as we slip into Winter.

drotski, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of edskirk3
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%

This is a fresh bottle, good till March 2007.

It pours dark copper with a thin head. Smells like caramel and cinnamon. I can only guess as to what other "winter spices" they used. Nutmeg? Is that even a winter spice? Also present is the familiar sensation of dark wheat malt, which I recognize from homebrewing.

Altogether this brew is malty, sweet and warming. If only it were colder out. Damn these Indian summers.

edskirk3, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of cjgator3
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%

Pours a dark brownish copper color with a fizzy tan head that quickly dissapears. Smell is sweet and malty with some winter spices, alcohol and a wierd metallic twang in the aroma as well. Semi-thick and slightly chewy mouthfeel make way for a nice malty base with some holiday spices. Overall, this is a decent brew but nothing to get excited about.

cjgator3, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of cabsandking
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Deep amber color with a sticky tan head for some good lacing action. The nose offers some unexpected notes such as celery, pure honey, and malt characters. The taste is a mellow blend of smooth roasted malts, toffee, and ginger cookies in the background and finish. Later tastes reveal some wheat crackers, orange peel, and something similar to pumpkin. Medium body and a terrific mouthfeel that is smooth up front, creamy in the middle, and a pop of fizz at the end. A very nice winter warmer without being too pretentious.

cabsandking, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Pours a glassy sunburst-tinted amber, with a big head that reduces slowly, eventually ending up a skim across the top of that great color. Huge lace too. Just looking at it makes me warm.

Aroma brings mostly caramel to the nose, very malty with hints of vanilla. The spices that reveal themselves in the flavor are muted in the aroma, drowned in malt, but the aroma that is here is very nice.

The flavor brings more malt, bready and caramel-like, and the spices advertised on the 6-pack box (orange zest, cinnamon, ginger) are there, but very subtle. You pick them up better as the beer warms. Best drank after the chill is taken off a bit, so you can get those subtle flavors. And it kinda reminds of a pumpkin ale, with suggestions of coriander, allspice and nutmeg, with cirtusy sharpness in the finish.

Delicious and delicate, with intriguing subtleties, this is definitely the most impressive beer I've had from Samuel Adams' very long list of offerings.

Metalmonk, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of guinnessfan
2.9/5  rDev -19.2%

Served on draught in tall pilsner glass

A: Clear, dark amber color with white head, decent lacing.

S: Weak spice smell, almost non-existent

T: Weak and unimpressive, not bad though. Even weaker spice taste, slight citrus. Very little malt flavor.

M: Seems too carbonated, thin bodied.

D: Easy beer to session, but not really that enjoyable for me. I normally like this beer more, but it seems really weak this time.

guinnessfan, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%

A - this Sam Adams offering pours a dark reddish brown color, with a thin tan head and lots of apparent

S - the spiciness is reminiscient of a christmas morning, a rather evocative aroma for a brewer as large as Sammy A, its very inviting and warm, a great musty spiciniess (nutmeg maybe?) with a slight citrine twang

T - the citrus taste persists nicely to the taste, the spiciness is far more subdued than i would have guessed from the aroma

M&D - a nice flavor, warm for a winters night, a very nice offering from Sam Adams, with a higher-ish drinkability

sinstaineddemon, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of KyleVick4
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%

12 oz

A: Pours with a nice head that clings to the sides. An appealing color which is crystal clear. Looks very nice.

S: Sweet carmel malt is dominant (though not as dominant as in their oktoberfest) along with some spicyness of what I think is ginger. Kinda bland for being a spiced beer, but good nonetheless

T: A nice sweet taste of the carmel malts, expected that from the smell, the melding of the medium/high carbonation the mild spices and the spicyness contributed to the hops all are fabulous. A pretty tasty session beer for sure.

M: The carbonation is strange, but not in a bad way. When I drink it I think mmm low carbonation, then when I "taste" it I think hmmm a little high carbonation. I think I am getting the spices and carbonation mixed up a little, mainly bc they have been integrated so well together. Either way the body is fairly thick for a traditional lager and a touch chewy. However, I assume when it gets cold (read: I live in south florida) this quality is desirable. But the 75 degree weather out today may detract from the full mouthfeel, however I will not take off points due to this being the style.

D: A very drinkable beer, the low alcohol and easy taste/mouthfeel contribute to it, while the carmel malts and spices/hops give it a nice taste to go down also.

KyleVick4, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of xav33
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Samuel Adams Winter Lager
12 oz bottle
Recent brewing, winterized 11/06
Medium pour in a shaker.

Poured a clear dark copper with an average rocky off-white mostly lasting head with good lacing.

Smelt of moderate sweet caramel, malt sugar, light cinnamon. Some interesting spices happening here, like creamy vanilla and faint nutmeg. I can't pinpoint it, but hell yeah.

Taste was upfront moderate sweet caramel toasted malt and light cinnamon followed by a moderate tasty roasted graininess and sweet caramel and spiced candy on a somewhat lengthy mild earthy yeasty finish. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, silky and creamy, softly carbonated, with light astringency.

Overall, I wish I had a more extensive vocabulary. There's a lot of great tastes and aromas happening here, and most importantly its balanced beatifully.

xav33, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of Neehan
3.95/5  rDev +10%

A dark copper pour with a decent-sized head. Smells strongly of cinnamon and spices with lots of malt characteristics. Has a taste and body of an Oktoberfest with strong malts, but heavier in the spices. A complex, warming mouthfeel allowing the spices to be noticed. Quite drinkable.

Neehan, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of BeerSox
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

12oz bottle into mug. The label says "Winter Brew" because the alcohol by volume is too high for it to be labeled as "Winter Ale" because of Texas laws. Still the same light blew label with snowflakes as decoration.

Deep copper color with a light tan head that doesn't last too long, and settles to a foamy cap. Sticky lacing throughout.

Strong caramelized sugar smells similar to an Oktoberfest. Grainy malts in the background.

Light flavors all around, but still spicey and malty enough to have good complexity. The light-medium body and medium carbonation give it a little kick. Some sweeter flavors can be tasted throughout. Hop bitterness is at a minimum. A clean finish, with a bit of lingering husky grain throughout the mouth.

Slightly complex, with no overpowering flavors. A good choice for the winter. Recommended.

BeerSox, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of bashiba
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%

Poured a good dark copper with a thick tan head, good retention and lacing.

Smell Was light toasted malts with a touch of juniper.

Taste had a great buscuity toasted malt flavor with hints of copper, has a nice bit of minty and juniper hop finish.

Mouthfeel is light and a bit oily.

A tasty and drinkable beer, Sam Adams makes another winner.

bashiba, Nov 03, 2006
Photo of GPHarris
4.13/5  rDev +15%

a - pours a one finger thick toffee and pillowy head into a tumbler. clear amber color. leaves a nice ring of sticky lace throughout.
s - very sweet and malty with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon.
t - slight hop finish but the maltiness is prevalent throughout.
m - slick mouthfeel
d - i had four of these in a row during a football game and enjoyed every one. solid brew. i'll go back again for this one.

GPHarris, Nov 03, 2006
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%

Clear dark copper body with thin offwhite head. Light scent, dominated by spice. Malty, somewhat roasty, with spice notes... Seems similar to an ESB in some ways. Flavor isn't quite as strong as I'd anticipated, but still a pretty flavorful tasty beer with a medium body.

MrHurmateeowish, Nov 02, 2006
Photo of hckyfn9999
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%

Pours a dark amber color with a decent white head and some decent lacing. Smell is of sweet malt, carmel, alcohol, and a little spice. Taste is a little sweet initially combined with some spice, and a little hops at the end. Mouthfeel is good, and drinkablility is decent.

hckyfn9999, Nov 01, 2006
Photo of supercolter
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%

Very good winter warmer, had it on tap at a local Buffalo Wild Wings...

Appearance was very good, has a nice brown-red hue to it with some lacing and head.
Smell was good. There is a heavy smell of dry malt that is rather good but there isn't too much else going on.
The taste is the smell. Verbatim.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin for my liking.
Drinkability is good, this goes down easy.

supercolter, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of LarryV
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%

This review is for the 2006 release. Pours a garnet color with a fluffy head. Aroma is malty, caramel with toffee overtones. Taste is malty, a bit too sweet for my taste. I find this beer to be a little dull and unexciting - kind of one dimensional. After one, I've had enough and find it's time to move on. It's obviously a well crafted beer, I think it could use a bit more hoppiness to balance out the huge malt profile.

LarryV, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of Blakaeris
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%

Pours an appetizing clear deep amber color. Head is modest and quickly fades but leaves nice sheets of lacing.

Smell is sweet and mildly fruity. Underlying earthy spiciness.

Taste has a great nutty caranel malt character, and pronounced spices - notably cinnimon and nutmeg. Sweet dark fruit presense really rounds things out. Finish is clean and has a stronger hop bite than expected, and a touch of metallic flavoring.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly oily.

A nice brew. Very drinkable, and complex enough to keep things interesting.

Blakaeris, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of Rudgers73
2.53/5  rDev -29.5%

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle

A- As I pour the deep amber beer the fizzy head fills 1/2 of the glass. The beer is crystal clear with an average amount of bubbles rising throughout.

S- Wheat, slight hops, toasty.

T- Strong wheat taste. It has that macro thinness. A hint of spices and peppery notes.

M- Very plain and flat.

D- It was okay but probably not again for me.

Rudgers73, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of beerogre
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%

And so as the time approaches for the clocks to go back, as we begin our descent into the dark days of Winter, the arrival of Sam Adams Winter Lager on the supermarket shelves serves to remind us that it's not all doom and gloom, and that there are many enjoyable things to look forward to in the coming season, particularly if you enjoy craft beer.

The coming of the Winter Lager doesn't quite excite me as much as the arrival of the Octoberfest a couple of months earlier, which is ironic, as for me part of the appeal of the Octoberfest is that it hints at the Winter treasures to come, of which the Winter Lager is one.

But still, all things considered it's another smashing seasonal beer from Sam Adams, which keeps me going in between the season's more luxurious offerings like Old Jubiliation and Hibernation.

It's highly drinkable and as a result doesn't stay in the glass very long at all, so you'll be back at the fridge in no time, but a word to the wise, it's a bit of a cheeky monkey and will quickly creep up on you.

If they haven't got one already, the Boston Beer Co really should be presented with some sort of lifetime achievement award.

beerogre, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of DogFood11
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Picked up a very fresh sixer at my local BevMo! Kudos to the distribution and brewery. The bottle label has changed over the years and currently its baby blue with large sam adams text. Poured into a tall pils glass it forms a large loose head that fades to a solid cover. Amber to red body. Large carbonation.

First reaction was it reminded me of freshly baked cherry pie. Plenty of spices to kick it up a bit. On the spicier side of things, although its really more of a combo of sharp carbonation, touch of spices and a quick hitting hop backer. Toasted malts come into the picture as a body enhancer.

Notes: I liked this offering. It's not an eye opening experience. More along the lines of a solid representation, nothing offensive, well made and highly drinkable. Well done.

DogFood11, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of joe1510
3/5  rDev -16.4%

12oz. Bottle

Poured Sam Adam's Winter Lager into a pint glass. Poured a crystal clear amber. There was about a quarter inch head up top but it disappeared so quickly that I cant even tell you what color it was. All that's left is a couple of tiny bibbles swirling around. Small amount of carbonation bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass.

Smell is of sweet malt, wet cardboard, brown sugar, and there's even some dark cherries in there. The cardboard doesn't take away from the smell, it's faint, but it is there. There is also a little alcohol toward the end. No hops present.

Taste is a disappointment. I really dont get a whole lot of anything. The biggest flavor is solvent alcohol in the finish. Before the alcohol it's hard to pick up certain flavors cause they are weak and muddy. There's a touch of sweetness and that's followed by I don't know what. I can't pick out any flavors here...It's tasting better as it warms and I'm getting to the bottom of my glass. There is some sugary sweet dark fruits and toasted malts. The alcohol isn't as evident either. Strange but true. I'd reccomend letting this one sit out awhile before drinking.

Mouthfeel is average. Medium bodied. Coating.

I gave the drinkability as high as I did because for some reason it reminds me of a macro. Not much flavor but easy going down.

I hate to have to give such a vague review but that's how it had to be for the Winter Lager. There just wasn't anything there. I was hoping to enjoy this one too. It was a disappointment.


joe1510, Oct 27, 2006
Photo of bgraney
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%

Golden/amber with a fluffy tan/white head
Aroma is a balanced mix of malt/hops with a hint of something that smelled citrusy to me in the background.
Full flavored lager with a crisp, fresh malt taste that fades to hops.
A little thin, flavors don't linger or expand much.
Very drinkable. I found it smooth and relaxing.
When in the mood for a lager I would definitely go for this one when available.

bgraney, Oct 26, 2006
Photo of Dizzy
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%

Pours a darker shade of copper with a light tan head, leaving some lacing on the glass. Aroma is carmel like malts and spices. Nice malty flavor with evident spices. I wish the flavor was a little more assertive, but its good. Drinkability is high, this is one of my favorite Sam Adam's seasonals.

Dizzy, Oct 26, 2006
Photo of BurnsTau
4.13/5  rDev +15%

Pours a very nice deep copper/amber, small amount of head.

Smell is definitely sweet, hints of caramel, spices. Taste is malty sweetness, slight alchohol bite, a couple of other flavors in there like cinnamon, other spices. Finishes with very slight bitterness. As it warms up the aroma really picks up as well, making this beer a joy through and through. Carbonation is a bit on the medium-low, but it's still a pretty easy beer to drink.

I enjoyed it last year, enjoyed it in the sampler pack this year and am looking forward to buying a couple of six packs when I get the chance. Definitely one of the best winter beers I can buy around here, highly recommended.

BurnsTau, Oct 23, 2006
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,609 ratings.