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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.

4,893 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,893
Reviews: 1,866
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 58
Gots: 384 | 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: 4,893 | Reviews: 1,866 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TexIndy
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle, with a best by month notch in the front label, into a pint glass. It was a clear ruby color with slight carbonation and lots of lacing. It had a good sized beige head that settled into a thin foam. The aroma was malty with cinnamon - slightly weak in strength. The taste was good but not overwhelming. Followed the taste with malt bite and slight spiciness. Mouthfeel was solid. Overall, it's not a bad beer but doesn't really have you thinking of the next one. Don't see mysefl buying another at a store but might get at a bar if craft selection is weak. (One and done; tap change-up)

TexIndy, Jan 04, 2008
Photo of americanaqualung
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep, golden red color with fair visibility - almost deep auburn. A light head.

S - A malty smell with a bit of spice. Pleasant, yet I can't quite pick up the exact spice though it seems like nutmeg or cinnamon.

T - Definitely a rich, malty lager like in the smell. The spices give it a discernible, but pleasant bite. In addition to the spice, there is a sweetness on finishing a sip.

M - Smooth with light carbonation. Not a dry beer.

D - This is definitely, in my opinion, a very drinkable lager. While it may not be the most exciting or flavorful winter lager, its smoothness and maltiness make it an easy, pleasant drink. Definitely a good beer to have on hand for day to day drinking or with a meal.

americanaqualung, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of huck1081
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Amber in color. Good head due in part to proper pour, but
faded quickly.

S- Cinnamon and nutmeg

T- Malty, not overly spicy

M- Smooth light body, not much carbonation

D- Overall a good beer, there are no off flavors that distract from the overall quality. I continue to drink this at the bar and at home.

huck1081, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of hwwty4
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Pint Glass. Poured a clear amber red with a thin head that melted away quickly. Aroma is malty, caramel and toffee with hints of cinnamon. Taste is malty up front with just hint of spices. Mouthfeel is crisp, medium bodied with the right amount of carbonation. Another good offering from Sam Adams.

hwwty4, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of nicksta
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is a dark ruby and golden on the outer edge. A thick foam builds after pouring but it is short lived and it leaves a thick lace on the glass.

B: The smell is super-clean and super-sweet. A cinnamon, nutmeg sweetness is most the most notable scent. I've smelled carmalized sugar too many times before and it is big here.

T: Carmalized sugar and a light spicyness are the upfront flavors. The beer ends with a dry hoppiness. It has that full bodied flavor I've come to expect from the Boston Beer Company.

M: Full bodied and really smooth.

D: The biting hops combine with the light spicyness to lower the drinkability.

nicksta, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of wheelinshirt
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part six of the sam adams winter variety case. 12 oz longneck bottle poured into a pils glass.

Deep ruby red color with a 1 cm white head that didnt retain or leave lace. Nice carbonation bubbles streaming up from the bottom and sides of the glass.

Smell is malts, some roastiness and sweet caramel along with some cinammon. Smell is pretty thin, actually. The malts and spices are there, but they don't seem 'robust' so much as 'a bit aggresive.' Maybe a bit thicker mouthfeel would have helped. Carbonation was medium and nice. Drinkability is okay, but this isn't a beer that i would help myself to unless somebody else was buying.

wheelinshirt, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of jim102864
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this in bottle and on tap, this time at E in me porcelin mug.

Appearance is a chestnutty brown with a two finger head pour, which likely has as much to do with the pour by the barkeep as it did with the beer.

Aroma was understated, but evidence of cinammon and nutmeg. Not overly spicey. Somewhat herbal.

It loses some of its body and some of its flavor on tap vs bottle. Evidence of mild cinammon spice.

Mouthfeel is moderate in viscosity but malty and smooth with no evidence of hop bite to speak of and low carbonation.

Nice brew and interpretation of the style.

jim102864, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of baggio
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another seasonal beer put to the test....

A: Amberish color with a generous head that fades into nothingness all too quick.

S: Cinnamon, Caramel, Malt.

T: Malt++ (it's a bockbeer alright), nutmeg?, orange?

M: Sweet and rich although a bit thin. Low carbonation.

An excellent beer but tbh it feels like a watered down version of their
doublebock. Still, a very well crafted brew and worth a shot.

baggio, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of auxiliary
4.35/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance – Red- copper color, thick off white head, with some thin lace that stuck to the glass

smell – Toasted malts, spices like cinnamon here

taste – Some toasted malts, spices like caramel and cinnamon with a little bit of hops here.

mouthfeel – Light-medium body.

drinkability - Very nice well balance beer, one of my favorite winter beers. Come in the winter pack or 6pack.

auxiliary, Dec 28, 2007
Photo of FireEmt37
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- It has a nice deep amber color. There was little head, but I believe this to be from the bartenders pouring.

S- Malty aroma with the presence of spices and caramel

T- Nice taste with the spices and a malty, caramel taste coming through

M- It has a very nice balance of carbonation. It is very smooth and goes down the same

D- This is a very nice winter brew, it is easy to drink any of these without a problem. Its a shame it is only available for a short time.

FireEmt37, Dec 27, 2007
Photo of PaleAlien2
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours the color of maple syrup - reddish with a large off-white head that lingers for quite a while.
Smells delicious. Lots malt character and some obvious spicing.
Taste is smooth malt backed up with a hint of cinnamon. For a winter brew, this could be spicier. Not real complex, just really smooth and really easy to drink.

PaleAlien2, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of chiefydawg
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this fresh offering from my own keggerator; and although it doesn't seem as flavorful as last years seasonal batch, I'm quite pleased again. For what it lost in spiciness and sweetness, it gained some "sessionability".

Dark amber with ample carbonation. The head starts out strong and fades quite a bit by mid-glass, but the lace clings to the sides nicely throughout.

My nose is a bit runny, so not catching all I should. Malty with some spice like a faint nutmeg/coriander. Fresh smelling even without a noticeable hop scent.

Not as strong a taste as last winter or so it seems. But really enough for most company (or too much for some) to enjoy over the holidays. The taste coincides with the smell as stated above, but is stronger and more enjoyable. A little more hop would have balanced it nicely; but hey, it's the style and I know this when I get it. I also thought that as a bock it would taste more alcoholic at the end, but it is well hidden.

Overall, I found this to be strong enough to hold up to most holiday fare, but light enough to sit around and sip a few without getting the heavy "oh, did I really need that last glass?" feeling that night or the morning after. I could really make a long session of these. Hold on - I think I'll pull a 1/2 pint nightcap here...

Ahhhh - Cheers and Merry Christmas!

chiefydawg, Dec 26, 2007
Photo of Overlord
2.58/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber. Good amount of carbonation ... in fact, it's a bit on the seltzer-y side.

Smell is pretty much nonexistent. Maybe some faint malt? This is classified as a "bock?" Where's the rich malty aroma?

Taste is light malts, some spices (cinnamon? nutmeg?). There's some sweetness beyond the malt ... maybe honey or molasses. Tough to tell since this isn't an overly flavorful beer. Pretty much lightly flavored carbonated water.

Decent, quaffable, but nothing to write home about. For the price, I can find dozens of better brews available a few feet away.

Overlord, Dec 25, 2007
Photo of benito
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber in color with a lightly phenolic bouquet that is complemented by lots of honey. The cinnamon, orange peel, and other "winter spices" promised by the bottle are rather muted on this front.

The flavor itself is a mix of light honey; a crisp, hoppy finish, and a slightly watery, spritzy mouthfeel. The best aspect of this beer is how it seems to mix quaffability and heaviness. Again, the spices don't really play out here, and the overall impression is of a hearty ESB (like New Belgium's 2 Below on steroids). Sam Adams describes this as a "dark wheat lager;" perhaps I'm just missing the wheat, but the mouthfeel-- though with good heft and length--doesn't have the softness that I'd expect from wheat.

Overall, this is a muddled, but drinkable brew. Don't expect to taste what's described on the bottle; however, it is a tasty, warming, and easy-to-drink brew that makes for a great choice after a long day of skiing.

benito, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Sam Adam's Winter Lager is a good Bock beer. It has aromas of caramel and sweet darkly roasted malt and those hints of orange and ginger the commerical touts so highly.

The brew presents itself quite nicely. The head which emerges is a gentle tan color with good retention, not very much lacing to be fair but still some nice sticky clinginness.The body is dark dark brown and mahogany and quite clear.

The taste is a good balance between the malt and hops. A very sweet camel taste, but is balanced nicely by the finish in whihch the spiciness of cinnamon and ginger dominate.

bluemoonswoon, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of bunnyhustle
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass, beer pours a nice shade of amber with somewhat thick head. Somewhat poor retention and no lacing. Smell was very good, very complex. Initially I noticed malt, gingerbread, and some hops I swear, deeper exploration did bring out a touch of cinnamon and some biscuit. Taste was somewhat bland. Dominated by malt however some spices are present, the cinnamon seems to be there but I wish it were a little more pronounced to differentiate it from a basic Bock. Carbonation was moderate and a somewhat thin mouthfeel, dry aftertaste. Overall another mediocre beer from Sam. While I enjoyed it I dont think I would seek it out on its own.

bunnyhustle, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of jdoncbus
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle - pours amber color, decent carbonation, small head, decent lacing.

Smells of toasted malt & spice while nothing stands out too much.

Sour tasting malt with hints of ginger & nutmeg leaving a mild bittnerness. Oily going down but leaves a certain dryness.

Not a bad beer but probably wouldn't seek out again.

jdoncbus, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of minion2
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass.

A vigorous pour produced a couple fingers of head which settles down into a gentle froth on the surface. Rich copper color. Overall a very pretty beer. Very balanced taste, extremely drinkable. Slightly more carbonated than I'd normally enjoy, but it's quite refreshing in this beer. A session beer for sure.

Not a particularly complex beer, but worth a try (and has the added benefit of being readily available just about anywhere.)

minion2, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of fitzy84
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought it for the season. Great pour with a really thick head that laced out eventually. Dark amber in appearance with crisp textures. The smell was not overpowering but explicit: wintry aromas, mainly cinnamon, breezily texture the scent. The taste is sweet but a bit watery at the finish. Smooth and light in overall moutfeel. I prefer heavy drinks for the winter, especially for New England winters, but this Boston staple gives us a light but tasty drink for the holiday season. Cheers!

fitzy84, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of TheTrevor
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer poured a reddish copper with a two-finger head. I didn't get much in the smell besides a little bit of malt and a very tiny bit of hops. The taste is pleasant and starts with smooth malts and ends with just a little bit of hop bite and spiciness. The mouthfeel has a medium amount of carbonation and isn't unpleasant. I found this beer very drinkable and could see myself reaching for a couple more.

TheTrevor, Dec 23, 2007
Photo of joekfsu
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a dark amber with 1 cm off white head that is mostly lasting. Aroma is light, only able to get a hint of gingerbread. Initial taste of ginger, spice, and citrus. Hint of hops balanced with sweetness at the end. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, slight lacing. Alcohol is hidden well. Very drinkable beer and look forward to it every year.

joekfsu, Dec 23, 2007
Photo of Doomcifer
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear dark amber color with a nice frothy, off white head that retains well. Light lacing on glass. Smells of maltiness and some hop spiciness. Taste is malty, great balance, smooth, light spiciness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, well carbonated. Good drinkability.

Doomcifer, Dec 23, 2007
Photo of shabbtastic
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

For some weird reason the powder blue label really sets the mood, I know it sounds ridiculous but it’s very appetizing. Also, the bottle is clearly marked for freshness that's one good thing Sammy has going for it!! :)

A - Poured perfectly into a pristine pint glass with a nice bubbly head, the problem was by the time I rinsed out the bottle I turned and the head was gone!! Very disappointing I must say.

S - Smell was not overpowering compared to some other winter brews I've had. You could tell it was well balanced.

T - Like the smell indicated, it was very well balanced with a nice finish.

M - Very little carbonation left this an unpleasant experience.

D - A good choice for the holidays for family. I mean, your average beer drinker should be able handle this with out complaining too much.

shabbtastic, Dec 21, 2007
Photo of kevman527
4.28/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite winter beers, I haven't had too many of them so for now, this will do.

A - A rich copper color with a nice 3 finger head, which took a few minutes to dissipate.

S - Has a malty smell, with notes of spices, such as ginger and cloves.

T - Tasted like it smells with the spices being very prevalent.

M - Very smooth, low carbonation. A little watery.

D - Very easy to drink several pints of this.

kevman527, Dec 21, 2007
Photo of JonB1958
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at a Buffalo Wild Wings. Kudos to them, as this was among the freshest tasting beer I'd had in quite a while.

It poured a beautiful dark reddish color with a nice two-fingered head that hung around for a while. I was expecting a much bigger nose on this, but it smelled a bit like a traditional American macro. Some maltiness as you'd expect, but pretty thin.

Taste is really quite surprising. A big full mouthed flavor and a smooth finish, much like my favorite Oktoberfest bier.

I stopped on the way home and picked up a 12 pack, which I'll try tomorrow.

JonB1958, Dec 21, 2007
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 4,893 ratings.