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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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5,103 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,103
Reviews: 1,877
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.93%
Wants: 63
Gots: 476 | 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: 5,103 | Reviews: 1,877 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TLove
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A light bock that acts more like a winter lager in substance. Having had this a number of times, this is determinably darker than the Boston Lager, but is more dry and less cohesive in flavor. On tap this beer is a lot smoother and a lot ashier. The ash component gives the beer a nice smoked caramel flavor.

The Winter Lager finishes well, with a slight bitterness and smokiness that lingers on the palate.

Photo of pb342
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Significant head on pour, nice dark bronze color to the beer, very clear beer, good carbonation throughout the tasting

S - smells sweet

T - not significantly hoppy. doesn't have a very strong taste to it but still enjoyable

M - very crisp on my toungue. Not a very heavy beer

D - It's smoothness gives it very good drinkability. It won't take me long to finish this beer. A very tasty winter lager and not too overwhelming. I wouldn't turn this beer down if offered.

Overall I wouldn't rank this beer as an elite beer but its as good as it gets for a beer made by a more advertised beer company then your typical micro brewery.

Photo of Hokies
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a nice amber hue with a decent head that leaves a light lace on the glass.

A rich caramel aroma with some roasted malt flavor with a light crisp hop aroma.

The flavor is nice sweet malt taste with caramel and a burnt almost smoky taste to it. Their is almost a slight grainy taste and a husky flavor.

A highly carbonated brew with a slight creaminess and a nice lager.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark amber with medium-high carbonation within. Initial 2-finger, fluffy, off-white head that disspates to a thin cap after a few minutes. Head clings to sides of glass and drags spotty lacing.

Smell: Lager yeast, cinnamon and other spices, bread, maple syrup.

Taste: Wow, this is really spicy. Cherry, lager yeast, and bready malts also present.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation and spices produce a pretty solid burn. Pretty chewy with a medium-light body.

Drinkability: Definitely thought this was an Herb/Spiced beer when I tred it. Spices are too overwhelming to make this an easy drink. Other than that it's not bad though.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off i enjoy most styles of Sam Adams. This is another good beer made by Sam Adams.

Pours out Redish/Brown in color. Head is 2 to 3 fingers tall and a light brown color.

Smells is sweet of ginger and cinimon.

Has a smooth taste and a little bit of complexity to it. Just the right amount of carbonation and mouthfeel. U can taste different spice previously mentioned. This has a malty taste to it as well as being refreshing.

Beer is drinkable and i enjoy this beer the most when it is paired with chicken wings.

Photo of sonicdescent
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A=pours a dark but transparent brown with a rapidly disappearing head. No lacing to speak of. Nothing special here.

S=very light sweet smell, otherwise nothing.

T=trademark Sam Adams taste. Little more going on here than the Boston Lager, and that is not necessarily a bad

M=thin and maybe a little too much carbonation.

D=easy to drink but unfulfilling. I probably wouldn't order it again.

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

A- Dark red with a brown tint. Head was 2 fingers of foamy off white color. No real lacing. Head retention good.

S- Malts and a few spices such as cinnamon.

T- Very malty, no real hop presence. Some very unidentifiable spices in the background.

M- Very easy on the mouth, not too thick, not too thin. Leaves no aftertaste.

D- Easy to drink, although the lack of hops makes it harder for me to drink this beer. May give it a shot again some day, but only as a last resort.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into pint glass.

A: Hazy amber with hints of brown and mild carbonation. The head pours 2.5 fingers thick and remains for several minutes. The lacing is perfunctory at best.

S: Sweet malts dominate the smell, although there are some spices and hops.

T: The sweetness comes through first, with hints of the hops and spices (cinnamon I can detect, rest are unknown) following. Not a bad flavor.

M: Slightly thin, but good carbonation and rolls nicely on the tongue.

D: I'm very tempted to have another and will look forward to the rest of the bottles in my sampler case.

Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I just tried this beer side by side with Samual Adam's Boston Lager and I hate to admit but there wasn't a whole lot of difference. The Winter Lager poured a couple shades darker and there is a presence of spices in the aroma. It has almost the same malty taste but, again, there are spices added...a little more peppery. It has more carbonation than the Boston Lager but same mouthfeel and drinkability. I have to admit my respect for Sam Adams went down a notch after trying this. I guess those 21 proclaimed beer styles will eventually bump into one another eventually.

Photo of beertunes
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into regular pint glass. A very lovely coppery-orange color. About 1 1/2-2 fingers of head that quickly dissapated. Nice lacing on the glass. Not much aroma, but what there is, is very pleasant. The spice aroma translate better into flavor when tasted. Not much body, very thin mouthfeel. A very drinkable beer. I could see this being a good companion to a long session. The flavor and spice aren't overpowering as is the case with many winter seasonals.

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

Yet another in a long line of seasonals that I have been drinking recently. I've had it before, and I remember not liking it much. But now after expanding my tasting horizons, I find it to be quite enjoyable.

Pours a nice dark amber color, very thin head that almost completely dissipates quickly. No real lacing to speak of. The aroma reminds me of the Boston Lager from SA. Not exactly malty, but close. The taste, however, is a great nutty malt flavor. And then just to add icing on the cake, a lovely bit of hops bitterness on the finish.

I don't know why I didn't like this the last time I drank it. Very enjoyable. An easily sessionable brew.

Photo of sliverX
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poored a light brown leaning towards a red copper, clear, very little head (not much more than a flim) with my standard poor (the bass poor from their website)
smell was like you took a macro lager and beefed it up and actually used malts which were the other dominant smell but also a hint of nuts to me (walnuts)
taste is not sweet very balanced nice light hop bitter at the end
decent body not watery but also not thick
which leads to this beer being easily very drinkable

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber/light brown with a fairly thin head that fades to a thin ring. Smells lightly malty and slightly spicy with nutmeg and cinammon and there is a slight grainy sourness. The taste is pretty mellow, but nicely integrated with gentle malt, light spice, and a clean minerality and slight lager twang. Smooth and mellow in the mouth with a bit of spice on the finish and just a hint of chocolate. Pleasant and easy to drink, but somewhat forgettable.

Photo of Vendetta
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Original Rating Date:
October 24, 2008

Pours a bronze/brown with an orange tint. Thick, white head. Smells super malty. Tastes of a bit of clove and wheat, mostly caramel malt, a bit vinous. No hops to speak of. Adequate carbonation- something that BBC always seems to get perfectly right. Very good stuff, here. Try it out.

Photo of thain709
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A nice copper body...very little head that left no lacing

S - A nice whiff of sweet roasted malts...a little hit of some other spices in the background

T - Very well blended between the malts and spices...a sweet malt flavor that has hints of caramel...is there chocolate there or is it just the caramel sweetness?

M - Medium body...creamy and smooth

D - I could easily have a six pack of this...balanced just right between the sweetness and creaminess

Photo of droomyster
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was the third of several different beers that I had at tonight's party and was one of the most pleasing of the bunch. Poured a dark amber with a soda pop head that doesn't lasts but gives off yummy aromas of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon??? and other spices that are very enticing. Tastes like all of the above spices compressed into deliciously toasted malts that are well-backed with citrusy hops. Nice enough feel but I agree with the recent reviewers below who would've preferred that it be heavier. Overall: probably one the best you can find at a major supermarket for next couple of months.

Photo of malcontent
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Has the beautiful, amber hue of a classic Vienna lager (just like the flagship brew...) with a generous head that leaves behind copious lacing.

Honey and grain chaff give way to nutmeg. No adjunct odors and a nice clean finish. Nice.

Rich, malt-laden palate with caramel and clove on the back end. Not as rich as other bocks but full-bodied and clean for a holiday beer.

Perfect mouthfeel for a beer of this kind with controlled carbonation and appropriate body. When SA gets one right it really gets one right. I still think too many of their beers suffer from an insistence to try everything, but their hits (Boston Lager, Black Lager, Oktoberfest) are excellent. Maybe they should just stick to lagers...

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

12oz bottle. Cheers to Shawn for sharing on another great evening of games.

Pouring Winter Lager results in a copper body with a sticky tan head that laced well and exhibited good retention. The aroma is full of toasted wheat, earthy and natural, with strong notes of nut and mulling spices.

Nice sweet malty flavour with some restrained spicing to back it up (typical mulling mix), and a slight bitterness to add a refreshing bite to the finish. Caramel and wheat lead off, and there's a strong citrus presence that compliments the hints of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg excellently to provide a very wintry feel. A medium body and matching carbonation doesn't put a foot wrong, but doesn't make you sit up and take notice.

This is a pretty neat winter offering, and I'd happily have it again. However, I don't think it's the kind of beer I'd be likely to hunt down, as I do see room for improvement in the nose and flavour, and have found beers that carry off this style better.

Photo of AgingWarrior
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a pretty dark caramel color in my beer mug. Hard pour produces a half a finger of light tan head. The head dissipated rather quickly and provided very little lacing.

Smells of caramel malts and spices with a hint of hops.

Tastes a lot like it smells. Sweetness from the caramel malts, some toasty taste and various spices.

Medium carbonation, creamy and smooth feel.

Easy to drink lager. I've had several of these at one time and enjoyed them all.

Photo of Augustiner719
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 16 oz pint glass.

Appearance: This beer has a nice dark amber color that is very clear and shows little hazyness. It yielded a nice 1.5 finger head that was very creamy and white. It had nice lacing and the head lasted for a long time while leaving a nice thin layer of white froth for the duration of drinking the beer. Not as dark as I would have expected from a winter lager.

smell: It smells of nice roasted malts and has a hint of caramel and sweetness as well.

Taste: Its got a little bit more carbonation that i would have expected/wanted from a winter bock style beer. Its nice and full bodied with fresh tasting malts and hints of citrus on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Its a little thinner than I would have expected this beer to be after yielding such great aromas and flavor profiles. Its a little bit syrupy on the mouthfeel as its texture coats my mouth.

Drinkablilty: This beer is definately a go to beer for nights where I want to have a few beers during a game. Its full of flavor and it has a decent amount of alcohol that it hides pretty well. Overall I would buy this beer again and again but if you were looking for a more serious winter bock I would search elsewhere.

Photo of albern
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice bock beer. It pours a nice deep amber color with an off white creamy head that laces and retains quite well. The nose on the beer is sweet malts, very sweet, raisins, maybe a little nutty hints, some orange, some nutmeg type spices. The nose is quite nice.

The beer is very creamy, nicely carbonated for a bock beer, has a burnt brown sugar, roasted sweet grain flavor. There are ample nutmeg type spices, maybe a little nuttiness in the background. There is a bit of a hop presence right at the finish, but the sweet malts, the roasted grains, the raisiny sweet fruits, the burnt or charred brown sugars, the creaminess throughout, and the medium bodied, sweet orange peel presence amply defines this beer. This is surprisingly good. I've turned away from many SA products because they are sometimes pale imitators. Not so this bock beer. It is quite good and well worth seeking out. L'Chaim.

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

a: This was a cloudy caramel color. It was served to me with a thin whisp of white froth.

s: Sweet, sugary malts; mild overall.

t: A bit on the sweet side, sugary caramel.

m: Fine for the style. Crisply carbonated.

d: Sweeter than I'd like, but not bad overall.

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

Dark transparent caramel color with small white head. A quite unpleasant aroma of sugary, syrupy, molasses with dark fruit tones. The taste is one of a traditional bock but downgraded with massive amounts of sugary sweet syrup. Deep dark fruits with some medicinal characteristics and Aunt Jemima syrup to top it off. There's an aspect of artificiality that revolves around the drink that turns me off like a Runts banana compared to a real banana. If you're looking for the best or better, don't bother with this one.

Photo of Colt4540
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours with a good 1 to 1.5 finger head that leaves fairly quickly but leaves nice lacing. Colors is about the same color as a brown beer bottle. The head is a creamy off white. Very nice.

S- Smells of toasted malts, has a sort of sweet gingerish cinnamon smell nothing to powerful.

T- It has a fairly sweet taste that goes along with the ginger smell I can't taste much cinnamon. Its sweetness isn't enough to out do the nice toasted malt flavor and hop bitterness that comes through at the end it is a very nice combination.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbination very smooth.

D- You could easily drink a six pack of this with good friends on a cold winter night.

Photo of caddybuyer
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark medium clear amber with a light tan head that quickly fades

S-Malts with a tinge of spice. Very light nose

T-Malt with a "hint" of cinnamon and light spice. (Hello...spice...I'd like to see a bit more of you) A bit of hop backbone for balance and a clean finish. A bit of citrus on the aftertaste. Refreshing overall

M-Well balanced carbonation and feel

D-Good overall effort. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Won't wow you, but will not disappoint either. Well done. I would have liked to see a bit more head retention, and some more robust nose, but I very much like it notwithstanding.

Re-review...drank a lot of this over the winter, bottled and on tap, and it was solid all around. Like most of Jim's beers, I'd like to see it taken up a notch, but kudos to him for what he is doing, and I must remember he is brewing for the masses. SA seasonal is usually the only viable choice in the sea of macros available at such places as Fridays. I definately prefer Winter over the standard SA Boston.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 5,103 ratings.