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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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5,267 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,267
Reviews: 1,913
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 65
Gots: 653 | 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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Ratings: 5,267 | Reviews: 1,913 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bnes09
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Semi-transparent amber color. Thin white head that dissipates quickly.

Smell is interesting. Cinnamon and nutmeg come to mind, definetly a spice to it.

Taste of caramel with a cinnamon spice. Hops are a little faint. Nice malt backbone which provides a smoothness to balance. Overall, a crisp flavor that finishes on the dry side.

Light bodied with moderate carbonation. The spicy aftertaste clings to the palate for a while.

Overall, a decent brew yet pretty standard. Has some interesting flavors and is actually quite refreshing.

Photo of mklinger
2.88/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served at a restaurant with dinner. Poured into an imperial pint glass. It poured a deep orange with a slight tinge of brown (like the burnt umber crayon). Minimal head, even with some sloshing around.

Aroma was strong on the spices. I get cinnamon, maybe a bit of cloves & nutmeg. Not much for hop or malt aroma.

Flavor was odd. More like spiced maerzan than the dark wheat bock it's been labeled as in the past. Just plain weird. Nothing like its taste in the past. I boggle at how the can call this the same beer as in past years.

Mouthfeel & drinkability are OK, though I certainly won't be buying any 6 or 12 packs of this this year. It's just amazing to me that they are calling this the same name as previous years' beer. In the past I've bought multiple 12 packs of the SA Winter Lager. Those were a rich malty, slightly spiced lagers -- great stuff. This was thin, pale, and overspiced, I thought. Quite disappointing, especially given my expectations from the past.

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

On tap at a bar on Boylston Street. Served in a pint glass. Dark reddish brown color. Faint head and lacing. Smells a bit like cinnamon and pine. Taste was good but not great. Bit of caramel and toasted nuts noticed. Pretty malty beer. The body was a bit on the light side for a winter beer. Fairly simple to drink, not a beer to ponder. Easy beer to have with food or by itself. Another crowd pleaser from SA.

Photo of sweemzander
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Best by April 2010.

(A)- Pours a clear brown amber color with a rapid dissipating gray head.

(S)- A sweet/dry maltiness & spices

(T)- Malty, with an orange peel & gingerbread cookie thing.

(M)- Good balance & carbonation level. Festive.

(D)- This is a good beer, but it just reminds me of a toned-down version of their Old Fezziwig Ale, which is much better than this.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Poured into a pint, an average cream head forms and fades quickly. No lacing is left behind. The beer is a rich copper red.

S- Pretty nice smell. Malty and bready with spices and a sweetness. In all pretty tame.

T- Well balanced and mild. Not hugely malty, not much hop presence either. Starts smooth and sweet and finishes slightly bitter and spicy.

M- Smooth and clean. Nothing wrong here.

D- Goes down easy, but for me there is something in the spices that doesnt do it for me.

Photo of JohnL9013
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sam Adams Winter Lager has always been something I've looked forward to, but the magic has kind of run out this year.

A: Typical dark lager, looks exactly like the Boston Lager. Unimpressive head with reasonable lacing.

S: The smell is a little subdued. There's a hint of malt and spices and nothing offensive, but nothing crazy.

T: I was surprised by how similar this is to the Boston Lager this year. It really just tastes like the Boston Lager but with some winter spices added. Is it good? Certainly... Boston Beer Co. could throw out their Boston Lager and replace it with this as far as I'm concerned, but I am disappointed with this lager this year... it's just far too light for a true winter lager... I am really surprised BA could possibly classify this as a bock with its balanced presentation and relatively low malt content for a bock.

M: Easy-going, there's a tad too much carbonation, though, but very clean.

D: One area where this beer excels is that it goes down so, so easily. I could drink this all night and be quite pleased.

Where did the winter lager that I had from Sam Adams two years ago go? I didn't get to try it last year, but I remember trying it a couple years ago and it being a little heartier and more "winter-like" than it currently is. Sam's needs to rework this beer. It's very good, but simply too light and boring.

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

had on tap at chilis it came in chilled mug a red/brown color with a very small head and thin lacing had a malty smell with some citrus..the taste was sweet malts and biscuits with some caramel and toffee taste it had some nice hops in the finish,,overall a typically good sam adams brew..not great but drinkable/enjoyable as most boston beers co. are

Photo of abecall98
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Copper colored with a thin white lacing head

S - Grainy, like a powdery biscuit. Then hits the sweet notes of sugar and citrus. Not that pleasant.

T - starts off with a light hint of what tastes like orange, then gets sugary, and finishes with a light malt flavoring. Doesn't work all that well together, but still not bad.

M - Thin, and creamy. Very smooth and pleasant as it goes down

D - The beer is light enough to have all night, but the flavor is too light and offputting to make you want to do that.

Photo of degerbah
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a red brown without much head. The head that is there is sticking around for a while. The smell is primarily of sweet malt with a slightly acidic smell. Possibly citrus. Tasty malt forward taste, slightly sweet. It's nothing special but I kind of like it. A good easy drinker with some flavor but I won't break the bank on it.

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

A- nice dark copper color white fluffy head.. giving away..

S- sweet to the nose with nice undertones of cinonmon.. malty and earthy wheaty

T- wow.. nice malty taste.. you can feel out the ginger and cinmon but not over powering.. wheaty to the nose and mouth

M- smooth and wheat..

D- i love it .. cheers and enjoy

Photo of taigor
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap poured into pint glass.

A - Dark copper color with medium head that dissipates very quickly with no lacing.

S - Sweet malts with orange citrus and some other fruits.

T - Slightly sweet with hops and spices coming through at the end.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Good winter bock with low abv.

Photo of Jishguy
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had heard good things. This beer didn't live up to the hype.

A- Medium brown color with very thin head. Almost no retention.

S- Fairly decent. Hints of cinnamon and possibly nutmeg? More hops than malt

T- Average for bock style. Very tiny hints of cinnamon. Nothing incredible, but nothing terrible. Decent hop and malt balance.

M- Decent carbonation. Not too crisp.

D- Very limited and very heavy. Three or four maximum.

Overall, I wasn't too impressed. Nothing terrible, but nothing spectacular. Average is the best word.

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

From a bottle into a pint glass.

Poured a nice half-inch of head, off-white/eggshell. Dissipated, but left lacing. Transparent brown - there's not much of another way to put it. Perhaps a few ruby notes, but nothing major.

Smell is mostly malty, light caramel with a little bit of real maltiness coming through. Spices are next, they seem to only impart a spiciness as a blend, not to be singled out. A nice little bit of hops on the end to clean things up. Maybe a touch of orange from that.

Taste is very clean, as a lager should be. The spices don't muddle the hops and malt - all three play even partners in the taste. The hops are, in my opinion, the most interesting part of this beer - you get the nice caramel with warm spices, then a very clean piney taste mixed with orange. A well balanced example. The spices are what warms you with this beer - not enough alcohol to be warming you.

Carbonation is typical Sam Adams, but it works. Instead of being a heavy Winter Warmer style of beer, it's a crisp, refreshing Bock-style with spices. It's very light bodied and would be a great session beer for a cold Saturday evening - unless you want something with more alcohol.

Photo of bump8628
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with best before month of April notched on the label.

Pours a copper-orange into a pilsener glass with a finger of off-white head.

The aroma has sweet caramel malts and a touch of spicy hops. Some warming winter spices slide in at the end.

The taste is lighter caramel malts blended with some bready and toasty malt. Noble spicy hops make there presence known along with some cinnamon and subtle orange peel. The spices are well done in that they are detectable but not overwhelming.

The body and mouthfeel are rather light for the style.

Overall, this may be one of the better spiced winter beers I've had. With that said, it lacks the body and intense malt presence I enjoy in my Bocks and winter beers. This is much closer to a spiced Marzen than a Bock. Not something I would buy regularly but would be happy to drink if offered.

Photo of claminat420
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- poured a dark transparent copper color. two finger cream color head that died quickly with thin lacing.

S- a perfect blend of alil sweet malts with a orangy cover-up. don't really smell the cinnamon or the ginger.

T- like a heavy wheat beer. nothing to special but not to bad. once again only can taste alil orange and nothing else.

M- light to medium bodied. nice carbonation.

D- it seems the more you drink of it the better it gets. don't know if thats a good thing.

Overall- for a bock or a lager this beer is light bodied. on the bottle it says " a dark wheat lager". definitely nothing to crazy. only picked it up cuz the store didn't have sh#t!! not to bummed but wish i had something different.

Photo of mjw2808
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

very nice clear reddish mahogany color. 1 finger head that left an average amount of lacing. The aroma is strong with roasted malt and cinnamon, maybe a little hoppieness in there. The taste is a nice blend of malt, orange, cinnamin, and balanced out with some hops. Medium mouthfeel, very drinkable. If I could change this beer Id make it more full flavored and a little more heavy.

Photo of MaxBrews
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Bomber and a wide Pils glass

Appearance: Pours a perfectly clear mahogany. A proper pour gives this beer a large frothy head that is tan in color. Beautiful for that moment as the head dissipates at a moderate rate but into a beautiful off-white lacing.

Aroma: Orange peel, spices a decent hopping, bready malt, a fair dose of roasted malts and dark fruit. As this beer warms up an earthy spice becomes apparent which I'm guessing is a combo of the ginger and cinnamon. A really malty beer that is well balanced, combining a fair amount of hops, orange peel and winter spices.

Mouthfeel: A lot of carbonation and a moderate body and a dry finish.

Drinkability: This beer has that clean lager thing going on but so many little nuances of flavors it even turned on someone whose a bit weary of lagers. So drinkable too. I kinda just spent a good 40 minutes sipping this bomber smacking my lips trying to figure all thats going on. If you kept handing me pints of this I would lap it up.

That being said this beer more then likely won't blow any minds. Its just a solid session-able seasonal lager that balances many flavors together

Photo of mikey711
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Ruby amber in color, thick retaining head about an inch thick thar is slightly off white. Loads of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass

S: Slight toasted aroma. Spice, cloves cinnamon. A Caramel sweet finishing smell

T: A nice amount of sweetness of front that is balance by some nice winter spices(clove, cinnamon, nutmeg). The spices don't over power at all which is nice.

M: Medium body, and the carbonation has a bit of a stinging quality.

D: A very nice winter beer that I could have quite a few of easily

Photo of advill88
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with a 3/4 inch head.

Good bit of maltiness in the nose, with smells reminiscent of blood orange and spices.

Taste is very malty at the start, with the same hints of orange and winter spices. Finishes with a touch of hops to lend some balance. Mouthfeel has quite a bit of carbonation and is pretty light bodied, in a way that almost reminds me of some spring seasonals.

Overall, I'd say that this beer is a very nice winter seasonal, I'm pretty sure it's to style, although I haven't had too many bocks. Very sessionable in a winter-esque way.

Photo of samie85
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a coppery brown color with a white head.

S- Light toasty and caramel malt with faint hop spiciness. I'm not getting the spices mentioned on the label at all.

T- Like the nose, caramel malt is present but I think I'm getting the spices here but I'm getting almost a roasty character near the finish.

M- Pretty well carbonated. Medium bodied.

D- I anticipated the taste being a little richer/heartier than it actually is. The spices kind of give this beer a weird aftertaste that makes it a little difficult to put down easily.

Photo of Wisconsin
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A - A strong pour delivers a bountiful head that rises to about a finger and a half thick and off white in appearance. The retention seems pretty good. Trace amounts of carbonation are rising to the top. The color is light than I was expecting for a bock, more of brown and quite clear when held up to the light.

S - Caramel, roasted malts along with some spice notes and hops hit the nose. Overall, not quite as strong as I was expecting.

T - Caramel and malts are definitely present. There is a nice combination of hops and spice notes. Again, like the nose, not as full bodied as I would have wanted but nothing terrible.

M - Medium bodied with ample carbonation. Into the mouth, the palate tastes caramel and roasted malts. Then comes a subtle blast of carbonation that cleans the palate for the spice notes and slight hoppy finish. A pretty smooth finish overall.

D - Like the Creamy Stout, this beer appeals to a larger crowd, and it seems to fit the bill. Personally, when I have a bock, I want something full bodied and heavy, especially during the winter. I understand what Sam Adams is putting out but this beer seems more like a fall/spring beer, not a winter beer or maybe even a bock for that matter.

Photo of BrianOhio
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour is a clear deep amber. Thin head dissipates quickly, with some lacing behind.

Aroma is nice but not what I would call notable. Taste is primarily malt, just a little bit of hops, and not all that much of the typical winter spice normally found in this style.

That said, I like this beer a lot. Some winter ales are over the top with the nutmeg and spice, but not this one. Just a good solid, well balanced beer, and something I look forward to each winter. Because of the good pricing in 12 packs, this is my go-to beer this time of year.

Photo of AgentZero
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer in a bottle before, on tap it was a totally different experience.

A - Dark copper, slightly cloudy, nice bubbles at the top with a one finger head that left slight lacing behind.

S - Very nice, smells like Christmas. The nutmeg and cinnamon meld nicely with the caramel malts.

T - So good, in a bottle this was merely an average beer, not sure what's changing on tap but this is very very nice. What a comfort-food feel, memories of Christmas morning arise with the cinnamon and spice complimented by the not-overpowering taste of nutmeg. Makes me want to chill in front of a fire on a winter day.

M - Medium bodied with nice carbonation, slightly sugary sweet feel that lingers in the mouth.

D - A little to sweet to pound these, but can drink more than one easily.

Photo of hosehead83
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a Sam Adams "bubble" glass
Copper/amber in color with a big, two-inch head of foam
Aroma-Malt and subtle spices
Taste-Pretty clean, subtle spices, cinnamon, coriander, faint hop profile
Overall, very drinkable, middle-of-the-road winter offering

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

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass.

Pours dark copper, clear, with a one-finger light-khaki head that settles into a thin cap.

Nose is toasty, light fruitcake, floral hops are there but don't dominate. Bit of earthiness I attribute to the hops.

Taste is well balanced - toasty, biscuity malt body, light caramel sweetness, complemented by notes of fruitcake and herbal hops. Nutty and I think just a hint of chocolate in there. Finish is very lightly bitter, earthy, more of the fruitcake. Well balanced, quite tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, moderate carbonation sits on top of a body that has a nice fullness without being syrupy.

Excellent drinkability - the earthiness is just a bit trying by the end, but still nicely flavorful and well balanced, easy drinking beer.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 5,267 ratings.