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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.

4,482 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,482
Reviews: 1,850
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 33
Gots: 185 | 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: 4,482 | Reviews: 1,850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ski271


3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful, clear, dark, reddish-copper with a small, off-white, tight head that quickly diminished to a thick film. Some decent lacing, especially early. The smell is mild and has a sweet caramel maltiness with some light spice and a hint of fruit. The taste is impressive, especially considering the lackluster initial nose. Big thick flavors of caramel, cookie and wheat, along with some herbs, leathery yeast and something else I can’t put my finger on. It has a much larger body than expected and is lightly syrupy with low carbonation. It’s a very interesting offering from BBC. Very enjoyable, and a bit on the low end of the spectrum of winter warmers as far as spices go, which is a good thing in my opinion. I hate when brewers go overboard on things like pickling spice. Definitely not a problem here, though my friends that do like the big spice flavors of winter warmers might be a bit disappointed by this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2005 19:53:50 | More by ski271
Photo of santoslhalper


2.8/5  rDev -22%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearence: Pours a clear, dull amber with no carbonation at all. Looks dead, yet it's from the new Winter 12-pack. Nice head though.

Smell: A nice mix of cinnamon, cloves, cherries and nutmeg greet your nose. Balanced, at seems appropriate for the cold months.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is very similar to the smell, but bland and watered down. Sure, the cinnamon tastes nice and all, but I want more of it. This is leaving me wanting. The mouthfeel is thin, but smooth.

Drinkability and Overall: Weak. That's pretty much all I have to say about this. It tastes good, smells even better, but it's just a pansy version of what a winter warmer can be. This one doesn't warm you at all. Isn't that the point of the style anyways?

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2005 06:53:15 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of RollingRock


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

Has a very nice dark amber color. Extremely smooth and very drinkable. Very refreshing and rich taste. The taste makes you feel at home wherever you are. Not heavy on the stomach. Not much carbonation. Has a very pleasing and relaxing aroma. Not much head.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2005 21:32:05 | More by RollingRock
Photo of kbnooshay

New York

3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a nice amber brown with a nice head that stays around and leaves some lacing. Very nice. The smell is of wheat/caramel and spices. Well overall this tastes like a porter mixed with a dunkle. Weird. But it was nice with fruity malts and and allright almost of hop flavors. This is mildly spiced. Average mouthfeel. 2 or 3 of these would be enough, tastes more alcoholly than it is. Fairly drinkable though.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2005 17:58:48 | More by kbnooshay
Photo of asabreed

New York

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Big foamy odd-white head, nice lacing sticking around the top, tons of bubbles surfacing from the bottom of the glass, and the color brown and hazy with some amber hues.

Smell: Some sweet malt and clove initially, some gingerbread, slight vanilla, slight maple, pepper-like spice, slight cinnamon, and maybe some dark fruit. Very warming and welcoming.

Taste: Sweet malt and spices come with the first sips. Not much hop bitterness at all, but there's slightest present to not make it overly sweet thankfully, as that could ruin it pretty easily. Lots of maple and vanilla, more spice at the finish. Just very balanced, pretty complex, and surely great for warming in winter.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, a medium body, slightly creamy and full in the mouth. Very nice.

Drinkability: Maybe my favorite Sam Adams brew, and maybe (aside from the Doppelbock in my opinion) their best seasonal. Very good for any time of year, especially for winter. I'd like to try it with a dessert eventually, as I think it'd be a perfect accompaniment for one.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2005 22:17:32 | More by asabreed
Photo of sinistrsam


4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the best beers Sam Adams brews in my mind. It was on special at a taphouse in Raleigh, so I decided to order it, even though there were well over 100 other more exotic beers to be had. I'm glad I made the choice.
It was poured wih a foamy creamy head, large, atop a golden orange/amber body. The head left great lacing and had the aroma of sweetness, spice, hops and mild yeast.
The taste was as smooth as I've had, with yeasts, hops and honey. It finished very clean and sweet, with a wonderful creamy aftertaste. It was something I could definitely see myself buying in the future, drinking on a cold winter night.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2005 20:30:30 | More by sinistrsam
Photo of cubedbee


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

Pours a dark amber, very clear, two fingers of fomay cream colored head, great retention, moderate lacing. Nose is nice malted wheat, some slight cinammon/nutmeg spices, a little light. Taste is the same maltiness, very smooth, giving way to a slight but sharp spiciness in the finish. Everything is very well rounded, the spices are just a little subdued for my tastes, but overall this is a nice flavorful malty winter warmer. Between this and the Old Fezziweg, I think this is slightly better due to a thicker moutfheel and fuller malt.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2005 18:36:33 | More by cubedbee
Photo of CherylM


4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I always look forward to the first Sam Adams Winter Lager six-pack of the season. It's my favorite "Sam Seasonal".

It poured a full-bodied, darker amber color with a medium white head. Smell was fresh, yeasty and malty. Taste was of caramel with spices, slight fruit, and finishes with a very faint bitterness. Mouthfeel was of medium carbonation. Drinkability was very smooth and satisfying. When warmed, the presence of alcohol was more pronounced. A very good, consistent holiday/winter beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2005 02:58:37 | More by CherylM
Photo of macpapi


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

Have to admit, I've always liked this beer. So when I saw it in the local beer store--still in October mind you--last weekend I had to pick up a sixer. Time for review.

S.A. Winter pours a pretty dark and clear amber color with a slight white head. There is surprisingly little bubble activity and not much lacing to speak of.

Smells of malt, yeast and a bit of caramel. Spices--mainly cinnamon--are also noted in the nose. Good balance overall.

The taste is a pretty nice mix of malt and spice. Quite a bit of sweetness on the whole. There is also a not unpleasant burn at the end of the sip. As the beer warms, toffee and caramel are there as well.

In the mouth this beer is biting and burns just a little. Pretty high carbonation but full flavor.

Overall, this is my favorite Samuel Adams brew. It is a well-balanced, strong flavored and very impressive effort. Session beer, for cold late fall and winter nights? I could definitely see that.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2005 01:30:31 | More by macpapi
Photo of ccm414


4.38/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pouring created a nice head that left a thin lace over the top. has a dark amber color that almost has a raspberry color. my nose is a little stuffed so i am not getting too much of an aroma from the beer itself. as for flavor, it is very nice being incredibly smooth. it almost warms you from the inside.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2005 04:54:01 | More by ccm414
Photo of bearrunner44


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

Appearance: Dark amber. Surprisingly little head. I tried a second pour that was much harder than the first, and I still didn't see very much.

Smell: Malty, somewhat yeasty aroma.

Taste: Rich malt up front. Hops make their presence known in the finish, though the actual bite is fairly subdued. Spice flavor is subtle, almost to the point where you could miss it if you weren't looking for it. Pretty well-rounded overall.

Mouthfeel: Thick, with moderate carbonation.

Verdict: Tasty seasonal offering that doesn't bash you over the head with spice flavor.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2005 02:19:52 | More by bearrunner44
Photo of ghostwalker


4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle pour, from the Holiday Sampler.

Deep red body, white head that disappears quickly leaving very little lacing.

Mild malt nose, very little there.

Sweet malty flavor. Caramel and dark wheat. I get some toffee and nutty flavors too, but very mild. Gentle but tasty spices, much less than Old Fezziwig or Harpoon Winter Warmer, which I would would say are similar brews. Even has a sweet finish, no hops to speak of.

Thin mouthfeel, more carbonation than I expected.

Great drinkability! One of my favorite Sam offerings and by far my favorite winter beer. Sweet and tasty and always welcome in my home. Try one after Thanksgiving dinner, watching the Lions lose, (as usual), it's a wonderful thing.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2005 23:03:11 | More by ghostwalker
Photo of PBRstreetgang


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

Pours a ruby orange hue, with good clarity. A creamy, off-white two finger head holds nicely, but produces weak lacing. Caramel and wheat nose, hiding a slight floral hop aroma. Strong malt sweetness from the wheat and an unrefined sugar taste; with a healthly hop bitterness that balances it out. Medium body and active carbonation leave only a touch of residual sweetness, and renders a good drinkability at the cost of the appropriate alcohol warmth. Not quite a weizenbock, and defintley not a lager, but a nice seasonal, no doubt.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2005 06:42:56 | More by PBRstreetgang
Photo of futaboots


4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm surprised by this beer. This is definitely my favorite Sam Adam's Seasonal. In fact, this is an excellent beer, period.

Lowest marks for appearance. Nothing really bad to say, the head is lumpy and adequate at first, then dies down to nothing, and the color is copper brown.

TASTE. Malt, hints of cinnamon and spiciness burning at the edges. Balance is on the sweet side, with just enough hops to make their presence known. Dark caramel, toffee, nutty toasty/roasty like flavors. Small hint of cinnamon graham cracker aftertaste in my mouth after I put the glass down.

Smells like malt mostly, with a little cinnamon. Mouthfeel is slick. Carbonation might be a bit on the high side, but not really a detriment to enjoyment.

Notes: I love love freakin love this beer. My favorite Sam Adam's beer so far (although, to admit I haven't tried very many). At first I was a little surprised, and dissapointed, to learn that the abv on this was less than 6%. I figured a winter warmer ought to be a bit stronger. The beer tastes great the way it is though, and might actually be better for it. I like the quaffability of this beer. The spicing is subtle, and I could drink more than a few bottles over the course of a night without getting sick of it.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2005 01:28:05 | More by futaboots
Photo of BrewMaster


3.05/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Hazy red in color with a thin off white head. Head revives stiffly with swirling but then recedes back to thin lacing. Nice lacing on the sides of the glass as the beer is consumed.

Smell: Spritzy malt scent with a slight berry and fruity scent.

Taste: Caramel and a tangy wheat flavor. The middle is sweet and it moves quickly to a soft, fruity ending. All of the flavors in this beer are quick. The ending is short but clean and well rounded.

Mouthfeel: A bit too strong when it comes to carbonation, somewhat strong on the palate. As the beer warms up and loses some of its strong opening carbonation it becomes a smooth and lightly syrupy brew.

Drinkability: Sweet flavor is enjoyable but there isn't much else to this beer. The spices don't come through and the flavor is only average.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2005 05:53:54 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of klewis


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

A: Poured a light red with a creamy one-finger head that casually subsided to a splothcy ring of foam.

S: The smell is good, but kind of weak, and it's hard to be descriptive. Slight aromas of spice, bread, and malt.

T: This has a nice maltiness without being overly sweet or syrupy. Complimented with flavors of cinnamon and other spices, vanilla, and a touch of hops flavor.

M: Medium carbonation with a slight slickness in the mouthfeel. The body feels a little light for me for a winter beer, but the mouthfeel is quite acceptable overall.

D: This is one of my favorite session beers in season. Good flavor for a good price. Reccommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2005 00:03:37 | More by klewis
Photo of sacfly


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

Part of the holiday 12 pack, notched MAR for purchase before date

Pours a brilliant clear amber orange. Head looks creamy with very small bubbles. Smell is light and slightly spicy. Nutmeg.

First taste starts a bit overwhelming, but quickly fades. I think my taste buds were geared for something lighter based on the aroma. Nutmeg.
You can tell there is a nice malt background to this, but much is lost in the spice. Slight dryness in the aftertaste. OK, I wouldn’t throw it away after buying the 12 pack, but I wouldn’t seek it out either.

After about half way through, I have changed my opinion slightly. Not sure if I can attribute this to the raise in temperature or my taste buds acclimating. The taste is much more rounded. Still has a bit of cooking spice aftertaste, but much better (for whatever reason) halfway through.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2005 19:47:28 | More by sacfly
Photo of evanackerman


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

This beer pours a deep amber, almost mahogony, with a nice head that persists and leaves ample lacing, this beer is as pretty as they come.

Aroma is of caramel malt with a hint of spice.

Taste is dark fruity malt with a nice hop presence followed by just a touch of spice (I can't quite put my finger on what it is). i also detect a hint of vanilla in the finish. very tasty brew.

mothfeel is above average, no complaint

drinkability is average because i'd probably only want one or two of these , more of a beer to savor than session.

this is a perfect beer for a cold winter evening when you're not in the mood for a stout or porter, excellent lager. This is my first time trying this beer but i'll look forward to its release in years to come.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2005 00:02:30 | More by evanackerman
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

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

Winter is on its way so time for a revisit.
Drink by April (I assume 2006).
I had no idea that this was 5.8%. The alcohol is definately well masked in the flavor.
After having had a couple pumpkin ales this season I can't help but to liken this to them... without the pumpkin part. The spice profile is very similar, but perhaps with some citrus rind in there instead of pumpkinnyness. (the reviews the bros. laid down nail down pretty well all the specific characteristics of this brew).
In the time just before I woke up to beer advocacy this was one of my favorite brews. I'm glad to see that this still holds its own in the face of all the things I have tried since then.
Tasty stuff. A solid winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2005 03:52:19 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of KarlHungus


3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a clear dark amber color. The head is small, white, and creamy. The aroma is very malty and clean. The taste is quite spicy, and interesting. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample carbonation. Overall, this brew is a nice change of pace, and another solid offering from BBC.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2005 02:24:16 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of blitheringidiot


1.83/5  rDev -49%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle with the "new" label. I liked the old labels better.

Pours dark amber mahogany with shades of light escaping, topped off by a wafer thin parchment paper colored cap.

Caramel scents and slightly spicy, but then some stale bread wiffs make me wonder what else I am getting.

First swigs: Watery caramel and flat cola. Took me a while to put my finger on the flavor. Just contained a lot of off hints.

This went back almost as rough as Cave Creek. Just something about it.

Beer i usually good. Happy beering.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2005 02:32:12 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of beersarang


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

Pours a copper/bronze, with an almost white head. Retains well.

Lots of cinnamon bread in the aroma, quite unique.

Nice warm alcoholic fruity malt presence. Cinnamon and gingerbread all over the place. Slight bitterness but very little hop presence over all. Finishes warm.

Medium bodied, low carbonation.

Pretty good winter warmer, usually at the right price.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2005 06:50:58 | More by beersarang
Photo of whynot44


4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium bodied, very nice dark copper/amber with an ivory head.

Aroma is malty with hints of spice and citrus.

Taste is caramel malt, citrus, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pepper. Spices are not overwhelming, rather mild and balanced to enhance the flavor rather than dominate. Just a bit of hops bite and definite alcohol warmth at the finish.

Very pleasant for a winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2005 05:54:38 | More by whynot44
Photo of Noelito76

New York

4.35/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark reddish color. The spices in this beer hit you immediately and make for a tasty beer if you like something a bit on the sweet side and not so bitter. Clearly best suited for the colder weather but I can drink this one anytime just the same.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2005 18:14:26 | More by Noelito76
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 vintage
good looking brew with a nice big khaki head that drops and leaves some good lacing. good nutty malty character that reveals spice and hop flavor as it warms up
the spice is somewhat subdued, but nicely subtle. good bittnerness
not too strong, so a good many could be consumed. not all that warming, though

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2005 16:12:16 | More by bruachan
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,482 ratings.