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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.

4,892 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,892
Reviews: 1,866
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 58
Gots: 383 | 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: 4,892 | Reviews: 1,866 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pmcadamis
3.05/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Whatever irked me about this beer in a bottle has been cleared up on tap. I've had this in the bottled version several times and I never really liked it for some reason. It really just rubbed me the wrong way. Where the bottled version is overly dry and over spiced, the keg version is much more malty and clean.

A - Deep blood orange hue with a thick 2 finger head that eventually reduces to a thin collar.

S - Spicey and warm scent of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove.

T - The taste echoes the aroma with loads of spices and warm cookie malts and a touch of grassy hops. This is a nice malty bock that is easily found in most restaurants and bars.

M - Medium bodied and very sweet, the finish is pretty neutral as the hops come out just a bit.

D - Lightly spiced and malty, with a nice clean finish that lets some of the spice come through on the aftertaste. Really nice. Much more drinkable than the bottled version IMO.

pmcadamis, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of Greggy
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Standard Sam Adams brown pry off bottle. The enjoy before date is clearly notched next to the UPC tag. A nice addition is the tag on the back explaining how this has, "the most aromatic cinnamon." More on that later...

Appearance: This beer pours a nice dark amber color. Pouring into my glass I was given about 3/4" head that receded rather quickly. A thin lace remained, however.

Smell: At the first sniff, I was a little bit let down. I guess I was expecting a more defined and obvious array on the nose. What was evident was some caramel malts and some medium alcohol notes. As noted previously, Sad Adams states they have the most aromatic cinnamon but I had trouble really picking it up with a sniff; however, when I got to close and took in a nose full of head post-pour, I was hit in the face with a gram cracker note. It was aromatic, but unless you're snorting the beer, it's hard to pick up in large amounts.

Taste: This, despite being a little 1 dimensional to me, is a tasty treat during times in the winter when I just can't stomach a light ale or lager. It's not extremely dark, or light, it's just in the middle which sits just right with me. I would have liked to see a bit more carbonation in the mouth feel department and also a touch less alcohol on the palate. The aftertaste has a bit of gram cracker and isn't overly smooth, but I find that great in the winter.

Notes: I bought this in a six pack. I don't think I would buy it more than once a winter because I just am not to into it. It's a good beer, but just not something I will run out to buy.

Greggy, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of BeerManDan
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a large glass of the bock on tap and couldn't tell the difference between tap or the bottle. The color was a medium dark brown with very little tan foam. The smell was a little weak on the roasted malts and hops. Also, the taste was about the same as the aroma. A little weak and lack luster. Not a lot to write home about, just a average beer that had nothing special to write home about. Couldn't pick out anything of interest, just another average ale.

BeerManDan, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of Procrastinator
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown bottle poured into Sam Adams pint glass, seems appropriate. Best before April notched on the label. This bottle is the final from a sixer recently purchased. I've been drinking this beer seasonally for many years and this is my first review of it.

Appearance: ruby reddish brown with creamy beige colored head which recedes to form a sticky layer on top of my beer. Very clean and refreshing looking with carbonation bubbling to the surface.

Smell: nutty, caramel maltiness and sweet plums with citrusy hop scents in the distance.

Taste: definite grain huskiness, caramel sweetness, hop bitterness and mild alcohol. Spices are very subtle, if noticeable at all.

Mouthfeel: dry upfront, buttery, almost medium bodied beer with excellent carbonation. Very nicely balanced.

Drinkability: straight forward easy drinking beer. Would have enjoyed more body and maybe a little more of the wheat taste.
Always look for this one when the cooler months pass by.

Procrastinator, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of KodyBrannon
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.Poured a dark caramel color with a thick off-white head.It smells kind of like cinnamon and nutmeg,With a touch of malt characteristics.Has a buiscuit taste,but you can definatley taste the malt in it.This beer has a very light mouthfeel and is very drinkable.Drinking this on a cold winter's night will definatly take off some of the bite of winter.

KodyBrannon, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of scaliasux
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 5

Appearance - Medium reddish-brown. Clear. Tan head - quite tall and persistent. Perfect.

Smell - Light. Caramel malts.

Taste - Tasty caramel malt. Light spiciness - nutmeg or cinnamon or something. Finishes with light hops. Nice.

Mouthfeel - Light. Well-carbonated.

Drinkability - Doesn't appear to completely match up with the style. This beer does taste good, though, and that's probably most important. Nice little hint of holiday spice, too.

scaliasux, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of davidt
2.78/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draught. Copper-amber color, with a thick head, leaving lots of lacing. Bready aroma. This beer has a thick, creamy mouth feel. The flavor is malty, with minimal wheat flavor. Hop background is slightly bitter but hardly noticeable. This doesn’t make me think "Winter" in any way.

davidt, Dec 17, 2007
Photo of bort11
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pils glass. Tall rocky head with slow recede. Color is is a honey amber color.

Smell is malty and sweet, almost honey like. Taste is very malty as well. Nice honey sweetness with a mild bitter after taste.

Mouthfeel is smooth and has a medium body. Nice

bort11, Dec 16, 2007
Photo of MTNboy
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- I liked the way this beer looked it has a nice winter appearance. A darker than bronze look with plenty of small bubbles forming a small but even head. The head was white and the lace went all the way to the bottom of the glass.

Smell- There is not really a strong scent to this lager tones of faint caramel malts and hops.

Taste- I found it to be pretty bland. Some spices, a little fruity, followed by a little bitter sweet taste.

Mouthfeel- Average with some carbonation bite.

Drinkability- Not a bad seasonal but not something I would drink year round.

MTNboy, Dec 16, 2007
Photo of BlindPig
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- About a 1" off white head on a crystal clear copper amber body.
S- Big sweet caramel malt, light cherries, toffee, light grass hops, and just a hint of alcohol.
T- Follows the aroma with a big sweet caramel body with some light dark fruits. Grass hops leave just a light bitterness on the tongue. Hints of toffee and light spices come through too.
M- Medium to full body with low carbonation.
D- A nice bock beer that is pretty simple but still tasty. I will probably buy a 6-pack of this while it's still out in stores. Just a good solid bock.

BlindPig, Dec 16, 2007
Photo of berserker256
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful looking beer. Near perfect dark bronze color with thick creamy lasting off-white head. Sticks to the side of the glass like ocean foam on the shore. I smell sweetness and roasted malt. Good heavy semi-sweet lager flavor. I can't detect any obscure flavors. I only taste good basic beer ingredients. Warming going down. Thick and chewy. This would be a good appetizer before a meal.

berserker256, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of cswhitehorse
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Winter Lager pours a nice reddish amber with a finger foam head. It has a pillowy head. It has a freshness date which tells you when to drink it by, which is nice. The smell is aromatic of spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. The taste is malty for sure with a biscuit flavor. It has a nice balance of hops to the brew. Overall a wonderful winter style beer.

cswhitehorse, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of peabody
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out into my bought Samuel Adams Glass like fresh Iced Tea with one finger of white suds.
Smell is sugary carmel and fruit like aromas. Raisin and date come to mind. Some yeast and slight hoppy mellowness.
Taste is raisin and caramel with just a hint of hop bitterness.
Really sweet and pretty good. Would be a great session beer.
I like this SA offering better than any I have had so far. Still, SA could do a whole lot more than these weak efforts seem to offer.

peabody, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of flowerysong
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours with a coarse head that quickly dissipates. Body is crystal clear, coloured a nice medium brown with amber highlights.

Smell: Roasted caramel sweetness with some earthiness.

Taste: Malty, with some citrus and generic spice. Low hop flavour, medium bitterness. Soapy wheat character on the short finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy; full-bodied with medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Simple and direct. It's easy drinking, but not engendering much excitement in my breast.

flowerysong, Dec 12, 2007
Photo of wiseguy142
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper color, weak, shallow head. Smells inert. Clean metallic taste that you'd expect from a winter lager. I don't really know what to make of winter lagers except that they are clean with a metallic twinge and are expensive, which doesn't add up to me. Little aftertaste, the beer is gone shortly after it's swallowed. I'd probably drink this as my #2 beer of the night after something stronger to sort of reawaken my senses with something strong enough to clean my palette but clean enough not to leave a lingering, heavy impression. Would buy again for a party or something, but I wouldn't drink a 12 pack myself of it.

wiseguy142, Dec 11, 2007
Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours with a medium yellow head and a deep amber color with very apparent carbonation.

Smell- Roasted malt and yeasty sweetness big in the nose, quite good.

Taste- An incredibly smooth taste, well balanced from beginning to end. Start with bread notes up front with a hint of roast nuts that transitions to an end of barley and pleasant tingly carbonation.

Mouthfeel- Got some hints of chomp to it, overall fills the palate decently.

Drinkability- One of the most delightful SA beers Ive ever had, its a winner.

Bowdoinbeerboy, Dec 11, 2007
Photo of GRPunk
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- An agressive pour left a 2 finger light tan head that turned into heavy lacing leaving a lot of sticking to the glass. The beer was a deep red-brown with medium carbonation.

S- Nice caramel malt scent was combined with some light spice and subtle hops.

T- More malt character with spicing and moderate hops to even the flavors. Not very robust.

M- Medium feel with moderate carbonation.

D- A fairly easy drinker.

Overall- It's a solid beer. An easy one to use as a "go to" during the winter months, especially when a tap list may be running short.

GRPunk, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of stewart124
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber color with fizzy white head that didn't seem to last too long. Clean almost grassy smell with a malty nose.

Taste is sweet with a blend of caramel malts present. This leaves a nice tasty note of plums and raisins. Hops lean towards the noble variety and leave a nice clean taste that accentuates the malts without taking away from the bock. Finishes fairly dry with a residual sweetness and a soothing feeling on the tongue. The bottle mentions wheat and spices used in this but I find the spices subtle. I'm wondering if they used torrified wheat or malted wheat. The body is medium to a bit large so maybe torrified wheat adds to the body. Just my guess and take on this winter lager.

This is a winter beer that I look forward to every year and it brings back fond memories of first snows and a good beer shared with good friends.

stewart124, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a S.A. Boston Lager Glass)

A- This beer has a crystal clear but a bit dense deep mahogany red body with tiny bubbles that glide to the surface. There is a thin off-white film that last for the full beer and glides down the glass after each sip.

S- This beer has a smooth caramel smell with a light graham cracker note with a very light sweetness. There is a soft warmth that might be cinnamon in the finish.

T- This beer has a nice caramel sweetness that is smooth with a light toffee note to it. There is a nice cinnamon hint that is very mellow and lingers in the background. There is a nice dry crisp taste in the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a nice tight fizz in the finish.

D- The smooth rich flavors of malts have enough sweetness to offer body but not sweetness in flavor. The cinnamon is a mysterious flavor that is perfect.

rhoadsrage, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of wjimson
2.78/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour into a beer stein with a decent head, which retained to up to 5 mins before being flat. Taste of ginger and spice with a tingling mouthfeel. The taste of malt is thin and not apparent, but has a pumpkin like characteristic. Little body for a 5.8%. The hop bitterness is well balanced for its style.

Sure its drinkable. It is also quite pedestrian. More was expected out of this beer, but didn't quite materialized. This beer is not a bock, but more like a watered down spiced pumpkin drink.

wjimson, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of aquaderek
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer on tap at a local watering hole. It is a light brown with very little head. The nose is spicy and malty, great for the winter season...like a malty gingerbread house. The taste is good, it has the flavor you want in a winter seasonal beer but lighter and refreshing. The mouthfeel is pretty carbonated with some slight oily viscosity. I could and did drink many of these in a sitting.

aquaderek, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of argock
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into clear pint glass

A: Deep clear brown with clean white head with scant lacing

S: Gingerbread and malts with a touch of citrus and a fair amount of alcohol in the nose

T: Malty with fresh ginger and orange flavors and low but pleasant hops presence in the finish

M: Very smooth and slick feel with spicy, malty aftertaste

D: Uniquely spiced with plenty of malty flavor with a slick, smooth feel.

argock, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of andrewm190
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my favorite Sam Adams thus far. A little citrus, a very little spice. The least appealing aspect of the beer was the smell. It hinted at being no better than the average cheap six pack. From here, it gets much better. As I mentioned, the taste, on top of the typical lager style, are appealing. The beer feels nice on the palate, the alcohol is not overwhelming, and certainly an appropriate winter brew.

Certainly not top shelf, but a noble effort from Sam Adams. Not a bad pick-up.

andrewm190, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of tigerdoc
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A classic winter beer, and one of my favorite Sam Adams, probably second on my list behind the Boston Lager. The appearance is the weak point of the beer, the color is a nice amber color but the head was small and quickly diminishing. The aroma is malt sweetness balanced with Christmas spices and a little bit of toastyness. There is also a slight background of hops and fruity esters. The spices come out more pronounced in the flavor balanced with sweet toasty malt. The mouthfeel is crisp as would be expected with a lager, and is a very drinkable beer.

tigerdoc, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of bozebus17
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant copper with a tight off white head. I really like the color of this brew.

Smell is sweet caramel malts, a definite bread aroma and a hint of noble hops. Very good nose.

Taste is initially sweet caramel malts. This is followed by some toasted flavors. It is creamy with a clean dry finish. I do detect a slight metallic flavor that I didn't really enjoy.

Overall this is a solid yet forgettable bock. I wouldn't seek it out but I would definitely drink it if offered.

bozebus17, Dec 08, 2007
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 4,892 ratings.