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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.

4,672 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,672
Reviews: 1,851
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 43
Gots: 283 | 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: 4,672 | Reviews: 1,851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An easy drinking wheat bock-style ale with a mild complexity of spice built in. Slight fruity, slight earthy, and slight sweetness give a rounded impression for any cool weather session and a compliment to many wintry meals.

Sam Adams Winter Lager pours with a medium brown, light mohogany hue and with bright clarity. A creamy off-white head caps the beer and releases spotty pockets of lace as the beer falls. A firm, yet light Bock look.

Mild aromas of soft pilsner malt cracker character is layered with notes of grape, light toast, nuts, and almost chocolate. A light spicy character tickles the nose with seemingly peppercorn, lavender, and cinnamon.

Flavors fare similarly with a mostly malt, but partly grain flavor. Sugary malty sweetness is moderate and carries a slight candied fruit with toast, light chocolate, nuts, and spice. Earthy hops allow for a slight grassy taste in finish, just as the added spices blend into bitterness late.

Medium to start, but after the creamy carbonation subdues, the beer lingers in finish with a semi-dry feel with slight lingering sweetness, mild grain astringency, slight alcohol warmth, and largely clean for its style.

Perhaps a bit timid on all fronts, this is kind of a Bock with training wheels. Despite its overall lightness and somewhat grainy texture and taste, the beer is remarkably refreshing and drinkable.

BEERchitect, Nov 15, 2006
Photo of russpowell
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 version

Pours copper with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Some lacing & head retention

S: Sweet malt & brown sugar

T: Sweet malt with hints of caramel &brown sugar up front. Cinamon follows as it warms up, plus some warming sensation from the alcohol, along with biscuitty notes. Finishes dry & biscuitty

MF: Rich, medium bodied & moderate carbonation, plus superb balance

Drank very easy, much tastier than last year

russpowell, Nov 15, 2006
Photo of kboett77
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The winter lager is a nice changeup from the heavily spiced pumpkin et al beers of fall. The flavor begins with the cinnamon note with actually effects the mouthfeel, giving a textured and warm feeling. However, the flavor quickly transitions to a nice lagery flavor supported but just a hint of hops. The beer is remarkably drinkable for a spiced beer, and does less damage to the palate than expected. The winter lager is a great way to transition from fall to winter.

kboett77, Nov 14, 2006
Photo of veech
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very smooth and drinkable lager with enough body and malted flavor to enjoy throughout the winter. This is reminiscent of one of the first darker beers I ever tried: Coors Winterfest but with better balanced flavor and a smoother mouthfeel and finish. I hate to see their Octoberfest go, but the winter lager is a nice replacement. A nice seasonal offering from Boston Beer Co.

veech, Nov 12, 2006
Photo of beeroclock
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a deep copper/auburn color. It honestly appeared purplish in a way. It didn't have much head at all, with very little lacing. This beer smells of nuts and floral type tones. It tastes a bit spicy and has quite a bit of carbonation on the tongue, which surprised me w/ the lack of head to it. It's not a great beer, but definitely worth checking out. However, if you are interested in a seasonal, the Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale is killing this one.

beeroclock, Nov 12, 2006
Photo of ndekke39
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with an April '07 best-by date, although the marking is very faint. I had to check all 6 bottles in the pack to confirm the date. Pours a lovely copper color with a small white head. Good retention on it. Smells mostly of sweet, dark barley. Nice toasty, bready smell. Tastes much of the same. Good, clean taste - warm and refreshing. The toasted barley blooms in the mouth. Good creaminess for a lager - not too thick, but not at all watery. Overall, my favorite Sam Adams' offering. An excellent winter brew: warm and freshing, perfect for sipping.

ndekke39, Nov 11, 2006
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


A: Garnett color with copper highlights, clean with just a few straggling bubbles. An uncharacteristic fizzy head sits on top of the body. Once was a light tan but has fallen to a boring ring. Sam Adams used to own carbonation. Guess not anymore :(

S: Pancake syrup, doughy, nougat and some malty caramel.

T: Begins fruity on the tip of the tongue; apple, strawberry and perhaps some raspberry. Moves to a subtle...and some what boring....caramel component with toasted barley. Finishes malty, sort of caramel apple like

M: Thin and frankly unfullfiling.

D: I've like this beer much more in the past. Do they change their recipe every year? Seems thin and flavorless compared to past years

Westsidethreat, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of dustylong
2.98/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Alright...I haven't reviewed for a few months...so here goes. Pours a dark copper color with moderate head and some lacing (poured from a bottle into a pint glass). The scent is not very strong, has a sweet aroma. Has a fairly malty taste, with a clean finish. Has a thicker mouthfeel to it. A decent beer, but nothing all that impressive. Worth trying over the holiday season.

dustylong, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of rebel1771
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with a pretty decent head.

Sweet smelling caramel malts dominate the aroma along with a touch of cinnamon and maybe a little vanilla.

The flavor was way better than what I expected. The sweet caramel malts show back up, but not in an overpowering way some winter brews. The cinnamon is slight but notable and the vanilla really smooths this brew out.

This is one fine brew, I could down a few of these in one sitting easy.

rebel1771, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of wedge
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear chestnut brown - thin, soapy head sticks to the surface well. Light but solid aroma of bready malts, toasted caramel, and warm spiced citrus. Soft, rich malty flavor balanced with spices. Earthy, sweet maple and grain. As a weizenbock, which BBC labels it, the mouthfeel seems a little thin. Not bad though, soft and very smooth.

Very enjoyable brew all around. I wish it was a little beefier, but overall its not a bad rendition of a mellow lagered weizenbock.

wedge, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of phishgator
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is poured into a 22 oz Hefe weizen glass. Nice deep copper hue and a large foamy head. The head dissipates slowly, but never completely goes away. The aroma is only slight; there seems to be a hint of toasted malt, a touch of spices I can't place (nutmeg), and sugary molasses. The taste is malt dominated! There is the cinammon, the malt, and the malt. Very little hop presence. The body is a little thin. I would say that since I finished the 6 pack in two nights it's a very drinkable brew. A nice seasonal that I would say one should try.

phishgator, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of hunteraw
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On the whole, seems more like a doppelbock than a winter warmer.

Appearance: Beautiful garnet in color, moderate head, and little to no lacing. Points for such a nice color, though.

Smell: Very much like a doppelbock. Malty, lager-clean, with a hint of spice.

Taste: Caramel notes, some spice in the background. Doesn't taste as good as it smells. Very little in the way of hop character. Hard to pick out individual spices - restrained usage.

Mouthfeel: Good body for a lager, good carbonation.

Drinkability: Decent, but not exceptional.

hunteraw, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of clickpush
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour: 12oz bottle to tulip glass. Dark amber beer topped by a finger of off-white head, depleting to scant lacings. Lots of bubbles surfacing in this effervescent brew.

Nose: On the fainter side - heavy on the malts combine w/ common lager hop aroma... notes of maple syrup, brown sugar, and a touch of cinnamon. Nothing too special.

Mouth: Strong mouth feel is the first noticeable attribute, heavily carbonated. Apple pie notes in the flavor, cinnamon plus tart flavors along the sides of the tongue. A dry finish leaves the back of the mouth asking "when's it my turn??" More character comes out as it warms - the presence of nutmeg makes itself known, but unfortunately as the temperature increases the sweetness up front increases but the back of the mouth gets filled with some grungy flavor that I don't like.

clickpush, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of drotski
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice clear amber color, with a thick foamy head that quickly dropped to a thin foamy layer.

Smells of sweet malt, and spices. Very sweet, sugary aroma. Notes of cinnamon, ginger, and citrus.

Very nice taste. Spicy, lightly fruity. Somewhat bitter on the finish. Nicely balanced.

Very pleasant mouthfeel. A little on the thin side, with moderate carbonation.

Very drinkable Beer, perfect thing as we slip into Winter.

drotski, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of edskirk3
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a fresh bottle, good till March 2007.

It pours dark copper with a thin head. Smells like caramel and cinnamon. I can only guess as to what other "winter spices" they used. Nutmeg? Is that even a winter spice? Also present is the familiar sensation of dark wheat malt, which I recognize from homebrewing.

Altogether this brew is malty, sweet and warming. If only it were colder out. Damn these Indian summers.

edskirk3, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of cjgator3
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brownish copper color with a fizzy tan head that quickly dissapears. Smell is sweet and malty with some winter spices, alcohol and a wierd metallic twang in the aroma as well. Semi-thick and slightly chewy mouthfeel make way for a nice malty base with some holiday spices. Overall, this is a decent brew but nothing to get excited about.

cjgator3, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of cabsandking
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber color with a sticky tan head for some good lacing action. The nose offers some unexpected notes such as celery, pure honey, and malt characters. The taste is a mellow blend of smooth roasted malts, toffee, and ginger cookies in the background and finish. Later tastes reveal some wheat crackers, orange peel, and something similar to pumpkin. Medium body and a terrific mouthfeel that is smooth up front, creamy in the middle, and a pop of fizz at the end. A very nice winter warmer without being too pretentious.

cabsandking, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a glassy sunburst-tinted amber, with a big head that reduces slowly, eventually ending up a skim across the top of that great color. Huge lace too. Just looking at it makes me warm.

Aroma brings mostly caramel to the nose, very malty with hints of vanilla. The spices that reveal themselves in the flavor are muted in the aroma, drowned in malt, but the aroma that is here is very nice.

The flavor brings more malt, bready and caramel-like, and the spices advertised on the 6-pack box (orange zest, cinnamon, ginger) are there, but very subtle. You pick them up better as the beer warms. Best drank after the chill is taken off a bit, so you can get those subtle flavors. And it kinda reminds of a pumpkin ale, with suggestions of coriander, allspice and nutmeg, with cirtusy sharpness in the finish.

Delicious and delicate, with intriguing subtleties, this is definitely the most impressive beer I've had from Samuel Adams' very long list of offerings.

Metalmonk, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of guinnessfan
2.9/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on draught in tall pilsner glass

A: Clear, dark amber color with white head, decent lacing.

S: Weak spice smell, almost non-existent

T: Weak and unimpressive, not bad though. Even weaker spice taste, slight citrus. Very little malt flavor.

M: Seems too carbonated, thin bodied.

D: Easy beer to session, but not really that enjoyable for me. I normally like this beer more, but it seems really weak this time.

guinnessfan, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - this Sam Adams offering pours a dark reddish brown color, with a thin tan head and lots of apparent

S - the spiciness is reminiscient of a christmas morning, a rather evocative aroma for a brewer as large as Sammy A, its very inviting and warm, a great musty spiciniess (nutmeg maybe?) with a slight citrine twang

T - the citrus taste persists nicely to the taste, the spiciness is far more subdued than i would have guessed from the aroma

M&D - a nice flavor, warm for a winters night, a very nice offering from Sam Adams, with a higher-ish drinkability

sinstaineddemon, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of KyleVick4
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz

A: Pours with a nice head that clings to the sides. An appealing color which is crystal clear. Looks very nice.

S: Sweet carmel malt is dominant (though not as dominant as in their oktoberfest) along with some spicyness of what I think is ginger. Kinda bland for being a spiced beer, but good nonetheless

T: A nice sweet taste of the carmel malts, expected that from the smell, the melding of the medium/high carbonation the mild spices and the spicyness contributed to the hops all are fabulous. A pretty tasty session beer for sure.

M: The carbonation is strange, but not in a bad way. When I drink it I think mmm low carbonation, then when I "taste" it I think hmmm a little high carbonation. I think I am getting the spices and carbonation mixed up a little, mainly bc they have been integrated so well together. Either way the body is fairly thick for a traditional lager and a touch chewy. However, I assume when it gets cold (read: I live in south florida) this quality is desirable. But the 75 degree weather out today may detract from the full mouthfeel, however I will not take off points due to this being the style.

D: A very drinkable beer, the low alcohol and easy taste/mouthfeel contribute to it, while the carmel malts and spices/hops give it a nice taste to go down also.

KyleVick4, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of xav33
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Winter Lager
12 oz bottle
Recent brewing, winterized 11/06
Medium pour in a shaker.

Poured a clear dark copper with an average rocky off-white mostly lasting head with good lacing.

Smelt of moderate sweet caramel, malt sugar, light cinnamon. Some interesting spices happening here, like creamy vanilla and faint nutmeg. I can't pinpoint it, but hell yeah.

Taste was upfront moderate sweet caramel toasted malt and light cinnamon followed by a moderate tasty roasted graininess and sweet caramel and spiced candy on a somewhat lengthy mild earthy yeasty finish. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, silky and creamy, softly carbonated, with light astringency.

Overall, I wish I had a more extensive vocabulary. There's a lot of great tastes and aromas happening here, and most importantly its balanced beatifully.

xav33, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of Neehan
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark copper pour with a decent-sized head. Smells strongly of cinnamon and spices with lots of malt characteristics. Has a taste and body of an Oktoberfest with strong malts, but heavier in the spices. A complex, warming mouthfeel allowing the spices to be noticed. Quite drinkable.

Neehan, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of BeerSox
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into mug. The label says "Winter Brew" because the alcohol by volume is too high for it to be labeled as "Winter Ale" because of Texas laws. Still the same light blew label with snowflakes as decoration.

Deep copper color with a light tan head that doesn't last too long, and settles to a foamy cap. Sticky lacing throughout.

Strong caramelized sugar smells similar to an Oktoberfest. Grainy malts in the background.

Light flavors all around, but still spicey and malty enough to have good complexity. The light-medium body and medium carbonation give it a little kick. Some sweeter flavors can be tasted throughout. Hop bitterness is at a minimum. A clean finish, with a bit of lingering husky grain throughout the mouth.

Slightly complex, with no overpowering flavors. A good choice for the winter. Recommended.

BeerSox, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of bashiba
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a good dark copper with a thick tan head, good retention and lacing.

Smell Was light toasted malts with a touch of juniper.

Taste had a great buscuity toasted malt flavor with hints of copper, has a nice bit of minty and juniper hop finish.

Mouthfeel is light and a bit oily.

A tasty and drinkable beer, Sam Adams makes another winner.

bashiba, Nov 03, 2006
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,672 ratings.