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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.

4,616 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,616
Reviews: 1,851
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 40
Gots: 255 | 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: 4,616 | Reviews: 1,851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nitemarebrewer
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Good head, fades to a scum on top. Healthy carbonation.
Amber hue. Smells malty and slightly hoppy.
Mouthfeel is unremarkable.
Tastes like it smells, clean. Almost no aftertaste.Very drinkable. Tastes like a lager.
I could put away a few of these and not get bored with the taste or bloated.

nitemarebrewer, Mar 07, 2006
Photo of dauss
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle with Sam Adams raise in lettering below the neck. The bottle I have in front of me says it is a Winter Brew. A dark wheat malt liquor brewed with winter spices(Thank you Texas Alcoholic Beverage Comission nazis). A notch by April is on this bottle.

Appearance: slightly hazy deep amber color. A decent tan head forms on top with good retention.

Smell: Definite malt sweetness, some caramel, toffee, light citrus, cinnamon, ginger, and a touch of alcohol. Sorta does smell like the holidays, has a gingersnap aroma that is mediocre when compared to Anchor's OSA.

Taste: Medium bodied sweet malt starts it off. Slight cinnamon flavor with some spicyness. Finishes with toffee, caramel, and a touch of astringency.

Notes: not bad. Its a little on the bland side. The aroma is good and the flavor upfront is good also, but it just fades too fast in the finish.

dauss, Mar 04, 2006
Photo of normZurawski
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not a bad tasting beer. Sometimes I have to remind myself that SA isn't a macro brew, and they do produce a decent beer. This Winter Lager is an example of that, having a smooth spicy body with only a slightly rough finish. That finish, plus the aroma which I find generally unpleasant, is what keeps this from being a solid 4.0/good beer for me. All in all, the taste is good, as is the drinkability. Plus it looks good. So it's got that going for it, which is nice.

Second bottle of this reinforces what I thought on the first. It's not exceptionally smooth. It's not entirely rough, but it doesn't have smooth edges, as they say. A slight hoppy bitterness on the mid-late body gives it an interesting delivery on the spices. I'm not refined enough to say what those spices are - suffice it to say that they're patently winter-esque without being overly so, like this year's Anchor winter offering was. Some taste maltiness in this, which I get mostly in the finish. Again, a decent beer. Worth a try.

normZurawski, Mar 04, 2006
Photo of elricorico
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost cherry red with a foamy head that has a bit of pink in it. The head is slowly backing off as I type, however it seems to have some staying power.

I'm not finding much in the smell, maybe a faint grassiness and a hint of berry juice, but it is faint enough that it may just be my imagination. As it warmed I did note some cinammon starting to become apparent in the aroma.

Taste is much more interesting than the smell was. Starting off with a semi sweet, light berry flavour, the rest of the mouth receives a spice mix that is at once a bit peppery and a bit tart. The finish is grainy, but light, and a touch of cinammon can be found there if you look for it. Not much hops in the end.

Mouthfeel is fairly good for a lager, it is full with a lively carbonation that enhances the beer and is not coarse. Drinkability is very good, especially on a chilly winter night.

Worth having, this is a beer I wouldn't mind revisiting whenever it becomes available.

elricorico, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of akajimmyd
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance – Nice red copper color. Thin head, no lacing.

Smell – Smells of sweet malts and spice.

Taste – Starts with sweet malts. Nice mild spice in the middle. Could use a bit more hop in the backbone. Smallest hints of the booze.

Mouthfeel – Tingles on the tounge (a bit overcarbonated?) A bit thin for the style.

Drinkability – A very good starter winter warmer. Incredibly drinkable. The score might not reflect it but I really enjoy this beer. I’m sure I will pick up another sixer next year.

akajimmyd, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of kkipple
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

With the temperture outside hovering near freezing, I figured it was a good time to drink my last left-over bottle of Sam Adams Winter Lager. Into the glass it goes!

Pours a hazy amber color. A diminishing head with lots of lacing. Respectable.

Smell is muted, or maybe it's just me, but there's malt, citrus, honey and ginger in there somewhere. Interesting.

Taste is good. A malty beer with a hint of alcohol and some interesting spice flavors. I'm pretty sure there's orange, or some sort of citrus in there, along with what tastes like cloves and ginger. The spices don't overpower the rest of the beer, but compliment it, as they should. Pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel is spicy, tingly and crisp. Reminds me of cold spiced cider.

I have to admit I'm not a lager fan, but this one is alright. It's heavier than most lagers, and the added flavors from the spices keep me drinking it. I don't think it's much of a session beer, but it sure hits the spot on a cold day like today. I'm looking forward to drinking it again next winter.

kkipple, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of jameaterblues
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I was out at bar a while ago and noticed the Sam Adams seasonal on tap. While I normally like Sam Adams i had never had their winter lager. The beer was a nice color, an amber/brown. The smell was of spice, and predominently of spice.

While drinking I found that it tasted much more of spice than of beer, and it might just be that I like the beer before my spice. I understand what the brewer was going for a nice robust holiday brew with added flavor, but I think it falls short. There is just too much going on and I feel that it takes away from the beer overall.

The beer feels like a lager would feel in heavyness, but again the spice was just too much. If you like the spice I say go for it, but to me I could never drink more than one in a sitting.

jameaterblues, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of Jredner
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smelled like a fruit cake made with plenty of citrus fruit to give it that tropical Christmas feel. Orangey ,marmalady aroma dominates, but there are plenty of malty and spicy notes beneath that. Taste is sweet caramel malts, citrus, yeast and spice. Definitely gets you in the holiday spirit, but it gets a little too off base for the style.

Jredner, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A slim creamy head graces the top of this deep, clear, amber brew. Lots of streaming carbonation present throughout. The smell is faint, however, just the aroma of bready malt and mild spice. The first thing I notice in the taste is the cinnamon spice. The malt is caramelly and bread-like, but not real strong in flavor. It tastes very clean like a lager should be, and its well carbonated. Very smooth, and medium thick, it coats well and goes down pretty easy. Not overly strong in flavor or alcohol, this winter warmer is drinkable and enjoyable...

bennetj17, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of longarm
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep orange/brown color with moderate carbonation.

Some alcohol and lots of caramelized malt on the nose but nutmeg also prevails.

Mostly sweet up front flavor, nutmeg or cinnamon in the middle with a slightly sour, but still clean finish.

Moderate body coats well.

For a style I typically don't choose due to the tendency of brewers to overspice, I'm impressed with this interpretation. Nice complexity without over or under doing the spices. Good malt balance and relatively easy to drink.

longarm, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of mattdavis452
4.53/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A good, golden color. Filtered. Appealing.

S: Hints of a creamy taste are suggested, and will be followed with delivery on this olfactory promise.

T: Light hints of cream. Drinks well. Perhaps the tiniest suggestion of winter fruits are detectable as well. Very well balanced.

M: Crisp. Delectable. Pretty much everything I could ask for in terms of mouthfeel for this style beer.

D: A definition session beer. Not something like a Chimay Blue Label which one would savor every drop; instead, this is a great beer you can share with friends, both beer advocates and illiterates alike.

mattdavis452, Feb 14, 2006
Photo of acarroll413
4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at a pub in Northampton, MA. I immediately loved the color, beautifully dark and full. It smelled great, cinnamon, maybe a little bit of nutmeg. The head was a medium size and went down after a minute or so. It didn't taste too carbonated. It went down smooth and tasted quite good. I'd drink this again in a heartbeat.

acarroll413, Feb 13, 2006
Photo of hero27
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear bronze color. Beautiful head leaves sheets of lace behind.. The smell is toffee malts, caramel, and a hint of hops. The taste is big-time caramel malts resting on a medium body. Drinkability is superb, and it was nice to try this on-tap after Groundhog Day. You can't go wrong with this one..another good offering from Boston Beer Co.

hero27, Feb 07, 2006
Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a deep amber with a off white head that fall into a fuzzy haze.
the aroma is very malty, hint of alcohol, and smiggen of hopsack.
the flavor is very malty, carmelized malt, hop spice.
the mouthfeel is very nice, not to thick, not to thin.
beer is very easy to drink. deffently fit the cold weather.

plaztikjezuz, Feb 04, 2006
Photo of Domingo
4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A really drinkable brew for the winter.
Pours a copper color. Nothing special...but nothing wrong either. Looks like a slightly darker Boston Lager.
Smell definitely sets it apart. Husky smell, with a little bit of hops, but finishes with a little cinnamon, orange, and maybe even a little bit of nutmeg. This beer isn't "spiced" but it provides it's own natural spice via the combination of flavors. If you took a Boston Lager and gave it a sweeter flavor without as much hop punch, that's where this brew comes in.
Flavor comes through with the spice hitting the palate only slightly. I personally found this to be nice as it's just enough to set it apart.
Mouthfeel is a little foamy at first, but it settles quickly enough.
Drinkability is high. It's a great beer for a winter night at a bar. It's common for this variety to show up at normal macro-only bars, and I find that I could drink it until it's time to go home.
During the time that it's available, this is a great default beer to keep on hand.

Domingo, Feb 03, 2006
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of a great winter pack, this winter warmer has a deep reddish copper color with an inch thick head, and has lovely spotty and streaky lacings. The smell is of toasted malt, caramel, I almost want to say a little orange in there, which I found odd. Taste is quite nice, carameled malts on the forefront with spices of cinnamon and orange peel and the hops kick in for a smooth but tingly ride down the throat and eases into a warm feeling through the torso. And I had to raid the spice cabinet to be sure, but I think I'm picking up something like corriander. Body is great, and the action comes mostly toward end, and I really like the warm feel. Overall, this is quite a nice beer, beautiful and fun to drink.

objectivemonkey, Feb 03, 2006
Photo of rodrot
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear reddish/amber color with a 3/4 inch head. The aroma was of malt, spices and a slight whiff of hops. Taste was malt sweetness, maple syrup and holiday spices. I could detect some nutmeg, cinammon, vanilla and allspice. This beer is mighty tasty and I try to pick some up every year if I can. I think the 5.99 I paid for a sixer was a bargain.

rodrot, Feb 01, 2006
Photo of blackie
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: The pour produces a .75" off "winter white" head that gradually recedes. The beer is medium amber in color.

smell: At first there's a nice caramelly sweetness and holiday spice (ginger, cinnamon, vanilla). Just then I get just a slight whiff of cocoa and maybe some apple pie...and a touch of hardwood. Hop aroma is low.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is just under medium, and smooth...and the body medium.

taste: A nice blend of caramel sweetness, spice, and hop flavor. There's just a little bitterness to clean the palate, that lingers into the finish with some spicy/sweet flavors. Not quite as complex as the aroma, but still good.

drinkability: A good beer, and pretty easy to drink...though it does wear on me after a bit.

The last beer is a SA winter mix pack I purchased. A best before month of March is notched on the label.

blackie, Jan 31, 2006
Photo of VoodooBrew
2.6/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had tried this beer once previously, about 2-3 years ago, but unfortunately I don't really remember my impression of it then. But I'm sure it wasn't as bad as this time around. Read on...

The beer poured a very hazy orange, making look almost like apple cider. There was a decent head but not much in the way of head retention.

Things improved in the aroma department, where I detected some spice, and fruits that reminded me of apple and banana. A nice aroma profile for a winter beer.

I found the flavor to be much more disappointing, however. First of all there really didn't seem to be sufficient flavor for a winter beer. It seemed thin, without any "warming" properties, and the flavor seemed to further thin out mid-pint. Furthermore, there was a tartness in the aftertaste that I found to be unpleasant. This tartness served to negatively impact the mouthfeel.

I don't know if this was a bad keg or what the story was. I was quite surprised by the flaws in this beers. Normally Boston Beer makes products that, at the very least, don't offend.

VoodooBrew, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of GolgiIPAratus
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled: 12.28.05

The beer has a creamy eggnog head, about an inch thick and leaves moderate lacing that I washed off with each sip. The body is dark copper with ruby highlights.

The aroma is dark fruits and rich caramel within the malts.

The brew is crisp at first, and evens out with roasty malts. Dark fruits, fig/raison/prune, dominate the flavor. It’s a full beer in the mouth, and in the middle ground of carbonation.

Drinkability is medium. It’s full and flavorful so it’s not session beer for me. Though I did enjoy them spread out over time.

GolgiIPAratus, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of jaluria
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A medium-brown color with an off-white head that didn't stick around very long and left behind only a touch of lacing. Aromas of roasted sugar, burnt wood, and honey seemed to come out. The taste was a dominated by sweet malt, but the finish was bitter. With time, the malt taste was closely followed by a hop bitterness that had flavors of various dried fruits and honey. The texture was soft and sticky with a bit of sweet fruit flavoring that lingered on my tongue. The drinkability was high because this is flavorful enough to enjoy over and over, but low enough in ABV to enjoy the evenning.

jaluria, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of FenwaySquid
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle, BBD of June notched on the label, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a deep reddish-brown color, as transparent as something this dark can be. The head formed decent-sized, then faded quickly into thin film on top of the beer with the accompanying lace.

Aroma: Sweet malty smell with a hint of caramel and brown sugar.

Taste: Caramel malts up front, the mouthfeel is almost chewy. There is a bitter hoppy undertone as well that rounds it out nicely. There are some spices in there as well but I can't identify them. The finish is bitter, with both caramel malts and hops combining exquisistely.

Overall: This is easily my favorite of the Sam Adams brews. I didn't realize this was a wheat lager until seeing Jason's review, and lo and behold there it is on the label. Definitely worth a try.

FenwaySquid, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I prefer this out of the bottle as opposed to on-tap. Amber in appearance, leaving a good-ok lacing. The aroma is sweet and the taste has traces of fruit & nutmeg. The mouthfeel is very good, & could happily spend the night drinking only these. A slightly better Winter Warmer for my money, however, is Sam Adams Old Fezziwig (sp?).

oldirtycaffrey, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of Hagbard
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

After an aggressive pour, a huge off-white head forms on top of a deep amber beer. A lacing is left down the sides of the glass. The aroma is on the weak side, a malty sweetness dominates with not much else to speak of. The taste is delightfully nuanced. A malty sweetness presides, leaving a slight stickiness in the mouth. There is a bit of a nutmeg and cinnamon taste in the beginning and a slight bit of fruitiness in the background. The malt is king here though. As I already mentioned, it has a fair amount of sweetness, but this is cut by a nice toasted malt element that provides a biscuity taste, which keeps the sweetness from becoming cloying. The mouthfeel is fairly chewy for a lager, adding a nice amount of sturdiness. It is fairly drinkable, though it becomes a bit less appealing when it warms up. This is a tasty and harty winter-time lager. A nice choice when out and about and faced with the same old offerings.

Hagbard, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of Wasatch
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark reddish/copper color, very small head, some carbonation, some lacing afterwards. Scents of malts, sweet toffee/caramel, and some spices. The taste is sweet malty and a slight roasty, with a dry finish. Medium body. Very drinkable, not a Winter Warmer in my book, but nice. Another great beer from Samuel Adams, Would definitely recommend to others.

Wasatch, Jan 22, 2006
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,616 ratings.