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Samuel Adams Winter Lager - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

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5,330 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,330
Reviews: 1,925
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 65
Gots: 727 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,330 | Reviews: 1,925 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mardukk
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red amber with some good lacing and a small off white head.

Smells of cinnamon and holiday spices.

Quite the mix of cinnamon and nutmeg with maltiness more dominant than the hops. Slight touch of floral hops amongst the abundant malt. Medium bodied with a somewhat dry spicy finish...yummmm.

This is very drinkable as the flavors are all subtle and it is medium bodied with a medium carbonation.

My favorite of the Sam Adams catalog of beers(Octoberfest close second). Finally, a winter beer that is more interested in being medium and drinkable rather than overpowering.

Photo of Josievan
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A semi-translucent dark amber color. Head is so-so.

Smell: Spices and malt intermingle, but overall aroma is not very strong.

Taste: Sweetly malty and mildly spicy. Its rather undiscernable what specific spices are at play. I detect more winter/spice characteristics than bock characteristics.

Mouthfeel: Relatively thin-bodied. Highly carbonated, as are most Sam Adams beers. Quite smooth if not for the carbonation.

Drinkability: This beer's drinkability score is a notch higher than its other scores because the alcohol is completely hidden and it goes down so easily.

Notes: My perception of this beer is about the same as my perception of most Sam Adams beers: not exactly a stellar brew, yet never a bad choice either. Not my favorite winter seasonal or my favorite Sam Adams beer, but a decent beer nevertheless.

Photo of fsimcox
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle.

Pours a clear amber, somewhat transparent color. White foamy head that dissipates after a few minutes to a long lasting thin white cover. Nice lacing.

Smells of hops, and spice, perhaps a hint of cinnamon, but smell is week.

Taste is crisp, malts, and spicy. Finishes dry with a little cinnamon aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is nice, some carbonation, and mild spiciness.

A solid winter beer, and very drinkable during the holiday season.

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

Pours a nice copper color with a thick tan head. Rather sticky, leaving a decent lacing down the glass.

Smell is a bit overly spicy. Most noticeable would be cinnamon and ginger. A bit sweet to balance this out and little or no hop aroma.

Taste starts off a bit sweet, definitely malty. Then come the various spice note and a little bit of a citrus/fruity flavor. Hop bitterness is minimal.

Mouthfeel is a medium-bodied, with a lots of carbonation. Spice and alcohol give this winter brew a nice warming effect.

Overall an enjoyable winter brew, but not quite the bock I was expecting.

Photo of NicholasCasber
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: The pour produced little to no head, which if any did dissipate quickly. The color was a dark amber, and almost brown.

S: The smell was very rich in hops, with light tones of cinnamon.

T: The taste, was one of my favorites for the winter season. I tasted a little bit of an orange peel, but overall the beer was just a fairly dark wonder of joy.

M: The beer was fairly silky, and left you wanting another drink.

D: I rated the drinkability low on this beer, mostly because of the seasonal aspect of it. During the hot summer months this would not quench my thirst.

Overall, great beer, and another solid attempt by Sam Adams, although I think some of my local breweries do it better. I highly recommend this to you and yours, as always, Cheers.

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

I like this beer because you have to wait for it every year to be released. It kind of lets me know Christmas is coming and all is right with the world. I know thats far fetched but it really is a great beer. What I like most about this beer is the fact that although you can taste the extra spices they don't overpower the drinkability. So with that said, Happy Holidays!

Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is burgundy with a beautiful creamy off-white long-lasting head that leaves some faint lacings.

S: Spicy, light roasted malt with a dryness from bitterhops. A bit fruity where dark dried fruits dominates. Some floral hops, but faint.

T: Full in taste, sweet and bitter at the same time. Dark dried fruits together with cinnamon and other spices.

M: The long-lasting aftertaste holds a lot of bitter dryness. The body is full and the carbonation is medium.

D: A nice beer, a real winter beer. In Sweden this is marketed as a x-mas beer - but this doesn't go to well with x-mas food (at least not swedish). This is a really nice winter beer, but not the best x-mas beer.

Photo of josefnewsong
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark reddish brown with an inch or so of foamy head
S - Not too much here, toasty malts and a bit of hops
T - Toasty malt with a hop finish makes this beer well-balanced
M - Mouthfeel is particularly nice, smooth and full bodied to start with a crisp finish due to carbonation and hops
D - Definitely a drinkable brew perfect for the winter season

Photo of kratos69
4.43/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The winter lager, which was the last Sam Adams I had yet to try, got me extremely excited to try it. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Amazing dark colour, with a slightly tan head, and mild lace that stuck to the side of the glass.

Smell - Potent hops, with slight notes of vanilla and what I suspect was orange or some other citrus fruit. Slightly spicy, as a winter beer should be, but by no means overwhelming.

Taste - Very hoppy, the citrus notes are more present in the taste than in the smell. Slightly sweet, and just enough spiciness to be pleasant. I experienced virtually no aftertaste, but I did happen to experience a number of flavors while sipping, including something of grapefruit and perhaps chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth, not as harsh as the Boston Lager, oerhaps not harsh enough. I remember trying a beer once, I think it was He'Brew Genesis Ale, which was actually too smooth to be enjoyable. This, however, was very pleasant.

Drinkability - I enjoyed drinking this beer. Heavy enough to satisfy, yet not so heavy that it becomes a chore to drink the beer. Would definitely get a 12-pack next time around.

Photo of farrago
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

About a half an inch head of loose tan foam which swiftly disperses to a thin surface layering, minimal lacing at best. Clear red amber liquid with more orange zinc hue around the rims, easily transparent. Whiff of nutmeg and ginger in the nose, toasted cocoa and caramel, close to white pepper at times, moderate apricot, apple fruit and close to zero citrus presence, it's really all over the place, sometimes smells like Dr. Pepper. Light-bodied with sufficient carbonation to churn it up into a larger presence. More metallic and herbaceous here with the malts, caramel and molasses a diminished force. Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg remains strong, contributes to its overall dryness. Regrettably, it is a touch boring and suggests more personality than it delivers.

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

A - reddish brown color. Nice big head that takes a while to go away. Kind of dark honey color.
S - Nice hops. Floral hops come first then followed up by the yeast
T - The first taste is on the hops and then quickly followed by the spices. THe malt is there but not very big. The yeast is a big flavor. Overall a pretty spicy beer.
M - medium body with heavy concentration
D - very drinkable and refreshing

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

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint. "Ale in TX" printed on the label. Interesting... APR Notched on the label as well, no other info.

Thanks to Sweemzander for this bottle!

A - A moderate pour gives the Winter Lager a big, light tan/cream-colored head three fingers tall. Good retention and clumps of lace down the glass. The beer is a clear amber color with few bubbles coming up.

S - Lightly toasted malts swirl around with a small bit of white chocolate and vanilla with a nice caramel sweetness at the end. A little bit of spice comes out. Some white pepper it seems like. A dry flour-like smell on the finish hinders it.

T - The flavor looses a lot of the initial nuances the aroma has but ends up being better in the end. Toasted malts with a light caramel sweetness that is balanced very well by a smooth hop addition. The end has spice notes, particularly white pepper, and possibly a touch of clove. The finish leaves a lingering dry but sweet vanilla flavor.

M - Winter Lager is creamy and smooth with a well-balanced dry finish and a touch of carbonation bubbles. Medium-bodied, it's mouthfeel is probably the best part of the beer.

D - A good winter seasonal but one of the weaker seasonals from Saumel Adams in terms of their Christmas offerings. I'd stop at two pints too. The whole beer is good but overall a bit cloying with extended consumption.

Photo of witster18
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours caramel - a lil' hazy. nose is same rich caramel and beer. Taste is malty backbone with a slight hop/herbal/spice and regular bock-esque finish. This is a dunkel/bock/winterlag if you ask me.... and has most of the good qualities of each. A very beer tasting beer(yes i meant to say it that way). Hints of ginger, dried apricot, and sherri.

Toned down for a 'winter' beer. WIth about 1% more alc maybe this would shine better because it is really headed in the right direction.... wish they made a slightly stronger(in every way) version - but this is definately top 5 for readily available Sam....

my sam top 5 for ref(not counting utopias/hallertau imperial/tripbock etc):
1.Boston Lager
2.Black Lager
3.Cream Stout
4.Winter Lager
5.Summer Ale

very drinkable for the style.
good breakfast beer.

Photo of Stunner97
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- very dark amber red in color, average white head quickly fades away to reveal nice clarity and carbonation,

Smell- slight citrus and almost faint spice of cinimmon to my nose, also slight hop and malt nose

Taste- overall a nice smooth balanced winter lager, not to overally spiced up in flavor though you can slightly pick it up in the background, I was worried this would be an over spiced up beer, but overall a decent balance and finish

Mouthfeel- very rich rich and nicely warming finish on a medium bodied beer

Drinkability- Overally this beer actually was not to bad at all, nothing I personally would regularly probably seek out as I am not hugely into a lot of winter lagers but it exceded my expectations so it is one I would give another look, overall just a very nice rich ale that is not bad if you just want one easy drinking beer at the local pub or by the tv,

Photo of donteatpoop
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

All these years and I've never had the Winter Lager. And having tried it now I am kicking myself for not having grabbed this before.

This beer pours a clear brown color with a vague rose hue to it, a nice cap of beige head sits atop early on but soon fades to a ring of foam around the outside perimiter of the brew.

The smell is primarily sweet and spice, no real hops to notice. Some lingering scent of ginger. Overall not as present as I would like.

The taste is really rich, the carmel and other spiced malts hit the palate first, notes of ginger playing at the tongue throughout. An excellent offering from SA

Photo of Kromes
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The beer is very clear and a brownish amber color. There is a decent off white head at first that quickly fades to a thin line of bubbles.

S: A bit of toasted malt and a little earthy hop with honey and ginger notes. At first it wasn't very aromatic, I think I had it too cold. Once the beer warms up a little, the nice aromas start emerging.

T: The ginger flavor starts right up front and continues all the way into the finish. There is a nice sweet toasted malt flavor in the background and there is also a citrus peel bitterness to the flavor.

M: The carbonation level is good and the mouthfeel is somewhat dry in the finish. It is pretty nice.

D: This is a one off beer. I don't think I would want to have more than one due to the strong ginger flavor, but it is tasty when you are in the mood for a winter spice beer.

Photo of drabmuh
3.66/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer served on draft at some sports bar. Beer is dark amber with a tight off white head. Beer is totally clear and there is moderate carbonation made up of moderate bubbles. Lacing high.

Aroma is low, a light unoffensive smelling lager. Some malt in there not much of anything though.

Beer is full bodied with an interesting sweetness. There is a cereal like aftertaste that gets stronger the more you drink. Low bitterness although there is some hop bitterness present. There is also a hint of spice in the midpalate. Drinkability high, mouthfeel is ok.

Photo of SkunkWorks
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a 2009 Winter Variety pack. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours out a reddish brown color with plentiful carbonation. Small head with almost no retention and doesn't really leave much lacing behind it. The aroma is almost non-existent. A little malt but that's all.

The flavor is mostly malt with some spice flavors in there. The malt comes first and some spice towards the tail end. Overall, its a little thin on flavor on mouthfeel. Its pretty drinkable though due to the thinness.

Overall, this beer is kind of unremarkable. I expected something better than this but it kinda let me down. Boston Lager is a good deal better.

Photo of cottonkoozie
3.61/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Nice slightly tan head that could have better retention, but leaves excellent lacing. Beer is a deep reddish brown color. Looks great.

S - Spiced malts, smells good, but not much more than that.

T - Malty to start, moving toward spices, and then finishing a nicely spiced hops flavor. Some underlying metallic taste however, which was enough to drop the score for me.

M - It is average, nothing more to say really. Does not impress me in either a positive or negative way.

D - Good drinkability.

Overall a good beer out of those that are readily available. Like others from Sam Adams though, better beers out there for the money, but they are harder to find.

Photo of sixerofelixir
3.11/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Drinking a few 12 ounce bottles from a Samuel Adams Winter Classics 12 pack:

Looks nice. Clear and coppery, with a frothy, tan head. Not too much going on with the smell. First taste is all smoky malt, going into some bitter and spice. What really is distracting from this bottle is a metallic bent in the aftertaste. The body is thin, and I'm left remembering how this beer was a bit bolder in years past. I may have sampled from an "off" batch, though.

Photo of ujsplace
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an oversized pint glass.

A: Pours an amber color with a thick chunky tannish-white head.

S: Burnt malt and herbal hops.

T: Nicely balanced malts and hops. Burnt caramel, herbal hop bitters.

M: Medium with fair carbonation, smooth and well balanced.

D: A good winter lager. Very good in terms of balance. Good stuff for the price/style...

Photo of magine
3.84/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours an amber color brew, off white head, minimal lace. Head settles to a small island f lace.

Has a sweet malt smell - caramel, spices.

The brew has a sweet spice malt flavor, smooth with a subtle spice mouthfeel. Can taste the nutty flavors as well. Very well balanced - solid.

This brew is very good - a yearly tradition for me and my fellow beer drinkers, and rightfully so.

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

Appearance: A finger of light tan head on top of a gorgeous amber colored beer.

Smell: Hops add a nice peppery aroma with a good amount of sweet malt balancing it out.

Taste: I wasn't expecting much, but in comparison to SABL this is a step up. I could taste some nice nutty flavors and has sweet caramel flavor. You can tell the earthy and somewhat spicy hop presence that was seen in the nose. Nice and bready with some spices like ginger present.

Mouthfeel: A little overly carbonated and medium bodied.

Drinkability: This has a bit more flavor than Samuel Adams Boston Lager and was definitely enjoyable. The finish was really great and a little less carbonation would have helped with drinkability, but this beer would go incredible well with Thanksgiving dinner.

Photo of Spineypanda
3.64/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Has a copper color, with a small but lasting head.
Smells of hops and some floral notes with a bit of esters.
Tastes like cinnamon and cloves with the hints of hops that you could smell before.
Has good carbonation and is a good beer.

I would buy this again.

Photo of Gremner
2.54/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- It had a nice burnt amber copper color. The head was small and weak, leaving rather quickly. Not appreciable lacing.

S- It had a spicy, hoppy aroma. Kind of weak, but present.

T- Mainly cinnamon. Decent hop appearance after the initial strong cinnamon. Left a bitter hang.

M- Light bodied with good carbonation.

D- Drinkable, but not for me.

Note: In all fairness this is not a type of beer I usually drink. My ratings are on the poor side, but they're definitely skewed due to my preference of stouts and porters. Maybe a great beer if you enjoy this style. Worth a try. Certainly not a favorite of mine.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 5,330 ratings.