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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.

4,624 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,624
Reviews: 1,851
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 40
Gots: 258 | 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: 4,624 | Reviews: 1,851 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of akahn
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper color with a sizeable off-white head that lasts and leaves a good amount of lace.

Earthy, malty sweet aroma. Sweet malt flavor, with caramel and brown sugar notes. Very clean for how sweet it is -- could this cleaness come from this beer's use of wheat? Almost no hop flavor, but that's not what this beer is about. As it warms, the cinammon spice emerges as a spicy hot bite in the finish, very nice. Flavorful for a pretty light body.

This is a tasty beer and I commend BBC for using spice subtly. And it actually does taste like higher quality cinammon than the supermarket variety as the label touts. This beer is a deal at $6 per sixer. Definitely worth a try.

akahn, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of MattBrooks
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Shaker's in Plainville, MA. Great place for lunch, haven't tried dinner there yet. This beer is copper/brown in color with good clarity and has an aroma of freshly picked flowers and hops. The body is strong and the weight is just right for the style, not too heavy but not watered down, either. This is a rich, strong brew that is smooth and yummy, certainly a beer one can put down a lot of.

MattBrooks, Jan 21, 2006
Photo of sammy44
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Hooter's of Marietta, GA in a "Big Boy" stein. They always serve the beer far too cold which results in no aroma whatsoever.

Appearance: Was a dark copper to crimson color with a creamy 1/2" head. The head fell down to a thin white foam on the top of the beer. It started to lace the glass after the mug warmed up.

Smell: See notes above.

Taste: Tasted of Christmas spices (cinnamon, ginger, clove, and allspice). Reminds me a lot of ginger snaps. The on-tap seemed to have a little more bitterness on the back end than the bottled.

Mouthfeel: Biggest difference between the bottle and the tapped is the mouthfeel. The bottle is more like a typical ale in the mouthfeel while this seemed to be nearly as creamy as a stout until the head fell. It still seemed to have more body than normal. Excellent.

Drinkability: Always good. You might not want to knock back 2 or 3 while on your lunch break but very smooth and easy to put back.

sammy44, Jan 20, 2006
Photo of silver0rlead
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper color with a thin tan head that doesnt retain. The aroma is intensely malty with chocolate and toasted bread in the forefront, some floral hops, muted spices and a hint of alcohol. The flavor is nicely balanced with a chocolate and earthy malt character, and floral and grassy hops to balance, slight winter spices and a smidge of alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium, with moderate carbonation and drinkability is good. Descent beer, not grea but tasty and drinkable.

silver0rlead, Jan 19, 2006
Photo of HugoGrim
2.6/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served in a standard pint. Deep brown body with a slim creamy head, moderate laceing.

Scent is malty and a tad spicy, with possibly some caramel hints.

Flavor is not all there in my opinion. Some malts, and a touch of something sweet like gingerbread, but it just seems lacking. No hop character. A very thin flavor.

HugoGrim, Jan 17, 2006
Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bit of head, bit of hops. Some spice in taste, chocolate malt and caramel for sweetness.nutmeg, cinammon Drop of fruit. Mild spice aroma. SLightly astringent finish. Not a bad one. An average craft beer. Medium body, suitably carbonated at Pizza Plant Transit.

Sammy, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of SurgeonGeneral
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving temp: 45F Serving glass: Pint Glass

Aroma: Big maltiness like a toned down dopplebock, and a bit cleaner. Sweetness is very present in the aroma, very little hops to play with here, if any detected.

Appearance: Very dark amber, almost red. Creamy, off white head with good retention and good lacing. A very attractive beer.

Taste: Obviously malt dominated, but still very clean, not cloying or overpowering. Only a bit of bitterness to balance, and a slight alcohol spice near the end. Solid, but not earth shaking.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied & a bit creamy. Low carbonation. Fits this beer well.

Drinkability: A solid brew, a bit lacking in complexities but still pretty good, and one that I would be happy to put back all night long.

SurgeonGeneral, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of Ricochet
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another very good Sammy beer. Poured a darker amber color with nice balance of carbonation and little head. Smells just like any other winter warmer, malt, hops, the usual, this one had a little sweeter twinge to it.

Mouth was very nice, a little creamy, a bit bitter, no sour edge, washed well. Taste was a notch aboue winter warmers I've had. The slight licorace is there, not as heavy on the malt used, hops bitter a bit and little if any alcoholic taste. Very balanced, a little unexciting.

Drinkability is very good. For someone that is not a big fan of winter beers, I'm trying a lot and appreciating the style. This would be one of the better I've tried.

Ricochet, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of Bcant
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2005 vintage.

The Sam Winter poured a deep brown, resembled stained cherry wood. Mostly sweet aroma bread and butter pudding. The taste is inviting and complex, gingerbread, some cream custard, and notes of clove and orange. Finishes with a small hop bite to balance things out. Mouthfeel and drink ability are good but not excellent.

Bcant, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Went to my local dive and decided to try some winter brews, 'cause I hadn't had them for a while. The first one I had (which will remain nameless) wasn't very good. This Sam's was much better. It was a nice red color with a good head to it. It had a fruity smell to it and a pleasant fruity flavor, with a hint of hops. A very smooth, drinkable beer.

lordofthewiens, Jan 14, 2006
Photo of LPorter33
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Single bottle from Martignetti's

Appearance = Great looking dark amber with decent 1/2'' head and good lacing.

Smell = Malty with scents of sugar and molasses. Slightly above average.

Taste = Pretty solid tasting winter warmer. Good malt presence, not overbearingly sweet. Mouthfeel is a little thin. Aftertaste is a little lacking in flavor and leaves kind of a bitter/sour note that isn't well received, a decent tasting beer though.

Overall = A solid Winter warmer. Recommended.

LPorter33, Jan 14, 2006
Photo of BrewMan13
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I know Sam Adams is somewhat of a love/hate brewery on this site and I fall more into the 'love' camp. I think they make some damn fine beers, for the most part, especially considering how big they are. I'm a big fan of winter beers, especially spiced ones. Thank goodness for the wide availability of this one, so when I go to places that have mediocre at best selections, this can still usually be found; in the winter that is, of course.
Appearance is a clear dark orange, with a small head and a little lacing. Smell is almost non-existant to me. Taste is something else: quite tasty, obviously on the malty side, with some cinnamon coming through. Seems better then I recall it being in the past. Very smooth on the palate; seems to be going down faster then most beers I drink. Like most good beers, it tastes best as it warms a little. Could stand to be heartier in body and alcohol for a WW, but the way it stands, its quite tasty and drinkable. I'd never refuse one...unless there was something better of course ;)

BrewMan13, Jan 13, 2006
Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.55/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a decent one finger head that dissipates in about two minutes leaving a delicate ring of lacing behind. Color is a clear ruby amber.

S - Rice lager odor and then a caramel sweetness with a bit of dates in the mix. It is faint and not that good.

T - Strong grain presence, seems part rice, part barley, it is a little unpleasant, others might not mind it, but it isn't quite the flavor I hope for in a beer like this. There isn't any real spices decernable, maybe a touch of fruit cake syrup . . . is that a spice? There is a lingering sweetness in the aftertaste with just a touch of bitterness underneath it.

M - Froths in you mouth to a nice level. Without the frothing, the viscosity is a little thin. A fairly refreshing brew though.

D - This is drinkable, although I would certainly prefer other beers to it. Would work well with some foods (Christmas goose perhaps?). I don't want another really, I don't know what it is, but I don't like this beer much at all.

mrasskicktastic, Jan 12, 2006
Photo of beerfox
4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Coppery-red body with a thin, off-white head that sat like a veil on the body beneath. Lacing sheeted the glass initially, but did not endure.

Aromas are of sweet malt, nuts and light winter spices - perhaps cinnamon and ground nutmeg.

Flavors of sweet malt paralleled the aromas, with spiciness lingering in the background. Surprisingly well balanced with firm hops that were not as apparent in the aromatic profile. Very nice!
Alcoholic warmth tiptoed in the back-door, a welcome guest and an unexpected treat.

Mouthfeel was medium and silky.

Very drinkable session beer for a winter evening. Great balance and lingering warmth make this highly satisfying.

beerfox, Jan 11, 2006
Photo of woemad
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle picked up at Huckleberry's in Spokane. According to the label, this is "a dark wheat malt liquor brewed with winter spices." It is noteworthy that hops are not mentioned at all. According to the notch on the side of the label, this is good until May, presumably of '06.

Poured a clear dark amber color, with a small off-white head. Spotty lace.

I got sweet malts, faint spiciness, and very faint earthy wheatiness from the nose of this beer - in that order.

The spiciness is what hits the taste buds first, followed by the almost anemic wheat taste. The swet malts are a strong supporting player throughout. This could use a little hoppiness, or maybe a stronger wheat taste. This is a beer without oomph, and it needs whatever can provide that. After the spices first hit, the remainder of the taste is pretty boring.

Mouthfeel of this beer could benefit by a little bit more carbonation. This is a somewhat lifeless beer, and feels like an all-malt lager in the mouth, and I think it was meant to be a little more than that.

An enormously average beer, and not a memorable winter beer at all. I won't feel the need to try this again.

woemad, Jan 10, 2006
Photo of cracgor
2.08/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

So I drank this beer a couple times this year before I decided to review it. In years past I don't remember being quite as disappointed as this year, thus the delay. It poured out like any other dark amber beer with an average head. It smells pretty good. Like a sweet spiced lager might. No overwhelming hops. Just good clean fun.

Taste was where I was severely lost. This years attempt is too spicy and not beery enough. Every sip reminded me of oyster crackers more than beer. Just stale oyster crackers. The spiciness was not so overwhelming, just poorly balanced. The mouthfeel was also quite disappointed, leaving a lingering bad astringent feeling in my mouth. Just disappointing all around and not recommended this year. All in all, it was barely drinkable, even when my palate was worn out severely the first time I had it this season.

cracgor, Jan 10, 2006
Photo of acrawf6
3.05/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a nice dark amber color with a tan head..

Smell is a little down hill... i keep smelling a cooked vegetable with this beer that goes with the malts. so far i am not impressed.

Taste is quite malty. To me quite sweet. little tastes of roasted malts. some alcohol trickles out right as i swallow. not complex at all. just a malty sweetness. i taste no hop presence.

Mouthfeel is ok. good carbonation, but i think unbalanced.... i need more hops.

Overall not a bad beer, but not a 6-pack i will pick up again.... at least not this year. i would say avoid unless your selection sucks. i would much rather the normal lager or ale to this one.

acrawf6, Jan 10, 2006
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,624 ratings.