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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.

4,669 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,669
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: 4,669 | Reviews: 1,851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of supercolter
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very good winter warmer, had it on tap at a local Buffalo Wild Wings...

Appearance was very good, has a nice brown-red hue to it with some lacing and head.
Smell was good. There is a heavy smell of dry malt that is rather good but there isn't too much else going on.
The taste is the smell. Verbatim.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin for my liking.
Drinkability is good, this goes down easy.

supercolter, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of LarryV
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This review is for the 2006 release. Pours a garnet color with a fluffy head. Aroma is malty, caramel with toffee overtones. Taste is malty, a bit too sweet for my taste. I find this beer to be a little dull and unexciting - kind of one dimensional. After one, I've had enough and find it's time to move on. It's obviously a well crafted beer, I think it could use a bit more hoppiness to balance out the huge malt profile.

LarryV, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of Blakaeris
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an appetizing clear deep amber color. Head is modest and quickly fades but leaves nice sheets of lacing.

Smell is sweet and mildly fruity. Underlying earthy spiciness.

Taste has a great nutty caranel malt character, and pronounced spices - notably cinnimon and nutmeg. Sweet dark fruit presense really rounds things out. Finish is clean and has a stronger hop bite than expected, and a touch of metallic flavoring.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly oily.

A nice brew. Very drinkable, and complex enough to keep things interesting.

Blakaeris, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of Rudgers73
2.53/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle

A- As I pour the deep amber beer the fizzy head fills 1/2 of the glass. The beer is crystal clear with an average amount of bubbles rising throughout.

S- Wheat, slight hops, toasty.

T- Strong wheat taste. It has that macro thinness. A hint of spices and peppery notes.

M- Very plain and flat.

D- It was okay but probably not again for me.

Rudgers73, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of beerogre
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

And so as the time approaches for the clocks to go back, as we begin our descent into the dark days of Winter, the arrival of Sam Adams Winter Lager on the supermarket shelves serves to remind us that it's not all doom and gloom, and that there are many enjoyable things to look forward to in the coming season, particularly if you enjoy craft beer.

The coming of the Winter Lager doesn't quite excite me as much as the arrival of the Octoberfest a couple of months earlier, which is ironic, as for me part of the appeal of the Octoberfest is that it hints at the Winter treasures to come, of which the Winter Lager is one.

But still, all things considered it's another smashing seasonal beer from Sam Adams, which keeps me going in between the season's more luxurious offerings like Old Jubiliation and Hibernation.

It's highly drinkable and as a result doesn't stay in the glass very long at all, so you'll be back at the fridge in no time, but a word to the wise, it's a bit of a cheeky monkey and will quickly creep up on you.

If they haven't got one already, the Boston Beer Co really should be presented with some sort of lifetime achievement award.

beerogre, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of DogFood11
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a very fresh sixer at my local BevMo! Kudos to the distribution and brewery. The bottle label has changed over the years and currently its baby blue with large sam adams text. Poured into a tall pils glass it forms a large loose head that fades to a solid cover. Amber to red body. Large carbonation.

First reaction was it reminded me of freshly baked cherry pie. Plenty of spices to kick it up a bit. On the spicier side of things, although its really more of a combo of sharp carbonation, touch of spices and a quick hitting hop backer. Toasted malts come into the picture as a body enhancer.

Notes: I liked this offering. It's not an eye opening experience. More along the lines of a solid representation, nothing offensive, well made and highly drinkable. Well done.

DogFood11, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of joe1510
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. Bottle

Poured Sam Adam's Winter Lager into a pint glass. Poured a crystal clear amber. There was about a quarter inch head up top but it disappeared so quickly that I cant even tell you what color it was. All that's left is a couple of tiny bibbles swirling around. Small amount of carbonation bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass.

Smell is of sweet malt, wet cardboard, brown sugar, and there's even some dark cherries in there. The cardboard doesn't take away from the smell, it's faint, but it is there. There is also a little alcohol toward the end. No hops present.

Taste is a disappointment. I really dont get a whole lot of anything. The biggest flavor is solvent alcohol in the finish. Before the alcohol it's hard to pick up certain flavors cause they are weak and muddy. There's a touch of sweetness and that's followed by I don't know what. I can't pick out any flavors here...It's tasting better as it warms and I'm getting to the bottom of my glass. There is some sugary sweet dark fruits and toasted malts. The alcohol isn't as evident either. Strange but true. I'd reccomend letting this one sit out awhile before drinking.

Mouthfeel is average. Medium bodied. Coating.

I gave the drinkability as high as I did because for some reason it reminds me of a macro. Not much flavor but easy going down.

I hate to have to give such a vague review but that's how it had to be for the Winter Lager. There just wasn't anything there. I was hoping to enjoy this one too. It was a disappointment.


joe1510, Oct 27, 2006
Photo of bgraney
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Golden/amber with a fluffy tan/white head
Aroma is a balanced mix of malt/hops with a hint of something that smelled citrusy to me in the background.
Full flavored lager with a crisp, fresh malt taste that fades to hops.
A little thin, flavors don't linger or expand much.
Very drinkable. I found it smooth and relaxing.
When in the mood for a lager I would definitely go for this one when available.

bgraney, Oct 26, 2006
Photo of Dizzy
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a darker shade of copper with a light tan head, leaving some lacing on the glass. Aroma is carmel like malts and spices. Nice malty flavor with evident spices. I wish the flavor was a little more assertive, but its good. Drinkability is high, this is one of my favorite Sam Adam's seasonals.

Dizzy, Oct 26, 2006
Photo of BurnsTau
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice deep copper/amber, small amount of head.

Smell is definitely sweet, hints of caramel, spices. Taste is malty sweetness, slight alchohol bite, a couple of other flavors in there like cinnamon, other spices. Finishes with very slight bitterness. As it warms up the aroma really picks up as well, making this beer a joy through and through. Carbonation is a bit on the medium-low, but it's still a pretty easy beer to drink.

I enjoyed it last year, enjoyed it in the sampler pack this year and am looking forward to buying a couple of six packs when I get the chance. Definitely one of the best winter beers I can buy around here, highly recommended.

BurnsTau, Oct 23, 2006
Photo of MrHolland
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this beer in a Samuel Adams winter classics 24-pack.
Poured into a pint glass, it is a nice dark burnt orange color with a nice frothy head.
Smell is malty with a spicy kick to it as well. Also has notes of orange peels and caramel.
Taste is very mild with notes of roasted malts and wheats, and has hops and the spices kick in at the end to make my mouth pucker and want some more.
Mouthfeel is very smooth and they keep the carbonation very suttle.
I am going to be consuming a lot of these during this winter, its only October.

MrHolland, Oct 23, 2006
Photo of yelterdow
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fresh from this year's holiday 12-pack of goodies... March 2007 is notched on the label, I'm serving this is an imperial pint glass on a cool Fall evening in October.

Appearance- Pours a rich, amber chestnut that looks so smooth in the glass... a classic two-finger bone white head slowly subsides to a complete, unbroken cap atop the beer. Bubbles are tiny and very uniform, and there's very little lacing.

Smell- The first thing I noticed after immediately cracking this one open was the dark malty notes coming forth. The spices here are confusing and not easily identifiable... I'm getting a lot more bread and yeast with a little more citrus (orange peel) than holiday spices.

Taste- As with this year's Octoberfest release, I'm pleasantly surprised with the big biscuity character on the palate. For a winter warmer, this lacks the depth of flavor and intensity that I think belongs in a beer of this style... but the hint of ginger and orange peel makes this a delicious and unique beer regardless. The roasty malt backbone adds some welcome richness to the texture, and a wheaty huskiness rides nicely alongside.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- This beer's rolling and slick carbonation is certainly enjoyable, and it further punctuates the nice balance of all ingredients. This is an easy, drinkable, relatively light winter warmer... not the nightcap that finishes off a backbreaking day shoveling snow out of your driveway.

yelterdow, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of rustymoore
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sam Adams consistently puts out good stuff and this seasonal is no exception. Pours an amber orange with a thick head and minimal lacing. Smells reminiscent of trappists brews. Dried fruits hops and spice. Minimal alcohol hint. Taste is smooth with a flavorful burst. Not watered down. This lager is highly drinkable as a sipper or as a weekend warriors' ale.

rustymoore, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of stephendr
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber color- tan head – malt, nutmeg, salt nose- malt, chocolate, prunes, orange taste- medium body- aftertaste malty Amber color- tan head – malt, nutmeg, salt nose- malt, chocolate, prunes, orange taste- medium body- aftertaste malty Amber color- tan head – malt, nutmeg, salt nose- malt, chocolate, prunes, orange taste- medium body- aftertaste malty

stephendr, Aug 06, 2006
Photo of planetscott
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Appearance is amber/red. A decent head that lingers for just a few minutes. The smell is spicy with a distinct toasty bread aroma. The taste is pleasant and never overpowering when you consider this beer does have spices in it. Mouthfeel is about average. Certainly does not detract from the overall experince of this beer. Drinkability is above average as this is one brew I could drink year round. When it re-appears this winter, I plan on stocking up!

planetscott, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of AaronHomoya
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle from sampler pack.

Appearance is a red-amber color with a nice head. Has an interesting spicy and almost yeasty aroma. Taste is malty with some wheat flavor and some nutmeg, I believe. Mouthfeel is average and clean feeling. A nice, drinkable beer that is a bit light feeling for winter, I think, but nicely spiced for the time.

AaronHomoya, Jun 28, 2006
Photo of kirok1999
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

Appearance- Dark amber with slight head that clings a little.

Smell- Sweet malt with some spice, orange, cinnamon, very little hop presence.

Taste- Sweet and spicy, cinnamon and alcohol warm at first, then orange and other spices take over.

Mouthfeel- Crisp and clean.

Drinkability- Nice but not my favorite seasonal; that would be Great Lakes Christmas Ale.

kirok1999, Jun 24, 2006
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pt glass. The head comes up very thick, rich & creamy like the fluffy foam on a Starbucks Cap. A light tan color maybe off white. The liquid is a nice amber color muck like a good Marzen. Quite impressive looks all around

Smell is of faint Spice with a soft fruity yeast.

Taste is of pure creamy malt lightly spiced with a smooth & mild hop finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty nice good body smooth and creamy with a faint bite.

Drinkability is good. This is quite an enjoyable beer. I knew I liked it right from the first gulp.

Prost! MK

MuenchenerKindl, Jun 05, 2006
Photo of monkeytoe
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12-oz brown bottle with freshness date on the bottle.

Pours a reddish-amber with a finger and a half whipped-honey colored head.

Sweet caramel, and light spice and tangerine in the nose.

Plenty of caramel sweetness with spice and bit of mustiness. Each sip brings more complexity: orange, spice, burnt sugar, very mild hop bitterness, some roasted barley flavor.

Mouthfeel is full and slick, but finishes clean, not cloying.

Darn tasty, but I only want a glass or two. Really delicious with a couple of squares of a Cadbury Fruit and Nut bar.

monkeytoe, May 29, 2006
Photo of bodybyadam
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This seasonal is a dark wheat lager is always a favorite of mine, like many winter lagers.
-The bottle is an ordinary Sam Adams style kept original. Poured a translucent red amber color with a ½ inch head into my chalice. The nose is a malty hop. At first taste I notice the malt with an excellent hop blend and spices, enough to have a ginger-like taste. After savoring the glass for a bit you notice the definite raisin characteristic.
I really enjoy this lager because you can enjoy it as a sipper or another “regular”. Very smooth character and highly drinkable. This lager makes you rethink your stereotyping of BIG beer companies. Sam Adams sticks to its roots.

Elbows Up,

bodybyadam, May 10, 2006
Photo of Cwrw
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one has been available in Alberta for a while, but I have always forgot to review it on here. Blue labelled 300ml bottle, with a bit on the back telling about the "Saigon Cinnamon" used in brewing this winter beer. The beer's colour is a lovely ruby/off purple colour that shimmers a hazy nectarine hue. The head is solid and billowy, slightly dimpled with good staying power. It stayed at perfect level, just topping the glass. The foam is a dirty dull white, hints of light red and brown throughout. Thick islands of lace. A great looking spiced beer, perfect for the dinner table in winter. The aroma is subtle and warming, with the promised cinnamon aroma and a light but grainy malt that is sweet but balanced with a little citrus hopping. There is some tangy lime or apricot in the smell, adding a little salinity. The tangy fruits actually become more pronounced the farther you go with this beer's aroma, and I found it a little odd. It just feels as though it should not be there next to the cinnamon and dark malts. However, besides that the aroma is very nice, with the likes of maple syrup, brown sugar, buttered bread, a little black licorice, and other anonymous spices. Inhaling in close with the nose very near there are some very sugary candy notes as well. All of this with no off-putting strongness or alcohol astringency; this is a very subtle but appetising aroma. Warm, soft, almost relaxing. The taste is medicinal and full of cinnamon and brown bread malts. There is some clove and and other spices that seem to remind me of my grandmother's kitchen. Cumin, caraway. Definite licorice and horehound here. The malts are nicely combined with the volume to give a light barleywine flavour as well. The taste is woody and vinous, with a full body and low, creamy carbonation. Drinkability is high, and this goes down easily in both winter and summer. A nice little dark lager. Fulfilling and easy to drink.

Cwrw, Apr 29, 2006
Photo of soultrain
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Hennipen glass.

A-Amber clear, 2" beige head settles to 1/2" in about a minute.
S-Faint aroma of toasted caramel, vague "winter spices" cinnamon, etc.
T-Sweet start, dryish finish, "toast", spices (mostly cinnamon) are there, but pretty subtle.
M-light/light medium mouthfeel. Pretty light for a winter beer.
D-Very drinkable. A quaffer, and quite refreshing.

CRUX: PERFECT WINTER SNOW SHOVELING REFRESHER. Paired quite nicely with chicken and zucchini in a spicy (cinnimon, clove,) tagine sauce. Winter beer/ hot morrocan? My, my, How sophisticated!

soultrain, Apr 25, 2006
Photo of IronDjinn
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Managed to snag the last 6 of this at the Highlander liquor store, didn't even know it was available in the city. 2005 batch.

Tall sandy coloured tight spongy head on the pour that settles to a thin cap. Clear deep dark amber/chestnut tone, a more vibrant old copper/garnet when held to direct light. Sweet caramel malt and cinnamon aroma up front, with some nutmeg and light hops in the background. Sweet, sweet caramel malt flavour--almost to the point of be cloyingly sweet, but not quite--blends well with that Saigon cinnamon they mention on the back label, it's what also jumps to the forefront at first. Then comes some banana flavour, nutmeg, clove and some ginger, rounded out nicely with some light spicy hops. And the mouthfeel is gorgeous: full, rich and velvety smooth for any style of lager, it hugs you from the inside. It's a month before it's best before date still, and I'm fully enjoying this winter warmer on a hot sunny day in April. Good stuff, glad I happened across it at the last minute. Hope we get some more of this in next year.

IronDjinn, Apr 24, 2006
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear burnt orange color with a half-inch of tannish foam maintained by numerous bubbles rising. The head maintained for well over a minute though the number of rising bubbles tapered off a bit. There is some "splotchy" lacing left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: The malt is in charge of the aroma with some noticeable Munich malt toastiness and a slight roasty contribution. Deeper in the aroma there is a dark caramel aroma to go along with a subtle spiciness. As the beer warms up a bit, the caramel plays a lot bigger role.

Taste: The flavor follows the aroma pretty well. There is a dominating caramel component that pretty much runs the show. There is quite a bit more hops noticeable in the flavor as in the aroma in that they contribute a soft floral balance to the sweetness of the malt. The malts stay in charge of the flavor profile, and the roast that I got in the nose is a big player in the finish of this beer. There is some bittering from the hops, but the roast give it a bitter acidic edge in the finish. Even though the content of this beer is pretty low, I get a bit of warming on the back of the throat late in the finish.

Opinion: Well, this isn't too bad of a beer. It is quite sweet and a bit one sided for my opinion. I would prefer a bit more of a dry contribution form the grain bill to balance the caramel. As it is, the sweet caramel and roast run the show, and there is a bit of floral hops thrown in to obscure the mix. It is an all right beer, but I will be looking to see what is next to it in the cooler next time.

SkeeterHawk, Apr 16, 2006
Photo of Drew966
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Winter Lager pours a very nice copper color with a fluffy off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. I like the aroma, it has a bit of citrus in it. Taste is nicely balanced, hoppy and a little citrusy. Pretty darn good for a lager, nice and flavorful. Well worth a try.

Drew966, Apr 09, 2006
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,669 ratings.