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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.

4,570 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,570
Reviews: 1,850
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 38
Gots: 235 | 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: 4,570 | Reviews: 1,850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Naes

New York

3.28/5  rDev -8.6%

This is a dark brown lager with hues of amber/red showing through. The head is a two finger off white froth that leaves behind decent lacing.
The aroma is of cinnamon and malt.
The flavor is dominated by the malt, with a slight hop presence and the cinnamon and spice in the finish.
Mouth feel is light bodied and highly carbonated.
Although the malt is the dominant flavor in this brew, it is not overpowering.
This is not a stand out beer, but is still a quality one. It’s not a bad addition to the winter mix pack.

11-22-2005 02:32:05 | More by Naes
Photo of fromage


3.7/5  rDev +3.1%

Probably my favorite of the winter mix pack.

Poured slightly warmed into a pilsner glass. Dark amber color, with a great deal of bubbling. Small white head that quickly faded.

Smell wasn't so good coming out of the bottle--got a lot of ethanol. Once poured, I caught whiffs of brown sugar and cinnamon, maybe best described as cinnamon raisin bread. Some caramel. Not terribly complex.

Good bite, somewhat gingery. Moist sweet bread again. Fades into a spicey finish, cinnamon and ginger.

Good medium mouthfeel. A bit too much carbonation at first, but satisfying later.

I could definitely drink a few of these. A beer you can keep tasting and that doesn't really fade away. Definitely good with a wide array of food too.

11-22-2005 00:42:03 | More by fromage
Photo of jmz62565


3.48/5  rDev -3.1%

Another Sam beer with a nice two finger head and a dark amber color.You can say what you want,their beers always look good.The smell is a little disappointing,average at best,with some spices and a little cooked veggie smell.This does taste pretty good however.A nice mix of malt and holiday spices make me look forward to this beer each year.It's not Sam's best beer,but it's still pretty good.

11-21-2005 23:11:45 | More by jmz62565
Photo of Mitchel


3.3/5  rDev -8.1%

Definitely a great color, a dark red/copper. An off-white, head with smooth lace and strong carbonation. Smells of delicate cinnamon and orange with bolder aroma of toasty malt.

A little too much carbonation for my taste; it seems to kick you right in the teeth as soon as it touches the tongue. This beer has the classic bitterness of Sam Adams products but is nicely hopped. This is an especially toasty and very malty beer, but this is exactly what one should be looking for in a winter brew. Really well rounded beer with a great warming feeling for those chilly winter nights; enjoy in front of the fire.

11-21-2005 21:30:55 | More by Mitchel
Photo of chOAKbarrell


3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Deep brown color. Aroma of cinnamon and ginger which blends with the roasty sweetness of the malted barley and hint of citrus from the orange peel. This winter lager is rich and full bodied, robust and warming.

Another solid seasonal offering from Samuel Adams.

11-21-2005 01:00:16 | More by chOAKbarrell
Photo of mattcrill


4.22/5  rDev +17.5%

Part of the Beers of Winter sampler pack.

Appearance: A clear ruby pour with a dirty white head develops. No visible carbonation noted in the body.

Smell: A touch of carmel, maple syrup, and some light yeasty notes on the aroma.

Taste: Maple, honey, carmel, and a vague nuttiness all jump off the palate. Very delicate and nicely balanced. A touch toward the sweet end but never cloying or over the top. Malt is assertive but not over done.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and enjoyable carbonation.

Drinkability: Highly quaffable. Another fine example from Sam Adams. Winter warmers don't generally impress me but this one is well done. I like it and I could even see warming this up and adding some mulling spices. Definitely recommended.

11-20-2005 19:07:18 | More by mattcrill
Photo of Gritsak

West Virginia

3.85/5  rDev +7.2%

A- browish amber with a decent offwhite head.

S- not a real strong smelling beer. only things i can detect are hints of malt and grain

T- big malt flavor leading to some hop spice and bitterness at the finish. little alcohol presence.

M- medium body with decent carbonation. a little creamy

D- the flavor is well balance with no harsh domination flavors. pretty easy drinker.

overall- this was the first "craft" beer ive had back a couple years ago. it taste absolutely nothing like i remember. for me its a nice, easy to find seasonal beer. nothing spectacular but just solid and easy to drink.

11-20-2005 18:44:55 | More by Gritsak
Photo of shererjt


2.7/5  rDev -24.8%

Poured a dark red-copper clear. Light carbonation and a small head. Full aroma; raisins and cherries(?) but not much in the way of hops or malt.

Medium-to-full body and very fruity for a lager. Lots of cherry flavor. Some malt, but the fruit/spice dominates. I wouldn't describe the flavor as bad, though I wouldn't say it's particularly good either. Has a little sourness that's balanced by a malty finish. Definitely intended for sipping.

This is a hard beer for me to describe. The spice/flavoring is too overpowering to get a feel for the underlying beer. While I generally enjoy winter beers tremendously, this one just didn't do it for me. I think toning down the other stuff and ramping up the beer itself would improve it, but then again there's no accounting for taste.

11-20-2005 02:47:43 | More by shererjt
Photo of ryantupy


4.28/5  rDev +19.2%

I picked this one up at Old Chicago for their winter beer fest and found it to be much more enjoyable that I expected it to be. It poured a very nice reddish copper color with a small head. It smelled mostly of toasted hops and spices. It ahs a nice level of carbonation and tastes great. It has a nice kick to it making it a very enjoyable beer. It tastes of spices, toasted hops, and a hint of caramel.

11-19-2005 20:02:18 | More by ryantupy
Photo of shbobdb


3.78/5  rDev +5.3%

Let me start this by saying I don't like spiced beer. However, I did not hate this beer, in fact, I drank both bottles from the sampler. It is much less spicy than the Fezziwig ale, and the spice is brought more in line with the malt flavour. The clean, lager yeast also helps cut down on the random assault on the tongue. I found this to be a highly balanced, even enjoyable, brew. I never thought I would say such nice things about a spice beer! It even makes me curious about other spice beers, maybe they don't all suck.

Once again, say 'thanks' to Jim for producing a solid 'gateway' beer into a style I had not considered even remotely drinkable before. I'm sure it's not the best of its style, but it's tame enough for everyone to enjoy.

11-19-2005 17:01:32 | More by shbobdb
Photo of KroMagnon


3.6/5  rDev +0.3%

The head was very low - surprisingly for a wheat-based beer (it says its wheat based on the bottle). The beer is a light brown color and seems more highly carbonated than a 'regular' beer. The aroma has a mild toastiness and maltiness, with some hops (or spices, hard to place) and is very clean. The beer's taste is flavorful with a nice rounded malty presence. There is a minor tartness and a slight bitterness at the end but this is only there to balance the beer. Overall this is a little uninspiring but not too bad. It doesn't really seem like a 'winter warmer' to me, though - a little light for that.

11-19-2005 03:27:40 | More by KroMagnon
Photo of mmmbeer


3.7/5  rDev +3.1%

12 oz., purchase before April notched on the back, along with a blurb about the cinnamon they used. Pours an orange/red that casts a bright red, almost pink shadow when light shines through. Smells sweet, with raisins, hops, ginger, allspice?, metal?, and a good dose of cinnamon. Cinnamon and ginger immediately on the palate, with other spices, dark/caramel malts, and maybe some hops, along with a crisp, medium mouthfeel. I remember it tasting better than this with less spices and more malts/heavier body.

11-18-2005 03:46:41 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of Vancer


4.5/5  rDev +25.3%

I have this from the sampler pack, but got it last nite, FRESH off the tap! Wow, what a good winter warmer. Great looking 23oz pour, dark burgangy with a sticky ivory head. Ummm, full of malt, winter spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove), then a properly blananced hop finish. Can’t wait for more, either on tap or in the bottle.

Good price ($3.25) made this a great sippin’ session brew

11-17-2005 15:37:52 | More by Vancer
Photo of ski271


3.88/5  rDev +8.1%

Pours a beautiful, clear, dark, reddish-copper with a small, off-white, tight head that quickly diminished to a thick film. Some decent lacing, especially early. The smell is mild and has a sweet caramel maltiness with some light spice and a hint of fruit. The taste is impressive, especially considering the lackluster initial nose. Big thick flavors of caramel, cookie and wheat, along with some herbs, leathery yeast and something else I can’t put my finger on. It has a much larger body than expected and is lightly syrupy with low carbonation. It’s a very interesting offering from BBC. Very enjoyable, and a bit on the low end of the spectrum of winter warmers as far as spices go, which is a good thing in my opinion. I hate when brewers go overboard on things like pickling spice. Definitely not a problem here, though my friends that do like the big spice flavors of winter warmers might be a bit disappointed by this beer.

11-16-2005 19:53:50 | More by ski271
Photo of santoslhalper


2.8/5  rDev -22%

Appearence: Pours a clear, dull amber with no carbonation at all. Looks dead, yet it's from the new Winter 12-pack. Nice head though.

Smell: A nice mix of cinnamon, cloves, cherries and nutmeg greet your nose. Balanced, at seems appropriate for the cold months.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is very similar to the smell, but bland and watered down. Sure, the cinnamon tastes nice and all, but I want more of it. This is leaving me wanting. The mouthfeel is thin, but smooth.

Drinkability and Overall: Weak. That's pretty much all I have to say about this. It tastes good, smells even better, but it's just a pansy version of what a winter warmer can be. This one doesn't warm you at all. Isn't that the point of the style anyways?

11-15-2005 06:53:15 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of RollingRock


4/5  rDev +11.4%

Has a very nice dark amber color. Extremely smooth and very drinkable. Very refreshing and rich taste. The taste makes you feel at home wherever you are. Not heavy on the stomach. Not much carbonation. Has a very pleasing and relaxing aroma. Not much head.

11-14-2005 21:32:05 | More by RollingRock
Photo of kbnooshay

New York

3.65/5  rDev +1.7%

This beer pours a nice amber brown with a nice head that stays around and leaves some lacing. Very nice. The smell is of wheat/caramel and spices. Well overall this tastes like a porter mixed with a dunkle. Weird. But it was nice with fruity malts and and allright almost of hop flavors. This is mildly spiced. Average mouthfeel. 2 or 3 of these would be enough, tastes more alcoholly than it is. Fairly drinkable though.

11-14-2005 17:58:48 | More by kbnooshay
Photo of asabreed

New York

4.08/5  rDev +13.6%

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Big foamy odd-white head, nice lacing sticking around the top, tons of bubbles surfacing from the bottom of the glass, and the color brown and hazy with some amber hues.

Smell: Some sweet malt and clove initially, some gingerbread, slight vanilla, slight maple, pepper-like spice, slight cinnamon, and maybe some dark fruit. Very warming and welcoming.

Taste: Sweet malt and spices come with the first sips. Not much hop bitterness at all, but there's slightest present to not make it overly sweet thankfully, as that could ruin it pretty easily. Lots of maple and vanilla, more spice at the finish. Just very balanced, pretty complex, and surely great for warming in winter.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, a medium body, slightly creamy and full in the mouth. Very nice.

Drinkability: Maybe my favorite Sam Adams brew, and maybe (aside from the Doppelbock in my opinion) their best seasonal. Very good for any time of year, especially for winter. I'd like to try it with a dessert eventually, as I think it'd be a perfect accompaniment for one.

11-13-2005 22:17:32 | More by asabreed
Photo of sinistrsam


4.3/5  rDev +19.8%

This is one of the best beers Sam Adams brews in my mind. It was on special at a taphouse in Raleigh, so I decided to order it, even though there were well over 100 other more exotic beers to be had. I'm glad I made the choice.
It was poured wih a foamy creamy head, large, atop a golden orange/amber body. The head left great lacing and had the aroma of sweetness, spice, hops and mild yeast.
The taste was as smooth as I've had, with yeasts, hops and honey. It finished very clean and sweet, with a wonderful creamy aftertaste. It was something I could definitely see myself buying in the future, drinking on a cold winter night.

11-13-2005 20:30:30 | More by sinistrsam
Photo of cubedbee


3.9/5  rDev +8.6%

Pours a dark amber, very clear, two fingers of fomay cream colored head, great retention, moderate lacing. Nose is nice malted wheat, some slight cinammon/nutmeg spices, a little light. Taste is the same maltiness, very smooth, giving way to a slight but sharp spiciness in the finish. Everything is very well rounded, the spices are just a little subdued for my tastes, but overall this is a nice flavorful malty winter warmer. Between this and the Old Fezziweg, I think this is slightly better due to a thicker moutfheel and fuller malt.

11-13-2005 18:36:33 | More by cubedbee
Photo of CherylM


4.33/5  rDev +20.6%

I always look forward to the first Sam Adams Winter Lager six-pack of the season. It's my favorite "Sam Seasonal".

It poured a full-bodied, darker amber color with a medium white head. Smell was fresh, yeasty and malty. Taste was of caramel with spices, slight fruit, and finishes with a very faint bitterness. Mouthfeel was of medium carbonation. Drinkability was very smooth and satisfying. When warmed, the presence of alcohol was more pronounced. A very good, consistent holiday/winter beer.

11-10-2005 02:58:37 | More by CherylM
Photo of macpapi


3.83/5  rDev +6.7%

Have to admit, I've always liked this beer. So when I saw it in the local beer store--still in October mind you--last weekend I had to pick up a sixer. Time for review.

S.A. Winter pours a pretty dark and clear amber color with a slight white head. There is surprisingly little bubble activity and not much lacing to speak of.

Smells of malt, yeast and a bit of caramel. Spices--mainly cinnamon--are also noted in the nose. Good balance overall.

The taste is a pretty nice mix of malt and spice. Quite a bit of sweetness on the whole. There is also a not unpleasant burn at the end of the sip. As the beer warms, toffee and caramel are there as well.

In the mouth this beer is biting and burns just a little. Pretty high carbonation but full flavor.

Overall, this is my favorite Samuel Adams brew. It is a well-balanced, strong flavored and very impressive effort. Session beer, for cold late fall and winter nights? I could definitely see that.

11-07-2005 01:30:31 | More by macpapi
Photo of ccm414


4.38/5  rDev +22%

pouring created a nice head that left a thin lace over the top. has a dark amber color that almost has a raspberry color. my nose is a little stuffed so i am not getting too much of an aroma from the beer itself. as for flavor, it is very nice being incredibly smooth. it almost warms you from the inside.

11-06-2005 04:54:01 | More by ccm414
Photo of bearrunner44


3.88/5  rDev +8.1%

Appearance: Dark amber. Surprisingly little head. I tried a second pour that was much harder than the first, and I still didn't see very much.

Smell: Malty, somewhat yeasty aroma.

Taste: Rich malt up front. Hops make their presence known in the finish, though the actual bite is fairly subdued. Spice flavor is subtle, almost to the point where you could miss it if you weren't looking for it. Pretty well-rounded overall.

Mouthfeel: Thick, with moderate carbonation.

Verdict: Tasty seasonal offering that doesn't bash you over the head with spice flavor.

11-05-2005 02:19:52 | More by bearrunner44
Photo of ghostwalker


4.22/5  rDev +17.5%

12 oz bottle pour, from the Holiday Sampler.

Deep red body, white head that disappears quickly leaving very little lacing.

Mild malt nose, very little there.

Sweet malty flavor. Caramel and dark wheat. I get some toffee and nutty flavors too, but very mild. Gentle but tasty spices, much less than Old Fezziwig or Harpoon Winter Warmer, which I would would say are similar brews. Even has a sweet finish, no hops to speak of.

Thin mouthfeel, more carbonation than I expected.

Great drinkability! One of my favorite Sam offerings and by far my favorite winter beer. Sweet and tasty and always welcome in my home. Try one after Thanksgiving dinner, watching the Lions lose, (as usual), it's a wonderful thing.

11-04-2005 23:03:11 | More by ghostwalker
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,570 ratings.