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

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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: 729 | 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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Ratings: 5,330 | Reviews: 1,925 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BillyBoysPie
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle into a pint glass.

Poured a nice half-inch of head, off-white/eggshell. Dissipated, but left lacing. Transparent brown - there's not much of another way to put it. Perhaps a few ruby notes, but nothing major.

Smell is mostly malty, light caramel with a little bit of real maltiness coming through. Spices are next, they seem to only impart a spiciness as a blend, not to be singled out. A nice little bit of hops on the end to clean things up. Maybe a touch of orange from that.

Taste is very clean, as a lager should be. The spices don't muddle the hops and malt - all three play even partners in the taste. The hops are, in my opinion, the most interesting part of this beer - you get the nice caramel with warm spices, then a very clean piney taste mixed with orange. A well balanced example. The spices are what warms you with this beer - not enough alcohol to be warming you.

Carbonation is typical Sam Adams, but it works. Instead of being a heavy Winter Warmer style of beer, it's a crisp, refreshing Bock-style with spices. It's very light bodied and would be a great session beer for a cold Saturday evening - unless you want something with more alcohol.

Photo of bump8628
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with best before month of April notched on the label.

Pours a copper-orange into a pilsener glass with a finger of off-white head.

The aroma has sweet caramel malts and a touch of spicy hops. Some warming winter spices slide in at the end.

The taste is lighter caramel malts blended with some bready and toasty malt. Noble spicy hops make there presence known along with some cinnamon and subtle orange peel. The spices are well done in that they are detectable but not overwhelming.

The body and mouthfeel are rather light for the style.

Overall, this may be one of the better spiced winter beers I've had. With that said, it lacks the body and intense malt presence I enjoy in my Bocks and winter beers. This is much closer to a spiced Marzen than a Bock. Not something I would buy regularly but would be happy to drink if offered.

Photo of claminat420
3.09/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- poured a dark transparent copper color. two finger cream color head that died quickly with thin lacing.

S- a perfect blend of alil sweet malts with a orangy cover-up. don't really smell the cinnamon or the ginger.

T- like a heavy wheat beer. nothing to special but not to bad. once again only can taste alil orange and nothing else.

M- light to medium bodied. nice carbonation.

D- it seems the more you drink of it the better it gets. don't know if thats a good thing.

Overall- for a bock or a lager this beer is light bodied. on the bottle it says " a dark wheat lager". definitely nothing to crazy. only picked it up cuz the store didn't have sh#t!! not to bummed but wish i had something different.

Photo of mjw2808
3.66/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

very nice clear reddish mahogany color. 1 finger head that left an average amount of lacing. The aroma is strong with roasted malt and cinnamon, maybe a little hoppieness in there. The taste is a nice blend of malt, orange, cinnamin, and balanced out with some hops. Medium mouthfeel, very drinkable. If I could change this beer Id make it more full flavored and a little more heavy.

Photo of MaxBrews
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Bomber and a wide Pils glass

Appearance: Pours a perfectly clear mahogany. A proper pour gives this beer a large frothy head that is tan in color. Beautiful for that moment as the head dissipates at a moderate rate but into a beautiful off-white lacing.

Aroma: Orange peel, spices a decent hopping, bready malt, a fair dose of roasted malts and dark fruit. As this beer warms up an earthy spice becomes apparent which I'm guessing is a combo of the ginger and cinnamon. A really malty beer that is well balanced, combining a fair amount of hops, orange peel and winter spices.

Mouthfeel: A lot of carbonation and a moderate body and a dry finish.

Drinkability: This beer has that clean lager thing going on but so many little nuances of flavors it even turned on someone whose a bit weary of lagers. So drinkable too. I kinda just spent a good 40 minutes sipping this bomber smacking my lips trying to figure all thats going on. If you kept handing me pints of this I would lap it up.

That being said this beer more then likely won't blow any minds. Its just a solid session-able seasonal lager that balances many flavors together

Photo of mikey711
3.86/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Ruby amber in color, thick retaining head about an inch thick thar is slightly off white. Loads of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass

S: Slight toasted aroma. Spice, cloves cinnamon. A Caramel sweet finishing smell

T: A nice amount of sweetness of front that is balance by some nice winter spices(clove, cinnamon, nutmeg). The spices don't over power at all which is nice.

M: Medium body, and the carbonation has a bit of a stinging quality.

D: A very nice winter beer that I could have quite a few of easily

Photo of advill88
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with a 3/4 inch head.

Good bit of maltiness in the nose, with smells reminiscent of blood orange and spices.

Taste is very malty at the start, with the same hints of orange and winter spices. Finishes with a touch of hops to lend some balance. Mouthfeel has quite a bit of carbonation and is pretty light bodied, in a way that almost reminds me of some spring seasonals.

Overall, I'd say that this beer is a very nice winter seasonal, I'm pretty sure it's to style, although I haven't had too many bocks. Very sessionable in a winter-esque way.

Photo of samie85
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a coppery brown color with a white head.

S- Light toasty and caramel malt with faint hop spiciness. I'm not getting the spices mentioned on the label at all.

T- Like the nose, caramel malt is present but I think I'm getting the spices here but I'm getting almost a roasty character near the finish.

M- Pretty well carbonated. Medium bodied.

D- I anticipated the taste being a little richer/heartier than it actually is. The spices kind of give this beer a weird aftertaste that makes it a little difficult to put down easily.

Photo of Wisconsin
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A - A strong pour delivers a bountiful head that rises to about a finger and a half thick and off white in appearance. The retention seems pretty good. Trace amounts of carbonation are rising to the top. The color is light than I was expecting for a bock, more of brown and quite clear when held up to the light.

S - Caramel, roasted malts along with some spice notes and hops hit the nose. Overall, not quite as strong as I was expecting.

T - Caramel and malts are definitely present. There is a nice combination of hops and spice notes. Again, like the nose, not as full bodied as I would have wanted but nothing terrible.

M - Medium bodied with ample carbonation. Into the mouth, the palate tastes caramel and roasted malts. Then comes a subtle blast of carbonation that cleans the palate for the spice notes and slight hoppy finish. A pretty smooth finish overall.

D - Like the Creamy Stout, this beer appeals to a larger crowd, and it seems to fit the bill. Personally, when I have a bock, I want something full bodied and heavy, especially during the winter. I understand what Sam Adams is putting out but this beer seems more like a fall/spring beer, not a winter beer or maybe even a bock for that matter.

Photo of BrianOhio
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour is a clear deep amber. Thin head dissipates quickly, with some lacing behind.

Aroma is nice but not what I would call notable. Taste is primarily malt, just a little bit of hops, and not all that much of the typical winter spice normally found in this style.

That said, I like this beer a lot. Some winter ales are over the top with the nutmeg and spice, but not this one. Just a good solid, well balanced beer, and something I look forward to each winter. Because of the good pricing in 12 packs, this is my go-to beer this time of year.

Photo of AgentZero
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer in a bottle before, on tap it was a totally different experience.

A - Dark copper, slightly cloudy, nice bubbles at the top with a one finger head that left slight lacing behind.

S - Very nice, smells like Christmas. The nutmeg and cinnamon meld nicely with the caramel malts.

T - So good, in a bottle this was merely an average beer, not sure what's changing on tap but this is very very nice. What a comfort-food feel, memories of Christmas morning arise with the cinnamon and spice complimented by the not-overpowering taste of nutmeg. Makes me want to chill in front of a fire on a winter day.

M - Medium bodied with nice carbonation, slightly sugary sweet feel that lingers in the mouth.

D - A little to sweet to pound these, but can drink more than one easily.

Photo of hosehead83
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a Sam Adams "bubble" glass
Copper/amber in color with a big, two-inch head of foam
Aroma-Malt and subtle spices
Taste-Pretty clean, subtle spices, cinnamon, coriander, faint hop profile
Overall, very drinkable, middle-of-the-road winter offering

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass.

Pours dark copper, clear, with a one-finger light-khaki head that settles into a thin cap.

Nose is toasty, light fruitcake, floral hops are there but don't dominate. Bit of earthiness I attribute to the hops.

Taste is well balanced - toasty, biscuity malt body, light caramel sweetness, complemented by notes of fruitcake and herbal hops. Nutty and I think just a hint of chocolate in there. Finish is very lightly bitter, earthy, more of the fruitcake. Well balanced, quite tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, moderate carbonation sits on top of a body that has a nice fullness without being syrupy.

Excellent drinkability - the earthiness is just a bit trying by the end, but still nicely flavorful and well balanced, easy drinking beer.

Photo of Mosley1212
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of my favorite beers. Smells of cinamon and spices. I can see why they release this only at Christmas time--the smell definetly reminds me of the holidays

This is a good bear to sit down on a winter night and sip away at. Great taste. I highly recommend it.

Photo of Morey
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This winter lager pours a very clear reddish brown color (especially when held up to a light). Nice white head that has slowly settled to a thin lace after about 5 minutes or so. Very little head retention.

Smells of of wheat as well as spices.

Taste is a nice combination of all of the ingredients in this beer. I get the hops, wheat, and spices all at the same time.

I could definitely session this beer for the night.

Morey's Bottom Line: I'm not big on lagers, or Sam Adams for that matter...but this is a well crafted beer no questions asked. Fairly unique too. I feel like they achieved exactly what they were aiming for with this one.

Photo of GoalieRon33
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep coppery brown with reddish hues when light shines through it

S- Heavy, almost like a porter. Bready, almost musty. "Smells like it means business"

T- Bready, with oranges and ginger, just as the packaging claims. Not much hop to speak of, but still pleasent. Thought it would be a little more flavorful, but still ok overall.

M- A little watery for my liking, but not bad. Leaves a wet taste on the tongue with a fruity aftertaste. Resembles a Marzen aftertaste effect.

D- Easy to drink a few of, but not really a session beer. Good beer to drink with heavier food such as steaks and ribs. A personal favorite of mine which is my wintertime go-to dinner beer.

Photo of craftaholic
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured from tap into a Nonic. Had a translucent crimson red with a light quarter pillow head of lacing. Looked much like a wine in an soap filled glass.

Smell: Has the aroma of a macro to me, there is a heavy amount of grains with touches of wheat.

Taste: Had a big kick of malt as well as some ginger and a strong yeast presence that made it like drinking a big hunk of bread (if that was possible). There is some displeasing characteristics such as it being somewhat metallic as well as unbalanced hops.

Mouthfeel: Light yet crisp and leaves a full coating of dry powder in the aftertaste yet leaves the tongue wet.

Drinkability: Easily could session if it's your thing, will give it another chance on bottle but so far it wouldn't make it past more than one with me.

Overall: Doesn't scream winter to me or even particularly lager, it warms you up sure but it is too light in my honest opinion.

Photo of ProudGreen89
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a weizen glass.

A-immediately a 2 finger fluffy head is produced and retains nicely with sticky lacing. Body is a beautiful dark amber with ruby highlights.

S-sweet malts with a spiced up aroma. The spices seem a bit overboard in this beer but this was probably done to remind the drinker that its a bock but also a decent winter warmer with its cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. There is wheat present but i was expecting more (the bottle emphasizes on the wheat.)

T-I love how balanced yet intense this beer is. Right off the bat you get a malty punch of flavor but its immediately balanced out with the caramel, spices and noteable bitterness. You can detect a subtle alcoholic burn if you let it sit on the tongue and drink it down slowly, this is where you get another hint at a winter warmer.

M-Medium-light bodied with a pleasant carbonated tingle on the tip of the tongue.

D-Easy to drink, easy on the stomach, nothing offensive about this beer. I would say its a session beer except that i kind of want to save them and not finish off a sixer in one night.

I wish this beer was available year round.

Photo of womencantsail
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This one pours a clear, rich amber color with two fingers of off-white head and very nice lacing.

S: I'm not all that big of a fan of the nose on this. It's very malty, with a lot of caramel, and it seems to be incredibly spicy. I'm okay with some mild spice in a beer, but this one is a bit too much.

T: The taste is better than the nose, that's for certain. The caramel and malt is quite up front, with the spices much more subdued.

M: The fizziness is rather light for a lager and it's rather full bodied as well. I haven't had this beer in quite some time and I found this to be quite impressive.

D: This is a pretty easy drinking beer and one that you could easily have several of in a session. I'm not the biggest fan of bocks, but I found this one to be fairly enjoyable and wouldn't turn it down if offered one.

Photo of drawbackwards
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I have to say...I really wanted to like this beer from all that I have heard. Unfortunately, it really was nothing special. It really did not have a ton of flavor and tasted just "ok". Didn;t hate it, but for the price there are way better choices than sam's winter.

Photo of wahhmaster
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a 0.5L Pilsner Urquell-branded pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a thick foamy head that lingers for a while and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: Has a nice malty nose with some hop character to it too. Has some citrus fruit notes to it as well.

Taste: Has a strong citrus fruit taste backed by some heavy spice flavors. Besides that, malty character backed by some hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. The spices give it a nice bite as well.

Drinkability: A highly drinkable beer and one of my favorite selections from SA. I will definitely turn to this beer at least one more time this season and will look forward to it in winters to come.

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

Poured into a pint glass. Decent head and laceing. Nice deep amber color looks very inviteing.

Nice spiceyness to the nose. Pick up toasty malts as well. Some hints of cinniamon.

Smooth malty taste, Some cinniamon and vanilla hints. Some ginger hidden in their too I bet. Also a slight orange peel taste on the back of the tounge.

Nice medium body and pleasent lingering after taste. Would defenatly reach fo another.

Photo of chetripley
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My favorite Sam Adams seasonal. Just what you would expect from a lager to prepare you for the winter months.

Dark brown with a small head with little lacing, poured really cold from a bottle into a footed cooler glass.

Pleasant malt flavor, no bitterness, taste the grains and the sweetness involved.

Smooth and drinkable, had another one to taste for sure.

Photo of HURTemHIZZY
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Poured a nice dark amber color. Head was disappointing, with a half finger head dissipating to a thin off white ring in a minute or two. left minimal lacing.

Smelled a bit hoppy, with some noticeable alcohol. Thick notes of ginger and cinnamon, couldn't smell much orange.

Taste has a nice balance, with some hops up front and some maltiness following. Again, thick notes of ginger and cinnamon. Nice flavor. Can taste a bit of the orange that wasn't present in the aroma. Also some earthy notes and hoppy spice.

Nicely carbonated, with a solid body to it. On a colder day, this is a beer that I could drink for a while.

Photo of Meik
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent scent and appearance. Seems to be heavy on the cinnamon and ginger but that didn't throw it off to much for me.
Goes down nice and smooth with a little warming action while still staying light and tasty.
The only real downfall is the fact that only 2 came inside the Winter variety pack.

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