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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.

4,864 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,864
Reviews: 1,865
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 57
Gots: 373 | 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: 4,864 | Reviews: 1,865 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of crazybrody06
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pilsner glass. Amber color nice 2 finger offwhite head. some lacing in the glass. Smell is spicy, nutty, some hops. Taste is some spices, oranges, hops, some sweet caramel.
Mouthfeel is good for a lager. Drinkablity is high. Cant wait to get a sixer. Overall very nice winter brew, look forward to this one every year.

crazybrody06, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of Durge
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A light/clear mahogany color with a thin fuzzy light tan head and good lace. The aroma is clean toffee but very thin, hard to detect the complexities that are to come in the flavor. The taste first announces raisin and nutmeg and more toffee malt. It's a little nutty and mildly carbonated. Fairly thin bodied, not unlike many bocks. Kind of winelike and even a bit grassy at moments. Pretty drinkable none-the-less. Definitely interesting, a fair amount going on and recommended for a taste. Not your average bock.

Durge, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of Gehrig
4.53/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites from Sam Adams, Winter Lager is a very nice accompaniment to the onset of Winter, a good bock that can go with the season's hearty dinners or with dessert. A terrific amber color, Winter Lager pours a great head--really a beer with a terrific presentation. The taste brings out multiple flavors, with mild citrus, good spices such as ginger and cinnamon, and a strong malty flavor. It finishes well, and is easy to have a few of. An excellent creation from Sam Adams.

Gehrig, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of Gmann
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with an off-white head that dissipated into a light cap. The smell is of wine grapes, has some woody characteristics. The taste is of brown bread malt, raisins, sweet with hints of caramel, a bit buttery. I don't pick up much in spiciness. The feel is moderate and very crisp, finishes smooth and balanced, though perhaps a touch on the sweet side. A very easy drinking brew, no off-putting flavors though nothing fantastic.

Gmann, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
3.64/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Market Cross Pub and Brewery in Carlisle, Pa.
Served cool in an Imperial pint glass.

A - A deep copper/caramel brown w/ a sliver of a light tan head. Sporadic lace is strewn as the lager is sipped.

S - A nutty woody malt aroma is dominant. A light caramel note is found in the bready aroma and a faint smell of spiced hops.

M - Medium, slick and fully carbonated w/ sweet malt and a clean finish. The effervescence is a bit aggressive for my taste. At least for the style, anyway.

T - There is a gentle caramel note w/ sweet and lactic malt flavors that are rather mild. The carbonation kind of overwhelms the chance to taste the malt and a light hop spice is barely detected. Pretty average flavors nowhere near the complexity of some other notables. Not as interesting as the Longshot or other seasonal products that SA has produced recently.

D - Barely passable, but may go well with greasy onion rings or cheddar skins to cut through. Just ok for me. It seems like it may be more drinkable when compared to the lineup at TGI Fridays.

had recently so decided to re review
A-dark brown with haze and thick cream, smell is slight toasted grain with mild yeast ester and light spice/nuts. The feel is pretty light somewhat dry with moderately high carbonation
Taste is good with moderately high malt impact with mellow toasted grain and mostly clean yeast flavor. Overall a pretty average beer, but is pretty drinkable

Slatetank, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of Jmamay22
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This dark wheat lager brewed with spices is best enjoyed by April.

The bock pours a dark amber with a voluminous very light colored amber, almost off white head. Solid head retention and some spotted lacing.

Has that classic Sam Adams scent. Hint of orange and very little spices. Mostly a malty sweeter smelling lager. Somewhat medicinal or metallic at times.

Tastes of hints of caramel and spiced hops. I imagine that this is intended to be a sweeter spiced beer, but the spices are lacking. Often the problem with winter brews is too much spice, but here they are lacking. Unfortunately this lacks anything notable in smell or taste.

This said the mouthfeel and caramel notes are enjoyable. Very drinkable winter brew. Typically I look for heartier winter brews, but while not necessarily bad this is just okay.

Jmamay22, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of BDIMike
4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Winter Lager is a nice American take on a German bock. The color is a perfect amber with just the right amount of head. The smell is much like a nice double bock from Germany. The taste is full taste with a lingering spiciness which is very nice. The mouthfeel is strong and thick. The drinkibility is great for the winter. Warms you up when you need it!

BDIMike, Nov 09, 2007
Photo of joeskirkie
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

07/08 Winter. 12 oz. bottle. Enjoy before April. Ok.

Rich, clear auburn, it was a nice albeit brief head.

A malt dominated nose, laced with sweet caramel hints.

Lovely pallet though. A Light caramel followed by vanilla, cinnamon flavor and spice is present the whole way through. A complementary hop kick on the end. Very good.

Medium body, you'd probably feel a bit full after a session. But the flavor is habit forming.

joeskirkie, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of AustinBeerLvr
4.6/5  rDev +28.1%

Poured a 12 ounce bottle with a clearly marked freshness date into a pint style glass.

This beer still has the same great blend of nice sweet, somewhat chewy malt with a great, not overly done winter spices. However, I swear the mouthfeel of this beer has been toned down significantly since a few years ago when I first tried it. Still good and very highly drinkable, just a bit thin for the style.

That being said, as this beer warms, it seems to get a much fuller mouthfeel, and best of all, this brew is very sessionable, as the BBC does not overdo the spices and the mouthfeel is actually good a for a session winter brew.

***New note on the following day of trying this...I took the bottle out of the fridge and let it sit a full 15 minutes prior to pouring it. This beer is a good lesson to me in not drinking a beer too cold, especially a bock. The mouthfeel is actually good, the awesome warming taste comes through more, and this is just an all around awesome winter session beer assuming it's served at the right temperature.

AustinBeerLvr, Nov 06, 2007
Photo of scottyshades
4.38/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer...its readily available, its decently priced($1.52 per bottle), and it is delicious...picked one up in a mix n' match at ABC...I have had this beer numerous times on tap and bottled but I still buy it whenever I can
A: Rich amber color with brown notes, caramel colored head that sticks around for a few sips, nice lace on the glass

S: Great balance of malts and hops, however the hops tend to stick out a tad more...also a little spices sprinkled in

T: Alot spicier than it smelled, I got notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, malts, hops, and a few other spices...what I noticed is that the bitterness of the hops did not offset the sweetness of the malts

MF: Very smooth and silky, clean finish

D: Great session beer...very smooth going down, cheap, and widely available

Overall this is an excellent Bock...another work of art from SA

scottyshades, Nov 06, 2007
Photo of david131
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A pretty dark coppery beer with some good streams of rising carbonation. It is perfectly clear, with a great head that lasts for quite some time. The lacing is excellent as well as the retention of the thin layer of head.

S- Very clean smelling with just a delicate touch of spicing. Very light, but very agreeable.

T- Pretty damn tasty. The malt is very carmely and crisp. The spicing is excellent and much more noticeable here than in the flavor. Nothing over the top, just a lot of subtleties.

M- The carbonation level is great. This is almost a little creamy- which goes perfectly with the flavor.

D- I was really impressed with this. This is the perfect winter beer to just have around. Didn't blow my socks off, but I am going to keep this around for sure.

david131, Nov 06, 2007
Photo of Realale
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear light mahogany. Extremely fine beige head settles stickily to a complete cap that leaves nice lacing. This is a beautiful beer.

Nose is light caramel malt with good depth to it, ably supported by herbal hop notes. Tiniest hint of orange zest.

Good load of malt leads the palate. Some caramelly richness, but this stays quite light on its feet. Nice balancing bitterness, and a long, well-balanced finish.

Mouthfeel is quite nice. Again, it seems lighter than most bock interpretations, but that's fine with me. Very, even dangerously, drinkable.

Apart from a hint of orange, I've never picked up any spicing in this beer. Ditto the impact of the wheat in the grist - if I hadn't read it on the label, I'd never have guessed it. All that being said, the end result is a delicious beer that I drink ton of during the winter. 12 oz. bottle - best before April, 2008.

Realale, Nov 04, 2007
Photo of vtfan77
2.93/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Decent orange-amber color, but lacking much of a head. Less than a half inch of head forms and fades quickly into a small ring of lace.

S- Nice malty aroma with notes of caramel and vanilla. The smell is also a little spicy (from the "winter spices," perhaps?) but I can't really pick out anything specific. Maybe some cinnamon.

T- Rather nondescript malt flavor; a touch of breadiness I suppose. Some spices are certainly evident, but again, I can't really pick up anything specific. There's a touch of bitterness on the finish, along with an almost soap-like flavor. Kind of strange, and pretty bland.

M- Very thin, much more so than I was expecting. Not a whole lot in the way of carbonation.

D- Decent, I suppose. It's pretty light and bland, so I'd have no trouble polishing off a couple. The alcohol is a little high, but not too bad for the style.

I was pretty disappointed in this one. I seem to remember this being a lot better the first time I had it a couple years ago. Now it's just bland. I don't really see the point in buying it. I say give it a pass.

vtfan77, Nov 04, 2007
Photo of jeonseh
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

copper colored without any really head from the pour and the little bit that was there disappeared pretty quickly. good taste though; can taste hints of cinnamon and a few other spices within when it first hits the mouth yet it has hints of bitterness mixed with a bit of caramely smoothness at the end but not sharp and on the whole enjoyable. can smell a bit of the spice and even some malt coming through it well. easy to drink and pretty enjoyable on the whole. just wondering why i was able to buy it already seeing that November has just come around but hey not going to complain.

jeonseh, Nov 03, 2007
Photo of Brad007
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown color with a one finger head. Aroma is light and malty with some spiciness. Very smooth as well. Taste is sweet upfront but then fades into a nice mixture of malt and spice towards the back of the tongue.I even detect caramel as well in the aftertaste.Very drinkable bock that's perfectly for the long winter months.

Brad007, Nov 03, 2007
Photo of lowbrau68
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into an "official" Sam Adams Boston Lager glass.

A: Dark amber/chestnut brown color with an off-white head.

S: Molasses, malt, burnt sugar/toffee with very, very subtle spices.

T: Medium-light mouthfeel, substantial for a lager. Very mild cinnamon taste at the end but roasted malt sweetness dominates in my opinion.

Overall this is a drinkable beer with good flavor seasonal appeal but less complexity and boldness than I had hoped for. Good entry beer for people investigating winter brews.

lowbrau68, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of CortexBomb
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is nut brown with a light white head on top. I get a touch of spice on the nose, but not a lot there.

Taste starts out with a gentle caramel tone with a light fruit edge on it...malty tones take over about midway, biscuits. The cinnamon waits until late to show up, but it contributes without overpowering. Not an overstated beer for the style, but decent.

The mouth on this is ok, it's not overly thick, but it's serviceable. The drinkability, again about average.

The bottom line: This beer is nothing overly spectacular, but you can do much worse. The spice tones in this beer are, if anything, understated, so it might be a good beer for people who aren't into the spicier winter warmer style. This isn't bad though, crisp, relatively easy drinking. A winter Oktoberfest if anything.

CortexBomb, Oct 30, 2007
Photo of nickfl
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of brownish, off-white foam that settles down quite quickly. The body is amber-brown with perfect clarity.

S - Malt, slight roast with caramel.

T - Malt with cinnamon and nutmeg. Slight roast character from malt. Hops are minimal if detectable at all. The roast character increases somewhat in the finish.

M - Heavy, slightly syrupy body with moderate carbonation.

D - Despite the somewhat heavy mouthfeel this beer is reasonably drinkable. It finishes quite clean and has just enough carbonation to lift the taste off the palate.

nickfl, Oct 29, 2007
Photo of shroompod
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a large rocky head, good lacing. Nice clear copper hue.

Smell is faintly hoppy, not detecting any of the spices mentioned on the bottle.

This beer has a nice apple, caramel flavor. Spices are slightly detectable on the after-taste.Perhaps some nutmeg.

Mouthfeel is medium, good carbonation.

Drinkability of this winter beer is very good.

shroompod, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of Halcyondays
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear light brown, with a small, off-white head, pretty good retention, with fair lacing.

S: Smells of caramel malt, and a bit of spice, nutmeg, predominately.

T: Very malty, sweet, with lots of caramel and toffee. Spice is definitely there, hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. As the beer warms a distinct gingerbread flavour takes over, with a slight hint of alcohol.

M: Smooth, medium-bodied, solid carbonation adds robustness and body to the brew, very nice.

D: A good brew from Sam Adams, would have like more spice character to really bring on a Christmasy/Winter feel. Easy to drink, would buy again, one of the first winter brews I have seen this season, cool looking bottle.

Halcyondays, Oct 26, 2007
Photo of phisig137
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- deep copper color, with a one finger head. Decent retention, and a pretty fair amount of lace. Tiny bubbles constantly rise from the bottom of the glass.

S- Caramel sweetness, raw grains, bready yeast, and some type of stale indistinguishable spice.

F- Mild grainy sweetness, with a surprising amount of toastiness. Not much else going on here. Slightly spicy finish, but I still can't pick it out. It initially tastes like clove, but quickly switches to something else that you'd never think of... like cardamom. Interesting. Fairly thin flavor though.

M- smooth and refined, medium to light bodied

D- Very good. Quite easy to suck these down without realizing it.

Overall, a little disappointed here. It's not bad in any way, but it just a little "pedestrian". I seem to remember this being a bit better last year. I don't blame Boston Beer though.... I wouldn't want them to take any glory away from Old Fezziwig...

phisig137, Oct 26, 2007
Photo of livingregret
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: A 12oz bottle of beer

Appearance: A very nice amber w/ a 1 finger head w/ plenty of lacing. Very nice

Smell: Sweet malt w/ some spice thrown in. A touch of caramel and a little bit of citrus

Taste: Sweet malt, a touch of fruit(orange) a little bit of caramel, and a touch of spice and vanilla comes through. There is very little hops. Mouthfeel is very sweet and smooth

Drinkability: Very nice beer by Samuel Adams....one of the best ones I've had

livingregret, Oct 24, 2007
Photo of apmarkey
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i love this beer. i think this is my favorite sam adams i have had. for a long while i've tried all the different varieties that mr. adams has to offer, but couldn't really grasp on to a single one that i could label myself as. after having this one on tap, i think this is the one for me.

the color is beautiful, just a simple, pretty amber. the taste (IMO) is not as rough and bitter as the octoberfest (but i'm only comparing it to bottle). i didn't immediately drink it with food so i didn't have anything to compare the smell against, but the taste and drinkability, for me at least, were spot on. i will order this anytime i find it on tap, that's for sure.

apmarkey, Oct 24, 2007
Photo of JamesS
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out nice with a good head and a nice copper color, although it was lighter than expected, since the label says dark lager. Nice head and good lacing. It has a nice scent, very sweet with hints of spices. Goes down smoothly, it would not be hard to drink more than one in a single setting. Excellent taste, a nice blend of malt (very sweet initial taste) and hops (slightly bitter, still slightly sweet) aftertaste. Nice little bit of winter spiciness to add to the taste.

JamesS, Oct 24, 2007
Photo of Kadonny
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 22 oz tulip glass on tap at Applebys. Fresh keg as I know the winter for 2007 was just released.

A: A nice dark amber almost light brown color. A deep off white colored head with an average amount of lacing.

S: Sweet malty smell with the hint of a spice. Far from overpowering, but nice nonetheless.

T: Fruity, sweet, malty flavor on the initial taste with some caramel and a hint of chocolate after which the winter spices, cinnamon maybe, come through on the mid taste to finish. Slight hops are present.

M: Good mouthfeel but not a whole lot of alcohol in the mouth. It does provide a nice little warming taste with the spices they add.

D: Very good, this is an easy drinking beer that is far from heavy even though it is meant for the winter. You can easily sit and have a bunch of these and enjoy them.

Overall I think this is my favorite of the Sammy seasonals and a very fine brew from a larger brewer. Well done and I wouldn't be surprised to find this on tap in my house this winter.

Kadonny, Oct 22, 2007
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 4,864 ratings.