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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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5,322 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,322
Reviews: 1,923
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 65
Gots: 722 | 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: 5,322 | Reviews: 1,923 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jsh420
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours clear carmel redish brown with a 1/2 finger head that left no lacing

smells a bit watery and thin - carmel malts tiny bit of spice

taste - much better then the nose - lots of spices nutmeg & cinnamon - a decent body of sweet carmel malts with a bit of hops

mouthfeel is nice and light/medium - well carbonated to giive it life

drinkabiltiy is good - one of the better seasonal SA beers

Photo of SpdKilz
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, saw these in stock at my local Bev Mo today and despite it being mid October and almost 90 today I couldn't resist picking up a sixer of these.

Appearance - Pours a dark red/amber color with over a finger of fluffy white head that dissipates relatively fast but is leaving some decent lacing on the sides.

Smell - Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and perhaps some clove. There is a definite sweet/malty scent to this also, after the initial spices wane away. Overall smells extremely inviting and I can't wait to dive into one of my favorite beers (one of my first craft brews that led me into the great land of good craft beer).

Taste - Yes! I missed this so much. I was hoping it would taste just like it did last year (for some reason SA's Octoberfest this year did NOT remind me of what I had last year so I was worried my tastes had changed so much my old favorites would never taste good to me again). This is for sure how I remember the brew from last year and it definitely has more of a cinnamon note to it as others have said. After the initial spice kick you get a toffee/malty taste at the end. Extremely well balanced for the amount of spices in it.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel with decent carbonation that ever so slightly prickles the tongue at the end of the sip.

Drinkability - Very much so. I can't wait for it to get a bit cooler outside so I can sit out in the cool autumn air with a jacket and enjoy a few of these on the porch. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this today and couldn't help myself to having one tonight. I can't wait for the other SA Winter Seasonals to come out! My god I'm going to stock up on those!

Photo of OverToad
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Winter classics I picked up at Kroger.

First off I'm glad they dropped last years label "Winter Brew" and put back the label "Winter Lager" on it.

This years brew I noticed more Cinnamon that last years which was a nice welcome. I look forward to this bad boy every year from SA.

I love this brew, but of course it takes a back seat to old Fezzie.

Photo of smibroncos
4.17/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Poured a rich caramel, with a one finger diminishing light brown head. Light lacing clung to the glass.

S. Carmel, malt, allspice, nutmeg, leaves.

T. Sweet malt, fall and winter spices. Nice bitter finish.

M. Great balance, great carbonation. Rich flavor.

D. I will buy a few more of these this season. A good session beer with, alot of flavor.

Photo of Anthony1
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

has a nice brownish/amber appearance, filtered. had a nice head that stuck around for most of the beer. smell i found hints of the spices they claim to have, but mainly strong malty presence. taste more of the same as with the smell. mouthfeel is what you would expect as well as the drinkability. certainly a beer made for average beer drinkers, or drinking of high quantities; nothing too stand out here.

Photo of psujesus
4.6/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow what a great beer

pours a nice golden copper color with a foamy white head, an awesome wintery smell to this beer, just like the bottle says it goes great with apple pie as i can taste the malty sweetness and cinnamon spice, as far as drinkability goes i finished this one too quick and need to get a six pack of this

whenever i get a chance to head to the Sam Adam's Brewpub im def getting a few of these

Photo of tone77
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a brown 12 oz. bottle. Pours a rich amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smells malty with some spices. Taste starts of malty and finishes bitter. Medium bodied in the mouth. A little heavy on the stomach to drink to many of these. Overall a fairly decent beer.

Photo of goblue3509
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark copper color with a one finger off white head. The smell of of roasted malts, caramel, and some bread. The taste is of roasted malt up front with a slight hop bitterness on the back end to balance out the flavor. The mouthfeel is slightly more carbonated than what i expected for a bock. Overall the drinkability on this is above average, solid selection.

Photo of rfgetz
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Amber and copper hues, not much head but thin lacing

S-Light malts and breads, faint spicing

T-Light raosted malts and toasted bread with good hop charachter, spices a little lacking

M- medium body with slighlt sticky finish.. mild bubbly carbonation, but works with the style and flavor

D- decent but lacking a little in all departments

Photo of generallee
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The label has a best before date printed on it.

Appearance: The body has a very dark coppery color with a thick off white head on top. The head is thick, creamy, has good retention and leaves some lacing on the glass as I drink.

Smell: Its aroma is light with just a hint of spices coming though a modest, sweet dark malt.

Taste/Mouth Feel: The flavor has a good layer of dark sweet malt with notes of sugar, caramel and lightly roasted grain mixed with just hint of spices. The spices don't really jump out at you but they add just enough subtle complexity. The hops adds another level of leafy/spice and some bitterness for balance as well. The hops come out a little more in the finish and leave a slight mineral note behind. The palate is smooth and slick with light carbonation and a solid medium body.

Notes: This is a great winter beer with a good balance of flavor, complexity and drinkability.

Photo of biggred1
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 12 pack of this cheap,and still fresh (for another week anyway!)

Dark scarlet orange with a whipped tan head that leaves some fine lace on the glass. The smell is biscuit malty and spicy with cinnamon and orange zest. It tastes much like the smell, spicy and clovey with sweet maltiness and a dry faint hop bite in the finish. Medium bodied with nice carbonation. A good winter brew for the money.

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

Poured a 2 finger off white head that dissipated at a medium rate. Good retention on the head that leaves thick lacing. Beer color is clear dark copper color. It looks to have some decent carbonation.

Smells of malts, spices, and some caramels.

Tastes of roasted malts and spices. A small amount of bitterness towards the end adds a nice touch. The alcohol is barely apparent in the background.

Mouthfeel is smooth with medium carbonation. Medium bodied.

Drinks easily. Good beer for a cold winter day.

Photo of wspscott
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in pint glass

A: Dark copper color with thin, creamy white head. Makes me think of an octoberfest for some reason, probably the color.
S: A hint of spice, not obvious what kind. No hops at all.
T: Muted wheat, expected a little more malt character given the color. The spices become more apparent as it warms, still not obvious what type of spices.
M: Crisp, tingly carbonation
D: Goes down easy, very smooth and easy to reach for another, at the same time not very memorable. Perhaps this would have been better a couple of months ago. Worth trying for something different. I won't complain about this being in the mix next winter when I want Old Fezziwig (unlike Cranberry lambic).

Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark copper color with a white head and good lacing.

S: Spicy with some citrus hints.

T: Sweet with spcied notes. Plenty of spices going on here--perhaps a little too much.

M: Medium bodied and fairly chewy.

D: Good winter beer. Another solid seasonal from the BBC.

Photo of scootny
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep, clear, copper amber with a large fluffy head. Good retention and lacing. Gentle and constant streams of carbonation.

Smell is sweet and roasted malt with a large bready yeastiness. A light floral hoppiness and faint spicy melange. Hints of scotch like alcohol.

Taste is butterscotch and malt sweetness. Holiday spices mix with a yeasty fruitiness. Hops are mild and gentle, cleanig the tastebuds. Feel is medium weight mildly effervescent.

An easy drinking enjoyable beer, you quickly look for another when the glass is empty.

Thanks for this one Jim! You do good work.

Photo of mothman
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the bar, now trying it from a bottle at home.

Categorized as a bock and on clearance made me pick this up, knowing I could still enjoy a few of these during the season.

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Color is a dark amber/copper. Clear. Pours about a 1/2 finger slightly off-white head. Fizzles down to a thin layer, more foam built up on the edge of the glass. Leaves some thick splattered lacing.

Aroma is sweet and malty. Definitely has the winter spices in it, but also has the 'bock-ness" to it. A tad of licorice comes of the end and also some brown sugar. It has a very inviting smell. Really tempts you to drink it.

Taste: right of the bat spices hit me. Enough ginger to remind me of a ginger-bread cookie. Very malty with spices. Leaves a lager-like aftertaste (yes bock is a lager).

Mouthfeel comes off a tad crisp, but then gets very smooth, almost creamy. The alcohol makes its appearance here. Leaves a bitterly dry aftertaste.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. My grades for this beer on tap and bottle seem fairly accurate which is a good thing. This one will definitely be in my fridge next winter.

Photo of Ragingbull
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper in color. Holds a nice head and has a visible carbonation or "prickle." Classic beer smell with a full mouth flavor. The spices creates an almost hoppy bitterness. I had typically imbibed this beer from the bottle and decided to pour it into a pint glass for the purpose of review. I found that I enjoyed it much more from the bottle directly. I suspect this is because some of the flavors that I did not enjoy, or perhaps simply did not expect were muted on the occasions where I sucked it directly out of the bottle.

Photo of CAP1868
2.94/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap from the local bowling alley

A-Nice copper color with a good head and some decent lacing

S-Spicy, clean smelling

T- Decent malt flavors on the front of this brew, but finishes quite bitter.

M-Light but to the point you know you are drinking a decent malted brew

D- Very drinkable, my girlfriend and I drank a pitcher but after that I wouldn't want anymore.

This is decent but there are much better choices for this style.

Photo of JKrout
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a dark amber with a light colored head. Light lacing that did not stick to the glass.

Smell: Kind of citrusy

Taste: The spices seemed to hit first, then a wheaty flavor came through. I wasn't really able to tell what the spices were though.

Moutfeel: Light and crispy.

Drinkability: This is something that I could easily drink 2 (or more) of at one sitting, in short order.

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

This was just... okay. It's supposed to be spiced, but I didn't catch anything spicy or interesting at all. I guess I'll do the breakdown:

A: Dark amber, pretty good looking but nothing special. Two-finger head that left a nice cap the rest of the way down.

S: Nothing special here, just malty.

T: Again, malty but no interesting roasted/toasted/caramel or chocolate notes that I like in a good bock.

M/D: Pretty smooth and drinkable.

I'll bet this is better fresh on tap. I'll have to look for it next winter.

Photo of johnmichael712
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's March right now, and I have one Samuel Adams Winter Lager left in my fridge from this winter, so what better time to review this beer than on a cold, rainy afternoon?

Appearance: Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into a pilsner glass. Freshness date on the bottle is notched as May, 2009. This beer pours a nice dark orange/light amber color with a large white, easily and rapidly formed head that showcases the heavy amount of carbonation in this beer. The head looks to be fairly sticky, which it is, and it leaves a small amount of lace on the glass as I drink.

Smell: The nose of this beer is fairly clean for all of the spices in the beer, but is dominated by a musty ginger, bitter orange peel, and a hint of cinnamon. The heavy amount of wheat malt used in this beer is also prominent.

Taste: This beer starts out with a solid malt backbone, and tastes strongly of wheat malt with hints of caramel. This malt dominance moves to a moderate amount of sweetness and a crisp bit of carbonation that fades to a very spicy, faintly hoppy, bitterness toward the end with a bit of dryness and a warming feel due to the numerous spices and the alcohol. Along the way there are hints of orange peel, ginger, and cinnamon. Overall this is a good, malty, dark lager that seems to be a perfect fit for winter due to the spices, and I'd love to try this beer along with a gingerbread cookie.

Mouthfeel: This beer is fairly full-bodied, especially for a lager, and feels nice and smooth on the tongue. I tend to enjoy my beers with a little less carbonation than Sam Adams Winter Lager, but that's just my personal preference.

Drinkability: The drinkability of this beer is fairly good, although it's not really something I'd want to enjoy year-round. In the winter time, though, there isn't much better than relaxing with a few friends and enjoying a pint or two of the liquid embodiment of the season.

Notes: I've had a long history with this beer, and it was the first beer that turned me to the craft beer world. I still look forward to the coming of winter and the Winter Lager hitting the shelves, and my friends and I still like to reminisce about old times with the beer that opened all of our eyes to how good beer can be. Although this (obviously) isn't as good as it was when I first had it, it's still a deliciously perfect beer for the winter months, and I'll probably buy at least one six-pack every year for as long as the Boston Beer Company keeps putting this beer out there.

Photo of william5586
3.54/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The appearance of this beer was simply amazing. It was amber or ruby in color with two fingers worth of light tan head that just wouldn't quit. After every drink I took it left a thick ring completely around my glass. The smell was of wheat and spices. The taste started off with a caramel and malt semi sweetness. It had a nice spice flavor throughout. It was medium bodied with a clean crisp finish. This is a very solid beer that I wouldn't mind having a few of.

Photo of atsprings
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Boston Lager glass, pours a crisp light copper with a thin diminishing head. Aroma is crisp sweet malts and slight Earthy hops. The taste is very well balanced, but a bit on the sweet side. The beer is fairly light, but does provide the warmth you'd expect from a Winter beer. This one is enjoyable, but its not exactly what I look for in a Winter Beer.

Photo of grayburn
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

She pours a pretty copper with a decent bone white head. Lacing is pretty good.
I smell the cinnamon, a little malt, and thats about it, the nose is decent, but not strong.
I feel like taste and body wise, this beer only goes about 70 percent of the way there, it has great components that could shine...if only there were a bit more of them. The cinnamon again comes through and offers not only flavor, but astringincy, just not enough of either. This beer is certainly not a bad beer, it just isn't a big enough beer. That being said, however, I could drink quite a few of them.

Photo of gabe23
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep, clear amber color with an off-white head. Retention is decent and the scattered lacing coats the glass well.

S - Mild aroma of dark roasted malt, caramel, and spices. Milder than I was expecting.

T - Strong malty flavor of burnt toast, with a real presence of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Finishes dry and spicy. Honestly not that complex - a bit like a spiced up Boston Lager.

M - Full bodied and somewhat thick, but still crisp due to the moderate/high carbonation.

D - This is a very drinkable winter beer. A nice alternative to heavier winter warmers and spiced ales, and more approachable for those that aren't beer enthusiasts. I keep this one on hand throughout the holidays.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 5,322 ratings.