1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
82
good

4,868 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,868
Reviews: 1,865
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 57
Gots: 375 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Winter Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,868 | Reviews: 1,865 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of botham
4.47/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner. pours a brilliant amber color with a light orange head that takes up a fourth of the glass. moderate lacings here.

smell is sweet and malty, with caramel malts prevailing over the others. a light citrus aura is present as well, alongside a distant spiced character, possibly cinnamon. very well proportioned in the nose.

taste is of caramel malts up front, with the same distant citrus character as well. the spiced character is a bit more pronounced, creating the winter character that this brew claims to contain. finishes on a semi-dry note without much hop character, only residual caramel and a touch of citrus.

mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a medium to light body. no alcohol is present, with mild CO2 creating a small bite that adds to the distant spiced character.

drinkability is great. this is a tasty winter lager that warms the stomach and is not filling. another great offering from the guys at the Boston Beer Company. cheers!

botham, Oct 22, 2007
Photo of KidneyBean
4.4/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a pint galss it had a deep copper color. It left a nice lace on the glass. As for the spices, I did'nt pick up too cinnamon or anything else. I picked up roasted malts and was left with a pleasent doughy flavor. very pleasent beer and nice for the winter months.

KidneyBean, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of biggmike
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep amber with generous light tan head that it didn’t retain too long. Thin mouthfeel with proper carbonation and very smooth. The ginger and cinnamon used are evident. Definitely very drinkable. I enjoyed it, and I consider myself more of an ale guy than lager guy. Lacing on glass was medium. Not bad.

biggmike, Jul 29, 2007
Photo of Shadman
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

seeing as it's a 'winter lager' was surprised to find this with such a nice BBD of Sept 2007.

slightly hazy, deep copper orange brew with an incredible creamy, off white head and terrific lacing.

aroma is very rich in carmel malt and the spiciness is very noticeable. I did manage to detect a hint of orange peel as well.

hoppier than i expected and the light carmel malt backbone was weaker than what i was expecting on the inital swig. The ginger spice is fiarly muted, but enjoyable and fits in well.

very smooth and full-bodied intially, but seems thin out quickly.

not bad..i think that pumpkin spice would get tiresome fairly quickly though

Shadman, May 08, 2007
Photo of Flyer
2.98/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful ruby red with a nice head and good lacing. Unfortunately, the appearance is the best thing about this solid but uninteresting beer. Cherry-ish aroma. Flavor is sourish, somewhat watery cherry spice. Also some notes reminiscent of a watery doppelbock -- for reasons I can't explain, this always reminds me of meat. A decent hoppiness at the end at least does a good job of balancing the fruity notes up front.

Flyer, May 08, 2007
Photo of MYJELLOMISFIT
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Little head forms on this dark caramel colored beer when poured with little care. The smell contains notes of caramel, soft malts, metal, and spices. Mouthfeel is light and flows well to the back of the tongue. Malty base with almost a fruit aftertaste create the palate. Some tinges of spice and a slight burnt coffee fill in the cracks.

MYJELLOMISFIT, Apr 20, 2007
Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-amber color body with white head.

S-lots of malt and some cinnamon.

T- the initial taste is of sweet malt and a little bit of bitter hops. The finish is all cinnamon with the cinnamon taste linering until the next sip.

D- this is a fairly drinkable bock with good cinnamon and spice highlights.

PittBeerGirl, Apr 13, 2007
Photo of Bookseeb
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A rich amber appearance with a nice frothy head. Smell of dark fruits and sweet malt. Taste, I've tried to smell and taste the cinnamon but couldn't, mainly malt and dried fruit. mouthfeel is light to medium that goes down smooth leaving a slight dry bitter aftertaste.

Bookseeb, Apr 10, 2007
Photo of shadow1961
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Samuel Adams Winter Lager pours a rocky head over a clear
amber brew. Carbonation is moderate but steady, and the nose
is malty and fruity. The flavor is malt up front with a grassy hop in
the finish. There's a bit of grain and hop in the aftertaste. The label
says it is a spiced beer though I am at a loss as to what spice it may
be. Still, this is a decent, flavorful brew, with a crisp and clean mouthfeel.

shadow1961, Apr 05, 2007
Photo of umustdrink
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

hmm. never occurred to me that this was a bock.

A - Dark mahogany color. Head is dark white and fluffy. Lacing is pretty strong.

S - Very fragrant sweet burnt caramel, bready biscuity aroma. Hints of bitter greens and gingerbread as well.

T - Sweet background with sweetly spiced ginger and cinnamon. Moves into a green bitterness and finishes with a sweet bready malt.

M - Medium to light consistency, carbonation is elevated a little bit.

D - One of my favorites from SA. Nice flavor.

umustdrink, Mar 30, 2007
Photo of counterpart9
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is matched up very well with its season. It's best served in a cold glass in the low 40's F. The head is fairly frothy and the appearance is a dark golden color. The taste is strong and refreshing, with hints of cinnamon or nutmeg. It's one of my favorite winter seasonals.

counterpart9, Mar 28, 2007
Photo of Redwood21
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a beer i tried on recommendation, and spent the rest of winter enjoying. It supposed to have cinnamon. The smell of a bit spicy came through but nothing too powerful. Like most sam adams it had a frothy head. Its suprisingly smooth and flavorful. Its a little above average in abv but still very drinkable. This is not the best beer in the world or even the best winter beer. It is however a top winter seasonal to try and look forward to.

Redwood21, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of vanrassel
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good-looking beer, pouring copper with a frothy beige head into my glass. The head left nice lace and had good retention. Lightly roasted barley, caramel dominated the smell, with a faint vinous aroma and plums in the background.

The taste was well-balanced — and maybe too much so. I wanted a big malty taste but thought some bitter hops came on too strong at the beginning. Some dry roastiness at the end went some way toward redeeming things, and I liked the full-bodied feel.

vanrassel, Mar 17, 2007
Photo of CharlieLawyer
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. One-inch thick head disappeared very quickly and left very little lacing. The beer had a rusty orange-brown color, but not much in the way of carbonation.

The smell was of caramel maltiness, with spicy cinnamon and some nutmeg underneath.

The malt and spices came through in the taste, as well, but not quite as strong.

Mouthfeel was medium, maybe just a tick on the full side. Pretty much the same as other Sam Adams beers.

A very drinkable beer and a good choice for the cold months. I don't think this beer is something I would make a special effort to find, though.

CharlieLawyer, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of jcdiflorio
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz long neck brown bottle with a crimped cap notched Jun no year would assume it's winter 06'.

Clear,ruby red, creamy,very light tan 2" head dissapated a bit quick to a creamy thin layer of foam. Not a lot of carbination with little lacing.

Moderate nose clean very fruity and spicy,nutty with a sweet toasty carmell aroma with hints of vanallia. A good aroma complex and inviting.

Fruity with sweet candy-like tastes of maltiness. Some syrupyness a good balance. The taste was a bit lacking almost watery, a good taste just wish there was more of it.

Meduim body with a light feel,a good tangyness. Very smooth and drinkable. Could drink a few of these,very enjoyable and easy drinking.

jcdiflorio, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of DoubleJ
4.45/5  rDev +24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As winter leaves, so does this beer. I was lucky to catch a bottle of this on sale at Town and Country Liquor, as I won't be able to find this regularly until November or so. On to the beer:

Pours a dark amber color. I love the smell of this brew, very spicy, warming, and unique. I know they use numerous spices in this brew, but the cinnamon stands out above the rest. Going down, it's rich, thick, and hearty.

DoubleJ, Mar 12, 2007
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 12er, FTBFTEB June.

Ruby yellow amber, clear. Moderate carbonation. Mild-to-moderate head, 3 minute, mild lace.

Hop: floral, mild spice and citrus. Malt: dark, ripe fruit, nut, sweet sugar, toasted.

Moderate+ bodied. Tart, slight metalic vibe. Dry.
Malt: nut, sugar, toasted, biscuit. Hop: tart citric and floral with mild spice, mild bitterness. Mild-to-moderate carbonation, thick foamation. Finishes slightly metallic, but tart and dry. Deeper into the drink the metallic dies.

Refreshing and tasty. Tart fruit brew. Good dark and sticky sweet brew.

At a random trip to World Market, I came across this guy sitting on a shelf all alone. Sam Adams Winter Brew. I had to give him a home. "Dark wheat malt liquor brewed with winter spices."

MrHungryMonkey, Mar 11, 2007
Photo of shamrock7
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An excellent beer by Sam Adams that will warm you up on a cold winter’s night. It has a nice copper color coming out of the bottle with a small, but adequate, off white colored head. The taste is a nice blend of malt and hops. The mouthfeel is a nice heavy feeling – you know you’re drinking a darker beer. It goes down well, but has a little bite at the finish that is typical in most Sam Adams brews. Nothing that would deter you from having another one…very drinkable.

shamrock7, Mar 08, 2007
Photo of BMoney575
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 3-1-07
Best by Apr. 07

Pours a pleasant amber color with a great tan-colored head that leaves good lacing on the glass.

Smell is decent, burnt sugar with a hint of dark fruit.

Taste is good, caramelly, with notes of cinnamon and winter spices. A well balanced kick of hops adds to the finish.

Mouthfeel is good, not too thick but with a good coating of the palate.

Drinkability is very good, you could poish off a six of these no problem on a nice winter evening.

Overall a very well-defined winter beer. It tastes just like it's described and is a great beer to greet the winter season.

BMoney575, Mar 02, 2007
Photo of BradBLR
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a surprise, I was expecting something very light and it was more like their Boston lager. The beer poured a nice amber redish brown and the head was very think for a samueal adams. There was also a good amount of lacing. The smell was that of a slight sweet malt, with a slight hint of spice. The aroma was not very strong at all.

The taste was very good, a warm malty taste with a slight spice and bitterness. There may have also beer a small amount of hops at the end.. nice. The mouthfeel was good, with the CO2 being good and the beer being a lot thicker that I has expected. Surprisingly smooth.

One of the best surprises of the holiday season, hopefully they will have it again next year.

BradBLR, Feb 27, 2007
Photo of Grundle20
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:
From a high direct pour the beer produces an eggshell white minimal head which shows poor staying power and minimal lacing. The color is a deep copper with tangerine hues when held to light. The beer is crystal clear with a little bit of wispy carbonation.

Smell:
The scent is kind of stout like or porter like with notes of cocoa powder and vanilla. The smell isn't overly potent but it's smooth and warming and seems to serve the beer well.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Being built on a medium caramel malt body seems to work well with this brews underlying notes of cocoa. The beer drinks relatively flat with just a little bit fizz toward the back of the drink. The finish is a little bit potent and after a few of these your mouth would most likely taste like malted cocoa.

Drinkability:
This beer goes down really easy which is nice for a darker style. The only detractor here is that the finish isn't as clean as I tend to like, but decent none the less.

Bottom Line:
I think this tastes more like a vienna lager than a bock but who really gives a shit anyways. This is a pretty decent beer and should be a Godsend to folks without good beer distribution in their area. Another above average but less than amazing brew from Smadams.

Grundle20, Feb 26, 2007
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 4,868 ratings.