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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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5,340 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,340
Reviews: 1,928
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 68
Gots: 751 | 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: 5,340 | Reviews: 1,928
Photo of magnj
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a - Foamy off white head Deep red/brown wood color but nice and clear, maybe looking a little watery toward the bottom. Lacing is minimal but you can get some if your glass is nice and clean.

s - You can tell it is a Lager, though I can't say exactly how. However it actually smells pleasant unlike many Light American Lagers I'm used to. Spicy and a little sweet, slightly toasty. Alcohol come through a little as it gets warm.

t - Roasted caramel and spice. Drys up a little at that end. Little if any hop bite, 5.8% surprises me and is a testament to the clean smooth taste.

m/d - Not too thick, flavor lingers briefly. Really drinkable, especially at the price and with the availability. I have gone through 2 cases of this over the winter and have turned many non-craft drinkers on to it. Recommended for sure.

Photo of imanidiot777
4.23/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, this is my first review on here even though I have been a member for a few months and have been checking out ratings. I'm kind of new to the in depth look at beer. I liked Winter Lager enough to write a review.

A - Dark Amber/Copper/Reddish color and when poured right leaves an inch or two head that stays for a good amount of time.

S - Not very good at this but malty as far as I can tell.

T - Love it, definitely can taste malt and a cinnamon after taste.

M - Don't exactly know what to write here but it feels good although not the best I have ever had so I gave a 4.

D - It is good. Not heavy enough that I couldn't have a few but not light enough to make me need 20 to be full.

Photo of becktone
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes 11-20-08

Eye: Nice look to this brew. The brew pours a crystal clear copper that supports a nice creamy off white head. Retention and formation are excellent, color is very nice. Too bad the label touts that this is a dark wheat, if thats so then why isn't there any haze from the wheat? Probably because they filtered the shit out of this beer...gotta please the masses, you know that they will never touch a beer that isn't sparkling clear. Lacing is pretty good.

Nose: Slight spiciness upfront, though I really wouldn't classify it as "spicy" persay, but there are hints of spices that were used during brewing. Some nice caramel aromas are found in this brew as well. A general sweet dark malt aroma on the top, maybe munich, vienna, or victory...something to that extent. This brew has a nice aroma, but it is just terribly uncomplex and one dimensional. On top of that, it is very weak. It smells appetizing, and better than some winter brews I've had, but its hard to give this one anything above more than average.

Tongue: The spices come through a bit here, but not much. Lots of grain flavor that I'd describe as harsh. Some of the malty and caramelly notes come through. However, now that I've got it in a glass it tastes more like the Boston Lager, looks quite like it too. On the other hand, when I was drinking it straight from the bottle it seemed to have a wider range of flavors. Some cinnamon does come through, as the back label states, more of it coming out in the aftertaste. Finish is kinda dry leaing towards some spicy hop character. Okay but I've had better.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: As I've already stated finish is drier. The beer is medium-light in body with levels of carbonation that seem to be a little high to me, they scrub away and take the attention away from the more delicate flavors in this beer. This beer is easy enough to drink allright, I finished that 12er in no time...did I enjoy every beer though, was I happy to be drinking every beer?, no. I didn't look forward to the flavor of each and every brew, it was beer so I drank it. You won't catch me buying this beer again. Overall this is an okay beer, but why waste the money when there's so much better out there?

Photo of LyonsHead
4.06/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clean dark amber/mahogany color with a rich and creamy head

S: sweet malty scent with hints of cinnamon and ginger. To some this may be perceived as fruity.

T: this beer contains some added spices that really come through. The cinnamon is just a background spice, and the ginger gives a holiday feel. These spices blend nicely into the strong maltiness of this beer. This is definitely a cold weather beer.

M: Full-bodied and smooth. There is a definite warming sensation upon the swallow

D: The is a very drinkable brew, I can see why it's a winter lager though because its warming and it would make you sweat on a hot day!

Photo of bowersdm
2.99/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into an SA sensory glass

A - red-orange like color, more red than anything. 2.25cm of stiff white head that stayed throughout the beer.

S - caramel malt, some spice and orange zest (exactly like the bottle said.)

T - caramel malt, some spice and orange zest (exactly like the smell) there's some hops in there too. To me this beer always seemed to be Boston Lager with different color and some spices added.

M - as I've said in other SA reviews, they always seem to get the carbonation level right in their beers.

D - eh, I didn't really enjoy this beer. This review is based off of the '08 release which I though was far inferior to the '07 release.

Photo of Pencible
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured a clear dark copper with tan head. It smelled like creamy yeast and caramel malt with fresh wheat and lemon and hops. It tasted like copper hops and earthy barley and sweet creamy yeast, with some lemon hops and caramel malt. It was somewhat thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this was a pretty nice, malty beer. It smelled great, but the flavor wasn't as big or clean. Still, it was good with good body too. It was definitely easy to drink, almost like a generic version of Clipper City's Winter Storm. Pretty enjoyable.

Photo of RickKrumenacker
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Gushed over the pint glass on the pour...two inches of a pillowy head...clear and rust colored

S - Sweet...some light caramel aromas...a little bit of orange zest

T - Sweet malt...some spiciness (nutmeg, allspice) that is expected in a winter beer, but not overwhelming

M - Crisp with moderate carbonation...fairly light bodied...clean finish

D - Somewhat refreshing for a winter seasonal...not overly complex, just a good drinking beer

Photo of Bagman007
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Very dark brown coloring with a very slight red tint. Quite a bit of lasting head.

S- Mostly a malty smell with a slight hint of hops and spices.

T- Initially a very malty taste white the spices and hops kick in at the end for a dry finish.

M- Dry and bitter at the end of a sip.

D- Pretty drinkable and a pretty smooth beer.

Very good on tap. Certainly much better than in the bottle.

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

For a seasonal beer I found this one to be quite drinkable. Often times holiday beers focus to much on the "spice." I enjoy drinking the pumpkin pie but would rather eat it. This winter larger is very easy to drink. The color is nice and the aroma is fine. I don't taste much of the spice, which I like. I just bought a case of it at a local beverage store and I'm not dissatisfied (hey, a case of good beer for $12, not bad).

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

Serving notes: 45F, Hefe glass
Aroma: Very clean, I could not detect an aroma.
Appearance: Dark copper, clear. Half-inch, large-bubble head. Some lacing.
Mouthfeel: light-medium body, light carbonation.
Taste: Winter spices subtle but present. Some sweetness on the tip of the tongue but finish is dry.
Drinkability: Good beer. This is a seasonal that you can find in more bars than most other good winter beers and is often a fall-back for me in an otherwise BMC bar.

Photo of BeanBone
3.91/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear copper/burnt orange body with a finger and a mass of sticky, off-white head. It easily topped my Pilsner glass and left good lacing.

Aroma: Brown sugar and caramel malt with a decent dash of spices. A little bit of citrusy hops on the edges.

Taste: Bold, toasty malt with the spices providing decent balance. There's also a bit of honey that lingers into the aftertaste. Citrusy hops show up in the finish, but are still firmly behind the malt backbone. Occasional tinges of booze in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Compared to the sweet body, the finish drys a bit.

Drinkability: Another relativity quick Winter seasonal from Sam Adams. While very full-flavored, Winter Lager goes down easily.

Verdict: A solid Winter seasonal and, at least in my opinion, one of Sam Adam's best offerings. A safe bet for a mellow, but still full-flavored Winter seasonal, Winter Lager is worth a try for sure.

Photo of irishtjb11
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

nice, but typically safe offering from sam adams. didnt find anything that stood out, but good for drinking a high quantitity for sure. 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 BoitSansSoif
3.91/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a dark copper amber, crystal clear, and I can see perfect outlines of a couple of water drops left on other side of the Bordeaux glass. One-finger head off of gentle pour, great retention, and beautiful lacing. A lovely looking beer.
S-Toasty malt w/apple, spice, light ginger, cinnamon.
T-Complex blend of toasty malt, caramel midpalate, ginger, apple, and a slightly dry finish of bitter hops w/a touch of orange zest.
M-Complex and well-balanced, the flavor holds up well, and the finish is gentle. Body is medium, carbonation is slightly prickly and carries the flavor well.
D-Got this the variety pack...one of my favorite in it. Very enjoyable beer I'd consider buying in a sixer.

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

Appearance: It's crystal clear and pours a nice looking copper-amber color. Head is vanilla colored and about a finger and a half tall. Retention was on the shorter side and lacing was rather light.

Smell: It's overall rather light on the nose. There are some spicy notes. Mostly cinnamon and some nutmeg up front. That's followed by a very malty, sweet smell. There's some toasted malt that adds a nice element to it. Smells like there's some light hops that are mostly floral in character. On the tail, it's a little yeasty smelling.

Taste: Caramel malts are noticable initially and provide a somewhat sweet taste. It's mixed with a light toasted malt flavor. Cinnamon and other spices blend pretty well. Nutmeg is the only other one I can identify. Spices are very flavorful. Hops are light in the mix, but are definitely effective in adding some zeal. It finishes sweet and a little spicy.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied and goes down smooth. Carbonation is active, but provides a very nice crisp bite. Its no quite lush, but it does have a nice feel. Drinkability is very good. It's got a nice flavor and goes down very easy. ABV is modest and it doesn't intimidate. I could handle a few of these.

Winter Lager's a good beer. It's definitely nice during the cold months. Frankly, I prefer BBC's Holiday Porter and Old Fezziwig. I wish they put those in six packs. But, this is good beer. Definitely one to pick around this time of year. Easily recommended.

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

Poured draft into a pint glass. Color is reddish brown, low foam, some lacing.

Smell is sweet, some halt, maybe just a hint of rasberrry.

Taste is clean, crisp, flavorful - goes down very smooth. Very little, if any, hop at the finish. This is definitely a winter beer, but a very mellow smooth one. I've had this bottled as well, and the draft feels even smoother.

Very drinkable - not heavy at all, easy to see having more than a few.

Photo of kurlare
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Very pretty red color. Average head with weak retention. The beer itself is quite beautiful, but the head is weak. Yup, head gone after 2 minutes.

Aroma: Sweet, metallic, caramel, some nice malt in there. Not too strong though.

Taste: Malt, caramel, sweetness, some spice in there somewhere. Quite tasty to be honest. Hops are not very pronounced , but add a subtle bitterness to the brew. The finish is sweet also. Reminds me of a pilsner in some ways.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, nicely carbonated.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable. I feel like this category is the beers' strong point. It is tasty, malty, crisp, with a nice depth of flavor. Nicely done Mr. Adams.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.19/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a real nice looking brownish red color with a pillowy fine foam that is frothy and sticky.

Sweet, malty distinctive BBC smell to it...I guess it is their proprietary yeast that I'm not a huge fan of, but most of their standard lineup has a very easily identifiable scent for me. This one smells like a double boston lager with some creaminess and spices thrown in.

Taste is malty with a lot of the sweetness replaced by hoppy and toasty bitterness. Not getting too many winter spices in the flavor. Overall, a decent beer, and I give props to BBC for doing a winter beer that's a lager.

Photo of cedricwarner
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lovely copper color, creamy head and spicy wheat malt aroma. Some mild roasted malts with the spices coming through a bit. Just a touch of hops. Mouthfeel is not too thick, not too thin. Pretty drinkable, I'd have a few of these.

Not an everyday sort of beer, but another solid brew from Samuel Adams, and one that I enjoy a six pack or so of just about every winter.

I'm not too sure of classifying this as a bock due to the wheat malt and spices used.

Photo of dudecandle
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: 12oz bottle poured into stange. Deep red-brown color with amazing billowy off-white head: thick and lasting with good lacing
S: Hoppy and malty balance with yeasty notes and spices
T: Orange and nutmeg maltiness with a hoppy bitter finish
M: A little thin, but this is towards the end of its season by now. Still has a bit of chewiness to it.
D: A heck of a beer overall, one that I'll wait for every year. Great balances of malts and hops with a spiciness that most beers don't have.

Photo of ckeegan04
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Coppery orange color with a thick light tan head. Excellent retention and decent lacing

S - Very sweet and earthy malt nose. Some toasted bread and hints of toffee. A light spice lingers underneath.

T - Very sweet and bready. Strong malt backbone dominates this beer. Hints of baking spices as well with allspice being the most obvious. Hops are present mid to late drink with a little spiciness, but they are never overwhelming.

M/D - Medium bodied and very drinkable.

Photo of AChamberlain
3.41/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my SA pint glass. Looks like a Boston Lager. Sweet malt and caramel aroma. Slight hop smell. Good bitterness, for a lager. Medium bodied. Easy to drink just not what I'd prefer to have again. Nothing too special, normal. Sometimes normal is ok, not for me.

Photo of theghost3
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

SA Winter Lager pours a dark amber with a one-finger off-white head. Moderate lacing. The smell is slightly roasted malts and yeast with spices (maybe allspice & nutmeg). The taste is malty with hints of allspice & cinnamon, but not too pronounced. Mouthfeel is crisp at first, then smooth. This is a very drinkable beer, much smoother than I expected.

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on-tap at ruby tuesdays in westboro, ma. huge 22oz mug for just 3.99!

clear, dark amber. nice head fades to thin layer. good lacing.

aroma of caramelized malt with notes of fruity raisins and yeasty esters along with whiffs of grassy hop.

flavor is malty and nutty, with gentle, grassy/herbal hop and accompanying moderate bitterness. faint hints of spice and fruit, but the malt is the center. finish is crisp but persists with that malt note.

smooth, but slightly thin and almost watery. crisp carbonation, but almost overly fizzy.

a very drinkable brew. can't beat the price.

Photo of tconboy
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from the Winter Classics collection pack into my pint glass. Pours a dark clear amber with a small white head that fades to a light cover. Some lacing present. Smells of malt, caramel, and spices. Feels light bodied, moderate carbonation, definitely the malty characteristics of the Boston Lager, but with a sweet spicey twist. Worth a try.

Photo of PintOHops
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears a rich amber, a little hazy , high carbonation, and about a quarter of an inch of head. Good head retention, and no lacing. Smells of bright citrus and raisins, a little fruity grape & apple aroma as well. Sweet caramel malt, and finishes with warm pepper like spices.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of lots of orange peel like citrus flavors, some sweet caramel malt, and a little cleaner than other winter seasonal's. Dark chocolate with warm pepper like spices on the finish. Hop bitterness lingers a tad. Mouthfeel is a little thin, a little watery, crisp, and has a lite body.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - This winter seasonal is very good and allot more drinkable than the seasonal ales. I could enjoy about 3 of these, full flavored like an ale, but allot more drinkable. That being said, Its a little to thin for my taste. I think i would enjoy the seasonal ales more, keep in mind though, its a lager and not an ale. Still a very good seasonal offering. Worth a try id say.

Cheers and Hoppy Holidays!

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 5,340 ratings.