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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.

4,483 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,483
Reviews: 1,850
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 33
Gots: 188 | 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)
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Ratings: 4,483 | Reviews: 1,850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of putnam


3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Auspicious beginnings with a effluence of viscous, beige foam over reddish brown liquid. The aromas are deliciously malty. Nutty, baked plum fruit and cedar notes are most evident.
In the mouth it is fluffy. Elements of lean, woody, hop tannins coexist with raw sugars, balancing out more-or-less dry. Some maraschino cherry and cranberry fruit prevails on the mid-palate together with sweet spice flavors.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2003 16:49:13 | More by putnam
Photo of PatandDavid


3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not bad by any means, but not a holy grail or anything either...Color when served was clear Irish Setter red, no head to speak of. Aroma was malty. Taste to me was of a sweet biscuit mix, hops were nowhere to be found. Not sure where the spices went. I would have again if at a bar where this was about it...pleasant and easy to drink, but no big deal. pat

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2003 13:25:59 | More by PatandDavid
Photo of BierManVA


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

Pours a very dark red-amber with nice head that disappears rather quickly. I don't perceive too much aroma however which is strange, the bottle says "brewed with winter spices", (whatever they are) but I can't detect them. Perhaps my nose is stuffed up.

The tatse is quite similar to Sam's regular lager in my opinion. Perhaps a bit fuller.

Nothing over the top with this brew, but if you enjoy Sam Adams usually, you will enjoy this one.


Serving type: bottle

11-29-2003 23:19:07 | More by BierManVA
Photo of BigPapaLager


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

This is a brew I usually look forward too every year, as it was one of my first winter beers. Pours a crystal copper color with a medium head. Lacing was not significant. A sweet one with some hop bitterness as well. Drinkabilility is good but not one of Sammy's best IMO. Though it did get easier to drink as the night progressed.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2003 01:01:46 | More by BigPapaLager
Photo of SilentSabre

North Dakota

4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I could tell right away upon pouring this one that it was going to be good. Had a nice, dark, bronze colour with a quite thick tan coloured head. One can tell from the smell that this is a sweet, spicey one. The taste, however, is even sweeter and spicier than the smell seems to indicate. Not a lot of carbonation in this one, which makes it easy to drink. I feel confident that I could knock out quite a few of these lovelies with little trouble. I'll certainly be buying more of this.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2003 04:10:33 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of mschofield


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

Pours copper with a strong 3 finger tan head, slowly dissipates to lace.
Biscuit aroma, a bit like the Old Fezziwig but turned down a notch.
Slight hop bitterness, and an orange flavor amoungst other fruit, carmelized sugar, maple syrup and some spices.
Medium feel and very easy drinking - very smooth, no overpowering alcohol sense. Might be the best easily available winter beer out there. Drink it in the same session as Old Fezziwig and you won't like it as much, seems like a weaker version. It's preferable on it's own.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2003 16:34:17 | More by mschofield
Photo of dpend


4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer in my fridge every winter for the last three years and I still get excited about it when I see it in the stores.It is my favorite of the Sam Adams seasonals.

Color is deep copper with an sticky off white head that trails down the glass.Aroma is definitely of a spiced lager.Picking up citrus,nutmeg,cinnamon, a bit of wheat and a slight alcohol scent on the end.Milky feel and mellow balance of malt and hops.Nice warming effect with even taste of spices and citrus.Finish is slight spice with dryness.A very interesting take on a winter beer.I like this a lot and will continue to look forward to it in winters to come.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2003 04:04:01 | More by dpend
Photo of Boilermaker88


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

Released from its 12oz brown bottle, Sam Adams Winter Lager poured a clear brown color with a foamy ¾" off-white head that slowly dwindled to a bubbly little cap. Some minor amounts of bubbles were noted slowly creeping up the side of the glass.
This brew certainly has its sweet side. Aromas of caramel, vanilla, hints of dark dried fruits, and just a little nutty scent. The taste was a mirror to the smell, except the vanilla lessened and a citrus hops bite came out in the form of a mild orange peel flavor. Some mild spiciness was picked up on in the finish. The feel was medium-bodied and smooth.
Winter Lager has an easy drinkability and a pleasant malty flavor. It's a nice brew for a quiet winter's night.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2003 17:28:01 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of sabrills70

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a crystal clear medium copper with a huge head and good lace. Smell is malty with hints of vanilla, raisin and maple. a bit nutty. Taste is just like the smell but with some hop bitterness that hits last. Fairly well balanced. Finishes a bit heavy and dry. Good drinkability. A good brew, but could be better. It another example of Sam Adams trying to appeal to much the masses insted of producing a finer beer that only those who truly appreciate would enjoy. Although that is what buisness is all about, right?

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2003 01:36:52 | More by sabrills70
Photo of 86MonteSS


3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It wasn't until the third bottle, after my taste buds had been taken hostage, that I was able to appreciate this beer. Upon the first sip, I didn't really find it all that engaging. Maybe I expected too much from this contract brewer, but Winter Lager's presence still seems a little onerous. It's got a great appearance and a heavenly smell, but once it hits the tongue, it's sticky and hollowly bitter. The alcoholic notes impel me to call this a good beer despite its shortcomings, but as a seasonal I can't say this is something I'll look forward to every winter.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2003 03:24:56 | More by 86MonteSS
Photo of Admiraldinty


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

This might be my favorite Sammy brew. Had this in a 25 oz. mug. Wow, I didn't realize how hard this one can hit you. Copper with a small white sticky head. The coloring of this one is great - perhaps because of the clarity. Aroma is sweet with caramel, some orange peel. Slightly alcoholic, with just a hint of wintery spices. This beer is extremely smooth. Medium to full-bodied. Starts a little on the spicey side, and then moves to the sweetness and ends with a slight bit of hops. Really nice warming effect from this beer. The drinkability suffers on this one only because it is so unexpectedly strong.

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2003 02:38:32 | More by Admiraldinty
Photo of chaduvel


3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber, copper color, small white head. Smell is faint. Some ginger, some hops, some caramel malts, hint of citrus. Taste is thin, clean and mostly of caramel malts, touch of hops and a touch of ginger or citrus. Too subtle on the spices in my opinion. More robust in years past maybe [?]

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2003 22:26:21 | More by chaduvel
Photo of shippos

New York

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

amber reddish color with a farily decent white heead. cinnmon and orange along with a juicy malty aroma. smooth crisp tastewith nice malty finish. spices are very well balanced, not over powering. slight bit on cinnamon in the aftertaste. very good and drinkable winter beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2003 13:43:50 | More by shippos
Photo of PSUDREW


4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours with mild head retention and it's dark amber colored, but nice lacing through and through

Smells like a light wit, not to much to it.

I think the malty flavor is the dominat taste in the beer. The "sam adams spicyness" is present, but as almost a complimenting afterthought to malty flavor.Has a nice warm feeling to it, prob due to the abv, but in all honestly, the alchohol is not domminant like many beers similar.

nice winter standard, possibly a "conversion beer". I know alot of people knock the BBC, but I do feel this is a delightful little concotion of thiers

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2003 03:46:19 | More by PSUDREW
Photo of flaminghomer


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

this beer is a medium golden copper. wtih a very nice, light tan head that sticks to the glass on the way down.

aromas are traditional sam adams. it didn't smell too spiced. a little like a spiced belguim white.

flavors match aromas equally. i was hoping for a little more spice though, since this is the first winter beer i've ever had. but if it had more, i'd probably say it was too much.

this is a good beer that alot of drinkers will enjoy. like most sam adams products, it does seem to be a little filling.

oh yeah. for being nearly 7% abv, it is very smooth with little alcohol taste.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2003 05:27:31 | More by flaminghomer
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

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

Have drank this seasonal over the last few years on tap and in the bottle,went out last night and had this on tap.Pours a brownish amber with alight but somewhat sticky head,aroma is rich and malty.The flavor has a nice flavorful holiday spice to it its a nice rich tasting brew,this beer is served at alot of the big name bar and grilles wich is great compared to most of there other offerings.A beer with some nice spiced notes and is slightly warming.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2003 00:17:09 | More by oberon
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


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

From the 2003 Winter Classics Pack

Pours deep amber with a lacy off-white head. Smells sour and spicy. Orange and grape (?) aromas. Lightly malty sweet.

Taste is malty and sweet. Much maltier than I remember this beer being before. Fruity undertones with hints of citruc and cloves. Medium bodied and sticky. Caramel and molasses aftertaste with a moderate hoppy finish. Very drinkable with a suprisingly full body.

I may have sold this beer short in the past. this is damn good, especially for a lager. Worth a second look.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2003 00:10:04 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of Beastdog75

New Jersey

3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Samuel Adams "Winter Classics" pack, 2003)

Samuel Adams Winter Lager is a dark wheat lager brewed with some "winter spices." All in all, it is a pretty drinkable brew for the winter months. It is brewed to be very drinkable, therefore there is nothing really overwhelming about this beer and it won't scare away your average beer drinker.

This beer pours a very nice ruby reddish color with some orange hue to it. A nice, light tan foam head forms and begins to dissipate in under 2 minutes, but leaves some decent lacing. The smell was a little dissapointing, as all I detected was a very slight malt aroma and some extremely light spiciness. The mouthfeel was a little on the thin side and was only lightly carbonated which suits this brew quite well. This has a nice flavor to it, although it wasn't as strong as I would have liked it to have been. Slightly on the sweet side, as the caramel-like malt really pops out at you every few sips. There are some regular malty flavors here, and some spices are present but certainly not overdone (if anything, underdone). It's hard for me to name any specific spices here, but ginger came to mind, and maybe even some orange/citrus peel-like flavors. There is a moderate hop bitterness in the finish. In the aftertaste, there are some cracker-like and toasted notes along with some dryness. It all finishes out with some alcoholic warmth.

This beer supposedly nears the 7% abv range, but it really doesn't seem all that strong to me. I only had one of these out of the sampler (my brother had the other one), so maybe a six-pack of this brew would help me distinguish more characteristics here. For a lager, it is more complex than your average dark brew, but this one would be even better if it were a bit more assertive in the aroma and flavor department.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2003 01:35:02 | More by Beastdog75
Photo of winomark


3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a nice deep copper with some reddish hues and a frothy head.

Aroma: Sweet malt and some spices dominate. Hop citrus in the back.

Taste: Quite malty and sweet up front, with the hop bitterness balancing the finish.

Mouthfeel: Coating and slightly thick, but finishes in a nice, dry fashion.

Drinkability: A good everyday winter brew. Has character and interesting notes, but not too heavy and sweet.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2003 14:54:49 | More by winomark
Photo of Mustard

District of Columbia

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

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; standard Boston Beer Company "for brewery-fresh taste, purchase before month notched" warning on the bottom label's left edge; no ABV %; purchased on sale from Ralph's for a stellar $7.99/12.

Appearance: Dark, brownish orange hue with faint hints of red; good to very good clarity; huge, batter-like head -- at least with a rough pour; a good d-cup's worth of lace; good but not great head retention.

Aroma: Lightly of nutmeg and orange peel but primarily of sweet malt; slightly phenolic.

Taste: Mainly of a sweet, molasses-like malt presence; spicy, phenolic thrust; mild hop bitterness; secondary flavor characteristics include notes of cinammon, nutmeg and orange peel; medium bodied with a slightly creamy, prickly mouthfeel.

Notes: A mixed bag for me; sweetness can be cloying if you're not in the mood for it.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2003 06:43:43 | More by Mustard
Photo of Dmann


4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Sam Adams Winter Lager is a beer that I look foreward to every year and this year's version is just as good as ever. The beer is a very pretty dark amber color and looks great when held up to a light. The smell is very malty with hints of cinnamon and some other spices. The taste, unlike the Old Fez, is a much more balanced beer with less emphasis on the spice and more emphasis on the balance. There are many different layers of this beer, from the cinnamon flavors to the hint of orange this is a very complex brew. Given all the spice flavors, this is a beer I could start out on but not one I could make a session out of.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2003 12:41:09 | More by Dmann
Photo of tavernjef


3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Super coppery color thats pretty deep and glowing, thin ivory head that fades fast, lace minimal but sticking in thin ink blot patches. Smell is more sweet then spicy, the spice seems citric like cinnamon and nutmeg mixed with pepper and orange peels, malty sweetness subdued overall with a burnt-like caramel. Not all that strong but interesting. Taste is all over the place, layers of different spicyness, including dried peppers, cinnamon, curried apples, orange peels, did someone mix the fruit salad with the salsa? Some malty sweetness of caramel lingers in the back trying desparately to keep things in check but lets go in quite a few areas. A mild but wild ride, nothing really stands out or is overwhelming. Feel is lighter then medium with a texture that didn't fit in the carbonation for me. Seems creamy, but the smoothness is all but lost due to the carb bite it tends to have mixed with the spices. Not something I'd have again really, but wouldn't turn it down if offered. Subtle but complex, but maybe trying a little to hard to stand out.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2003 01:32:36 | More by tavernjef
Photo of Reidrover


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

Ok new Winter 2003/04 version with a slighly changed label.
In appearance this a deep dark red almost garnet coloured beer woth a tiny off white head..goes but leaves nice lacing.
Smell is rather subdued..malty though.
Taste is almost all sweet malts..some fruity flavours near end.
Pretty average feel in the palate.
Have to say i was dissapointed I have had this beer the last 5 winters ..it was always excellent..maybe its just my changed taste buds but i think the recipe has been "tweeked" for the worst ..my opinion only!

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2003 06:34:05 | More by Reidrover
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

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

Appearance: Pours a ruby copper tone with a massive fluffy tan head leaving healthy amounts of dispersed lacing. Aroma: Nice shot of pine cone scented hops initially much better improved from last year's Winter lager, this is a rich malty lager nice caramel sweetness mixed with some bready dough like yeast notes and an undertow of spices. Taste: Full flavor syrupy rich nutty edge with hop bitterness not as dominant in flavor as the aromatic qualities with the bready finish characteristic of most Sam Adams products the spiciness bites at the palate nice winter lager, the BBC can still get it done when it wants to. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied slightly syrupy texture and a strong carbonation, does the palate good. Drinkability: Glad to see a lager around 7%abv this one can definitely be sipped on it's on tap at a local restaurant in Morgantown right now very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2003 18:16:55 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of DESTRO


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

this beer has a different label now, no more sam, wait hes on there, hes just a little sam now. i was excited to see this at the store since id never had it. it pours a deep copper that is very pleasing to the peepers. the smell of spices, ginger, cinnamon, basically everything delicious. it has the perfect balance of malt and hops (a tad bitter) with caramel, cinnamon and spice running all over the place. this stuff is delicious. nice medium bodied mouthfeel, not thin at all, a tad sticky in the mouth. this is an awesome beer, its not very expensive and it has a nice alcohol kick. goodtimes.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2003 19:05:42 | More by DESTRO
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,483 ratings.