1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,321 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,321
Reviews: 1,923
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 65
Gots: 720 | 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).
View: Beers (114) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Winter Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,321 | Reviews: 1,923 | Display Reviews Only:
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!

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

Pours a dark amber color with a small off white head that leaves spotty lace.

Sweet, spicy nose. There is some spice that is lending this sweet, almost perfumey aroma, with caramel underneath that produces a pleasent bouquet.

Overall pretty spicy flavor profile with sweet spices like cinnomon and nutmeg, but they are balanced. Some underlying malt sweetness keeps the spices in check and gives the brew some depth. A hint of hops towards the end gives additional complexity and some dryness.

Nice carbonation, lighter side of medium body.

Very good drinkability. A winter session beer dare I say? (I know, I know, too much alcohol, but it goes down very easy) A great winter staple and it's nice that the freshness is ensured each year.

Photo of bamadog
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got a pint of this because the one I wanted was actually out. I've had it before, and I wasn't overly impressed with it compared to the other brews made by Sam Adams, but I thought, "what the hell..."

Appearance: Dark copper in color, a very thin head that reduced to an even thinner lacing that didn't really stick around.

Smell: A little like carmel, a little bit of a hoppiness to it in the back. I really couldn't pull a whole lot out of this.

Taste: Nice carmel, and again like the smell, just a smidge of the hoppiness to it. It was kind of sweet and reminded me a bit of a Scotch ale. Again, it tastes OK, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get it (also, is it strange that it's named "Winter Lager" yet it's classified as a bock on BA?).

Mouthfeel: Solid carbonation, dried the palate nicely. Again, not bad - something I could live with and it didn't let me down, so I gave it the 4 as listed.

Drinkability: Again, I would give it a fair drinkability, but I'm just not a huge fan of this one compared to the other brews from Sam Adams. It's not overpowering though and it would be fairly easy to session with.

Photo of olmatty
3.81/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a creamy off-white two-finger head with excellent retention and lacing. Beer is a reddish tobacco.

Smell- Cinnamon and nutmeg, dark caramel malts and a hint of yeast

Taste- Less spicy than most spiced holiday beers. Dark malty character, moderate hops are masked by spices. A nice mixture.

Mouthfeel- Moderately carbonated, full bodied and rich.

Drinkability- Occupies an odd slot for me. Tasty and full bodied enough to enjoy a couple, not so flavorful and tasty as to be crave it very often. A good brew, but not exceptional

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

Pours a nice deep copper color with a beautiful two-finger billowy head. Lacing is excellent. Smell is slightly spiced but mostly uneventful. Taste is warm, lightly spicy with large caramel overtones. Mouthfeel is thick with a nice lingering flavor and aftertaste. Drinkability is quite high with this well balanced beer.

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

served on tap a flying saucer

appearance: crystal clear amber/brown. whiteish head that leaves some lacing but disapates quickly to a film.

nose: malts. some xmas candies. yeast. more malts.

taste: some candied apple sweetness. maybe a hint of hops. a major toasty biscuitiness in the finish.

mouth: kind of chewy. with a fairly dry finish.

drink: not too bad. smooth going

Photo of nrbw23
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep, bright, dark copper. Head is an off-white in color. Head leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Sweet malts, spicy hops and cinnamon. Also could pick up a bit of yeast and ginger. Might be something that's toasted/roasted but can't really put my finger on it.

T- Overall, pretty sweet finishes with a slight hop bitterness to it. For the most part follows the nose.

M- Medium body and quite a bit of carbonation here.

D- Easy to drink.

Photo of damienblack
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours medium brown with a rush of carbonation. Two-fingered foamy head makes for a nice looking presentation. Smells like SA yeast (man, that's present in all their beers... kind of like graham cracker), and some dark fruit, something exotic like fig, date, that sort of thing.

Smooth, buttery and just a little roasty. Lightly roasted malt, with caramel flavors. Little bit of hop to carry the end, but overall the experience is sweet. A little dry and grassy to finish. Light to medium body, not too much behind it. Very drinkable and inoffensive, easy to session. Not much to say about this one. It's a step above the typical spiced winter fare, and some at some places, probably a step above what else is on tap, but it probably wouldn't make it into a regular winter rotation for me.

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

This is a great seasonal that I pick up every year.

A - Poured from bottle into glass. Nice dark amber. Good head.

S - light roasty malt, caramel

T - clean with slightly buttery and grassy dry finish.

M - Medium dryness, nice lingering flavor.

D - Definitely drinkable. Very good both fridge or cellar temp. It's quite refreshing too, unlike some other Winter beers. So this would be a great choice for those that live in warmer climates but still want a special seasonal.

Photo of dakid618
3.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from draft into pint glass. Poured a deep dark mahogany with a half finger of tan head. Smell is almost non-existent, slight chocolate smell. Taste is light cocoa with some light malty taste in the undertones. Light mouthfeel. Could drink several of these for sure.

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

Pours a clear, dark brown. 3/4 inch head of a slightly off-white color. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt and spices. Fits the style. Has a smooth and very crisp mouth feel. There was a low carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt and a little bit of spices (coriander). A little hoppiness is noticeable, but not overpowering by any means. Overall, a little too sweet for my tastes, but worth a try.

Photo of selecter70
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A lovely seasonal offering from our pals in JP. Readily available on draught, which is a grand thing. A clear dark amber pour with a fluffy but not bubbly off-white/beige-yellow head with nice lace retention throughout. The aroma offers a spiced caramel malt as does the taste, although with a fine & not overwhelmingly nice hop floral bitterness. Very drinkable. Very flavorful without gimicky sweet 'flavors.'

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

Lighter Amber color. Big off white head that dissipated quickly. No lacing. Light spice aroma and taste of the same. Expected a darker wintery version. There was a hint of spices in this beer but it was really subtle. Overall a pleasant beer, but nothing special. The body was too thin to make it impressive.

Photo of Tilley4
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is SO much better on tap... Beautiful dark amber color with a pillowy head...

Spicy wheaty aroma... Delicious...

Starts out wheaty and melds into a beautifully spiced brew... Love it..

Drinkability is scary on this...

I can't believe how much better this is on tap.. Its like a different brew...

Photo of fostwal
3.11/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A nice beer for a change of pace. But not one of Sam's best. It has a dark and clear amber color. The scent is ok, but with a slight banana like smell. Its fairly well carbonated and light on the dark roasted malt taste. Actually, its light on both hops and malt. Its easy to drink. Just not something that I would seek out.

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

12oz bottle into pint glass.

A - Dark amber/read with tan 1 finger head. Very clear. Good head retention.

S - Spice, citrus, but somewhat faint.

T - Malt upfront which leads to spice notes. Slight hop presence. Very nice balance and taste overall.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation. Leaves a nice coating. Good.

D - Nice balanced taste and good mouthfeel make this a very drinkable beer.

A pretty good beer from Sam Adams - not overpowering, but solid nonetheless.

Photo of charliedango
2.52/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This was a bock?

Sorry, but it tasted pretty much like every other Sam Adams I've had up to this point (with the exception of Cream Stout, still good!). For a moment I'll expand on that because it needs to be said. The mouthfeel was a bit thicker than standard lagers, but overall I never got the feel that I was drinking a bock.

Goose Island has consistently put out bad tasting beer. Sam Adams has put out some decent beer, but it all starts tasting the same after a while.

Photo of echdk3
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a mug

A_Bright fiery red color, glowing, translucent, lively. Nice off white bubbly head. Nice

S_Lots of ripe fruits, citrus. Could be a little more complex

T_Taste doesn't match the smell surprisingly. There is a nice warming alcohol taste. Also some really nice cinnamon. Can't believe this is a lager

M_Medium-high carbonation. Fairly light body and not too much gum sticking. Not bad but nothing special

D_Lots of spices and light body, high repeatability. Not offensive

Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: a dark clear amber pour small carbonation and small head

Smell: soft caramel, spice--maybe cinnamon, small hops

Taste: slightly hoppy with cinnamon

Mouthfeel: smooth with a slightly bitter finish

Drinkability: I like it. It is not offensive. It tastes like a very tame IPA with a touch of spices

Photo of jderflinger
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer a few different times, Both on tap and in bottle. As with most beers I do prefer it on tap

A - Dark Amber color, about two finger head on it with bubbles rising seductively up the sides of the glass

S - smells good very slight notability of a spice in it

T - Very clean and crisp with hints of spice.

M - a good mouthfeel, slightly thick.

D - Very drinkable. Very clean taste that lingers on the palate.

A beer I am glad to see arrive on tap in winter. A its thicker then some of the other seasons by SA but then again its winter and that is the best time to drink all thicker darker beers in my opinion.

A very good beer. Worth the cost and enjoyed every time I have the opportunity to enjoy it.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 5,321 ratings.