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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.

4,622 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,622
Reviews: 1,851
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 40
Gots: 256 | 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
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Ratings: 4,622 | Reviews: 1,851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bearrunner44
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark amber. Surprisingly little head. I tried a second pour that was much harder than the first, and I still didn't see very much.

Smell: Malty, somewhat yeasty aroma.

Taste: Rich malt up front. Hops make their presence known in the finish, though the actual bite is fairly subdued. Spice flavor is subtle, almost to the point where you could miss it if you weren't looking for it. Pretty well-rounded overall.

Mouthfeel: Thick, with moderate carbonation.

Verdict: Tasty seasonal offering that doesn't bash you over the head with spice flavor.

bearrunner44, Nov 05, 2005
Photo of ghostwalker
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle pour, from the Holiday Sampler.

Deep red body, white head that disappears quickly leaving very little lacing.

Mild malt nose, very little there.

Sweet malty flavor. Caramel and dark wheat. I get some toffee and nutty flavors too, but very mild. Gentle but tasty spices, much less than Old Fezziwig or Harpoon Winter Warmer, which I would would say are similar brews. Even has a sweet finish, no hops to speak of.

Thin mouthfeel, more carbonation than I expected.

Great drinkability! One of my favorite Sam offerings and by far my favorite winter beer. Sweet and tasty and always welcome in my home. Try one after Thanksgiving dinner, watching the Lions lose, (as usual), it's a wonderful thing.

ghostwalker, Nov 04, 2005
Photo of PBRstreetgang
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby orange hue, with good clarity. A creamy, off-white two finger head holds nicely, but produces weak lacing. Caramel and wheat nose, hiding a slight floral hop aroma. Strong malt sweetness from the wheat and an unrefined sugar taste; with a healthly hop bitterness that balances it out. Medium body and active carbonation leave only a touch of residual sweetness, and renders a good drinkability at the cost of the appropriate alcohol warmth. Not quite a weizenbock, and defintley not a lager, but a nice seasonal, no doubt.

PBRstreetgang, Nov 02, 2005
Photo of futaboots
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm surprised by this beer. This is definitely my favorite Sam Adam's Seasonal. In fact, this is an excellent beer, period.

Lowest marks for appearance. Nothing really bad to say, the head is lumpy and adequate at first, then dies down to nothing, and the color is copper brown.

TASTE. Malt, hints of cinnamon and spiciness burning at the edges. Balance is on the sweet side, with just enough hops to make their presence known. Dark caramel, toffee, nutty toasty/roasty like flavors. Small hint of cinnamon graham cracker aftertaste in my mouth after I put the glass down.

Smells like malt mostly, with a little cinnamon. Mouthfeel is slick. Carbonation might be a bit on the high side, but not really a detriment to enjoyment.

Notes: I love love freakin love this beer. My favorite Sam Adam's beer so far (although, to admit I haven't tried very many). At first I was a little surprised, and dissapointed, to learn that the abv on this was less than 6%. I figured a winter warmer ought to be a bit stronger. The beer tastes great the way it is though, and might actually be better for it. I like the quaffability of this beer. The spicing is subtle, and I could drink more than a few bottles over the course of a night without getting sick of it.

futaboots, Nov 02, 2005
Photo of BrewMaster
3.05/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Hazy red in color with a thin off white head. Head revives stiffly with swirling but then recedes back to thin lacing. Nice lacing on the sides of the glass as the beer is consumed.

Smell: Spritzy malt scent with a slight berry and fruity scent.

Taste: Caramel and a tangy wheat flavor. The middle is sweet and it moves quickly to a soft, fruity ending. All of the flavors in this beer are quick. The ending is short but clean and well rounded.

Mouthfeel: A bit too strong when it comes to carbonation, somewhat strong on the palate. As the beer warms up and loses some of its strong opening carbonation it becomes a smooth and lightly syrupy brew.

Drinkability: Sweet flavor is enjoyable but there isn't much else to this beer. The spices don't come through and the flavor is only average.

BrewMaster, Oct 31, 2005
Photo of klewis
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a light red with a creamy one-finger head that casually subsided to a splothcy ring of foam.

S: The smell is good, but kind of weak, and it's hard to be descriptive. Slight aromas of spice, bread, and malt.

T: This has a nice maltiness without being overly sweet or syrupy. Complimented with flavors of cinnamon and other spices, vanilla, and a touch of hops flavor.

M: Medium carbonation with a slight slickness in the mouthfeel. The body feels a little light for me for a winter beer, but the mouthfeel is quite acceptable overall.

D: This is one of my favorite session beers in season. Good flavor for a good price. Reccommended.

klewis, Oct 30, 2005
Photo of sacfly
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of the holiday 12 pack, notched MAR for purchase before date

Pours a brilliant clear amber orange. Head looks creamy with very small bubbles. Smell is light and slightly spicy. Nutmeg.

First taste starts a bit overwhelming, but quickly fades. I think my taste buds were geared for something lighter based on the aroma. Nutmeg.
You can tell there is a nice malt background to this, but much is lost in the spice. Slight dryness in the aftertaste. OK, I wouldn’t throw it away after buying the 12 pack, but I wouldn’t seek it out either.

After about half way through, I have changed my opinion slightly. Not sure if I can attribute this to the raise in temperature or my taste buds acclimating. The taste is much more rounded. Still has a bit of cooking spice aftertaste, but much better (for whatever reason) halfway through.

sacfly, Oct 28, 2005
Photo of evanackerman
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a deep amber, almost mahogony, with a nice head that persists and leaves ample lacing, this beer is as pretty as they come.

Aroma is of caramel malt with a hint of spice.

Taste is dark fruity malt with a nice hop presence followed by just a touch of spice (I can't quite put my finger on what it is). i also detect a hint of vanilla in the finish. very tasty brew.

mothfeel is above average, no complaint

drinkability is average because i'd probably only want one or two of these , more of a beer to savor than session.

this is a perfect beer for a cold winter evening when you're not in the mood for a stout or porter, excellent lager. This is my first time trying this beer but i'll look forward to its release in years to come.

evanackerman, Oct 26, 2005
Photo of ommegangpbr
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Winter is on its way so time for a revisit.
Drink by April (I assume 2006).
I had no idea that this was 5.8%. The alcohol is definately well masked in the flavor.
After having had a couple pumpkin ales this season I can't help but to liken this to them... without the pumpkin part. The spice profile is very similar, but perhaps with some citrus rind in there instead of pumpkinnyness. (the reviews the bros. laid down nail down pretty well all the specific characteristics of this brew).
In the time just before I woke up to beer advocacy this was one of my favorite brews. I'm glad to see that this still holds its own in the face of all the things I have tried since then.
Tasty stuff. A solid winter warmer.

ommegangpbr, Oct 25, 2005
Photo of KarlHungus
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a clear dark amber color. The head is small, white, and creamy. The aroma is very malty and clean. The taste is quite spicy, and interesting. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample carbonation. Overall, this brew is a nice change of pace, and another solid offering from BBC.

KarlHungus, Oct 24, 2005
Photo of blitheringidiot
1.83/5  rDev -49%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle with the "new" label. I liked the old labels better.

Pours dark amber mahogany with shades of light escaping, topped off by a wafer thin parchment paper colored cap.

Caramel scents and slightly spicy, but then some stale bread wiffs make me wonder what else I am getting.

First swigs: Watery caramel and flat cola. Took me a while to put my finger on the flavor. Just contained a lot of off hints.

This went back almost as rough as Cave Creek. Just something about it.

Beer i usually good. Happy beering.

blitheringidiot, Aug 06, 2005
Photo of beersarang
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper/bronze, with an almost white head. Retains well.

Lots of cinnamon bread in the aroma, quite unique.

Nice warm alcoholic fruity malt presence. Cinnamon and gingerbread all over the place. Slight bitterness but very little hop presence over all. Finishes warm.

Medium bodied, low carbonation.

Pretty good winter warmer, usually at the right price.

beersarang, Jun 26, 2005
Photo of whynot44
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium bodied, very nice dark copper/amber with an ivory head.

Aroma is malty with hints of spice and citrus.

Taste is caramel malt, citrus, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pepper. Spices are not overwhelming, rather mild and balanced to enhance the flavor rather than dominate. Just a bit of hops bite and definite alcohol warmth at the finish.

Very pleasant for a winter warmer.

whynot44, Jun 11, 2005
Photo of Noelito76
4.35/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark reddish color. The spices in this beer hit you immediately and make for a tasty beer if you like something a bit on the sweet side and not so bitter. Clearly best suited for the colder weather but I can drink this one anytime just the same.

Noelito76, May 06, 2005
Photo of bruachan
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 vintage
good looking brew with a nice big khaki head that drops and leaves some good lacing. good nutty malty character that reveals spice and hop flavor as it warms up
the spice is somewhat subdued, but nicely subtle. good bittnerness
not too strong, so a good many could be consumed. not all that warming, though

bruachan, May 04, 2005
Photo of arguemaniac
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A deep orange/copper color with an initially thick head (white with a red tinge) that quickly dissipates into a thin lace.

Aroma: The most dominant aromas are fruit and spice.

Taste and Mouthfeel: As with the aroma, heavy fruit and spice flavors. I can detect the tastes of raisins, dates, citrus, cinnamon, etc. There’s really too much here for me to identify all the subtle tastes (this brew is pleasantly complex). Also, there is a nice roastiness (further adding to the complexity). Also, there is a malty sweetness that isn’t too overwhelming. A very mild hoppy bite is there (but only barely). The mouthfeel is somewhat dominated by the carbonation, at least at first, but is otherwise medium-bodied. Finishes with the sweet flavors of fruit and spice.

An impressively complex brew. The mix of spice, fruit, toastiness and malt meld together to produce a rich and flavorful beer. Recommended.

arguemaniac, Apr 03, 2005
Photo of slyke
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: An appetizing rust-colored brew with an off-white 3/4 inch head. The head faded quickly. Slight lacing.

Smell: Sweet with notes of spice.

Taste: Some spice in the taste, some caramel as well.

Mouthfeel: Good, smooth - nothing special

Drinkability: I've had better winter beers, but this one is good. I'd definitely choose this over the mega-brews commonly found in the bars of my area. Would I buy the beer again? Sure. There is nothing objectionable here.

slyke, Mar 21, 2005
Photo of Dithyramb
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on tap at Kelly's in Fells/Canton. Had several bottles of Natty Boh previous and was a complex, malty respite

Appearance: Deep reddish copper with a thin powdery bubbly lace that sticks a bit, slightly more dark brown than when out of the bottle. Nice clarity.

Smell: Faint caramel and spices on the nose.

Taste: Caramel, with only a minor hop bitterness in the mix. Medium mouthfeel with a lingering sweet/bitter flavor. Very drinkable, even though this one has obviously been on tap for a bit--everyone else is already getting the spring white ale as their seasonal Sam's.

Notes: I like this one better out of the bottle and/or good and fresh. Either way, it is a nudge or two better than your average beer.

Dithyramb, Mar 21, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottled dated BB March.

Deep copper with a decent white head that falls with some stickiness.

Smells of malt, ginger other unidentifiable spices, and some alcohol. Not a very strong smelling brew as it takes a few good deep whiffs to register all of the aromas.

The taste starts off with malt, some spiceness, and then a dry finish. Not bad at all...but nothing impressive.

Nice full mouthfeel coats the tongue without being chewy. Very drinkable, especially during a cold snap.

ypsifly, Mar 15, 2005
Photo of Illini5596
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not a bad beer. It skirts the line between beer and "girly beer" though with it's added spices and such. A bit more like spiced christmas wine in that regard. For those secure in their manhoods it can be a nice change from your typical beers. It's a smooth lager not unlike Sam's Boston Lager, but the spices are a pleasant surprise and departure from most beers out there.

I'd recommend it, but not something I would drink all the time.

Illini5596, Mar 14, 2005
Photo of aquilontendants
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I sampled this beer at Mama Mia's in Wales, WI on tap served in a shorter Guiness style pint glass.
Faint sweet malt smell. Not terribly too aromatic. MIld roasted and very mild alcoholic aroma's.
The color is Amber/Red and on the darker side of both hues. Head is slightly off-white and 1/2 the bubbles in the head are nice and tight. The beer is quite clear with bubbles errupting from the bottom of the glass.

Flavors such as caramel, malty sweetness, and hints of spicynes., The spicyness is really trying to fight through the nice balanced malt flavors. Fill's the mouth quite nicely with flavor and a good balanced, medium to light alcoholic warmth. When the beer was about half full, a bit of alcoholic warmth came through, which was welcoming. Towards the end of the drink, the alcoholic presence was almost completly gone and smoothness was left behind. Aftertaste linger's with a blend of sweet/spicy/ and strong flavors.

The mouthfeel is very creamy and it work's very well with this style. The liquid cover's the toungue very well and the full flavors that hit the senses are balanced nicely with this creamy mouthfeel.

This beer (to me) is very drinkable for a winter lager beir. I have not sampled a whole lot of winter lagers, and those I have generally were not this thirst quenching. Being that Samuel Adams Brewing Company made this, it was slightly expected that this beer might lean more towards a more thirst quenching winter lager. The mouthfeel hit with me very well.

aquilontendants, Mar 09, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served on tap at local establishment in 16 ounce tankard (though the waiter did call it an ale)

beautiful dark color with great head served extra cold

went well with my steak but would also compliment other red meats as well as chicken or pork

will try again

tgbljb, Feb 27, 2005
Photo of SixpointJMH
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Sam Adams Winter Lager has always been an old winter standby of mine: you know you're going to get a nicely flavoured beer and can find it pretty much anywhere you go, thus being a pleasant saving grace from the likes of Bud, Heineken, Corona, etc on many an occasion.

It pours a nice crisp amber colour with a bigger and stickier than remembered to off-white to tan head.

The smell has a spicy, malty caramel base to it. I can't pick up much in terms of distinct spices, but nutmeg is my best guess at one of them.

The flavour is equally solid, starting with a tingly burst of carbonated spice flavour, moving into a more earth based malt and wheat taste and then finishing with a semi-sweet, semi-dry caramel flavour mixed wit ha bit of wet wood type flavouring.

A nice, basic but tasty winter seasonal overall. It's very easy to drink and just a solid brew overall. It won't knock your socks off, but it won't disappoint either.

SixpointJMH, Feb 19, 2005
Photo of markman
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Winter Lager:

I really like this beer…and it’s even better on tap. This is one of more than a few beers that SA puts out that reminds me of what I ,as a beer geek, owe to SA…I am humbled in it’s presence. Anyway, nice and malty this thing is…without being cloying. Almost creamy with a subtly nice hop bite and spice to balance it out. Always a sure bet on a chilly winter evening.


markman, Feb 16, 2005
Photo of clvand0
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one surprised me. Pours a brown color with a medium head that dies off quickly and leaves a little bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma has a nutty character with some sweetness. The flavor has a maple syrup component as well as some sweet malts and a bit of spice. Some hops are evident in there as well. The mouthfeel was moderate, but just thick enough. Drinkability was good. This is probably the best beer I've had out of the Sam Adams Winter 12 pack.

clvand0, Feb 14, 2005
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,622 ratings.