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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

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4,670 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,670
Reviews: 1,851
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 43
Gots: 283 | 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: 4,670 | Reviews: 1,851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EPseja
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had two consecutive fresh pints of Samuel Adams Winter Lager with dinner at a local restaurant that was also giving away a Samuel Adams "Holiday Cheers" pint glass with a snowflake etched into the bottom of the glass so the CO2 bubbles can form. Very nice bonus! Below are the differences between the tap and bottled version of this beer that I already reviewed.

Appearance: Essentially the same as the bottle, but better head retention throughout the drinking of the pint.

Smell: Since the restaurant was serving this beer too cold, the initial scent was a bit faint. As the pint warmed, it's nose was correctly revealed: Same as the bottle, but the malty notes were cleaner and not as sweet. I did not get the port-wine "mirage" that I got with the bottle. Also, the hops were definitely more evident, mingling pleasantly with the spices, making it a much fresher scent.

Taste: Same as the bottle, but the maltiness was more subdued and the hops were more evident - a very important difference! Also, there was no cloying in the aftertaste. Instead there was a noticeable, albeit mellow dry hop finish that was very refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Essentially the same as the bottle. Good, but nothing exceptional.

Drinkability: I had my second pint ordered before I was 2/3 finished with the first one - and I finished that first one in about 6 big, satisfying swigs. The main bottle vs. tap difference of subdued maltiness makes this beer very drinkable and very refreshing.

EPseja, Feb 05, 2005
Photo of TastyTaste
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red/maroon color, with a very small creamy, off-white head. Good retention from what it had on the pour. Smells very sweet with malt, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Slight cinnamon spiciness present. Taste is very full and rich. Big malt flavors, which give way to roasted malt/chcolate flavors, and closing with honey sweetness. Mouthfeel is very full with carbonation and maltiness. A Good hearty winter brew, maybe not that sessionable, but very good anyways.

TastyTaste, Feb 02, 2005
Photo of steinlifter
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured a mid amber, not much of a head, left a slight collar most of the way, smell was a bit fruity, not a lot of aroma, taste was decent, light hops, good bit of malt and some spiciness, hint of fruit as well, mouthfeel was moderately carbonated, a bit creamy, smooth, drinkability is good, I had 2- 20 oz.'ers with my meal, and it was quite a bit better on-tap, than the bottles I bought on the way home, not bad, nothing phenomenal. I could drink this again, but definitely on-tap!

steinlifter, Jan 26, 2005
Photo of Dukeofearl
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium copper-amber with strong red tones. Clear with large fluffy off-white, almost tan head of huge bubbles. As the head drops, a moderate lace is left behind. Aroma is not strong, but it is malty, slightly spicy, with slight caramel/molassas hints. Flavor is slightly dark (not objective, I know, but it''s what I tasted) with light spices (nutmeg and cinnimon) and a very light hop bite.

Overall, this one is ok, but doesn't grab me on a 70 degree southern California winter's night...

Dukeofearl, Jan 25, 2005
Photo of Luigi
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a deep amber color, slightly cloudy. The head is creamy white and very sticky. Smells sweet and spicy. The taste is a blend of spicies. There is good amount of carbonation and alcohol. Seems to hit the taste buds fast. Cinnamon, some sugar, and wheat malts can also be found in the taste. I enjoy this beer every winter. I am always looking forward for it's release. 6.94% alc. by volume, very toasty! [correction} It has come to my attention that Sam Adams lowered the alcohol by volume to 5.8%

Luigi, Jan 21, 2005
Photo of cooter
2.7/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Says it's a seasonal, "dark wheat lager brewed with winter spices." What precisely qualifies as a winter spice, I dunno. Dark amber with a splotchy, varied-bubble-size head. Smells like poor malts, adjuncts maybe (I didn't think they did that), a hint of cinnamon, something very sweet, reminds me of maple syrup.

Tastes flat and like rice. Again, I thought they didn't DO that... Thin-bodied but a good texture. Budweiser-esque palate gives way to a cloying, sticky zing. Not impressed.

cooter, Jan 21, 2005
Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a nice clear medium amber color with a beautiful head; plenty of lacing

Smell: Lots of sweet maltiness on the nose - caramel, a touch of cinnamon and orange

Taste: Sweet and somewhat spicy; starts by laying down a caramel malt backbone and then tingles with various spices and orange highlights; finishes sweet but prickly and slightly bitter

Mouthfeel: A bit thin, and I was about to dock it until I remembered it was a lager and shouldn't be too heavy; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice effort from SA; I'll be back for more

brentk56, Jan 20, 2005
Photo of TheDeuce
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance-into the pint glass, a cascading foamy head that sticks around nicely, exceptional dark ruby color with good clarity, an attractive beer.

Smell-some fruity overtones that shake the nostrils, followed by some spicy hop aroma, heavenly stench that isn't too overpowering.

Taste-complex and strong, bitter at first on the toungue, wheat overtones with some fruit, goes down smooth and strong with an almost burning sensation at the end.

Mouthfeel-strong, spicy overtones, goes down fairly smooth with a big kick.

Drinkability-A strong robust brew, perfect for winter although beware the high alcohol of this baby.

Overall-Winter warmer indeed, another fine brew from Sam Adams that I thoroughly enjoyed, all characteristics of a brew of this kind are here and then some. Perfect for the winter months, just beware of the kick.

TheDeuce, Jan 15, 2005
Photo of twelvsies
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I just wasn't so pumped about this one. Looks pretty good though. Pours a darkish red amber color with a tiny bit of tan off-white head. The smell seems really off to me. Almost smells like warm yogurt or something as unappealing as that. I can detect some maltiness under that strange scent though. Taste is passable, but not as direct as I might like. The nutty malts come through, though there's a lot of other flavors that sort of seem to take a back seat. Nothing really meshes well with this beer, it's just sort of a hodge-podge of grains and water. Not a thrilling mouthfeel either, a tad watery. Decently drinkable, but I think Sam Adams makes better brew than this one. Maybe it's better in the bottle, but I haven't tried that this year.

twelvsies, Jan 12, 2005
Photo of 67cuda
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark almond color, with a tan head. This beer has a fairly malty smell with a bit of spice in it too. Mouthfeel is very thick and creamy. This beer has hints of vanilla and nutmeg, which results in an interesting and enjoyable flavor. I wish this wasn't a seasonal beer, it is very good in my opinion, quite drinkable.

67cuda, Jan 11, 2005
Photo of ken3c
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper in color and very bright, this beer poured a good one inch head that receded to a thin layer. There was light lacing.

Spicy hops are evident but the aroma is mostly smooth malt.

The taste has a burst of spicy hops but well balanced with the sweet smooth malt. The finish is short and crisp and there is only a little aftertaste.

Foamy and smooth. Full-Bodied. A slight feel of alcohol warming.

This is much tastier than their regular beer. I'm pleasantly surprised.

ken3c, Jan 11, 2005
Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I sampled a 12 ouncer with "purchase before" dating notched onto the label. Pours a fairly dark shade of almond, clear, witha soft tan head, which is showing respectable retention. Alot of bubbles continue to rise to the top. Real nice long lasting and well developed lacing left behind after a swig or two. Nose is malty with some faint spicing noticable. This is a smooth drinking winter warmer.Its lighter in body then others of the style. They call it a "dark wheat lager". Mouthfeel is quite creamy. Notes of vanilla and nutmeg in a generally bready flavor profile. Nice, highly drinkable cold weather brew. Well worth a try, enjoyable sessioner, that packs a punch at 6.9%!

Billolick, Jan 11, 2005
Photo of deejaydan
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Color on this is a nice deep amber color, smallish head that vanishes quickly. I get some sharp hops on the nose, flowery hops, probably european, but just a guess. Taste is pretty average, some rich malts then bounced down against the hops. I don't pick up any spices that are supposed to be here. This is a step above average beers, but not by much. Not great, but not bad..

deejaydan, Jan 10, 2005
Photo of bceaglejoe
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had tried this beer on-tap before, and I had it again from what appears to be a fresher keg at a restaurant. My review has changed accordingly.

This beer poured a dark copper hue with about an inch-thick tan head. It smelled somewhat similar to Sam Adams Boston Lager, which is to say decent - not earth shattering.

The taste was so much richer when I let it warm up for a few minutes before drinking it. There was the slighest hint of hop bitterness coupled with an almost sweet taste on the front of my tongue. The spices this beer is supposedly brewed with are not as detectable as you might expect, but it's still quite a good beer.

I could certainly drink more than one of these in a sitting, particularly if I'm just hanging out with friends or enjoying a nice big multi-course meal. Beware the slightly higher alcohol content if you choose to drink more than one. It was definitely a nice winter seasonal.

bceaglejoe, Jan 01, 2005
Photo of Citadel82
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation a deep copper brown with a thin layer of foam, no lacing due to non beer clean glass.

Very floral smell with some malt and spice.

Taste was very metallic and citrusy with some sweet malt appearing the being replaced by a dry finish with some alcohol.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied with some carbonation.

Quite drinkable if you like IPA's as this reminded me more of an IPA than anything else.

Citadel82, Jan 01, 2005
Photo of waughbrew
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very beautiful beer. Big frothy creme-colored head stays around for a long time and laces too, looking almost like a nitrogen-pour. Body is a crystal clear auburn/chestnut with small bubbles slowly rising to the surface. Smells of caramel and gingerbread, spicy, tart, and alive. Metallic from some continental hops. A hint of butter and some eathiness makes it smell like an English ale. Flavor is nondescript smooth caramel that is quickly joined by the metallic bitterness. A cinnamon-sugar taste is present throughout, but in just the right amount. Finish has some chocolate-covered lemon. Feel is thick and very smooth and lightly sweet - like a great candy. This is another good one.

I think that it is rediculous when BBC gets any crap on BA - their beers are solid and we owe them a ton for the role they serve in the beer world.

waughbrew, Dec 31, 2004
Photo of KoG
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Has a nice brown hue with a decent head that leaves good lacing. Smell is inviting with a hint of caramel and spice, more subdued than other winter warmers I've sampled.

Taste is also lighter than expected but nice nonetheless. No real trace of alcohol but a good amount of hop is used to complement the spice and darker malt.

Mouth was smooth and retained good carbonation.

Not such a bad winter warmer but definately less complex than most. Doesn't have that "piney" or "sprucy" character that some may like, but i find this more drinkable than most as I'm not a big tree taste fan... unless its maple.

KoG, Dec 30, 2004
Photo of GClarkage
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12/29/04- Purchased at the local Safeway in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 12 oz gray-blue bottle with a drink by April 2005 notch. Poured into my Englander pint glass.

Appearance- Nice foamy head, a reddish pour and above average lacing.

Smell- Slightly pungent. A bit of floral hops. A bit sweet also.

Taste- Very metallic tasting. Bitter hops abound, but they are subtle. Maybe some caramel in the background.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation. A bit of a dry finish.

Drinkability- Can't get over this metallic taste. It pretty much ruins the whole experience for me. Wonder if I just got a bad batch. Truthfully, I wasn't expecting much anyway. No big loss here.

GClarkage, Dec 29, 2004
Photo of maltedmilk
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown with an off white head that leaves plenty of lacing. It smells sweet. However , it’s sweetness is pleasantly in the background. There is a mixture of tastes in there…a bit of spice ..some citrus. The carbonation is on the high side.

Not bad at all in my opinion, a nice beer for the night.

I noticed the sam adams website says 5.8 % abv while BA says 6.94%. Judging by the way it tastes and the way I feel after drinking a couple, I would go with the 5.8%.

maltedmilk, Dec 29, 2004
Photo of anders36
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber colour into the glass, the head disappears quickly. Malty aroma and some hints of caramel. Has a warming roasted malty taste, also a bit spicy taste. Spicy from orange peel i think. It has a bready aftertaste. A nice beer for the winter sessions.

anders36, Dec 25, 2004
Photo of beertaster13
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A great winter time beverage. Pours a nice oaked cherry with mohagany notes, the head is creamy/off white with good head retention. The smell is of dark roasted malts and nice syrup tones, hints of caramel tickle the nose. The taste has oaked rasins dipped in caramel, very nice but light enough to have more than enough. Light bodied and very nice, drink these and you won't want winter to end.

beertaster13, Dec 23, 2004
Photo of Bones54
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearence: copper, however rather transparent. Pours a thick head, but does not last to long, eventually becoming a lasting thin cover over the brew. Lacing is minimal.
Smell: As far as winter/christmas brews go, none whats so ever. Faint smell of ginger and spice.
Taste: pepper and spice is definately present, however not as powerful as I was expecting.
Mouthfeel: Definately leaves a sticky taste.
Drinkability: much like many winter/christmas brews, the spice only allows me to have a few. I can stomach quite a few more of these than I can of GLB Chirstmas Ale, yet I don't think that's a good thing. There's something to be said for the overwhelming spice that accompanies this style of beer, and I believe Sam Adams is slightly off the mark.

Bones54, Dec 23, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a two-finger cream head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Clear, deep amber color. Medium bodied. Floral nose. Light-medium carbonation. Starts prickly and malty with a little hops, mellow finish. More flavor as it warms. Much better than their regular lager. 83¢ for a 12oz bottle from Market Basket Concord, NH.

jdhilt, Dec 17, 2004
Photo of Truh
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Met all three ghosts with this one on 12/11/2004. 16-oz. pint pour at Toad in Porter Square, Cambridge, MA.

Stuck, pea coat covering of seemingly creamy head. Deep, ruby red hue to an almost luminescent mahogany hue that is frozen like an icy pond cracking with temperature drops on a still night. Kind of a dewy, pre-pubescent malt character on nose with some nutmeg and just a touch of allspice thrown in for talking points. Washed up on the beach, driftwood malt fire-in-the-hole splash to start, with a me-love-you-long-time promise of some holiday spices, but there simply is no delivery. Malt is weak; simply unimpressed overall.

Truh, Dec 17, 2004
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice deep amber red pour with a tan head on top. Leaves some lacing in its wake as well. Caramel, cinammon, hints of citrus peel and spice. An odd grainy smell finds its way in there too...

A nice sweet caramel nut malt swirls with a nice blend of spiciness, cinammon and hints of cherries. Hints of wheat grains pop out as the brew goes down.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side but it smooth and easy to drink. I could have a few of these and it's nice on a cold night. Almost reminds me of a spiced up oktoberfest brew. Worth a try.

orbitalr0x, Dec 16, 2004
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,670 ratings.