1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
81
good

4,613 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,613
Reviews: 1,850
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 40
Gots: 255 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Winter Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,613 | Reviews: 1,850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FFudnam
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%

A terrific offering from the BBC which, IMHO, should be done year round, and given a proper name. How about "Wicked Good Weizenbock?"

Lots of delicious sweet wheat malt. Dark and ripe fruits dominate the taste profile. Perfect spicy hops in the background. Deceptively strong. Oh, I just love this beer. Amazed I found it in early May. I will go back to this same store and buy more because I just can't get enough of it.

FFudnam, May 09, 2004
Photo of GreenWBush
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%

12 oz. 2004 sample. One month left on the "best by" date.

Sam Adams Winter Lager pours out a near maroon with a cascading head that meringued over the glass and onto my Bell's coaster. There lays an ivory 1/16" froth visually akin to a true British ale (ironically). Impressive presentation. The lacing is truly impressive; one of the best i've seen in a while.

The nose is slightly stale. The yeast tones are overpowering as with most of BBC's products. The biscuitiness is strong with a whiff of alcohol and a smooth finish of pear. I always have felt that BBC's Sam Adams imagery has tricked my nose into smelling parchment "Constitution" aromas. The ghost of the patriot.

Talk about a rich mouthfeel! Amazingly chewy. The spicing is done perfectly; you taste it without tasting it. The spices themselves are unseen but the cloak of the alcohol is downright deceptive! I wasn't huge on its drinkability, i'd have one or two but no more.

Surprisingly damned good! I wish I would've bought more of this when it was still around. One of the first BBC brews i've really liked!

GreenWBush, Apr 18, 2004
Photo of watermelonman
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%

This poured to an almost dark red color with a medium head. It's leaving about average lacing as well.

The taste is well spiced, almost to the point of being overwhelming. However, it does do a good job of hiding the alcohol content.

This is a decent winter beer, but I don't find it to be all that exciting.

watermelonman, Apr 06, 2004
Photo of taez555
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%

This beer poured a yellow/tan head with a clear reddish/brown body.

The nose was a beautiful mix of rich sweet dark malt and sugar. Almost reminiscent of a softer barleywine. It actually reminded me of a fresh early December new england snowfall.

The taste was a mix of rich malt, brown sugar, a slight hint of spice, mint, cinnamon, and caramel. Medium bodied with a slight graininess. Very smooth and rich. The bitterness takes a back seat to the malt but works perfectly in the mix.

Overall a great winter beer. It’s basically a bigger beefier version of the boston lager. Sort of like what the Boston lager would taste like if it were a barleywine but without the alcohol content. Still… a great winter session beer.

taez555, Mar 31, 2004
Photo of Southernbrew
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%

Pours dark-amber with a moderate bubbly head.

Aroma is full of caramel, fruits and malt sweetness.

Full bodied, fairly smooth. Mild flavors, nothing overpowering. Light cinnamon up front leading to caramel and malt sweetness. Light dry finish. Slightly warming as well, nice.

A nice winter lager, not the greatest though.

Southernbrew, Mar 27, 2004
Photo of theozag
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%

This lager was a pleasant return to beer tasting after a break of several weeks. I had originally intended to taste a new beer that was brewed near my location, but I was disappointed to discover that it was months beyond its expiration date.

not to be discouraged so easily, i popped open a bottle of Winter Lager from late 2003. I'm glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised. i was expecting a full-bodied beer with well-mannered flavor characteristics, but what i got was something even better.

Beyond good body, this beer's mouthfeel is all-around enjoyable. It settles in only when neccesary, and for the most part the brew just cruises over the tongue. Its flavors include oat and caramel over wheat and a semi-sweet hop bitterness. To be perfectly honest, i thought this beer smelled exactly like fresh-baked wheat bread. but then, i've suffered through a cold lately, so my sense of smell may be especially weak right now.

This beer pours amber-brown with a thick sand-colored head. The head itself thins, but remains at least a few millimeters thick until the last drop of beer is imbibed. Overall, I found Winter Lager to be a very enjoyable beer, although it was not dazzling enough to become one of my favorites.

theozag, Mar 27, 2004
Photo of travolta
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%

12oz bottle

Apperance: Tan, gummy head with nice etention and nice lacing. Color is Amber/Copper, nothing new in the color. Lacing is spotty, but not many rings here.

Nose: Very nice malt at fist. It is sweet all through out. It has a creamy nose as well.

Taste: Not too bitter at all. In fact, I didnt get much bitterness anywhere. Carbonation creeps in at the very end. It picks up the flavor. Spice is right in the middle and the end. I can pin point what spice it is.

Notes: I was impressed with this one. Very drinkable.

travolta, Mar 18, 2004
Photo of masterbruewer
2.7/5  rDev -24.8%

Poured a nice amber color with a decent white head that faded fast and nice lacing. Faint carbonation.

The only smell was a faint scent of berries or fruit.

Muted coffee and burnt oak flavors, faint hops kick and a slight bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was bland and a little syrupy.

This is a decent beer and highly drinkable but not what I expected in a winter lager. I expected much bolder flavors than this.

I'd be interested to re-review this when next year's comes out and try it earlier in the season.

masterbruewer, Mar 12, 2004
Photo of crackerpooch
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%

Presentation- 12 oz. brown bottle with freshness date marked.

Appearance- This beer pours a nice light tan, two-finger head that is retained very nicely and clings to the side of the glass. Color is that of a classic Irish Red. Tiny bubbles flow quickly to the top of the beer throughout the drink. Crystal clear. A truly beautiful looking beer.

Smell- A strong bready maltiness, but almost no hop aroma.

Taste- Very smooth malt flavor with a smooth transition to a light hop bitterness. I can’t really distinguish any of the “winter spices” except maybe a little nutmeg. Mouthfeel is a little thin and ends dry. A very drinkable beer that could be trouble noting its high alcohol content (6.9%).

A great session beer for a long winter’s night.

crackerpooch, Mar 09, 2004
Photo of ark57
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%

It is a dark copper color with a tan head. You can smell the spices in the aroma, but it is not overwhelming. The body is medium to full. It is malty with some caramel and buttery notes as well as the spices (I pick up the citrus and cinnamon the most). The finish is crisp and has a warming bite. A nice winter beer that is not heavy and goes down smooth.

ark57, Mar 03, 2004
Photo of Zorro
4.2/5  rDev +17%

Pours a clear dark brown ale with a red cast when held up to the light.

Smells malty and slightly sweet, mild fruit smells and caramel too.

Taste is mildly sweet and fruity, with a subtle bitter finish. There is a distinct apricot flavor to this. A complex brew with good manners.

Mouthfeel is exceptionally full, the equal of a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout.

Very drinkable, strong yet civilized brew. Not quite a top 50 brew, but probably the best thing you can get at your local supermarket tonight! ;)

Zorro, Feb 25, 2004
Photo of Jacobob10
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%

When poured, this beer has a deep amber color with a perfect amount of head. Very malty taste that gives it some bite and a little spice. Also, a slight amount of orange can be detected. The 6.94% ABV and rich flavor makes it perfect for sitting around on a cold winter night (which I am fairly used to in Boston). Feels great in your mouth and leaves you wanting another one!

All in all, the Winter Lager is my favorite Sam Adams and one of my favorite beers period!

Jacobob10, Feb 22, 2004
Photo of smcolw
4.18/5  rDev +16.4%

Reddish, dark amber. One finger head that dies quickly to a dusting of minute bubbles on the surface

Butterscotch malt aroma; very sweet like a caramel candy.

Rich and very malty with a cognac sweetness; dark crystal malts and a touch of chocolate malt? As with other dark, rich, malty beers, the taste has nuttiness to it that reminds me of macadamias. The hop is pleasantly subtle but present, particularly in the aftertaste where the malt sugars could (but didn't) overwhelm.

A brandy beer to be used with good friends in deep conversation.

smcolw, Feb 21, 2004
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.13/5  rDev +15%

This is exactly the way a winter lager should look. Beautiful rust color and fluffy tan head. The taste has a wonderful amount of honey, orange, corriander, and other spices. The spices are there, but it ends with a sweet finish. It is only the end of February and I am already dreading the soon-to-be disappearing winter brews like this one. This truly is one of my favorite from Sam Adams

ALESwhatCURESya, Feb 17, 2004
Photo of arizcards
4/5  rDev +11.4%

This deep red amber lager left a nice lacing down the side of my pint. Smell a hint of cinamon and ginger amongst the caramel malts. This beer is not heavily hopped and has a nice caramel spiced malted finish. It has a nice mouthfeel to it as the malts weigh this brew nicely. This is quite more interesting than the Sam lager which is enjoyable in itself. It warms me up nicely on a cool desert winter night!

arizcards, Feb 17, 2004
Photo of alexgash
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

2003 Edition (if this even matters)

Pours a dark raspberry brown with a light tan head.
Smells of fruity (grapes) wheat malt, with a faint hop backing (tettnanger?). Taste is spicy, fruity, with a crisp wheat feel. Light bitterness in the finish. Not bad, but it could be tastier (and better).

alexgash, Feb 17, 2004
Photo of malty
4.18/5  rDev +16.4%

Served from a 12 oz. bottle with a best before Apr. ('04) notched-out.

Pours a brilliantly clear burnt copper color with a modest light beige head that stuck around a while. A stellar appearance!

Earthy malt nose with caramel, vanilla, toast and an interesting vegetal aroma.

A complex array spices; cinnamon, very faint nutmeg & pine with a great balance of prickly hop biterness hemmed-up with luscious roasted caramel malt with a woody-dry ending. Medium bodied with alcohol warmth in the finish.

Mouthfeel is soft and fluffy; attributes of the wheat malt used. Finely carbonated with a lively activity right to the finish.

Drinkability is high due to it's balanced flavors and inherent lager quafities, I mean 'qualities'.

I actually was pleasantly surprised with this beer. My expectations were exceeded by this sturdy and eventful lager. The spices were apparent, but never in your face. Hats-off to the brewers for crafting a beer with great balance and originality!

malty, Feb 14, 2004
Photo of BeefyMee
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%

Appearance: Transparent red. Small head.

Smell: A little bit of a pumpkin smell in the midst of a stronger cookie and spice aroma. There's also a trace of alcohol and cinnamon. Everything doesn't jive quite right.

Taste: That pumpkin aspect is still lingering about. The flavor would be much better if it wasn't so tangy.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thick but got worse as I drank.

Drinkability: Just as drinkable as most SA products.

Beef Notes: Not my favorite Sam or winter brew by a long shot. I had it on tap and it was better, but it's still a decent beer.

BeefyMee, Feb 10, 2004
Photo of UnionMade
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%

I had this on tap this evening at Red Lobster. The crab legs are very tasty.
The beer arrives looking a reddish copper, topped with a sizable ivory head. The head dissipates into a thick film upon sitting a few minutes, keeping all the way through the pint. No lace, aside from some scattered blobs at the top.
The aroma is strongly malty, with emphasis on caramel. A moderate buttery diacetyl presence with some indistinct spices. I really can't tell what's in there, but I'd bet on some cinnamon. Mild herbal hopping, a strange blend that suggest noble hops, but somehow earthy and muddy.
The flavor starts with a robust caramel maltiness up front, moving into some spiciness and a light buttery flavor. Very wierd spicing, with definite cinnamon and something familiar that I can't put my finger on. Rather subdued and indistinct under the malt. Some earthy, nutty, herbal hopping enters into the finish, with an odd wheaty dryness right in the end. Wheat malt? Some alcohol is noticable, as well. A bit of spice lingers in the aftertaste, with caramel malt sticking around briefly before fading out. Fairly full bodied, with somewhat coarse carbonation and mouthfeel.
Fairly clean, aside from the diacetyl. It could possibly be the lines. Maybe it's some spice I'm not familiar with. A very unusual beer, I'm not quite sure what style this could be. Spice, wheat malt, odd hops. Maybe some kind of wacko agressively hopped bock interpretation? Not bad, but this is easily my least favorite beer from Boston Beer Co. The flavors are sort of indistinct, with an odd roughness to the overall feel. I think the carbonation on all of Sam Adams' lagers is a bit too agressive. Good with dinner, but I didn't want another one.

UnionMade, Feb 01, 2004
Photo of pezoids
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%

This is a beautifully clear beer. The color is like an amber copper with ruby red highlights. Creamy white head of foam. The aroma is creamy and buttery smooth, with the emphasis on butter. Taste is oily sweet, buttery crisp with their “winter spices” and flavorful. Not sure what spices are in this beer – Hard to distinguish. The body is medium sweet with a soft spicy finish. Interesting, flavorful.

pezoids, Jan 26, 2004
Photo of Stimack
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%

The color is copper wit a big off white foamy head that stays for a good time dissipating to nice lacing that clings to the walls of the glass. Has a nice smell of floral, spice and nuts, a real nice mix! A good beer for the cold days of winter. As I said earlier, there are better winter brews available, but this one is not bad!

Stimack, Jan 23, 2004
Photo of Shaw
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%

After having two disappointing brews from the Boston Beer Co. (Octoberfest and Old Fezziwig) I'm glad to say that Samuel Adams Winter Lager restores my faith in this brewery a bit.

This is a nice deep red lager with a pretty head that turns into a white ring around the edge of your glass as you drink it. It's got a nice malty smell that reminds me of a doublebock's aroma. No hop aroma.

The taste is nice and malty-sweet. Quite like a light doublebock. But the mouthfeel and body is not as heavy as a doublebock. I can't tell that there are any spices in the brew like the label says. From the taste I'd say this beer is driven past a pile of spices, rather than any actually being in the beer itself. But I'm not deducting points for that since the beer tastes good anyway. I'm no pro taster, Michael Jackson would probably tell me exactly which spices are in it after one sip.

For a winter seasonal from a (sorta) mass-producer of beer, Samuel Adams Winter Lager is a standout. And at its price level, this lager even more appealing.

Shaw, Jan 21, 2004
Photo of byrd
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%

I had this one on draft a couple years ago and haven’t had it since until just recently. I remember liking, so when I saw it this year, I decided to try in again.

Foamy slightly sticky light tan head that lasts a long time. Head does eventually diminish to a scattering on the surface and a ring around the edge of the glass. The brew is clear reddish-brown in color. Good bit of malt on the nose. Carmel notes are apparent. Spices are also noticeable – brown sugar, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Some light notes of dark fruits are also present. Hops are light, but noticeable. Nice start with malt, bread notes, and light flavor of dark fruits. Spices similar to the aroma come to the foreground next. Hop finish balances out the brew nicely, and lingers for a short period. Not being a huge lager fan to start with, I wasn’t expecting much. This one doesn’t blow the roof of the building, but it’s nice nonetheless, and is actually better then I was expecting from my memories.

byrd, Jan 17, 2004
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%

12 oz brown glass bottle. Best Before End month notched on the label.

This lager poured a clear, deep red, chestnut color with creamy, tan foam that clung to the glass and left some lace. The smell was very niceand crisp and malty with aromas of biscuit. The taste was slightly sweet and malty with flavors of bread, some tangy hops, a bit of floral hops, a mild bitterness and a hint of spice. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with medium body and good carbonation. The finish was hoppy. This was a surprisingly good lager and was easy to drink. Kudos to Boston Beer Co. for this year's batch of this lager.

UncleJimbo, Jan 16, 2004
Photo of kbub6f
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%

Big, light tan, fine, foamy head on top of a deep, reddish-copper body. Clumpy, sticky lacing. The aroma is very nutty and a little tangy. Roasty grains in the tangy front. The middle turns sourish with a little roasty chocolate. Smooth, but a little thin. Nuts! in the finish. More roasty grains and some dark, bitter chocolate. This is a nice, grainsy brown with a great, dry finish. I like it.

kbub6f, Jan 14, 2004
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,613 ratings.