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

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Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

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5,343 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,343
Reviews: 1,928
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 68
Gots: 755 | 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).
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,343 | Reviews: 1,928
Photo of patobandito
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yet another in a long line of seasonals that I have been drinking recently. I've had it before, and I remember not liking it much. But now after expanding my tasting horizons, I find it to be quite enjoyable.

Pours a nice dark amber color, very thin head that almost completely dissipates quickly. No real lacing to speak of. The aroma reminds me of the Boston Lager from SA. Not exactly malty, but close. The taste, however, is a great nutty malt flavor. And then just to add icing on the cake, a lovely bit of hops bitterness on the finish.

I don't know why I didn't like this the last time I drank it. Very enjoyable. An easily sessionable brew.

Photo of sliverX
3.66/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poored a light brown leaning towards a red copper, clear, very little head (not much more than a flim) with my standard poor (the bass poor from their website)
smell was like you took a macro lager and beefed it up and actually used malts which were the other dominant smell but also a hint of nuts to me (walnuts)
taste is not sweet very balanced nice light hop bitter at the end
decent body not watery but also not thick
which leads to this beer being easily very drinkable

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

Pours a dark amber/light brown with a fairly thin head that fades to a thin ring. Smells lightly malty and slightly spicy with nutmeg and cinammon and there is a slight grainy sourness. The taste is pretty mellow, but nicely integrated with gentle malt, light spice, and a clean minerality and slight lager twang. Smooth and mellow in the mouth with a bit of spice on the finish and just a hint of chocolate. Pleasant and easy to drink, but somewhat forgettable.

Photo of Vendetta
3.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Original Rating Date:
October 24, 2008

Pours a bronze/brown with an orange tint. Thick, white head. Smells super malty. Tastes of a bit of clove and wheat, mostly caramel malt, a bit vinous. No hops to speak of. Adequate carbonation- something that BBC always seems to get perfectly right. Very good stuff, here. Try it out.

Photo of thain709
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A nice copper body...very little head that left no lacing

S - A nice whiff of sweet roasted malts...a little hit of some other spices in the background

T - Very well blended between the malts and spices...a sweet malt flavor that has hints of caramel...is there chocolate there or is it just the caramel sweetness?

M - Medium body...creamy and smooth

D - I could easily have a six pack of this...balanced just right between the sweetness and creaminess

Photo of droomyster
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was the third of several different beers that I had at tonight's party and was one of the most pleasing of the bunch. Poured a dark amber with a soda pop head that doesn't lasts but gives off yummy aromas of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon??? and other spices that are very enticing. Tastes like all of the above spices compressed into deliciously toasted malts that are well-backed with citrusy hops. Nice enough feel but I agree with the recent reviewers below who would've preferred that it be heavier. Overall: probably one the best you can find at a major supermarket for next couple of months.

Photo of malcontent
4.23/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Has the beautiful, amber hue of a classic Vienna lager (just like the flagship brew...) with a generous head that leaves behind copious lacing.

Honey and grain chaff give way to nutmeg. No adjunct odors and a nice clean finish. Nice.

Rich, malt-laden palate with caramel and clove on the back end. Not as rich as other bocks but full-bodied and clean for a holiday beer.

Perfect mouthfeel for a beer of this kind with controlled carbonation and appropriate body. When SA gets one right it really gets one right. I still think too many of their beers suffer from an insistence to try everything, but their hits (Boston Lager, Black Lager, Oktoberfest) are excellent. Maybe they should just stick to lagers...

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

12oz bottle. Cheers to Shawn for sharing on another great evening of games.

Pouring Winter Lager results in a copper body with a sticky tan head that laced well and exhibited good retention. The aroma is full of toasted wheat, earthy and natural, with strong notes of nut and mulling spices.

Nice sweet malty flavour with some restrained spicing to back it up (typical mulling mix), and a slight bitterness to add a refreshing bite to the finish. Caramel and wheat lead off, and there's a strong citrus presence that compliments the hints of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg excellently to provide a very wintry feel. A medium body and matching carbonation doesn't put a foot wrong, but doesn't make you sit up and take notice.

This is a pretty neat winter offering, and I'd happily have it again. However, I don't think it's the kind of beer I'd be likely to hunt down, as I do see room for improvement in the nose and flavour, and have found beers that carry off this style better.

Photo of AgingWarrior
3.89/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a pretty dark caramel color in my beer mug. Hard pour produces a half a finger of light tan head. The head dissipated rather quickly and provided very little lacing.

Smells of caramel malts and spices with a hint of hops.

Tastes a lot like it smells. Sweetness from the caramel malts, some toasty taste and various spices.

Medium carbonation, creamy and smooth feel.

Easy to drink lager. I've had several of these at one time and enjoyed them all.

Photo of Augustiner719
3.79/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 16 oz pint glass.

Appearance: This beer has a nice dark amber color that is very clear and shows little hazyness. It yielded a nice 1.5 finger head that was very creamy and white. It had nice lacing and the head lasted for a long time while leaving a nice thin layer of white froth for the duration of drinking the beer. Not as dark as I would have expected from a winter lager.

smell: It smells of nice roasted malts and has a hint of caramel and sweetness as well.

Taste: Its got a little bit more carbonation that i would have expected/wanted from a winter bock style beer. Its nice and full bodied with fresh tasting malts and hints of citrus on the back end.

Mouthfeel: Its a little thinner than I would have expected this beer to be after yielding such great aromas and flavor profiles. Its a little bit syrupy on the mouthfeel as its texture coats my mouth.

Drinkablilty: This beer is definately a go to beer for nights where I want to have a few beers during a game. Its full of flavor and it has a decent amount of alcohol that it hides pretty well. Overall I would buy this beer again and again but if you were looking for a more serious winter bock I would search elsewhere.

Photo of albern
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice bock beer. It pours a nice deep amber color with an off white creamy head that laces and retains quite well. The nose on the beer is sweet malts, very sweet, raisins, maybe a little nutty hints, some orange, some nutmeg type spices. The nose is quite nice.

The beer is very creamy, nicely carbonated for a bock beer, has a burnt brown sugar, roasted sweet grain flavor. There are ample nutmeg type spices, maybe a little nuttiness in the background. There is a bit of a hop presence right at the finish, but the sweet malts, the roasted grains, the raisiny sweet fruits, the burnt or charred brown sugars, the creaminess throughout, and the medium bodied, sweet orange peel presence amply defines this beer. This is surprisingly good. I've turned away from many SA products because they are sometimes pale imitators. Not so this bock beer. It is quite good and well worth seeking out. L'Chaim.

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

a: This was a cloudy caramel color. It was served to me with a thin whisp of white froth.

s: Sweet, sugary malts; mild overall.

t: A bit on the sweet side, sugary caramel.

m: Fine for the style. Crisply carbonated.

d: Sweeter than I'd like, but not bad overall.

Photo of JRed
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark transparent caramel color with small white head. A quite unpleasant aroma of sugary, syrupy, molasses with dark fruit tones. The taste is one of a traditional bock but downgraded with massive amounts of sugary sweet syrup. Deep dark fruits with some medicinal characteristics and Aunt Jemima syrup to top it off. There's an aspect of artificiality that revolves around the drink that turns me off like a Runts banana compared to a real banana. If you're looking for the best or better, don't bother with this one.

Photo of Colt4540
4.01/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours with a good 1 to 1.5 finger head that leaves fairly quickly but leaves nice lacing. Colors is about the same color as a brown beer bottle. The head is a creamy off white. Very nice.

S- Smells of toasted malts, has a sort of sweet gingerish cinnamon smell nothing to powerful.

T- It has a fairly sweet taste that goes along with the ginger smell I can't taste much cinnamon. Its sweetness isn't enough to out do the nice toasted malt flavor and hop bitterness that comes through at the end it is a very nice combination.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbination very smooth.

D- You could easily drink a six pack of this with good friends on a cold winter night.

Photo of caddybuyer
3.86/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark medium clear amber with a light tan head that quickly fades

S-Malts with a tinge of spice. Very light nose

T-Malt with a "hint" of cinnamon and light spice. (Hello...spice...I'd like to see a bit more of you) A bit of hop backbone for balance and a clean finish. A bit of citrus on the aftertaste. Refreshing overall

M-Well balanced carbonation and feel

D-Good overall effort. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Won't wow you, but will not disappoint either. Well done. I would have liked to see a bit more head retention, and some more robust nose, but I very much like it notwithstanding.

Re-review...drank a lot of this over the winter, bottled and on tap, and it was solid all around. Like most of Jim's beers, I'd like to see it taken up a notch, but kudos to him for what he is doing, and I must remember he is brewing for the masses. SA seasonal is usually the only viable choice in the sea of macros available at such places as Fridays. I definately prefer Winter over the standard SA Boston.

Photo of Rayek
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Deep red amber color with a small and fizzy head. Clarity is good, but head retention is poor. Left only bits of lace.

S: Toasted bread, grass, pepper and a bit of toffee are what came through to me.

T: Toasty and dry, with maybe a touch of the label mentioned cinnamon hiding out in the back. Bitterness has a pepper quality. Finishes with a bittersweet toffee flavor.

M: Medium-light body feels a touch watery. Carbonation level is about right.

D: Tastes pretty much like I remembered from when it first came out. Not too terribly interesting, but a good session beer.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received a clear deep orange pint with a decent white head with some retention and lacing.

Smells a bit of sweet malt, some hop leaf. Aroma is decently present, but nothing exceptional.

Sweet malt, kinda a toasted sweet bread/caramel effect. Some hop bitterness, and a spice in the background, but a mild spiciness. Decent, well crafted, but not knocking my socks off. Overall, good, enjoyable flavors with no off-notes and solid balance pushed this from 3.5 to 4.0, but that's really a fine line on this one (and I guess I'll give Jim Koch the benefit of the doubt).

Beer was decently carbonated and finished well. Was not overly mouth filling.

I guess you could have these one after another, but I couldn't buy a case of this stuff. Decent, but not over the top. Can sip or have with food. Worth a try.

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

A: Nice ruby body with a good slightly off white head. Super clear, as it should be. Some visible carbonation.

S: Sweet caramel malt aroma. Some toasted biscuit.

T: Sweet and malty with a touch of spice or bitterness. Again, some toasted character.

M: Medium to light bodied, pretty smooth.

D: Nothing stands out good or bad. It's fairly drinkable but it might be hard to get all the way through this keg.

Photo of Jwale73
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in SA Sensory Pint. Best by March 2009 notched on the bottle. Poured a deep translucent copper with a half inch loose white cap embedded with clusters of grape-like rings. Head quickly dissipated into a swirl of foam with a solid ring around the shoulders. Nose is malty with a touch of spice. Taste follows nose with some additional caramel character and a light hops bittering at the finish. Mouthfeel fell between light- and medium-bodied, but closer to light with a subtle background effervescence. Easy drinking and flavorful seasonal.

Photo of SpecialK088
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a sam adams pint

A-Dark amber good head/lace

S-Spicy, with good malt notes and small grain and alchol notes

T-pretty much the same as the nose with a small amount of roasted charecter, seems this year they skimped a bit on the spices.

M-Fairly straight foreward not very complex brew but good carbonation level.

D-This one let me down a little this year I remember really liking it last year and im not sure if its due to how much my palate has changed or what, but with all the fantastic winters out there I cant see picking this one up again this year.

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

Use by date Apr. 2009.
Clear dark amber with a fat one finger cream head. Some lacings.
Aroma is malty and some spices.
Taste is moderately sweet quickly balanced by some hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel was quite robust for a lager.
Drinkability is very good if you are looking for a spicy winter lager.

Photo of CityBoy1986
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a chestnut colour with a foamy head that is gone quickly. Lacing is good. Smell is of malts and nutmeg.

Taste reminds me that it is the holiday season. Spices and bitterness are the two main aspects. Thin mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Drinkability is good; the spices give a warming sensation. That is welcomed on a day with cold rain and snow and a temperature near freezing.

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

A- pours a nice clear reddish copper with a foamy head.

S- Sweet, a little spicy. a little fruity.

T- Sweet wheat flavor, slightly fruity and mildly spicy.

M- Moderate carbonation. Medium bodied very smooth. A little creamy/silky.

D- Excellent winter beer. Sweet with a well balanced spice note. These go down very nice on a cold winter night.

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

2008 release.

A: Poured into a pilsner glass. Body is deep amber/copper -- almost reddish/orange in certain light -- with a 1-finger khaki-colored head. Active carbonation looks good. No lace.

S: Like a lager (malt-based, with a touch of toffee or caramel malt) with a hint of spice (nutmeg or cinnamon, maybe both).

T: First impression is that it's like it smells, more or less: like a malty lager (toasted cereal grains) with a hint of spice (mainly cinnamon, I think). After a couple sips, the drying finish becomes more pronounced, providing nice balance. Also feel a little bit of warmth in the belly from the fairly strong (for a lager) ABV.

M: Light-to-medium in heft with good carbonation.

D: Very good.

Notes: A good sessionable winter offering from SA. It hits the right notes (hint of winter-type spices, some warmth from alcohol) without going overboard anywhere. Nicely balanced and enjoyable.

Photo of GilGarp
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours into the curvy sam adams glass with a beautiful red amber color, perfect clarity, and a good half inch of creamy white head. It diminishes quickly but leaves a little lacing behind.

Aroma is a bit less remarkable. Sweet and malty with a bit of hops but nothin exceptional.

Flavor is similar to others in the mix pack, notably the fruits and spice of the winter season. Cherries, plums and raisins mix with cinnamon, clove, and ginger to create a pleasant, if not unusual, flavor. In a way, it's what a Belgian brewery might make if they did a dark lager.

Mouthfeel is good in that it's clean and well carbonated.

Drinkability is good but the sweetness and spice would get old pretty quickly.

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 5,343 ratings.