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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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5,324 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,324
Reviews: 1,923
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 65
Gots: 723 | 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: 5,324 | Reviews: 1,923 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of philipquarles
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark copper with a white two-finger head that reduces quickly to a film. Nice lacing.

Smells of sweet, grassy malt primarily with some caramel notes. Light spices and hops at the end. Sweet malt coming on strong again on the palate. Grassy herbal notes are there, along with stronger hop bitterness. All of this is backed up by a nice bit of spice.

Overall, a very nice lager; one of Sam Adams' better offerings.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

A - Clear, amber/red. Quarter inch of off-white head with fairly short retention. Falls to a thick collar, minimal lacing.

S - Toasted and caramel malt, a buttery aroma, and mild wheat sourness provide the backbone. Figs, raisins, and prunes create an almost porter-esque aroma.

T - Caramel and butter are obvious at first with a slight sourness and brown sugar flavor. Figs and raisins pull through mid to late palate, with a lingering metallic/earthy flavor. Ample sweetness backs this brew throughout; finishes with a mild bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with soft to moderate carbonation. Good vehicle for the flavors.

D - A sweet beer without being overdone, and an excellent combination of malt and spice. Not as heavy and overpowering as I remember it on tap from the night before. I'll definitely be picking up more of this before the season is up.

Photo of cvfish
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a dark amber color that produced a white fluffy head that had good retention and a good amount of lacing on the side of the glass

S - The aromas on this beer were only cinnamon and ginger, but it was exactly what I expected from a Christmas beer

T - The taste of this beer had a good bready malt introduction, and with enough cinnamon and ginger to make it stand out as a seasonal beer, but not enough to overwhelm

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation

D - This a great example of a Christmas beer with enough of a Bock characteristic to let both crowds enjoy, a wonderful seasonal

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

Beer pours a solid amber color with a strong, slightly sticky head. Husky malt aroma with a spice character. A medium bodied, smooth lager. The maltiness indicates the bock influence of this beer but the husky grain could be a little more bold. The beer finishes quick with some pleasant spice and a little hop bitterness. An earthiness pervades the entire experience. Not overwhelming and a good drinking beer.

Photo of matt062286
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from the Sam Adams Winter Classics Sampler, poured into a glass tankard that had been sitting in my freezer.


Appearance - pours a translucent reddish copper with a thick, foamy, off-white head that slowly dissipates. Retains a slight head, decent amount of lacing as well.

Smell - I can pick up on the smell of oranges, granny smith apples, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Also picked up on green grapes as I worked my way through this one. A pretty good aroma overall.

Taste - Tastes like stale apples, a little bit of orange peel, and malt. As hard as I try, I cannot pick up on the ginger that the bottle boasts as having in it. I can also taste a hint of cinnamon. Aftertaste of spices and green grapes. Overall, this beer tastes rather bland and almost stale to a degree.

Mouthfeel - Pretty light and watery. Not much of a heavy aftertaste which is nice.

Drinkability - This is a light enough beer to be able to down a couple at a time. However, due to the taste, I'm not sure that I would want to.


I've had this beer at least once that past few years, and keep Overall, I feel that this beer lacks a true sense of what it wants to be. The list of ingredients in this beer sounds convincing, however they are imbalanced and seem to clash with one another. I think with a proper cohesion in flavor (perhaps more malt would work?), this could be a winner.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper in color with a nice tan head. A little lacing, but the classic shaker pint isn't the best way.

Aroma and flavors of spicy, earthy malts with a touch of sweetness. Hops kick in toward the end with a light pine touch, although nothing is too overbearing here. A little weak overall. A dry finish.

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.88/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 1/7/2006 (On tap at Bucca di Peppo):

Pours a medium brown red color body, with a white head that is lasting. Has a slight aroma of hops, some spices, and maybe wheat? A nice taste of spices, some barley. Dry in the palate, a pale taste. Might be a little old.

Photo of krunchie
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in a pilsener glass

A: Redish dark brown. Off-white, quite thick head. Nice head!

S: Sweet, malty smell. Very promising! Some chocolate and roasted malts. Some nuts and rye bread. Faint hints of spices, perhaps cinnamon and dried cloves?

T: Weaker than the smells. Malty, some balancing hops. Dark dried fruits. A bit dry. Chocolatey aftertaste

M: Good mouthfeel. Medium body, pretty creamy

D: Pretty good! Would've loved it if it had more of that bread-like taste and roasted malts. Nonetheless it's really good!

Definitely a very good beer! One of Samuel Adams best beers. A great winter brew

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

P: 12 oz bottle with freshness info on the label.

A: Pours a nice copper color. A nice head that laced on the glass.

S: A nice spice scent with this one.

T: A great mix of flavors, you can make out the a little spice and a great malt taste.

This is still a very good beer. I remember this one being a little better a few years back.

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

Maybe this is better on tap, I've had this 3 times on tap in the past 2 nights and it sure is a treat. A nice dark brown in color, awesome lacing, a nice size head.. smell is of rich caramel and spice, a decent combination of malty characteristics, goes down smooth in the mouthfeel, decent carbonation. This is a beer that you have to have on tap to experience it's real potential, SA's Winter Lager continues to be my go-to beer on tap this year only because it's stayed the same over the past few years and BBC hasn't screwed with the formula. Overall, this is a sure pleaser this coming winter if your in search for a tasty, hearty beer on tap.

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a clear amber with a healthy beige head.

Aroma of sweet malt, floral hops, Christmas spices (cinnamon and cloves), and biscuit.

The taste copies the aroma. Sweet malts along with the floral hops, Christmas spices, and biscuit.

Medium bodied, smooth, and moderately carbonated.

Not great but definitely not bad. Sessionable and enjoyable.

Photo of gonzo46and2
4.04/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Pours a deep brown with red highlights. At first there is a big khaki colored head that recedes almost fully.

Smell is malty with a nice hop presence. Brown sugar and bread. Theres also a bit of spice like ginger, cinnamon, and clove.

Taste is bready and delicious with a bit of hops to round things out. Not too sweet or bitter.

Mouthfeel is medium to light with a soft carbonation.

Drinkability is as about high as it gets. This is a great beer with just about anything. Today it was pizza. YUMMY!

Photo of chaunur
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured hard at the bar in a pint glass. A wonderful honey color with a spirited 2 finger head that lasted forever. A nice aroma of sweet malt that was complimented with a flowery hop presence. Great tasting brew, just enough hops to not let the malt overpower. A hint of orange rounds it out making for an excellent flavor. The beer is rich and complex yet drinks easily. All in all a fine beer

Photo of ajmoody76
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours amber. clear with a one finger off white head. good lace.

malty nose. bready. sweet. no off odors.

sweet malt taste. caramel. not much hop presence. dry malt aftertaste. good balance for style.

mid body. good carbonation. i like this beer. i end up with a couple twelve packs every year.

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

The first time I tried this beer it was from the bottle and I hated it, ug, it was nasty, definitely a bad bottle, and it took me a long time to try this again. It was on tap at an Applebee's, and I really didn't see any beer that was striking me, so I tasted it again. I'm glad I did. I do like it, one of the better Sam's.

Looks inviting, warm dark golden color, fluffy head that dissipated quickly. Some lacing, though not much.

The smell was warm, the infused spices came through immediately, not strongly but noticeable presence of nutmeg and, faintly some other christmas spices.

I love the taste, it is also very drinkable, not at all overly spicy as i was afraid, but slightly, just hints, and it was biscuity, malty, well rounded. Mouthfeel I would say is around average for sam beer, good carbonation, substantial

Photo of wheatyweiss
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber with a towering head that hangs around in the lace.

Aroma is of lager yeast and medium toasted grain. Not bad, but there isn't much there hop department. Boozey hit hints at a true bock.

Nice medium roasted flavor gives a medium body. Wonderful nutty flavors give way to light floral hops that don't overpower the grain. There is a mild sweetness there that hints at a darker roast, but the grain bill doesn't reveal it. Nice all around, the alcohol is hidden well.

Medium bodied with a nice smooth carbonation.

This is one of BB's best! and I'm not afraid to say it.

Photo of kingothewoods
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one at TGI Fridays on tap. There was a nice creamy head that stayed with the beer as you drank it down. Dark copper color with tan head.
Sweet malts and hops smells which come through in the taste. I like the carbonation and smoothness of this brew. One thing about Sam Adams beers is that they are full bodied - you can tell they take time in the brewing.

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at The Pizza Joint in Evans, GA.

Amber-brown in color, with a rich, creamy off-white head that settles slowly to a thick creamy cap, sticking heavily to the sides of the serving vessel.

Nose is that of sweet caramel and toffee malt notes with some faint floral notes thrown in with the mix.

Nice medium-to-full body with a smooth mouthfeel that imparts a decent level of carbonation. Toasty, biscuit malt flavors dominate, with slight caramel notes filling in underneath, middling with just the faintest sense of hoppiness and finishing bready and somewhat dry.

Very drinkable, though much more breadlike in character than would be expected, and certainly falling behind in the flavor profile of the bottled version.

Photo of GoodKnight1220
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured form a bottle to a Great Lakes glass.

A- poured a good copper color with a small 1 finger head

S- Little malt, lotta spice and hops.

T - lot of spice and yeast up front, but finishes with some slight earthy hops

M- Crisp and finishes smooth

D- This is a good brew, nothing too great, I have had many better bocks

Photo of AbrahamRobert
3.74/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got a sixpack of this from my liquor store, and drank four of them that night.

It pours a nice darker amber color with a decent amount of head, and a bit of lacing but nothing special by any means.

It smelt great. Delicious festive scents bombarded my olfactory system.

Its taste was a bit of a let down considering the smell, but it was a decent brew with a, well, winterey kind of taste, which I enjoyed.

Like I said, i could only drink four in a night before moving on to something a bit better at the bar.

Photo of RickS95
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The more Sam Adams I drink, the move convinced I am it's overrated. Their Cherry Wheat is outstanding, and I like the Black Lager. Other than that, if I never had another one, it wouldn't bother me. It's not bad beer, but for the money, I'd rather have something else. They price it like it's premium, and it just isn't.

The Winter Lager poured a thin tan head. The brew looks like icea tea or a light cola. It's filtered, which I don't particularly care for, but the color is nice and dark-ish.

The hops and spices are evident in the nose. It smells like it's going to be a strong-flavored beer.

It's unexpectedly smooth in the mouth, considering the smell. It's got good lacing.

Has a very simple finish, again a bit unexpected given what your nose tells you. It's bitter for a slight second, then it's gone.

The Winter Lager smells a lot like the Oktoberfests I've been drinking latly, but it's much darker, and not as bitter. I was suprised they couldn't pull more taste out of this beer, knowing all the spices and ingredients that went into it.

Not a bad beer, just not a great beer. Only slightly better than average.

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

A: Pours a very elegant amber color with an impressive off-white head that settles very slowly and leaves some really nice patterns of lace on the way down. Retention is excellent, with a solid quarter-inch of head remaining atop the beer all the way down.

S: The aroma is rather simple, but still strong enough to satisfy. A clean malty aroma (grainy, like Munich malt was used), just a hint of hops, and some notes of spice.

T&M: Caramel and grainy sweet malt flavor, balanced nicely with some hop flavor. Spices enter somewhat on the finish, which is sweet. Nothing earth-shattering, but not bad. The body is slightly heavier than medium with just the right amount of carbonation. I think it would be improved if they could squeeze a little more flavor out of it, but that's my only real complaint.

D: It goes down fairly easily. A good winter-time gulper, for sure.

Photo of LordofTime25
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a nice amber with no head, but does leave a little lacing on glass.

Can smell a hint of malts, ginger, cinnamon.

Has a maltiness up front with some spices cinnamon and ginger and also a kiss of some hops.

Has a medium body with a good amount of carbonation.

Pretty easy drinking, but nothung special.

Photo of Proteus93
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pretty amber, nice and clear. Head leaves a little to be desired, but does leave a little lace trim around the edges.

S: Soft malts, though the spices are quite muted. A little orange peel and ginger?

T: A little more of the spices in the flavour. More ginger and a bit of cinnamon are noted. A little touch of hops add a bit of balance

M + D: A rather straight forward feel... medium bodied, carbonation is about right. Inoffensive, easy drinking.

Photo of beernut
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown color with a nice white head that disappears rather quickly. Aroma is that of cinnamon and ginger along with a malty sweetness and some citrus. Taste is rich and full bodied, nice malt flavor good balance in the spice department. The orange zest is a nice touch, not too heavy, blends in well with the cinnamon and ginger. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing. A good beer for a cold winters' nite.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 5,324 ratings.