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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.

4,673 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,673
Reviews: 1,852
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 44
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: 4,673 | Reviews: 1,852 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of aquatonex
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams has made another decent-quality beer with this one...

Pours translucent dark reddish-brown with moderate foamy head. I was expecting more spice in the nose, mostly was malts, a little hops, and alcohol. Taste was surprisingly unspiced, mainly malt and some fruity notes. However, despite its taste shortcomings, it is still a solid, consistent brew from Sam. I'd drink it again.

aquatonex, Nov 15, 2004
Photo of claytri
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was presented with a translucent amber pour that was topped with a fine rocky tan head. It had light malt aroma. The taste was a fine malty brew with quite a bit of fruitiness to it, and even a strong apricot and hop finish. The beer is medium bodied and oily. This is a nice beer and pleasantly sweet and fruity. I will definately be sampling more of this as it seems to be widely available at bars that normally don't have a decent beer on tap.

claytri, Nov 13, 2004
Photo of allengarvin
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 12-ounce bottle, just arrived in the store this week.

Appearance: Clear mahogany color; frothy foam with good head retention.

Aroma: Sweet malt, with some crisp wheat notes.

Flavor/Body: Toasty malt, with developing sweetness in the middle. Wheat taste is small but still there. Hop bitterness is restrained, but enough to keep the beer from being cloying. Malty finish. Alcohol warms after the end. Carbonation is medium, body is a little more than medium.

One of the better of the Sam Adams main line of beers, this is a product I look forward to every year. They seem to have fixed the label, which used to read "Winter Lager" and underneath it "A Dark Wheat Ale". It's now simply "Winter Brew" [and underneath: "A dark wheat malt liquor"], with no hint of whether it's an ale or lager.

allengarvin, Nov 12, 2004
Photo of Tang07
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


SA Winter Lager pours a nice ruby brown with a nice thick tan head that sticks around for a while and laces the glass quite nicely.

The nose is very subdued. I had to really sniff to get a faint smell of malt and an even fainter smell of yeast.

It has a nice malty flavor with a hint of nutmeg and hop.

It has some nice body to it and it is very enjoyable now that the weather has cooled down.

Tang07, Nov 07, 2004
Photo of DFN
2.83/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A dark orange/red color, with a light tan head that dissipates in a minute or two. Faint odor of spices; nothing really stands out. Taste is a bit on the hoppy side, with a slightly bitter/sour aftertaste. Pleasant but undistinguised, overall. Falls somewhere near the middle of the curve in the Great Beer Lineup.

DFN, Oct 31, 2004
Photo of BobLuvBeer
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reddish/auburn color, with minimal head, which dissipates quickly. Aroma is of cloves and mild almond & malt. Good hop flavor, with no initial bitterness. Slight bitterness in the aftertaste, which is pleasant. Heavy feel on the palate, but not overly malty. Well balanced, with just enough mixture of hops an dmalt to make a pleasing, non-session beer.

BobLuvBeer, Aug 21, 2004
Photo of PorterLambic
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark coppery color with a small head that reduced to a film.
Smell was malty, with just a hint of some inditinct spice.
Taste was better, light hoppiness, malt, faint spices - mostly in the aftertaste.
A medium body, more like a wheat or thin brown ale than a lager, even a seasonal one. Quite drinkable, but would have liked the spices to have been more noticeable.

PorterLambic, Aug 04, 2004
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This "dark wheat lager" pours a clear, deep amber body with a ruby cast. It's topped by a frothy head of ivory cream that holds exceptionally well and leaves some very nice lacing about the glass. The nose is malty and clean with a hint of hops and just a suggestion of the winter spices that are used. They do come out in the flavor, however, once the rich, wheaty and caramel-glazed maltiness subsides a little bit; and they stick around to linger in the aftertaste. A bit of cinnamon is discernable, and perhaps some nutmeg, but overall the spices are nicely restrained, lending more to balance than flavor. And it's really well-balanced with the spices working in tandem with the low-key bitterness to balance the malt and dry the finish. A slap of delicately spicy noble hop ties everything together throughout; and it's alternating sweet malt - spicy finish keeps it really drinkable. Nicely done! A very enjoyable "winter" ale that's quite welcome on my table at any time during the year.

NeroFiddled, Jul 18, 2004
Photo of twi1609372
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

good beer to drink around the holidays, nice sweet taste, something to look forward to around christmas, very filling and full bodied, wouldent reccomend drinking with a full course meal, but better as somethign to enjoy talking with friends and family, making fun of louis for breaking the christmas train ect...

twi1609372, Jun 13, 2004
Photo of cptnjck101
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another gem of a seasonal from our boys at the BBC. Dark and rich, very complex. Got it in the Winter variety pack, next year I'll be looking for 12 packs of this. Drinkability was only hindered by the higher than average ABV. A great brew for a cold Winter's night.

cptnjck101, May 29, 2004
Photo of FFudnam
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

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%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,673 ratings.