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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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5,268 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,268
Reviews: 1,914
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 64
Gots: 654 | 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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Ratings: 5,268 | Reviews: 1,914 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cvstrickland
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12-ounce bottle poured into a large goblet yields a sparkling clear reddish-orange amber body capped with a finger of ivory foam. The soft, grainy-bubbled head slowly recedes into a bubbly ring that doesn't do much other than scatter anorexic swatches and a few freckles of lacing on the glass.

The smell is toasty, fruity malts underlain by caramel sweetness and a little spice.

The taste is surprisingly rich and malty with a crisp edge of citrus and a toasty, chewy, grainy finish. A tingle of spice and a touch of drying hops linger in the aftertaste.

Like almost everything else from Samuel Adams, Winter Lager is a decent, solid representation of the intended style, but it makes its way softly, without kicking in any doors or breaking any new ground. The brew is medium-bodied and very smooth with light carbonation, and is highly drinkable.

Photo of whiplash3825
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Moderately hard pour yields a clear amber-brown brew with a small one-finger head with almost no retention and no lacing.

Smells malty and toasty with a hint of spices.

Taste starts out with a slightly sweet toasted malt, light coffee and dark fruit, with a mild hop bitterness through the middle and finish. Spices are noticable but pretty mild. Very little aftertaste. Reminds me of a märzen. Overall just a little too tame.

Okay mouthfeel... good carbonation but maybe a tad on the thin side.

Good drinkability, and the slightly higher ABV is well-masked. Seems to be getting better the warmer they get and the more I drink!

Photo of HalfFull
3.44/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 10-13-2008

Pours a clear light amber with a thin and fleeting head. Minimal retention and extreme clarity. Almost zero lacing.

Smell reminds me a bit of an amber with slightly roasted malts dominating the nose, and a bit of spice in the background, cinnamon and allspice. Surprisingly decent hop presence when agitated mid-pint, earthy but fleeting.

Offers a slightly dry and bitter amber-bock flavor on the palate. Lager notes are subtle given the bready texture on the tongue. This is both a blessing and a curse as the malt flavors hide behind it as well, with caramel revealing itself only after notable exposure and warming. Tastes like a supercharged Boston Lager with a sprinkle of hops and a more balanced malt presence, not all Vienna but it's surely there.

Pretty firmly carbonated yet the reduced bitterness makes this beer a bit more drinkable. Nonetheless the comparisons to Boston Lager are undeniable. And this is slightly better, and in fact a bit reminiscent of the BL of yore, but not quite....

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

The nose on the beer has a bit of hops to it with a nice toasty malt hint to it. There is a slight bit of dark malts as well. The beer pours with an inch head, and the beer has a dark copper colour to it. It looks incredibly clear with a fair amount of carbonation. There is a sweetness that comes out more when the beer is poured. The beer is sweet, bitter, and toasty. It's almost like an oktoberfest with a focus on complexity rather than drinkability. There is the usual lager crispness that is expected though. The sweetness tastes absolutely wonderfull. I'm really surprised at the great balace of the sweetness, bitterness, and toastiness, yet leaving some room for complexity. The mouthfeel is slightly creamy, but with a lot of carbonation. For the amount flavours, this beer is very drinkable.

Photo of tzieser
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is my first review in quite a while...here goes...

I drank this straight from the bottle, no glass (hey, no need to be snobby- just enjoy the beer!). I've had this one before, typically has a dark amber color. Pretty decent head but what really sticks out is the smell. Too many spices to pick up-- lots of malt, subtle hops, little bit of cinnamon, maybe some coriander? Tastes great, plenty of maltiness with a kick of hops to balance the aftertaste. The aforementioned cinnamon and coriander is there too.

Overall, a good beer to grab-- especially for someone who isn't into "darker" beers

Photo of likethetaste
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is wonderful. It pours a beautiful cooper color and has a foam that lingers. Low carbonation. This beer is just wonderful with just the right amount of winter time spice. I was really surprised by how good this beer really was and I must say it is one of the best that Sam Adams puts out. I like Sam Adams but this is absolutely one of their better brews! Highly recommended and one I will be buying all winter!!

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

Appearance: Samuel Adams Winter Lager pours a copper colour along with small amounts of carbonation and a medium-sized yellow-brown crown which resides rather quickly and leaves barely no lacing.

Smell: First and foremost a caramelly, and to some extent citrus fruit/ginger, freshness.

Taste: Sweet and full maltiness, the caramel makes a reappearence -- and whadda ya know, it brought some friends! Namely a tad of sourness (the citrus fruit in the smell), the hops in form of a slight, but still farily distinct, bitterness and they all stay for the palate-party (even though some of them did make a late arrival) with great results!

Mouthfeel: Almost as creamy as they come, full and adequately medium-to-low in carbonation.

Drinkability: Oh how I wish this wasn't my last one (I have been saving it for almost a year now)! And I do wish so primarily due to the fact that it holds a balance between the -- almost -- equally satisfying smell and taste experiences, wich qualifies Sam' Adams Winter Lager as a definite "let's have another one, eh?!"-er!

Photo of chaz410
3.87/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is actually one of my favorite seasonals from Sam Adams. This is a winter beer that rides the spice and flavor road rather than the other winter ales and lagers that try to overly "stout" or "Chocolate-ify" themselves. The nose and overall smell is awesome. This baby hits you with lots of orange and spice zest. THe corriander is evident form the start and I am very pleased with this. There are more hoppy notes on the nose than malts but both are very present.
The taste brings cinnamon to the game along with the orange, light chocolate and corriander. It is smooth and hits mostly at the back of the tongue with a little bitterness that is welcome after all the spice. It is clean and refreshing!

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

The new American King of Beers!

I love bock beers and I love this one.

Sam Adams is the best value on the american market for beer. Although this is not my favorite beer, it's up there and it's always a trusty option when a bar doesn't have a good selection of beer. You can never go wrong with a Sam Adams product.

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

Had a rough morning so I cracked one of these SOB's open because it had often been a winter warmer for me in the past; I reviewed the appearance and jumped in the shower. (Yes, I drank this in the shower and wrote the rest by memory after my morning coffee). Out of the bottle this beer was a copper/amber color leaning towards the dark side with some visible rising carbonation. The head was tan, displayed nice retention and lacing too. The aroma was mostly spices and malt with some sweetness. The flavors were first caramel and chocolate malt blended with winter spices, nutmeg and cinnamon followed by a bite of hoppiness at the end. The suddenness of the hops gave the beer a slightly astringent quality. Still, the body was medium, the carbonation average and the mouthfeel good. It didn't save my day, but this beer totally took the edge off my morning.

Photo of sauron681
3.57/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby red amber. Nice white head that leaves to a minimum amount of lacing. A nice spicy aroma (cinammon?) and maybe caramel. Also hints of possibly belgian sugar. Medium feel in the mouth, very clean.

Taste is similar to the aroma, the caramel and the trademark strong hoppiness of Sam Adams. Toasted malt as well. Fairly mellow and plain going down, also quite tart. However clean and clear while being easy to drink. This is an updated review from almost 2 years ago, and I know find this beer much better than before.

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.26/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I must say, this seasonal offering from Sam Adams sort of let me down. I like almost all of their beers but this one just wasn't doing it for me. I tried it plenty of times but found it to be lacking too much in overall flavor. The appearance is beautiful and it is a good beer body wise, but the flavor department is just lacking way too much for me.

Photo of vicg12
4.34/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Second best Sam Adams you can get. The flavor is very rich, and delicious. Highly recomend this beer. Has nice head and is good with a nice dinner of lets say steak and potatoes. It warms the heart when you drink it, even if the beer is ice cold. When winter rolls around, def. pick some up.

Photo of changeup45
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark amber in color with the spices that make it a good seasonal beer. I still prefer the Sam Adams Lager or the Boston Ale over this one, even in the winter. Spicy, malty aroma, medium tan head and a pretty good amount of lacing. This is a little more hearty than their standard lager. Malty and spicy with some sugar notes in the taste. A sour finish and aftertaste. A decent seasonal selection from Sam Adams.

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

A-Clear, bright copper with a medium, creamy, light tan head. Reduces to a thin film leaving spotty lace.

S-Fresh apples,light cinnamon and sweet,bready malt.
Almost apple pie like. Nice, bright and very fresh aroma.

T-Sweet caramel apples, light cinnamon and a bit of nuttiness. Very light hop bite in the finish. The flavours are all there but light....flavours seem muted...age?

M-Medium-light body with a good smooth feeling. Slightly lacking in body for me.

D-Nothing crazy, more or less a bready, fruitier, spiced version of Boston Lager. This is fine non-offensive, tasty with a nice nose. I wouldn't turn it down but, if given a choice, there are better holiday offerings available.

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

Enjoyed a couple of these on tap at a pub the other night, I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. Although it was served up in a plastic cup It was still a very good experience. Poured a dark amber color with a thick creamy tan head. The aroma was spicy and malty, very appealing. The flavor was fantastic very malty and sweet with a well balanced mix of spices and citrus notes. Thick mouthfeel and the beer finishes creamy and smoooth. I would order this one again in a heartbeat.

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

Pours out of the bottle a caramel Color, with smell of sweet fruits. Nice creamy head and very creamy and flavorfull. It is very nice in your mouth Refreshing. It has a sweet Finish to it at the end The only thing about Sam Adams I don't like they price all their beers to high! I will most likely Get a case again next winter, As this beer is a great product!

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

A: Poured a dark ruby-amber with a thin creamy off white head.

S: On the nose was warm caramel, dried apples and spicings (cinnamon).

T: The flavor was dark rich caramel with dried apples and some nuttiness. This is actually a wheat bock with some holiday spicings (cinnamon, nutmeg) followed by a faint dried frutiness and earthy bitterness.

M: smooth and creamy with some warm caramel and dried apple fruitiness.

D: Decent drinkability with a good hearty wheat bock body and subtle spicings makes this a decent brew that along with a fairly low abv could be easily drunk in multiples.

Photo of papaglide
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks- nice dark bronze with a nice 1 finger head

smell- sweet malt hits the nose first followed by a tiny hop presence.

taste- malty sweetness is definitely front most with a tiny bit of smokiness and a touch of hops. Mouthfeel is slightly watery but not offensive. Not overly carbonated.

drinkability- not the best Bock that I've had and not the worst, Its just alright.

Photo of joshwlt
3.31/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Months ago I had this on tap when it was still a little "chilly" out here in FL and I remember it as being my favorite Sam Adam's seasonal (Can't wait to try the oktoberfest [at least that's what I think they produce in the fall, correct me if I'm wrong]). But just had it last night bottled (out of season it's late May); got it from the ABC liqour near me, so I'm guessing it was either sitting around warm or maybe went through some temp differentials that may have affected it.

Anyway, it poured a clear amber brown with a slight head that stuck around just lightly. At first it was a little roasty and included some spice flavor matched with some hops with a good balance; but as I drank more of it it became more and more yeasty, the yeast seemed to dominate the flavor for me and the mouthfeel. I was really expecting some roasted malts in this but was a little let down. The flavor made sense though because the label says "a dark WHEAT lager brewed with winter spices." SA seems to really like including wheat in all their seasonals. And again Sam Adams meets expectations, can't say I've ever been WOW'd but they always meet your expectations well.

Photo of rye726
2.93/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A dark amber beer with an average tan head. The nose and taste are a little light for my idea of a good bock. There are toasty grains, subtle hops and some caramel sweetness. Good start, but needs more. The body is clean and light with marginal carbonation. Another session brew from Sam Adams.

Photo of jayrod20
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is matched up very well with its season. It's best served in a cold glass in the low 40's F. The head is fairly frothy and the appearance is a dark golden color. The taste is strong and refreshing, with hints of cinnamon or nutmeg. It's one of my favorite winter seasonals. Easily a beer you could drink in heavy succession.

Photo of 1099
4.4/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wish this was available year-round, so I've taken to keeping a few extra bottle around to have during the summer time.

I sampled this for the first time this past Holiday season. I poured it from a bottle into a pilsner glass. It poured a very nice, very dark caramel color. While pouring it, I took time to sniff at it- and I was IMPRESSED to say the least. Smelled of winter spices and malt.

The taste was very impressive like the smell. It basically tastes like regular Sam with the extra spice. The spice definitley does the job of warming you up; I was feeling nice and warm and cheery after a couple of bottles.

Both mouthfeel and drinkability are quite good.

Another very nice offering from the Boston Beer Company.

Keep it coming!


Photo of xare
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is fantastic with a tan-orange-ruby red hue and a huge 1" tan head off of a strong pour. Laces very well and is a very appealing look.

Smell is of malts, caramel, and holiday spices. Mixes very well and entices you to expect a lot from this brew.

Taste is an amalgam of different things. Orange, coriander, holiday spices, touches of wheat and grain alcohol all combine to create a very light and ethereal flavor that pleases.

Mouthfeel is creamy from the head and then crisp and clear when there's no more head to lend it some creaminess. Finishes clean and is a pleasure to drink.

Drinkability is rather excellent, it's hard to stop drinking this brew and I'm able to savor every last drop and look forward to this beer being re-released every winter.

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

Pours a rich amber color with an even head and lacing. Smells like cinnamon and nutmeg. Tastes smooth, just as it smells, with little-to-mid carbonation and a nice flavor on the palette. High drinkability. One of my favorite Sam Adams and a very good winter brew.

For additional Massachusetts winter beers I'd also suggest Wachusetts Winter Lager.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 5,268 ratings.