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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

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4,669 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,669
Reviews: 1,851
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.65%
Wants: 43
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: 4,669 | Reviews: 1,851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sulldaddy
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this brew poured in a pint glass very cold. The color was bright, clear amber, and there was a cm inch bright white head when the beer arrived at my table.

The aroma was dominated by floral hops and there were very faint traces of cinnamon. No caramel or other typical malt scents\

The first taste reveals a sharp fine carbonation and fairly thin mouthfeel. I notice a little malt sweetness but the brew is dominated by the hops.
Not a very heavy flavor or rich for that matter. I actually was hoping for a little more spiciness in the brew, but I did find it very drinkable and could have had more than my two very easily.

The finish was short and clean withonly a faint hop bitterness left in my mouth.

I would drink this again if out and about and best choice on tap but not sure if I would buy any bottles for home consumption.

sulldaddy, Dec 16, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – The body of this lager is brown and very clear. The head frothed up quickly and laced the glass as it went down.

Smell – The grain here came out nicely, which is a welcome surprise from an American brewery. The cinnamon, allspice, and sharp clove where terrific, and the toasty malts created a solid backbone.

Taste – The grain reserved itself for the finish, giving me a joyful mouthful of heavily spiced beer. There were some good maple notes along with toffee and a hint of cocoa. The light herbal bitterness brought up the rear.

Mouthfeel – Thin but a little better than light-bodied with little carbonation. The body was a bit light in the ass for the big flavors in this beer.

Drinkability – This is a solid entry into the Winter Warmer style.

Comments: I didn’t care at all for the 2003 offering, but the 2004 sample that I had was so above and beyond the ’03 that I completely rewrote the review.

RoyalT, Dec 15, 2003
Photo of counselor
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark reddish brown and looked crisp with a 1" head of nice white foam. The beer's aroma differed little from the regular lager. Similarly, it tasted much the same as the standard Boston Lager, as I have found all Sam's to taste pretty much the same (almost as if the same yeast being used in all the lagers infuse the Boston Beer siwht the same over all fruity esters). There were no real winter flavors to speak of, no clove, spice, nuts, etc,. I always expect that a winter beer will provide some different flavors, though unfortunately, this Sam's did not.

It was very crisp and refreshing, however, and was easy to drink - wouln't be a bad intro beer for a winter style, shich, I think Sams has really become just that .. a micro-craft intro beer.

This beer was served ice cold and improved a little as it warmed, although because it went down so easily, maybe it didn't last long enough to show its true character.

counselor, Dec 13, 2003
Photo of yankeeheel
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper wwith a little white head. Smeels of some hop and spice.

The tatse is quite nice. I'm not a huge lager fan, but this was something I could drink all evening long. Nice caramel malt with a spicey middle. Scant hop burn at the end. Moderate body makes it highly quaffable.

yankeeheel, Dec 12, 2003
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
2.85/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a good half-inch head over a coppery body. But not a lot of smell. Maltiness is pleasant without having too much actual taste, though, just a little bit crystal. I had not pegged this for a wheat. Couldn't peg any kind of hop profile. Leaves a decent enough malty aftertaste.

DrunkMcDermott, Dec 12, 2003
Photo of Gusler
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Release 2003

The color as it comes fresh from the bottle a pellucid burnished copper with a mastodonic head that is frothy in texture and the color light tan with a thick sealing sheet of lace. Nose is sweet malt, fresh and pleasing to the senses with the start lightly sweet and decently malted, top is fair to middling in feel. Finish is modestly carbonated, the hops relatively unobtrusive in their spiciness, quite dry aftertaste, another of those benign beers that are just plain good to drink when you’re not in the mood for a “Bad Boy” beer. I’ve always found Samuel Adams beers to be quite drinkable and always a good session beer.

Gusler, Dec 12, 2003
Photo of JAL67
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer for the winter...warms you right up. I needed to get use to the winter lager after having the "light" beers of the summer ale and the octoberfest, but after awhile the winter lager goes down smooth. I really enjoy the color of this beer and the taste. not too spiced like some of the other winter brews out there. Does have a stong kick(6.94%) and that is a good thing so as to warm you up on a cold winter's night. I can easily put these down...just a damn good beer! I don't find this beer too filling at all. I do find a difference when you drink this from draft and from bottle. I like the draft better...but hey as loong as I have SA Winter Lager at this time of the year I'm a happy man.


JAL67, Dec 11, 2003
Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is bronze-to-copper with a distinct redness in the main body. Translucent bronze when held to light with decent carbonation. White head of about one finger of foam fades shortly to a spotty ring of foam around edge of glass. Aroma is very sweet and malty; a vaguely citric hop presence makes itself known in the middle of the nose as the beer warms. Spices, which are also vague in the aroma, are much more prominent in the flavor: slightly nutmeggy and clovey, with cinnamon gradually coming to the fore. This balances nicely with a sweet maltiness, and more citric hop that begins early in the palate and lasts. Mouthfeel is refreshing and sort of wet (because this is a "wheat lager," according to the label?) with a slight tingle of carbonation. I'm not sure what food I'd match this with, but this ought to be a very solid session beer. Comfortable and easy-drinking.

NearerMyBeerToMe, Dec 10, 2003
Photo of hbis2gut
2.63/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I am consistently surprised at a brewery that can simultaneously make beers like the flagship lager and ale, and then make "beers" like the cherry wheat. This one finally falls in between. I neither like it nor hate it. The aroma is immediately sweet and somewhat attractive. You can definitely smell the spice. It pours nicely with a off-white head to reveal a medium2dark amber color. The flavor is, in my humble opinion always a bit off and unbalanced(I've had several six-packs to make sure I wasn't just tasting the occasional off-batch). Did anyone say that a spiced beer shouldn't be hop balanced?

hbis2gut, Dec 09, 2003
Photo of xgrigorix
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap, presented in a mug.

Medium amber hue, clear, with thin lines of carbonation racing to the top. A thin off white head leaves rings of lace behind.

A deep malt aroma, mixes well with a host of baking spices - nutmeg, cinnamon, & ginger.

A well balanced bit of malt goes nicely with the spices from the nose. Crisp & smooth like a lager should be. Just a tingle of hops at the back end remind you that its beer.

xgrigorix, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of Foxman
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours a deep amber hue, with a pretty light tan head that lifts, then recedes slowly to a crepe of foam with the occasional denser islet within. The lace thins to spots on the side of the glass.

The first stage of the aroma is malt, followed by mild hops, with hints of sour cherry and maybe even berry of one sort or another.

The malt comes first as you taste, a slightly roasty sweetness followed by some hop bitterness on the tongue. There's a fleeting metallic tang that takes away slightly from the overall crisp flavor. However, while not deep in dimensions, it's pleasant.

It's lighter bodied than the color might lead you to believe at first blush. It doesn't coat the mouth so much as pass by, leaving a bitter tingle on the sides of the tongue.

Very good, and while not great, a fun stronger lager for the colder months. I sip it by the fire with She Who Much Be Obeyed when I'm of the mind to drink what she drinks. They flow easily and tastily. She looks forward to the fall release each year, and while I'm not quite as atwitter as she, I certainly don't dread it.

Foxman, Dec 06, 2003
Photo of putnam
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Auspicious beginnings with a effluence of viscous, beige foam over reddish brown liquid. The aromas are deliciously malty. Nutty, baked plum fruit and cedar notes are most evident.
In the mouth it is fluffy. Elements of lean, woody, hop tannins coexist with raw sugars, balancing out more-or-less dry. Some maraschino cherry and cranberry fruit prevails on the mid-palate together with sweet spice flavors.

putnam, Dec 03, 2003
Photo of PatandDavid
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not bad by any means, but not a holy grail or anything either...Color when served was clear Irish Setter red, no head to speak of. Aroma was malty. Taste to me was of a sweet biscuit mix, hops were nowhere to be found. Not sure where the spices went. I would have again if at a bar where this was about it...pleasant and easy to drink, but no big deal. pat

PatandDavid, Dec 02, 2003
Photo of BierManVA
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark red-amber with nice head that disappears rather quickly. I don't perceive too much aroma however which is strange, the bottle says "brewed with winter spices", (whatever they are) but I can't detect them. Perhaps my nose is stuffed up.

The tatse is quite similar to Sam's regular lager in my opinion. Perhaps a bit fuller.

Nothing over the top with this brew, but if you enjoy Sam Adams usually, you will enjoy this one.


BierManVA, Nov 29, 2003
Photo of BigPapaLager
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a brew I usually look forward too every year, as it was one of my first winter beers. Pours a crystal copper color with a medium head. Lacing was not significant. A sweet one with some hop bitterness as well. Drinkabilility is good but not one of Sammy's best IMO. Though it did get easier to drink as the night progressed.

BigPapaLager, Nov 29, 2003
Photo of SilentSabre
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I could tell right away upon pouring this one that it was going to be good. Had a nice, dark, bronze colour with a quite thick tan coloured head. One can tell from the smell that this is a sweet, spicey one. The taste, however, is even sweeter and spicier than the smell seems to indicate. Not a lot of carbonation in this one, which makes it easy to drink. I feel confident that I could knock out quite a few of these lovelies with little trouble. I'll certainly be buying more of this.

SilentSabre, Nov 26, 2003
Photo of mschofield
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a strong 3 finger tan head, slowly dissipates to lace.
Biscuit aroma, a bit like the Old Fezziwig but turned down a notch.
Slight hop bitterness, and an orange flavor amoungst other fruit, carmelized sugar, maple syrup and some spices.
Medium feel and very easy drinking - very smooth, no overpowering alcohol sense. Might be the best easily available winter beer out there. Drink it in the same session as Old Fezziwig and you won't like it as much, seems like a weaker version. It's preferable on it's own.

mschofield, Nov 25, 2003
Photo of dpend
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer in my fridge every winter for the last three years and I still get excited about it when I see it in the stores.It is my favorite of the Sam Adams seasonals.

Color is deep copper with an sticky off white head that trails down the glass.Aroma is definitely of a spiced lager.Picking up citrus,nutmeg,cinnamon, a bit of wheat and a slight alcohol scent on the end.Milky feel and mellow balance of malt and hops.Nice warming effect with even taste of spices and citrus.Finish is slight spice with dryness.A very interesting take on a winter beer.I like this a lot and will continue to look forward to it in winters to come.

dpend, Nov 25, 2003
Photo of Boilermaker88
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Released from its 12oz brown bottle, Sam Adams Winter Lager poured a clear brown color with a foamy ¾" off-white head that slowly dwindled to a bubbly little cap. Some minor amounts of bubbles were noted slowly creeping up the side of the glass.
This brew certainly has its sweet side. Aromas of caramel, vanilla, hints of dark dried fruits, and just a little nutty scent. The taste was a mirror to the smell, except the vanilla lessened and a citrus hops bite came out in the form of a mild orange peel flavor. Some mild spiciness was picked up on in the finish. The feel was medium-bodied and smooth.
Winter Lager has an easy drinkability and a pleasant malty flavor. It's a nice brew for a quiet winter's night.

Boilermaker88, Nov 22, 2003
Photo of sabrills70
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a crystal clear medium copper with a huge head and good lace. Smell is malty with hints of vanilla, raisin and maple. a bit nutty. Taste is just like the smell but with some hop bitterness that hits last. Fairly well balanced. Finishes a bit heavy and dry. Good drinkability. A good brew, but could be better. It another example of Sam Adams trying to appeal to much the masses insted of producing a finer beer that only those who truly appreciate would enjoy. Although that is what buisness is all about, right?

sabrills70, Nov 22, 2003
Photo of 86MonteSS
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It wasn't until the third bottle, after my taste buds had been taken hostage, that I was able to appreciate this beer. Upon the first sip, I didn't really find it all that engaging. Maybe I expected too much from this contract brewer, but Winter Lager's presence still seems a little onerous. It's got a great appearance and a heavenly smell, but once it hits the tongue, it's sticky and hollowly bitter. The alcoholic notes impel me to call this a good beer despite its shortcomings, but as a seasonal I can't say this is something I'll look forward to every winter.

86MonteSS, Nov 21, 2003
Photo of Admiraldinty
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This might be my favorite Sammy brew. Had this in a 25 oz. mug. Wow, I didn't realize how hard this one can hit you. Copper with a small white sticky head. The coloring of this one is great - perhaps because of the clarity. Aroma is sweet with caramel, some orange peel. Slightly alcoholic, with just a hint of wintery spices. This beer is extremely smooth. Medium to full-bodied. Starts a little on the spicey side, and then moves to the sweetness and ends with a slight bit of hops. Really nice warming effect from this beer. The drinkability suffers on this one only because it is so unexpectedly strong.

Admiraldinty, Nov 20, 2003
Photo of chaduvel
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber, copper color, small white head. Smell is faint. Some ginger, some hops, some caramel malts, hint of citrus. Taste is thin, clean and mostly of caramel malts, touch of hops and a touch of ginger or citrus. Too subtle on the spices in my opinion. More robust in years past maybe [?]

chaduvel, Nov 18, 2003
Photo of shippos
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

amber reddish color with a farily decent white heead. cinnmon and orange along with a juicy malty aroma. smooth crisp tastewith nice malty finish. spices are very well balanced, not over powering. slight bit on cinnamon in the aftertaste. very good and drinkable winter beer.

shippos, Nov 17, 2003
Photo of PSUDREW
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours with mild head retention and it's dark amber colored, but nice lacing through and through

Smells like a light wit, not to much to it.

I think the malty flavor is the dominat taste in the beer. The "sam adams spicyness" is present, but as almost a complimenting afterthought to malty flavor.Has a nice warm feeling to it, prob due to the abv, but in all honestly, the alchohol is not domminant like many beers similar.

nice winter standard, possibly a "conversion beer". I know alot of people knock the BBC, but I do feel this is a delightful little concotion of thiers

PSUDREW, Nov 15, 2003
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 4,669 ratings.