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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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5,177 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,177
Reviews: 1,892
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.93%
Wants: 66
Gots: 550 | 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)
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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours with a medium yellow head and a deep amber color with very apparent carbonation.

Smell- Roasted malt and yeasty sweetness big in the nose, quite good.

Taste- An incredibly smooth taste, well balanced from beginning to end. Start with bread notes up front with a hint of roast nuts that transitions to an end of barley and pleasant tingly carbonation.

Mouthfeel- Got some hints of chomp to it, overall fills the palate decently.

Drinkability- One of the most delightful SA beers Ive ever had, its a winner.

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

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- An agressive pour left a 2 finger light tan head that turned into heavy lacing leaving a lot of sticking to the glass. The beer was a deep red-brown with medium carbonation.

S- Nice caramel malt scent was combined with some light spice and subtle hops.

T- More malt character with spicing and moderate hops to even the flavors. Not very robust.

M- Medium feel with moderate carbonation.

D- A fairly easy drinker.

Overall- It's a solid beer. An easy one to use as a "go to" during the winter months, especially when a tap list may be running short.

Photo of stewart124
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber color with fizzy white head that didn't seem to last too long. Clean almost grassy smell with a malty nose.

Taste is sweet with a blend of caramel malts present. This leaves a nice tasty note of plums and raisins. Hops lean towards the noble variety and leave a nice clean taste that accentuates the malts without taking away from the bock. Finishes fairly dry with a residual sweetness and a soothing feeling on the tongue. The bottle mentions wheat and spices used in this but I find the spices subtle. I'm wondering if they used torrified wheat or malted wheat. The body is medium to a bit large so maybe torrified wheat adds to the body. Just my guess and take on this winter lager.

This is a winter beer that I look forward to every year and it brings back fond memories of first snows and a good beer shared with good friends.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a S.A. Boston Lager Glass)

A- This beer has a crystal clear but a bit dense deep mahogany red body with tiny bubbles that glide to the surface. There is a thin off-white film that last for the full beer and glides down the glass after each sip.

S- This beer has a smooth caramel smell with a light graham cracker note with a very light sweetness. There is a soft warmth that might be cinnamon in the finish.

T- This beer has a nice caramel sweetness that is smooth with a light toffee note to it. There is a nice cinnamon hint that is very mellow and lingers in the background. There is a nice dry crisp taste in the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a nice tight fizz in the finish.

D- The smooth rich flavors of malts have enough sweetness to offer body but not sweetness in flavor. The cinnamon is a mysterious flavor that is perfect.

Photo of wjimson
2.78/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour into a beer stein with a decent head, which retained to up to 5 mins before being flat. Taste of ginger and spice with a tingling mouthfeel. The taste of malt is thin and not apparent, but has a pumpkin like characteristic. Little body for a 5.8%. The hop bitterness is well balanced for its style.

Sure its drinkable. It is also quite pedestrian. More was expected out of this beer, but didn't quite materialized. This beer is not a bock, but more like a watered down spiced pumpkin drink.

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

Had this beer on tap at a local watering hole. It is a light brown with very little head. The nose is spicy and malty, great for the winter season...like a malty gingerbread house. The taste is good, it has the flavor you want in a winter seasonal beer but lighter and refreshing. The mouthfeel is pretty carbonated with some slight oily viscosity. I could and did drink many of these in a sitting.

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

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into clear pint glass

A: Deep clear brown with clean white head with scant lacing

S: Gingerbread and malts with a touch of citrus and a fair amount of alcohol in the nose

T: Malty with fresh ginger and orange flavors and low but pleasant hops presence in the finish

M: Very smooth and slick feel with spicy, malty aftertaste

D: Uniquely spiced with plenty of malty flavor with a slick, smooth feel.

Photo of andrewm190
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my favorite Sam Adams thus far. A little citrus, a very little spice. The least appealing aspect of the beer was the smell. It hinted at being no better than the average cheap six pack. From here, it gets much better. As I mentioned, the taste, on top of the typical lager style, are appealing. The beer feels nice on the palate, the alcohol is not overwhelming, and certainly an appropriate winter brew.

Certainly not top shelf, but a noble effort from Sam Adams. Not a bad pick-up.

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

A classic winter beer, and one of my favorite Sam Adams, probably second on my list behind the Boston Lager. The appearance is the weak point of the beer, the color is a nice amber color but the head was small and quickly diminishing. The aroma is malt sweetness balanced with Christmas spices and a little bit of toastyness. There is also a slight background of hops and fruity esters. The spices come out more pronounced in the flavor balanced with sweet toasty malt. The mouthfeel is crisp as would be expected with a lager, and is a very drinkable beer.

Photo of bozebus17
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant copper with a tight off white head. I really like the color of this brew.

Smell is sweet caramel malts, a definite bread aroma and a hint of noble hops. Very good nose.

Taste is initially sweet caramel malts. This is followed by some toasted flavors. It is creamy with a clean dry finish. I do detect a slight metallic flavor that I didn't really enjoy.

Overall this is a solid yet forgettable bock. I wouldn't seek it out but I would definitely drink it if offered.

Photo of stephens101
4.4/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber into my Sam Adams specialty glass. By the way, thanks Allstrom bros! Nice, thick tan head that stays around for a bit longer than expected. I wonder if the shape of the specialty glass is behind this apparent anomaly? As the head fades a spotty lacing is left behind for a few drinks. Aromatically there is a very faint hint of spice that precedes some malty goodness. Tastes of sugar, syrup and sweet malts that are perfectly balanced by the hops. Mouthfeel is nice and light bodied yet fulfilling. This is a highly drinkable and tasty beverage that leaves me gratified.

Photo of keaston
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at a burger joint. I just turned 21 so the prospect of ordering a beer at a restaurant is still pretty cool.

On to the beer:

A: Nice dark copper hue with good clarity. Looked tasty from the start.

S: Very subdued, mostly malt and water. Smelled almost like bread baking next to a mountain spring.

T: I had not had this beer before and knew almost nothing of it. I was expecting something a little more hoppy, like a regular Sam Adams, but what I got was a pleasant surprise. This beer is a big, beefy, chewy bock through and through. Malt, Malt and more malt with just enough hops to quell any cloying sweetness; right up my alley.

M: Smooth, and refreshing. Finished clean

D: This beer would have gotten a 5 for drinkability because it's tasty, easy and refreshing. The one drawback(?) is the 5.8 ABV witch excludes this from session beer status. Bottom line is this beer would be wonderful 2-3 times around, especially if the weather outside is frightful, but any more than that and you might start losing the ability to respect this particular brew.

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

12oz bottle, best before Mar. '08, served in a pint glass.

A - red/amber color with a short lived beige head and very little lacing.

S - spiced aroma.

T - pleasant and refreshing beer, a malty/spiced flavor.

M - light/medium bodied, mildly carbonated.

D - it's an easy drinking beer, good seasonal.

Photo of flatblack80
4.38/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Beautiful looking lager. Warm Red Amber with Small Head and almost no Lacing.

S. Light Hops very typical Lager/Sam Adams

T. Spicy, with Hops and then some light malts, spices in the aftertaste, is that nutmeg?

M. Good mouthfeel that asks for more... and then loves the next mouthful. Doesnt get old like some.

D. very drinkable, especially this time of year (whatever that means)
I will look forward to this brew every winter. would be awsome with a spicy steak or maybe a strong fish.

Photo of NCBeernut
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep amber body under a big 2 finger head. Good retention

S: Bready maltiness. Not much for hops, just a little touch. Malty.

T: Lots of bready malt. Let it warm up just a bit. I can pick out all the spices they advertise on the box here though: ginger, a hint of cinnamon and "orange zest".

A nice malty bock with a touch of spice. Great full-body.

Photo of PlaywrightSam
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. A: Red/brown, some tan head that reduces down to a thin caked on layer. Some lacing. S: Roasted malts, cinnamon, clove, vanilla, slightly metallic. T: Nice malt profile; the spices really come through on the finish, along with some slight bitterness. Butterscotch, some very distant tartness. M: Crisp, refreshing, nice robust body. D: Solid winter offering. Good drinkability, the spices are very nice and subtle compared to some other of the winter beers like Harpoon.

Photo of KI9A
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap last year, and wasn't impressed. So, tried a bottle this year, compared notes, and felt compelled to re-review. MUCH better!

A: Clear amber, off white head.

S: Maly, some hops.

T: Malts! maybe a bit of chocolate. Finishes with a bit of hoppy cirus.

M: Clean, slick, moderate carb.

D: A nice malty brew! Easy ABV, very sessionable if it was a year round. Very nice!

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

12oz. bottle with almost the same label that every other Sam Adams bottle has. There are 2 two different things on the label. They are that the color of the label is light sky blue and the other is that there are snowflakes floating around the mighty Sam Adams. I was surprised to see that this bottle was actually notched on the side. It says it's best before March, but it doesn't give a year. I going to go out on a limb and say that it's 2008.

Appearance: When poured into a standard American pint glass, this Sam Adams is a cross between a dark amber and a dark mahagony brown color with a few traces of some yellow honey. The head of foam started off real nice, but that quickly changed by dissipating rapidly into a few foamy rings and a speck of lace here and there. I wish I could describe the color of the lace, but I can't. It wasn't tan, but it wasn't white either. It did however look more white than tan, but it wasn't white either. I'm lost for words on the color of the head of foam.

Smell: It had a decent but faint aroma of roasted wheat, pretzel dough, sugar coated chestnuts, and a pinch of nutmeg to round off on what I guess was suppose to remind me of winter or Christmas. I thought there were going to be more spices in this beer, but the only thing to emerge was the slightest hint of nutmeg at the end.

Taste: While drinking this beer, I read on the neck label that this beer is a "rich and hearty dark lager." I saw that it was a dark lager, but I failed to see the rich and hearty. It was rich, but rich in the taste of dark roasted wheat. I don't think that's what they meant in "rich." The taste started off with no other than the no so wonderful taste of dark roasted wheat. After the roasted wheat had past, some sweet caramel, a pinch of nutmeg, and a sugar plum took its place. Just when I thought the roasted wheat was gone from the taste, it came back at the end.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was a bit on the thin side with a miniature aftertaste of roasted wheat (again), and a sugar plum or two. This beer just loved roasted wheat. It's too bad the roasted wheat wasn't top notch or this beer would have been perfect.

Drinkability: To me it's another one of those Sam Adams beers that I couldn't care less about. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't that good either. It's too bad that I don't adore the taste of dark roasted wheat or I would have enjoyed it more.

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

Had this at a friend's party. It was on ice, so I gave it a chance to warm up. Poured a yellow-orange with minimal head, despite a fairly active carbonation. The aroma is unremarkable, a little spice note, but hops are definitely out to lunch. There's a little bit of malt sweetness that's balance by a light spice presence. the spicing is done well, it doesn't hit you over the head with any particular clove, ginger, or other spices. I had a few bottles of Lakeshore Brewery's winter beer a few years back that got relegated to beer bread duty because the spices were so overwhelming. Not a problem here. Rather light-bodied, but not out of style for this lager. The light body and carbonation make this quite drinkable, and the spicing is subtle enough to be interesting as you try to tease out the various flavors. For winter brews I tend to prefer larger ales, but this is a nice effort

Photo of jeffmonarch
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Nice copper color. A little head that disappates quickly.

S - Very light amount of spices. Not much there.

T - It makes me think of ginger snaps. The ones that come in the orange box and have a lot of spice. Some cinnamon and nutmeg.

M - Great. This beer just attacks your senses with a ton of spices.

D - Really good, I can sit back and drink a couple of these.

Photo of atrus138
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this from a 12 oz brown bottle with freshness date clearly marked. Poured a deep copper color with a thin white head that left a bit of lacing here and there. Smell was of faint spices and the taste delivered what was promised. Lots of holiday spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg. Also, wheat is very present. Very malty, though the hops make themselves known. Energizing carbonation helps against the dreary winter days. Another fine offering from Sam Adams.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Picked up in my blitz through available winter brews at the Boise Coop for about $1.40.... Poured into my standard red wine glass. Chilling listening to Brenda's jazz albums... right now, Diana Krall, Live in Paris.

Crystal clear and beautiful medium amber... short lasting head leaving an eggshell collar and only a little but sticky lacing that lasts through the glass.

Aroma is clean roasted malts with restrained christmas spices... lite orange, ginger and nutmeg+cinnamon.... Absolutely no yeast fruitiness.. I can't pick out any hops over the malts.

This is a very very clean lager.... extremely clean. The flavor lends itself completely to the lite roasted/chocolate malty side of things .... not overly sweet.. just malty. The spices are still there midpalate but really reveal on the finish. Certainly thin and overcarbonated for a bock ... but it still really hits the spot.

If I rated this one strictly on the "bock" guidelines, I would have drug it through the mud on body alone.... but the spices and the holiday season makes it more reasonable and acceptable. This is the first Sam Adams beer I reviewed on BA, and I'm sure it obviously won't be the last; but this one needs more body.... but tonight, it sure goes nicely with the jazz.

Photo of SargeC
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden-tan with ruby accents. Thick, off-white head.

Smell: Hops, caramel, spice. Touch of alcohol.

Taste: Smoky malt. Spiced, but not heavily. Caramel. Nice lingering flavor.

Mouthfeel: Solid, medium body brew.

Drinkability: Good winter brew. Hearty enough and adventurously flavored to satisfy the winter brew style, without going overboard.

Photo of genog
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice pint served at brazenhead.

Pours a rich copper color with a foamy white head that settles and leaves a thin layer covering the top, and sticks to the side of the glass. Smell is of sweet caramel malt, and slim hops. Crisp taste, very little bittering with a smooth mouthfeeling. Nice decent caramel malt aftertaste.

Photo of timtim
3.1/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

very clear deep copper with an off white head that doesn't hold too well and leaves a minimal amount of lace. smells pretty good. a nice malty character with spices (nutmeg, clove and cinnamon stand out) and a faint hop character as well. taste is the same. malt and spice play the main role. hops in the finish. light side of medium body. the spices don't suit my palate so well, but this is an average, not bad, winter lager. another run of the mill brew from sam adams that is far from bad, but i don't think i'll pick this one up on my own accord.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
81 out of 100 based on 5,177 ratings.