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

Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

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4,321 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4321
Reviews: 1849
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.33%

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 DenverHopHead


3.59/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pub glass.
Appearance - orange, some carbonation bubbles, very thin white head; lacing is absent.
Smell - somewhat fruity and malty.
Taste - not great, not bad, follows the nose.
Feel - easy drinking, refreshing bock.
Overall - not a bad beer at all, especially for the price. I doubt I seek it out again, however.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 00:27:30 | More by DenverHopHead
Photo of jadpsu


4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours moderately brown in color with a great head that has good retention and good side laceing.
Smell is toasty malts with a balance of hoppy spices -leads with some cinamon and also getting a little light pepper and maybe ginger.
Dry, smooth, malty with a touch of chocolate licorice. and upfront sweetness.
Finishes dry and a bit bitter and a definite warming effect.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2013 20:57:00 | More by jadpsu
Photo of CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

3.61/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Snagged a six-pack from the same place I found the superlative Lagunitas Little Sumpin' (see that review). I am a big advocate of Boston Lager and like this brewery well enough, gimmicks like "chocolate cherry porter" notwithstanding. Why does everyone have to murder porter with all kinds of additives and random flavorings like chai spices and sock lint? Its not already an interesting style? Its kinda like how a beer is magically made "wintery" by chucking in some spices. Bock is already supposed to be pretty hearty and rich. Ahem. I digress. This winter bock pours a rather pretty red-orange amber color, with around three fingers of light tan foam and a pleasant aroma of mellow rich dark malts, caramel, molasses, a little sour dark fruit like sultanas. Nice but the whole aroma is downplayed, like great song on the radio that you want to crank up but the volume knob is unfortunately busted. Taste is similar, with some toasty bread crusts, biscuits, barley-based coffee substitute and crackers, subdued caramel and molasses as per the nose, and candied plums along with herbal/spicy hop notes. Some would have the cinnamon, ginger, and orange peel spice addition amped up. I respectfully disagree. This is actually an example of skilled spice use in brewing, the spices provide a background warmth and some aromatics but not at the expense of everything else. I get a little sulphur on the nose and perhaps the palate as well, maybe a hint of DMS, but at expected levels for a lager and these components add complexity without being nasty. Fairly light body but semi-chewy nonetheless and the finish is quite nice: The malts stick around, there's some hop leaf and a floral sweet spice like licorice tablets. Has some of the sweet and sour character of old world porters. This beer used to be higher ABV and more flavorful (or so I read, wasn't into beer back then), too bad its been neutered a bit because its pretty good now and must have been even better "back in the day". Compare it to Anchor Bock, which has bolder flavors but perhaps less complexity.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2013 17:06:44 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of Chiefy770


3.84/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance: The body had a similar color to tea (you know, brown with an orange hue). A white, fluffy foam head collapsed and left a mediocre amount of lace.

Smell: Grains stand out. Mild sweetness breaks through. A minor amount of spice. Smells like a sweet bun.

Taste: Sweet and toasty malts up front. Minor spice notes are around but do bring much to the table. This beer is much sweeter than I anticipated. It is not an overwhelming sweetness, just more than I thought there would be. The hops are incredibly minor but subtly break out in the aftertaste.

Overall: Not half bad. Personally, this could very well fall under the "brown ale" style but hey, I don't make those sort of calls. A tad more spice could not hurt. Great to enjoy on a cold night. A pinch too sweet to make this a session beer. Worth trying but is low on my list of must-have winter seasonals.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2013 03:07:03 | More by Chiefy770
Photo of freakdiablo


3.66/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Purchased three days ago in Sam Adams' winter variety pack.

A - Clear ruby orange color. Lighter off white head that leaves little, slightly spotty lacing.

S - Sweeter, with a blend of spices. Cinnamon, orange, a hint of apple. Mild salty/nutty malts to round things out.

T - Slightly fruity, mainly orange and apple. Noticeable wheat aftertaste. Sweet, but not sickeningly so as the more acidic orange balances it out. Not getting much of the cinnamon that the smell pointed towards, but there is a slight spice kick.

M - Higher carbonation but still feels clean. Lighter and airy.

O - Not a bad beer. Definitely a holiday brew. I wouldn't buy a twelve pack of just the Winter Lager, but still decent.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2013 00:31:00 | More by freakdiablo
Photo of vkv822


3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz : tulip

Pours a clear, ruby-brown color with a foamy, toffee colored head.

Spicy, herbal hops upfront, caramel malt backbone.

Medium body, foamy, soft carbonation.

As I do with a lot of Sam Adams' beers, I can't help but feel that the flavors, while enjoyable, are subdued, or a bit muted overall.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 09:41:09 | More by vkv822
Photo of Khad


3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a pleasant brew! This was poured from a bottle into a pint glass. The appearance was remarkable with a deep caramel color, almost like a fine cognac. The head doesn't stick around long and their isn't much lacing but not a big deal. The scent is a lot like the taste, very balanced with very very light citrus and some other spices which Sam Adams claims cinnamon among, although it isn't easy to pick up anything specific. I actually got some ginger and something of a coriander scent although I doubt it's actually in the beer but that's fine I like coriander. The mouth-feel is pleasant and full....not too water and not too creamy, like I said balance was their aim here. The taste is very pleasant with a bouquet of spices and notes, none of which jump out at you, but I think that's why this recipe works so well. Hints of ginger and orange for sure and you will get some cinnamon on the taste, something I didn't get from the scent. This is a very very smooth beer and this is something anyone can enjoy. Some of the more "refined" beer snobs might be a bit disappointed with the "lack" of complexity or boldness but putting this in perspective as a fine seasonal brew, I think it's pretty damn good and would recommend this to anyone.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2013 05:11:27 | More by Khad
Photo of zac16125

South Carolina

3.29/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass

A: Pours a caramel color, crystal clear with 1.5 fingers width of tan head. Head dissipates to a thin film fairly quickly, leaves little to no lacing.

S: Mild aroma overall. Malty, caramel, citrusy orange, faint spice.

T: Malt forward. Fairly light, some generic sweetness, a bit of bitterness and spice. Not very flavorful as a whole.

M/D: Medium body, carbonation on the heavier side, drinkability is average.

O: Not a huge fan of this one, not bad, but not something Id likely go to again.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2013 21:30:17 | More by zac16125
Photo of Boggdogg


3.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep amber color with a small white head which faded fast and left a very small ring and tiny bit of lacing.

Smells like malt and spices. Not a strong smell but pleasant.

Taste was is kind of bland and very earthy. Mostly tasted like grains in the front end and the bitter hops linger in your mouth. Not real bitter but no sweetness a all. Light bodied.

Overall not bad but I expected more. I wouldn't pass one up if offered but wouldnt buy a case of it either.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2013 02:03:56 | More by Boggdogg
Photo of DeFaz


3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I think highly of Samuel Adams because I know that they have the potential to make great beers. And they have a number of excellent winter beers too, especially in my opinion the Double Bock and the Fuzzywig. But this easy-to-find offering is disappointing. The spices make the smell and taste rather confusing. The beer is crisp but offers nothing special in the mouthfeel, and overall the beer tastes mediocre and confusing. This a dumbed down winter beer, and it's unfortunate that Samuel Adams doesn't make their better winter beers more widely available.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2013 05:02:10 | More by DeFaz
Photo of TheMarkE


3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Caramel colored with decent head and plenty of carbonation.

Smell: Malt, caramel, and spice.

Taste: Malt, cinnamon, caramel, lemon zest.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and creamy.

The Verdict: It’s ok. Like most of Samuel Adams’ offerings, this is craft beer dumbed down for the masses. Drinkable, but ultimately bland compared to the many great seasonals now available.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2013 00:02:26 | More by TheMarkE
Photo of Fergyx825


2.75/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: this is a dark amber colored beer with some transparency, not much head on the pour, and it sticks around for a little bit afterwards. This is not what i remember from previous yrs, but i'll take a swig.

Smell: i can smell the alcohol when i first put it under my nose with hints of malt and hops. This doesn't smell too appetizing.

Taste: A very earthy taste, i can taste nuts and the malt. Alcohol finishes it off.

Mouthfeel: very little carbonation, and not very thick beer, which makes for a good combination.

Overall: this is very disappointing. I was expecting more out of this brew. I remember really enjoying it last yr, and this is not what i remember.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2013 01:45:53 | More by Fergyx825
Photo of Mike4TN


3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer for good times! This beer is my all time favorite commercial / mainstream brew. #1 on the mainstream list. When in season you don't need a reason just pick up this beer and start to cheer!! Sam Adams is good Beer! You won't go wrong with this one

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2013 09:20:10 | More by Mike4TN
Photo of yesyouam

New York

3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Winter Lager is a super clear amber beer with a soft, thin, off white head that leaves nice lacing. It has a light aroma of light grain, orange peel and ginger. It has a smooth, medium body with a light, slightly watery finish. The mouth is left just a little gritty. It's lightly flavored with malt and orange peel. There's a little bitterness after the swallow. This is where the ginger and cardamom come out. This is just kind of a simple session beer. It doesn't have a lot of personality, but it's certainly quaffable.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2013 01:55:25 | More by yesyouam
Photo of CardiacNP


3.36/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A nice seasonal from Sam Adams. Nothing to jump up and down about, but a very solid craft beer. Subtle Citrus notes and like spice flavors ... well balanced with the hop bitterness. Golden color with a white head. Clean mouthfeel. Rather Crisp for a winter lager.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2013 01:46:32 | More by CardiacNP
Photo of thlayli87

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

A - Orange-brown with 2 finger pillowy head. Lots of lacing on the glass.

S - Citrus, lemon, orange, clove, cinnamon.

T - Biscuity with a hint of cherry flavor as it warms. Prominent lemon zest and some nutmeg.

M - Light body, slight stickiness. Nothing especially remarkable.

O - Good seasonal variation on the ubiquitous Boston lager. Nothing spectacular, but solid. I'll definitely enjoy this brew again next winter.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2013 01:37:17 | More by thlayli87
Photo of AAG


3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a cold bottle into a standard pint glass. Didn't get a chance to sample this "Winter Lager" during the winter months but the end of March will have to be good enough! Bottle marked with "enjoy before May."

Appearance - Dark, honey color; can barely see through it but not entirely opaque; nice 2-finger head which dissipated nicely leaving impressive frothing on the edges of the pint-glass throughout.

Smell - Smells very nice; mix of ginger, spices, orange-zest; a little bit of cinnamon. Very impressive smell.

Taste - Thick, almost creamy; a perfect winter beer; leaves a warm feeling in your mouth; tastes a little bit like honey and ginger; can't really identify the cinnamon that I thought I smelled before taking my first sip.

Mouthfeel - Very nice; smooth on the palate; refreshing and warm; don't love the aftertaste.

Overall - For an easily accessible beer that falls into the "pop" category, I am very impressed. Great tasting beer; smooth; warm; spicy, and refreshing. An easy sell for those not willing to venture into more adventurous beers. Nice work, Sam...

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 00:48:20 | More by AAG
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.59/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz bottle into a plastic beaker on 5 Feb 2013 in my hotel room in San Francisco's Fishermans Wharf.

Cool amber red body with an off-white head that hung around for a while in my tooth brush holder.

Malty molasses rule the nose and taste: semi-sweet toffee notes and caramel hints ensure the hops don't really get a look in anywhere within the brew although there is a slight bitter feel towards the end of each sip.

Body depth OK and overall not a bad beer at all.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2013 21:13:04 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of neophilus


3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Caramel colored pour with a thick, off white head. Light aroma carries toasty malt to the nose. The toasty sweet malt continues through the flavor with the first sip. Hops are subdued but balanced - the hop bitterness is firm. Spices don't show up till the end - it finishes with light spicing of citrus and a faint warmth from cinnamon. Medium thin body. Finishes with light malt sweetness paired against oily hop bitterness.

Spices are subdued, toasted malt flavor dominates. Lighter bodied than I would expect from a bock but the firm hop bitterness and medium-thin body make this easy drinking and you could easily reach for another one.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2013 18:02:00 | More by neophilus
Photo of delta490


3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams glass. Deep copper with a thick creamy white head. Lingers on and leaves some lacing. Aroma is winter-esque spices, but nothing really stands out. It all just sort of blends. The taste is about the same. There is definitely some winter spice action here, but at the end, there isn't really anything distinct and it sort of tastes muddled. It's certainly not bad, but I just feel like focusing on one or two of the seasonal spices would make this beer more distinct.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2013 10:21:26 | More by delta490
Photo of Mojo


3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12inch bottle ->World Market tulip

This beer pours up a deep clear amber with a one finger foamy white head, a little bit of retention and a moderate amount of lacing. The nose is pretty mild. I basically only get a nebulous hard to describe freshness. Taste is good,but sort of one dimensional. There is a dry taste upfront followed by a dry bitter metallic finish. Mouthfeel is undistinctive,but inoffensive. Okay, but I don't feel the need to have more.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2013 03:06:47 | More by Mojo
Photo of mralphabet


3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect pint glass

A: Poured a clear copper with a fingers worth of creamy head that settles to a nice thin layer with spotty lacing from start to finish.

S: I'm getting cinnamon, toffee, a little nutmeg and a little bread.

T: Taste follows the smells... strong toffee, cinnamon, nutmeg and bread mixed in.. I'm also getting a slight metallic taste in the finish.

M: Mid bodied with a light carbonation. Starts creamy but ends a little sharp.

O: Again not a bad little beer from Sam Adams, nice spice characters with good malty body, good ABV so you could put down 2 or 3 with no problem.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2013 02:20:47 | More by mralphabet
Photo of wiscokid920


3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into Pint Glass

A- Deep dark copper with compact creamy 2 finger head with nice retention and lacing.

S- Clean and crisp. Bready/biscuity notes up frong with some lingering cinnamon, orange zest and ginger

T- Smooth and malt forward. Ends with a crisped spiced character. Burn sugary molasses, toasted buiscuit malts, cinnamon. Slight hop balancing act which gives life to the orange zestiness.

M- Thick, chewy, up front and ends smooth, crisp with slight grainy carbonated feel.

O- Fairly complex brew in regards to all the flavors and ingredients that seem to be highlighted but it's very well balanced considering. I have had SA brews that seem to be overwhelmed by artificial flavorings...Chocolate Bock, Cherry Wheat to name a few...but this one seems to be the real deal.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2013 03:59:36 | More by wiscokid920
Photo of Ben_From_AZ

4.84/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is my favorite beer of all. I wish it was not a seasonal brew. It flies of the store shelves. The flavor is stronger than the regular Boston Lager and the taste is pleasant without feeling heavy. I like lagers so this hits the spot. Please Mr. Adams consider making this a year round brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 08:04:48 | More by Ben_From_AZ
Photo of yamar68


3.34/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Ruby gold body filled with classic lager type beading... a finger of tannish yellow carbonation retains rather well and leaves a good bit of lacing behind.

Nutty malts, faint cappuccino notes, dry grassy hops, vanilla with a bit of spice.

It takes a similar direction on the palate with the addition of an odd artificial tasting starch flavor. Smooth biscuit and faint vanilla... the finish is strange but brief.

Thanks to my uncle for the tick I guess.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 05:57:52 | More by yamar68
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 4,321 ratings.