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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,907 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,907
Hads: 5,497
Avg: 3.64
pDev: 22.8%
Wants: 80
Gots: 966 | 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).
View: Beers (120) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Winter Lager Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,907 | Hads: 5,497
Photo of Jaysauras
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: Maybe not the most appealing beer in the world but not the worst. Pours a light amber color with a very thin cream colored head. Few carbonation bubbles move to the top after pour, but there is a nice bit of lace that is left upon sip.

S: Not overly aromatic. Some malt and breadiness to it mixed with a slight whiff of citrus or light berry.

T: The taste is rather enjoyable, if not overly simplistic. The malt flavor strikes you right away and lingers before dissipating into a slightly sweet mixture of orange peel and assorted spices. There is a slight hoppy after taste that swells into the backend of the sip. Good signature Bock balance of hop and malts from beginning to end.

M: Chewy, thick, lightly carbonated tingle with a dry finish.

O: Samuel Adams is generally my go to for non-craft brews. It's almost universally carried, isn't overly expensive, and most beers are above average. The winter lager isn't generally a favorite of mine but it isn't a bad beer. It's exceptionally average in many regards while being above in a few. There is a pretty nice balance in the flavor of malt and hops, which is a staple of the Bock style and the highlight of the drink. Not their best brew in my opinion, but a worthy bock and a decent holiday staple.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.66/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice copper tone with a thick head. Head settles into a creamy off white and foamy lace that displayed excellent retention. The aroma is quite strong which bothers me somewhat. Very grainy smell with a slight element of not fresh bread or vegetables that for me is slightly off putting. Upon first tasting, the flavor reflected the aroma. However, the taste develops into a pleasant blend of earthy spices, grainy malt and smooth finish. Feel is medium bodes with light carbonation. Overall, not a bad beer to enjoy in the winter, but not my favorite.

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Photo of SlamKing
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Look: Looks very nice, orangish brown and with a pretty high transparency. A medium/high darkness. The head is a pale yellow and it poured at about 3 inches. Dissipates fairly quickly though.

Smell: A bit malty as expected. It hints at sweetness and is a bit floral. Not much on the side of hops.

Taste: The taste is light and not that bitter, while still sustaining a pretty good flavor. Malty with a tangy hop finish. The carbonation is very light. I would have preferred a little more.

Overall not a bad beer. It borders the line between a quick beer and a slow beer. I'm sure I could chug it if I wanted to. Not the best beer I've had, but not the worst by far.

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Photo of TimeBandit
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Nice, well-balanced, flavorful winter holiday beer. I used to drink this a lot, and then became tired of it and took a break for a couple of years. Just had one this weekend and remembered why I used to drink it a lot. Nice spice, but not overdone. Enjoyable and sessionable.

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Photo of Scooby_1985
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Appearance: Nice, deep color. A good bit like pouring a Shiner, maybe with a bit more reddish hue.
Smell: I catch a bit of the sweetness here, but there's not a whole lot going on here.
Mouthfeel: The carbonation isn't overwhelming, nor is it a heavy beer to drink.
Taste: Lots of citrus up front, followed by some dry hops. Almost reminds me of a beefed-up
Radler. The hops continue on through the taste, which doesn't linger too much but fades pleasantly.
Overall: I'd throw this above Shiner and the other Texas bocks, but below Anchor's and more serious beers. However, given that this was from the convenience store on the other side of my block, I'm more than happy about it. Sam Adams always seems like a family reunion beer to me, but this one's alright.

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Photo of barczar
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%

Ginger, cinnamon, toasted, nutty malt, caramel, and a hint of orange peel form the aroma. Spices are subtle, in comparison to the melanoidin character. Flavor reveals fruity specialty malt and orange at the base, with notes of cinnamon and ginger weaving throughout. The finish is slightly bitter. Orange dominates, overwhelming the bock notes. The spices are fairly subtle, but ginger emerges in the aftertaste.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Bottle from the 12 pack Pours a slightly hazy brown amber color with a decent off white head that persists for a while leaving spotty lace on the sides. Aromas of cinnamon and citrus with a caramel brown sugary malt to back it up. The flavor is rich and dark sugary malts with a spicy citrusy bite to counter. Medium body with a moderate to high level of carbonation and a sweet bubbly mouthfeel. I’ve had this many times in the past and its never been my favorite, but today with a grilled cheese and some cracked pepper chips it just worked.

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Photo of tony12hd
2.75/5  rDev -24.5%

Found at every b
ar around greater boston area. They are definitely an illegal pay for play participant. They are the big players In MA. Budlight is not considered a beer here. So much is expected of Sam adams, but they are always the sucky beer, avoid them and always go for real local beer, that i am not going to mention here, you have to try to taste yourselves.

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Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
3.26/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I purchased this on tap at a local Ruby Tuesday. Really, there was nothing else there of interest for me, but I probably would have gotten it in any case, because I appreciate seasonal brews.

Appearance: A lustrous copper hue, with moderate carbonation and a three-finger light brownish head.

Aroma: Very light, slightly sweet. Definitely a berry smell.

Taste: It's definitely better than the Sam Adams Octoberfest, and I'm getting a slight berry bitterness that tickles the senses but doesn't bowl you over. At the beginning I found myself really liking this beer, but unfortunately toward the end, I started to sense a stale taste in the back of my mouth. Not so good.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, lots of carbonation. Slightly bitter and biting on the tongue.

Overall: I'm going to agree with the Adjunct Hippie on this one. The Winter Lager is fairly decent, but it's not a bock. I liked it better at the beginning than toward the end. I wouldn't turn one down if it was offered to me, and I might seek it out in a situation where the only alternatives are Bud Light and other weak AALs.

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Photo of BeerLovinWoman87
2.75/5  rDev -24.5%

I poured this beer from a bottle into a pint glass. It has a nice foamy head that dissipates into a good lacing. The color is dark and reminds me of cola a bit. As for taste, very strong hops, with a bit of spice. The mouthfeel is smooth. Overall, I find this beer drinkable, but I much prefer the regular Boston Lager. I don't generally like bock beers. I don't think I'll buy it again.

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Photo of Randygroves
3/5  rDev -17.6%

OK... I'm pissed off. Just bought a Winter Variety pack and some idiot at the company decided to put orange peel in a all the nice sweet wintery malty beers!!! Orange with cinnamon??? Really?? Orange with ginger?? Really?? It blinds the flavor of the malts... RUINED BEER... CRAP... SUCKS!!! THE ORANGE HIDES THE FLAVOR OF EVERYTHING THE BEER WAS MEANT TO BE!!!! IM DONE WTH SAM DONE DONE DONE!!!!!!!!!!
The last batch of harvest pumpkin tasted like soap too. .... The names Randy Groves in Florida come get me Sammy!!! You suck!

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%

This one has been sitting in my beer fridge staring at me for the longest time. I gotta drink this one or else it will start crying.

Appearance (4.25) : Pours an aggressive tan-beige head. I'm measuring about four fingers. Actually I have a tape measure sitting right here. 3 1/4". Impressive. Leaves lacing as it slowly recedes. The body is a dark honey color with about 30% opacity. Nice clarity on this one. Due to the massive head, the generous lacing, and the clarity of the dark body, I'm giving this one a solid 4.25.

Aroma (3.75) : Barley malt, oats, some faint wild berry, toasty grains; and finally darker earth notes upon very deep inhalation. Complex, characteristic. Bouquet is soft and weak, however.

Taste (4.25) : Well, this is quite interesting. The berry notes and the malt-heavy toasted grain play well with each other and are very loud. Hop bitterness is cheering from the sidelines, still present but kept on a margin by the barley and berry. The sour lambic-type taste gives it an interesting spin and the hops help balance out the malts nicely. It's very forward, very strong in the taste department, and for this reason it is a sipper and not a chugger. I will say, it is pretty impressive. I like the flavor, it's a true craft.

Mouthfeel (3.25) : Airy, light, estery...ends a tad papery and semi-dry. Medium bodied.

Overall (4.12) : If someone pushed this glass in front of me and told me it was from a top craft brewer, and they charged $15/4 pack, I would believe them. I would probably also try to find the beer to purchase it. This is actually a fine, fine beer and to think that Sam Adams made this is pretty incredible. It's got a great craft feel to it, a bit lambic and a bit festive, not too malty, not too hoppy, and that extra berry sourness just makes things interesting. The bottle talks about spice but I'm not intercepting any spice. Just good, berry, malty, hoppy goodness.

Edit : I see that this is a Bock. It is absolutely nothing like a Bock. I would knock the rating down but it's too good to do that. Approach it like a Bock and you'll probably be sorely disappointed. Approach it like a winter beer and you'll be jumping rope.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Was given a bottle from my neighbor over the winter. Best by month was March of this year but I did have it stored away in my fridge since at least that time. Poured into a Prima Pils glass for review.

Pours a dark copper/amber color with good fluffy white head that persists. Very good carbonation present.

Smells chewy with caramel and brown sugar. Cinnamon and nutmeg give it pie crust likeness. Orange peel seems faint but adds a subtle citrus note. All malt and spices, no hops in nose.

Tastes caramelly with candy bar like texture. Feels a bit chewy. Spices add some complexity. Fair amount of upfront bitterness. No hop flavor, again just malt and spices.

Medium- full mouthfeel. Alcohol is well in check. Seems to have a slight carbonic bite.

Well crafted Bock beer with spices. For me, I'd prefer simply the bock with no spices. Worth a try in the winter or fall times of year.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.65/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sampled tonight on 3/12/15 though I last had this on draught in January at a local bar and grill. From their seasonal 'Winter Sampler" (or comes in a 6-pack). Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a vintage Sam Adam's pint glass.

Pours a nice dark amber in color with a thin off-white head. A good amount of acing was seen with each sip. The aroma is of caramel malts with a few spices. The taste of the caramel malts comes right though with some toffee, cinnamon and nutmeg in the mix as well. Very tasty with perfect carbonation. Medium-bodied. No harsh or bitter aftertaste at all. A tasty brew for the cooler months.

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Photo of FLima
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Transparent copper color with a thick head with medium retention.
Predominant aroma of caramels and white bread.
Sweet flavor of caramel malt, licorice, cinnamon and just a bit of soap, nutmeg and earthy and citrus hops (maybe just the orange peel). Wheat gave it some good roundness. Mildly dry aftertaste.
Medium body with low carbonation.
Decent beer for who likes malty beers with lots of caramels.

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Photo of RVigz
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark amber color with an off-white head.

Smell: Typical lager maltyness with hints of sweet hops.

Taste: Sweet start with a malty bite and finishes with a sweet/malty/hoppy balance.

Mouthfeel: This is probably the best part of this beer as it is incredibly smooth and well carbonated.

Overall: A good "anytime" lager that isnt too special and isnt too heavy, but very drinkable.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium coppery amber with a one finger light tan head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of mild caramel malt, slight holiday spicing. Flavor of sweet caramel malt, mild toffee, light cinnamon, finishes with caramel malt and light grassy hops. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. A pleasant light bock style beer with an appropriately mild holiday spicing. Is as I expect from Boston Beer, a nicely made, mellow ale that doesn't push the envelope, but is a satisfactory and enjoyable example of its style.

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Photo of Bone53
3.37/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served from a bottle into a tulip glass at around 45°F

Appearance: Dark amber with very little off white head that dissipates as fast as it arrived.

Smell: Sweet with caramel, cinnamon, and ginger notes.

Taste: To me this tastes like they ruined Boston Lager by adding spices to it.

Mouthfeel: Light as expected from Samuel Adams.. Goes down fast and easy.

Overall: I had low expectations and they were met. I'll stick with a Boston Lager if I want a Sam Adams.

*Following my last gulp the empty glass smelled just like a ginger bread cookie. It reminded me of some childhood memories. This was by far the highlight of this beer for me

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Photo of illpass78
2.85/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish brown with a half-inch off-white head. Head retention is decent. Lacing is a little more than average. Looks like an attractive dark lager.

Aroma: I'm a little let down by this aspect of SAWL. The ad copy says it's made with cinnamon, orange peel and all these other good-smelling things. I expected it to smell like potpourri. It does not. It smells like malt and wheat. Citrus is very, very faint at best. Forgettable aromas.

Taste: Follows the nose, which means the flavors teased in the ad copy are nearly nonexistent. I didn't expect them to dominate, but orange is faint and cinnamon is very, very faint. Tastes like a decent wheaty dark bock. It's not bad but I expected more.

Mouthfeel: Kind of thin and watery. Not super impressed by the body of this beer; there are bocks out there that make a bolder statement on the palate.

Overall: This is a decent straight-up bock. There are better bocks, and better winter seasonals, on the market. I had this with a homemade pizza and some roasted vegetables, and it didn't fail to compliment the meal, but it didn't add much either. This is the kind of beer I would only get again if it was the only thing on draft that wasn't a BMC lager or a light beer.

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Photo of bgillespie
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A clear dark amber, small tan head that dissipates to a lacing.

Smell: Malty with some caramel and cinnamon.

Taste: Toasted malts, hint of caramel and some orange.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, easily drinkable. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: The taste is what stands out here and I am a fan. Easily drinkable, good for a winter beer.

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Photo of Boca-X
3.36/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a snifter, nice light brown red amber color. Decent head with noticeable lacing.

Malty on the nose, very little spice, somewhat sour bread.

Light wieght on the month with light carbonation. Some honey & Carmel upfront, with a sour bready finish. Honestly I think this is very plain tasting beer, no complexity.

I'm a SA fan and have had a dozen of their brews, this is my least favorite, just not enough there. Easy to drink but the sour finish is a turn off for me. Taste like a honey lager...where is the winter spices? Not terrible but I won't be buying again, to many other great winter brews to choose from.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown color with a hint of crimson, decent off-white head and little lacing

S-malt, caramel, spice, hint of pine

T-toasted malt, caramel, little fruit, hint of spice, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-easy drinking, but flavor is not overly compelling

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Photo of MadCat
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark coppery brown, good white head, leaves some lacing

Smell: Spice, caramel malts, floral hops

Taste: Caramel, toasted malts, spice, floral hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good carbonation

Overall: Still my favorite seasonal from Sam Adams (excluding two times, first when double bock was seasonal, and then when noble pils was seasonal). Not the most special anymore, but I still enjoy it. It is a pretty solid brew, a little bit of a pumped up version of Boston Lager.

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Photo of TeamMathis
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber. Small lace left.
Smell: Malt, honey, spice.
Taste: Spice, honey, malt.

This is very drinkable. Neither the smell nor the drink blows me away, but together I could find myself drinking this all the time. The main things I gather are malt, honey, and spices. I will get this again next winter out of habit of course.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours red orange with a nice one finger slightly off white head. Smells of winter spices and slight berry, nice compliment to the malt tones. Tastes of some dark roasted malts with fruity tones such as berries, with very slight wintertime spice. Beer is carbonated nicely light body, sessionable. Overall, a very good beer.

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 1,907 ratings.