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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.

1,941 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,941
Hads: 5,694
Avg: 3.64
pDev: 22.8%
Wants: 86
Gots: 1,107 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

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
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Reviews: 1,941 | Hads: 5,694
Photo of larryi86
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- A clear light brown/reddish color with a two finger off white head.

S- Toasted malts, hint of some hops, not really getting cinnamon, ginger or orange peels, but it does a nice spice quality to it.

T- Toasted wheat/malts, hints of sweet malts, mild spices, hints of the ginger and cinnamon.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- Not a bad winter beer, but didn't wow me. I am enjoying it and wouldn't pass it if it was offered to me, but I would buy it at a store.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: crystal clear; deep amber; 1 finger creamy, khaki head that receded to a thin cap; very nice lacing;

S: caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit;

T: dark fruit and weak cola up front; mixes with caramel at mid-palate; a little harsh cough syrupy bitterness at the end;

M: medium bodied; moderate creamy carbonation;

O: the harshness at the finish is a turn off for me;

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Photo of predikit
3.75/5  rDev +3%

On tap, drafted into a frosted mug. Poured a transparent brown, left a two inch off-white head with plenty of lacing on the glass.

Scent is a little malty, with some hops throwing out some citrus.

Tastes of roasted caramel malts, barley, a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. Hop overtone rounds it out into a well balanced brew.

Light-medium bodied, high drinkability, not disappointed.

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Photo of Redog
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nicely balanced, sprightly taste – it teases the tongue.
One wonders,"What's going on with this brew?" It's fun.
For best take on mouth feel and taste get a bite of the head.
Got mine from Costco where I can afford it, in a variety pack with
eight not just four bottles of this one, and glad they packed it that way.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter from a twelve ounce bottle. Not sure whether a snifter is kosher for a lager but it looks so good there.

Creamy, frothy and chewy head, cream-colored. The head retention is exceptional and walls of lace around the edges abundant. Dark amber and light brown with trickles of carbonation and medium clarity. 4.5

Sweet, bready, caramel-like with spiced notes. Lager-like yeasty aroma, faintly floral, sweet is detectable with more inspection. 3.75

The flavor is spiced, I'm thinking notes of clove mostly but maybe anise, and it's a nice complement to the bready, subtly sweet malt. Floral, grassy and earthy hop flavors move in and finish strong. The flavor is pretty nice, but somehow I want more. 3.75

Lighter body with a medium carbonation and a potent bitter finish. The spice is restrained and not overwhelming. 3.75

Solid beer, pretty enjoyable for the season. I could drink a few more this season.

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Photo of ordybill
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a toasted malt and sweet bread aroma.
Appearance- A clear dark amber with a small white head.
Taste- Has a nice toasted malt with a bread flavor, faint taste of sugar and citrus thrown in.
Palate- A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. the beer finishes with a semi-dry hoppiness.
Overall- Another good Boston Beer product. I will drink this again.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.6%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a good winter beer. Good balance between malt and sweet and hops. Very drinkable.

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Photo of PostRockandCats
3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On draught

L: dark red. Clear. Small head. Tight, spindly lacing.

S: malty and spicy. Biscuity.

T: toasty malts with some citrus spice notes.

M: smooth. Not too light.

O: pretty solid. I don't remember liking this as much before. I'd like it to be a tad stronger for the style, though.

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Photo of ArchimedesSox
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Pours a crystal clear, dark brown color with a large pillowy head that hangs around a while leaving good lacing down a 20oz pub glass.

Smell is good. I get the sweet malts with maybe a little hint of some spices at the end of the sniff.

Taste is pretty good, I get the sweetness up front with some bitterness after the sweetness gives way. The very end gives those spices and the aftertaste is of the malts and spices.

Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation.

Overall, a good beer. Sam Adams seasonal are pretty decent and this one is about average as far as they go. The Summer ale is probably my favorite.

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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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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 1,941 ratings.