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

Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,330 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4330
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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Ratings: 4,330 | Reviews: 1,849 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of archyquaffer


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

Poured from a longneck into a sampler. A moderate pour produces 1/2 inch of frothy, off-white head that dissipates quickly but leaves some wispy lacing. The beer is a fairly pale yellowish brown with a reddish tinge, and is crystal clear. Carbonation is light. A very nice looking beer.

I get mostly clean malt in the nose with a hint of spice. The taste is of slightly sweet malt, a bit of caramel, maybe a very slight fruitiness akin to cantaloup, and just a kiss of earthy hops. The spice is there but I can't quite discern what it might consist of- a little nutmeg maybe. The spice is definitely not overbearing. The overall flavor is quite clean and lager-like. The mouthfeel is tingly with a pleasant burpiness leading to a bittersweet aftertaste, and with just a touch of a soapy feel from the spice.

This is a decent bock and well worth the 7.50 a six pack purchase price.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2013 06:20:05 | More by archyquaffer
Photo of MarkQ617


3.44/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the 7th Sam I've had. Pretty strong medicine. Big flavor, a smoky wheat bock. Nice spicy flavor to it, but you can taste the booze too. Nice dark brownish color with a potent nose. Relatively little head. One of Sams better seasonals, always like to grab some in their winter mix pack.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2013 01:04:18 | More by MarkQ617
Photo of Richardbeerlover


2.81/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Very minimal head upon pouring. Nice dark slightly reddish appearance. Like most SA brews, this one is easy to drink. Not too heavy and actually very light for a bock. Can't really get any kind of specific aroma so I guess they were able to achieve a nice balance of all the spices. Nothing to special for me but easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 04:54:42 | More by Richardbeerlover
Photo of Hammer35


3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Deep reddish brown color, light tan head and small beading. Good carbonation, but almost no head retention and little lacing.

Smell: Malty and sweet with a pronounced note of orange peel and subtler hints of cinnamon.

Taste: Very malty and rich at first with a dominating bitterness toward the finish that seems to come more from orange peel than hops. There is some spice, but it's extremely subtle in the taste.

Mouthfeel: Appropriate for the style, though a bit highly carbonated. Light, but not thin.

Overall: A solid lager but not much more than that. I personally feel it could have been better balanced or even leaned more heavily on the spices to create something a little more "winterish". The orange peel seemed the dominant addition and I thought cinnamon and ginger would have made better stars for a winter lager.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2013 02:28:42 | More by Hammer35
Photo of mfnmbvp


3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with label notched at best before March 2014. A new winter seasonal to me from Samuel Adams, acquired as part of the winter variety twelve pack. Expectations are about average given the brewery and the style, but I don't really know what to expect.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours just over a finger of soft fluffy tan head on top of a dark copper colored body. Looks alright, but fairly unimpressive.

S - Smell is pretty light and subdued. Dark grains, some cola / cherry sweetness, a hint of the cinnamon & spicy ginger, and some citrus zest, probably from the orange peel. Not terribly powerful smelling, but you can pull distinct aromas from it if you try.

T - Taste follows the nose: dark toasted wheat, chocolate maltiness, some medicinal cherry which could possibly be the cinnamon, a hint of the ginger, and a light citrus tartness on the finish from the orange peel.

M - Feel is smooth and clean. Light bodied with crisp carbonation.

Overall, a fairly tame and uninteresting, yet safe and approachable take on the style from Samuel Adams. A nice winter offering for the mixed twelve pack, that's for sure, because I couldn't see myself wanting too much of this one. Worth a try.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager ---3.5/5

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2013 05:02:29 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of SonictheBeerhog

New York

3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The smell was very dark and was expecting just that. However, there was very little taste. There is a hint of orange and cinnamon but besides from that: nothing. it is like the description says: very good for a cold winters night.

Overall: I liked the taste so don't get turned off by the smell.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 04:15:42 | More by SonictheBeerhog
Photo of TullyBlanchard


3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

JERRY LAWLER, BOY I AM CALLIN' YOU OUT. You have been too busy prancin' around Hollywood, trying to fight movie stars or hiding behind the announcer's table. You ain't the King of Memphis and you wouldn't know a bbq sammich if it slapped you upside your crown. You come on down to Meridian, Mississippi. Me & Ole will be there waitin' for you, and whatever else you got to bring!

The beer:
This is an average lager, had my hopes a bit higher. Nice, robust amber color. Cinnamon nose, sweet flavor with some cinnamon/spice aftertaste. Muted, under flavored lager, overall.

80s/90s wrestler most likely to drink this beer:
Jim "The Anvil" Neidhardt

Diamonds are forever.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 04:04:59 | More by TullyBlanchard
Photo of Nagol

New York

3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very nice color. Dark brown with a reddish tint. Less than a finger of head. Not a very significant scent, light orange peel. Taste is great. Extremely smooth, again the orange peel comes through. Mouthfeel is also great, perfectly carbonated. Overall: definitely something I could drink more of.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 04:04:06 | More by Nagol
Photo of figgyfigg5218


3.94/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first thing that strikes me about this beer is the deep reddish brown color it has when you pour it into a glass. You can taste noble hops which is the hops sam adams puts in a lot of their beers. I love how you can taste the orange and cinnamon with every sip that you take. Delicious beer, perfect for a nice cold day.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2013 20:18:05 | More by figgyfigg5218
Photo of nickapalooza86


3.86/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a finger of cream colored head

smell is cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, malt

Taste is cinnamon, light earthy and citrus hop, caramel malt, toffee, roasty malts

Mouthfeel is medium bodies, adequate carbonation, slightly drying on the finish.

Good beer here, may grab a 12 of cans, or might just take a couple more from my brother, either way give it a shot!

Serving type: can

12-06-2013 22:13:29 | More by nickapalooza86
Photo of mtboozeaddict41


3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: A clear caramel color with a poor retention to boost.

S: Mild bread malt mixed with a wealth of spics. Spices of cinnamon, ginger, and traceable amounts of orange zest/rind. Leafy herbal hops in the background.

T: Nicely light in body and beautiful in light biscuit malt. Sweet and not bitter at all. Spices, yes, are prevalent. A zingy sensation of cinnamon and the quiet and sneaking stimulation of ginger come through mid palate. Finishes with bready malt and caramel malt finish. Not bad at all

M: medium bodied with a zingy carbonation. a little oily.

O: I don't know if its worth the 1 minute commercial Samuel Adam's give this beer, but hey, its really not a bad beer at all. Its a little thin in aroma and lacking complexity but its quite drinkable by anyone's standers. this could hardly offend a valley girl who's palate is used to nothing but White fn Zin. psych I went way too far. Props Sam

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 05:25:50 | More by mtboozeaddict41
Photo of Weston19


3.24/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: Clear, little carbonation, dark copper color, pinky head.

S: Malts, you can smell some spices and some orange peel, cinnamon as well.

T: some roasted notes, cinnamon, got some hop bite at back palate, bitter/bready aftertaste. It's a spicy beer with spices coming at you from all around and it could use a pronounce taste.

MF: Medium body, slightly dry finish.

O: Not a bad beer but flavors are pretty bland and none are very obvious. Most of the flavors are a mixture of spices.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2013 06:54:05 | More by Weston19
Photo of screamking


3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into pint glass.

Look: dark amber, very thick khaki head, lots of lacing.
Aroma notes: wheat bread, corn, orange, ginger.
Tasting notes: caramel, wheat bread, cinnamon, citrus.
Feel: light bodied, very sessionable.

You know, this is probably my least favorite of the Sam Adams seasonals. I would drink it if it's the only craft option, but beyond that, there are much better options. Price like most SA beers is really good, so that's a plus.

Serving type: can

12-03-2013 03:05:25 | More by screamking
Photo of Captain_Komamura


3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - A good ruby-brown color, with a creamy head.

Smell - It is the caramel malts, with the winter spices.

Taste - A nice mix of winter spices hit the tongue first, with the burnt toffee/caramel coming in as more of a aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - This is a good-fullbodied bock.

Overall - This is a good bock, but I was expecting it to be a bit heavier since it is a winter beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 22:48:02 | More by Captain_Komamura
Photo of Varzo


2.75/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

First bottle of this season.

A: clear reddish tea, one finger head that dissipates fast with very small lacing.

S: slight cinnamon, some orange and not much else

T: first taste is alcohol, followed by subdued favors that I can't quite pinpoint

M: lighter feel than most winter lagers

O: this is better than your basic store bought beer but somewhat lacking in flavor against other winter lagers. I personally think that this beer is lacking compared to the last few season's lots. Almost seems like Sam Adams faked this one a bit.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 00:24:24 | More by Varzo
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
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 4,330 ratings.