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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.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,896 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,896
Hads: 5,396
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 74
Gots: 871 | 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).
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,896 | Hads: 5,396
Photo of BeerLovinWoman87
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%

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. (388 characters)

Photo of Randygroves
3/5  rDev -18.3%

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! (539 characters)

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%

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. (2,179 characters)

Photo of jwhancher
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (896 characters)

Photo of BeerWithMike
4.65/5  rDev +26.7%
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. (654 characters)

Photo of FLima
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
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. (402 characters)

Photo of RVigz
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (394 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (573 characters)

Photo of Bone53
3.37/5  rDev -8.2%
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 (642 characters)

Photo of illpass78
2.85/5  rDev -22.3%
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. (1,280 characters)

Photo of bgillespie
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (374 characters)

Photo of Boca-X
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
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. (627 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
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 (297 characters)

Photo of MadCat
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (485 characters)

Photo of TeamMathis
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (334 characters)

Photo of cyclonece09
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
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. (377 characters)

Photo of Haydn-Juby
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: An amber brown color topped with a finger of beige head. Good retention and lacing as well.

S: I get no spices as advertised however there is an appealing breadiness and its quiet malty.

T: Once again very little spices show up but they are in the background. Something in the vein of nutmeg or cinnamon pokes its head in the finish but I probably wouldn't know if no one told me. A nice malty body shows up , like in the Boston lager, being similar to bread crust and a little bit toasty. A bit of noble hops show up too being a bit spicy and earthy.

M: A bit creamy and a substantial body size. A fairly dry body and its easily drinkable.

O: A really good beer. Perhaps not what I would pin as great spice beer or bock for that matter ,its a very drinkable and nice lager. (782 characters)

Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark amber color with a great creamy head and mild carbonation. Fruity, spiced aroma. Taste is similar to the aroma with more depth and malt. The carbonation is more noticeable than it appears. Maybe a bit too crisp...not bad but. Slightly sweet. Finishes a bit maltier. (270 characters)

Photo of BoulderBarrovecchio
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Clear cooper rose and garnet color, alive with 1/4 inch head.
S: Medium biscuity malt scent, tiny citrus hints.
T: Medium bready malt on front end with a middle pop that provides a slightly sweet taste on the back end that lingers.
M: Light-medium smooth body with normal carbonation.
O: A solid winter bock. (311 characters)

Photo of karabearaesquire
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - clear, darkish amber; moderate head
Smell - highly aromatic - smokey, sweet cinnamon; (smells like "winter"!)
Taste - tastes like it smells; alot of flavors swirling around; not a light or watered-down tasting beer; bold, spicy sweet
Mouthfeel - light with moderate carbonation. Goes down smooth

Just like the name implies, this is a tasty beer for cooler weather. Brings to mind winter holidays, sitting in front of a fireplace. Easy drinking, strong taste and aroma - cinnamon and spice, mostly. (516 characters)

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had this one a few times at various restaurants, now I have a bottle.
Poured into a stange; dark amber, clear with a nice big creamy-yellow head that descends very slowly, leaving lots of lacing.
Smells of caramel malt, light sweetness. Bready, with a hint of spice.
Taste is clean, bready and lightly sweet. Nice and malty, not much hint of spice in the flavor. Slight metallic finish.
Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and smooth, nice body for the style. Slightly more robust than a lager, but less than a doppelbock.
Overall, it's about what I'd expect from a standard beer from SA; to-style, well-made, but relatively boring. But, it's a fine tasty beer that would be great with a meal, for cooking, or alone. I think I might actually save this one as an idea to help bridge macro drinkers into craft (isn't that so often the domain of Sam Adams...). (856 characters)

Photo of Omnium
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Clear amber with a finger of off white head, little on the lacing.
S - Spices of coriander, a little pepper, cinnamon, dark fruits of fig, cherry, some apricot, lots of bread and biscuit malt.
T - Wheaty and yeasty, slight pepper, raw cinnamon underneath, a little sweet and tart cherry pops in the middle.
M - Kinda dry and floury feeling.
O - Decent, I used to like this a lot but it just isnt my kinda beer these days, still I like the cherry in it though. (487 characters)

Photo of SteveB24
2.55/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Appearance clear. Reddish brown, slightly evident carbonation, thin off white lacing.

Smell: not much there, slight yeast, some watered down maltiness, and the faintest bit of cinnamon.

Taste: tastes like a pretty basic, unrefined american lager with a bit of extra malt and some lingering Christmas flavors.slightly metalic

Mouthful: thin body Medium carbonation. Slightly watery.

Overall. Even with low expectations, this Beer dissapointed. (446 characters)

Photo of Craigory
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a SA Perfect Pint glass.

A: Pours a clear, deep amber body, with an inch of off-white head. This quickly fades to a spotty cap.

S: Dark fruit, orange peel, spice--this is a winter warmer crossed with a weizenbock, and smells just like I would expect.

T: A splash of cinnamon across the tongue, followed by orange peel, sweet malt, and a little malt bitterness to close things out. Quite nice, really.

M: Prickly carbonation--too much. Otherwise, this is a nice, medium-bodied lager that supports the flavors nicely.

O: This is a good, easy drinking winter brew. It's like a cute little nephew to the German weizenbocks. (649 characters)

Photo of tillmac62
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

EBD 6/14. Pours a medium amber with a nice ruby hue. Solid head with a well formed lacing. Nose is of sweet malt with a bit of spice. Light medium bodied, normal carbonation and mouthfeel. The taste is quite interesting and well balanced. It has a slight sweetness over a soft spice background. Crisp finish with a carbonation burst of slight bitterness and spice. A very well done lager. (388 characters)

Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 1,896 ratings.