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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.

4,327 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4327
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 4,327 | Reviews: 1,849 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Jerermy


2.93/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer had disappointed me two years running. It was once a bold flavorful drink that i got excited for. This years seems to lack effort. Subtle spice notes hardly separate it from being any other lager.

Its still a tasty brew, just not a tasty seasonal.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2011 21:58:31 | More by Jerermy
Photo of alee42


3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to the bartender at Sam's for the rec

Pours a brownish orange color, a darkened brown hue dressing the inside of the glass. Nice formation of the head, but had weak retention, and very poor lacing.

I detected faint hops and a fresh ginger spices. Took another waft and caught more spices with my nose: cinnamon and a sweetness resembling oranges.

Slick mouthfeel with a medium body and level of carbonation. Quite malty/sweet with some nice hoppiness. Good mix of spices, some of the spicy notes in the background.

Overall enjoyable beer, not quite to the standards of winter warmers, but I think this represents a bock fairly well. Not a bad choice for a draught beer at a sports bar and it complemented my fish n chips very well.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2011 22:05:55 | More by alee42
Photo of DoktorZee

Alberta (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap in a big pint glass.

A - deep amber in color, clear, slightly tan head of a finger hangs around for a minute, dissipates and leaves some streaky lacing on the glass

S - very subtle nose on this, hint of caramel malt

T - Minimal hop profile melting into a mixed bready malt and allspice. Quite subtle but pleasing.

M - solid carbonation on a medium body - a touch heavier than the regular lager.

Overall this has a nice drinkability and decent character, but is a bit subtle for my tastes. Nice, but not exceptional holiday beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2011 20:56:07 | More by DoktorZee
Photo of ReelBigwigFish

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On draft at Chili's, this was the most "craft" beer they had.

A: Solid copper color with a minimal loosely bubbled beige head, and some sticky lacing.

S: Malty and spicy. Lots of ginger, cinnamon, coriander.

T: Decent bready toasted grain malt flavor, back by lots of spice. A little too much spice for me to really enjoy this with american family style food.

M: A little creamy, lighter carbonation, but seems a bit light for a bock.

O: Not a terrible offering from Sam Adams, but not their best. I won't be purchasing this again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2011 00:34:05 | More by ReelBigwigFish
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

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


Appearance - Clear red/copper colour with a large size frothy/fizzy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there fair lacing. The head lasted for a few minutes.

Smell - Malts, hay, all-spice, caramel

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a below average amount of carbonation and the most noticeable flavours are caramel, malts, and some all-spice. There is also a touch of dark fruit and it finishes with a malty lightly spiced aftertaste.

Overall - A decent winter beer that is very drinkable. This isn't the sort of beer that I would get excited over each holiday season though. Considering the awful beer that is available to me locally, I was glad to see this one tap.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2011 17:41:01 | More by spinrsx
Photo of Cyrano41


3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had 20oz of this in a Sam Adams pint glass at the Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, VA. I didn't have high hopes for this, but the waitress sold me with her recommendation.(and it was on special)
It was a funky orange color and had no discernable aroma. Not an auspicious start...
Good carbonation and slight lacing after a half a finger of head (maybe the pour, glass was full)
But the taste was surprisingly good! the mouthfeel and flavors were well balanced and complex enough to keep my interest past the bottom of my first one. I will try again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2011 16:51:34 | More by Cyrano41
Photo of ForWhatAlesYou


3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 oz tap into a pint glass.

A: Little lace, virtually no head (I blame this on an overzealous bartender). Gorgeous auburn brown color with red and orange hues.

S: Caramel, slight milk chocolate, and nice barley aroma.

T: Caramel maltiness. Soft pretzel and slight dark spice. A little cloying at the finish but slight hop bitter takes that mostly away. Good.

M: Nice level of carbonation. Slight oiliness.

D: Good. Not necessarily a go-to or one worth searching high and low for but a nice choice when offered.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2011 16:52:09 | More by ForWhatAlesYou
Photo of RoamingGnome


4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out with the wife and kids to see Santa at the local mall. Enjoyed this on tap at Red Robin. Arrived at my booth in a 22 oz glass stein.

A) Nice looking dark amber, with a good amount of carbonation noted. There was a full finger of head, which settled to a dusting. Nice retention and lacing.

S) Roasted malt and caramel sweetness. There is a touch of hops and some spice aroma as well.

T) This has a nice earthy flavor. A good malt/hops balance. The spice that you expect from a winter offering is present, but does not dominate the other flavors.

M) Medium body with a good amount of carbonation. This was served well chilled. I found it smooth, but also crisp and refreshing. I enjoyed the finish and aftertaste.

O) I paired this beer with a double bacon cheeseburger, bottomless fries, and an overpriced mall Santa photo package. I must say, it was a nice evening, and this is a very fine winter lager.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2011 04:32:25 | More by RoamingGnome
Photo of JustinAniello


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

A - Pours a dark copper with a thin head, dissipating to a thin cap and lacing.

S - Browned caramel from the roasted malts and spices, mostly clove and ginger.

T - Lightly sweet toffee, turning to a heavy breadiness to cloves and other spices.

M - Medium body and medium/light carbonation. Goes well with the flavors.

O - A decent winter beer, nice malt flavors and spice medley. Good to have on a cool night with dinner, though there are better options for the season.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2011 01:24:58 | More by JustinAniello
Photo of SebD

Ontario (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice copper/amber color to it. It has a thin white head (came like that) but I swirled it after drinking a bit and got a decent head and it leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of sweet bready malts, caramel, spices and a slight fruitiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a sweet malt character, nice spices, a bit of caramel and light hops giving it a very slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a sweet overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas.

Serving type: on-tap

12-05-2011 19:49:54 | More by SebD
Photo of StonedTrippin


2.95/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

not crisp and cold and refreshing like most lagers, and not even fully seasonally applicable due to its average abv and dumbed down flavor. sam makes some epic beers, but this ones just average. pours a light indian brown color into that funny sam adams glassware, good head. smells like a malt bomb, but tastes a bit cinnamon and clove spice, thick mouthfeel drags it down and sits in the gut. not a good session lager. of the winter brews the cream stout and the scotch murder this one. id say pass it by but its so damn common in the northeast...

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2011 04:47:38 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of jtierney89

New Jersey

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

Pours a clear amber colors with an off white head. All im picking up on the nose is some cinnamon and a slight maltiness. Big spicy maltiness up front with flavors including cinnamon, nutmeg, and buttered toasted. Finishes clean with a slight metallic taste leftover in the mouth (very moderate though). The finish also leaves a nice buttery flavor on the bag of the tongue. Definitely makes for a decent winter session beer. Better than expected.

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2011 01:34:32 | More by jtierney89
Photo of miket163


3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had two of these on tap in a standard American Pint glass. Poured a nice dark mahogany with fluffy tan head and had some nice lacing. The nose was that of a typical bock: dark bread (rye in particular), faint autumn spices, and a touch of wood.

The taste was actually very nice...almost identical to the nose: rye, oak, clove, dark malts, and a very nice hop bite. This was a very balanced beer from BBC. I enjoyed it.

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2011 00:34:51 | More by miket163
Photo of Agold


3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Flight delayed so airport barhopping is the activity du jour. Last bar had hop devil. Not super happy I left. Brown liquid is topped with a very thin film of head. No lacing. Aroma is minimal can pick up on some spice, but it is pretty neutral. Flavor has some breathless along with some clovey cinnamon spice. I also think of banana bread with this one. Nice, but not great. Minimal hop presence at best. Mouthfeel is pretty nice. Good carb. Light and refreshing. What I expected, wanted, and got from BBC. Overall, "meh" is a good description of this beer. It's good enough, but nothing I would get if I could find an average alternative.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2011 23:19:43 | More by Agold
Photo of UCLABrewN84


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

On tap at Schooners Patio Grille in Santa Clarita, CA.

Pours a clear dark brown with a 1 inch foamy tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Random dots and streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt/grain and a variety of winter spices. Not much going on in the smell department. Taste is of malt/grain, some citrus flavors, and a lot of different spices (cinnamon, clove, etc.). There is a slight bitterness from the spices with each sip but it quickly fades. This beer has a bubbly level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is pretty good Winter beer but nothing too special really.

Serving type: on-tap

11-19-2011 06:37:49 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of stephenjmoore


3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep amber color with a light tan head.

S- Malt mostly with a hint of spices. Some ginger notes.

T- Malty lager taste some spice flavors coming through. The ginger seems to be the most promonant in both taste and smell.

M- Pretty well carbonated, smooth and easier to drink.

O- I find this one to be very similar to the Boston Lager, but with a little more of the spice notes.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2011 22:19:46 | More by stephenjmoore
Photo of boilermakerbrew


3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Came to me with a 3 finger fizzy head. The head was slightly tan. The overall appearance was a deep, translucent amber.

S- There was a nutty aroma to this on the whole. A little malt in there, but nor hops scent.

T- Was fairly disappointed with the taste. Some grassy flavors and a slight nutty flavor. No hops bitterness in there, but some malt tastes.

M- Lots of carbonation. Really light for the style. It was almost watery and went down fairly easy.

Overall, I was not impressed with this beer. It was very light in the mouthfeel category and the taste was just lacking. I was surprised to learn this is a bock, because it is one of my more favored styles, but I was sorely disappointed.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2011 03:46:00 | More by boilermakerbrew
Photo of DeutscheJeff


3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this served in a 25 ounce glass, I really enjoyed the first few sips, but after that this beer became a bit too much for my stomach. Certainly a better beer in a 12 or 16 ounce size, but I will happily try it again. Samuel Adams once again provides a great tasting beer for the mass market.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2011 06:23:30 | More by DeutscheJeff
Photo of jb413


3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first taste of this style.

A - Poured an attractive dark mocha-ish/amber hue with a small light khaki head and little lacing.

S - Dark wheat with some spice notes. I remember some ginger in the nose. Good strength, smelled good.

T - Nice mix of roasty flavor with the spice profile. Neither one outweighs the other. The spices are not overdone.

MF - This is a medium-bodied beer, good amount of carbonation and and a nice finish.

O - Very nice on cold nights, I have nothing to compare it to yet in the style, but I liked this beer for sure. Looking forward to trying others.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2011 18:00:38 | More by jb413
Photo of bigdeuce


1.88/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I don't know what Mr. Koch and the Boston Beer Co. did to this terrific brew from around circa 2003-2005 but this is horrific and I will never purchase this garbage again. Pours a decent head. Scents of some toasty winter spices, ie cinnamon and nutmeg. Smells decently. Very thin, has been totally dummied from original recipe. The flavors are one of a true winter warmer but not accentuated properly.

This beer used to be a 7% ACTUAL wheat bock with a thick body, and a hearty, meaty flavor to it. I used to look forward to this one every year but will NOT purchase this ever again until I see the 7% abv slapped back on the bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2011 23:02:41 | More by bigdeuce
Photo of UDbeernut

New York

3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the dutch, deep amber small off white head with moderate retention. Nose of cereal and light grass. Malty cerealness caresses the palate balanced with lightly cutting bitterness. Flowery and grass. Medium bodied and quiet enjoyable of this mid fall day.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2011 20:26:58 | More by UDbeernut
Photo of gtermi


3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is a nice orredish orange, with a very thin head.

S: I am picking up a lot of spiece and some malt.

T: The beer has a nice amount of malt, spices and also some sweetness on the finish.

M: The beer is pretty carbonated. I dont really care for highly carbonated beers, but it isnt bad. It is easy to drink.

O: I find this to be a very average beer. It is a good winter beer and gives your body a warm feeling.

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2011 01:32:26 | More by gtermi
Photo of BeerResearcher


4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a standard pint glass.
It pours a dark ruby-hued amber color with a solid 2" beige head and plenty of web and trailing lacing.
The first smell is sweet wet malt and nut bread. A light whiff of mixed fruit cup with a hint of nutmeg and peppery spice follows.
If there was a liquid bock honey granola bar, this would be the recipe, less a mild taste of white rum and raisins.
A bit of lime-like citrus taste pulls through in the aftertaste.
All in all, a solid Bock...not spectacular...but a solid brew.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2011 15:49:28 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of BeerLover99


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

A: dark tan/amber body, finger head, patch lacing

S: malt, cinnamon, hint of ginger, lemon zest, roasted nuts

T: mild sweet citrus, malt, ginger, lemon zest,
dry sweet finish

M: med/light body, semi-dry mouth

O: Nice Sam Adams Seasonal brew available
everywhere and worth getting. Fine
gateway brew for Fat Tire lovers.


Serving type: on-tap

10-21-2011 20:10:00 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of ktrillionaire


4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From backlog.) On-tap at Carraba's. Looking at the pour, it seems just like Boston Lager: bronze liquid with a smallish ecru cap, and radiant translucence. There is a small amount of hop character in the nose, which plays out as fruity-floral and spicy on the palate, atop a dry and biscuity malt base. Again, I see very little difference between this and Boston Lager. Nice feel, very crisp. Easy drinking overall, although I prefer BBCSABL over BBCSAWL.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2011 04:57:53 | More by ktrillionaire
Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 4,327 ratings.