Samuel Adams Summer Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

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5,036 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,036
Reviews: 1,628
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 55
Gots: 893 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Wheat Ale |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-09-2001

An American Wheat, brewed with malted wheat, lemon zest and grains of paradise - a rare pepper from Africa first used as a brewing spice in the 13th Century to create a crisp and spicy flavor and body.
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Ratings: 5,036 | Reviews: 1,628
Reviews by dexterk1:
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.16/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap... Don't really remember where, but my guess would be some place without a thriving craft beer selection. Pours a golden-yellow color with an apparent, unfiltered haze that blocks a good amount of sunlight through the body. Big, chunky head settles on top, leaving behind a few good morsels of measurable lacing.

It takes a while for the beer to warm and reveal a decent nose... it's mostly a combination of earthy and musty hops with a hint of wheat and some very faint citrus zest. Kind of a standard "pale wheat ale" smell. While not bad or off-putting, it's quite muzzled and doesn't really obtain high levels of interest or integrity. It's just "there" and fairly "meh" all around.

The taste is similarly acceptable - following the whole "not bad but not great" persona. The palate opens up some brighter citrus notes like lemon rinds and orange flesh with the earthy, musky hops still heavy in the background. Again, there isn't much else to say about this one because it comes off as pretty neutral all around.

Perhaps the best thing about the beer, or at least the most stand out quality is the mouth feel. Pretty crisp and refreshing while maintaining a nice softness, most likely from the wheat. Carbonation from the tap was at a nice level as well, making this light flavored beer go down even better, especially with a nice sirloin.

All in all, nothing gross about this one, just nothing exciting, either. I wouldn't go out of my way to pick it up again, but I wouldn't be offended or go all "Beer Advocate" on someone if they offered me one. I can see this being a good way to convert non-craft beer people into the craft world... but given the seasonal release and style, I would recommend Oberon much more than this.

Photo of Tjansen84
3.42/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good solid beer but nothing incredible.

Photo of Decker
2.45/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Another lackluster beer by Sam Adams that offers nothing. It tastes like a droning college lecture.

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I seem to like this brew more than many others,its on tap at alot of local places,so I get it alot.Pours a hazy orange/yellow color usually with a pretty decent head.The a roma is lightly spicey and of wheat malt pretty appetizing.Taste is very wheaty slightly fruity,I think its a pleasant highly drinkable ale,I think a bit underrated.

Photo of RoyalT
3.12/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This is one gorgeous-looking ale. The body is a deep, slightly darkened yellow with a tinge of orange and quite hazy. The head is monstrous, roaring up into a beautiful puffy column and descending slowly, leaving some nice, thick, shaving cream lacing on the way down.

Smell – This is American grain with a dollop of fruity yeast. Ugh!

Taste – This doesn’t taste as bad as it smelled, but it’s still not very good. The course grain is blunted somewhat by some tangy citrus hops and a fuzzy type of wheat.

Mouthfeel – Surprisingly big for the style, almost medium-bodied, with some good summertime carbonation and even a bit of dryness at the finish.

Drinkability – With both the temperature and humidity hovering in the mid-90s, I was looking forward to a refreshing summer ale. This one just did do the trick.

Photo of Rijtjeshuis
3.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served in weizen glass.

Look (3.5/5) - pours a light gold in colour, about 5-6* SRM. Clarity is very good, which I found a touch surprising for a wheat beer like this. Head is good. It rises to about 3 fingers and falls slowly to a 1 finger cap that lasts a while. Not a lot of lacing. Very good swirling carbonation.

Smell (3/5) - I really get ginger (like a ginger-ale pop) on this one. No other flavours really come out too strong. I get a hint of malts (Vienna/Munich?) which seem a bit out of place. Not a lot of yeast or hops in there.

Flavour (2.5) - The flavour was pretty weak and watery. The malt flavor isn't that light graininess I'd expect from a wheat brew; instead you get a slight hint of melanoidin in there. As with the smell, there's a good hit of ginger in here. Medium bitterness which goes a bit metallic and little or no hop flavor (some lemony hops would have gone well I think). No real yeast flavor.

Feel (3/5) - Lighter body and medium carbonation. A bit lighter than most wheat brews (like hefe, wit, etc).

Drink (3/5) - Pretty drinkable owing to the light body and somewhat watery flavours. But it was far from delicious or tasty. Not a real great example of what a wheat brew can be; I really like the flavours that would ideally be at play (ginger, wheat, etc), but the execution seems a bit poor to me.

it gets a meh.

Photo of StoutHearted
3.89/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aptly named, this beer is perfect for summer drinking. It poured a light corn color and the smell of citris storms up one's nose at first whiff. Drinking, it's heavy on the lemon and orange peel. It's tart, but not overly sweet. Its very easy to drink, but the tart may get annoying after a while if the beer warms up. I found myself getting tired of the lemony taste after a while. Not the best summer seasonal out there, but as a Sam Adams beer, it does have the advantage of popping up in the majority of bars during the hotter months.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a straw yellow in color, clear, with about an inch of soapy white head. The head fades to a nice uneven layer of bubbles with a thick heavy ring. Moderate lacing.

S: An interesting mix of very light malt and a hint of lemon. I'm not sure if the lemon is masking any hops or not but the aromas are pleasant overall.

T&M: Taste and body are very light. This brew is a bit on the dry side but still rather refreshing. There is a lemony twang to this but it works well with the hop bittering and blends right in nicely. This is not another typical "beer with fruit", but rather the lemon seems to act more like an herb or other adjunct. Textures are relatively creamy with light carbonation. Finishes a bit dry with, at first a lemony taste going to a light bitter linger.

D: I found this brew to be light, refreshing, and easy to drink. Overall it's pretty good.

Photo of cbgVT
2.7/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Funny how one's palate can change so dramatically. This used to be one of my favorite beer and was one of the first 'better beers' I liked. I have since moved on to real better beers lol, German Hefe's lately. It is kinda funny how SA Summer Ale claims to be a wheat ale. Far from it.

Appearance - decent, slightly hazy golden straw color. Little head at pour and a slight trace of lacing. Disappointed in that.

Smell - not too much of a smell, slightly lemony

Taste - Tastes like what I would imagine lemon scented pine sol to taste like. I really don't like the lemon zest, it tastes like lemon extract was added to the bottle. It is overpowering.

Mouthfeel - well carbonated, not too much not too little. I prefer a thicker bodied beer, especially if it claims to be a 'wheat ale'

Drinkability - for all my complaints, it isn't the worst thing in the world, but certainly no better than 'Okay'. I am glad it has a decent ABV though, if not I would probably let it stay in the fridge for desperate times.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine July 2007.

This seasonal is seeing its 12th summer. It's a sort of like a twist on the Belgian White Ale (being a spiced wheat ale) that sports lemon zest and grains of paradise--if you didn't know already.

Very cloudy--let's say murky--orange-ish color. Ample froth after a quick pour, with bubbly and very sticky lacing: a sign of good retention. Aromas of lemon and sweet malted wheat come forth with underlying suggestions of vanilla, white pepper and cherries. Smooth and creamy with a slick, medium body. Malty for starters, with both wheat and barley battling it out. Lemon and spicy flavors try and push through, with hints of pepper and vanilla in the back. A kiss of hop bitterness goes against a flash of fruitiness, as well as hints of cherries and pears. Earthy, almost woody semisweet finish.

This beer is more complex than a summer seasonal needs to be. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it's a pretty bold move to put out a murky, com- plex ale for a summer seasonal while everyone else is lobbing their crystal clear Blonde Ales into the market. Maple-glazed jalapeño turkey burgers with potato salad stood up to this very well.

Photo of Dmann
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

And average beer at best. This one poured a nice orange color with a small white head that faded quickly. It smelled of grain and spice and not much else. The taste was decent but there was just too much of the citrus bitterness there to enjoy thoroughly. If it is on sale get it, if not do not pay full price for this one.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams Summer Ale poured a nice hazy golden yellowish orange color with a sweet wheat aroma. A nice size head turns into decent lacing around the glass. First sip is a bit fruity and smooth. I like it. Definetly a good drinking beer. As far as wheat beers go this is one of the better ones I've had. It's not spectacular...but it's a good brew and I will be coming back to it :-)

Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, Samuel. Adams. Summer. Ale. Thanks to my local tavern (Merlin's, in Hagerstown, MD - check the beerfly) stocking endless cases of this at $11 a pop, I have consumed an obscene amount of this beer.

Obviously, with all the cases of this I have purchased, this is an extremely drinkable beer. It is a smooth, crisp, refreshing, light-but-not-weak witbier. I never really got sick of it, either.

The taste & scent is very interesting. Not like any other wheat-based ale I've ever had (at least, not until I tried Mendocino Summer ale, which is errily similar to Sam Adams' version). The label says they use a "mysterious" ingredient called "grains of paradise." I dont know what that is, or how much that has to do with the flavor. The lemon is definitely detectable, but any heavy wheat flavor is kept to a minimum. A good, even amount of carbonation as well.

This beer seems to taste pretty much the same from year-to-year, and it keeps well also, since the cases I got earlier this year were the 2004 edition. Recommended, regardless of what the score is on here.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.22/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ah, summertime, when the wheat beers come out, and body and flavor take a back seat. Maybe a little harsh, but I'd prefer an IPA or anything more like a winter brew. This beer was a cloudy orange with a small head. It had a sweet, fruity odor. It tasted of lemon, with maybe some hops in there (I couldn't tell for sure. An average, nondescript beer.

Photo of Todd
3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is just a nice beer to have around in the heat of the summer ...

Pours a cloudy light amber beer with a creamy white lace that sticks and retains well. Aroma is grainy, spicy and citric. Mouthfeel is creamy and coarse. Flavour contains dry crisp grain, lemon zest that lends a nice sharp bitter twang, and a soft touch of caramel and malt sweetness. Finish is grainy, faint musty yeast and dry with grain tannins.

Photo of twi1609372
2.3/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

hate to rate a sam adams beer badly but you got to call it how it tastes, this beer in my opinion is not one of the better sam adams sesonal brews. looks and smeels nice, not watered down, has a flavor, just not a very plesent flavor i think. better than bud or corona, but i wouldent use it in the same sentence as the boston lager or the cherry wheat.

Photo of shapudding
3.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy, golden tanish in color. Alot of carbination with a light head. Fruit cup scent. Heavy lacing. Nice flavor, first sip gives a slight bite. Light citrus but not too much as to be overpowering. Sam's Seasonal was my session beer for my Thursday night drinkin', and this one held me thru a good amount of months. Not too heavy as too keep from a long night of drinking, great with food too.

Photo of generallee
3.77/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a hazy pale golden color with a thin white head that leaves behind some lace on the glass. Its aroma is has hints of wheat, citrus fruit and some spicy notes. It has a smooth medium body with delicate wheat malts and a zesty kick from the grains of paradise and lemon. The hops are very low key here and only add some light bitterness to the finish which is crisp and refreshing.

Photo of cobunist
4.45/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I loved this seasonal beer.

Photo of Guden
2.12/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A- Pale gold with a bit of copper and lots of small swirling carbonation bubbles. The half inch white head fades quickly, leaving no lacing.

S- Very sweet fruit, lots of lemon with hints of spice and malt. Nothing too great but not bad either.

T- Yuck. This stuff is pretty unenjoyable from the get go. Starts off with an abrasive lemon peel character with some lager like sweetness in the middle and an entirely unappealing jumble of pepper, aspirin, pine and more lemon peel on the finish.

M- Medium high in body for the style and a bit light in carbonation this one seems to miss the mark.

D- Not something I would go back for, finishing one feels a bit like a labor. There are WAY better summer ales out there (Heavy Seas comes to mind). This is another example of a bad use of flavorings by Boston Beer Company.

Photo of Jason
3.01/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle with a freshness date ... different label from before, no more sail boat. :-(

Super foamy with a dense white head. A cloudy haze of orange-straw color.

Slightly soapy aroma, malt sweetness, hops and some odd spicing going on. Hint of wheat and lemon in the nose as well.

Wheat is evident on the palate, fuller bodied than one would expect from a summer ale. Odd spicing and an all around orange-ish flavor in the middle. Mild hopping goes well with the maltiness.

I want to like this brew but the flavors just don't meld ... it just does not do it for me.

Photo of merlin48
3.72/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, golden body with a one finger white head. Good retention, as the head eventually gives way to nice spiderweb lacing. Aroma features lemony citrus, banana, coriander, grainy wheat, and earthy yeast. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and light medium bodied. Assertive spices open the flavor profile, with pepper and coriander. Lemony banana flavor is complimented by some grainy wheat and a smooth yeasty earthiness.
Very nice summer ale, well made, and very sessionable.

Photo of Billolick
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, with new graphics and purchase before dating notched onto label. Pours a nice cloudy honey color, white head, tiny bubble film, some lacing left behind. Flowery nose. herbal notes, yeast present. Some resiny hops in finish. Sort of non descript wheat/wit brew. Crowd pleaser for sure, on a hot summer day, but not really too interesting for a BA palate

Photo of fdrich29
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce mug at the 99 in Waltham, Massachusetts. I specifically asked my server to please bring me a non-frosted glass and to my luck that's exactly what I got.

Poured a nice reddish/orange color with a little smooth head and lacing.

Smelled and tasted of spicy lemon. Very refreshing after a long day of wrok.

If I wasn't totally exhausted I could have drank these all night, but as things were I only ordered one and went home to bed after dinner. Great summertime beer, but not my first choice.

Photo of nem2006
3.95/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drank this on tap at a Red Robin as a 22 ouncer. It was barely hazy, yellow and gold. With a nice head that lingered for about 1/3 of the drink. Nice lacing.

Smelled semi-sweet with some citrus tones.

Light-bodied, started sweet and sharp with a slight bitterness at the end. Very smooth and goes well with summer. This is a very refreshing beer.

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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 5,036 ratings.