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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

4,436 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,436
Reviews: 1,535
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 32
Gots: 373 | 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:
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.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-09-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,436 | Reviews: 1,535 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by doktorhops:
Photo of doktorhops
doktorhops

Australia

2.93/5  rDev -12%

Bought for a steal (considering how stupidly expensive American beers are over here in Australia) from the local Murphy's Dan - I decided to for once go against that old husbands tale that drinking American beer was like having sex in a canoe, and grabbed a six pack of these fine looking fellows.

Poured from a 355ml (WTF size is that???) bottle and poured into my 500ml Stein, sighing to myself that no one really made 500ml bottles to compliment my 500ml Stein.

A: Mr. Adams Summer Ale has quite a nice coloured body (not a euphemism). It's cloudy (the way I likes my beers), and golden/honey bodied with a cappuccino froth white head. Mmmm, methinks sir.

S: There's something not right when your beer emits an odor of rotten garbage, needless to say it's a beer and I will (as such) drink it, this was indeed a mark against it. It's not all bad though; I did detect a hint of honey (though hints of honey on a garbage pile is never going to make a top selling cologne).

T: Tastes better than it smells, but still an odd mash of ideas in this... yeasty, bready, malty, lemony, caramely... I can see the caramel and malt flavours going together, and adding the yeast and the bread isn't bad, but who's idea was it to throw in the lemon? Not saying it's a terrible mix but my taste buds don't know what to do. Plus an ale... for summer? I don't know about the rest of the population but when it comes to summer in Brisbane I aint thinking of ales to quench my mighty summer thirst.

M: Gets it right in this department; mild, low carbonation with a mid to heavy body - that's ale country there!

D: Here's the verdict: ales are ales for a damn good reason- they keep us fat and bloated in winter. Lagers are Lagers for a damn good reason- they keep our parched mouths liquefied in the unbearable heat of summer. Mixing the body of an ale with the flavours of a Lager, whilst interesting in theory, merely works to confuse and ultimately disappoint my taste buds. I want an ale yet you've thrown in some Lager characteristics... not for me unfortunately.

Food match: Chinese food mixed with Mexican cuisine might just work with this.

06-27-2011 09:49:21 | More by doktorhops
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +15%

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.

06-18-2003 09:31:45 | More by oberon
Photo of mojohawk21
mojohawk21

Missouri

3/5  rDev -9.9%

11-02-2013 20:46:16 | More by mojohawk21
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

3.13/5  rDev -6%

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.

08-11-2004 00:14:22 | More by RoyalT
Photo of cam477
cam477

Newfoundland (Canada)

2.75/5  rDev -17.4%

08-26-2013 01:16:19 | More by cam477
Photo of beerhunter13
beerhunter13

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +20.1%

04-17-2012 20:35:47 | More by beerhunter13
Photo of Turbo
Turbo

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

04-19-2014 23:57:13 | More by Turbo
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

3.15/5  rDev -5.4%

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.

08-19-2013 21:23:22 | More by tectactoe
Photo of Hoppin_mad
Hoppin_mad

Florida

2.75/5  rDev -17.4%

05-03-2014 17:45:23 | More by Hoppin_mad
Photo of Rijtjeshuis
Rijtjeshuis

Ontario (Canada)

3.03/5  rDev -9%

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.

08-23-2011 15:05:59 | More by Rijtjeshuis
Photo of OhioBobcat
OhioBobcat

Ohio

4/5  rDev +20.1%

09-26-2013 00:58:20 | More by OhioBobcat
Photo of npala86
npala86

Florida

3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

08-07-2013 20:39:29 | More by npala86
Photo of StoutHearted
StoutHearted

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +17.1%

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.

07-03-2006 13:44:05 | More by StoutHearted
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tbryan5

Louisiana

3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

07-11-2013 03:30:45 | More by tbryan5
Photo of GameOfBeers
GameOfBeers

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

08-07-2014 00:42:26 | More by GameOfBeers
Photo of SkiBum22
SkiBum22

New York

3/5  rDev -9.9%

06-14-2014 20:47:07 | More by SkiBum22
Photo of sicilian
sicilian

Florida

3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

07-04-2014 20:31:32 | More by sicilian
Photo of SIRIUS2
SIRIUS2

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev +7.5%

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.

05-12-2008 01:17:32 | More by SIRIUS2
Photo of cbgVT
cbgVT

Virginia

2.65/5  rDev -20.4%

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.

04-16-2010 18:27:06 | More by cbgVT
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

3.33/5  rDev 0%

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.

11-13-2010 21:02:13 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of Dmann
Dmann

California

3.6/5  rDev +8.1%

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.

09-05-2004 10:03:08 | More by Dmann
Photo of SuomiHobbit
SuomiHobbit

Connecticut

2/5  rDev -39.9%

07-06-2013 14:28:50 | More by SuomiHobbit
Photo of MikeC144
MikeC144

Rhode Island

3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

04-09-2014 14:53:39 | More by MikeC144
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev +6%

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 :-)

08-14-2004 02:39:25 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of markallmon
markallmon

Tennessee

3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

03-28-2012 01:13:36 | More by markallmon
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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,436 ratings.