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

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Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

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4,804 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,804
Reviews: 1,563
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 44
Gots: 677 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,804 | Reviews: 1,563
Reviews by klaybie:
Photo of klaybie
2.4/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Cloudy golden yellow, nice two finger head with decent lacing.

S: Average in every sense of the word, nothing special, nothing adverse. Hints slight fruitiness with some astringency.

T: Very astringent, with a chemical taste that lingers. Some fruitiness, spice and yeast up front but that is quickly and brutally washed away by the harsh astringent flavor.

M: Fortunately the mouthfeel was medium-light in the body and not watery. Still, little comfort.

O: I could not finish this beer and the waitress was surprised I was leaving about 3/4 of the glass. I could not bring myself to choke this down even for the cost at the bar.


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 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 mojohawk21
3/5  rDev -9.9%

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 cam477
2.75/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of Turbo
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Hoppin_mad
2.75/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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 OhioBobcat
4/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of npala86
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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 ccapurso
2.75/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of tbryan5
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of GameOfBeers
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of SkiBum22
3/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of sicilian
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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 SuomiHobbit
2/5  rDev -39.9%

Photo of MikeC144
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,804 ratings.