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

1,625 Reviews
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Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-09-2001

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Reviews: 1,625 | Ratings: 5,292
Photo of MikeCooke
3.04/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a darker yellow color with a quickly dissipating head. The smell has an overpowering lemon aroma. The taste is an up front citrus finishing with a spicy malty flavor. It's a light beer with some carbonation. My overall opinion of this beer is tainted due to my humble beginnings of beer drinking. I'll drink this beer when it's around. It's definitely a decent one but with more out there it's not always my first choice

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Photo of 911CROFT
3.6/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle into a conical 2/3 pint glass. Paid £12.99 for a pack of six.

Pours a hazy, dark, golden straw-coloured body with tons of visible, tiny streaming carbonation. A light, bubbly, one-finger in height, off white head reduces quickly to a patchy film, leaving a small amount of sticky, soapy lacing.

On the nose the main aromas are of malted wheat and crisp grains. Additional faint notes of lemon rind, light peppery spices and sweet tangy apricot are revealed as the beer warms. The taste is similar to the nose; sweet bready wheat leads initially, along with a solid lemon peel character and some lighter tangy apricot and tart fruit notes that enter towards the middle. Light grains and touch of spicy, peppery and citrusy hops leave a vaguely earthy, dry and woody finish. In the mouth it feels smooth, creamy and slightly chewy. Light to medium bodied with a soft carbonation that lasts until the bottom of the glass, it’s easy drinking, crisp and refreshing.

Overall this is a decent beer. It’s a little more complex then I was expecting but still refreshing and easily sessionable. If I was offered another bottle I would happily try it again but I can’t see myself committing to another pack of six.

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Photo of RyanK252
3.54/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass

A: Pours slightly hazy golden amber with a frothy off white head that quickly settles to a light layer and laces lightly.

S: Wheat, citrus zest, a little spice.

T: Bright citrus, almost lemonade like with some of the sweetness, plenty of wheat, and a little spice.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Not overly complex, but a very drinkable summer beer.

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Photo of Chad_S
2.93/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice golden color which in my particular glass creates a quite attractive glowing gradient. Thin head which takes a bit of coaxing to get and leaves rapidly. Scent is nearly non-existent and taste follows suit. Quite bland. Nothing bad, but really nothing good...just nothing. Blind taste test agains water would be tough to tell them apart. Aftertaste is a bit more prominent with a bit of that "peppery" taste I was expecting.


The color really is quite nice. I'll give it that.

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Photo of D-HopSupreme
3.52/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy, deep yellow in appearance, with a very slight initial head formation, that does at least sustain. The scent is fairly weak, though what does come up is reminiscent of soft citrus fruit and pepper. Taste is surprisingly sharp in citric flavour, rather lemon-like, with a bit of wheat flavour kicking through. Finish is light, but a bit harsh. Overall fairly good beer.

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Photo of hopphead31415
3.41/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I love Sam Adams, but I don’t like the ideas of the summer ale variety in general, because they are session ales focusing on refreshing qualities. Wow! I should reword that sentence, but I’ll keep it, because it is funny, because I basically said I don’t like refreshing. Of course, that’s not what I meant, but I think my opinion will be clearer by reading the review below. Oh and this one has 5.3% ABV.

Look-It pours a hazy light golden yellow that is overwhelmed by head. You’ll have to wait for it to settle before pouring the rest. It settles into a one finger head that is very white and soapy. The beer is slightly hazy so it could almost pass for a Hefe.

Smell-It smells of honey-based malts and wheat.

Taste-It tastes slightly sweet with lemon and honey flavors that are the foundation. It is similar to a shandy. Wheat malts come through for sure and mild carbonation. Alcohol is almost absent.

Mouthfeel-Light body and smooth texture lending to the mild carbonation and deflated alcohol content. It is very drinkable if you like this style of brew.

Overall-Like I said, this is not my preferred style, but what do you expect from a hop head. I would definitely not turn down this beer at a pool party or at a beach if I was feeling in the mood. Enjoy this crisp and refreshing summer brew.

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Photo of TooGood
3.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a bright yellow with one inch head and minimal lacing. Smells like lemon and wheat grass. Taste is lemony upfront with slight bitterness on the back end. I typically enjoy this beer on hot summer days, as it is quite refreshing.

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Photo of TheBeerMaster1
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have a system. 1-2 are disgusting, 2.01-2.99 wouldn't be drain pours but no bueno. 3-3.49 I'd drink for sure but probably wouldn't buy on my own. 3.5-3.75 I'd buy if no beers I prefer are present. 3.76-3.99 I might drive out of the way to go get them, if it meant getting a beer that's better than what are present. 4-4.49 are amazing beers and I will definitely be buying in future. 4.5-5 are the elite, many will enter my mouth, very few will become legendary. Those are what it's all about! Oh yeah this one? It's good, not a fan of grains of paradise but it is something I may buy if nothing else woos me.

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Photo of October
2.78/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a semi-opaque light gold color with a finger of white foam that disappeared quickly. Smells of lemon and Belgian yeast. Taste is malt forward and fairly spicy. They went pretty heavy-handed with the grains of paradise. I can't really get over the taste. It's almost reminiscent of banana. In my opinion, Sam Adams doesn't do as well on these light, summery type beers as they do on their others.

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Photo of The_Snow_Bird
2.11/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

A very light golden ale, with a medium white head on top. It has somewhat of a fruity-citrus kind of smell to it. It has a sour taste at the beginning finished off with a hoppy finish.

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Photo of 57md
3.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a dark cloudy straw color with a very thin layer of head. The nose has some spice, most noticeably coriander. The flavor is typical of a summer wheat with a touch of orange and ginger to make it a touch special.

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Photo of Edmond-Bird
3.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Hazy pale yellow color. Billowing frothy head. Very distinct, pleasant lemony citrus aroma. Also smells grassy and bready. Taste is somewhat tart with notes of lemon and lemon rind. Soft bitterness appears towards the end. A decent summer beer.

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Photo of Nyg
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not a fan, like most summer brews this has the over kill of lemon fake flavoring added to it. It's light and crisp I just can't handle the over powering lemon

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

It looks like a wheat beer should. Slightly cloudy and pale gold. It smells like citrus, wheat and spices like maybe coriander. The taste is like a wheat beer with spices and lemonade drink mix. Not pleasing. It has a malt and wheat aftertaste that gives way to some peppery and spicy notes. It is okay but not great.

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Photo of PorterPro125
3.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type: 355 mL Bottle

A- Pours a hazy, light golden colour with a persistent, soapy, 1/2 finger head.

S- Subtle nose that sports a light lemony zest with a lot of wheat malt.

T- Wheat malt with a strong, lemonade taste. Comparable to a Shandy.

M- Light body and moderate carbonation. Excellent drinkability.

O- Good brew but not the type of lemony brew I was expecting from a well versed brewery like Samuel Adams. Lemon taste is strong and seems to be almost artificial. Great summer beer despite the "just okay" lemon taste.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355 ml bottle served fairly cold into a pint glass. Purchased as part of a six pack so it works out to about $2.30 CDN for a bottle. Advertised as 5.5% ABV and fresh until June 2016.

Appearance - hazy and slightly orange in color. Nice finger plus of fluffy white head, some lacing to go along with good retention.

Smell - plenty of wheat, light citrus although there's also a sulphur aroma in there which is a bit strange. Not a big nose either.

Taste - wheat, apricot and maybe some peach. Mild bitterness as the sulphuric smell doesn't really show up on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel - smooth, creamy, medium-light body and moderate carbonation. Am easy drinking brew.

Overall - not a wow beer, but solid, drinkable and pretty light. A bit pricey for what you get, but it's not half bad either. Worth a shot.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.54/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a hazy orange amber with a thin white head that dissipates to patches with light lacing. Aroma of wheat, light citrus and the woody spiciness of grains of paradise and hint of diacetyl. Flavor of grainy wheat, light biscuit malt, lemon citrus, apricot and a woody spiciness. Medium bodied with good carbonation. An different take on a pale wheat ale, with a more robust body that almost seems malty. The citrus and grains of paradise give a interesting interplay, but the the wheat and citrus do not support the woody spiciness in the finish. Refreshing on a hot summer day, but not a wheat that I would seek out.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Decent summer ale, typical of what you would expect when you hear "summer citrus wheat." A step above Blue Moon but not quite as nice as an Oberon. I don't usually seek this one out, somehow it finds me at backyard parties and restaurants that would otherwise only have BMC. A fine enough ale to scratch an itch.

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Photo of MFS_71
3.6/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found it to be somewhere between medium and light bodied. Refreshing but slightly tart and dry. The citrus smell & taste is mild and could be stronger (I got mostly lemons). Carbonation should be kicked up a notch. Overall, a slightly better than average summer ale and certainly a good choice for a hot summer night.

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Photo of Cure_Tap
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I always hear craft beer enthusiasts shit on this (and other Samuel Adams products), but this really isn't the "terrible" summer beer that people make it out to be. Like all beers, it's way better if you can get it on tap, but it's still a solid brew in the bottle. Nice wheat backbone, a good punch of sweet lemon, a little bit of spice on the way down, and it mellows out to a very mildly bitter wheat aftertaste. Super drinkable and refreshing. It's not going to have the flavor complexity of a double IPA or a stout, but if you go into all beers expecting that, you're going to be constantly disappointed, and you're going to be pigeonholing yourself into only drinking stronger beers. Different beers for different jobs. Great on a hot summer day.

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.07/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into glass. 5.3% abv

Appearance- Pours a very hazy apricot orange with moderate head.

Smell- Fresh wheat malt with hints of lemon and spices.

Taste- A noticeable wheaty malt that is quite grainy to the taste. This blends quickly into a citric lemony character. Some orange in there as well. Spices arrive later, most obvious being pepper taken right to the finish. Hop character is present as well with a bitter finish that blends well with the peppery kick.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body with good carbonation.

Overall- A great summer brew that is refreshing and flavorful. Very easy drinking and good for getting the non craft beer people into the scene. A go to in the Summer months. I do not see how this beer could dissappoint.

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Photo of GrinkoN
3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

L: Foggy orangish, very thin head,

S: Malty, citrus (lemon), some wheat

T/F: Get the lemon here, sweet with a little bitter at the back end. Mid to light bodied feel, meh.

O: It is a decent summer beer, not Sammy Adams best but good.

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Photo of bgillespie
3.26/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A hazy cloudy golden orange with a super thin white head.

Smell: Lot of lemon and malt. Some wheat.

Taste: Again lemon. Sweet with a hint of bitterness at the end. Also some wheat.

Mouthfeel: Dull, flat almost.

Overall: A good summer beer, easy to drink. I would like more pop. Better than a lot of big names out there.

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Photo of Myotus
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Mikasa ale glass. Pours with a finger's worth of white foam that dissipates to a half finger's worth within 10 seconds then after a minute, dissipates into a line. Pale golden/yellow in color and very murky. Bubbles are barely present. Very strong wheat malt aromas that combine with strong pepper aromas and mild lemon peel and pale malt aromas. Initial taste is strange (not in a bad way) as all the detected aromas are detected by the palate, but hit simultaneously with none overpowering the other. There is no symphony of flavors, just a one note explosion. A very boring experience for my palate, but the actual taste is pretty good. Light-bodied, very crisp and refreshing, quenches any thirst that I previously had. I can see why Sam Adams call this a summer ale as it is a perfect beer to enjoy on a hot, sunny day, especially in the great country of Texas.
NOTE: As beer warms, malt flavors become more detectable. If you aren't a malt lover, drink reasonably fast.

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Photo of ThisChucksDrinksBeer
1.12/5  rDev -66.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer smells like male cat urine. I had a male cat that used to urinate behind the TV and the aroma from this beer smells almost exactly like it. Sorry Sam, but this beer doesn't bode well in the summer heat especially when it smells like I am drinking male cat PP.

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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
77 out of 100 based on 1,625 ratings.