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

Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,680 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3680
Reviews: 1509
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 16.47%

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)
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Ratings: 3,680 | Reviews: 1,509 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Huffs

New York

3.43/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sam adams glass with a nice full head which lasted a short while and had mild lacing. Appearance was a hazy golden / orange. Had a light citrus taste with slight hop on the back. Mouthfeel was light to watery with a slight bitter aftertase. Very good for the style.

Serving type: can

08-11-2013 22:12:37 | More by Huffs
Photo of BurkeBeerGuy


3.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It's unfair to judge this beer by the same mental standard you use for your favorite beers, if you're a serious beerhead. This is a nicely-done, flavorful, wheat, where (I admit) the lemon overpowers the wheat. The grains of paradise add a little spiciness. It's a warm weather beer, and it's something you can serve when it's not a beerhead crowd. Never my first choice for me, but a go-to for the summertime gang.

Serving type: can

06-23-2013 14:48:10 | More by BurkeBeerGuy
Photo of mnrider


3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Can. The lip of the can is larger than most I've seen.

A: Pours cloudy orange. Large white head. Nice amount of carbonation bubbles.
Thin retention and almost no lacing is visible. Still the color is very nice.

S: Wheat, sweetness, lemon, grains and spices. Nothing special, kind of weak. Still

T/M: Medium bodied and creamy. Smooth with plenty of wheat and grains. Interesting
mixture of stronger spices and lemony citrus. A slight hop bitterness comes through,
but overall the beer has more of a grainy malt feel and taste. The finish is a little dry
and on the sweet side.

O: A good refreshing summer Ale. Has an interesting and distinct taste as the spices mix
well with the grains and lemon flavors.


Serving type: can

05-13-2013 21:45:18 | More by mnrider
Photo of JG-90

New Jersey

3.24/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Can poured into glass gives a large fluffy head that is creamy and rocky on top. beer is a vibrant and hazy yellow with golden and orange hints. Head has nice retention, settles down to a small cap with moderate lacing

The most noticable smell is a very flat wheat/breadiness, also spices with a bit of lemon. The lemon and spices overtake the wheat for the taste. Has a slightly grainy taste/aftertaste. Medium carbonation with a thin body.

Its nice and drinkable on a hot day, I seem to remember last years being fuller bodied and less grainy, though.

Serving type: can

05-04-2013 16:15:44 | More by JG-90
Photo of BoulderBarrovecchio


4.14/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Golden orange sunset transparency, sliver of head, mild random carbonation visible, TONS of lacing.

S: Hops forward, slight spice or grain presence.

T: Mellowed hops, slight orange.

M: Light body, light-medium carbonation. Really pleasant and refreshing.

O: Love it. Wondering if the mellowed hops on draft turns into A LOT of hops out of the bottle. If not, this will most definitely be in the summer rotation with Dos Equis and Troegs Sunshine Pils.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2014 21:47:01 | More by BoulderBarrovecchio
Photo of TexasRedskinFan


4.35/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

6 pack bought ice cold at my local Spec's Liquor outlet. Drank straight from the bottle except for one that I poured into a basic drinking glass just to see what it looked like. Actually this isn't meant to be poured into a glass unless its on tap. Summer styles are meant for consumption from the bottle or can. Are you seriously going to finish mowing the yard and break out a fancy pint glass???

I have had this before but I bought it today because I noticed it was freshly stocked. It's mid March and the expiration date on this bottle says August. Fresh beer aways gets my attention.

A- Gold. Not yellow, not amber, not pale. Gold. Slightly cloudy, but not anywhere near as cloudy as European Hefes or some American ones either. Shiner Brewing used to make the cloudiest Hefe I've ever seen.

S- Slightly hoppy, floral notes, mildly peppery.

T- Very smooth, nice malt character, mild hop profile. This doesn't taste like a Hefe or a Wheat either. The lemon and Grains of Paradise impart a pepper taste that cuts thru the wheat and hops used. This is meant to be extremely smooth and sessionable, with flavor instead of just water taste. I'm not sure what the best way to describe the flavor would be. It's not offensive. It's not weak. It's not strong either. Tastes like you should be downing this stuff.

M- Not overly carbonated. Easy to swallow. Mildly creamy even.

O- Overall this isn't the best beer ever. But this is supreme fare as far as "summer styles" go. Right up there with any other summer ale or beer. Get it as fresh as possible. Unless you only enjoy IPAs, Stouts or beers that kick your face in, you should enjoy this brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2014 23:49:30 | More by TexasRedskinFan
Photo of jucifer1818


2.35/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Heavy carbonation laces the inside of the glass when poured. The beer has a very hazy golden color to it, and a head that appeared despite a very careful+ pour. It looks like it would be nice to drink on a lawn chair in the middle of a nice summer day. 4\5

aroma: Extremely sweet smelling with a heavy dose of citrus (lemon). Nothing wrong with it, but nothing that great either. I will give this one a 3.5\5

Taste: I feel that this one really does not work very well at all. The spice is done all wrong and it just feels wrong on all levels. The lemon does not work either. It does not mesh with the wheat ale base that its flavoring. The bottle that I picked up said that it was best before October, and right now its January 1st, so I'm going to say that its a possibility that the bottle is quite past prime. Still, I give this beer a 2\5 for flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very prickly and acidic. It is to such a degree that I have to say, I can barley tell how the body feels. The spice also makes for some astringency. 1.5\5

Overall: I really did not like this beer at all, and it looks like I've run into my first true failure in this series. Still, I do have that feeling that the bottle may be too old. It is a possibility. Over time the lemon peel and spice can serriouly degrade the beer, but still, It seemed like a bad idea from the start. An American wheat ale should not be spiced and flavored like a wit...if this was instead a hoppy flavored (not bittered) wheat ale I feel like it could had worked. The beer itself looks great, its just a fact that it went very downhill very quickly. 2\5, and FYI I poured this one down the drain.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 07:48:11 | More by jucifer1818
Photo of tfin07


3.4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is a good beer for anybody who like a good fruity flavor in my oppinion. I tried one night with a buddy just to try something new. Has a strong taste of lemon and other fruity flavors. However don't be fulled. After about one or two of these the flavor gets old fast! Not something I could drink every day even during the summer.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2013 19:14:06 | More by tfin07
Photo of far333


3.05/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Slightly hazed yellow orange color with a white thin head that settles quickly and leaves a foamy ring around the top of the beer. Aroma of corn and butter. Subtle flavor of biscuity malt, Ron and butter notes, faint offsetting bitterness. Full mouthfeel. Overall an okay beer. Not overly flavorful, but not offensive, and I'm not much of a fan of pale wheats.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2013 00:41:19 | More by far333
Photo of tectactoe


3.15/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2013 21:23:22 | More by tectactoe
Photo of dpodratsky3

North Carolina

3.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. I previously reviewed this beer in 2010 and this review is remarkably close.

A: Not much of a head, settles clear, beer is bright gold with hints of orange

S: Has a general "crisp" aroma, a definite malt sweetness and a slight twang that could be from the wheat/yeast, mild but not bad at all

T: Not that good, slightly sweet, but that twang is a weird herbally astringent kind of flavor, all that grains of paradise they advertise is definitely there, it has a spiciness to it, but its not that pleasant all together, can taste a hint of lemon zest, not that easy to drink

M: Thin, not light because of carbonation, just thin

O: Blah, nothing going on here. This isn't a bad beer, but it is just so disappointingly average. The flavors could be good, but they aren't good together.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2013 02:53:00 | More by dpodratsky3
Photo of MDDMD


3.43/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A-a light orange amber color with a nice white head and some lacing

S-wheat, malt, spice, lemon

T- malt,lemon, slight pepper, wheat, spice. Mild bitter finish

F-light to medium body with moderate carbonation. Crisp

O-an a average wheat ale. Nothing stands out, but easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2013 18:22:00 | More by MDDMD
Photo of arizcards


3.49/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a mixed summer case picked up at Costco at the end of June for $22.99. Best by September,

Beer poured a cloudy yellow orange with a smallish white head that is leaving no lacing.

Nose is fresh lemon and wheat.

Taste is lemongrass wheat with a hint of pepper.

Mouthfeel is light and refreshing.

Overall i like this brew, a perfect fit for summer. Just got back from running around and spending time in the 100 degree afternoon heat and this brew is refreshingly good.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2013 00:59:03 | More by arizcards
Photo of LoveMyBeer1991


3.6/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- A dark golden yellow color. Not transparent. Not much head/lacing.

Sm- Lemon, little pepper, and some hops.

Taste- Mostly lemon with pepper. Slight bitterness aftertaste. Not bad.

M- Average carbonation. Little watery.

O- Decent beer. Would get a six pack of this. Great for the hot days of summer.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 19:07:36 | More by LoveMyBeer1991
Photo of lwillitz


3.39/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz body into large weizen glass

A - 4-finger off-white foamy head over a cloudy golden body with tons of visible carbonation

S - wheat, lemon, peppery spice

T - wheat, lemon, pepper, vague fruitiness (cherry?), touch of hops, bittersweet finish

M - slick medium body, high carbonation

O - On the thick side for a summer brew; not a bad wheat ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2013 20:20:55 | More by lwillitz
Photo of Brew_42


2.89/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I think this is a decent summer beer.

A-Cloudy yellow

S- Primarily fruity with a bit of spice

T-In line with the smell, a lot of citrus and some coriander/clove

MF-Smooth and slightly carbonated

O-As far as Sam Adams beers go I think it was decent. Fairly flavorful and refreshing summer brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2013 07:10:45 | More by Brew_42
Photo of mooseo


2.89/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into Sam Adams pint glass.

A - Murky yellow amber with a small bubbly white head.

S - Faint lemon juice, stale animal crackers, wheat, citrus. Not very appealing.

T - Citrus hops and lemon mix with a sweet toasted malt backbone. Finishes fairly sweet with lots of graininess and slight herbal spice.

M - Smooth, light bodied. Crisp, high carbonation.

O - A bit too sweet overall, this beer isn't terrible, but it just isn't very good. While it's drinkable, the flavors are a bit muted and not very balanced. Definitely enjoyable on a hot day but otherwise a beer I would pass on.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2013 02:38:15 | More by mooseo
Photo of kireinekokun

New Jersey

2.53/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

I am just now trying this beer for the second time and decided to sit down with a glass and write a bit about it. I am primarily a Single Malt Scotch drinker and I am a fan of fine tobacco. Just for a little background on my taste buds. I tried this beer both times in a bottle.

Appearance: A yellow, color, very pale. Golden honey pale yellow. The bottle itself is too off bright for my taste. However the color of the beer in a clear glass is very nice. It looks like a decent beer. 3.5

Smell: Heavy wheat smell on the nose, which is what I was looking/hoping for. Wheat, lemon, barley and a touch of something unpleasant. I can not name that something unpleasant but it was not strong enough to throw off the smell that much. The overall lemon citrus wheat smell was fine. 3.5

Taste: I am not going to bash the taste completely because the initial hit was almost pleasant. Just after taking a small mouthful that goes down hill. The lemon is too strong. Another reviewer mentioned the taste of lemon cleaner and I would have to agree. It is heavy in the mouth which would be nice if it carried more flavor other than lemon. Overall not a pleasant or desired taste. 2

Mouthfeel: Heavy, fizzy and smooth. However that all end quickly and like the flavor leaves a lot wanting. There is a bland fuzz at the end that loses all the body of the beer and makes the lemon after taste stronger. 2

Overall: They tried to make a decent summer product and in my opinion failed. 2.75

I am a fan of many Samuel Adams beers just not this one.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 08:55:11 | More by kireinekokun
Photo of DavidS88


3.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Yet another solid summer offering from Samuel Adams with their summer ale. Poured into a goblet, Summer Ale is a hazy golden-rod color with a white head of about a finger that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing on the glass. The smell has hints of lemon with a bit of citrusy hops with a little bit of wheat as well. The taste is pretty much the same with light citrus notes from the lemon peel and the hops complimented by slight spiciness at the end. It's pretty carbonated, but still crisp and refreshing. Like the rest of the Samuel Adams summer pack, their summer ale is neither terrible nor mind-blowing, but is still a solid all around beer that's perfect for a warm summer evening.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 02:25:09 | More by DavidS88
Photo of hreb


3.43/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Cold 12oz bottle best before November. Pours yellow and quite hazy and produces a significant white head. Yeasty aroma suggests lemon and cut grass. Taste wise the bottled Summer Ale always feels muted in comparison to Sam's summer seasonal served on draught. Vaguely wheaty grain flavor, which is to say not particularly malty. More spicy than hoppy, and kind of a flat, neutral mouthfeel which is neither creamy nor crisp.

On tap this beer is a summer favorite. Not a great wheat beer, but at least tasty, refreshing, and interesting. Bottled it's merely drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 21:51:27 | More by hreb
Photo of kismet


2.29/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

not very impressed with this offering. beer was flat tasting and rather boring. it had a taste not unlike lemon furniture cleaner that would simply not leave my tastebuds even after the swallow was over. i totally chilled the next one i drank for 20 min in the freezer and the enjoyment level went up considerably...the off lemon taste was basically nonexistent and it tasted like a bland wheat beer. very mundane brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2013 02:51:27 | More by kismet
Photo of json83


3.11/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Calories per bottle 159. ABV 5.3%. The Lemon taste compliments the Summer Theme. I am not a fan of this summer seasonal combination. The taste and smell are average and the aftertaste is about standard, maybe a notch below. I would recommend a try but I would not place this above average on my taste pallet.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2013 20:47:30 | More by json83
Photo of scotorum


2.79/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 oz. bottle pour into a tulip glass.

a: Translucent gold. head dissipated quickly to patchy white surface foam and a moderate white foam ring, slight lacing.

s: Barest hint of fruit.

t: Sweet and mixed fruitlike, with moderate hop bite. Not crazy about the flavor, which seems like some sort of composite of two or more fruit flavors which is worse than each of its components, and reminds me somewhat of the juice in a fruit cocktail.

m: Moderate, smooth enough but that indeterminant fruitiness is cloying.

o: The best that can be said about Sam Summer is that it's better than their Porch Rocker. Disappointing since Sam is the powerhouse brewery in my region, and I do like their Vienna Lager. I would take almost any pilsener or pale ale over this.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2013 06:07:07 | More by scotorum
Photo of Jeffreysan


3.08/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, poured into a Samuel Adams pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, golden, hazy straw color with a full finger of white head that lasted for a short while, before dissipating into a very thin covering of foam to virtually cover the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Almost no nose, what-so-ever, just some very faint grassy and citrus notes. Very disappointed in the nose of this beer.

Taste: Mild malt, but lots of floral and spice. There’s grass, clover, clove and honey, finished with some citrus notes. Orange or maybe lemon.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium, with good carbonation.

Overall: Samuel Adams Summer Ale is a decent beer, not great, but not bad. I enjoyed the flavors of the beer, but nothing knocked my socks off, or made me remember it after it was finished. It does its job of being refreshing on a hot summer day. According to the label, this ale is a wheat beer, but it doesn’t have any of the typical bubblegum, clove and banana flavors that most, if not all wheat beers have, which I guess would make this a poor example of a wheat beer, but because I don’t typically like wheat beers, specifically, because I don’t like those flavors, I found this beer to be, while not very memorable or exciting, drinkable. While I won’t go looking for this beer specifically, if offered it, I won’t turn up my nose at it.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2013 22:41:34 | More by Jeffreysan
Photo of Diane_Brew

Ontario (Canada)

1.95/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

A: Foggy. Giggle. Cookie. Almost got whipped. I can't believe how mad people here are getting. Orangey-coloured. Not very appealing. Liked it better in the bottle. Ugly bottle. Yellow is the worst colour but I kind of like the turquoise at the bottom.

S: Too beery. It went up my nose. I can taste the lemon peel and it's not a good smell.

T: Too bitter and bubbly. Like a bubbly with a flatness.

M: Very bubbly and almost painful. Do not swish around in your mouth. Gives out burps. It repeats.

Overall: Very very nasty.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2013 01:43:35 | More by Diane_Brew
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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 3,680 ratings.