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

1,640 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: 1,640 | Ratings: 5,351
Photo of lastmango
3.05/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured a light hazy golden color. One finger white head that dissipated quickly. Aroma was mostly faint lemon and pepper. Taste is the same, emphasis on light, with a hint of hops on the end. The beer is light and crisp with moderate carbonation. Overall, The beer is drinkable but unremarkable.

 299 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Has some golden colors with plenty of haze running through it. 1/2" white head. Lemon like aroma.

Again, lemon stressed in the flavor, light amount of wheat in the mouthfeel. Definitely is geared to summertime. Lots of carbonation.

Its fine, just fine.

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Photo of CalebBedford
3.26/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into a Sam Adams "perfect pint" glass. Nice, golden color. Medium head on pour, sticks to side of glass as it goes down. Slight hint of a citrus smell in the nose. First few sips, not much going on. Halfway through the glass, slight hint of the lemon peel comes into play. A little bitter. Not a big fan of this one, personally, although I could see it being more enjoyable on a hot day.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This pours a hazy dark yellow / orange color with a fairly thin white head that quickly dissipates. The scent is fairly neutral with only a faint wheat hint. The primary taste is wheat, but citrus, grains of paradise, and hop bitterness is also present. In particular the hops linger a bit in the aftertaste. The finish is a little bit dry, but not overly so. The body is medium. I think that this is a pretty nice addition to the Summer Variety Pack. It isn’t the most refreshing summer beer I have ever had and it isn’t anything super complex or revolutionary, but it definitely has a nice flavor and I actually appreciate that it is a little bit bolder than the standard summer fare from Sam Adams.

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Photo of Beerwithoutallthehops
3.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

While I do not like hops much, if at all, I understand they are necessary for beer. With that, I find it typical American thinking that if a little hops is good - tons of hops MUST be "better". And, so, we have the American craft beer scene. Too many with too much hops. Malt anyone???? FORBIDDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ask Budweiser, they have dropped grains altogether and use rice. It makes a wonderfully NOTHING beer taste. At least, they think, people buy it. No, not so much any more...........

With all of that, I have been trying more beers that have a lot of hops, just to expand my taste spectrum. Perhaps, I have been too "intolerant" and am a "hater" of hops. It couldnt be that I just prefer malts??? Nope, I am a "hater". A nod to the goofy, liberal, political, moronic thinking that captivates our local, state and fed govts.

So, I tried this Sam Adams ale. Why? Because Adams is known for their light editions of most beers. Like Bud, they appear to believe that making a beer that tastes like a beer is "bad". They prefer to water it down so that any taste is gone. I figured, I may as well try a watered down version, rather than a HOPFEST of a beer that floors me with its bitterness.

This beer had a decent aroma. Its color was beer-like. Its taste was like lemon furniture polish. Sorry, that is a bit strong, but the subtle- yet distinct- lemon taste reminded me, CLEARLY, of what polish smells like. Other than that? It wasnt too bad. I forgot it is a wheat ale. It tastes almost like nothing. I usually do not like wheat, but this one tasted like nothing. No real wheat aroma, taste or aftertaste. Tip your hat to BUD, Samuel, you have arrived at the "do not offend customers with taste" zone. Bland, tasteless and water like - that is the goal???

I will not buy this again.

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Photo of theBubba
2.24/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Looks nice on the pour. Light golden color with somewhat of a head that, like most craft beers that have gone "big beer," quickly disappears. (Why do you suppose that is?) Taste? A little tart which is fine for a supposedly refreshing summer beer, but sadly there is a bitterness I attribute to brewing with the lemon rind (the white part) and not the zest which takes more work and costs more, and of course the choice and quantity of hops. A summer beer should be clean and refreshing. No bitterness please.

 510 characters

Photo of Lewnanny
3.79/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A real nice fruity tasting beer. This beer is nice to drink on every occasion. It is very refreshing and taste real nice. The 5.3% make it just strong enough so that you feel this one even with it's sweet taste.

Would recommend this one to any one that want to have a nice beer.

 283 characters

Photo of AlfaMale
3.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is a great beer to drink ice cold while watching the ballgame. It's smooth and flavorful without being over the top and just a hint of sweetness. The African spice adds an interesting note. Probably great for your less sophisticated beer drinking friends looking to advance beyond a Bud Light.

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Photo of Pantalones
3.54/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Second bottle from the variety pack. "Best before" month listed is September, no bottling date as far as I can see.

Pours a light golden color, color is a bit darker and slightly hazy once in the glass. Clear enough that I can see the bubbles rising, though, and there are a lot of them. A decent little head of white foam on top at first, with audible fizziness, but this quickly fades away to a very thin coating on top which has already started to vanish entirely, with just a ring around the edges of the glass and a little crescent-moon-shaped thin layer on top remaining. After a few sips only the ring remains. Bubble activity seems to have slowed its pace a bit at this point, too.

Smell is primarily wheaty more than anything else. A slight hint of sweetness in the background. Wheaty malt and a bit of yeast in there, it seems; nothing else really stands out smell-wise. Actually is reminding me quite a bit of the smell of wheat bread now that I think about it, which is making me hungry. After a few sips I'm also picking up a very slight pepperiness in the background. Guess I'll have to bump this score up just a bit from what I had originally planned.

Taste is similar to the smell -- definitely a wheat beer. Yeast is more present in the taste than the smell, lending an almost banana-like taste reminiscent of a very mild hefeweizen or some Belgian styles. Bit of a dry wheaty thing on the end, maybe a faint little hint of spice in there too. Around the halfway point that slight peppery spice becomes a bit more prominent, though it's still the wheat and yeast that are the most noticeable flavors for me. That spiciness does continue to build up more and more toward the end, which adds a bit of depth to the beer. I was honestly expecting the lemon to be more noticeable, given how much yellow is on the packaging and how lemon zest is mentioned in every description of the beer, but I can't really pick it out at all most of the time -- maybe just a tiny bit, but it gets lost in the wheat and yeast flavors and blends in so thoroughly it's hard to pinpoint.

Feel is pretty nice -- it's not super light or watery, actually feels fairly substantial; wheat beers seem to have that quality to them I've noticed. It is a bit bubbly, stopping just short of prickly. Mostly dry, doesn't linger around for long once you finish taking a drink, and it's definitely a very drinkable beer -- good for taking big gulps but also not so light that smaller sips feel weird.

Overall, while not anything really spectacular this is a decent little beer, and certainly works well as a tasty refreshing lighter drink on a hot summer day (which makes sense seeing how it's their summer seasonal beer that comes back year after year.) Comparing to the only other Sam Adams wheat beer I've had -- Coldsnap, the spring seasonal for this year -- this is definitely the better of the two. I'm actually kinda wishing I had another bottle now -- guess it may have grown on me a bit since the first one!

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Photo of BlakeA85
3/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy yellow gold.
Smells of wheat and a light touch of lemon.
Taste is bland, starts with a light lemon to nothing but wheat malt. Just really boring.
Mouthfeel is more thicker medium bodied.
Overall, A really really boring brew that I found pretty disappointing.

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Photo of Guppy314
3.37/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours golden and a bit cloudy. The wheat aroma is prominent and that comes through in the flavors. There is also a hint of lemon. Really crisp feel. A solid summertime beer.

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Photo of Rock_Glenn
2.8/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Smells of lemon and spice, with noticeable wheat. The spice is less pleasing to the tongue. The smoothness of the wheat only exasperates the light feel. Too fruity to my tastes, and too heavy on odd spices to boot.

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Photo of txmilligan
4.19/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Smooth in taste, cloudy appearance, the Summer Ale is crisp and sublime. Little aftertaste, and consistent from first pull until the last swallow. Not as festive as a shandy, and lacks the summer connection it appeals to, but a fine beer, nonetheless.

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Photo of Squire123
3.64/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Bright yellow with white cap and above average lacing.

Aroma: Nice, pleasant, the spicy, lemony, citrusy stuff steps up and politely introduce themselves. Little detectable in the way of hops or malt but gold star for lovely appearance.

Taste: Follows the aroma, no surprises here, hey, it is a Summer Wheat Ale. Blends in well yet still stands out a bit in the crowd. Slightly rich without being sweet and more complex than the label would indicate. Lemon and spice and everything nice, a pleasant interlude.

Texture: Medium at least.

Overall: All light stepping spritely in her pretty Summer dress.

 626 characters

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.85/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

At the airport, from the tap, it pours a hazy amber with a small off-white head. Lemon is noticeable in the nose and the mouth notes the wheat and a bit of lemon. Decent.

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Photo of InfernoOrangeSS
5/5  rDev +48.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am sure I will catch some flak from the more elite beer drinkers, but this beer is my all time favorite summer time beer. It has an amazing summery taste and feel for me and I look for it every year. The hint of citrus is just right without being overpowering as some beers do. This is a great beer and the best summer beer I've tried. I graded it based on summer beers, not against every beer out there.

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

From a bottle so I couldn't get a true analysis of the look. Smell is somewhat average with a slight lemon smell. Taste is sharp with carbonation and an immediate presence of wheat, lemon zest and followed by a spicy note. Overall, a pleasant, enjoyable, yet decently spicy summer beer, but it doesn't pack a whole lot of flavor so that disappoints me some.

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Photo of mchegash
3.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

L: A very nice hazy orange, about a finger of off-white head. Lots of visible carbonation. This is actually a really fantastic looking beer.

S: Lemon, grains of paradise, and some wheat malts. Perhaps a little bit of funk.

T: Tastes pretty much like the smell. Subtle lemons and generic citrus notes and the grains of paradise balance out the standard pale wheat ale taste. Nothing amazing, but not terrible.

F: Medium bodied, medium amount of low intensity carbonation. Not as crisp as I would expect a summer beer to be.

O: Overall this is a decent beer. Not sure why it gets such moderate ratings.

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Photo of Czequershuus
3.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a pale gold with a medium sized head and huge amounts of carbonation. The aroma leads with a freshly baked white bread smell, as well as peppery and earthy hop notes. The flavor is light and crackery, with mild peppery spice and a bitter grain flavor towards the end. Mouthfeel is fizzy with a silky texture. Overall this is a nice beer, light and refreshign and does it well, but it does lack excitement of any kind.

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Photo of basaywhat
3.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Hazy dark straw color with a white head. Aromas of orange and a little citrus and spices. Taste of a little citrus zest flavor and spicy taste. Light mouth feel. Nice lacing in the glass.

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Photo of jasadewi
3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, slightly hazy orangish-yellow. Decent sized, soapy white head.
S: Moderately sweet smell, mostly wheat aromas
T: Decent amount of bluntly sweet wheat taste, with a slight hint of lemon. Nice pepperish and interesting notes strike the tongue, and linger a bit.
M: Light and refreshing. Heavy carbonation.
O: Fairly good beer. Nothing too special, however. The taste isn't robust enough to be special, but it is a decent pepperish wheat beer that should be good for summer.

 485 characters

Photo of JFCLACK
3.48/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Complex wheat, the Lemmon zest and pepper make for almost salty finish. It's like eating hotsauce you got to have more and more, I haven't been SA fan but they keep trying... Props!

 184 characters

Photo of Wer34truh
3.23/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy golden color, with a minuscule head. Moderate amount of visible carbonation.

Regarding the nose, the Belgian yeast hits you first , with some lemon and sweet malt in the background.

Taste is subtle, as you'd expect from both the style and Sam Adams. There is lemon, tartness, and quite a bit of disappointment. Mouthfeel is light, with low carbonation.

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Photo of MACrist
2.89/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

APPEARANCE: A hazy burnt amber with a finger of soapy, quickly fading head. Leaves some mild lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Honestly, first thing it reminds me is mildew. But, I do get some lemon/citrus, the spicy quality of the grains of paradise, and a cracker/breadlike quality.
TASTE: See tasting notes.
FEEL: Medium body, good carbonation level, dry all the way through.
OVERALL: Just not my thing. When the first thing I get is mildew, probably not going back for more. For a summer wheat ale, I'd go for something like an Oberon, everytime, over this.

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Photo of microbrewlover
2.96/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew pours a hazy/orange straw color with a fluffy off white head, some of which sticks around until the end, and light lacing.
The smell is full of wheat and peppery spice, coriander, damp hay and some bubble gum.
The taste follows the nose with sweet wheat, spices, such as coriander and grains of paradise and bubble gum. The finish is spicy and you can taste a small amount of hops in the finish.
Overall this is a decent wheat beer.

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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
77 out of 100 based on 1,640 ratings.