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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: 5,345
Photo of RobertDBrase
3.76/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours out a hazy golden color with a bone white head that was nice and soapy. A lot of streaming carbonation is visible through the haze.

Smells of fresh bread and citrus hit the nose up front. Some spice seems to be hiding in the background.

A bit of peppery lemon on the taste.

Mouth feel was like a wheat with that body that borders on medium but finishes fairly dry.

Overall I did not find a whole lot of complexity in this beer. What I did find was a cool refreshing wheat beer that fits well with the target, a summer ale. I really can see this fitting in with a hot summer evening on the patio sipping down several cold ones. Very nicely done. Prost!

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Photo of jreynaud1
3.93/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The flavor isn't too strong, which is an added bonus on a hot summer day. Very refreshing ale with a prominent taste of lemon and wheat. The smell is a nice lemony smell that you grow to love and look forward to the delicious ale you're about to drink. The somewhat heavy carbonation offsets the "light" flavor in a near harmonious way. Overall a wonderful wheat ale for blissful summer days.

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Photo of utopiajane
2.91/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Below average appearance because ti was dull. For a what beer I should have seen plenty of head and bubbles. It was soft and lackluster. hazy. Thin white head that fell off fast. Nose was all malt. Just some dry cracker left and really not much wheat . I got this in a mix six at wegmans and it's obviously old. The notch says august. No real lemon except the idea of tart lemon in the middle. No real hops in the flavor except I think they were herbal. The grains of paradise sruvived and so did some very soft flat wheat. What is tall breaddy and vibrant like gold in sunshine. This was dull. Finished lackluster and bland mostly malt a malt bomb it had become. really below average.

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Photo of AfricanPete14
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A very decent beer. Extremely refreshing and the taste of lemon was very prominent with a small taste of hops. with a large amount of carbonation. A light grain taste was also noticeable but honestly this mostly tasted like lemon.

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Photo of BostonBeanBoy
1.62/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

i kept thinking, this beer must be amazing cause they have draft lines for it all over, but then i found out they were just undercutting all the small breweries on prices to steal their lines. it makes the beer taste even worse than it is.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
2.75/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy dark straw color with dense storming activity. Slightly frothy white 2 finger head that last for 5 minutes, making some average leggings. Flavors of caramel, wheat, sweet grains, corn, citrus, noble spices. Slick medium body with excessive carbonation. Light and short finish, ending with a roasted malty feel and a thick sugary syrupy feel. Overall I find this one not very well craft from the lack of intensity and balanced flavors. Overly sweet and feels adjunct.

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Photo of VDJ104
2.93/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got to admit this was the first non macor I tasted. Even before boston lager or Blue Moon, and at the time I loved it. But I recently got again and was somewhat dissapointed. It reminded me of lemon flavors halls the lemon seemed stronger than I remember. Also the first time I had it I drank it out of the bottle . In the glass it has a weird look to it. Really thought I liked this beer now not so sure.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Has the color and opacity of honey. Medium-retention fine-bubbled cream-colored head. Moderate lacing. Smells like a lemon shandy (oh wait, it kind of is), but with wheat in the background. There is also a slight burn sensation to it. Alcohol? Grains of paradise? In any case, aroma is strong and enticing. Thankfully, it does not taste like a shandy. I was a bit worried there for a moment. It's hard to tell if there's a lot of lemon in this or only a little. It could be that the distinct wheat character along with the smooth mouthfeel are counteracting its effects. As for the grains of paradise...what? If you say so. I'm on my way to my spice cabinet right now to investigate. Oh...I thought that was just hops and/or lemon...okay then. I guess there is something different in the retro-olfaction. Could just be wheat or yeast though. And kind of a spicy (but not what I'd call flavorful) zing on the sides of the tongue. I don't know. Maybe I'm tasting the spices, maybe I'm not. Moving on. As I said, mouth feels smooth. Too watery, though with finer bubbles that only prickle for a split second with each gulp. Flattens in glass about twenty minutes in.

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Photo of harpo111
3.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Not a bad seasonal brew. Could have been a tad heavier. Goes well with food. Hold its head well. I wish the spices were more pronounced. Overtake not a bad beach beer.

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Photo of stlfatguy
3.35/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pale yellow, slight haze, white head. Smell was fairly light, but you can catch the lemon and also some sweet malt. Taste was not what I expected. Base tasted like sweet malt. Faint lemon- pepper taste at the end. Feel wasn't really crisp. Was ready for a light summer ale, but this one has more going on. I think it's growing on me.

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Photo of puck1225
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On draught at a steakhouse. Cloudy yellow with thin head and no lacing. Good floral smell. Light pleasant taste of lemon and grass. It went well with the steak and ribs.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.29/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass. The color is a hazy, golden yellow with thin milk-white head and lacing. Sadly, not much of a nose. The taste features lemon, bready yeast, malt, and some sweet spice. I didn't taste the advertised pepper. For a light ale, it has a nice mouthfeel and is well-carbonated. Overall, it is a decent summer ale. I'd like to try it on draught. While I wouldn't seek this one out, it was refreshing on a hot day.

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

Sampled from the bottle ice cold.Not new to reviewing.
Smell is very citrusy and wheat like. It smells pretty good for a ale.
Look was only in the bottle. its hazy. From what i could see in the bottle it retains a head, for most of the drink.
Taste is what i like the most about this one. Very sweat. You can taste the grains of paradise, if you are attuned to pepper flavors. hast a spicy zest through the sip. I Had this and blue moon Belgian white, they are about the same with one definitive difference. Blue Moon has no spicy kick to it, and has very little after taste. This lingers around with a citrus taste and ends with a bitter finish. Very complex little seasonal beer. Would have again. Would be my summer drink.

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Photo of Savan
3.27/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Has the Benchmark appearance of a summer ale. Semi-Hazy golden straw. The aroma of lemon zest is most apparent. Not liking the taste as much at their porch rocker. Has, however a excellent crisp finish. Over all, i do not like summer beer styles so much, when I do have one I NEED the beer to have a great smell that embodies summer, and a taste that is crisp, yet refreshing... sessionable. This was some of that, but not all of that. Would not be a go to beer, but I have had worst.

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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 rickzim1
4.12/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is definitely a great beer for summer. It has a light, slightly citrus taste. Head is insignificant, carbonation is vigorous and AVB is just right for summer activities.

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