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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,172 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,172
Reviews: 1,532
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 25
Gots: 246 | 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:
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: 4,172 | Reviews: 1,532 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BucannonXC5


3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Color was golden and looked refreshing. Virtually no head with very slight lacing and a small amount of film on the sides of the glass.

Smells were lemon, wheat, grains and lemon peels. There was also some kind of a citrus smell, maybe some pine?

Initial taste was a combination of citrus pine and wheat, with each coming in at a pretty good balance. The second and aftertaste was lemon peels more than lemon.

Refreshing mouthfeel that was smooth throughout the beer. The taste of citrus pine/wheat to lemon peels/lemon basically was the same all the way through. Carbonation was moderate to high.

Not a bad beer. I had thought I didn’t like this that much, but it must have been their winter lager. Clean, crisp and refreshing, perfect for the summer.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 05:34:02 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of brobeerbot


2.95/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle best by Sept. Poured into duvel tulip.

First and foremost the best thing going for this beer is appearance. It pours a pretty golden pale color with a white fluffy two finger head. After that it goes to middle of the road. Now o love and respect Boston beer company and all they brew but I know that most offerings aren't going to be mind blowing but more often than not the deliver a beer that sets the bar for what styles should be better than and not worst than.

Anyways it smells of wheat and lemon and pretty much follows that on the Taste. Mouth is substantial with just enough body. Overall this is am easy drinker for hot days and nights and someone new to craft beer might be able to enjoy this simple summer ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 02:56:03 | More by brobeerbot
Photo of scratch69


3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a bottle into a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance- Golden color, good head but it didn't stay long with almost no lace

Smell- Faint citrusy aroma

Taste- Wheat beer with a moderate amount of spice and a hint of lemon

Mouthfeel- Smooth, good carbonation, and refreshing. Slightly dry finish

A nice drinkable beer. Very satisfying and a hot summer day.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 23:21:48 | More by scratch69
Photo of DoctorStrangiato

Alberta (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 355-ml bottle into a draught glass.

Appearance - bright, lively straw-coloured brew with plenty of carbonation and large white head.

Smell - fresh wheat malt and a decent helping of citrusy hop aromas.

Taste - nicely rounded flavour with a spicy hit of malt. Finish is a little flat with good bitters.

Mouthfeel - not really as active carbronation as it looked in the glass. Fairly even.

Drinkability - boy, these are thirst-quenching. Not too sweet so perfect to complement a summer afternoon or evening.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 02:23:22 | More by DoctorStrangiato
Photo of SebD

Ontario (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice cloudy golden/yellow colour to it. It has a nice white head that dies down moderatly and has some lacing.

Smell: The aromas give out hints of wheat, spices and lemon.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a sweet wheat/malt taste to it with lemony and spicy notes.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a pretty light feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with slightly bland flavours and aromas. A bit too lemony for my liking.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2011 23:15:54 | More by SebD
Photo of kylehay2004


3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy and golden with straw hues. Single finger head.

S: Lemony and sweet. Some bread/wheat.

T: More of the same from the smell except less lemon and citrus and more bread. Spice notes

M: Refreshing and smooth. Mild to moderate carbonation. Light bodied.

Overall: One of the better summer ales. If you rate this for overall appeal, it falls in line with many of the others out there but for a summer ale, it is one of the better ones.

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2011 01:32:45 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of Hopfenpeter


2.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yellow in color with little white head building, but dissipating very fast to nothing.
Hardly any smell, maybe lime.
The taste is very lemony and citrusy, with little faint hop and malt notes. Some grain, but mostly lemon throughout.
Interesting refreshing session beer, but nothing special.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2011 03:43:12 | More by Hopfenpeter
Photo of DrewSnyc667


3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap served in a shaker pint

A - Yellow cloudy body, small soapy head that doesn't stick around long, no lacing or activity

S - Light citrus and spice, rather bland though

T - Lemon and water body is pretty light with no hop bitterness, sweet sugary aftertaste

M - Somewhat refreshing, the lemony sweetness is a bit to sticky and heavy for me though

O - Avg at best, sometimes the only non BMC available, but nothing I would ever seek out

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2011 16:24:04 | More by DrewSnyc667
Photo of MadCat

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy orange-brown color, goodl white head, leaves some lacing

Smell: Light wheat, lemon, a little spice

Taste: A good wheat and barley malt sweetness, backed up with some decent lemon and spice. Mild, refreshing, and not overdone.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, good carbonation

Overall: Not a bad summer brew. Nice an refreshing, not too heavy. Very enjoyable, and nice part of the summer sampler.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2011 23:52:31 | More by MadCat
Photo of zeledonia


3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got delayed at Washington National Airport, and had this on-tap at the Sam Adams restaurant there.

Pours a medium golden yellow color. Poured to the top of the glass, so no idea on the head. Some lacing, nice ring of foam around the surface. Pretty standard.

Smell is almost non-existent. Maybe it's the temperature, maybe it's the glass (pint), but I don't pick up much. Bit of weak grassy hops.

Flavor is good - a balanced mix of pale malts and vegetable hops. I get a little bit of wheat, but not much. Finishes slightly bitter, but still well-balanced. There's nothing really remarkable about it, but everything pulls together very well, making it more than the sum of its parts.

Mouthfeel is very nice. Highly carbonated, but not too much, and it helps bring the flavors out. Light body, slides off the tongue. Finish is still tingly with carbonation, and dry.

Another solid offering from Boston Beer. Not amazing, but pretty tasty. Refreshing - a nice summer session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-04-2011 22:47:40 | More by zeledonia
Photo of bpw28

New Jersey

3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Look: Two finger white shaving cream head, slightly hazy light gold (about a 4 SRM), good lacing, a ton of carb.

Smell: Light banana, clove, not alot of wheat, slight woody/earthy, light lemon oil smell.

Taste: Wheat is much more pronunced now but still kinda light, lemon, spices (clove/coriander/ginger?/some other things), light banana, peppery. Mouthfeel feels good.

Final Thoughts: It's alright. Nothing special, but I suppose they cater to a pretty wide audience.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 20:05:20 | More by bpw28
Photo of fsvan


2.6/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into pint glass. Best buy dating of November. Seems far out for the summer ale, but it is what it is.

A- Very hazy, slight golden orange. Lots of white head that fades quickly.

S- Wheat, some spiciness, a bit of lemon.

T- Light wheat flavors up front. Some spice in the middle (is that the grains of paradise?) Finishes with lemon tartness. Sort of 'eh' overall.

M- Nice, light, easy drinking. Good for the style

O- I'm not a big fan. There are much better wheat ales, and much better summer seasonals that I prefer.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 23:47:00 | More by fsvan
Photo of Marty30


2.45/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought a sampler case,poured at fridge temp into a pint glass.

A. Good golden yellow body.About a 2 finger head thats forms a nice cap.Good carbonation.

S. Smells of grains,earth And a great deal of lemon zest freshly grated.

T. Up front you get the Lemon zest,I have to say it's a bit to much for me. But has a wheat back bone,it doesn't but try's to balence this.

M. Mouth is a little light but not bad.Pretty carbonated big lemon after taste.can't get it out.

My least favorate Sam Adams brew to date.Just to much lemon as I said many times. I know alot of people that enjoy this,It's just not for me.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2011 22:18:42 | More by Marty30
Photo of kjyost

Manitoba (Canada)

3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle BB May 2012, poured into a Duvel tulip

Orangey body that lacks cloudiness, but has a nice white head that drops quickly to a non-lacing ring. Notes of orange and lemon peel and spice (pepper?) are on the nose. The body follows up with much the same, and could be described as refreshing, hence the "summer" I suppose. The fruitiness tastes a little pithy to me though. A little viscous with a very heavy bite from the carbonation. Finishes cleanly. Nothing special, and not something I would seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2011 00:24:13 | More by kjyost
Photo of codfeast


2.93/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bottle to pint.

A: light gold in color, 1/4" off white head, bubbles raising from bottom of glass.

S: slight lemon, and spice, malt, and hops. smells a little like an Iced Tea.

T: Malt, and hops. Picking up the pepper as it warms, don't think that it compliments the beer at all.

M: smooth and creamy with a semi-dry finish.

O: not my cup of tea. actually thought that it tasted much better before it warmed and the spice kicked in.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 03:14:30 | More by codfeast
Photo of SiriusBock


3.25/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: clear, dark gold color, good head, not too much lacing

S: smelled with a hint of lemon, otherwise like any other Sam Adams wheat (to me, they really have their own scent)

T: took a while to get the lemon peel flavor, the grains of paradise gave a little spiciness to the brew, and the lemon was tasted more on the backend of the sip

M: went down smooth, like a summer beer should. Would have liked more of the lemon sensation in its sourness or bitterness. Was just a note.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 01:59:19 | More by SiriusBock
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a yellow gold with one finger of head that fades quickly. Nose is of lemon zest and straw from the wheat. Taste is lemon and wheat at first with a bitter finish. Mouthfeel is light and crisp; well carbonated and dry.

This has always been one of my favorite seasonals. It is sessionable and refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 22:43:10 | More by tdm168
Photo of jtstott


1.1/5  rDev -67%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Tasted like lemon dish soap in 2010. I had it on tap first thought I got a glass that was not rinsed well. Had it in a bottle recently after that, same disgusting taste.
I dared to take a sip this years batch and it still tastes like lemon dish soap!
Way to go Jim, keep putting out horrible beer!

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 19:21:52 | More by jtstott
Photo of weizenbob


4.3/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, best before August 2011. I poured the bottle into a weizen glass, swirling the last bit in the bottle before pouring for maximum yeastiness in the glass. The pour yields 3 fingers of fluffy tan head. Retention is moderate. Lacing is pretty much non-existent. Carbonation is active as seen through the glass. The brew is hazy and golden. It looks about perfectly to style.

The aroma is packed with wheat, wheat and more wheat. Crisp spicy grains jump into the nostrils and dominate this brew. In the background a nice yeasty character can be found. A sweet and light lemony essence is detectable. There is also a faint amount of alcohol that can be found in the nose. All in all, it smells nice.

As with the nose, the taste is dominantly grainy; though I must say that this is one of the most complex wheat beers I've consumed. Wheat is the alpha flavor and carries throughout the brew. Mellow citrus is tucked behind, adding a light sweetness. It is heavily hopped for a wheat beer, though the hoppiness is not a bit overbearing and remains well balanced with the other flavors of this unique wheat ale. The finish displays the pleasantly unexpected flavor of peppercorn. It's a little watery on the back end, but that is not noticed for long due to the nice bready aftertaste.

In the mouth, this beer feels a little light, especially considering the hazy look and complexity of flavor. It is undercarbonated for my taste, and a bit watery. I will say though that it is refreshing and easy drinking as a result.

As with nearly all of Samuel Adams' brews, Summer Ale is easily taken for granted. It is never one of the summer seasonals that I look forward to with great anticipation, yet I always end up drinking a bunch of it in the summer months. That may have as much to do with its relatively low price and high availability as anything else. But that should not take away from the fact that this is a very well brewed wheat ale, and one that I should look forward to each year.


The Two-Schlitz Scale: (reference my profile for an explanation)
I give two Schlitz about Samuel Adams Summer Ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2011 15:57:27 | More by weizenbob
Photo of bryehn

Ontario (Canada)

2.65/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Found at an LCBO in Ottawa, listed at 5.5% on the bottle. Poured into a weizen glass. BB date of May 2012

Pours a clear pencil yellow colour with a fairly large head that burns off within minutes without leaving much in the way of lacing. Lots of visible carbonation.

Smells of lemon zest at first, but that really gets muted after the head burns off. Fresh wheat and a familiar banana tone become more prevalent after that. A certain buttery soapiness pokes through as well, along with a peppery zing. Honey comes through after warming also.

Really falls short in the taste department. I get a metallic tinge and a faint fresh wheat taste first. Then an extremely tart lemon peel taste with a macro-style rotten corn adjunct tone.

Very light-bodied. A metallic bitterness on the tongue that goes tart. Leaves a rather gross, household cleaner sort of taste on the back of the tongue.

This could be the LCBO's fault, as the beer was bottled over 2 months ago and likely stored improperly along the way, but this is a huge letdown after trying the Noble Pils in the springtime. Will give it another shot if I see it on tap, but this one literally left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2011 18:22:10 | More by bryehn
Photo of BeerPhan86

New York

3.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy straw-gold with a one finger foamy white head. Good retention on the head and decent lacing, but not too sticky.

S - Citrus, lemon zest, and light wheat notes. Somewhat dry smelling and grassy, but not hoppy or malty. Has a bit of a funky "mothball" aroma that is somewhat offputting but not too strong.

T - Wheat and citrus for the most part, with a nice toasted bread taste in the finish. Oddly enough it reminds me of that classic Yuengling lager taste. The citrus could be kicked up a notch as could the hops, the brew is a bit bland.

M - Lightly bodied and lightly carbonated with a crisp mouthfeel.

O - Overall, not a bad summer beer for a hot day. Easily sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2011 01:35:41 | More by BeerPhan86
Photo of CraftBeerTastic


3/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ba Review #18
Served On: 7/20/2011
Glassware: 22 oz. Mug

Had this on tap at Grotto’s Pizza at Dewey Beach, DE - Read St. The other choices were all BMC beers. They didn’t even have Boston Lager, so I had to resort to this.

Look: A pale yellow with some haze. Thin coating of a head. Looked like a watered down wheat beer.

Smell: Some grassy citrus and bready malts. Also some lemon peel. No real ‘Grains of paradise’ were detectable. Maybe some type of pepper.

Taste: This basically was a wheat ale with some artificial lemon flavoring added. That’s really about it. I think a Blue Moon of Shock Top may have had more going on with it. I will say it is very drinkable, but so are most wheat ales.

I don’t know that I would seek this one out. It’s probably one of the most disappointing seasonals from Boston Beer Co. It was the best beer That Grotto’s had on tap at the time, so no regrets here.

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2011 00:24:11 | More by CraftBeerTastic
Photo of jgagne


3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Murky golden body with prominent white head.

S-Almost overpowering citrus smell with light hints of spices

T-When it first hits your mouth you get a good sour lemon and orange taste and goes down relatively easy.

M-Sits very light and medium carbonation

O-Not a bad interpretation of the style.Really nothing exciting or unique with this beer, but im not a real fan of this style i much prefer a Saison or a Pilsner for a good summer time drink.

Serving type: on-tap

07-19-2011 14:29:41 | More by jgagne
Photo of NilsFrisk


2.93/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is goodlooking pale, with a slight white head, it smells of malts, spices and citrus, pale malt and some christmasy spices hits the palate (wrong timing, or is it just me?)
It is definetly refreshing, and its spicy and sweet, gets a bit tiresome to drink but I guess I'd drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 23:07:52 | More by NilsFrisk
Photo of fostachild

Ontario (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

best before: may/12

pours a medium-dark yellow color. okay head, fades immediately that leaves a ring of lacing.

smell is nice - malty, orange peel, wheat/yeast.

malty taste, slight hops. orange peel again/citrus. good carbonation and drinkability, overall was pretty average.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 06:43:26 | More by fostachild
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,172 ratings.