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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.

4,484 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,484
Reviews: 1,540
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 32
Gots: 404 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,484 | Reviews: 1,540 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Nerudamann


3.45/5  rDev +3.6%

Smell - typical ale smell with a little bit of lemon.

Mouthfeel - medium, a little more on the creamy side than I would have expected.

Taste - a little more sour tasting due to the lemon prominence, and perhaps a little hopy.

Drinkability - it was a little too far on the creamy side for me, so I gave it just an average drinkability. Not a bad beer, but also not one I would likely go back for again.

06-13-2010 08:14:13 | More by Nerudamann
Photo of appenzeller


3.28/5  rDev -1.5%

Slightly cloudy and golden color, one fingered white head. Smell is predominantly lemon--lemon zest overwhelms anything it's paired with.

Taste is light, lemony, bright, well carbonated and finishes with a nice lemony bitter aftertaste.

Sam Adams hit it out of the park with their Noble Pils, their spring seasonal beer. This wheat, the summer seasonal, is just average, a decent beer for a summer picnic or whatever but Uncle Sam really should just distribute their Noble Pils over the summer, it's so superior to this brew.

06-13-2010 06:53:33 | More by appenzeller
Photo of Kwak

New Jersey

2.33/5  rDev -30%

a hazy yellow almost amber color nice head thick and fluffy stayed around for about half way

the smell was very lemon above everything else not much beer smell

the taste was heavy lemon no hint of hops a little bitterness in the end

felt more like a cocktail than a beer
High carbonation, but not at all refreshing.

06-13-2010 04:22:39 | More by Kwak
Photo of Socalz


2.65/5  rDev -20.4%

I was going to order a Sam Adams Lager at Olive Garden when my waitress mentioned that they had the Summer Ale on tap so I thought I'd try something new, being a huge fan of hefe's and wheat beers.

A. Beer was served in a 20 oz. pilsner-style glass. Nice golden yellow color, slightly hazy with a half inch of white foam which left moderate lacing.

S. Aroma of wheat with a touch of lemon zest.

T. Light wheat beer flavor with a hint of fruit followed by an odd aftertaste. What was that, mint? Had the wife taste to confirm the aftertaste. I drank 2/3rd's of my glass and didn't finish the rest.

M. Light smooth feel on the palate with what I thought was average carbonation for a wheat beer.

D. A good light summertime beer if you can get past the aftertaste.

I've decided to try this beer again in the future to rule out that my beer was somehow adulterated as I expected better from Samuel Adams.

06-13-2010 04:14:37 | More by Socalz
Photo of caddybuyer

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A-slightly veiled golden brew with an ample head that settles after a bit with moderate lacing.

S-Mostly malt, grasses, some grains, and a zesty citrus lemon undertone. Very light, but decent for a summer refresher.

T-Nose carries on to the palate. This is a very simple beer, great for the summer when simple should reign. Slighty wheaty and grainy with a bit of malt and some lemon zest. Thirst quenching.

M-light, decently balanced

D-This is a knock 'em back summer brew. Nothing amazing, nothing special, just a decent solid summer thirst quencher for a session by the pool. I'd be pretty bored after a few of these, but this may just be the ticket for a BBQ beer that might have widespread appeal.

06-13-2010 01:16:50 | More by caddybuyer
Photo of rarbring


3.05/5  rDev -8.4%

A clear yellow golden brew, a thick white head, some lacing.

The smell is very much lemon, zest and juice, plus a bit of lemon soda.

The taste is also very lemon infused, sour limes, peel and seeds. The latter giving a bitterness.

High carbonation, refreshing.

A little simpleminded in all the lemon character, partly reminding more of lemon soda than beer.

06-12-2010 20:10:17 | More by rarbring
Photo of kneeland

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Sam Adams knows what they're doing, but that doesn't give them an automatic A. The color was a nice summer ale yellow, with a noticeable citrus flavor. Overall, I described it somewhere between decent and okay. It was my first beer of the night, and I decided to try other things afterward.

06-12-2010 15:18:36 | More by kneeland
Photo of showell


3.58/5  rDev +7.5%

Poured a clear golden yellow with about a half inch white head. Smells like malt and lemon with a touch of hops. Tastes about the same. Lemon and malt and hops. Carbonation is about right. These are nice in the evening after a long. walk. Nothing spectacular, but a good solid beer.

06-12-2010 02:01:30 | More by showell
Photo of Pencible


3.63/5  rDev +9%

A: This poured a clear, light gold with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like lemon zest and earthy wheat, with some sour yeast and a bit of clove.
T: It tasted like lemon zest and fresh wheat, with some clove and earthy barley and sour yeast. It had a bitter aftertaste.
M: It was somewhat oily with lots of carbonation.
D: This was a decent light summer beer that was easy to drink, but not really recommended. The hops dominate but don't add the best flavor, and the body is too fizzy for my taste.

06-10-2010 15:17:21 | More by Pencible
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

3.08/5  rDev -7.5%

On tap at JFK.

Pours a cloudy sunshine yellow with a thin patchy white head. Nose is an ethanol burn with sour leaf and mulchy grain. Sour corn malts with lactic English hopping. Crisp, thin and round.

I'm not trusting an airport to serve a pint in good condition. Nevertheless, this one came out thin and sour, like a bad Summer Lightning, with no sign of the spice.

06-10-2010 12:56:11 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of Kanyon22


3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

Got a six pack for my wife cause this is like the only beer in the world she likes, but its been sitting in my fridge for over a week so I'm going to crack it open for a review.

A: Pale yellow slightly hazy lemonade color with a white tiny bubble head that quickly dissipated to a small ring around the top.

S: A muted lemony wheat smell with nothing else going on, oh wait really smelling the wheat in it as it warms up.

T: Starts out really smooth and easy going like a basic American wheat and then I'm hit with a lemon citric kick and finishes with a lemon peel bitter drying finish. As the beer warms the wheat malts start coming through more and more which is good cause its making this beer two dimensional instead of one.

M: Is what I would call having a medium mouthfeel with an abundant amount of carbonation. Maybe too full for style.

D: This is what this beer is made for drinking in abundance. Nothing stands out as great,but nothing stands out as bad either just beer you don't have to think about.

Sam Summer Ale is an easy drinking, no frills kinda beer that appeals to the masses. I find this beer to be really non offensive but at the same time there is nothing to keep me interest in it at all. With that said I'll be reaching for something else this summer.

06-10-2010 03:36:09 | More by Kanyon22
Photo of bigfnjoe


3.63/5  rDev +9%

Served on tap. Poured into a pilsner glass.

A- pours a cloudy shade of gold with a 2 finger white head. No lacing. About average.

S- weak smells of orange peel and lemon...good smells for this style, but they were very weak.

T- I'm getting mostly orange peel with hints of lemon and coriander. The orange is what stands out the most

M- its got a good feel, pretty light.

D- very drinkable for the summer months of the year. Not a whole lot can beat sitting on the deck BSing with the boys and having a 12 pack of this by your side. If you're just going to be alone though...meh

06-10-2010 01:15:22 | More by bigfnjoe
Photo of stakem


3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

Poured from a bottle with a brewery freshness month of August into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Summer Ale appears a light golden yellow color with a slight touch of haze and a thin white cap of head supported by constantly rising bubbles of carbonation. A spotty amount of lace clings to the glassware. The aroma is filled with a lemony scent on top of wheat and spices. Taste is pretty much dominated by wheat with an upfront flavor of lemon and a bit of spice and pepper on the backend. Light feel with a very lively amount of carbonation. Overall a pretty decent warm weather wheat beer. As it warms, there is a change in the flavor and the lemon flavor starts to get to me. The lemon character seems out of wack and doesn't really mesh well with the rest of the flavor of the beer. It's a good lawnmower beer to drink on a hot day but to sit down and enjoy it I am having a hard time getting through just one.

When I had this before, I distinctly remember the character of the grains of paradise being totally dominating in both the flavor and aroma. The lemon character was slim to none but it was there. I don't know if that was from a previous recipe or maybe that has to do with the freshness. Regardless it was an interesting example of the style.

06-09-2010 23:07:02 | More by stakem
Photo of leokbelo


3.73/5  rDev +12%

Pours golden and hazy with a one inch head that dissipates quickly. Citrus on the nose, lemony, refreshing smell. Crisp on the tongue, again lemon dominates, with a very light hop finish.
Overall an OK beer to be had, very drinkable, but there are better wheat ales / witbiers out there.

06-07-2010 23:16:07 | More by leokbelo
Photo of Stigs


3.58/5  rDev +7.5%

on tap, 16oz pour served in a standard pint glass

A - hazy, bright gold in color, small amount of tight forthy white foam which settled to a thin layer of film and ring.

S - very sweet with massive amounts of pale wheat malt. grainy with some slighlty tart lemon peel and a bit of spice.

T - flavors of wheat dominate with a solid amount of lemony fruitiness. second half is very grainy and slightly astringent. very sweet & dominating.

M - great mix of having character and being refreshing. medium bodied (for the style) and nice lively carbonation. finishes very clean.

D - all-in-all not bad, very refreshing. the lemon can be overwhelming after a bit especially with nothing besides wheaty sweetness to balance it.

06-07-2010 14:23:41 | More by Stigs
Photo of imwalle


3.88/5  rDev +16.5%

Had the beer on tap at a Buffalo Wild Wings. Poured a nice light golden brown with a one finger head. The color was what I expected.

The Aroma had a citrus note to it but it was not over powering.

The citrus/lemon comes out at the perfect balance for a summer beer. Once you get past the lemon taste the wheat comes out but yet again it is a light note of it so as to not over power your taste buds.

In the mouth it had a bit of a graining feeling to it.

Over all this is a very nice round summer beer to be enjoyed outdoors. Maybe even with a little grilling going on.

06-05-2010 23:18:39 | More by imwalle
Photo of speter

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -9.9%

A: Poured a hazy bright yellow with a one-finger head. High carbonation made the head stick around for the entire drink. Very nice lacing.

S: Very grainy and lemony.

T: Very malty up front with a blast of lemon in the center and a very bitter finish. The lemon bordered on cloying, but the temperature of the pour kept it in check.

M: The bitterness/pepperiness from the grains of paradise really coats the tongue. Even with the high carbonation from the wheat, the beer felt heavier than I would have expected.

D: There are some nice elements in there, but it doesn't come together as a drinkable whole for me. I enjoyed the one I had, but I couldn't see reaching for another.

06-05-2010 18:28:28 | More by speter
Photo of damndirtyape


2.83/5  rDev -15%

Single bottle (best by September 2010) poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance: Poured a 1/4" white head that died down to a 1/8" persistent head the whole way down the glass. Plenty of lacing noted. The beer is a hazy golden yellow (just a bit in the brown side of the spectrum). Lots of carbonation bubbling up - pretty to look at.

Smell: Grainy (wheat) with a slightly sour/astringent smell at the end. A bit unusual.

Taste: Grain taste is strong, followed by some lemon and an unusual bitter finish. None of the flavors are overpowering, but the combination is not as refreshing as I thought it would be. Definitely a better tasting beer when cold, but yet as I have it twice more I find as it warms up it gets worse with the bitterness becoming sour. If I wait until it's at room temp, then the sweetness of the malt finally comes through and counters this sourness a bit and then its manageable. The more I have it, the less I like it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with just the right amount of carbonation on the tongue and just the right amount of body. Does not linger in the mouth and on the teeth, but is not watery and does have enough body to be noticed.

Drinkability: I've had this before this year (about a month ago) and thought it was pretty good, so I also wonder if the flavor gets lost as it warms up and ages from its original brew date. Went okay with a burger and fries, but in the summer, with a beer that will warm up fast, I think the flavor should be more balanced through a wider temperature range. Sure you could chug it cold, but then what is there to enjoy taste wise. I can't see myself getting this again. After having it again from another batch (best by 11/2010) it's not getting any better and I think I like it even less - it does not age well.

06-03-2010 22:45:48 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of skenyon1811

New York

2.98/5  rDev -10.5%

12 oz Bottled poured into pint glass

A: Great appearance, this is what I picture when I think of a summer ale. Light and clear with a thick foamy head. Almost an inch of head.

S: Plain light beer smell with a sweet lemon/citrus scent to it. That added aroma really adds to it.

T: I was a little surprised when I tasted this. It has a sour/tangy taste to it with some hints of citrus. A little hop aftertaste. What I was most surprised with is the alcohol taste, it is much more prevalent than I expected, unfortunately I believe that works against it.

M: It is highly carbonated, however I feel this beer should be light than it is. It leaves a weird coating feel to my mouth afterwards.

D: This would be good for a hot summer day. However, if you have more than one expect to be super gassy.

This beer really built me up with its looks and smell, but could not really deliver on what counts.

06-03-2010 22:18:46 | More by skenyon1811
Photo of jeffjeff1


3.43/5  rDev +3%

This came in the Summer Styles Variety Pack that I got yesterday.

Appearance- yellow color, cloudy, thin head

Smell- lemon aroma, I liked the aroma.

Taste- lemon flavor, very nice, I love lemons.

Mouthfeel- light bodied

Drinkability- I really enjoyed it. I love lemons so I loved the lemony flavor. Great for a hot day.

06-03-2010 21:39:23 | More by jeffjeff1
Photo of dtivp


3.43/5  rDev +3%

Enjoyed on tap during dinner at the Kona Grille.

Hazy yellow in appearance with a small white head, no lacing.
Very faint lemon aroma.
Sharp lemon taste with a hint of wheat.
Light body with moderate carbonation.
Light beer good to drink on a hot night.

06-03-2010 01:47:08 | More by dtivp
Photo of SAtaMi


3.38/5  rDev +1.5%

Appearance - Nice tall 1/2" head. Very yellow in color

Smell - Lemony and crisp with a little hop to it.

Taste - Crisp with a tartness. A much lighter lemon flavor then the smell. Wheat under the citric flavor. With a malty exhale.

Mouthfeel - A little creamy yet crisp with a nice carbonation.

Drinkability - I like it compared to the other summer ales i have had. A good beer to bring to the lake.

06-02-2010 07:40:55 | More by SAtaMi
Photo of feelmefoam

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Had on-tap at Carrabba's the other night. Poured a nice light honey wheat color with plenty of lighter yellow highlights and some effervescent carbonation running up the glass into a finger of white head that didn't last too long, unfortunately. A good looking beer other than the head retention.

The smell was pretty average. Some sweet pale malts laced with a little graininess, maybe a little earthiness towards the finish. Not very robust, but not faint either. Just average.

Sam Adams Summer Ale tastes like summer. Or at least summer-ish. Like the nose, it started out as sweet and slightly grainy, a combination of the wheat and pale malts, I presume, and a little spiciness towards the middle of the beer as well. Everything finishes up with a light but still present hop character that is mainly grassy with a slight amount of citrus. Pretty tasty on the tongue, my only gripe was, like the aroma, it was a little weak in places.

The mouthfeel also reminded me of summer. A body a shade shy of medium coupled with a healthy amount of small, zesty carbonation bubbles made this a crisp, easy drinker with a slightly dry finish.

Overall, this wasn't a bad beer. I liked what the beer put on the table, I just wish it had a bit more 'oomph' behind it in certain spots. Still, another tasty one from Sam Adams. If I see it on tap again at local restaurants, I'll probably go for it again. Still beats the hell out of most things they offer on draft at big chain restaurants.

06-02-2010 04:32:47 | More by feelmefoam
Photo of rosmhuire

New York

3.43/5  rDev +3%

Had a few of these on tap at a dinner with friends...

A: Pale yellow coloring, decent-sized head

S: Not a lot on the nose. Getting a slight hint of lemon

T: Very light and refreshing, with a slight lemon flavoring-

M: Medium-bodied

D: This is definitely drinkable, and refreshing. I threw back 4 of these and did not feel weighted down at all. That being said, it did't particularly strike me as memorable. A good "safe" beer widely available on tap when you're out and want something light and inoffensive.

06-01-2010 22:00:35 | More by rosmhuire
Photo of charlzm


4/5  rDev +20.1%

Consumed May 31, 2010 from a Samuel Adams "perfect pint" glass at approx 40 degrees F.

Beer pours a clear light golden. Plentiful carbonation replenishes a fine white one-finger head that reduces to a sticky white skin in a few minutes.

Aroma is muted banana, mild cloves and a powdery touch of white pepper. Fleeting note of lemon.

Flavor is subdued wheat. Grassy and with nuances of aroma components. Slight trace of bitterness on finish.

Texture is nearly creamy and soft. Slightly dry.

A refreshing beer for a hot day, for sure. Doesn't bring anything new or exciting to the table, but then that's not the point, is it?

05-31-2010 20:35:30 | More by charlzm
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,484 ratings.