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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

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4,787 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,787
Reviews: 1,556
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 38
Gots: 640 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-09-2001

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,787 | Reviews: 1,556 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MadCat
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.

Photo of zeledonia
3.69/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Photo of bpw28
3.11/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Photo of fsvan
2.66/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

Photo of Marty30
2.5/5  rDev -24.9%
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.

Photo of kjyost
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Photo of codfeast
2.96/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Photo of SiriusBock
3.23/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of tdm168
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.

Photo of jtstott
1.12/5  rDev -66.4%
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!

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.

Photo of bryehn
2.74/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

Photo of BeerPhan86
3.29/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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.

Photo of jgagne
3.33/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of NilsFrisk
2.98/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Photo of fostachild
3.37/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of BeerAmbassador
2.75/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer pours a slightly hazy yellow with a thin, quickly dissipating head. Aroma is slightly toasted, crackery grain, lemon and just a slightly spicy note, really slight. Lemon and grain on the front followed by a bit of spice (again, just a slight bit) and then a long persistent, bitter finish. Not really a pleasantly floral hop bitterness bit more of an acrid bitterness. Carbonation is a bit unrefined as well, I wanted something a little creamier given the style. Definitely not one of Boston Beer's finest, although I remain a fan of some of their other stuff.

Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
3.24/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, yellow-straw color with lots of carbonation and a 1/2 inch head that quickly dissipates to almost nothing. Very little cling as it goes down the glass. The bouquet is pleasing, comprised of sour yeast, wheat cracker, and lemon peel. Wheat cracker and lemon zest are present at first taste--fairly mellow in character--and these give way to what seems to be hop bitterness, spice, and much more pronounced bitterness from the lemon peel. It drinks like a Czech pilsener, but the lemon becomes more distracting than enjoyable after the first few sips. The light, effervescent mouthfeel is a bit on the watery side, but that seems to be in keeping with the approach.

I can't help but feel that this would be a much better beer without the inclusion of the lemon peel. As it is, I'm left with more of a lemon pledge sensation in my mouth than summer refreshment. Not a bad beer beer, but certainly not one of my favorite seasonal offerings from Sam Adams.

Photo of beagle75
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft service into a shaker pint glass at Hooks Pub in Clinton.

A: Slightly hazy, medium golden color with less than one finger of diminishing white foam head. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Mildly bready, lacking complexity save for a pithy lemon quality. Spices stay subdued, but so does yeast and its carbon dioxide breath.

T: Begins dry, with soft bready grain that is complemented by bright lemony acidity. Savory spice dominates in the middle, reminding of coriander seed. Flavors fade in intensity by the finish, with an herbaceous and mildly bitter end.

M: Thin viscosity, wet and refreshing on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This wheat beer takes a few plays from the Belgian book, incorporating the clean citrus and spice notes from the flavor adjuncts it features, while yeast stays politely out of the picture. Flavors are appropriate to the style and the seasonal theme, but may be constrained by the need to not offend.

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


Appearance - Mostly clear yellow with an average frothy/fizzy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 3 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell – Grains, lemons, light hops

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and most of the taste is made up of lemon juice and zest. There are also some grains and a very light amount of hop flavour. It finishes with a lemony grainy aftertaste.

Overall – A decent summer refresher. Probably not something I'd go out of my way to seek out again, but still decent.

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

12oz into pint glass

A: Good level of carbonation, with a hazy straw body and a slowly retreating white head.

S: The aroma is soft, with a hint of wheat malt and a grassy note.

T/m: The mouthfeel is clean and smooth, but the lack of flavors is in the fore front. No real pale qualities in this brew, a very one layered wheat character. Hops should play a good role, but lack as well.

O: overall not a very good addition to the style, bland notes of hay and grass, not one of the best from Sam Adams.

Photo of thegodfather2701
3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Honey, slightly hazy, with a bright, white head.

S-Malty, musty, hint of lemon and spice.

T-Citrus notes consisting of lemons and oranges, a nice wheat maltiness, and a semi-spicy finish. I love the wheat flavor.

M-Thick and chewy.

D-Very sessionable. It has a great wheat flavor and a nice abv. I could drink this all day while lounging on the beach or around the pool.

Overall, I really enjoy this beer. I highly recommend it.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep golden straw color with a smallish white head that quickly dissipates to a cap. Spicy aroma that smells of lemon, pepper, and sweet malts. Taste is sweet with honey like malts, lemon and pepper and that spicy wheat taste. Moderate level of carbonation, medium body, slick sweet mouthfeel. Nice Summer ale if not a bit boring. Not bad but nothing I would regularly seek out.

Photo of Treebs
3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz. bottle into goblet.

A: Pours a clear light straw with a solid off-white 1 finger head. Little lace patches down the glass.

S: Wheaty yeast with a citrus backbone. Perks up the nostrils with a little tartness.

T: The taste was was very much like the nose. The yeast wheat profile is there with a citrus nose turning into a solid lemon tartness. The spices are subtle and provide another platform of flavor.

M: Light bodied with nice carbonation. Palate leaves a little bit to be desired as nothing really stands pat after each sip.

O: There were some nice flavors, but nothing really stood out. It was a refreshing brew though.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,787 ratings.