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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.

4,250 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,250
Reviews: 1,532
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 29
Gots: 279 | 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: 4,250 | Reviews: 1,532 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of steanu


4.2/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-It's got a nice golden brown appearance to it.

S-It's got a nice lemony scent to it.

T-It's got a great Wheat Beer taste with a hint of Lemon.

M-It leaves a nice lemon peel aftertaste in it.

D- Great! It's got a happy even with fizz, it's not to much and not too little. With a Sam Adams it's always a happy medium.

It's a rather refreshing brew. I think the taste is about equal on tap and bottle. I think I will be buying this beer again pretty soon. It goes great with BBQ on a nice hot sunny day.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2009 19:56:36 | More by steanu
Photo of cjl1209

North Carolina

2.63/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

"Refreshing, crisp, and tangy, Summer Ale is brewed with wheat malt, lemon zest and Grains of Paradise, a mysterious brewing spice used by Renaissance brewers centuries ago. Summer Ale is an American wheat ale from one of America's original craft brewers. Cheers!"

Freshness notched at September 2009

A - Pours a light golden honey with a small white head.

S - Lemon, wheat, and spice (which I'm assuming is grains of paradise which I'm not too familiar with).

T - The grains of paradise (I guess) are instantly noticeable. Citrus, namely lemon peel comes out as well as a wheat/yeast flavor. The spice is always there along with an overt sweetness. Grains of paradise is completely dominate making for a very one sided brew.

M - Medium. Actually much heavier than expected for a summer brew.

D - If you like grains of paradise then this beer makes for an easy sipper but for me this odd spice is just too out there, thus preventing me from having more than one or two.

Final Thoughts: An interesting twist on the style but I expected something more from such a well respected brewery and what is supposedly their best selling of all seasonals

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2009 18:33:58 | More by cjl1209
Photo of atpben


3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Until I had the Brooklyn Summer Ale this was my favorite summer ale. I have had this on many occasions both on tap and bottle but most recently in a bottle. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a nice hazy golden color with a decent white head. Aroma of mostly citrus and some light pepper. Taste has more of lemon, orange, and some light spices. Some light acidity kicks in as well. It has a nice dry finish. Will definately try again.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2009 16:38:52 | More by atpben
Photo of Clydesdale

District of Columbia

3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a faintly hazy yellow-gold color. The off-white head bursts forth with extreme activity and sits tall. Frothy, chunky, and slightly creamy. Retention is good, lacing decent.

S: Grainy, with lemon zest notes. A bit yeasty and peppery as well.

T: Wheaty and somewhat grainy, with yeasty notes. Lemony hop presence adds little bitterness. Definitely spicy - grains of paradise, whatever they are, seem distinct and interesting, adding a peppery character.

M: Medium-light body. Carbonation is average. A bit creamy at first, before fading into a surprising dryness.

D: A solid, refreshing option from Sam Adams. I had this on tap last night and was pretty unimpressed, but this is somewhat more focused and coherent from the bottle. This would be nice to drink while grilling or sitting on the beach.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2009 23:18:49 | More by Clydesdale
Photo of CityBoy1986


4.03/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a weizen glass from a 12 oz. bottle. The freshness date is September 2009.

The pour is a hazy golden with a tall white head. Retention is decent, but lacing is minimal.

The nose is mostly lemon with some wheat and spice. The taste starts mostly with the lemon and spices but transitions into a mostly wheaty, bready one, but the other flavours never completely go away. A mild bitterness makes itself known.

Mouthfeel is heavier than expected, closer to medium-bodied than anything, with a high amount of carbonation. Drinkability is high; it keeps me wanting more.

This is a decent beer made for the summer. With temperatures close to ninety, it's a good fit for today. Though the lemon is part of the equation, it's not as overpowering as I expected it to be. Overall, a little bland, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again if there were few choices.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2009 00:18:20 | More by CityBoy1986
Photo of cnally


3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The last of my summer sampler. Boo.

Hazy yellow orange with poor head retention, which poured out slightly frothy and off white.

Yeasty, grainy aroma with sweet undercurrents. Citrus peel is very slight but noticable.

Very two faced: sweet and sour. The sour flavor is immediately there, with the old grain and yeast quality. The sweet is the latent flavor, pushing through and making a killer contibution.

Creamy and fizzy feel. Slightly watery, but full enough for it to be a really refreshing brew.

The beer is certainly refreshing, but the sour is a bit off putting all the way throught the beer. Good but not great.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2009 02:10:37 | More by cnally
Photo of jpaltan


3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy and muddy, quite opaque, can barely see my hand on the other side through glass. Head is big and pillowy with lacing all down the sides. Smell is grassy, and lemony, quite malty. The spices aren't really noticable in the nose. Taste is lemon at the end, then comes a floral spiciness. The spices they use do come through in the taste, but seem rather out of place. Overall, kind of a strange taste to this. Mouthfeel is kind of chewy, a good level of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2009 01:54:14 | More by jpaltan
Photo of Phelps


3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy pale yellow the color of pineapples. No head to speak of, just a very tiny ring of white bubbles.

Smells of apples, floral hops, some bready fruitiness I can't place. Maybe those are the grains of paradise?

In the taste, a heavy wheat flavor, with some subtle citrus and spicy notes. Very mild sweetness. Light body, no bitterness.

Summer Ale isn't fantastic by any means, but it is the taste of the season. What is it about wheat that's so good during Summer?

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2009 00:42:43 | More by Phelps
Photo of earthboundagain


3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From Notes:

P: 23 oz glass at B-Dubbs

A: A hazy orange brew with a big foamy head that is white.

S: Odd aroma some funky spice mixed with wheat and lemon.

T&M: Big wheat up front on a full bodied brew. The odd spice smell is now an odd spice taste that is thrown in with some citrus.

D: This beer makes me sad, very poor offering from a company that can do much better. This beer is an odd mix of flavors on a very heavy beer for a "Summer Brew".

Serving type: on-tap

05-13-2009 14:25:13 | More by earthboundagain
Photo of JohnL9013

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've only had a few summer beers at this point, but this is one of the better ones.

A: I've never been big on the appearance of summer beers. That is, the more the beer color approaches the color of my own uhhh... you know, the more nervous I get. Seriously, though, this is a bit more golden than your average summer beer, which is comforting.

S: There's hardly much of a smell at all... this isn't a crazy beer.

T: The taste is surprisingly complex for a summer beer. It's really not bad at all. It's really just exactly what you'd expect from a summer beer, but with more spices and flavor. Some are good, some could definitely be done without.

M: Really crisp and easy on the palate. You can afford to let this sit, and then once it's gone, it's gone.

D: Ridiculously drinkable, the aim of every summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2009 05:38:57 | More by JohnL9013
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.95/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Hazy yellow with visable carbonation rising to the surface. Bone white head recedes to a small film.

S. Grassy wheat and hay are the dominant scents of this beer. Bready. As it warms theres a smell I cannot describe.

T. Spicy up front, fading to some citrus and wheat backing. Hops are there to add to the other spices. A unique American Wheat.

M. Interesting mouthfeel also. Literally, spicy on the palate which lingers on the tip of the tongue. On the light side of medium bodied.

D. Good brew here. Drinkable, you bet. Not as easy drinking as some summer brews, but great for what it is.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2009 21:43:11 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of Tilley4


3.68/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a refreshing brew that was pretty good. I'm not the biggest fan of wheat beers but this one was pretty good.

Cloudy golden appearance and a zesty wheaty citrusy aroma... Smells very summer-like...

Wheat dominated with a slight citrusness and something else present (grains of paradise?).

Not a mindblowing experience, but nothing to turn down either. I had a couple before moving on...

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2009 19:30:05 | More by Tilley4
Photo of bowersdm


2.83/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

on tap at BW3s in Chillicothe. Presentation was a 23oz weizen glass

A - cloudy golden color with 1cm of white head. minimal lacing.

S - lemon, banana, clove, other spices, yeast, wheat, cereal?, and something funky going on. it's kind of like floor cleaner (think pine-sol...other than the obvious citrus smell.)

T - wheat, banana, clove, lemon, other spices. it's very tangy and the banana and spice flavor is over the top. they entirely dominated the tasting and were the sole reason why I only drank around 6oz of this beer.

M - crisp feel with loads of carbonation. has a hint of a grainy texture as it passes the tongue.

D - there was too much citrus fruit/spice flavor going on here for me to enjoy the wheat. i've had this from a bottle before and it seemed way more subdued so I'll probably stick to that.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2009 22:08:22 | More by bowersdm
Photo of mullenite


3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy yellowish orange with almost no head. There was a solid cap on the top of the glass that stuck around for a minute but not enough to call a head. There is some thick lacing down the side of the glass.

Smells primarily of wheat with just the slightest hint of lemon coming through but mostly just wheat. There is an off smell that kind of peaks it's nose out of burnt hair thta just kind of ruins it.

Thankfully the burnt hair smell does not follow through in the taste. The wheat again is the primary aspect with just a slight bit of lemon in the background. Not too complex, not too simple. Just right. Very refreshing after a 5 mile bike ride home from work and a hearty meal.

Mouthfeel is thick but not heavy with very sharp carbonation that stings the palette a little.

Easily drinkable, goes down nice and smooth just like a summer beer should.

Overall, not the best I've had like this. I much prefer North Coasts Blue Star but this is pretty good and easier to get fresh.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 13:37:21 | More by mullenite
Photo of MLasoski

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I prefer to drink this out of the bottle. For some reason, I didn't like the tap version of the Summer Ale. However, it wasn't horrible. It remains my top choice of on-tap beers at my local bar. It was served to me in a pint glass with no head. I could smell an aroma of fruit and mild hops. It is very drinkable, but as I said, I prefer to drink it from the bottle. It's one of the best wheat ales Sam Adams has to offer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2009 04:33:15 | More by MLasoski
Photo of Boozefox


1.53/5  rDev -54.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I really didn't care for this beer. It damn near became a sink-pour. It was like a weak, unflavorful, American macro lager-like hefeweizen without any of the good traits of real Hefes.

A: Looks like a hefe, almost, but it's a little light, a little thin, and filtered.

S: Smells kinda peppery. Almost like it has some wheat malt body. But then, it's all a bit thin on the nose.

T: Bad and boring, in that order. Unpleasant alcohol taste with an almost corn malt. Washed out by sour wheat and thin pepper and banana flavors. Almost like the Nega-Hefe.

M: Thin. Watery. Boring.

D: PleaseGodNo.

Gotten out of the Sam Adams Variety Pack.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2009 02:08:17 | More by Boozefox
Photo of bsp77


3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the Sam Adams Summer Pack.

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Flat Earth pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy, somewhat dark orange with decent head retention.

Smell: Lemon, wheat and some sweetness.

Taste: Lemon, wheat, pepper and spice. Slightly sour aftertaste.

Feel: Pretty full bodied for an American Wheat. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Very refreshing and crisp. The slightly sour aftertaste leaves me begging for more.

I believe this was the first wheat beer I enjoyed. I used to hate everything wheat other than this. Still holds up pretty well for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 19:15:37 | More by bsp77
Photo of rodney45

New York

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

A gold appearance. Smells a lot like lemon rinds.All at once Citrus, mixed with a slight hop character, and the tastes classic of a wheat. Decent drinkability, and decent mouthfeel. I generally cant appreciate wheat beers for their lackluster light uncompromising style. I want depth, not something to drink on the beach. This has as much depth as a kiddy pool.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2009 06:57:06 | More by rodney45
Photo of Gosox8787

New Hampshire

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

Served in a 25 oz. glass. Beer was a golden yellow color with a slight haze and a nice, white, one finger head. It was served with a lemon, that I removed immediately. Smell was crisp and fruity, with a nice hint of lemon. The taste followed suit with the smell. There was a nice spice from the grains of paradise. The lemon also shines through right away. The beer has a nice fruit sweetness, which is similiar to a Hefeweizen. Overall, the flavor is a tad watery. Mouthfeel is crisp and light bodied. Drinkability is high because the ABV is reasonable and the flavor is not overpowering.

Overall, a sessionable summer beer with sone nice flavors. However, it is a bit generic as there is nothing particularly unique about this beer. A good option either as a light summer beer or a gateway beer for macro drinkers.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2009 17:05:01 | More by Gosox8787
Photo of Duhast500

Rhode Island

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams Summer Ale nonic glass.

The color is a clear orange/gold with a nice finger or two of foamy white head with little or no lacing.

The smell is fruity with some earthy hop aroma mixed with a little melon, wheat and apple skin in the nose.

The taste is wheaty with some fruit flavor coming out, some orange peel, lemon, and some dry apple flavor with a spicy malty hint in the back gives me something to think about. A slight bitter aftertaste with a earthy bitterness completes the flavor profile of this beer.

The feel of this beer is light. The flavors bring about the feeling of summer. It is a really good beer for the summer and would go well with some nice baribcue chicken and hot dogs.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 04:14:39 | More by Duhast500
Photo of shanecb


3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Light golden yellow color. Slightly opaque, though not as much as other wheat beers. Head is bright white, dissipating after a few minutes.

S - Not very powerful. Spicy aroma, coming likely from the grains of paradise. Picked up a mellow butterscotch flavor as it warmed in the glass. Overall, the smell is pleasant, but not strong at all. No banana smell like most wheat beers.

T - Not very powerful or strong. The lemon flavor is there in the beginning, but leads off to a slightly spicy flavor. As the beer warmed up, I was able to pick up the slight butterscotch flavor near the beginning that I got in the aroma. One of the least wheaty wheat beers I've had.

M - The effervescence tingles the back of the throat, but otherwise the beer is rather smooth. Not a very full feeling, slightly thin, but enjoyable.

D - Very drinkable. Could easily drink a few of these with no problem. Would be very refreshing during the summer.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 01:45:13 | More by shanecb
Photo of tigg924


3.95/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: cloudy, orange-yellow, medium head and carbonation

Smell: lemons and wheat

Taste: lemons, wheat, small hops, small malt, some peppery taste as well

Mouthfeel: smooth, sweet, medium body

Drinkability: I had this on tap last night at the 99 because there were not many alternatives. Maybe it is new recipe but I liked this a lot more than I remembered liking it before. I have not had one in a couple of years. It seemed fresh and tasty. I could session these based off of last night's draft experience.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2009 13:32:42 | More by tigg924
Photo of joshuadlight


3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After drinking this and having the spring ale back a few months ago, I guess I'm not a huge fan of Sam Adams wheat beers.
This is a golden beer without alot going on as far as head is concerned. Smells of sweet bread. The taste is better than the Spring Ale though with the citrus and spiciness. Very drinkable and it has a nice mouthfeel for a summer beer, plenty of carbonation. Its ok.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2009 02:29:10 | More by joshuadlight
Photo of cvfish


3.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - This beer poured a dull amber color that produced a foamy white head which faded away quickly and left no lacing on the glass

S - The aromas produced by this beer was dominated by grains, but a little lemon did happen to slip by

T - The taste of this beer had a big grainy wheat flavor followed by some lemons and a spice that reminds me of a subtle peppercorn

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a light body followed by a moderate amount of carbonation

D - This was a very good beer, the addition of the spice did make this quite as refreshing as Summer Ale should be in my opinion, but it was still good

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 20:44:35 | More by cvfish
Photo of ChugsMugs


3.45/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Drank out of a bottle so didn't get a nice look at the colors.

S- A very zesty lemon like aroma. Also had a strong wheat smell. Citrusy and enticing.

T- Tasted alot like it smelled which was nice. Good wheat flavor and good citrus summer taste. A hint of lemon or orange. However did have an almost chalky like taste left in the mouth.

M- Most impressive part of the beer as far as I am concerned. Very smooth onto tounge, with a nice carbonation level that doesn't turn it into complete foam when swished around, but also enough to not seem flat or dull. Swallows very easy and smooth dispite the chalk tasting residue leftover.

D- One or two would be alright. Whatever that taste/feel I am calling chalky is leaves me feeling that it is not up to par with other summer beers. However I have heard it is better on tap so I will give it another chance.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 17:41:27 | More by ChugsMugs
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,250 ratings.