1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
76
okay

4,636 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,636
Reviews: 1,543
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 32
Gots: 485 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Summer Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,636 | Reviews: 1,543 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BrewMaven
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly pale yellow with a decent white foam cap that dropped to a semi cover.

Smells of lemon with hints of yeast and honey in there.

Taste includes prominent lemon zing with a spicy then smooth mellow finish with the spice hanging around the back of my palate.

Medium bodied with a fairly mild case of the bubbles. A good summer brew that is easy drinking, mild on the brain and pretty refreshing.

BrewMaven, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of wspscott
3.73/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in Sam Adams glass
(best by Sept)

A: Pours a not quite crystal clear, light yellow/orange color. Nice 2-finger fluffy white head that leaves lots of lace.
S: Lemon and black pepper (grains of paradise?), no yeast, hops or malt character.
T: Definite lemon combined with some hop bitterness, the pepper is much more hidden than the nose would suggest. No real malt character, this could be all 2 row malts for all I know.
M: Lots of carbonation, some wheat "roundness", medium attenuation.
D: This is a good summer beer, as well as a good "beginner" beer. True to style, but not great. I would like a little more hop or yeast character. I would have no problem pulling one of these out of the cooler at a picnic, but I would not search one out.

wspscott, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of jt31914
3.93/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Piss pale yellow with two fingers of head.

S: Spicy and citrusy with some coriander/herbal aroma.

T: Wheat, citrus. Spiced taste with refreshing and good taste. Crisp taste with some lemon.

M/D: Pretty easy to drink, good beer; drinkable of course.

jt31914, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of smithza9
2.48/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I have never been a fan of summer beers. I bought a six pack for the weekend, but ended up just drinking Bud Light because i couldn't stand the overpowering lemon zest that is such a huge part of the beer. Of all the seasonal beers that Sam Adams makes that I have tried, this is by far the worst. I'll be sticking to the winter beers.

Cheers!

smithza9, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of andrenaline
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy golden colour, very thin layer of head which dissipates almost immediately leaving no real lacing.

S - Scents are rather light, but identifiable scents include wheat grass, sour lemon, pepper, cloves and nutmeg.

T - The bready malt comes through at first with the sour lemon following it. The grains of paradise add a very unique peppery and cloves finish.

M - Very light and bubbly. Very refreshing and goes down smooth... Almost too smooth!

D - Perfect summer drink! Nothing that will completely blown your mind with respect to flavour, but it does offer the unique flavours from the grains of paradise, and the lemon makes it incredibly refreshing. Easily sessionable and perfect for chillin' on your patio in the sun.

andrenaline, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of LittleDon
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden, slightly hazy with the typical ester-esque aroma found in wheat beers. No head. Hard to descrbe. Slightly grainy front, middle, and finish. Medium mouthfeel. Very light hopping with a crisp/citrusy middle. A passable version of a light summer beer. A good lawn mower beer, but not much more.

LittleDon, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of Arithmeticus
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yellow hue, clear close up but cloudy at a distance. Light lemony aroma with a decent head and strong carbonation. There is a clear second flavor above and beyond the classic wheat beer taste. If you can get through the idiosyncratic taste, you'll enjoy another.

Arithmeticus, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of aristeros
3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light straw color, very clear, heavily carbonated. Two fingers of fizzy white head; little retention and no lacing. Nose is acidic, some citrus in there, but a little wheat, too. A bit of hops.

Lighter wheat presence in a very light-bodied beer. Mild lemon alongside the malt, light hop bitterness and finishes on a citrus note. Very light in body, higher carbonation than I expected, but it works. Decent balance overall in this brew.

Good as a summer quencher, but not really interesting enough to be sessionable.

aristeros, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of Ghenna
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as part of a Sam Adams seasonal assortment, 24 12oz bottles

Hazy golden yellow pour with a nice 1.5 fingers of foam atop the beer. Smells slightly chalky, with hints of lemony citrus and a vague sweetness.

Tastes creamy/slightly chalky with an odd bit of spicing- thats really the best that I can describe it. MF is pretty average- the beer doesn't really stick around in your mouth- which I guess adds to the drinkability.

All told, this definitely isn't my favorite in the variety pack. It definitely sits above the light lager, though it just about ties their regular lager. It is ok for a summer beer, although I think that the chalky/creamy aspect to its taste really detracts from its draw as a refreshing beer of the summer.

Ghenna, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of goldbot
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy, straw yellow appearance with thin, fizzy white head. Plenty of carbonation and little to no lacing.

Grainy bread and wheat aromas with a hint of spicy and herbal hoppiness. A touch of lemon in there, but a very light aroma overall.

Bready, wheaty grain flavors like the aroma. A bit of caramel malt. Lemony citrus notes come through a bit more than the smell, along with a more general crisp fruitiness. Nice spice notes with a hint of herbal hops.

Light body and a crisp mouthfeel. Pretty nicely balanced beer -- just a bit sweet and just a bit bitter. I found this beer a bit disappointing, I remember past years being a little better than this one. Overall I would rate it less drinkable than many other summer seasonals I've tried this year.

goldbot, Jun 26, 2010
Photo of Kylito87
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally got around to getting another sampler pack. It was on sale so I couldn't go wrong. Heres we goes!

Appearance- Straw yellow with a puffy white head that falls into a slick on top. Nice lacing throughout.

Smell- Wheaty malt with a slight citrus and pepper note in the back. No real hop presence here which is fine for this style.

Taste- Very wheaty with a lemon zest note in the finish. You do pick up some pepper and spice notes which come out more as it warms.

Mouthfeel- Quite effervesent. Light bodied amd smooth. Very easy drinking which unfortunately is one of it's only strong points. Good on a hot summer day but not a whole lot that would draw me to this brew again.

Drinkability- It shines here. I could drink a few of these but only if I had no better options. This beer just doesn't do it for me. I know wheat ales aren't my favorite but I kind of thought this one would do something more.

Bottom line- Good not great. Nothing here that will draw me to drink this one anytime soon unless it is screaming hot and there is no other good choices. It is what it is but it is kind of disappointing for a seasonal. Good baby step or training wheel beer but nothing more. So all in all don't turn it down but if you have other options lean that way

Kylito87, Jun 26, 2010
Photo of Bfarr
3.45/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A hazy golden color with a big white foamy head. Herbal tea aroma and wheat. Crisp wheat and floral hop bittering with lemon and a spicy finish. Good even carbonation and refreshing finish.

I don't know if my tastes have changed or the beer has but I seem to remember the last time I tried this being more pleasantly surprised by the grains of paradise and other spices. This time around it seems very subdued and more lemony. Too bad.

Bfarr, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sam Adams sensory pint glass.

I wanted the Latitude 48, so I had to get the whole Summer Styles box. Oh well, I guess I'll suck it up and drink the extraneous bottles. Tee hee. This one pours a clear pale golden straw topped by a half-finger of white micro-foam. The nose comprises lemon zest and a very light bit o' wheat. Uncomplicated, yet still pretty nice. The taste holds quite a bit of cardamom, along with a bit o' coriander and some light grains. Too much spicy flavors, not enough of the grains. Something like that. The body is light, with with moderate carbonation and a crisp, refreshing finish. Overall, a decent lemonade-style brew, but nothing great.

TMoney2591, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of Baraka
3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: straw colored, cloudy with carbonation bubbles rising towards the top. Rather thin head that dissipates rather quickly. Not a bad looking beer on a hot summer day.

S: yeasty nose, hints of citrus fruit add a sweet smell

T: definite honey flavor, very wheaty, quite balanced, no bitterness. Mild and unoffensive flavors, although there is not really much complexity

M: medium with a solid amount of carbonation.

D: Very drinkable, especially on the aforementioned hot summer day, but not something I'm going to go out of my way to have again. This sort of beer isn't going to push any new ground, but it's a solid, well-made beer that definitely quenches your thirst.

Baraka, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of djeucalyptus
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean marigold hue with a thin bleached-white cap that disappears fairly quickly, leaving behind a thin ring to the bottom, with nary a hint of lace.

aroma is pleasant. citrus (lemon), a hint of pepper, a bit of floral spice, and a good bit of yeasty and wheaty doughiness.

taste is fairly mild but enjoyable. Nothing bad here. a good balance of citrus lemon zest, yeast - almost saison-esque, and a good bit of wheat.

mouth is surprisingly solid. ample carbonation give a surprisingly creamy yet sprightly zesty body. Clean on the tongue with just a bit of spice and spritz from the carb.

All in all, a fairly decent take on the style. I wouldn't turn it away if I was offered another. Not exactly worth seeking out, but definitely worth a try if the opportunity presents itself.

djeucalyptus, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of zimm421
3.73/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Appears a hazy, golden yellow color with a white head.

Smells of citrus, lots of lemon, as well as a small amount of light grains. The taste is full of lemon and spices as well as some malts in the background, not very sweet though. The aftertaste is full of the spices and they linger on the tongue for a while.

Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with an average amount of carbonation. This is very crisp and refreshing, and goes great after a hot day. Not a great or overly impressive beer, but a decent brew, especially on hot days.

zimm421, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of bagpiper2005
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

From the Sam Adams summer variety pack.

Pour: Bright yellow color with a little bit of haze and 1 finger of white head that dissipated fairly quickly into a small ring.

Smell: Lemon/citrus notes up front with a little bit of a sweet wheaty smell, and the grains of paradise are barely noticeable. Maybe a little bit of hops, but not much.

Taste: Lemon is present and hits first, but isn't as strong as in the smell. Gives way to a sugary-sweet wheat malt taste and finishes up with a spicy note from the grains of paradise. Very little hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Thin and a bit watery with a very high level of carbonation.

Drinkability: Despite the high carbonation it's extremely drinkable and not very filling. You could polish of the sixer no problem.

Final Notes: A nice refreshing brew on a hot day. Great for parties and backyard barbecues.

bagpiper2005, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of droomyster
3.68/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy bright yellow, like the sun piercing a fog. Has a nice white head that settles to collar. Aromas of wheat and lemon zest. Taste is big on the malts, light on the yeastiness, and balanced by a lemon bitterness. Finishes sweet. A very enjoyable summer brew.

droomyster, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of thatguy3579
3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy and yellow, with thin egg-shell colored head.

S: Sweet nut bready smell with some honey and lemon.

T: Up front there is the bready sweetness that fades to a mild lemon bite. Finish is honey with something curious and spicy - I'm guessing this is the grains of paradise.

M: Thin with lots of bubbles.

D: Enjoyable and flavorful. A little too sweet to really throw them back.

thatguy3579, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of t00sl0w
3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

kinda new to beers, but working through and finding what i like or dont like, so here is my look at samual adams summer ale.

A- pale yellow, or a "tarnished" gold

S- lemon, faint hops

T- little hop, faint lemon

M- light, smooth

D- easy, good for a gathering of friends.

overall, i like it. similar to a yuengling to be honest. i am fond of these lighter ales, so this is one that i will deffinately pick up again. i recommend for a sunny day.

t00sl0w, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of greengorilla
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at BW3s in a pilsner glass. It is a deep yellowish with a nice thick white head.

The smell is not impressive. It is kind of a graining macro lager scent.

The taste is better. It has a somewhat unique spiced taste with some definite lemon hints. It is just okay.

The mouthfeel is decent and it is drinkable. I didn't order a second one though.

greengorilla, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of stimulus
3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 24 oz glass on tap.

A: Pours a pale yellow with a foamy white 1 finger head.

S: Not much going on here, perhaps a faint citrus scent.

T: I can certainly tell that this is a wheat beer now, the light citrus flavors prevail more prominently here.

M: Perhaps a bit overcarbonated.

D: Drinkable enough for a hot summer day to cool off.

stimulus, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of thagr81us
3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into Samuel Smith imperial pint. Pours a hazy golden yellow with one finger white head that subsides to minimal. There was no apparent lacing present. The aroma was comprised of citrus and wheat. The flavor was of wheat with a lemon followthrough. It was light on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was not a bad brew, not great however. It was nicely drinkable as a lawnmower brew, but it needs more flavor and aroma to be great.

thagr81us, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of canucklehead
4.15/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer years ago when it available in BC liqour stores but the one I picked up in Oak Harbour was fresher and full of citrus notes than the ones I remember. Nice combination of a golden ale , wheat beer and saison in a sessionable 12 oz bottle. I wish we could get this in BC again as I would keep a sixer in the fridge for those hot day and warma nights to come

canucklehead, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of BranfordBound
3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pepe's Pizza in New Haven. (Amazing pies, BTW)

The beer looks similar to a cloudy adjuct lager. Straw colored with a bit of haziness. One finger head recedes fast to a covering, which is surprising considering this beer has the most carbonation coming out of it than I've seen in awhile. Some lacing which slowly falls back into the beer.

The smells are a little muted, it's really hard to pick up on stuff, there is a grainy smell in the back with a sweet lemon up front. Nothing really potent.

The taste is fairly similar, but there isn't a lot of lemon, like I expected. There is a slight sweetness in the aftertaste, but nothing that indicates lemon. There is also an interesting spice in the middle, similar to cloves but not quite, kind of like a pilsner.

The mouthfeel is clean, with a little bit clingy after the swallow. Refreshing carbonation.

Beer was fairly drinkable, but there are better Sam Adams brews for me. This beer didn't really seem too "summer-y or lemon-y" and I can think of better things to drink in the heat. However, it is better than adjucts and their partners like Shock Top and Blue Moon, and certainly better than other Sam Adams wheat beers.

BranfordBound, Jun 13, 2010
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,636 ratings.