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

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Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

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4,785 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,785
Reviews: 1,556
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 37
Gots: 638 | 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: 4,785 | Reviews: 1,556 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AdamBear
2.38/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-pale cloudy yellow with a thin white head

S-crisp wheat malts and lemons. very light smelling. smells like a Sam Adams.

T-comes in with tangy wheat malts. the lemons come in, but its not the good lemon flavor, its more the flavor of the sour lemon seeds...not exactly a sought after flavor. the flavors are light and oddly bitter. it takes awhile before the after-taste comes in. it is a decent spicy flavor but is unfortunately paired with the weird lemon taste. this is a pretty awful beer.

M-medium carbonation with a watery finish.

O-i like sour beers but this has a tangyness to it that makes this one difficult to drink in my opinion. i can see how this might be up some BA's alley, but not mine. this is one of the worst offering of the style that I've ever had.

Photo of russpowell
3.89/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent honey color with 2+ fingers of ivory colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Grassy & lemon zest up front
& coriander

T: Follows the nose,, you get grains of paradise also & white pepper, slight white grape juice up front. Grainy & lemony notes plus all the spiceyness mentioned earlier as this warms. Grains of paradise really show in the finish, very crisp & peppery

Medium bodied & crisp

Presented well for the style, very drinkable

Photo of birdman200
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark yellow, with a faint white head that dissipates fast. Smell is very wheaty, with a slight lemon/citrus smell. Very fruity hint at the end of the taste, with a wheat taste as well. Very crisp and refreshing. Very easy to drink, great for summer. Very simple.

Photo of Looneybiz
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass has a nice golden hue with a 2 finger frothy head that has nice retention and leaves decent lacing.

Amora is dominated by lemon. A little hard to pick up anything else since its such a strong scent to begin with.

The taste is very light and almost tastes adjunct with a little lemon. Has a little more flavor than your average adjunct but not much. Seems Sam Adams watered this beer down a little this year.

Overall it will still be a great beer to enjoy outside in the sun.

Photo of nickfl
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours with two fingers of bone white head resting on a clear, golden body. The head settles slowly and leaves light lace.

S - Honey-like malt aromas with a little bit of lemon and some grassy hops.

T - Lemon and coriander flavors up front with a bit of spicy grain character. More citrus in the middle with a hint of orange and some peppery phenolic notes. The pepper becomes kind of medicinal in the finish with grassy hops and moderate bitterness. A lingering, burnt toast and phenol aftertaste.

M - A moderately thick body, average carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish.

D - It starts out very promising with a nice, spicy and fruity character but things really fall apart in the finish. It gets really medicinal and almost burnt tasting with a stale spice character that lingers long after all of the pleasant aspects have faded away. Too bad really.

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

12 fl oz brown bottle served in a nonic.

'Enjoy before 08/2011'.

Pours a watery, pale straw in color filled with active carbonation. Foamy white head that is quickly decimated by the carbonation. No lacing to speak of.

Sweet, biscuity malt character with a healthy dose of diacetyl. The primary aroma is a wheat-filled must that that gets a sharp, hint of lemon.

Overly-sweetened toasted malt that is quickly overwhelmed by a solvent-like lemon. Notes of mild pepper over a bland, slightly musty wheat and adjunctory grain base. The astringent lemon lasts well into the aftertaste.

Light bodied; primarily airy despite the dominating carbonation presence.

Some flaws in flavor and aroma, but all in all a fairly average offering of a sometimes boring style.

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

Poured from a bomber into a Peace Tree pint.

A: Pours a cloudy pale yellow orange color with two finger os fully white head. Excellent retention and lace.

S: Tame wheat with slight pungence. Over time, the pungence becomes more pronounced, and has a bit of a smoky character.

T: Grains of paradise give a spicy start to the flavor, but it drops off suddenly like the start of a roller coaster, descending quickly into pleasant but unremarkable wheat. However, it slowly creeps back in during the finish. The trajectory of the flavor changes is somewhat abrupt, maybe awkward, but still good. The overall impression is a little bit like a Witbier, both in terms of the spice as well as the underlying wheat profile.

M: Unremarkable, average. Very light, almost feels like nothing is there at all. Odd.

O: Okay, I know lots of people really don't get excited about pale wheat ales, myself included (except gumballhead). And there seems to be a consensus that Boston Beer Company almosts always comes in as second best or below. But this beer has a few things going for it. 1. Very light and refreshing for hot summer days. 2. The spiciness from the grains of paradise is pretty unique and well showcased in this beer. So, I think I'll see this one in the fridge again.

Photo of LiquidBread219
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a pale golden color with a thin foam head that leaves some lace.

S- Corn and grain with a touch of honey and sweetness.

T- Mild honey upfront with some sweetness and a touch of hops in the finish. A bit of citrus and plenty of spice and yeast flavors.

M- Light bodied and decent carbonation.

O- Overall an ok beer but I buy them basically to have around for people who aren't really that into craft beer because I don't keep any BMC products at my house.

Photo of kflorence
2.97/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear, golden color with very subtle hints of copper. Virtually no head and no lacing around the glass as you drink. Carbonation looks medium to high. For a wheat ale, it doesn't look like much.

S: Smells of sweet malts, grains and honey with a bit of citrus. There is also a sour, astringency. Some hop floralness lingers in the back.

T: Tastes of sweet malts, honey and wheat with a butter and floral hop backbone. It's simple and to the point with no distinctive notes. Not really what I'm used to in a wheat ale, but very in line with other Boston Beer Company brews. Was hoping this one would be a little more outside their usual realm of brewing.

M: This is a light bodied beer with a good level of carbonation and a bit of creaminess that coats the tongue. It's a bit thin without much substance, but that's to be expected.

O: Overall, this is a simplistic brew without much to offer. That's not to say it's bad, but in my opinion it didn't live up to its potential. I was hoping for a bit more flavor and a bit of substance, maybe something that would break outside of the realm of being "just another Samuel Adam's beer." That said, it is drinkable and better than most mass-produced American offerings, but I wouldn't go out of my way for one.

Photo of tkepx182
3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The feel of this beer on my pallet was not as pleasant as most of the beers I have tried from Samuel Adams. I was rather disappointed actually, I expected more. The aroma smelled like most standard wheat beers. In my opinion, this beer was mediocre at best.

Photo of ColdPoncho
3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by August

A - Clear yellow body, touch of orangeness to it, small white head fades quickly to a light white film and ring.

S - Lemony, smooth malty sweetness. I guess that's about it.

T - Dry lemony flavor, lightly spiced, some malt backbone.

M - Nice body, Smooth, very enjoyable in this department.

O (D) - Well, I'd been reading about how this beer has gone downhill this year, but I don't know that I've had it before, so I can't refer to anything. However, I can imagine that it used to be better. It's alright, but theres so many better summer beers.

Photo of Dave128
3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 22 oz Bomber into pint glass. 5-11-11. Picked it up from local supermarket for 2 bucks.

A - pours a very dark (for the style) cloudy copper color. Head is average. Lacing also pretty average.

S - Wheaty. A bit metallic/grainy. Has a bit of funky smell kinda reminiscent of a corona.

T - Pretty average. No flavors really jump out at me. They are there but all pretty weak. Its mostly just spicy kinda unrefreshing. If you are lucky, you might catch a hint of the yummy banana/bubblegum flavors that I love from the wheat ale style.

M - Feels like a light beer. A little thicker, but refreshing in that respect.

O - I'm not too impressed with this one. Its an average PWA. Not necessarily bad, but not really one I'd like to drink on a hot summer day.

Photo of wordemupg
3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into pint glass May,10,2011

A clear golden yellow with loads of big bubbles that feed a fingers worth of head that quickly falls to a thin film that stays until the bottom of the glass leaving a few patches of lace

S spicy lemon with some dry cereal and maybe a little bubblegum

T not far from the smell but with even more spice that I can't quite place,some faint licorice of all things and aspects of a Wit but not a very good one

M light and fluffy in the mouth with a lingering finish

O somethings just a little off with this one, nothing bad or offensive but nothing worth bragging about or looking for

I could take it or leave it, you wouldn't need to look further then this brewery for a better "Summer Beer" that being said I had no issues finishing it or the one after it for that matter but I doubt I'll be buying another 6er when its on the shelf beside their Nobel Pils for the same price

Photo of Hoptometrist
3.92/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a weizen glass

A- Mildly hazy golden yellow with a one finger frothy head

S- Tropical fruit, lemon zest, and wheat

T- Tropical fruit, lots lemon zest, lots of spice, wheat, and some graininess

M- Nice refreshing amount of carbonation, but watery on the finish

O- I never much cared for this beer before I had this one tonight. Not sure if my palate has changed that much since I have had one or if this if this beer has changed. There is a nice tropical fruit taste and aroma to this beer that I don't remember before and not as much graininess as I remember.

Photo of honkey
2.4/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Straw colored, very slightly hazy, with little head in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Smell- Not a lot other than the spices. Slightly lemony, and the grains of paradise really come out as the prominent smell.

Taste- Pretty bitter with a somewhat harsh aftertaste. I also am tasting something that reminds me of metal. Not very good at all.

Mouthfeel- Highly carbonated, but the beer almost feels like it gets caught in the back of my mouth and leaves a harshness that I am really not enjoying at all.

Overall- I remembered liking last years Summer Ale- I probably would have given last year's a B to B+, but this is very underwhelming especially compared to what I remember. I judged this on its own without the comparison to last year and just going off of what I am seeing, smelling, and tasting currently and I am not a fan. This is the second Sam Adams seasonal in a row that I have been extremely disappointed with.

Photo of gkunkle
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a transparent golden color with lasting visible carbonation. An average pour yielded a 1 finger white head. Head slowly dissipated to a thick film on top of my beer, but it gives off no lacing. Smell is of wheat, malt and slight amounts of lemon. Taste has starts off with slight sweetness from the wheat, then it finishes with a slightly spicy note. Mouthfeel is appropriate. Overall, this is by no means a bad beer, it is pretty average for a APWA. The taste is relatively simple, but that is okay with me, it just fills a different niche. Share this with a friend who doesn't drink craft beer.

Photo of tito42
2.52/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from bottle into a weizen glass. Best by Aug. 2011 notched on label.

A: Slightly cloudy and golden with moderate carbonation. Decent foamy head that mostly dissipates and leaves very little lacing.

S: Peppery grains of paradise with a lot of malt and wheat.

T: Wheat with lemon and sour cherry. An unexpected amount of tartness. More of a grassy backbone than malt or wheat. No hops presence to speak of. Peppery notes from the grains of paradise.

M: Light bodied with a pucker factor from the tartness. Leaves the mouth dry without any of the pleasantries of hops.

O: A below average American Pale Wheat Ale and overall a beer I simply don't enjoy. I won't be trying this again.

Photo of BigSteinsEmpire
4.22/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a top notch Summer Ale. Pours into the perfect pint glass with a nice cloudy orange tint and smells of citrus. The taste is quite malty comparred to other summer seasonals but is still top of class.

A bit filling compared to something like the Goose Island Summertime. Fantastic for the golf course and summertime grilling.

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

12oz bottle served in a shaker pint.
best before: august is notched.

pours a slightly cloudy golden-yellow tone yielding about a 1" off-white head that dissipates at a moderate pace; a bit of patchy lacing.

nose is on the muted side, led primarily by lemon zest and malt; grainy.

flavor is decent: the lemon zest is strongly evident out in front, followed by some grain/wheat characters and a touch of pepper.

mouthfeel is medium-light with average carbonation. relatively crisp.

overall, few will mistake this for a world class beer, and it generally doesn't garner a lot of love from BAs. however i find it reasonably flavorful and refreshing, pairing well with it's season namesake. you could do a lot worse.

Photo of ZenAgnostic
2.8/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle with a label notched Enjoy Before SEPT. Poured into wine glass (why the hell not).

Appearance - Hazy amber.

Smell - Orange.

Taste - Grassy. Sour finish and aftertaste. Kinda gross.

Mouthfeel - Medium and frothy.

Overall Drinkability - The bitter sourness ruins this beer.

Photo of engagechad
1.99/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Purchased on draft at Starlite in Richmond, VA - pint glass

Pours a very watery yellow with almost no head initially or upon agitation. Smells herbal. Tastes very medicinal and very difficult to drink. I haven't had many beers that I didn't want to finish but this was one of them. Mouthfeel was menacing and burning.

Overall I would never purchase this beer again and would almost prefer a bmc.

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

On tap, served in a mug.

Look: clear, pale, golden yellow with visible carbonation bubbles and a thin white head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves no lacing.

Smell: not a lot here at all, with a bit of lemon and pale malt.

Taste: follows the nose with, well, not very much. Pale malt, a little wheat, and a bit of lemon zest. I can't detect the grains of paradise this is supposedly brewed with. Honestly, tastes like a macro-lager.

Feel: about what you want in a summer beer, light, crisp, and refreshing and could conceivably be sessioned.

Overall: not impressed. I don't know why but I expected this to be a little bit better than it was. The Sam Adams seasonals tend to be decent and well, this was pretty much a macro-lager on a craft tap. I wouldn't bother. Cheers!

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

Poured a straw/yellow color with a nice creamy white head that quickly disapated. Aromas of malt, wheat, and a touch of citrus/lemon. Taste was ok: malt, lemon, a bit of biscut, and no bitterness at all on the finish. Mouthfeel was like any other BMC brew. Not bad for a hot summer day but I won't be seeking this one out again. Definitely better on draft.

Photo of BrewCrew2010
2.91/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a clear golden yellow body with a bubbly white head. No lacing.

S: Grains, honey, & a slight lemon zest.

T: Nothing impressing here as it just taste like a fancy BMC to me honestly. Slight wheat flavor with a honey malt backbone, followed by some hoppy bitterness and lemon zest. Kind of boring.

M: Light body; heavy carbonation; kind of a "dusty" texture if that makes any sense.

O: Didn't care for it. Probably would not get again. Not my favorite one of this style.

Photo of AlexanderSelby
2.44/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Nice golden straw look to it with a fine head. Smells subtle, but mostly getting musky/mildewy citrus. Taste is unbelievable like a orange tic-tac. No joke. There doesn't seem to be much layering. Sweetness and citrus hit at the same time, resulting in, as I said, orange tic-tac. The aftertaste is kind of bitter (not in the hoppy sense) and dirty, like biting a banana peel. Carb level and mouth feel is actually quite pleasant, though.

There are some really tastefully done American Wheats that showcase a citrus/fruity vibe out there, and this is not one of them.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,785 ratings.