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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.

4,752 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,752
Reviews: 1,547
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 33
Gots: 534 | 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: 4,752 | Reviews: 1,547 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of megahurts4
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Summer Ale

Appearance: Amber, small head, and some lacing.

Smell: Wheat, slight citrus, and slight hops.

Taste: Wheat, lemon zest, citrus, hops, and grains.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light.

This is definitely a good brew. It is well balanced, smooth, and pleasant. It has a very refreshing aftertaste.

Photo of TheKingofWichita
2.53/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a pale yellow straw color. Smelled of lemon zest, hops, and orange peels with peppers. Tasted quite spicy (which did not really do anything for me) hoppy, and all around kindy nasty. Mouthfeel was fairly average with some crisp carbonation to it. Fairly drinkable, not a bad summer choice -- far better than some I have had.

Photo of BamaViper1
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

This beer has a dark gold/light amber hue and pours with minimal head that dissipates quickly. Swirling the beer creates a little lacing but it's gone in an instant.

Initially I smell lemon/citrus and malt. The taste is mostly malt with a touch of citrus and the typical bread-like taste of a wheat beer. The finish definitily tastes of wheat bread, and it lingers.

The beer has nice body in the mouth with a suprising amount of carbonation compared to what I had seen in its appearance. I would imagine that this beer is very drinkable as well on a hot summer day for those that are a fan of the style.

Overall, this is not a bad effort from Sam Adams, although I do prefer their marzen and winter lager by leaps and bounds over this one. I'm not the biggest fan of wheat beers, and so I am a little underwhelmed by this offering; however, I can see the SA Summer as a legitimate, easy-going tailgate beer for fans of this style.

Photo of Bookseeb
3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a hazy golden yellow with a head that dissapates quickly leaving no head. Smell has a light nose of sweet malt. Taste has an interesting light cream soda sweetness followed by a light hop that has good balance with the malt. Mouthfeel is medium with good body and carbonation. Overall its a easy going non complex summer ale.

Photo of GilGarp
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was the first beer I ever had with family. I remember it pretty clearly - it was on my uncle's sailboat - and, at the time, it was very special indeed.

12 oz. bottle, best before November, served cold into a pint glass.

Sam Adam's Summer Ale is a hazy golden yellow with thin white head. It settles quickly and leaves no lace.

Aroma is very much a lemon bomb. Wheat base is barely detected behind what is almost like cleaning product lemon scent.

I remember really liking how lemony it was when I was younger but my tastes have obviously evolved. This basically tastes like lemon cake. Very sweet, very big on lemon citrus, and almost no bittering at all. A little pepper and some tartness at the end but it falls a long way from providing any balance to the beer.

Mouthfeel is light in body, nicely carbonated, and almost no lingering aftertaste.

Overall, not the beer I have wonderful memories of but that's probably not because the recipe has changed. I see the changes more within myself.

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

Poured into a pint glass...
Color was hazy golden yellow, white head, good lacing.
Smells of lemon, bread, and yeast.
Tastes like wheat bread with a hint of lemon.
Feels light, crisp, and refreshing.
Drinks good, pretty average summer beer. I wasn't very impressed with this one.

Photo of Lemke10
4.1/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a 12pack Sam Adams sampler at Woodman's in Janesville, WI for about $9 in late summer 2010.

I've never had a Sam Adams beer that tasted bad and this Summer Ale keeps the record going. Summer Ale pours a golden yellow with a decent head of foam that has some longevity to it. Definetly can taste the wheat in it. It has a deep rich taste to it that makes it not weak but yet not to stong. Very tasty on a warm summer day.

Photo of Augustiner719
3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes had back in april 2010.

Draft into a pint glass>

Very yellow fizzy looking with a soft white head that recedes quickly with no lacing. The bubbles are streaming from the bottom of the glass and the beer fizzes like lemon lime soda. There are aromas of bitter orange and lemon peel, corriander spice and some grassy aromas. Flavors are similar to the aroma but its got a real astrigent flavor that puckers the palate. The lemon is much more predominant this year and the flavor profile has been watered down from what i can remember. Mouthfeel is astrignent and light, but very refreshing. Artificial sweetness cloys and makes this somewhat hard to put down after it warms too much. Drink cold and enjoy!

Photo of EgadBananas
1.75/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Looks pretty good. Hazy golden color, with a nice little pronounced white head.

Theres a bit of citrus, and a slight bit of breadiness.

Slightly malty, with a bit of lemon zing, not much though. There is a hint of pepper as well. Average is the best descriptor I could use here. But I don't like it.

Upper light in body, light carbonation, fairly smooth.

It's not hard to drink, per say, but the taste is funky to me and I didn't care for it.

EDIT: After having this prior to anything else today, as opposed to after a few others previously, The true awfulness came through! Nearly couldn't finish it. Looks ok, and tastes awful, average body, undrinkable.

Photo of darkmartin
2.48/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, light gold with a small, frothy white head.

Smell: Smells grainy with some earthy hops, also the alcohol is quite evident in the nose.

Taste: Definitely a lot of lemon up front, with obvious citrus hops, and a lot of grain. Quite unpleasant.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied with a fair amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Pretty poor taste, not something I'd want again.

Photo of shodrod
3.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

For a summer style beer this pours with a surprisingly opaque-ness quality. Very little aroma as is expected with such a light beer. A nice smooth mouthfeel. The finish has notes of vanilla and honey. Possibly the perfect beer to make 'shandies' with. Best enjoyed on a sunny back deck.

Photo of irishevans
3.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- dark straw body, pours kind of like 7up in that it fizzes up real quick and the head quickly dissolves, leaves hidden traces of film very light in color.

N- not able to pick up definiatively other than lemon, and light grain. perhaps a mild citrusy hop in there as well after waiting a few minuets.

T-like the nose suggests, lemon up front, mostly grain at the end, and a mix of a citrus and floral hop taste coming out in the middle, however; it's kind of a complex presentation of fairly bland flavors,

M-very fizzy when you first take the sip, but mellows as you get to know it. smooth and moist.

D-easy drinker, and has a quenching quality also, making it a good inexpensive summer session ale, as far as mass craft goes.

Photo of mdfb79
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 09/11/10 notes.

a - Pours a nice golden color with an inch of white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of lemon, citrus, wheat, and bready malts.

t - Tastes of wheat, bready malts, and lemon/citrus.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent, easy to drink beer by Sam Adams. Not my favorite seasonal from them, but a decent beer to get when out to eat. Would never seek out but will drink again at some point.

Photo of dfbvFBFBDFBDFbVb
2.25/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Really wanted to like this one.

Decent looking beer and was in the mood for a lighter summer quaffer. Average head with no lacing. Smelled very citrusy but almost like a cough drop. Tasted also like a cough drop and not a good one. Really bummed on this one as I continually want to like Sam Adams and try their offerings but I think I am done after this one. So many better options for the price it's not even close any more. A bummer and I want my money back. Surprised really, that SA put this into a seasonal. If I brewed this I would not share it with anyone.

Photo of korguy123
1.15/5  rDev -65.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12oz into SA Perfect Pint
Overpriced 6er at LCBO for summer promotion.

A- Clear rich banana/straw pour. Half finger head disappears in the bat of an eye, lacing is minimal.

S- Oh goodness where to begin? Lemon rind, grass, dirty socks, chemical cleaner and throat lozenges.

T- Please taste better than it smells. Please taste better than it smells... Nope grass, lemon pledge, faint medicinal. Tastes like a cheap air freshener would taste.

M- Thin watery feeling to it. Carbonation is there but not enough to save the feeling of this beer.

WOW this beer is a train wreck IMO. I had to buy the 6er (Ontario only sells 6, 12 and 24. Unless otherwise noted) and this thankfully was my last. I wanted to give it a chance. I wanted to like it. I haven't had a bad SA yet. But my god this was an abomination... I feel like I should scrub my mouth out with a dirty toilet brush to get the taste out...

Photo of illidurit
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Clear straw color with a filmy white head. Wheaty aroma with a slight lemony tinge and an even slighter hint of unripe stone fruit. Flavor is grainy and wheaty with minor notes of peach pit and mineral water. Watery but smoother than most crap-ass American wheats. Not quite crisp enough if I'm looking purely for refreshment.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle bottle into a DogFish Head signature glass (September 6, 2010). The freshness/best before notch is in October.

Eyes: Pours a sunset gold with mild haze. A fluffy creamy head forms and has some mild retention.

Nose: I can smell a bit of a cheap grain smell with some citrus notes. I does have a refreshing profile, but not one that seems high quality.

Tongue: The wheat malt is evident as is the pale malt profile. Citrus and spice are just a bit too strong for me, but overall quite good.

Mouth: If anything sam Adams tends to get the mouthfeel right, and the do here also.

Libation: I like the beverage, but it seems a bit too muted and made for the mass market. Better than most macros by far, but there are better wheat ales available.

Photo of Vdubb86
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

Pours a nice cloudy golden yellow color with a finger of white foam. The smells are faint which for the flavor of this beer is rather odd. What I do smell however are citrus smells of lemon and orange zest as well as a pepper note to follow. The initial sip hits the tongue and oddly reminds of a dreamsicle which is pleasant but definitely unexpected. This is due to the creaminess of the body of the beer along with the strong citrus flavor. The more I drink it the more I realize how intense the flavors are, and there are a lot of flavors in here. The wheat flavor is almost lost to it. It almost seems like I'm drinking a beer that has had an entire fruit salad steeped in it. The mouthfeel is quite nice, as I previously stated it is creamy in nature. The beer is quite drinkable for a fresh summery beer. Recommended if on a budget during the summer.

Photo of obrendano
4.05/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

from a bottle to a pint glass

A - golden hazy wheat color, the light catches this very well

S - semi spicy aroma from the grains of paradise, light citrus and malt tones

T - same as the smell but amplified. I love using grains of paradise in cooking, and in this beer it works very well

M - light bodied, some tartness, goes down easy

D - a very very good beer to cook out with when the thermometer goes up. the tart spice enhances meat flavors rather than mutes them. also great on its own to just sit in the sun and relax

Photo of ledemie
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Cloudy, golden yellow color. White head. No lacing.

S: Malt sweetness, a dash of hops, spices and lemony.

M: Light bodied.

T: Nice citrus, spicy flavor lingering .

Not my favorite and the last time I will buy it, it is to light, and to citrusy, it taste funny.

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

A - A hazy golden color. A two finger off white head has good retention. A good amount of lacing is left. Also, a fair amount of carbonation is seen bubbling to the top.

S - Wheat and yeast are most present. There is also a hint of bread lemon and alcohol.

T - Big and bold wheat upfront. There are notes of lemon and orange. A surprisingly strong bread like after taste which is quite pleasant

M - Very light. Maybe a little too much carbonation.

D - This beer is very easy to drink. Goes down easy and smooth.

Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
2.42/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Decided on a whim to have this with lunch today. God what a mistake. Suffice to say there was no lacing, and it tasted like lemon grass and pepper. I admire Sam Adams for what they have done for the craft beer industry, but lament them for their lack of imagination with beers. Their only TRULY good beers are that bullshit marketing "Imperial" series that come in over priced 4 packs. Those are actually good beers. The rest of their line-up is soulless and an embarrassment to craft beer.

Photo of jal30
3.68/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy yellow appearance in my pint glass with little head, but good retention. Not much on the nose, but a good lemony wheat taste to this one. Definitely one of the more citrus-heavy wheat beers I've ever had, and yet done so tactfully--still tastes very much like a beer, which is more than I can say for some overly citrused wheats. Sorta boring and not overly impressive in any way, but it sure is refreshing. A situational beer for sure--perfect on the beach or with the right dinner. Loved it with my chicken dish. Not sure its worth the hype that surrounds it in the Boston area, but definitely one of my most ordered dinner accompaniments. Good stuff.

Photo of kingcrowing
1.83/5  rDev -45%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle poured into a hefe glass.

Pours a slightly hazy golden wheat color with a Jin white head. No lacing but light carb bubbles. Nose is gross, it's sharp an medicinal.

Taste isn't much better than the nose. It's also medicinal and all sorths of weird flavors I'm not Shure what's going on here but it isn't good.

Photo of jsprain1
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Appearance was a pale golden with pretty high clarity and thick head that maintained itself nicely.
S- Smell is of lemon zest, and pepper.
T- The taste is quite lemon-centric. Wheat and pepper flavors (probably the grains of paradise?) filled out the finish. Far more flavorful than in the bottle, but the flavors didn't mesh well for me.
M- Light bodied, high carbonation.
D- A pretty drinkable and tasty beer. Not my favorite from Sam Adams, but it is often the best option in summer at less beer-centric establishments.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
77 out of 100 based on 4,752 ratings.