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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.

4,697 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,697
Reviews: 1,542
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 32
Gots: 516 | 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
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Ratings: 4,697 | Reviews: 1,542 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheMadJack
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. Bottle into Pint Glass.

A: Cloudy golden yellow with a thick, foamy head that would be white save for a lemony jaundice. The carbonation comes in thick strands of fair sized bubbles.

S: Orange blossoms and zest, hint of lemon and grass. Barely detectable soapiness and a dash of cinnamon. I don't know what "Grains of Paradise" smell like, having never encountered them outside of the context of this beer, but that might be they.

T: Light, just a little sweet and a little bitter. Wheat comes through good and strong with a sour lemony note and a finish a bit like orange pith. The peppery flavors one would expect after, say, reading the Wikipedia article on Grains of Paradise (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grains_of_Paradise) are notably absent.

M: The carbonation that shows in the glass is barely apparent on the tongue, leaving the beer feeling a little flat. The lemony sourness of the beer gives elevates it and gives it some brightness.

D: It's refreshing and it's light, I'll give it that. Goes real well with sandwiches and warm days.

TheMadJack, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of HockeytownBrew
4.43/5  rDev +33%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

A: Good foamy head, nice golden-straw appearance. Very nice lacing throughout.

S: Wheat and malt with hints of citrus make for a very pleasant scent.

T: Incredibly refreshing. The wheat is clearly present throughout, with great hints of the lemon zest and a bit of a spice note from the Grains of Paradise.

M: Light to mouthfeel, very crisp. Goes down very smooth

D: Great drinkability. The ideal beer for the days of summer - whether it be at the beach, backyard BBQ, or just lounging around outside, this is the beer to have.

Summer is always better with Samuel Adams Summer Ale.

HockeytownBrew, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of chefhatt
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a very nice pale gold color; with a 2" white head that quickly lay down to a thin lace around the edge of the glass. It has a light aroma of lemon and wheat. The taste is very crisp and refreshing, with a little hint of lemon followed by wheat. I think it is very drinkable and is one of my favorite summer seasonal.

chefhatt, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of joemcgrath27
3.95/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - poured a clear golden, short white head that dissipated fairly quickly
S - light wheat hints, lemon zest, and light floral notes, all subtle aromas
T - wheat malt and lemon up front, then an interesting zesty floral and spicy flavours that must be the grains of paradise
M - refreshing lemon and carbonation fills the mouth, then moving towards a spicy tingly dryness
D - fantastic summer drink, very easy drinking and refreshing with enough interesting flavours to keep my attention

joemcgrath27, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of tbeckett
3.68/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

355 mL bottle poured into a tall Beck's pilsner glass.

A - Very thin cap of white head. Very carbonated. Golden yellow.

S - I definately pick up the lemon zest and some sweetness. Lemon zest dominates the aroma though.

T - Really zesty, citrusy and refreshing.

M - Really thin, almost watery.

D - I can see the carbonation holding the drinkability back a bit but this is really refreshing for a summer day. The lemon zest is a nice touch for a summer ale.

tbeckett, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of mtnbikerpa
3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer served on draft in an Imperial Pint glass. (Not a Sam Adams glass.) Bright yellow straw color with an abundance of sticky lacey head. Smell of oats and bread like notes. Taste had plenty of yeast, biscuit like flavors, also some spices as pepper and faint ginger. Mouthfeel was a bit dry. Drinkability certainly easy and laid back for the summer, easy to sip, chug with some BBQ or a steak on the grill and reach for another.

mtnbikerpa, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of washburnkid
2.6/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes. Enjoyed in a proper perfect pint glass.

A: A bit over 1 finger of frothy white head. Barely a haze is visible in this golden straw body.
S: Aromas are faint, with a lemon zest bitterness and nice aromatic offering of spice and fresh wheat.
T: The flavors are pretty faint...underwhelming, actually. The grain flavors are fresh but are really the only prominent character in the beer's profile. Actually, it's really the only flavor...period. No citrus zest as promised by the aroma. A heavy bitterness lingers on the tongue, but it's nothing pleasant.
M/D: Medium body and lower carbonation. Tons of bitterness is clinging to the palate. With a summer beer, I'd expect fresh, diverse flavors and high drinkability. The intense and undefinable bitterness really kills the "summer" ease with which a beer like this should be enjoyed.

washburnkid, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of jzeilinger
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a hazy pale orange color with a fluffy one fingered white head and active carbonation.

S - Coriander, wheat, lemons, and some earthy presence.

T - Grainy with lots of wheat, coriander, lemons, and mild pine hopping. The malt is crackery and crisp and blends well with the other flavors going on during the sip.

M - Grainy, light bodied, and crisp.

D - Marginal. I didn't finish mine and left about a third in the glass.

(There's 1200 other reviews for this beer - is someone really reading this???)

jzeilinger, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of mintjellie
2.2/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Straw gold with a thin, poorly retained head. No lace. Soapy lemon aroma with a hint of vanilla. It's pleasant lemon flavour is marred by that same soapy character in its aroma. Mild unpleasant aftertaste reminds me of tylenol. Light, spritzy, and quenching. The fact it tastes like it's meant for washing away sweat and dirt instead of washing down a meal detracts from it's drinkability.

mintjellie, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of NODAK
4.28/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is of a hazy golden color. Head is medium with some retention.

Taste is citrusy up front with a dose of lemon. There's a spiciness to it that I am guessing harkens to the "grains of paradise" this beer boasts about using. There's a very pronounced and prolonged wheat taste at the back end with a pretty long finish. Definitely a lot of wheat character here.

Very drinkable...an awesome summer quencher here!

NODAK, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of biboergosum
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle, kickin' back on my b-day off-day at the Metro. Only the second Sam Adams product to make it to the store shelves around here thus far, strange, that.

This beer pours a lightly hazy, pale golden straw colour, with three fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat soapy off-white head, which renders some droopy cloud lace around the glass in its short and sweet wake.

It smells of pale grainy and wheaty malt, lemon zest, orange Slurpee, a touch of spicy yeast, and leafy, grassy hops. The taste is sweet lemon-infused bready cake, pale wheat grain, a soft, earthy, kind of peppery spiciness, and plain as the day is long (and they're still pretty long, right now) leafy, musty hops.

The carbonation is average, just a wan frothiness for my trouble, the body far on the light side of medium weight, though soft, and somewhat airy in its smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the wheat malt keepin' 'er between the lines, with a bit of weakening lemon rind for good measure.

A simple wheat ale, nothing particularly remarkable, in spite of the pseudo-exotic guest spice ingredient. However, given my 'predicament' right now, this came off as pretty thirst quenching, and a worthy kick-off to wandering back out into the pavement-enhanced sunshine.

biboergosum, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of JohnnyP3
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl oz bottle, best before date of May 2011. Poured into a Sam Adams pint glass. Pours a hazy pale gold color with a white head. The head was less than expected, only about one finger and it disappeared rather quickly. Only a little lacing on this occasion. Smells lemony and peppery. A little bit of a sweet sent as well.

This beer is a refreshing wheat, ideal for warm weather and lighter cuisine. Classic wheat taste/texture with a lemon twist at the end. Also has a slightly spicy dimension to it, kind of peppery.

Mouthfeel is smooth and has some good substance to it. Drinkability is good. Refreshing, no overpowering tastes, a solid warm weather staple.

JohnnyP3, Jul 24, 2010
Photo of linusbwell
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

SA Summer

Poured into Pint Glass

A: Crisp yellow with a slight haze-white head.

S: Citrus is present as well as some yeastiness.

T: The citrus is a bit overpowering-I can also taste the grains of paradise, peppery.

M: Okay mouthfeel.

D: I've had this one in the past and remember it being a lot better. This one was pulled out of the summer selection. The draft version is better.

linusbwell, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.35/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks good and has a summer appearance label on the bottle. Smells of lemon and spices. Has little head. Taste is above average but not the best. The lemony flavor makes this beer taste great, so mouthful has the same rating as taste. Drinkability is excellent not the best, but very close. This is a beer one could drink all day. Goes down smooth and refreshing.

yuenglingfan101, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of mgbickel
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. A single finger of white foam settled on top of the clear, corn-yellow body. The head stuck around for a rather long time and also stuck to the sides of the glass.

The nose is pretty simple and subtle...some citrus from the hop presence and a grainy malt backbone.

Meh...the taste is right in line with the nose. Starts off with a sweet malt flavor that fades slowly into a very slight, bitter finish. Nothing real complex or palate catching.

The body is pretty light and somewhat astringent; moderate to high carbonation.

Pretty drinkable, but nothing to write home about. Pretty much middle of the road for a summertime beer.

mgbickel, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of gildobeer
2.75/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I wanted to like this beer, I even thought I had tried it before and liked it, but I digress. Pours a cloudy muddy amber/orangey/brown with a thick lace foam.
Smells somewhat wheaty, with a little lemon in there and some odd spices I can't put my finger on. Taste is not for me, I usually like summers but this is a little heavier, and definitely has a heavy lemon tinge. Eh

gildobeer, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of modernartblues
3/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not SA best, but drinkable when there is nothing else available. I had two of these when they first came out, but it was mainly because I was missing the Noble Pils.

I'm not a huge wheat fan, but found this one pretty drinkable even with its large lemony flavor.

modernartblues, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of drinkiusmaximus
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a bright yellow. thin head which dissipates quickly.

S- picking up a lemony wheat smell with a slight spiciness.

T- Taste like a decent pale wheat ale with a lemon wedge in for garnish.

M- light to medium bodied a little more carbonation might have helped.

D- Although the beer is smooth i am not a fan of lemon in my beer which would limit me in how many i would want to drink.

as my sam adams key chain bottle opener would annotate i am a fan of the Boston Beer Company but that being said this beer is not one of my favorites by them.

drinkiusmaximus, Jul 18, 2010
Photo of DrJay
3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear gold with a fine cap of white foam, good head retention, a bit of sticky lace, mostly sheets. The initial aroma after the pour was very nice, but it lost some of its punch fairly quick. Nice orange blossom and spice up front, fading to a crackery malt aroma. More orange and lemon citrus in the flavour, light bitterness, faint spiciness with sort of a soapy character. Light bodied with some dryness, moderate carbonation, a bit crisp. Pretty refreshing and nicely balanced.

DrJay, Jul 18, 2010
Photo of waltertrush
3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A pale amber. A finger head.
Aroma: Hoppy and a bit zesty.
Taste: Wheat. Honestly cannot say, the spices did not mix well. Zesty but mainly orange aftertaste.
Mouth feel: Creamy. Smooth.
I am a little disappointed in this beer. I have always enjoyed Sam Adams lagers but this one did not meet my standards to their other beers.

waltertrush, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of malty
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Forced poured from a 22 oz. bottle (BB Sept. '10) into my stemmed Ayinger tulip-style glass. A semi-cloudy healthy glowing straw yellow liquid with a bright white very creamy 1" settled head. Playful visible uprising carbonation. Clean and (almost) unhindered walls of white lace all the way down.

Very zesty bright lemony aroma that's fresh and invigorating. A bit of sweet wheat malt is apparent with a zippy spicy edge reminiscent of white pepper from a good Belgian Triple.

From the scent, I was expecting a very bright and acidic taste, but what I got was a nicely balanced sweet (lighter) malt with a counterbalance of the lemon zest and quenching element that works well together. I kinda reminds me of Wittkerke (sp?) Belgian Wit but more flavor components (ie: the spiciness from the Grains of Paradise). There's a tad bit of chalky dryness on the walls of my cheeks from a little hop I'm guessing.

Mouthfeel is between light-medium and is very fluffy, soft and airy from a good amount of ultra fine and building carbonation. The ending is rather quick and refreshing with a tiny amount of dryness.

Drinkability is very good. Not much to deter even the craft beer novice from giving this a go on a hot summer day.

Overall the scent was more like a clean pils with lots of citrus and zip. The flavor is definitely that of a soft wheat ale that bathes the tongue is down feather-like softness. It all balances out into a nonintrusive, pleasant, easy to drink and enjoyable summer beer. A little bland, so it's more of a quencher than a 'ponderer'. I'll order it on tap on hot nights at pedestrian-type restaurants when I see this summer.

malty, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of JunkYardJake
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle pour into a pint glass.
Cloudy golden color with some orange hues. Small head, even with a hard pour. Smells interesting with the spices and a healthy dose of lemon. Tastes decent but is a little over spiced for my liking. Mild wheat flavor and lemon zest add a somewhat refreshing aspect. Fluid mouthfeel with ample carbonation. A good beer for a hot day, but the dominate flavors wear on the palate after a few.

JunkYardJake, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of hegelec
1.95/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

standard pale wheat beer look, with substandard head and lacing - no torrified wheat? smell nicely peppery and citrusy, but disturbingly chemical and soapy. taste is clementines and bleachy solvents. almost unspeakable. i sincerely hope there is merely something wrong with the glass than with the beer, but a quick chat with the bartender, who has overseen innummeable kegs of this stuff pass through the draught line in the last two months, and another sample confirms my worst suspicions. african spices be damned. hideous.

hegelec, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of californiakulak
3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer in a 22 oz glass at Chili's.

A. Orange, yellow color. Hazy with a fluffy head.

S. Light lemon and wheat smells. A little yeast like smell.

T. Lemon and wheat malt again. Fruity and a little sour.

M. Smooth and refreshing. Not quite enough carbonation for the style. Medium to big bodied.

D. Drinkability is pretty good. It is a good summer beer but the faint sour aftertaste would prevent me from having too many.

californiakulak, Jul 13, 2010
Photo of Shaw
3.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, light gold in color with a very white and foamy head that reduces to about a quarter-inch in my glass.

Light aroma of wheat malt, lemon and spice.

The taste is light, but with a nice wheat malt flavor that's mixed with lemon and pepper for contrast. Nothing outrageous, but then who said all beers should be outrageous?

Solid mouthfeel. It's bubbly and not watery.

Overall a pretty good beer that's especially easy to drink and perfect for summer. Who woulda thought?

Shaw, Jul 13, 2010
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
77 out of 100 based on 4,697 ratings.