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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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4,802 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,802
Reviews: 1,562
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 42
Gots: 671 | 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: 4,802 | Reviews: 1,562
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.

Photo of greenmonstah
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into pint glass

A - Pours a hazy yellow with lots of carbonation and a half finger head.

S - Lemon, wheat. You know, like a pale wheat ale! Also a bit grainy and some kind of mild sweetness.

T - Right off some zesty lemon and a mellow wheat. Very bready in the middle, with a gross bitter finish. Leaves the mouth with a dirty lemon peel flavor. Not good.

M - Light body, refreshing. Good carbonation. Dry, grainy in the finish.

O - Not my bag, baby. The finish is almost unbearable. Everything else is fine, but I can't stand the way this leaves my mouth.

Photo of drabmuh
3.31/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer served in a Sam Adam Noble Pils glass and I spent the evening wishing this was Noble Pils. Beer is yellow with a mild haze to it, some lacing on the glass. Moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is grainy and unpleasant, sorry Sam Adams, this does not make me want to drink this.

Beer is medium to light in body, nothing up front with a mild sweetness on the finish. There is a grainy aftertaste that really takes me out of the beer. I had 500 ml of this (why was this served in 500 ml glasses?) and that was more than enough. I'd have it again if it were the only beer at the party and my alcoholism needed to be fed, otherwise I'd pass.

Photo of dcook11
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours just under a two finger head made up of whispy white suds. Unlike other beers where the head is somewhat off-white, summer ale is a soild white. The beer itself is a light straw color with v Some lacingery high levels of carbonation. Champagne levels. The smell is malt dominate with vanilla, lemon, citrus, and a touch of coriander and spice at the finish. The taste is light and refreshing but with a nice citrus and spice note at the end. Overall, I love this beer for summer.

Photo of ngeunit1
3.72/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear orange-yellow color with a finger of frothy white head on top. The head fades down to a ring around the glass leaving behind very little lacing.

S - Aroma is full of wheat with honey and lemon peel aromas mixing in. There is just a touch of breadiness and yeast in the background.

T - Starts off with some wheat flavor mixed with some lemon zest. There is a bit of honey sweetness also and some grain. Through the middle some stronger lemon flavor and spices come out. Touch of yeast. The finish is a mix of wheat, honey, and lemon flavors that linger nicely.

M - Light bodied with moderate lively carbonation. Even though it is supposed to be a summer beer, could have used a bit more body since it feels a bit watery. Really crisp and refreshing though.

D - Extremely drinkable. Super crisp and refreshing. The flavors are could use a touch of kick, but they are far from empty and well balanced.

Photo of projectflam86
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | 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 not one I'll be buying again soon.

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

Clear golden colour with a tiny, white head. Poor head retention.

Robust spicy, lemon aroma with a touch of tart wheat. Nice and refreshing.

Malt, tart wheat, spritzy lemon, mild spice. A crisp, refreshing ale. There flavours get a little overbearing at times.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A decent, flavoursome wheat ale with nice flavours. It's a little over the top and I'd like a bit less of the lemon and spice.

Photo of morehoppps
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from bottle to Pilsner Glass. This beer looks like a typical summer wheat, yellowy-orange, hazed. Decent head for a wheat, although it crumbles quickly.

S: Smells is of citrus, and wheaty goodness. Classic Sam Adams complexity, something else you can't put a finger on.

T: At first it seems like an average wheat, but then there's the mystery flavor. I want to say it reminds me of fruit snacks. Cheap fruit snacks.

M: Carbonation could be a bit more crisp. It fits the style, but I like a sharp carbonation with wheats. Take Boulevard Unfiltered for example.

O: At first, I didn't care much for this beer. But sip by sip, I enjoyed it more and more. I purchased the summer sampler, and was least excited about this one (and Sam Adams Light), but it's good. I prefer Boulevard, but still, it's a good beer; something different.

Photo of thebrood1987
4.07/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I instantly get that lemony smell with some yeast, wheat, spicy grain and a noticeable soapy smell. The taste upfront is a crisp bite and then ending with that combination of the lemon wheat and spicy grain (grains of paradise) taste. I would assume that any hops they do put in here is mixing with that spicy grain taste but that outshines the hops. I've never had that taste in a beer before actually. It also has a dry yeasty finish. The soapy smell doesn't come through in the taste at all though and you mostly get that lemon flavor mixed with dry yeasty wheat and dull grainy spice flavors.

I could see why people would go either way with this beer because on the initial sip you get that crisp lemon wheat beer that people would expect but then ends with that bitter like grains of paradise taste. I really like it and I will drink this beer throughout the whole summer.

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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,802 ratings.