1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

4,785 Ratings

(view ratings)
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.
View: Beers (114) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Summer Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,785 | Reviews: 1,556 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nhindian
2.6/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into a Perfect Pint.

A - Pours a hazy, golden color, a little bit muddy in the middle, but more clear on the perimeter. Some sediment in the glass. Can see some carbonation, but not much. Head is a fluffy, 1.5-fingered head that diminishes to a cap in a few minutes. Not much lacing.

S - Smell is strong with a lemony zest and yeast quality. Pretty mild and not much too it. Some spices and pepper is apparent as it warms up.

T - Taste is very up-front with the lemon. Almost an artificial lemon bitterness overwhelms the mouth and lingers in the long finish. The spices and pepper are also there, but throughout the whole thing the lemon dominates.

M - Mouthfeel is light with heavy carbonation. Too much lemon aftertaste doesn't make this one pleasant to drink and isn't crisp enough to keep it smooth.

D - Drinkability is low. Tangy, artificial lemon is almost mouth-puckeringly sour, and not in a good way. May be good for a session beer in the summer but I can't see me searching it out again.

Photo of BrianBoruma
2.17/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had this on tap. Honestly I think there most have been something wrong with the tap line...

A: Looked good. Faint head that was white over blonde body.

S: buttery. No spices in the nose

T: Butter. It wasn't very drinkable.

M: Oily.

D: I didn't order another. So take what you will from that.

Photo of gopens44
3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Solid yellow and hazy. Gentle head that relaxed shortly after the pour.

S - Malty, lemony and delicately bitter, but not overly sharp in it's bitterness.

T -Nice flavor overall. Slight bitterness with good balancing due to slight sweetness of the lemony flavor.

M - Smooth and of medium carbonation

D - I enjoyed this beer. Picked it up with several other SA's in a build your own deal at a grocery store.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine July 2007.

This seasonal is seeing its 12th summer. It's a sort of like a twist on the Belgian White Ale (being a spiced wheat ale) that sports lemon zest and grains of paradise--if you didn't know already.

Very cloudy--let's say murky--orange-ish color. Ample froth after a quick pour, with bubbly and very sticky lacing: a sign of good retention. Aromas of lemon and sweet malted wheat come forth with underlying suggestions of vanilla, white pepper and cherries. Smooth and creamy with a slick, medium body. Malty for starters, with both wheat and barley battling it out. Lemon and spicy flavors try and push through, with hints of pepper and vanilla in the back. A kiss of hop bitterness goes against a flash of fruitiness, as well as hints of cherries and pears. Earthy, almost woody semisweet finish.

This beer is more complex than a summer seasonal needs to be. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it's a pretty bold move to put out a murky, com- plex ale for a summer seasonal while everyone else is lobbing their crystal clear Blonde Ales into the market. Maple-glazed jalapeño turkey burgers with potato salad stood up to this very well.

Photo of Radome
2.38/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served from bottle into snifter.

A - The color is pale gold. It is not cloudy, but also not clear--maybe "milky" is the best description. The head was weak and faded quickly.

S - Aroma is lemony and spicy with a strange, vaguely organic note that's not very pleasant. I don't get any wheat or hops through the spices.

T - The taste is dominated by lemon and spice. Standard wheat beer flavors are not noticeable. There is a sharp flavor apparently from spices rather than hop bitterness. The aftertaste is strange and "soapy".

M - The body is thin and watery with an initial astringency that eases later in the sip. The carbonation is moderately high.

D - I would not call this refreshing or drinkable. I give the brewer credit for trying something different than a standard American Wheat style, but I don't care for the heavy-handed, strange combination of spices.

Photo of Adamthome1
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, BB: 11/10

Goes down smoothe, nice summer inspired ale. Tangy,, aggressive carbonation, nice lemony aftertaste.

(Unfortunately I have a cold right now, so i'm sure I'm missing some info, last one of the year though so I must make the review)

Not too much citrus, hops just right. Quality, average summer ale, exactly what I'd expect from Samuel Adams, give it a try (might have to wait until next year)

Photo of Derranged
2.59/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this twice on tap, poured into a glass.

First time:

A- Light, cloudy golden color.

B- A hint of lemon, some wheat

T- Some lemon, wheat, water, really not much going on at all, the flavor was very lacking.

M- Thin and watery, decent carbonation.

D- It was easy to drink because of how watery it was.

The Second time:

A- same

S- same, only soapy

T- same, but tasted a little soapy. (Bartender 4got to clean glass properly?)

M- Same

D- Took two sips. Bah.. No more. Luckily I didnt stay at the bar long and had some craft beer.

Overall, this is a weak showing by Sam Adams, not sure how others rated it a B- or above. Not impressed by the beer at all. In fact, I only had it a second time because my friend got me the drink, I asked for Sam Adams lager, he came back with the Summer crap. I'll wait for the Winter Bock.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a light golden color with a decent amount of haze and a several finger white head, although this doesn't leave behind much lacing. Nose is a large dose of lemon and a lighter amount of spice. Taste is lemon, light spice, and a bit of wheat. Light body with moderate carbonation, although the spice takes over a bit. Not too much going on with this, and I would prefer it without the extra additions.

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

Poured on tap into regular pint glass.

A - Poured slightly hazy amber color with medium head that dissipated very quickly leaving almost no lacing.

S - Mostly wheat and citrus with a hint of hops and spices.

T - Wheat with slight citrus flavor upfront with a hoppy finish.

M - Light bodied with high carbonation.

D - Not bad overall but would not be having this one again in the future.

Photo of megahurts4
3.62/5  rDev +8.7%
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
2.57/5  rDev -22.8%
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
3.14/5  rDev -5.7%
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
3.05/5  rDev -8.4%
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
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
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
3.13/5  rDev -6%
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
1.79/5  rDev -46.2%
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
2.53/5  rDev -24%
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
2.99/5  rDev -10.2%
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
3/5  rDev -9.9%
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
3.16/5  rDev -5.1%
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
2.26/5  rDev -32.1%
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
1.18/5  rDev -64.6%
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.

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