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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.
BA SCORE
76
okay

4,477 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,477
Reviews: 1,538
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 32
Gots: 397 | 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: 4,477 | Reviews: 1,538 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev +9.6%

Appearance - Nice golden color with some haze. A nice amount of white fluffy head.

Smell - You can smell the "summer". One can smell lemons, bread, yeast, wheat malt, etc.

Taste - Taste's similar to the nose. Nothing overly complex or dramatic. There is a rush of spices/lemon after the initial sip.

Mouthfeel - As I stated with the Blackberry Witber, it is not very thick in mouthfeel, and is quite carbonated (but I feel it works with this drink).

Drinkability - A good beer to have on a hot California summer Sunday. Sitting outside doing this review and drinking this makes me enjoy it all the more and it really does hit the spot right now.

07-20-2009 01:11:03 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of PerroGrande
PerroGrande

Ohio

4/5  rDev +20.1%

I enjoyed this beer on tap recently at Ruby Tuesday's.

I was pleased to see it on the list. RT's lists my beloved Yuengling as an option, but alas, it is only for their east coast establishment. BFE Ohio gets no Yuengling. However, they did have SA Summer Ale (SASA?) on draft.

The appearance is mildly cloudy -- not unexpected for a wheat beer.

The smell was a bit lost on me due to a cold (unfortunately).

Taste was excellent and balanced. I enjoyed the hint of spice which, to me, had overtones of cinnamon or nutmeg. I also enjoyed the fact that the spice was not overwhelming, nor was the beer obnoxiously sweet.

Mouthfeel was fine -- no objections.

Drinkability was excellent. This beer complemented my steak and mashed potatoes perfectly on a summer day. An enjoyable brew!

07-20-2009 01:06:28 | More by PerroGrande
Photo of sarahspat
sarahspat

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev +16.5%

A very frothy, creamy-looking white head sits atop a clear honey-hued liquid.

The nose is very subdued... I detect some grassy notes, but that's about it.

The taste contains many pleasant flavors that I can't seem to pinpoint other than more grassiness and notes of vanilla. It's a bit spicy, but very refreshing and crisp. Creamy mouthfeel; highly drinkable.

It's above average for the style, but not spectacular.

07-19-2009 14:51:16 | More by sarahspat
Photo of jimj21
jimj21

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +20.1%

Bought a twelve pack of this ale. Twelve ounce bottle marked as best by September 2009. Poured into a standard pint glass. Sam Adams Summer Ale pours a hazy golden yellow/orange. Topped by about a finger of white head. There's not much staying power, as the foam recedes quickly. Not much lacing either. Some bubbles rising in the glass.

Smell is mostly of wheat. There are also some citrusy aromas of lemon and lemon peel. Some spices are there, but I can't pick those out. A little bit of sweet maltiness.

Flavor starts out with a little wheat tanginess which works along with the lemon zest to provide some bitterness. This is where the malty sweetness starts to come through. A little bit of caramel even. Finishes a bit spicy and kind of dry.

Mouthfeel is a little creamy, even though this beer is light bodied. Carbonation is noticable but definitely not too much. A little dry, but not detracting.

I think this is a great beer for the summer. It's not complex and it's not packed with flavor, but it is incredibly easy to drink. It is also very refreshing on a hot and humid day. It's even something that most non-craft beer drinkers can enjoy. Definitely something I look forward to every summer.

07-19-2009 01:48:39 | More by jimj21
Photo of BierFan
BierFan

Michigan

3.45/5  rDev +3.6%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. The notched label says to enjoy by December.

Appearance: Nice and fluffy off-white head. Hazy honey/amber body. Small spots of lacing.

Smell: Nice lemony aroma. Reminds me alot of a witbier. Kind of has a cinnamon aroma as well, perhaps that is from the grains of paradise.

Taste: The taste doesn't come together quite as nicely as the smell of the beer does. Still pretty tasty, though. The grains of paradise give it a certain "hearty" character that sets it apart from other wheat beers.

07-18-2009 19:44:09 | More by BierFan
Photo of pasdachuri
pasdachuri

Illinois

2.15/5  rDev -35.4%

Hazy gold with a creamy white head. Very similar to a German Weissbier like Franziskaner.

Grainy and malty, with a bit of lemon spice.

Heavy on the wheat and hop bitterness. Very bitter. A little bit of lemon flavor and an unpleasant spice taste to finish.

Crisp with a medium body.

Could not stand the taste co not very drinkable to me. I typically enjoy this style but was looking to trade the rest of my sixer away after the second or third sip.

By far my worst experience with the Boston Brewing Company

07-18-2009 17:34:31 | More by pasdachuri
Photo of vishneda
vishneda

Illinois

2.6/5  rDev -21.9%

12 oz bottle poured into glass. Was our Friday afternoon beer at work. Best by "November".

This looked pretty good in the glass. However, the aroma put me off pretty quickly. There was a citrus note, but something else was in there that none of us liked. Something sort of like the smell of fresh asparagus.

The taste was equally disappointing. Nothing about it was very strong. The grain flavor came through without much complexity. It had a slightly sour quality which lingered in the aftertaste. Metallic notes as well.

I did like the body and carbonation of the beer; these were perfect for a summer day, even if the ABV is a little high. It was pretty drinkable for a beer which I did not like to taste.

Summer ale was not nearly as good as we had hoped, and we were scratching our heads trying to figure out what we were missing. I started to wonder if we got a bad six. However, there was nothing obvious to say that this beer was damaged or very old. I hate blasting this beer, but compared to Gumballhead, Honey Moon, 312, etc this one didn't live up to the mark.

07-18-2009 14:55:12 | More by vishneda
Photo of Buggies
Buggies

Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev 0%

A: Pours a cloudy golden yellow with a this head and blotchy lacing.

S: Wheat malt and citrus with hint of bread and yeast.

T: Taste is pretty much as the the nose. Not much to talk about. Slight sweet citrusy finish. A basic American wheat.

Not much to talk about here. A basic example of the style. Altogether a nice beer for what it is. It's a thirst quencher which makes it drinkable on a hot summer day.

07-16-2009 02:19:30 | More by Buggies
Photo of a4tuurbo
a4tuurbo

Pennsylvania

3.2/5  rDev -3.9%

A-This beer came to my table with just a tiny little head that quickly dissipated. It was a nice clear gold color with high carbonation.

S- The most prominent smell was malt with a little bit of lemon.

T- I could definitely taste the malt as well as a touch of hoppy bitterness. I did get a hint of lemon but not much. The grains of paraside gave a slight spicyness at the end.

M- I didnt particularly like the high carbonation. Otherwise, I can only describe it as average. Not too thick and heavy but also not watery.

D- Although not my favorite flavor profile, I could definitely drink quite a few of these.

07-13-2009 20:02:59 | More by a4tuurbo
Photo of CJfromPhilly
CJfromPhilly

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +16.5%

Pours a hazy, cloudy orangish-yellow with a thick foamy head that quickly settles down to about 1/4". Active carbonation, lots of tiiny bubbles rising to the top. Aroma is tangy and citrus-y, definite hints of lemon. Taste is crisp & refreshing, clean wheatiness with a nice lemon peel bite. A hint of spiciness. There's a nice creaminess to the mouthfeel. Overall, a really good thirst quenching summer beer. After working in the hot sun all day, a couple of these REALLY hit the spot!

07-12-2009 22:43:26 | More by CJfromPhilly
Photo of VTaler
VTaler

Vermont

3.53/5  rDev +6%

Poured from bottle into a mug
A - Dark honey color. Modernate carbonation with a nice white head. Sticks around for a little bit and leaves behind nice lacing

S - Lemon and wheat aromas

T - Wheat is the first flavor but its eventually overcome from the citrus hops and the spices. As you drink it more flavors start to come out. Relatively complex for a wheat beer. I do not really like wheat beers and I though that this was pretty good

M - Could be a little less carbonized

D - Pretty drinkable. Nice and refreshing

I not a big fan of wheat beers so if you like them then you shouldnt have read this review

07-11-2009 01:03:49 | More by VTaler
Photo of MeisterBurger
MeisterBurger

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev +10.5%

Pours a hazy golden amber with a bubbly head. Made a nice crackling white noise sound as the carbonation escaped. Looks nice.

Smell is grains and lemon rind, with a touch of funky Belgian yeast. Some pepperiness comes out later.

Taste is citric and crisp toasted biscuits, lemony wheat, just a hint of ginger almost, the carbonation tickles the palate and leads to a dry finish and slightly bitter, peppery, yeasty aftertaste. It's pretty tasty and satisfying for a lighter beer and it'd make for a great backyard summertime refresher.

Mouhtfeel is crisp and carbonated, yet smooth.

It's easy drinking and would be easily sessionable.

Best before date: April 2010.

07-08-2009 00:33:45 | More by MeisterBurger
Photo of bmwats
bmwats

Louisiana

3.55/5  rDev +6.6%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Golden with an amber hue. Low carbonation. Pours into a 2 finger, bubbly, white head. Settles fairly slowly leaving a small blanket of foam. Some spotty lacing remains.

S: A little malt, wheat, lemon and orange citrus.

T: Prominent wheat base (as expected), a little hops, and citrus. A little sweet, also a little steely.

M: Very light, really refreshing. Flavor is full but light, aftertaste of a little bitterness which you don't really get in the initial drink.

D: Good brew for the season.

Pretty nice appearance. Good combination of components in the nose, although subtle. Nice light flavor with good combo of summer elements in there. Overall, this is a really nice quaff, summer or otherwise.

07-08-2009 00:24:38 | More by bmwats
Photo of melagnus
melagnus

California

3.3/5  rDev -0.9%

A - Sudsy white head that equates to several fingers thick. Slight haze from the year obscures the view, though not like a German variant. Upon head receding, severe lacing forms on the side of the glass. Though this was served in a Hefeweizen-style glass, it was an American version of one. Upon further observation at warmer temps, the once hazed beer looks clear, indicating some chill haze. Lastly, carbonation is high with bubbles consistently bubbling to the top, which helps keep a near finger-thick film on the top.

S - Slightly sweet banana mixes with spicy clove. Orange and lemon give a citrusy aspect to the beer. Unlike some German varieties, there is no floating yeast in this beer.

T - Orange and lemon sweetness comes through, with a mild yeasty flavor. The beer has a light-bodied consistency to it. Since it was served at what seemed like very cold temps (35˚F?), it felt a bit too cold on the tongue. With that said, had I been outside in the heat of summer, this could have possibly been favored differently :) A kiss of hops comes through to balance out the malt and finishes dry and crisp.

C - So I did a lot of investigation into this beer, as American Wheat beers are usually not preferred over German variants. Also, the term Summer Ale didn't exactly describe what it was I was going to be drinking! Researching the website tells you that you're drinking an American Wheat Ale. In addition to Grains of Paradise, lemon and gives reference to this beer being brewed with the Flanders style in mind, which would mean this wouldn't be an American Hefeweizen, yet an American Wit.

Possibly, the peppery notes supposed to be prevalent in the beer was mistaken for the clove, of which I found and possibly, the banana note was wrongly mistaken for the peach and mango scent that I was supposed to pick out. If so, then my apologies to Samuel Adams for thinking I was drinking a wrongly interpreted (according to all Style Guidelines, an American Wheat Ale should not have notes of clove and banana!) American Hefeweizen.

In the end, no matter what Sam Adams defines this beer as (Wit vs. Weißbier), I can't say I was overtly wooed by it. The beer provides a refreshing session beer (well it's at the top of the range [5.3% ABV], but I'll give it to them!) that can easily be drunk in quantities of 3+. For the drinker that is looking for more complexity, I would recommend Sierra Nevada's Kellerweis Hefeweizen, or Ommegang's Witte. Of course one can find spectacular "Old World" versions out there as well!

Prost!

07-06-2009 19:35:34 | More by melagnus
Photo of OldeEnglishD
OldeEnglishD

Michigan

3.73/5  rDev +12%

A nice hazy golden color with a 1.5 finger head that faded quickly. The taste is citrus with a hint of spice that I can't put my finger on. Possibly corriander? Overall a very light, refreshing taste. Pretty good drinkability as it is not hoppy in the least. A good basic beer, but not something I would "have to have" as it were.

07-05-2009 22:07:30 | More by OldeEnglishD
Photo of PEBKAC
PEBKAC

New York

3.35/5  rDev +0.6%

Leftover bottle from the latest Colombian soccer beatdown that I can't believe we payed $30 to endure. September notch, quite fresh. Poured into my Sly Fox tumbler.

Milky agitated pour down the center. Settling into a tight inch & a half of whipped froth over a cloudy pale wheat body. Sticky, beaded, lace.

Smell is very real with ripe bananas & bready yeast; I don't sense Runts™. More like banana cream the more I drown in it. Faint peary notes, as well as very new grass. The wheat portion is boring & smells like it's been been boxed up. Subtle spices all along the edges, making it quite a nice package regardless.

Taste has big ideas of pear & even some apricot. Green bananas more then traditional thoughts. The wheat just comes off as dust. Spices are very mild in clove & glue. White bread, & bitter melon go one point up one point down. Finish has some vanilla(maybe?), but otherwise, just weak pale wheat.

Carbonation is moderate, falling off quite rapidly after settling in a glass. The wheat feel is disappointing at best, just giving a murky feel to the beer. Hef or bust IMO.

Two in & I'm done here.

07-02-2009 03:18:10 | More by PEBKAC
Photo of NHGrafx
NHGrafx

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev +7.5%

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle.

Pours a golden color with some slight haze. Decent head that doesn't last long.

There is a slight sweetness in the aroma, and some good citrus smells from the lemon zest. Some nice malty and grainy smells. A bit of spiciness as well.

Taste has some nice citrus in it. I can taste the lemon. Can also taste the wheat in there, it is pretty crisp. Bit of hoppy bitterness in the taste, but not too much, bitterness on the finish which lingers a bit. Good mouthfeel and drinkability.

Overall pretty nice and refreshing.

07-02-2009 01:32:15 | More by NHGrafx
Photo of santomark
santomark

California

2.25/5  rDev -32.4%

A -- Tainted gold color with a light head.

S -- Little hops with a slight citrus smell.

T -- The hops weren't that impressive and the citrus notes weren't like citrus juice, but more like someone used some left over lemon skin and zested them into this beer. The citrus note was just awful.

M -- only thing i can say about the mouthful is its medium.

D -- This beer isn't drinkable at all in my opinion. I would definatly not recommend it.

07-01-2009 08:42:04 | More by santomark
Photo of Mdog
Mdog

Minnesota

2.93/5  rDev -12%

Appearance: Hazy yellow, fading head.

Smell: A little wheat, but mostly wet hair, unappealing.

Taste: Earthy spice, a little sweetness, and mild lemon flavor.

Drinkability: Light enough to have a few if you're not turned off by the smell.

I've had this beer before at bars, but since I can't smell very well I never noticed this beer's odd smell. It's not strong, but doesn't give a good intro to the beer. Decent tasting beer for the summer though.

06-30-2009 23:09:20 | More by Mdog
Photo of myost88
myost88

Texas

3.63/5  rDev +9%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pale and cloudy like a good wheat beer should be! Leaves a nice 1 finger head with some lacing and a nice kind of floating top that never goes away.

Smell: Citrus is dominant here as expected. Grain and yeast are largely present. A little bit spicy, I guess from the grains of paradise? Smel

Taste: Again citrus is the dominant flavor. The lemon zest really stands out. Malted Wheat is next and yeast is there at the end of a nice gulp. A little bit peppery as it moves from the tip of the tongue to the back.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, but not like a soda. Carbonation never fades from the first sip to the last gulp. Goes down nice and crisp.

Drinkability: Drank this guy (and 3 of his brothers) while watching the 'Stros game. Very good summer beer. This was made for a nice relaxing evening of baseball. Good summer session beer!

Overall: One of my new favorites from Sam Adams! And I believe I'll be downing these all summer because Spec's has them on sale for 5.99 a six pack till August 1st!

06-30-2009 03:37:02 | More by myost88
Photo of PintOHops
PintOHops

California

3.83/5  rDev +15%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears a bright golden color, semi clouded but not enough that you can't see the very high carbonation. Steady pour produces half an inch of creamy head, and the retention was outstanding. Leaves some splashy, broken, soapy lacing, and a creamy ring holds throughout entire consumption. Smells of heavy yeast & wheat, followed by orange, and lemon zests, it's bit spicy with a semi bright citrus nose. Simple, yet has very fresh aroma!

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of dominate bready, yeasty, wheat, followed by lemon & orange zests, and there's a touch of semi bright citrus notes on the finish, a little watery tasting on the finish as well. Mouthfeel is smooth with lots of active carbonation on the tongue, has a lite-medium body. Crisp & refreshing! Matches the flavor profile perfectly.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - This beer was not surprisingly crisp, and very refreshing. Has an almost watered down taste to it on the finish, as well as a crisp mouthfeel, and that really makes this beer highly drinkable. You could easily throw back several of these on a scorching hot day, I really loved the way the mouthfeel compliments the flavor profile. Nothing was really lacking with this one, it's pretty well balanced & highly enjoyable. I say run out on the hottest day of the summer & pick up a case of this zesty and refreshing brew. You wont be disappointed. Cheers!

06-29-2009 22:15:35 | More by PintOHops
Photo of TypeSJess
TypeSJess

California

3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Very bright, slightly cloudy in the glass with a whitish yellow head. Citrus-ey with a crisp fruity aroma. I'm going to compare this one to the Nit Wit@BJ's as far as initial taste. I consider this one to be much better though. The taste is much better throughout. Heavier, fuller flavor in this one with a spicy after. Sweeter than I expected. Nice heavier texture like an ale should be with a smooth swallow. Drinkability is very good. Heavy flavors and spices are definitely a good paring with a nice ribeye or tri-tip.

06-29-2009 19:29:45 | More by TypeSJess
Photo of joedon
joedon

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev +19.5%

Good drinking "summer beer". Very similar to a Belgian Wit. Very fizzy starting with big white head that sank pretty quickly. Smell had lots of estery-fruit aroma.

A lot of sour wheat flavors and a bit of malt. Very mild hops.

Good drinking summer beer but not especially noteworthy.

06-29-2009 14:44:15 | More by joedon
Photo of DeepSix
DeepSix

Maryland

2.88/5  rDev -13.5%

Poured into a pint glass. Clear golden color with barely a finger nail of head, no lacing.

Not much smell here, a little bit of wheat. I'm actually being a little generous I don't remember any smell.

The taste is there more then the smell but not by much. A weak wheat flavor thats a just a touch sweet, with somewhat dry finish. Has a bit citrus taste along with what i'm guessing is that brewing spice that they go on about on the commercial for this beer. A pretty weak mouthfeel, similar to the big guys, kinda disappointing.

While you could drink a bunch of these if you wanted, would you want to? I tried giving this beer another chance looking for a good lighter warm weather beer, but it just doesn't do it for me. I drank this sixer quickly just to get rid of it.

06-28-2009 22:44:33 | More by DeepSix
Photo of froghop
froghop

Washington

2.98/5  rDev -10.5%

pours a semi-clear orange-yellow with a thin white head, and not much lacing.

smell is faint, light orange, sweet, wheat.

taste is somewhat watery, malt, light orange, grain, a touch of citrus, tangy, and some wheat.

an okay wheat beer for the summer.

06-27-2009 02:21:04 | More by froghop
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,477 ratings.