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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.

4,310 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,310
Reviews: 1,534
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 30
Gots: 311 | 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: 4,310 | Reviews: 1,534 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jeffmonarch


3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Golden yellow and slightly cloudy. There is a nice thin layer of white head.

S - Fresh, clean, sweet and fruity.

T - Light and clean. Crisp wheat flavor and sweet fruit.

M - Light bodied with good carbonation.

D - Great light crisp beer. Easy to drink for any occasion.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2008 01:47:16 | More by jeffmonarch
Photo of TheViceBlog

New York

3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had Sam Summer many times in the past, but I don't recall it being as good as it was on my most recent time to have it. While most summer beers seem to be brewed for little sissies that don't like the taste of beer and want the lowest of ABVs in order to not risk getting any alcohol poisoning, Sam still packs a bit of a punch. In fact, I kept asking my buddy, "Are we sure this is Sam Summer? Is it possible the tap was screwed up?!" It's darker than most all pisswater yellow summer beers and actually has a nice, complex taste. No idea what grains of paradise are, but they must be tasty. I don't know if this is "how" you make a summer beer, per se, but it's how you make a tasty, flavorable beer. Very nice wheat and malt body with a good lemon hint that nails you. Thus, based on an exceedingly small sample size and one single plastic cup draught at a ballgame, I will declare Sam Summer the best quote unquote summer beer in the bid'ness.


Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2008 01:51:36 | More by TheViceBlog
Photo of spointon


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

I had this one on tap, served in a standard pint glass.

A= This ale arrived a cloudy deep yellow almost orange color. The white head was only 1/2 inch or so and quickly dropped to a skim. Moderate carbonation release.

S= This ale smelled of sweet wheat malt and citrus fruit. That was about it in the aroma department.

T= The flavors of this ale were mostly malty sweetness and a bit of lemon to orange citrus in the middle. I did not find any noticeable hop flavors.

MF= Like any typical wheat beer, this ale had a medium body but also a slightly grainier palate than I would have liked.

D= This isn't the best summer wheat ale out there, but sometimes in restaurants you have to pick the beer that is the least bad. All in all, a fine beer for summer swilling.

Serving type: on-tap

08-06-2008 06:36:26 | More by spointon
Photo of cswhitehorse


3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Summer Ale pours a hazy orange yellow with a good 2 finger foam head with minimal retention. The aroma is unique with the stated Grains of Paradise used. It has a good wheat smell to it. The taste is clean and the malt slathers the tongue and the second half is the lemony spice flavor. It is highly carbonated as the massive amounts of little bubbles rush to the top. It is a pretty darn good summer time session beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2008 00:38:32 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of MDekker


3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Oft enjoyed, yet never reviewed.

A: Pours out a hazy gold orange with a thick white head that soon dissipates. No lacing.

S: Notes of wheat, orange, and some pine.

T: Loads of citrus flavors, some wheaty bread, and banana toward the end. The finish is pretty mild and a tad thin, but overall satisfying.

M: Solid carbonation, a little watery.

D: Scores well here. This is typical mass-produced Sam Adams offering - solid and consistent, but not great. I'm always happy to get a sixer of this on sale and enjoy it without thinking too hard about it.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2008 12:45:11 | More by MDekker
Photo of OtherShoe2


3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served a pale orange with a decent white head that left nice lacing down the glass.

Smells of grain and some citrus.

Taste has a group of flavors, including a tangy citrus, a musty grain, a little hop, and something else -- that obvious difference. And I'm not sure if I like it.

Decent carbonation, a bit of a tart aftertaste. I know that this is the drinkable summer beer, but I'm not digging it that much. For body, you could knock these back on a hot day. I just don't like the taste enough.

Serving type: on-tap

08-04-2008 23:09:49 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of PatronWizard


3.93/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sammy Summer Ale from a twelver into a glass....

Poured an opaque golden orange with a pure white head that didn't hang out for too long.

Citrus scent, I can't help but like wheat beer, what can I say?

Tastes just like it should : a summer ale. Light refreshing, it reminds of sittin in the pool with a floating beer cooler.

May not be a thick beer lover's beer but I think it does exactly what it's supposed to do. I would love to leisurely sit back and have this whole twelve back over the course of an entire day. And I probably will.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2008 20:55:03 | More by PatronWizard
Photo of jeffthecheff


4.33/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love the summertime, partly because of this beer. Tasted from both bottles and on tap; on tap is definitley better.

Appearance- Poured into a weizen glass it looks very sexy. The color fits perfectly with the beer, it has a light apperance which invites you to take a big swig after some summer bbq food, but it also has a nice amber color that shows flavor

Smell- Citrus aromas are very strong. Invites you to take a big sip.

Taste- The lemon clearly comes through in the taste. Not much bitterness, but there is some that seems like the perfect amount for what the beer is.

Mouthfeel- Good amount of carbonation, goes down incredibly smooth

Drinkability- Wow these are easy to drink. Not very filling, has a good taste but isn't too full bodied to make you want to not have another.

Serving type: on-tap

08-04-2008 05:41:44 | More by jeffthecheff
Photo of andrewm190

North Carolina

2.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have never really been a big Sam Adams fan. And I will never forgive them for the bullet aimed at all humanity known as "cherry wheat." This beer isn't nearly that bad, but it does remind me a bit of ACC football--hovering somewhere around mediocrity, never really breaking out of it, but not quite sinking below it either. The beer pours a fairly light golden color with a heat about the size of Ally McBeal, and retains nothing while the bubbles lethargically fondle themselves in the corner. The beer tastes to me like a lager with some wheat and lemon thrown in, and I'm pretty sure that's about all there is. You can quaff it on a summer day, sure, but any wheat beer in hot temperatures probably isn't the best idea in the first place, and I would rather spend less money on Coronas and lime. Still, its not a disaster if you've already grabbed a sixer, just surreptitiously pawn it off to your peripheral friends and hope to get something better from them at a later time.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2008 01:01:08 | More by andrewm190
Photo of flipshevanel


4.3/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer! Started with an average sized, frothy, white, and mostly diminishing head. The body hue was medium yellow/light orange with tiny particles averagely dispersed. The aroma was a nice heavy dough with moderate malts and light hops. The flavor was definately sweet that calms down until a nice average bready finish. The body was medium to full, dry, and softly carbonated. I really love this beer and is in my top 5 of favorite beers right now.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2008 04:55:32 | More by flipshevanel
Photo of philbe311


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

A - Golden straw color... Slight thin fizzy head... Carbonation clings to the glass... Mild lacing

S - Malt, lemon zest, wheat... Perhaps some melon and some all spice...

T - Citrus fruit, biscuit, and all spice... Mild malt and smooth hops on the finish... Well balanced...

M - Light bodied w/ biting carbonation... Smooth, light, creamy, and oily...

D - Solid but forgettable summer ale...

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2008 03:43:51 | More by philbe311
Photo of dpkpr


3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I really liked this beer. I should also mention that it hit something like 106 degrees today in Dallas, so if there ever was a perfect day for a beer like this, today is it. It came as part of a mixed case from Sam's Club, so you never know how fresh it is. Didn't think to check for a born on date before tossing the bottle. It poured a light golden. Nice head that stood up for a few minutes before dissipating. Took a big sniff. Very pleasant fruitiness. Lemon. Big expectations for a beer that will fight off this oppressive heat. No bitterness at all, but wasn't expecting any and true to style. Very refreshing. Despite the very light quality to it, there is a discernable maltiness. Well balanced for its type. I had mine with a lightly seasoned grilled chicken and it was a very nice companion. I recommend this beer for hot days or for a session beer (although my case only came with four). Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2008 01:28:53 | More by dpkpr
Photo of BeerBelcher


2.15/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is hardly a home run. It is not making me like summer any more than I already do. On a hot day, I'd really rather have something else.

Appearance is a clear dark yellow with decent macro-lager-like head formation. I get some candy-sugar sweetness, some citrus, some diacetyl in the aroma. Flavor is sweet and citrus-y, but not overly sweet and not unbearable. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky and cloying. I don't find this beer to be especially drinkable; in fact drinking it kind of makes me want something else.

I would not recommend this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2008 21:25:16 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of kinger


2.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at a questionable establishment I'm tempted to pick up a sixer to compare yet I'm also cautious to not waste more money on this beer. The aroma was mild and pleasant. The beer poured a strange orange-peach color with minimal head. It just looked fake in the glass, not offensive just odd to put it best. As I sipped on this beer I was able to detect the wheat influence. There is a spicy taste that compliments the wheat, but I'm not sure if I like it. Other than those two aspects the overall flavor was borderline bland. Mouthfeel is somewhat pleasant and the finish is relatively smooth. Overall I'm hoping this beer is better than what was poured from the tap. Revisit (as promised) Well it's July and my friend brought over a 12 pack of this for dinner the other night. Having this fresh from the bottle and drunk from a nice clean glass my opinion has slightly changed for the better. Looks better, feels better, and tastes much better. Still a tad weak in my opinion but it is more crisp and inviting this time around. The flavor needs a boost to really let this one soar. Decent summer time beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2008 20:10:17 | More by kinger
Photo of HardcoreKeith


2.35/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For some reason I guess I expected this beer to really have some zing to it. Other reviews have hit accurately on its qualities. Wheaty and a little grassy smelling, slightly cloudy gold, light wheat ale flavor. Anyway, it's very underwhelming for me. Maybe it's because this tastes exactly like the cherry wheat (which I had to endure six of) except with lemon replacing the cherry. Another bland pale wheat ale offering from Sam Adams.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2008 22:44:23 | More by HardcoreKeith
Photo of Nipitato


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

Purchased a six pack at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Moderate gold hue. Slightly opaque but pretty good clarity. Creamy white head dissipates quickly.

S: Coriander, lemon zest, and a grainy wheaty malt aroma are all evident.

T: Malt leads with no hoppy character. Balance is provided by lemon zest and coriander. Slight lactic sourness finishes off this beer helping to make it quite thirst quenching.

MF Full mouthfeel - very creamy and tart. Moderate carbonation.

D, notes: This is a fine beer to relax with on a nice summer day. I imagine a good beer for cooking with as well.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2008 19:44:00 | More by Nipitato
Photo of buffettfan


3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. A nice golden color, not a lot of head, fair lacing.

Smell, sweet, and lemony. Tasted very crisp, slightly spicing and slight hop taste. Very smooth, and a very drinalble summer beer. A nice one to have in the fridge on those 110+ degree Arizona summer afternoons!

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2008 17:22:51 | More by buffettfan
Photo of Kadonny


3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From tap at TGI Fridays poured into a standard pint glass.

A: A cloudy straw yellow color with a minimal white tight laced head, minimal glass lacing.

S: Sweet malt with hints of spice, grains and some citrus.

T: Wheat, grainy yeast, lemon and a hint of spice (description says pepper) with a hefty malty sweetness. Minimal if any hops flavors.

M: Light mouthfeel that disipates quickly. No bitterness and no hint of alcohol.

D: Medium. If you like this style, then you can easily drink a few of these.

Overall an ok beer, but nothing special. I prefer the Southern Tier AWA or Bells AWA over this one for sure, they both carry more hops. Still, an easy drinking beer that is refreshing in the summer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2008 14:17:07 | More by Kadonny
Photo of drxandy


2.8/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz to flare pint, pours a slight hazy golden, good carbonation, light white head fades

smells of lemon, strange adjuncty, spices

tastes of crisp maltiness, bitter, very interesting flavor most likely due to the grains of paradise, sweet, not much easy to pick out right now, but a unique summer ale for sure, lots of flavor and drinkable for even the macro drinker

mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, good amount of flavor.. not much else to say - there are way better offerings from boston brewing, a refreshing and interesting summer take for sure

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2008 09:43:42 | More by drxandy
Photo of MOShepp


3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow with a small head and a little lacing.

Aromas of lemon and wheat, not much else.

Tastes pretty much like it smells, I didn't really get the spices the bottle talks about.

I guess it's a fair summer ale, nothing special and a little too light with very little flavor.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2008 00:03:34 | More by MOShepp
Photo of birchstick


3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours pretty clear with a nice head. Smells of lemon, a tad bit of malts and hops as well; not too much going on. Tastes kind of bland. A little citrus, followed by some hop bitterness, and finally a huge hit of wheat. Overall, this was a decent summer beer. I prefer something with a tad bit more taste and balance, but this was very drinkable and extremely refreshing. Great summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2008 23:18:37 | More by birchstick
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy, yellow-orange body with a full, though collapsing, off-white head.

Smell: Caramel-coated malted wheat aroma with a redolent peppery scent from the Grains of Paradise and an apparent note of lemons.

Taste: Slightly bready wheat malt with a with caramel sweetness present. Tastes of oily lemon peels and a coarse black pepper. A whirl of sweetened tropical fruit juices accompany a slight bitterness which, along with the peppery character, help to temper the sweetness. Drying, spiced finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine, refreshing summertime offering, Samuel Adams Summer Ale walks the fine line between delivering the goods on flavor and being super easy to gulp down.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2008 22:07:17 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Foxman

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours a relatively hazy straw yellow with ample carbonation. Two fingers of white head sustain for a bit then drop to surface swirls of froth. Grins of lacing smile along the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, pale, lightly sweet malt is joined by a waft of mildly tangy wheat. Lemon is fruity and aromatic and is sprinkled by spicy pepper.

Upon tasting, the grains swirl together into a distantly sweet blend of tart earthiness and mellow berry. Citrus is more vague here, and more zesty, with an edge that's buttressed by the spice of pepper. A rounded, yeasty dough note is in front of a brisk crispness that dries and lingers for a time in the finish. It's not great, not bad, and not memorable.

Light bodied, not even the carbonation can seem to slow down the rapid, watery flow, lending a thin presence on the palate.

I see it, the yellow label grabs me and says, drink me, it's summer, but I just can't be very excited once I've tried it. It's mainstream, which isn't in itself a bad thing, but it could be more. Still it drinks quite easily. The issue is, with so many things out there, will I grab another one? So I've tried it, and I'll finish the six, but that's likely the end of this little tryst.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2008 18:39:26 | More by Foxman
Photo of Brianmerrilyn

New York

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

My brother in law stopped by with a sixer last night. After having a Brooklyn Summer as a English Pale Ale, i was intrigued to see what Sam's American Wheat Ale would be like as well. I have tried this in previous years and wanted to find out if the receipe has remained the same.

Bottle pour into pint glass gave off a 1 finger white head with a clear apple juice color. Fair amount of lacing and retention. Quite clear and keeping ip with it's namesake.

A: The nose was difficult to find. Minor tints of citrus, spices in the distant background. I guess this is what they were looking for out of a summer ale, subtle and relexed.

T: A Mellow yellow were my first thoughts after downing the first of 3 of these. I tasted lots of grass, hops, pepper, and very weak wheat. Lemon zest provides tang and some refreshing aspect but not much.

M: Very light and weakening as you move through the glass. Citrus provides some bitterness along with the spices to mix with the somewhat smooth finish.

D: Nothing special at all. If your looking to put down a fair amount and not know it, much less taste, this is your backyard hot beer. A great session beer because I could down a sixer and go back to work and not even know I drank that much. One of the mildest Sam creations I have quaffed.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2008 12:47:05 | More by Brianmerrilyn
Photo of jeremyd365


4.08/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hey what a delight! I finally tried this summer brew not knowing anything about it and was pleasantly surprised indeed. I was happy to find that Sam Adams strayed from the common banana or orange-infused summer wheats. The lemon zest and grains of paradise do a great job relaying that summer feel in an original way. Smelled good, tasted good, and was very drinkable, not to mention affordable.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2008 01:56:34 | More by jeremyd365
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,310 ratings.