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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.

4,627 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,627
Reviews: 1,543
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 32
Gots: 476 | 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: 4,627 | Reviews: 1,543 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kromes
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Slightly hazy pale yellow color with a fluffy white head. Lots of carbonation in glass. Lacing on sides of glass.

S: A bitter lemon aroma with some wheat and bready malts.

T: The initial taste is of sweet bread malts followed by a tang of citrus and a fruity taste in the background.

M: The mouthfeel is tangy from the citrus, but extremely smooth and has a good body to it. The best feature of this beer, IMO.

D: This is a nice summer ale. Very refreshing, but the tang and citrus is a little bit too strong to make it a session beer.

Kromes, May 29, 2010
Photo of ugaterrapin
2.78/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: It has a pale golden straw color. There was about two fingers of head that receded quickly to leave some lacing on the surface of the beer.

S: There is a strong lemon zest aroma to this one. It seems like almost too much effort was taken to infuse the lemon into this aroma.

T: It has a wet citrus flavor. The lemon is still the main event on this one. A little subdued from the aroma. This makes me think of great beer to have after mowing the lawn in 90 degree heat. I once thought this was a decent beer, but after sitting down and reviewing it there isn't too much to it.

ugaterrapin, May 28, 2010
Photo of meeekyh
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Today being the hottest since last year I decided to try Sam Adams Summer Ale, that and I didn't find my first choice. The beer came in a 12 Oz bottle labeled with a freshness date of September (this year presumably). I poured it into a tulip glass and notices it is a honey color with a bone white head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

It smells like a light wheat beer with a hint of citrus and almost no hop presence.

Taste is grainy but not overly sweet and not bitter. It is tart but not sour and the finish is rather clean.

Mouthfeel is light and refreshing with a slightly dry finish and high carbonation.

This beer is interesting and a drinkable departure from the ;lagers I have been enjoying thus far this spring. I look forward to the rest of the summer seasonals this year and toast this one as a pleasant introduction.


meeekyh, May 27, 2010
Photo of livewire78
2.8/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Typical hazy yellow color with a decent sized head. Nothing spectacular.

Smelled of lemon zest and grassy hops. Smell was fairly subdued though. Even for a wheat.

Tasted like a stale wet towel. Grassy lemon tasted fake and like lemon Pledge was sprayed into it to give a citrus taste. Overly grassy and peppery. Would have made a better salad dressing.

Feel was spot on for a wheat. Light and crisp. Finish was not too short or long for the style.

It would be easy to drink a few of these if your taste buds were blasted by chile peppers or something like Ruination. After extreme palate fatigue this might be pretty good.

livewire78, May 26, 2010
Photo of BricksandPorter
2.83/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured two cold into the Dortmunder Boot after a night in the fridge. Probably in the area of 40-45F. Ambient temperature that day was in the mid 70's so it was on the cusp of prime Summer Ale weather here in the Lehigh Valley.

Pour - a hazy pour of bright yellow with hues of straw and light ambers. Two finger head more of a result of the boot than of the beer as indicated by its quite disappearance. Minor lacing to compliment the fine bubbles and seemingly copious carbonation.

Nose - weak, and thats putting it lightly. I understand its supposed to be a delicate, lighter drink - wheat ale - but this doesnt have any signature whatsoever. Maybe a hint of citrus and alittle earthiness, but nothing that makes me think...

Taste - Another prime example of why BBC needs to stick to making Boston Lager. Period. This is a weak wheat ale, with very little to offer in the taste department. Unmalted wheat is there, along with some notes of spice, some citrus and a yeasty, almost minty ester looming in the background but beyond that - NIL. Nothing on the hops and very little in the way of rounding out or balancing this brew.

Mouthfeel - this and the mouthfeel are by far the best part of this beer but in the end, it doesnt say much. Decent carbonation might add some clarity to the flavor, but its coming up short. A fuller body would also help - clarify some of the flavors and expound on them and this might be a damn good summer wheat. Has a waxy, almost oily texture to it as well - which is great for some of the heavier BBC offerings - but not this one.

Drinkability - fairly easy but with so many better choices out there, I would steer clear.

BricksandPorter, May 25, 2010
Photo of lester619
3.73/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am glad to see that this is back on the shelves. I'm not a huge fan of wheat type beers or beers with fruit or spices added, but for some reason this stuff works for me. Pours a hazy, cloudy, almost dirty looking golden amber. Not much to look at. Smell is fruity and grainy. grainy wheat up front with a little clove, some spicy pepper flavors. Bitter hop flavors are there, but way in the background. A sharp, very noticable smack of lemon in the finish. I think this is what pulls it all together and makes it refreshing and very drinkable. What can I say? Based on other beers that are similar, I shouldn't like this but I do. Maybe I'm just glad it's almost Memorial Day.

lester619, May 25, 2010
Photo of rfgetz
3.73/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice pale gold color with some frothy white head. Scent is of musty wheat with hints of citrus and spice. The taste is much fresher than the scent with a nice clean lemon taste and spice to it - all backed by a clean pale wheat charachter. Medium bodied, some grainyness to it. A nice, refreshing summer brew - the grains of paradise give it just enough uniqueness and charachter.

rfgetz, May 24, 2010
Photo of AleWatcher
2.95/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A sunny golden color that is darker than Oberon. A nice white head rises a bit above the one finger mark.

There is a lemony scent that reminds my of dish detergent-- a sweet wheat note hides in there too.
A sweetness hits me first, then an almost chalky graininess coats my tongue. There are lemony citrus notes and a spicy white pepper bite from the yeast I imagine.

Carbonation is acceptable, but I'd prefer a bit more... The body is a tad heavy for me to really consider this refreshing summer beer... It isn't bad, but I'll stick with Oberon.

AleWatcher, May 23, 2010
Photo of GRPunk
3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle (notched best by Septemeber) poured into a Weizen glass.

A- A moderate pour left about a 1 finger, dense, eggshell head that dropped and sustained at about 1/4 finger and left really nice sticky rings on the side of the glass. The body was just slightly hazy after a bottle swirl with a golden color and moderate-to-heavy carbonation.

S- It was a combination of citrus and peppery spicing. There was a light, yeasty aroma that suggested a pleasant mustiness. Both the lemon zest and grains of paradise overshadow the malt and hop profile.

T- More citrus and spice suggested by the aroma. The lemon goes deep into the finish. Hopping kind of adds to the spicy characteristics, coming off as a black pepper sort of flavor.

M- It had a soft feel. Moderate carbonation. Gentle wheaty characteristics come off as almost "creamy."

D- It's pretty refreshing initially. The added zest and spice kind of overwhelm the flavor. While it doesn't seem artificial, it's just a bit too much. It might be an easier drinker when served at very cold temperatures. Mine wasn't "ice cold" to begin with. I'd definitely drink it during the summer months when a tap list is kind of on the short side, but I'm not going to seek it out.

GRPunk, May 23, 2010
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Single bottle from a sixpack, part of a mini-Sam Adams invasion at the LCBO.

Light golden straw, mildly hazy, and with some vigorous carbonation that might be the result of a less-than-standard glass washing on my part. Head is thin and frothy, doesn't last for too long.

Nose is classic pale wheat, with some lemon and orangepeel. Seems to be about it, but it's not too shabby on this hot 'summer's' day.

A bit more body to it than a lot of pale wheat ales that I've had recently, but still pretty one dimensional. A mild wheat ale body with some lemon and orange, and a bit of malty sweetness. Maybe a bit of vanilla and herbal hops. Thinner bodied, moderate-to-zippy carbonation.

Well, it's citrussy and it goes down remarkably quickly, so chock this one up as a decent summer thirst quencher, though in typical Ontario fashion its quite pricy (over $13 for the sixpack). Still, it'll work for the weekend ahead.

JohnnyBarman, May 23, 2010
Photo of bundy462
3.93/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Light clean yellow appearance with a nice head.

S: Very complex, wheat backbone with some lemon and spices.

T: A very nice wheat brew. Very refreshing on a hot Summer day. Wheat backbone with lots of citrus taste and some slight spice.

M: Very good, a nice example of the style.

O: I can drink these all night without problem

BBC impresses again, this will be on my "regular" list when it's in season.

bundy462, May 23, 2010
Photo of Shrews629
2.68/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Mildly cloudy with a white, soapy, 1 finger head and decent lacing. Color is light orange to dirty yellow. Looks like TANG.

Smell - The smell was not that pleasing to me. Slight lemon and somewhat grainy. Couldn't believe it, but I was getting an odd "urinal" smell or something. Maybe I just had a bad bottle or maybe it was the spice. Don't know for sure, but I was sure that it bothered me a bit.

Taste - Got the citrusy lemon up front with the slight hint of wheat and a slightly bitter aftertaste. Needed something more I thought.

Mouthfeel - Medium to mostly thin mouthfeel that was crisp and smooth in the finish. Also a bit watery.

Drinkability - This would be, of course, easily drinkable during the hot days of summer. I just couldn't get over the smell!!!

Shrews629, May 23, 2010
Photo of hdofu
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

sort of yellowish with a fluffy white head. Taste is intensely of wheat with a bit of a honey finish. smell is kind of fragrant of spices behind the smell of the wheat and hops. Kind of light bodied and crisp for the summer months. Light enough to drink 2 or more.

hdofu, May 23, 2010
Photo of Seanstoppable
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice summer day on a long weekend. A Sam Adams sample pack recently dropped off at my point. Only appropriate that I start off with the summer ale.

Pours a translucent light gold color with a finger of head. Head quickly evaporates to a thing cover and rim. Visible carbonation in the body. No real lacing.

I can detect wheat and some spice in the nose, but none of the lemon zest mentioned on the label. What scent there is is fairly muted.

While lemon was not detectable in the nose, it is detectable in the flavor. Some wheat and spice are there near the finish. Spice flavor lingers a bit.

The introduction of spice is interesting. Fairly thirst quenching and smooth. Overall, though, it is just a fairly average beer. Still a decent choice when in the sun.

Seanstoppable, May 22, 2010
Photo of AgentZero
2.5/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Hazy yellow color with a nice big white head. Pretty solid looking brew for the style. Moderate lacing looked pretty good.

S - I think I smell a majority of the things that are stated on the label, but it's not all that great. Lemony citrus and rind really dominate this, fairly pungent, not in a particularly good way.

T - Could do with out this. Very bready and citrusy, leading to an almost skunk like taste. Not a bad bottle either, drank this a couple of times and always forget how much I do not like it because of this taste. Nothing very good going on here.

M - Pretty light and nice carbonation, would be great on a better tasting beer.

D - For something I'm assuming should be sessionable, this is not. IT tastes too bad, with it's overly lemoned flavoring and skunkness.

AgentZero, May 22, 2010
Photo of woosterbill
2.28/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, best by 9/10, into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a clear, vibrant gold body with two inches of fluffy white foam on top. Good retention and some fine, solid lacing. You can't really ask much more from this style appearance-wise.

S: It has all the notes I'd expect from having read the bottle-neck - lemon, clove, pepper, and wheat - but the overall impression is dull and uninspiring. The lemon in particular seems artificial and excessive, and lends a distinct scent of lemon Pine-Sol. Yuck.

T: Just like the nose, spice and lemon cleaner are predominant, with some wheat malt sneaking in on the finish to balance things out a touch. Still, the added flavors just don't do it for me, and I'd rather see some hops take the place of both the lemon and grains of paradise.

M: Fairly light body with moderate, rather sharp carbonation. Not quite as lively as I'd like, but not bad either.

D: Sorry, but I can't get behind a beer that tastes this bad. I'm contemplating making this a drainpour, just so I can move on to something tastier.

Notes: I remember disliking this beer every summer I've tried it, but I figured I'd go ahead and give it a chance this year - plus it was left over from a mixed 12-pack that a friend bought. I really don't see how this beer is as popular as it seems to be, as it's certainly one of the least palatable APWAs I've ever had. It's too bad you have to buy two of these to get two of the fairly tasty Latitude 48 IPAs.


woosterbill, May 21, 2010
Photo of dstc
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy gold with a white head that falls to just about nothing. Thin lace.

Mild malt nose with hops present. Citrus notes come through with a little vanilla maybe?

Nice taste, mild malt and milder hops with a nice lemon flavor. Refreshing.

Thin to medium bodied. Average carbonation.

Very easy drinking, refreshing summer brew.

dstc, May 20, 2010
Photo of aubuc1
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to a tulip pint glass.

Pours a lightly hazy yellow with a steady stream of bubbles leading to a big white head.

Smell is slightly lemony and soapy with some mellow malt.

Taste is a smooth, lemony, grassy, light and simple. Not bad, but not great.

Nice creamy mouthfeel and very drinkable. It is a summer ale, but not my favorite style.

aubuc1, May 19, 2010
Photo of Thiestru
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Bright, pale golden with appreciable cloudiness. One-finger white head, decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Lemon, spices, and wheat.

Taste: Same as above. I don't like wheat beers nearly as much as I used to, but I still find this very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability: This is a great beer for a hot day; one or two of them hit the spot nicely.

I don't buy this very often, but I always really like it when I do. Another solid Sam Adams offering.

Thiestru, May 19, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
1.38/5  rDev -58.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

On-tap at Red Mesa Cantina

A - Pours a pale gold with a good head and lace.

S - It smells unpleasantly perfumed and chemical-y.

T - The flavor is not much better, the perfume is transformed into a bad spiciness that is quite is quite similar to Raid bug spray.

M - Limp.

D - There are a lot of bad beers in the style, but this one is really horrid.

ktrillionaire, May 17, 2010
Photo of streetcommander
1.75/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A. Very nice. Looks refreshing. Mild haze.

S. Average. Nothing standout. Smells well balanced.

T. Terrible. I'm a big SA fan, and this is very swillish. Tastes like generic stale wheat bread, fried chicken, and cheap cologne, with a lemon scented Pledge finish.

Webster defines the word "Heinous" as; surprisingly or shockingly evil.

Heinous is well suited to this beers description.

M. Average.

D. Do you like drinking urine?

streetcommander, May 14, 2010
Photo of gromis
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a hazy gold color, which is to be expected from a wheat beer.

About average carbonation.

I don't detect anything in the smell of this one. Just smells like a nice balanced beer to me...

Taste is where it's at. It's wheat up front. The middle is a crisp clean spice taste; I can't describe it, but it's probably the Grains of Paradise. The fade is lemon.

The finish is crisp and clean. This would be a great beer to quench your thirst after mowing the lawn.

gromis, May 14, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a golden-yellow color with perhaps just a touch of haze to it and a fluffy white head.

S: A strong citrus aroma to the beer is immediately noticeable. The lemon zest shines through and there is maybe a light spice character as well.

T: The wheat provides some nice sweet flavors which goes along nicely with the lemon zest quality. Again, a hint of spice to go along with a mild breadiness.

M: The body is light, which you would expect from a summer beer with a moderate carbonation and a crisp finish.

D: A real easy drinking beer that does work quite well for the warm weather. I wouldn't mind having one of these on a hot day outside.

womencantsail, May 13, 2010
Photo of Krevee
3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drank 5/12/10
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Bruery tulip

A - Pours a golden yellow with about a half inch of head that dissipates quickly. Has minimal lacing that falls very quickly as I drank it.

S - Smell is of the standard wheat with some lemon/citrus and a little bit of spice.

T - Taste is similar to the smell. There is some bitterness on the front end of the beer which is unusual, and less taste on the back end.

M - Light bodied which is expected for the style. Smooth in the mouth, but not as crisp and refreshing as I hoped it would be. Also not as carbonated as I would have liked for this style.

D - This is an easy drinking beer, but I would prefer some other summer style beers over this one. Including ones I can find in the same price range.

Overall not a bad beer but I can think of better for the style and price range.

Krevee, May 13, 2010
Photo of glazeman
3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy yellow. Large white head.

S: Definitely can smell the lemons in here. Behind the lemons the smell is typical for a wheat beer.

T: I was a little surprised by the taste. I was expecting a little bit more of a crisp beer akin to a blue moon. This however was on the sweet side, but also a little peppery. The overall taste was good, but not necessarily as "summery" as other wheat beers brewed with fruit and spices.

M: A little over carbonated in my opinion.

D: I wouldn't go in search of this on a nice summer day, but I wouldn't shy away from it either.

glazeman, May 11, 2010
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,627 ratings.