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

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Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

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4,753 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,753
Reviews: 1,548
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 33
Gots: 543 | 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: 4,753 | Reviews: 1,548 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DovaliHops
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely cloudy golden color with a big white head. Aromas of wheat, citrus fruits, meat (smokiness), and spices. The taste is initially full of flavor. Lots of meat and spices...very delicious. The mouthfeel is awesome, and the drinkability is high.

Photo of tykees88
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- golden straw yellow. one finger head, lacing half down.

S- lemony wheat, hops, and booze

T- lemon off the bat, wheat middle bitter hops finish, just enough to complement the lemon

M- Light bodied, great for summer, good drinker if you're say... at the lake

D- Good, easy light tasting, good drinker.

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

Poured into a pint glass

A - Pours a hazy bright yellow-gold with a minimal head and no lacing. Lots of effervescent carbonation, though.

S - Wheat and light malt with lemon and oranges and a slight peppery finish.

T - More wheat and citrus with a peppery and floral finish.

M - Crisp with a light body and nice fizzy carbonation.

D - Solid summer beer, very crisp and refreshing. Could have a few of these on a hot afternoon.

Photo of zaphodchak
3.93/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rather aggressive pour into a hefeweizen glass for nice three-finger head with heavy lacing remaining and a translucent golden body; the classical image of "beer." Not as textured or wheaty as on-tap, but still refreshing. Very light citrus notes, not bitter at all. Taste (primarily of cereal grains) is subdued for good sessionability and drinkability; this beer is unassuming and straightforward. Fans of German lager and wheat beers will appreciate this domestic standby, though it's priced appropriately as a quality beer.

Photo of burnerfinger
3.8/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Kracky Mgee's, at the OMA airport on July 30, 2010

A as a wheat beer should be, this is cloudy. bright lemon color, minimu head with little apparent lacing.

S: a bit of citrus but a bit "musty" this is not really working for me

T: again with the fruity citrus. and some sort of aged grainy taste. looking forward to the end of this glass

M: just right if you can isolate mouthfeel from the taste. medium carbonation, light body.

D : I imagine this will be super drinkable for a wheat beer lover. I'll leave the rest to you becuase I cant appreciate this type of brew.


Photo of thebeerdoctor
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Re-sampled this one. This time, a twenty two ounce bottle, sitting in the backyard on a very hot afternoon, listening to jazz music from a Paris Internet radio station.
I must say I enjoy this beer far better in the elements, than sitting in a room with air conditioning, where the somewhat mixed up flavors can seem downright ponderous. But out in the summer sun, Samuel Adams Summer Ale is quite a seasonal concoction: thirst quenching and more lively than a shandy.
It also seems pointless to compare with Belgian whit, despite the use of somewhat exotic grains of paradise. Like their Octoberfest, this is beer made from a new world viewpoint.
Despite Boston Beer Company's refusal to can any of their beers. This would be a good candidate for such portability. Take this one outside and pour into a glass.

Photo of TheMadJack
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. Bottle into Pint Glass.

A: Cloudy golden yellow with a thick, foamy head that would be white save for a lemony jaundice. The carbonation comes in thick strands of fair sized bubbles.

S: Orange blossoms and zest, hint of lemon and grass. Barely detectable soapiness and a dash of cinnamon. I don't know what "Grains of Paradise" smell like, having never encountered them outside of the context of this beer, but that might be they.

T: Light, just a little sweet and a little bitter. Wheat comes through good and strong with a sour lemony note and a finish a bit like orange pith. The peppery flavors one would expect after, say, reading the Wikipedia article on Grains of Paradise ( are notably absent.

M: The carbonation that shows in the glass is barely apparent on the tongue, leaving the beer feeling a little flat. The lemony sourness of the beer gives elevates it and gives it some brightness.

D: It's refreshing and it's light, I'll give it that. Goes real well with sandwiches and warm days.

Photo of HockeytownBrew
4.43/5  rDev +33%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

A: Good foamy head, nice golden-straw appearance. Very nice lacing throughout.

S: Wheat and malt with hints of citrus make for a very pleasant scent.

T: Incredibly refreshing. The wheat is clearly present throughout, with great hints of the lemon zest and a bit of a spice note from the Grains of Paradise.

M: Light to mouthfeel, very crisp. Goes down very smooth

D: Great drinkability. The ideal beer for the days of summer - whether it be at the beach, backyard BBQ, or just lounging around outside, this is the beer to have.

Summer is always better with Samuel Adams Summer Ale.

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

The beer poured a very nice pale gold color; with a 2" white head that quickly lay down to a thin lace around the edge of the glass. It has a light aroma of lemon and wheat. The taste is very crisp and refreshing, with a little hint of lemon followed by wheat. I think it is very drinkable and is one of my favorite summer seasonal.

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.95/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - poured a clear golden, short white head that dissipated fairly quickly
S - light wheat hints, lemon zest, and light floral notes, all subtle aromas
T - wheat malt and lemon up front, then an interesting zesty floral and spicy flavours that must be the grains of paradise
M - refreshing lemon and carbonation fills the mouth, then moving towards a spicy tingly dryness
D - fantastic summer drink, very easy drinking and refreshing with enough interesting flavours to keep my attention

Photo of tbeckett
3.68/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

355 mL bottle poured into a tall Beck's pilsner glass.

A - Very thin cap of white head. Very carbonated. Golden yellow.

S - I definately pick up the lemon zest and some sweetness. Lemon zest dominates the aroma though.

T - Really zesty, citrusy and refreshing.

M - Really thin, almost watery.

D - I can see the carbonation holding the drinkability back a bit but this is really refreshing for a summer day. The lemon zest is a nice touch for a summer ale.

Photo of mtnbikerpa
3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer served on draft in an Imperial Pint glass. (Not a Sam Adams glass.) Bright yellow straw color with an abundance of sticky lacey head. Smell of oats and bread like notes. Taste had plenty of yeast, biscuit like flavors, also some spices as pepper and faint ginger. Mouthfeel was a bit dry. Drinkability certainly easy and laid back for the summer, easy to sip, chug with some BBQ or a steak on the grill and reach for another.

Photo of washburnkid
2.6/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes. Enjoyed in a proper perfect pint glass.

A: A bit over 1 finger of frothy white head. Barely a haze is visible in this golden straw body.
S: Aromas are faint, with a lemon zest bitterness and nice aromatic offering of spice and fresh wheat.
T: The flavors are pretty faint...underwhelming, actually. The grain flavors are fresh but are really the only prominent character in the beer's profile. Actually, it's really the only flavor...period. No citrus zest as promised by the aroma. A heavy bitterness lingers on the tongue, but it's nothing pleasant.
M/D: Medium body and lower carbonation. Tons of bitterness is clinging to the palate. With a summer beer, I'd expect fresh, diverse flavors and high drinkability. The intense and undefinable bitterness really kills the "summer" ease with which a beer like this should be enjoyed.

Photo of jzeilinger
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a hazy pale orange color with a fluffy one fingered white head and active carbonation.

S - Coriander, wheat, lemons, and some earthy presence.

T - Grainy with lots of wheat, coriander, lemons, and mild pine hopping. The malt is crackery and crisp and blends well with the other flavors going on during the sip.

M - Grainy, light bodied, and crisp.

D - Marginal. I didn't finish mine and left about a third in the glass.

(There's 1200 other reviews for this beer - is someone really reading this???)

Photo of mintjellie
2.2/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Straw gold with a thin, poorly retained head. No lace. Soapy lemon aroma with a hint of vanilla. It's pleasant lemon flavour is marred by that same soapy character in its aroma. Mild unpleasant aftertaste reminds me of tylenol. Light, spritzy, and quenching. The fact it tastes like it's meant for washing away sweat and dirt instead of washing down a meal detracts from it's drinkability.

Photo of NODAK
4.28/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is of a hazy golden color. Head is medium with some retention.

Taste is citrusy up front with a dose of lemon. There's a spiciness to it that I am guessing harkens to the "grains of paradise" this beer boasts about using. There's a very pronounced and prolonged wheat taste at the back end with a pretty long finish. Definitely a lot of wheat character here.

Very awesome summer quencher here!

Photo of biboergosum
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle, kickin' back on my b-day off-day at the Metro. Only the second Sam Adams product to make it to the store shelves around here thus far, strange, that.

This beer pours a lightly hazy, pale golden straw colour, with three fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat soapy off-white head, which renders some droopy cloud lace around the glass in its short and sweet wake.

It smells of pale grainy and wheaty malt, lemon zest, orange Slurpee, a touch of spicy yeast, and leafy, grassy hops. The taste is sweet lemon-infused bready cake, pale wheat grain, a soft, earthy, kind of peppery spiciness, and plain as the day is long (and they're still pretty long, right now) leafy, musty hops.

The carbonation is average, just a wan frothiness for my trouble, the body far on the light side of medium weight, though soft, and somewhat airy in its smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the wheat malt keepin' 'er between the lines, with a bit of weakening lemon rind for good measure.

A simple wheat ale, nothing particularly remarkable, despite the pseudo-exotic guest spice ingredient. However, given my 'predicament' right now, this came off as pretty thirst quenching, and a worthy kick-off to wandering back out into the pavement-enhanced sunshine.

Photo of JohnnyP3
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl oz bottle, best before date of May 2011. Poured into a Sam Adams pint glass. Pours a hazy pale gold color with a white head. The head was less than expected, only about one finger and it disappeared rather quickly. Only a little lacing on this occasion. Smells lemony and peppery. A little bit of a sweet sent as well.

This beer is a refreshing wheat, ideal for warm weather and lighter cuisine. Classic wheat taste/texture with a lemon twist at the end. Also has a slightly spicy dimension to it, kind of peppery.

Mouthfeel is smooth and has some good substance to it. Drinkability is good. Refreshing, no overpowering tastes, a solid warm weather staple.

Photo of linusbwell
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

SA Summer

Poured into Pint Glass

A: Crisp yellow with a slight haze-white head.

S: Citrus is present as well as some yeastiness.

T: The citrus is a bit overpowering-I can also taste the grains of paradise, peppery.

M: Okay mouthfeel.

D: I've had this one in the past and remember it being a lot better. This one was pulled out of the summer selection. The draft version is better.

Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.35/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks good and has a summer appearance label on the bottle. Smells of lemon and spices. Has little head. Taste is above average but not the best. The lemony flavor makes this beer taste great, so mouthful has the same rating as taste. Drinkability is excellent not the best, but very close. This is a beer one could drink all day. Goes down smooth and refreshing.

Photo of mgbickel
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. A single finger of white foam settled on top of the clear, corn-yellow body. The head stuck around for a rather long time and also stuck to the sides of the glass.

The nose is pretty simple and subtle...some citrus from the hop presence and a grainy malt backbone.

Meh...the taste is right in line with the nose. Starts off with a sweet malt flavor that fades slowly into a very slight, bitter finish. Nothing real complex or palate catching.

The body is pretty light and somewhat astringent; moderate to high carbonation.

Pretty drinkable, but nothing to write home about. Pretty much middle of the road for a summertime beer.

Photo of gildobeer
2.75/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I wanted to like this beer, I even thought I had tried it before and liked it, but I digress. Pours a cloudy muddy amber/orangey/brown with a thick lace foam.
Smells somewhat wheaty, with a little lemon in there and some odd spices I can't put my finger on. Taste is not for me, I usually like summers but this is a little heavier, and definitely has a heavy lemon tinge. Eh

Photo of modernartblues
3/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not SA best, but drinkable when there is nothing else available. I had two of these when they first came out, but it was mainly because I was missing the Noble Pils.

I'm not a huge wheat fan, but found this one pretty drinkable even with its large lemony flavor.

Photo of drinkiusmaximus
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a bright yellow. thin head which dissipates quickly.

S- picking up a lemony wheat smell with a slight spiciness.

T- Taste like a decent pale wheat ale with a lemon wedge in for garnish.

M- light to medium bodied a little more carbonation might have helped.

D- Although the beer is smooth i am not a fan of lemon in my beer which would limit me in how many i would want to drink.

as my sam adams key chain bottle opener would annotate i am a fan of the Boston Beer Company but that being said this beer is not one of my favorites by them.

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

Clear gold with a fine cap of white foam, good head retention, a bit of sticky lace, mostly sheets. The initial aroma after the pour was very nice, but it lost some of its punch fairly quick. Nice orange blossom and spice up front, fading to a crackery malt aroma. More orange and lemon citrus in the flavour, light bitterness, faint spiciness with sort of a soapy character. Light bodied with some dryness, moderate carbonation, a bit crisp. Pretty refreshing and nicely balanced.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,753 ratings.