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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.

4,563 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,563
Reviews: 1,542
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 33
Gots: 437 | 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: 4,563 | Reviews: 1,542 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SargeC
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Appearance: Slightly hazy gold liquid with a foamy white head.

Smell: Wheat character. Lemon, yeast, orange and clove.

Taste: Smooth bready start melts into citrus flavors. Almost tangy/sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Feels lighter than it is.

Drinkablity: Decent wheat brew. I am not a big fan of wheat brews, but this was pretty good.

SargeC, Dec 20, 2009
Photo of bbkd3b
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Bright orange and hazy is a good combination, but not much of a head to speak of.

S: Wheat and lemon zest from what I could gather. Some spice underneath (Boston Brewery's grains of paradise, I imagine).

T: Nice taste with a good lemon punch. Some other fruits were there, but they were pushed to the background.

M: Medium-bodied, with good carbonation. Left a bit of an after taste that I wasn't a big fan of, though. Perhaps it's a personal thing, but something about it was... meh.

D: High at first, but the more I drank the more that aftertaste turned me off. One and done, with this beer.

Overall, a decent summer brew worth a taste. I wouldn't recommend it too highly, though.

bbkd3b, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of Dijeriduster
2.93/5  rDev -12%

A - Slightly amber pale color with 1 1/2 fingers head on a strong pour. Quite clear, like an american mass produced lager...

S - Immediately made me think of the smell of Bud Light from a keg. Kinda sour with a hint of spiciness coming thru. Closer nosing reveals some sweetness and a little musty flavor.

T - Starts off a little sour before the sweetness hits. Wheat comes thru in the finish as does more sweetness. Lots of honey notes here. Interesting adjunct tastes in here too...no clue if that is the crazy African grain mentioned in other reviews?

M - Actually pretty good for a "light" beer. Maybe a little too much carbonation but it feels full on the tongue.

D - Eh, its nothing to write home about - but it would be a great alternative to the mass produced crap for a BBQ or other event. Think of it as the beer snobs party beer....I surely wouldn't get a 12 pack for myself, but a party full of naughty coeds??? Hey they gotta learn about real beer at some point

Dijeriduster, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of Cakanator
2.35/5  rDev -29.4%

12oz. Eh how many times does somebody bring this to a party? Average summer lemony light beer. This is about as average as it gets for a summer. Wouldn't mind never having again, but I'll take it over coors any day. Not taking too much pride in this one.

Cakanator, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of dpnelson1978
3.08/5  rDev -7.5%

12 oz. bottle into glass pint.


$9.99 / ea.

Tasted in the month indicated as best by.

S: Sour lemon, and evidently "grains of paradise" though I would never put my finger on it. Wheat is overwhelmed by pure citrus tang.

A: Cloudy straw body topped with a medium loose head that leaves little lacing or cover. The style generally requires a more substantial head.

T: Sour lemon citrus and toasty wheat malt. Toast dominates on the inhale and a crisp tang remains on the palette well after the taste.

M: Light body and high carbonation with a bitter bite. Fits the style, but feels too aggressive in my opinion.

D: The drinkability will be determined by personal taste (more so than normal). Price and abv. are just right, but the sour can be a deal breaker. If you like tang, this is where it is at.

O: Respectable showing, but the tank isn't what I'm looking for in the style.

dpnelson1978, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of ludachris
3.33/5  rDev 0%

Pours hazy golden straw due to the vast amount of miniscule sediment floating around. One finger of china white head that quickly dissipates but leaves some decent patchy lacing.

Wet wheat, lemon zest, biscuit and a funky vegetal smell that I think can be attributed grains of paradise used. Very simple and somewhat bland.

Lemon zest upfront that helps cut the wheat, biscuit, wheat, corn and other vegetables with a quick and subtle floral hop finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth but not well balanced. Being their summer seasonal, this one was made to be a quaffer and a quaffer it is at that. The drinkability seemed to be the only highlight of this beer, but the funky bland taste didn't make we want to drink much more.

Quite disappointed with this Sam Adams offering. Being the same, premium price as the Boston Lager, I would go with that any day over this. Won't be buying this one again.

ludachris, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of Marcrates
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%

A - Pours a bright orange, with a bit of cloudiness to it. The head is small and doesn't stick to the glass.

S - Not much here.. maybe a little peachiness?

T - Not bad. Starts off with a fairly thick wheat taste, and tapers off with a hint of citrus. I'm not tasting any hops here at all..

M - Medium thickness.. a bit dry, but still refreshing.

D - I could have a few of these without trouble. Fairly easy to drink..

Overall I think this is an ok beer, but it doesn't have a great deal going for it. A step up from a Bud Light for sure.. but nothing to write home about.

Marcrates, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of TheHammer
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%

Got this one in another trade with Ludachris, not really all that much more to say.

Appearance: Pours with barely even an a centimeter of head, that obviously did not lace or retain. The body however boasts solid carbonation, a nice orange/bronze color and boasts decent carbonation. Clearly unfiltered by it's cloudy appearance but not riddled with sediment.

Smell: Needs to be a bit stronger, but I'm catching a very nice peach and lemon smell with a nice touch of peppery spice to a solid background of wheat malt.

Taste: Starts with a citrus wheat malt which shifts to a nice but somewhat subdued and indecisive mix of citrus, wheat, with a hint of spiciness that then rounds out the beer with a slight touch of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Leaves the mouth slightly dry but too much. Aftertaste barely lingers and it pleasant with a nice fruit touch. It also does transition fairly well, however points do get deducted for the complete lack of head, which is surprising due to the decent carbonation.

Drinkability: This one is hard to gauge, I mean it not an average beer and it is interesting but I get the feeling it's trying to do too many things at once. Not sweet enough for a desert beer, not refreshing enough to guzzle on a hot day, not spicy enough for unique twist and while not heavy on the gut or gassy, leaves something to be desired.

Final Thoughts: It's a bit odd, I mean it's drinkable but really this really reminds me of a cheaper, blander Creemore Kellerbier with wheat added into the mix. All in all, I'd recommend a try and it might be your thing but don't buy a whole six pack until you scout it out.

TheHammer, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of Dave412
2.55/5  rDev -23.4%

From notes

Pale orange color small head quickly gone. Cloudy slightly.

Smell of wheat or wet straw but with zesty scents. Smell of something damp.

Lemon citrus orange tastes but nothing strong, mild tastes nothing really stands out, some grain and fruit on finish.

Medium body, seems to linger some in the mouth.

I find myself not craving a second one after drinking one. Dont know what it is, not really overly filling but just doesnt settle well with me. The taste just doesnt leave me wanting more.

Certainly not my favorite wheat ale, probably worse one I've tried although I honestly havent had tons of this type.

Dave412, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of Metalmonk
3.45/5  rDev +3.6%

Healthy cap of foam, nearly two fingers thick, bubbles and crackles its way to a thinner layer, but it does so slowly. Creamy and a bit rocky, it threatens to leave lace on the glass, and then doesn't do much in that department. Color is a hazy golden yellow.

Nose is herbal in nature, and everything appears as advertised: zing of lemon; that gentle niceness of wheat malt; grains of paradise appearing as an exotic spicing that would've been tough to nail down if we weren't already told what it is. All this is quite mild, and there isn't a ton else going on, but it's enjoyable enough.

Flavor is a well-balanced blend of citrus (yep, lemon), spices, earthy/clean wheat, and a light dash of hops. A bit soapy on the finish, and also more sour and less tart at that point. A sweeter non-citrus fruit element appears with warming.

Feels slick enough, body somewhere between light and medium, and not quite as soft as many other wheat ale. It's not harsh either, but ample carbonation nearly edges it into soda territory.

Decent stuff, and perhaps I should have tried it when it was fresher (and when it wasn't a cold and drizzly early autumn day). Recommended, but only if you can't get your hands on Oberon, Dreamweaver or a great Belgian wit, which perform that same function with greater results.

Metalmonk, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of Anthony1
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%

Pours a somewhat hazy medium gold color with an ample amount of white head. Retention is poor for a wheat beer and there is some lacing left after the initial pour fades to a nice sheen.

Nose is filled with lemon zest, those pesky, peppery grains of paradise, snappy wheat and mangoes. Taste is light and spicy, with the grains o' paradise and wheat flavors leading the way. The flavor feels a bit 'softer' out of the bottle than it does on tap.

Anthony1, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of CHickman
2.2/5  rDev -33.9%

Pours a cloudy yellow orange with a 1 inch thick creamy white head; smelled of wheat, lemon, malt and a burnt grain of some sort that's a bit skunky.

Tastes like malt, lemon, yeast, spices and a grassy tang that didn't mix well. Very light and crisp carbonation which flows like water, but unfortunately leaves the before mentioned skunky burnt grain taste/smell as the finish.

Not a good beer, and very disappointing. The spices didn't mix well with the lemon and/or wheat or grains and I did not find this beer refreshing at all. Not a summer ale I would seek out or have again.

CHickman, Oct 03, 2009
Photo of mdwalsh
2.98/5  rDev -10.5%

A: Pours a pale golden color with a big mostly white head, though it too has hints of golden in it. A pretty creamy, foamy head, the wheat protein really shows through. The beer is clear, but has little to no active carbonation.

S: Fruity, wheaty and grainy, all in a bad way. I don't know if it's too much or what, but I just don't like that smell. Perhaps it's the grains of paradise. I get no hops and no citrus either.

T: Taste is similar to the smell, but the poor execution of the wheat ale part is what's really killing me I think. Tastes almost skunky, but that's not it. It's just off...perhaps the mix of wheat w/o a hefe yeast and the grains of paradise kill it.

M: Pretty light, though the bite from the carbonation and the overall creaminess are fighting it out. Hmm, not bad, but pretty average. Sub-par for SA IMO

D: Flavor and smell kill it for me. patently average.

mdwalsh, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of tone77
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smeel is slightly sweet, some lemon and wheat. Taste is light and sweet, some hints of lemon, a touch of hops is present.Feels medium bodiedin the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this makes a pretty good selection.

tone77, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of shamus
2.95/5  rDev -11.4%

Nice and hazy. Thin head. Subtle to the nose. Crisp sharp and quenching but there is a muddy aftertaste. I can't say that i am really a fan of this. Too bad it might of been better. just not what I'm looking for in a wheat beer. What I want is something like the Mill street Wit beer. lot's of bready goodness with those citrus notes from good yeast.

shamus, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of mikeal1917
3.55/5  rDev +6.6%

Bought this after my first paycheck at the new job for a cookout I was going to. 78 degrees was the perfect weather to try it.

Appearance: moderately low head formation dissipates into a small wisp of foam around the glass

Smell: the hints of Lemon zest are apparent, somewhat pungent from the grains of paradise pepper spice.

Taste: lemony taste is immediately noticeable, but not overbearing. somewhat bitter aftertaste isn't a great taste, possibly because of the grains of paradise.

mouthfeel: light, refreshing, as a beer to be drunk in the sun should be

drinkability: not heavy at all, lemon is refreshing, though makes you thirsty because of the citrus

mikeal1917, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of farrago
3.1/5  rDev -6.9%

Moderate head of clean white that drops off into islands across the surface, close to zero lacing. Very mild haze to the yellow-orange color, lightens appreciably at the outer limits. Taut nose of hay, straw, wheat, lemon peel, more muted clove, allspice notes, becomes more bready as it warms, no fruit to speak of. Medium-bodied, in spite of the active and focused carbonation comes across as bottom heavy, moves slowly after mouth entry. The lemon and orange citrus more pronounced, the same for the grassiness, hence has more bitterness and bite. The spice is more diffused and has less impact. The grain and cereal keep coming at you, if without clear purpose. There's little here that others in the category don't do better, pretty sure the units move due to brand clout.

farrago, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.78/5  rDev +13.5%

Appearance - nice finger of white foam covering a 23-ounce glass of golden brew. Good lacing as the beer level falls.

Aroma - light sniff of fruity, lemony tinged grain. Not so intense but prevalent throughout the evening.

Taste - lightly sweet grain, accentuated by sweet lemon. That's it. The swallow has the slightest bit of hop balance. Quite the thirst quencher after opening night of vball.

Mouthfeel - crisp, fairly average on the body, maybe a touch to the lighter side. A bit of smoothness, though, makes this slide right down.

Drinkability - a stable sessioner for summer/fall. Tasty without being too heavy.

brewdlyhooked13, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of mothman
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Pours two fingers of slight off white head. Fades down very quickly, but some of sticks to the glass as it goes down to a thin layer. Color is a a pale golden bronze. Very hazed over.

Aroma: Wheat, lemons, oranges, coriander, and I am guessing what I smell is the grains of paradise.

Taste:Very sweet and interesting blend of flavors. The grains of paradise are represented highly here then comes the wheat, lemons, oranges, and spice mix. It seems to be too sweet.

Mouthfeel: very crisp with a decent amount of carbonation and a light body. Ends with a sticky over spiced aftertaste.

Overall, this isn't a bad beer. It is just spicy sweet if that makes sense. It is drinkable, especially on a warm day, but that is about it. Nothing to exciting, but nothing bad either.

mothman, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of baos
3.05/5  rDev -8.4%

12 ounce bottle into Falstaff Goblet.

A: Nice looking orangey-straw color. With a one finger head on pour that dwindles down to a wee bit of film. Not much lacing to speak of.

S: Grains and a bit of lemony maltiness.

T: Bitter orange-lemon flavor. Kinda like seltzer water. Needs more wheatiness to balance out the bitterness. Still a crisp and refreshing beer though.

M: Pretty nice.

D: I have mixed feelings about this beer. The 1st bottle I had I didn't care for. The 2nd I had hours later was really good and the 3rd that I am now having it not so good again. I think the lemon and the malts clash and make this beer just so-so.

baos, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of righthereisay
1.88/5  rDev -43.5%

Very dissappointed. Not sure what Sam Adams was doing with this one.

I thought the "grains of paradise" were way too overwhelming on this one. Couldn't really taste the "wheat malt and lemon zest" as advertised.

Definitely will never buy this again. Couldn't wait to finish the case (my dog said no)

righthereisay, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of BarrelO
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%

12oz bottle poured into a mug. For brewery-fresh taste, enjoy before September. Oops.

A: Medium orange. Two-finger head fades and leaves no lacing.

S: Citrus and sugary sweetness.

T: Quite tart, but also rather sweet. An interesting balance.

M: Medium-bodied and creamy.

D: I didn't much care for this the first time I had it, but it's grown on me. A good summer beer.

BarrelO, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of redzone3120
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%

A - Pours a deep and dark golden color with a hint of amber mixed in. The cloudiness adds to the color giving it an even deeper hue when held up to the light. The head is relatively thick and has a nice brownness. As it disappears, there is a thin lace on the glass.

S - There is not much smell to the beer. Hints of hops and little lemon zest are about all I can smell.

T - Has a nice wheaty taste and the hops are evident. The lemon zest blends well with the wheat to enhance the flavor.

M - The feel is very smooth and the carbonation is is very fine. Has a light refreshing body with medium flavor.

D - A good summer brew and a good wheat beer. Definitely drinkable.

redzone3120, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of oldpinecone
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

Poured into a pint glass.

A very nice pale copper color with an overcarbonation of bubbles rushing to the 2 finger semi dense head. It was nice to look at.

Smell was very grainy with an undertone of heavy citrus.

Taste was a bit strange. It tasted like a lemon starting to go bad mixed with the grains you feed goats at the zoo. The least bit bitter from the hops. Not bad but different. Not what I expected from the style and definetely not the best taste for a pale wheat.

Mouthfeel was a little bit watery but very crisp. Its what makes the beer refreshing,

On a hot day by the pool this beer would be a good contender. If nothing else is around that is.

oldpinecone, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of techtatu
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Poured a nice rustic color with about 2 fingers width of cream colored head. At first sip you get hit with a very strong citrus note and as you continue to drink it starts to hint at spicy note. Dare I say the same spicy note that is in their Octoberfest. It is a very light drink and quite refreshing one too.

Definitely a beer I would take out fishing with me and or to a BBQ out at the lake. It is a good substitute to a Hefeweizen, and it is a beer I would recommend to those who are exploring beers with a citrus hint.

techtatu, Aug 28, 2009
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,563 ratings.