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

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Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

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4,786 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,786
Reviews: 1,556
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 37
Gots: 635 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-09-2001

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,786 | Reviews: 1,556 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of illidurit
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Clear straw color with a filmy white head. Wheaty aroma with a slight lemony tinge and an even slighter hint of unripe stone fruit. Flavor is grainy and wheaty with minor notes of peach pit and mineral water. Watery but smoother than most crap-ass American wheats. Not quite crisp enough if I'm looking purely for refreshment.

Photo of OttoBomb
3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle bottle into a DogFish Head signature glass (September 6, 2010). The freshness/best before notch is in October.

Eyes: Pours a sunset gold with mild haze. A fluffy creamy head forms and has some mild retention.

Nose: I can smell a bit of a cheap grain smell with some citrus notes. I does have a refreshing profile, but not one that seems high quality.

Tongue: The wheat malt is evident as is the pale malt profile. Citrus and spice are just a bit too strong for me, but overall quite good.

Mouth: If anything sam Adams tends to get the mouthfeel right, and the do here also.

Libation: I like the beverage, but it seems a bit too muted and made for the mass market. Better than most macros by far, but there are better wheat ales available.

Photo of Vdubb86
3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

Pours a nice cloudy golden yellow color with a finger of white foam. The smells are faint which for the flavor of this beer is rather odd. What I do smell however are citrus smells of lemon and orange zest as well as a pepper note to follow. The initial sip hits the tongue and oddly reminds of a dreamsicle which is pleasant but definitely unexpected. This is due to the creaminess of the body of the beer along with the strong citrus flavor. The more I drink it the more I realize how intense the flavors are, and there are a lot of flavors in here. The wheat flavor is almost lost to it. It almost seems like I'm drinking a beer that has had an entire fruit salad steeped in it. The mouthfeel is quite nice, as I previously stated it is creamy in nature. The beer is quite drinkable for a fresh summery beer. Recommended if on a budget during the summer.

Photo of obrendano
4.05/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

from a bottle to a pint glass

A - golden hazy wheat color, the light catches this very well

S - semi spicy aroma from the grains of paradise, light citrus and malt tones

T - same as the smell but amplified. I love using grains of paradise in cooking, and in this beer it works very well

M - light bodied, some tartness, goes down easy

D - a very very good beer to cook out with when the thermometer goes up. the tart spice enhances meat flavors rather than mutes them. also great on its own to just sit in the sun and relax

Photo of ledemie
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Cloudy, golden yellow color. White head. No lacing.

S: Malt sweetness, a dash of hops, spices and lemony.

M: Light bodied.

T: Nice citrus, spicy flavor lingering .

Not my favorite and the last time I will buy it, it is to light, and to citrusy, it taste funny.

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

A - A hazy golden color. A two finger off white head has good retention. A good amount of lacing is left. Also, a fair amount of carbonation is seen bubbling to the top.

S - Wheat and yeast are most present. There is also a hint of bread lemon and alcohol.

T - Big and bold wheat upfront. There are notes of lemon and orange. A surprisingly strong bread like after taste which is quite pleasant

M - Very light. Maybe a little too much carbonation.

D - This beer is very easy to drink. Goes down easy and smooth.

Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
2.48/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Decided on a whim to have this with lunch today. God what a mistake. Suffice to say there was no lacing, and it tasted like lemon grass and pepper. I admire Sam Adams for what they have done for the craft beer industry, but lament them for their lack of imagination with beers. Their only TRULY good beers are that bullshit marketing "Imperial" series that come in over priced 4 packs. Those are actually good beers. The rest of their line-up is soulless and an embarrassment to craft beer.

Photo of jal30
3.66/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy yellow appearance in my pint glass with little head, but good retention. Not much on the nose, but a good lemony wheat taste to this one. Definitely one of the more citrus-heavy wheat beers I've ever had, and yet done so tactfully--still tastes very much like a beer, which is more than I can say for some overly citrused wheats. Sorta boring and not overly impressive in any way, but it sure is refreshing. A situational beer for sure--perfect on the beach or with the right dinner. Loved it with my chicken dish. Not sure its worth the hype that surrounds it in the Boston area, but definitely one of my most ordered dinner accompaniments. Good stuff.

Photo of kingcrowing
1.79/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle poured into a hefe glass.

Pours a slightly hazy golden wheat color with a Jin white head. No lacing but light carb bubbles. Nose is gross, it's sharp an medicinal.

Taste isn't much better than the nose. It's also medicinal and all sorths of weird flavors I'm not Shure what's going on here but it isn't good.

Photo of jsprain1
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Appearance was a pale golden with pretty high clarity and thick head that maintained itself nicely.
S- Smell is of lemon zest, and pepper.
T- The taste is quite lemon-centric. Wheat and pepper flavors (probably the grains of paradise?) filled out the finish. Far more flavorful than in the bottle, but the flavors didn't mesh well for me.
M- Light bodied, high carbonation.
D- A pretty drinkable and tasty beer. Not my favorite from Sam Adams, but it is often the best option in summer at less beer-centric establishments.

Photo of r0nyn
3.42/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into my trusty Troegs pint glass.

A good pour gives this beer a frothy half inch head that quickly dissipates. The beer itself is a slightly hazy, but still clean-looking orange-ish yellow. Not quite as see-through as a pilsner, but on the lightish side. Smell is quite nice, full of a citrus-y fruitiness along with a slight hint of malt.

Unfortunately, the taste does not follow up on the smell. A bit of citrus-y flavoring is in the initial sip, but it quickly disappears into a malty wash with a slight tinge of bitterness in the finish. Wheat is just barely detectable and it's not as sweet as I was expecting. The grains of paradise are evident as advertised, but don't do very much for the palate. There is a bit of sourness that coats the overall taste of the beer and I don't think I enjoy it all that much. Mouthfeel is decently substantial, especially for a beer of this type. Lots of carbonation too.

This isn't a hard beer to drink by any stretch of the imagination. Sam Adams is renowned for making very approachable beers and the Summer Ale is no different. I just wish there was more character to it than simply some sourness and malts. I think I'll stick to hefeweizens for my wheat beer cravings.

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

consumed 04-21-2010, 12oz bottle into weizen glass.

Poured very pale hazy light golden color. 1 finger head quickly goes down to thin film

Smell: zesty, grainy, lemon, pepper... Fresh smell but had a metallic smell I didn't like..

Tastes is also very fresh and quenching.. Lemon zest, citrus tone to it.. pepper, wheat, grain & a hint of yeast... Light bodied with little carbonation.. Leaves a lemon/pepper note on palate.. Very clean beer, just a little heavy on the pepper.

Very drinkable & good for summer.

Photo of Sudsy89
3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big 22oz. mug on draft, cold.

This was a very nice, enjoyable beer. It's medium-bodied with an average level of carbonation, has a white head that quickly dissipates. Pretty golden color, a bit cloudy.
Aroma and taste is nice, has a bit of sweet lemon and hops that combine nicely, not too bitter. Highly drinkable, it isn't much more filling than a lager but has more flavor. I definitely recommend this beer if you can find it.

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Light yellow with fizzy head.

S-Lemons, peppery spice. All quite light.

T-Taste is stronger than the nose. Lemon zest, more spiciness, wheat.

M-Thicker than I expected still pretty light bodied however.

D-Less drinkable than anticipated.

Not a bad seasonal.

Photo of jazer
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Probably my second favorite seasonal beer. Definately look forward to this one come late spring. A flavorful beer with an excellent aroma that just tastes so good when it hits your lips. A beer that feels good going down meaning that one could indulge in many before too long.


Photo of FreshHawk
3.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy golden orange color with a larger than average frothy and billowy head. About average retention that fades into a nice layer of lace.

S - Slightly bready, malted wheat aroma with a good amount of spice, particularly a pepper aroma. Some citrus and fruitiness with a good amount of lemon and some orange.

T - Similar to the taste with some bready and malted wheat taste with some sweetness. Hints of some sweet fruitiness. Mid sip to the finish there is a strong pepper (Grains of Paradise) and other spices and also a strong lemon rind taste. These linger after the sip. Unfortunately these are a little too strong and overpower the taste.

M - Light to medium body with a good amount of carbonation. A bit of a zesty and refreshing feel.

D - A little too peppery and too much lemon rind to be really drinkable for me. It is refreshing, though, especially on a warm day. One would do me fine, but I wouldn't mind a second or to have another on a different day.

Notes: The spices and lemon zest are a little too unbalanced to me. An interesting beer and it does have some refreshing abilities for a summer day, it just seems a little too off balance to me.

Photo of PEIBeerGuy
3.79/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is nice, but just average. A cloudy, golden yellow, with only a bit of fast-vanishing head.

Smell and taste are quite similar, and are both good. It reminds me of a Trashy Blonde. Lemon, a bit of pepper, and a different (must be the "Grains of Paradise") taste of something like grain/bread and some... cilantro?

Mouthfeel is decent. A little bitter, which I often don't like, but not too much so. It's OK. Not too watery, not over or under-carbonated.

Pretty drinkable, but the bitterness does build a bit, though. Unlike the somewhat similar Trashy Blonde, though, you can have a few of these and not have your tongue destroyed by bitterness.

Photo of H1N1
2.68/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Poured into a pint glass. 2 fingers of pretty active foam. I actually just sat and enjoyed the popping sounds for a few seconds. Dissipated into a thin layer that remained and stuck to the sides of my glass nicely. The beer was a hazy gold colour which put me off slightly. Looked like a urine sample.

S- Wheat was immediately the most powerful aroma. The smell of lemon peeks out, but the wheat pushes it back. Slight lemony smell. Not much of a hop smell to speak of.

T- A malty wheat flavour. The lemon flavour is there but doesn't taste quite natural. It tastes more like lemon flavour from a lab than actual nice citrus. There is a tiny peppery taste if you search for it, otherwise it is not noticeable. I would like the peppery taste to shine through a bit more.

M- It felt almost slimy in my mouth. I was not a fan of that aspect.

D- Not my favourite Sam Adams. I was disappointed. I probably will not buy this again.

Photo of callmeclemens
2/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

In the spirit of my summer of summer ales, I decided to pick up Sam Adams summer ale.
Drinking straight from the bottle, the first thing I tasted was a chemical lemon flavor, upon finishing and stepping on my back portch I smell citronella, which smelled exactly like the lemon taste in this beer. On the bright side it was smooth and not to strong to be unbearable. In a world of great summer ales there is no need to try this again.

Photo of KTCamm
3.73/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours hazy golden yellow with 1 finger white foam. Settles to a creamy layer. Some lacing.

Wheaty citrus smell. Malty grain hints.

Lemon malt taste - citrus fades but not replaced by anything, leaving a little malt cloying. Low finish, no bite. Creamy mouthfeel. Prominent spice that I can't quite pinpoint.

Tasty, reliable summer brew. I feel like I have either liked this better in year's past or have just tasted better summers. Tasty, but not refreshing, and gets a little heavy after a while.

Photo of lespaulrocker
4.07/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This is the only part of the beer I don't like. Gold, a little cloudy. Looks like a cheap, gross beer. Head dissolves fast with a little bit of lacing.

S: Flowery, citrusy, and hints of pepper.

T: Citrusy with a bitter finish. Really enjoyable.

M: Little bit of carbonation, not too much, good mouthfeel.

D: Very drinkable, as a summer ale should be.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer.

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

What a nice surprise. It's been a long time since I've had these, but a got a twelve-pack for a party because I stopped in a crappy store with a bad selection. Anyway...

Nice golden color, slightly cloudy. Really nice to look at and made my mouth water just seeing it.

Nice smell, notes of wheat but not overly strong. Pretty nice.

The taste is really good. A hint of sweetness; slightly sour... It tastes like a corn sour-mash in a whiskey distillery should. Really awesome. Can taste the wheat, really good. Not much of a hops note, which I'm happy about. All in all, it's a really good taste.

Mouthfeel is really nice too. Slightly foamy, really rich. Almost a little thicker than it drinks...

Very drinkable--can drink this all day and all night. Very high marks--maybe my favorite summer beer.

Photo of Cylinsier
3.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours light and golden, white sugary head with good retention as a film.

Smells light and wheaty.

Taste is the same, with a tinge of barley-like grain in the end. A bit on the heavy side for it's color.

Moderate to full with tingly carbonation throughout.

Easy going and sessionable, but nothing game changing about it. Good, but I've had better.

Photo of beerprovedwright
3.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Nice Head, almost three fingers, with some lasting power. Good lacing that clings to the side of the glass like glue, good and thick. Not bad color for a light ale, a 6 on the SRM chart. Good trace of wheat, but not overpowering. More of a smell of wheat in the field, not the barn. Lots of carbonation that tingles the tongue as I retain it in my mouth, just a little more than I like. Very little after taste, but what there is...is pleasing. Much better than the other wheat ale's I have tasted. Still a little pricey, I would splurge for those who like wheat ale. I would not turn this beer down if someone gave me one.

Photo of VietPong
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I expect a lot from sam adams. With summer ale, i was not fully satisfied. The original citrus taste is satisfying, but i hate the bitter aftertaste. A slight bitterness is perfect among beers, but summer ale slightly overdoes itself. Is it too harsh to finish a six pack on a hot day? No. Is it better than a Corona? Yes. But is it the beer that I would prefer to be drinking? No.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,786 ratings.