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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: 634 | 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 SAtaMi
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Nice tall 1/2" head. Very yellow in color

Smell - Lemony and crisp with a little hop to it.

Taste - Crisp with a tartness. A much lighter lemon flavor then the smell. Wheat under the citric flavor. With a malty exhale.

Mouthfeel - A little creamy yet crisp with a nice carbonation.

Drinkability - I like it compared to the other summer ales i have had. A good beer to bring to the lake.

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

Had on-tap at Carrabba's the other night. Poured a nice light honey wheat color with plenty of lighter yellow highlights and some effervescent carbonation running up the glass into a finger of white head that didn't last too long, unfortunately. A good looking beer other than the head retention.

The smell was pretty average. Some sweet pale malts laced with a little graininess, maybe a little earthiness towards the finish. Not very robust, but not faint either. Just average.

Sam Adams Summer Ale tastes like summer. Or at least summer-ish. Like the nose, it started out as sweet and slightly grainy, a combination of the wheat and pale malts, I presume, and a little spiciness towards the middle of the beer as well. Everything finishes up with a light but still present hop character that is mainly grassy with a slight amount of citrus. Pretty tasty on the tongue, my only gripe was, like the aroma, it was a little weak in places.

The mouthfeel also reminded me of summer. A body a shade shy of medium coupled with a healthy amount of small, zesty carbonation bubbles made this a crisp, easy drinker with a slightly dry finish.

Overall, this wasn't a bad beer. I liked what the beer put on the table, I just wish it had a bit more 'oomph' behind it in certain spots. Still, another tasty one from Sam Adams. If I see it on tap again at local restaurants, I'll probably go for it again. Still beats the hell out of most things they offer on draft at big chain restaurants.

Photo of rosmhuire
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had a few of these on tap at a dinner with friends...

A: Pale yellow coloring, decent-sized head

S: Not a lot on the nose. Getting a slight hint of lemon

T: Very light and refreshing, with a slight lemon flavoring-

M: Medium-bodied

D: This is definitely drinkable, and refreshing. I threw back 4 of these and did not feel weighted down at all. That being said, it did't particularly strike me as memorable. A good "safe" beer widely available on tap when you're out and want something light and inoffensive.

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

Consumed May 31, 2010 from a Samuel Adams "perfect pint" glass at approx 40 degrees F.

Beer pours a clear light golden. Plentiful carbonation replenishes a fine white one-finger head that reduces to a sticky white skin in a few minutes.

Aroma is muted banana, mild cloves and a powdery touch of white pepper. Fleeting note of lemon.

Flavor is subdued wheat. Grassy and with nuances of aroma components. Slight trace of bitterness on finish.

Texture is nearly creamy and soft. Slightly dry.

A refreshing beer for a hot day, for sure. Doesn't bring anything new or exciting to the table, but then that's not the point, is it?

Photo of tgat
2.67/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

I tried this in a 22 OZ bottle (1 PT, 6 OZ).

Appearance: typical wheat cloudiness, goldenrod yellow in a glass but seemingly much lighter in the pour.

I poured a bit aggressively and was surprised to end up with a 50/50 head/beer that stayed around for quite a while. Definitely be gentle with your pour.

Smell: hops, roasted wheat, but nothing else

Taste: Tastes like a wheat ale with lemon added. I prefer a maltier beer, but it's not too bitter to be offensive to a milder palate.

Texture: This is where it got me. Drinking a swig of this Summer Ale is like drinking beer flavored heavy cream. It's very thick on the tongue and seems cohesive when you swallow. Very strange.

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

12 oz. bottle from downtown SFO liquor shop, drank in hotel room before dinner 5.30.10.

1/2 finger white head quick dissipation to thin layer of head over light gold clear body, with minimal visible carbonation. Nose features a bit of lemon zest, some spices, but very light odor, perhaps some floral hops. Taste centers on the lemon zest, wheaty lightness and not much hops, a bit of floral notes on the backend. Mouthfeel is quite light with good effervescence. Drinkability is pretty good, refreshing, but the reality is there are better summer beers out there. I'll pass the next time.

EDIT- After reading the Bros review in this months BA, I'd argue that this beer is mis-classified, the above review based on the APWA category. Given the Belgian take on this 'hybrid' style, the taste profile makes sense, but I'll still pass next time.

Photo of charlesbyrd
3.17/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Widmer Bros. pint glass.

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange with a minimal soapy-white head. The head sticks around for the entirety of the drinking session thanks to a prominent flow of bubbles rising from the center of the glass.

S: The lemon is definitely there on the nose, but it's all pretty subdued. A few of the spice notes come through as well.

T: This beer reminds me of a wannabe Winter Lager. There is a hint of lemon and a mild of sweetness, but it's overpowered by a soapy bitterness that I didn't find very enjoyable.

M: Pretty watery, very light-bodied with just the right amount of carbonation.

D: I can't say I'm a big fan of this one. It seems like it's trying to be a lighter version of their Winter Lager, but it lacks the great spicy flavor and crisp finish that I love from the Winter Lager. The soapy flavor that I tasted turns me off, and I think there are many more attractive options for a refreshing summer session beer.

Photo of herman77
3.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy straw yellow with a little off white head, not much lacing.

S: Lemons, spice, yeast and wheat. Very muted nose though, not much comes through.

T: Again, the lemon is very evident in this, not overpowering, but its the first taste that comes to mind. Bready and wheat flavors are also present. Slight tang near the end. Clean, crisp finish. Very refreshing for a hot day.

M/D: Lighter body, lots of zippy carbonation bubbles. Very average. Drinkability is okay, if it was a hot day in the sun this would be better, but I had this at night on a rooftop deck.

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

Had on tap for a thursday night dinner

A- poured a straw yellow look with good carbonation ripping throughout the beer

S- lemon is the name of the game with this one. There is some yeast that arises, as well as faint wheat themes. Spices are matched with an almost banana like scent

T- again, lemons and citrus are the main theme. There seems to be an almost banana bread, dry flavors exisiting as well. The sweet malt is evident with the entire taste profile

M- crisp and medium bodied

D- the beer is drinkable, no doubt about it. The hype on the brew overall is not for me. You can put these down, no problem. I just think there are some other seasonals out there that embrace the season.

Photo of CaptCleveland
4.02/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with "brewery-fresh" date of 08/10.
Pale-yellow liquid poured into SA glass, retains thin white foam head. All citrus orange and lemon aromas. Carbonated tingle and medium body gives way to pleasant wheat and orange aftertaste. Smooth and refreshing on a hot summer day or while tending the grill. Can certainly tip back a few and have room for the ribs.

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

Had on tap....came to me in a 16oz pint glass.

A- Poured a golden yellow color. One finger white head that had alright retention. Light lacing left on the sides of the glass. Nothing too impressive lacing wise.

S- Muted smell. That's kind of being nice. Some light wheat smell in the front. Some light spicing and major lemon scents in this throughout. Almost too sweet in the nose from the lemon notes.

T- First thing I taste is major lemon flavors which go all the way through to the finish. Some light hopping from the middle on the through backing. Light spicing comes and goes with a light wheat flavor. Sickly sweet for the first couple of sips but stays around pretty much for the entire beer.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation is high for the style and almost too much for me as it fizzes in my mouth. Lemony flavors left on the palate with more sickly lemon flavors in the aftertaste. Flavors are crisp for the most part and blend well into the lemon overtones.

D- Alright drinkability. Not the best summer ale out there but then again this is the one most places have on tap. This is not one of my favorite beers from BBC but I feel it's made for more of the BMC crowd.

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.

Photo of ugaterrapin
2.8/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

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.


Photo of livewire78
2.83/5  rDev -15%
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.

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.

Photo of lester619
3.72/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of rfgetz
3.68/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Photo of AleWatcher
2.94/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.23/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of Shrews629
2.66/5  rDev -20.1%
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!!!

Photo of hdofu
3.62/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Photo of Seanstoppable
3.13/5  rDev -6%
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.

Photo of AgentZero
2.54/5  rDev -23.7%
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.

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