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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.

4,594 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,594
Reviews: 1,542
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 33
Gots: 454 | 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: 4,594 | Reviews: 1,542 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of indiapaleale
3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale golden color with a decent amount of foamy head. Nothing much too look at, to be honest I rarely drink this one from a glass...

Smells sour malt followed by some sweetness and lemony citrusy scent. Also has a bit of a honey smell to it.

Taste is a sweet and sour mix of both malt and citrus. Some spiciness is present but the citrus finish really is reminiscent of a refreshing lemonade or something. Personally I find this to be an extremely drinkable summertime beer.

This is my favorite of all the Sam Adams beers...say what you will. I really only buy this one consistently and only during the summer obviously. I've yet to find an American brewery producing a "Summer Ale" that is as good or better than this. Is it the best beer in the world? No. Of course not. Is it crisp and refreshing and great on a hot summer day outside? Yes.

indiapaleale, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of lstokes
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is very much a lawnmower-beer--it tasted really good and refreshing after a long day of walking, but wasn't particularly complex, and there was a graininess to the taste I didn't love. I didn't like the smell much at all--the tang was sort of metallic and soapy, much too lemony overall.

It's basically an average wheat beer with a tangy lemon taste and a peppery bite at the end--not a very dry finish, and overly carbonated for my likes. The lemon also gets old after a while, or did for me anyway. I drank one with some pretzels and liked that one better, probably because it cut the lemon.

It's an okay beer but I can't imagine seeking it out.

lstokes, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of vividox
1.83/5  rDev -45%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

The appearance was pretty typical of a summer brew, poured with a little bit of head that faded quickly. Smell was average for a similar beers. The taste was something I wasn't expecting at all, it was very tangy and was almost a chore to swallow after awhile. The mouthfeel was usual, but the tanginess was very undesirable and made the drinkability score pretty low too. I will definitely not be picking this one up again.

vividox, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of dasenebler
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy straw orange. Nice head when well-poured, but dissipates to a ring quickly. Somewhat tart, fruity aroma. Slightly phenolic.

Taste is fruity, but tart and a bit yeasty. Slightly off-tasting, not terribly clean. Ever so bitter aftertaste. Sweet spice, touch of coriander perhaps. Mouthfeel was decent, carbonation was acceptable. Goes down easily, no struggle. Overall not a bad Sam Adams offering, but nothing special either.

dasenebler, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of epicness
2.35/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Hazy orange color. Nice foamy white head.

S - Citrus smell is the first smell I detected which is normal for a wheat beer. Seems like there was a small aroma of spice.

T - Taste was very blah and honey like. It was sweet. I didn't taste any lemon or any other citrus which is how the brew is supposed to taste. I'm not sure if it was a problem with where I got it from. But I was definitely disappointed in the taste.

M - Pretty light bodied with medium carbonation

D - I'm not too sure about the drinkability based on the first impression. I'm going to have to go out and buy a six pack of this to rate it correctly. Based on the body and how the beer is supposed to taste I'd imagine it would be pretty drinkable.

epicness, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of superdedooperboy
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy gold with a thick, somewhat rocky white head that displays nice retention and leaves behind some patchy lace on the glass.

Aromatics are quite nice and inviting, with plenty of citrusy lemon zest and an underlying spiciness. Smells like... summer. Obviously appropriate.

Quite light in body, with a nice zing of effervescent carbonation. Citric notes dominate the foreground, with lemon zest and a touch of sweet honeyed malt moving into a grainy middle imparted by the wheat in the grain bill, sliding once again into zesty citrus notes as things finish dry with a lingering mix of spice, lemon peel, and faintly astringent grain.

Wonderfully drinkable and one of the better American-style wheat ales dominating the seasonal summer releases. Easy-downing yet interesting, well-balanced, and very refreshing.

superdedooperboy, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of civilizedpsycho
4.05/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle into glass.

Appearance: A nice golden color that is a little bit cloudy. A good one finger head that lasted a while and fizzled out with some nice lacing.

Smell: Wheat, of course, but with a bit of a hoppy aroma.

Taste: A sweet wheat flavor with a hint of citrus. Slightly bitter with a smooth aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Has a little bit of character, but somewhat thin. Can feel the carbonation.

Drinkability: I thoroughly enjoy this beer. It's great on a hot day; and for me, it would be great just about any other time.

civilizedpsycho, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of beerman207
4.05/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

When I tried this a few months ago I was very let down because out of 2 six packs I believe I got a bad batch. I was worried that my favorite summer beer was no more. This bottle renewed my faith again in Sam.

A - Almost looks like apple juice with some little head in the glass

S - smell is of apricot, sugars, malt, and wheat

T - Taste is citrus, sugar, a littl sour, malt, and the wheat coming through again.

M - Mouthfeel is perfect for summer - very mild

D - High. This is my go to beer for summer. The grains of paradise in this must be the ticket. It just goes very well with hot weather.

beerman207, Jun 15, 2009
Photo of teejay76
3.68/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark gold with visable carbonation rising to the surface. Snow white head with little retention.

Smell - Aroma of malty grass with hints of yeast.

Taste - Pretty unique beer. Medium bodied with some kind of spice with a mixture of citrus, wheat and hops.

Mouthfeel - I didn't expect this to be as smooth and refreshing as it was. Decent aftertaste and fair balance of carbonation.

Drinkability - I'll use the word "unique" again. I liked it and recommend it. Heavier than most summer brews but that's probably why I liked it.

teejay76, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of smibroncos
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Poured a cloudy corn color with a 2 finger lingering head, and ample lacing on the glass

S. Citrus, hops, corriander

T. Lemongrass, wheat malt, slightly spicy, bitter finish

M. Light bodied, Lightly carbonated, Slightly watery

D. I could drink this brew on a warm summer day, quenching and refreshing brew

smibroncos, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of ThaBobfather
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid hazy orange color with some bleached fizzy head.
Definite notes of citrus in the aroma and maybe some clove.
Taste has a good blend of wheatiness with a citrusy spiciness throughout.
Finish is crisp with a citrus after-tone that is there, but dissipates quickly.
Drinks very well and is incredibly refreshing.

ThaBobfather, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of nickynick
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Summer Ale pours a hazy gold with a small white head and decent lacing. The smell was very interesting, hints of sea shore, and lemon. The taste was of sea salt, with hints of lemon and bread. Mouthfeel was a little heavy. The drinkability was nice, spot on for a summer wheat beer. Overall this beer was ok. Nothing really challenging here, but this serves its purpose. Its a nice easy drinker, good for summer drinking in the sun.

nickynick, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of thryn
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks pretty decent. Golden, hazy straw -- about a finger of bright white head, but it doesn't last.

Smells like flowers, straw, and spice -- grains of paradise, cardamom -- and that's about all I'm getting out of the nose.

Taste is a little better - some slight banana and clove, bit of grassy hops and slight bready malt, but it's a bit overspiced and weirdly medicinal.

Mouthfeel's pretty spot-on, definitely this beer's best quality. Nice light body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

Drinkability's pretty decent, mostly because the flavor profile, while IMO not ideal, is pretty tame, so it's still quite refreshing.

Not Sam Adams' best offering, but still might be a decent choice in a bar with limited selection or as a refreshing brew on a hot day.

thryn, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of drunkboxer1
3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy straw yellow. Smells fairly "bright." Citrus (dunno if its from actual citrus or the yeast) is dominant on the nose. I can also smell some floral hops. Mouthfeel is smooth, I feel like it should be a bit more carbonated for a wheat. A little sweet, and bready. Spices run throughout it, I taste a lot of coriander. It certainly isn't as boring as a lot of other American Wheats are.

drunkboxer1, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of Monsteruss
3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

When poured into the glass, it carried a small amount of foam, very light wheat in color, almost white and dissapated quickly. The color was a rich, hazy golden honey. The smell had a lemony/orange zest with an equal balance of hops and wheat and a hint of honey. The taste was an exact mirror of the smell. Drinkability - easy on the palate and easy going down witha dry aftertaste. Mouthfeel - light to medium bodied with a very subtle graininess.

Monsteruss, Jun 10, 2009
Photo of diabecktic
3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The excessive amounts of carbonation are evident as the beer fills my glass. A creamy head forms quickly (~2 fingers) and slowly settles but does not completely dissipate. Lacing is good, but not excellent. The beer itself is a lovely, psuedo-translucent shade of yellow-orange; carbonation and tiny yeast particles are also visible.

In descending order of relative intensity, the aroma consists of lemon, spice, and hops. As stated on the bottle itself, this beer smells quite "zesty." It's a strong, but not overpowering.

The taste matches the nose pretty well, but there seems to be a bit more malt on the palate. Sam Adams' distinct hop taste is definately present, but it isn't nearly as strong as it is in other varieties. The maltiness is well-defined by the wheat and citrus tones; the spices compliment the finished product nicely. Mild yeast flavor is present in the aftertaste.

I will rate the body as medium-light. The beer sits nicely in the mouth while the spices and carbonation tingle the tongue. The balanced flavors help augment this section's rating.

This beer goes down quite easily. I would recommend against "slamming" these, but you could probably do so if you choose. The citrus burst is quite appetizing and leaves you wanting more.

Like almost all of the other beers from the Boston Beer Company, this one does not disappoint. I would rate this as an excellent summer beer. It's a well-balanced beer because each element of flavor remains distinct without being too overpowering. This beer would be as great of a companion on a grilling oddesy as it would be after doing yardwork all day. Enjoy it while it's out!

diabecktic, Jun 10, 2009
Photo of MunchkinDrinker
3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy light gold with a fizzy white head that disappates quickly. No lacing.

S - Smells like a lemon drop without the sourness. Very sweet lemon and sweet maltiness. Not spicy or bitter.

T/M - Much more refreshing than the smell. The lemon is tart and bitter, rather than sweet. Malt flavors are hidden behind the clean lemon. Carbonation is mildly biting, but feel is smooth and not sticky at all.

D - Moderate flavor strength and refreshing enough. Quite drinkable.

MunchkinDrinker, Jun 10, 2009
Photo of NewGeneric
2.8/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had this at the Philly airport. Poured a light golden color with white head that faded quickly but left good lacing. Smelled of wheat malts and lemon. Tasted lemony and a bit grainy. Fairly smooth, but a little dry on the finish. Overall, not a beer that I would have more than one of.

NewGeneric, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of aaronxsubaru
3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this around the same time as Honey moon summer ale and i feel about the same as i did with that beer.

I was expecting this to be very refreshing and more unique than other beer. i felt it did ok in both those areas but it could have been better. It certainly wasn't a bad beer at all, it had good flavor and i liked the subtle differences it had but in the end i wish it would have maintained the drinkability but had more flavor like i later found boston lager to have. I think i would try it again one day, but so far i would reach for something else before i went for this again on a warm summer night

aaronxsubaru, Jun 08, 2009
Photo of Haybeerman
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Light, slightly clouded yellow color. Poured a 1 finger white head that dissipated to an even skim. Laced in light rings.

S: Lemony citrus aroma is dominent; light and refreshing. Musty, wet grains.

T: Lemon and citrus up front. Bready grains in the middle. Slight tartness lingers through the mild bitter finish.

M: Light body. Balanced carbonation keeps the finish clean and bright. Tasty without being heavy.

D: Very drinkable. Easy to know a few back.

Haybeerman, Jun 08, 2009
Photo of Brenden
3.73/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a cloudy amber color with a decent head that leaves some thin lacing. The smell is that of malt, grains, spice and citrus. The taste is a nice grainy, citrus taste, quite flavorfully but not overpoweringly sweet and spicy. The body is light to medium and the mouthfeel is pretty crisp. It finishes dry and lingers well. This one could easily be a regular.

Brenden, Jun 08, 2009
Photo of merryjoulton
2.63/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a very light orange with a thin head that fades quickly and does not lace at all. Smells faintly spicy and a tad hoppy, but no malt character. Tastes very bitter and over hopped. There is a large dose of spices which is unwelcome without some sweet malt backbone but this beer has no malt presence whatsoever. Mouthfeel is too thick for a beer that is supposed to be refreshing. Drinkability is low, this should be much lighter and much milder and much tastier.

merryjoulton, Jun 06, 2009
Photo of originalsin
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a quintessential summer brew. I mean, hell, what doesn't sound absolutely awesome about 'grains of paradise'. Count me in.

Been drinking these on tap at my local bars since they showed up on tap and while I'm not the biggest fan, I certainly can't complain.

It pours a light hazy gold that's accented by a slight ring of head that doesn't spend too much time lacing down the glass but looks ok nonetheless.
One thing I love about this beer is the opportunity to bury my nose in it. Smells heavily of lemon zest as well as some a decent amount of sweet sweet honey.
The mouthfeel is more creamy than I expect every time but that doesn't stop me from ordering it again another night. It tastes like biscuits from popeyes with a fat punch of lemon. The aftertaste is like chewing on the core of one of those biscuits, where the butter flavors haven't permeated. This might sound good but it's a beer we're talking about.
As for drinkability, I can't complain.

originalsin, Jun 06, 2009
Photo of bamadog
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I used to get really excited about this beer, but that was before I tried a lot of other beers. I picked up a six-pack the other day and I drank one and it didn't strike me to be nearly as good as it used to be. I'm giving a second bottle a shot tonight, so we'll see. Poured from the bottle into a tulip (sorry, I'm in mid-move and don't have any pint glasses readily available).

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden hue and starts with a big two finger head that dwindles to an uneven and fairly thick skim floating on the top. Pretty solid carbonation bubbling up throughout. A thin layer of lacing clings to the sides and begins to break apart in large oblong shapes.

Smell: Very yeasty, a little wheaty; some citrus scents coming through - kind of lemony; I'd also swear I smell a little bit of barley in there as well...

Taste: A grainy yeast presence is very dominant and is followed by some sweet malty characteristics following through. There is some slight citrus presence as well that accents the flavor. Some nice juicy fruity flavors are in there as well. A pretty straight forward wheat ale.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp with that carbonation making a difference on the palate as it's very active. A very clean finish keeps it refreshing and it leaves nothing to linger but a fairly pleasant aftertaste of the sweet maltiness and wheat.

Drinkability: So my first bottle out of this sixer may not have done it for me, but this one seems to be right on par with what I remember. Not the best APWA going (tough to compete with the likes of Gumballhead), but it's certainly solid and I will enjoy it for the rest of the summer.

bamadog, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of Onenote81
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at a local pub for lunch. Not remembering what exactly the specific style this summer beer was, I asked the waitress if she knew:

"Summer." she said.
"I know, but what style of beer is it? Lager? Ale? Wheat?"
"Summer. That's what it's called. It's a summer beer."
"Oh, ok. Thanks. I'll have that."

This "summer" came out a cloudy deep gold with a decent frothy white head on top. Retention was alright, and it left some nice sticky globs on the glass. Smelled of light lemon zest, bready malts, and sweet honey.

Mouthfeel was creamy and smooth. Not the refreshing quaff I thought this "summer" would be. Still, I liked it with my lunch. Flavor was of buttered biscuits, and faint lemon treats. The aftertaste on this beer was very good. Just a nice pleasant bready full mouth. Bitterness is very low on this one.

This was a decent beer that I would have again for sure. And now I know what summer tastes like...

Onenote81, Jun 04, 2009
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,594 ratings.