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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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4,768 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,768
Reviews: 1,553
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 35
Gots: 594 | 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: 4,768 | Reviews: 1,553 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of woosterbill
2.28/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, best by 9/10, into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a clear, vibrant gold body with two inches of fluffy white foam on top. Good retention and some fine, solid lacing. You can't really ask much more from this style appearance-wise.

S: It has all the notes I'd expect from having read the bottle-neck - lemon, clove, pepper, and wheat - but the overall impression is dull and uninspiring. The lemon in particular seems artificial and excessive, and lends a distinct scent of lemon Pine-Sol. Yuck.

T: Just like the nose, spice and lemon cleaner are predominant, with some wheat malt sneaking in on the finish to balance things out a touch. Still, the added flavors just don't do it for me, and I'd rather see some hops take the place of both the lemon and grains of paradise.

M: Fairly light body with moderate, rather sharp carbonation. Not quite as lively as I'd like, but not bad either.

D: Sorry, but I can't get behind a beer that tastes this bad. I'm contemplating making this a drainpour, just so I can move on to something tastier.

Notes: I remember disliking this beer every summer I've tried it, but I figured I'd go ahead and give it a chance this year - plus it was left over from a mixed 12-pack that a friend bought. I really don't see how this beer is as popular as it seems to be, as it's certainly one of the least palatable APWAs I've ever had. It's too bad you have to buy two of these to get two of the fairly tasty Latitude 48 IPAs.


Photo of dstc
3.82/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy gold with a white head that falls to just about nothing. Thin lace.

Mild malt nose with hops present. Citrus notes come through with a little vanilla maybe?

Nice taste, mild malt and milder hops with a nice lemon flavor. Refreshing.

Thin to medium bodied. Average carbonation.

Very easy drinking, refreshing summer brew.

Photo of aubuc1
3.36/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to a tulip pint glass.

Pours a lightly hazy yellow with a steady stream of bubbles leading to a big white head.

Smell is slightly lemony and soapy with some mellow malt.

Taste is a smooth, lemony, grassy, light and simple. Not bad, but not great.

Nice creamy mouthfeel and very drinkable. It is a summer ale, but not my favorite style.

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

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Bright, pale golden with appreciable cloudiness. One-finger white head, decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Lemon, spices, and wheat.

Taste: Same as above. I don't like wheat beers nearly as much as I used to, but I still find this very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability: This is a great beer for a hot day; one or two of them hit the spot nicely.

I don't buy this very often, but I always really like it when I do. Another solid Sam Adams offering.

Photo of ktrillionaire
1.42/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

On-tap at Red Mesa Cantina

A - Pours a pale gold with a good head and lace.

S - It smells unpleasantly perfumed and chemical-y.

T - The flavor is not much better, the perfume is transformed into a bad spiciness that is quite is quite similar to Raid bug spray.

M - Limp.

D - There are a lot of bad beers in the style, but this one is really horrid.

Photo of streetcommander
1.86/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A. Very nice. Looks refreshing. Mild haze.

S. Average. Nothing standout. Smells well balanced.

T. Terrible. I'm a big SA fan, and this is very swillish. Tastes like generic stale wheat bread, fried chicken, and cheap cologne, with a lemon scented Pledge finish.

Webster defines the word "Heinous" as; surprisingly or shockingly evil.

Heinous is well suited to this beers description.

M. Average.

D. Do you like drinking urine?

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

This pours a hazy gold color, which is to be expected from a wheat beer.

About average carbonation.

I don't detect anything in the smell of this one. Just smells like a nice balanced beer to me...

Taste is where it's at. It's wheat up front. The middle is a crisp clean spice taste; I can't describe it, but it's probably the Grains of Paradise. The fade is lemon.

The finish is crisp and clean. This would be a great beer to quench your thirst after mowing the lawn.

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

A: The pour is a golden-yellow color with perhaps just a touch of haze to it and a fluffy white head.

S: A strong citrus aroma to the beer is immediately noticeable. The lemon zest shines through and there is maybe a light spice character as well.

T: The wheat provides some nice sweet flavors which goes along nicely with the lemon zest quality. Again, a hint of spice to go along with a mild breadiness.

M: The body is light, which you would expect from a summer beer with a moderate carbonation and a crisp finish.

D: A real easy drinking beer that does work quite well for the warm weather. I wouldn't mind having one of these on a hot day outside.

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

Drank 5/12/10
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Bruery tulip

A - Pours a golden yellow with about a half inch of head that dissipates quickly. Has minimal lacing that falls very quickly as I drank it.

S - Smell is of the standard wheat with some lemon/citrus and a little bit of spice.

T - Taste is similar to the smell. There is some bitterness on the front end of the beer which is unusual, and less taste on the back end.

M - Light bodied which is expected for the style. Smooth in the mouth, but not as crisp and refreshing as I hoped it would be. Also not as carbonated as I would have liked for this style.

D - This is an easy drinking beer, but I would prefer some other summer style beers over this one. Including ones I can find in the same price range.

Overall not a bad beer but I can think of better for the style and price range.

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

A: Hazy yellow. Large white head.

S: Definitely can smell the lemons in here. Behind the lemons the smell is typical for a wheat beer.

T: I was a little surprised by the taste. I was expecting a little bit more of a crisp beer akin to a blue moon. This however was on the sweet side, but also a little peppery. The overall taste was good, but not necessarily as "summery" as other wheat beers brewed with fruit and spices.

M: A little over carbonated in my opinion.

D: I wouldn't go in search of this on a nice summer day, but I wouldn't shy away from it either.

Photo of soju6
3.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy golden color with good head that slowly fades.

S- Lemon zest & clean aroma.

T- Mild lemon and spice with light bitter touch.

F- Medium body & dry finish.

D- Didn't have that crisp, refreshing feel I was expecting from a summer ale. Left me wanting, similar to the Coastal Wheat Ale.

Photo of sluggermatt15
3.82/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a darker yellow color with an orangish tint. About a 2 finger head with some white lacing that dissipates after several minutes following the pour. Average in my opinion.

S- Smells of wheat, sweet spices, and citrus fruits.

T- Tastes of wheats, lemon, and some spices. The lemon taste is apparent, making the beer have some sweetness to it. No bitterness here and you don't really taste the alcohol until about the end.

M- Some carbonation, but not a ton. I was pleased.

D- This beer is rather drinkable in my opinion. I would probably have about 3 in one sitting. Easy to drink it down because of the lack of a ton of carbonation and bitterness to it.

I really enjoyed this one from SA. I tend to like their seasonal brews and I was able to appreciate this one too. There's a reason they brew this one during the summer. It pairs well with a hot summer night. This was also the first beer I had on my 21st birthday, so it will be remembered. I would pick this one up again, even now that summer is relatively close.

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

Appearance - Transluscent yellow with a thick white head that fades fairly quickly.

Smell and Taste - Citrus, wheat, hay, and alcohol. A hint of bubblegum in the back. Not a lot going on.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and high carbonation. Very crisp.

Notes - A fairly nondescript American wheat ale. You can definitely do worse, but there's much better wheat beers out there.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.46/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, light golden color with a thick white head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smells of wheat notes and some subtle spice.

Tastes of a malty start cut by wheat and spice. Some fruit notes along the lines of peach sweetness and lemon bite from the wheat. Spice can be characterized by some light pepper notes.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had about three bottles of these at my local bar, Jimmy V's German Village. Poured into the typical pint glasses.

I was actually excited to try this beer again. Back when I started getting into good beer (which was only about a year ago) I remember trying lots of the Sam Adams seasonals. At the time they were cheap, accessible, easy to understand and carried a clear description of what the beer is meant to achieve. I remember not really liking this beer so I wanted to see how my tastes have evolved.

A- Light yellow. Its pretty bright. Decent white head and average, but not spectacular, lacing.

S- Faint but lemony and fruity. Its quite crisp and smells inviting.

T- Quite sweet and fruity. At times almost candy like. Its akin to lemon candy without the sour. There is some interesting spiciness that I attribute to the Grains of Paradise.

M- Lighter but slightly thicker than I was expecting.

D- I ended up drinking these WAY faster than I expected. I mean I was amazed at how easy this went down. For me it drank easier than any macro lager.

I remember that I enjoyed this beer a lot more this year than I did last. My tastes and knowledge for beer have grown exponentially since then. In the end I wouldnt buy this beer but I will totally be drinking most of Jimmy V's stock.

Photo of OlRasputin989
3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Samuel Adams "Perfect Pint"

A: Pours a hazy golden color with some yellow hues around the edge of the glass, with a foamy head of white foam. Head fades to leave a decent cap above the beer and some lacing

S: immediately i smell bready wheat malt and lemon zest. i also pick up some orange, some spice, and a nutty aroma

T: alot of wheat and yeast, giving it a grainy fruitiness (peach, lemon) that is very appetizing. fades with spicy wheat, biscuity hops, and a bitter flavor of overly ripe fruit, which gives it extra character in my opinion.

M: not as carbonated as other beers of this style, which i like. medium body seems a little heavy for drinking outside on a hot and humid day in arkansas. finishes crisp and dry

Photo of berley31
3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Poured with a moderate-sized, white head that lasted for awhile before slowly dissipating to a thin film. Body is a medium-gold color, very clear, and effervescent.

S: Slightly grainy and wheaty aroma, with hints of lemon and spices (I assume this is the Grains of Paradise?).

T: Interesting flavor. The lemon is there, as is that spiciness. Some slight grainy taste, it finishes very slightly dry and bitter, with the spices still present. As the beer warmed a bit, I, too, warmed to this flavor.

M: Moderate carbonation, light-medium body.

D: It's not bad, and would make a decent summer-drinker. But it's not my favorite SA beer, not by a long shot.

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

A- Ever so slightly hazy straw yellow beer. Somewhat darker hues, but mostly a sunny yellow pale wheat. Fair head, not very dense, but a bright clean white color. Quite lively looking, visible carbonation streams.

S- Tart lemons and mildly flowery hops aromas. Crisp and clean character, very uplifting aromas. Layered smells of something I can only assume is the purported "Grains of Paradise" (Aframomum melegueta, ginger family). True, it does have a certain, mild zingy spice in the nose. Suffers from fainter aromas, but a unique smelling beer. Just needs to be stronger and richer.

T- Unexpectedly watery. Starts thin, then some dry citrus tastes and finishes crisp and slightly herbal and spiced. At first it seemed to fall a little flat, but the more I drink this, the more the light peppery character and drier wheat finish intrigues me. SA has a good start here, I like the original direction of this beer. Perhaps just an increase in body and depth is all it needs to make it really good.

M- Now obviously I wasn't expecting a chewy mouthful, but this is notably thin, even for the style. Zippy and bubbly, this is a light and mild summer beer. Very light and mild.

D- High marks for drinkability. I like the choice of spices in this, I like the dry citrus zest finish, but it's watery complexion is a bit off putting. Still, I could drink a lot of this and it's light character makes it a little too easy to put back. I already want another one.

Photo of jwinship83
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a best by date of august 2010 pulled from the samual adams summer mixed 12 pack. drank from a standard american pint glass.

A- this one pours out a somewhat hazy golden colored body with a finger of bright white head. the head lasts for a while and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- the first thing i detect is wheat malt with a little bit of bread. definitely some lemon in here, along with some other spice i cant quite place. looking at the bottle i guess its grains of paradise.

T- the taste starts off pretty similar to the smell. the only thing different in here is the lemon comes through alot stronger than i could smell, as does the other spice. grains of paradise.

M- light to medium bodied with a high level of carbonation. refreshing and it reminds me of summer.

D- this is something i can see myself drinking outside in the summer quite often.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,768 ratings.