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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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4,802 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,802
Reviews: 1,562
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 42
Gots: 671 | 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: 4,802 | Reviews: 1,562
Photo of rarbring
3.06/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A clear yellow golden brew, a thick white head, some lacing.

The smell is very much lemon, zest and juice, plus a bit of lemon soda.

The taste is also very lemon infused, sour limes, peel and seeds. The latter giving a bitterness.

High carbonation, refreshing.

A little simpleminded in all the lemon character, partly reminding more of lemon soda than beer.

Photo of kneeland
3.52/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sam Adams knows what they're doing, but that doesn't give them an automatic A. The color was a nice summer ale yellow, with a noticeable citrus flavor. Overall, I described it somewhere between decent and okay. It was my first beer of the night, and I decided to try other things afterward.

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

Poured a clear golden yellow with about a half inch white head. Smells like malt and lemon with a touch of hops. Tastes about the same. Lemon and malt and hops. Carbonation is about right. These are nice in the evening after a long. walk. Nothing spectacular, but a good solid beer.

Photo of Pencible
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear, light gold with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like lemon zest and earthy wheat, with some sour yeast and a bit of clove.
T: It tasted like lemon zest and fresh wheat, with some clove and earthy barley and sour yeast. It had a bitter aftertaste.
M: It was somewhat oily with lots of carbonation.
D: This was a decent light summer beer that was easy to drink, but not really recommended. The hops dominate but don't add the best flavor, and the body is too fizzy for my taste.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.06/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at JFK.

Pours a cloudy sunshine yellow with a thin patchy white head. Nose is an ethanol burn with sour leaf and mulchy grain. Sour corn malts with lactic English hopping. Crisp, thin and round.

I'm not trusting an airport to serve a pint in good condition. Nevertheless, this one came out thin and sour, like a bad Summer Lightning, with no sign of the spice.

Photo of Kanyon22
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got a six pack for my wife cause this is like the only beer in the world she likes, but its been sitting in my fridge for over a week so I'm going to crack it open for a review.

A: Pale yellow slightly hazy lemonade color with a white tiny bubble head that quickly dissipated to a small ring around the top.

S: A muted lemony wheat smell with nothing else going on, oh wait really smelling the wheat in it as it warms up.

T: Starts out really smooth and easy going like a basic American wheat and then I'm hit with a lemon citric kick and finishes with a lemon peel bitter drying finish. As the beer warms the wheat malts start coming through more and more which is good cause its making this beer two dimensional instead of one.

M: Is what I would call having a medium mouthfeel with an abundant amount of carbonation. Maybe too full for style.

D: This is what this beer is made for drinking in abundance. Nothing stands out as great,but nothing stands out as bad either just beer you don't have to think about.

Sam Summer Ale is an easy drinking, no frills kinda beer that appeals to the masses. I find this beer to be really non offensive but at the same time there is nothing to keep me interest in it at all. With that said I'll be reaching for something else this summer.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap. Poured into a pilsner glass.

A- pours a cloudy shade of gold with a 2 finger white head. No lacing. About average.

S- weak smells of orange peel and lemon...good smells for this style, but they were very weak.

T- I'm getting mostly orange peel with hints of lemon and coriander. The orange is what stands out the most

M- its got a good feel, pretty light.

D- very drinkable for the summer months of the year. Not a whole lot can beat sitting on the deck BSing with the boys and having a 12 pack of this by your side. If you're just going to be alone though...meh

Photo of stakem
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle with a brewery freshness month of August into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Summer Ale appears a light golden yellow color with a slight touch of haze and a thin white cap of head supported by constantly rising bubbles of carbonation. A spotty amount of lace clings to the glassware. The aroma is filled with a lemony scent on top of wheat and spices. Taste is pretty much dominated by wheat with an upfront flavor of lemon and a bit of spice and pepper on the backend. Light feel with a very lively amount of carbonation. Overall a pretty decent warm weather wheat beer. As it warms, there is a change in the flavor and the lemon flavor starts to get to me. The lemon character seems out of wack and doesn't really mesh well with the rest of the flavor of the beer. It's a good lawnmower beer to drink on a hot day but to sit down and enjoy it I am having a hard time getting through just one.

When I had this before, I distinctly remember the character of the grains of paradise being totally dominating in both the flavor and aroma. The lemon character was slim to none but it was there. I don't know if that was from a previous recipe or maybe that has to do with the freshness. Regardless it was an interesting example of the style.

Photo of leokbelo
3.73/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden and hazy with a one inch head that dissipates quickly. Citrus on the nose, lemony, refreshing smell. Crisp on the tongue, again lemon dominates, with a very light hop finish.
Overall an OK beer to be had, very drinkable, but there are better wheat ales / witbiers out there.

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

on tap, 16oz pour served in a standard pint glass

A - hazy, bright gold in color, small amount of tight forthy white foam which settled to a thin layer of film and ring.

S - very sweet with massive amounts of pale wheat malt. grainy with some slighlty tart lemon peel and a bit of spice.

T - flavors of wheat dominate with a solid amount of lemony fruitiness. second half is very grainy and slightly astringent. very sweet & dominating.

M - great mix of having character and being refreshing. medium bodied (for the style) and nice lively carbonation. finishes very clean.

D - all-in-all not bad, very refreshing. the lemon can be overwhelming after a bit especially with nothing besides wheaty sweetness to balance it.

Photo of imwalle
3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had the beer on tap at a Buffalo Wild Wings. Poured a nice light golden brown with a one finger head. The color was what I expected.

The Aroma had a citrus note to it but it was not over powering.

The citrus/lemon comes out at the perfect balance for a summer beer. Once you get past the lemon taste the wheat comes out but yet again it is a light note of it so as to not over power your taste buds.

In the mouth it had a bit of a graining feeling to it.

Over all this is a very nice round summer beer to be enjoyed outdoors. Maybe even with a little grilling going on.

Photo of speter
3.01/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a hazy bright yellow with a one-finger head. High carbonation made the head stick around for the entire drink. Very nice lacing.

S: Very grainy and lemony.

T: Very malty up front with a blast of lemon in the center and a very bitter finish. The lemon bordered on cloying, but the temperature of the pour kept it in check.

M: The bitterness/pepperiness from the grains of paradise really coats the tongue. Even with the high carbonation from the wheat, the beer felt heavier than I would have expected.

D: There are some nice elements in there, but it doesn't come together as a drinkable whole for me. I enjoyed the one I had, but I couldn't see reaching for another.

Photo of damndirtyape
2.86/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Single bottle (best by September 2010) poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance: Poured a 1/4" white head that died down to a 1/8" persistent head the whole way down the glass. Plenty of lacing noted. The beer is a hazy golden yellow (just a bit in the brown side of the spectrum). Lots of carbonation bubbling up - pretty to look at.

Smell: Grainy (wheat) with a slightly sour/astringent smell at the end. A bit unusual.

Taste: Grain taste is strong, followed by some lemon and an unusual bitter finish. None of the flavors are overpowering, but the combination is not as refreshing as I thought it would be. Definitely a better tasting beer when cold, but yet as I have it twice more I find as it warms up it gets worse with the bitterness becoming sour. If I wait until it's at room temp, then the sweetness of the malt finally comes through and counters this sourness a bit and then its manageable. The more I have it, the less I like it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with just the right amount of carbonation on the tongue and just the right amount of body. Does not linger in the mouth and on the teeth, but is not watery and does have enough body to be noticed.

Drinkability: I've had this before this year (about a month ago) and thought it was pretty good, so I also wonder if the flavor gets lost as it warms up and ages from its original brew date. Went okay with a burger and fries, but in the summer, with a beer that will warm up fast, I think the flavor should be more balanced through a wider temperature range. Sure you could chug it cold, but then what is there to enjoy taste wise. I can't see myself getting this again. After having it again from another batch (best by 11/2010) it's not getting any better and I think I like it even less - it does not age well.

Photo of skenyon1811
3.01/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz Bottled poured into pint glass

A: Great appearance, this is what I picture when I think of a summer ale. Light and clear with a thick foamy head. Almost an inch of head.

S: Plain light beer smell with a sweet lemon/citrus scent to it. That added aroma really adds to it.

T: I was a little surprised when I tasted this. It has a sour/tangy taste to it with some hints of citrus. A little hop aftertaste. What I was most surprised with is the alcohol taste, it is much more prevalent than I expected, unfortunately I believe that works against it.

M: It is highly carbonated, however I feel this beer should be light than it is. It leaves a weird coating feel to my mouth afterwards.

D: This would be good for a hot summer day. However, if you have more than one expect to be super gassy.

This beer really built me up with its looks and smell, but could not really deliver on what counts.

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.42/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This came in the Summer Styles Variety Pack that I got yesterday.

Appearance- yellow color, cloudy, thin head

Smell- lemon aroma, I liked the aroma.

Taste- lemon flavor, very nice, I love lemons.

Mouthfeel- light bodied

Drinkability- I really enjoyed it. I love lemons so I loved the lemony flavor. Great for a hot day.

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

Enjoyed on tap during dinner at the Kona Grille.

Hazy yellow in appearance with a small white head, no lacing.
Very faint lemon aroma.
Sharp lemon taste with a hint of wheat.
Light body with moderate carbonation.
Light beer good to drink on a hot night.

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.

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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,802 ratings.