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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.

4,566 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,566
Reviews: 1,542
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 33
Gots: 438 | 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: 4,566 | Reviews: 1,542 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stockingcpl
4.03/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This brew pours with a thick foamy head. The liquid is a medium honey look that is a quite traditional wheat beer. Very nice first impression.

Smell: Upon opening the beer, one immediately detects the citrus aroma. There is also a slight spice presence. I also can detect a faint woodsy aroma (hops?). Not perfect but appealing.

Taste: Flavor curve is reserved yet not chopped. Malt and wheat are the predominant features, yet soft. The spice presence is also very restrained. Overall this is a design that is subtle. This permits the flavors to meld together and morph along the length of the flavor curve. Quite interesting.

Mouthfeel: This brew is not really very "crisp" but the flavor is very soft and leaves the palate quite clean. I prefer this beer served very cold. It would work well as a session beer.

Drinkability: Light presence with reserved alcohol make this a very drinkable beer. Good job.


stockingcpl, May 29, 2009
Photo of gotweid
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle to a pint glass it showed a nice white head and a clear yellowish light wheat color. Good carbonation. Aroma was not strong. Slight grains, citrus and malt evident. Taste is light on hops with a touch of citrus, grain and malt that became less evident over time. It has a rather smooth mouthfeel and goes down really easy. A very pleasant and enjoyable Summer Ale. I was pleasantly surprised.

gotweid, May 29, 2009
Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top with classic SA label

Appearance: Hazy golden-orange with a tiny bit of sediment in suspension; decent stark white head which soon fades to a thick film and retains fairly well

Smell: Sharp, crisp wheat notes up front, followed by strong orangey citrus and MAYBE just a hint of caramel malt...very mild spice as well

Taste: Distinct wheaty goodness, backed with a a little bit of tart lemon rind and finishing with a kick of spicy bitterness from the Grains of Paradise...I can't really say what it is, but this beer just doesn't really come together for me...it's like wheat, bam, then tart, then spice; it's like three separate ingredients, the beer doesn't feel put together very well.

Mouthfeel: Light/medium with a tart, crisp finish

Drinkability: I really don't crave another of these; this certainly wouldn't be a lawnmower beer for me

Conclusion: Just kind of unsorted (also kind of an odd bitterness on the finish)...I tried this a year or two ago and wasn't a huge fan...now that I'm reviewing it...I'm still not.

BedetheVenerable, May 28, 2009
Photo of imanidiot777
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Looked like a light to medium golden color, certainly not dark. Head dissipated quickly.

S: Not good at picking up different scents but it had a decently appealing smell when compared to other beers I've had.

T: Not extremely hoppy, a little wheat taste.

M: Just normal.

D: Goes down really easy, good beer to drink at the beach.

imanidiot777, May 27, 2009
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy, slightly darkish tinted orange of a color with a fast dissipating white head and no lacing to be found on the pint glass.

S: Lemon, clove, granny apple, honey

T: Wheat, lemon, some hop presence in the back.

M: Loose, thin, abv nonexistent, refreshing.

D: A good sunshine brew, one of my top three as a matter of fact. Recommended.

BuffaloTapHugger, May 27, 2009
Photo of TheFightfan1
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Weizen glass. Pours a cloudy orange with a thick white heading. Good lacing throughout.

Smell is lemony with a nice spicy aroma,also light grainy smell.

Taste is pretty much the same as smell just a little more lemony zestiness to it.

Mouth is medium-full bodied beverage, nice carbonation with a nice bubbly sting on the tongue.

Drink is good a little to sweet for my liking but a definite for a hot summer day. Not really a session beer.

TheFightfan1, May 26, 2009
Photo of Wheelinb
3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

An interesting beer for sure. It has a nice light golden color and the aroma is different. You get a lot of lemon and spice immediately. The taste matches the smell as well. Strong citrus flavors in a light, crisp taste. Very nice on a hot summer day. While not in more normal taste range, it was interesting to try it out. I would chose this again.

Wheelinb, May 25, 2009
Photo of PaleAlien2
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks disturbingly like a macro, with clear golden color and lots of foam. Nice head retention though.

Smells quite good. Smells of toasted malts and fruit.

Taste is surprisingly malty. Getting hints of bread, resin and a strong lemon flavor.

This beer is surprisingly full-bodied. Also surprising, given the huge head when poured, is the lack of carbonation on the palate. I also can't tell if it leaves a strange aftertaste or just a strange texture in the mouth after you swallow.

I ate some strawberries with this beer on a hot day in late May and they went well together.

PaleAlien2, May 22, 2009
Photo of thain709
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A bright golden yellow...fluffy white head that settles rather quickly...some lacing

S - Lots of citrus...some spice as well

T - A little lacking here...grainy malts stand out in the front with some yeast mixed in...the spices and fruits (orange and lemon) round out the taste

M - Light bodied...crisp and refreshing

D - The drinkability would be there for me if there was a little more flavor...it's a great summer beer...very refreshing

thain709, May 22, 2009
Photo of jsh420
2.78/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

drink by sept 09

pours hazy golden yellow with a 2 finger head that left lacing down the glass

smells of earthy hops and lemon

taste pretty much all lemon with a sweet malt metalic aftertaste

mouthfeel is light crisp - i just wish the flavor was there

drinkability is so so - too much lemon in this one

just not nearly as good as goose islands summertime to warrant buying this seasonal again

jsh420, May 21, 2009
Photo of tj4288
2.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

poured from 12oz into pilsner glass

a- light, bright yellow, small head- retained well

s- slightly overpowering lemon smell, and i actually got a decent amount of the alcohol in the nose, surprising for 5.2%

t- again slightly strong lemon/citrus

m/d- surprisingly dry finish, felt alcohol in the throat

tj4288, May 21, 2009
Photo of Jayli
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a hazy golden/orange with a medium-sized white head, wispy lacing left on the glass. Nose is mostly of citrus, lemon being the most prevalent, with a touch of malts and yeast. Taste is starts with grany malts malts, and then of sweet malts and spices. It is then followed by sharp lemon flavor and a slight bitterness. This is a lighter bodied beer, decent carbonation, lemon bitterness aftertaste to it. Relatively drinkable especially to the ABV, not my favorite style, but I wouldn't pass it up.

Jayli, May 20, 2009
Photo of carp420
3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz ->an imperial pint glass

summer ale pours out a hazy golden orange, a finger and a half foamy head that didn't last but, capped it all the way down with no lacing

smells kinda average, metallic floral wheat beer. some citrus, lemon spice and oranges.

decent wheat beer, like lemony wildflower with that metallic after taste that stays around

well carbonated but much better cold

so this makes for a great beer for what it is, a summer ale, and i can't wait to have a few after a hot day cutting the grass, would be a great camping session-type beer

carp420, May 19, 2009
Photo of mwagner1018
3.95/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Good golden sunshine color, creamy white head, dissipates pretty quickly, but lives as a nice cap on the beer.

S- Orange zest, clean, light hops, wheat.

T- Nice balance, dry, with just a hint of residual sweetness from the wheat malt, fresh, lemon, slight spice note, pepper, wheat...light hop balance.

M- Slight buttery, crisp, good carbonation.

D- Very drinkable, fresh and light, definitely a good summer ale...

mwagner1018, May 19, 2009
Photo of Psilo707
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is very opaquely golden and the head and lacing are present but not too prominent. Smells bland and a bit citrusy, nothing too special but not bad either.

Taste stings right away and leaves a lemony punch to the mouth. Should be served not too cold, or else some of the appeal seems to leave. Good aftertaste that lingers for a bit.

Mouthfeel is semi-creamy and drinkability is high because of how light the beer is.

Overall it's one of my least favorite Sam Adams but still a decent pick up.

Psilo707, May 19, 2009
Photo of thecarster1
4.35/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a- bottle poured into a pint, freshness date of august, hazy golden brown color, half inch head that faded quickly leaving ring around glass (when i had this on tap out at the bar the head was stronger)

s- smell is slightly citrusy, little notes of yeasty bread.

t- nice wheat taste, some yeast, and a kick of lemony hops, and a peppery lingering from those mysterious grains of paradise.

m- nice filling mouthfeel, good carbonation, nice and smooth.

d- very drinkable, delicious wheat ale for spring and summer, need to be sitting outside to fully enjoy this one, mmm.

thecarster1, May 17, 2009
Photo of steanu
4.2/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-It's got a nice golden brown appearance to it.

S-It's got a nice lemony scent to it.

T-It's got a great Wheat Beer taste with a hint of Lemon.

M-It leaves a nice lemon peel aftertaste in it.

D- Great! It's got a happy even with fizz, it's not to much and not too little. With a Sam Adams it's always a happy medium.

It's a rather refreshing brew. I think the taste is about equal on tap and bottle. I think I will be buying this beer again pretty soon. It goes great with BBQ on a nice hot sunny day.

steanu, May 17, 2009
Photo of cjl1209
2.63/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

"Refreshing, crisp, and tangy, Summer Ale is brewed with wheat malt, lemon zest and Grains of Paradise, a mysterious brewing spice used by Renaissance brewers centuries ago. Summer Ale is an American wheat ale from one of America's original craft brewers. Cheers!"

Freshness notched at September 2009

A - Pours a light golden honey with a small white head.

S - Lemon, wheat, and spice (which I'm assuming is grains of paradise which I'm not too familiar with).

T - The grains of paradise (I guess) are instantly noticeable. Citrus, namely lemon peel comes out as well as a wheat/yeast flavor. The spice is always there along with an overt sweetness. Grains of paradise is completely dominate making for a very one sided brew.

M - Medium. Actually much heavier than expected for a summer brew.

D - If you like grains of paradise then this beer makes for an easy sipper but for me this odd spice is just too out there, thus preventing me from having more than one or two.

Final Thoughts: An interesting twist on the style but I expected something more from such a well respected brewery and what is supposedly their best selling of all seasonals

cjl1209, May 17, 2009
Photo of atpben
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Until I had the Brooklyn Summer Ale this was my favorite summer ale. I have had this on many occasions both on tap and bottle but most recently in a bottle. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a nice hazy golden color with a decent white head. Aroma of mostly citrus and some light pepper. Taste has more of lemon, orange, and some light spices. Some light acidity kicks in as well. It has a nice dry finish. Will definately try again.

atpben, May 17, 2009
Photo of Clydesdale
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a faintly hazy yellow-gold color. The off-white head bursts forth with extreme activity and sits tall. Frothy, chunky, and slightly creamy. Retention is good, lacing decent.

S: Grainy, with lemon zest notes. A bit yeasty and peppery as well.

T: Wheaty and somewhat grainy, with yeasty notes. Lemony hop presence adds little bitterness. Definitely spicy - grains of paradise, whatever they are, seem distinct and interesting, adding a peppery character.

M: Medium-light body. Carbonation is average. A bit creamy at first, before fading into a surprising dryness.

D: A solid, refreshing option from Sam Adams. I had this on tap last night and was pretty unimpressed, but this is somewhat more focused and coherent from the bottle. This would be nice to drink while grilling or sitting on the beach.

Clydesdale, May 16, 2009
Photo of CityBoy1986
4.03/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a weizen glass from a 12 oz. bottle. The freshness date is September 2009.

The pour is a hazy golden with a tall white head. Retention is decent, but lacing is minimal.

The nose is mostly lemon with some wheat and spice. The taste starts mostly with the lemon and spices but transitions into a mostly wheaty, bready one, but the other flavours never completely go away. A mild bitterness makes itself known.

Mouthfeel is heavier than expected, closer to medium-bodied than anything, with a high amount of carbonation. Drinkability is high; it keeps me wanting more.

This is a decent beer made for the summer. With temperatures close to ninety, it's a good fit for today. Though the lemon is part of the equation, it's not as overpowering as I expected it to be. Overall, a little bland, but I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again if there were few choices.

CityBoy1986, May 15, 2009
Photo of cnally
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The last of my summer sampler. Boo.

Hazy yellow orange with poor head retention, which poured out slightly frothy and off white.

Yeasty, grainy aroma with sweet undercurrents. Citrus peel is very slight but noticable.

Very two faced: sweet and sour. The sour flavor is immediately there, with the old grain and yeast quality. The sweet is the latent flavor, pushing through and making a killer contibution.

Creamy and fizzy feel. Slightly watery, but full enough for it to be a really refreshing brew.

The beer is certainly refreshing, but the sour is a bit off putting all the way throught the beer. Good but not great.

cnally, May 14, 2009
Photo of jpaltan
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy and muddy, quite opaque, can barely see my hand on the other side through glass. Head is big and pillowy with lacing all down the sides. Smell is grassy, and lemony, quite malty. The spices aren't really noticable in the nose. Taste is lemon at the end, then comes a floral spiciness. The spices they use do come through in the taste, but seem rather out of place. Overall, kind of a strange taste to this. Mouthfeel is kind of chewy, a good level of carbonation.

jpaltan, May 14, 2009
Photo of Phelps
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy pale yellow the color of pineapples. No head to speak of, just a very tiny ring of white bubbles.

Smells of apples, floral hops, some bready fruitiness I can't place. Maybe those are the grains of paradise?

In the taste, a heavy wheat flavor, with some subtle citrus and spicy notes. Very mild sweetness. Light body, no bitterness.

Summer Ale isn't fantastic by any means, but it is the taste of the season. What is it about wheat that's so good during Summer?

Phelps, May 14, 2009
Photo of earthboundagain
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From Notes:

P: 23 oz glass at B-Dubbs

A: A hazy orange brew with a big foamy head that is white.

S: Odd aroma some funky spice mixed with wheat and lemon.

T&M: Big wheat up front on a full bodied brew. The odd spice smell is now an odd spice taste that is thrown in with some citrus.

D: This beer makes me sad, very poor offering from a company that can do much better. This beer is an odd mix of flavors on a very heavy beer for a "Summer Brew".

earthboundagain, May 13, 2009
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,566 ratings.