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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.

4,632 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,632
Reviews: 1,543
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 32
Gots: 478 | 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: 4,632 | Reviews: 1,543 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Genuine
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on Tap during a visit to the Outback Steak House.

Appearance - Very light amber in color, with a bit of haze. Not entirely clear.

Smell - This is a great smelling beer. One is able to notice the citrus scents right off of the bat. Very light scent.

Taste - I'm finding that this year's brew has a lot more lemon and citrus accents. Not too many hops are present in this brew. I thought it was close to a light beer. I remember last year's brew being a bit more robust.

Mouthfeel - Very Light, definitely a great summer beer. I could make a session of this very easily. Very tasty and not heavy at all.

Drinkability - A great mowing the lawn or session beer. Perfect for summer.

Genuine, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of adamette
3.98/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap into a Samuel Adams Summer Ale goblet (the "glass of the month") at Winking Lizard in Mentor, Ohio about an hour ago. Review from notes.

A 1 cm short lived white head over cloudy yellow brown body. No lacing observed.

S Light wheat, some citrus and grainy. Nice smell for the style.

T Like a light wheat ale, good for the style. I can taste the spices and lemon just fine. A fine summer ale (that is the point, right?).

M Medium to light mouthfeel. Some carbonation dances on the tongue. Appropriate to the style and to the theme.

D Very good indeed.

A great summer ale, certainly successful in completing its intentions. I recommend it.

adamette, Jun 02, 2009
Photo of TommyW
2.98/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A- Hazy gold, orange body with a dense white head.

S- Smell of wheat malt, orange and some spices.

T- Strong malty/wheat base. Some notes of orange and different spices come in. There is also a zesty note that creates a more crisp and dry finish.

M- Full body with a creamy feel. Not really what I was expecting from a "summer ale".

D- If I were going to buy an ale for a hot summer day, this would not be my top choice. Not as refreshing or crisp as I had expected.

TommyW, May 31, 2009
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 26, 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
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,632 ratings.