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Samuel Adams Summer Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

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4,787 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,787
Reviews: 1,556
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 38
Gots: 640 | 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: 4,787 | Reviews: 1,556 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of animalchin
3.52/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A slight hazy golden color. Creamier white head that dissipates fairly quickly.

S - Wheat and lemons most definitely. Some peppery tones and for some reason sensing some malts. My nose might be fooling me though.

T - A more bitter wheat beer than I am used to. This might be attributed to the Grains of Paradise. It's certainly an interesting ingredient to be using, but I'm not sure if the potency of the pepper along with the modest crispiness of wheat and citrus mend well together. The Paradise grains remind me a lot of white pepper, which is brighter in its taste, but still very apparent.

M - Very smooth and velvety.

D - Nice and light. Definitely a warm/hot day beer to have.

As mentioned in the taste section, this is certainly a different kind of brew. I've never experienced peppery tones like this before, and I'm sure it may work well with other styles that don't include lemon, but this just isn't right for me. I can say that this is a good beer, just not my type.

Consider this a positive review.

Photo of samie85
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed 4/14.

A-Pours a golden color wth a one finger white head.

S-Crisp wheat with a hint of lemon.

T-Wheat with lemon bitterness. Nose is way more pronounced than the taste, finishes with a spicy note that I assume is the grains of paradise at work.

M-Smooth and medium bodied with a prickly carbonation.

D-Really easy drinking with some nice things going on. I don't know that I would buy a sixer or a 12 pack of it, but if someone handed me one, I wouldn't refuse it.

Photo of rootbeerman
3.97/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into perfect pint

A: pours bright yellow with a finger of white fizzy head and a little bit of lacing.
S: wheat, lemon citrus a light malt.
T: lemony but not really sweet, reminds me slightly of a kristalweizen, there is a ever so slight spiciness right up front which im guessing is the grains of paradise.
M: smooth crisp clean
D: another easy very drinkable, would also be good to steam some shrimp in maybe

Photo of mjw2808
3.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale foggy amber color with a small head that lasts for a little while but doesnt leave much lacing. The smell is strong with a combination of grain and lemon zest with a little bit of malt. Reminds me a little of sam adams light. The taste is very light, it has a strong grainy presence with a lot of lemon and a very tangy feel to it. The tanginess remindes me of dogfish head festina peche. Pretty flavorful for how light it is, but it still has too much of a grainy taste to it that I dont like. Pretty refreshing but overall an average beer.

Photo of DerekP
3.42/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I'm pretty sure I had this on tap last summer at the Capstone Grill in Canonsburg, PA, and I wasn't really into it then. I figured I'd give it another shot, and be certain that I've actually tried the brew.

I poured a 12 oz bottle into my nonic pint glass.

The appearance is disappointing. Overly carbonated, weak head, spotty lacing, and a yellow-amber look.

The smell is a little better. Pretty refreshing, very zesty, grassy, with a touch of wet dog.

The taste is sub-par. Oily/soapy hop character (reminiscent of Victory's Prima Pils), cardboard, lemon zest. A good light-medium body, nonetheless.

The mouthfeel is quality. Active, but not angry and obnoxious.

Personally, buying a single of Samuel Adams' Summer Ale to try it out is fine (I paid about $1.67), but I' m not going near a case.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden orange color with a medium white head. Decent retention, but no lacing.

Smell: Pretty mild nose. Slightly sweet malt, lemon zest, and a little funky must.

Taste: It starts off with a combination of sweet wheat, orange rind, and a blend of spices. A musty, biscuity taste follows, and it even turns a bit soapy. Mild hops close out. Aftertaste is sour and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Grainy and a little watery at the end. Medium carbonation provides a little pep. Medium-full body.

Drinkability: This is really a poor melange of flavor. I think it was brewed with the intention of adding some complexity to the pale wheat ale category, but it just did not end up well. The soapiness was particularly off-putting, and the full body causes it to drag.

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.77/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Beautiful golden yellow. Great bubbly action going on here. Ok head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell: Heavy on the lemon and pepper. I love this smell. Great combination of malt and hops as well that blends very well.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Again with the lemon and pepper. Crisp and refreshing. A bit too bitter at the end with an odd sour aftertaste that takes from drinkability. This taste combo creates good smooth texture.

Drinkability: Good drinkability, maybe a bit harsh due to bitterness as end.

Overall: Attractive, crisp, and refreshing summer beer. The overall flavor mixture could use some work though.

Photo of BobJustBob
2.14/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

After enjoying the living heck out of Noble Pils last week and seeing that my local bottle shop, bar was out of it today, I decided to give this one a whirl.
Big mistake!
What got to me was that it tasted incredibly sour. The Hops and Lemon seemed to be battling it out in my mouth and neither ingredient won.
Since I make Church Mice look like Donald Trump, in the financial department I didn't feed it back into the city's water supply.
Brainstorming resulted in the addition of a few grains of Sea Salt.
Afterward, it tasted remarkably like a Corona, the way it's served in a Mexican restaurant. Ok then, but not what I wanted.

Major disappointment from what's usually a fantastic brewer.

Photo of drtth
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer as served is a lightly hazed lemon yellow color with a 1/2" head that recedes slowly but in the end leaves little or no lacing.

Smell: The aroma contains some spiciness and both lemon flower and lemon zest. There is also a bit of wheat here and the overall aroma is pleasant but not particularly challenging.

Taste: The pale malt and wheat come out in the flavors and a touch of sweetness. This is balanced and made more complex with some spiciness and some lemony tartness that has leaves

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and lightly prickly with adequate carbonation. The finish is medium in length with just a slight touch of bitterness but no particular hop flavors.

Drinkability: For a summer time beer and easy drinking this beer fits the bill quite nicely. I could see having a second and I'd certainly not turn down one in the future if offered. It certainly was a reasonable choice to accompany the dinner salad I was having. One other nice thing about this beer is that my wife, who isn't a big fan of beer, enjoyed a few sips as well.

Photo of sixerofelixir
2.33/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle, notched to enjoy before AUG.

Pours a foggy golden yellow. Creamy white head patches to the sides of the glass in clumps. Smell is perfumy, it almost seems like lemons and plums(?) are duking it out to see who is dominant. First taste was surprisingly sour, with a strange carbonated wallop of grapefruit at the end. The wheat doesn't have near enough body to support the other flavors. Astringent finish, not good at all. I am disappointed because I really enjoyed this release a few years ago, now it doesn't even taste like the same beer. Odd, because this happened to me with SA's winter lager as well.

Photo of chickenflea
3.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle. Lemon Jolly Rancher color. Poured into a standard pint glass. Two finger head the dissipates quickly. Not much lacing. A tiny bit of haziness.

Some floral hops in the nose. Spicy, but overwhelming smell is lemon. (Hey, the label warned me.) A tiny amount of banana-clove-yeast aroma as well.

The taste follows the nose, lemon and spicy. Well balanced. It reminds me of some of the lighter Belgian ales. The taste does not fall evenly into any single category. The finish is clean and refreshing.

Body is thin. Has a lager texture.

Definitely drinkable, I bought a twelve-pack because it went so well with my chicken and pasta. I like what Sam Adams is trying to do here. Sam Adams is getting so big, however, that there seems to be an unwarranted bias against their offerings. This is a good beer. Different and not overdone.

Photo of hosehead83
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass
Pale, cloudy gold in color, with a big, fluffy head of foam
Aroma-Lemon peel, wheat, subtle spices
Taste-Wheat, lots of lemon zest, peppery spiciness. First few gulps were refreshing and tangy, but overall taste became increasingly infused with lemon, leaving a bitter lemon-rind aftertaste. A bit too unbalanced to make a good summer session beer.

Photo of dwilson01
3.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into my arrogant bastard pint glass, won this guy at a drinking competition so it was free!

Pours a golden color, slightly hazy although not so much as the "higher quality" wheat ales I have experienced. Nice thumb-thick creamy white head, dissipates quickly but leaves a nice little bit on top due to the carbonation. Lacing is evident on the glass.

Smells like lemon zest, a light almost fluffy feeling to the nose, freshness throughout but not much complexity which I expected.

The taste follows the nose, lemon zest but with an added spice zing there at the end. Actually quite refreshing and unlike some other wheat ales I don't feel this needs any physically added citrus fruit. The lemon is just sour enough to be noted as such and the spice is just enough to keep it from going overboard.

Feels thin, body of an American lager basically, not impressive but has just enough malt to note the smoothness with which it goes down.

Definitely drinkable, I would choose other wheat ales over this one, but hey, it was free due to me and my teammate's badass drinking game ownage...go team rock wall!

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

a- nice golden color with darker hues tan and brown, nice 1 1/2 fingers of white head and nice carbonation

s-nice hint of citrus along with hops

t-slightly grainy good hint of citrus flavors with a reasonable full feel

m- good clean feel with hints of citrus

d-great drinkability not to heavy, clean taste, good for those warm summer days

Photo of Mit
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a-pours a nice semi cloudy straw colour with a nice respectable head.

s-spicey, malts and citrus coming through on the smell.

t-light malts, slight citrus, clean crisp flavours, some spicey and bready notes near the end.

m-feels thin for a 5% beer.

d-more than drinkable....this beer was made for a hot summer afternoon by a pool or with yard work.

Photo of gatornation
2.73/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

had on tap and was a slight hazy yellow wheat color..the smell was lemon and wet bread some pepper and citrus..the taste was worse it was a lemon zinger with pepperbread aftertaste that was just not good..the mouth fell was medium/thin ..not real drinkable..not one ill have again this summer

Photo of bourbonbock
2.18/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured this one vigorously into a clean pint glass. The beer came out hazy straw color with 2 fingers of bubbly head.

A. Not to appetizing but still looks very nice. Head bubbled away quickly and left a cap of white bubbles. Some hints of lacing on the glass.

S. Not much in the smell department. Smells of malts and wheat. Not much else to speak of.

T. This stuff is just not good, which is disappointing, the first year this stuff was for sale it was pretty good but anymore I feel like they just rush it out and don't put any effort or real ingredients in it.

M. Kind of thick and sticky from adjuncts? I'm not sure but it sticks around for a while.

D. Awful drinkability unless it is supplied and event then I might reach for a Bud.

Usually impressed with the Sam but not with this beer. I won't be purchasing this ever again.

Photo of travduke
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden pale, sort of hazy body. One finger of head, decent retention and lacing.

Aroma: Fruity, lemon zest, grain, yeast. Pepper smell in there too.

Taste: I really don't enjoy this. The taste is just way off. Its like a Hefenweizen drowned in lemon pepper seasoning.

Feel/Drink: Medium bodied, highly carbonated. Drinkability is great if you enjoy the flavor.

Photo of pootz
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gold, lightly hazed ale with a smallish white rocky cap...moderate retention, fair lace. Aggressive carbonation.

Light fruity-malt-grass nose to it not over stated by any means but pleasant and clean.

Soft mouth feel. Nice moderate body with ample malts... fruity tones some herbal hops a light medicinal bittering as it goes to a lightly drying spicey-biscuity finish .

pleasant approachable wheat ale...good for sessioning

Photo of aval89
3.31/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured very pale hazy light golden color into pint glass..finger head quickly goes down to thin film

Smells zesty, grainy, lemon, pepper... Fresh smell but had a metallic smell I didn't like..

Tastes is also very fresh and quenching.. Lemon zest, citrus tone to it.. A little pepper, wheat, grain & a hint of yeast... Light bodied with little carbonation.. Leaves a lemon/pepper note on palate.. Very clean beer

Very drinkable & a sure summer brew..would def pick this up again for those hot summer days & nights


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

Sam Summer to me is the ultimate grilling beer - the first one I grab is the beginning of the season, and the last one I drink is after labor day weekend. Of course I still grill year round...

Appearance is pale orange with a fizzy white head that starts out with a few fingers, but lingers nicely throughout. Nose is lightly citrus, much like a bit of a watered down hefeweizen, but with a little bit more yeast.

Taste is lightly citrus, with a light body, but I find it a really enjoyable drink, particularly for the style. Its well balanced, not overly flavorful or hop, but has subtle elements. Overall, it just has a summer feel to it, which makes it ideally suited for the season, and for its primary use.

Photo of CaptinRedBeard
3.95/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah, Sam Adams Summer Ale. My longtime summer standby at most of my area's restaurants.

A-A very nice pale orange--yellow color. Slightly cloudy but not near as much as many other wheat beers that I have had. A nice one finger off-white head and a fair amount of lacing left on the glass.

S-Orange and lemony citrus scents dominate the nose but there is enough malt there to bring out a bit of a bready quality.

T-The citrus is the main component here as well but the malt does come through nicely to balance things out. A little bit of hops to keep things from getting overly sweet.

M-Carbonation and body are great for the style. Not too heavy

D-High marks in this area. This beer was made for hot summer days. Very refreshing and goes down easy. I've lost count of how many places I drank this beer at last summer, but please keep your orange wedge and frosted glass. This brew is better without them.

Photo of Veillantif
2.91/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look out for those variety packs. I said, "Oh, it's Boston Lager and some other stuff on special!" like an idiot.

A=Pretty color; not as swampy-looking as a lot of other wheat ales. A finger of head that stays for a good two or three minutes.

S=I appreciated the hint of lemon, because it added a fresh scent to what was otherwise a little unpleasant. Got a hint of something dank, like old vegetable soup or something.

T=Exactly like the smell, but fortunately not as sweet as I was afraid.

M=Thin carbonation. Feels like punch (and doesn't taste that much different from it either).

D=There are just so damn many beers like this, and there's nothing to raise this one into the 75th percentile. The lemon's a nice touch. But if I wanted another beer like this, I would get some Leinie's or something, and use the buck I saved to buy an actual lemon. More Vitamin C that way.

Photo of david131
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A lightly hazed yellow liquid with a splotchy thin white head. About right for the style.

S- Very yeasty white bread, orange, lemon, some spices, and a definite Sam Adams-ness.

T- Very yeasty and citrusy. White bread, butter, lemon, and spices.

M- Has a significant yeasty mouthfeel with a lasting bready aspect.

D- A very ready beer that is pretty drinkable, especially on those hot summer nights.

Photo of pzrhsau
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Nice Cloudy golden color with a decent sized head.
Smell: Very bright and citrusy with an underlined peppery spice note to it.
Taste: Very strong lemon undertones pair well with the wheat malt and the grains of paradise really gives it a nice character to it.
Drinkability and Mouthfeel: Very light and refreshing beer that pairs really well with a lemon on a hot day to add some tang. Great summer beer to just sit and enjoy.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,787 ratings.