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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.

4,752 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,752
Reviews: 1,547
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 33
Gots: 534 | 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)
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Ratings: 4,752 | Reviews: 1,547 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jmich24
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A: Orangish amber in color. Quarter inch head. Sporadic lacing. Not impressive.
S: Wheat, bread yeast, slight citrus (lemon).
T: Similar to smell. No bitterness.
M: Smooth, crisp finish.
D: Good drinkability. Crisp refreshing on a summer afternoon.

Not bad overall. There are just much better other choices available. I will not buy this again.

Photo of NA1NSXR
2.38/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance - Small head, slightly hazy golden color, little carbonation, looks kind of lazy. Reasonable lacing.

Smell - Ok, I can smell all the stuff they listed on the label, the lemon, some funky grain and exotic spice. This beer smells quite strongly of all those things, but is it a good smell? Not to me, really. Maybe I'm too much of a layman to appreciate these exotic ingredients, but I don't like this smell.

Taste - Oo. Spicy. I am getting all of that 'grains of paradise' up front, the lemon in the middle, and the wheat at the end. This is definitely unique, but a bit too much of the special spice that doesn't really fit my taste.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is okay though, its typical wheat ale feel, maybe a hint thicker, which is fine by me.

Drinkability - For me, this is a bit too funky for me to have again. This is coming from someone who likes wheat beer a lot. I guess its the 'grains of paradise' pepper that is the selling point and also the culprit at the same time. Maybe with fish, chicken, or white meat like that. Maybe. I can't believe the consensus has this better than the coastal wheat.

Photo of Mosstrooper
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into half-liter Paulaner branded weizen glass.

Appearance: Pours clear gold with a large white head that dissipates very slowly and leaves behind lots of lace.

Smell: Wheat aromas with lots of tangy citrus and hints of spice.

Taste: Pretty weak on flavor- tangy lemon with grain flavors and a strange bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light body with little carbonation. Refreshing.

Drinkability: Nothing special at all here. Not bad, and probably a good beer for hot summer days, but overall pretty average.

Photo of JBogan
2.88/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured a slightly hazy medium gold with a tiny white head which soon turned into a thin film and left moderate lacing. Nothing special going on here.

Nor is there anything special about the aroma. It's mostly a faint wheat scent along with an even fainter citric note.

The taste wasn't much of an improvement, and I struggled to give it even an "average" grade. It was similar to the smell, with wheat malt playing the main role with a very small lemon accompaniment. There was also a musty quality to the beer, but overall it was what I'd call weak tasting.

The mouthfeel was again, very average at best. Somewhat thin, but with just enough crispness to keep it from being too dull.

All said, this was simply a very mediocre beer. I live in a very hot climate, but I can't see myself purchasing this one again. There are far too many beers of it's style out there that are superior.

Photo of Saint
4.3/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Certainly in the running for my favorite wheatbeer. This brew is exactly what it says it is, Summer Ale, its perfect for summer. Its appearance is cloudy amber. It smells of slight hops, wheat and zesty citrus. It tastes refreshing, its a wheat beer but with the taste of zesty lemon citrus flavors, very Similar to MagicHats Circus Boy. It has no flavors that overwhelm at any point, from first sip to aftertaste it presents a very even & pleasant palette, through and through. Its mouthfeel is average, nothing real special to report here, certainly not unpleasant, but not really unique. As far a drinkability, on a hot summer day, on the beach, out sailing, camping, hiking, grilling, enjoying a number of BBQ treats, polish-wiffle ball, or any other number of outdoor summer activities, this beer ice-chilled is a prime choice. Several of them in a row can and should be enjoyed on the regular this spring and summer.

Photo of ocbears
2.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A: Yellowish/orange with a tinge of cloudiness. Small, perfectly white head.

S: Lemon, grass, something has a slight dank quality to it. Possibly the wheat?

T: Much the same as the aroma. A mixture of lemon, some grassy hop characters. As it warms up you notice the alcohol in the throat.

M: Good level of carbonation. Light bodied and somewhat creamy. Not at all chewy.

D: Hmm. I'm not much of a fan of this one. Nothing really grabs me at all in the way of aroma or taste. It's a one and done for me. None of the flavors are terrible but it doesn't quite work.

Notes: I reviewed the Blackberry Wit the other day and in terms of appearance and body it's much of the same, hence the similar review. I'd say I prefer the Blackberry to this one, though.

Photo of pwoody11
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Hazy golden color, flirting with almost an orange hue.

Aroma is of citrus, mostly lemon, some spice (african grain?) and wet wheat-like scent.

Taste is somewhat similar to the aroma with the citrus and spice. Maybe some honey? Overall the flavors are pretty mild and hard to detect. I also have no clue what the african stuff tastes or smells like to be able to pick it out. Not really detecting any bittering from the hops, which for a summer beer such as this, IMO, is not a bad thing.

Overall, I enjoyed the brew, and as with the others in the variety pack, I think they compliment each other very well.

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

Looks: Pours a bright yellow which is just the tiniest bit hazy, quickly dissipating white head and no lacing. No carbonation to be found.

Smell: Sweet, fruity and citrusy. A little spicy. Some wheat smell as well, but nothing too powerful here.

Taste: Sweet malts and lemon dominate the taste, with just a tiny bit of hop flavor, which is appropriate for the style. Some wheat flavor, but only in the backround. Honey and some spice add a nice touch.

Mouthfeel: Strong carbonation with a very light body. The subtle spice gives some texture.

Drinkability: Oh so drinkable on a hot summer day (minus the heavy carbonation). Very refreshing with the powerful lemon taste and light body. Could probably fly through a 6-pack of this if it were hot enough!

Photo of RobbieB5555
2.3/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

For the last two years I was a huge fan of Sam's Summer Ale. When I first tasted Summer Ale in 08, I thought it was wonderful. It had a great taste from start to finish. Last year I was a little less impressed. This year's Summer Ale totally missed the mark in my opinion. It is great when it first hit my tongue, but then there was nothing! I thought maybe it was me and I asked others with me what they thought, and they agreed that when it first hits your tongue there is a party, but no finish... nothing. I know that every batch of a seasonal brew is different, but when I have and expectation of how something should taste, based on past experience, it is much more disappointing. I only hope that Sam's October Fest doesn't disappointment like this beer did.

Photo of BeerNemesis
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams "Summer Ale". 2010

pale orange straw colored with a big, foaming white head. Average looking to slightly above is about how I would describe it.

Soapy with a bit of a metal tinge. Malt sweetness, citrusy hops and some odd spices.

Wheat upfront, followed by a medley of citrus and herbal spices. A little tangy and metallic on the finish.

Fuller bodied than one would expect from the style... at first. After an immediate feel of fullness, the sensation quickly deflates. Bummer.

Meh. Pretty drinkable in the summer even though nothing really stands out. I think the citrus and odd spicing give it some redeeming qualities.

Photo of scottyb88
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer on the Sam Adams tour last summer and it seemed to taste much better at that time than this release. Its been awhile, so its a little hard to remember for sure.

A-I poured it a bit cold, there was a tiny head that disappeared quickly; no lacing...i'll do another one and let it warm up to compare

S-bready malt and lemon, doesnt have a strong wheat presence

T-slight notch above the disappointing coastal wheat; faint lemon and faint wheat, has that odd sam adams aftertaste that tastes like adjunct grains, but I don't think it is

M-pretty solid, good carbonation that quenches a thirst during the hot months

D-when its really hot out and you just did some lawn work or w/e its pretty refreshing, but other than that it's kind of forgettable

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

A decent little summer beer. A little darker than a BMC, lots of carbonation. Lemon in the nose.

Taste, lemon more nuanced, a good light wheat style. Good introductory thing goin' on. Wheat not heavy, but its there. Mouthfeel, goes from mild sour to mild sweet. Easy to drink. Save for hot days.

Photo of StaveHooks
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark golden haze. Head vanished pretty quick. Little lacing.

S - Lemon, grain

T - Lots of lemon going on. Subtle spice upfront. Nice wheat flavor with a watered down honey/citrus finish. Something very strange about the after taste though. I can't really figure out what it is.

M - Light bodied.

An okay summer beer. After several of these I noticed that the aftertaste is almost like a cough drop or something like that. Kinda weird. I would drink this again, but would probably not buy again.

Photo of Stunner97
3.95/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance- nice thick white foamy head with rapid bubble carbonation poured in my sad adam perfect pint, bright yellow and clear in color,

smell- lots of lemon and slight wheat and hop smell, slight spice or zest as it advertised is on the nose

taste- definitely can get a bit of lemon in the background with a slight hoppy bitter finish, with a slight zest in background, but overall the flavor is very fresh and lively, has that slight wheat and hefewiezen flavor to it, nice balance to it of lemon and hops, overall nice flavor,

Mouthfeel- light crisp and highly carbonated, its also surprisingly smooth on the palate

Drinkability- Have to say this was highly drinkable and I really did enjoy the balance to it, very easily sessionable and I can look forward to seeing trying this on a hotter summer day, what took me back from what i remember it in the past is it has a touch more bitterness then I remember and its more drying on the finish then sweet, a good and highly drinkable beer I will visit again in the summer when looking for something I dont need to think about to much and just be refreshed by

Photo of SargeC
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Slightly hazy gold liquid with a foamy white head.

Smell: Wheat character. Lemon, yeast, orange and clove.

Taste: Smooth bready start melts into citrus flavors. Almost tangy/sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Feels lighter than it is.

Drinkablity: Decent wheat brew. I am not a big fan of wheat brews, but this was pretty good.

Photo of bbkd3b
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Bright orange and hazy is a good combination, but not much of a head to speak of.

S: Wheat and lemon zest from what I could gather. Some spice underneath (Boston Brewery's grains of paradise, I imagine).

T: Nice taste with a good lemon punch. Some other fruits were there, but they were pushed to the background.

M: Medium-bodied, with good carbonation. Left a bit of an after taste that I wasn't a big fan of, though. Perhaps it's a personal thing, but something about it was... meh.

D: High at first, but the more I drank the more that aftertaste turned me off. One and done, with this beer.

Overall, a decent summer brew worth a taste. I wouldn't recommend it too highly, though.

Photo of Dijeriduster
2.93/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Slightly amber pale color with 1 1/2 fingers head on a strong pour. Quite clear, like an american mass produced lager...

S - Immediately made me think of the smell of Bud Light from a keg. Kinda sour with a hint of spiciness coming thru. Closer nosing reveals some sweetness and a little musty flavor.

T - Starts off a little sour before the sweetness hits. Wheat comes thru in the finish as does more sweetness. Lots of honey notes here. Interesting adjunct tastes in here too...no clue if that is the crazy African grain mentioned in other reviews?

M - Actually pretty good for a "light" beer. Maybe a little too much carbonation but it feels full on the tongue.

D - Eh, its nothing to write home about - but it would be a great alternative to the mass produced crap for a BBQ or other event. Think of it as the beer snobs party beer....I surely wouldn't get a 12 pack for myself, but a party full of naughty coeds??? Hey they gotta learn about real beer at some point

Photo of Cakanator
2.35/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz. Eh how many times does somebody bring this to a party? Average summer lemony light beer. This is about as average as it gets for a summer. Wouldn't mind never having again, but I'll take it over coors any day. Not taking too much pride in this one.

Photo of dpnelson1978
3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into glass pint.


$9.99 / ea.

Tasted in the month indicated as best by.

S: Sour lemon, and evidently "grains of paradise" though I would never put my finger on it. Wheat is overwhelmed by pure citrus tang.

A: Cloudy straw body topped with a medium loose head that leaves little lacing or cover. The style generally requires a more substantial head.

T: Sour lemon citrus and toasty wheat malt. Toast dominates on the inhale and a crisp tang remains on the palette well after the taste.

M: Light body and high carbonation with a bitter bite. Fits the style, but feels too aggressive in my opinion.

D: The drinkability will be determined by personal taste (more so than normal). Price and abv. are just right, but the sour can be a deal breaker. If you like tang, this is where it is at.

O: Respectable showing, but the tank isn't what I'm looking for in the style.

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

Pours hazy golden straw due to the vast amount of miniscule sediment floating around. One finger of china white head that quickly dissipates but leaves some decent patchy lacing.

Wet wheat, lemon zest, biscuit and a funky vegetal smell that I think can be attributed grains of paradise used. Very simple and somewhat bland.

Lemon zest upfront that helps cut the wheat, biscuit, wheat, corn and other vegetables with a quick and subtle floral hop finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth but not well balanced. Being their summer seasonal, this one was made to be a quaffer and a quaffer it is at that. The drinkability seemed to be the only highlight of this beer, but the funky bland taste didn't make we want to drink much more.

Quite disappointed with this Sam Adams offering. Being the same, premium price as the Boston Lager, I would go with that any day over this. Won't be buying this one again.

Photo of Marcrates
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a bright orange, with a bit of cloudiness to it. The head is small and doesn't stick to the glass.

S - Not much here.. maybe a little peachiness?

T - Not bad. Starts off with a fairly thick wheat taste, and tapers off with a hint of citrus. I'm not tasting any hops here at all..

M - Medium thickness.. a bit dry, but still refreshing.

D - I could have a few of these without trouble. Fairly easy to drink..

Overall I think this is an ok beer, but it doesn't have a great deal going for it. A step up from a Bud Light for sure.. but nothing to write home about.

Photo of TheHammer
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this one in another trade with Ludachris, not really all that much more to say.

Appearance: Pours with barely even an a centimeter of head, that obviously did not lace or retain. The body however boasts solid carbonation, a nice orange/bronze color and boasts decent carbonation. Clearly unfiltered by it's cloudy appearance but not riddled with sediment.

Smell: Needs to be a bit stronger, but I'm catching a very nice peach and lemon smell with a nice touch of peppery spice to a solid background of wheat malt.

Taste: Starts with a citrus wheat malt which shifts to a nice but somewhat subdued and indecisive mix of citrus, wheat, with a hint of spiciness that then rounds out the beer with a slight touch of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Leaves the mouth slightly dry but too much. Aftertaste barely lingers and it pleasant with a nice fruit touch. It also does transition fairly well, however points do get deducted for the complete lack of head, which is surprising due to the decent carbonation.

Drinkability: This one is hard to gauge, I mean it not an average beer and it is interesting but I get the feeling it's trying to do too many things at once. Not sweet enough for a desert beer, not refreshing enough to guzzle on a hot day, not spicy enough for unique twist and while not heavy on the gut or gassy, leaves something to be desired.

Final Thoughts: It's a bit odd, I mean it's drinkable but really this really reminds me of a cheaper, blander Creemore Kellerbier with wheat added into the mix. All in all, I'd recommend a try and it might be your thing but don't buy a whole six pack until you scout it out.

Photo of Dave412
2.55/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From notes

Pale orange color small head quickly gone. Cloudy slightly.

Smell of wheat or wet straw but with zesty scents. Smell of something damp.

Lemon citrus orange tastes but nothing strong, mild tastes nothing really stands out, some grain and fruit on finish.

Medium body, seems to linger some in the mouth.

I find myself not craving a second one after drinking one. Dont know what it is, not really overly filling but just doesnt settle well with me. The taste just doesnt leave me wanting more.

Certainly not my favorite wheat ale, probably worse one I've tried although I honestly havent had tons of this type.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.45/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Healthy cap of foam, nearly two fingers thick, bubbles and crackles its way to a thinner layer, but it does so slowly. Creamy and a bit rocky, it threatens to leave lace on the glass, and then doesn't do much in that department. Color is a hazy golden yellow.

Nose is herbal in nature, and everything appears as advertised: zing of lemon; that gentle niceness of wheat malt; grains of paradise appearing as an exotic spicing that would've been tough to nail down if we weren't already told what it is. All this is quite mild, and there isn't a ton else going on, but it's enjoyable enough.

Flavor is a well-balanced blend of citrus (yep, lemon), spices, earthy/clean wheat, and a light dash of hops. A bit soapy on the finish, and also more sour and less tart at that point. A sweeter non-citrus fruit element appears with warming.

Feels slick enough, body somewhere between light and medium, and not quite as soft as many other wheat ale. It's not harsh either, but ample carbonation nearly edges it into soda territory.

Decent stuff, and perhaps I should have tried it when it was fresher (and when it wasn't a cold and drizzly early autumn day). Recommended, but only if you can't get your hands on Oberon, Dreamweaver or a great Belgian wit, which perform that same function with greater results.

Photo of Anthony1
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat hazy medium gold color with an ample amount of white head. Retention is poor for a wheat beer and there is some lacing left after the initial pour fades to a nice sheen.

Nose is filled with lemon zest, those pesky, peppery grains of paradise, snappy wheat and mangoes. Taste is light and spicy, with the grains o' paradise and wheat flavors leading the way. The flavor feels a bit 'softer' out of the bottle than it does on tap.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
77 out of 100 based on 4,752 ratings.