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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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4,801 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,801
Reviews: 1,562
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 42
Gots: 666 | 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: 4,801 | Reviews: 1,562
Photo of soju6
3.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy golden color with good head that slowly fades.

S- Lemon zest & clean aroma.

T- Mild lemon and spice with light bitter touch.

F- Medium body & dry finish.

D- Didn't have that crisp, refreshing feel I was expecting from a summer ale. Left me wanting, similar to the Coastal Wheat Ale.

Photo of sluggermatt15
3.82/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a darker yellow color with an orangish tint. About a 2 finger head with some white lacing that dissipates after several minutes following the pour. Average in my opinion.

S- Smells of wheat, sweet spices, and citrus fruits.

T- Tastes of wheats, lemon, and some spices. The lemon taste is apparent, making the beer have some sweetness to it. No bitterness here and you don't really taste the alcohol until about the end.

M- Some carbonation, but not a ton. I was pleased.

D- This beer is rather drinkable in my opinion. I would probably have about 3 in one sitting. Easy to drink it down because of the lack of a ton of carbonation and bitterness to it.

I really enjoyed this one from SA. I tend to like their seasonal brews and I was able to appreciate this one too. There's a reason they brew this one during the summer. It pairs well with a hot summer night. This was also the first beer I had on my 21st birthday, so it will be remembered. I would pick this one up again, even now that summer is relatively close.

Photo of Fnord
3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Transluscent yellow with a thick white head that fades fairly quickly.

Smell and Taste - Citrus, wheat, hay, and alcohol. A hint of bubblegum in the back. Not a lot going on.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and high carbonation. Very crisp.

Notes - A fairly nondescript American wheat ale. You can definitely do worse, but there's much better wheat beers out there.

Photo of ocelot2500
3.46/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, light golden color with a thick white head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smells of wheat notes and some subtle spice.

Tastes of a malty start cut by wheat and spice. Some fruit notes along the lines of peach sweetness and lemon bite from the wheat. Spice can be characterized by some light pepper notes.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had about three bottles of these at my local bar, Jimmy V's German Village. Poured into the typical pint glasses.

I was actually excited to try this beer again. Back when I started getting into good beer (which was only about a year ago) I remember trying lots of the Sam Adams seasonals. At the time they were cheap, accessible, easy to understand and carried a clear description of what the beer is meant to achieve. I remember not really liking this beer so I wanted to see how my tastes have evolved.

A- Light yellow. Its pretty bright. Decent white head and average, but not spectacular, lacing.

S- Faint but lemony and fruity. Its quite crisp and smells inviting.

T- Quite sweet and fruity. At times almost candy like. Its akin to lemon candy without the sour. There is some interesting spiciness that I attribute to the Grains of Paradise.

M- Lighter but slightly thicker than I was expecting.

D- I ended up drinking these WAY faster than I expected. I mean I was amazed at how easy this went down. For me it drank easier than any macro lager.

I remember that I enjoyed this beer a lot more this year than I did last. My tastes and knowledge for beer have grown exponentially since then. In the end I wouldnt buy this beer but I will totally be drinking most of Jimmy V's stock.

Photo of OlRasputin989
3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Samuel Adams "Perfect Pint"

A: Pours a hazy golden color with some yellow hues around the edge of the glass, with a foamy head of white foam. Head fades to leave a decent cap above the beer and some lacing

S: immediately i smell bready wheat malt and lemon zest. i also pick up some orange, some spice, and a nutty aroma

T: alot of wheat and yeast, giving it a grainy fruitiness (peach, lemon) that is very appetizing. fades with spicy wheat, biscuity hops, and a bitter flavor of overly ripe fruit, which gives it extra character in my opinion.

M: not as carbonated as other beers of this style, which i like. medium body seems a little heavy for drinking outside on a hot and humid day in arkansas. finishes crisp and dry

Photo of berley31
3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Poured with a moderate-sized, white head that lasted for awhile before slowly dissipating to a thin film. Body is a medium-gold color, very clear, and effervescent.

S: Slightly grainy and wheaty aroma, with hints of lemon and spices (I assume this is the Grains of Paradise?).

T: Interesting flavor. The lemon is there, as is that spiciness. Some slight grainy taste, it finishes very slightly dry and bitter, with the spices still present. As the beer warmed a bit, I, too, warmed to this flavor.

M: Moderate carbonation, light-medium body.

D: It's not bad, and would make a decent summer-drinker. But it's not my favorite SA beer, not by a long shot.

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

A- Ever so slightly hazy straw yellow beer. Somewhat darker hues, but mostly a sunny yellow pale wheat. Fair head, not very dense, but a bright clean white color. Quite lively looking, visible carbonation streams.

S- Tart lemons and mildly flowery hops aromas. Crisp and clean character, very uplifting aromas. Layered smells of something I can only assume is the purported "Grains of Paradise" (Aframomum melegueta, ginger family). True, it does have a certain, mild zingy spice in the nose. Suffers from fainter aromas, but a unique smelling beer. Just needs to be stronger and richer.

T- Unexpectedly watery. Starts thin, then some dry citrus tastes and finishes crisp and slightly herbal and spiced. At first it seemed to fall a little flat, but the more I drink this, the more the light peppery character and drier wheat finish intrigues me. SA has a good start here, I like the original direction of this beer. Perhaps just an increase in body and depth is all it needs to make it really good.

M- Now obviously I wasn't expecting a chewy mouthful, but this is notably thin, even for the style. Zippy and bubbly, this is a light and mild summer beer. Very light and mild.

D- High marks for drinkability. I like the choice of spices in this, I like the dry citrus zest finish, but it's watery complexion is a bit off putting. Still, I could drink a lot of this and it's light character makes it a little too easy to put back. I already want another one.

Photo of jwinship83
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a best by date of august 2010 pulled from the samual adams summer mixed 12 pack. drank from a standard american pint glass.

A- this one pours out a somewhat hazy golden colored body with a finger of bright white head. the head lasts for a while and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- the first thing i detect is wheat malt with a little bit of bread. definitely some lemon in here, along with some other spice i cant quite place. looking at the bottle i guess its grains of paradise.

T- the taste starts off pretty similar to the smell. the only thing different in here is the lemon comes through alot stronger than i could smell, as does the other spice. grains of paradise.

M- light to medium bodied with a high level of carbonation. refreshing and it reminds me of summer.

D- this is something i can see myself drinking outside in the summer quite often.

Photo of beachbum1975
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a traditional pint glass.

Pours an attractive, lightly cloudy, dull yellow with bright brass highlights. There head was there after the initial pour but didn't last long at all.

I get lemon zest and grains of paradise on the nose with a faint white bread-like zing in there, as well.

The flavors in the nose are carried over into the taste. The overall flavor is milder then I was expecting and finishes with a light hop bitterness.

I don't find this beer particularly refreshing. The beer had high carbonation, but a very wet mouthfeel. Sorry, but I've had much better examples of this style.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.74/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

91 degrees in Boston = Sam Summer. Dark yellowy gold with a thin white head. Quick to skim into a horseshoe collar retention. I suspect a bad pour.

Smells of lemon, light grain, and that white peppery citrus grains of paradise smell. Good stuff. Taste is similarly lemon citrus with light grain. Crisp and ridiculously refreshing, the hotter the day the better this beer is. Today it was pretty good.

Photo of jamie2dope
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I can tell you with certainty that Samuel Adams Summer Ale (or Sam Summer) is VERY popular in Boston, especially amongst my Medford friends. It is certainly a good looking beer: hazy gold in color, with a large pillow like white head. Citrus and wheat are what I am getting mainly from the nose. Very bright in places, the grains of paradise add a nice element overall. Taste is not quite as impressive, with a lot of that wheat and fruit flavor getting lost in the carbonation. That being said, the finish is really pleasing: very well rounded and showcasing the sweetness of the wheat. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and perfect for a hot day like today. Putting back a few of these has never been a problem for me, especially in a barbecue setting. In the past, I have dumped on this beer a bit, but right now I have to say that I am enjoying it a lot. It begs for a good food pairing...burgers sound perfect.

Photo of channelzero0
3.61/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Golden and clear

S - Only really smell light citrus

T - First sip hits you with wheat and mild citrus

M - Mild carbonation

D - Easy to drink

I would not call this one of my top beers of choice just because of my preferences but still a good drink.

Photo of steinlifter
4.35/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This poured a hazy bright yellow/almost gold..tall sudsy, 2 fingered head, that reduced to a thin collar.
aroma was very citrusy and pleasant..grapefruit and mild hop whiff.
Tangy, citrusy, and mild...
mouthfeel was light and watery.
Drinkability is very high here, these go down very smooth and easy..great summer brew!

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.

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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,801 ratings.