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

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Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

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4,768 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,768
Reviews: 1,553
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 35
Gots: 594 | 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: 4,768 | Reviews: 1,553 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dacrza1
2.67/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Situation: Celebrating the beginning of August--the beginning of summer for Shan and I!
Glassware: Saranac willibecker...
Appearance: rather effervescent yellow body; off-white head settles rather quickly to a marshy consistency--head more ale than weizen...
Aroma: lemony aroma with enough malt strength to holds it down; a bit of body on this one, grabs by the nose...
Palate: medium-bodied consistency of iced tea; moves between the teeth and tongue evenly--a bit of fizz, though...
Taste: strange, almost lager-like malts defeat what hops/wheat might be in here; "tangy" might be a useful adjective if the body didn't weigh it down...
Overall: not seeing this as a solid summer offering--in fact, it seems a bit too malty, like some other Sam Adams beers are that lager a bit too heavy--zesty, perhaps, but the malt seems to suck much of the refreshment out of it--and refreshment is a summer ale's first priority, no?

Photo of sleazo
3.98/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A_pale slightly hazed golden straw with a foamy white cap. Decent retention

S_mild aroma. What's there is fairly clean smelling. Light grain with a hint of lemon

T_Clean light grain up front with a crisp lemony bite at the end. Flowery hops and a bit of pepper linger in the mouth but do not overpower

M_medium bodied which is a surprise for a summer with a lively carbonation. Perfect for summer without being too light

D_A great summer ale that isn't too light. Brings plenty of flavour yet is something you can drink a lot of on a warm day

Photo of BeerCon5
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light orange-amber color with a good amount of white head that lasts.

Strong lemony scent, some wheat.

The taste is of very strong lemon and citrus, some wheat and spices.

Light bodied and smooth with high carbonation.

This was a very easy drinker. I'm usually enjoy the majority of Sam Adams offerings but this wasn't for me. A little too watery and thin.

Photo of goblue3509
3.57/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a yellow orange slightly hazy color with a one finger head that is fluffy and white. The smell is of spice notes with a small amount of malt and some lemon aroma's. The taste is of citrus up front, in the middle there is a spicy note finished off by a lemon taste. The mouthfeel is moderately high in carbonation. Overall the drinkability on this is good. You will for sure want more than one, but the lemon could get old after a good amount.

Photo of Jwale73
3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle served in my Weihenstephaner weizen glass. Poured a translucent orange-gold with a two-inch, billowy bright white head that lost half its volume within a minute. Nose reveals a sweet, spicy character, light malt and the merest suggestion of citrus. Taste is somewhat consistent with nose, but also buttery and biscuity, with a slight citrus astringency at the finish. Mouthfeel is between light- and medium-bodied, lightly effervescent and also a little slick. Not loving the taste on this one - perhaps one of my least favorite SA offerings; there's just a weird cloying/sweet/spicy character to this one that impacts its sessionability.

Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.52/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy yellow/golden color with a fair amount of lacing on the glass. The smell & taste are very good -- hoppy & citrusy. Hints of grapefruit. Nice, dry finish. Pretty smooth for a wheat ale. I'd rate the drinkability as pretty high, but I must admit that at a summer BBQ, after three or four of these, I was kinda yearning for something a little crisper. Overall, tho, very good beer.

Photo of MisterSH
2.5/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Tried one of these last night for old time's sake - this was a favorite of mine back in the day and it's been a few years since I last drank one. On tap at the Press Room. Color was golden, slightly clouded as one would expect. Spicy, wheaty aroma.

First impression on taste was the beer's very light, spicy character. Lemon was highly apparent, largely in the way of a kind of subtle, acrid sweetness. The beer finished with a strong breadiness that lingered on the palate and initially overpowered the citrus essence. Drinkability at first seemed quite high.

As I worked my way through the pint, sweetness gave way to astringency. The flavor had a strong artificial overtone to it, and by the end of the glass I was perceiving something more akin to some sort of artificial lemon solvent or bathroom cleaner than to the lemon "zest" that the beer professes to contain. My stomach was left feeling rather uncomfortable and I would have been hard pressed to put down another pint of this beer.

Sadly I must say that whatever appeal this beer once had for me is greatly reduced.

Photo of ujsplace
3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pub glass.

A: Golden orange, decent head, minimal lacing.

S: Spicy, lemony citrus hops with mild malt

T: Grainy, earthy hops with mild malt, but somewhat lacking.

M: Light, decent carbonation.

D: Drinkable enough, just not much in terms of remarkable flavor. Seems to be a very safe middle of the road, brew. I think this would be good at gatherings, but I would get bored with too much of this...there just isn't much to offer here...

Photo of magine
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a light orange/yellow brew, white creamy head, nice lacing. Head stays a top the brew.

Smells of citrus/Lemon - slightly bready scent.

Pours a citrus/lemon flavored brew, smooth mouthfeel. A slight bready taste.

Very drinkable and very non offensive. This brew lacks alot of character but is still good for a session. Nice on a hot day.

Photo of dbmcrorie
2.86/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz brown long neck bottle with freshness date notched on back. Poured into an American pint glass.

Golden honey colored body with cloudy chill haze. One finger of puffy off-white head that dissipates before the first sip.

Citrus, lemony honey, soft citrus hops and faint malt presence. Crisp and clean. Soft spice in the back.

Astringent. Bitterness is too heavy. Interesting twang, less "tangy" than promised. Clover honey, lemon zest sourness, and a banana fruitiness are to the extent of the flavors in this brew. When it comes to entertaining my tongue, it appears that the malt is asleep, and the hops just don't give a damn. Prickly carbonation and a rough mouthfeel. Sticky and bitter finish.

The carbonation is good for waking up the mouth on a hot day, but the profile does little to keep up. Not impressive in any format. Another lackluster brew from Sam Adams massive library of beer. I think they hurried over this recipe a bit too hastily. Thank god their Boston Lager is phenomenal, otherwise brews like this would deter me from the brewery altogether.
Could pair decently with stereotypical summer foods such as hotdogs, as well as spicy German food, California burgers, fish, and steamed clams.


Photo of NeutroMan
3.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a weizen glass.

Hazy golden-orange color with one-and-a-half finger head that dissipates to a thin cap and leaves virtually no lacing.

Aroma is slightly medicinal/soapy and lemony with wheat and some interesting spices.

Has a dry, crisp lemon zest flavor with some wheaty goodness and a dash of malt sweetness.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with little carbonation makes this a refreshing brew that lives up to its moniker.

A fairly decent brew, but I seem to remember it being significantly better on-tap.

Photo of hossua34
3.73/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is great. A light, pale gold. Cloudy but not opaque. A thin head quickly turns to a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell = lots of wheat, lemon and oranges.

Taste is a little bit on the citrusy side, with a bitter, almost champagney bite at the end. A nice orange-wheat aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, a little bubbly IMO.

I don't know, I can taste the alcohol in this one a little bit too much for a 5.2% brew. And letting a glass warm up a little results in a pungent, almost grapefruit-like aftertaste. For me anyway.

Overall, pretty good. Not a lot to make it stand out from other summery, citrus wheat beers however.

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

Appearance: a beautiful white finger and a half thick head. A nice yellow copper color.

Smell: The nose seems to be all about the lemon and the wheat. There was a little bit of bready goodness in there too, but nothing mind blowing. It was pretty subtle overall.

Taste: Metallic notes, which was somewhat of a let down. There was a great deal of lemon flavor with a hint of fruity citrus. The flavor had some definite bitterness in it which dominated any hint of malt. But there may have been a tiny bit of sweet malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation plays up a lot of the mouthfeel here and without the great amount of carbonation it seems the better would be on the thinner side. As is, I would say it is medium bodied. The lack of a watery quality to the beer which I have seen in lesser "summer beers" is a nice bonus, but overall this is just a simple average beer with nothing really great going for it.

Drinkability: I must say this simple refreshing drink was the perfect beer to have when being done with a hot day at the beach. Otherwise, I do not think I will be picking this one up again.

Photo of buschbeer
3.68/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured into a pint glass to an inch of creamy white head. It was gold in color and cloudy. I got the lemon scent right away followed by the wheat. I tasted the lemon up front and got the spicy, bready taste on the back end. It tastes a lot better than I remember. I am on my second and see no problem finishing the other two I have left. I may drink it again.

Photo of jhammel01
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat cloudy carbonated light orange with a pretty thick fluffy head. Unfortunately, the head does not stay around to long.

Smells a little bready and some citrus. Not much else hitting me. Seems like its a bit muted from being so cold..If that makes sense...

Tastes great. Citrus and slight lemon notes come up 1st with some slight hop flavor. Has a good bready malt finish.

This beer has become one of my favorites from SA. Can't go wrong on a hot summer night with some of these around!

Photo of Lolli1315
3.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a golden to caramel looking color. A little bit darker than what I am used to for this category of beer.

S- The citrus smells hit you right away. Most notably is the lemon scent that comes through as expected by the description.

T- Lemon is the biggest taste that I got out of this beer. The citrus is pretty strong and refreshing on a summer day.

M- Medium bodied mouthfeel, pretty average run of the mill. Nothing too special, but certainly not bad.

D- Pretty easy drink. I went through a couple of these before I knew it. The only problem is that the citrus flavor becomes a little too much after a couple.

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

Appearance - Nice golden color with some haze. A nice amount of white fluffy head.

Smell - You can smell the "summer". One can smell lemons, bread, yeast, wheat malt, etc.

Taste - Taste's similar to the nose. Nothing overly complex or dramatic. There is a rush of spices/lemon after the initial sip.

Mouthfeel - As I stated with the Blackberry Witber, it is not very thick in mouthfeel, and is quite carbonated (but I feel it works with this drink).

Drinkability - A good beer to have on a hot California summer Sunday. Sitting outside doing this review and drinking this makes me enjoy it all the more and it really does hit the spot right now.

Photo of PerroGrande
3.98/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer on tap recently at Ruby Tuesday's.

I was pleased to see it on the list. RT's lists my beloved Yuengling as an option, but alas, it is only for their east coast establishment. BFE Ohio gets no Yuengling. However, they did have SA Summer Ale (SASA?) on draft.

The appearance is mildly cloudy -- not unexpected for a wheat beer.

The smell was a bit lost on me due to a cold (unfortunately).

Taste was excellent and balanced. I enjoyed the hint of spice which, to me, had overtones of cinnamon or nutmeg. I also enjoyed the fact that the spice was not overwhelming, nor was the beer obnoxiously sweet.

Mouthfeel was fine -- no objections.

Drinkability was excellent. This beer complemented my steak and mashed potatoes perfectly on a summer day. An enjoyable brew!

Photo of sarahspat
3.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A very frothy, creamy-looking white head sits atop a clear honey-hued liquid.

The nose is very subdued... I detect some grassy notes, but that's about it.

The taste contains many pleasant flavors that I can't seem to pinpoint other than more grassiness and notes of vanilla. It's a bit spicy, but very refreshing and crisp. Creamy mouthfeel; highly drinkable.

It's above average for the style, but not spectacular.

Photo of jimj21
3.97/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Bought a twelve pack of this ale. Twelve ounce bottle marked as best by September 2009. Poured into a standard pint glass. Sam Adams Summer Ale pours a hazy golden yellow/orange. Topped by about a finger of white head. There's not much staying power, as the foam recedes quickly. Not much lacing either. Some bubbles rising in the glass.

Smell is mostly of wheat. There are also some citrusy aromas of lemon and lemon peel. Some spices are there, but I can't pick those out. A little bit of sweet maltiness.

Flavor starts out with a little wheat tanginess which works along with the lemon zest to provide some bitterness. This is where the malty sweetness starts to come through. A little bit of caramel even. Finishes a bit spicy and kind of dry.

Mouthfeel is a little creamy, even though this beer is light bodied. Carbonation is noticable but definitely not too much. A little dry, but not detracting.

I think this is a great beer for the summer. It's not complex and it's not packed with flavor, but it is incredibly easy to drink. It is also very refreshing on a hot and humid day. It's even something that most non-craft beer drinkers can enjoy. Definitely something I look forward to every summer.

Photo of BierFan
3.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. The notched label says to enjoy by December.

Appearance: Nice and fluffy off-white head. Hazy honey/amber body. Small spots of lacing.

Smell: Nice lemony aroma. Reminds me alot of a witbier. Kind of has a cinnamon aroma as well, perhaps that is from the grains of paradise.

Taste: The taste doesn't come together quite as nicely as the smell of the beer does. Still pretty tasty, though. The grains of paradise give it a certain "hearty" character that sets it apart from other wheat beers.

Photo of pasdachuri
2.17/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Hazy gold with a creamy white head. Very similar to a German Weissbier like Franziskaner.

Grainy and malty, with a bit of lemon spice.

Heavy on the wheat and hop bitterness. Very bitter. A little bit of lemon flavor and an unpleasant spice taste to finish.

Crisp with a medium body.

Could not stand the taste co not very drinkable to me. I typically enjoy this style but was looking to trade the rest of my sixer away after the second or third sip.

By far my worst experience with the Boston Brewing Company

Photo of vishneda
2.62/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into glass. Was our Friday afternoon beer at work. Best by "November".

This looked pretty good in the glass. However, the aroma put me off pretty quickly. There was a citrus note, but something else was in there that none of us liked. Something sort of like the smell of fresh asparagus.

The taste was equally disappointing. Nothing about it was very strong. The grain flavor came through without much complexity. It had a slightly sour quality which lingered in the aftertaste. Metallic notes as well.

I did like the body and carbonation of the beer; these were perfect for a summer day, even if the ABV is a little high. It was pretty drinkable for a beer which I did not like to taste.

Summer ale was not nearly as good as we had hoped, and we were scratching our heads trying to figure out what we were missing. I started to wonder if we got a bad six. However, there was nothing obvious to say that this beer was damaged or very old. I hate blasting this beer, but compared to Gumballhead, Honey Moon, 312, etc this one didn't live up to the mark.

Photo of Buggies
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy golden yellow with a this head and blotchy lacing.

S: Wheat malt and citrus with hint of bread and yeast.

T: Taste is pretty much as the the nose. Not much to talk about. Slight sweet citrusy finish. A basic American wheat.

Not much to talk about here. A basic example of the style. Altogether a nice beer for what it is. It's a thirst quencher which makes it drinkable on a hot summer day.

Photo of a4tuurbo
3.21/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A-This beer came to my table with just a tiny little head that quickly dissipated. It was a nice clear gold color with high carbonation.

S- The most prominent smell was malt with a little bit of lemon.

T- I could definitely taste the malt as well as a touch of hoppy bitterness. I did get a hint of lemon but not much. The grains of paraside gave a slight spicyness at the end.

M- I didnt particularly like the high carbonation. Otherwise, I can only describe it as average. Not too thick and heavy but also not watery.

D- Although not my favorite flavor profile, I could definitely drink quite a few of these.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,768 ratings.