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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.

4,594 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,594
Reviews: 1,542
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 33
Gots: 454 | 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: 4,594 | Reviews: 1,542 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kzoobrew
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy yellow-orange very foamy white head. Decent retention with minimal lacing.

Aroma is slightly spicy and grainy. Little citric in the nose.

Taste is large spicy and citric up front. Lemon zest and peppery. Some malty sweetness is noticed underneath the initial flavor. wheat and grain flavors in the back end.

Medium mouth feel maybe more creamy than crisp. Carbonation not lively enough to be crisp. Very smooth drinker. Good summer ale.

kzoobrew, Aug 19, 2008
Photo of sstackho
2.65/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from LCBO at $13.45 for a six-pack. Pours a cloudy pale gold with a head that fades quickly. Light metallic aroma. Initial taste has a gentle yeast spiciness (is that those "grains of paradise"?), but the taste ends on a watery note. Any wheatness falls squarely into the "American Wheat" category as opposed to Belgian or German. Light mouthfeel. I'll give this a pass if it comes back to the LCBO next summer.

sstackho, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of scottyshades
2.63/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Eh, this is one of a handful of BBco. beers that I do not care for
A: Pours a transparent amber/straw color that produces a decent head and a nice lace....so far so good

S: The nose is one primarily of citrus and bitter/tangy notes. At this point I am a little nervous because I tend not to like bitter/tangy beers with a strong citrus bite

T: First, citrus and tanginess dominate the palate, followed by a change of pace that produces a hoppy note, which seems to transition the beer from tangy to bitter...not my cup

MF: Leaves the mouth feeling a little sour, aftertaste is bad, and stays with you

D: Low, a little too bitter and tangy to be considered a session beer

I rated this beer the way I did because compared to other Summer Ales, this one is not balanced enough...it is not refreshing, clean, and really does not have any summer aspects in it

scottyshades, Aug 16, 2008
Photo of Beerislife652854
4.1/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very different style of brew from the other BBC products.

A - Pours a clear, light amber body crowned with a tightly packed whitish, almost a very light yellow head. There is a good amount of lacing inside the glass.

S - Very mild spices hide any overwhelming hop element.

T - Very light, faint spices and citrus, some sweet malts.

M - Carbonation is not overpowering at all. Very smooth.

D - I could drink these all day long, especially on a hot day.

Beerislife652854, Aug 16, 2008
Photo of mbenthall
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy orange with decent head. Just what you would expect from a wheat ale.

Smell: Nice citrus at first combined with sweetness from the malts and spice.

Taste: citrus and spice are the standout tastes. with slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Bold, dry and refreshing. Finishes with yeast.

Drinkability: I love this beer in the summer very drinkable and refreshing but bold and flavorful.

mbenthall, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of BDIMike
3.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a somewhat hazy golden stray color. There is a thin white head that leaves a thin lacing as you drink.
Smell has a good wheat smell with hints of lemon and coriander.
Taste is a very nice clean wheat taste. The wheat taste is immediately kicked up with a good zest of lemon and coriander.
Mouthfeel has a good thickness to it for a wheat ale. Also, incredibly smooth on the way down.
Drinkability is the best part of this beer. There is a reason this beer is so popular in the summertime. It may not have the great taste profile of some wheat beers, but it has a strong taste and is drinkable enough to drink all day long in the heat. Great summer beer.

BDIMike, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clean, hazy honey pineapple with thin head but decent lacing.

Fragrant with a little coriander and orange zest. Quite clean and pleasant.

Crisp with a slight piney hop bite and an orange zest & malt backbone.

Light and fresh mouthfeel - crisp and clean, no caffeine. Even and balanced.

Solid drinkability for setting (Uno's) - wouldn't seek this out but given this as only choice is a decent option.

IBUnit63, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of BeerSox
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Hazy golden-orange hue with a thin white head that slowly fades to a fizzy cap.

Light grainy malt with some sharp citrus flavors, including a little bit of lemon.

Lightly tart grains with the sharp citrus repeating in the flavor. In the end the lemon kicks in and slowly fades. There is also a little hoppy bitterness in the end. Medium bodied with high carbonation, feels lightly fizzy.

This is an okay American Pale Wheat Ale, but I feel it isn't as refreshing as the other ones out there, which makes it a not-so-great summer beer. The flavor just seems a little tart and harsh.

BeerSox, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of botham
3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap into a tumbler at the Galway Arms in Lincoln Park, Chicago. pours a light golden color with a one finger of tight white, frothy head that has decent retention and nice, rocky lacings.

aroma is a good mixture of rich, grainy malts and a light fruityness that blends nicely with a subtle citrusy hop quality. well balanced in the nose.

taste is of light and grainy malt up front with a smooth citrusy hop quality. the brew has a very complete feel, without any one flavor or aroma that is overdone or underdone. the brew is lightly sweet overall.

mouthfeel is light bodied in weight, with a medium body and a very smooth and somewhat creamy texture. a lightly sweet finish with residual citrusy hops make it a solid summer brew with a refreshing quality.

drinkability is good. this is a good brew for a hot summer day, with good proportioning and flavors that compliment eachother well. cheers!

botham, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of jeffmonarch
3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Golden yellow and slightly cloudy. There is a nice thin layer of white head.

S - Fresh, clean, sweet and fruity.

T - Light and clean. Crisp wheat flavor and sweet fruit.

M - Light bodied with good carbonation.

D - Great light crisp beer. Easy to drink for any occasion.

jeffmonarch, Aug 09, 2008
Photo of TheViceBlog
3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had Sam Summer many times in the past, but I don't recall it being as good as it was on my most recent time to have it. While most summer beers seem to be brewed for little sissies that don't like the taste of beer and want the lowest of ABVs in order to not risk getting any alcohol poisoning, Sam still packs a bit of a punch. In fact, I kept asking my buddy, "Are we sure this is Sam Summer? Is it possible the tap was screwed up?!" It's darker than most all pisswater yellow summer beers and actually has a nice, complex taste. No idea what grains of paradise are, but they must be tasty. I don't know if this is "how" you make a summer beer, per se, but it's how you make a tasty, flavorable beer. Very nice wheat and malt body with a good lemon hint that nails you. Thus, based on an exceedingly small sample size and one single plastic cup draught at a ballgame, I will declare Sam Summer the best quote unquote summer beer in the bid'ness.


TheViceBlog, Aug 07, 2008
Photo of spointon
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap, served in a standard pint glass.

A= This ale arrived a cloudy deep yellow almost orange color. The white head was only 1/2 inch or so and quickly dropped to a skim. Moderate carbonation release.

S= This ale smelled of sweet wheat malt and citrus fruit. That was about it in the aroma department.

T= The flavors of this ale were mostly malty sweetness and a bit of lemon to orange citrus in the middle. I did not find any noticeable hop flavors.

MF= Like any typical wheat beer, this ale had a medium body but also a slightly grainier palate than I would have liked.

D= This isn't the best summer wheat ale out there, but sometimes in restaurants you have to pick the beer that is the least bad. All in all, a fine beer for summer swilling.

spointon, Aug 06, 2008
Photo of cswhitehorse
3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Summer Ale pours a hazy orange yellow with a good 2 finger foam head with minimal retention. The aroma is unique with the stated Grains of Paradise used. It has a good wheat smell to it. The taste is clean and the malt slathers the tongue and the second half is the lemony spice flavor. It is highly carbonated as the massive amounts of little bubbles rush to the top. It is a pretty darn good summer time session beer.

cswhitehorse, Aug 06, 2008
Photo of MDekker
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Oft enjoyed, yet never reviewed.

A: Pours out a hazy gold orange with a thick white head that soon dissipates. No lacing.

S: Notes of wheat, orange, and some pine.

T: Loads of citrus flavors, some wheaty bread, and banana toward the end. The finish is pretty mild and a tad thin, but overall satisfying.

M: Solid carbonation, a little watery.

D: Scores well here. This is typical mass-produced Sam Adams offering - solid and consistent, but not great. I'm always happy to get a sixer of this on sale and enjoy it without thinking too hard about it.

MDekker, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served a pale orange with a decent white head that left nice lacing down the glass.

Smells of grain and some citrus.

Taste has a group of flavors, including a tangy citrus, a musty grain, a little hop, and something else -- that obvious difference. And I'm not sure if I like it.

Decent carbonation, a bit of a tart aftertaste. I know that this is the drinkable summer beer, but I'm not digging it that much. For body, you could knock these back on a hot day. I just don't like the taste enough.

OtherShoe2, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of PatronWizard
3.93/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sammy Summer Ale from a twelver into a glass....

Poured an opaque golden orange with a pure white head that didn't hang out for too long.

Citrus scent, I can't help but like wheat beer, what can I say?

Tastes just like it should : a summer ale. Light refreshing, it reminds of sittin in the pool with a floating beer cooler.

May not be a thick beer lover's beer but I think it does exactly what it's supposed to do. I would love to leisurely sit back and have this whole twelve back over the course of an entire day. And I probably will.

PatronWizard, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of jeffthecheff
4.33/5  rDev +30%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love the summertime, partly because of this beer. Tasted from both bottles and on tap; on tap is definitley better.

Appearance- Poured into a weizen glass it looks very sexy. The color fits perfectly with the beer, it has a light apperance which invites you to take a big swig after some summer bbq food, but it also has a nice amber color that shows flavor

Smell- Citrus aromas are very strong. Invites you to take a big sip.

Taste- The lemon clearly comes through in the taste. Not much bitterness, but there is some that seems like the perfect amount for what the beer is.

Mouthfeel- Good amount of carbonation, goes down incredibly smooth

Drinkability- Wow these are easy to drink. Not very filling, has a good taste but isn't too full bodied to make you want to not have another.

jeffthecheff, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of andrewm190
2.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have never really been a big Sam Adams fan. And I will never forgive them for the bullet aimed at all humanity known as "cherry wheat." This beer isn't nearly that bad, but it does remind me a bit of ACC football--hovering somewhere around mediocrity, never really breaking out of it, but not quite sinking below it either. The beer pours a fairly light golden color with a heat about the size of Ally McBeal, and retains nothing while the bubbles lethargically fondle themselves in the corner. The beer tastes to me like a lager with some wheat and lemon thrown in, and I'm pretty sure that's about all there is. You can quaff it on a summer day, sure, but any wheat beer in hot temperatures probably isn't the best idea in the first place, and I would rather spend less money on Coronas and lime. Still, its not a disaster if you've already grabbed a sixer, just surreptitiously pawn it off to your peripheral friends and hope to get something better from them at a later time.

andrewm190, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of flipshevanel
4.3/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer! Started with an average sized, frothy, white, and mostly diminishing head. The body hue was medium yellow/light orange with tiny particles averagely dispersed. The aroma was a nice heavy dough with moderate malts and light hops. The flavor was definately sweet that calms down until a nice average bready finish. The body was medium to full, dry, and softly carbonated. I really love this beer and is in my top 5 of favorite beers right now.

flipshevanel, Aug 03, 2008
Photo of philbe311
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Golden straw color... Slight thin fizzy head... Carbonation clings to the glass... Mild lacing

S - Malt, lemon zest, wheat... Perhaps some melon and some all spice...

T - Citrus fruit, biscuit, and all spice... Mild malt and smooth hops on the finish... Well balanced...

M - Light bodied w/ biting carbonation... Smooth, light, creamy, and oily...

D - Solid but forgettable summer ale...

philbe311, Aug 02, 2008
Photo of dpkpr
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I really liked this beer. I should also mention that it hit something like 106 degrees today in Dallas, so if there ever was a perfect day for a beer like this, today is it. It came as part of a mixed case from Sam's Club, so you never know how fresh it is. Didn't think to check for a born on date before tossing the bottle. It poured a light golden. Nice head that stood up for a few minutes before dissipating. Took a big sniff. Very pleasant fruitiness. Lemon. Big expectations for a beer that will fight off this oppressive heat. No bitterness at all, but wasn't expecting any and true to style. Very refreshing. Despite the very light quality to it, there is a discernable maltiness. Well balanced for its type. I had mine with a lightly seasoned grilled chicken and it was a very nice companion. I recommend this beer for hot days or for a session beer (although my case only came with four). Cheers!

dpkpr, Aug 02, 2008
Photo of BeerBelcher
2.15/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is hardly a home run. It is not making me like summer any more than I already do. On a hot day, I'd really rather have something else.

Appearance is a clear dark yellow with decent macro-lager-like head formation. I get some candy-sugar sweetness, some citrus, some diacetyl in the aroma. Flavor is sweet and citrus-y, but not overly sweet and not unbearable. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky and cloying. I don't find this beer to be especially drinkable; in fact drinking it kind of makes me want something else.

I would not recommend this beer.

BeerBelcher, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of kinger
2.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at a questionable establishment I'm tempted to pick up a sixer to compare yet I'm also cautious to not waste more money on this beer. The aroma was mild and pleasant. The beer poured a strange orange-peach color with minimal head. It just looked fake in the glass, not offensive just odd to put it best. As I sipped on this beer I was able to detect the wheat influence. There is a spicy taste that compliments the wheat, but I'm not sure if I like it. Other than those two aspects the overall flavor was borderline bland. Mouthfeel is somewhat pleasant and the finish is relatively smooth. Overall I'm hoping this beer is better than what was poured from the tap. Revisit (as promised) Well it's July and my friend brought over a 12 pack of this for dinner the other night. Having this fresh from the bottle and drunk from a nice clean glass my opinion has slightly changed for the better. Looks better, feels better, and tastes much better. Still a tad weak in my opinion but it is more crisp and inviting this time around. The flavor needs a boost to really let this one soar. Decent summer time beer.

kinger, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of HardcoreKeith
2.35/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For some reason I guess I expected this beer to really have some zing to it. Other reviews have hit accurately on its qualities. Wheaty and a little grassy smelling, slightly cloudy gold, light wheat ale flavor. Anyway, it's very underwhelming for me. Maybe it's because this tastes exactly like the cherry wheat (which I had to endure six of) except with lemon replacing the cherry. Another bland pale wheat ale offering from Sam Adams.

HardcoreKeith, Jul 31, 2008
Photo of Nipitato
4.05/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a six pack at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Moderate gold hue. Slightly opaque but pretty good clarity. Creamy white head dissipates quickly.

S: Coriander, lemon zest, and a grainy wheaty malt aroma are all evident.

T: Malt leads with no hoppy character. Balance is provided by lemon zest and coriander. Slight lactic sourness finishes off this beer helping to make it quite thirst quenching.

MF Full mouthfeel - very creamy and tart. Moderate carbonation.

D, notes: This is a fine beer to relax with on a nice summer day. I imagine a good beer for cooking with as well.

Nipitato, Jul 31, 2008
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,594 ratings.