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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.

4,310 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,310
Reviews: 1,534
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 30
Gots: 311 | 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: 4,310 | Reviews: 1,534 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tempest


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

On-tap at Faegan's in Syracuse.

Maybe the best American wheat beer I've had. There's a tinge of vanilla, and hefeweizen spice to it along with mellow wheat and malt. Hops are present, though only an afterthought. All in all there is a gentle complexity that makes this a good beer. Not too dumbed down like most light wheat beers. Worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2007 04:34:43 | More by tempest
Photo of PittBeerGirl


4.08/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- clear yellow with very thick white head. great head retention.

S- citrus, malt, wheat, yeast. Not as pleasant as I expected.

T- very good. medium citrus, wheat, yeast, and somewhat nutty tastes. Mouthfeel is refreshingly hoppy. relatively clean finish.

M- medium carbonation and light body. goes down easy.

D- Great SA brew. Great summer brew. very sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2007 00:18:03 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of Stimack

New York

3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I know it is summer (ok, later in the spring) when I see the summer ale on the shelves, and I must say t does make me smile. I would imagine that some people will say that this brew lacks substance but for me it seems to be the perfect lawnmower/lounge beer for the warmer months. A solid ABV at 5.2% for a sessional brew in the summer, I am quite surprised that I have not reviewed this brew before but it does seem that I take the warmer months of reviewing brews for some reason, guess we just have a little to much going on. Anyway back to the review ….

The brew pours to a golden color, maybe a pale orange with a slight haze. Has a nice sized white head that has great retention and leaves a nice amount of sticky lace down the side of the glass. The aroma is very enticing, nice citrus (mostly lemon) scents, slight spice and malts (the much hyped grains of paradise?) which just seem to scream drink me during the warm months. The malt in my mind seems to dominate the taste with grainy flavor, little toasted notes. A fair zest flavor as well with lemon seeming to be the most persistent. An easy drinking brew which seems to go well while just kicking back enjoying the spring and summers warm months.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2007 23:18:27 | More by Stimack
Photo of liquidnoise


3/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't get Sam Adams. They have some awesome beers, but they have some pretty bad ones too. This is one of the latter. I was really anticipating this one, too, with the whole "grains of paradise" schtick.

If I wanted beer that tasted like water, I would have saved two bucks and bought some Old Style. Many people refer to flavorless AML's as good "Summer Beers," so it seems like Sam Adams made their own, only they charge a premium for it.

Don't get me wrong, this stuff is good in a Pabst Blue Ribbon kind of way. It's not undrinkable like Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. It's just if you want a beer that tastes like water, why pay the Sam Adams price??

If you want a high quality beer, go somewhere else. If you want a refreshing, "are you sure it's not water" summer beer, go somewhere else. Either way, go somewhere else.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2007 08:01:01 | More by liquidnoise
Photo of stereosforgeeks


3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Golden color with an off-white puffy head. Mild lacing.

Smell - Spices with some yeast. A little lemon.

Taste - The lemon provides for a crisp initial taste. There is a yeasty present throughout that the spices seem to hinge on.

Mouthfeel - Light and crisp on the tongue. Active carbonation.

Drinkability - As stated this a good summer ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2007 06:12:56 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of Brad007


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

Another beer part of the Sam Summer Pack. The Summer Ale pours a light amber color with a decent, frothy head. Overcarbonation? Anyway, the aroma seems light and crisp with spiciness. The flavor starts out malty at first and then segues into what appears to be lemon zest and the spiciness makes itself known. Goes down very smoothly and seems quite drinkable for the style. I think it is definitely a good beer for those long, hot days of summer.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2007 00:36:20 | More by Brad007
Photo of jtslay


3.98/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a light amber yellow with head that does not lace. The smell is a little sweet and citrus-like. The taste is clean with citrus and the normal wheat malt experience. The beer is very crisp so it becomes very drinkable and very session-able.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2007 21:48:47 | More by jtslay
Photo of dojobrewco


3.93/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Good light body and bright and zesty flavor. Was surprised to even see this at my local beer store. It was a nice change from the Boston Lager. Nice lemony and orangy overtones and very smooth on the way down. Not as bitter as I had hoped but the sudden bite of zest at the beginning makes up for the lack of hoppiness.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2007 16:32:45 | More by dojobrewco
Photo of GPHarris


3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a four-fingers thick off-white, bubbly and billowy head into a weizen glass. it settles to a very thick creamy lace that stays thick throughout leaving slightly sticky sides. the body is gold and bubbly.
s - hints of lemon and toast.
t - lemons, oranges with a little malt thrown in.
m - crisp on the front of the tongue but begins to slick as you swallow it down.
d - very enjoyable and a great summer sipper.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2007 14:57:37 | More by GPHarris
Photo of jar2574


2.53/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The notch on the side says best before August 2007. It's now May, so I'm good. Poured out of a bottle into a pint glass, good amount of head. Light amber color. The color is only slightly darker than the typical American mass produced "light beer."

Wow, somehow this beer smells like summer. It's got a sweet, lemony, refreshing scent. But like other Sam Adams beers, I wish the scent was stronger.

Not a big fan of the taste though. There is a faint taste of detergent here, or some other lemon cleaning product. I can't detect any pleasant flavors. Even though the carbonation seems about right, the beer still seems flat, so perhaps it needs more hops. Or perhaps my palate and this beer just don't agree.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2007 00:41:00 | More by jar2574
Photo of michfan23


2.63/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Drank the beer on a hot summer day from the bottle. It was something that I would drink again but it lacks the real beer flavor that I have come to expect from Sam Adams. It is watery and it leaves you wanting more flavor. Its mouth feel is alright but again I expected it to be better. Overall it is alright but If I am really hot on a summer day I might grab the water first.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2007 01:23:48 | More by michfan23
Photo of jcdiflorio

West Virginia

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

Poured from my draft system into a tall wheat glass.

Cloudy,golden color with a tall white creamy,fluffy head with good retention leaving webs of lacing down the glass. Some stringing tiny bubbles rising not as much carbination as most wheat beers.

Clean fruity aromas,ripen banannas,dried straw with citrusy,strong lemony notes.

Fruity,doughy tastes with hints of bananna,light bubble gum tastes,some spiceyness finishes very clean with dry tart lemony,fruity tastes.

Light and tangy mouthfeel. Easy drinking on a summer day,refreshing and enjoyable enough. American yeast characteristics clean, smooth no cloviness light on the spicieness.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2007 01:50:31 | More by jcdiflorio
Photo of billybob


4.28/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a hazy golden color with a two finger off white head that fades to a ring on the glass and a small amount of lacing. smell of wheat and yeast and spice. wheat malts up front then some lemon comes through then the spice hits making for a great taste. mouthfeel light to medium, crisp and good carbonation make for a nice summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2007 02:50:32 | More by billybob
Photo of irish53b


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

A: Poured a hazy yellow orange into pint glass, developed about one finger of head which soon collapsed into a then layer of foam that remained throughout.

S: Grainy smell at first but finished with some light roasted notes as the beer warmed.

T: I was most most impressed by the taste of this ale. The taste reminded me of a wheat beer with lemon and wheat flavors. As the ale finished the roasted smells came through in the taste.

M&D: very light on the palate making it refreshing and easy to drink. I think it would pair will w\ some spicy BBQ.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2007 13:40:45 | More by irish53b
Photo of tzieser


3.8/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served in a glass from a 12 oz bottle.

I really enjoyed this beer. It had a nice golden color with a slight haze. The head slowly disapated to a small head that just covers the surface. It smells of wheat, with strong undertones of zesty lemon. The taste comes on smooth at first, then becomes a little more robust as soon as your lips come off the glass. I liked the flavors of citrus and wheat. The grains of paradise add a distict zest to the beer, which makes this one of my favorite summer beers around. Very easy to drink (and refreshing), especially in the warm weather.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2007 21:33:38 | More by tzieser
Photo of cardinal25

New Jersey

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

12 oz long neck

Appearance: Hazy gold, small white lace sits on top and clings slightly to the glass.

Smell: soapy lemon zest

Taste: light to medium bodied, starts crisp and slightly carbonated. strong lemon/citrus and hop finish. clean.

A "good" beer. Goes down easy, refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2007 02:08:38 | More by cardinal25
Photo of BretSikkink


4.2/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly cloudy (probably some chill haze, and then the wheat content) light golden with a hint of orange. Fluffy white head, and even though there's not much hop content, the lacing is quite good.

The aroma is quite interesting, even though I had it multiple times last summer it still strikes as different. High wheat content is apparent, there's some lemon-green tea as well, something chemical hidden in the background (a little soapy?), and then the grains of paradise which must be the large spice presence.

The flavor is very sweet, nice and wheat-beer light, perfect for hot hot heat. Big body for a summer brew, the hops are not too noticeable but a little citric. The major mouth-filler is the spicing, which is unlike anything else I've ever tasted and also extremely addictive. The finish stays full of citric orange, flavor sticks around without being annoying (no hop bitterness that gets warm in the summer and mucks up the whole palate).

This is one of my favorite summer seasonals, as it's not too thin and watery, but it also quite refreshing and distinct. I've never tasted something with such an understated "beer" flavor. To quickly explain my rankings, the appearance is nothing special and the aroma is very unusual. I've found a lot of American 'hefeweizen's to be really thin and watery, and this is just not that at all. It's a full bodied ale that calls your attention and doesn't let go. And I had a 4 for drinkability, but when I didn't get through "Smell" without finishing the first 12-oz. bottle...it would be a 5 for drinkability but the "unique" factor has a tendency to inch its way towards "cloying" after a couple. Bottom line: perfect six pack with a partner or a 32-oz. bottle to oneself (I think that's what they come in...are those 40s?!) on a hot summer night when others just can't quench.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2007 07:30:17 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy straw color with a hint of orange, nice soapy white head that dissipates into a thin cap. The smell is not very present, maybe a hint of lemon and a metallic twang. It has an American wheat base, with a hint of lemon and slight funk taste. Nothing fantastic but at least the hint of lemon is subtle. The feel is a bit too fizzy and leaves a dry aftertaste. This is a refreshing summer ale but does not stand out, drinks easy.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2007 16:39:26 | More by Gmann
Photo of BMoney575


3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 4-18-07
Best before Aug 07

Pours a light and slightly hazy pale gold, with a nice head and good retention.

Smells lightly of lemon peel, with a little wheat and citrus hops.

Taste is average, a lot of lemon peel with a smooth wheaty backbone. Well balanced citrus hops add a spicy kick at the end. But, all of these flavors are quite subdued and tame.

Mouthfeel is decent, what you'd expect from a wheat beer.

Drinkability is good, the light flavor do not build at all, a good summer session beer.

Overall I was a little disappointed, I remembered this beer having a lot more flavor last year. It's probably just that my tastes have changed, but it's still an easy-drinking and enjoyable summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2007 00:50:56 | More by BMoney575
Photo of greenbeaner


3.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I purchased a 12 of this as payment for my models I used in a video shoot, and then I kept the leftovers :)

Poured into a hefeweizen glass, it was a rich, lightly clouded gold straw color with a nice two finger head, although it quickly faded to a ring around the surface of the beer. Light lacing.

Smell was sweet up front, wheat, very slight banana, but followed up quickly with a very strong lemon scent. Hops are subtle. A little too much lemon for my liking.

Taste was of malt and wheat, with large orange influence overall, and the mouthfeel was medium bodied, and crisp, but slightly weak in the finish.

Overall I think this is not a bad summertime beer. A spiced up version of some of the other American wheat ales.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2007 02:59:08 | More by greenbeaner
Photo of vtfan77


3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Light gold with a decent white head. Head disappears rather quickly.

S- A touch of wheat and lemon. Not much here.

T- Grainy malt and wheat. Some lemon and a bit of a metallic taste. Alcohol is evident from time to time, which is rather surprising since this is not a strong beer.

M- Fairly light in body with spritzy carbonation.

D- Pretty good. I could have a couple on a hot summer day.

Not all that impressive. It's just not that flavorful. It's probably Sam Adams' weakest seasonal, IMO. Still, it's not bad. I suppose it's a good choice for summer due to its light body and taste. I'm sure it's a good thirst quencher. Quite average.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2007 05:33:27 | More by vtfan77
Photo of jmbranum


3.25/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

nice big head. Gold body, very slightly hazy.

Aroma is pretty faint, slight wheat smell.

Taste is ho-hum. Odd after-taste and not much citric ing. (I've tasted ordinary heffeweizens that are more tart than this one without adding a lemon, yet this beer claims to be rewed with lemon in it). One positive is the faint spicy/peppery notes.

Better than most macro beers but compared to most spiced wheat beers, this one is a disappointment.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2007 18:19:50 | More by jmbranum
Photo of FtownThrowDown


2.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap. Pours a light golden color with lots of carbonation racing up the beer. No head to speak of. It has a thin mouthfeel with a decent amount of hops holding it up. There is an undeniable lemon zest on the finish. It’s a pretty good beer, but it’s a little too dry on the finish.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2007 23:34:11 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of hckyfn9999


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

Pours a hazy golden orange with a huge thick white head that leaves a lot of lace on the glass. The head has good retention as well. Aroma is of fresh lemony citrus, a little musty fruit, and spice, perhaps in the form of the mysterious grains of paradise, although I do not think I have ever come in contact with the aforementioned spice other than this brew.

Taste features a slightly malty sweetness, with a pretty strong lemon pressence noted in the aroma, and pretty high level of slightly peppery spice especially for a summer beer, really a little more than I would prefer. There is a lingering lemon zest flavor on the palate. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pleasantly carbonated, at a good level for a summer beer. Spice brings drinkability down some. Not a bad brew, and one of my gateway beers into the craft world. Still I would rather other American Wheat beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2007 01:24:53 | More by hckyfn9999
Photo of goochpunch


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

Pours a hazy tangerine with constant bubbles, and a massive, frothy, fluffy head that leaves huge raised lacing all over the glass. Smell reminds me of a fainter Boston Lager but with citrus and spicing in the way far background. Flavors are of pale malt, some graininess, wheat like cracker flavors, grains of paradise, and mild citrus. Finishes dry, with a little bitterness and herbal hoppiness. I think it tastes great, but it's all very understated. I wanted for more present flavors. Carbonation is very soft in the mouth and fluffy. However, this is a bit too light bodied. I'm not blown away by this beer, but it is really drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 04:18:11 | More by goochpunch
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,310 ratings.