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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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4,787 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,787
Reviews: 1,556
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 38
Gots: 640 | 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: 4,787 | Reviews: 1,556 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of treehugger02010
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Kelly's Taproom in Bryn Mawr, PA. It came in a glass.
Appearance: The body is a deep gold or light orange color. The head is 2 fingers tall, white, small sized bubbles, good retention retention and good lacing.
Smell: The aromas are pale malt, black pepper and not much else.
Taste: The flavors are spices, some citrus and yeasty esters.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is crisp.
Drinkability: This beer is very drinkable.
Don't drink and review.

Photo of Lldeegan
3.76/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a pint glass, 3/4 inch pure white head. Hazy deep orange, very reminiscent of the color of Grand Marnier, but cloudy. Definitely appears as a wheat beer.

S- Mild, citrus smell with hint of hops.

T- Carbonation is the first to touch the tongue, a bit overpowering, but once it calms a nice citrus flavor that is short of being overly acidic. Upon retro-olfaction, the wheat shows it's distinctive face followed by a light hoppiness as it moves over the back of the tongue before swallowing. Almost a sweet breadlike finish.

M- Carbonated, lightly syruppy, almost chewy.

D- Ranks very high in my book on a summer night. I think it is a perfect summer beer, tasty, refreshing, goes well with or without food, and can easily be drank all night if need be. I haven't tried yet but I think it could also balance out a heavy winter dinner very well. This isn't a wheat beer with overpowering clove taste, which I find to be an unfavorable quality in wheat beers. Sam Adams hit the spot with this summer ale.

Photo of NekotoNikku
2.92/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pale yellow, very reminiscent of lemons, so it fit the general concept of the beer.

Smell - Smelled of citrus and hops, not a strong alcohol scent.

Taste - And this is where it flopped, for a beer that's supposed to be the embodiment of summer, it's not very interesting. Tasted strongly of alcohol with a slight lemon taste with a bitter aftertaste. I think I expected it to be more complex or more...something, but it tasted of alcohol and citrus, so perhaps I just expected too much.

Mouthfeel - Despite the disappointment with the taste, it did have a rather nice mouthfeel that was smooth and refreshing.

Drinkability - I could see myself drinking this with pizza, burgers, something like that, but on it's own just as a drink to be enjoyed it really doesn't stand up.

Photo of gfreed
2.28/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Served at (another) restaurant that filled the glass to the brim and left no room for a head. Grrr... A nice foggy yellow color in the glass and a pleasant aroma of lemons and oranges raised my hopes for a better-than-average beer from Sam Adams, but those hopes were quickly dashed by the taste: watery, thin and revealing no characteristics other a wee bit of lemon. Ah, well... Went well with the pizza because the pizza hid the taste of the beer.

Am I the only person who thinks that Sam Adams is, in general, over-rated?

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

Slightly hazy deep straw color with an abundance of whispy head.

Not much to the smell, wheat and malt.

The taste is yeast and lemon with a light peppery spice in the finish.

Body is thin with decent carbonation. This beer is very light.

Definitely a summer brew. It's light and has a zesty citrus taste which makes it somewhat refreshing.

Nothing special about this one but the price.

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

A - Golden brown with allot of carbonation and about a half inch of pale tan to white colored head.

S - Malt with a hint of citrus.

T - Malty with a citrus bite to it.

M - The texture is somewhat coarse, which is what I had expected based on the amount of carbonation it shows in the pour.

~ This is certainly a summer brew. I'm not a big fan a beers such as this, however, I do believe that for a light summer brew, this is well done.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a Ithaca Beer Co glass

A - pours cloudy yellow with one finger of thin white head that dissipates quickly. Lacing nonesistent

S - wheat malt and spices - I think the bottle said grains of paradise and coriander

T - traditional what malt flavor, yeast doesn't overpower, which I prefer. You can certainly taste the spices; gives it an interesting flavor in lieu of hops

M - thin bodied, highly carbonated

D - refreshing, overall not bad. I could certainly drink a few of these

Good example of a wheat beer that doesn't overpower with banana and clove flavors. Wouldn't mind drinking again, but wouldn't go out of my way to buy more either.

Photo of twiggamortis420
2.58/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

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. The smell is ok, but leans too heavily on the spices for me.

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. I do not like the aftertaste on this beer, it is a bit sour, citrusly pithy and lingers for far too long. This falls somewhere between a witbier and an American wheat ale, but does nothing to impress. This is extremely far from my favorite summer beers.

Photo of philibum13
4.45/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After numerous different beers tasted over the years, I have to remove my hat for Summer Ale. It has to be my all-time favorite. A fan of Sam to begin with, I could not help but easily enjoy Summer Ale. I miss it when it's off the shelves and I buy out the store when it's in season.

Photo of mempath
4.07/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

not technically a 'light' beer, but it's what i expected...pours rich and frothy sporting a bright, deep straw. head fades very fast, but it looks already like a substantial brew.

smells sour. very similar to the blackberry witbier w/o the blackberry.

a great, refreshing taste. a summer ale with some nice heft. the mouthfeel keeps things crisp and light, but quite full, making this quite drinakable alone but i can just see this going with grilled garlic shrimp.

Photo of MrIncognito
2.72/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Pale yellow with some light haze. Very nice head on this beer, though. Pillowy white fluff that fades to 1/4-inch cap with nice lacing.

S - Orange and wheat on the nose with some spicing, probably coriander, but also something a bit spicier. Almost a peppery smell. Not bad.

T&M - The taste really let me down, it reall did. My first sip was, "hey not bad," then it went down hill from there. God forbid that you let this beer warm up cuz that's when it really gets funky. The wheat is definitely there with the light orange and coriander flavors. Almost a chamomile type flavor comes through as well. Those are all well in good but they collide with each other in odd ways and just don't meld as they should. Light carbonation lends to a smooth mouthfeel but with some powdery feeling left on my tongue. Unpleasant slightly bitter, slightly sweet aftertaste.

D - I've tried this beer over and over before I reviewed it, trying to like it. I just can't do it. The tastes are so odd to me. It's like it wants to be a good-tasting beer but the flavors just don't meld well and become odd. Could hardly finish one, and I was really thirsty.

Photo of BlackBearForge
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy tangerine with a small white bubbly head with some nice oily lacing.

The aroma is clean and fresh, with zesty lemon and the rich smell of wheaty malts.

Taste has the zesty lemon, some mellow fruits with a nice crisp wheat note in the malt and a moderate bitterness on the finish. Quite a bit of peppery spiciness is also noted. The finish is also smooth and a touch dry.

Mouthfeel is light but full. It is somewhat creamy and the carbonation while a bit strong feels appropriate.

Crisp and refreshing, what more could you ask for a summer wheat ale. A very good seasonal, you could easily drink many of these with friends at a backyard barbecue!

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

This was a refreshing, bland, easy to drink summer wheat ale by SA. It pours a slightly hazy blond, with a pale nose, not much aroma, very subtle at best.

The taste has very little to report because it is a pretty simple, uni-dimensional beer, it is just refreshing, there is a touch of some grainy husk, there is some lemony tartness, maybe, but overall it is a lawn mower beer with fancy labeling. It's okay for a barbeque on a hot summer day.

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

On tap @ the tasing room in the Boston Brewery.

Let me preface this by saying this is my least favorite of the Sam Adams seasonals. Their chosen blend of spices, which unfortunately dominates the flavor in this beer, leaves a sickly taste in my mouth.

However, for some reason at the brewery, the spices seemed subtler, in the background, and since theres not much else going on in the flavor department, made this beer quite refreshing considering the heat.

Photo of Thur123
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The look of this seems standard, slightly hazy hay color with lots of carbonation. The white head went away quickly, very quick for a wheat beer. The nose is grassy with spicy pepper notes. There is very little sweetness that I can detect.

glug glug glug

A slight malt sweetness comes in after hay wheat flavor and the spice is slight but lingers on the palate. Mouthfeel is fine, you can really feel the flavors, which is a victory considering how little there seems to be. Very drinkable but also kind of drab. Tastes like an upgraded BMC with wheat flavor. There could be alot more here.

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

A: Pours a cloudy yellow/light auburn color with pillowy white head that dissipated slowly. No lacing.

S: Wheaty aroma, with lemongrass, and a slight touch of citrus hops.

T: Wheat and citrus. Grassy and earthy flavors. Lemon zest and mandarin oranges, I pick up a hint of corriander and other spices as well.

M: Light to medium bodied, with moderate carbonation. Not as prominent as I would have liked.

T: This is a highly drinkable ale, and the first beer I think of when it comes to Summer Ales. Not my favorite summer seasonal, but still a quality ale.

Photo of COBeerBuff
2.93/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received during our Beer Exchange '09...

Appearance: Pours a cloudy yellowish orange with a finger of white head. Appears to be an unfiltered wheat beer. Head quickly recedes leaving a light film and a decent ring around the glass. Some lacing, but not too much to write home about.

Smell: Wheat. Definitely get hints of the Grains of Paradise used during the brewing. Some other light malty notes and a slight twinge of citrus. Nothing too overpowering though, but I didn't expect much so not overly disappointed.

Taste: Wheat is the most prevalent taste. Some toasted grains on the verge of burnt. Can taste the lemony edge to it as well, but not much else going on.

Mouthfeel: Quite light. The Grains of Paradise seem to add a sticky malty edge to the beer, but the lightness is preserved for this airy, summer beer.

Drinkability: Definitely a solid summer brew. Not much in the nose, and not much in the way of taste, but the sessionability of this one on a summer day is going to be tough to beat.

Photo of Aenema
3.31/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours an orange amber with an off-white head and nice lacing. 4
Smell - Some malt and a slight citrus note.
Taste - Bready/toasty malts and lemony citrus. Slight spice.
Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, slightly over-carbonated and a dry finish.
Drinkability - Easy drinking. Not much to this one though.

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like this beer. this is one of the few Sam products I'll consistently order in the summer. Pours a light straw yellow with minimal head. Goes great paired with food and is perfect on a hot day. Taste is mainly a lemony acidity and a hop crispness, with a mild spice. Good, solid flavor composition. This beer is highly drinkable, too. One could drink 4-6 of these on a beach and feel fantastic. Light enought to be a good summer beer but not light on flavor, this is a perfect warm-weather brew, and at a buck a bottle (retail give or take) or $3-4 a pint, it's an incredible deal!

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

Poured a cloudy hazy yellow with a medium white head. Nose is floral hops, lemon,orange peel and a wheaty grain. Taste is smooth, hoppy a bit of malt but not much and a slight yeast aftertaste. Easily drinkable especially and I would think a great session beer. I really liked it.

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.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,787 ratings.