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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.

4,438 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,438
Reviews: 1,535
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 32
Gots: 375 | 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: 4,438 | Reviews: 1,535 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nmyers


3.58/5  rDev +7.5%

A- A light golden color, very clear, the appearance of little carbonation, with a 1/4 inch of nice white head.

S- All I notice was an over welling wheat aroma.

T- A nice wheat taste with a hint on hops on the finish.

M- Very light bodied, minimal carbonation.

D- Very smooth and very little aftertaste. This beer would be great at summer Bar B Q's. I guess that why it's a summer ale.

04-27-2008 02:48:29 | More by nmyers
Photo of wheatyweiss


3.13/5  rDev -6%

Poured from a bottle into a standard tumbler.

Pours a lightly clouded pale straw with a 2 finger soap sud head that leaves sticky lace all around.

Aroma is of lemon zest and light roasted malt, wheaty and vanilla. Cream and whey. Oatmeal with honey. Sweet grains, corn?

Flavor is corny and adjunct, very corny. Reminiscent of a cheap malt liquor. Cloying sweetness and an alcohol bite on the back of the throat. I don't like this flavor.

Mouthfeel is thin bodied with harsh carbonation.

If you like the flavor this one is drinkable, I just can't get past the flavor.

04-26-2008 23:03:37 | More by wheatyweiss
Photo of dmamiano

West Virginia

2.9/5  rDev -12.9%

pours a medium golden, straw in color. Highly carbonated and a two finger, white head. Not much lacing left behind which didnt surprise me.
Detected some spice in the nose, mixed with a very faint malt and some light, floral hops.
Mouthfeel was very thin and weak as expected in this style of beer.
Taste was of summer spices, citrus notes of lemon, orange and a 'wheatish" presence.
Not my favorite style, but this definitely works as a summer brew after mowing the lawn or working out.

04-26-2008 20:18:06 | More by dmamiano
Photo of Gehrig


3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

A finger of white head tops a light lemon yellow body, with the head thinning out quickly. The aroma is mediocre, with some citrusy hops but otherwise unremarkable. The taste isn't bad, smooth and creamy, with mild lemon taste and some orange dominating the flavor. It's reminiscent of a shandy, but with far less lemon(-ade) than Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy, thankfully. Still, while pleasant, the flavor should be bolder. Light is fine, but there are times the flavor is a bit thin.

It's quaffable, but that seems part of the attraction, unfortunately. This is fine, but not one to blow one away. Fine on a hot day.

04-25-2008 00:45:25 | More by Gehrig
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

3.88/5  rDev +16.5%

12 0Z. bottle > 16 oz. SA glass

This one is a clear, well carbonated yellow-gold color with a thin, lively, all-white head that dissipates rather quick but leaves plenty of foamy goodness left over.

The aroma is mostly zesty herbs and lemmon, all spice and corriander with a sweet-wheat malt edge.

This one is very tangy and zesty with the lemmon flavor really dominating along side a semi-sweet wheat 'n grains tasting malt. The "grains of paradise" seems to provide a really neat, spicey, sour and sweet complexity that pushes this one into the "interesting" catagory for me.

The weather has been pure gorgousity and it is feeling a bit like summer so the arrival of the '08 summer brews is rather exciting.
Crisp and lively, slightly dry finish is perfect for summer.

04-24-2008 23:13:32 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

3.6/5  rDev +8.1%

Straw gold color with a dense cap of foam that quickly disappeared. A light pale malt aroma. On the palate, slightly chewy perhaps from wheat. Mostly sweet malt flavors until it pivots into a nimble finish with little bitterness. Easily drinkable and a good session beer. Another solid brew from Sam Adams.

04-24-2008 01:45:53 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of b5d106


4.08/5  rDev +22.5%

A-Very hazy orange with a little yellow. Thin head that dissipated quickly without much lacing.
S-Very spicy and citrusy with some malt sweetness.
T-Very full flavored with loads of citrus and spices. Not much malt flavor with a good hop spice at the end.
M-Nice and full bodied for a summer seasonal with a lively carbonation.
D-Very high. It is a summer beer.

04-23-2008 02:07:37 | More by b5d106
Photo of matty


4.08/5  rDev +22.5%

Light orange colored ale with a aroma of wheat and lemony citrus.Taste is wheat and citrus.The bottle says there are grains of paradise in it.I don't know what they are but man this is good!!Like most of their beers this is another winner!! Highly recommended!!

04-22-2008 04:25:29 | More by matty
Photo of Deus1138


4/5  rDev +20.1%

I'm a huge fan of all things Sam Adams. I've always been especially fond of the Summer Ale. I first fell in love with it two summers ago. Does anyone know if they changed anything in the beer this year, because it is not as good as I remember it from the last two summers. I've bought a couple of cases from different grocery stores and had a few bottles at a couple of different local bars. No matter where I buy it, it doesn't taste as good as I remember. Anyone else experiencing this?

Re-reviewed - 4/21/2008

With the recall over, I managed to find some of this at the grocery store. All I can say is this: the Summer Ale I I fell in love with a few years ago is back! I don't know what happened to last year's batch, but all is forgiven.

Thsi hazy orange brew smells of wheat and spice. The taste is smooth and light. It's not a flavorless macro lager, but just a nice, easy drinking wheat ale with a spicy lemony finish. Great for drinking before, during, and after yard work.

04-21-2008 20:29:40 | More by Deus1138
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer


4.33/5  rDev +30%

all around good beer with superior drinkability on hot days.

A- faded wheat with nice carbonation that leaves foamy, almost creamy head. Has a grainy look that makes it look foggy.

S- Smells like wheat and lemon with some sweet fruit flavor I can't put my finger on

T- Tastes like the lemon and wheat in the smell. I think sweetness is coming from the yeast. tastes like mango. Moderate hop bitterness

M- Feels light and yet has a viscous quality that feels great. carbonation feels right.

D- Drinks great and is quite refreshing in the heat.

04-20-2008 04:03:08 | More by EnojysAnyBeer
Photo of HugoGrim


3.8/5  rDev +14.1%

Orange gold body with almost no head by the time it arrived to me. Lace is excellent, forming an almost unyielding wall around the entire inside of the glass.

The chain restaurant in which I sampled this beer apparently not only frosts it's glasses, but keeps it's taps extremely cold, which hinders the aroma quite a bit. I allowed it to sit for awhile, but the nose was still muted. Hints of banana and bubblegum noticable.

Flavors of banana, sweet wheat, very mild hopping, a lemony citrus, and a bit of spices. Spices seem to include white pepper and clove. Finish is bready with yeast.

04-19-2008 01:20:45 | More by HugoGrim
Photo of Natural510


3.18/5  rDev -4.5%

2010: Not sure if the recipe has changed, or my palate (reading other recent reviews, it may be the recipe), but a recent purchase has an overwhelming likeness to Lemon Pledge, and is extremely off-putting. We get it extremely fresh here (about 1.5 hrs from the Cincinnati brewery), so that shouldn't be the issue. I certainly will pass on this one in the future.

Pours from 12oz bottle a pale golden color with average head which dissipates but retains lacing.
Smells of wheat, yeast & lemon, not unlike some uncooked baker's dough.
Tastes decent enough; wheat, yeast, lemon zest along with a grain listed on the bottle as Grains of Paradise all leave a breaded-flavor brew which is refreshing on the palate and interesting enough to keep drinking.
Although it's not flat or anything, there is no remarkable mouthful.
All in all, this is a drinkable sixer, tho not one I would rush out to buy again. The upcoming spring & summer months will bring many choices, and if BBC want to make people choose theirs somewhere other than a gas station or supermarket chain, they'll need to step up their game a little.

04-15-2008 17:25:40 | More by Natural510
Photo of bassmantin


3.58/5  rDev +7.5%

Didn't bother pouring this one into a glass. Sorry BBC. I usually enjoy Sam Adam's summer beers, though.

The malts on this beer are reasonably sophisticated, and the overall taste is refreshing and pleasantly sweet.

Like most of the SA seasonals, you won't be blown away, but you'll have a good time downing these at a bar or at a BBBQ*.

*The extra 'B' is for BYOBB**
**That extra 'B' is a typo.

04-15-2008 01:52:48 | More by bassmantin
Photo of Hojaminbag


3.53/5  rDev +6%

Cloudy golden color with small white head.

Lemony smell with hints of spicy pepper.

Lemon zest taste is up front, with a peppery taste following. The peppery flavor is from "grains of paradise" (at least that's what they tell me). Finishes with just a slight wheaty bite.

Mouthfeel is ok, a little heavier than I would expect.

Good drinkability on this one, a decent beer to kick back with on a summer day.

04-12-2008 21:25:55 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of cvstrickland

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +19.5%

12 oz bottle poured into a seidel brings forth a puffy 1.5 finger white head atop a hazy gold body. The head reduces to a fine sheet that leaves a little lacing behind.

Smell is lightly lemony and a little grainy.

Flavor is politely tangy with a rich wheat component and a nice buttery mouthfeel highlighted by a mild peppery heat from the featured spices (Grains of Paradise). A little carbonation. Very refreshing and drinkable.

04-12-2008 17:41:43 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of shabbtastic

New York

3.38/5  rDev +1.5%

April 9th and it's already on tap! So much for"summer ale"

A - Poured a hazy straw yellow into a "Sam Adams Summer Ale" glass. Very little white head with decent carbonation.

S - Wheat and lemon, just like the glass said.

T - Pale malt up front, an empty unfulfilled lemon zest in the finish. Although the taste did grow on me and became more appealing as I consumed it with my lunch (chicken fajitas).

M - Light and refreshing, however it could have been a bit more refreshing if it were a bit more closer to the season.

D - This went down very easy, and reminded me of how much I used to enjoy these in summers past. Great session beer for the hot days ahead.

04-10-2008 11:48:04 | More by shabbtastic
Photo of babaracas


3.53/5  rDev +6%

Pours a hazy gold with fast fading head and minimal lacing. Smell: wheat, lemon, hint of spicy hops. Taste: sweet malt, wheat, lemon, crisp graininess, very mild floral hop presence. Finally got around to trying this one, pretty decent. Light bodied, tangy, crisp, and fairly refreshing.

04-10-2008 00:26:40 | More by babaracas
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev +15%

12 ounce, single bottle just recently purchased from Total Wine and More in West Orange for $1.59... New seasonal release from Sam Adams... "Wheat ale brewed with lemon and grains of paradise" on the front logo sticker...
Most Sam Adams seasonals are pretty good, so I figured this one was worth a try...
A steady pour resulted in a hazy, cloudy, murky, straw-colored appearance with minimal carbonation and a slight head that left hardly any lacing around the glass...
Dusty, earthy aroma with notes of citrus and florals...
Whatever grains of paradise tastes like, I could definitely notice something peculiar and differet in the flavor... a typical wheat beer with a little spice added to it, along with essences of citrus, lemon, and coriander... Crispy, clear, refreshing mouthfeel with a good level of drinkability due to the low ABV and refreshing, crisp factor associated with this brew... Definitely something a little different...
Worth a try...

04-08-2008 18:15:00 | More by dsa7783
Photo of Lexluthor33

New York

3.73/5  rDev +12%

The look is golden with a touch of clouds. The head lasts the duration of the beer. The smell is lemon,grains and yeast which is as advertised. The taste is yeast,spice and a bit of lemon. The feel is smooth,clean and light with malts for balance. This beer is indeed a summer beer. It can quench a thirst. It is good for sessions and I like that the lemon is not too strong. The beer is light as it should be for summer.

Notes: I would buy this again and I intend to have more for summer. Not the best,but worthy. I do not think it is Sam Adams best beer-they can do better.

03-27-2008 03:34:52 | More by Lexluthor33
Photo of Gambrinus1184


4.08/5  rDev +22.5%

Served at the Sam Adams brewery in Boston.

A: Poured a pale golden yellow with a bit of a hazy chill and a thin head of pure white foam.

S: Smells of lemon zest and grainy wheat. There's less of an aroma here than what I've had out of the bottle.

T: Taste is malty and sweet with a definitive lemon zing and a pale wheat finish.

M: Mouthfeel is light-to medium bodied with a clean refreshing citrus zest.

D: The manageable ABV, smooth body and good flavor make this a sessionable beer, but is geared more towards the summer months.

This batch was a test batch and reportedly first of the season at Sam, so it wasn;t quite the same as stores will get in the spring. This is a great summer beer to have, as it's sweet, crisp and light, while offering a complexity that other American Pale Wheats of summer can't compare to. It's definitely got a time and a place.

03-03-2008 21:50:12 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of JDV


3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Light hazy gold pour with a smallish head in a weizen glass. Smell is lightly wheaty, a bit metallic. Taste is a nice light wheat, with a good finish. Wheaty taste up front is milder than it is in the aftertaste. A smooth, nice example of an American wheat beer that I'd buy again.

02-13-2008 22:40:48 | More by JDV
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.05/5  rDev -8.4%

2007 bottle drank a few months after best buy notch on label and poured into a weizen glass

A: A nice murky, straw-golden color with a lot of tiny bubbles and a large white head that slowly dissipates down to a steady thin layer. Leaves moderate lacing in glass. Also some particles of sediment floating in the glass, not sure if I remember them from when I had this fresh.
S: Nothing remarkable, nothing bad. Some citrus, yeast and a little soapiness
T: Maltier than expected, strong citrus flavors, lemony. An adequate wheat ale, not overpowering.
M: Only part of beer that something seems off with. Somehow seems thick and watery at the same time.
D: While nothing about this beer was incredibly good or bad, I do enjoy drinking this (well, in the summer) and is a reliable beer at a chain restaurant in the summer and worth picking up a 6 pack for an outdoor afternoon

01-06-2008 20:57:23 | More by yourefragile
Photo of MerkinMan


3.6/5  rDev +8.1%

This beer poured from the bottle was a nice straw color. I rated it as average, since that is what I would expect from this style if it were not white. There were no real distinctive smells -- very clean. The lemon and spice are certainly not overdone as with other summers, grand crus, and the like. Mouthfeel is light like a summer beer should be.

Very drinkable, especially at a ball game, or after mowing the lawn.

01-05-2008 20:52:56 | More by MerkinMan
Photo of mltobin


3.23/5  rDev -3%

In some states, summer time does not have much of a meaning. Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, etc. However, when summer time finally comes in New England, it is a special time. After dealing with a brutal winter, we finally get 85 degree weather, baseball, and summer beer.

Sam does a great job of a summer ale. A light golden color and a small but attractive top. Upon first taste, a nice light and refreshing flavor. From the first taste, you must continue and have a few of these. Grab a burger and fries with Sam Summer and you will be living the good life.

12-29-2007 00:48:23 | More by mltobin
Photo of CortexBomb


3.78/5  rDev +13.5%

Pour is deep yellowish orange with a light white head on top. The lemon zest used in the beer is evident on the nose, and accompanies a general malty aroma.

The taste starts out with that sweet citrus aspect, not in a hoppy way, but the zesty way. About midway through a strong malty tone asserts itself, along with some peppery notes behind that. Interesting aftertaste that I want to say is the paradise, but I have only Batch 8000 to compare it against for that particular ingredient, and I can't recall. For a summer style wheat beer I think this is interesting, depthy yet drinkable.

The mouthfeel on this is decent, not overly remarkable. Drinkability is solid...it's an easy drinking beer with depth at an affordable price, and is easy to find because of Boston Beer Co's distribution range. I will likely have this again.

The bottom line: A fine summer offering by the Sam Adams folks. Assertively malty with some interesting spice depth. Well worth checking out.

11-21-2007 03:24:18 | More by CortexBomb
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,438 ratings.