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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.

4,475 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,475
Reviews: 1,538
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 32
Gots: 396 | 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: 4,475 | Reviews: 1,538 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of everetends


3.6/5  rDev +8.1%

Get this on tap at various local establishments. Last had poured into a pint glass.

A: A hazy golden yellow with a great deal of head. Carbonation bubbles going crazy all over in the glass. A bit fizzy.

S: Grain, hops and citrus peels (orange, lemon and grapefruit).

T: The grains hit you first with the hops, but the citrus (dominated by lemon) catches up to. Nothing to awe inspiring, but good tasting nonetheless.

M: This does have a good deal of carbonation but it works with the beer. Crisp and refreshing.

D: This is a very good summer ale. The carbonation makes this beer very refreshing and it is very drinkable in hot weather situations.

05-07-2008 02:26:41 | More by everetends
Photo of erosier


3.83/5  rDev +15%

Pours a golden yellow color with a short but medium bodied white head that fades pretty fast and settles as a film on top of the glass. It laces very nicely on the way down. It has an aroma of very sweet wheat malt, a tiny bit of citrisy hops, and a nice citrisy aroma to it. The taste delivers as well. It has a very nice sweet wheat base that is pretty easy to detect from underneath a mix of lemony and orangy flavors but finishes with a clean citrisy hop bitterness that is not overwhelming but very complementing. The mouthfeel was nice and crisp and refreshing which made it very drinkable. I will stock up on this beer at the end of the summer because it is very light and drinkable beer.

05-06-2008 18:07:21 | More by erosier
Photo of FleeVT


3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

12oz brown bottle with date poured into a pint glass.

A: A golden amber haze with a big head full of action.

S: Bready yeast up front with hints of lemon zest. Wheat and malts finish the bouquet.

T/M: A subdued palate with wheat and yeast coming out up front, then fading to the malts and an ever so slight bite of hops in the back. A bit of spice in the middle, like the coriander of a witbier. Finishes slightly bitter. Nice moderate body with lighter carbonation that makes this one smooth.

D: Good for summer swilling. Easy to get down just lacking a bit in the nose.

05-05-2008 21:43:06 | More by FleeVT
Photo of joekfsu


2.88/5  rDev -13.5%

16 oz on tap. Pours a clear, light gold, with a thin film of head. Aroma = skunk :(. Initial flavor was sweet and citrusy. Flavor ends more balanced and with some spice. Light to medium body, light carbonation, limited lacing, and no hint of alcohol noted. I have had this before and I have enjoyed it before, but for me and my buddy, this was the worst summer ale experience we had have yet.

05-05-2008 03:23:27 | More by joekfsu
Photo of OldYoda


3.43/5  rDev +3%

Poured from the bottle into my standard Troeg's pint glass, leaving a modest head that dissapates quickly and some minimal lacing. The beer is a murky gold in color - nothing particularly outstanding.

Smell is lemon and grass with a whiff of malt. No real hops are discernable.

Taste is also lemony and a little fizzy. Nothing offensive - but nothing that hits me with a "Wow", either.

Mouthfeel was a little off for me. Not as crisp as I remember from last year.

Drinkability is fine - this is a low ABV and nonoffensive offering from Boston Brewing. In my mind, simply not one of their better efforts. For those looking for a summer beer there are better out there - Uber Sun or Dreamweaver Wheat are vastly superior.

05-04-2008 17:46:33 | More by OldYoda
Photo of williamherbert

New York

3.73/5  rDev +12%

Hazy bright yellow, like grapefruit juice. Bright and sunny. Minimal lace. Looks fruity.

Smell of a slightly bitter Bavarian ale with some musty malt. Hint of fruits (lemon and orange).

Tastes like a regular ale, slightly bitter but with a sweet aftertaste. Full of flavor actually, with a decent sweet/bitter balance. Surprisingly good.

Slightly fizzy feel in the Belgian way (though clearly not a Belgian). Medium body. It's a nice summer beer that isn't for weaklings. Has good body for being a blatant summer brew.

05-04-2008 04:57:06 | More by williamherbert
Photo of wiseguy142

New York

3.58/5  rDev +7.5%

Pours a misty yellow with a rich but short head that vanishes after only a few seconds, while leaving a nice lacing on the glass.

The aroma is predominantly of lemon and sugary sweetness that results in a nice mixture of of bitter and sweet aromas that I think are essential for this kind of ale.

The taste is a little short of the appearance and smell, partially because of wht I consider an uappealing mothfeel as a medium for the flavors. It helps if you're drinking some of the head along with the rest of the beer, but, as I said, the head disappears quickly. With the head I get a very airy feeling with the lemony spiced sweetness, sort of like a lemon merangue, but without there's less background where I can like the flavors, but still not bad at all.

The body is light to medium, maybe a little towards the medium side. I feel like after a couple of these the novelty of the flavor would wear off, which only slightly diminishes its drinkability. The only thing that stopped me from downign it was the lack of a persistent head that allowed me to really enjoy it like I wanted to. The dense, English style beer feel without the head doesn't compliment the flavors at all.

Last year this was my beer candy. I was just getting into craft beers and I thought this was amazing and completely unique. Since then I've expanded my knowledge a great deal and I didn't expect to give it a ovely high rating but it lived up to my recollection of it to a point, with only a few flaws. If anything I do remember all the flavors mixing together just a little better, but I still think it's a pretty good beer.

05-03-2008 11:04:40 | More by wiseguy142
Photo of generallee

New York

3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

It pours a hazy pale golden color with a thin white head that leaves behind some lace on the glass. Its aroma is has hints of wheat, citrus fruit and some spicy notes. It has a smooth medium body with delicate wheat malts and a zesty kick from the grains of paradise and lemon. The hops are very low key here and only add some light bitterness to the finish which is crisp and refreshing.

05-02-2008 16:28:18 | More by generallee
Photo of osi


3.08/5  rDev -7.5%

A - Decent sized fluffy head that faded with a normal pace. Average trace. Yellow body that looks slightly darker than an Americnan macro.

S - Malts and hops with elements of spices and slight citrus. There is also a sweet fruity aroma that comes in and out.

T - At first all of the elements mix together to form a good mixture of flavor. Hops come next and lingers off with malt and wheat flavors. The sweet flavor from the nose comes in from time to time.

M - Light to medium carbonation that finishes flat. Good medium body.

D - A decent beer. I was expecting an attempt at a hefeweizen like other makers try to do with the style. Actually this beer is unique and easily distinguishable from a hefe. Good Job Sam Adams. Probably won't have again though, just not my cup of tea but good beer nonetheless.

04-30-2008 23:17:00 | More by osi
Photo of jayrod20


4.35/5  rDev +30.6%

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 that can be drank in succession.

04-29-2008 23:37:55 | More by jayrod20
Photo of nrbw23


3.58/5  rDev +7.5%

A- A slightly hazy light gold color. A decent white foamy head that leaves a moderate amount of lacing.

S- Sweet malts busting out this. Quite a bit of citrus also especially lemon.

T- Pretty much follows the nose. Tangy best way I can describe this brew.

M- Good amount of carbonation here. Fairly light in body.

D- A very drinkable brew nice crisp and sharp.

04-28-2008 15:50:52 | More by nrbw23
Photo of ScottUCF84


3.58/5  rDev +7.5%

Bottle into a pint.

A- A slightly, slightly cloudy gold... a bit disappointing for a wheat. Otherwise, it was pretty decent looking. The head was nice; thick and fluffy, and it stuck around. There was moderate lacing.

S- After some agitation, I got a huge whiff of lemon peel and some other scents of citrus and sweet fruit. There's definitely a little spice in there, too.

T- The flavor isn't very bold, but definitely not too bad. Predominately there's dry wheat, citrus, and spice. I picked up a hint of vanilla here and there.

M- Light body; it was crisp up front, but a bit creamy as it runs over the tongue.

D- This one is extremely light, and flavorful enough to keep me interested. Not a bad American wheat... a style I usually hate. Of course I'd rather take a German hefe over this... but I wouldn't turn it down.

04-28-2008 04:23:33 | More by ScottUCF84
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
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,475 ratings.