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Samuel Adams Summer Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

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4,768 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,768
Reviews: 1,553
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 35
Gots: 594 | 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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Ratings: 4,768 | Reviews: 1,553 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CJfromPhilly
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, cloudy orangish-yellow with a thick foamy head that quickly settles down to about 1/4". Active carbonation, lots of tiiny bubbles rising to the top. Aroma is tangy and citrus-y, definite hints of lemon. Taste is crisp & refreshing, clean wheatiness with a nice lemon peel bite. A hint of spiciness. There's a nice creaminess to the mouthfeel. Overall, a really good thirst quenching summer beer. After working in the hot sun all day, a couple of these REALLY hit the spot!

Photo of VTaler
3.52/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a mug
A - Dark honey color. Modernate carbonation with a nice white head. Sticks around for a little bit and leaves behind nice lacing

S - Lemon and wheat aromas

T - Wheat is the first flavor but its eventually overcome from the citrus hops and the spices. As you drink it more flavors start to come out. Relatively complex for a wheat beer. I do not really like wheat beers and I though that this was pretty good

M - Could be a little less carbonized

D - Pretty drinkable. Nice and refreshing

I not a big fan of wheat beers so if you like them then you shouldnt have read this review

Photo of MeisterBurger
3.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden amber with a bubbly head. Made a nice crackling white noise sound as the carbonation escaped. Looks nice.

Smell is grains and lemon rind, with a touch of funky Belgian yeast. Some pepperiness comes out later.

Taste is citric and crisp toasted biscuits, lemony wheat, just a hint of ginger almost, the carbonation tickles the palate and leads to a dry finish and slightly bitter, peppery, yeasty aftertaste. It's pretty tasty and satisfying for a lighter beer and it'd make for a great backyard summertime refresher.

Mouhtfeel is crisp and carbonated, yet smooth.

It's easy drinking and would be easily sessionable.

Best before date: April 2010.

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Golden with an amber hue. Low carbonation. Pours into a 2 finger, bubbly, white head. Settles fairly slowly leaving a small blanket of foam. Some spotty lacing remains.

S: A little malt, wheat, lemon and orange citrus.

T: Prominent wheat base (as expected), a little hops, and citrus. A little sweet, also a little steely.

M: Very light, really refreshing. Flavor is full but light, aftertaste of a little bitterness which you don't really get in the initial drink.

D: Good brew for the season.

Pretty nice appearance. Good combination of components in the nose, although subtle. Nice light flavor with good combo of summer elements in there. Overall, this is a really nice quaff, summer or otherwise.

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

A - Sudsy white head that equates to several fingers thick. Slight haze from the year obscures the view, though not like a German variant. Upon head receding, severe lacing forms on the side of the glass. Though this was served in a Hefeweizen-style glass, it was an American version of one. Upon further observation at warmer temps, the once hazed beer looks clear, indicating some chill haze. Lastly, carbonation is high with bubbles consistently bubbling to the top, which helps keep a near finger-thick film on the top.

S - Slightly sweet banana mixes with spicy clove. Orange and lemon give a citrusy aspect to the beer. Unlike some German varieties, there is no floating yeast in this beer.

T - Orange and lemon sweetness comes through, with a mild yeasty flavor. The beer has a light-bodied consistency to it. Since it was served at what seemed like very cold temps (35˚F?), it felt a bit too cold on the tongue. With that said, had I been outside in the heat of summer, this could have possibly been favored differently :) A kiss of hops comes through to balance out the malt and finishes dry and crisp.

C - So I did a lot of investigation into this beer, as American Wheat beers are usually not preferred over German variants. Also, the term Summer Ale didn't exactly describe what it was I was going to be drinking! Researching the website tells you that you're drinking an American Wheat Ale. In addition to Grains of Paradise, lemon and gives reference to this beer being brewed with the Flanders style in mind, which would mean this wouldn't be an American Hefeweizen, yet an American Wit.

Possibly, the peppery notes supposed to be prevalent in the beer was mistaken for the clove, of which I found and possibly, the banana note was wrongly mistaken for the peach and mango scent that I was supposed to pick out. If so, then my apologies to Samuel Adams for thinking I was drinking a wrongly interpreted (according to all Style Guidelines, an American Wheat Ale should not have notes of clove and banana!) American Hefeweizen.

In the end, no matter what Sam Adams defines this beer as (Wit vs. Weißbier), I can't say I was overtly wooed by it. The beer provides a refreshing session beer (well it's at the top of the range [5.3% ABV], but I'll give it to them!) that can easily be drunk in quantities of 3+. For the drinker that is looking for more complexity, I would recommend Sierra Nevada's Kellerweis Hefeweizen, or Ommegang's Witte. Of course one can find spectacular "Old World" versions out there as well!


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

A nice hazy golden color with a 1.5 finger head that faded quickly. The taste is citrus with a hint of spice that I can't put my finger on. Possibly corriander? Overall a very light, refreshing taste. Pretty good drinkability as it is not hoppy in the least. A good basic beer, but not something I would "have to have" as it were.

Photo of PEBKAC
3.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Leftover bottle from the latest Colombian soccer beatdown that I can't believe we payed $30 to endure. September notch, quite fresh. Poured into my Sly Fox tumbler.

Milky agitated pour down the center. Settling into a tight inch & a half of whipped froth over a cloudy pale wheat body. Sticky, beaded, lace.

Smell is very real with ripe bananas & bready yeast; I don't sense Runts™. More like banana cream the more I drown in it. Faint peary notes, as well as very new grass. The wheat portion is boring & smells like it's been been boxed up. Subtle spices all along the edges, making it quite a nice package regardless.

Taste has big ideas of pear & even some apricot. Green bananas more then traditional thoughts. The wheat just comes off as dust. Spices are very mild in clove & glue. White bread, & bitter melon go one point up one point down. Finish has some vanilla(maybe?), but otherwise, just weak pale wheat.

Carbonation is moderate, falling off quite rapidly after settling in a glass. The wheat feel is disappointing at best, just giving a murky feel to the beer. Hef or bust IMO.

Two in & I'm done here.

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

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle.

Pours a golden color with some slight haze. Decent head that doesn't last long.

There is a slight sweetness in the aroma, and some good citrus smells from the lemon zest. Some nice malty and grainy smells. A bit of spiciness as well.

Taste has some nice citrus in it. I can taste the lemon. Can also taste the wheat in there, it is pretty crisp. Bit of hoppy bitterness in the taste, but not too much, bitterness on the finish which lingers a bit. Good mouthfeel and drinkability.

Overall pretty nice and refreshing.

Photo of santomark
2.3/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A -- Tainted gold color with a light head.

S -- Little hops with a slight citrus smell.

T -- The hops weren't that impressive and the citrus notes weren't like citrus juice, but more like someone used some left over lemon skin and zested them into this beer. The citrus note was just awful.

M -- only thing i can say about the mouthful is its medium.

D -- This beer isn't drinkable at all in my opinion. I would definatly not recommend it.

Photo of Mdog
2.89/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy yellow, fading head.

Smell: A little wheat, but mostly wet hair, unappealing.

Taste: Earthy spice, a little sweetness, and mild lemon flavor.

Drinkability: Light enough to have a few if you're not turned off by the smell.

I've had this beer before at bars, but since I can't smell very well I never noticed this beer's odd smell. It's not strong, but doesn't give a good intro to the beer. Decent tasting beer for the summer though.

Photo of myost88
3.56/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pale and cloudy like a good wheat beer should be! Leaves a nice 1 finger head with some lacing and a nice kind of floating top that never goes away.

Smell: Citrus is dominant here as expected. Grain and yeast are largely present. A little bit spicy, I guess from the grains of paradise? Smel

Taste: Again citrus is the dominant flavor. The lemon zest really stands out. Malted Wheat is next and yeast is there at the end of a nice gulp. A little bit peppery as it moves from the tip of the tongue to the back.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, but not like a soda. Carbonation never fades from the first sip to the last gulp. Goes down nice and crisp.

Drinkability: Drank this guy (and 3 of his brothers) while watching the 'Stros game. Very good summer beer. This was made for a nice relaxing evening of baseball. Good summer session beer!

Overall: One of my new favorites from Sam Adams! And I believe I'll be downing these all summer because Spec's has them on sale for 5.99 a six pack till August 1st!

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears a bright golden color, semi clouded but not enough that you can't see the very high carbonation. Steady pour produces half an inch of creamy head, and the retention was outstanding. Leaves some splashy, broken, soapy lacing, and a creamy ring holds throughout entire consumption. Smells of heavy yeast & wheat, followed by orange, and lemon zests, it's bit spicy with a semi bright citrus nose. Simple, yet has very fresh aroma!

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of dominate bready, yeasty, wheat, followed by lemon & orange zests, and there's a touch of semi bright citrus notes on the finish, a little watery tasting on the finish as well. Mouthfeel is smooth with lots of active carbonation on the tongue, has a lite-medium body. Crisp & refreshing! Matches the flavor profile perfectly.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - This beer was not surprisingly crisp, and very refreshing. Has an almost watered down taste to it on the finish, as well as a crisp mouthfeel, and that really makes this beer highly drinkable. You could easily throw back several of these on a scorching hot day, I really loved the way the mouthfeel compliments the flavor profile. Nothing was really lacking with this one, it's pretty well balanced & highly enjoyable. I say run out on the hottest day of the summer & pick up a case of this zesty and refreshing brew. You wont be disappointed. Cheers!

Photo of TypeSJess
3.74/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very bright, slightly cloudy in the glass with a whitish yellow head. Citrus-ey with a crisp fruity aroma. I'm going to compare this one to the Nit Wit@BJ's as far as initial taste. I consider this one to be much better though. The taste is much better throughout. Heavier, fuller flavor in this one with a spicy after. Sweeter than I expected. Nice heavier texture like an ale should be with a smooth swallow. Drinkability is very good. Heavy flavors and spices are definitely a good paring with a nice ribeye or tri-tip.

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

Good drinking "summer beer". Very similar to a Belgian Wit. Very fizzy starting with big white head that sank pretty quickly. Smell had lots of estery-fruit aroma.

A lot of sour wheat flavors and a bit of malt. Very mild hops.

Good drinking summer beer but not especially noteworthy.

Photo of DeepSix
2.85/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Clear golden color with barely a finger nail of head, no lacing.

Not much smell here, a little bit of wheat. I'm actually being a little generous I don't remember any smell.

The taste is there more then the smell but not by much. A weak wheat flavor thats a just a touch sweet, with somewhat dry finish. Has a bit citrus taste along with what i'm guessing is that brewing spice that they go on about on the commercial for this beer. A pretty weak mouthfeel, similar to the big guys, kinda disappointing.

While you could drink a bunch of these if you wanted, would you want to? I tried giving this beer another chance looking for a good lighter warm weather beer, but it just doesn't do it for me. I drank this sixer quickly just to get rid of it.

Photo of froghop
2.97/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a semi-clear orange-yellow with a thin white head, and not much lacing.

smell is faint, light orange, sweet, wheat.

taste is somewhat watery, malt, light orange, grain, a touch of citrus, tangy, and some wheat.

an okay wheat beer for the summer.

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

A -- Hazy gold with a long-lasting, creamy white head that leaves good lacing behind.

S -- If a bit light, some nice phenols and spicy noble hop and peppery character present well, a slight bit of vanilla back too.

T -- Grainy wheat character that starts vaguely sweet, but finishes refreshingly dry. Spicy hops and some coriander in the finish and aftertaste and an underlying citric fruitiness that adds a ton of character to a lighter beer. There's a wheat graininess that also balances well to the hops and citrus in the aftertaste.

M -- Body is medium light and the mouthfeel starts soft and finishes slightly tangy and dry.

D -- I may have to change this to a 5 after another, but this beer takes the American Wheat style up a couple steps from the usual expectations. As is its title, this is a great Summer thirst-quencher.

Photo of demuzik
2.56/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I am a home brewer with much respect for the folks at Sam Adams, however, I find this brew far too sweet to really enjoy. There is a decent blow of honey tone to this brew - and remember, this is a wheat brew - so the Honey hits you even harder and sweeter.

Its drinkable, and enjoyable, but I'd go for a 1/2 bottle, and then move onto something more balanced and hoppy.

Not exactly the kind of beer I'd crave on a hot summer day. But definitely not bad.

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

A- Pours out a dark straw color with about two fingers of creamy, off-white head. Decent head retention and lacing, along with lots of carbonation coming off the bottom of the glass.

S- Not much to this one, somewhat grainy and malty, with a bit of a citrus smell at the end.

T- Same as the smell pretty much, grainy, somewhat citrusy as the beer warmed up, but the lemon didn't come into play as much as I thought.

M- Light-bodied and well-carbonated, a definite plus for a summer beer.

D- Easily drinkable, if only it tasted a little better.

Photo of unclejimbay
3.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Summer Ale
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Style: American Pale Wheat Ale
ABV: 5.20 %
12oz bottle>pint glass 6/20/09

A 4.0 - Lightly toasted golden straw in color with orange-ish tint. Respectable head, retention, and lace.
S 3.5 - subtle/mellow spice aroma, unique aromam maybe some lemon, clove, or pepper (possibly due to the paradise spice?)
T 3.0 - The taste is not bad, it's just not "GREAT". This is one of the least standout offerings I have had to date from BBC. Sublte malt and hop tastes, some spice on finish. Maybe a hint of lemon/citrus?
MF 3.5 - Semi medium thin in body. More body than a typicla macro, but less than most crafts.
D 3.5 - goes down easy, this brew is my least favorite seasonal from BBC to date, not bad, just not "great".

Photo of porterwoobie
3.11/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: light gold color. little cloudy, translucent. one finger white head, no lacing

S: wheat along with some lemon, slight spice aroma

T: heavy on the wheat. little bit of lemon flavor and hop bitterness.

MF: medium bodied, moderately high carbonation, crispy

Drinkability: the name says it all, cause i wouldn't be drinking this any other time than the summer, nor would i ask for this at a bar/restaurant. definitely an average beer.

Photo of mutd8710
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of the six beers that same in the Summer Styles Variety pack I purchased last week.

This ale has a crisp and sweet smell that consist of lemon and malts. The taste of the ale is tangy at first due to the lemon and spices it is brewed with. The tangy feeling goes away quickly and the flavor of the malts pokes through quickly. Highly carbonated. The flavor is pretty good and definitely has a summer feel to it, but it is kind of boring and tastes bland after a bit.

A good beer to have with a steak or burger because it will not be too filling and would complement food made on the grill pretty well

Photo of hoplover82
4.2/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a hazy deep golden color with a thin white bubbbly head that leaves no lacing.

S-Just some wheaty and a little spices in the nose. I like the grains of paradice in the nose.

T-Now the taste is impressive. It is slightly bitter, making it crisp and refreshing. There is a very nicely balanced flavor of wheat and a little yeast and wonderful spicy notes from the grains of paradise and lemon zest. Very complex. And I also get some hop flavor in the after taste. Don't get that much in a wheat beer. It's a very nice suprise.

M-Medium bodied and crisp. Slightly effervecent which is good for a summer ale.

D-This crisp summer ale is a very good beer to have on a hot day.

Photo of TurdFurgison
2.8/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at a restaurant at Dallas Fort Worth airport during a nearly infinite layover. The beer was clear golden color with a standard foam cap. Not much in the aroma, very muted spice maybe but more likely just the smell of malt and hope (not hops). The taste is not spiced, nor hopped, more just a bland American wheat ale. Meh, this is nothing to write home about, I should have gone for the Boston Lager. Not recommended.

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

Pours a pale golden color with a decent amount of foamy head. Nothing much too look at, to be honest I rarely drink this one from a glass...

Smells sour malt followed by some sweetness and lemony citrusy scent. Also has a bit of a honey smell to it.

Taste is a sweet and sour mix of both malt and citrus. Some spiciness is present but the citrus finish really is reminiscent of a refreshing lemonade or something. Personally I find this to be an extremely drinkable summertime beer.

This is my favorite of all the Sam Adams beers...say what you will. I really only buy this one consistently and only during the summer obviously. I've yet to find an American brewery producing a "Summer Ale" that is as good or better than this. Is it the best beer in the world? No. Of course not. Is it crisp and refreshing and great on a hot summer day outside? Yes.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,768 ratings.