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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.

4,753 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,753
Reviews: 1,548
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 33
Gots: 534 | 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: 4,753 | Reviews: 1,548 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ShrLSU
2.53/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into an imperial pint lass

A: Yellowish orange color with a slight fizzy white head..

S: Some slight citrus malt. Very faint hop smell.

T: Malty and lemon flavor. Not to strong on either end. A slight bitter hop aftertaste.

M: Very carbonated. Kind of oily finish. Somewhat refreshing. I expected more of a refreshing feel from a "summer" beer.

D: Good for a one time try, but I doubt I'd purchase again.

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

Pours with a rocky head, some lacing. Cloudy orange color.

Smell is slightly bready , not getting any of the spices on the nose.

Some tartness on tasting , a little grainy sweetness.

Mouthfeel is light , carbonation in high.

Overall an easy drinking wheat without alot of character is a great thirst quencher.

Photo of SpecialK088
3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a sam adams pint glass

A-Cloudy yellow/orange color with a 2 finger head that goes away very fast pretty good lacing.

S-Lemon hints of some sweeter malts not alot to comment on here its pretty subtle

T&M-Not alot of quatlities of a wheat here more of just a general ale, subtle like the nose lemon as well as a note of hops. It a little overly carbonated for the style goes down smooth i could see where this might taste alot better if you were out in the yard working all day.

D-Easy to drink but lacks a little flavor.

Photo of KI9A
2.48/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: On tap, came out yellow/orange, fizzy head.

S: Not much going on there. Citrus, malt ( ? )

T: about the same as smell. Dull, lemon pledge flavor. Some sweet malt. I guess I'm not a big fan of the grain of paradise.

M: Very high carbonation. Too much for this style. Left an oily taste in my mouth. Not refreshing at all.

D: I'll pass on this again.

Photo of ryrust5301
2.85/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass

Latest of the Sam Adams seasonals, so lets see how this does on a hot summer night. Color is a hazy gold with a ever so slight orange tint to it. Head did foam up to a nice puffy white two finger length. Smells kind of grainy with a lemon tang to it. Can smell some hops and malt floating around as well. Taste is of a bitter lemon hop with a fading malt in the back to attempt to even it out. It doesn't work so well. Some sort of funk in the smell and taste that just turns me off on this brew.

Photo of Schmidts
4.22/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a hazy bright yellow with 3/4 Inch head. Smell is good of sweet Citrus and Lemon & Spice. Very Refreshing flavor that says have more! Mouth Feel is great. This is a mild Flavorful summer Ale that you can drink one after another and enjoy it, would be great with bugers at a cookout! This is a very Good Ale for the summer I recomend you give this one a try!
"Beer Its not Just A Beverage Its Food"

Photo of GoodKnight1220
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a glass.

Light foggy golden color, with an avg head.

Great outdoor spicy citrus smell.

Smooth and crisp, grassy, and citrusy flavor with a complex spicy, but easy finish.

Great beer to drink with spicy food or at your backyard BBQ.

Very drinkable. But the carbonation may get to you.

Photo of Pauly2X
3.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Full two finger head, bright hazy yellow.

S- Crisp citrus with spicy yeast notes.

T- Very clean and balanced. The lemon comes through but is not overpowering.

M- Pretty decent for the style.

D- Quite refreshing.

This is a great summer beer ( duh, it says so right on the label ) and it would also serve as a good crossover as well.

Photo of bcgoldtoe
2.78/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Apple juice-like with little head.

S: Best part, with subtle lemongrass scent

T: Grains of paradise are overrated.

M: Excessively carbonated for this type of brew; but this is good because it would otherwise be too watery.

D: Not sessionable.

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

Very pleasant and unoffensive summer brew. It's not going to knock your socks off, whatever that means, but it will chill your feet on a warm summer day.

Has a grainy, orange peel aroma. Smooth orange flavors throughout, with a slightly spicy wheat and grain.

Feels smooth, crisp, and full, without feeling like a burden. Perfect feel for a summer brew, and combined with it's good, crisp flavor, it will make plenty of visits to my fridge.

Photo of biegaman
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

'Summer Ale' is a befitting name for this beaming golden brew; although plenty of light is allowed to pass through, fine dusty particles blur clarity enough that only shadows are visible on the other side. Its linty white head is very responsive to swirling but always tapers off to just the one thick outside ring of foam. Hardly any lacing is left.

Like most American wheat ales, this is rather agreeable but has an additional, uncustomary savoriness that is definitely notable even while not being overpowering. The beer's 'aww chucks' appeal, however, quickly grows old as the lemon zest and grains of paradise notes go stale at the expense of tiresome malts and an overly complaisant spiciness.

The mouthfeel has both gritty bitterness and fruity tang, albeit each in compromised roles. The spices are again quite agreeable, and fitting for a beer meant to be light and refreshing, although a peppery texture definitely coats the palate long before anything earthy or sweet sets in. The finish is dry and croaky like steamed pak choy or other Asian greens.

Flavours of dry grass and grapes, raw wheat, and floral hops compliment the grains of paradise, which are actually quite mild in taste. The Asian greens flavour continues as a steamed bok choy plays right into a lemon zested chickpeas, with added mandarin slices and pomegranate molasses. It tastes like a healthy dinner, with as much bitterness as sweetness.

I got no qualms with this one. Sure, there are better summertime patio beers, but in a crunch this will do just fine. In fact, I can see this being enjoyed by the more casual crowd of beer drinkers as well as the more demanding aficionados. Indeed, come summer, this is exactly the kind of refreshing, endlessly quaffable ale one wishes were more widely available.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy gold in color with fizzy white head. Looks like a light wheat beer.

Smell: Crisp, bitter, but no good. Maybe this just isn't our thing. This smell reminds me me of Anchor Summer Beer (we were not fans). This smells very corny and stale to me. Other wise man says it smells sweet and crisp, but can't really pick out what the sweetness is coming from...

Taste: Well, each of us saw this beer a little differently. One wise man thought it tasted stale and corny, almost like a thicker upgrade of Budweiser. The other says it tastes like an above average wheat beer. The taste isn't anything notable, however there's no reason to have any beef with it.

Mouthfeel: Thin body + medium carbonation = meh

Drinkability: Yes, i could drink a lot of these. No, I do not want to drink a lot of these. Sam Adams Summer Ale, you get a 3. Nevermind, the other wise man present likes it more. Sam Adams Summer Ale, you get a 4.

Photo of Rayek
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Hazy gold color with very active carbonation. White head is rocky and has nice retention. Leaves a fair amount of lace.

S: Toasted biscuit with a lot of lemon and peppery spice. An interesting mix of aromas.

T: Dry and tart with pronounced toasted bread, lemon and pepper qualities. Bitterness is spicy. Finishes with a lingering tartness.

M: Medium light body is grainy and coarse on the tongue. Carbonation level feels about right.

D: Nice summer offering. I'd have to be in the right mood to visit this again, however. This is not your typical wheat beer.

Photo of TerryW
3.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found this one to be a bit of a letdown, especially after the interesting promise of lemon zest and grains of paradise. At the end of the day the beer just failed to distinguish itself.

Good looking brew, appetizing appearance, hazy golden colour, good head and some lace.

Failed to follow through in the aroma and taste side though. Not quite as exotic as I figured it might be.

A good lookin' average beer.

Photo of nem2006
3.98/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drank this on tap at a Red Robin as a 22 ouncer. It was barely hazy, yellow and gold. With a nice head that lingered for about 1/3 of the drink. Nice lacing.

Smelled semi-sweet with some citrus tones.

Light-bodied, started sweet and sharp with a slight bitterness at the end. Very smooth and goes well with summer. This is a very refreshing beer.

Photo of woemad
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased about three weeks ago at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.19, 20 cents off it's regular price. According to the label, it's best-by August of '08.

Poured a slightly hazy, golden color with a big, sudsy white head that hung around longer than I expected. Lots of drippy lace left on the sides of my SA glass.

Earthy and lemon-y in the nose, along with a mild sweet maltiness. If that's the vaunted "Grains of Paradise", they definitely take a backseat to the lemon zest.

The taste is dominated upfront by the lemon zest (though it remains pretty mellow - this is no fruit bomb), with an earthy graininess huddling in the background. A mild maltiness becomes evident just before the swallow, which is crisp and somewhat dry.

Light-bodied, with a carbonation level that is high but nowhere near over the top. The mothfeel is mildly efervescent.

While not a flavor bomb, this is a refreshing take on a much-maligned style. It would make an excellent lawnmower beer and hit the spot on what is the warmest day thus far this year.

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

P: 12 oz., brown bottle purchased as part of the Samuel Adams Summer Styles 12-Pack. Purchase before notch: AUG/2008

A: Pours a hazy, golden color with a luxuriously foamy head with excellent retention and active carbonation.

S: Aromas of wheat and lemon zest with hints of vanilla and grass.

T: Opens sweet with a strong, wheat malt foundation, mild spicing (Grains of Paradise), and blasts of lemon. Finishes light with a tang of citrus and no perceptible bitterness.

M: Crisp, smooth and refreshing. Medium-bodied.

D: Brewed for session drinking. So far, the best of the SA Summer Styles.

Photo of Overlord
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Pours a dark yellow with a moderately large white foam head. Smells faintly of ... wheat and musty spice.

Taste is quite different. Malt and wheat with a weird spicy pepperiness. I had to look up the description of the beer to see if there really is pepper in it. Apparently, there is.

Different, which is nice, wouldn't buy again.

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served cold from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Boston Lager glass.

Cloudy golden color, almost orange, with a fluffy off-white head that oddly didn't leave lacing.

Subtle aroma, a bit of lemon and wheat. Not a weizen, by the yeast anyway.

Flavor is mild, uninspired. Dominated by a weird, distracting softness. Slightly spicy and a bit of citrus.

Mouthfeel is slick and soft, unpleasant.

I had this back to back with a Corona, and the Corona kicked Sam Summer's ass. Totally unexpected. I'm a Boston Beer Company fan, but their Summer Ale misses the mark, doesn't satisfy. They should take this one out of their rotation and push their much better White Ale more strongly in the market.

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

On-Tap at LeeRoy Selmon's in Sarasota. Great ribs by the way.

A: Cloudy, straw yellow color with about two fingers of white head. The head remains strong for the entire glass and the lacing is impressive.

A: Strong lemon smell, almost over the top. The spicy grains of paradise are apperant as well. Some earthy hops and biscuity malts round out the nose.

T: Very summery. Lemon, earthy hops, wheat, and spice. A little bitter and finishes sweet and dry.

M&D: Light bodied beer. The agressive carbonation makes it a bit sharp on the palate. I think there is too much lemon in this. But, this beer was one of the first to turn me on to the craft beer scene, so I search it out every year. I really enjoy Summer Ale, not the best of the style, but at 5.2% ABV this is very easy to drink out at the BBQ. Skal.

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

6 pack from the LCBO. BB April 09

Served from a 355ml brown bottle into a Hoegaarden glass.

A- Golden yellow color, decent white head with good retention and some lace. Floating particles rather than "haze".

S- Some faint wheat aromas with hints of ginger.

T- Light wheat, some slight cardamom and ginger, but way too tangy. This brew could have seriously gone without the hoards of lemon zest, but, it makes it very refreshing in the scorching summer heat.

M- light bodied with medium carbonation.

D- Ice cold is the only way.

Overall this brew was just way too tangy. I just felt like i was sucking on a lemon the whole time. Last years batch was way different. Note: 6 hours have passed and I still can't shake the tangyness from my palate. 2weeks later shared 6 pack with a freind at the beach but very drinkable in the summer heat.

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.85/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a clear golden color ale with a light foamy head with average retention and no lacing. Aroma of light wheat with some grain of paradise. Taste is a mix between some grains of paradise with some very light wheat. Taste is very dry with the spices also coming through. Light body with average carbonation. Malt base is just too light for this beer to be truly interesting.

Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Recent LCBO purchase, I've had a few of these in the last week and finally decided to review one. Hazy, gold orange hue, thin head but distinct ring around the rim of the glass. Carbonation was gentle but persistent in the haze but there was not as much lacing as I hoped to see. This is a certainly a good looking beer.

The smell on opening was melon and an orange-soda smell, really not much more happening. In the mouth, there is a minor hop presence, enough to distinguish this from a macro, then lots of lemon, wheat, appealing but a little dry at times. With warming, unfortunately, the taste got more metallic with a cleansing sort-of finish that compromised an otherwise refreshing summer ale.

Overall, I found this an acceptable quaffing brew and suitable as a session beer provided it's kept cold - ideal for a party by the pool.

Tried again December 15, 2009: The three finger white foamy head with nice lace and seemingly good retention was promising to begin with. After a short while, it took on a flat, non carbonated hazy orange liquid appearance that was less than appealing. Smell of sour dough bread, rye and caraway was up front and curiously odd.

The taste was similar to the smell with a lot of rye bread and caraway seed taste, hops not as inspired as I expected and little of the lemon zest promised on the label. The Grains of Paradise spice ingredient - which I found online described as akin to a blend of "ginger, cardamom and pepper" - most likely influenced the taste the most but didn't in my view make this much of a summer beer. Mind you, I'm not a pepper fan so that's a bit of bias coming through; still, the beer was far too earthy for my liking without much in the way of citrus or hops to balance it.

While writing this review in December of a "summer ale", I asked myself whether it was a bit long in the bottle for a fair assessment. However, as the label specified that it was best before April 2010, I concluded that this must be pretty much what the beer tastes like and, with all due respects, I doubt I'd buy this again.

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

Poured into a pint glass (from a Sam Adams variety pack) this brew has a pale orange color with a 1/2 inch head, leaving minimal lacing. I am not one for summer brews (seem to be marketed for the ladies) but this one was ok. The smell left something to be desired with mild wheat notes and some slight spice. The tasted was more than the aroma led to believe. It was a fresh brew with some clove and mild balance. The carbonation was more than I like, but this was a decent brew. On a hot summer day I could put a few back!

Photo of clayrock81
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this last year and couldn't wait for this year's batch - I guess, as the Geto Boys once said, "my mind's playin' tricks on me".
I remembered trying this last year and it being a great pale wheat; that isn't the case this year. Pours a orangish body with a great one-finger head that was very creamy. Picked up some citric notes and clove, among other spices, in aroma but kinda weak. The beer threw me off. It was smooth, a little creamy, had a nice taste, but everything was kinda blase. Had some orangish, citric taste, and some spices, but overall was a little bland and watery. Not a bad beer, but I can think of other summer ales this season to try first.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
77 out of 100 based on 4,753 ratings.