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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.

4,298 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,298
Reviews: 1,534
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 30
Gots: 305 | 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: 4,298 | Reviews: 1,534 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of meathookjones


3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Hard Times in Herndon, VA. This appeared a very cloudy golden yellow color with a slight bubbling coating atop the body. Not much lace was left either as this was consumed. Smell is a rather weak lemony wheat scent that has a touch of spice that peaks out from time to time. Taste is that of a weak wheat beer that has been watered down. The spiciness was about as minimal as I have ever had in a wit beer. Mouthfeel was thin and watered down a bit. It was refreshing and went down easy but after a 23oz glass of this I had enough of it for the night and switched to something else. I wouldn’t really recommend this for a wit beer but it would be a decent macro replacement.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2004 20:20:32 | More by meathookjones
Photo of ybnorml

Rhode Island

2.4/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A very cloudy amber ale. Pours with no head at all. The aroma is vaguely sweet but no particular sweet aspect can be determined from it. A very fruity flavor witha light hop characteristic in the background. The fruity flavor reminded me of mango. I could not finish drinking this. It was like drinking a V8 Splash mixed with beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2004 19:38:15 | More by ybnorml
Photo of mntlover


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

Pours a hazy light golden amber color with a white head that falls to half finger for ride down the glass leaving light lace. Smell is faint wheat malts lemon and light on spices. Taste is light wheat, sour then lightly bitter, get light spice flavors and a dash of lemon. Tastes like a good wheat beer that has been filtered a little and watered down for mass consumption. It is light and goes down quickly good thirst quencher. Body is light side of medium drinkablity is ok if options are macros but otherwise wouldn't purchase again. Picked up at closest grocery store to home hadn't had before so I tried it, damn BA always has me buying something new :)

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2004 02:10:45 | More by mntlover
Photo of pezoids


4.05/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a cloudy golden yellow color with a decent amount of carbonation and a healthy head of creamy white foam. The aroma is almost like sour Lemonheads candy. Citrusy and sour. The taste is light and refreshing. Bittersweet with floral notes and small amounts of buttery malt. This is very refreshing! Sour and slightly yeasty. This is another good poolside summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2004 17:52:13 | More by pezoids
Photo of lackenhauser


3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ncie,cloudy,straw yellow color.Decent head that lingers all the way down.No real discernable aroma.Slight malt and spiciness but nothing special.Crisp and clean on the palate.Somewhat grainy flavor with a touch of spices and lemon.Average body-lends it to being a beer that is great for a hot day.Overall a decent enough beer-take some to a party with macro drinkers and let them try it on a hot summers day.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2004 22:23:27 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of fdrich29


3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce mug at the 99 in Waltham, Massachusetts. I specifically asked my server to please bring me a non-frosted glass and to my luck that's exactly what I got.

Poured a nice reddish/orange color with a little smooth head and lacing.

Smelled and tasted of spicy lemon. Very refreshing after a long day of wrok.

If I wasn't totally exhausted I could have drank these all night, but as things were I only ordered one and went home to bed after dinner. Great summertime beer, but not my first choice.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2004 23:43:39 | More by fdrich29
Photo of Hibernator


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

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle. Sam Adams seasonal brew with a freshness date notched for December 2004. I poured this directly into a pint glass.

The appearance is a cloudy light orange. Minimal head that disappeared rather quickly. Some lacings, but they fail to sustain.

Aroma smells a little spicy and lemony.

The taste is grainy, crisp, dry and refreshing. This tastes like a classic wheat ale to me with a lemon backdrop. Great for summer months.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2004 22:45:19 | More by Hibernator
Photo of oxmasterscream

New Jersey

3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appeared a pale amber color with no head but nice lacing. The aroma was very light... lemons and spice. As for taste it was slightly fruity and reminiscent of a wheat beer with a tinge of lemon and spice. It had a medium to light mouthfeel with good carbonation. It was crisp and refreshing and very drinkable. It wasn't that exciting for a wit (is it even a wit?) but one could easily enjoy many of these on a hot summer day.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2004 03:27:51 | More by oxmasterscream
Photo of orbitalr0x


3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams Summer Ale poured a nice hazy golden yellowish orange color with a sweet wheat aroma. A nice size head turns into decent lacing around the glass. First sip is a bit fruity and smooth. I like it. Definetly a good drinking beer. As far as wheat beers go this is one of the better ones I've had. It's not spectacular...but it's a good brew and I will be coming back to it :-)

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2004 02:39:25 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of RoyalT


3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This is one gorgeous-looking ale. The body is a deep, slightly darkened yellow with a tinge of orange and quite hazy. The head is monstrous, roaring up into a beautiful puffy column and descending slowly, leaving some nice, thick, shaving cream lacing on the way down.

Smell – This is American grain with a dollop of fruity yeast. Ugh!

Taste – This doesn’t taste as bad as it smelled, but it’s still not very good. The course grain is blunted somewhat by some tangy citrus hops and a fuzzy type of wheat.

Mouthfeel – Surprisingly big for the style, almost medium-bodied, with some good summertime carbonation and even a bit of dryness at the finish.

Drinkability – With both the temperature and humidity hovering in the mid-90s, I was looking forward to a refreshing summer ale. This one just did do the trick.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2004 00:14:22 | More by RoyalT
Photo of ken3c


2.75/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice poofy head stays around a while. Clear amber.

Smells more like a macro lager than a wit. This one might be a little skunky.

Tastes nothing like a wit except for a bit of citrus notes.

Light and well carbonated.

I should try this again in case I got a bad sixer but I probably won't. It wasn't bad, just not really good.

This beer should probably be classified as an American wheat rather than a wit. I would have rated it slightly higher.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2004 05:18:53 | More by ken3c
Photo of donnebaby

North Carolina

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

Came without any head (which seemed to be the trend around me) and seemed like it would spill out of the pint. About 75% opaque, deep orange body, and mysterious lacing that produced itself despite the lack of head..

Smell was lightly sour, mash and weedy hops. Taste, too, was grainy, medium malts, also slightly sour, lemony. Weedy hops mellow and creamy. Tingling carbonation in the mouth.

A little too heavy on the carbonation and body for my summer ale desires at the time.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2004 15:15:17 | More by donnebaby
Photo of LarryV


3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangish-yellow color with a thin head and faint aroma. I really didn't pick up a lot of citrus in the aroma. I didn't expect a lot of lemon flavor as it's actually brewed with lemon zest which to me has a slightly different flavor than lemon. Perhaps that's what I was tasting because I really couldn't put my finger on it. It's not a bad tasting brew, but not one I would seek out. I'd prefer the Boston Lager or Boston Ale over this. It is refreshing though on a hot, humid day, but I think there's better choices.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2004 18:56:50 | More by LarryV
Photo of CharlesRiver


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

Two of these bottles left over from the weekend. Pours a cloudy dark yellow-orange with no real head. The smell is very sweet and lemony. I also pick up some grain as well but mostly citrus.

The flavor is similar but more malty than you would expect from the all citrus smell. The flavor kind of drops off at the end but it is still very refreshing. I also like the fact that it isn't over carbonated.

Someone said this years was better than last years and I have to agree. They have toned down the "grains of paradise" and citrus and given it a little more body.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2004 23:19:59 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of rockdick


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

Bottom line, this beer is better than average, but not the greatest.
It pours a hazy golden color with a decent head that lingers.
Smell is kind of crispy like the American light beers. The taste is sort of lemony w/hints of wheat. Goes down easy and pretty drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2004 14:55:14 | More by rockdick
Photo of scottum


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

Pours out a slightly hazy amber with a white headskie. Hops are light, but still add flavor. Malts are a touch thin, but still give the impression of a full beer. This is not a great beer, but it stands tall as a dumbed down ale. Quality is here, but the audience is not the BA. I'd have another, but not if there were a selection to choose from.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2004 20:16:39 | More by scottum
Photo of MobBarley


3.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Niec cloudy orange color with sticky lace that is in no hurry to leave.

Big herbal hoppiness up front in the nose followed by some spicy lemony (Lemon Balm) esters and a sweet finish.

The taste is sweet up front before mellowing out into a well-balanced bready/herbal/lemony finish that numbs the tongue just a touch.

Mouthfeel is refreshing but when it is baking outside I am more likely to snag something more effervescent and with a bigger hop bite.

Drinkability is above average...I'll buy again.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2004 07:05:46 | More by MobBarley
Photo of connecticutpoet


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

This was a clear yellow filtered wheat ale that had a good-sized foamy head. It was very inviting.

The aroma was of wheat malt, slightly sweet and somewhat pronounced.

The taste of this one was very wheaty, slightly sweet, and it was very refreshing. Had a good mouthfeel for a fitered wheat.

Very drinkable. Quite good.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2004 02:55:48 | More by connecticutpoet
Photo of PossumJenkins


2.3/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I decided to sample a sixer of this beer last night as it was a warm summer evening and I wanted a beer that fit the occasion. Must say I was a bit disappointed; I expected something a bit lighter and fruitier. I am generally a fan of Sam Adams' other offerings but this didn't live up to them. Appearance was nice, with a 1" head and a light golden color, but taste was rather dull, with a mild bitterness. Aftertaste was downright terrible. Also, I woke up with a terrible hangover this morning, something I usually don't get from only 6 beers (ex-fratboy, still have a high tolerance).

Naturally, this is a better beer than something like Bud or MGD, but it's a lot more expensive, and for a specialty beer it's not that interesting. Doubt I'll buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2004 04:12:41 | More by PossumJenkins
Photo of palliko


2.15/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I notice that the picture provided of the bottle on this site is not the current look of this beer for Summer 2004, so note that my review is of a bottle that had a "drink by" date of December 2004. Let me state up front that I LOVE Sam Adams beers. But this one, not so much. It was very disappointing and is indeed, as Mitchster so ably pointed out in his review, it leaves a cardboard taste in one's mouth. Boring! Watery! The only thing that can be said is it may be refreshing, but is not much better than most Lite beers. Appearance is unfiltered golden orange, good head and lacing, light carbonation, aroma contains corn, lemon and faint spice ('paradise' is the spice, according to the bottle). Smooth mouthfeel, taste of wheat, honey and bitter herbal with a dry unpleasant finish.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2004 17:38:01 | More by palliko
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy pale gold with a bone-white head. Head quickly dissipates and no lace. Aromas of wheat malt and lightly spicy.

Taste has hints of banana encircling the crisp wheat malt. Spicy and quite lemony. Mouth is crisp with a long longering lemon flavor and a light bitterness in the finish. A very smooth brew and a fine (and perhaps underated) summer ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2004 01:24:10 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of kosmoraios


3.8/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I quite enjoyed this beer. I was going to purchase some Duvel, but I saw the label, and "Summer Ale" sounded light and refreshing to me. (Not to mention that Duvel is $7.99/4 pack and this was $7.49/6 pack I poured a bottle into a tulip glass, where the little bit of head there was quickly disappeared. Other than that, the appearance was good - translucent amber. Translucent, not transparent. The taste was quite good for a commercial ale - the citrus is definitely there, as is a bit of spicyness. I found it also just a wee bit nutty. The carbonation was perfect - not too little, not too much. As one of the previous reviewers noted, this beer has all of the good characteristics of a wheat beer and none of the bad. Normally, I am a fan of Belgian Ales, but I very much enjoyed this beer also.

Overall, Samuel Adams Summer Ale 2004 is quite excellent. I was very impressed. I am glad I made the purchase, and will do so again.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2004 01:11:21 | More by kosmoraios
Photo of flaminghomer


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

i had this one a few years ago and thought that i would give it another go. it is a wheat ale. first smell and taste tells you that. smell is citrus. taste is citrus and a little hops. pretty clean and crisp. also a citrus taste to it. i think it is pretty damn tasty myself. but it is a little too much to be considered a summer to me. too filling, but hey, it does have flavour.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2004 09:10:05 | More by flaminghomer
Photo of masterbruewer


3.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a hazy golden amber with a solid white head that faded slowly and steady carbonation. Great lacing.

The smell was malty and citrusy with a hint of that bland wheat flavor.

Let me preface this by saying I really don't like wheat beer. I only bought this because it said Sam Adams Summer Ale. I didn't see the wheat part until I got home.
That said, this is pretty good tasting stuff. It has a creamy flavor similar to a cream ale and some of the same adjuncty, corny tastes I find in most cream ales. It has some of the funky off-flavors that make me detest most wheat beers, but they are subtle and in the background.

The mouthfeel is smooth with a lemony-bitter aftertaste that won't go away.

This is the most drinkable wheat beer I've had yet. It has the characteristics of wheat beer, but the negative ones are muted.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2004 02:01:59 | More by masterbruewer
Photo of jimdkc


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

I actually bought a six pack of this mistaking it for Sam Adams White Ale (the new Summer Ale label is similar to the White Ale label... plus they are both Witbier style, which only adds to the confusion!)

Pours hazy amber with a medium-sized white head that lasts pretty well. Smell is mild with hints of lemon. Taste is mild wheat and malt with some lemon notes. Not as spicy as expected. Finishes with the typical Sam Adams resiny hop flavor that I'm not sure is appropriate to a wit!

This was OK... but not nearly as good as their White Ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2004 13:59:29 | More by jimdkc
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,298 ratings.