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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.

4,706 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,706
Reviews: 1,543
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 33
Gots: 521 | 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: 4,706 | Reviews: 1,543 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Poppypitbull
4.5/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

nice and light wtih a little kick for an after taste.
had it with my wife over a plate of wings and she loved it (and she is not a big beer chick). Went down smooth and is vastly superior to the regular Sam Adams brand (it's a taste thing for me, sorry!)

update: 8/11/06
if you can get it on tap it is vastly superior to the bottle and the bottle is damn good.
I don't understand how Sam gets it so wrong with their main brand but rocks the world with their seasonals?!

Poppypitbull, May 15, 2006
Photo of Freshie
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden/amber colour with frothy head.

Smells of citrus and yeast. Kind of musty.

Tastes of citrus, floral hop, with mild carbonation and body. Finishes dry with a biscuity grain flavour.

Probably my least favorite Sam Seasonal, but still a good beer. Not my favorite style. Very drinkable, and clean.

Freshie, May 13, 2006
Photo of jabocu
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a hazy copper tone with a two finger cap. Fell into slight taverns leaving light lacings up side. Smell was citrus, biscuit, and yeast. Reminded of a witbier. Same for taste. Had grain, yeast, and citrus. Had a musty bitterness. Very refreshing beer, mild carbonation, and a little on the watery side.

jabocu, May 13, 2006
Photo of RJLarse
2.65/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I picked up a six-pack of Sam Adams Summer Ale at a grocery store to taste, review and enjoy. I poured this beer in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a hazy burt orange/gold color. A two-finger bubbly white head dissipates quickly to a thin creamy cap on the beer. The reduced head is resilient and laces the glass nicely.

The smell is fairly strong and has an orange sent and some sort of spices.

The taste is slightly sweet and citrusy. Orange and lemon flavors are present. There is a mild malt flavor as well. The hops are subtle, perhaps a bit understated, but the flavors are very well balanced.

EDIT: 8/10 I bought a six pack and either the beer or my palate has changed. I think it tastes like used band-aids.

The mouth feel is light crisp and refreshing. This beer would be a real thirst quencher on a hot day.

This is a very drinkable beer, and I will certainly buy it again, probably in a significant quantity, before the summer is out.

NOTES: According to the brewer this is not a Witbier, but an American Pale Wheat Ale instead. The picture of the bottle is apparently out of date.

RJLarse, May 12, 2006
Photo of Shovelbum
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thin white head over a hazy glowing orange-straw colored body. Head recedes fairly quickly, leaving no lace. Nutty, biscuity, and peppery aromas from the grains of paradise and a bit of citrus in the background. Flavor is similar with the citrus and pepper taking on a stronger presence. The malt provides a good background to the crisper spice accents and the wheat provides a well-rounded smooth body. Medium body and carbonation. Crisp in the mouth.

Witbier ehh? I'm a big fan of wits, but calling this a wit is doing both the style and this ale a disservice. Classification aside, this ale is a refreshing exploration of some unique flavors. The grains of paradise addition provides a crisp and refreshing complexity that is in the perfect amount: detectable, but doesn’t demand center stage or overwhelm the other flavors of the beer. A well balanced crisp ale, perfect for backyard BBQ season.

Shovelbum, May 11, 2006
Photo of jwc215
3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy, some-what cloudy gold. Almost like a witbier, but not quite. Above average, but something missing. The head was foamy, a bit thin, but it was fairly well-retained.
The smell was not bad, but a bit thin. Some hints of lemon, a touch of orange. I had to take deep breaths and swirl quite a bit to pick up on it.
The taste was not bad. Some citrus, especially lemon, with a bit of yeast background. It was refreshing. Virtually no aftertaste.
For a summer ale, it was thirst-quenching. It could be a good selection for a summer brew. I could drink this by the pool on a hot day.
There are better selections for a summer day, but if offered, I certainly wouldn't turn it down.

jwc215, May 11, 2006
Photo of TheSarge
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

SA's Summer Ale pours as a cloudy, light bronze brew with a light foamy head. After several minutes the head dissipates to a foamy froth, and eventually leaves behind a thin lace. Seems they leave a little yeast behind to maintain a heffe weizen appearance. The malt is immediately present, but you can easily detect the lemon presence with a tinge of hop aroma. This seems kind of thin, and with plenty of CO2. This is a refreshing beer to enjoy on a nice summer evening. I'd give it another try.

TheSarge, May 10, 2006
Photo of Frozensoul327
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice presentation, but faltering delivery. Pours out to a hazed yellow color with a royal richness about it. Medium head of foam and medium low carbonation. No lace. Aromas of fresh citrus, grassy notes, and some wheat and grain. Taste was bland, and a definite let down; malt and weak peppery notes of citrus die quickly, and touches of hops and grain are noted in the mix. Way too weak on the flavors. Mouthfeel was like a b-rate movie. Doable, but boring. Drinkability is fair, but there are far better witbiers out there. Worth a try.

Frozensoul327, May 10, 2006
Photo of HoustonTX
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appereance - Slight amber color with, a slight orangish tint. Slight head 3/4 inch with apprarant lacing, and strong carbonation.

Aroma - Strong and citrusy, smell is of lemons.

Taste - Slighty citrusy, with a bit of rich mouthfeel. Tastes a lot like it smells. Hops are present but not overwhelming, spice tones are there also. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

Overall, this is a decent Wheat Beer, however not one of my favorites.

HoustonTX, May 09, 2006
Photo of danielharper
3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchased from Target on University, Huntsville, AL.

A: Pours dark orange color with an opaque body and a very thin white head. About as expected for style.

S: Some yeasty esters, a touch of sweetness, a bit of yeast. Not a lot of complexity.

T: Similar to aroma, yeasty, a hint of Belgian yeast, very sweet on the backwash.

M: Moderate, enjoyable. Average.

D: A dead-average beer on almost every count, and yet I find myself quite enjoying it. Goes well with food or on a hot day. Good summer beer.

danielharper, May 09, 2006
Photo of kbnooshay
3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured a nice cloudy orangey yellow with a decent white head. The aroma is fruity and sweet with definite hints of wheat, hops and citrus smells.Also in the taste we have the lemony citrus flavors which rock. Malt flavor is nicely noticeable at the end of the gulp. Nice and wheaty. Mouthfeel is weird, kinda heavy but in a light grainy full way. This is incredibly drinkable. Where this beer lacks is in creativty and complexity. How many beers have we had that taste EXACTLY like this? I have had a fuckload. But this one is one of the cleaner ones when it comes to taste. Very defined. A very pleasant brew that I wouldn't limit to a summer day.

kbnooshay, May 08, 2006
Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bought a bottle at world market in lansing, michigan. ($1.49 12 oz)
pours a deep golden color with a nice white head.
the aroma is wheaty, citrus, unidentified spice.
the flavor is wheaty, creamy, citrus, bit of spice.
good beer, it does not fit the defination of a wit for me, it seems more like a spiced american wheat. but it is a good beer.

plaztikjezuz, May 07, 2006
Photo of mghotbi
3.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a slightly cloudy yellow-orange. Moderate sea-foam head with lots of lacing. Light aroma with touch of grass and lemon.

Taste is quite light with prominent citrus tones and very light malt sweetness. Quite effervescent. Finish is spicy and dry with predominence of tannins which lead to rather dry mouthfeel.

Very tasty and refreshing, but the presence of the tannic note makes it a little less desirable as a session brew for me. Overall, a very good Wheat Ale. Perfect for a hot Summer afternoon.

mghotbi, May 06, 2006
Photo of mclanem
4.53/5  rDev +36%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear golden beer very light white froathy head

Smell: This beer smells great, has the smell of a white ale. very floral and clean, hops and caramel

Taste: Great clean white ale taste good hop flavor floral like the smell.

Mouthfeel: This beer has good carbonation, not thick but is refreshing just like a summer ale should be

Drinkablity: this beer is very drinkable perfect in the heat, I love this beer like all sam adams

mclanem, May 05, 2006
Photo of kdmorse
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy orange body with 1 finger or head that disappears like a ghost in the night.

S: Wheaty spiciness with hints of citrus.

T/M: Summer in a bottle. Light, wheaty malt with whispers of citrus and enough hops to be crisp. Good carbonation and body. Refreshing to the Nth.

D: Easy to drink all day on the porch or at a BBQ.

kdmorse, May 04, 2006
Photo of phisig137
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy light gold color with litte head. Ring forms around the glass. Looks like a good wit to me.... nice start.

The aroma is rather faint. Mainly coriander, and little else.

Flavor is an unexpected explosion for the style, and very pleasant. Wheaty, spicy yeast, and citrus shine here, and a bit of bubblegum flavor birngs up the rear. Not a traditional wit, but very enjoyable. Mouthfeel is slick, and drinkability is good.

One of the more impressive beers that I've had from Sam Adam's. Most of thier beers are at least decent, but this one is actually quite good. I think I'll have to go buy another 6-pack of this.

phisig137, May 03, 2006
Photo of benito
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Beery college days back east have forever fused Sam Adams Summer Ale and the end of the school year in my mind. Long days in southern Connecticut were perfectly suited to downing pitchers of SA, watching the NBA playoffs, and enjoying the prospect of a few free months.

Wistful as I may be for things past, I think I'm sensible about Sam Adams Summer Ale now. It may not be a great beer, but it's certainly worth a shot. And it still has a great taste of summer.

It pours a cloudy mandarin with a big fluffy head. The bouquet has some phenolic character, but it's mostly plain jane. The taste has a distinct fruity-wheat character, with the sweetness of lemon and orange dominating the tongue. The sweetness rolls across the entire palate, almost to the point of being cloying, yet the mouthfeel is light enough to pardon this excess.

Overall this is a ho-hum wit (probably more accurate to call it a pale wheat), but what it lacks in subtlety or complexity of flavor, it makes up for in drinkability. I still could kick back and down a sixer of these without batting an eye. And if my Pistons make it to the NBA finals again, I might have to pick up a sixer of this as a good luck charm. For old time's sake.

benito, May 02, 2006
Photo of KFaulkner
3.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought this beer as a six-pack in Pennsylvania. Do you know that means? That means I paid $9.50 for it. That's right, almost 10 dollars for a six pack of Sam Adams. The same tavern sold 12-packs of Corona for $20. You do the math; that's $40 a case. Outrageous! I hate Pennsylvania; if you like beer, I can hope you don't llive here.

Now for the beer. It looks great, like a typical Witbier and smells citrusy and wheaty; not particularly hoppy or bitter. The taste is very smooth, even smoother than other wheat beers I've tried. It's not quite "cloudy" as this style typically is, but is more of an opaque orange.

I like it though; it's not great, not as great as a Sam Adams seasonal could be, but it is a great Summer Ale. Perfect for sipping on the porch while the burgers cook up, ya know?

All in all, I enjoy it. This is one of the few Sam Adams varieties I haven't tried yet, like the commercials says, there are 19. This isn't the best, but it's certainly lives up to its name.

KFaulkner, Apr 28, 2006
Photo of Phatz
3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a bronzed peach color with a small white head. minimal lacing.

Smell: A muted wheat aroma a bit of malt and some sugar. It lacked the flare that many other Witbiers have.

Taste: Extremely quaffable; but then so is water. It is *very* easy drinking but there is little to get excited about. There is a malty body with flavors of wheat, yeast and lemon. There is light hop finish; and a pleasant dry aftertaste. This beer has a lot more to offer than other macros in other styles but of the Witbiers that I have had this beer is simply middle of the road. Fine for a hot afternoon but certainly not a thinking beer.

Mouthfeel: Light / medium body seemed smooth and slick through the center. Crisp dry finish.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable straightforward beer. I would have liked to see more interesting spices, but this is a suitable choice for a lawn mowing beer. If you are looking for bells and whistles, you may try elsewhere.

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, Apr 27, 2006
Photo of allengarvin
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy amber color with a thin cake of foam across the top. Aroma is appropriately wit-like, with good wheat malt smell along with honey-ish yeast character and a faint spiciness. Taste, on the otherhand, is vaguely disappointing. Very weak coriander and only a light touch of citrus, though the wheat flavor is appealing and there is a modest fruitiness. Fairly average body.

Really, more of a slightly-interesting American wheat than a traditional wit.

allengarvin, Apr 27, 2006
Photo of evanackerman
3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

beer pours a very nice cloudy gold. great head with nice lacing.

aroma is citrusy and spicy.

taste is .... where is the taste? it is rather weak compared to the aroma, the most detectable element is graininess, a bit of lemon. overall a weak tasting beer. i would propably rather have a hefe.

mouthfeel is thin, good for summer, drinkability is high.

this was a bit of a disappointment, not much going on in the flavor department, the beer looks and smells nice though, unimpressive overall.

evanackerman, Apr 27, 2006
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.45/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - this Summer offering pours a hazy dark yellow/brown, with very light carbonation, a thinnish white head that laces around the rim

S - definitely smells summer-y. a slight iced tea aroma with lemon-y aroma typical of summer ales. truly an inviting scent.

T - thicker than I expected, a wheaty lemony taste, weaker than i expected also, doesnt have that crispness that i had predicted from the aroma, still tasty

M - weak-bodied, but balanced, could use a fresher hops dose, or at least more hops

D - high, easy to pound, would be mighty easy to kill a 30 pack of these on a summer evening

sinstaineddemon, Apr 25, 2006
Photo of hero27
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap @ the Upper Deck in Waterloo, Iowa..

Pale straw color, small white frothy head. Smell is light orange peel with some yeast thrown in. The taste is a combination of dusty pale malts, spices, and zesty citrus. Light body makes it an easy drinker. Overall, it was a good thirstquencher and helped my burger slide down the hatch a little easier, but nothing too extraordinary here.

hero27, Apr 25, 2006
Photo of yelterdow
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass at fridge temperature. Best before August 2006.

Appearance- Pours a nice, hazy, burnished gold that supports a good three finger white head.

Smell- Spicy notes of lemon zest amongst a wheaty aroma... much darker than Allagash White, but definitely lacking the big coriander smell. I've never smelled Grains of Paradise, but that may be what I'm getting also. The nose becomes more citrus forward as the beer opens up.

Taste- Tangy, that's for sure... it's the best way I could sum up the flavor. A wheat character forms fully on the tongue first, then come the spicy notes of lemon zest. Refreshing, and damn tangy.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Very, very nice carbonation and resulting experience in the mouth... gently foamy on a good mouthful of beer.

yelterdow, Apr 25, 2006
Photo of hanco005
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, notched Aug, but no year indicated, poured into a pint glass

A—pours cloudy burnt orange with 2 inch bright white foamy pillow like head, modestly fades down, leaving scattered lacing as I drink, head remains at ¼ inch as I finish the glass

S—smell is very faint, wheat is dominate, mixture of some other grains, mild citrus in there, too

T—hmmm…not like the smell really, tart and a little sweet, mild lemon at first, then a mixture of vanilla and cream, the grains pop out in the middle, the finish is wet and somewhat bittersweet

M—a little slick, medium bodied, decent carbonation

D—different to me, but still drinkable. I can see this as a good pool side beer, but as I finished this one it started feeling a little heavy for a summer brew. To that point, about 1 more would be enough.

hanco005, Apr 24, 2006
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
77 out of 100 based on 4,706 ratings.