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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: 599 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,768 | Reviews: 1,553 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.18/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a six pack while visiting some family in Hampshire, IL.

Pour: brilliant, hazy golden amber under 3 fingers of snow white head and spotty lacing.

Nose: "mysterious" spice - almost Xmas cookie/winter warmer territory with lemon zest, ginger and husky wheat.

Taste: again, predominantly mystery spice blend (grains of paradise I assume), citrus, sour wheat, and creamy, buttery diacetyl. Truly unique.

Feel: somehow rich and light simultaneously. Smooth, almost lager-like with medium carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall: A unique marriage of an APWA and their Winter Lager. A Summer Warmer? Plenty complex, refreshing and innovative.

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Left less than a one finger head, but it did last, and there was no lacing. Body was a hazy gold.

Smell - crisp wheat malt, citrus, some spices.

Taste - same as the smell. A crisp wheat malt washed with spices and lemon. Very simple, but fairly good.

Mouthfeel - full, smooth, low carbonation.

Drinkability - this is good, goes down well, and is very sessionable.

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

Had on draft at Hennessey's, a fake Irish bar in Carlsbad, CA that my friends insisted on going to. This was about the best beer they had. Sad, really.

Anyway, poured a light straw with almost no head. Smelled faintly of lemons and banana. Almost Hefe like, but the taste was much less wheaty. Went down easy; not awful, but definitely in the "give this to people who don't usually drink micros and they might start to see the light" category.

A category society needs, but being the snob I am, I can skip this kind of stuff. Carbonated lemonade would be too harsh, but you know what I mean.

Photo of thelagerheads
4.3/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let's make it country simple: summer is a nasty little wench. You sweat, the dogs get fleas, the grass burns up and your woman makes merry behind the bush with a man with muscles and tattoos and a goatee. Summer isn't for you. But being as misery is man's constant companion he needs something to knock back his head like a soft little hammer and bring on subtle displays of fireworks and enjoyment. Here's where Samuel Adams comes into play. You see, they make the best beer in America. I know all of these brew-gurus blast off little soliliquoys expounding upon foreign yeasts by companies with intricate brew talents and clever little brand names but these guys are the microbrew with the big company expertise in consistency and quality. Snap the top off this thing like one of those wax bottles of sugar juice you used to get as a kid and sop it up with your hot swollen tongue. It's like drinking nectar from a sponge with subtle hints of mushrooms? Yeast, fungii, rock candy. Stand back with your piss-pucker salute ye drinkers of Budweiser while I explode like a rocket over Damascus.

Photo of JayQue
4.1/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I reviewed this beer served on tap, frosty cold in a frosted beer mug. It is definitely improved at more normal temperatures. The head is larger, hangs in there a little longer and the smell is sweeter and more pronounced. The flavor is about the same but a little stronger citrus/wheat/slight sweetness. Mouthfeel is about the same, rich enough for this style of beer. Drinkability is better at a normal temperature than frozen, mainly because the flavor is crisper and more interesting. A nice summer drink.

Photo of kimcgolf
3.12/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad hot weather beer. Had several on the golf course a few days ago, but actually rated it today. Strong aroma of wheat and cookie dough. Pours to a hazy golden color, with thin white head and minimal lacing. Taste of hops and wheat in early bottle. Actually had a salty, wheaty taste at mid-glass, and okay finish.

Photo of wingman14
3.67/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Bottle was different than shown in the picture above, mine was the normal sam adams cover with a summer ale logo with similar colors) Pours a hazy yellow with a white head. Smell is mostly citrus, with yeasty characteristics and some wheat notes. Taste is very similar, mostly of lemon notes and yeast. The wheat lends itself to the infusion of flavors. It is a very light body with notable flavors that do not over power you but definitely show themselves. This is a great summer beer because it is light and very tasty when it is cold. The mouthfeel is normal with a bit of carbonation which doesn't take away from the overall balance of the beer. This is a great beer for a warm summer day, fits most occasions. I have enjoyed most sam adams selections and this one did not disappoint. I would suggest checking this one out especially if you are a fan of lighter wheat beers.

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

Presentation: 12 ounce standard brown glass bottle with a “Sam Adams” embossed shoulder. Classic ”seasonal” label design on my bottle differs markedly from the older more expressive one in the BA Database. For the Summer Ale it has a dark blue with a golden-yellow colored edging and the words ‘Summer Ale’ on the main label. Described as a “Wheat Ale brewed with Lemon and Grains of Paradise’ Has a nicked “NOV” Brewery Fresh date.

Appearance: Golden body with a faded milky hue. Decent white head rises on the pour and settles to a firm but relaxed looking ¼” head. The level of conditioning is such that it imparts fresh from the brewery tap appearance. Thin lacing which is wispy in nature. OK, but a thicker head would have been nice.

Nose: Wheat, lemongrass, grains of paradise and a light grain background. Gentle strength aromas that are a tad muted but nonetheless appealing.

Taste: The beginning has a wheat ale start with a low gradient switch-back to include lemongrass, citrus rinds and delicate grains of paradise. Ending has a zesty lemon in the finish. Clean.

Mouthfeel: Fresh carbonation lends a sprightly zesty feel on the tongue. Rich welcome and a mild closed mouth gargle helps to expel some of the lemon and grains of paradise from the depths of this one.

Drinkability: A tasty thirst quencher for the Summer that plays it just above average for the long run.

Overall: To be honest I fancied a good but cheap brew from Ralph’s last night. The change of label design had me pick up a Six Pack of this one just out of intrigue to see if the beer itself had changed. It hasn’t. Nice to revisit it and a decent enough Wheat ale, but it is nothing more than a ‘once-or-twice-a-summer’ pick up and not a regular one.

Photo of MSchae1017
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was tasted from the bottle in a weizen glass.

This beer pours a hazy yellow with a fluffy white head that dissapaed to not much of a film and leaves a little lace. The smell is mildly of wheat with some citrusy aroma. The taste is also mild with some lemony flavors and slightly spiced. The mouthfeel is a little creamy with heavy carbonation. Overall highly drinkable summer beer.

Photo of beakerboy
4.06/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A selection from Liquor Barn's Ultimate Brew Crew June '06-Summer Beers

A: Pours a hazy orange on top, clear yellow on the bottom. Heavy, thin head that leaves behind substantial lacing.

S: Aroma of citrus, wheat, and marshmallow. Not a lot of hop presence.

T: Good flavor. There is a hoppy bitterness that I couldn't detect on the nose.

M: This beer has a certain "creamyness" to it. It has more body than I was expecting.

D: Great beer. Better than I was expecting.

Photo of FlyFisher2782
3.32/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

My 1st review... go easy on me!

Pours with a cloudy, but not overly (unfiltered hefeweizen cloudy)- golden clarity. Head dissipated relatively quickly.

First flavor that hits is a sweet citrusy note followed by what seemed like a hint of cherries.

Overall a very fruit-filled beer and sweet beer, drinks too much like a cider for my taste.

Finish had a very small hint of hops which I though was overshadowed by the alcohol taste, surprisingly for such a light beer.

Not my style, but you could definitely down a few of these on a hot day.

Maybe my girlfriend would like this one?

Photo of theozag
3.12/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Smells lightly of lemon and citrus. Appears opaque, cloudy, and orange-yellow. A white head fades fast to nothing on top. This beer is full-bodied but sweet, light, and sugary. Lemon and other fruit flavors are apparent. There is an oily and rich finish with matching aftertaste.

Photo of SteveO1231
4.03/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown bottle, Pours a cloudy golden yellow with a pillow of white foam that rests on top. Well carbonated. What a great looking glass of beer! Aroma of malted wheat, citrus fruit, hints of pepper and yeast. Very light on the palate with a soft bubbly texture. Fruity sweet with a lemon zest, a little peppery and a cider like tang to it. Very faint on hop bitterness but it's there, leaves a floral aftertaste. I enjoy this beer quite a bit. Great beer for a muggy New England summer.


Photo of Puddleglum
4.2/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've always enjoyed this particular ale, but this year it seems a little spicier than usual. I don't know if those are esthers from it being a wheat ale or if they are adding something more than lemon zest this year. But I like it. The mouthfeel is mellow for a wheat but not completely eradicated. The head is nice a lofty with some lacing. They brew it about 4 miles from here too so perhaps this is my first fresh Samual Adams Summer Ale.

Photo of hunteraw
3.45/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Honey color in the glass, one finger white head that faded quickly. Slightly hazy, some good lace.

Smell: The spice is immediately present in the aroma, overlaying a wheat backbone.

Taste: Citrus at the front, wheat, spice shows up mostly at the swallow. Nice and crisp, finishes dry.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body. Not as highly carbonated as some wheats.

Drinkability: Accessible. Refreshing on a summer day. Jason called this a "tone-downed white ale" and I think that's a good description.

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

Sammy makes some really good ones. Sammy makes some so-so ones. This is one of the good ones. Cloudy, gold and smooth in appearance. Head is decent, little lacing, but what the hell, let's have a swig. Light hoppy and malty flavor combine very well. There is that under-lying sweetness that is soooo wonderful in the summertime. Some fruityness. Lemon / Orange? Good stuff. Carb is really right - not too much. Drinkability? - drink it and then drink another one. If it's a warm summer evening - sit out on the dock by the river and drink another. Thank you Mr. Sam. Keep up the excellent work.

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

Clear golden body with yellow highlights. The short but creamy white head holds fairly well and leaves some minor lacing. The nose is interesting with a hint of lemon and some wheat. Medium bodied. Crisp. The flavor is similar to the aroma with clear notes of wheat and a lemony side. Some peppery spiciness helps to balance the malt, and a firm bitterness backs it. Well-made, enjoyable, and refreshing.

Photo of jpkoch1962
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A very refreshing summer Ale. Serverd from 12oz chilled bottle. Pours a cloudy orange, which errupts into a very light yellow, foamy head. The head is long lasting with plenty of lacing. The aroma is a tangy, citrus, spicy and slighty grainy. The front end is tart with plenty of hoppy hints. The middle smooths out, but the tartness returns in the finish. Lingering citrurs aftertaste.

This ale is great for cookouts; however, the spicy tartness may leave the palate exhausted after a couple bottles.

Photo of EPICAC
3.71/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Muddy Charles at MIT.

Appearance: Pours a brilliant hazy golden with a thick white head that fades and persists as a thin layer.

Smell: Light citric/lemon fruitiness and a light grainy aroma.

Taste: Lemon tartness, light sweetness. The finish is grainy and spicy with a very slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Tingly carbonation, oily, light dryness.

Drinkability: Refreshing.

Overall: Not an amazing beer, but nice enough. Definitely good for a hot and humid day.

Photo of StoutHearted
3.89/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aptly named, this beer is perfect for summer drinking. It poured a light corn color and the smell of citris storms up one's nose at first whiff. Drinking, it's heavy on the lemon and orange peel. It's tart, but not overly sweet. Its very easy to drink, but the tart may get annoying after a while if the beer warms up. I found myself getting tired of the lemony taste after a while. Not the best summer seasonal out there, but as a Sam Adams beer, it does have the advantage of popping up in the majority of bars during the hotter months.

Photo of akajimmyd
3.95/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Translucent but cloudy rusty pale yellow, some light orange. White head on the pour that does not last. Some solid lacing.

Smell - Orange peel and lemon zest.

Taste - Grain and lemon up front. A little tart. Some sweet malts on the finish.

Mouthfeel - This has a nice full smooth body.

Drinkability/Notes - I have a soft spot for this brew. It was one of the first “micros” that I feel in love with. Now I realize it is not the “best” or most complex, but still a solid brew. Highly drinkable and very enjoyable. Simple but fun beer. Always a hit at BBQs.

Photo of smcolw
3.61/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours cloudy; light amber. Thin head, decent lace

The smell is almost non-existent--too mild to evaluate well. I detect some wheat, little else.

A classic wheat beer taste. Some sourness and nice spice. Tight carbonation, moderate body.

Any easily quaffable brew. Think front porch, watching thirsty people walking by--here's the beer for that.

Photo of fank2788
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- poured from the bottle into a glass, it has a nice yellow gold color, I would have expected it to be a bit more hazy. The head is foamy bright white but it recedes quickly.
S- this beer has a nice citrus smell
T- you can really taste the lemon and it is slightly peppery I guess that is from the grains of paradise
M- nothing special but it is crisp and refreshing
D- highly drinkable beer it would be great for a summer picnic.
This is probably one of Sam Adams' better offerings

Photo of zeff80
3.6/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours out an orange/gold color. It had a nice foamy head. The beer smelled of lemon and citrus. The lemon flavor was complimented by the wheat taste and a hint of malt. The mouthfeel was pretty good, slightly grainy. It is a nice light brew for summer and very drinkable.

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

Served in a pint glass a little too cold...wait for it, wait for it...
...Okay...appears a hazy amber in the glass. Effervescent, frothy head on top.
Smells of malt, wheat, lemon and citrus- but not a strong aroma.
Tastes spicy with hints of fruitiness...lemon and wheat. A sweet sugary taste (not overwhelming) is also present.
Goes down easy and a good choice for the patio.

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