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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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4,787 Ratings

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Ratings: 4,787
Reviews: 1,556
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 38
Gots: 640 | 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: 4,787 | Reviews: 1,556 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akorsak
3.73/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a pint of Summer Ale served at a beachfront restaurant in Long Branch, NJ in a standard glass. The ale is cold.

A: The ale is a straw color with little, if any, head.

S: The lemon zest provides a pleasant citrus kick.

T: The spices (lemon zest and grains of paradise) provide a pleasant tangy flavors that melds well with the light wheat body.

M: The carbonation seems a little over the top, giving the beer a hot, harsh feel.

D: Very drinkable, a perfect beer for a lazy hazy beach day.

Photo of aluskungs
2.92/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Head on this beer stays long, maybe because of the wheat malt. It is a pale straw color with bubbles rising in the colored liquid.

The smell is the best part of this beer. Citrus, lemon, and a grapenut smell to it.

Taste is lacking. I can taste the sourness of the lemon zest. I don't know what grains of paradise are, so I don't know if I taste them but there is a slight nutty flavor. The beer does go down smooth with good carbonation and puckerness, but kind of watered down with an unpleasent bitter/sourness. This beer is lacking something.

Summer's almost over and so is this beer.

Photo of bort11
3.11/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Color is a hazy orange. Solid white head, about 2 fingers width. Pulls back to a sticky lace cap. MSells like a standard wheat, grainy and slightly sour. A lemon flavor comes through strong, as if the un-asked for lemon wedge was laready added. Finishes with a dry wheat flavor. Mouthfeel is what it is. For being a very average wheat, this is pretty drinkable. Definately a good summer brew.

Photo of Alexmc2
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a hazy golden without much of a head to speak of, perhaps the pourer's mistake. The smell is of citrus and wheat beer, a delicious combination. The beer is fairly balanced, but I couldn't have more than say, two before the lemon taste started to get to me. A great offering from the Boston Beer Company, and one I'll have on any hot day.

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

Poured from bottle into stange (only glass handy) on 8/12/06

A: Hazy light yellowish-amber. One finger of head with good lacing. Lively carbonation.

S: Spicy lemon dominates up front, malty sweetness behind with a lightly bready hint.

T: Lemon up front, bready in the middle, lightly bitter finish with tart lemon juice and a peppery spiciness. It's not black pepper, though, but more like...cardamom? It's interesting. Pretty lemony overall, but the spiciness is neat.

M: Light-bodied, a bit over-carbonated. Finish isn't as crisp so much as it's fizzy, soda-like.

D: Not a bad refresher, but there are better brews for summer. I wonder if it's this fizzy on tap.

Photo of Atlas1
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light orange. Slightly opaque, but not dense. Nice lemony, citrus aroma; not overpowering - nothing special, but nice nonetheless. Head dissipated rather quickly. It tasted nice as well. A hint of citrus again, lemon and maybe some tangerine? Maybe a malted tangerine, whatever that tastes like. Malts were nice too. Not too much for a summer ale, but noticeably present. Solid mouthfeel. This is a great summer brew. Good for hot days after working in the yard, and just as comforting after a long day at the office. I think a lot of Sam Adams beers are unjustly criticized, but the fact remains that the brewery makes some quality beers. Their Black Lager is another example of an overlooked gem. Sam Adams Summer Ale is a brew that I'll revisit again next summer.

Photo of Poser
3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was really impressed with this brew. Pours with a thick, hazy gold and a thick foamy head. Looks unfiltered. Aroma has strong wheat characteristics. Taste is malty and smooth with some lemon up front. One of the better wheat beers I've had.

I am, however, drinkig this in the heat wave of 2006 in Ala-freaking-bama, so perhaps I am just drinking this at the right time.

Photo of TheFeintingGoat
3.93/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Last bottle of the 12 pack, finally got around to reviewing it. Freshness date is November, so I'm plenty ahead of the game. Poured into a Weizen glass.

It pours a hazy, hazy yellow with a great big, moderatly thick head. Looks good, very good.
The smell is intersting, half wheat half lemon zest. To be honest, it kind of smells like a watered down PineSol. However, this is not a bad thing, it's just the only thing I"ve smelled close to this.
I appreciate Sam going out on the limb with the grains of paradise. They add a nice peppery complexion to this beer. It drinks very smooth, and you go from tastes zest of lemon, to pepper, to a nice malty wheat texture.
Mouthfeel is very light, lots of carbonation and I personally love the peppery flavors that come out, but I can see how this would drive people away.
Drinkability? High during the summer. In any other season forget about it. But, since Sam is marketing this as a seasonal, that's all I'm going to score it on. It's a great summer drink, bar none. It goes phenomenolly well with lemon lime chicken, and I implore you to try that. All critiquing aside, I just really like this beer and while not the best summer beer I've drank, it's probably the most drinkable...if you don't mind the peppery grains of paradise.

Photo of dansm
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Pours a cloudy pale yellow with a forthy white head that quickly fades.

S-Aroma comes off as a faint wheaty lemon smell with some spice in the background.

T-Starts with the sweet wheat and lemon followed by a little spice and just the slightest hop bite.

M-Nice and light, with a fair amount of carbonation.

D-The nice blend of flavors, and the fact that it goes down nice and smooth make this a pretty good summer beer.

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

A basic and fundimental summertime refresher. Similar to a standard blonde ale (with a grain and pilsner flavor under a light, carbonated body). This beer has an added citrus (lemons) with a mild peppery, spicy flavor. A mild haze illudes to a very pale wheat addition that helps with a breadiness and sweetness that disquise the grain flavors. Still, the body fades into a watery brew fairly quickly, but adds to the drinkability. A mild grain, citrus, and hop character persists into the finish. It's ok beer, but I prefer many other Sam Adams' beer more.

Photo of Damian
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured a semi-cloudy, tannish-straw yellow with a small, fizzy head.

Aroma was fragrant. Orange peel, corriander and spices were apparent.

Taste was quite weak however. Mild hoppiness with faint lemon zest. As the beer settled, it somehow seemed to lose its flavor completely.

Mouthfeel was thin and the carbonation was a bit overdone.

This was an easy drinking and refreshing beer, yet it lack of flavor and disappointing mouthfeel made it rather undesirable.

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

Pours a slightly hazy amber, small white head forms, settles to a thin ring, some lacing. Smell is sweet, some lemon and spice, caramel and yeast. Taste is sweet up front, citrus and caramel, some spice in the finish, pretty dry. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium to high carbonation. Really not too bad, complexity is not its forte, but a pretty refreshing beer.

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

The bottle in that picture is gorgeous. Mine is generic Sam Adams.

The nose has wheat, lemon, grains, and grass. The flavor profile starts out with wheat, followed by grains, which I think are grains of paradise, but I'm not exactly sure what they taste. The finish has lemon zest and grassy hops.

I've had this before on tap and I remember it boring me, but this isn't so bad. It's certainly better than their hefeweizen.

Photo of BeerRun13
3.45/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, pale, golden orange. A small white head fades and leaves a hint of lace.
Has a nice wheat aroma with what seems to be some slight fruit notes.
Quite refreshing sweet wheat flavor. A touch of fruit... maybe citrus and some hops on the back end.
Light and refreshing as something called a summer ale should be. The flavor distributes evenly over the palate. Good carbonation and a nice traction about it.
As far as drinkability goes... uh, yeah give me another on a hot summer day like this.

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

Pours cloudy yellow-orange, good amount of head.

Smells of wheat, malt, pure refreshing.

Tastes crisp, refreshing. Like a hefe, hints of citrus, and something I can't quite figure out that seems unique to sam adam's beer. Good mouthfeel and carbonation, nothing offensive yet nothing too complex either, but hey this is a summer ale right?

Overall a good refreshing brew, I'm enjoying it in this God awful heat.

Photo of xtremejammn
4.36/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hands down my favorite Sam Adams so far hands down.

A: Pours a light brown with a remarkably long lasting head,

S: Very strong wheat smell, smell is also very hoppy, with a hint of yeast.

T: A very citrus-ish beer, I get a sense of orange spice and lemony taste.

M: Perfect, not too bubbly although it packs a punch, makes it very smooth to drink.

D: Very smooth, not too bubbly, finishes pretty well.

Bottom Line: I'd highly reccomend this to anyone, a very well done ale and gets my two thumbs way up. ta ta

Photo of AltBock
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this on-tap at a local Italian Restaurant chain. It was either this or Bud, Miller, or Labatt, so I chose this. It came to me in a standard American pint glass that was not frozen but slightly chilled.

When I got it, the beer was a hazy dark orange color with a disappointing head of foam. The head of foam was white in color, but it had almost completely dissipated into some foamy rings and very little lace around the glass. The initial smell was just the faintest of hops, but when I swirled it around the hops were still there but with just a hint of fruits in the background. The taste was very crisp with a nice balance of malts and hops and with just a slight taste of juicy fruits at the very end. I enjoyed the mouthfeel because it was so crisp, smooth, creamy, and with an aftertaste of malts and fruits. This would make a nice choice for a summer beer because it was so crisp and refreshing. It's probably not the most complex summer beer out there, but damn if it isn't tasty. If I ever saw this on-tap and there wasn't much of a selection, I'd probably get it again.

Photo of cbl2
2.85/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

7/25/2006 $6.99 6 pack Best by 9/2006.


Pours a pale cloudy orange tinged urine with a thin layer of white foam on top.


Odd funky lemon odor with mild wheat presence. Fairly offputting.


Mild wheat flavor with a hint of lemon. Finishes with an odd mouth drying quality. Not the best Sam Adams, with an offputting wrongness to it.

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

Pours hazy pale with an orange hue, nice 2 finger white head with decent head retention.

Aroma is sweet and citrusy. Smells like lemon. Nice light-med body with good carbonation very dry finish . Unique grainy and citrusy taste, very refreshing and slightly tart.

A good hot weather beer. A bit too dry on the finish, left my mouth feeling powdery. Other than that pretty good.

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.

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,787 ratings.