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Samuel Adams Summer Ale | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

1,616 Reviews
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Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-09-2001

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Reviews: 1,616 | Ratings: 5,251
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Surprised I haven't had this one yet.

Appearance : Pours a hazy golden glow with light sediment floating around. The head initially is very tall and porous, but tightens up and descends to about 1 finger. The lace is delicate but leaves light rings.

Aroma : Lightly toasted grains, mixed with a stiff wood cabin smell, some light orange slice, and a bit of carbonated lime. Upon deeper smell the woodiness turns to a formaldehyde-like stench, perhaps with a faint hint of rubber cement or chemical.

Flavor : Initial flavor is lacking, light, and unimpressive, but as it flows through to the swallow some really rich flavors come out - namely peach or peach schnapps, an alcohol flavor-burn that accompanies that, some woody pine flavors, as well as more of that chemical (but somehow it works here).

Feel : Buzzing at the front with a washed out iced tea-like presence, ends on the lighter side of semi-dry and somehow leaves an alcohol burn on the palate.

Overall : Just stumped about this alcohol burn I'm getting in the taste and feel. If it's only 5.3%, how come it's so present? This ale was okay, I'd have it again, but there are better Pale Wheat Ales out there.

 1,179 characters

Photo of FrostyStephen15
3.09/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Had on tap at a chain restaurant. In a word, it's fine. Looks very yellow with a thin white head that never really goes away. Smells like yeast and a bit of citrus. The taste is dominated by yeast, and the aftertaste is almost entirely banana, for some reason. It's not bad, but I prefer their Cold Snap to this.

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Photo of malt-ofthe-earth
4.79/5  rDev +42.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Sam Summer. So I’m reviewing it as such. An ale for the heat. So what may not be appreciated year-round is much appreciated on a summer eve. The color is sunshine. The taste is crisp with a lemony wash, which I actually enhance, with a slice of lemon. Like I said, this is a summer thing, and not something I’d be doing with a brown ale, or any other ale, for that matter. It’s best on tap, served as cold as can be. Best drunk outside. With the sea in the foreground and summer music iin the background. Maybe Isley Brothers. Summer Breeze. Ah, just right. Not too hoppy and not dark at all. Honestly, I haven’t found a better summer beer. And I’ve tried.

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Photo of dabone
3.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap. Lemon yellow and cloudy with a thin white head. Citrus and wheaty aroma. Flavor is mainly grains with a cool finish of spice. Very mellow. Average texture. Not bad, but not great.

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Photo of cowboy1962
3.08/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Look: Golden somewhat hazy.
Smell: Grain, a little citrus and not much else.
Taste: Balanced intake, very slight bitterness aftertaste in a good way.
Feel: A little gritty, what you would expect by the look.
Overall: A very drinkable beer. Not great but no big negatives.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A decent refreshing summer beer to quench the thirst. Pours an orange cloudy color. Aroma smells of burnt wheat; a little off putting which is my only criticism. Nice citric and wheats taste; almost no hop presence and bitterness but not cloying. Very drinkable.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer has kinda of an okay look to it. The head has a very nice creamy look to it while the beer itself is a dull clear medium gold color. Honestly, the head looks way more exciting than the beer itself.

The beer smell is pretty good. The grains of paradise overwhelm the other notes that are barely detectable but that isn't a huge detriment. The smell still has that lemony zest to it and can still be detected.

The beer taste is the same. The grains are strong but the lemon is also noticeable. IT isn't very complex and actually comes off as a creamy orange Popsicle taste.

The mouthfeel is very good. The beer is very creamy and very smooth; perfect for a summer day. The body is unusually heavy for this kind of beer but it's more that it has weight rather than burdensome.

Overall, a decent brew from sam adams. It isn't unusual or strong but definitely worth your while on a summer's day after walking your dog.

 926 characters

Photo of IPAlmighty
2.46/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Wow, real bad. It makes me think of a neighbor's home brew that I pretend to like. How does this get out of the brewery? Some of their stuff is good. Is it a "that's good enough culture?

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Photo of OKbrew89
3.23/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap. Hazy golden color with small head. Minimal lacing. Wheat malt and orange aroma. Smooth wheat ale with citrus undertones and a slight hop finish. A little bit boozy, but not disturbingly so. Medium body with medium carbonation.
It's a fine summer wheat.

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Photo of Pumpkin-Head
2.77/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Had on draft numerous times but this particular instance was a 22oz pilsner glass. Poured a cloudy orangy/yellow with a thick dense head with decent lacing. Smell is very citrusy with what I would say as "dish liquid" undertones. Taste is exactly like the nose which is unfortunate because I get a finishing of dish liquid. Mouth feel is decent but overall taste is lacking.

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Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
3.27/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Served on draft, poured into a Sam Adams glass at Red Lobster:

Appearance: A slightly cloudy, golden dusky coloration with a decent off-white head and lacing.

Aroma: Slightly citrus with wheatiness in the nostrils.

Taste: Light citrus meets wheat.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth, light carbonation.

Overall: I don't go rushing out to drink this, but served seasonally at a chain restaurant, it's the better choice.

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Photo of Bestinyourgirl
3.23/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It taste exactly like a more subtle version of White Christmas, I believe it is called, but without leaving your palate extremely dry afterwards. Excellent!

 156 characters

Photo of dukeandduke
2.92/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

4/3/15 (Draft - Finley Dunnes Chicago IL) Light brown, murky appearance, minimal carbonation and head. Minimal aroma and taste, malt and fruit present and balanced. Smooth taste. Standard beer.

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Photo of TopherBreski
4.17/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Has to be one of my fav American beers. In-between Hefeweizen, Belgian, and Summer Ale and done perfectly. A Lite BBQ beer That has the heaviness to make it worth it.

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Photo of leantom
3.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

An OK beer. Suppose it would've tasted better on a hot summer day. Here goes:

A: No head and very little lacing. Hazy gold color. Carbonation is somewhat lacking, especially considering the style. Not good.

S: OK. Peppery notes complimented by lemon, orange and banana.

T: Follows the nose, which is a good thing. Very refreshing.

F: Good. Very refreshing.

O: Decent beer.

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Photo of Stjimmy10_1
2.69/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

I kind of like the peppery notes from that spice they used. It's a unique and fruity flavor but its not for me.... Nick Websters review totally ruined it for me by comparing it to the smell of band aids... I can see where he's coming from. I'd drink this any day over a Bud Light but Sam Adams needs to up their game.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, best before 11/2014. Pours hazy bright golden color with a 1-2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of lemon, orange, apricot, pear, apple, coriander, pepper, wheat, cracker, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt, spice, and yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, orange, apricot, pear, apple, coriander, pepper, wheat, cracker, bread, light honey, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Minimal herbal spice bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, orange, apricot, pear, apple, coriander, pepper, wheat, cracker, bread, light honey, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Good balance and robustness of pale malt, spice, and yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/yeast/spice balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 5.3%. Overall this is a nice spiced pale wheat ale style. All around good balance and robustness of pale malt, spice, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jpdubb
3.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of my favorite summer time beers. Picked one up 2 days ago in Massachusetts....I guess Sammy forgot to buy that one back bc it was definitely expired, but good enough to hold me over until this year's release

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Photo of maxson924
4.39/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer that got me into pale wheat ales. Great representation of the style: wonderful golden color and the smell and taste you'd expect from a pale wheat.

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Photo of PaulSlazinger
2.98/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the Keystone Pub in Bethlehem, Pa. Way too much lemon. Not a fan. Tried again from 12 oz bottle on 07/27/15. No flavor and bad aftertaste. Awful offering.

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Photo of brewqueno
2.3/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

Aweful. Maybe it deserves a better rating.... This is not my style of beer, but sometimes even styles one doesn't care for end up being somewhat enjoyable. Not this.

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Photo of Alestorm4069
5/5  rDev +48.4%

I really enjoyed this one. Ever since i was 18, i was like, when i drink, i want to try SA summer ale. I did on my 21st birthday. Not gonna go into lacing or anything of the sort as i don't really know how to review in that way. I drank this ale straight from the bottle. Has some hoppy and citrusy flavor. medium/ light body. Great for what its meant to be. A beer for the summer. All i know is when i worked unloading trucks, on the weekend, and going to the lake, having these was so refreshing and its just a great easy drinking ale. I rate it a 5 out of 5. Considering this was my first beer, it will always be special to me.

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Photo of Patbrown2
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Rating based on recollection of this as mainstay summer brew for several years, before I discovered BA (and thus better choices). Had it again this summer, and all I tasted was the lemon zest.

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Photo of JLaw55
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice summer ale with more flavor than some out there. Not the top of the pack, but a strong contender. Wheat, lemon, mild hint of hops. You can't go wrong here.

Would Drink Again: Yes
Would Purchase Again: Yes

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Photo of KLHBB
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nice wheat beer, a tiny bit sweet, nothing remarkable as others have said, but perfectly drinkable and satisfying. Good with food, it wouldn't overwhelm the taste of whatever you're eating. I rated this a year ago, I'm liking it better now. Just... nice.

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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
77 out of 100 based on 1,616 ratings.