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

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Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

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1,588 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,588
Hads: 5,088
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 15.34%
Wants: 55
Gots: 938 | 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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Reviews: 1,588 | Hads: 5,088
Photo of hegelec
2/5  rDev -41%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

standard pale wheat beer look, with substandard head and lacing - no torrified wheat? smell nicely peppery and citrusy, but disturbingly chemical and soapy. taste is clementines and bleachy solvents. almost unspeakable. i sincerely hope there is merely something wrong with the glass than with the beer, but a quick chat with the bartender, who has overseen innummeable kegs of this stuff pass through the draught line in the last two months, and another sample confirms my worst suspicions. african spices be damned. hideous. (526 characters)

Photo of a4tuurbo
3.21/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A-This beer came to my table with just a tiny little head that quickly dissipated. It was a nice clear gold color with high carbonation.

S- The most prominent smell was malt with a little bit of lemon.

T- I could definitely taste the malt as well as a touch of hoppy bitterness. I did get a hint of lemon but not much. The grains of paraside gave a slight spicyness at the end.

M- I didnt particularly like the high carbonation. Otherwise, I can only describe it as average. Not too thick and heavy but also not watery.

D- Although not my favorite flavor profile, I could definitely drink quite a few of these. (614 characters)

Photo of brobeerbot
2.94/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle best by Sept. Poured into duvel tulip.

First and foremost the best thing going for this beer is appearance. It pours a pretty golden pale color with a white fluffy two finger head. After that it goes to middle of the road. Now o love and respect Boston beer company and all they brew but I know that most offerings aren't going to be mind blowing but more often than not the deliver a beer that sets the bar for what styles should be better than and not worst than.

Anyways it smells of wheat and lemon and pretty much follows that on the Taste. Mouth is substantial with just enough body. Overall this is am easy drinker for hot days and nights and someone new to craft beer might be able to enjoy this simple summer ale. (732 characters)

Photo of BrianBoruma
2.17/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had this on tap. Honestly I think there most have been something wrong with the tap line...

A: Looked good. Faint head that was white over blonde body.

S: buttery. No spices in the nose

T: Butter. It wasn't very drinkable.

M: Oily.

D: I didn't order another. So take what you will from that. (297 characters)

Photo of The_Snow_Bird
2.11/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

A very light golden ale, with a medium white head on top. It has somewhat of a fruity-citrus kind of smell to it. It has a sour taste at the beginning finished off with a hoppy finish. (184 characters)

Photo of rockdick
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (270 characters)

Photo of TheViceBlog
3.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had Sam Summer many times in the past, but I don't recall it being as good as it was on my most recent time to have it. While most summer beers seem to be brewed for little sissies that don't like the taste of beer and want the lowest of ABVs in order to not risk getting any alcohol poisoning, Sam still packs a bit of a punch. In fact, I kept asking my buddy, "Are we sure this is Sam Summer? Is it possible the tap was screwed up?!" It's darker than most all pisswater yellow summer beers and actually has a nice, complex taste. No idea what grains of paradise are, but they must be tasty. I don't know if this is "how" you make a summer beer, per se, but it's how you make a tasty, flavorable beer. Very nice wheat and malt body with a good lemon hint that nails you. Thus, based on an exceedingly small sample size and one single plastic cup draught at a ballgame, I will declare Sam Summer the best quote unquote summer beer in the bid'ness.

Aaron (979 characters)

Photo of philibum13
4.45/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After numerous different beers tasted over the years, I have to remove my hat for Summer Ale. It has to be my all-time favorite. A fan of Sam to begin with, I could not help but easily enjoy Summer Ale. I miss it when it's off the shelves and I buy out the store when it's in season. (283 characters)

Photo of odietrying
3.9/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served on-tap in a Weizen glass.

A: Clear and honey-colored. Sam Adams claims this is an unfiltered beer, but it appeared to be pretty clear, which I don't like to see in wheat beers. It robs the beer of the complexity from the wheat and yeast. However, this may have added to the drinkability. Served with a lemon wedge which killed the head, and was unnecessary since it already contains lemon zest.

S: Smells of lemon and spice.

T: Crisp, refreshing taste. Malts and hops add moderate flavors, but nothing too strong. Perfect for the summer season. Lemon and spice.

M: Not over-carbonated, not too sweet or bitter from malt and hops.

D: Definitely drinkable on a hot summer day. (689 characters)

Photo of redzone3120
3.59/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep and dark golden color with a hint of amber mixed in. The cloudiness adds to the color giving it an even deeper hue when held up to the light. The head is relatively thick and has a nice brownness. As it disappears, there is a thin lace on the glass.

S - There is not much smell to the beer. Hints of hops and little lemon zest are about all I can smell.

T - Has a nice wheaty taste and the hops are evident. The lemon zest blends well with the wheat to enhance the flavor.

M - The feel is very smooth and the carbonation is is very fine. Has a light refreshing body with medium flavor.

D - A good summer brew and a good wheat beer. Definitely drinkable. (675 characters)

Photo of SiriusBock
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: clear, dark gold color, good head, not too much lacing

S: smelled with a hint of lemon, otherwise like any other Sam Adams wheat (to me, they really have their own scent)

T: took a while to get the lemon peel flavor, the grains of paradise gave a little spiciness to the brew, and the lemon was tasted more on the backend of the sip

M: went down smooth, like a summer beer should. Would have liked more of the lemon sensation in its sourness or bitterness. Was just a note. (479 characters)

Photo of Acho
3.72/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beachy beer at its best. Had it directly from the bottle (imagine taking glasses to the beach, quite a mess). Crisp taste and mouthfeel, great for hot Maine summers and light body that makes this beer the perfect companion on a sticky day in the north east coast.
This beer does it for me. (289 characters)

Photo of Bestinyourgirl
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
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 yeastpuppet
2.87/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured light amber , cloudy ,small head , dissipated within one minute to a layer of bubbles , no lacing.

smell of fruit , light hop aroma, slight spiciness .

Taste apricots , some hop flavor , nothing harsh or objectionable , low balanced bitterness . Smooth mouthfeel , carbonation , okay .
nothing spectacular . though I' d drink it before any thing with "lite " in the name in your cooler . (408 characters)

Photo of ghebb
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap @ the tasing room in the Boston Brewery.

Let me preface this by saying this is my least favorite of the Sam Adams seasonals. Their chosen blend of spices, which unfortunately dominates the flavor in this beer, leaves a sickly taste in my mouth.

However, for some reason at the brewery, the spices seemed subtler, in the background, and since theres not much else going on in the flavor department, made this beer quite refreshing considering the heat. (460 characters)

Photo of carp420
3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz ->an imperial pint glass

summer ale pours out a hazy golden orange, a finger and a half foamy head that didn't last but, capped it all the way down with no lacing

smells kinda average, metallic floral wheat beer. some citrus, lemon spice and oranges.

decent wheat beer, like lemony wildflower with that metallic after taste that stays around

well carbonated but much better cold

so this makes for a great beer for what it is, a summer ale, and i can't wait to have a few after a hot day cutting the grass, would be a great camping session-type beer (564 characters)

Photo of Veillantif
2.91/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look out for those variety packs. I said, "Oh, it's Boston Lager and some other stuff on special!" like an idiot.

A=Pretty color; not as swampy-looking as a lot of other wheat ales. A finger of head that stays for a good two or three minutes.

S=I appreciated the hint of lemon, because it added a fresh scent to what was otherwise a little unpleasant. Got a hint of something dank, like old vegetable soup or something.

T=Exactly like the smell, but fortunately not as sweet as I was afraid.

M=Thin carbonation. Feels like punch (and doesn't taste that much different from it either).

D=There are just so damn many beers like this, and there's nothing to raise this one into the 75th percentile. The lemon's a nice touch. But if I wanted another beer like this, I would get some Leinie's or something, and use the buck I saved to buy an actual lemon. More Vitamin C that way. (884 characters)

Photo of lokicat444
2.7/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Although I usually enjoy wheat beers (and most Sam Adams offerings) I avoid this beer if I can find something else.

Appearence is alright, cloudy and light as one would expect- a bit yellow-y for this style, but overall average.

Smell is citrus-y, though the old dependable SA smell is present.

Taste: Too much lemon or citrus for my tastes- seems artificial and gets rather unenjoyable after the first beer. Maybe it's the grains of paradise they put in it, I'm really not sure. Spicyness is alright, but not enough to help this beer out.

Bottomline: A rather unhappy marriage of that distinctive Sam Adams taste with the wheat beer style. I'd blame the citrus-ness of it as being out of balance. (709 characters)

Photo of irish53b
3.65/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a hazy yellow orange into pint glass, developed about one finger of head which soon collapsed into a then layer of foam that remained throughout.

S: Grainy smell at first but finished with some light roasted notes as the beer warmed.

T: I was most most impressed by the taste of this ale. The taste reminded me of a wheat beer with lemon and wheat flavors. As the ale finished the roasted smells came through in the taste.

M&D: very light on the palate making it refreshing and easy to drink. I think it would pair will w\ some spicy BBQ. (558 characters)

Photo of Berticus
4.12/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My favorite seasonal by Sam Adam's. It has a subtle fruity flavor. The look of the beer is a light amber and the drinkability is as smooth as it looks.
I would take this over the spring white ale any day.
Its a refreshing ale and goes good with a hamburger right off the grill. (278 characters)

Photo of Moontang
3.32/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: very cloudy orange, thin head that sticks around for a while.
Smell: strong, malty with hints of citrus, quite nice despite some of that being against the purity law.
Feel: quite viscous and a bit fizzy, rather pleasant.
Taste: rather sour up front, less malt than the smell, and quite crisp from the carbonation.
Drinkability: an acceptable accompaniment to my steak and potatoes, but not really to my taste. (421 characters)

Photo of steanu
4.22/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-It's got a nice golden brown appearance to it.

S-It's got a nice lemony scent to it.

T-It's got a great Wheat Beer taste with a hint of Lemon.

M-It leaves a nice lemon peel aftertaste in it.

D- Great! It's got a happy even with fizz, it's not to much and not too little. With a Sam Adams it's always a happy medium.

It's a rather refreshing brew. I think the taste is about equal on tap and bottle. I think I will be buying this beer again pretty soon. It goes great with BBQ on a nice hot sunny day. (511 characters)

Photo of liquidnoise
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't get Sam Adams. They have some awesome beers, but they have some pretty bad ones too. This is one of the latter. I was really anticipating this one, too, with the whole "grains of paradise" schtick.

If I wanted beer that tasted like water, I would have saved two bucks and bought some Old Style. Many people refer to flavorless AML's as good "Summer Beers," so it seems like Sam Adams made their own, only they charge a premium for it.

Don't get me wrong, this stuff is good in a Pabst Blue Ribbon kind of way. It's not undrinkable like Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. It's just if you want a beer that tastes like water, why pay the Sam Adams price??

If you want a high quality beer, go somewhere else. If you want a refreshing, "are you sure it's not water" summer beer, go somewhere else. Either way, go somewhere else. (833 characters)

Photo of Dave412
2.57/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From notes

Pale orange color small head quickly gone. Cloudy slightly.

Smell of wheat or wet straw but with zesty scents. Smell of something damp.

Lemon citrus orange tastes but nothing strong, mild tastes nothing really stands out, some grain and fruit on finish.

Medium body, seems to linger some in the mouth.

I find myself not craving a second one after drinking one. Dont know what it is, not really overly filling but just doesnt settle well with me. The taste just doesnt leave me wanting more.

Certainly not my favorite wheat ale, probably worse one I've tried although I honestly havent had tons of this type. (625 characters)

Photo of H1N1
2.68/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Poured into a pint glass. 2 fingers of pretty active foam. I actually just sat and enjoyed the popping sounds for a few seconds. Dissipated into a thin layer that remained and stuck to the sides of my glass nicely. The beer was a hazy gold colour which put me off slightly. Looked like a urine sample.

S- Wheat was immediately the most powerful aroma. The smell of lemon peeks out, but the wheat pushes it back. Slight lemony smell. Not much of a hop smell to speak of.

T- A malty wheat flavour. The lemon flavour is there but doesn't taste quite natural. It tastes more like lemon flavour from a lab than actual nice citrus. There is a tiny peppery taste if you search for it, otherwise it is not noticeable. I would like the peppery taste to shine through a bit more.

M- It felt almost slimy in my mouth. I was not a fan of that aspect.

D- Not my favourite Sam Adams. I was disappointed. I probably will not buy this again. (936 characters)

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
77 out of 100 based on 1,588 ratings.