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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.

4,253 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,253
Reviews: 1,532
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 29
Gots: 281 | 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)
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Ratings: 4,253 | Reviews: 1,532 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

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

'Summer Ale' is a befitting name for this beaming golden brew; although plenty of light is allowed to pass through, fine dusty particles blur clarity enough that only shadows are visible on the other side. Its linty white head is very responsive to swirling but always tapers off to just the one thick outside ring of foam. Hardly any lacing is left.

Like most American wheat ales, this is rather agreeable but has an additional, uncustomary savoriness that is definitely notable even while not being overpowering. The beer's 'aww chucks' appeal, however, quickly grows old as the lemon zest and grains of paradise notes go stale at the expense of tiresome malts and an overly complaisant spiciness.

The mouthfeel has both gritty bitterness and fruity tang, albeit each in compromised roles. The spices are again quite agreeable, and fitting for a beer meant to be light and refreshing, although a peppery texture definitely coats the palate long before anything earthy or sweet sets in. The finish is dry and croaky like steamed pak choy or other Asian greens.

Flavours of dry grass and grapes, raw wheat, and floral hops compliment the grains of paradise, which are actually quite mild in taste. The Asian greens flavour continues as a steamed bok choy plays right into a lemon zested chickpeas, with added mandarin slices and pomegranate molasses. It tastes like a healthy dinner, with as much bitterness as sweetness.

I got no qualms with this one. Sure, there are better summertime patio beers, but in a crunch this will do just fine. In fact, I can see this being enjoyed by the more casual crowd of beer drinkers as well as the more demanding aficionados. Indeed, come summer, this is exactly the kind of refreshing, endlessly quaffable ale one wishes were more widely available.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2008 03:42:56 | More by biegaman
Photo of BillRoth


3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

12-29-2013 04:39:05 | More by BillRoth
Photo of John_M


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

On tap at the Nashville airport. All things considered, I was pleasantly surprised to see a beer of "this quality" at the airport.

SASA poours a somewhat cloudy golden amber color with with fairly good head retention and lacing. Don't get a whole lot on the nose, just some light sandlewood and nutmeg... maybe a hint of clove and lemon. The flavor profile is pretty "wheaty," with some underlying light bitternes, light honey and spice. There's sort of a lemony, fruit cocktail flavor as well to this beer that is attractive. Mouthfeel is light and fairly refreshing, with some noticeable light spice in the finish.

Mehhh... suitable for quenching one's thirst at an airport while waiting for one's flight during a storm delay, but not really much else. Can't imagine ordering this one again any time soon.

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2011 13:07:57 | More by John_M
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

2.73/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On draft at The Upper Crust in D.C.

The beer is mostly clear and appears golden yellow in color. The head is minimal, thanks to a most generous pour from a gracious bartender. The aroma is weak, with some hints of lemon. The flavor is akin to Lemon Pledge...not digging it. The beer tastes of artificial additives. The back half is just too odd and artificial for me to enjoy. Not a repeat for me.

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2011 20:08:08 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of brandoman63


3/5  rDev -9.9%

11-29-2011 23:40:34 | More by brandoman63
Photo of rab53


3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

11-25-2011 04:35:24 | More by rab53
Photo of plaid75

New York

3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light copper hue with a two finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a nice clean wheat aroma with a strong yeast, coriander and lemon aroma. Mild cloviness as well.

The taste was nice and spicy. Good biscuity wheat body and and spicy notes. The lemon zest made for a nice dry finish.

The mouthfeel was of medium chewiness.

Overall a very quaffable summer wheat.

Serving type: on-tap

09-22-2006 16:49:52 | More by plaid75
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a light, cloudy gold color with a vibrate white head.

S: nose was light, fresh citrus, lemongrass and a pleasantly soft herbal hopping.

T: For flavor there was a touch of sour citrus (oranges), pale malt and lemon peel as well some slight grassy hints. There was a slight hint of peppery nature in the finish.

M: crisp with a soothing sourness of lemonpeel and slight tartness.

D: Drinkability is light, refreshing, and crisp, good enjoyability on a hot summer day.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2008 13:48:38 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Mebuzzard


1.83/5  rDev -45%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

What a difference between the tap and bottle.
This poured a light golden body with a thin film that was supposed to be the head. Is this the same beer as from the bottle?
Smell? Nothing, maybe a hint of citrus, maybe. Gave it 2.5 cuz the smell isn't bad, just isn't really noticeable.
Taste is awful. Stale hops, malt, citrus. Nothing fresh or refreshing. Too sweet if anything. this must have been a keg from last year. It ain't good. Blah

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2007 05:18:20 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2006 00:19:47 | More by Viggo
Photo of smakawhat


3.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass, good till Sept 2011 let's see how this continuing Sam Adams fest goes...

A very large foamy even tight foamy head is made off the pour but seems to fall rather quickly. Sits on a very bright yellow lemon gold body with just a hint of cloudyness. Looking ok if not a little lifeless.

Bouquet is bitter, a little tea like herb and dried orange peel. Slightly musty and dank. Strangely earthy and dirt soil sense. Seems odd for a Pale Wheat Ale. Not too bad kind of average going on so far.

Tastes is rather well.. non existent really. Everything seems toned down that it comes off as just a weak malt. No big bread, hop character, crispness, crackle, not even much spice that seems to come from the nose. IT's quite easy drinking I'll give it that. There's a muted orange on the finish but it's completely buried.

Overall really middle of the road beer for me here. Not getting much out of this one.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 03:26:26 | More by smakawhat
Photo of mdaschaf


3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes.

A: Poured a golden/yellow color, not perfectly clear, but not hazy either. A foamy, one finger head formed on top with moderate retention and wisps of lacing down the glass.

S: A good bit of lemon and lemon peel, light spices, and a hint of hops. Slight windex aroma.

T: The lemon comes through on the flavor profile with a heavy hand of wheat and just a touch of spice. A little bit of beady malt comes in on the backend.

M: Light to medium bodied with medium to high carbonation. Crisp and light, fitting for a summer beer.

O: Its ok, not bad, but I am not really a fan of it. Not bad on a hot day outside, which is where I had this one, but plenty of other beer out there I would prefer.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2011 17:50:54 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of Latarnik

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

05-24-2014 23:46:37 | More by Latarnik
Photo of Bighuge


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

Pours hazy light golden with a sticky white head. Nice aroma of malted wheat and vanilla. Nice malty wheat backbone. Tangy taste. A bit of lemon. I do get somewhat of a bite in this one too. Similar to the nice hop bite you'll find in properly brewed European Pilseners, but not as harsh. A case of these would be a nice way to fill up the poolside cooler.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2002 20:26:42 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A decent little summer beer. A little darker than a BMC, lots of carbonation. Lemon in the nose.

Taste, lemon more nuanced, a good light wheat style. Good introductory thing goin' on. Wheat not heavy, but its there. Mouthfeel, goes from mild sour to mild sweet. Easy to drink. Save for hot days.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2010 21:03:35 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of DrJay


3.53/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear gold with a fine cap of white foam, good head retention, a bit of sticky lace, mostly sheets. The initial aroma after the pour was very nice, but it lost some of its punch fairly quick. Nice orange blossom and spice up front, fading to a crackery malt aroma. More orange and lemon citrus in the flavour, light bitterness, faint spiciness with sort of a soapy character. Light bodied with some dryness, moderate carbonation, a bit crisp. Pretty refreshing and nicely balanced.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2010 23:30:48 | More by DrJay
Photo of LXIXME

New Mexico

3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

01-25-2014 22:34:02 | More by LXIXME
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a yellow gold with one finger of head that fades quickly. Nose is of lemon zest and straw from the wheat. Taste is lemon and wheat at first with a bitter finish. Mouthfeel is light and crisp; well carbonated and dry.

This has always been one of my favorite seasonals. It is sessionable and refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 22:43:10 | More by tdm168
Photo of Kelp

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

01-25-2013 22:37:12 | More by Kelp
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.48/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz as part of the summer mix pack.. poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

1" head dies leaving no lacing atop a milky golden straw brew.

Aroma is husky pale malts and wheat with a slight but present lemon zest note.

Flavor is better than the aroma.. but not a whole lot. Pale malts and wheat.. with above lemon and a background spice that reminds me of earthy hops... but not really hops if that make sense. Body is creamy lite medium and carbonation is fairly soft. Drinkablity is fairly high.. but I probably won't ever buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2008 08:49:18 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of sendbeer


2.5/5  rDev -24.9%

12-14-2012 05:48:45 | More by sendbeer
Photo of PEIhop


3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

07-09-2013 00:27:25 | More by PEIhop
Photo of Gusler


3.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The pours a cloudless golden amber color, the head generous in it presence, bright white in color, and the lace nice sheets to cover the glass. Malt dominates, crisp and citrus fresh, quite nice nose, the start malt and lightly sweet, the top skinny in feel. Finish is tartly acidic, hops quite pleasant and the aftertaste dry and long lasting, another good everyday drinking beer, well at least during the summer.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2002 15:19:17 | More by Gusler
Photo of Tone


3.41/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, gold color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of lemon, sweet malt, pale malt, hint of hop, grass, slight yeast, earthy malt, and a hint of pepper. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale malt, hint of sweet malt, strong wheat, hint of hop, and slight lemon. Overall, average appearance, good aroma, and average body.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2014 19:13:03 | More by Tone
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle (BB date of August 2012 but stored chilled) served in a Sam Adams lager glass. A thin layer of sediment covers the bottom of the bottle.

Pours a hazy golden color with an ample white head that soon settles to a durable top coat. Some spotty lacing is left on the glass.

The aroma is yeasty and fruity, with too much hint of wet bread but overall mildly appealing.
The flavor is similar, sans wet bread, and has a light, zesty lemon feature like the nose. As often happens with "summer" beers, it is light on both flavor and body. On the other hand, it has a nice peppery spice kick and enough flavor to create a lingering, mainly malty/wheaty, aftertaste. Medium+ carbonation is clearly visible in the glass and moderately soft in the mouth.

O: one of the weaker offerings from Boston Beer, yet still at or slightly above average. [3.25]

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2012 23:36:00 | More by chinchill
Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
76 out of 100 based on 4,253 ratings.