Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Cranberry LambicSamuel Adams Cranberry Lambic

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1,362 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,362
Reviews: 839
rAvg: 2.67
pDev: 28.09%
Wants: 16
Gots: 34 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,362 | Reviews: 839
Reviews by hyuga:
Photo of hyuga
3.3/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2002 edition. Cloudy golden brown with a sticky white head. Very tart cranberry aroma with some of that aroma of nature that lambics usually have, but it's not quite as strong as it is in others. Well, it sort of tastes like a lambic too. Sour and sweet cranberries and more of that slight "horse blanket" character. Again, not quite as strong as I'd expect from a lambic. It's sweeter than I'd expect as well, probably from the maple syrup used in brewing this. Malt is noticeable in the background. I've heard a lot of bad things about this beer, but it seems like it's in the general direction of lambic to me, and not a bad effort for a brewery that isn't specifically set up to brew lambics. Not the best, but hey, It's not so bad.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
2.86/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The best thing about this beer is the appearance,it pours a nice prange/red with a decent fluffy head,the aroma is pretty tart and slightly yeasty.Taste is very tart with the cranberry not really evident to much the tartness of this beer is the main thing I get with a hit of sweetness in the finish.Ah not a horrible beer but wont buy anymore of the holiday gift packs to get it.

Photo of bluesoul
2.89/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Poured a, what else, cranberry color into a pint glass, left a 1.5-finger high pinkish head that diffused rather quickly into a ring. Above-average lacing with good retention, which bumps the score up a touch. Darkens towards the bottom when held to light, and completely opaque. A pretty beer.

S - Unsurprisingly there's a great amount of berry to the nose, and also toasted biscuit and a dash of malt. Aroma is on the faint side. Only barely smells like beer.

T - Big berry burst in the opening, a very sweet beer. Caramel notes found lying underneath the sweetness and just a flash of malt. No hops detectable in the finish. A pretty wide deviation from what I'd consider a beer but if we're judging on pure taste, like it or don't like it, I would call it a pleasant cranberry beverage.

M - Aftertaste is sticky and sweet, like a cranberry. Not tasting the bitterness or astringency some people are noting. Medium-bodied, carbonation is a little weak compared to the other SA offerings I've tried which for the most part have been spot-on. Stays fairly linear as it warms.

D/O - Seems to be it's most drinkable at it's coldest. You know, for a holiday get-together this seems like an inoffensive offering, and one that's certainly different from most of the stuff on the market. However, if your main draw is for a winter warmer and not a fruit beer, keep looking, there are better offerings than this even within the Holiday Sampler you can only get these from (the Holiday Porter was very tasty). If someone told me this was Mike's Hard Cranberry, a drink which I haven't tried, I would probably believe them. I wouldn't pour this thing down the drain, but it's also not my first (or second) pick out of the Winter Sampler either.

Photo of steelerguy
1.71/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

*Disclaimer - I like Sam Adams and credit them for introducing me to better beer. I would not drink beer until I had a Sam Adams and it just grew from there.

A - Pours a nice amber color but cloudy with little head and floaters.

S - Sour cranberries hit you right in the nose...this is beer right...well yeah...but not how I like it. The fruit just overwhelms any malt trying to come through.

T - Tastes of rotting cranberries. Simply put, I have never tasted a beer that was worse than this hot mess.

M - If you plug your nose and ignore the taste, I actually thought he mouthfeel was good. Creamy feel with a tart zing at the end.

D - I guess in the stead of real rotting cranberries to go with your turkey this could step in and be drinkable, but that is about as drinkable as it gets.

Photo of Dmann
3/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An average beer at best, but a lambic it is not. This one poured an amber color with a small white head that left a little lace. The scent was of cranberries and a slight sourness that I can't put my finger on. The taste was ok with a bit of tart cranberries but there was an underlying sweetness that seemed out of place for this beer. If this one was just a little more tart and balanced it would be pretty good, but as it stands it is average at best.

Photo of orbitalr0x
2.18/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2 it goes. Pours a golden amber with a thin layer of head and only the slightest hint of red. For a cranberry brew I thought this was going to be much darker and deeper red...quite odd. The nose is an odd phenolic clove-ish smell...where are the cranberries?? I think they left them all on the label! A bit of wheaty grain aroma there as well.

First sip is upfront with a sour mellow cranberry flavor..mixed in with some cloves, a bit of earthy barnyard and a light honey sweetness. Overall it's boring and uninspiring. I was expecting a good deal of cranberry flavor from both the name and the label, but this just falls flat on its face.

Mouthfeel is not bad with a nice creaminess and medium body. Goes down easily enough. Drinkability is basically zilch. I'm glad I tried it, but nothing is making me want another. If you know someone who's been naughty this year, then this is the perfect gift.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.3/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oh, the controversy. Is it or isn't it a true lambic? Well, probably not. But then, on the label, Sam Adams simply states "it is our version..." So that's basically what it is. Someone's interpretation of a cranberry lambic. Also on the label, it says straight-up "wheat beer with cranberry juice." Hmm...

Cloudy faint red appearance with minimal head.

Some sweetness in the smell. Nothing too strong.

Up to this point, things are looking okay.

It's the taste that is not very lambic-like. Here is where the whole package seems more like a fruity wheat beer, which is really what this is. And there's nothing wrong with that. It is just probably not very accurate to call this a "lambic."

You can taste the beginnings of what would become a lambic's signature tartness in the mouthfeel. Unfortunately, it dies away almost as soon as it presents itself.

I would have this beer again, if only out of curiosity. I feel like I need to figure this one out...

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.03/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Overall, kind of an average beer. It was an orange color with a small head. A fruity aroma, but no particular fruit discernable. Finally, on tasting, there's the tart cranberry. But it still had a sweet taste too. An OK beer, not one I'd want a lot of in one sitting.

Photo of Todd
2.21/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz brown bottle, with freshness date on the side of the label. Beer was poured into a proper lambic glass.

This beer pours a very hazy peach / amber coloured beer, that initially foams up to a decent head, but quickly falls to a whispy lace with sticking tracks as it settles. I'm assuming that cranberries (even the juice) would give this beer more of a red hue, but it's not there.

Aroma has none of the expected funk that you'd find in a true lambic beer. There's plenty of artificial smelling cranberry juice though, along side of a sturdy sweetish malt aroma. I swear I can also pick of some caramel (diacetyl ?), too. What's that doing in this beer?

In the flavour, we get a heavy dose of sweetness, but none of the off-setting dryness found in Belgian lambics. The caramel is out of place, creating a sense of unbalance on the palate and it tends to dominate over the cranberry. And, as the cranberry addition is from juice (and additional flavours), the defining character of this beer, or what should be, is a very one-dimensional, barely tart, cranberry "cocktail" out of the can like flavour. Flash of citric lime-like bitterness races across the palate (pretending to contain our missing dryness) with a prickly carbonation and touch of mineral / salt. Finish is grain dry with citric flavours lingering in the nooks and crannies.

If you're going to call your beer a "lambic" at least make a true attempt to create a lambic. This is nothing more than a fruit beer, an unbalanced one and a very misleading beer.

Photo of twi1609372
4.72/5  rDev +76.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

i see this beer has a lot of bad reviews. I found this beer to be quite good actually. unlike other reviews, i did not fidn the cranbery overtly overbearing. it's there for sure but it isnt overtly strong. it's cranbery lambic, it's soposed to have cranbery taste. i guess if you abhored cranberys i could se enot liking it, but i dont mind cranberies, so i would say this was a different, yet enjoyable beer.

Photo of generallee
3.05/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: It was poured from brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: The body has a hazy appearance with a deep reddish tan, rust color. On top it has a small slightly pinkish white head. The head slowly fades down to a thick ring that hangs on well and leaves some lace on the glass.

Smell: The aroma hits you with tart wheat and tart cranberry along with cherry cough syrup, sweet maple syrup and a hint of yeast.

Taste/Mouth Feel: The flavor has an odd mix of tangy wheat, tart cranberry, cough syrup, sweet grain, maple syrup, and just a hint of some yeast. The finish quickly goes from syrupy sweet to tangy and slightly acidic and then hangs on the tongue. The body is medium to full with a heavy slick and almost sticky texture. Carbonation is delicate and gets lost in the heavy texture.

Notes: I actually don't mind this beer but I have to be in an odd mood and I wouldn't want to drink too many of these. Also the bottle reads that they use a top fermenting yeast so this is in no way anything close to a real Lambic beer!!!

Photo of Doomcifer
2.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Looks pink pouring from the bottle but once settled in the glass, appears amber. Nice head that retains well. Smells of wheat, yeast, and subtle tart cranberries. Taste is very thin yet sweet. I dont know why this is called a lambic. Light cranberry flavor, subtle tartness, weak flavors, lots of wheat. Thin mouthfeel. Very carbonated. One of these is enough for me.

Photo of Jason
3.18/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle with a "purchase before" date on the label. "Wheat Beer brewed with cranberry juice and other natural flavors added" stated on the label, nothing about spontaneous fermentation or aging it in barrels, blending and aging for more time. It's a fruit beer nothing more and nothing less.

Dull and cloudy rusty reddish hue, holds a ring of white lace strongly. Fruity aroma, little cranberry with a faint tartness. Maltiness is present in the aroma though not too much as the yeast flavors blanket with faint wild herbal phenols.

Semi-smooth and a touch creamy within the medium body. Tartness is there, some cranberry flavor with some fruitiness as well. Malt is there with a mellow sweet graininess. Hops are very mild. Finishes with a lingering tartness, flash of cranberry and vague malt.

Notes: A good fruit beer but not a lambic at all, how they get away with using "Lambic" on the label is beyond me ... its not even close. The new Longshot Cranberry Wit should take the place of this beer IMO.

Photo of Rifrafboy
2.85/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark amber with a nice head. lacing abounds. Smell is sweet and fruity. Taste is full and heavy, being almost too sweet for my taste. Decent maltiness, hops are readily tasted. Overall, this is a special occasion type beer, and not a session brew. This was a bit to sweet and overdone for my taste.

Photo of Homebrew35
3.4/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reddish maroon body on a vigorous pour yields a small white head. This dissipates to a few bubbles around the edges. Smells slightly sweet, slight bit of earthiness. Tastes sweet to tart and back to sweet fruitiness. Creamy medium body mouthfeel. I could only handle two of these in a sitting. I'll probably try this again next year.

Photo of tigg924
2.8/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: redish amber/almost magenta head, minimal carbonation

Smell: cranberries, wheat, orange, nutmeg, somewhat fruit punch like

Taste: cranberry, orange, and cinnamon

Mouthfeel: sickenly sweet and tart alternate

Drinkability: This is my first review of a lambic. To me this was way to sweet..Fruit is prevalent, so it fits the style. Not a drain pour, but not one of my favorite from Sam Adams.

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hudsonphotog for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a red-orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is caramel, maple syrup and cranberries. The flavor is heavy on the cranberries with some vanilla and maple notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

I tried this several years ago and remember hating it. Not sure what is different this time, but I didn't dislike it - even though I went in expecting to.

Photo of LyonsHead
2.49/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Doesn't look like beer! bright red almost pink. the head is literally pink

S: hope you like cranberry

T: Hope you like cranberry a lot

M: typical of sam adams. best part of this beer. medium body, smooth feel

D: not my style. very fruity, not a whole lot else. I love everything sam adams... well almost everything now! not a winner for me!

Photo of Byeast
2.66/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer pours a deep clear reddish amber , with a decent head and lace. It looks very welcoming. taken to the nose , some cranberry , slight malt , perhaps a dill like smell , and hint of crust. The taste is kind of odd at first , but got better and rounder as the brew warmed. Tart cranberry mixes with a bit of pie crust malt , slightly bitter and tart finish. This is not a bad fruit beer , its just not my cup of tea. The flavors seem a bit peculiar. Definatly better fruit beers out there.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
2.83/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I was expecting more from this beer. Add the fact that I really don't care for cranberries, and it bodes ill for the review.

Poured a deep and dark burnt orange color with a head that disappeared in an instant. The aroma was that of something souring in the trash can. The sour aroma carried right on into the sour flavor. Mouthfeel was poor...I just didn't care for it. I could probably stomach only one of these at a time. Perhaps the wife might like it. It's closer to a wine cooler taste than beer. I'll pass on this offering from the winter sampler pack.

Photo of jakester
3.97/5  rDev +48.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is from the Winter sampler case. I drank it in a goblet. Expiry date clearly notched on the label.

Pours a very cloudy pinkish/orange with a 1/2 finger of off-white/pink foam. Looks kind of fizzy. The head falls to islands and a ring, with decent enough lacing.

Aroma is very fruity, but I can't say that it's cranberries. Notes of cherries or raspberries, maybe. Smells sweet and sour, bright and fruity.

First flavor is sweet/tart fruit and some real sourness going on there; there's a nice tingle across the tongue from sour. It's certainly not lambic sour, but it IS a refreshing beer for the holidays. Hop bitterness comes through late. Aftertaste is sweet anbd sour fruit.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a decent carbonation bite. For some reason, this beer feels good in your mouth. Finish is long and sharp.

OK, I get it, it's not a lambic, and, IMO, shouldn't be called one. However, taking the beer as a holiday seasonal, it's pretty damn tasty. I just had two of these in a row, and am looking forward to my next. Review this as a fruit beer and relax.

Photo of randal
1.46/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

So I buy the "holiday 12 pack" for Fezziwig and to try out the new holiday porter. Both are good BTW - However only 2 of each are in there and I am saddled with 2 useless SA "Light" beers (strange taste in that one, almost like homebrew made with old extract or something), 2 regular dime-a-dozen Boston Lagers, 2 Winter Lagers and 2 abominable Cranberry Lambics!

Every year I try to drink the Cranberry Lambic and every year I pour it out. It takes a lot for me to pour a beer out, if it's homebrew I let it sit and sit in the vain hopes the magic yeast will make it better. The combination of Cranberry flavor, an unremarkable amber beer base, maple flavoring and some ever-so-slight barnyard funk just doesn't do it for me.

Photo of bsp77
2.8/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Yes, it's not a Lambic. Let's move on and review it fairly...

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Tulip (let's just pretend it is Belgian).

Appearance: Very hazy reddish-orange with a pink tint. Bubbly cream colored head that mostly dies down with slight lacing.

Smell: Sweet maple syrup, cranberries, and banana, with a slight sourness. The tartness and complexity fades after a few minutes, mostly just leaving sweetness behind.

Taste: Very sweet and syrupy upfront, borderline cloying. However, it turns slightly more complex and tart after that, with notes of cranberry, banana and spice. However, the cloying quality somewhat remains.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, syrupy body that grates a little.

Drinkability: It is too bad they put so much maple syrup in to counter the tartness and spiciness; it could have been pretty good. As is, it is okay, certainly not the disaster many make it out to be, but I'd rather not have more.

Photo of magictrokini
1.8/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Blech. Maroon pour with a short head. Aroma of cough syrup and cranberries. Candy-like cranberry taste and ethyl alcohol. Again, like cough syrup. I like cranberries, and thought this would be good. Its not. Avoid this beer at all costs and hit a bottle of Nyquil.

Photo of jcdiflorio
2.87/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

served into a tulip glass from a 12oz. long neck brown bottle with a crimped-on cap.

An interesting color a golden,coppery with a slight reddish hue. Clear with a creamy white head dissapating to a thick coating of foam lacing the glass,a good looking beer.
A complex aroma yeasty/hints of clove/fruity/notes of cranberry and slight aromas of maple syrup,a sour apple fragrance comes through at the end.
The taste was very sweet/syrupy/clovey/a fruity sourness/very apple-like towards the finish,the cranberry taste was noted throughout the taste.
A very sugary feel on the palate,dry and puckering. A light,champagne like mouthfeel.
Not a beer I would want to drink more than one of. I'd say my least favorite offerings from Samuel Adams

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Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
63 out of 100 based on 1,362 ratings.