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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Cranberry LambicSamuel Adams Cranberry Lambic

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,340 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,340
Reviews: 838
rAvg: 2.67
pDev: 28.46%
Wants: 12
Gots: 27 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,340 | Reviews: 838 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IntriqKen
2.8/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a reddish amber with a watery head that didn't seem to hold the length of the pint. Maybe my glass was too warm. Bright, fruity aromas. Thin mouthfeel but refreshing. Not much alcohol burn as you swallow. Bright hop flavor with very light malt. Definate cranberry zing or bite in the aftertaste.
Interesting, but not something I would want to drink with any regularity. Not as balanced in fruityness as I would expect from a lambic. More like the the very predominate cranberry flavoring is forced.

IntriqKen, Nov 27, 2005
Photo of mattcrill
3.9/5  rDev +46.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by April ('06?) on the side of the bottle. Part of the beers of winter pack.

Appearance: Pours a honey golden color with straw edges. A thin bone white cap develops.

Smell: Cooked veggies, some funky yeast, and a bit of tartness. Pretty sketchy but we've come this far...

Taste: Belgian tripel-like yeastiness up front followed by a jaw caving sourness on the back of the palate. A hint of cranberries followed by some honey sweetness. Hints of a grain base appear at the end of the taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied with a tart lingering finish.

Drinkability: Not sure I would make this a regular occurence but this would pair well with turkey for sure. Sam Adams continues to impress me with their holiday line-up. Worth a try for sure.

mattcrill, Nov 26, 2005
Photo of KroMagnon
3.45/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Well, this is DEFINITELY not a lambic or even very lambic-like: I think it upset the Belgians that SA was trying to call it a lambic, but believe me they don't have to worry about anyone confusing it with those beers. That said its not a bad fruit beer, which is what BA is calling it. The beer is a bit cloudy and doesn't have much head at all. Its color is a reddish gold. The aroma is a little bready and fruity, kind of perfumy. I'm not super familiar with cranberries so I'm not sure if it smells like a cranberry or not - but the aroma isn't very strong anyway. The flavor is a little tart, with some beery background that's mostly malty. The beer is kind of simple though and could use some more complexity overall, I think. Still, not too bad.

KroMagnon, Nov 25, 2005
Photo of jmz62565
3.43/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a cloudy honey color with a big creamy head.The smell is weak with a little malt and fruit,but not very pronounced.The taste is very malty with hints of fruit and is a little salty.It's not bad,but this type isn't my piece of cake.The m/f is medium with the taste dominating your whole mouth.This isn't as bad of a beer as some of these reviews might say.It's worth a try even thu it is flawed.

jmz62565, Nov 25, 2005
Photo of kmcnair
2.98/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From the 2005 Sam Adam's Winter Sampler. ABV on the bottle is 5.9% rather than the listed 4.8%. Box says, best before feb 2006.

Pours a murky dark orange/apricot hue, makes a fine white head and laces my glass nicely. Smell is slightly vegetal, hint of oak and vanilla beans, just a smidge of funk, but not even close to what I would expect of a 'lambic'. Flavor is all over the place, its sweet, there's vanilla, some soured wheat, sour fruit but hard to discern that there is cranberry in this, my best descriptor here would be 'interesting'. Medium carbonation, medium palate and leaves a sticky coating, its not bad, but not really lambic-like at all. This is interesting, but there's plenty of other brews I'd rather have instead.

kmcnair, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of Naes
1.93/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Pours out a light brown with hints of orange and red. Small white head with little lacing.
Aroma has a funky sweetness and the slightest bit of hop presence.
The flavor is just as it smells. The cranberry is quite present as with some brown sugar and other sweets.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and highly carbonated.
Much too sweet for my likings

Naes, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of mmmbeer
2.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Hmm... a 5.9% wheat ale brewed with cranberries and maple syrup according to the bottle. 12 oz. served chilled in a flute. Pours a hazy orange/peach that thins out toward the bottom and has a 1 finger white head that leaves some lacing. It has scents of wheat, banana, cranberry, clove, a metallic Euro import smell, and it's also grassy/lemony. Taste is about the same but with a syrupy sweetness and a medium sour character. The aroma is more appealing. The body is light to medium and the beer looks almost lifeless near the end. Nothing great, but an interesting recipe.

mmmbeer, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of Mitchel
1.73/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

When poured, this beer looks like a cider with a thick head, but is quickly disappears leaving little to no lace. It smells like cranberry cocktail and sweet malt.

Sweet, very sweet. It is almost creamy, but has a slightly tart tang to it almost similar to lime. The acidic taste is way to high for me and I am not really sure if this beer falls into the category of a lambic, but I am sure we all can just agree that we can call it a fruit beer. The taste definitely lingers and turns more bitter on the tongue. Watch out, it is tart, but what do you expect from a cranberry…..beverage.

Taken as a whole, I am glad that this beer only comes once a year and I am thankful that I only got two of them in the SA winter 12 pack. I can give the other away. If you like fruit beers, then this might be for you. If not, don’t bother. Honestly…..and not to gross anybody out, it kinda’ reminds me of bile. Sorry for that guys.

Mitchel, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of BierManVA
1.65/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I have to wonder how a brewery like Sam Adams an do a bier as bad as this. I've had many of their brews tha were yummy and good and incline me to believe that they know WTF they are doing. Then they create something like this....

Nose is dry and light cranberry but not all together pleasant. Appearance is of an average lager with light head. Very clear.

Taste is dry fruit that has been reconstituted. Yuck...



BierManVA, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of babydoc
3.23/5  rDev +21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fresh out of this year's sampler pack, this bottle is notched purchase before March. I had not realized this "lambic" was a wheat beer. Poured at 45 degrees.

Color is hazy iced tea, wearing a creamy one finger off-white head that dissipates to a ring of bubbles and minimal head, and leaving traces of lace.

Nose is a touch of hefeweizen, not a lot of sweetness or fruit. There is a mustiness and tartness, little of the lambic nose I expected from the label. That "lambic" quality actually increases as the beer warms.

I wasn't sure what to expect from the taste- after all, it's a cranberry beer. BA style guidelines describe fruit/vegetable beers as "not much ale quality", "commonly unbalanced" and malt flavor as "typically hidden." This beer meets those descriptions and fits right in there. There is tart cranberry with a hint of wheat underbelly. Malt and hops hide in the background. The malt and cranberry sweetens as it warms, but is not what I'd call a sweet beer

Carbonation moderate, mouthfeel a bit thin. Tart, dry aftertaste pesrists on the tongue and palate. Because of that I couldn't see it as a session beer, but I'd be willing to try it with a meal to see how it holds up.

babydoc, Nov 19, 2005
Photo of cubedbee
2.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle from the winter sampler. Pours a a hazy light amber with a two fingers of head and nice retention, some minimal lacing. Smell is strongly of cranberry, with just a slight tartness drowned out by syrupy sweetness. Taste is starts out decently sour, a watered down cranberry juice flavor dominating, a little bit of brown sugar in the middle, and then a lingering sweet cranberry finish that is a cloyingly unpleasant. I'm not the biggest fan of cranberry to begin with, but this beer is just one dimensional and in your face with it, and it's much too overly sweet. I honestly couldn't finish the whole bottle. This might appeal to some drinkers, but I prefer my fruit beers a little more subtle and less sweet.

cubedbee, Nov 18, 2005
Photo of shbobdb
3.65/5  rDev +36.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A lot of people don't seem to like this beer, and I gotta say: that confuses me. Now, don't get me wrong, this isn't a great beer, nor is it true to the lambic style.
This beer reminds me of a Berliner Weiss, the kind you can get in a can with raspberry flavour. It's got that same fruity flavour balanced out by a nice weiss backbone and a nice, full mouthfeel. If he renamed it 'Sam Adam's Berliner Preiselweiss' or something similar, I think a lot of people would really dig this beer.
The berry+weiss style was great when I was 16, and it's not bad now, I've just grown past it -- it's too sweet for me now. But that doesn't make it a bad style, nor is this a bad beer.

shbobdb, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.28/5  rDev +22.8%
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...

chOAKbarrell, Nov 16, 2005
Photo of fromage
2.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Definitely a strange beer. A lambic? I don't think so, so it's a bit hard to review for the style. A drinkable beer nonetheless, probably good for christmas parties.

Pours orange and straw-colored in a pilsner glass. Good off-white head that soon vanished.

Smells at first like a hefeweiss--cloves, corriander, and other spices. Lots of plastic too. Then the cranberry, syrupy sweetness hits. It's not like cough syrup, at least, but still strange.

Tastes like canned cranberry pie filling would be like--a kind of dry sugaryness like those sweettart candies. Turns into a plastic aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is carbonated, medium, very sticky.

I could drink a few of these, probably ok with dessert, but not a session. Definitely don't want a hangover from them!

fromage, Nov 16, 2005
Photo of Tim460
3.3/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a golden reddish hue with small white head that quickly dissapears to a very small lacing. Smells smells like cranberries. Tastes tart and sweet, not so much as a regular lambic but much more so than their cherry wheat offering. Finishes dry. I actually enjoyed this beer but the two offered in the holiday pack is plenty enough for one sitting due to its sweetness.

Tim460, Nov 15, 2005
Photo of russpowell
3.18/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a a pink to dirty brown head that dropped off in nuthin' flat.
Good lacing though. Body is a hazy/dirty brown in appearance.

Smell: A lot going on in this glass sour smells, vanilla notes, and hints of oak.

Taste: Sour, tart and dry through out. Sourness doesn't really make me think of the lambics I tried over in belgium, I will give them a little leeway for "american styling".

Mouthfeel: Pricklyfeel throughout , but carbonation level is fine for the style. Fairly balanced

This effort has thirst quinching aspect to it, that makes me think it would be good with a turkey sandwhich, otherwise I will pass on this.

russpowell, Nov 14, 2005
Photo of danielharper
2.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Purchased from Target in Jones Valley, Huntsville, AL.

Bought as part of the Sam Adams Winter 12-pack. Decided to start with the one with the lowest reputation.

The beer pours into a pilsener glass with a dingry orange body and a cirtually nonexistent head. I know this is a fruit/vegetable beer rather than a true lambic, but I expected a little bit more of a reddish tinge to the brew. Doesn't really set the stage very well.

Aroma is pretty neutral, so I'm giving it a 3. Hints of fruit (obviously) along with a strong dose of carbonation, but that's about it. No hops in the nose, no alcohol in the aroma, no hint of yeast. Just a strange hint of cranberries. Nothing good, nothing bad. Bland.

Strangely for the taste, it's very similar. I get a bit of the yeasty flavors here to let me know it's beer that I'm drinking, but for the most part I really just taste the cranberries, very weakly protesting against being placed in this beer in the first place. Tastes like really watered down cranberry juice. Mild astringent aftertaste, largely due to the fruit, I suppose -- this beer is best taken in large gulps. Not much of a flavor at all.

Mouthfeel is reasonably decent, fairly thick with a bit of carbonation to keep things interesting.

Overall, I don't much care for this beer. It's not bad (I'll drink the second one in the six-pack) but I don't really enjoy it. It doesn't even taste like beer to me. Might be a good beer to give to those people in your life who only drink alcopops. Not a true lambic by any means.

danielharper, Nov 13, 2005
Photo of Stimack
3.15/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brew pours to a cloudy orange color with a fair sized tan head that has pretty good retention and does leave some lacing around the sides of the glass. The aroma is mostly of cranberry with a sweet smell. The taste is ok, slight sour taste mixed with the cranberry flavors. Hop flavor is there but seems to be somewhat hard to pick up. Finishes with a tart taste that lingers in the mouth. Over all this is a ok brew, would say it is my least favorite in the 12 pack winter sampler but am not offended that it is there.

Stimack, Nov 13, 2005
Photo of OStrungT
3.33/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours cloudy brownish orange with a very thin white head. The head fades quickly leaving a very slight lacing. The appearance is not what I would expect from a lambic. It has a strong cranberry aroma. It smells very sweet. It has a very slight spicy aroma. I can detect a slight hop aroma also. This beer has a slightly sour taste. It is not nearly as cranberry like as I would expect. It has a spicy taste to it. A little brown sugar. This beer is carbonated well. It leaves a slight cranberry aftertaste. This beer might not be a good session beer because it is quite sweet. I am happy to have had the chance to try this beer, but it is not exactly the beer I look forward to in the Holiday pack.

OStrungT, Nov 11, 2005
Photo of metallistout
3.48/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a light orange-copper color with a fizzy cherry 7-up like head.

Smells of cranberry, cherry, celary(spelling?), and spice.

Very sweet and malty in taste, very little hops, slightly dry with a caramel taste. My first lambic, and it tastes pretty much like I thought it would taste like (a chick drink) good idea, but not so much for my tastes. I can't do without out a good malt and strong hops.

If you like fruit flavored beer, this is pretty good. It kind of tastes like Petes Wicked Strawberry Blonde, although Pete's has a little more malt flavor.

metallistout, Nov 11, 2005
Photo of aquatonex
2.35/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Well, like the other reviewers, I must agree on the lack of style for the cranberry 'lambic'. Although it is rated low for style, it is a very drinkable and refreshing beer. So, please do try it, just don't go looking for a lambic. As a fruit beer alone, it's quite good.

Pours a cloudy burnt orange with a short head, some lacing. Smell is very fruity, I'll say cranberries enough. Taste is a good balance of sweet and tart, with cranberry flavors and a light yeasty maltiness. It is not syrupy and heavy like a lambic. But, it's definitely a good fruit beer.

aquatonex, Nov 06, 2005
Photo of rowew
3.03/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz longneck from the holiday sampler. Best by date notched on the label.

Appearance: Poured into a Chimay goblet. Pours a very cloudy reddish orange color with a decent head that fades to leave just a bit of lacing on the top.

Smell: Smells like a wheat beer at the start - just a hint of banana and cloves. Then you notice a bit more fruitiness than usual, and a slight tart aroma.

Taste: Tastes like a fruity wheat beer - I didn't detect any lambic sourness. Taste is typical wheat beer profile with a bit more fruit sweetness in the middle.

Overall impression: Not a bad beer, but not a lambic. Call this a cranberry wheat and it would be much more accurate. Either way, something slightly different, but this is probably my least favorite of the holiday sampler.

rowew, Nov 01, 2005
Photo of PBRstreetgang
1.73/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

While not a lambic in the traditional sense, the Boston beer company makes a good attempt to mimic the appropriate sour and phenolic flavors produced by belgian wild yeasts and bacteria. Therfore, my review is based on characteristics associated with the lambic style.

Pours a hazy reddish orange with clear straw highlights. Muddied clarity, but light in color. One finger head that fizzles out leaving modest lacing. Medicine and plastic aroma, with some cranberry notes. The flavor is most unbalanced, strong cranberry flavor and wheat tannins that turn cloying quickly and overpower any hint of malt or hops. Light body and active carbonation help wash away the harsh aftertaste, but the finish is dominated by phenols and tart cranberry. Blended lambics will show an obvious fruit influence, but are not be consumed by it. This beer replaces wheat and malt flavors totally with an acidic bite and poor mouthfeel. This would not score much higher as a fruit/vegetable beer either.

PBRstreetgang, Oct 29, 2005
Photo of beersarang
1.88/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Pours a nice cranberry color with a foamy white head. Big head belgian style.

Moldy aroma, not lambic, but bad yeasty.

Cranberries upfront, huge tartness and an overall unpleasant finish. Not much like any other lambic I've had before. Sounded like a good idea at first, but I was not impressed.

Medium bodied, too carbonated though.

I wouldn't drink this again... but it was nice to try it.

beersarang, Oct 27, 2005
Photo of Fugazme
1.95/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The only thing I smell is rubber. It completely turned me off from this beer. I generally enjoy the Samuel Adams beers... not this one. The look of this beer was the most impressive part... but that only confuses as the aroma takes over and disentegrates any hope of drinking a good beer.
I've always said that Sam Adams is hit or miss... they have good beers that make me feel at home, but some you just need to steer away from. This would be one of the latter.

Fugazme, Aug 04, 2005
Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
63 out of 100 based on 1,340 ratings.