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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.

1,329 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,329
Reviews: 838
rAvg: 2.67
pDev: 28.46%
Wants: 12
Gots: 23 | 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: 1,329 | Reviews: 838 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WilliamPhilaPa


2.9/5  rDev +8.6%

Pours a hazy peach / amber color. The head is foams up quickly but dies quickly as well. On the nose, the aroma of cranberries. On the palate there is a decent sweetness, some citrus hints, decent malt flavors, and an ever slight bitterness / tartness but not like other Lambics I’ve tasted though. This beer gets worse as it warms up also. If you are into fruity type beers this one may be good for you, but you’ll probably have to drink it very cold, but why even bother with it.

01-13-2003 06:34:49 | More by WilliamPhilaPa
Photo of Todd


2.2/5  rDev -17.6%

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.

01-12-2003 16:07:23 | More by Todd
Photo of chilidog


3.73/5  rDev +39.7%

I didn't know what to expect from thisone. What I found was an ok "tis-the season" brew, like one or two per-year is just right. The smell was fruity of berry. It poured burnt orange with a higher carbon head than most out of BBC. The taste was very fruity & tart. The cranberry stood-out in its taste & mouthfeel.

01-12-2003 03:07:09 | More by chilidog
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh


2.85/5  rDev +6.7%

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.

01-10-2003 16:09:37 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of kwill


2.33/5  rDev -12.7%

Pours well with a half inch head that does not disappear immediately. The color is a nice cloudy amber that makes me think of a good wheat beer. Unfortunately this is the best part about the beer.

The smell is like sweet, over-ripe fruit. The taste is initially good, but the aftertaste kicks in very quickly and leaves a hint of bitterness and a flavor of fruit that has gone bad.

I generally enjoy fruit beers, and I enjoy all Sam Adams beers (except the Utopias and Light) so I am quite disappointed that I have to give this beer such a low score. Overall I am glad that this beer only comes out once a year so that it is not taking up shelf space of other, more deserving beers.

01-09-2003 18:57:50 | More by kwill
Photo of AtrumAnimus


4.93/5  rDev +84.6%

Lambic & Sam Adam's - I am a huge fan of the Boston Beer Company, But I was a bit hesitant to try this one. I am glad I did. This is an exceptionally good and very drinkable beer. The hops and the cranberry flavors combine to make a wonderful experience for the palate. The nose on this beer is exceptional as well. If you can find this - buy it and drink it. This is not your typical Lambic (Or chick beer as some call it). The exotic flavors that come pouring forth are to numerous to list and surprisingly the Cranberry is the least of them. Boston Beer company is very good at their hop blends. They have a knack that few can master. And here is a fine example of that mastery of hops with a fruit blend that is just fantastic Sam Adam's has achieved something special here.

01-02-2003 08:18:11 | More by AtrumAnimus
Photo of psugrad98


2.65/5  rDev -0.7%

First of all, I really don't like cranberries. Keep that in mind. Light reddish with burnt orange hues. Light lace and slightly fizzy carbonation. Bittersweet cranberry flavors predominate with fizzy on the tounge brew. Slight malty afterflavor. Not bad, but not great either. Its not even a lambic. The nerve!! Try a Frambioise for a true taste of a good fruit lambic.

01-02-2003 07:37:56 | More by psugrad98
Photo of Brent


2.53/5  rDev -5.2%

The obligatory rant about this beer: it is not a lambic, it is a fruit beer. Sammy should just call it what it is. Call it a lambic and folks expect something special. Call it a fruit beer, and folks hope for something drinkable. Sammy did not really pull off either with this beer. Closest to a light wheat - quite tart, but there really is very little cranberry to add zest. I was expecting BIG cranberry notes - drink this as a side to dry turkey type cranberry notes. Here, the cranberry was sort of an echo, like they held a can of cranberry sauce over the wort and said "wort, meet cranberry. Cranberry, meet wort" and that was as close as they got.

It came in the holiday mix pack. That is about all you can say for this weak effort.

12-29-2002 22:09:34 | More by Brent
Photo of SixpointJMH

New Jersey

1.15/5  rDev -56.9%

hadn't had one in years (as i hated it so), but you can't avoid em when you want the old fezziwig, so i decide to revisit it. it pours a brownish orange and the fruity smell is instantly overbearing. it's not as fruity in taste as i remember it though, and that was thanks to the 'touch of' (what an understatement!) maple syrup. a different type of brew? yes. a good one? no way.

12-27-2002 17:31:56 | More by SixpointJMH
Photo of TAMU99


1.15/5  rDev -56.9%


Well, it looks great in a glass. Pours a beautiful reddish brown with a nice thick head. So, if you're just posing with out actually drinking your beer, this one's for you.

However, the rest leaves much to be desired. For those of you who brew it tastes like soured beer.
The intense cranberry smell and flavor overpower you right out of the glass. It has an acidic cidery flavor that puckers your mouth without any real showing from the malty side of the house. Had I tasted this blindfolded, I would have thought it to be a cider first, not a beer.

I certainly do not recommend this for anything but photo ops.

12-25-2002 11:46:32 | More by TAMU99
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


2.68/5  rDev +0.4%

Hail the Sam Adams sampler pack. As a quick aside, I've been making some noise down here in Cincinnati to a few contacts at the brewery about only being able to obtain Fezziwig in the Holiday Pack, but that's another review...

Cranberry Lambic pours out smoothly, small head which bubbles away rapidly. The color is orange and cloudy, the aroma is fairly non-descript save for a slight sourness.

The taste isn't earth shaking, but it's not bad. I'd prefer it to most mega brews, but don't think I could drink more than 3 of these at one sitting. Good thing there's only 2 per 12-pack, huh?!?

There's obviously some kind of sour-producing yeast strain in there, but of course it cannot be a true lambic unless it is brewed in that proper area of Belgium. Still, it's brewed to appeal to the masses, which true lambics cannot do as they are far more sour.

The carbonation is pleasant, average to slightly above average I'm guessing, with the cranberry flavor hitting about the same time as the sour notes. Cranberries have a tartness to them anyway, so it's not a bad combo. I wouldn't mind seeing how a real lambic with cranberries would turn out. Leave the pits in like a cherry lambic, could be great!

Anyway, this beer is okay, the cranberry flavor doesn't come across genuinely, most likely added in at the end, but my wife likes it, the only 'lambic' she has given the thumbs up, so I at least know how to get rid of the other bottle. ;-)

12-11-2002 19:56:32 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of budgood1


2.68/5  rDev +0.4%

amber color, ample head, above average carbonation and a good deal of lace. muted mustiness and some cranberry aroma hit the nose. cranberry juice flavored beer is all this is. brewed in the manner as not to offend anyone and making it sweet and drinkable for the holiday season. malternative drinkers should love this beer. beer drinkers should probably not drink it. oh well... grab this and the sammy light in the holiday pack and give it to the lady or light beer drinker in your life and horde the rest for yourself. everyone can be happy then!

12-09-2002 17:07:49 | More by budgood1
Photo of frank4sail

New Jersey

2.75/5  rDev +3%

Musty berry smell. Peach with a touch of blood orange in the color. White 1/4 inch head which dissapated rapidly to a white sheen. Interesting but watery taste.. there are hints of cranberry sweetness but the brew does not hold a candle to other lambic I've tasted when it comes to flavor, body, and character. It lacks any real complexity and seems like its been stripped down. There is a slight smoothness to the mouth but not enough to impact the palate. Not bad just weak and uneventful.

12-09-2002 13:27:03 | More by frank4sail
Photo of BeerBuilder


2.6/5  rDev -2.6%

Hazy, brownish-orange color with a red hue. Foamy white head that dissipates rather quickly. It has quite a bit of carbonation. There is some cranberry aromas, as well as quite a bit of sour/tartness. The tartness continues into the taste, but also the sweet cranberry flavors. The finish is sweet and syrupy. Overall, it is too syrupy and sweet, and should not be considered a Lambic.

12-07-2002 15:30:03 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

2.68/5  rDev +0.4%

Well, I'll try anything once (or so the rumor goes...) The Sam Cran-Lam does have a decent dark-golden color, with a thin, fine white head and a hint 'o lace. I can't say the aroma did much for me, though. It was fruity, yet in a weird, off sort of way. Mouthfeel was medium body-wise and smoothness-wise, too. Oh, but the taste!? Again, that off-fruity flavor, and even a flavor I connect to burnt pop-corn. Not my cup 'o tea, I'm afraid. I'm still debating whether I want to finish it or not... ....10 or so minutes later....Alewife asks what I'm drinking... I tell her that this bier is just NOT for me...Alewife asks "you're NOT going to throw bier out, are you?" She graciously finished it for me....Vielen Dank!!

overall: 2.9
appearance: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 2.5


12-07-2002 14:36:41 | More by Bierman9
Photo of inebrius


2.7/5  rDev +1.1%

If you can get past the funky "pancake breakfast in Grandma's basement" nose you might find the nicely balanced sweet/tart taste to your liking. This beer is helped immensely by its relatively short and clean finish. Drinkable? I'm not sure I could ever drink more than one of these without chewing on a citrus peel or something in between sips. I like Cranberries in my scones, not my beers.

12-04-2002 06:17:59 | More by inebrius
Photo of ADR


2.83/5  rDev +6%

Slightly hazy dark peach-brown appearance, 1/8 inch head that turns to a wine glass rim-clinging ring of small bubbles. Really lacks aroma almost altogether, a little sense of berries. Why are they even ATTEMPTING to allude that this is a Lambic? Sweet maple and cane sugar malts, slight sense of sugared cranberry juice, slight bitter sense and nothing other than berry at the close. Mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbonation. Given that cranberries are among the most tart of fruits, it seems Sammy just passed the buck and brewed a fruit wheat beer of no particular memory in order to not offend people unfamiliar with a Lambic's strengths (or weaknesses, depending on tastes). Sure, its a Fruit Experimental, but I wonder more than ever about the loss of the memory of true Lambic and Gueuze flavor profiles.

12-03-2002 08:44:15 | More by ADR
Photo of mjohn27603


3.5/5  rDev +31.1%

Dark golden in color pours with a large head that overflowed the glass. Smells like cranberry juice tastes like cranberry juice with some maltiness mixed in. Not quite as sweet as I remember real lambics being. Doesn't make you pucker. Not very complex. Not one of the highlights of the Sam Adams Winter Classics pack.

12-01-2002 17:11:35 | More by mjohn27603
Photo of IrishRedRock


2.08/5  rDev -22.1%

Originally reviewed this more than a year ago...time for some serious editing today, 12/30/03. I originally said I didn't like this, and I didn't like real lambics either. Well...I love true lambics now, and I still think this brew blows. Don't know if BBC is poking fun at themselves calling this a lambic or what, but seriously...what the hell. Not even close...not even in the same universe. Rusty orange color, smells faintly of tart cranberries, but really, just doesn't smell appetizing. Dry wheat flavor with some mild fruitiness. Decent smooth mouthfeel. I opened this bottle thinking, "maybe it'll be better than last year." Nope. I hope the sink's thirsty. Where's my Old Fezziwig?

12-01-2002 14:20:22 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of jackndan


3.38/5  rDev +26.6%

Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic: Not nearly as bad as I remembered it in years back, the cranberry taste is much more muted than in earlier versions. Pours a reddish golden color, with a slightly off-white head, that lasts, and leaves nice Belgian lace down the side (although that’s about the close as you’ll get to a Belgian lambic). The aroma is Cranberries, no surprise there. The taste is initially very sweet, with very prominent fruit tastes, however, these bleed away quickly, and leave a dry, almost Champagne taste. Clearly, this beer is very effervescent. Again, not too shabby.

11-26-2002 19:44:15 | More by jackndan
Photo of Gusler


3.33/5  rDev +24.7%

The beer pours an opalescent golden orange color with an impressive head, creamy in texture, the lace sticky thick sheets to coat the glass. Nose is cranberry tart, malt, crisp and fresh. The start cloyingly sweet, the top skimpy, the finish is sour/tart, noticeable acidity, the hops apropos for the style, with a droughty aftertaste. Ranks #895 on my current 1000 beer master list.

11-26-2002 16:39:53 | More by Gusler
Photo of bditty187


2.58/5  rDev -3.4%

Peachy-bronze hue with goldish highlights, largely clear, however there is a slight haze, the white head raced to a half finger in height before it quickly faded to a soapy residue, the collar of bubbles around the edge was slightly fuller than the center. It looks well enough, it didn’t lace (as expected). The nose is odd and borderline gross, distant and muffled cranberries, oranges, sugar and a kiss of wheaty-yeast. The potency is modest but strong enough to perceive this unusual amalgamation. The palate is a little tart upfront with big sugary sweetness in the middle (the maple syrup?), a mesh of cranberry-orange jelly at the finish. Slight wheatiness, especially in the aftertaste, some sourness as well. There is “funkiness” but it doesn’t seem indicative of yeast, maybe it is, but it is not all that tradition in flavor. I find this beer to be weird tasting, some may call in complex (but I doubt that), and it is frankly too cloying. Medium-light body, thinned more by the wheat, near absent carbonation, tacky-sweet mouthfeel, it fails to be drinkable. SA needs to abort with one, Lambic it is not. It is not even a good fruit beer. Barely tolerable to drink, one is enough for me… you want the other? Rather lousy.

11-26-2002 12:59:12 | More by bditty187
Photo of BeerBob


3.85/5  rDev +44.2%

Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic pours a light copper from a 12oz brown glass bottle. Head goes to about two fingers then settles to a light cap of foam.

Nose is a bit musty and damp, with no real hint of what is to come. Palate on the other hand is a marvelous sweet and tart cranberry that more than makes up for the lack of any discernable nose.

Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic is really a "wheat beer with cranberry and other natural flavors” nonetheless a welcomed holiday treat from the Boston Beer Company.

11-25-2002 21:45:27 | More by BeerBob
Photo of Bighuge


3.55/5  rDev +33%

Hazy amber color with an orange glow to it. A thin film coats the surface. Lacing is minimal. Sweet smell. The maple syrup seems to combine nicely with the cranberries to produce a sweet, but not cloyinging sweet, aroma. Very pleasant. The body is closer to light than to medium. The taste starts out sweet, but finishes slightly tart. There's a very real sugary taste to this beer. It's really not cloying in the least. Cranberry seems to add some tartness to this. Pretty drinkable. I may try this out with Turkey on Thanksgiving.

11-25-2002 19:24:12 | More by Bighuge
Photo of marc77


3.53/5  rDev +32.2%

Orange amber hue, with a head that readily settles into a thin, spotty layer that persists. Slight haze. The aroma is comprised of mellow, ripe, red fruit that is unexpectedly cherry - like in nature along with medium caramel malt. Pleasant esters, mild earthy hops and breadiness are present as well. Trace butterscotch. Light, non descript tartness upfront yields to a combination of caramel malt sweetness and clean wheat graininess. The initial tartness persists sufficiently so that when the subtle cranberry flavor emerges late, an impression of caramel syrup coated tart cranberries is left. There's a definite twang of cranberry extract. Subdued earthy hop flavor. The light hop bitterness and fading tartness leaves an overall sweet character to this brew. Dextrinous body and firm mouthfeel considering the low strength. Very quaffable. Finishes sweet and lightly bready, but otherwise clean. A surprisingly good fruit beer. There sufficient malt character to prevent cloying fruity sweetness. I think Sam Adams was poking fun at themselves when calling this a "Lambic."

11-24-2002 17:41:15 | More by marc77
Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
63 out of 100 based on 1,329 ratings.