Samuel Adams White Christmas - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
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Ratings: 1,155 | Reviews: 248 | Display Reviews Only:
3.63/5 rDev +4.6%
Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.
I think it's way the hell too early for Bing-o to be crooning his signature at me, but that's a vain argument for another time. This stuff pours a hazy golden straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises orange zest, coriander, light wheat, and a pinch each of black pepper and clove. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some brown sugar and some fairly strong ginger. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, though nothing is necessarily outstanding here, this beer was pretty tasty and enjoyable. The spices are definitely present, but they're also balanced against the citrus-y wheat so they don't get out of hand. Not bad.
10-22-2012 14:14:26 | More by TMoney2591
3.55/5 rDev +2.3%
A - Poured out a hazy, pale gold color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace on the glass.
S - It smelled of cinnamon, nutmeg and wheat.
T - Lots of holiday spices, cinnamon, nutmeg and spruce-like flavors. Wheat flavor is present but not strong. Some caramel, too.
M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.
O - This is a nice witbier. I like the effort to do something different for a winter seasonal.
11-25-2012 23:48:38 | More by zeff80
4.25/5 rDev +22.5%
I bought a six-pack of Samuel Adams White Christmas on a whim, and I'm glad I did. I haven't been so pleasantly surprised by one of their holiday beers since Old Fezziwig perked up my taste buds decades ago.
It's just a full bodied witbier with cinnamon and nutmeg added, but it's nicely done and perfectly accented by the spice... and sometimes that's all it takes, just taking a simple idea or common thing and adding a little bit of something extra to it. This, of course, is not the first amped-up witbier with holiday spices that's even been done, but it's been done very well.
I won't go into the specific details of the beer (color, clarity, head retention, body and so on) because I doubt that's necessary here, but I'll say that I find it remarkably well balanced. In fact, by the time I'd taken my second sip it occurred to me that it might just be the best (spiced) holiday beer that I've ever tasted. The cinnamon is clearly present but not overdone, and the nutmeg comes through nicely as well. The wheaty malt is full, but not cloying or sweet - there's only 8 IBU's to it, but the spice steps in where needed.
Worth trying for sure!
11-25-2012 00:04:44 | More by NeroFiddled
3.5/5 rDev +0.9%
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.
A: The beer is a light yellowish gold color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.
S: The aroma contains a lot of spices, citrus, wheat, light caramelized malts and a touch of hops.
T: The taste starts out sweet with strong flavors of spice and citrus. Then some breadiness comes in from wheat, Belgian yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.
M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.
O: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, this is a typical Sam Adams spice-laden lighter beer.
12-22-2013 19:15:21 | More by TheManiacalOne
3.43/5 rDev -1.2%
12oz brown bottle with a freshness date
LOOK: Hazed golden straw hue, sufficient lacing
SMELL: Fruit cake spicing, bready, sweet, mildly plummy, hint of alcohol
TASTE: Smooth, moderate sized body, a bit slick, assertive spiciness, light breath of alcohol, semi-sweet, slightly bready, peppery, ripe pears, spicy grainy finish
Not half bad, sort of an odd ball to the group. Would have love to see this amped up to 7% abv or a bit more but they kept it safe. I'm sure they'll be snatched up during any holiday parties being a witbier and all.
12-17-2012 04:25:20 | More by Jason
3.88/5 rDev +11.8%
an oddly spiced witbier, but it works for me. the pours is really cloudy, pale yellow, with a smallish white head. the nose is tons of orange peel, dried, with some typical winter ale spices as well, but the catch is that its a wheat beer with a hop kick as well. lots of wheat malt and spent yeast cells in the taste up front, spice comes in the middle, again with a lot of orange zest, and is quite hoppy in the finish, pleasantly and surprisingly. good carbonation, lighter than medium body, highly drinkable and frankly a very enjoyable beer. this is something distinct, i think new this year, but one that i would like to see stick around. i could be happy drinking this all winter. one of the highlights of this years winter mix.
11-28-2012 02:05:08 | More by StonedTrippin
4.05/5 rDev +16.7%
A couple 12 oz. bottles from the mix-pack,
A: Pours a classic yellow to goldenrod with a small white head. Good head retention, solid spotty lace.
S: Lots of cinnamon, nutmeg and orange, almost smells like a spiced cider. Some bready wheat notes tells me that I'm smelling a beer though. Nice use of winter spice.
T: The taste as with the nose has a bit of a spiced cider thing. Maybe it's the overt cinnamon tricking me, there is no tartness, heavy fruit or other hallmark of winter cider I get aside from the cinnamon, so I'll leave it at that. The spice is very nice and blends with the wheat and malt for a nice tasty spiced witbier. Very good stuff.
M: Medium-bodied, seems a bit richer than the 5.8%. Very creamy, glides across the tongue on the finish. Elegant.
O: This is a really nice unique spiced beer that's a great addition to the Winter mix pack. Too bad I only get 2 of them in this thing.
11-04-2012 06:17:45 | More by Halcyondays
3.71/5 rDev +6.9%
Appearance: pours a hazy yellowish color with a 1" head that breaks apart quickly.
Smell: yeast,coriander, and a bit of ginger are mild but detctable.
Taste: mild malt profile with coriander, lemon, ginger, and cracked pepper are well balanced. Bitterness is mild.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout. Short lasting aftertaste.
Overall: an enjoyable wittier that is easy to consume.
01-11-2013 22:26:35 | More by Gavage
2.45/5 rDev -29.4%
12 fl oz brown glass bottle with typical simple Sam Adams label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired as part of the 2013 winter variety 12 pack box at me local HEB grocery and served into an Avery stem-snifter in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given the brewery. "Ale brewed with spices." Reviewed as a witbier because the label identifies it as an "unfiltered white ale." Best before: March 2013. 5.8% ABV confirmed.
Served cold - straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as I pour.
Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of white colour. Average thickness. Subpar creaminess. Decent consistency. Inconsistent but even lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. No "legs" on this one. Head retention is average - about 2 minutes.
Body colour is a cloudy lemon-orange - clearly unfiltered. Translucent yet nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. Looks a bit too dark for a witbier, most are bright, vibrant, and yellow.
Not unique or special. I'm optimistic. There are no obvious egregious flaws.
Sm: Artificial lemon fruit. Nutmeg. Artificial orange peel. Pilsner malts. Belgian white malts. Belgian pale malts. Clove. Coriander. Floral hop character. Wheat. Some citrus zest. Some limited banana. Vague hints of bland fruitcake. Not a real fresh aroma.
No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.
A pleasant if artificial aroma of average strength. Far from unique or special. A witbier should be fresh and inviting, with a crisp wheat aroma. This is not. The spicing and fruit are also underwhelming. Not real evocative or appealing, but it's not offensive.
T/Mf: Wheat, pale malt, pilsner malt. Too full-bodied and heavy on the palate for a witbier. It should be fleeting, light, and refreshing, but it isn't. Smooth and wet. Overcarbonated
The texture isn't perfectly married to the taste by any stretch, but it suits it in a general sense. Okay presence on the palate. Not astringent, harsh, oily, hot, gushed, or boozy. It hides its ABV pretty well.
Hop profile is entirely floral, though the artificial fruit could emerge somewhat from the hops as well as from whatever fruit extract/syrup they used. I get vague orange peel, a hint of lemon, and vague citrusy zest. Spices also feel artificial and in no way fresh: stale ginger, fake cinnamon (cassia), coriander, clove, and nutmeg. Boy, I wish the fruit peel was much more fresh and evocative, but there's zero authenticity there. Real fruit makes a huge difference.
Little complexity and subtlety here. Very shallow depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. I'm not huge on this one, but it's by no means intolerable or offensive. Pretty boring. Misses the mark for a witbier.
Dr: The macrobrewing of Sam Adams definitely hit this one hard. I'll probably garnish the other bottles of this with some lemon; I rarely do that unless the low quality of the beer demands it (see Blue Moon). It's downable - I'll easily finish the bottle - but I'd like to see this winter seasonal go away. Not a keeper by any means. A throwaway witbier from Sam Adams that I wouldn't get again or recommend to friends. Well below average. I might honestly prefer Blue Moon.
Not worth aging.
Pair with mediocre food and/or bad news. Leftovers, take-out, getting dumped, and a bad day at work will fit the bill.
11-07-2013 03:39:31 | More by kojevergas
3.06/5 rDev -11.8%
Pours a hazy, dark golden yellow color with lighter banana yellow hues and a one finger, frothy white head that quickly settles into a thin, lasting ring. Minimal spotty lacing left behind.
Zesty autumnal spice aroma with sweet citrus, malted wheat and a strong bread/yeast presence. Smells more like a fall beer than a winter/Christmas ale. Reminds me of a pumpkin wheat beer with lots of cinnamon, allspice and ginger followed by bread, banana, clove, cider and orange peel. Interesting approach to the style but not very inviting.
On the fuller end of medium body with a peppery spice presence that lingers over the yeast and sweet citrus notes into a slightly dry finish. Prominent zesty spice up front with clove, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg followed by strong bread/yeast flavor, sweet citrus rind, banana, bubblegum, apple cider and subtle pumpkin. Tastes appropriate for the season but it's slightly watered down and the flavors don't mesh very well. Kind of bland except for being heavily spice and having strong wheat/bread flavor. Even the spice blend feels a bit generic and the orange peel is buried underneath the other notes. Okay for this time if year but not something that I would want to drink more than once.
12-05-2013 04:01:51 | More by corby112
3.93/5 rDev +13.3%
I was intrigued by this during a recent beer excursion in Philly and decided to give it a whirl. I will be returning to The CANQuest (TM) shortly.
From the bottle: "As crisp as the first snowfall of the year, this unfiltered white ale is blended with holiday spices including cinnamon, nutmeg & orange peel. The familiar citrus and wheat characters of the ale are complemented by the warmth of the spices for a festive brew that's perfect for the season. Cheers! [undersigned] Jim Koch
I felt that some agitation may be in order so I poured about one-quarter into a lass, then began to swirl the beer while still in the bottle before resuming the pour. I ended with a finger-and-a-half of rocky, eggnog-colored head with good retention. Color was a VERY cloudy orangish-yellow. Nose held an interesting melange of spices with the cinnamon and nutmeg wrestling for dominance. Mouthfeel was medium but now it was the cinnamon and the orange peel fighting it out on my tongue. Finish had a pleasant nutmeg-driven vanilla-like flavor. I have to agree with a previous reviewer that allowing it to warm really brings forth the spices. A very nice holiday ale, worth checking out while in limited release.
11-26-2012 23:36:03 | More by woodychandler
3.4/5 rDev -2%
Thanks to Eric for gifting me with a bottle of this. Poured into a matching SA sensory glass, the brew appears a clouded pale yellow to almost light orange juice color. About a finger of white head composed of rather large bubbles fades back to a thin wisp across the top. A swirl agitates bubbles from solution to reform a half finger cap and produce some spots of lacing effect on the glass.
The aroma is like gingerbread or ginger snap cookies. Quite bready with a ridiculous amount of clove and a sweetness of holiday spices. Had I not seen what this brew looked like, I would have immediately assumed this was a pumpkin ale of sorts.
The taste is super spicy with holiday flavors. Primarily clove with a bready backing of something like gingerbread or ginger snap cookies as described in the aroma as well. There is a bit of a citrus component that is zesty and fruity almost like oranges/lemon or maybe just the spice of a fresh ginger inclusion.
This is a light to medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It has a smoothness about it that almost makes the brew feel more chewy. I know they were going for a holiday ale here but the spices are a bit over the top until the palate becomes accustomed to it. I appreciate the chance to try this brew, but it isn't something I would purchase.
12-11-2012 03:54:27 | More by stakem
3.78/5 rDev +8.9%
12 ounce bottle, enjoy before March notched onto the side of the label.
Pours hazed lighter apricot amber. Minor off white head, thin collar and fine bars of lace.
Light holiday spice on the nostrils. Ehh nothing too special.
Delicate wit, some coriander, and other typical seasonal spicing. Easy drinking and pleasant enough, holiday feel here is fairly subtle. Decent stuff, but nothing you need to run out and buy.
Would work with craft beer newbies at a holiday party....
12-01-2012 23:00:21 | More by Billolick
3.5/5 rDev +0.9%
A: Pours a hazy to cloudy pale golden yellow in color with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some darker golden and lemon yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall white head that quickly reduces to a small to medium sized patch of thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.
S: Light to moderate aromas of wheat and pale malts with some stronger notes of spices - orange peel, cinnamon, and nutmeg stand out. Overall there is some sweetness to the smell.
T: Upfront there are some light to moderate flavors of wheat and pale malts which are followed by the spicy components of the flavor - the cinnamon and nutmeg really stand out with some lighter hints of orange rind. Light amounts fo bitterness which fade rather quickly, this beer is a touch sweet overall for me.
M: Just heavier than light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation.
O: Not a great offering but not a bad offering either for the style - a touch too much spice and sweetness for my personal preferences but it does not make this beer something I would tell people to avoid. I like the idea but just might like it better a little more toned down.
03-09-2013 04:20:56 | More by dbrauneis
3.53/5 rDev +1.7%
Pours a two-fingered white head that fades quickly to ring leaving traces of lace. Light-medium carbonation. Medium body. Hazy straw color. Nose is orange peel, flavor is sweet orange peel and finish is sweet and dry. 12oz bottle part of 12-pak $13.99 Market Basket Concord, NH.
12-16-2012 23:31:16 | More by jdhilt
3.63/5 rDev +4.6%
Cloudy orange colored beer with a small white head.
Smell is light crackers with orange peel and nutmeg.
Starts out light wheat malt with cinnamon and nutmeg with citrus lemon slash orange oil. Tasty beer, the spices are just right for the Witbier natural spice taste.
Mouthfeel is full.
One of Sam Adams more successful seasonal beers. FAR better than the dreaded cranberry lambic.
11-25-2012 23:40:05 | More by Zorro
3.68/5 rDev +6.1%
12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, best before April 2013. Pours hazy golden amber color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with plenty of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, orange peel, wheat, clove, pepper, pear, floral, biscuit, and earthy yeast spiciness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and spice notes. Taste of lemon, pear, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, wheat, light clove, pepper, floral, biscuit, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, cinnamon, nutmeg, wheat, biscuit, light clove, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Nice balance and complexity of malt and spice notes; with spices being more muted than I expected from the nose; and zero cloying flavors on the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with nearly zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a good spiced witbier. Good balance of malt and spice notes with good flavor robustness; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.
04-03-2013 04:06:29 | More by superspak
3.48/5 rDev +0.3%
Samuel Adams White Christmas
Pours a pale golden color. Smells spicy with a note of wheat. In the flavor, sweet crisp wheat and a dry spice. Coriander and clove are easily identifiable. Little bitterness but not too sweet. Orange peel and allspice round out the flavor profile. Medium bodied, well carbonated and finishes clean. Overall this is a drinkable winter offering from Boston Beer Co, certainly a solid offering.
12-09-2012 16:23:17 | More by Stinkypuss
Samuel Adams White Christmas from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 1,155 ratings.