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Samuel Adams White Christmas - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams White ChristmasSamuel Adams White Christmas

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

1,394 Ratings
THE BROS
79
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,394
Reviews: 272
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 15.9%
Wants: 16
Gots: 146 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Witbier |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TMoney2591 on 10-22-2012)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,394 | Reviews: 272 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwc215
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of Winter Variety Pack - Best by April:

Pours clouded light orange-amber with a fluffy head that soon thins. Thin lacing sticks.

The smell is of wheat tang with mild spices.

The taste is of wheat tang, orange peel, coriander, nutmeg, mint, mild cinnamon. It has a tangy, spicy, crisp finish.

It is light-bodied and fairly effervescent.

A mild witbier with some "holiday" spices. Not bad.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of kojevergas
2.45/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

D+

---
11.12.14: Truncated impressions:

A: Unremarkable appearance. Pretty generic witbier.

Sm: Lemon. Wheat. Nutmeg. Maybe ginger. Average in strength.

T: Generic, with some artificial spices.

Mf: Overcarbonated and biting. Crisp.

Dr: Downable but low-quality. Another garbage Sam Adams seasonal beer. I'll avoid this in future. Sam Adams' own Blackberry Wit is volumes better.

C-

Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +30.1%

Photo of Halcyondays
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Gavage
3.71/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of stakem
3.4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of woodychandler
3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of corby112
3.06/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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.

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Billolick
3.78/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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....

Photo of mothman
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of LXIXME
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big white head slowly settles into a nice lacing above a clear pale straw golden colored beer.

Malted grains, wheat, light fruits, spices, cloves and more in the aroma of this Witbier.

Light spices dominate that taste with a little bit of the malts coming through as well.

A light spicy dry aftertaste that seems to also harbor some light wetness on this light to medium bodied beer.

A decent enough spicy winter beer.

Photo of ejimhof
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Zorro
3.63/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of jdhilt
3.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of chinchill
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz. bottle dated best by March 2013.

A: Pours hazy yellow to light amber with a small white head.
S: Subtle, spicy aroma with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, bread dough and citrus.
T: The taste largely follows the nose, with some nice winter spicing and bready flavor, It is rather tart too.
M: Medium-bodied; medium-light carbonation that works well.

O: Well done, but not a favored style.

Photo of tdm168
4.33/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - hazy orangish yellow with a thin lacing of white head

S - the nose is very nice; vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger

T - vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, faint citrus, wheat

M - light to medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is much better than I had expected. Some of the spices used are the typical ones: ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon. But then there's the addition of vanilla which adds a rich, creamy taste. This is definitely not a typical witbier. I could definitely have several of these with family during the holidays. I'll probably pick up some more.

Photo of biegaman
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crackling is generally a great soundtrack for the holidays (i.e, marshmallows roasting on an open fire), but it's a horrible sign for head retention; the only actual white in White Christmas melts away almost completely and immediately. But it is pale, albeit distorted, and possesses that characteristic, almost unearthly glow.

The nose is only medium-zesty but has the distinct zing of spicy, grated fresh ginger. Most splashes of citrus seemed to have missed the glass, though I wouldn't dispute a drop of lemon juice. The savory-spicy ginger note gives this typically warm-weather style some winter-y edge (though not really since ginger beers and shandies are immediate go-to's in the summer).

The palate fills up fast with ginger and nutmeg notes, though they wash away easily with the dry, straw-like wheat. Apart from its capacity as carrier-away-of-flavours, the malt profile is virtually void. Also, I'm not so sure that cinnamon and nutmeg are as congenial to the style as coriander; this lacks 'pop' and each sip is increasingly like pumping a dry well.

The brewery says this is "as crisp as the first snowfall of the year", as if that's supposed to make sense. It is refreshing, I'll give them that, but the lemon-y acidity is really dialed back and very little of the spice lingers. Disappointing. That tang dissolving leaves a stale and uneventful finish. Too bad as the style's popularity is in large part due to its dynamic zestiness.

I opened my first bottle of White Christmas absolutely parched and pooped out from a long night of gift shopping - if it failed to impress in those conditions, with that big a handicap in its favour, then I can't be very optimistic about my next bottle. (Note: it wasn't any better.) Call it whatever you want, but this is really a ‘hot day in July’ beer and, at this quality, doesn't warrant attention for anything else.

Photo of Kelp
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of atrocity
3/5  rDev -13.3%

Samuel Adams White Christmas from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 1,394 ratings.