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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams White ChristmasSamuel Adams White Christmas

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282 Reviews

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Reviews: 282
Hads: 1,541
Avg: 3.48
pDev: 35.92%
Wants: 22
Gots: 282 | 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:
Beer added by: TMoney2591 on 10-22-2012

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.
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Reviews: 282 | Hads: 1,541
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a weiss-vase, the beer is an unfiltered, pale, yellowish coloring with a thin, sparse, filmy coating of white on the surface, with a little more substantial build up around the edges. Aromas of cinnamon and coriander on a bready backbone. The nose is subtle, other than the spices. Flavors of rich bread, with a heavy dosing of the clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and coriander spicing. Very well blended in the spicing, but very spice heavy overall. The backbone of toasted grains and bread support, but get somewhat overshadowed. The aftertaste is warming, with the spices blending around on the palate, leading into a clean, quick finish. Tasty, light beer that would be a crowd pleaser during holiday get togethers, but there are Witbiers out there that have more to offer.

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Photo of corby112
3.09/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

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Photo of Zorro
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.52/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The White Christmas can in a Holiday mixed pack...a much better replacement to the Cranberry Lambic. The beer pours a cloudy yellow with thin white head that is not lacing. Definitely smell the orange peel....not so much the nutmeg and cinnamon. The taste starts with a crisp citrus start and then the spice bolstered by the cinnamon kicks in. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it is a tasty beer...but it will not replace Fizzywig or Holiday Porter as my favs.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.06/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up at the COOP today and enjoying while making dinner.. great foamy white head... nice retention and lacing.. the brew is standard hazed light golden..

Nose is warm spices.... nutmeg and a lesser but present cinnamon... orange peel is also there.. pale maltiness helps bloom the spices and makes them really jump out of the glass.

Flavor mirrors the nose with a sorta flat doughy malt profile.. Thankfully the spices are not as prevalent as the aroma.. still though, the nutmeg and cinnamon are the major players.

Body seems thicker than normal for a witbier, but somehow is right in line for a winter spiced beer.. Decent for what it is despite my aversion of spices in beer.

Okay... Not my cup of tea (though Xmas spices belong in tea, not beer).. I will not buy it again, but I think it will be a hit with folks who like this type of brew.


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Photo of Tone
3.86/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, maize color. 2/3 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of strong lemon, citrus hops, sweet malt, hint of wheat, and slight spice (cinnamon and all spice). Fits the style of a Witbier. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, spices (cinnamon and all spice), hops, and slight citrus. Overall, good aroma, body, blend, and appearance.

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

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light straw amber with a half finger white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of mild wheat and bready malt with a hint of spices. Flavor is dominated by cinnamon and light cloves supported by wheat and sweet malt. Light bodied with peppery carbonation. The witbier character is subdued, but a well balanced flavor of light sweet malt, wheat and Christmas spices delivers on the name. Mild and pleasant.

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Photo of aasher
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

White Christmas pours a light bodied cloudy gold in color with a light white head around the glass. The nose is pretty straightforward and simple. There is slight Belgian yeast character with a touch of coriander and nutmeg. The flavors have more of a presence but finish quickly. It features slightly sweet pale malts, some nutmeg, cinnamon, and coriander. It's seasonally appropriate. It drinks light in body and is pretty drinkable. Would I buy a six pack? No. But this beer is well suited for their Winter Classics Variety pack.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by 3/13. consumed 3/13.

A: Lemon based coloring with some pale orange tint and a translucent quality, while a strong effervesce rages within. Chalky white head is slight, a bit whispy and weakly holding leaving no preferred window dressing behind.

S: A bit of tart orange and lemon with a hint of tropical fruitiness and white grapes. Complexity level is rather low.

T: Crisp beginning for the flavor, spiciness comes through, a bit more so then the nose with indications of cinnamon, nutmeg. Bright hops and orange peels and citrus while the wheat is also lively. Tart orange and lightly dry wheat finish. Spicy twang of tropical fruitiness and i detected a hint of banana thrown about.

M: bright and crisp, creamy wheat texture with a tart layering on the tongue.

O: Overall wouldnt drink in multiples. The nutmeg and cinnamon seem a bit out of place. A wit that wants to be a xmas beer, yes i get it, but something that comes off a bit more intriquing on paper then palate. A bit sweet overall, the flavor is not bad, just odd, seeming a bit forced and misplaced, i get the notion and concept of being different just may take a bit to get used to here.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.29/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration date of March 2014. Sampled on November 15, 2013.

It has a mostly golden to orange pour. The fizzy white head erupts than diminishes.

The aroma brings out some malt characters along with citrus and spice as well a slight hope note.

The body is light to medium

The taste is really quite typical of a wit with the toasted pale malt notes, citrus, and mild hop bit. But it feels generally clean all the way through.

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Photo of Brad007
3.81/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

They already have a white ale. Why another?

Pours a cloudy whitish-gold color with a thin head into my glass. Very straightforward for the style.

Creamy and spicy with light citrus and clove notes. Fairly average here. The spices add a bit of variation to the base.

Ditto for the flavor. Very creamy once again. Lots more clove with some buttery malt. Very clean with optimal carbonation.

Lingering creaminess and sweet malt make up the mouthfeel. Not much of the wheat base remains.

An interesting varation of their white ale with spices and a mouthfeel that while very unique, doesn't quite fit the style all the way. A worthy effort regardless.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.1/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, best before March 2014. Oh well, better late than never! Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a hazy golden/amber color with a half inch off-white head that stayed around for a good amount of time. There's a small amount of lacing. The brew smells like nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and some orange and orange peel. It tastes pretty much just like the aroma, but with the addition of some wheat/bready malt. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating with moderate carbonation. Not a bad brew, but I wish I would have been able to try this when it was fresher. Hopefully I'll be able to this upcoming winter!

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours hazy straw gold under a sticky, persistent 2” white foam collar.
S: Herbal and spice with some bread.
T: Bread, caramel, orange peel, lemon, citrus, with some cinnamon and light drying in the finish.
F: Medium light body and medium high carbonation.
O: Big wheat beer flavors that might appeal to a wide audience.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from Walmart Cicero NY for 2$

Appearance – Hazy gold colour with an average size fizzy/foamy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some fairly great lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains/wheat, all-spice, citrus

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation. I can taste grains/bread mixed with all-spice, nutmeg, and some fruity citrus notes. Lots of flavour, but well balanced and even slightly refreshing. It ends with a spicy crisp aftertaste.

Overall – A well made and very drinkable beer. The flavours work well together and I could actually drink a few of these. Worth checking out.

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Photo of ccrida
3.97/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is murky,dull gold with a small, creamy white head leaving scattered, foamy lace.

Smell is spicy, the nutmeg most prominent, with the citrus and cinnamon notable as well, with sweet cereals. Nice integration though, bright but not overly done.

Taste is similar, in that the spices are obvious but not overwhelming. A nice seasonal twist on a decent white beer base. Could use some fruitier esters, the grains and clean and flavorful, fresh bread. A touch yeasty.

Mouthfeel is slippery, light bodied.

Drinkability is pretty high, it's a solid spicy wit. I maybe wouldn't drink 6 in a sitting, but 2-3 would be nice and festive.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.06/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Cloudy orange. Huge, downy white head. About an inch and a half of height. Leaves mild lacing. Body is far more orange than the pale white normally associated with a Wit.

S-Orange peel and coriander. Spiced wheat. Mulled cider. Quite spicy. I quickly notice the sweetness that I will soon be experiencing. A spicier Witbier.

T-Sweet and spiced. Toasted wheat. Nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. A tickle of pepper? Gingerbread. Caramel covered nectarine skins. Consistent maltiness.

M-Fuller bodied Wit. Massaging carbonation. Slick and semi-sticky.

O/D-Sam has put out a couple neat beers recently. This one is more dud than stud. 85% Witbier, 15% Winter Warmer. Weird little guy. Damnit, I can see two or three bottles from this six-pack becoming refugees in the fridge for a month or so.

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Photo of barczar
3.4/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy golden color with a loose half inch ivory head that quickly dissipates, leaving no lacing.

Aroma is ginger-dominant, with cinnamon, clove, and orange complementing a light wheat base.

Ginger is present throughout the flavor profile, along with wheat-beer/lemony tartness. Cinnamon and nutmeg surface in the finish, which is a touch dry and malty.

Body is moderate, with prickly carbonation that lifts the wheat flavor from the palate.

Overall, a fairly subtle Christmas offering. Not really a great wit or a great winter brew, though. Fairly middle of the road.

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Photo of barnzy78
2.61/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, pours a hazy, ruddy, yellow color with a tinge of rusty orange, tall white head sticks around and leaves some lace as it fades. Aromas are oddly musty, wheaty, spicy, orange peel. Tastes are wheaty, nutmeg, cinnamon, yeast, still musty, orange. Thin-to-medium mouth-feel, higher carbonation makes it feel fuller. Finishes fairly clean with slight tartness & dryness. Overall, this was a disappointment. I don't feel that the cinnamon & nutmeg belong here, maybe some familiar clove might have rounded it out a bit?

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Photo of rfgetz
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy straw color, moderate head. Scent is very pale with notes of pilsner and wheat malts, giving a little grainy tang to the nose, some faint seasonal spicing and a touch of lemon peel. Taste is light as well, faint notes of wheat and pilsner malt, lemon rind and seasonal spicing and faint as well. Lighter side of medium. Drinakable - yes, memorable - no.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.22/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle, as part of the winter pack, purchased at Wegmans in Geneseo, NY.

Pours a cloudy honey yellow, with a one inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smell like over-ripe banana, orange, and indistinguishable strong spicing.

The taste is similar. This one just doesn't work. A Christmas seasonal wit bier makes no sense to me, honestly. Some cinnamon, nutmeg, orange, some black pepper maybe? Belgian yeast flavors. Citrus flavors. Just a mix of flavors that really don't meld together well.

Light bodied, crisp mouthfeel, low carbonation. Would be more drinkable if it tasted good.

Pass. Sam Adams can't make a white ale/witbier to save their life.

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Photo of Brenden
3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A bit more than "wit," the color is a darker gold thick with haze and clearly, as per style and per claim, unfiltered. A white head tries to force itself, ending up loose. It starts at about a finger in height and fades fast. The beer itself appears spritzy, big bubbles sitting stationary. A wispy bit of foam is left, and the glass sports reasonable spotty lacing.
The aroma is on par, earthy and somewhat dusty but mostly spicy, giving off a whiff not of sugary sort of spicing, though there is a light sweetness, but more a dose of kitchen-type spices. Nutmeg is particularly apparent.
The flavor follows suit, offering a strong but appropriately moderate spiciness, the main components being wheat, citrus and nutmeg.
The feel is on the spritzy side, light and sharply crisp with a very mild smoothness underlying.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a yellow-amber color with a decent haziness. The head formed upon pouring is quite nice with it fading relatively quickly to leave a moderate level of lacing.

Smell – The nose is biggest of a citrus and wheat nature mixed with winter spice aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg. Mixed with these aromas are some lighter notes of an earthy hop aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with flavors of citrus and wheat upfront with lighter notes of coriander along the lines of a traditional wit. As the taste advances however, more spice flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg come to the tongue. These spice flavors, when mixed with more bready flavors as well as a more citrus start modifying the flavor from the normal wit. In the end it deviates even more as some more spice and some light herbal and earthy hop flavors come to the tongue. These meld with the other flavors to give a rather interesting lightly hopped and winter spiced wheat and citrus flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer was on the slightly lighter side with a carbonation level that was above average. Good for the wit like characteristics of the brew and not bad for the added spice flavors as well.

Overall – A delicious and flavorful brew. A nice winter style twist of a classic wit. Sam Adams dose it again.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.62/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy gold with a creamy, quickly receding white mousse.

S: Aromas of malted wheat, minerals, butter cream, and orange peel are complimented by aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, and perhaps some other unidentifiable spices. This is definitely different from most Belgian-style wits.

T: Notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peel are front and center, with notes of butter, wheat toast, cream, vanilla bean, minerals, and mild, grassy hops building around them. The finish is short with notes of wheat toast and holiday spices merging.

M: Light-bodied, but slightly heftier than most witbiers. Delicate, creamy, and smooth. Carbonation is firm, but not forceful. Very easy to drink.

O: Not a bad holiday offering at all. It's not superb, but it is definitely drinkable and is just different enough to be interesting. If the folks at Samuel Adams keep this beer in the rotation for next year, I'll be curious to see how it develops.

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Samuel Adams White Christmas from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 282 ratings.