Samuel Adams Winter Lager | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Samuel Adams Winter Lager is a dark wheat bock. Bock beers are traditionally strong dark lagers.

This beer is a lager, and hence not a Weizenbock (an ale).

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-25-2001

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Reviews: 1,980 | Ratings: 5,892
Photo of pauleyh
4.9/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sam Adams does it once again. i will admit that i am a very big fan of their beers specially for a high end beer with such a beautiful colorful top, the body presents a beautiful amber color. it's smell of orange ginger and grounded cinnamon. the taste is smooth very refreshing experience, its not lame or dry. this kind of beer will creep up on you. you cant drink real fast or down them you got to take exceptional sips to enjoy its lusty aroma. i will admit it is one of my favorite seasonals yet.

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Photo of kdawg105
4.88/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the perfect brew for the season! TIZ the season for these winter ales. Anyway the beer looks kinda of a caramel color and very inviting the smell is kinda light you can surely pick out the hops mixed with sweet malts for its finish. The mouthfeel is nice very balanced and it is an overall great beer for the season. Grab one while you can!

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Photo of Tee76
4.84/5  rDev +33%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Dark amber color with a thick tannish white head.

S: Very malty and spicy, cinnamon and ginger are present.

T: DAMN good!! the taste is full of spices... molasses, ginger and cinnamon being the most present.

M: Full bodied and smooth, very rich and warming on the palate

D: Very High, one of the best tasting Winter beers i have ever had the pleasure of drinking.This beer is full flavored and goes down nicely. Only downfall is.... it's a seasonal beer

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Photo of Ben_From_AZ
4.82/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is my favorite beer of all. I wish it was not a seasonal brew. It flies of the store shelves. The flavor is stronger than the regular Boston Lager and the taste is pleasant without feeling heavy. I like lagers so this hits the spot. Please Mr. Adams consider making this a year round brew.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.77/5  rDev +31%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured this rather roughly (intentionally) to get a good 2-finger head. Just hoping to get a good aroma release, I was not disappointed with the caramel and spices and a bit of citrusy hops before the head quickly melted away.

Color is a reddish iced-tea color, with bubbles quickly forming on the bottom and sides of the glass.

The solid carbonation gives it a crisp edge, but the good caramel malt character keeps it in check. It is not overly sweet and the following hop component is light enough to offend only the most inexperienced palate.

Good balance and full bodied without being heavy. Enough flavor to endure all evening.

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Photo of FlatRabbitRed
4.75/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I once heard a story about this beer that went like this: " Samuel Adams Winter Lager is the same beer as Samuel Adams Octoberfest, they just change the labels". The story came up from a relative over a holiday meal, and he was a bartender for Famous Daves Barbeque. I told him he was full of s***, and that probably his boss told him that to switch tap handles to sell the winter lager faster.

Malty, Harvest notes.

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Photo of Colin108
4.73/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Samuel Adams is a wonderful beer during the holiday season. It is probably the best beer during the holiday season. It is a malt beverage which is what makes it even better. It is Cinnamon flavored. It is only available in small beer stores for a limited amount of time. I wait all year around for this to come out. It may be the best Samuel Adams seasonal beer.

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Photo of n0315
4.72/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A nice amber color on to pour with a soft and kinda stickey head. Has a nice aroma of spices and what seems to be roasted hops. Maybe some maple taste on the drink with a kick of hops which goes down nice and smooth. Finish is a nice roastedness with a bit of a kick added to it. A nice brew some the winter months and something I look foward to often. Sam Adams once again proves to be the best american advertised beer brewer.

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Photo of mbrandonsmith
4.7/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorites from Sam Adams.

Just a beautiful color when poured out with decent head retention and a dark brown body.

Lots of things going on with this taste - Chocolate malt, roasted malts enhanced with different spices.

The smell and taste go hand in hand.

I give this beer a two thumbs up and look forward to it every year.

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Photo of Hackattack
4.7/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L-dark copper...the color of a good roux
S-nothing particular stands out
T- slightly sweet, malty/chocolate notes here favorite type
F- smooth/warm

I love this beer! Not too pricey at $8.51 a warm six. If you are a fan of hopped up brew you may not like this. But I have never had a bad experience with Sam Adams' offerings.

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Photo of mempath
4.68/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours a bright deep orange-red...agian, being a whiskey drinker, i see Elijah Craig's ghost. incredible pancake-batter-just-thrown-into-the-skillet appearance that slowly settles into a tight film. thick slabs of 'lacing' make this beautiful in all senses.

simultaneous malty-hoppy(!?) scent knocks through, allowing the subtlety ofthe winter spices to hint around. nice. some hefty breadiness makes my mouth water.

taste is a complete bready-malty KO with a slight hoppiness keeping things from getting sweet. wonderful. i didn't get this before drinking this at a party out of the bottle...not getting the spicey punch i expected (did out of the bottle...), but this is really stellar. please stop slamming the lambic and the coastal wheat into the winter sampler....the perfect thick/chewy nature of this make this flow along at a steady, festive pace. a brew to completely raise to the season and holidays and count what blessings ya might actually have. i like now that the spices stay back and inch in in the finish...VERY drinkable...a true winter session beer that would be fine alone but i'd like to slalom between this and the Fezziwig from now until the Olympics are over...should still be fresh by then.

nothing cloying. a true SA lager with hops backed off slightly to let spices make merry. finishes dry.

man, if i could just find someone who love the coastal wheat and cranberry lambic but hates the winter lager...TRADE? ;)

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Photo of Rhf9120
4.68/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Big fan of this one. Smells of cinnamon and nutmeg with hits of citrus. The taste is a pleasant mixture of the spices and citrus with a slightly bitter after taste. I really enjoyed this one although doesn't really remind me that much of winter more of a fall beer.

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Photo of casualbeerman
4.65/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is pretty hard to distinguish from the flagship Boston Lager. The only difference I can see is that the head tends to be smaller and dissipate faster. That means the color is a nice healthy shade of copper. The smell is and dominated by the malts with the hops relatively subdued in the background. As is usually the case, the smell was indicative of the taste which was dominated by the malts with the hops more in the background. The malt character is similar to the regular Boston Lager. The taste is strong, fairly sweet, complex, but still very clean. The main difference I noticed is that the hops are more sublte. They are there and provide a nice balance, but there's less of that dry intrusive hoppy bitterness as compared to the non-seasonal Boston Lager. All in all this was an excellent beer and the subtler hops make this an easy choice for a session beer. Watch out for that increased alcohol content though.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.65/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sampled tonight on 3/12/15 though I last had this on draught in January at a local bar and grill. From their seasonal 'Winter Sampler" (or comes in a 6-pack). Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a vintage Sam Adam's pint glass.

Pours a nice dark amber in color with a thin off-white head. A good amount of acing was seen with each sip. The aroma is of caramel malts with a few spices. The taste of the caramel malts comes right though with some toffee, cinnamon and nutmeg in the mix as well. Very tasty with perfect carbonation. Medium-bodied. No harsh or bitter aftertaste at all. A tasty brew for the cooler months.

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Photo of Fabric8r
4.62/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Loved this winter lager. Seemed like an ale though. Nice malt flavor with spices flavors that are just perfect for the holiday season. You can just pour you a glass and sit down and enjoy the evening. I can't find it now, but look forward to more next winter.

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Photo of beer256
4.62/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer, I buy cases whenever I can.Also like the slight cinnamon flavor that the beer has,must say its really nice. I find the beer to be smooth with nice lacing and a great smell.its a really nice all around beer for the cold season.

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Photo of BeerAngel
4.62/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the best winter brews available IMHO. It pours a clear tea color with a nice off-white head. The smell of malt, light wheat, and spices smell delicious! The spiciness is just right with flavors of a light roasted malt, faint wheat, and a hint of spices.Very smooth, very balanced with the right amount of hops, and very drinkable! I will have this beer in my refrigerator every season.

Note: It is not called Winter Lager here in Texas. Texas Law says that beer over 5% is an ale, but since this is a lagered beer, BBC labels the Texas version Winter Brew on the bottle even though the six pack holder still says "Winter Lager". Some more of Texas' own wacky beer laws!

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Photo of psujesus
4.6/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow what a great beer

pours a nice golden copper color with a foamy white head, an awesome wintery smell to this beer, just like the bottle says it goes great with apple pie as i can taste the malty sweetness and cinnamon spice, as far as drinkability goes i finished this one too quick and need to get a six pack of this

whenever i get a chance to head to the Sam Adam's Brewpub im def getting a few of these

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Photo of clings
4.6/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Like many have said I am also a sucker for Sam Adams seasonal beers, but this is definitely my favorite. The bottle tastes like it has been handcrafted individually just for the person who is consuming it. The mixture of spices in the beer is perfect...not to much and not to little.

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Photo of AustinBeerLvr
4.6/5  rDev +26.4%

Poured a 12 ounce bottle with a clearly marked freshness date into a pint style glass.

This beer still has the same great blend of nice sweet, somewhat chewy malt with a great, not overly done winter spices. However, I swear the mouthfeel of this beer has been toned down significantly since a few years ago when I first tried it. Still good and very highly drinkable, just a bit thin for the style.

That being said, as this beer warms, it seems to get a much fuller mouthfeel, and best of all, this brew is very sessionable, as the BBC does not overdo the spices and the mouthfeel is actually good a for a session winter brew.

***New note on the following day of trying this...I took the bottle out of the fridge and let it sit a full 15 minutes prior to pouring it. This beer is a good lesson to me in not drinking a beer too cold, especially a bock. The mouthfeel is actually good, the awesome warming taste comes through more, and this is just an all around awesome winter session beer assuming it's served at the right temperature.

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Photo of ThreePistols
4.6/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark amber color with decent head and lace. Roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, spicy aroma and taste with a dry hoppy finish. I stock up on it when it becomes available for the holiday since it is a seasonal beer. Happy Holidays... Cheers

11/2002 – I am not changing my review but rather to say... it’s the season again; Sam Adams’ Winter Classics 12 pack is on the shelves again. It does my soul good to enjoy SA Winter Lager. This year's SA Winter Lager seems better than last year, which is a very good thing, or I'm more capable to appreciate this “classic” winter brew. Which ever the case may be, SA Winter Lager is one great beer.

Happy Holidays

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Photo of BrewDoc12
4.6/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Boston boys have hooked it up yet again.
A - pours a dark caramel color with a dense 2 finger tan head. Fades slowly leaving behind some nice sticky lacing(still on my glass the next morning).
S - Nice and malty with some cinnamon and spiced dark fruits. Subtle hops sneak through as well.
T - Rich malt and caramel up front followed by slight hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. Very little hop presence. Very delicious.
M - Rich and almost velvety. Wouldn't mind it being a lil more full bodied for the winter, but still exceptional.
D - I could get [email protected] up on this bad daddy. These go down me just way too easily. Epitomy of a session beer.

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Photo of DDCMember
4.57/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

-12 oz. bottle poured into mug.

A: Reddish Brown. Thick head.

S: Spices, a little grapefruit. Made my mouth water.

T: Very flavorful. Rich taste. Spicy with just a hint of grapefruit bitterness at the end.

M: Medium Body. Well carbonated.

D: Exceptional. I could drink this all day. Very clean, crisp taste. Entices the nose & makes the taste buds want more. Very good Winter beer.

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Photo of dmowen
4.57/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Found this at my local beer store and just had to try it. pours a nice dark amber color with a nice light tan head. Good head retention and nice lacing. Very first thought I had as I first smelled it was WOW, pumpkin pie, fresh from the oven! Taste is very much like other dark lagers I have had before but with very slight
hint of spice in the background; a very nice combo. (hang on; off to pour another one!) MMM, second one better than the first!
I would definitly recommend this brew to warm You up on those long cold winter nights(it does have a kick to it so be carefull!!)
A must try!!

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Photo of TheGrunt
4.55/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Best winter lager in my opinion! In fact, my favorite winter beer and something I just need to have during the christmas time. Dark copper color, very fruity almost lemon smell and something resembling Hefe wheat beers. Average carbonaton, light foam. Taste is very fruity with mild hops, very ale'ish in fact and not lager. Bit sweet, a hint of Hefe here too. Just terrific product in my opinion!

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.64 out of 5 based on 5,892 ratings.
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