Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,949 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,949 | Ratings: 5,764
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.

 265 characters

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.

 932 characters

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.

 654 characters

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.

 259 characters

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.

 251 characters

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!

 689 characters

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

 411 characters

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.

 283 characters

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.

 1,039 characters

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

 698 characters

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.

 645 characters

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.

 386 characters

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!!

 596 characters

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!

 397 characters

Photo of teamhex
4.55/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a frosty mug

A dark amberish color, the head disappears quickly.
Smells of spices, and syrup.
Taste is mostly the spice. The cinnamon in this beer isn't very pronounced but blends well with the other spices to give a unique taste.
Drinkability is a 5.
Cold or Warm its a great beer.
Prefect pair with chicken and spicy food.

Serving type: Bottle poured into mug

Reviewed on: 12-10-2008 16:24:57(My Birthday)

 430 characters

Photo of Livelaughlovep
4.52/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This reminds me a lot of the Octoberfest one. Not that this is a bad thing.

Very gulpable, drinkable. I could easily have a few of these!

Rich golden-brown color, like dark toast... about finger or so head, which left pretty fast. Lacing didn't hang around either.

Malty. Roasty. Wheaty. Just a little sweet. I smell spices & caramel, which I don't particularly taste, but the mouthfeel is wonderful and full.

This is very nice, a good start to my trying of winter brews!

 476 characters

Photo of JDFish
4.52/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite brew out of the holiday pack. It has a deep dark red color with medium almond head. Malty smell with some caramel. The flavor and drinkability are off the charts. Not as spicy as some xmas brews, but thats why I love it. Christmas Ale from Great Lakes is very good, but this goes down easier for me. One of my favorite Sam Adams

 348 characters

Photo of Gehrig
4.51/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites from Sam Adams, Winter Lager is a very nice accompaniment to the onset of Winter, a good bock that can go with the season's hearty dinners or with dessert. A terrific amber color, Winter Lager pours a great head--really a beer with a terrific presentation. The taste brings out multiple flavors, with mild citrus, good spices such as ginger and cinnamon, and a strong malty flavor. It finishes well, and is easy to have a few of. An excellent creation from Sam Adams.

 487 characters

Photo of CS1971
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love Sam Adams. This is great lager, and it is this type of beer that has got me seeking out lagers now and not just witbiers or reds. Thanks Sam! The flavor is rich, and even though it's filling i still find myself wanting more. Very good brew, I look forward to it every winter.

 282 characters

Photo of granger10
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Well, the pour was a dark copper red but the head was lacking a bit in size and seemed a little fizzy. The smell has some nice spice to it but was a little strong on the alcohol. That's about all the bad that I have to say about this beer. The taste had an amazing complexity. Caramel malty sweetness upfront followed by a roasted barley flavor that holds for the duration of the drink. The spices are perfect in amount and flavor. There seems to be a good amount of cinnamon, which I love, and ginger but they never get too strong and mix beautifully with the malts and hops, just perfect. Hops are spicy and have a European flavor to them. They seem to come with the spices but pick up towards the finish. Slightly belly warming on the way down, which is the intent of this beer right. Body is medium thick and holds the flavors really well. Very drinkable, but maybe after a few I might grow a little tired but I'm not sure, i guess i gotta try sometime soon to see.

 969 characters

Photo of mattdavis452
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A good, golden color. Filtered. Appealing.

S: Hints of a creamy taste are suggested, and will be followed with delivery on this olfactory promise.

T: Light hints of cream. Drinks well. Perhaps the tiniest suggestion of winter fruits are detectable as well. Very well balanced.

M: Crisp. Delectable. Pretty much everything I could ask for in terms of mouthfeel for this style beer.

D: A definition session beer. Not something like a Chimay Blue Label which one would savor every drop; instead, this is a great beer you can share with friends, both beer advocates and illiterates alike.

 599 characters

Photo of brunrn1
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured out perfectly, perfect amount of foam that vanished fast. This is a great tasting beer to say the least. This so far has become one of my favorites. Thankfully the keg tubes were cleaned so it did not mess with the taste. Awesome beer period!

 254 characters

Photo of OverToad
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Winter classics I picked up at Kroger.

First off I'm glad they dropped last years label "Winter Brew" and put back the label "Winter Lager" on it.

This years brew I noticed more Cinnamon that last years which was a nice welcome. I look forward to this bad boy every year from SA.

I love this brew, but of course it takes a back seat to old Fezzie.

 363 characters

Photo of JDK
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

*poured a very nice deep red with a 2 finger head.
*medium lacing
*very nice smell... cinnamon, all spice and hops
*you can taste the different spices, I picked up more clove and cinnamon with a lingering taste of hops.
*mouthfeel was perfect for me
Very enjoyable beer but a little on the filling side. 2-3 would be plenty

 323 characters

Photo of arboristfish
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep amber color, almost brown with a white head. The aroma smells of caramel malts and a faint hint of hops. The taste is sweet, an interesting combination of hops and malt. The mouthfeel is medium light. Overall this is an outstanding bock.

 259 characters

Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.64 out of 5 based on 5,764 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!