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 | website

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: 1,948 | Ratings: 5,759
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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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Photo of Vancer
4.48/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have this from the sampler pack, but got it last nite, FRESH off the tap! Wow, what a good winter warmer. Great looking 23oz pour, dark burgangy with a sticky ivory head. Ummm, full of malt, winter spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove), then a properly blananced hop finish. Can’t wait for more, either on tap or in the bottle.

Good price ($3.25) made this a great sippin’ session brew

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Photo of hyuga
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 edition. A dark amber brew with an off-white head. Head settles and leaves lace, but stays at about 1 cm, which is good enough for me. Sweet spiced aroma of caramel and ginger along with wheat and faint orange peel and hops. The spices combine with the sweetness really well and make the aroma great. Wheat dominates the flavor, making it crisp and refreshing, but alongside that is a caramel sweetness that lets you know that this is more than just a wheat beer. Cinnamon, ginger, and orange peel give a great wintery feel in the spice department. Earthy character from the wheat and the hop bite near the middle. Crisp wheat finish. Alcohol warms, again making this a great cold weather brew. A great beer to sit back with on a winter's night for a nightcap, or to pair with hearty foods at a winter feast. This review is based on my total experience from this beer, not just the sample from this year that I'm currently drinking. It does seem that this year's is not as rich as it has been in the past. However, I do still find it very enjoyable.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this in the Sam Adams 12pk Winter Collection variety pack for about $13 at Woodman's in Janesville, WI in mid Fall 2010.

This Winter Lager pours a medium dark amber color with a good long lasting head. Right away you take in the scents of malts and hops. Upon tasting there is a fantastic mixture of spices. Absolutely delightful on a cold winter night.

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Photo of botham
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner. pours a brilliant amber color with a light orange head that takes up a fourth of the glass. moderate lacings here.

smell is sweet and malty, with caramel malts prevailing over the others. a light citrus aura is present as well, alongside a distant spiced character, possibly cinnamon. very well proportioned in the nose.

taste is of caramel malts up front, with the same distant citrus character as well. the spiced character is a bit more pronounced, creating the winter character that this brew claims to contain. finishes on a semi-dry note without much hop character, only residual caramel and a touch of citrus.

mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a medium to light body. no alcohol is present, with mild CO2 creating a small bite that adds to the distant spiced character.

drinkability is great. this is a tasty winter lager that warms the stomach and is not filling. another great offering from the guys at the Boston Beer Company. cheers!

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.46/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As winter leaves, so does this beer. I was lucky to catch a bottle of this on sale at Town and Country Liquor, as I won't be able to find this regularly until November or so. On to the beer:

Pours a dark amber color. I love the smell of this brew, very spicy, warming, and unique. I know they use numerous spices in this brew, but the cinnamon stands out above the rest. Going down, it's rich, thick, and hearty.

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Photo of jackndan
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sammy Winter 2002: I used to be a summer guy, never skied or liked shoveling snow. But I’m coming around to the fall and winter, and great beers have helped that transition. It always helps to ease the pain to look forward to great O-fest and festival beers. One beer, in fact the first beer I looked forward to, was Sam’s Winter lager.

I’ve heard people say that Sam’s seasonals have been slightly off, but I think Sam’s getting back into their stride with the 2002/03 Winter (not that you’ll see much of it after January 1). Its got a deep ruby amber color, with an off white sticky head. Huge thick lace. The aroma is heavily malted, with spices and rich coffees. The taste, in this fresh batch is a little raw, with assertive malts, well balanced with spices and hops. This is a big/fast seller, and hard to get in Winter. I’ve got to buy an extra twelve and forget about it because it should cellar very well. Wonderful!

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Photo of karst
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very clear reddish mahogany with excellent depth of color. Good retention of light tan creamy head. Some minor lace and reddish glints from the low 4 PM sun on a 9°F winter day.

Medium malt aroma (lightly toasted bread. Low note of chocolate and some alcoholic presence. Initial bready notes are more wheat like but fade quickly after each pour. Very clean lager character. NO diacetyl, very low esters and no DMS expressed.

Flavor of malt is moderate and a bit similar to Klostritzer Swartzbier. Lightly sweet and bready with low German Noble hop flavor (spicey) Very evenly balance with only a little bitterness in finish - giving a nice crisp ending and adding to its excellent drinkability. Overall a bit of Munich like malt character that suggest some sweet (lower heterocylcics) melanoidins. Nice addition to its complexity.

Body is slightly more than medium (wheat) and carbonation is moderate. Alcoholic warmth is noted (and appreciated today!). Not astringent. Overall roundness on palate gives a slightly creamy Mouthfeel.

A great session beer. Heartier in body and flavor but a bit short of the "Dark wheat Bock" indicated on its lable. Wheat does add to the body of this very clean lager and the noticable alcohol is well supported. Elegant balance with a micro-burst of bitterness to clean away any residual sweetness (very low)

Spices are understated and difficult to characterize. This may be problematic for some drinkers but I found it refreshing.

Highly recomended for your winter enjoyment.

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Photo of metallistout
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I could have swore that this beer tasted different a couple of years ago. Still a good brew, but I thought that it had more hop presence in it.

Pours a reddish copper color, with a large foamy head that stuck around for a pretty long while.

Smells of orange, cinnamon, ginger, pine?, and malty tones.

Tastes mostly of malt, a decent amount hops, but mostly spices of the aromas nature.

Deffinately taste the spices and malt, a good beer, but I would prefer maybe a little more hops. I had to review this beer over because I drank it a different temperature(let it warm up a little)and it had much more flavor. I was thinking that it needed to be really cold like most lagers, but you can pretty much drink it at ale temperatures.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

When poured, this beer has a deep amber color with a perfect amount of head. Very malty taste that gives it some bite and a little spice. Also, a slight amount of orange can be detected. The 6.94% ABV and rich flavor makes it perfect for sitting around on a cold winter night (which I am fairly used to in Boston). Feels great in your mouth and leaves you wanting another one!

All in all, the Winter Lager is my favorite Sam Adams and one of my favorite beers period!

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Photo of Schwarzwald
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very nice lager. I would love to see them take it to a double and make it a little more deep. Pours very nice with a god head... true Sam Adams taste and spice, they have taken a lot of time making this bock very spicy and tasty. Makes cold winter nights more fun and tasty.

Love it!

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Photo of 160Shillings
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: The aroma is sweet and dark malt accompanied by mild ginger and orange peel with a faint hint of cinnamon.

Appearance: Pours with two inches of tan head that collapses into nice lacing. The color is deep copper.

Flavor: Big broad malt flavors. The spicing is mild, evenly spread between ginger, cinnamon and orange peel. There is the clean flavor of lager yeast fermentation.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is medium-heavy.

Overall Impression: Overall I find this a very well executed winter lager. It is very good bock with just enough spicing to enhance the beer without overpowering the underlying flavor of the beer.

Comments: Sam Adams’ specialty beers are sometimes poorly executed, however this one is certainly a success. This beer is based on a very good bock with a sensible addition of typical holiday spices.

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Photo of inebrius
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep, burnished ochre under a light khaki head that leaves a maze of lace. Bouquet of chocolate pound cake and gingerbread cookies. Big and caramely malt spine coats your throat but is quelled by a nice earthy hop flavor. Smooth, spicy, balanced and seriously drinkable. A top notch Winter brew.

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Photo of bullseyestrat
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Samuel Adams Winter Lager is one of my winter favourites. Its a very full bodied and bold beer by any standards. Rather complex and filling but more willing to let you have another after another. I've had Sam Adams Winter Lager in a bottle, can, and on tap. Honestly there's no difference in taste other than the can is a wee bit more foamy like other Sam Adams cans available. The appearance is more of a dark brownish black like most bock beers and dark lagers. Looks imitating at first to most light beer drinkers but its easy to get used to. Smellwise its more of a full bodied smell with a bit of ginger in there. Tastewise its a rather complex beer without being too pretentious in itself. Very full and bold with some ginger and spices that aren't easily obvious. In the mouth Sam Adams Winter Lager is very tame and smooth. Very odd for a full Bock Lager like as such really. Overall Samuel Adams Winter Lager is probably the best winter beer available in my opinion. I mean I do like Harpoon's, Narragensetts, or Long Trails offerings but Sams Winter Lager will always be a winter favourite. Even though I prefer Octoberfest but Winter is a close second.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was out to Subs & Six Packs on Columbia Avenue on Tuesday and saw this available as a single bottle and decided to give it another whirl. Today is 16 Dec 2015, the boss is LT Dan, my partner is a redhead and my name is Woody. This is a true account of the events that follow. Only the names have been changed to protect the less-guilty. And now, for the facts. Just the facts.

From the bottle: "German brewers may have been onto something centuries ago when they created rich bock beers for the winter. Our brew is a dark wheat bock subtly spiced with fresh ground cinnamon, ginger, & orange peel for a deep smooth flavor that's perfect on a cold winter's night. Cheers! [undersigned] Jim Koch"

The Pop! of the cap is never as satisfying as the Crack! of a CAN, but I am making do as best as I CAN't with these CANfounded bottles. An aggro pour to vent my frustration released two fingers of foamy, tawny head with decent retention. Color was a beautiful Copper-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled of cinnamon andorange peel and I was put in mind of a Wassail Bowl. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. The taste was spicy, but it lack Ooomph. Yes, I got the cinnamon and ginger, but they seemed somehow muted, like I was not getting the full effect. Finish was dry, thanks to the spices, but I just wasn't feelin' it. A GLBC Christmas Ale would do the trick! Clearly, I liked this a LOT more on draft.

My original, on-tap/draft review dtd 24 Dec 2010 follows:

I had some on-tap last night, which I thoroughly enjoyed, BTW, and my usually non-drinking fellow USN-retiree buddy offhandedly mentioned that he scored some at a local PX for his son and he is actually having some and really enjoying it. TheCANQuest (TM), like heaven, will have to wait while I indulge in some bottles.

I should remember that "Bock" is a style of lager, but when the label(s) scream(s) "Lager", I default to the Greg Koch "fizzy yellow sissy beer" expectation, sometimes to be pleasantly surprised, as in this case. I got a finger of deep-tan head with good retention off of my pour. Color was a deep-copper with NE-quality clarity. I have seen pennies that were less copper-colored than this beer. I was reminded (again) of the beauteous Linda Lou, a striking redhead whose hair was not only this color, but hers was also as coarse as wire. Sigh. She left me while I was on a seven-month deployment to marry somebody other than me. My beer may taste faintly of salty tears. Boo hoo. Nose smelled of ginger (OK, now a reference might be getting old), cinnamon and nutmeg. I was reminded of baking cookies with my maternal grandmother as a kid. The other kids used to make fun of me for my culinary endeavors until they tried what I had made. I still like to cook, just not for by myself. If only I had Linda Lou for whom to make meals ... Mouthfeel was big, thick, creamy. You should really brace yourself for this one. The spices were simply alive on the tongue, each getting a turn on the ol' palate. It was like eating one of those cookies. The finish left me in a melancholy, nostalgic mood but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Good news, also, for my followers - it CAN be purchased outside of the Winter Sampler, unlike Old Fezziwg. Try some for yourself.

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Photo of xXTequila
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This years Winter Lager is practically another style of beer compared to last years batch.
Deep dark red/brown. The head sits thin but height wise but its thick like a chunk of heavy cream.
Thick sweet malt, rum, caramel, and raisins.
The perfect beer for a snowy night.

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.64 out of 5 based on 5,759 ratings.
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