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: 1,981 | Ratings: 5,894
Photo of 4000qtrap
1.64/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Source/Serving: 12oz. Bottle

Smell: Artificial brown sugar, strong medicinal/herbal note which doesn't really match with the assertive coriander spiciness. This is a bit of a train wreck with strong roastiness and a dark dankness - like an old cellar.

Taste: Thin and artificial. Nondescript maltiness up front that quite bland and flavorless but not super sweet. In the middle the carbonation becomes more prevalent and there is a lifeless ripe fruit flavor with a banana edge and faint spices. Finish is short, semisweet, and spicy.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
1.78/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Side of from label notched Enjoy before April.

Appearance - Clear medium amber body. Pours two finger off-white head with good stick and decent retention.

Smell - Malty. Seasonal spices. Perhaps vanilla or cinnamon? Maybe even some Pumpkin. Can't quite pinpoint it, but it's not bad.

Taste - Spicy. Metallic. Very bitter and metallic. Unpleasant all around. Hopefully the bottle meant April 2012 and not 2011...

Mouthfeel - Acidic. Astringent. Some frothiness from the head. Perhaps even light to medium bodied... but I can't focus on anything but the acidity and astringency.

Overall Drinkability - This has to be the worst beer I've had from Sam Adams. Usually they get decent scores from me, but not this time around!

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Photo of goochpunch
1.86/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Pours a deep amber/hazel with a thin head that fizzles out into nothing. Smell really makes me a little sick to my stomach. Big bunch of ginger, spice, berries, and sweentess. That same awful sickening character in the aroma show up in the flavor, but then it takes a backseat to some roasted and toasted malts and some pleasant ginger and spice tones. Mouthfeel is moderate body with moderate carbonation. I just think this is gross, and it's a chore to finish this.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
1.86/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle with the "new" label. I liked the old labels better.

Pours dark amber mahogany with shades of light escaping, topped off by a wafer thin parchment paper colored cap.

Caramel scents and slightly spicy, but then some stale bread wiffs make me wonder what else I am getting.

First swigs: Watery caramel and flat cola. Took me a while to put my finger on the flavor. Just contained a lot of off hints.

This went back almost as rough as Cave Creek. Just something about it.

Beer i usually good. Happy beering.

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Photo of bigdeuce
1.93/5  rDev -47%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I don't know what Mr. Koch and the Boston Beer Co. did to this terrific brew from around circa 2003-2005 but this is horrific and I will never purchase this garbage again. Pours a decent head. Scents of some toasty winter spices, ie cinnamon and nutmeg. Smells decently. Very thin, has been totally dumbed from original recipe. The flavors are one of a true winter warmer but not accentuated properly.

This beer used to be a 7% ACTUAL wheat bock with a thick body, and a hearty, meaty flavor to it. I used to look forward to this one every year but will NOT purchase this ever again until I see the 7% abv slapped back on the bottle.

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Photo of caskstrength
2.02/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Have had this several times recently when nothing else was available and a beer was in order.

The pour is fine. The smells are underwhelming.
The taste/mouthfeel is thinner than you'd expect, some buttery character. Simple malts with some balancing hops. All subdued and watery, to be honest. some hints of spice that don't counter the buttery, watery, diluted character in this mess of underwhelming boringness masquerading as a beer with some flavor.

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Photo of NiceTaps
2.15/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I had this on tap a local pub, $2 for a 10oz. glass so we gave it another try.

Same old Sam Adams copper color, same old cinnamon/orange smell. Same old sweet malty sweetness. Where are the hops? Do the brewmasters who I see on TV realize that their products have a soapy sour mouthfeel and aftertaste? No body, thin.

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Photo of cracgor
2.17/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

So I drank this beer a couple times this year before I decided to review it. In years past I don't remember being quite as disappointed as this year, thus the delay. It poured out like any other dark amber beer with an average head. It smells pretty good. Like a sweet spiced lager might. No overwhelming hops. Just good clean fun.

Taste was where I was severely lost. This years attempt is too spicy and not beery enough. Every sip reminded me of oyster crackers more than beer. Just stale oyster crackers. The spiciness was not so overwhelming, just poorly balanced. The mouthfeel was also quite disappointed, leaving a lingering bad astringent feeling in my mouth. Just disappointing all around and not recommended this year. All in all, it was barely drinkable, even when my palate was worn out severely the first time I had it this season.

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Photo of royrhino
2.22/5  rDev -39%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I bought this last night to watch a football game and on first taste, it left an extremely bitter taste in my mouth. Almost immediately I start developing one of the worst migraine headaches of my life. I Googled the cause and multiple sources mentioned the yeast level in beer and red wine as the culprit. Having never tasted this one before, I would not get it again and will pawn it off on relatives over the holidays. I am more of a Longboard style of taste. I would guess this beer is high in yeast content.

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Photo of bobhits
2.25/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Mid to light amber/reddish straw colored. Not much of a head. A surprisingly un "perfect" sam adams. That said still clear, clean, and simple.

The biggest complain with sam adam's beers for me is their nose. They simply don't have enough aroma. The spices are there but I can't pull them apart. There's some malt but I can't get much from it.

Ginger, and other spices. The bottle tells me orange zest and cinnamon and I can see the cinnamon and a touch of orange but without being told I'd be a bit confused about it. There isn't much to say here. It seems a touch wheat based though I'm not sure if that's the spices. Think lighter body and fairly simple. Nothing about this beer is bad but nothing is good.

Without the spices this might be a great summer beer. With them it's just odd and not good for a hot day or a cold one. Could go well with some dessert but who buys a beer for the 2-3 times a year they do that?

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Photo of Damian74
2.33/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.
A- pours to an amber color. A very light head appears, about 1 1/2 fingers high, and leaves good lacing.

S- Like a wheat not much else going on.

T-Slight Caramel,hops,wheat and Malt.

M- Very watery feel, lacking flavor.

No fan. But not really fan of Lagers to begin with but there are better ones out there then this.

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Photo of BrotherDave
2.34/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

12 pack cans.

Nice head, color similar to a Märzen beer, but not very much nose and not very much flavor. Certainly lacking in hops - both bittering and aromatic.

I hate to say it, but I give it a "meh." ... now I have 11 more to get through. Maybe I'll save them for company, after all it is the season for giving :-).

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Photo of angrybabboon
2.36/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Consumed 1/17/12

Appearance: Extremely clear, dark copper - small, white head - some lacing

Smell: Cooked malts, lager yeast, and spices - like, a ton of spices - ground, dry spices, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg? - some citrus - out of place with the other aromas - overall, pretty mild, but pretty unappealing

Taste: I just don't get it - cooked, caramel malts, a little syrupy - sweet, but in a cooked way - a lot of bitterness without any hop flavor - just an unpleasant orange peel flavor - too much cinnamon, ginger, and an overall , generic "spice" - seems more appropriate for a pumpkin ale, not a bock - grainy, leafy, earthy, unpleasant

Mouthfeel: Medium body, somewhat dry, with a lingering spiciness

Overall: For me, this just doesn't work

In late 2006, I received a few bottles of this from someone who didn't like it. This was one of the first craft beers I ever had, and I thought it was terrible. At some point in 2008, I tried it again, and I didn't like it. In 2012, I still don't like it. The difference now is that I have a better idea of why I do not like this.

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Photo of OpenMic
2.38/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: amber in color
Smell: Malt aroma
Taste: a LITE LAGER in a BOCK, no body, or flavor
Feel: lite in carbonation
Drink: I wouldn't buy this beer, but as it became less cold (warmed up) it had more of a taste...but not what I expected.

I really prefer Lagers or Darker brews (porters or stouts), but this just didn't hit the spot. (ales are out also...I do try them but, thats another story) I do not like to rate beers I try any lower than a C-.
I will give another BOCK a try, the description sounds as though it would taste GREAT, but Samuel Adams Winter Lager fell short of being an example. I see that my average rating for this review was
a D+, I didn't intend for it to be quite that low. I stand by my statement above, at the worst it is a C-, no lower.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
2.38/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got out of the winter mixed pack 2010.

A- Very dark cherry read in color, with a thin pool of head on the top.

S- The smell is slightly hoppy with a touch of fruityness mixed in. To top it off someone decided to pour in some American Macro Lager into my beer, or at least the smell of one.

T- The taste is malty, a bit of dried fruits a touch of caramel which is all thrown down the drain when the taste of American Macro Lager comes into the mix.

M- Feels like a typical American lager, not so much a Bock though. Most Bocks I've had are lower in carbonation.

D- Would be a good cross over beer for the die hard American Macro Lager types.

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Photo of harrymel
2.41/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Best by: Apr, 2012

A: orange brown with a transient finger of light tan foam which falls to a central cap and no lace. Excellent clarity.
S: Cinnamon, sweet zest? Some decent dry tones of toast.
T: Sweet and cloying. Too sweet. Some more orange zest tones. Almost wish this was dry and with saison yeast. Finish has a hint of metal.
M: Thin with lower carb and a wet finish.
O: Well, not the worst winter I've had, but not the best either. I will likely not revisit.

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Photo of ScorpyX
2.41/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a very clear reddish amber. The finger width off white head dissipates a little but doesn't completely disappear. Looks nice, at least.

S: Malts foremost, with some hints of spice and alcohol.

T: Malts are noticeably present and it's a very crisp taste, but it's also rather bland. I'm not detecting what I had expected. There is something a little metallic to it when first poured, but that disappears as the beer warms, bringing out more of the hops and definitely the spices. I may have to let this one sit a few minutes next time.

M: Pretty crisp and light as one might expect from a lager. A little heavier than most lagers, but still goes down clean. Dry finish.

D: Nothing would prevent easy drinking except for my dislike of the taste. I could have multiple, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.43/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Perfectly clear deep copper. Borders on brown at times. Head is white and drops to almost nothing. Pour was smooth with a decent carbonation.

Smell: Caramel and biscuits with a grassy undertone. Sweet and bready. Serious bread action, like moist brown bread. Faintest hint of hops add a mild spiciness. Very mellow and unassuming.

Taste: Malts and more malts. Bread, biscuit, and caramel all over a faint spiciness. Grassy and gritty. Flavors never really blend together, but fight and come across in waves. As it warms it takes on an aggressively bready, almost yeasty quality. Watery at times.

Mouthfeel: Moderate, but barely. Carbonation is on the high side. Drinks pretty smooth, but packs a slight rough edge on the finish of each sip.

Overall: I remember my first encounter with this beer. It's much the same now. It's a mess when it warms. When it's super cold it's drinkable, but as it warms it falls apart and becomes a watery mess.

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Photo of Risser09
2.43/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a large snifter

Appearance: This beer pours a transparent brown and red color. The head rises to an inch in height and is an ivory color. The bubbles are all tiny and quickly fade away into the beer below.A tiny bit of lace holds on to the glass.

Smell: Malt aroma balanced by a hop bouquet. Rum and raisin are aromatic components. I don't get much wheat from this wheat beer. Spices include a bit of anise and licorice perhaps.

Taste: Pinchyness up front with a hop bite. Malt flavors are intertwined with a wheat flavor and body. Flavors are hops, wheat, nut bread, almond extract and vanilla. Most of these are weak though.

Mouthfeel: Ripe carbonation that hits early and faces into a medium bodied creaminess that most lagers possess. Alcohol isn't very noticable and neither is a sugary presence. Kind of lame in this category.

Drinkability: Decent, although I probably wouldn't refer to this beer in the winter. I wouldn't even consider it a good beer, with so many others out there that surpass it. Don't bother revisiting.

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Photo of DJED69
2.46/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ok, I can't get with this brew. Looks great in the glass, but the flavor was off-putting to me. I found an odd sourness to the taste, especially the finish. Maybe it's the added flavors I wasn't digging. I'm obviously in the minority, but this beer just didn't work for me.

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Photo of CheezyBlaster
2.48/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Lightly toasted skunk with a hint of generic hopping and a nip of spicing. Very weak nose though.

Super bready/toasty, adjuncty, skunky (it's fresh though). Just a hint of spiciness, at least partly from the hops. Watery. Very flimsy body, I wouldn't even call it "light". No kudos for this one, Samuel Adams. And yes, I like the bock style in general and I am very pro-lager, this just falls short.

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Photo of LordChesterfield
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I just tried this for again without tasting anything prior to skew the flavor and I can honestly say that this is entirely too insipid for my taste. It really does taste like a weird waffle syrup of some kind without the sugar. It needs som e hops quick. Jeez, more often then not I'm finding I'm not a big fan of Sam Adams' offerings.

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Photo of charliedango
2.52/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This was a bock?

Sorry, but it tasted pretty much like every other Sam Adams I've had up to this point (with the exception of Cream Stout, still good!). For a moment I'll expand on that because it needs to be said. The mouthfeel was a bit thicker than standard lagers, but overall I never got the feel that I was drinking a bock.

Goose Island has consistently put out bad tasting beer. Sam Adams has put out some decent beer, but it all starts tasting the same after a while.

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Photo of PADIV
2.53/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Samuel Adams Winter Lager

A - Standard coloring for a lager

S - What I would expect from a Winter Lager. Nothing special

T - This beer has a medicinal taste. It left a sharp unpleasant after taste

M - Not much carbonation, a very flat feel.

O - I would not recommend or get this beer again. I poured most of this beer down the drain.

So far Sam Adams just does not do it for me. The only one of their beers I liked so far is the Octoberfest.

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Photo of TechMyst
2.54/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

FRESH: 5 months before exp.
PURCHASED @: Hilander
COST: $7.50
HEAD: 1" slowling disapating
LACE: medium formations
COLOR: ruby copper
AROMA: Sweet lager
MOUTHFEEL: light / foamy
PALATE: slick / resinous
TASTE: Bitter Brass, too much going on for me and the overall impression wasn’t all that great either
COMMENTS:Just because you can put a bunch of spices into whatever it is you’re brewing doesn’t mean it’s a good idea

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.64 out of 5 based on 5,894 ratings.
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