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: 5,893
Photo of dcscientist
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This was more of a winter warmer than Old Fezziwig, which I had earlier in the same evening. It was an interesting contrast, and I didn't know it was a bock per se until I saw the classification on this website. I'd say it was closer to a traditional Christmas beer, which is fine with me.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Great seasonal beer that rolls around when the weather is cold and the palate looks for something more malty and spicy. Caramel brown pour with a light head. Aroma of roasted malt, toasted bread, faint nutmeg and citrus. Taste is roasted malt, burnt toast, caramel, ginger, orange zest, charred grains. Thick, chewy mouthfeel which feels appropriate. Finishes heavy on the palate with a slight sweetness.

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Photo of ABabbidge
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Ver clear dark amber/ burnt orange color. Off white fluffy head with pretty good retention.

S: Spicy aroma. Mild ginger and orange rind as well.

T: Caramel malt with spices. Hard to say what spices exactly. I get some ginger with a few other flavors thrown in. Bottle says orange peel and cinnamon. Not sure if I get that but that is apparently what was used.

F: Moderate body and carbonation. Dry and grainy finish.

O: Spicy and fairly complex. Not too bad.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Deep mahogany/ruby body, clear with fine updrafts of bubbles. A small coarse head appears on the pour but immediately disappears; between that and the color this now looks like a Flanders red. Still beautiful. There's pungent toasty bread crust and caramel on the nose, a bit of raisin, and a hint of citrus and cinnamon in the background. If the malt wasn't so 'raw' smelling this would be awesome, but as is it seems a bit unrefined. The orange flavor gets more potent on the tongue, yet still melds nicely with the malts which now seem more like a beer's should, instead of bread crust. No sign of the spices here, however. Finish is actually bitter, like black tea. Body is light, nearly like water, with assertive but fine carbonation.
The orange peel was a star both aromatically and gustatorily, delicious in its own right and played well off the malts. The rest was just trying to keep up; the malt, which as I understand it is supposed to be the focal point and thus delicious in this style, were ho-hum, even seeming amateurish, as if it was untransformed from the raw grains. It wasn't warming like a winter beer should be (in my book), yet it wasn't refreshing either. This would be great for the occasional 60 degree Christmas.

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Photo of Czequershuus
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear amber with an average head. The aroma is if medium caramel, toffee, applejuice, and mint. The flavor is malt driven, with dry caramel, toffee, mint, some orange, no spiciness, and a bitter finish. The mouthfeel is fairly light and foamy. Overall this beer is smooth and easy drinking, wit a nice body, and a slightly odd finish.

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle,into a Cigar City lager pint glass.

Thin,off white / light khaki head,that dissolves quickly,turning into splotches,with a beautiful lacing.Dark copper in color,with nice clarity,and heavy carbonation.

On the nose I get breaded malts,some spices,and small hints of earthy,piney hops.Small cinnamon and ginger notes.The malt notes are pretty sweet.

On the palate I get heavy malts,and spices,with a small hint of hop bitterness on the back end.Ginger and cinnamon as advertised.The breaded malts are nice and sweet.

The body is medium with a nice fizzle from the carbonation.The finish is nice and smooth,definitely not too dry.

This was the first craft beer I ever tried,so maybe I am a bit partial.But out of all the lagers I have tried,this one is by far my favorite.Nice look,nice aroma,nice taste,nice mouth feel...Great beer for the holidays!!!

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
3.22/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours amber in color with good foamy head and lacing. Has a malty smell with some minor hops and spice. Taste is pretty good, sweet malty mix with a sweet finish. Not a bad beer, could go further with flavors but ok.

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Photo of Bito24
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Something to please both the lagar and the IPA guys/gals in all of us. Great lagar taste but a hint of something different. Great drink ability. Can have several in an evening. If you like dark lagars with a flavor that stays put, The SAWL is the choice for you. But of course, bring ur checkbook, cause this is no cheap date! Merry Christmas my friends!

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Photo of GreatHammerhead
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Presentation: 12 oz bottle freshness notched for April poured into a pint glass.

Look: Dark red brown with a khaki two finger head. Good head retention.

Smell: Crisp, clean malts.

Taste: Kinda like a watered down Boston Lager.

Feel: Thinner side of medium, light carbonation, easy drinking.

Overall: Neither good nor bad. I wouldn't buy it on it's own, but it won't prevent me from buying the winter sampler either.

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Photo of Holderness
3.31/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L -- Translucent brown with a quickly dissipating white head. Minimal lacing
S -- Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, candied orange, malts
T -- Not the greatest. Bitter hops and malts, lemon, squash
F -- Fizzy. Very astringent. Sour finish
O -- Smells and looks like a pumpkin ale, tastes and feels quite strange.

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Photo of thebeers
3.29/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Dark bronze with finger of dense and creamy off-white head. Caramel malts in the aroma. These carry over to the taste with muted Christmas spices behind that leave a almost herbal impression. Mild hop bitterness and a fairly dry finish. Medium bodied. It's alright.

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Photo of basaywhat
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a reddish brown with pillowy off white head that lasts and laces. Smells of caramel, cinnamon, and toasted malt. Very smooth with mild lingering hop bitterness. Light to medium bodied. Tastes of biscuit, sugar, caramel, and cinnamon.

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Photo of 1angrydwarf
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: little to no head or lacing only a thin ring of foam. dark brown clear with a reddish ting when held to the light.
S: Faint malt. I don't smell much but to be fair my fall allergies are acting up. I am going to give this brew the benefit of the doubt.
T: Well this is where it is at I really nice and balanced. I hardly notice the orange peel, cinnamon, and ginger. I notice the nice roasted grain flavor that gives way quickly to a crisp but light hop bitter push. Once swallowed you are left with a lingering roasted grain flavor that is lightly sweet with hints of the orange peel and spice.
F: medium to low carbonation that softly foams giving a creamy fuller feel.
Overall, I really like this but I like malt and wheat beers. It really tastes more like a black lager than a bock to me but I am a fan of both. This will not wow the crowd that wants beer infused with exotic flavors. If like to appreciate a beer as a whole not just for spices or hops then check it out.

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Photo of mmmbeer89
3.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A great beer for the winter time, always a classic. This years (2016) samuel adams winter collection 12-pack was exceptionally good, I may have to buy another one before spring time.

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Photo of ChicagoPartisan
4.46/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It is that time of the year again. Had this one many times but never reviewed.

Fresh off the batch. Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Pours a deep amber. Little head on this one. What head there is is a foamy white. Medium carbonation.

S: Malts initially. Some caramel. Fairly mute, I would say.

T: As remembered, the orange peel is prominent. Some hops as well. Caramel later on. A little cinnamon somewhere in there.

M: Medium-bodied. Slight dryness.

O: My favorite winter beer, hands down. Takes some of the best traits from each of the various winter seasonals that I have tried over the years for an excellent product. Warm flavors without losing the hop bite. Will be picking up some more (and more and more).

Sam should consider keeping this on the shelves through February. Last year, this was gone by January in place of Cold Snap (which is not nearly as enjoyable).

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sam Adams is okay, but I don't really get my hopes up with their seasonal offerings.
To my surprise, this one was pretty well made.

Look: Pours a light toasted brown hue with a quarter finger, off white head that leaves no lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Gently toasted, creamy wheat smell upfront. Rich aromas of caramel. In the background notes of cinnamon and mild ginger, candied cherries and burnt orange peel.

Taste: Crisp with clean notes of slightly burnt caramel and mild chocolate. Very rich and wheaty with notes of frosting and vanilla. Restrained flavors of christmas spices like smoky orange peel, cinnamon, thyme and even ginger follow suit. Slightly floral and yeasty, very clean tasting. Midpalate; notes of candy apples and bananas. Finishes dry on more flavors of toasted caramel and creamy wheat.

Feel: Body is slightly watery and bubbly but it works. Thirst quenching, yet dry. Malty, but balanced by notes of holiday spice and bitter floral hops.

Overall: I'd recommend this, just make sure you're buying it fresh, as this being a malt forward, lightly hopped beer - won't hold up that well over time as the flavor will fade.

If you're looking for a lightly spiced, malty, thirst quenching beer, this one is worth trying - but I doubt hardcore fans of bocks or holiday beer in general will fall head over heels for this.

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Photo of jasadewi
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Caramel amber.
S: Cinnamon and malty sweet smell. Very faint.
T: The orange peel comes through strongly, with hints of ginger. Almost like a Witbier/Winter Warmer.
M: Medium bodied.
O: Overall, this is a very good and fruity festive winter beer. If you like oranges, and you want something a little bit darker for winter - give it a try.

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Photo of gandres
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured to wine glass
deep red dark amber color, small off white tan foam looks clear
vg fragrant
medium bitterness
good carbonation, long follow through, finish, bitter follow through/ aftertaste
very good beer
repeat: yes
look for: No
drank: 11/9/2016 6:23 PM

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Photo of ThePold
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle in a Sam Glass. Okay lacing, dark coppery color, head minimal, but appropriate for style. I personally like the dense mouthfeel and the aftertaste. This is a good beer when the first Winds of Winter blow. Whenever GRRM actually publishes it.

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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 DaneBramage
2.71/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle bought at a dive bar, closest thing to craft beer that they had.

L: dark amber with medium head
S: malt, cinnamon, ginger
T: malty, bready, wheat, cinnamon and other spices
F: bitter, peppery aftertaste
O: I realize winter lagers and ales typically have spices added, but this beer just doesn't do it for me. The cinnamon and pepper aftertaste is not my idea of a tasty holiday brew.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.17/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Comes out with some light brown, small 1/4" head, off white. Aroma muted.

Taste has a big fruit yeast push, reminiscient of Pete's Wicked Winter Lager.

Hops aren't really there, at times this seems like a winter warmer, other times a bock. Has some holiday adjunct feels from the spice rack (nutmeg). Wheat is there, lightens the body, kills the clarity.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This bock pours a dark copper color with a fairly small white head. The scent is very faint, but it is malty. There are strong flavors of wheat and bready caramel malts with more subtle flavors of cinnamon and ginger. This must be based off the Boston Lager since this tastes like a slightly spiced version of that. It’s a nice holiday twist though I don’t think that it really adds that much. In my opinion it’s maybe the least ambitious of the members of the Sam Adam’s Winter Variety Pack this year.

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Photo of Squire123
3.61/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

5.6 % abv with 22 ibu.

Deep amber color with a reddish tint, very attractive.

I get roasted malt in the aroma with just a hint of the spices used in the brewing. Not a strong aroma but a pleasant one.

Taste is a good rendition of roasted malt without the underlying bitterness that sometimes accompany that grain bill. The spices, orange peel, cinnamon and ginger, come off more like a dusting on top of the cake rather than in the body. Good medium level blend of complex flavors that harmonize beautifully. Hops are in there but they are singing along with the rest of the voices and contribute rather than stand out. Finish is quick with just a bit of rich malt in the aftertaste.

Texture is medium, which is to say there is a sense of fullness without being in any way heavy.

I suppose I could call this a festive beer what with the spices and all, but it doesn't actually wander too far off the dark lager homestead. It's just a good, solid, well made dark lager that I could serve guests anytime of the year.

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Photo of SmangTown
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

L- dark brown color, little head and light lacing
S- smelt very neutral, not spicy not boozy, not hoppy. Good balance, maybe hints of orange
T- decent amount of flavor of spices, ginger and orange. Taste ginger more than orange but taste very little cinnamon.
F- very light, easy to drink, not too carbonated, slight coarseness
Overall- enjoyable drink. Not to heavy or to light. Good to have over lunch or etc

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.64 out of 5 based on 5,893 ratings.
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