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: 5,895
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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Photo of WriterSean33
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This was a wonderful seasonal beer from Samuel Adams. I will gladly drink this beer every winter, so long as it is available. It works very well for cold weather situations.

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Photo of breakingbland
3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle as a beautiful red-brown hue. There was a thin layer of foam consisting of fine bubbles.

The aroma, fairly faint, was of slight malt and sweetness and very slight funk. The taste was roasty, balanced with sweetness and hops. Overall, a fairly straightforward flavor profile.

The mouthfeel and body were good.

Overall, this is a pretty good beer. I'd have it again but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of donspublic
3.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into chalice, yielded 1 finger light tan head. Pools down to a ring with little lacing. Hazy caramel color to look at with nice carbonation. Smells of malt, caramel, cinnamon and other spices. Taste of malt and caramel on the front end, then the spices take over to smooth things out. Finishes up a tad on the sweet side, bit spices come back around to bring everything back in check. Nice beer, can't believe this is my first time to try it.

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Photo of RIMH
3.16/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

The Winter Lager is usually a beer I'll grab if it's on hand, but like Oktoberfest, it also borders on my bitter tolerance, but its nutty, chocolatey tones is nice to sip on a cold night.

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Photo of jw4free
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Weizen glass. L: Head fades quick. Clear medium brown. S: decent malt notes. Toasty caramel malts. T: malt and crisp lager yeast. F: good carbonation. O: pretty good bock.

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Photo of dar482
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The flavor offers ginger, allspice, nutmeg with a surrounding malty breadlines with hints of sweetness and a medium hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium to medium minus. An gentle drinking brew with a decent combination of spice and malty sweetness.

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Photo of hopphead31415
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I grabbed a twelver of this brew and it even came with a tulip lip can which is nice. Of course, I poured it into a worthy glass and admired what it has to offer. This one is 5.7% ABV.

Look-It pours a mildly clear walnut copper color with a nice whitish head. The lacing is persistent and fluffy.

Smell-It smells of dark fruits like plums and raisins as well as hearty rich sweet breads like pound cake, bread pudding, and cinnamon cakes. There is plenty of malts and abundant spices to be smelled and tasted.

Taste-It tastes like it smells, but with mild caramel flavors and some mild orange peel citrus.

Mouthfeel-It is medium bodied, smooth, rich, and creamy.

Overall-I love this beer, but it isn’t like earth shattering or anything. Definitely try it though.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.49/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to shaker pint. Brew is copper in color with a collar of cream colored head. Aroma is spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, some zesty citrus notes come through as well. Taste follows with a nice wheat flavor holding it all together. Boston Brewing produces another solid brew in their lineup.

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Photo of Myotus
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured at 47°F from a 12oz bottle (best by May 2015) into a Pilsner glass. Consumed on 11Jan16.
LOOK: Pours with 3 fingers of khaki foam that dissipates into 2 fingers worth within 3 and a half minutes. Copper in color. There is a plethora of small rising bubbles that explains why the foam head refuses to die all the way. Lacing is thick and moderate in quantity.
SMELL: Mild aromas of cinnamon, ginger, caramel, sweet bread, figs, and plums entangle with subtle aromas of orange peel, spicy hops, and earthy hops along with hints of pale malts.
TASTE: Mild wheat (suddenly appear!), pale malt, and caramel flavors enter initially and are immediately followed by mild cinnamon and ginger flavors. Mild orange peel flavors arrive next onto the palate as pale malt flavors grow stronger. Mild sweet bread flavors, subtle spicy and earthy hop flavors, and hints of figs and plums enter lastly as all previous flavors push on.
FEEL: Full-bodied and subtly carbonated. Goes down smooth and creamy. Finishes very crisp.
NOTE: A good beer by the Boston Beer Company. This was nothing mind-blowing, but it is easily likable. I bet if you took out the pale malts, this would be even better. I would buy this again of I was attending a party or planning to have friends over. Probably wouldn't drink this by myself again, though.

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


Pours a beautiful copper color. The head is two fingers high and off-white in shade. This beer's head really leaves behind a ton of lacing on the glass, though its retention isn't amazing.

Almost immediately, cinnamon and ginger invade my nostrils. You know, as much as people say Hardywood GBS invokes gingerbread - this does that very same thing nearly as well. Also adding to the experience are touches of wheat and apricot (though I don't get much orange peel here). This offers a very intriguing aroma, spiced in all the right ways.

As it washes over the palate, I initially pick up flavors of ginger, molasses, and wheat. Orange peel rounds out the mid-taste, with a nice kick of cinnamon finishing things off. It's not a particularly deep beer, but it balances all its elements extremely well.

Creamy and soft textured, this just feels rich - not just for a 5.6% lager, but in general. The finish is dry, keeping it an easy drinker. Carbonation is gentle, and this seemingly aids this beer's substantial body.

I've always felt Sam Adams do lagers better than ales. The standard Boston Lager is still quite tasty, Double Agent is probably their best hoppy offering, and Noble Pils is tragically missed (or is it - hi Spring pack!) This reaffirms that belief. It's not comically cinnamon-heavy like so many Winter warmer-cum-pumpkin ale offerings, nor is it some dinky, watery weakling in terms of mouthfeel. This is a perfect "please the masses" kind of beer that works great for parties or guzzling by the pitcher.

3.53/5: A worthy offering that I overlook too often in the winter

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.64 out of 5 based on 5,895 ratings.
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