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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: 1,949 | Ratings: 5,764
Photo of Sammy
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bit of head, bit of hops. Some spice in taste, chocolate malt and caramel for sweetness.nutmeg, cinammon Drop of fruit. Mild spice aroma. SLightly astringent finish. Not a bad one. An average craft beer. Medium body, suitably carbonated at Pizza Plant Transit.

 260 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Schooners Patio Grille in Santa Clarita, CA.

Pours a clear dark brown with a 1 inch foamy tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Random dots and streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt/grain and a variety of winter spices. Not much going on in the smell department. Taste is of malt/grain, some citrus flavors, and a lot of different spices (cinnamon, clove, etc.). There is a slight bitterness from the spices with each sip but it quickly fades. This beer has a bubbly level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is pretty good Winter beer but nothing too special really.

 645 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 1.5 finger head on a clear brown with amber hues body. Some lacing and little head retention.

S: Mostly roast malt and hints of spice and hops.

T: very nice malt and spice profile. Better than other bocks I have head. Nice sweet finish and not too bad of an aftertaste.

M: Medium body and moderate carbonation. Crisp finish

O: Very drinkable and nicely complex bock. One of the better seasonal offerings by both Sam Adams and winter beers in general.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
2.95/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

not crisp and cold and refreshing like most lagers, and not even fully seasonally applicable due to its average abv and dumbed down flavor. sam makes some epic beers, but this ones just average. pours a light indian brown color into that funny sam adams glassware, good head. smells like a malt bomb, but tastes a bit cinnamon and clove spice, thick mouthfeel drags it down and sits in the gut. not a good session lager. of the winter brews the cream stout and the scotch murder this one. id say pass it by but its so damn common in the northeast...

 549 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Winter Lager pours out as a slightly hazy looking brown color with a generous tan colored head on top. The aromas of some wintery spices, malts and some hops are on the nose. The taste is a little spicy but balanced enough that you can get all the flavors at different times. The mouthfeel is carbonated enough to make the mouth tingle but smooth enough to drink several if one chooses too. It's a pretty good brew in my opinion I love when the Winter season falls because it's always great to have that first Sam Adams Seasonal of that time of year.

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Photo of metter98
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear reddish copper in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that died down and left some lacing on the surface.
S: The smell is quite spicy and has aromas of cinnamon and ginger along with notes of orange peel.
T: The initial taste has some brief hints of caramel and malty sweetness but quickly transitions to flavors that share similarities with the aroma.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish has a bit of dryness from the spices and a slight amount of warming from the alcohol.
O: The relatively light body of this beer could make it one that's very easy to drink for the style but there's no way that I could have more than one of these in a sitting given all of the spices.

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

An easy drinking wheat bock-style ale with a mild complexity of spice built in. Slight fruity, slight earthy, and slight sweetness give a rounded impression for any cool weather session and a compliment to many wintry meals.

Sam Adams Winter Lager pours with a medium brown, light mohogany hue and with bright clarity. A creamy off-white head caps the beer and releases spotty pockets of lace as the beer falls. A firm, yet light Bock look.

Mild aromas of soft pilsner malt cracker character is layered with notes of grape, light toast, nuts, and almost chocolate. A light spicy character tickles the nose with seemingly peppercorn, lavender, and cinnamon.

Flavors fare similarly with a mostly malt, but partly grain flavor. Sugary malty sweetness is moderate and carries a slight candied fruit with toast, light chocolate, nuts, and spice. Earthy hops allow for a slight grassy taste in finish, just as the added spices blend into bitterness late.

Medium to start, but after the creamy carbonation subdues, the beer lingers in finish with a semi-dry feel with slight lingering sweetness, mild grain astringency, slight alcohol warmth, and largely clean for its style.

Perhaps a bit timid on all fronts, this is kind of a Bock with training wheels. Despite its overall lightness and somewhat grainy texture and taste, the beer is remarkably refreshing and drinkable.

 1,371 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.89/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark amber with great clarity. Pours with a 2-inch head that slowly settles to a crown. I really like the color of this beer.

Smell: The nose is disappointingly mild - it's bready and toasty with a hint of caramel, but it's very faint. Where's the hop aroma?

Taste: Tastes like Boston Lager's big brother. A hearty caramel malt backbone is nicely balanced with noble hops and spices (ginger and orange peel perhaps, maybe even a bit of cinnamon). The finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, smooth and warming. Slightly sticky on the palate.

Drinkability: An excellent winter session beer - it's hearty and warming but easy on the palate and remarkably smooth. Recommended and underrated.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a nice clear medium amber color with a beautiful head; plenty of lacing

Smell: Lots of sweet maltiness on the nose - caramel, a touch of cinnamon and orange

Taste: Sweet and somewhat spicy; starts by laying down a caramel malt backbone and then tingles with various spices and orange highlights; finishes sweet but prickly and slightly bitter

Mouthfeel: A bit thin, and I was about to dock it until I remembered it was a lager and shouldn't be too heavy; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice effort from SA; I'll be back for more

 561 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355ml bottle. Here in Canada, for some continuing reason, we get the Swedish and English label info - not sure why that is, but it certainly is a welcome sight to see these 6-packs at this time of year.

This beer pours a clear, medium burnt amber colour, with two fingers of foamy ecru head, which leaves a nice Swiss cheese spectrum of lace around the glass as it readily recedes.

It smells of mild toasted caramel malt, ginger spice, a bit of orange citrus, and an underlying layer of earthy noble hops. The taste is ginger and clove inflected bready caramel malt, some other black pepper-esque spice, and more nondescript earthy hops.

Any carbonation is quite mild, the body a sure medium-light in weight, and yet a tad astringent – the heretofore understated hops and emboldened alcohol equally responsible. It finishes mostly sweet, and with that persistent edgy, simmering spice bitterness.

A decent, moderately spiced lager, evoking memories of holiday seasons past, and worthy of some love when you don’t want to drink something all that heavy in your craft beer pursuits in the current one.

 1,108 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear deep amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of caramelized malt with light fruity ester is very interesting. Taste is easily quaffable with notes of caramelized malt with sweet undertones and light fruity ester. Body is about average with goo carbonation. Wheat malt is not easily identifiable. Easy to drink with just enough character.

 403 characters

Photo of emerge077
2.86/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep saturated copper color, jewel tone clarity, lasting foam and fine lacing crowning the edges. Retention is good, the skim doesn't break after the first few sips.

Sweet and malty smell, nuts, brown sugar, grains of paradise. Later it smells a bit bland and lagery.

First sip is a little vegetal and gross. Later sips aren't as off putting, but there's something there that just doesn't work. Some astringency in the mouthfeel, though light bodied and fairly smooth otherwise. Earthy vegetal flavor that reminds me of pumpkin or squash oddly enough. Some nutty malt character in there too, maybe some nutmeg? Overall the flavors don't coalesce well. Not too sure what to make of this, not really looking forward to finishing the glass either. edit: drank a 2nd one straight from the fridge a few weeks later, didn't seem as bad. Still a bit astringent with discordant flavors though.

 889 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into De Molen stemware in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Expectations are relatively high.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair cream and thickness, but bad retention. Semitransparent copper colour.

Sm: Spice, caramel, amber hops, brown sugar, and a hint of molasses. A moderate strength aroma.

T: All the notes from the nose coalesce quite nicely in a balanced manner to produce the flavour. It's a bit dependent on its tingly sugar tone - which doesn't really work. The spice is quite nice. Slightly complex. The build is nice.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some tingly business from the candy-ish brown sugar. Suits the flavour generally.

Dr: Quite drinkable and nice for the style. I enjoyed it on tap and I enjoy it now out of the bottle. I won't pursue this in future, but I do enjoy it. It's not exactly special, but it's enjoyable.

 912 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.26/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I must say, this seasonal offering from Sam Adams sort of let me down. I like almost all of their beers but this one just wasn't doing it for me. I tried it plenty of times but found it to be lacking too much in overall flavor. The appearance is beautiful and it is a good beer body wise, but the flavor department is just lacking way too much for me.

 351 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours out an amber/burgandy color. A small head that left a little lacing.

S - It smelled of grain and spices.

T - Tasted of grain and malt. The spices tasted like cinnamon.

M - It was crisp and dry. Light to medium-bodied.

D - It was pretty good. I liked the hint of cinnamon. It was understated.

 305 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark copper color with a white head and good lacing.

S: Spicy with some citrus hints.

T: Sweet with spcied notes. Plenty of spices going on here--perhaps a little too much.

M: Medium bodied and fairly chewy.

D: Good winter beer. Another solid seasonal from the BBC.

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Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have drank this seasonal over the last few years on tap and in the bottle,went out last night and had this on tap.Pours a brownish amber with alight but somewhat sticky head,aroma is rich and malty.The flavor has a nice flavorful holiday spice to it its a nice rich tasting brew,this beer is served at alot of the big name bar and grilles wich is great compared to most of there other offerings.A beer with some nice spiced notes and is slightly warming.

 454 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of brownish, off-white foam that settles down quite quickly. The body is amber-brown with perfect clarity.

S - Malt, slight roast with caramel.

T - Malt with cinnamon and nutmeg. Slight roast character from malt. Hops are minimal if detectable at all. The roast character increases somewhat in the finish.

M - Heavy, slightly syrupy body with moderate carbonation.

D - Despite the somewhat heavy mouthfeel this beer is reasonably drinkable. It finishes quite clean and has just enough carbonation to lift the taste off the palate.

 549 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Recently realized I hadn't reviewed this beer, one of the beers that helped me get into the craft beer scene.

A: Pours a large 2 finger head that is pretty rich and slowly bides back. A very clear amber orange reddish brown color like the glass is made of rust. The head leaves a lacing on the glass as it fades.

N: Lots of sweet malts start this beer. Almost a syrupy molasses like nose, but just slightly. A slight toasty malt aroma also makes its way in there with a touch of nutty aroma. Some crystal malt and other darker malts really hammer out the aroma and finishes with a touch of some spicy earthy malts.

T: Starts very lightly sweet with some dark malts, a little but of a syrupy like molasses or some other syrup taste. Then comes some nutty flavors, almost nutmeg but not really, as well as some interesting crystal and other dark malt flavors. It has a strange toasty syrupy flavor to it that is pretty reminiscent of winter beers. A light crisp lager taste hides in the background as well. A slight spicy and earthy hop flavor bitters the palate but ever so slightly, perhaps more hops would be nice.

M: Medium body, not too light or heavy, good carbonation.

F: Finishes a little sweet still, a little drier would make it even nicer. The dark malt and syrupy flavor sticks around (pun intended) as it clings to the sides of the mouth and the tongue for a short while leaving the sticky flavor. A slight bitterness and spicy earthy hop flavor remain at the finish, but don't get stronger at all.

 1,515 characters

Photo of mothman
3.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the bar, now trying it from a bottle at home.

Categorized as a bock and on clearance made me pick this up, knowing I could still enjoy a few of these during the season.

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Color is a dark amber/copper. Clear. Pours about a 1/2 finger slightly off-white head. Fizzles down to a thin layer, more foam built up on the edge of the glass. Leaves some thick splattered lacing.

Aroma is sweet and malty. Definitely has the winter spices in it, but also has the 'bock-ness" to it. A tad of licorice comes of the end and also some brown sugar. It has a very inviting smell. Really tempts you to drink it.

Taste: right of the bat spices hit me. Enough ginger to remind me of a ginger-bread cookie. Very malty with spices. Leaves a lager-like aftertaste (yes bock is a lager).

Mouthfeel comes off a tad crisp, but then gets very smooth, almost creamy. The alcohol makes its appearance here. Leaves a bitterly dry aftertaste.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. My grades for this beer on tap and bottle seem fairly accurate which is a good thing. This one will definitely be in my fridge next winter.

 1,151 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Uber-glass.

Pours a clear amber with a nice looking finger width of light tan foam. Not a whole lot of retention was lacing was OK. The aroma is deep with sweet caramel malts, roast, and a little spice.

The taste has a nice thick feel of bready sweet malt that gives way to a livey spice character and some dark fruits. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a enjoyable smooth feel.

This is a very tasty Winter Bock and one of the more enjoyable ones from Sam Adams. With a good tate profile and easy drinkibility, it's one that I never hesitate to order up when I'm dining out somewhere.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pilsener glass, best before May 2013. Pours crystal clear reddish copper color with a nice 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a nice amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of apple, pear, caramel, ginger, toast, grass, cracker, light pepper, and herbal. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and solid complexity. Taste of apple, pear, caramel, toast, cracker, grass, ginger, light cinnamon, light citrus, and light herbal spiciness. Lingering notes of light fruits, caramel, toast, bread, grass, ginger, light cinnamon, and light herbal on the finish for a short bit. Nice flavor balance with a fair amount of robustness; with a nice subtle balance of the added spices; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy and very smooth mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a good bock style. Good flavor balance with a fair amount of robustness; and extremely smooth to drink. This was a nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,200 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This "dark wheat lager" pours a clear, deep amber body with a ruby cast. It's topped by a frothy head of ivory cream that holds exceptionally well and leaves some very nice lacing about the glass. The nose is malty and clean with a hint of hops and just a suggestion of the winter spices that are used. They do come out in the flavor, however, once the rich, wheaty and caramel-glazed maltiness subsides a little bit; and they stick around to linger in the aftertaste. A bit of cinnamon is discernable, and perhaps some nutmeg, but overall the spices are nicely restrained, lending more to balance than flavor. And it's really well-balanced with the spices working in tandem with the low-key bitterness to balance the malt and dry the finish. A slap of delicately spicy noble hop ties everything together throughout; and it's alternating sweet malt - spicy finish keeps it really drinkable. Nicely done! A very enjoyable "winter" ale that's quite welcome on my table at any time during the year.

 995 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.31/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Handsome coppery red color with a faultless foam. Smells of orange and pumpkin pie. Rather sweet with butter and pie crust in the flavors. A little of the sweet vermouth taste and that hard-candy butterscotch flavor. Light body with a pleasant carbonation. More watery than most beers of this sort, it's definitely not a Winter Warmer.

Among my least favorite of the Sam Adams regular beers, but it's pretty inoffensive compared to some of the spiced concoctions sold for big prices by others. This was a deal in the $11.99 twelve-pack.

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Photo of chinchill
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010/11 release served in a pint glass. Small amount of sediment added (recommended) mid-tasting.

Pours a lovely clear reddish mahogany with a 1 finger tan head that has moderate retention.

Pleasing but mild (weak) malty and spicy aroma.

T - Nice medium roasted malt flavor with detectable but rather subtle added flavor from spices, especially orange peel. ["Subtly spiced with cinnamon, orange peel and ginger"] ... Better too little than too much, IMO. Tastes more like Sam Adams Lager than expected. Good finish with spices coming more to the fore at the end.

M - cinnamon and ginger combine to produce a mild spice 'bite' on the tongue.

O - a nice variation for fans of Sam Adams Lager.

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