Samuel Adams Winter Lager | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,948
Ratings:
5,754
Avg:
3.64
pDev:
23.08%
 
 
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Reviews: 1,948 | Ratings: 5,754
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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Burnished copper with orange highlights topped by a sticky tan head that lasts a while. Small chunks of lace adorn the sides of the pint glass as the foam recedes. The nose is slightly spicy and is somewhat earthy.

The flavor is predominantly malty, with no trace of hoppiness until the finish. Winter Lager is slightly sweet in the beginning and middle, then dries out a little on the back end. Also appreciated is a pleasant spiciness (cinnamon, nutmeg) that reminds me of the holidays. The mouthfeel is about right for a dark lager; maybe a little more full than most.

All in all, Winter Lager is an enjoyable winter beer (the label says that it's 'a dark wheat lager brewed with winter spices'). It's my first Sam Adams brew and I was pleasantly surprised. I can see myself buying this one again.

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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 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 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.

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

Appearance: Pours a clear, bright amber body with a full, foamy off-white head.

Smell: Aroma of toasted wheat and caramel with notes of citrus peel, nuts, and freshly-grated spices.

Taste: Caramel and wheat with a medium sweetness and spice character. Light, lemony citrus. Faint hint of bubblegum. Mild bitterness sets in before the mineral water finish. Sweetish, grainy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Soft mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A decent wintertime beer and one of the better offerings in the Sam Adams Box of Winter Delights.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.06/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

reviewed from notes, part of the big sam adams tasting on xams day. we plowed through everyone we could find in the damn state! served cold and poured into a pint glass.

the pour was a nice and even dark brown color with a nice head of light tan that seemed to hang around for a good long while before settling back down into a thin film around the edges. aroma is light, lots of caramel and hints of brown sugar and light roasted malts, nothing crazy or above normal here at all. smooth texture and a nice sweet flavor, it did its job for sure. though i dont know if it comes across as malty as i would have liked for the style.

overall it was alright, again i have had better but it worked. no real complaints.

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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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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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep copper color with a short and foamy off-white head and leaves a thick, even lace.

S: Fruitiness & malt with some hops and a slight bit of cinnamon.

T: I’m tasting berry and citrus malt sweetness and the distinct Sam Adams hops flavor, but not much else. It’s not a bad taste, just not anything special.

M: Very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, not as thick as other winter seasonals that I’ve had and it’s a little sweeter and yet more crisp than the Sam Adams Old Fezziwig Ale.

D: It’s not over-powering and goes down easy, not very filling.

I’ve liked all of the beers that I’ve had from Boston Beer Co. so far. However I’m not quite as impressed with this beer as I have been with their others. It seems more like a hybrid of their Boston Lager and their Old Fezziwig Ale with a bit more sweetness.

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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.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.56/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This one pours a clear, rich amber color with two fingers of off-white head and very nice lacing.

S: I'm not all that big of a fan of the nose on this. It's very malty, with a lot of caramel, and it seems to be incredibly spicy. I'm okay with some mild spice in a beer, but this one is a bit too much.

T: The taste is better than the nose, that's for certain. The caramel and malt is quite up front, with the spices much more subdued.

M: The fizziness is rather light for a lager and it's rather full bodied as well. I haven't had this beer in quite some time and I found this to be quite impressive.

D: This is a pretty easy drinking beer and one that you could easily have several of in a session. I'm not the biggest fan of bocks, but I found this one to be fairly enjoyable and wouldn't turn it down if offered one.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Market Cross Pub and Brewery in Carlisle, Pa.
Served cool in an Imperial pint glass.
3.5-3.5-3.5-3-3

A - A deep copper/caramel brown w/ a sliver of a light tan head. Sporadic lace is strewn as the lager is sipped.

S - A nutty woody malt aroma is dominant. A light caramel note is found in the bready aroma and a faint smell of spiced hops.

M - Medium, slick and fully carbonated w/ sweet malt and a clean finish. The effervescence is a bit aggressive for my taste. At least for the style, anyway.

T - There is a gentle caramel note w/ sweet and lactic malt flavors that are rather mild. The carbonation kind of overwhelms the chance to taste the malt and a light hop spice is barely detected. Pretty average flavors nowhere near the complexity of some other notables. Not as interesting as the Longshot or other seasonal products that SA has produced recently.

D - Barely passable, but may go well with greasy onion rings or cheddar skins to cut through. Just ok for me. It seems like it may be more drinkable when compared to the lineup at TGI Fridays.

had recently so decided to re review
A-dark brown with haze and thick cream, smell is slight toasted grain with mild yeast ester and light spice/nuts. The feel is pretty light somewhat dry with moderately high carbonation
Taste is good with moderately high malt impact with mellow toasted grain and mostly clean yeast flavor. Overall a pretty average beer, but is pretty drinkable

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Photo of russpowell
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 version

Pours copper with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Some lacing & head retention

S: Sweet malt & brown sugar

T: Sweet malt with hints of caramel &brown sugar up front. Cinamon follows as it warms up, plus some warming sensation from the alcohol, along with biscuitty notes. Finishes dry & biscuitty

MF: Rich, medium bodied & moderate carbonation, plus superb balance

Drank very easy, much tastier than last year

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adams sensory pint glass.

Workin' my way through the Winter Styles pack. This one pours a nice clear dark ruby brown topped by nearly a finger of ecru foam. The nose comprises caramel, light roasted malts, light milk chocolate, rye bread, and orange zest. The taste is very similar, but a bit spicier: Newcomers nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, and cola add some complexity to the flavor, but seem to somewhat overshadow the other parts. Or, rather, it comes in phases. However you prefer to hear it, everything doesn't mesh perfectly. Yeah. The body is a nice medium, with a moderate carbonation and a semi-grainy feel. Overall, a very nice brew, one that could use some tweaking, but is still an easy and enjoyable drinker.

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Photo of Jason
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark orangey color, good clarity with a quick to froth carbonation and a decent head retention that leaves some lace behind. Wet spicy aroma, a tad malty with some herbal hop in the nose. Creamy medium body with an ample sweetness from the toasted and caramel malt flavors. Spicing and hops keep it balanced with some cininimon and ginger undetones and a spicy herbal hop bitterness. Finishes a bit sweet with warming spices.

I remember when this beer used to be a little bit bigger, badder and ... well better. It used to be closer to 7% abv and with a lot more brawn you would expect from a bock. Todays version is decent, a good pick if you are going to a house or dinner party and don't want to rock the boat.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Sam Adams Brew Club at Newark International Airport (EWR)

A: Pours a crystal clear dark amber in color with some reddish highlights and moderate to significant amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall off-white head that reduces to a patchy thin film that covers about half the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Note of spices - cinnamon, ginger, and orange rind - over the top of caramel malts and some light wheat notes.

T: Moderate to strong amounts of malty sweetness upfront with caramel and wheat both present. Then there are the notes of the spices - cinnamon, ginger, and orange rind really stand out. Light bitterness in the finish but it fades quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with light amounts of dryness and just a hint of alcohol warming.

O: Enjoyable and relatively easy to drink though the spice flavors are a little too intense for me to have more than one in a session.

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 1,948 ratings.
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