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 TheBierdimpfe
3.19/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Slightly veiled copper color with storming activity. Dense creamy beige 2-3 finger head, lasting around 10-15 minutes, with good legs. Flavors of toffee, dark grains, wheat, apples, berries, apricot, nutmeg, ginger, banana yeast, herbal spices. Sugary gingerbread and cereal feel, moderately bitter spices. Slick full body with with crispy and prickly carbonation. Medium to strong finish, lingering molasses, burnt caramel, wet straw, roasted barley, red ale spices, and leafy hops. The finish is plagued with an unpleasant wet grainy feel, killing the freshness. The smell is quite faint, although the body is rich and smooth. Okay taste that lacks personality. Overall above average quality craft.

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Photo of kevin3046
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark amber with nice brown head that dissipates quickly. Thin lacing. Nice and creamy with moderate carbonation. Malt and orange taste up front with light hoppiness in back. Good seasonal beer. You can't hardly go wrong with Sam Adams.

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Photo of Scott17Taylor
3.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours rich ruby reddish brown with nice 1 finger head.
The aroma is very spicy with some citrus. The rich dark malts are hidden beneath other components of the beer,
The flavor is very rich, the dark malts come through much stronger on the flavor. The winter spices play a nice role in the background not taking over.
Overall this is good, it won't be a regular in my rotation, but it's worth drinking. If I'm ever at an Applebee's or chilis this could be a decent option.

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Photo of bwood06
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

While watching a game at a local pub in Grand Rapids recently I ordered this one up since I like a good bock every once in a while, and this one was the most enticing beer on the menu at the moment. Plus, it was a good lighter abv option to go with watching the game.

This beer pours a reddish brown hue and is clear with light carbonation visible. The head is off white and creamy, dissipating very slowly to a rocky layer with a neck. 4.25/5 The aroma is very sweet and fruity with notes of plums, ages, red wine grapes, and dark cherries. It comes across a bit syrupy and almost like cough medicine. 3.5/5 The flavor has that same sweetness and fruitiness, but luckily does not come off as cough syrup. Notes of plums, red wine grapes, dark cherries, and dates kick things off before transitioning to wheat bread and then finally to floral hops that feature very little in the way of bitterness. The bitterness is light enough that it does not linger after swallowing. 3.75/5 This beer is quite wet but not coating and it is medium bodied. There is very little carbonation and no dryness or lingering dryness. It is smooth and syrupy, but also thirst quenching at the same time (generally not two terms that go together). 4/5 This is a very good beer, although it is quite unbalanced in favor of fruity sweetness. I did not expect such a wealth of sweetness and fruity notes out of a bock, but oh well. If everything lived up to expectations I would get bored very quickly. 3.75/5

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Photo of Hackattack
4.7/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L-dark copper...the color of a good roux
S-nothing particular stands out
T- slightly sweet, malty/chocolate notes here favorite type
F- smooth/warm

I love this beer! Not too pricey at $8.51 a warm six. If you are a fan of hopped up brew you may not like this. But I have never had a bad experience with Sam Adams' offerings.

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Photo of 413
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Sam Winter Lager is pretty close to my idea of a classic winter seasonal. It seems to be an agreeable dark variation on the classic Boston Lager theme, swapping out hoppy tones with welcoming spices. Better out of the bottle than on tap in my experience, it's nothing to write home about necessarily, but a solid brew to keep around for cold-weather sessions. It is a shame that this one isn't around a little later before it gets replaced by Cold Snap, the taste of which does not seem quite as appropriate for the depths of winter.

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Photo of Radcpa
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark appearance with tan head and just the right amount of carbonation. Very mild fruity aroma. Taste is very smooth grain with some hoppy and slight bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of wuthrichj15
2.94/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was just average. Kind of like old Fez but not quite as flavorful. Pours pretty similar to Old Fez but just is lacking something. Couldn't quite put my finger on it. Anyways, it is worth a try if you come across it.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber pour with thin lasting cap of beige. Aromas are pleasantly malty bread, caramel, and very light winter spices. All of the smells are amplified in the taste - very full-bodied for such low abv. Tasty, malty, but never overly sweet, if finishes clean and neat. One of Sam's best recipes.

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Photo of SABERG
3.82/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed on draft at Parker Pie.
A - Really nice amber color, clear and well carbonated, a lovely cap with long rings of proof.
S - clove, nutmeg, winter wheat, hint of cinnamon.
T - Follows the aromatics. Nicely balanced.
M - Here is where the offering excels, excellent lager fels, semi swet finish.
O - A really well put together winter lager.

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