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

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1,962 Reviews
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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: 1,962 | Ratings: 5,815
Photo of dgfair
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was my first beer from my 2004 Sam Adams Wimter Classics 12 pack. As a fan of the Boston Lager, I was looking forward to sampling the winter brews from BBC. The Winter Lager is a great start and did not disappoint. It pours a beautiful bright amber color with a slight off-white head about 1/4 inch thick. Not a great deal of aroma here, but I pick up small scents of nutmeg or cinammon that you may expect from a winter selection, plus some light hops and malt. The taste is nice with a good balance of hops and malt, and I also pick up a slight bitter fruity taste, almost reminding of the after-taste of a fresh sour apple. Carbonation is excellent and the lager fills your mouth and body with a jolt of wamth that you would hope for in a winter warmer. Drinkability is above average, as I could see myself drinking a number of these at a holiday gathering. Overall, a great start to my Winter Classics pack...although I am not looking forward to the Cranberry "lambic" based on the reviews I have read so far.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear reddish brown with a small off-white head. Sweet, malty aroma. The flavor is malty with a decent amount of hops. I find this beer to be overly sweet. There is a nice spiciness, but not too spicy like so many winter beers. Medium mouthfeel. Like most beers from Sam Adams, this beer is very drinkable.

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Photo of Backer2004
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent choice to start the holidays, I could not get enough of this at a Christmas party last night. The hints of cinnamon made my mouth sparkle, along with its refreshing taste. Sam Adams continues to impress me. Everyone else around me, even those stubborn to drink anything besides BMC agreed this time. Aroma and appearance were not the highlights for this winter warmer.

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Photo of babydoc
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured form a 12 ounce bottle notched "May". Pours clear, dark amber, with 1finger light caramel head that persisted until about half the pour was gone. Gorgeous curtains of fine bubbles- Perhaps this looked so good because I had just driven 240 miles...Nose is malt and gingerbread.

It tastes of sweet malts and spices, crackers and fruits, just enough hops to offset the sweetness. Some spiciness in the mix. Mouthfeel is moderate carbonation up front, then creamy, with nice finish. Very drinkable

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Elements of the flavor of this beer remind of of Dixie Blackened Voodoo, I think that is because this beer has a molasses-like flavor. Appearance is amber-brown with average-sized, creamy head. Smell is treachy, nice and full. Taste is totally malty, with some taste of spices in the finish. Mouthfeel is a little creamy, which fits this beer nicely. This is an enjoyable beer, I like this more than the similar Blackened Voodoo, because this doesn't cloy.

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Photo of Stingray5
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 release. Been a while since I've had this. Label has changed, but the beer is as I remember it. Pours reddish brown with an impressive off white head that falls to a sustantial ring, large bubbles. Sweet fruit aroma with some spices, a little peppery. Creamy mouthful. Sweet malt in the taste with that slight metallic twang I notice in a lot of Sammys. Finishes with a nice hop kick. Warming alcohol notes, a very nice winter lager. Solid all around.

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Photo of skybluewater
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber color. Head disappears quickly, no lace. Very standard lager smell, nothing special here. Taste isn't all that bad, although I'm not crazy about that special Sam Adams flavor.

Overall, this is an average brew. I'd return to it again, but only if I had to.

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Photo of soper2000
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the Winter Sampler pack. Poured aggressively, it offers a 1 finger white head with ok staying power. Body is a burnt amber. Aroma is of sweet malt and spice (corriander?). Taste offers up more spiciness. A surprising fruity apple finish is present. A decent beer which I seem to enjoy every winter.

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Photo of cncbofh
4.26/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Sampled tested at 50F.

Poured a deep rust color with a decent bubbly lace head. Very clear and crisp looking.

Smelled of christmas around the house. Pumpkin and ginger and cinnamon and Red Hots candy.

Malty cookie-like flavor - very complex and chewy. The wheat is well balanced with the hops and spices. Light on the palate and leaves a pleasant aftertaste. Dry Smooth finish.

Keeping me warm during a cold Colorado winter.

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Photo of mobyfann
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid only $10.99 for the "Winter Classics Holiday 12 pack"

The beer poured exactly like the original Boston Lager, dark amber-brown base with a medium white head with good retention and a few signs of lacing. The aroma was a little faint but hints some malt, caramel and a touch of alcohol.

The taste is solid; light malt, light hop, light caramel, light alcohol, and a spicy touch. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth on the palette and no harshness at all. The drinkability is pretty high for a 7% lager so splitting a 6er for $6 with a friend around holiday time makes a great night.

Final Thought: It's a much stronger version of their Boston Lager in short, a solid seasonal...

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.29/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very nice,deep copper color. A slight head that leaves a trace of lacing on down. Not much aroma-slightly toasted malt,maybe a hint of caramel. Malt flavor dominates. Quite crisp on the palate actually. Some residual sweetness. Dont get any of the "winter spices" the label speaks of. Decent body. A very drinkable beer but I dont think it would be the first thing I reach for in the way of "winter beers". I honestly think this and some of the other SA seasonals have been toned down over the years. This seems to become more lackluster with every year.

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

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle and served it in a British imperial pint glass. Freshness date marked for March 2005.

Copper colored brew with a nice, fluffy head on top. The head quickly into a lace.

Pretty neutral aroma. Slightly metallic. I thought there would be some strong whiffs with a winter warmer. I smell some caramel and cookie scents.

A sweet flavored darker style lager. Caramel juices provide a sweeter taste, but the palate becomes dry and clean on the finish. Strong malt-centered backbone.

When I was younger this was one winter seasonal that I looked foward to seeing on the shelves. This is a solid choice and a great pick when in the boston area selection is rather limited.

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

One of the better Sam Adam's seasonal I think.

Poured out a deep amber/ruby red color with a nice light tan head that stays with you the for whole ride.

Smell consisted of malts mostly with a good dose of fruits and some slight spices hang around in the background.

Taste was good. Hops and malts hit the palate softly with some wheat background. Then the fruit comes into play with some spices going towards the end. Good character in this brew.

Mouthfeel was good. Medium-ish body considering it's 7% almost. A nice option during the winter months. But I would of liked to see a little more spices. I remember last year's had a little bit more of a kick with the spices. But nevertheless, a good brew.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Pizzeria Uno's, Sturbridge, MA, presented in a 20oz hefe-type glass.

1/2" light beige head over a coppery brew, and lacing was good. Aroma was very light, what was present was yeasty. Sedate caramel malts flavor, with slight hops character. Mouthfeel somewhat neutral, and drinkability good. Another more homogenized brew from Sam Adams to try and meet everyone's expectations, most likely overly impressing no one. Still not a bad brew, however, and a good choice from a limited tap menu...

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

Pours a mild reddish brown color with a foamy head that doesn't last long. Full of carbonation but little smell and flavor for what I have come to expect for a winter brew. There is a little taste of hopps along with lingering spice in the background but it is not overpowering. An easy beer to drink but not what I look for in a winter beer. It is easy to put away a few of these unlike other beers of the type which are more filling and strong tasting. Still not a bad beer, nothing really stands out and nothing really falters. Not bad to try but if you want that spicy harty winter beer look elsewhere.

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

Pours a dark amber color and has little or no head and leaves no lace. The caramel malts dominate the aroma and mix in a interesting fashion with the wheat malts. The wheat lightens this lager up a lot, but it still has a nice body with a nice malty backbone. Definitely a drinkable winter beer.

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Photo of granger10
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Well, the pour was a dark copper red but the head was lacking a bit in size and seemed a little fizzy. The smell has some nice spice to it but was a little strong on the alcohol. That's about all the bad that I have to say about this beer. The taste had an amazing complexity. Caramel malty sweetness upfront followed by a roasted barley flavor that holds for the duration of the drink. The spices are perfect in amount and flavor. There seems to be a good amount of cinnamon, which I love, and ginger but they never get too strong and mix beautifully with the malts and hops, just perfect. Hops are spicy and have a European flavor to them. They seem to come with the spices but pick up towards the finish. Slightly belly warming on the way down, which is the intent of this beer right. Body is medium thick and holds the flavors really well. Very drinkable, but maybe after a few I might grow a little tired but I'm not sure, i guess i gotta try sometime soon to see.

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

Sam Adams has made another decent-quality beer with this one...

Pours translucent dark reddish-brown with moderate foamy head. I was expecting more spice in the nose, mostly was malts, a little hops, and alcohol. Taste was surprisingly unspiced, mainly malt and some fruity notes. However, despite its taste shortcomings, it is still a solid, consistent brew from Sam. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of claytri
3.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was presented with a translucent amber pour that was topped with a fine rocky tan head. It had light malt aroma. The taste was a fine malty brew with quite a bit of fruitiness to it, and even a strong apricot and hop finish. The beer is medium bodied and oily. This is a nice beer and pleasantly sweet and fruity. I will definately be sampling more of this as it seems to be widely available at bars that normally don't have a decent beer on tap.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.91/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 12-ounce bottle, just arrived in the store this week.

Appearance: Clear mahogany color; frothy foam with good head retention.

Aroma: Sweet malt, with some crisp wheat notes.

Flavor/Body: Toasty malt, with developing sweetness in the middle. Wheat taste is small but still there. Hop bitterness is restrained, but enough to keep the beer from being cloying. Malty finish. Alcohol warms after the end. Carbonation is medium, body is a little more than medium.

One of the better of the Sam Adams main line of beers, this is a product I look forward to every year. They seem to have fixed the label, which used to read "Winter Lager" and underneath it "A Dark Wheat Ale". It's now simply "Winter Brew" [and underneath: "A dark wheat malt liquor"], with no hint of whether it's an ale or lager.

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Photo of Tang07
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


SA Winter Lager pours a nice ruby brown with a nice thick tan head that sticks around for a while and laces the glass quite nicely.

The nose is very subdued. I had to really sniff to get a faint smell of malt and an even fainter smell of yeast.

It has a nice malty flavor with a hint of nutmeg and hop.

It has some nice body to it and it is very enjoyable now that the weather has cooled down.

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Photo of DFN
2.81/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A dark orange/red color, with a light tan head that dissipates in a minute or two. Faint odor of spices; nothing really stands out. Taste is a bit on the hoppy side, with a slightly bitter/sour aftertaste. Pleasant but undistinguised, overall. Falls somewhere near the middle of the curve in the Great Beer Lineup.

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Photo of BobLuvBeer
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reddish/auburn color, with minimal head, which dissipates quickly. Aroma is of cloves and mild almond & malt. Good hop flavor, with no initial bitterness. Slight bitterness in the aftertaste, which is pleasant. Heavy feel on the palate, but not overly malty. Well balanced, with just enough mixture of hops an dmalt to make a pleasing, non-session beer.

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

Poured a dark coppery color with a small head that reduced to a film.
Smell was malty, with just a hint of some inditinct spice.
Taste was better, light hoppiness, malt, faint spices - mostly in the aftertaste.
A medium body, more like a wheat or thin brown ale than a lager, even a seasonal one. Quite drinkable, but would have liked the spices to have been more noticeable.

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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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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.64 out of 5 based on 5,815 ratings.
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