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

Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager
Liked This Beer
3.59 w/ 5,924 Ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,924 |  Reviews: 1,986
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of dooleyra
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Jstark5150
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of LucienDeRubempre
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of modernartblues
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of Adamostella
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of vicsju1991
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Lawnboy33
4/5  rDev +11.4%

3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of MichaelBurns
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of y2korey
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of tobelerone
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of mater
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of Josiah2729
3/5  rDev -16.4%

Photo of Rantingfury
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured from the bottle into my usual truncated conical glass. The head was a finger width of tan foam that faded to light lacing. A ruby amber hue in color, much like American iced tea, was evident when the glass was held to the light. the aroma starts off with a sweet caramel malt note, and then fades to a faint of spice and hops. The taste hit in two waves... The first was the malty bready taste, and faded to a nice spice/hop note. The after taste the ginger made a subtle but clear presence that was nice as well. Mouth feel was light to medium with a good bit of carbonation tickling my tongue. Over all I like this seasonal. The spices were a little on the light side in aroma and taste, but this beats over doing it by a wide margin. It's a good seasonal lager overall, but it's not outstanding to where I would go out of my way to buy it again.... Fortunately for this beer my regular store stocks it, so a few more six packs will be consumed.

 956 characters

Photo of jb413
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first taste of this style.

A - Poured an attractive dark mocha-ish/amber hue with a small light khaki head and little lacing.

S - Dark wheat with some spice notes. I remember some ginger in the nose. Good strength, smelled good.

T - Nice mix of roasty flavor with the spice profile. Neither one outweighs the other. The spices are not overdone.

MF - This is a medium-bodied beer, good amount of carbonation and and a nice finish.

O - Very nice on cold nights, I have nothing to compare it to yet in the style, but I liked this beer for sure. Looking forward to trying others.

 583 characters

Photo of zaphodchak
3.12/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Two fingers smooth offwhite head. Body is a gradient of ruby-amber.

Nose is not great, some metallic cereal along with the usual lager character.

Hops come faintly at the beginning, full of malt and spice in the middle. At the end, there's some metallic character, but it definitely tastes better than it smells.

Mouthfeel is a bit scratchy, coarse.

Not bad, but the most 'winter'-y part of this is the spice, and even for the price point, most other winter seasonals are better. Might be worth a look if you want some of that seasonal spice but desire the lager flavor profile.

 583 characters

Photo of AmericanGothic
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint.

A: Pours a clear copper color with two fingers of pale cream/orange head. Good retention and lace.

S: A little caramel with some straw overtones.

T: Light caramel, some peppery spice, straw on the finish. Caramel lingers on the aftertaste. Towards the end of the glass, some leather joins the finish.

M: Medium light body, good creamy feel.

O: Nothing exceptional, but quite solid. Picked it up yesterday on a whim for an 11-11 party (eleven letters in Winter Lager). I can see this being a good change of pace from stronger beers during the cold months. Will likely buy it again.

 635 characters

Photo of BilbosNuts
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear, dark copper or garnet color. There is no head and the thin film that was produced fades quickly. There appears to be a very small amount of carbonation.

S: Toasted malts are the backbone for the aroma. They are complemented by a sort of earthy/grassy smell along with a touch of sweet caramel and a light hop profile.

T: As in the aroma, the taste is mostly comprised of the toasted malts. The grassy aspect again makes its presence known, though only slightly.

M: Pretty much what you'd expect from a dark lager. It has a medium body along with a feel that isn't overly lively and is relatively smooth.

O: I wasn't overly impressed with this one. I'd rather have a good winter warmer on a cold day than revisit this one again.

 795 characters

Photo of tito42
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to a Blvd. Smokestack tulip. Best by April 2012.

Appearance: Rich copper color to light with a tan head. Good retention and lacing, with lively, tight carbonation bubbles.

Smell: Slightly sweet and malty. Not a necessarily robust smell.

Taste: Malty with a nip of cinnamon and ginger at the back end. Plum and caramel fills the middle and blends well with the malt and spice.

Mouthfeel: Dexterous in a very Sam Adams kind of way. Well carbonated finish pairs with the spices to give a nice tang without lasting dryness.

Overall: A re-review of my first review on BA. This was one of the first seasonals that I was drawn to, and one of the first beers that pulled me away from the boredom of adjunct lagers.

 730 characters

Photo of phichifiji00
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

Appearance: clear, dark amber. Pours 1 inch of thick cream colored head that fades slowly. Lots of lacing.

Smell: cinnamon, ginger, citrus, orange peel, malty, subtle hops, toffee, caramel, nutty.

Taste: ginger, cinnamon, nutty, malty, caramel, toffee, hint of orange peel, hint of piney hops.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, smooth/creamy.

Overall: A good holiday lager. The falvors are complex but subtle. Very drinkable.

 469 characters

Photo of CheezyBlaster
2.48/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Lightly toasted skunk with a hint of generic hopping and a nip of spicing. Very weak nose though.

Super bready/toasty, adjuncty, skunky (it's fresh though). Just a hint of spiciness, at least partly from the hops. Watery. Very flimsy body, I wouldn't even call it "light". No kudos for this one, Samuel Adams. And yes, I like the bock style in general and I am very pro-lager, this just falls short.

 401 characters

Photo of TippySelenoid
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

It's a clear amber color with a creamy, off white head that is very pretty.

It smells bready, with a bit of spice. Cinnamon?

This beer has a pretty big flavor. It's very biscuity. It's got a mild spiciness, but I can't figure out what it is. It also has an alcohol flavor, but it's ABV doesn't seem like it should.

It's medium bodied with a very creamy carbonation.

This beers ok. It's certainly not in the top twenty of winter seasonals I'd drink.

 479 characters

Photo of bigdeuce
1.93/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I don't know what Mr. Koch and the Boston Beer Co. did to this terrific brew from around circa 2003-2005 but this is horrific and I will never purchase this garbage again. Pours a decent head. Scents of some toasty winter spices, ie cinnamon and nutmeg. Smells decently. Very thin, has been totally dumbed from original recipe. The flavors are one of a true winter warmer but not accentuated properly.

This beer used to be a 7% ACTUAL wheat bock with a thick body, and a hearty, meaty flavor to it. I used to look forward to this one every year but will NOT purchase this ever again until I see the 7% abv slapped back on the bottle.

 635 characters

Photo of Sorvahr
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased from a Wal-Mart in Memphis, TN for $8.50. I had had this beer last year and remembered it was pretty good, so I decided to get a six-pack of it for a review. I'm always annoyed by the whole seasonal brew concept--if a beer's worth selling, it's worth selling year round, not for only a few months out of the year. And this beer certainly is; I'd drink it any season. Poured into a New Belgium snifter glass.

A: Pours a deep, clear garnet, one of the reddest beers I've ever seen. The off-white head came up to one finger but has excellent retention. Lacing is exceptional though, going all the way down the glass and quite persistent. It's quite impressive to see a whole sheet of froth appear on the glass and break up into lines and segments that slowly slide down the side.

S: It has a real malty aroma to it, you can smell the cinnamon and spices a bit but the bock malts are the primary smell. Very appetizing.

T: Definitely one of the richest Samuel Adams beers available here (the really fancy ones like the Double Bock cannot be found in Memphis). Powerful, bready malts are the first thing that comes up on the palate, followed by the tingle of the various added spices. The beer is hoppy but not so much as to throw off the balance of the beer and overwhelm the malts that are the primary attraction here. It's sort of like the Boston Lager but bigger, bolder, and with a warming effect from the additional ingredients. The spices begin to come to the fore as the beer warms up, bringing an almost "liquid pastry" quality to the taste. The finish is a lot like chocolate but with yeast undertones. All the various flavors seem to have been balanced in just the right amounts.

M: Thick for an inexpensive beer but not too heavy as to be un-sessionable. The spices impart a warm, tingling quality and the beer lingers on the palate for some time.

O: For less than $10, it's hard to get better than this. This is a very good beer that is masterfully balanced and uses its additives well. Recommended.

 2,022 characters

Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 42.3% out of 100 with 5,924 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.