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

BA SCORE
82
good
5,920 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good
Read the review
Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
samueladams.com

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
Ratings:
5,920
Reviews:
1,986
Avg:
3.64
pDev:
13.46%
 
 
Wants:
97
Gots:
1,312
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,920 |  Reviews: 1,986
Photo of KajII
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

[Best served in a Lager glass]

Poured reddish-brown in color with a big frothy light brown head that had excellent lacing. The aroma was of lightly toasted grainy malts, cloves, ginger and mild resin like hops with a medicine like odor. It taste bitter-sweet with an acidic finish that stayed with you a while. Mouthfeel was light to medium bodied with a creamy texture. Overall an decent brew.

 395 characters

Photo of dalimsta
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Following up on my last review of this beer (on tap)--what a huge disappointment!

- Not as brilliantly colored
- Flavor is much, much more subdued. The bold, complex flavor I'd experienced before changed to a pretty ordinary lager with a bit of dry spice. Also tasted a bit watery, which was certainly not true of my first few pints.
- Pretty much the same mouthfeel, though again maybe a little more watery.
- Goes down easily, but leaves an odd dry sensation (likely the spice) that doesn't really demand a second bottle.

This isn't a bad beer at all, and I still like it, but from the bottle it seriously pales in comparison with the draft version. One of my friends suggested that they may have come from two sources, and that the Boston brewery typically puts out better batches than the PA one. I'm not sure whether that guess is true, but the difference was so great that I think he's probably right.

 909 characters

Photo of LiquidBread219
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= The color is deep amber, with a thci tan head that had tight little bubbles.

S= I smelled mostly toasted caramel malt with a hint of gingerbread.

T= The flavor consists of cinnamon bread, orange, ginger, just a hint of bitterness.

M= The beer is medium bodied and smooth with a subtle dry finish.

D= I thought the smell and taste could have been bolder, but it's still enjoyable.

 386 characters

Photo of harley101
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

its is a very good beer on this cold night iim spending alone in my cabin. im going mad and this beer is bringing me joy! thank you mr adams! i really enjoy this! its so very flavorful and a bit spicy but thats ok it is spicy in the right way. i really appreciate this!

 269 characters

Photo of THECPJ
2.85/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes

Appearance: reddish-orange with a 1½ finger off-white to tan head that dissipates quickly

Smell: nice bouquet of spices, muted hops, sweet maltiness

Taste: dark fruits, sweetness-maybe caramel, hint of spices

Mouthfeel: mild carbonation, heavy on the tongue

Drinkabilty: very similar to the regular Sam Amdams Boston Lager with a hint of more spices

Cheers!
The CPJ

 392 characters

Photo of brunrn1
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured out perfectly, perfect amount of foam that vanished fast. This is a great tasting beer to say the least. This so far has become one of my favorites. Thankfully the keg tubes were cleaned so it did not mess with the taste. Awesome beer period!

 254 characters

Photo of Portertime
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It poured a lightly carbonated sunset orange color with a tight, white head. There were smells of cinnamon, faint ginger, and a hint of hop spice. The taste was well balanced and not overly spiced like Harpoon. A pleasant mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, toasted malt and some citrusy hops enveloped my taste buds. Sam Adams fluctuates the alcohol percentage of their winter lagers; this year's was low but kept it highly drinkable. Cheers!

 449 characters

Photo of SenkoSnack808
3.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had it on tap as well as in the bottle, it's a great cold weather beer if your not into stout/porter family style brews. Pours a caramel color body with a decent 2 finger tan head. Taste is a spiced, with some cinnamon and caramel notes. Overall a easy to drink and tasty beer, can be found all over the place on tap (best way to enjoy it). I liked it so much I bought a few 12 packs over the winter.

 400 characters

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

Well, I've had 95% of all Sam Adams before I joined this website so I figured I might as well review them!

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a dark amber almost chestnuty brown. Atop was a quarter inch head that faded to leave a nice white halo and whispy cloud.

S - Dark, sweet malts. Little carmel notes too.

T - Tastes well, heavier than I remember. Theres the nice malt sweetness, not getting much of anything in the line of hops. Some light spice notes too.

M - Medium to low carbonation makes this feel just slightly crisp yet somehow still feels heavy. Rather odd.

D - Stuff is the solid winter seasonal but I remember it being much, much better. In fact, I remember all the sam seasonals being far better in previous years, and I dont think I'm the only one with that opinion.

 786 characters

Photo of beerprovedwright
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Original head was not observed as it was brought to me after it was drawn. One finger head of light brown with semi dense clinging lace. Color is a 18 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell has aromas of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, toffee, and honey. Taste is well balanced with flavors of roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, toffee, spices, honey and melon. Bold and full in the mouthfeel category. Maybe a little heavy for an all nighter, but very flavorful and great for a treat.

 481 characters

Photo of chicagoabbot
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle during a game at a friends house...expected more out of this beer, wasn't that impressed.

Aroma and taste are pretty heavy in favor of malt...hop profile leaves a little to be desired.

Feels a little heavy, even though it's a bock. Not sure if it's the yeast or the hops in this that doesn't really suit me that well. This came in a sampler pack of a few different Sam Adams brews. Will probably not buy it on its own.

 433 characters

Photo of GodOfBeer
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with lots of carbonation and a nice white head.

Smells of grainy malts and slightly nutty.

Tastes grainy upfront and finishes nice and malty with hints of dark fruits and caramel. Has a somewhat medicinal character. For a lager, this isn't bad.

Pretty carbonated and nice and drinkable. Something I wouldn't mind trying again next winter!

 360 characters

Photo of devilben02
2.64/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a rich, deep reddish-amber color, with a thick, creamy sand-colored head that clings to the side of the glass. The aroma is largely just a thin graininess, but there are subtle notes of sweet malts and a dull earthy hop presence underneath. The flavor is more defined, with a sweet caramel malt base contrasted by a bit of earthy, peppery hops, but it all just seems a bit stale. The added spices are not distinct themselves, but they instead build on the dull earthiness of the hops. The mouthfeel is fine, but it doesn't do anything to prop up the dull, dreary flavor profile. Overall, I finished every bottle of this beer from the winter sampler pack, but I didn't particularly enjoy them.

 698 characters

Photo of DrewKid4
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark caramel amber. Small frizzy white head.

S: Caramel, cinnamon, slight nutmeg, and pepper. Slight citrus and roasted malts.

T: Citrus and cinnamon. Slight malts and hops present.

M: Very smooth and well balanced. All of the above flavors counter each other to make it smoother than expected.

D: Very drinkable for a winter beer. Good for friends and the Beer Advocate.

I do have to say that I believe they changed their recipe along with their more obvious change of label. I actually prefer the past Winter Lagers because it really did taste more like a winter warmer or heavier bock. This Winter Lager

 622 characters

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

Bottle poured into shaker

Medium to dark amber with a off white head that lingered

Smell has hints of spice and a slight hint of carmel

The spices come through on the tasting. Seems like clove may be one of the spices. Hops are not overpowering.

This is not quite a winter warmer but a good spiced winter beer.

 315 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 fdw3
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with an off-white that fades relatively quickly and leaves little lacing. Smells of sweet roasted malts with notes of spices and faint citrus. Taste is well-balanced with a subdued sweetness from the roasted malts with spices (cinnamon maybe?) sitting in the background. Body is moderately full and relatively smooth with moderate carbonation.

A solid offering from Sam Adams that's perfect for warming up when it's cold outside. I will come back to this one when it's on tap and feel comfortable recommending it to fans of the style -- very good!

 567 characters

Photo of nickthetick
3.13/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a mahogany into an American shaker glass with a finger of dirty white head that dissipates at a moderate rate and leaves spotted lacing.

S: subdued caramels and christmas spices.

T: nice caramel and equally moderate malts, conservative use of spices. A little cinnamon baked apple lingers.

MF: medium body, moderate effervescence and fairly refreshing.

D: this represents a good middle of the road bock/christmas beer. I'll defiantly keep buying the mixed 12s and keep drinking these, but wouldn't pass the opportunity to cook with them.

 554 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From winter brew tasting notes (2010): Pours a clear copper color with a half inch of head. The aroma is a blend of cereal malt, cardamom, nutmeg and lemon rind. The taste is very similar to the aroma with the addition of some cinnamon, ginger and caramel malt flavors.The mouthfeel is low-to-medium bodied with strong carbonation and a dry, spicy finish. It's a bit over spiced for my tastes and definitely could have used a stronger ABV to hold it all together.

 463 characters

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

Sam Adams Winter Ale has a handsome and blushing chestnut colour with golden undertones. It also has irreproachable clarity, razor-sharp tawny highlights and a soapy, all-engrossing crown - is there anything it doesn't have? Well, lacing for one. But otherwise, no, that's about it.

The aroma is evidence of a clever recipe and a responsible brewer. Any use of spices can be disastrous if proper restraint is not exercised. None of the additional ingredients would necessarily be noticeable if you weren't already tipped off. That said, conspicuous or inconspicuous, you can readily appreciate their zesty, savory contributions.

Ginger is the first thing to hit the senses. Its zestfully sharp piquancy is the aromatic equivalent of caffeine and awakens the palate before the savory sweep of cinnamon and citrusy splash ensue soon after. Bitterness is needlessly assertive, but the toasty, bready caramel malts acquiesce none and respond with a spongy, toffee-ish flavour.

All technicalities aside (this is lagered and thus not strictly speaking an ale), this has a number of ale-like elements, specifically and especially the yeasty by products. A stinging spice (flavoured like clove, similar in character to turmeric) is drying and faintly peppery where as esters, all resembling one bruised fruit or another, linger in the aftertaste.

From what I'm told, Samuel Adams Winter Lager was a once stupefying seasonal that has been gradually toned down over the years. While my first time trying it was only five years ago, I could then - and still do now - draw comparisons to a Belgian dubbel or German weizenbock which alone grants it more character than most beers brewed on a similar scale. In other words, no matter how good it might have once been, it's still pretty good now.

 1,788 characters

Photo of lsrose
3.89/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a beautiful head. I have had a lot of this one from bottles this winter and have wanted to try it on tap but haven't yet. It has some good taste of spices and hops. A good winter beer to get ready for some spring IPAS and one of the better ones in the winter pack.

 280 characters

Photo of Schneic8
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a mug.

Appearance: Has a nice copper color with red tones. Poured a nice head and has decent lacing.

Smell: I smell a little ginger, caramel, and citrus. This beer has a really good smell that makes it appealing.

Taste: It has a flavorful rich flavor. It has quite a bit of Christmas spices that I pick up such as cinnamon and clove. It has a lingering taste of hops at the end.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium amount of carbonation and body that sits and goes down smooth. It has a creamy texture that leaves a sweetness in the mouth.

Drinkability: Very good beer that I would drink again. The flavors work well together and it is not too heavy. Looking forward to my next one.

 707 characters

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

A- Golden reddish color, almost reddish brown. White and slightly tan head. Little lacing left on the glass.

S- Initially a very strong citrus hop aroma, however after the head dissipated the toasted malt becomes more prevalent although there is a tug of war going on between the two.

T- A nice dryness persists through the entire tasting. Slight bitterness on the back end lets you know the hops are still around. The middle has a malty almost caramel sweetness to it. A hint of fruit is also mingled with the caramel sweetness exhibited in slightly cherry or banana flavor.

M- Very light, a bitterness streaks down the middle of your tongue, but it lasts only a minute leaving a pleasant after taste.

D- Despite the off taste and smell the other factors come together to make a nice beer to drink.

 805 characters

Photo of JMad
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass...

The color is deep amber, with a thci tan head that had tight little bubbles.

I smelled mostly toasted caramel malt with a hint of gingerbread.

The flavor consists of cinnamon bread, orange, ginger, just a hint of bitterness.

The beer is medium bodied and smooth with a subtle dry finish.

I thought the smell and taste could have been bolder, but it's still enjoyable.

 420 characters

Photo of Swedes21
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a chilled glass

Appearance - dark rich amber, very appealing. Clear and some good carbonation, head is a thick off-white head. some good lacing.

Smell - i can pick up some malts, deep fruit, some caramel, maybe even a slight hint of toffee.

Taste - good tasting beer, you can taste the malts followed with some caramel and sweetness near the end. not much bitterness.

Mouthfeel - there are some added richness and deeper taste to this, this is a good beer. the palette is filled and a added amount of bitterness near the end.

Drinkability - Awwww....CHEERS TO MY MUG! This is a good beer and one i would stock. Thanks to SpinRSX for getting me into this and pushing me twds my mug! This is a great night!

 720 characters

Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.64 out of 5 based on 5,920 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.