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

5,923 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 5,923 |  Reviews: 1,986
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.

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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.

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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!

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Photo of Wegomlegging
2.65/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear brown pour with nice head. Scents of very light spice and cherry. Aside from the light sweetness and hint of spice, this was watery in flavor in that there was not much. Mouthfeel was pretty standard, as was drinkability. Overall this particular beer was not all that great, but I'd drink it if someone bought me one.

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

Six pack picked up at the LCBO - consumed with vigor during this week's snowstorm. Figured it was appropriate...

Poured into a nonic glass. A nice amber-copper brew, which leaves behind an inch of off white head that settles into a ring. A few flecks of lacing here and there. Looks like your basic English pale ale or winter warmer.

The nose is nice, but incredibly subtle. Malt, caramel, cherry, nutmeg, a few other spices here and there.

Tastes malty, rich, a decent spice profile, with smoke, caramel, clove/nutmeg and dark caramel. Finishes spicy with a good blast of pepper. Drinkable, not something I'd want on a regular basis, but certainly good for the evening.

Nothing terribly exciting, but pretty good for a craft brewery with as big a presence as Sam Adams. Something I'm sure would go well with many different folks at the holidays / to ward off the chill. I've had better winter lagers to be sure, but this one weren't bad.

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Photo of richkrull
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up in a mixed 6pack at Sentry in Lake Mills, WI.

Poured into a pint glass. Very dark amber brown color with some light tan head on it. Nice malty smell, not too strong. Sweet taste, quite a bit of caramel, bit of a bitter aftertaste - not bad though. Good medium body beer. Pretty drinkable I would say. Probably couldn't have 12 of these but 6 wouldn't be bad.

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

Sampled at Sam Adams Brewery in Boston.

Dark brown and hazy in color, inch thick, good retention with minor lacing. Sweet aroma with a hint of nutmeg?

Slightly sweet in taste, not too sweet and not too bitter. Somewhat unexceptional. Smooth finish. Good drinkability for a winter lager but this wouldn't be my first choice.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at the Rainforest Cafe in Ontario, CA. The beer was poured into a pint glass, and served WAY too cold, likely due to the fact that they have all the taps set-up for BMC. I let this one sit for quite some time to adjust the temp a bit, but I'll still likely try it again some time in case the review needs adjusting.

The beer was a great, deep amber-red color, with no head. The beer was vibrant and crystal in appearance. Smells of sweet malt, with a hint of hops. The beer had flavors of caramel and old world fruit sweetness (fig and date), with toasty characteristics. Very crisp finish, with a nice, smooth, darkly sweet, fruity aftertaste.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another from the winter pack... I don't remember drinking this one previously, but if it was part of the pack 4 years ago, then I'm sure I did!

Served in my SA perfect pint glass.

This is a dark reddish (nearly purple!) brown. Nice 2 finger tan head-- good retention early, but after a few sips, nothing is left. Some small chunks of lacing are left behind.

The smell holds big malts. Some Ginger and cinnamon come up too. Not bad. No notice of hops.

Taste is sweet. Caramel malts and toffee notes hit first. The sweetness dries out with some toffee and coffee notes-- very mild bitterness. Still not a big hop presence: perhaps a slight noble hop spice?

Body is solid for a bock-- medium full with good carbonation.

This is the best ofthe winter pack so far. I will happily drink this one again! (I do have a few more varieties to go!)

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Photo of peensteen
3.32/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark ruby red colour, 1/4 inch head that vanished almost immediately with no retention or lacing at all. Aromas of spicy malt, bitter hop and faint alcohol round out the nose. Palate is spicy with a good malt presence, dry hop notes and a semi sweet finish. Medium mouthfeel that is quite watery and does not linger. Drinks OK, its not offensive in any way. 1 or 2 would be good but thats about it.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.46/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Well the body is a beautiful blood red with amazing clarity and steady carbonation. The down side though is that is poured with less the a finger of head that immediately vanished and didn't lace whatsoever.

Smell: Has a bit of a ginger, cherry and cinnamon smell with a bit of a sweet malt backing. Pretty much what I would expect for the holiday season. Didn't require much warming to kick into high gear.

Taste: Sweet and spicy and it's like drinking mild liquid gingerbread. A mild caramel malts starts us out with touches of cinnamon. The sweet spicing then builds as ginger, nutmeg and fruity notes of orange and cherry come forward and end with a slightly dry alcohol kick to end it.

Mouthfeel: Well points get deducted for the lack of head, and the it does leave a bit too much of a dry aftertaste. The carbonation is done well and it builds up to a crescendo fairly well.The aftertaste though is the alcohol drowning out the underlying spice.

Drinkability: Sure, I could have a couple of these but really this one is seasonal for a reason. A decent desert beer, but I think this would go good with Turkey. It's medium light and sits down well enough.

Final Thoughts: All in all a nice change of pace but nothing to write home about. Sam Adams has impressed me enough to wish they had more of a presence at the LCBO, and sincerely wish they could get a mix six pack up here. I really ought to make a trip out to Boston one of these days.

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Photo of mnrider
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown bottle.

A: Pours a dark bloody red with a nice off white head which lasts only seconds and leaves very little lacing.

S: Light ginger, cinnamon, and a faint orange.

T/M: Creamy and smooth with a medium bodied feel. Spices are cinnamon and ginger with an orange caramel undertone. A bit chewy also. Malts and hops are balanced pretty good. Finishes on the dry side.

D: Good. A nice cold weather brew. Could be a little stronger with the spices. Worth a try, and maybe even a repeat.


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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

ST: 12 oz poured into a Sam Adams glass.

A: Reddish-brown with a thick fluffy brown-white head that sticks around, and leaves very nice lacing. Ample carbonation is apparent.

S: Malt, cinnamon, and slight orange,

T: Starts with strong orange and nice cinnamon. Sweet malt with slight roast takes over in the middle and rides all the way until the finish. Smoke conquers the finish, some of the alcohol is present, and a some orange zest as well.

M: Medium-body with slight cream and a crisper finish.

D: This beer does not have a very high abv, and it is not extremely strong.

Overall: Not a bad seasonal offer. It is pretty balanced, not sweet, and the finish is not cloying. However, there are much better seasonal offerings. To be honest, if you want a winter beer that is not as heavy and flavor loaded, but still delivers some interesting taste, this beer is for you. However, if you are looking for a Noel style, or heavy winter beer: this is not the first thing you should grab.

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

A: Pours an orange-tinted maple syrup color; very light tan head appears, about 1 1/2 fingers; leaves good lacing as it dissipates; very clear brew and looks to be at least somewhat crisp

S: Doesn't come right out with any strong aromas; hints of cinnamon and possibly the ginger; some maltiness and an ever so slight roasted scent

T: Ginger is the first flavor I notice; hints of cinnamon and orange peel; almost maple syrup notes that become more noticeable as the beer warms

M: Medium-full body with an interesting mouthfeel; seems to be creamy and round but it crisps a bit on the edges

D: Goes down smooth and easy; does leave me feeling a bit full, and the carbonation doesn't sit quite right in my stomach; not bad, but not something I'd drink a lot of at once

Definitely another quality brew from Sam Adams. I really like the array of flavors going on in this one. Gonna remember this one for winters to come.

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Photo of logmacschlog15
3.82/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Drink before May. Drank 1/22/11. Served in US tumbler.

Appearance: Pours about a finger of off-white, marshmallow colored head. Dark brown with tints of ruby and amber. Lively carbonation.

Smell: A lot of malt sweetness. Caramel, toffee. Subtle hints of ginger spiciness and cocoa.

Taste: Caramel sweetness with some bready notes. There is a definite spiceness from the ginger (especially as it warms) and just a touch of bitter orange peel in the finish, but I'm struggling to find the cinnamon that the bottle describes. Nice sweetness that lingers on the tounge. Not much for hops, just a little bitterness to balance the malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. A somewhat dry finish with a tiny bite on the tounge from the carbonation.

Drinkability: I don't really like a lot of Sam Adams beer, but this is one of the few that I really enjoy. It is very drinkable and the spiciness of the ginger makes it great to warm up to in the winter months.

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Photo of ToddT
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear ruby brown color topped with a thin off white head. Head falls quickly to a ring and leaves a few spots of lace on the glass.

S- Very minimal aroma, just a whiff of yeast and malt. Was hard to pick this out, I've never had a beer with such a lack of aroma before.

T- Thankfully the taste doesn't follow the nose. Caramel and spice hit the palate first, twangs of ginger and cinnamon followed by some heat from alcohol. Had to check the label again to make sure that it said this was a lager, much more flavor that what I was expecting, both for a lager and after the nose. Finish is dry and slightly sweet some more caramel and a hint of hop bitterness.

M- Medium in body and in carbonation. Clean and crisp in the mouth like a lager should be, but with a lot more flavor.

D- Very drinkable, the 5.5% ABV make it a session candidate .

Weird beer, not at all what was expected, no aroma, way more flavor than a lager usually has, classified as a bock not a winter warmer, and strangely flavored not in a bad way though. Worth picking up just for all of the contradictions going on in it.

 1,101 characters

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

Presentation - 12oz brown bottle

Appearance - Deep Copper color almost a brown beer, topped with an tanish white head, excelent lacing.

Smell: a light smell of spices in the background.

Taste: Malty, spicy with a bit of wheat in the mix, dry finish.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, light carbonation adds to the excelent mouthfeel.

A nice winter beer, well ballanced between malty, spicy and hops. Very drinkable.

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

A: Dark copper, with a bit of off-white head. Nice lacing.

S: Citrus, spices, malts. Maybe a little brown sugar. Very faint aroma.

T: Cinnamon, ginger, orange, malts, grain, little hoppy bitterness. brown sugar. Alcohol gives a light kick.

M: Smooth, carbonated and clean.

D: Quite enjoyed it. My favorite of the Sam Adams Winter Pack.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
3.51/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured from a bottle into a pint glass

the beer pours a nice clear red color with a thick head that recedes fairly quickly leaving just a bubble cover over the beer

the smell is subtle sweet malts, no detectable hop aroma. very clean

the taste is pretty similar to the smell light sweet malts no hops and very clean

mouthfeel is light and slightly under carbonated, overall a fairly drinkable very strict to the style representation.

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Photo of plusorminus
3.11/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle
A: Poured a nice copper color with thick head and nice fine carbonation. Nice looking beer.
S: Nothing really stands out maybe a slight cinnamon smell.
T: Strange tang that I really can not explain. Not bad, not great just different.
M: nice carbonation with very light feel.
D: goes down smooth but really can't get over the strange tangy taste.

Overall, this was just an average beer from Samuel Adams for me. Not sure if they change the reciepe from year to year but I enjoyed 2009 version much better.


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Photo of IPA4LIFE
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Nice dark copper color with about an inch of off white head. Head is quick to reside.

S- Not the most impressive smell, especially considering the ingredients used, I expected a much more powerful smell. A little malt, and a hint of orange.

T- The taste is a little more complex, but still not the knockout I was looking for. Sweet maltiness, a slight hint of a spice. There is just a whisper of citrus contributed by the orange zest.

M- Not as full bodied as I expected. The mouthfeel is a bit light.

D- Decent taste, not too heavy, this is a pretty drinkable beer.

This beer seemed to not be quite what I was expecting in almost all categories. The smell was weaker than I expected, and the beer was not as much of a "warm you up" winter beer as I had expected. Although it wasn't what I expected, the taste was still good, and it is a easy drinker. All-in-all, it is a solid beer.

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Photo of DoctorStrangiato
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 355-ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - dark amber colour with an off-white head. Head thins rapidly to a 1/8-inch with a little extra foam here and there. Slight lace around the edge.

Smell - bright caramel-toffee aromas over a nice roasted barley base, with a little cream and butterscotch to boot. Very good.

Taste - outstanding balance and smooth, even flavour throughout. Very good barley flavour with just a touch of hop bitterness at the end although slight.

Mouthfeel - smooth as silk and one would not expect the extra 5.5% alcohol. A great malty finish to follow up the smoothness.

Drinkability - not hard to put more than a few of these away, a very high quality brew for a reasonable price.

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Photo of Dodt
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

decide to review another beer tonight. yet another from the Sam Adams winter variety pack.
poured from the bottle into a strange glass.
appearance a dark amber sort of cola colored
smell a bit of ginger notes with other spices
taste a bit of orange zest and breadie malts that is slightly sweet
this is a wonderful beer for a chilly night.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into crystal mug the color is a amber brown with off white head. The head dissipates rather quick.
The described spices are not easy to detect smelling the beer except the Ginger.
The taste reveals orange and Ginger at the front, a little bready malt taste in the middle and than again Ginger at the back. Tha beer is actually light bodied for a winter beer. I would prefer a little more taste.
It is easy to drink a few of those, but as a seasonal brew, I would hope, that next year the Boston Brewing Company would take a look at some of our micro breweries.

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Photo of coalcracker
3.11/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark copper in color with substantial head retention.
Smell: Aroma is malty with a bit of spice in the bachground.
Taste: Bready and dark malts build quickly with the above-mentioned spices going along for the ride. A liitle hop bite also crests mid-taste, though they tend to be a little astringent. Aftertaste is a little bready.
Mouthfeel: This beer actually feels a little thin for the style.
Drinkability: Not oppressive in nature and manageable in ABV.

Overall: Not the best winter lager out there, quite average in nature and obviously geared more for frequent imbibement.

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.64 out of 5 based on 5,923 ratings.
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