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

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5,999 Ratings

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

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-25-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,999 |  Reviews: 2,001
Photo of hdf561
3.94/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been hitting the seasonal beers hard lately so I figured this would eb a good one to go with.

I can definetly smell the spices in it, it smells like Christmas in a bottle

Tastes really good not overpowering just the right amount of flavor and taste to enjoy the beer. Often times brewers get overboard by trying to add new flavors and ruin the beer this is a great blend.

I would definetly get this again, and I would recommend it to beer drinkers everywhere.

 464 characters

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

Served in a standard pint glass.
It pours a dark ruby-hued amber color with a solid 2" beige head and plenty of web and trailing lacing.
The first smell is sweet wet malt and nut bread. A light whiff of mixed fruit cup with a hint of nutmeg and peppery spice follows.
If there was a liquid bock honey granola bar, this would be the recipe, less a mild taste of white rum and raisins.
A bit of lime-like citrus taste pulls through in the aftertaste.
All in all, a solid Bock...not spectacular...but a solid brew.

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Photo of Brunite
2.86/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A clear amber with off white head.

S: Hmmmm...not as much as i expected. Some citrus notes. Some spice. Rather subdued.

T: Mehhhh. Rather a let down. Some orange peel and lots of spice. Ginger it seems. Very bitter...very drying...very spicy.

M: Leaves a very dry taste in the mouth. This is rather offputting to me.

O: My least favorite in the 2011 Winter pack. Will likely give away the second bottle. To label this as a bock leaves me scratching my head. Gimme a NG Uff-da any day over this.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark tan/amber body, finger head, patch lacing

S: malt, cinnamon, hint of ginger, lemon zest, roasted nuts

T: mild sweet citrus, malt, ginger, lemon zest,
dry sweet finish

M: med/light body, semi-dry mouth

O: Nice Sam Adams Seasonal brew available
everywhere and worth getting. Fine
gateway brew for Fat Tire lovers.


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Photo of paxchristi
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Taken from notes taken from winter 2010. Poured from bottle into stein.

Appearance: Dark brown color with some orange and/or ruby hues. Had frothy head that eventually hung back onto side of glass and eventually settling into film on the top.

Smell: Light aroma. Caramel malts, a bit of brown sugar and orange peel.

Taste/Mouth: Nose justifies the taste. Smooth and has a nice sweet finish to it that is slightly accented by the orange spices-- probably some clove and/or coriander in there somewhere.

Overall: You know, I remember getting this during the winter for several years from 2003-2008, and I remember not only this being way better, but I remember there being some noble hops, a warmer experience in the mouthfeel, and it having quite a bit more body to it. Not only that, but I remember being overwhelmed with suds. Damn...bit let down. Going to try in on-tap this winter and review it again.

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Photo of ChrisCage
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a nutty brown color with an ever so slight haze to it. As for head, there isn't really any...starting out with about a fingers' worth, but quickly settling to nothingness. The carbonation appears to be fine and lazy looking, and as for the lacing, there really isn't much of anything. If it weren't for the color, this wouldn't look like anything of substance!!

S- The aromas are quite pleasant, with orange zest coming right up front, some baking spices and a blend of sweet malt mixed with some roasted darker varieties. There is a root beer like quality in the smell that I quite like....the finish really has no bitterness to speak of either.

T- A little bit of spice, blended in with toasted semi-sweet malt give this a unique flavor....it's rich yet mild, with Earthy tones primarily and towards the end, the orange zest pops up again, leaving the palate with a soft tartness. Not bad....not bad...just not great tasting IMO.

M- I'd put this more on the medium-lite end of the spectrum as far as body goes. I also find the sweetness to be a little bit on the cloying side as well, but this is a Winter beer and probably should be a little sweet and sticky...

O- Not a bad beer, but not my favorite. I wouldn't go out of my way for this one again, but wouldn't refuse it either....now I know I'm drinking this a bit past it's prime but I had this when I first bought the sampler pack in Winter 2010 and this wasn't really any different. I'm guessing this is standard for the style....I just couldn't do more than a bottle of this in a sitting...oh well!

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

(From backlog.) On-tap at Carraba's. Looking at the pour, it seems just like Boston Lager: bronze liquid with a smallish ecru cap, and radiant translucence. There is a small amount of hop character in the nose, which plays out as fruity-floral and spicy on the palate, atop a dry and biscuity malt base. Again, I see very little difference between this and Boston Lager. Nice feel, very crisp. Easy drinking overall, although I prefer BBCSABL over BBCSAWL.

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

2010/11 release served in a pint glass. Small amount of sediment added (recommended) mid-tasting.

Pours a lovely clear reddish mahogany with a 1 finger tan head that has moderate retention.

Pleasing but mild (weak) malty and spicy aroma.

T - Nice medium roasted malt flavor with detectable but rather subtle added flavor from spices, especially orange peel. ["Subtly spiced with cinnamon, orange peel and ginger"] ... Better too little than too much, IMO. Tastes more like Sam Adams Lager than expected. Good finish with spices coming more to the fore at the end.

M - cinnamon and ginger combine to produce a mild spice 'bite' on the tongue.

O - a nice variation for fans of Sam Adams Lager.

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Photo of rlshep
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Best before March. Whoops.

Aroma: Cinnamon, nutmeg a touch of ginger. Some dark sugar, raisins, possibly dark cherries.

Appearance: Pours two finger off-white head. Tight bubbles. Orangish amber color. Very clear.

Flavor: Earthy flavors dominate. Cinnamon in background. Caramel sugary sweetness. Low bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Medium mouthfeel.

Overall: Great mouthfeel. Spices seem muddied. This may be because of age. A good balanced beer. Would like to review a fresher example.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Winter Lager pours out as a slightly hazy looking brown color with a generous tan colored head on top. The aromas of some wintery spices, malts and some hops are on the nose. The taste is a little spicy but balanced enough that you can get all the flavors at different times. The mouthfeel is carbonated enough to make the mouth tingle but smooth enough to drink several if one chooses too. It's a pretty good brew in my opinion I love when the Winter season falls because it's always great to have that first Sam Adams Seasonal of that time of year.

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Photo of Bockrules
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a mug

A - Pours a copper-to-dark amber with tinges of orange on the outside of the glass. Two-finger, fluffy dark tan head with moderate carbonation. Maybe it's the glass, but it seems slightly hazzy. Head diminishes quickly and is gone about 1/4 down the glass. Virtually no lacing.

S - Very sweet malt and orange zest smell upon opening the bottle. This becomes much less pungent in the mug. Maybe this beer would benefit from a different glass.

T - Orange, malt and cinnamon flavors upfront. Moving past the front of the tongue, the orange flavors become more subdued and the malt flavor dominates, but there is an awkward bitter flavor lurking in the background... The finish is a smooth transition from the body, but as the sweet and malty notes fade, that out of place bitter flavor makes another entrance.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Suits the style well enough.

First, 5.5% is a bit weak-sauce for a bock. This can be summarized as initially exciting me, and then failing. The smell reminded me of cooking Christmas deserts upon opening the bottle, but once in the class hardly anything was detectable over the malt smell. Finally, initially the taste was reminiscent of mulled cider, but the body and finish were unimpressive and then that awkward flavor snuck in... Overall an alright Bock, that flopped.

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Photo of gkunkle
4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Had this on tap at the little taproom in the Spokane Airport. It was poured into a shaker pint, beer was a dark brown with a slight redish hint, sort of like barkdust (I say that in the most positive way) I cannot report accurately on the head as the server seemed to quickly dismiss it into the sink. (dummy) Due to the lacking head, I can only describe the head as having properties of darkish sweet malts and some spices. The taste was quite impressive to me. Taste is of dark malts as well as a slight wheat flavor, there are also elements of spices, very good. Mouthfeel is nice, carbonation is refreshing. Overall this is a great beer, I'll definitely be buying a 6 pack of this when winter rolls around.

 732 characters

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

Sam Adams Winter Lager

Pours a dark brown with an off white head. Aroma of caramel, roasted malt, alittle sweetness. Tastes like a pretty balanced lager, some sugary malts, faint spices and a light roasted flavor. Mellow and easy to drink. Medium bodied. Decent beer and always worth getting in the colder months.

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Photo of Floyd12
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap Poured into a 22oz Large mug at Tavern.

A- Deep and dark amber beer with an off white head. Slightly sticky one finger head that provided nice lacing down the sides of the mug.

S- Malty and sweet with subtle winter tastes of cinnamon and citrus

T- Winter and Christmasy undertones along with the dark malty beer. The citrus smell is definately orange and there is also a caramel taste with grainy and earthy qualities. Slightly alcoholic.

M- Dry and heavy but nice for a winter beer. light carbonation. A little sticky from all the sweetness in it.

D- A great seasonal brew from Sam Adams. This couldn't serve as a year round brew, but a nice reminder that the holidays are near.

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Photo of northaustin
3.31/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into the chimay goblet(dont ask why). pours a beautiful clear ruby/light mahogany with a finger of fairly even off white head. the head settles quickly, evenly, and leaves a stringy lacing.

smell: thin malts, with a hint of coriander.

taste: the taste is close to identical to the white ale in terms of spices. everything else is shoved to the side to make way for the coriander blitz approaching. there is a tinge of cinnamon which i like, and the ginger provides a nice aftertaste/encourages a slightly dry mouthfeel.

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Photo of CHickman
3.34/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy amber orange in color with a massive 2 finger foamy tan head that lasted a long time and faded very slowly, leaving decent creamy lacing; an impressive head out of the bottle.

Smells of herbs, malt, light toasted grains, faint brown sugar and spices - a pretty non-descript nose and much mellower and lighter than I expected.

Tastes of malt, herbs, pine cone, light toasted grains, brown sugar, grass, hay or other earthy notes, light caramel, pepper and other spices, some piney or floral hops, orange peel and/or coriander, and a funky yeast finish that trails off dry with some spices like cinnamon or allspice. Definitely tastes like a winter beer, but like the nose, the flavor is much more timid than I expected.

Mouthfeel was creamy and smooth, yet somehow crisp which makes sense considering the high fizzy carbonation and medium body, and this went down easier than a lot of other winter "spiced" beers.

I wouldn't buy a 6 pack of this beer, but it's a nice change of pace and a decent enough beer to enjoy in the Sam Adams Winter Pack. A good beer to sample, but not one that I'd add to my list of regulars and definitely not a session beer.

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Photo of Samadamsfan2
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A typical winter beer, spices and malt characterize this beer, however the taste might be a little overpowering, cannot drink many of these. I do like this beer, but find myself wanting a slightly lighter beer as winter closes, but I will seek this beer as winter arrives again.

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Photo of Aphexwolf
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear dark-amber color, medium head, poor retention, and poor carbonation.
Smell: Almost nonexistent. Faint hint of malt, but not much. Very light hop scent.
Taste: Malts and spices, not much else. The malt is almost overpowering at first. But there's a nicely balanced hop aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Medium light, very low froth.
Drinkability: Medium high. Can drink quickly...but would rather not.
Summary: This is an above average beer. I gave it 7.6/10, or C. I'm a little disappointed in this beer. It's a seasonal beer, so I was expecting something special...a higher alcohol content, some holiday spiciness, or that feeling of warmth...instead I got a beer that tastes slightly better than the average winter beer. Now it is possible that maybe this was a bad batch, I don't know, all I know is what I taste. Now overall this isn't a bad beer, but it's not great either. Maybe I'll try it again next year.

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Photo of metter98
3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear reddish copper in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that died down and left some lacing on the surface.
S: The smell is quite spicy and has aromas of cinnamon and ginger along with notes of orange peel.
T: The initial taste has some brief hints of caramel and malty sweetness but quickly transitions to flavors that share similarities with the aroma.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The finish has a bit of dryness from the spices and a slight amount of warming from the alcohol.
O: The relatively light body of this beer could make it one that's very easy to drink for the style but there's no way that I could have more than one of these in a sitting given all of the spices.

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

Amber-brown in appearance, with a a nice tan foam and good head (haha).
Superb spiderweb lacing. Top.

Flavor is rich and malty, with a slight spice hint. Cinnamon, nutmeg, orange...

Has a nice and warm (but not heavy) character. Delicious!

Resembles a lighter-bodied and more sessionable winter warmer. A favorite of mine for the style.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.76/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samual Adams continues to impress with their ability to brew macro quantities with micro savoryness! This beer is a dark amber with decent head and lacing. Te smell has some roast to it, which is revealed in the flavor/taste. The mouth feel is good...which means SESSION!!! Enjoy!

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Photo of LtCracker20
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Taken from notes.

A- Pours a clear copper with 3-fingers of soft white head with good retention and OK lace.

S- Warm caramel and toffee. Little buttery. You can definately smell all the spices they throw in there. Ginger shows through.

T- Slight malt first, then a big hit of ginger and cinnimon. A slight citrus bite.

MF- Almost a full body that's slightly crisp at the same time.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear deep amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of caramelized malt with light fruity ester is very interesting. Taste is easily quaffable with notes of caramelized malt with sweet undertones and light fruity ester. Body is about average with goo carbonation. Wheat malt is not easily identifiable. Easy to drink with just enough character.

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Photo of TheGarvenator
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - poured into the glass with a dark amber color and lingering head

S - smells of hops and malt with hints of cinnamon and orange zest

T - tastes of roasted malt and caramel with some spices that strike from nowhere

M - very carbonated with a light medium body

D - very drinkable especially on a cold night with a fire in the fireplace....

This is a great winter lager. This beer has a good balance of spices including cinnamon, ginger, and orange zest in tandem with the caramel malt taste. I recommend this to anyone who wants to relax with a good lager on a cold winter night...

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle at 42 degrees into a pint glass. Best before: June 2011.

A: It pours a clear, dark amber color with a finger of off-white head that dies slowly and laces okay.

S: The cinammon, ginger, and orange zest - which were stated on the bottle - are obvious along with moderate caramel maltiness.

T: It has some nice caramel and toasty malts early but the spiciness takes over.

M: It has a medium-light body with average carbonation and some lingering toasty flavors.

D: The spiciness is way overdone here because it covers up the other flavors.

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 5,999 ratings
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