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
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Ratings: 5,924 |  Reviews: 1,986
Photo of coalcracker
3.11/5  rDev -13.4%
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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Photo of rand
2.74/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

From 12 oz bottle to pilsner glass

Pours an amber-brown, clear in complexion, forming a small, 1/2 inch head. Looks to be quite moderate in carbonation. On first whiff, notes of lightly roasted malts and sweetbread can be detected. Some holiday spice lingers in the background, suggesting orange zest and maybe a splash of nutmeg. The nose is fairly subdued - had to take several deep inhales to describe the aroma.

I suppose the taste follows the smell, but man, with all the ads claiming travel to other countries, 'looking out for exotic ingredients', there's not much going on here. Some sweetbread malts along with a note of slightly astringent bread crust. Just a faint touch of candied ginger, some orange, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Spices are very faint and barely detectable, I'm more than halfway done before I've described the palate. Nothing offensive by any means, ingredients are balanced and smooth, but unremarkable.

Hmmm...was underwhelmed here, but I should know better than to let my expectations rise due to a national advertising campaign. I just don't put the Boston Beer Co in the same camp as other macros (I suppose they really are at this point) and was expecting a bit more. Flavor? Yes, more please.

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Photo of nukem5
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Trying for the first time out of my Sam Pler case. Color is of a dark iced tea and sad little wisps of foam on the top.

S: Some chocolate notes , sweet malts, caramel,and a touch of citrusy hops.

T: Sweet malty,with rasins .Some hops present but not much more in the nose than any tastes.Light touches of caramel and chocolates.

M: Rich and slightly chewy is a great substitute for dessert or a good compliment to a nice warm chocolaty dessert.

D: Very drinkable and warming great for a cold winters evening.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.06/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

reviewed from notes, part of the big sam adams tasting on xams day. we plowed through everyone we could find in the damn state! served cold and poured into a pint glass.

the pour was a nice and even dark brown color with a nice head of light tan that seemed to hang around for a good long while before settling back down into a thin film around the edges. aroma is light, lots of caramel and hints of brown sugar and light roasted malts, nothing crazy or above normal here at all. smooth texture and a nice sweet flavor, it did its job for sure. though i dont know if it comes across as malty as i would have liked for the style.

overall it was alright, again i have had better but it worked. no real complaints.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a few bottles at the airport waiting for a flight. Poured into a pint glass. Deep amber but clear with a thin head. Smelled mostly of malt if anything at all and taste was the same. Solid easy to drink winter brew. Easy to have a few and the standout option at the mini pub in the airport.

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

On-tap at Stubby's in Lancaster.
Amber in color with sharp clarity. Big head with decent retention, leaving spotted lacing. Smell is malty and spicy. Toasted and caramel malts, ginger and a little cinnamon. Flavor profile follows the nose but the spices are a little less prominent. Medium body with plenty of carbonation. Unlike many spiced up brews, this one goes down easy. Solid winter option from BBC.

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

Very good beer. Starts off with a nice poor, not too much head, but that's ok from a winter beer. Lots of flavors going on with this beer, very festive and spicy. Drinkability is also very high which is impressive considering it's a darker beer. In the end the wheat adds a nice subtle touch that finishes this beer off nicely.

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Photo of mellowmark
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz. brown bottle to Imperial Pint glass. Drink before May 2011. "Malt beverage brewed with spices". Part of the Sam Adams Winter Pack, 12 bottles for $15.99.

Appearance: Pours a dark caramel almost amber color. Two finger off-white frothy head dies down rather quickly and leaves a thin layer on top. Good lacing.

Smell: Smells of caramel malt, ginger, earthy hops, spices.

Taste: Grassy hops and malt sweetness. Citrus and ginger. Lingering roasted malt flavor. Spicy. What's here is pretty mild, to be honest.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is medium. Carbonation is a little too high, it's a little coarse on the tongue. Spiciness is pretty overpowering at times, and combined with the carbonation, brings down the drinkability a notch.

Drinkability: Medium

I remember when this beer was bigger. I brought it to a party once and nobody liked it, they thought it was too strong. I don't think they would complain today since this beer still has the same flavor profile it once had, but the intensity of those flavors have been dialed down. It's still a decent beer, though.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber red color with okay clarity. Head is thick and foamy from a straight pour.

The most prominent aroma is ginger spices, which is behind a full, toasty, malt body. Smells like a gingerbread cookie. Cinnamon is definitely there too, with a touch of citrus. There is enough malt in the nose to balance the spices so that it doesn't smell like a "spiced" beer.

Flavor is spicy and full with caramel flavors, a touch of citrus, and some puckering cinnamon. The body is full, maybe too full, with moderate carbonation. The finish is a bit cloying which knocks a few points off, but otherwise this is a decent seasonal that I don't mind in the mixed pack.

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Photo of MetalandBeer
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 22 oz. bottle.

A-Pours a rich brown color, 2 fingers of beige/tan head that diminshed after a minute or so. Nice lacing on theglass.

S- slight sweetness up front, malt, citrusy fruits, a bit of hops, slight holiday spice aroma (cinnamon, nutmeg-ish)

T-Citrus, cinnamon, ginger, hops

M -Moderate carbonation, medium bodied, dry finish

D -Very high! All the flavors worked well together along with the right amount of carbonation. I enjoyed the first 22 oz. bottle by the fireplace, it's a cold & snowy evening, the perfect night for a winter brew.

Note: I enjoyed a second bottle a bit later with a peppercorn spiced pork tenderloin, baked potato and steamed green paired well with the pork and all of the sides! Looking forward to more...

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of cavedave
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A two finger dark beige head tops this clear, amber/red beer. Nice sheets of lace on the glass.

Smell is full of bready sweet and spice with some tart yeast in there too.

Taste is the expected spicy, sweet, and bready. Not much going on here, but it ends pleasantly with a spice and herbal hop zing.

Mouthfeel is a bit too carb.'ed, but a nice finish. Easy drinking, but resins soon build on palate.

Drinkability is average for style. It's somewhat refreshing and tasty, but nothing to write home about.

Impression: Like most of SA beers it is not outstanding and has no major flaws. For the price it's okay. Recommended only if you're crazy for this style.

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Photo of leedorham
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark chestnut with a thin white head that lingers.

S - slightly bready, earthy, not very strong and hard to pick up much aroma.

T - Some hops perhaps noble. Good amount of caramel character. Not picking up very much in the way of spices. Perhaps nutmeg & a little coriander.

M - Full bodied enough. Slightly more viscous than I would have expected.

D - An enjoyable offering. I've had 4 of 6 and looking forward to to the other two.

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Photo of paxkey
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

wintery blue color scheme on label.

pours ruby red with a one finger white head that is gone quickly.

bready sweet malt is prominent in the nose. i also pick up grape juice. boiled macaroni. gym socks. sourness. berries.

lots of tea like flavors throughout. finishes like a raspberry tea.

a little thin in the mouthfeel but silky and nice low carbonation.

very unusual beer flavors. a definite change of taste. quite decent.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.83/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a weizen glass as this is apparently a weizenbock.

3.0 A: If this is a weizenbock, I don't know why it's filtered. Clear orange amber color. Half a finger of frothy beige head with poor retention and just a touch of lacing.

2.5 S: Not really too appetizing. A weird mixture of caramel, clove yeastiness, wintry spiciness, and a touch of garbage. Some toasted malts, grassy hops. Can't say I like this a whole lot.

3.0 T: Toasty malts, wheaty, some hints of spiciness. Again, grassy hops and maybe a bit earthy as well. Fairly boring and a bit lacking in flavor. Not the worst option in a pinch (from personal experience), but not something I'd like to drink often.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Aggressive weizenbock level carbonation. Could be creamier and a bit smoother, but okay.

2.5 D: Having had several of these in a night, I can say it's not the most drinkable. After a while, it gets a bit cloying without keeping my tastebuds too excited. Pretty mediocre overall.

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Photo of bierschmecktgut
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

beautiful darkish-red/amber color, tap fill formed nice head.

slight malt smell with a spice i wasn't sure of

taste surprised me, the bitterness/spice and slight sweetness mixed well

decent mouth feel, no huge pop on the tongue but quick after taste that asks for more.

Good winter beer as the name suggest, towards the end had a slight warming feeling, very enjoyable.

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Photo of DDCMember
4.57/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

-12 oz. bottle poured into mug.

A: Reddish Brown. Thick head.

S: Spices, a little grapefruit. Made my mouth water.

T: Very flavorful. Rich taste. Spicy with just a hint of grapefruit bitterness at the end.

M: Medium Body. Well carbonated.

D: Exceptional. I could drink this all day. Very clean, crisp taste. Entices the nose & makes the taste buds want more. Very good Winter beer.

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Photo of afksports
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I whip my hair back and forth I whip my hair... Whups.

I had this on tap at a random Mexican food restaurant in Noho after boot shopping all day in Soho. Reason being we had to catch the end of the wild card game where Marshawn Lynch went into beast mode to beat the Saints. Context is important for beers, so this one hit at perfectly the right time.

It's smooth, filtered amber body sits underneath a tiny head that retains with great lacing. I'm sure the barkeep could have given me more head on it - the appearance is certainly a strong point. There's not much more than malts by way of smell, but those malts come out strongly in the taste. Brilliantly sweet and subdued at the same time, this brew is just strong enough in flavor and alcohol to warm up a winter afternoon.

It's an easy taste with a balance of hops that favors the malts and lets them shine, Sam Adams Winter Lager is a bock for the cold weather. And a highly drinkable one at that.

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Photo of renniksdb
3.86/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark, clear amber with a little head.

A spicy and sweeter smell.

Crisp fizz and medium mouthfeel. Can taste the tangy flavor of brewed ginger throughout. Not powerful, but present. It's moderately hopped with a bittering hop. The malt doesn't seem to have as much of an effect on the flavor, but I would put it as on the sweeter side.

The lasting flavor is a mix of bitter hops and ginger, followed by sweet, probably from the malt.

I liked this beer. A solid, but not too powerful flavor. This could definitely be a session beer. And it went perfect with my pork roast!

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Photo of dtivp
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass, color was a clear reddish brown with a nice tan head that dissipated rather quickly, very little lacing.

Aroma of malt and bread dough.

Taste of malt and bread with a slight sweetness of caramel and a hint of spice.

Mouthfeel was medium body with mild carbonation, smooth and the sweet, but not over powering sweet.

This was a nice beer to enjoy with dinner,however, not one of my top of the list bocks.

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Photo of mendonjoebeer
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at an Olive Garden restaurant. I do not like eating at chain style restaurants,but had no choice. Beer selection was pretty poor- I think this was the best choice. Looked ok in the 20 oz glass and it was only $5. A slight malty smell,but not much aroma. Taste was kinda bland- sorta sweet with cinnamon & some spice with a slightly thick mouthfeel. I did not order another one.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Date: 8 January 2011
Glass: Standard nonic
Type: 12fl oz bottle

Poured out of the fridge, color is copper with a streak of crimson, 1-finger head reduces to an impressive thin beige head, nicer-than-average lacing. Aroma of clove spice, and wheat bread. Taste is bready, a little stale, but with a malty dry finish -- no surprise that it's a lager. Mouthfeel is not so hot, and it brings the drinkability down.

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Photo of mdunman
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Fairy clear, reddish brown look with a light tan head that poured thick and lingered the whole way down.

S: I smelled a bit of grapefruit, apricot and some spices that enticed me to move to the next step.

T: Rich taste, thick maltiness early on and finished with a reminder of the grapefruit bitterness from before. Spices throughout added a good balance.

M: Medium bodied feel with some good smoothness to it and a crisp finish.

Overall I really enjoyed this beer. At smaller bars that don't have a big selection, this is a top pick for me. I can, and have, enjoyed this beer for a whole night.

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Photo of gskitt
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not the best offering from the Boston Beer Company I've had. Poured a reddish amber with some foamy head that lasted only briefly. There was not much smell to speak of with this beer. Maybe could pick up some strained hops. Taste was fair, had some bitterness to it but was not overwhelming and nothing stood out. The mouthfeel was dry and left some lingering bitter aftertaste. Worth a try, but wont be going out of my way for more.

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Photo of Nerudamann
2.76/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle and into a Pilsener glass.

Look - reddish/deep copper color. About a finger's worth of off-white foam that dissipates quickly. Decent carbonation.

Smell - Very little smell at all. Not even enough to get a bearing on its hop vs. malt levels.

Taste and Mouthfeel - bitter taste but doesn't seem to come from hops. It lingers more toward the back upper part of the palate than on the tongue. Maybe some of the ginger is noticeable. Texture is pretty well-balanced.

Drinkability - Somewhat bland and tasteless. I like many of BB's brews, but this one seems to have stretched them a bit thin.

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Photo of RankRefugee88
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a weizen glass.

A - Pretty basic looking beer. Rich piercing amber colored body with a mostly white head with a cinnamon colored tint. Lacing seems to retain.

S - Smells a bit like a Boston Lager, with more to offer. Cinnamon and nutmeg deep within the nose. Dark malts seem to be present, along with a hoppy flavor. The best word to describe the aroma would probably be spicy.

T - Basic and pleasantly smooth. Doesn't have too much going on, which is in most cases a good thing. Cinnamon notes are followed by a sweet bitterness.

M - Creamy, smooth, chewy. Nothing much bad about the mouthfeel.

D - Easily drinkable. I enjoy the smoothness of this beer. I'm enjoying one during a cold night in January and its serving its purpose very well.

A very pleasant beer to enjoy on a cold night. I believe I enjoyed last year's a bit more though. I don't know if the ingredients are any different, or if my palate expects more these days.

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