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

5,916 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: 5,916 |  Reviews: 1,985
Photo of siradmiralnelson
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Tulip.

A. Poured a 1 finger head. Retention was ok. Not much lacing left. Color is dark amber brown.

S. Smell is very malt dominant. Caramel, brown sugar and spices. Nutmeg, cinnamon.

T. Taste is quite a bit like SABL with some more spices going on. Malt forward beer. Get some caramel flavors.

M. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Finishes with a malty sweetness.

D. Drinkable for sure. This is the kind of beer you can have quite a few of. Not an amazing beer by any accounts, but not bad either.

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Photo of ExtraStout
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finishing up the winter pack, poured into a SA Perfect Pint Glass

A - Pours a nice deep amber color with about a fingers worth of white foamy head. Nice lacing along the glass as well.

S - Dark malts with a bit of hop in the background. Some spice scents in there as well.

T - Mostly malts up front with a small, almost indiscernible amount of spice at the end. I was expecting a little more here to be honest.

M - Light to medium body with decent carbonation.

D - I could kick back with a few of these. Nothing to crazy going on here but a solid brew that I'll probably have again before the seasons change.

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

This brew pours a dark amber color, and puts up a one finger tan colored head. The head retains nicely, with mild lacing as it goes. The liquid is translucent, showing active carbonation and no sediment. The aroma is predominantly darker malts and wheat, dark candied fruits, a tinge of metal, and flashes of molasses. There is also spice, namely nutmeg and gingerbread. Faint hops flash at the very back of the nose. As we taste, there is a semi-malty start. It is quite heavy, and the combination from the grain bill gives us a little sourness. This quickly fades, and Christmas-like spices warm the middle. The end is partially sweet, from dark fruits and berries, and hops work their way in for a bitter balancing finale. The aftertaste breathes of grain, candy sweets, and distant citric hops. The body is full and the carbonation is medium. We sip with a bit of creaminess, but the bitter hop finish moves things along before there is time for coating or satiation. The mouth is wet, but left a touch dry after a little bit. The abv is on the lower cusp for the style, and the beer drinks with a satisfying ease.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about brew was the full look and blend of Christmas spice. The latter is apparent in both the aroma and the taste, giving us something that is seasonally appropriate and fitting for the weather. For the style it is arguably weak in the robustness category, but it certainly does not disappoint.

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Photo of Thanby
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy straw color with a little white head that fades to a ring.

Smells like a pretty standard wheat ale, citrusy, a little orange, a little banana, full rounded wheat malt and yeast body to it.

Taste is middle of the road wheat ale, medium-full malt, the yeast, the banana flavor fills up the body and the citrus gets the edges. Not much hop action, maybe a little coriander spice hidden in there.

Very drinkable because it is so mild. But that's the problem, it just doesn't stand out, even from other wheat ales. Good solid construction, just not eye (mouth?) - catching.

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Photo of kwjd
3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm glad this beer came to Ontario this year. Pours a clear amber-brown colour with white head that dissipates without too much lacing. Smells of caramel with mild spicing. Very mild bitterness, but more sweetness. A very balanced winter beer, without the spices dominating too much. Smooth mouthfeel. Very nice beer.

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Photo of Cummins9110
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

good beer to warm you up during the cold midwest winters.

A - brown, dark carmel color, tan head(quarter to half inch, fads to 1/16th in.

S - malty, fuitiness, slight hopiness

T - creaminess, my untrained palate taste no spices, dry finish makes you want to take a nother sip, very good beer tho

M - carbonation, smooth, creamy, with dry finish

D - Good, 6 pack will do for now, makes you want to take another drink

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Photo of Hershdawg
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into a duvel glass.

A: A ruby brown color, that is not too far from their boston lager. A thin head that dissolves to a white halo on the edge.

S: Smells slightly caramely with a little spice. honestly like a spiced Boston lager.

T: tastes like it smells. Its a spiced boston lager. Not really impressive or very dull. just good.

M: Not thin but not think. Makes it easy on the palate.

D: Easy to drink. Low in booze, not too heavy.

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

A winter lager (not an ale?!) that will appeal to a wide variety of consumers. Beautiful dark colour, invitingly spicy aroma with a very mild taste that doesn't spotlight any one specific profile i.e. mild spices, mild roasted malts, mild fruitiness and very mild hops.

Not too spicy and yet not completely bland, an inoffensive and pleasantly drinkable mild winter seasonal beer.

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Photo of curasowa
3.36/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark copper color with two fingers of head that fade with chunky lacing.

Aroma: Toasted malt with hints of ginger and cooked vegetables

Taste: Dry, malty and biscuty up front then some light hop bitterness and a good amount of spice; the label says cinnamon but it reminds me more of nutmeg. Finish is fairly fast with some lingering biscuit and dryness.

The Rest: Body is just on the thin side of medium and drinkability is good. This is a pretty unoffensive, easy-drinking lager that's been spiced-up a bit.

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Photo of Bizz88
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper amber with a nice two fingered light tan head, thin lacing chasing the beverage out. A light malt and spice hints on the nose, very subduded. On the palate, sweet roasted malts and a white pepper fusion the ends in a dry metallic finish, very complex. A little heavy for a lager, fair enough carbonation, but hell I liked it!

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Part 2 of my Sam winter sampler thing. Apparently this is a "malt beverage brewed with spices." My White Ale bottle says Ale, but this is just a Malt Beverage? Weird. Even if it's an "ale" why is it listed as a Bock? Fail.

Crystal clear dark brown. No head, no lacing.

Smells sweet. A hint of grapefruit juice? That's about it.

Nutty malts on the palate. Slim hint of hops. Some alcohol in there somewhere. Has that typical Sam Adams metallic twang that I detect in the majority (yet not all) of SA beers.

Fairly thick mouth feel for what it is... which isn't much.

Not the least drinkable beer I've ever had.

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Photo of JizackFH
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a deep ruby brown color. It also has a thick looking off-white head. The head left some decent lacing on the glass.

S - This has a pretty weak smell. There is some bready malts, caramel, and some cinnamon. It also smells a bit grainy.

T - The big sweet malts come out at first, and are the dominating flavor of this beer. There is quite a bit of sweetness here as well. Some cinnamon is present, but there isn't as much as there was in the nose. The finish is sweet and has a bit of hop presence.

M - It has a medium body and good crisp carbonation. There is also some bitterness. It has a bit of a creamy feel to it.

D - This has pretty good drinkability. It goes down pretty easily, but overall this is a pretty forgettable beer. I think it would have helped if it was a bit heavier, and the flavors stood out more. I would give this beer another shot, if I didn't have to pay for it.

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

Re-review on 12/27/10:
Not cloudy like I said before, and there's a large bubbly head. Better marks for appearance.

Interesting spice notes on the nose, caramel and cinnamon.

Yup, a nice spiced bock... crisp and easy to drink with an interesting flavor profile. It's a little thin and watery to me, but a well put together beer.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a flute glass

A: pours a very nice amber with a slight brownish tint and a beautiful amount of foamy off white head, leaves a nice amount of lacing

S: nice malt notes that are surprisingly light, maybe also slight fruit notes maybe orange

T: similar to the scent but with a slight nutmeg spice note as well

D/M: smooth on the pallet, strong carbonation, slight depth of flavor helps drinkability but lack of outstanding characteristics hurt the brew slightly

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Photo of thatguy3579
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber, reasonably clear, massive head, no visible carbonation. A pretty and festive looking brew.

S: Mostly malt sweetness, some clove and other spice flavors too.

T: Sweet and toasted up front, some mild typical lager hop tastes later. Flavor is dominated by spices - taste confirmed by the label. It is tasty and interesting, but does not taste quite enough like beer for me.

M: Average amounts of bubbles, and light thin body.

D: A tasty and refreshing brew, but perhaps a little too much by way of flavorings.

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Photo of LuthersMug
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice copper color, but the head and lacing were a bit disappointing.

S - Zesty orange with spicy cinnamon and cloves.

T - Nice balance of malts, spices, and hops.

M - Smooth, nice carbonation, well balanced.

D - A pleasant beer to enjoy at a party.

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Photo of Transatlantic
3.61/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adam's perfect pint glass

A - A clear copper color with a nice bubbly head and so-so lacing retention.

S - I'm kind of disappointed in the smell. I don't know if they change the beer around every year or so, but i'm not getting the smell of cinnamon, cloves, allspice like last years. Could be the bottle i'm drinking? Not much smell going on.

T - Sweet upfront and citrusy going down. Leaves a nice bready/cracker like aftertaste. The sweet and citrus interlock very well into each other. The carbonation is spot on as well.

M - Light bodied and very refreshing. The taste doesn't stick around quite so long though.

D - You can down quite a few of these with ease. Very delicious beer.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Marketing this as a straight-up bock brew would have been more appropriate. Mentioning the additions to the recipe of cinnamon, ginger, and orange peel on the neck label set me up for quite a letdown. None of these flavors made much of an impression on the taste. To be true, through each sip, sensations of the cinnamon show up front while the ginger nips at the back, and the orange peel comes across as old and dried - preserved by chemical means. But they're all super weak in presence. Old Fezziwig, which boasts the very same seasonings, delivers in the way I hoped this would. Getting past my disappointment with the showing of the spice, what's right in front of you is a decent bock, if not rich or complex. Drinkable, yes.

I poured it into a pils glass (why? i can't recall). Finger-width head - diminished rapidly. A deep iced tea color and real clear. Aroma was nearly indiscernible - some faint fruity tones, which did show up in the taste as well. Spices? Nil. Last thing to add is a fairly clean feel, soft and smooth-ish beginning and slightly dry with a teeny-tiny warming rush in the finish. Comparable overall to a maltier, Mexican-made Vienna lager.

I'd drink it with a meal if it was around, otherwise, eh.

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

*poured a very nice deep red with a 2 finger head.
*medium lacing
*very nice smell... cinnamon, all spice and hops
*you can taste the different spices, I picked up more clove and cinnamon with a lingering taste of hops.
*mouthfeel was perfect for me
Very enjoyable beer but a little on the filling side. 2-3 would be plenty

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby brown with a relativley thick light brown head that goes down to a very scattered lace that clings to the edges.

Not too much aroma a faint amount of cinnamon and gingerbread maybe, malty this is pretty subtle.

The taste is the same as the nose pretty faint cinnamon and ginger bread with a malty sweetness. There is a little bit of a a dryness that finishes pretty nicely.

The flavors are faint but I like it. I don't know if I'm being biased but this is a nice drinkable winter lager. I'm actually sitting in front of a fire and staring at a Christmas tree enjoying this so that may have some influence.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was out to Subs & Six Packs on Columbia Avenue on Tuesday and saw this available as a single bottle and decided to give it another whirl. Today is 16 Dec 2015, the boss is LT Dan, my partner is a redhead and my name is Woody. This is a true account of the events that follow. Only the names have been changed to protect the less-guilty. And now, for the facts. Just the facts.

From the bottle: "German brewers may have been onto something centuries ago when they created rich bock beers for the winter. Our brew is a dark wheat bock subtly spiced with fresh ground cinnamon, ginger, & orange peel for a deep smooth flavor that's perfect on a cold winter's night. Cheers! [undersigned] Jim Koch"

The Pop! of the cap is never as satisfying as the Crack! of a CAN, but I am making do as best as I CAN't with these CANfounded bottles. An aggro pour to vent my frustration released two fingers of foamy, tawny head with decent retention. Color was a beautiful Copper-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled of cinnamon and orange peel and I was put in mind of a Wassail Bowl. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. The taste was spicy, but it lacked Ooomph. Yes, I got the cinnamon and ginger, but they seemed somehow muted, like I was not getting the full effect. Finish was dry, thanks to the spices, but I just wasn't feelin' it. A GLBC Christmas Ale would do the trick! Clearly, I liked this a LOT more on draft.

My original, on-tap/draft review dtd 24 Dec 2010 follows:

I had some on-tap last night, which I thoroughly enjoyed, BTW, and my usually non-drinking fellow USN-retiree buddy offhandedly mentioned that he scored some at a local PX for his son and he is actually having some and really enjoying it. TheCANQuest (TM), like heaven, will have to wait while I indulge in some bottles.

I should remember that "Bock" is a style of lager, but when the label(s) scream(s) "Lager", I default to the Greg Koch "fizzy yellow sissy beer" expectation, sometimes to be pleasantly surprised, as in this case. I got a finger of deep-tan head with good retention off of my pour. Color was a deep-copper with NE-quality clarity. I have seen pennies that were less copper-colored than this beer. I was reminded (again) of the beauteous Linda Lou, a striking redhead whose hair was not only this color, but hers was also as coarse as wire. Sigh. She left me while I was on a seven-month deployment to marry somebody other than me. My beer may taste faintly of salty tears. Boo hoo. Nose smelled of ginger (OK, now a reference might be getting old), cinnamon and nutmeg. I was reminded of baking cookies with my maternal grandmother as a kid. The other kids used to make fun of me for my culinary endeavors until they tried what I had made. I still like to cook, just not for by myself. If only I had Linda Lou for whom to make meals ... Mouthfeel was big, thick, creamy. You should really brace yourself for this one. The spices were simply alive on the tongue, each getting a turn on the ol' palate. It was like eating one of those cookies. The finish left me in a melancholy, nostalgic mood but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Good news, also, for my followers - it CAN be purchased outside of the Winter Sampler, unlike Old Fezziwg. Try some for yourself.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear, deep, amber color with finger thick head and lasting lace. The aroma has hints of vanilla, spices, and caramel. The flavor begins with ginger followed by malt sweetness and cinnamon notes. It's got a medium full mouthfeel whan combined with the flavor gives it a high drinkability. Samuel Adams Winter Lager is a very good beer and is a good compliment for steak. Highly recommended!

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Photo of leakyfaucet12
3.29/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

felt this is a good beer to drink the eve of christmas eve.

A- Red and great looking. I like the lacing and the head on this. looks great in my samuel adams perfect pint

S- pretty weak I smell cinnamon and other things that are to faint to make out

t- tastes light. There are some flavors in there but i would expect more flavor out of a winter beer.

M- the mouthfeel on this isnt bad but it isnt good.

D- Extremely drinkable. It is going down like im in a frat house

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Photo of mjrod2142
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass
16 oz. draft in a standard pint glass

The pour produced a thin, off-white head that dissipated quickly. There's a malty aroma with a hint of cinnamon, but it's far from overwhelming or offensive.

This beer has an excellent mouthfeel that is creamy, yet not too thick, heavy or bubbly. The spice in the flavor is so subtle that I wouldn't have been able to place it without reading it on the label (cinnamon, orange zest, ginger).

The smooth, malty flavor is very pleasant and leaves very little aftertaste, making this beer very drinkable. Overall, this is an excellent mainstream "winter" beer that most anyone can enjoy.

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Photo of garuda
3.56/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear, deep amber with great clarity, thick white head that has great retention, and even a decent display of lacing down the glass.

S - Spicy, cinnamon as soon as I opened the bottle, but it disappeared rather quickly and what remained was some sweet, caramelly, bready malts with some graininess here and there.

T - Less spice in the taste than what was in the smell. Dominated by the big, sweet, caramelly malts. Sweetness becomes a bit cloying towards the end.

M - Medium body, a tad high on the carbonation. Mostly clean on the finish but does leave some residual sweetness across the palate.

D - Pleasantly surprised, as I really wasn't expecting much going in. Nice character overall, but it gets a little too sweet for me by the end.

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.64 out of 5 based on 5,916 ratings.
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