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

1,979 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 1,979 | Ratings: 5,892
Photo of stlfatguy
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got in a mixed 12. Dark amber, brownish color. Smell is a little malt, spice. light caramel with malt, some spice, sweetness in the taste. Ok. Wouldn't buy on it's own.

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Photo of BeerBobber
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The color is a beautiful amber pour with a quickly dissipating slightly off white rocky head.

The smell is like freshly roasted bread with some hidden spice notes.

The taste I get is cinnamon and spice with that roasted bready malt notes.

Overall on this one I have to say for a winter "gimmick" beer I liked it. It really hit a lot of those sweet Christmas notes for me. A roasty sweet beer to sip on Christmas eve whilst the children continue to come out and bother papa bear while he tries to write beer reviews.

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

Part of a variety 12 pack. Amber color, malty smell, very flavorful of different spices, medium mouthfeel, overall a good beer that's perfect for winter months.

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Photo of hman43
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: It pours amber with ruby highlights. The head is off white and leaves some lacing.

Smell: There are aromas of cinnamon, bread, dark fruits, cherries, hints of roast, and herbs.

Taste: The initial flavors of cinnamon, ginger, herb, and dark fruits highlighted by cherries is the first impression. Bread and some roast are also present flavors as well.

Feel: It has a light medium bodied texture, with low moderate bitterness on the palate.

Overall: It is a fairly easy drinking beer with a little bit of spark provided by the herbs, and dark fruits.

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
2.81/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Really drinkable beer. I like this better than the regular Sam Adams. Very dark Amber color. Not much of a smell at all and relatively milf taste; balanced slightly more malt than hops. Not as complex or bold as I usually prefer, but this is a beer I could easily all night long.

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Photo of akolb
3.42/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Look: Pours clear copper red into a pint glass. The head is thin and white. 3/5
Smell: Mostly malt and bread with a hidden spice. Cheerful and enticing. 4/5
Taste: Some bitterness at the finish, along with some spices. 3.25/5
Feel: Average on the carbonation side. Body is medium-light. Nothing exciting here. 3.25/5
A drinkable, refreshing beer that would go be great washing down some sausages, but rather falls flat on its own. 3.25/5

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Photo of AndrewCalebRay
3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

For a winter lager from a large scale brewery that puts out a ton of product this isn't bad. It is definitely a beer for the season. Spicy notes with a warm kick, yet very smooth going down. Great choice from your local grocery store for a beer on a cold night.

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Photo of BrewThru_29
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Usually not a fan of the lager style of beer, but for some reason this beer has always had a sweet spot for me. Good variety of citrus flavors mixed in with a small amount wintery spice. This beer is not anything crazy or overly innovative. Just a straightforward winter stand by.

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Photo of NateDyk47
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L- light brown, slight orange tint
S- orange & cinnamon
T- a little bitter citrus flavor
F- medium body & carbonation

Not bad overall. Better than most Sam Adams beers.

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Photo of sgt_187em
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper in color with a 1/2" thick head. Tasted a hint of citrus and wheat, but no cinnamon or ginger as advertised on the bottle. Medium body, pretty avebrage brew.

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Photo of Bluerabbitbell
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had from a bottle from aa mixed pack we bought in Lafayette IN at a meijers. Average taste. I wouldn't say that there is anything special about this offering. Didn't even notice much spice notes.

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Photo of BrotherDave
2.34/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

12 pack cans.

Nice head, color similar to a Märzen beer, but not very much nose and not very much flavor. Certainly lacking in hops - both bittering and aromatic.

I hate to say it, but I give it a "meh." ... now I have 11 more to get through. Maybe I'll save them for company, after all it is the season for giving :-).

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Photo of PatrickCT
3.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip

a: Beautiful rusty orange body. Clear. 1 1/2 finger off white head. Some lacing.

s: Bready malts hold up a spicy, herby aroma.

t: Toasty, crisp malts. Some cinnamon, ginger and hop bitterness.

mf: Medium body with medium high carbonation. Creamy up front with a sweet finish.

o: Boston Lager with some stuff.(Yes, I know it is a different beer) Very drinkable and festive.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark amber with off white small head that dissipates quickly. You can smell notes of ginger and malt a little cinnamon maybe some nutmeg and spices. Taste is not spectacular malty you can taste the spices a little no big flavor. Pretty light taste feels goes down easy not much aftertaste. Overall an ok beer nothing great or terrible.

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Photo of WayneEsten
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle had an "enjoy before date" of April 2016 and came from a 12 pack.

Into a Riedel Ouverture beer glass it poured dark amber with a hint of ruby. The head was light tan and about an inch and a half high. It's a very attractive winter lager.

I could smell the malt and caramel as others have noted, but I also detected a very faint trace of the orange peel.

The taste was malty and a bit sweet, but not overly so. I've had four of these over the last couple of days and on a couple of occasions the orange came through clearly. It was probably because I let those bottles warm up a bit longer when I set them out of the refrigerator before pouring. This beer fills the mouth, not like a stout, of course, but more than most lagers I've had. The carbonation is mild and the finish is very, very smooth. Earlier today I had a bottle with fresh ground peanut butter spread on a hot thick piece of wheat toast. Wow, what a combination. My new winter treat.

Overall, I really like this beer. I've always thought Sam Adams Boston Lager was well made, just not for me. I like my beers a bit darker. This one is just right for me. Given that it's a seasonal beer and only shipped in November and December, I'm stocking up on 12 packs to hold me until early spring.

UPDATE/EDIT 1/4/16: This was my "go to" beer this past December so I've had over 24 bottles of it. I reduced my rating for LOOK, TASTE and OVERALL from 4.5 to 4.25. This beer is so much better when it is removed from the refrigerator 15 to 20 minutes before it is popped and poured. I still really like it.

UPDATE/EDIT 5/14/16: Well I finished all the SA Winter Lager I had stashed away about two weeks ago. I reduced my final rating for LOOK, FEEL and OVERALL from 4.25 to 4.00. I nice everyday beer with lunch.

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Photo of beerboy21
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Yet another spiced number from SA. Enjoyable. Original recipe was much better, being a spiced weizenbock hybrid clocking in at 6.9% abv. Bring it back, SA!

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark amber brown producing 1.5 fingers of beige, moderately lasting, frothy head that leaves a wash & motes of lace. Aroma is caramel and dark bready malt, roasted nuts, notes of cinnamon, ginger & nutmeg. Taste is sweet caramel & toasted malt, dark bread, roasted nuts, notes of orange, cinnamon & ginger with roasted malt & light herbal hops in the finish. A lightly roasted & bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, spicy with average carbonation.

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Photo of Catracho5
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a dark red, mahogany color with an off white creamy head, clear, very little carbonation, has a beautiful color to it, looks very nice.

A: Malt, caramel, not getting any of the ginger, cinnamon or orange peel, smells pretty plain, was hoping for more.

T: Malt, caramel, hint of vanilla in there, some ginger in the aftertaste, but no cinnamon or orange peel, it's just no there, the ginger does become more noticeable as the bee warms.

M: Light bodied, dry finish, easy on the palate.

O: This is not all it's advertised to be, it sounds like a big beer, a lager with some spice in it for cold weather, but it lacks body, cinnamon and orange peel, it tastes like a regular bock with a hint of ginger that seems out of place in the flavor.

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Photo of Pantalones
3.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Written from notes taken last night, as I don't currently have a working computer. 5th bottle from the six-pack; best-by date is April 2016.

Looks very nice -- dark red-brown color, very clear with lots of bubbles rising from the bottom (they're easy to see with the help of a flashlight, but still barely visible without.) Nice layer of light tan foam on top, leaving a good amount of traces behind on the glass as it starts to shrink down. Never fully vanished in the time it took me to drink the whole glass, though it did get down to a thin coating on top after a while.

Smell initially comes across as mostly a darkish "beery" smell, just a bit of a caramel-y sweetness in there too. Taking further sniffs as the foam shrinks down, more sweetness and maybe some cinnamon(?) start to pop in. There's a bit of something else in there I can't quite identify, too.

Taste is pretty mild at first, but I found myself liking it enough on the first sip this time that the "sip" ended up being more like a gulp. Malt still seems to be the primary flavor -- the wheat is more noticeable taste-wise vs. smell, and there's a bit of a toasty thing on the end, too. Cinnamon (as in the smell) stands out more, but still very much secondary to the malt. There is an odd "something" in there that's not entirely pleasant, but I can't quite place what it is -- wasn't noticing it in the first half of the glass at all, oddly, but toward the end it's more noticeable. Would have rated a bit higher in this category had this "something" not started to come out so much toward the end.

Feel is fairly light for such a dark-colored beer, but not watery or overly fizzy at all -- substantial enough to feel "beery" but light enough to be quickly and easily drinkable. Does get a little pricklier later on, it seems, which is unfortunate considering how nice the initial mouthfeel was.

Overall, my opinion on this one has gotten a bit more positive toward the end of this six-pack. I may have gone in expecting more of a bock (heavier, stronger flavors, etc.) and also more on the "winter spices" end, but looking at it as more of a... well, "winter lager," as the name suggests -- a slightly darker/heavier and slightly more Christmas-spiced version of a standard year-round sort of lager... it's not nearly as disappointing as I first thought. I doubt I'll buy a full six-pack of this one again, but when I get one of the winter variety packs I won't mind having a couple more of these.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle BB Apr 2016 at 42 degrees into SA “Perfect Pint”
Aroma, weak, of malt and ginger
Head large (Six cm, aggressive pour), light tan, frothy, diminishing to four mm frothy ring and layer
Lacing – poor. Few tiny islands of tiny bubbles
Body – orange amber, clear, effervescent
Flavor of malt and cinnamon; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate – medium, slightly sticky, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3.75, Palate 3.75, Overall 3.75

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Photo of jmasher85
3.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice dark color with a surprising amount of head. As other reviews have stated, I don't really notice any of the flavors advertised on the bottle, except perhaps just the slightest hint of orange zest. That said, there's plenty of flavor in this bock. A lot of malt but never overdone or too sweet, and as with many Sam Adams beers, balance is quite the main feat here. A bit of clove and banana bread, and a nice mix of textures which combines the clarity and light body of a lager with the slightly creamy head and gritty texture of a wheat. Overall, this is a really nice, spiced, medium-flavored malty beer that works well as winter beer, though perhaps not quite up to snuff as a "snow day" beer.

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

Appearance: Dark brown body with hints of red. Brilliantly clear body. Eggshell white head that is creamy and leaves good lacing on the glass. Good head retention.

Aroma: I smell lemons and there is a touch of a roasted flavor that I really have to bury my nose into the glass to pick out. Pretty faint aromas. Nothing really stands out here.

Taste: There is a really nice caramel sweetness with a hint of walnut flavor and toasted bread crust. The label says "brewed with orange peel, cinnamon, and ginger" and I don't pick up any of these flavors. It's a pretty decent bock but the sweetness is on the lower side. There is a slight tang on the aftertaste but it's indiscriminate flavor-wise.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice and smooth but it's a bit thinner that what I would expect out of a bock.

Overall: I'm picking up some lemon aroma on the nose...I don't know if this is from the orange peel or possibly the ginger but I don't think it adds much to this beer. I don't get any spices in the flavor of the beer but the overall flavor of the beer is really nice. It is like a bock that has a little less caramel flavor and a little more nuttiness. It is a bock that I would recommend but I would say not to expect the advertised spice. There is a very nice walnut flavor to the beer that makes it a good holiday drink but again I'm not sure that the advertised flavors actually add anything to the overall profile.

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Photo of TLWalsh
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of the SA 2015 seasonal package. Pours a nice dark amber color with moderate vanilla head. Has a malty sweet aroma with a caramel and cinnamon/clove spice taste and a semi slick syrupy mouthfeel. Finishes with an orange and spice lingering aftertaste. Really not my favorite SA offering.

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Photo of lic217
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

Look: copper color, little lacing
Smell: malt and spice
Taste: sweet and finishes with the spices, I taste mostly cinnamon
Feel: moderate carbonation and thickness
Overall: not a big fan, but not terrible either.

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Photo of puck1225
3.82/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First beer I had from the 2015 variety pack. Poured into a pint jar, dark orange-brown with a nick creamy head. Pleasant lacing and nice malty smell. Taste is crisp and mildly spiced. I like this beer!

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.64 out of 5 based on 5,892 ratings.
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