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

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Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager
6,051 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-25-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,051 |  Reviews: 2,013
Photo of smcolw
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish, dark amber. One finger head that dies quickly to a dusting of minute bubbles on the surface

Butterscotch malt aroma; very sweet like a caramel candy.

Rich and very malty with a cognac sweetness; dark crystal malts and a touch of chocolate malt? As with other dark, rich, malty beers, the taste has nuttiness to it that reminds me of macadamias. The hop is pleasantly subtle but present, particularly in the aftertaste where the malt sugars could (but didn't) overwhelm.

A brandy beer to be used with good friends in deep conversation.

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

This is exactly the way a winter lager should look. Beautiful rust color and fluffy tan head. The taste has a wonderful amount of honey, orange, corriander, and other spices. The spices are there, but it ends with a sweet finish. It is only the end of February and I am already dreading the soon-to-be disappearing winter brews like this one. This truly is one of my favorite from Sam Adams

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

This deep red amber lager left a nice lacing down the side of my pint. Smell a hint of cinamon and ginger amongst the caramel malts. This beer is not heavily hopped and has a nice caramel spiced malted finish. It has a nice mouthfeel to it as the malts weigh this brew nicely. This is quite more interesting than the Sam lager which is enjoyable in itself. It warms me up nicely on a cool desert winter night!

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

2003 Edition (if this even matters)

Pours a dark raspberry brown with a light tan head.
Smells of fruity (grapes) wheat malt, with a faint hop backing (tettnanger?). Taste is spicy, fruity, with a crisp wheat feel. Light bitterness in the finish. Not bad, but it could be tastier (and better).

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

Served from a 12 oz. bottle with a best before Apr. ('04) notched-out.

Pours a brilliantly clear burnt copper color with a modest light beige head that stuck around a while. A stellar appearance!

Earthy malt nose with caramel, vanilla, toast and an interesting vegetal aroma.

A complex array spices; cinnamon, very faint nutmeg & pine with a great balance of prickly hop biterness hemmed-up with luscious roasted caramel malt with a woody-dry ending. Medium bodied with alcohol warmth in the finish.

Mouthfeel is soft and fluffy; attributes of the wheat malt used. Finely carbonated with a lively activity right to the finish.

Drinkability is high due to it's balanced flavors and inherent lager quafities, I mean 'qualities'.

I actually was pleasantly surprised with this beer. My expectations were exceeded by this sturdy and eventful lager. The spices were apparent, but never in your face. Hats-off to the brewers for crafting a beer with great balance and originality!

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Photo of BeefyMee
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Transparent red. Small head.

Smell: A little bit of a pumpkin smell in the midst of a stronger cookie and spice aroma. There's also a trace of alcohol and cinnamon. Everything doesn't jive quite right.

Taste: That pumpkin aspect is still lingering about. The flavor would be much better if it wasn't so tangy.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thick but got worse as I drank.

Drinkability: Just as drinkable as most SA products.

Beef Notes: Not my favorite Sam or winter brew by a long shot. I had it on tap and it was better, but it's still a decent beer.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.26/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on tap this evening at Red Lobster. The crab legs are very tasty.
The beer arrives looking a reddish copper, topped with a sizable ivory head. The head dissipates into a thick film upon sitting a few minutes, keeping all the way through the pint. No lace, aside from some scattered blobs at the top.
The aroma is strongly malty, with emphasis on caramel. A moderate buttery diacetyl presence with some indistinct spices. I really can't tell what's in there, but I'd bet on some cinnamon. Mild herbal hopping, a strange blend that suggest noble hops, but somehow earthy and muddy.
The flavor starts with a robust caramel maltiness up front, moving into some spiciness and a light buttery flavor. Very wierd spicing, with definite cinnamon and something familiar that I can't put my finger on. Rather subdued and indistinct under the malt. Some earthy, nutty, herbal hopping enters into the finish, with an odd wheaty dryness right in the end. Wheat malt? Some alcohol is noticable, as well. A bit of spice lingers in the aftertaste, with caramel malt sticking around briefly before fading out. Fairly full bodied, with somewhat coarse carbonation and mouthfeel.
Fairly clean, aside from the diacetyl. It could possibly be the lines. Maybe it's some spice I'm not familiar with. A very unusual beer, I'm not quite sure what style this could be. Spice, wheat malt, odd hops. Maybe some kind of wacko agressively hopped bock interpretation? Not bad, but this is easily my least favorite beer from Boston Beer Co. The flavors are sort of indistinct, with an odd roughness to the overall feel. I think the carbonation on all of Sam Adams' lagers is a bit too agressive. Good with dinner, but I didn't want another one.

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Photo of stirgy
3.61/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a beautifully clear beer. The color is like an amber copper with ruby red highlights. Creamy white head of foam. The aroma is creamy and buttery smooth, with the emphasis on butter. Taste is oily sweet, buttery crisp with their “winter spices” and flavorful. Not sure what spices are in this beer – Hard to distinguish. The body is medium sweet with a soft spicy finish. Interesting, flavorful.

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

The color is copper wit a big off white foamy head that stays for a good time dissipating to nice lacing that clings to the walls of the glass. Has a nice smell of floral, spice and nuts, a real nice mix! A good beer for the cold days of winter. As I said earlier, there are better winter brews available, but this one is not bad!

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

After having two disappointing brews from the Boston Beer Co. (Octoberfest and Old Fezziwig) I'm glad to say that Samuel Adams Winter Lager restores my faith in this brewery a bit.

This is a nice deep red lager with a pretty head that turns into a white ring around the edge of your glass as you drink it. It's got a nice malty smell that reminds me of a doublebock's aroma. No hop aroma.

The taste is nice and malty-sweet. Quite like a light doublebock. But the mouthfeel and body is not as heavy as a doublebock. I can't tell that there are any spices in the brew like the label says. From the taste I'd say this beer is driven past a pile of spices, rather than any actually being in the beer itself. But I'm not deducting points for that since the beer tastes good anyway. I'm no pro taster, Michael Jackson would probably tell me exactly which spices are in it after one sip.

For a winter seasonal from a (sorta) mass-producer of beer, Samuel Adams Winter Lager is a standout. And at its price level, this lager even more appealing.

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Photo of byrd
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on draft a couple years ago and haven’t had it since until just recently. I remember liking, so when I saw it this year, I decided to try in again.

Foamy slightly sticky light tan head that lasts a long time. Head does eventually diminish to a scattering on the surface and a ring around the edge of the glass. The brew is clear reddish-brown in color. Good bit of malt on the nose. Carmel notes are apparent. Spices are also noticeable – brown sugar, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Some light notes of dark fruits are also present. Hops are light, but noticeable. Nice start with malt, bread notes, and light flavor of dark fruits. Spices similar to the aroma come to the foreground next. Hop finish balances out the brew nicely, and lingers for a short period. Not being a huge lager fan to start with, I wasn’t expecting much. This one doesn’t blow the roof of the building, but it’s nice nonetheless, and is actually better then I was expecting from my memories.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.23/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown glass bottle. Best Before End month notched on the label.

This lager poured a clear, deep red, chestnut color with creamy, tan foam that clung to the glass and left some lace. The smell was very niceand crisp and malty with aromas of biscuit. The taste was slightly sweet and malty with flavors of bread, some tangy hops, a bit of floral hops, a mild bitterness and a hint of spice. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with medium body and good carbonation. The finish was hoppy. This was a surprisingly good lager and was easy to drink. Kudos to Boston Beer Co. for this year's batch of this lager.

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Photo of kbub6f
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big, light tan, fine, foamy head on top of a deep, reddish-copper body. Clumpy, sticky lacing. The aroma is very nutty and a little tangy. Roasty grains in the tangy front. The middle turns sourish with a little roasty chocolate. Smooth, but a little thin. Nuts! in the finish. More roasty grains and some dark, bitter chocolate. This is a nice, grainsy brown with a great, dry finish. I like it.

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Photo of farHillsBrewer
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This maple syrup colored brew hits the nose with an ample malty aroma of warm bread. The mouthfeel is smooth and pleasant. There is a spicy flavor there but it rightly is too subtle for me to guess the spice. The wheat yields a nice bready flavor to go along with the substantial maltiness, Just enough hops for a little length om the tongue. I'd like another.

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Photo of Boto
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It is a copper-brown color. Mild aroma. Hints of spices and malts. There is somewhat of a tan head. Smooth and creamy taste. This is good, but it still is very nondescript. I would never turn one down, but there is no compelling reason to buy it with beers like Sierra Nevada Celebration or Pyramid Snow Cap out there.

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Photo of Rootdog316
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was very...well, delectable. It had a moderate head and had a great taste, but somewhat of a strong aftertaste. I've only had this and the Boston Ale before, and I most certainly would recommend this brand before I would the Samuel Adams Boston Ale. PS---Boston Sucks, and Grimaldi blows.

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Photo of JackTheRipper
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice coppery reddish color, pretty good head on it, lacing is decent. Light amount of carbonation seen. Very clear.

Smell: a bit spicy, with a light cinnamon smell predominating. Just a hint of clove.

Taste: Malty and a bit spicy, do I taste orange peel? Not a big up front alcohol presence, but now that I take a big whiff and then a sip, the alcohol is more noticeable~very nice. Finishes with a nicely moderate hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is good, the last beer I drank was a la fin du monde, so this is a welcome change. Not too dry, a bit of warming in the gullet.

Drinkabililty: Not the best winter variety I've had, but this is a darn good beer. Kudos, Mr. Koch. It's a pretty cold day in PA today and this is hitting the spot.

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

A beautiful reddish-brown brew with an off-white head. A nice cling during the drinking process and carbonation is appropriate for this style.

Smells of a few choice spices, namely cinnamon and clove; a combination that has a hard time being wrong.

The spicey smells carry over smoothly and gracefully into a complex, yet simply pleasant, flavor. This is a spiced libation that is subtle and accessible. The malts are richly caramel-like, with slight nuances of dark chocolate and earth. The sweetness is mellow and a good winter beverage should be. A tang finishes off the character and overall feel of the flavor. A really balanced and excellent offering from those folks in Boston. I've had this seasonal beer more often this winter than any other; a consistent and pleasing choice.

I'm having mine with a pepperoni pizza and I'm not complaining about the pairing, that's for certain. But, I was thinking a medium-heat curry chicken dish would go nice. Or perhaps Tandoori chicken.

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Photo of Gavage
3.96/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear auburn color with a 1 inch head. The aroma is spicy, most notibly nutmeg. The flavor is mild, but nice. Malt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and honey are most predominent. There is a bit of hoppiness to this beer.

The body is slightly thinner than expected. The spices ride the tongue for a short while after swallowing. This is easily drinkable, as this is one of the mellower winter beers out there. The flavor is not overwhelming but enjoyable, so several of these can be quaffed.

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Photo of Dubblebock
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This winter offering from Sammy Adams really kind of snuck up on me this year. I had seen it a few times and passed on it because I got caught up in trying some of the more exotic winter and holiday brews. Now I kinda wished that I hadn't waited so long to pick this up. It's a most impressive and well-crafted beer. I picked up a sixer in San Marcos, Texas, for $6.99.

The winter lager comes in a nicely decorated bottle, labeled as malt liquor in Texas because of our ABV laws. The beer pours well, leaving a nice head behind, although not a particularly long lasting one. Good nose, spicy but not overwhelming.

The taste is exceptionally smooth for a spiced beer. The malts dominate the palate, and the spices don't disrupt the flavor at all. The Winter Lager bills itself as a dark wheat, and the bready wheat malts definitely declared themselves on the initial sampling. I was actually kind of awed by how well the spices were integrated in this beer. Hints of cinnamon and black pepper were detected as I worked my way through the glass. The hops were blended in particularly well, and added a slight bitterness on the back of the tongue.

Good mouthfeel, smooth finish. VERY drinkable, although the ABV might slow you down after you've had a couple. This beer is an excellent template for how a spiced beer should be brewed. Incredibly balanced and tasty, this one is a hands-down winner.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.91/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notched month best by (Apr.) reviewed Jan. No year noted… hope I got this year’s batch. My bottle looks different than the picture; guess they changed the label.
Aroma: Nice spiced malt nose with some yeasty notes.
Appearance: Clear light amber with a big frothy head of light tan. It has great lacing with small tidemarks noting each sip.
Flavor: Mild flavor. Very well balanced, no sweetness, no hop bitter, but the taste of malt and hops is present. A bit of the wheat malt comes in, and the spices really show off. I get hints of orange rind and maybe nutmeg or ginger?
Mouthfeel: A bit thin and oily, with a lasting mouth coat. The beer has an overall creamy feel.
Overall Impression: A great looking, good tasting beer. Overall a bit on the mild side. Nice spices, hides the alcohol well: good beer! Recommended.

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

Burnished copper with orange highlights topped by a sticky tan head that lasts a while. Small chunks of lace adorn the sides of the pint glass as the foam recedes. The nose is slightly spicy and is somewhat earthy.

The flavor is predominantly malty, with no trace of hoppiness until the finish. Winter Lager is slightly sweet in the beginning and middle, then dries out a little on the back end. Also appreciated is a pleasant spiciness (cinnamon, nutmeg) that reminds me of the holidays. The mouthfeel is about right for a dark lager; maybe a little more full than most.

All in all, Winter Lager is an enjoyable winter beer (the label says that it's 'a dark wheat lager brewed with winter spices'). It's my first Sam Adams brew and I was pleasantly surprised. I can see myself buying this one again.

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Photo of marcobrau
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good tasting amber colored lager beer that always seems to sneak up on me, if you know what I's a little stronger than your average lager. I usually get this in a Sam Adams Holiday Classics sampler pack that is often a gift. It's a fairly tasty winter brew. The almost wine-like malty aroma and spicy aroma is very pleasant. This beer is brewed with "winter spices" but I'm not sure which of these are present. I smell a bit of cardamom and perhaps a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. I don't know that I can taste the spices, although there is peculier dryish character towards the finish that reminds me of nutmeg. The tawny malt flavors of this beer give it additional character. The finish is bit fruity yet fairly dry. One of the better winter beers, especially when fresh. Shouldn't be served too cold to appreciate it's character, even though it's a lager.

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Photo of Redrover
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer as poured, was a nice reddish/brown/amber with a decent head & lacing.

The smell was of malt and a hint of different spices.

I liked this beer. The taste had more hops than the aroma led me to believe. The malts were also clearly present. Very soft & creamy beer. Seemed to have a bit of spice thrown in, but it may have been from the type of hops they used.

Very easy to drink and after the Old Feziwig, the best of the Sam Adams winter beers. Better on tap than in bottles, but either way it is good.

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Photo of beergeek279
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is a dark amber, with a wisp of white head. The smell is a nice maltiness. The taste is a dark malt sweetness, with hints of spicing. Mouthfeel is average. Drinkability-wise, could definitely have a few.

Not a bad offering from Sam Adams. Though beer snobs might look down on Boston Beer, when they make a good beer, it should be applauded, and this is quite an interesting offering, and I'd probably have one next year.

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 6,051 ratings