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

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Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager
6,079 Ratings
Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

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

Style: German Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-25-2001

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,079 |  Reviews: 2,013
Photo of Hibernator
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle and served it in a British imperial pint glass. Freshness date marked for March 2005.

Copper colored brew with a nice, fluffy head on top. The head quickly into a lace.

Pretty neutral aroma. Slightly metallic. I thought there would be some strong whiffs with a winter warmer. I smell some caramel and cookie scents.

A sweet flavored darker style lager. Caramel juices provide a sweeter taste, but the palate becomes dry and clean on the finish. Strong malt-centered backbone.

When I was younger this was one winter seasonal that I looked foward to seeing on the shelves. This is a solid choice and a great pick when in the boston area selection is rather limited.

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

One of the better Sam Adam's seasonal I think.

Poured out a deep amber/ruby red color with a nice light tan head that stays with you the for whole ride.

Smell consisted of malts mostly with a good dose of fruits and some slight spices hang around in the background.

Taste was good. Hops and malts hit the palate softly with some wheat background. Then the fruit comes into play with some spices going towards the end. Good character in this brew.

Mouthfeel was good. Medium-ish body considering it's 7% almost. A nice option during the winter months. But I would of liked to see a little more spices. I remember last year's had a little bit more of a kick with the spices. But nevertheless, a good brew.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at Pizzeria Uno's, Sturbridge, MA, presented in a 20oz hefe-type glass.

1/2" light beige head over a coppery brew, and lacing was good. Aroma was very light, what was present was yeasty. Sedate caramel malts flavor, with slight hops character. Mouthfeel somewhat neutral, and drinkability good. Another more homogenized brew from Sam Adams to try and meet everyone's expectations, most likely overly impressing no one. Still not a bad brew, however, and a good choice from a limited tap menu...

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Photo of dren
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mild reddish brown color with a foamy head that doesn't last long. Full of carbonation but little smell and flavor for what I have come to expect for a winter brew. There is a little taste of hopps along with lingering spice in the background but it is not overpowering. An easy beer to drink but not what I look for in a winter beer. It is easy to put away a few of these unlike other beers of the type which are more filling and strong tasting. Still not a bad beer, nothing really stands out and nothing really falters. Not bad to try but if you want that spicy harty winter beer look elsewhere.

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

Pours a dark amber color and has little or no head and leaves no lace. The caramel malts dominate the aroma and mix in a interesting fashion with the wheat malts. The wheat lightens this lager up a lot, but it still has a nice body with a nice malty backbone. Definitely a drinkable winter beer.

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Photo of granger10
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Well, the pour was a dark copper red but the head was lacking a bit in size and seemed a little fizzy. The smell has some nice spice to it but was a little strong on the alcohol. That's about all the bad that I have to say about this beer. The taste had an amazing complexity. Caramel malty sweetness upfront followed by a roasted barley flavor that holds for the duration of the drink. The spices are perfect in amount and flavor. There seems to be a good amount of cinnamon, which I love, and ginger but they never get too strong and mix beautifully with the malts and hops, just perfect. Hops are spicy and have a European flavor to them. They seem to come with the spices but pick up towards the finish. Slightly belly warming on the way down, which is the intent of this beer right. Body is medium thick and holds the flavors really well. Very drinkable, but maybe after a few I might grow a little tired but I'm not sure, i guess i gotta try sometime soon to see.

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

Sam Adams has made another decent-quality beer with this one...

Pours translucent dark reddish-brown with moderate foamy head. I was expecting more spice in the nose, mostly was malts, a little hops, and alcohol. Taste was surprisingly unspiced, mainly malt and some fruity notes. However, despite its taste shortcomings, it is still a solid, consistent brew from Sam. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of claytri
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was presented with a translucent amber pour that was topped with a fine rocky tan head. It had light malt aroma. The taste was a fine malty brew with quite a bit of fruitiness to it, and even a strong apricot and hop finish. The beer is medium bodied and oily. This is a nice beer and pleasantly sweet and fruity. I will definately be sampling more of this as it seems to be widely available at bars that normally don't have a decent beer on tap.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.91/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 12-ounce bottle, just arrived in the store this week.

Appearance: Clear mahogany color; frothy foam with good head retention.

Aroma: Sweet malt, with some crisp wheat notes.

Flavor/Body: Toasty malt, with developing sweetness in the middle. Wheat taste is small but still there. Hop bitterness is restrained, but enough to keep the beer from being cloying. Malty finish. Alcohol warms after the end. Carbonation is medium, body is a little more than medium.

One of the better of the Sam Adams main line of beers, this is a product I look forward to every year. They seem to have fixed the label, which used to read "Winter Lager" and underneath it "A Dark Wheat Ale". It's now simply "Winter Brew" [and underneath: "A dark wheat malt liquor"], with no hint of whether it's an ale or lager.

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Photo of Tang07
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


SA Winter Lager pours a nice ruby brown with a nice thick tan head that sticks around for a while and laces the glass quite nicely.

The nose is very subdued. I had to really sniff to get a faint smell of malt and an even fainter smell of yeast.

It has a nice malty flavor with a hint of nutmeg and hop.

It has some nice body to it and it is very enjoyable now that the weather has cooled down.

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Photo of DFN
2.81/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A dark orange/red color, with a light tan head that dissipates in a minute or two. Faint odor of spices; nothing really stands out. Taste is a bit on the hoppy side, with a slightly bitter/sour aftertaste. Pleasant but undistinguised, overall. Falls somewhere near the middle of the curve in the Great Beer Lineup.

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Photo of BobLuvBeer
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reddish/auburn color, with minimal head, which dissipates quickly. Aroma is of cloves and mild almond & malt. Good hop flavor, with no initial bitterness. Slight bitterness in the aftertaste, which is pleasant. Heavy feel on the palate, but not overly malty. Well balanced, with just enough mixture of hops an dmalt to make a pleasing, non-session beer.

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

Poured a dark coppery color with a small head that reduced to a film.
Smell was malty, with just a hint of some inditinct spice.
Taste was better, light hoppiness, malt, faint spices - mostly in the aftertaste.
A medium body, more like a wheat or thin brown ale than a lager, even a seasonal one. Quite drinkable, but would have liked the spices to have been more noticeable.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This "dark wheat lager" pours a clear, deep amber body with a ruby cast. It's topped by a frothy head of ivory cream that holds exceptionally well and leaves some very nice lacing about the glass. The nose is malty and clean with a hint of hops and just a suggestion of the winter spices that are used. They do come out in the flavor, however, once the rich, wheaty and caramel-glazed maltiness subsides a little bit; and they stick around to linger in the aftertaste. A bit of cinnamon is discernable, and perhaps some nutmeg, but overall the spices are nicely restrained, lending more to balance than flavor. And it's really well-balanced with the spices working in tandem with the low-key bitterness to balance the malt and dry the finish. A slap of delicately spicy noble hop ties everything together throughout; and it's alternating sweet malt - spicy finish keeps it really drinkable. Nicely done! A very enjoyable "winter" ale that's quite welcome on my table at any time during the year.

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Photo of twi1609372
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

good beer to drink around the holidays, nice sweet taste, something to look forward to around christmas, very filling and full bodied, wouldent reccomend drinking with a full course meal, but better as somethign to enjoy talking with friends and family, making fun of louis for breaking the christmas train ect...

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Photo of cptnjck101
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another gem of a seasonal from our boys at the BBC. Dark and rich, very complex. Got it in the Winter variety pack, next year I'll be looking for 12 packs of this. Drinkability was only hindered by the higher than average ABV. A great brew for a cold Winter's night.

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Photo of FFudnam
4.35/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A terrific offering from the BBC which, IMHO, should be done year round, and given a proper name. How about "Wicked Good Weizenbock?"

Lots of delicious sweet wheat malt. Dark and ripe fruits dominate the taste profile. Perfect spicy hops in the background. Deceptively strong. Oh, I just love this beer. Amazed I found it in early May. I will go back to this same store and buy more because I just can't get enough of it.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

12 oz. 2004 sample. One month left on the "best by" date.

Sam Adams Winter Lager pours out a near maroon with a cascading head that meringued over the glass and onto my Bell's coaster. There lays an ivory 1/16" froth visually akin to a true British ale (ironically). Impressive presentation. The lacing is truly impressive; one of the best i've seen in a while.

The nose is slightly stale. The yeast tones are overpowering as with most of BBC's products. The biscuitiness is strong with a whiff of alcohol and a smooth finish of pear. I always have felt that BBC's Sam Adams imagery has tricked my nose into smelling parchment "Constitution" aromas. The ghost of the patriot.

Talk about a rich mouthfeel! Amazingly chewy. The spicing is done perfectly; you taste it without tasting it. The spices themselves are unseen but the cloak of the alcohol is downright deceptive! I wasn't huge on its drinkability, i'd have one or two but no more.

Surprisingly damned good! I wish I would've bought more of this when it was still around. One of the first BBC brews i've really liked!

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Photo of watermelonman
3.31/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This poured to an almost dark red color with a medium head. It's leaving about average lacing as well.

The taste is well spiced, almost to the point of being overwhelming. However, it does do a good job of hiding the alcohol content.

This is a decent winter beer, but I don't find it to be all that exciting.

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Photo of taez555
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a yellow/tan head with a clear reddish/brown body.

The nose was a beautiful mix of rich sweet dark malt and sugar. Almost reminiscent of a softer barleywine. It actually reminded me of a fresh early December new england snowfall.

The taste was a mix of rich malt, brown sugar, a slight hint of spice, mint, cinnamon, and caramel. Medium bodied with a slight graininess. Very smooth and rich. The bitterness takes a back seat to the malt but works perfectly in the mix.

Overall a great winter beer. It’s basically a bigger beefier version of the boston lager. Sort of like what the Boston lager would taste like if it were a barleywine but without the alcohol content. Still… a great winter session beer.

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Photo of Southernbrew
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark-amber with a moderate bubbly head.

Aroma is full of caramel, fruits and malt sweetness.

Full bodied, fairly smooth. Mild flavors, nothing overpowering. Light cinnamon up front leading to caramel and malt sweetness. Light dry finish. Slightly warming as well, nice.

A nice winter lager, not the greatest though.

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Photo of theozag
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This lager was a pleasant return to beer tasting after a break of several weeks. I had originally intended to taste a new beer that was brewed near my location, but I was disappointed to discover that it was months beyond its expiration date.

not to be discouraged so easily, i popped open a bottle of Winter Lager from late 2003. I'm glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised. i was expecting a full-bodied beer with well-mannered flavor characteristics, but what i got was something even better.

Beyond good body, this beer's mouthfeel is all-around enjoyable. It settles in only when neccesary, and for the most part the brew just cruises over the tongue. Its flavors include oat and caramel over wheat and a semi-sweet hop bitterness. To be perfectly honest, i thought this beer smelled exactly like fresh-baked wheat bread. but then, i've suffered through a cold lately, so my sense of smell may be especially weak right now.

This beer pours amber-brown with a thick sand-colored head. The head itself thins, but remains at least a few millimeters thick until the last drop of beer is imbibed. Overall, I found Winter Lager to be a very enjoyable beer, although it was not dazzling enough to become one of my favorites.

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

12oz bottle

Apperance: Tan, gummy head with nice etention and nice lacing. Color is Amber/Copper, nothing new in the color. Lacing is spotty, but not many rings here.

Nose: Very nice malt at fist. It is sweet all through out. It has a creamy nose as well.

Taste: Not too bitter at all. In fact, I didnt get much bitterness anywhere. Carbonation creeps in at the very end. It picks up the flavor. Spice is right in the middle and the end. I can pin point what spice it is.

Notes: I was impressed with this one. Very drinkable.

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Photo of masterbruewer
2.66/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured a nice amber color with a decent white head that faded fast and nice lacing. Faint carbonation.

The only smell was a faint scent of berries or fruit.

Muted coffee and burnt oak flavors, faint hops kick and a slight bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was bland and a little syrupy.

This is a decent beer and highly drinkable but not what I expected in a winter lager. I expected much bolder flavors than this.

I'd be interested to re-review this when next year's comes out and try it earlier in the season.

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Photo of crackerpooch
4.14/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation- 12 oz. brown bottle with freshness date marked.

Appearance- This beer pours a nice light tan, two-finger head that is retained very nicely and clings to the side of the glass. Color is that of a classic Irish Red. Tiny bubbles flow quickly to the top of the beer throughout the drink. Crystal clear. A truly beautiful looking beer.

Smell- A strong bready maltiness, but almost no hop aroma.

Taste- Very smooth malt flavor with a smooth transition to a light hop bitterness. I can’t really distinguish any of the “winter spices” except maybe a little nutmeg. Mouthfeel is a little thin and ends dry. A very drinkable beer that could be trouble noting its high alcohol content (6.9%).

A great session beer for a long winter’s night.

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 6,079 ratings