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

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Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager
6,074 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: 6,074 |  Reviews: 2,013
Photo of 86MonteSS
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It wasn't until the third bottle, after my taste buds had been taken hostage, that I was able to appreciate this beer. Upon the first sip, I didn't really find it all that engaging. Maybe I expected too much from this contract brewer, but Winter Lager's presence still seems a little onerous. It's got a great appearance and a heavenly smell, but once it hits the tongue, it's sticky and hollowly bitter. The alcoholic notes impel me to call this a good beer despite its shortcomings, but as a seasonal I can't say this is something I'll look forward to every winter.

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Photo of Admiraldinty
4.28/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This might be my favorite Sammy brew. Had this in a 25 oz. mug. Wow, I didn't realize how hard this one can hit you. Copper with a small white sticky head. The coloring of this one is great - perhaps because of the clarity. Aroma is sweet with caramel, some orange peel. Slightly alcoholic, with just a hint of wintery spices. This beer is extremely smooth. Medium to full-bodied. Starts a little on the spicey side, and then moves to the sweetness and ends with a slight bit of hops. Really nice warming effect from this beer. The drinkability suffers on this one only because it is so unexpectedly strong.

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

Amber, copper color, small white head. Smell is faint. Some ginger, some hops, some caramel malts, hint of citrus. Taste is thin, clean and mostly of caramel malts, touch of hops and a touch of ginger or citrus. Too subtle on the spices in my opinion. More robust in years past maybe [?]

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

amber reddish color with a farily decent white heead. cinnmon and orange along with a juicy malty aroma. smooth crisp tastewith nice malty finish. spices are very well balanced, not over powering. slight bit on cinnamon in the aftertaste. very good and drinkable winter beer.

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Photo of PSUDREW
4.02/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours with mild head retention and it's dark amber colored, but nice lacing through and through

Smells like a light wit, not to much to it.

I think the malty flavor is the dominat taste in the beer. The "sam adams spicyness" is present, but as almost a complimenting afterthought to malty flavor.Has a nice warm feeling to it, prob due to the abv, but in all honestly, the alchohol is not domminant like many beers similar.

nice winter standard, possibly a "conversion beer". I know alot of people knock the BBC, but I do feel this is a delightful little concotion of thiers

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

this beer is a medium golden copper. wtih a very nice, light tan head that sticks to the glass on the way down.

aromas are traditional sam adams. it didn't smell too spiced. a little like a spiced belguim white.

flavors match aromas equally. i was hoping for a little more spice though, since this is the first winter beer i've ever had. but if it had more, i'd probably say it was too much.

this is a good beer that alot of drinkers will enjoy. like most sam adams products, it does seem to be a little filling.

oh yeah. for being nearly 7% abv, it is very smooth with little alcohol taste.

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

Have drank this seasonal over the last few years on tap and in the bottle,went out last night and had this on tap.Pours a brownish amber with alight but somewhat sticky head,aroma is rich and malty.The flavor has a nice flavorful holiday spice to it its a nice rich tasting brew,this beer is served at alot of the big name bar and grilles wich is great compared to most of there other offerings.A beer with some nice spiced notes and is slightly warming.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 2003 Winter Classics Pack

Pours deep amber with a lacy off-white head. Smells sour and spicy. Orange and grape (?) aromas. Lightly malty sweet.

Taste is malty and sweet. Much maltier than I remember this beer being before. Fruity undertones with hints of citruc and cloves. Medium bodied and sticky. Caramel and molasses aftertaste with a moderate hoppy finish. Very drinkable with a suprisingly full body.

I may have sold this beer short in the past. this is damn good, especially for a lager. Worth a second look.

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.24/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Samuel Adams "Winter Classics" pack, 2003)

Samuel Adams Winter Lager is a dark wheat lager brewed with some "winter spices." All in all, it is a pretty drinkable brew for the winter months. It is brewed to be very drinkable, therefore there is nothing really overwhelming about this beer and it won't scare away your average beer drinker.

This beer pours a very nice ruby reddish color with some orange hue to it. A nice, light tan foam head forms and begins to dissipate in under 2 minutes, but leaves some decent lacing. The smell was a little dissapointing, as all I detected was a very slight malt aroma and some extremely light spiciness. The mouthfeel was a little on the thin side and was only lightly carbonated which suits this brew quite well. This has a nice flavor to it, although it wasn't as strong as I would have liked it to have been. Slightly on the sweet side, as the caramel-like malt really pops out at you every few sips. There are some regular malty flavors here, and some spices are present but certainly not overdone (if anything, underdone). It's hard for me to name any specific spices here, but ginger came to mind, and maybe even some orange/citrus peel-like flavors. There is a moderate hop bitterness in the finish. In the aftertaste, there are some cracker-like and toasted notes along with some dryness. It all finishes out with some alcoholic warmth.

This beer supposedly nears the 7% abv range, but it really doesn't seem all that strong to me. I only had one of these out of the sampler (my brother had the other one), so maybe a six-pack of this brew would help me distinguish more characteristics here. For a lager, it is more complex than your average dark brew, but this one would be even better if it were a bit more assertive in the aroma and flavor department.

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Photo of winomark
3.22/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a nice deep copper with some reddish hues and a frothy head.

Aroma: Sweet malt and some spices dominate. Hop citrus in the back.

Taste: Quite malty and sweet up front, with the hop bitterness balancing the finish.

Mouthfeel: Coating and slightly thick, but finishes in a nice, dry fashion.

Drinkability: A good everyday winter brew. Has character and interesting notes, but not too heavy and sweet.

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

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; standard Boston Beer Company "for brewery-fresh taste, purchase before month notched" warning on the bottom label's left edge; no ABV %; purchased on sale from Ralph's for a stellar $7.99/12.

Appearance: Dark, brownish orange hue with faint hints of red; good to very good clarity; huge, batter-like head -- at least with a rough pour; a good d-cup's worth of lace; good but not great head retention.

Aroma: Lightly of nutmeg and orange peel but primarily of sweet malt; slightly phenolic.

Taste: Mainly of a sweet, molasses-like malt presence; spicy, phenolic thrust; mild hop bitterness; secondary flavor characteristics include notes of cinammon, nutmeg and orange peel; medium bodied with a slightly creamy, prickly mouthfeel.

Notes: A mixed bag for me; sweetness can be cloying if you're not in the mood for it.

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Photo of Dmann
4.06/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Sam Adams Winter Lager is a beer that I look foreward to every year and this year's version is just as good as ever. The beer is a very pretty dark amber color and looks great when held up to a light. The smell is very malty with hints of cinnamon and some other spices. The taste, unlike the Old Fez, is a much more balanced beer with less emphasis on the spice and more emphasis on the balance. There are many different layers of this beer, from the cinnamon flavors to the hint of orange this is a very complex brew. Given all the spice flavors, this is a beer I could start out on but not one I could make a session out of.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Super coppery color thats pretty deep and glowing, thin ivory head that fades fast, lace minimal but sticking in thin ink blot patches. Smell is more sweet then spicy, the spice seems citric like cinnamon and nutmeg mixed with pepper and orange peels, malty sweetness subdued overall with a burnt-like caramel. Not all that strong but interesting. Taste is all over the place, layers of different spicyness, including dried peppers, cinnamon, curried apples, orange peels, did someone mix the fruit salad with the salsa? Some malty sweetness of caramel lingers in the back trying desparately to keep things in check but lets go in quite a few areas. A mild but wild ride, nothing really stands out or is overwhelming. Feel is lighter then medium with a texture that didn't fit in the carbonation for me. Seems creamy, but the smoothness is all but lost due to the carb bite it tends to have mixed with the spices. Not something I'd have again really, but wouldn't turn it down if offered. Subtle but complex, but maybe trying a little to hard to stand out.

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

Ok new Winter 2003/04 version with a slighly changed label.
In appearance this a deep dark red almost garnet coloured beer woth a tiny off white head..goes but leaves nice lacing.
Smell is rather subdued..malty though.
Taste is almost all sweet malts..some fruity flavours near end.
Pretty average feel in the palate.
Have to say i was dissapointed I have had this beer the last 5 winters was always excellent..maybe its just my changed taste buds but i think the recipe has been "tweeked" for the worst opinion only!

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

Appearance: Pours a ruby copper tone with a massive fluffy tan head leaving healthy amounts of dispersed lacing. Aroma: Nice shot of pine cone scented hops initially much better improved from last year's Winter lager, this is a rich malty lager nice caramel sweetness mixed with some bready dough like yeast notes and an undertow of spices. Taste: Full flavor syrupy rich nutty edge with hop bitterness not as dominant in flavor as the aromatic qualities with the bready finish characteristic of most Sam Adams products the spiciness bites at the palate nice winter lager, the BBC can still get it done when it wants to. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied slightly syrupy texture and a strong carbonation, does the palate good. Drinkability: Glad to see a lager around 7%abv this one can definitely be sipped on it's on tap at a local restaurant in Morgantown right now very tasty.

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

this beer has a different label now, no more sam, wait hes on there, hes just a little sam now. i was excited to see this at the store since id never had it. it pours a deep copper that is very pleasing to the peepers. the smell of spices, ginger, cinnamon, basically everything delicious. it has the perfect balance of malt and hops (a tad bitter) with caramel, cinnamon and spice running all over the place. this stuff is delicious. nice medium bodied mouthfeel, not thin at all, a tad sticky in the mouth. this is an awesome beer, its not very expensive and it has a nice alcohol kick. goodtimes.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.66/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark copper color, medium white foamy head. Aroma is spicy and sweet. Nicely malty, medium hopped. Slightly roasted malts, good flavor. Full taste, smooth flavor. Mostly malts in this beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is malty, slightly bitter, some spiciness.

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Photo of aaronh
3.04/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Medium red-copper color beer with amber highlights. Topped by a thick cream colored head. It displays excellent retention and good lacing. The aroma is rather light, with just a touch of clove spices. The taste is rather sweet, with an interesting nutmeg flavor mixed in with the roasted malts. A nice caramel flavor comes through as well. Mild bittering on the finish leads to an herbal aftertaste. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Drinkability is decent. Not a bad beer, but not all that exceptional either.

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Photo of jlervine
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I hosted a barbecue yesterday at my apartment complex, and one of the guests brought a sixer of this beer. Two mysteriously were left behind in my fridge. This is the tale of one of them.

Poured a crystal clear deep brown with a perfect compact head. The head seemed to last about a minute or two before receding to the sides of the glass for the remainder. The smell is very malty with a hint of cinnamon and orange/citrus. The first thing I noticed with my first taste was the explosion on my tongue. Sensory overload, courtesy of carbonation. The second sip was a bit more manageable, with a bit malt presence, subtle hops, and a bit of spicyness. Good for one glass, but I dunno about the second bottle...

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Photo of fattyre
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear brown-red color with a moderate tan clingy head. The mouthfeel is on the thin side of moderate. The smell is of malt with just a touch of allspice. The taste is mild spritzy malt with a slight clove and a slightly unpleasant sharp bitterness. This is a fairly drinkable winter lager but not by any stretch great. The odd bitterness seems to ruin it for me.

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

This is a very nice beer. I was a little concerned when I picked up this bottle of a winter beer once spring had sprung, but apparently I've just gotten lucky. Poured out a very good looking dark amber with a nice ivory head that was creamy and longlasting. The lacing effect lasted down the glass. A nice malty, yeasty, bready aroma that increased with warmth. Full mouthfeel and a creamy sense. Alcohol noted in the flavor. Bits of hop bitterness jump on along the route and the finish is fairly dry. Some very faint hints of spice peek through and there is just a sense of crispness in the final finish. Well done Sam.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a nice dark amber color. A nice looking head, eventually dimishes but never completely disappears. Tastes pretty malty, lots of spices mixed in there. The taste slightly reminds me of their double bock brew, but it could be just me. Great beer though, give it a shot.

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Photo of Stubbie1
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark garnet color. A thick tan head gives way to a thick lace to the end of the beer. Aroma is malt and spices and a hint of dark fruits like plums come to mind. The taste is a roasted malt and small hint of the spices. This brew went down smooth and is very drinkable.

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

Pours out a lovely ruby red color, with a nice, lasting tannish head. Aroma is delightful, with loads of spices, very sweet, and dark, lush with dark fruits, plums, grapes. A rich cornucopia of fruits and spice.
On the palate, we feel a warm rush of hops, and the thick, luscious malt shows up immediately. Very pleasant recurring finish, notes of fruit, spice, and nuts return again and again. A little thin in body, but then, it's plenty full for a lager.
I first tried this on tap, earlier this winter, and was disappointed. Right now, drinking from a bottle, in a Minnesota late March that still won't give up to a proper springtime, I can't find a fault with this tasty, delicious brew.

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Photo of ThePostmaster
2.9/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours typical of Samuel Adams. The smell is sweet, with accents of yeast and wheat. This is a very malty brew, with a thick mouthfeel. Goes down smooth and pretty filling. I liked this although I don't know what a "winter lager" is. I think it supposed to be like an Oktoberfest with a heavy malt taste?

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.59 out of 5 with 6,074 ratings