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

1,948 Reviews
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Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager

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

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: 1,948 | Ratings: 5,752
Photo of byrd
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
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 +16.2%
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 +3.8%
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 +13.2%
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 -0.3%
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 +8.5%
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 +15.4%
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 +18.1%
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 warming...like 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 +8.8%
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 +16.8%
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 +7.4%
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 +5.2%
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 +4.4%
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 mean...it'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 +6.6%
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 +1.1%
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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Photo of palma
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark amber body with a thick yellowish head that lasts and lasts. Head leaves rings down the whole glass that really sticks.

Smell: Extremely spicy. Very bready. A little caramel and butter. The spice overwhelmes though.

Taste: Not as spicy as the aroma would lead you to believe. Sweet malt comes out immediately. A little hint of bread/grain in the middle. I also tasted pepper, specifically. Burnt caramel flavor throughout with a surrounding mild bitterness. A burnt aftertaste along with some lingering spicyness. A full bodied beer.

Mouthfeel: One of the better aspects of the beer. Very smooth. Light carbonation. Good density. Not watered down like some winter lagers. Great mouthfeel overall.

Drinkability: I think the spice can get to you with this one if you drink too many in a row. If you like Christmas spice, then this is a beer for you that you can drink all night long. In my opinion, if your only having a couple of em, then this is an easy drinking brew with good taste, low carbonation and great mouthfeel.

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

This beer poured a red/orangish color with a huge fluffy off white head that took forever to settle down. The head was so fluffy and creamy that I could draw in it.

The smell was mildly spicy with a beefy sweetness. Subtle hops were noticable.

The taste was very mild with spices very discrete. A tasty brew but very low key, it could be kicked up a notch. This left you very dry afterwards.

The mouthfeel was meaty and chewy with just enough carbonation. Very nice.

A very drinkable brew, very mild and low key but tasty.

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Photo of littlebibs
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap at the grog(Newburyport,Ma) while out & about and this beer was a medium darker, smooth, slightly spiced but
very delicious winter beer that really warmed me up. Nice head
and lace lasted a while but I enjoyed these pints so much, the beer was what disapeared first. I would highly recommend this, especially on tap, the
bottle I would rate slighlty less.

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Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an amber color with a thick off-white head. The aroma is fruity and full of spices. The lager smell comes through revealing a bit of yeasty scent. The taste is decent. There is quite a lot of ginger used in this one. There are some crystal malts here giving it a malty taste. It's crisp and refreshing. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinking seasonal beer. I always look forward each year to having one.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper, very clear attactive beer. Small white head produced that clings to the side of the glass.
Aroma is caramel, toffee, small resiny hop note, some other X-mas like spice in the background that I can't quite make out.
Taste is sweet malt with nice bitterings, ginger and peppery notes in the background. Very lively in the mouth with a slight alcohol kick on the back end.

(I've been on a personal boycott of S.A. products but this is the best S.A. I've had in years)

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Photo of DagFishHead
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep ruby-amber body. Generous, frothy, light-tan head fades to a creamy edge-ring with a smattering of lace.
Smell: Sweet malt, carmelized sugar, hint of butterscotch, mild spicecake spicing in the backgound.
Taste: Sweet sugary malt to start, thin and almost fizzy at the top, hop dryness leaves non-descript spicy aftertaste and gentle alcohol warmth.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, light-medium malt. Tingly carbonation.
Drinkability: Quite drinkable, not that memorable.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.44/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I tried this beer at both fridge cold and room temperature. Of the two choices, I have found that it tastes better when cold. When it pours into the glass, the head climbs up high to the rim with small to medium bubbles. In fact, I'd say the head was uncharacteristic of a typical lager. I really enjoyed the rich, bold color of this lager and could hardly wait to dive into it after a long night at work. The taste is very clean. There isn't a lot of extra spices in there, which is something I've come to expect from winter brews. In fact, I was looking for more of a holiday beer. What I got was a very drinkable lager. After taste fades quickly even with massive swishing. This sealed the deal: if you buy a Samuel Adams holiday beer, buy the Uncle Fezziwig.

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

I had this brew poured in a pint glass very cold. The color was bright, clear amber, and there was a cm inch bright white head when the beer arrived at my table.

The aroma was dominated by floral hops and there were very faint traces of cinnamon. No caramel or other typical malt scents\

The first taste reveals a sharp fine carbonation and fairly thin mouthfeel. I notice a little malt sweetness but the brew is dominated by the hops.
Not a very heavy flavor or rich for that matter. I actually was hoping for a little more spiciness in the brew, but I did find it very drinkable and could have had more than my two very easily.

The finish was short and clean withonly a faint hop bitterness left in my mouth.

I would drink this again if out and about and best choice on tap but not sure if I would buy any bottles for home consumption.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – The body of this lager is brown and very clear. The head frothed up quickly and laced the glass as it went down.

Smell – The grain here came out nicely, which is a welcome surprise from an American brewery. The cinnamon, allspice, and sharp clove where terrific, and the toasty malts created a solid backbone.

Taste – The grain reserved itself for the finish, giving me a joyful mouthful of heavily spiced beer. There were some good maple notes along with toffee and a hint of cocoa. The light herbal bitterness brought up the rear.

Mouthfeel – Thin but a little better than light-bodied with little carbonation. The body was a bit light in the ass for the big flavors in this beer.

Drinkability – This is a solid entry into the Winter Warmer style.

Comments: I didn’t care at all for the 2003 offering, but the 2004 sample that I had was so above and beyond the ’03 that I completely rewrote the review.

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Photo of counselor
3.09/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark reddish brown and looked crisp with a 1" head of nice white foam. The beer's aroma differed little from the regular lager. Similarly, it tasted much the same as the standard Boston Lager, as I have found all Sam's to taste pretty much the same (almost as if the same yeast being used in all the lagers infuse the Boston Beer siwht the same over all fruity esters). There were no real winter flavors to speak of, no clove, spice, nuts, etc,. I always expect that a winter beer will provide some different flavors, though unfortunately, this Sam's did not.

It was very crisp and refreshing, however, and was easy to drink - wouln't be a bad intro beer for a winter style, shich, I think Sams has really become just that .. a micro-craft intro beer.

This beer was served ice cold and improved a little as it warmed, although because it went down so easily, maybe it didn't last long enough to show its true character.

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Samuel Adams Winter Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 1,948 ratings.
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