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 Lahoi
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was pleasantly surprised. Mr. Adams has been letting me down as of late, but not this time.

Copper color with creamy head.

Smell and taste fit the description on the carton: citrus, cinnamon, and some ginger. Has a bit of hop bite, which was nice.

Feel is fitting of a bock.

Overall, I good winter beer.

 310 characters

Photo of Parmesan
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Golden Amber color that pours with a large creamy brownish head.

Smell: Lemon peel, some orange and cinnamon, don't get a lot of ginger, little bit of hop and malt.

Taste: Very similar to the smell. Lots of orange and cinnamon.

Feel: Light body with. Medium carbonation.

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Photo of Samlover55
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

best by April 16
12 ounce bottle poured into Boston Lager glass
L- pours a nice amber red, has a decent head that dissipates leaving a ring of foam
S- sweet caramel, cinnamon, slight hint of orange peel
T-caramel malts, notes of spices cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, a little hoppiness on the finish leaves a slight aftertaste of the hops
F- light bodied and carbonation causes tingling on tongue and lip
O- just not a good beer from Samuel Adams this is my 4th of a 6 pack just dont see it despite my love for everything Sam

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I was really concerned when I saw that orange peel and ginger were major ingredients in this brew, since I've had bad experiences with both of those in other beers. Fortunately, they're both mild enough and well complemented by cinnamon to make a nice filling beer with a syrupy texture. Full bodied, with a noticeable level of malts.

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Photo of Willvoll
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I drank this beer a lone in my room. As I sipped it I was overtaken by this warmth. It comforted me. I turned around and realized it was shrek. What came after was numbed by the warm alcohol in this beer, and it went well with Shreks pungent onion love. Decent winter lager

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Photo of mlockman
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looked and smelled so much like a Yuengling lager that the waiter actually inadvertently confused/switched the orders at our table. The palate and mouthfeel follows the look and aroma: no more exciting than a standard macro lager.

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

LOOKS: Very clear, red-amber, small bubbles streaming up. Nice creamy tan head that lingers.
AROMA: Smells a lot like the Boston Ale, was surprised that this uses German hops, from the aroma, I thought it was English varieties. LOTS of that SA malt in the aroma, not picking up any added spices.
TASTE: Very malty, caramel, toasted bread. On the very back end, some very slight cinnamon. I really have to use my imagination to detect the ginger or nutmeg they use.
MOUTHFEEL: Light to medium, not creamy, but not dry either. Carbonation is fairly light.
OVERALL: It's a decent overall lager, an above average beer.
Update: 12/23/15... had on draught today. Very fresh tasting. A noticeable difference from the bottle I had, it popped! Still not much in the way of added spices, but very fresh and tasty...worth a bump.

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Photo of Strat58cat
2.9/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is another beer that starts Samuel Adams fans down the path of only drinking Boston Lager. Sure, it looks so good that you can almost taste your hopes for what it is. Plus, you've heard about how they add spices in this lager, and brew it up with a heavy malt, so that it's a true winter beer from the winter environs of Boston. It may be the first seasonal you drink from Samuel Adams, because of all the promised goodness. Then you drink it and it's like . . . wtf? Damn! I shoud've just had a Boston Lager.

This is another old-school, "big" beer from Samuel Adams, but by "big" they mean a big beery malt. Beery Malt? Really? It is extremely lightly hopped (22 ibu) compared to today's beers, or even the original Boston Lager. The spice that they talk about adding during brewing is barely detectable. After trying this one, nobody could blame you if you decided to drink only Boston Lager. However, they do make White Christmas, which is pretty good.

The look, as with many of the beers from Samuel Adams, shows their attention to quality ingredients. It's a deep copper color. The head foams up very abundantly and laces very abundantly. Looks good!

When you snuff in the aroma, however, you realize that something may be amiss. There's just not much to it. Forget about a powerful aroma of grapefruit, pine or any of the other hallmarks of a modern IPA - of course. Also forget about the ineffable scent of paradise that you get in a Boston Lager. It's basically just a meh smell of beery malt. There's a barely detectable hint of cinnamon spice in the mix, but it's about a 1 on a scale to 10. Uh, oh.

The taste confirms that damn! I should have just ordered a Boston Lager. It's malt. That's the flavor - beery malt. Now I'm not talking about a Lagunitas Sucks multi-layered, syrup-thick complex of flavor combining sweetness and spice. I'm talking about a powerfully beery malt. "Beeaahh" as a Beantown resident might say. Time has sort of passed by that so-so flavor. The spice is really not contributing much. It may smell great when they brew it, but it doesn't do much for me.

The feel is fine. It's not super-thick feeling, but far from watery. With the powerfully beery malt flavor, the consistency is pretty substantial. The carbonation seems medium.

Overall, time has passed by this approach to craft beer. Perhaps as a reaction to the watery beers of the giant brewers, Samuel Adams brewed a hugely beery-malt of a beery malt beery malt. Did I mention it tastes like beery malt? Pass.

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Photo of CincyScot
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I am always kind of disappointed in this beer from Sam Adams. Indeed I like MOST of their beers...but this one always seems to have a bitter aftertaste and just doesn't quite get it for me.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

355 ml bottle B and M stores, Bristol - Pours clear amber with a large creamy head. Strong carbonation. Nice amount of lacing. Smell - caramel overtones. Taste - fruit, malty, caramel. Very drinkable.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

So you have a dark amber body and a slightly off white head that does mostly stick
not huge flavours but both pleasantly toffee without being sickly
a better than average brew Not a tribute
but an acknowledgement

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Photo of berkeleymaw
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not as hefty in malt or mouth as a bock should be, but good for its price. I guess that's why they call it a "winter lager" instead, so perhaps I'm being unfair.

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Photo of SoulFroosh
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sam Adams do these nice beers, but their Boston Lager will always be king.

Drinking through a case of this (as nice as it is) just makes me want the original lager.

Basically what I'm saying is: if you want a nice warming winter lager, go revisit their original Boston Lager. It's delicious.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.61/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - amber/copper color with off white head

Smell - caramel, nutmeg, cinnamon

Taste - much the same as the aroma - caramel at the forefront and some spices like nutmeg and cinnamon bringing up the rear

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, higher level of carbonation, slight sweetness upfront, a bit of bitterness from the carbonation on the back end

Overall - an inoffensive lager that is a good change of pace from some of the heavy hitters that craft has to offer

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Photo of FrostyStephen15
4.31/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this out of a bottle a few days ago. It's a bit bitter, but balanced by nice malt sweetness and a fair bit of spice (cinammon maybe?) and it tastes absolutely fantastic. Pairs well with seafood, for what it's worth.

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Photo of bongobeer
3.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep caramel brown (BEER BOTTLE) color with mild spiced malt smell. The taste is a mild malty sweetness, some ginger and other spices. A good winter beer with a light-med. body and very drinkable!

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Photo of Joe_Howard
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

you can definitely taste the spices, which were pleasant but overall the flavors are a little too strong in my opinion. this is definitely a bold brew. not my favorite holiday beer but it's alright

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Photo of Mooslerfitness
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I like this for some reason maybe because im cold taste fruity not like orange though has little spice ginger and very little cinnamon
Half finger head leaves in a hurry poured into a wide mouth goblet blood orange in color overall this is a good brew

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Photo of Cjstoutlover
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rust copper color on pour ! More of a wheat taste than a hops taste! Drank out of a bottle. Poured into a glass head lasted about 30 sec. Bubbles semi present on pour! A good lager not all world but not every beer is

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

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, clear, deep, amber color with a half of a finger of white-colored head that slowly dissolved into a nice lacing of foam that covered the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Lots of toasted malt and notes of freshly baked bread. Notes of brown sugar, some nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and orange peel. Very inviting.

Taste: Lots of toasted malt up front, giving off strong notes of freshly baked pretzels, followed by some brown sugar-like sweetness and some slight citrus flavors of lemon and orange. I’m not getting much in the way of savory spices, but the beer finishes with some nicely balanced hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.6%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a good winter beer. Good balance between malt and sweet and hops. Very drinkable.

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Photo of HoppyBastard
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a Shaker pint glass, date on bottom of can is "JUN 2015".

APPEARANCE: pours a clear amber color with one-finger off-white head that dissipated slowly until a thin, almost unbroken layer of small bubbles remained, medium carbonation and some lacing was present on the glass.

SMELL: molasses, bread, spice, subtle to the nose.

TASTE: the taste is initially sweet molasses, this is a malt forward beer, next there is a mild hop bite with some spice, the last note is the orange citrus, there was a slight metallic taste that was not appealing to me.

PALATE: this beer has a smooth mouthfeel, medium carbonation and body.

OVERALL: this beer looked better than it tasted, it was good but not great, I would probably not seek this one out again as there are better options available, Sam Adams makes a lot of beers but many are underwhelming.

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Photo of PorterPro125
3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type: 355 mL Bottle

A- Pours a deep reddish amber colour that is quite good looking. This is topped by about a finger width of dirty white head that quickly dissipates into a thin layer that lasts throughout the session. The head retention just plain sucks but other than that, Winter Lager is a great looking beer.

S- The aroma of this lager is fairly complex and I really dig it. Deep maltiness and a slight hop character that is finished off by cinnamon spice. Pleasant and inviting.

T- Identical to the smell but with the hops less pronounced. Well balanced and easily palatable.

M- Light to Medium body. Medium carbonation. Finish is fairly dry. Slightly astringent.

O- After only having access to Boston Lager and Latitude 48 IPA for the longest time, I have to say that I was a little excited when I saw Winter Lager on the shelf.
Overall, Winter Lager is a beautiful beer that sports a strong malt backbone that is well complimented by a cinnamon-like spiciness. Easy to drink and quite tasteful. I recommend.

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not particularly unique or memorable -- just a good, solid beer for a winter evening.

Scent of caramel with a little hay. Clean, crisp with decent amount of carbonation. Not as heavy or filling as a double bock but still some of the same rich taste with the malt dominating.

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Photo of PhilHeinricke
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I'm not a big Samuel Adams fan. Years ago when Coors was the best beer available, the addition of Samuel Adams Lager was like heaven, but now compared to IPAs and porters and microbreweries, Samuel Adams is just boring and unexciting.

My neighbor is a beer fanatic, and he has a keg in his man cave so when he invited us over for x-mas dinner, it was a no-brainer. The only problem is that he had just finished off a keg, and he hadn't replaced it so the only thing he had was this.

And I was pleasantly surprised.

This is good stuff. It's got a reddish hue to it with a head on top that you have to respect. It's a strong lager taste but with a cinnamon/ginger spice with it making it a pleasantly interesting taste.

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Photo of Wer34truh
3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A big head, with an amber dark body.

The taste is mostly of malt, with some ginger and caramel embedded. It's a approachable and enjoyable taste, without being complex. If you are looking for a deep winter warmer, this is not it. But it is a solid drinkable beer for the winter months.

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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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