Samuel Adams Summer Ale | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

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

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
An American Wheat, brewed with malted wheat, lemon zest and grains of paradise - a rare pepper from Africa first used as a brewing spice in the 13th Century to create a crisp and spicy flavor and body.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-09-2001

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Reviews: 1,656 | Ratings: 5,445
Photo of ThisChucksDrinksBeer
1.12/5  rDev -66.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer smells like male cat urine. I had a male cat that used to urinate behind the TV and the aroma from this beer smells almost exactly like it. Sorry Sam, but this beer doesn't bode well in the summer heat especially when it smells like I am drinking male cat PP.

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Photo of jtstott
1.12/5  rDev -66.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Tasted like lemon dish soap in 2010. I had it on tap first thought I got a glass that was not rinsed well. Had it in a bottle recently after that, same disgusting taste.
I dared to take a sip this years batch and it still tastes like lemon dish soap!
Way to go Jim, keep putting out horrible beer!

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Photo of korguy123
1.18/5  rDev -65%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12oz into SA Perfect Pint
Overpriced 6er at LCBO for summer promotion.

A- Clear rich banana/straw pour. Half finger head disappears in the bat of an eye, lacing is minimal.

S- Oh goodness where to begin? Lemon rind, grass, dirty socks, chemical cleaner and throat lozenges.

T- Please taste better than it smells. Please taste better than it smells... Nope grass, lemon pledge, faint medicinal. Tastes like a cheap air freshener would taste.

M- Thin watery feeling to it. Carbonation is there but not enough to save the feeling of this beer.

WOW this beer is a train wreck IMO. I had to buy the 6er (Ontario only sells 6, 12 and 24. Unless otherwise noted) and this thankfully was my last. I wanted to give it a chance. I wanted to like it. I haven't had a bad SA yet. But my god this was an abomination... I feel like I should scrub my mouth out with a dirty toilet brush to get the taste out...

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Photo of FlatRabbitRed
1.33/5  rDev -60.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is the one you see in those cool commercials, with the special info on ingredients. Great Brewery, great commercial ... terrible beer... for me anyway!

I personaly do not like citrusy beers ... I love piney, bitter, sour, and extra hopped beers... but not citrus. My butt lips puckered the next day after drinking this! Not cool.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
1.42/5  rDev -57.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

On-tap at Red Mesa Cantina

A - Pours a pale gold with a good head and lace.

S - It smells unpleasantly perfumed and chemical-y.

T - The flavor is not much better, the perfume is transformed into a bad spiciness that is quite is quite similar to Raid bug spray.

M - Limp.

D - There are a lot of bad beers in the style, but this one is really horrid.

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Photo of Beerwithoutallthehops
1.47/5  rDev -56.4%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

While I do not like hops much, if at all, I understand they are necessary for beer. With that, I find it typical American thinking that if a little hops is good - tons of hops MUST be "better". And, so, we have the American craft beer scene. Too many with too much hops. Malt anyone???? FORBIDDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ask Budweiser, they have dropped grains altogether and use rice. It makes a wonderfully NOTHING beer taste. At least, they think, people buy it. No, not so much any more...........

With all of that, I have been trying more beers that have a lot of hops, just to expand my taste spectrum. Perhaps, I have been too "intolerant" and am a "hater" of hops. It couldnt be that I just prefer malts??? Nope, I am a "hater". A nod to the goofy, liberal, political, moronic thinking that captivates our local, state and fed govts.

So, I tried this Sam Adams ale. Why? Because Adams is known for their light editions of most beers. Like Bud, they appear to believe that making a beer that tastes like a beer is "bad". They prefer to water it down so that any taste is gone. I figured, I may as well try a watered down version, rather than a HOPFEST of a beer that floors me with its bitterness.

This beer had a decent aroma. Its color was beer-like. Its taste was like lemon furniture polish. Sorry, that is a bit strong, but the subtle- yet distinct- lemon taste reminded me, CLEARLY, of what polish smells like. Other than that? It wasnt too bad. I forgot it is a wheat ale. It tastes almost like nothing. I usually do not like wheat, but this one tasted like nothing. No real wheat aroma, taste or aftertaste. Tip your hat to BUD, Samuel, you have arrived at the "do not offend customers with taste" zone. Bland, tasteless and water like - that is the goal???

I will not buy this again.

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Photo of rye726
1.6/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This certainly is a PALE wheat ale. As if most wheat beers are note pale enough already. Pours a hazy straw and has an ample white head. The nose has some sweet wheat malts and light citrus fruits. The flavor profile is more of the same. Light body is over carbonated. As said, pretty light, even for the style.

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Photo of Boozefox
1.61/5  rDev -52.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I really didn't care for this beer. It damn near became a sink-pour. It was like a weak, unflavorful, American macro lager-like hefeweizen without any of the good traits of real Hefes.

A: Looks like a hefe, almost, but it's a little light, a little thin, and filtered.

S: Smells kinda peppery. Almost like it has some wheat malt body. But then, it's all a bit thin on the nose.

T: Bad and boring, in that order. Unpleasant alcohol taste with an almost corn malt. Washed out by sour wheat and thin pepper and banana flavors. Almost like the Nega-Hefe.

M: Thin. Watery. Boring.

D: PleaseGodNo.

Gotten out of the Sam Adams Variety Pack.

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Photo of BostonBeanBoy
1.62/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

i kept thinking, this beer must be amazing cause they have draft lines for it all over, but then i found out they were just undercutting all the small breweries on prices to steal their lines. it makes the beer taste even worse than it is.

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Photo of elgiacomo
1.71/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

12oz bottle.

Pours cloudy yellow with a tiny white head that dissipates quickly. No lacing.

Aroma is lemon Pledge.

Flavor is a lemon gumdrop sprayed with lemon Pledge. Very artificial smelling and tasting beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation.

Did not enjoy this at all. Most went down the drain. The aroma in particular is just repulsive....

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Photo of pressman57
1.71/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a cracked jelly-jar from a 12 oz. bottle. Medium head and lacing.

Couldn't get any smell from it. Would have been nice to get a little warning.

I thought I'd had bad beer before- Colt 45, Pearl that had "turned"- but this one beat them all. Imagine a glass of goat urine with a lemon-rind pitched in. It's baaad.

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Photo of bobhits
1.77/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I once saw someone reference 312 as one of the best American wheat beers. That is a barely drinkable (only can be done because it is mostly water) beer on a good day. Clearly the bar is low enough for sam adams to at least be interesting by style even if the style is shooting for a C+ when done to perfection. Mind you I don't understand the need for all these different styles.

Pours an impressive amount of head, tall and white, with no lacing and lasts about 45 seconds. There is something amazingly disappointing about a well filtered wheat beer. Really, isn't half the fun of a wheat to see some yeast cloudiness? If the beer has some color I'm fine with clarity, and it is even impressive in say a barely wine, but a wheat?

The aroma is of lemon zest, grains, and a hint of alcohol/spice (yes the two are mingled together).

Oddly the problem here for me are the spices. This beer is almost attempting to get into the Belgian world of spices and it isn't called for. The lemon flavors work well enough, but that is in large part because they are backed by paper thin malt flavors. The malt is rather dry and has grain flavors, but it is mostly over powered by the spices and the lemon flavors. A touch more malt a hair less spices and you'd have a pretty respectable American wheat ale. The mix we have here though fails and again we're talking about a style that lends itself to being just darn bad. Why is it the Germans create wonderful wheats and Americans brew this?

The beer has too much carbonation and the spice bite isnt' really refreshing which I assume was the goal here. It is dry enough to be nice on a really hot day, but there are countless beers that do this better.

I bought the summer mix pack because it was hot and I felt like a summer beer. Sadly I'm reminded why I avoid Sam Adams's attempts at summer beers. They really don't have enough character, depth, and being flawless in execution of a bad beer isn't really something to hang your hat on.

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Photo of kingcrowing
1.79/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle poured into a hefe glass.

Pours a slightly hazy golden wheat color with a Jin white head. No lacing but light carb bubbles. Nose is gross, it's sharp an medicinal.

Taste isn't much better than the nose. It's also medicinal and all sorths of weird flavors I'm not Shure what's going on here but it isn't good.

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Photo of EgadBananas
1.79/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Looks pretty good. Hazy golden color, with a nice little pronounced white head.

Theres a bit of citrus, and a slight bit of breadiness.

Slightly malty, with a bit of lemon zing, not much though. There is a hint of pepper as well. Average is the best descriptor I could use here. But I don't like it.

Upper light in body, light carbonation, fairly smooth.

It's not hard to drink, per say, but the taste is funky to me and I didn't care for it.

EDIT: After having this prior to anything else today, as opposed to after a few others previously, The true awfulness came through! Nearly couldn't finish it. Looks ok, and tastes awful, average body, undrinkable.

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Photo of tophers
1.79/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

a: Creamy white head that is fairly long lasting. Medium gold in color. Hazy

s: Strong wheat and tangerine smell. Earthy undertones. Sweet smell. No hop aroma. The tangerine was intense and not the most pleasant.

t: I'm picking up a good amount of diacetyl. Leaves a bit of puckering in the back on the tongue. The puckering tastes like lemon seeds.

m: Medium light body, low carbonation.

o: Diacetyl doesn't fit into this style, and the puckering taste is unpleasant. Don't like rating this beer so low, but there are some serious flaws with this.

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Photo of bboven
1.84/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Light straw color, high carbonation but no head.

Lemon and medicine. I rally can't elaborate any more.

I had to force my throat to accept this beer.

Respectable mouthfeel; the carbonation helps a lot in this aspect.

I didn't like this beer, but this is only the second time I've been disappointed with a Sam Adams offering, so I really hate to give Jim a bad grade.

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Photo of Taibiz
1.85/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Updated from 2006. The quality of this brew has dropped significantly. When I reviewed in 0
'06, the taste was light - definitely not a hoppy brew, but nice on a warm night. Not sure what the brewer did, but the taste has changed (or I've moved to a higher beer awareness). Would not recommend.

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Photo of streetcommander
1.86/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A. Very nice. Looks refreshing. Mild haze.

S. Average. Nothing standout. Smells well balanced.

T. Terrible. I'm a big SA fan, and this is very swillish. Tastes like generic stale wheat bread, fried chicken, and cheap cologne, with a lemon scented Pledge finish.

Webster defines the word "Heinous" as; surprisingly or shockingly evil.

Heinous is well suited to this beers description.

M. Average.

D. Do you like drinking urine?

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Photo of righthereisay
1.87/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Very dissappointed. Not sure what Sam Adams was doing with this one.

I thought the "grains of paradise" were way too overwhelming on this one. Couldn't really taste the "wheat malt and lemon zest" as advertised.

Definitely will never buy this again. Couldn't wait to finish the case (my dog said no)

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Photo of Mebuzzard
1.88/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

What a difference between the tap and bottle.
This poured a light golden body with a thin film that was supposed to be the head. Is this the same beer as from the bottle?
Smell? Nothing, maybe a hint of citrus, maybe. Gave it 2.5 cuz the smell isn't bad, just isn't really noticeable.
Taste is awful. Stale hops, malt, citrus. Nothing fresh or refreshing. Too sweet if anything. this must have been a keg from last year. It ain't good. Blah

 443 characters

Photo of Diane_Brew
1.91/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

A: Foggy. Giggle. Cookie. Almost got whipped. I can't believe how mad people here are getting. Orangey-coloured. Not very appealing. Liked it better in the bottle. Ugly bottle. Yellow is the worst colour but I kind of like the turquoise at the bottom.

S: Too beery. It went up my nose. I can taste the lemon peel and it's not a good smell.

T: Too bitter and bubbly. Like a bubbly with a flatness.

M: Very bubbly and almost painful. Do not swish around in your mouth. Gives out burps. It repeats.

Overall: Very very nasty.

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Photo of Auroraboy
1.92/5  rDev -43%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I'm afraid this one just does not agree with me. Maybe it's just me, but the lemon/citrus taste is gnarly.Gave me a rotten case of heartburn, which I've never gotten from any other beer, even from adding real lemon or lime to Mexican beers. To me, doesn't compare well to the other Sam Adams brews I've sampled. Would not buy again.

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Photo of vividox
1.93/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

The appearance was pretty typical of a summer brew, poured with a little bit of head that faded quickly. Smell was average for a similar beers. The taste was something I wasn't expecting at all, it was very tangy and was almost a chore to swallow after awhile. The mouthfeel was usual, but the tanginess was very undesirable and made the drinkability score pretty low too. I will definitely not be picking this one up again.

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Photo of vrushing88
1.93/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I've had this beer every summer for the past several years. The one thing I must remark on before getting to the actual review is the consistency. There is none. I don't mean the recipe changes each year, but it seems like it changes several times a season. If that isn't the case, then this beer just radically changes with time, or environment. Usually one can tell when a recipe is changed or they can at least notice the taste difference in draft/bottle, but it still is identifiable as the same beer. In my honest opinion, with the most recent batch I've tasted (four or five separate bottles), I wouldn't even be able to say it's the same beer.

This beer is a wheat beer, but looks nothing like a wheat beer, it is extremely clear (for even an American Wheat) it pours a pale-yellow body with a decent head.

The smell is very zesty, not a bad smell, I just don't particularly care for it. I find it a bit overpowering.

The taste is hard to comment on for the aforementioned reasons. Overall it has a spicy lemon taste with a bit of wheat malt mixed in.

The beer is light in feel, but it burns because of the spice and carbonation.

Overall this is a decent beer at times. I would recommend working through a six-pack to decide if you like it or not.

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Photo of Jesse13713
1.95/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 22oz into a De Koninck chalice

Appearance - A murky orange. Very citrusy and orange looking. Decent lacing with a light, thin froth at the top. Appears very watery.

Smell - A bit of foul malt. Light citrus. Faint lemon. Nothing too special here.

Taste - Reminds me of funky belgian brew. Lightly sour with a pinch of lemon. Malt is non-existent. Light grain and clove spice.

Mouthfeel - Not very refreshing for a summer brew. The wheat does not collide well with the citrus, creating the funky belgian yeast quality I am referring to. Light bodied, bland, and very watery.

Overall - Nothing special here. I'll probably finish my glass, but I'm not sure if I'll finish the second half of the bottle.

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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.37 out of 5 based on 5,445 ratings.
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