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

1,658 Reviews
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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: 1,658 | Ratings: 5,457
Photo of Vetbidder
3.71/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Love hazy look to this brew. Somewhat muted malt scent with slight citrus and sweetness in there somewhere too. Mostly malt flavored with lemon and slight spice. Medium in body and carbonation. A sold beer.

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Photo of q33jeff
2.04/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2


AROMA: Lemon, mold.
LOOK: pasty yellow color, chalky head
TASTE: Both sweet and sour notes are fighting each other.
FEEL: Sluggish, like a wet sponge. Heavy in the stomach for a summer ale. Not Pleasant.

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Photo of BigGold
3.54/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

First had at last regular-season Mississippi Braves minor league game, as other kegs were floated, on draft into opaque plastic beer cup. Before drinking, only remembered I had previously avoided. Then discovered odd lemon and heat, and underdtood why. Still, quaffable with hotdogs on a hot afternoon at the ballpark.

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Photo of FBarber
2.87/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours orange, clear and syrupy. Lots of bubbles. Almost no head.

Smell is faint but there are some malt and spicy notes. Completely subjective but thing about this aroma says summer. It's just malty and muted.

Taste has notes of malt, hint of spice, caramel and toffee notes with a hint of spicy hops on the back end. Simple but inoffensive taste.

Feel is extremely carbonated - bit much. Kind of thick and syrupy for the style.

Overall this beer is super malty and. It summery at all. Far too thick and syrupy.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz draft pour into a mug.
Hazy dirty orange colored body floating minimal, and disappearing, white head.
Aroma has some lemon peel and wheat. Flavor matches with a little something extra. Grains of paradise, huh? Ok, sure. Now I know.
Light feel with moderate carbonation and a lemon dry finish without astringency.
This is not going to assault anyone's pallate. Very refreshing.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy light orange with copious soapy foam which quickly resolved with moderate effervescence. Smell is muted, orange, lemon zest, roasted malts. Tastes sweet malts forward, orange, lemon, transitioning to a rather smooth finish with only slight hoppy pine notes to balance the sweetness. Smooth, light to medium body with an almost soapy texture, good amount of carbonation
Overall, a pretty good summer beer- similar to blue moon - a wit beer with orange already thrown in- not bad - I wouldn't seek it out- but wouldn't turn it down on a hot dau

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Photo of ABabbidge
2.54/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

L: Quickly disappearing head. Murky, brownish-orange color.

S: Spicy smell that I can't quite pinpoint. Perhaps that's the grains of paradise? Some lemon as well. Not a big fan.

T: Get the same strange spice taste that I picked up in the smell, and I just don't like it. A little bit of citrus and some bitterness but it is all masked by the strange spice.

F: Moderate carbonation and pretty full bodied feel.

O: Overall not that impressed. Too much spice, couldn't taste much lemon which I think might help it.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a variety 12-pack $14.99 Safeway
Slight hazy golden color
Light mouthfeel
Medium carbonation
Citrus taste, light and refreshing, easy drinking
Overall a nice beer for hot days. I would buy again.

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Photo of obywan59
3.32/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Yellow to golden orange in color depending on the light. A 2 finger off white head.

Lemon and spice on the aroma.

Taste of light sweet malts with lemon zest and spicy grains of paradise.

Creamy and smooth with decent carbonation. Drying in the end.

A pleasing easy drinker,and a good beer for hot weather.

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Photo of Spike
2.7/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 355ml bottle.
Hazy, orange/yellow with visible carbonation but only a thin smear of head.
Light, lemon washing-up liquid smell.
Light, lemony taste with just a hint of wheat.
Almost medium bodied with a reasonable level of carbonation. Otherwise, very little mouthfeel to speak of.
Resolutely bland. With just a hint of something not quite right.

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Photo of mmmbeer89
3.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Nice hazy look, the smell isn't very pleasant at all but luckily it doesn't taste like it smells. It has that similar taste of lots of spices like a lot of sam adams beers do with lemon being the most prevalent flavor in this beer.

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Photo of Kubishark
3.36/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy and orange. Doesn't smell like much, but definitely like wheat. Tastes wheaty and spicy and like lemon rind. It's good, but not as refreshing as I'd expect a summertime release to be. Same with the feel, it's almost medium bodied. Overall I don't think I've had a bad beer from Sam Adams, but I probably won't be buying a six pack of this anytime soon.

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Photo of JRed
2.52/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark orange in body with fading white bubbly head. Aroma of spicy Apple bread, lemon zest. Tastes of bready notes, spice, apples, lemon zest, mild pine. Light bodied with medium carbonation.

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Photo of AleMan66
2.85/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I poured this from a bottle into a cleat teardrop glass. It pours a murky golden with a 1 1/2 finger white head. It smells of lemon and tastes of lemon zest with some hops. Not a very satisfying taste. It's been done, and mostly done better by other brewers. Nothing special.

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Photo of Sheppard
3.27/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a turbid hazy golden. Citrus aroma. I've seen dramatic difference in batches year to year. 2016's seems to have less of that band aid character and is heavy on the lemon peel. The wheat shines a little more and it more tastes like a beer with citrus peel than it does a citrus beer, if that makes sense. The base shines more. Overall, it's a refreshing summer beer, but with questionable consistency bottle to bottle.

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Photo of lastmango
3.05/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured a light hazy golden color. One finger white head that dissipated quickly. Aroma was mostly faint lemon and pepper. Taste is the same, emphasis on light, with a hint of hops on the end. The beer is light and crisp with moderate carbonation. Overall, The beer is drinkable but unremarkable.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Has some golden colors with plenty of haze running through it. 1/2" white head. Lemon like aroma.

Again, lemon stressed in the flavor, light amount of wheat in the mouthfeel. Definitely is geared to summertime. Lots of carbonation.

Its fine, just fine.

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Photo of CalebBedford
3.26/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into a Sam Adams "perfect pint" glass. Nice, golden color. Medium head on pour, sticks to side of glass as it goes down. Slight hint of a citrus smell in the nose. First few sips, not much going on. Halfway through the glass, slight hint of the lemon peel comes into play. A little bitter. Not a big fan of this one, personally, although I could see it being more enjoyable on a hot day.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This pours a hazy dark yellow / orange color with a fairly thin white head that quickly dissipates. The scent is fairly neutral with only a faint wheat hint. The primary taste is wheat, but citrus, grains of paradise, and hop bitterness is also present. In particular the hops linger a bit in the aftertaste. The finish is a little bit dry, but not overly so. The body is medium. I think that this is a pretty nice addition to the Summer Variety Pack. It isn’t the most refreshing summer beer I have ever had and it isn’t anything super complex or revolutionary, but it definitely has a nice flavor and I actually appreciate that it is a little bit bolder than the standard summer fare from Sam Adams.

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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 theBubba
2.24/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Looks nice on the pour. Light golden color with somewhat of a head that, like most craft beers that have gone "big beer," quickly disappears. (Why do you suppose that is?) Taste? A little tart which is fine for a supposedly refreshing summer beer, but sadly there is a bitterness I attribute to brewing with the lemon rind (the white part) and not the zest which takes more work and costs more, and of course the choice and quantity of hops. A summer beer should be clean and refreshing. No bitterness please.

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Photo of Lewnanny
3.79/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A real nice fruity tasting beer. This beer is nice to drink on every occasion. It is very refreshing and taste real nice. The 5.3% make it just strong enough so that you feel this one even with it's sweet taste.

Would recommend this one to any one that want to have a nice beer.

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Photo of AlfaMale
3.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is a great beer to drink ice cold while watching the ballgame. It's smooth and flavorful without being over the top and just a hint of sweetness. The African spice adds an interesting note. Probably great for your less sophisticated beer drinking friends looking to advance beyond a Bud Light.

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Photo of Pantalones
3.54/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Second bottle from the variety pack. "Best before" month listed is September, no bottling date as far as I can see.

Pours a light golden color, color is a bit darker and slightly hazy once in the glass. Clear enough that I can see the bubbles rising, though, and there are a lot of them. A decent little head of white foam on top at first, with audible fizziness, but this quickly fades away to a very thin coating on top which has already started to vanish entirely, with just a ring around the edges of the glass and a little crescent-moon-shaped thin layer on top remaining. After a few sips only the ring remains. Bubble activity seems to have slowed its pace a bit at this point, too.

Smell is primarily wheaty more than anything else. A slight hint of sweetness in the background. Wheaty malt and a bit of yeast in there, it seems; nothing else really stands out smell-wise. Actually is reminding me quite a bit of the smell of wheat bread now that I think about it, which is making me hungry. After a few sips I'm also picking up a very slight pepperiness in the background. Guess I'll have to bump this score up just a bit from what I had originally planned.

Taste is similar to the smell -- definitely a wheat beer. Yeast is more present in the taste than the smell, lending an almost banana-like taste reminiscent of a very mild hefeweizen or some Belgian styles. Bit of a dry wheaty thing on the end, maybe a faint little hint of spice in there too. Around the halfway point that slight peppery spice becomes a bit more prominent, though it's still the wheat and yeast that are the most noticeable flavors for me. That spiciness does continue to build up more and more toward the end, which adds a bit of depth to the beer. I was honestly expecting the lemon to be more noticeable, given how much yellow is on the packaging and how lemon zest is mentioned in every description of the beer, but I can't really pick it out at all most of the time -- maybe just a tiny bit, but it gets lost in the wheat and yeast flavors and blends in so thoroughly it's hard to pinpoint.

Feel is pretty nice -- it's not super light or watery, actually feels fairly substantial; wheat beers seem to have that quality to them I've noticed. It is a bit bubbly, stopping just short of prickly. Mostly dry, doesn't linger around for long once you finish taking a drink, and it's definitely a very drinkable beer -- good for taking big gulps but also not so light that smaller sips feel weird.

Overall, while not anything really spectacular this is a decent little beer, and certainly works well as a tasty refreshing lighter drink on a hot summer day (which makes sense seeing how it's their summer seasonal beer that comes back year after year.) Comparing to the only other Sam Adams wheat beer I've had -- Coldsnap, the spring seasonal for this year -- this is definitely the better of the two. I'm actually kinda wishing I had another bottle now -- guess it may have grown on me a bit since the first one!

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Photo of BlakeA85
3/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy yellow gold.
Smells of wheat and a light touch of lemon.
Taste is bland, starts with a light lemon to nothing but wheat malt. Just really boring.
Mouthfeel is more thicker medium bodied.
Overall, A really really boring brew that I found pretty disappointing.

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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.37 out of 5 based on 5,457 ratings.
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