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

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1,656 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: 1,656 | Ratings: 5,430
Photo of Sammy
3.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A smooth and even creamy drink for a summer afternoon. A bit of spice but otherwise nothing above ordinary in taste. Nice wheaty head, with beige colour. Muted citrus taste and aroma. Quite consistent creaminess which may be popular, but for me worth saving to add to hamburger.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.33/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear pale yellow color with a big 2 inch off-white head that fades to a thin cap. Random splotches of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smells of wheat, citrus zest, and spices. Taste of of wheat and spices with a slightly bitter citrus zest finish. Mild hop bitterness quickly fades between sips. This beer has a lower carbonation level with a crisp but slightly thick mouthfeeel. Overall, this is a pretty good Summer beer. My wife really liked this one so I bet this is going to be a staple in our fridge this season.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy and golden with straw hues. Single finger head.

S: Lemony and sweet. Some bread/wheat.

T: More of the same from the smell except less lemon and citrus and more bread. Spice notes

M: Refreshing and smooth. Mild to moderate carbonation. Light bodied.

Overall: One of the better summer ales. If you rate this for overall appeal, it falls in line with many of the others out there but for a summer ale, it is one of the better ones.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.85/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

underrated in my opinion. intriguing nose of fresh fruit juice, black pepper, and light malts. flavor is complex for a summer beer, some spice happening up front, followed by a lemongrassy citrus thing that isnt acidic but it is sharp. some hops in the finish, and the grains of paradise seasoning really adds some depth without being distracting. i like this beer a lot, always have. when its ice cold it is as good a summer beer as any, the malt profile is perfectly light, the body is light, the carbonation is right on, and its an easy 12pack on hot summer afternoon. i have very little to critique about this beer, maybe a bit of a funky aftertaste, but just keep sipping and its real good.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.65/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A lot of people I know really don't like this beer at all, they claim it's "too perfumey". I don't really feel that this beer is a bad summer brew at all. The beer pours out as a hazy yellow color with decent sized white head that leaves a pretty nice lacing. The smell of the beer is bright and fresh, it's got some lemon in there and perhaps a few spices on the nose. The taste is a citrusy and grainy blast of freshness. It's a little sweet and it's got a good balance of fruit and beer. The mouthfeel is very easy going. lightly carbonated and soft. This beer is a great for a hot day in the summer to kill off the heat. I wouldn't drink a lot of these in a sitting but one here and there is usually enough.

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Photo of metter98
3.41/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy pale yellow in color and has a high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense white head that died down, consistently leaving a thick coating of bubbles on the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: The smell has faint aromas of wheat and yeast along with some hints of spices. As the beer warms up, the spices become a bit more prominent.
T: The taste has flavors of wheat and subdued notes of spices from the grains of paradise.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and can be considered a bit refreshing but the taste is not that interesting, except that the grains of paradise prevent it from being bland.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.1/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A basic and fundimental summertime refresher. Similar to a standard blonde ale (with a grain and pilsner flavor under a light, carbonated body). This beer has an added citrus (lemons) with a mild peppery, spicy flavor. A mild haze illudes to a very pale wheat addition that helps with a breadiness and sweetness that disquise the grain flavors. Still, the body fades into a watery brew fairly quickly, but adds to the drinkability. A mild grain, citrus, and hop character persists into the finish. It's ok beer, but I prefer many other Sam Adams' beer more.

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Photo of brentk56
3.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours a hazy pale golden color with a nice head that displays good retention and deposits gobs of foam around the pint glass

Smell: Smells like a bowl of Wheaties with a spritz of lemon

Taste: Starts with a definite light American wheat character that is quite bready, with a touch of lemon; after the swallow the flavor doesn't change much until the very end when the interesting peppery grains of paradise flavor kicks in

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Although the peppery finish adds an interesting twist, this beer just doesn't have enough other attributes to make me want to have another

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Photo of biboergosum
3.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle, kickin' back on my b-day off-day at the Metro. Only the second Sam Adams product to make it to the store shelves around here thus far, strange, that.

This beer pours a lightly hazy, pale golden straw colour, with three fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat soapy off-white head, which renders some droopy cloud lace around the glass in its short and sweet wake.

It smells of pale grainy and wheaty malt, lemon zest, orange Slurpee, a touch of spicy yeast, and leafy, grassy hops. The taste is sweet lemon-infused bready cake, pale wheat grain, a soft, earthy, kind of peppery spiciness, and plain as the day is long (and they're still pretty long, right now) leafy, musty hops.

The carbonation is average, just a wan frothiness for my trouble, the body far on the light side of medium weight, though soft, and somewhat airy in its smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the wheat malt keepin' 'er between the lines, with a bit of weakening lemon rind for good measure.

A simple wheat ale, nothing particularly remarkable, despite the pseudo-exotic guest spice ingredient. However, given my 'predicament' right now, this came off as pretty thirst quenching, and a worthy kick-off to wandering back out into the pavement-enhanced sunshine.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.85/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a clear golden color ale with a light foamy head with average retention and no lacing. Aroma of light wheat with some grain of paradise. Taste is a mix between some grains of paradise with some very light wheat. Taste is very dry with the spices also coming through. Light body with average carbonation. Malt base is just too light for this beer to be truly interesting.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.6/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served into a standard hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are moderate.

A: Pours a one finger head of no cream, bad thickness, and terrible retention (maybe 15 seconds at best). Colour is a transparent gold.

Sm: Light wheat, stale lemon, and light hops - maybe cascade? A mild strength scent overall.

T: Lemon grass, light wheat, and bad citrus ester hops. Light spice is present, which doesn't help the already poor balance. It's built strangely and poorly. I don't really care for it. Simple and a bit bland, if not slightly watery. The finish is poor.

Mf: Smooth and wet, and a bit too thick for the relative lack of flavour. Doesn't really suit the flavours.

Dr: Drinkable but low quality. The price is high considering the poor quality.

Low C-

03.16.15: Brief impressions below.

Pours a 6 finger wide head of off-white colour. Retention is great - easily ~7-8 minutes. Body colour is a hazy bright copper of average vibrance.

Aroma: Vague citrus, including lemon zest. Wheat. Some spice. Grassiness. I find Grains of Paradise when I search for them. Floral notes.

A muted aroma of average intensity. No yeast, alcohol or off-notes are detectable.

Taste: An unbalanced mixture of vague notes of lemon, grains of paradise, grassy and faintly floral hops, and wheat. Not gestalt, not particularly cohesive, and not complex or subtle.

Duration and intensity of flavour are average.

Texture: Unrefreshing. Smooth, wet, overcarbonated. Medium-bodied where it should be light-bodied. Overcarbonated.

Overall: A drinkable forgettable wheat ale with no redeeming characteristics. It'll get you drunk. Why hasn't Sam Adams retired this?

Low C

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nothing beats a nice Sam Adams Summer Ale on a hot day in June/July. So damn refreshing and crisp it is super drinkable. Has just enough of that lemon/citrusy kick at the end ot make it interesting but not too much. I look forward to every May when this begins to start rolling out.

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Photo of zeff80
3.6/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours out an orange/gold color. It had a nice foamy head. The beer smelled of lemon and citrus. The lemon flavor was complimented by the wheat taste and a hint of malt. The mouthfeel was pretty good, slightly grainy. It is a nice light brew for summer and very drinkable.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.08/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a light golden color with a decent amount of haze and a several finger white head, although this doesn't leave behind much lacing. Nose is a large dose of lemon and a lighter amount of spice. Taste is lemon, light spice, and a bit of wheat. Light body with moderate carbonation, although the spice takes over a bit. Not too much going on with this, and I would prefer it without the extra additions.

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Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I seem to like this brew more than many others,its on tap at alot of local places,so I get it alot.Pours a hazy orange/yellow color usually with a pretty decent head.The a roma is lightly spicey and of wheat malt pretty appetizing.Taste is very wheaty slightly fruity,I think its a pleasant highly drinkable ale,I think a bit underrated.

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Photo of nickfl
3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours with two fingers of bone white head resting on a clear, golden body. The head settles slowly and leaves light lace.

S - Honey-like malt aromas with a little bit of lemon and some grassy hops.

T - Lemon and coriander flavors up front with a bit of spicy grain character. More citrus in the middle with a hint of orange and some peppery phenolic notes. The pepper becomes kind of medicinal in the finish with grassy hops and moderate bitterness. A lingering, burnt toast and phenol aftertaste.

M - A moderately thick body, average carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish.

D - It starts out very promising with a nice, spicy and fruity character but things really fall apart in the finish. It gets really medicinal and almost burnt tasting with a stale spice character that lingers long after all of the pleasant aspects have faded away. Too bad really.

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Photo of mothman
3.72/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Pours two fingers of slight off white head. Fades down very quickly, but some of sticks to the glass as it goes down to a thin layer. Color is a a pale golden bronze. Very hazed over.

Aroma: Wheat, lemons, oranges, coriander, and I am guessing what I smell is the grains of paradise.

Taste:Very sweet and interesting blend of flavors. The grains of paradise are represented highly here then comes the wheat, lemons, oranges, and spice mix. It seems to be too sweet.

Mouthfeel: very crisp with a decent amount of carbonation and a light body. Ends with a sticky over spiced aftertaste.

Overall, this isn't a bad beer. It is just spicy sweet if that makes sense. It is drinkable, especially on a warm day, but that is about it. Nothing to exciting, but nothing bad either.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, best before 11/2014. Pours hazy bright golden color with a 1-2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of lemon, orange, apricot, pear, apple, coriander, pepper, wheat, cracker, bread, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt, spice, and yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, orange, apricot, pear, apple, coriander, pepper, wheat, cracker, bread, light honey, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Minimal herbal spice bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, orange, apricot, pear, apple, coriander, pepper, wheat, cracker, bread, light honey, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Good balance and robustness of pale malt, spice, and yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/yeast/spice balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 5.3%. Overall this is a nice spiced pale wheat ale style. All around good balance and robustness of pale malt, spice, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden body with yellow highlights. The short but creamy white head holds fairly well and leaves some minor lacing. The nose is interesting with a hint of lemon and some wheat. Medium bodied. Crisp. The flavor is similar to the aroma with clear notes of wheat and a lemony side. Some peppery spiciness helps to balance the malt, and a firm bitterness backs it. Well-made, enjoyable, and refreshing.

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Photo of mactrail
3.35/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sharp, heavily spiced light beer.

This is very educational. I didn't realize there was a pale wheat category-- let's call it Denatured Wheat. Strange that it's like a Wit-- wheat malt and the usual spices-- but quite different in taste. Citrus peel is pleasant until the bitterness takes hold. Oddly bitter with such a modest amount of malt to hang onto. Lots of flavor, but I wish it had less!

Another well-made and very light beer from BBC, though one of my least favorites. I think it is much improved mixed with Rampage DIPA.

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Photo of chinchill
3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle (BB date of August 2012 but stored chilled) served in a Sam Adams lager glass. A thin layer of sediment covers the bottom of the bottle.

Pours a hazy golden color with an ample white head that soon settles to a durable top coat. Some spotty lacing is left on the glass.

The aroma is yeasty and fruity, with too much hint of wet bread but overall mildly appealing.
The flavor is similar, sans wet bread, and has a light, zesty lemon feature like the nose. As often happens with "summer" beers, it is light on both flavor and body. On the other hand, it has a nice peppery spice kick and enough flavor to create a lingering, mainly malty/wheaty, aftertaste. Medium+ carbonation is clearly visible in the glass and moderately soft in the mouth.

O: one of the weaker offerings from Boston Beer, yet still at or slightly above average. [3.25]

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mildly murky goldenrod with sunshine yellow accents. The cream-colored head is large, finely pitting and hangs around a while. Unimpressive lace. The aroma is not what I had expected or hoped for. Summer Ale smells like a macro lager that's trying to dress itself up and pass itself off as a summer beer by adding a grating or two of lemon zest. The grain-like undertow is too pronounced to be completely covered up. It isn't a total loss, but I see definite room for improvement.

While the flavor is a bit better, it doesn't knock my socks off. Pale malt and wheat malt are dominant, but that same macro lager graininess is annoying the hell out of me. Citrus zest is now minimal and the spice load has been ramped up to moderate. The grains of paradise, used in both this beer and BBC's White Ale, don't seem to work as well here. The medium length finish gives a nod toward bitter, but is otherwise nondescript, and the light-medium body is just about right for a summer quaffer.

In terms of quality and enjoyability, Sam Adams beer covers a fairly wide range for me. While far from bad, this one is solidly in the bottom half. I'm not sure how often they change recipes, but Summer Ale is long overdue.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.87/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy, yellow-orange body with a full, though collapsing, off-white head.

Smell: Caramel-coated malted wheat aroma with a redolent peppery scent from the Grains of Paradise and an apparent note of lemons.

Taste: Slightly bready wheat malt with a with caramel sweetness present. Tastes of oily lemon peels and a coarse black pepper. A whirl of sweetened tropical fruit juices accompany a slight bitterness which, along with the peppery character, help to temper the sweetness. Drying, spiced finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine, refreshing summertime offering, Samuel Adams Summer Ale walks the fine line between delivering the goods on flavor and being super easy to gulp down.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Chelo's in Providence, RI, served in a large Weizen glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color, with an average-sized off-white head that fades normally and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of lemon, spice, caramelized malt & a little bit of hops, but overall isn't very strong.

T: A malty flavor with hints of lemon & spice hit you up front. Some hops are mixed in and there's the constant background of wheat. I've had this beer many times before, but not for a while and remember it being a little bit more bitter and a little less malty.

M: Very smooth & crisp, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, clean finish.

D: This beer goes down very easily and is quite refreshing & tasty, well-worth staying with, especially in places where Sam Adams & Sam Adams Seasonal are your only choices aside from macros.

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

First had: bottle from a friend's cooler

Pours a hazy golden with a nice white head that recedes fairly quickly to a thin layer of bubbles. Light malty aroma, lemony, grainy. Typical wheat bite in the mouth, with obvious lemon and peppery spice; a little harshness to it, but for a major label, not a bad beer. Good balance of flavors. Light bodied and easily drinkable; best in summertime...obviously.

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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.37 out of 5 based on 5,430 ratings.
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