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 stlfatguy
3.35/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pale yellow, slight haze, white head. Smell was fairly light, but you can catch the lemon and also some sweet malt. Taste was not what I expected. Base tasted like sweet malt. Faint lemon- pepper taste at the end. Feel wasn't really crisp. Was ready for a light summer ale, but this one has more going on. I think it's growing on me.

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Photo of puck1225
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On draught at a steakhouse. Cloudy yellow with thin head and no lacing. Good floral smell. Light pleasant taste of lemon and grass. It went well with the steak and ribs.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.29/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass. The color is a hazy, golden yellow with thin milk-white head and lacing. Sadly, not much of a nose. The taste features lemon, bready yeast, malt, and some sweet spice. I didn't taste the advertised pepper. For a light ale, it has a nice mouthfeel and is well-carbonated. Overall, it is a decent summer ale. I'd like to try it on draught. While I wouldn't seek this one out, it was refreshing on a hot day.

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Photo of NatsuruSenou
5/5  rDev +48.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled from the bottle ice cold.Not new to reviewing.
Smell is very citrusy and wheat like. It smells pretty good for a ale.
Look was only in the bottle. its hazy. From what i could see in the bottle it retains a head, for most of the drink.
Taste is what i like the most about this one. Very sweat. You can taste the grains of paradise, if you are attuned to pepper flavors. hast a spicy zest through the sip. I Had this and blue moon Belgian white, they are about the same with one definitive difference. Blue Moon has no spicy kick to it, and has very little after taste. This lingers around with a citrus taste and ends with a bitter finish. Very complex little seasonal beer. Would have again. Would be my summer drink.

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Photo of Savan
3.27/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Has the Benchmark appearance of a summer ale. Semi-Hazy golden straw. The aroma of lemon zest is most apparent. Not liking the taste as much at their porch rocker. Has, however a excellent crisp finish. Over all, i do not like summer beer styles so much, when I do have one I NEED the beer to have a great smell that embodies summer, and a taste that is crisp, yet refreshing... sessionable. This was some of that, but not all of that. Would not be a go to beer, but I have had worst.

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Photo of MikeCooke
3.04/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a darker yellow color with a quickly dissipating head. The smell has an overpowering lemon aroma. The taste is an up front citrus finishing with a spicy malty flavor. It's a light beer with some carbonation. My overall opinion of this beer is tainted due to my humble beginnings of beer drinking. I'll drink this beer when it's around. It's definitely a decent one but with more out there it's not always my first choice

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Photo of 911CROFT
3.6/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle into a conical 2/3 pint glass. Paid £12.99 for a pack of six.

Pours a hazy, dark, golden straw-coloured body with tons of visible, tiny streaming carbonation. A light, bubbly, one-finger in height, off white head reduces quickly to a patchy film, leaving a small amount of sticky, soapy lacing.

On the nose the main aromas are of malted wheat and crisp grains. Additional faint notes of lemon rind, light peppery spices and sweet tangy apricot are revealed as the beer warms. The taste is similar to the nose; sweet bready wheat leads initially, along with a solid lemon peel character and some lighter tangy apricot and tart fruit notes that enter towards the middle. Light grains and touch of spicy, peppery and citrusy hops leave a vaguely earthy, dry and woody finish. In the mouth it feels smooth, creamy and slightly chewy. Light to medium bodied with a soft carbonation that lasts until the bottom of the glass, it’s easy drinking, crisp and refreshing.

Overall this is a decent beer. It’s a little more complex then I was expecting but still refreshing and easily sessionable. If I was offered another bottle I would happily try it again but I can’t see myself committing to another pack of six.

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Photo of RyanK252
3.54/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass

A: Pours slightly hazy golden amber with a frothy off white head that quickly settles to a light layer and laces lightly.

S: Wheat, citrus zest, a little spice.

T: Bright citrus, almost lemonade like with some of the sweetness, plenty of wheat, and a little spice.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Not overly complex, but a very drinkable summer beer.

 419 characters

Photo of Chad_S
2.93/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice golden color which in my particular glass creates a quite attractive glowing gradient. Thin head which takes a bit of coaxing to get and leaves rapidly. Scent is nearly non-existent and taste follows suit. Quite bland. Nothing bad, but really nothing good...just nothing. Blind taste test agains water would be tough to tell them apart. Aftertaste is a bit more prominent with a bit of that "peppery" taste I was expecting.


The color really is quite nice. I'll give it that.

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Photo of D-HopSupreme
3.52/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy, deep yellow in appearance, with a very slight initial head formation, that does at least sustain. The scent is fairly weak, though what does come up is reminiscent of soft citrus fruit and pepper. Taste is surprisingly sharp in citric flavour, rather lemon-like, with a bit of wheat flavour kicking through. Finish is light, but a bit harsh. Overall fairly good beer.

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Photo of hopphead31415
3.41/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I love Sam Adams, but I don’t like the ideas of the summer ale variety in general, because they are session ales focusing on refreshing qualities. Wow! I should reword that sentence, but I’ll keep it, because it is funny, because I basically said I don’t like refreshing. Of course, that’s not what I meant, but I think my opinion will be clearer by reading the review below. Oh and this one has 5.3% ABV.

Look-It pours a hazy light golden yellow that is overwhelmed by head. You’ll have to wait for it to settle before pouring the rest. It settles into a one finger head that is very white and soapy. The beer is slightly hazy so it could almost pass for a Hefe.

Smell-It smells of honey-based malts and wheat.

Taste-It tastes slightly sweet with lemon and honey flavors that are the foundation. It is similar to a shandy. Wheat malts come through for sure and mild carbonation. Alcohol is almost absent.

Mouthfeel-Light body and smooth texture lending to the mild carbonation and deflated alcohol content. It is very drinkable if you like this style of brew.

Overall-Like I said, this is not my preferred style, but what do you expect from a hop head. I would definitely not turn down this beer at a pool party or at a beach if I was feeling in the mood. Enjoy this crisp and refreshing summer brew.

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Photo of TooGood
3.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a bright yellow with one inch head and minimal lacing. Smells like lemon and wheat grass. Taste is lemony upfront with slight bitterness on the back end. I typically enjoy this beer on hot summer days, as it is quite refreshing.

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Photo of TheBeerMaster1
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have a system. 1-2 are disgusting, 2.01-2.99 wouldn't be drain pours but no bueno. 3-3.49 I'd drink for sure but probably wouldn't buy on my own. 3.5-3.75 I'd buy if no beers I prefer are present. 3.76-3.99 I might drive out of the way to go get them, if it meant getting a beer that's better than what are present. 4-4.49 are amazing beers and I will definitely be buying in future. 4.5-5 are the elite, many will enter my mouth, very few will become legendary. Those are what it's all about! Oh yeah this one? It's good, not a fan of grains of paradise but it is something I may buy if nothing else woos me.

 611 characters

Photo of rickzim1
4.12/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is definitely a great beer for summer. It has a light, slightly citrus taste. Head is insignificant, carbonation is vigorous and AVB is just right for summer activities.

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Photo of October
2.78/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a semi-opaque light gold color with a finger of white foam that disappeared quickly. Smells of lemon and Belgian yeast. Taste is malt forward and fairly spicy. They went pretty heavy-handed with the grains of paradise. I can't really get over the taste. It's almost reminiscent of banana. In my opinion, Sam Adams doesn't do as well on these light, summery type beers as they do on their others.

 403 characters

Photo of The_Snow_Bird
2.11/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

A very light golden ale, with a medium white head on top. It has somewhat of a fruity-citrus kind of smell to it. It has a sour taste at the beginning finished off with a hoppy finish.

 184 characters

Photo of 57md
3.59/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a dark cloudy straw color with a very thin layer of head. The nose has some spice, most noticeably coriander. The flavor is typical of a summer wheat with a touch of orange and ginger to make it a touch special.

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Photo of Edmond-Bird
3.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Hazy pale yellow color. Billowing frothy head. Very distinct, pleasant lemony citrus aroma. Also smells grassy and bready. Taste is somewhat tart with notes of lemon and lemon rind. Soft bitterness appears towards the end. A decent summer beer.

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Photo of Nyg
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not a fan, like most summer brews this has the over kill of lemon fake flavoring added to it. It's light and crisp I just can't handle the over powering lemon

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

It looks like a wheat beer should. Slightly cloudy and pale gold. It smells like citrus, wheat and spices like maybe coriander. The taste is like a wheat beer with spices and lemonade drink mix. Not pleasing. It has a malt and wheat aftertaste that gives way to some peppery and spicy notes. It is okay but not great.

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Photo of PorterPro125
3.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type: 355 mL Bottle

A- Pours a hazy, light golden colour with a persistent, soapy, 1/2 finger head.

S- Subtle nose that sports a light lemony zest with a lot of wheat malt.

T- Wheat malt with a strong, lemonade taste. Comparable to a Shandy.

M- Light body and moderate carbonation. Excellent drinkability.

O- Good brew but not the type of lemony brew I was expecting from a well versed brewery like Samuel Adams. Lemon taste is strong and seems to be almost artificial. Great summer beer despite the "just okay" lemon taste.

 539 characters

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355 ml bottle served fairly cold into a pint glass. Purchased as part of a six pack so it works out to about $2.30 CDN for a bottle. Advertised as 5.5% ABV and fresh until June 2016.

Appearance - hazy and slightly orange in color. Nice finger plus of fluffy white head, some lacing to go along with good retention.

Smell - plenty of wheat, light citrus although there's also a sulphur aroma in there which is a bit strange. Not a big nose either.

Taste - wheat, apricot and maybe some peach. Mild bitterness as the sulphuric smell doesn't really show up on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel - smooth, creamy, medium-light body and moderate carbonation. Am easy drinking brew.

Overall - not a wow beer, but solid, drinkable and pretty light. A bit pricey for what you get, but it's not half bad either. Worth a shot.

 813 characters

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

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a hazy orange amber with a thin white head that dissipates to patches with light lacing. Aroma of wheat, light citrus and the woody spiciness of grains of paradise and hint of diacetyl. Flavor of grainy wheat, light biscuit malt, lemon citrus, apricot and a woody spiciness. Medium bodied with good carbonation. An different take on a pale wheat ale, with a more robust body that almost seems malty. The citrus and grains of paradise give a interesting interplay, but the the wheat and citrus do not support the woody spiciness in the finish. Refreshing on a hot summer day, but not a wheat that I would seek out.

 664 characters

Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Decent summer ale, typical of what you would expect when you hear "summer citrus wheat." A step above Blue Moon but not quite as nice as an Oberon. I don't usually seek this one out, somehow it finds me at backyard parties and restaurants that would otherwise only have BMC. A fine enough ale to scratch an itch.

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Photo of MFS_71
3.42/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Found it to be somewhere between medium and light bodied. Refreshing but slightly tart and dry. The citrus smell & taste is mild and could be stronger (I got mostly lemons). Carbonation should be kicked up a notch. Overall, a slightly better than average summer ale and certainly a good choice for a hot summer night.

 317 characters

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