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

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Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale
5,605 Ratings
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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Ratings: 5,605 |  Reviews: 1,687
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.8/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: hazy, pale orange color, clear yellow at bottom, with a lovely meringue-like, creamy white head, large & softly settling.
Aroma: delicate, with tingly spices, loads of citrus.
Taste: mild, smooth entry on the palate, but generous flavor, excellent wheat texture. Medium-bodied. All the parts, wheat, spice, (grains of paradise) & fruit (lemon zest) make a near-perfect blend. Certain aspects stand out from others from time to time, though, too lemony once, too thick another.
All in all, not a bad stab at the witbier style, a good interpretation from these guys, highly drinkable, nice job.

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams Summer Ale is a pretty decent seasonal beer, even though it comes out during a season not usually reserved for seasonals. This is a pretty quaffable beverage, even though the mystique of this beer wears off pretty quickly.

Summer Ale pours a mostly clear light gold color. A 1 1/2 finger of white foam forms and disappears in around 30 seconds. The smell has some of that wheat beer smell to it and is slightly musty. A light malt crispness can be detected underneath that, with some light citric hop smell. All these elements still attribute to what amounts to be a rather light aroma. The mouthfeel is slightly watery and fizzy. The initial flavor has some light, crisp malt, and there is a light detectable sweetness. There are some wheaty/bready notes detectable. The taste of the lemon zest isn't all that noticable; there is a generic citric bite that goes along well with the rather mild hop bitterness in the finish. The aftertaste is clean with just some grainy and wheaty notes. Finishes off with no alcoholic warmth.

The "grains of paradise" in this beer weren't detectable by me, and the lemon was very lightly done. While this wasn't too spectacular in any area, this was a pretty drinkable beverage and it fits the summer well.

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Photo of JAL67
3.97/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer to have in the Summer time. Has a nice golden haze when poured and a thin creamy head. It's a "light" Summer beer that's nice to have after working out in the yard. Taste is a little strong on the lemon side but you/I can always throw down quite a few. Goes down very smooth. Nothing like having this beer during a BBQ and sitting out in the sun relaxing. I miss it's onto Octoberfest.

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Photo of PZuke
3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A hazy golden color with a nice foamy white head. This beer smells of wheat and lemons. The taste is even heavy on lemons. I hate having a lemon in my wheat beer and this was like they put one in for you. It is very light in taste and hops. I will say that on a hot day this is a good beer to have. I had this beer quite a few times this past summer at local establishments and while it is drinkable I would not say by any means that given a place with a good selection this would be the beer I would chouse. I would say that this is a very average beer.

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Photo of beerguy101
2.7/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Medium gold color, small white foamy head. Aroma is grainy and sweet. Lightly malted, lightly hopped. Distinct kind of overpowering lemony taste. Light refreshing taste, not a lot of beer taste (hops and malts). Finish is clean. Aftertaste is lemony.

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Photo of Ianhockey91
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A medieocre offering from boston beer, but not bad. Pours out a pale yellow with a little cloudyness. Smells of lemons and greenery. Has a somewhat smooth taste with very little hops, lemon is detected in the flavor as well, little malt. All in all average best describes this beer, but make sure to drink it when its cold as it sours a bit when warm.

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Photo of oelergud
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: 12oz brown bottle, yellow and blue label, freshness marked. Brew is cloudy dark yellow, nice white head with little retention and no lace.

Smell: Grassy, wheat and lemon, all to be expected I guess, a little predictable.

Taste: Wheat and lemon apparent, not much grassyness, sweet up front and bitter afterwards, lemon most prominent late in the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Not much to say here, a little on the thin side but ok.

Drinkability: You have to be in the mood for this beer, it's raining outside now but I supposed had it been hot it would have been better.

Notes: Taste much like a corona extra with a slice of lime, seems to be a good beer to get drunk by as it's easy to drink and all. Nothing interesting about the brew really, just another beer, not bad, not memorable, just another beer.

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Photo of Mustard
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle with "for brewery-fresh taste, purchase before month notched" warning; stray single ($1.29) purchased from the West LA Whole Foods on National and Barrington.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, golden amber; fat, rocky, off-white head; intricate, ring-style lacing; very good head retention.

Aroma: Primarily a medley of lemon, banana and grass; sugary; faintly spicy.

Taste: Upfront, largely of grain, wheat and toasted malt; well defined notes of lemon and banana throughout; piney, spicy hop bitterness in the finish; lightly tart; faint hints of sweetness. Medium bodied; crisp; nice, chewy mouthfeel.

Notes: Solid if unremarkable.

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Photo of Ellbert
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a tasty summer ale. It looked beautiful. It was great, with all of my macro drinking buddies I had the only beer that had a head. LOL

It was light and refreshing. Had a nice flavor of wheat with small hops. A Very nice brew for the summer months.

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Photo of ngandhi
2.65/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

It only went one round; hops over malts in two minutes, twelve seconds. Crystal didn't come to fight tonight and it's a shame. They said the hop contender, a real no-name, was an amateur, a real dirty fighter. And dirty always finds a way to win.

When they hit the ring, both looked haggard -- heads drooping, leaving barely a semblance of themselves on their chubby, sunburnt bodies.

It opened sweet, but went sour real fast. The ref missed a bitter shot below the belt and signaled an early end. No balance, no grace; a cockfight with that blithering idiot of a hop biting after the bell.

This beer has no authentic spice, finishes with light nutmeg and an otherwise pleasant and natural vanilla cake, a cheap hoppiness (Is it aromatic, flavoring, or bitter? What is this beer trying to do), and a medium malt that washes out fast.

There's no wit to this beer. No wit at all.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of chaduvel
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not as cloudy as the best white beers, and there is only a faint spiciness. I wasn't sure what type of beer this was ahead of time and couldn't tell from the smell. Hints of yeast and lemon make me suspect...ahh, so it's trying to be a witbier... A lot of carbonation in this guy, some lemon, more lemon, a little yeast flavor, spices don't let their presence be admired. Not a very good Witbier, but a drinkable and refreshing offering from Sam Adams.

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Photo of alexgash
3.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden/orange with a medium-sized white head. Smell is tangy yeast, with a touch of malts, and lotsa lemon. Taste is light grainy malts--not sweet, but a little medicinal--followed by sharp, sour lemon flavor and a slight bitterness. Acidic all the way, with lingering lemon zest. Very interesting. A little too much lemon tartness; reminds me of the lemon juice in the fridge. I prefer traditional witbiers methinks. A good summer quencher, however.

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Photo of TripelJ
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

*reviewing from notes*

Now Quaffing:
Samuel Adams ~ Summer Ale

This beer is aptly named. While I agree it is not the best example of the whit style, however it proves to be a very quaffable beer. Pours a pale gold, with some cloudiness. There is a good sized white head and consistent lacing down the glass. Aromas are sweet citrus (light). Taste is light with some grains, just a touch of lemony citrus, hops don't appear until the end. Finishes dry.

Brewed with "lemon zest and grains of paradise" as taken from the bottle, there is definitely unique taste to it. I had this beer at a BBQ on a hot florida 4th of July and it was perfect for the occasion.

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Photo of ZAP
3.93/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Certainly not a whit....but really a pretty tasty American Wheat that is very refreshing. Pours a regal gold color...some cloudiness..small white lace....the nose is pretty soft but I get mainly sweet wheat crackers...the taste is sweet wheat malt...a refreshing spritz or lemons and orange peel add a nice citrus touch to it...For a summer beer there aren't a lot I would take over is very refreshing but also features a sweet wheat malt backbone and elements of citrus..body is on the light side of medium and as I drink my third one it is taking on a slightly (very slightly) watery mouthfeel....

Just got done golfing and these hit the's that type of beer...I am actually surprised I like this that much as my expectations were pretty low..

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Photo of SetarconeX
3.77/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice dark yellow color, with a good, fluffy white head. Give it a whiff and it smells a lot like lemons. Very light, citrus taste, and not much else. Surprisingly easy to drink. This is the sort of thing I might like a six pack of next to me on a beach, sitting in some sun. I'm not saying it's a lemonade flavored beer, it's clearly a fairly serious ale, but it's a lighter, more frivolous ale. Quite fun.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.38/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brownish golden color with an off-white head.
Aroma of grainy malt, lemon, and wheat.

Sweet grainy malt is the predominant flavor. Tart wheat plays a role as well. Some lemon and spice. Little hop balance keeps this beer too sweet and lacking in crispness.

Light body and fizzy mouthfeel.
Mellow and easy going, but the taste is lacking a bit and keeps the drinakbility from being higher.

Overall, a decent Wit, but nothing more.

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Photo of Jarod
3.41/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 22oz glass.

This beer was golden yellow colored that had a brown hue to the edges. It was cloudy but carbonation bubbles were noticeable. It produced a fluffy white head that was thick and creamy, lasted fairly well, and produced a light lace on parts of the inside glass. The aromas that came from the glass were light, but I nosed lemon fruit, wheat grains, malt, and some spices. The flavors were slightly more pronounced then the aroma, tastes of light spices, lemon zest, bread, spices and malt were all present. It produced an aftertaste of mostly bread and wheat grains. It was light to medium bodied. Semi sweet and semi-dry on the pallet. Seems to me to be a simple wheat beer that has that something extra added to it. But it was a crisp, clean and fairly refreshing beer on the hot day, and that is what I needed.

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Photo of thefireman
2.85/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured nicely enough with a nice white head that quickly vanished. Real lemon smell with a little hops thrown in. Taste was not bad, but could only smell lemon, or something like it. Not a session beer, but good once in a while. Not worth what they charge.

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Photo of beerbill
3.92/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I really enjoyed this beer. Probally the best aspect was the mouth feel. A lot of pilsner beers have little to no body. This was totally diffrent. It had a pronounced presence, the way beer should. Other than that this is a fairly typical entry. However, I would recommend this to all the bud/coors drinkers I know.

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Photo of PatandDavid
2.4/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Wasn't bad, wasn't great.

Dark cloudy straw color when poured. It had a bready aroma, not sweet, more like from a dark bread.

I didn't find this overly tasty. The only taste I got was a bit of lemony essence in the finish.

I didn't find a lot going on with this beer. I would call it inoffensive, ie. you could serve it to Mom or something, and no one would complain it was too strong. The only thing they might take objection to is the fact that does have some sharp carbonation.

Yes, it's light alright. Can't recommend, as there are so many better versions of this style out there. pat

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Photo of BierReise
2.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Slightly cloudy with cream-white head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is slighty yeasty and slightly citrusy. Flavor is a bit on the tart side and crisp but crispness doesn't hold up well. Hops don't come through very well. I'm sure this beer is better on draught than bottled. This is about as good as Bluemoons version.

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Photo of granger10
3.04/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had high expectations for this one. This was a light bodied beer that looked nice. However it smelled real lemony, too lemony. The body was thicker than I had imagined it would be and also pretty creamy making it easy to drink. However the taste was not too good but also not too bad. It just seemed to be lacking in flavor. Slight hop bitterness in the finish, no real malt sweetness. A decent brew, but BBC has done better.

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Photo of Morris729
3.41/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden amber color with a tall foamy white head that settles into a creamy lace. Nose is grainy with notes of wheat and lemongrass. Light to medium in body and slightly chewy in texture. Taste is grassy grains and sweet malt followed by some mild spicy notes and citrusy hops that lead to an odd bitter twang and somewhat musty aftertaste. Seems to be a cross between an American wheat beer and a wit beer. Interesting and definitely worth a try on a hot summer day.

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Photo of vitesse
3.07/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

served on tap.
this is a wit? oh please. not that this is a horrible beer, but i had it on tap and didn't even realize it used wheat. this beer tasted to me just like a lightened and citrified (is that a word) regular sam adams boston lager. it still has that familiar sam adams yeast flavor in it (which isn't bad), but there is nothing wit-esque about this one. appearance is way to clear and straw-colored. there's no spiciness (but there is some lemon flavor coming through). it's a nice refreshing ale, but is way way toned down from the usual conception of a belgian-style wit.

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Photo of DESTRO
2.19/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

ok, i had this on tap at the espn sports bar one night and thought it was pretty good but i was also already intoxicated which may be the reason this was such a dissapointment the second time sround. pours a nice somewhat deep golden color with a small white head. it smells like lemons with a hint of spice. taste, tastes like an average beer that someone squeezed a bunch of lemon juice into. its not horrible, but it is pretty crappy. it just has this weird off taste to it. the mouth feel is ok, light and with a nice amount of carbonation. i would drink one if it was the only thing around, 2 if a gun was pointed at me.

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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.33 out of 5 with 5,605 ratings