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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale
5,690 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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 5,690 |  Reviews: 1,708
Photo of longpondbeerman
3.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a bubbly, rather hazy honey color with a one-inch whitish head. First to the nose is a lemon/bubble gum combination, a characteristic witbier aroma that to me is rubbbery in its more potent varietals. Though a bit flat in the mouthfeel, the taste is passable, particularly for a warm summer's evening. There is only a touch of hops, a few light spices, and a breadlike finish. OK but not inspiring. Too expensive (hence low drinkability)!

 444 characters

Photo of abcsofbeer
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank four of these at a party out of party plastic cups. Pours a hazy orange like amber with very minimal head and only a smattering of lace. The aroma is faint and holds an orangey smell. The taste is orange like with other citrus flavors. Their is ample carbonation and only trace amounts of hops.

The taste is somewhat sweet but watery, however, it is fairly drinkable, especially at at a party. With Heinekin, Mic Ultra and Corona available, this was by far the best choice.

 482 characters

Photo of Hunter
2.88/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

They changed the label a bit from last year. Looks more like a SA traditional label, bordered in yellow. Freshness date on the side.

Beer pours a cloudy yellow, with white foam. Head settles pretty quickly.

Scent of wheat and hops in the aroma, with some level of atringency (if it's the lemon it's not definable)

Taste comes across as a very low-key hefeweizen. Seems to want to do it's best not to offend, but it doesn't stake out any new ground as a result. the label mentions "Grains of Paradise" as part of the ingredients, which sounds good but I couldn't figure out where they were or what they were doing. The lemon is subtle and most noticeable in the aftertaste; unlike SA Cherry Wheat, where the fruit slaps you up one side of the glass and down the other.

It's not bad, certainly good for the season it's intended for, but I'm not going to knock anyone over to get at one. If you're truly in love with the lemon-hefe idea, just buy Paulaner and stick a lemon wedge in it.

 995 characters

Photo of DPMomutant
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a cloudy, golden body. Head is medium-sized and lasts a little while. A creamy little bit retains. Some lacing here too.

Mostly a bready/malty smell. A little citrus in the background, I suppose from the lemon in it. Not bad.

Not as much in the taste department as I'm looking for. Some malt and citrus trying to get out but they don't very much.

Light carbonation in the mouth. I'm usually looking for more. Good smooth finish though. Goes down easy.

While this beer is not great, it does lend itself as a decent outside/lawnmower type beer. Easy drinking, decent tasting, and moderate ABV.

Overall I probably won't keep buying this one because Boulevard does this style just as good if not a bit better and is local and cheaper. But it is OK and worth a try.

 786 characters

Photo of twi1609372
2.3/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

hate to rate a sam adams beer badly but you got to call it how it tastes, this beer in my opinion is not one of the better sam adams sesonal brews. looks and smeels nice, not watered down, has a flavor, just not a very plesent flavor i think. better than bud or corona, but i wouldent use it in the same sentence as the boston lager or the cherry wheat.

 353 characters

Photo of mattcrill
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served at the restraunt on tap with no head and a slice of orange that I quickly discarded. Didn't need any fruit messing up the beer. Looks like a muddy carmel in the glass. Smells of hops and grain but very subtle. Nice mix of spice, carbonation, hops, and a hint of citrus. A pretty straight forward, almost simple beer. This is great on a humid summer evening. This refreshing beer really hits the spot. I wouldn't drink it all year round but enjoy this one at a cookout over some good conversation and you won't be disappointed.

 533 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.77/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a cloudy pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a wonderful wheat scent accented with lemon zest; very nice. The taste is decent. It has a dry wheat flavor which is drenched with lemons; quite tart. It goes down slow and finishes bitter. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a unique seasonal. It has good wit qualities, but the lemon contribution is a bit much. Other than that, it's not a bad drinking brew.

 530 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.4/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, with new graphics and purchase before dating notched onto label. Pours a nice cloudy honey color, white head, tiny bubble film, some lacing left behind. Flowery nose. herbal notes, yeast present. Some resiny hops in finish. Sort of non descript wheat/wit brew. Crowd pleaser for sure, on a hot summer day, but not really too interesting for a BA palate

 369 characters

Photo of shapudding
3.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy, golden tanish in color. Alot of carbination with a light head. Fruit cup scent. Heavy lacing. Nice flavor, first sip gives a slight bite. Light citrus but not too much as to be overpowering. Sam's Seasonal was my session beer for my Thursday night drinkin', and this one held me thru a good amount of months. Not too heavy as too keep from a long night of drinking, great with food too.

 394 characters

Photo of beertaster13
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this for the Memorial Day BBQ and it hit the spot, although wouldn't drink unless in the heat of summer. Poured a gold copper with a fog haze, head was decent, nothing spectacular, white lacing slopped around the glass with each gulp. The smell is of strong citrus with a robust malt, light and refreshing to the nose, very spring like, the taste is a average balance of malt and hop bitterness, the lemon notes are light, a strong wheat taste brings up the end, light and crisp in the mouth. A drinkable beer on a hot day but otherwise just lacks that smooth refreshing summer ale quality.

 594 characters

Photo of Mark
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a hazy gold and has decent head retention. Lacing is scattered. Has a strong wheat taste accentuated with some lemon and grains of paradise. I don't know that I can identify the latter, but the lemon is some what noticible. Something about the overall taste profile I just don't care for. O.K. once in a while but I would opt for a lager or Sierra Summerfest any time over this one.

 398 characters

Photo of Reidrover
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Decided to give this beer the best possible chance by pouring it into my "chalice" glass.
Well it worked, in the chalice its a pretty good looking beer dark hazy golden with a fair sized white head.
Smell is fresh and zesty..lemon rind and some other spices..possibly coriander..quite nice.
After being good on looks and aroma..the taste is very average..not much to it except a very dry and slightly acidic taste..tastes somewhat like lemon seeds.
mouthful is very dry and abrupt, no pleasure here.
I was dissapointed..though it could be drinkable after a hike in the hot summer sun or something.

 602 characters

Photo of BadBadger
3.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Absolutely nothing special about this "witbier". It arrived in a pint glass with golden color and slightly cloudy appearance. There was a minimal head. The smell is very mild and of a citrus nature. Taste is rather bland-a slightly citrus taste. Really couldn't taste malts or hops, or anything else. This beer is really not worth purchasing.

 342 characters

Photo of GreenWBush
3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours out a deep copper with little to no translucence. Strangely hazed with no noticible yeast chunks. 1/4" head with slight lace.

Wheaty aroma, yeast character of slight pseudo-banana and orange rind: slightly sour generically BBC characteristic wet-paper thing going on.

Interesting cacophony of flavors. Some bubblegum down in there, orange rind, husky grains, wee bit of clove. Slight spiciness.

Great mouthfeel: still refreshing in hot weather, but rich enough for cold temperatures. More than 95% of the glass is lace-ridden.

Not a bad brew. Sort of bridges the gap in between straight ahead weiss beers and the usually knock-off American descendents. Complexity of flavor, and strange fake-banana qualities knock down drinkability.

 756 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
3.78/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark gold color, big fluffy white head, that leaves sticky lace on the side of the glass. Smells light and grassy, lots of malt, and a hint of lemon. Reminds me a lot of the scent of a euro lager. Taste is very light on the palate, yet somehow sharp. It's a humid, rainy spring day, and this beer goes down nicely.

 314 characters

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

Tap had a thin white head. A bit of haze on this yellow to orange colored brew. Definite citrus to the nose but little in the flavor.

I did not pick up the peppery flavors others may have noted.
The body just walked away rather quietly. I guess this means it qualifies as quite drinkable- for a summer thirst quencher.

 322 characters

Photo of MattFrenzy
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had a few of these tonight for the first time. Very light beer with a citrusy/pepper taste. After a few I started getting sick of the lemon. Needless to say I wasn't blown away, but it's an average to decent beer that will probably be a lot better when it gets hot out.

 269 characters

Photo of Jacobier10
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a cloudy orange color. Decent sized head but little lacing. Lots of lemon scent with spicy pepper overtones. The guy at the Samuel Adams brewery said the "Grains of Paradise" are an actual spice that is has a slight pepper flavor (and yes, that is the real name of the spice). The taste is average, dominated by lemon and pepper again. Could do with a little less carbonation. Not a bad brew, but I have to say, it's perfect for a hot summer day. Man, I can't wait to break out the grill on the back porch.

 516 characters

Photo of xgrigorix
2.82/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap, presented in a mug.

Hazy golden amber colour & topped by a thin white head.

Lemony aromas leap out of the glass, along with some wheat & a spicy note to boot.

Sweet, wheat, lemony, somewhat fruity, & pepper. Light to medium body with moderate carbonation.

Definitely someone's interpretation of a witbier. Strange stuff.

 340 characters

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

Witbier? This is more of a Pale wheat beer if anything. Poured out a light gold color with a decent amount of carbonation. Smell was spicy. Some malts and wheat also detected. There was some citrus but very, very light. Wheat and malt set up the backbone of this brew. Some lemon mixes in the middle. Grains of paradise comes in the middle as well that lasts the entire way through. Some of that wheat stays through the aftertaste. Not a bad brew whatsoever. I don't know if I would call this a witbier, but not bad for the summer months.

 538 characters

Photo of theo871
3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, best by August '04

Pours a slightly cloudy yellow/orange. Smells of lemon zest and grain. Taste is similar, but more watered down than one would expect from its initial appearance. Mouthfeel is smooth, although lacking of flavor, which knocks it down a point. Drinkability is high due to its flavorless, watery consistency. Could be a great lawnmower beer, but I much prefer the White Ale as a seasonal. Even though it was only 9.99 for a case, I feel cheated.

 477 characters

Photo of AllThingsNinja
2.91/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This dark orange ale has a modest head but an attractive hue. The aroma is citrusy and hints at coriander.

The flavors are dominated by sour lemon notes and a slight grain taste. It's not impressive.

The mouthfeel is pleasant, but seems more like a generic sam adams than a good wit.

As for drinkability: Eh. I wouldn't refuse it - but I won't seek it out.

 367 characters

Photo of jvajda
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A dull orange-yellow beer, with just a small head.
Smell: Fruity and inviting, just like a good white beer should smell like.
Taste: Very big difference between this and Sam Adams White. It's almost sour with lemon flavor that may be a little too much. The White is more subtle and balanced. Not too much of a wheat taste. Overall this beer is not well balanced.
Mouthfeel: Feels fine in the mouth, but nothing too special.
Drinkability: I could drink this pretty often, but why drink this if Sam Adams White is still available?

 544 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
2.88/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sam Adam's Summer Ale.

Went to the Liquor lookinf for Harpoon Summer Ale but they were sold out. Needad a nice summer ale to help me mow the lawn!

Appearance- Yellow with a frothy white head. Nothing spectacular.
Smell- A light wheat with a slight zesty citrus aroma.
Taste- nice and light. Crisp with a hint os wheat and lemon rind.

Overall- a mediorce summer ale that goes nice on a nice warm day. Wish I had the Harpoon though.

 442 characters

Photo of cptnjck101
2.58/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

What the Hell did they do to this beer? It used to be one of my favorites, not anymore. The taste of lemon was overwhelming and I couldn't even finish the twelve pack. They need to get back to the old recipe (and label) because this new one really sucks.

 254 characters

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.33 out of 5 with 5,690 ratings