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

1,651 Reviews
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Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

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: 1,651 | Ratings: 5,395
Photo of tkepx182
3.1/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The feel of this beer on my pallet was not as pleasant as most of the beers I have tried from Samuel Adams. I was rather disappointed actually, I expected more. The aroma smelled like most standard wheat beers. In my opinion, this beer was mediocre at best.

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Photo of Alestorm4069
5/5  rDev +48.4%

I really enjoyed this one. Ever since i was 18, i was like, when i drink, i want to try SA summer ale. I did on my 21st birthday. Not gonna go into lacing or anything of the sort as i don't really know how to review in that way. I drank this ale straight from the bottle. Has some hoppy and citrusy flavor. medium/ light body. Great for what its meant to be. A beer for the summer. All i know is when i worked unloading trucks, on the weekend, and going to the lake, having these was so refreshing and its just a great easy drinking ale. I rate it a 5 out of 5. Considering this was my first beer, it will always be special to me.

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Photo of Cure_Tap
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I always hear craft beer enthusiasts shit on this (and other Samuel Adams products), but this really isn't the "terrible" summer beer that people make it out to be. Like all beers, it's way better if you can get it on tap, but it's still a solid brew in the bottle. Nice wheat backbone, a good punch of sweet lemon, a little bit of spice on the way down, and it mellows out to a very mildly bitter wheat aftertaste. Super drinkable and refreshing. It's not going to have the flavor complexity of a double IPA or a stout, but if you go into all beers expecting that, you're going to be constantly disappointed, and you're going to be pigeonholing yourself into only drinking stronger beers. Different beers for different jobs. Great on a hot summer day.

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Photo of powoo19
4.47/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. It has a lightly citrus smell and light appearence for Sams. The taste is outstanding and the aftertaste is good. It pours nicely with a light head. The hint of citrus is just enough to give that summer feel and not take away from the beer itself. Good job!
Happy Drinking!

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

I've had this brew the past couple years and always enjoyed it. It showed up in a pint glass with a small head that faded into a bit of lacing pretty quick. The beer is a hazy light gold that is semitransparent.

The aroma is a little spicey with hints of citrus Great wheat taste punctionated with lemon zest and earthy tones.

This does and excellent session on those hot summer nights where you want something to quench your thirst.

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Photo of GrinkoN
3.58/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

L: Foggy orangish, very thin head,

S: Malty, citrus (lemon), some wheat

T/F: Get the lemon here, sweet with a little bitter at the back end. Mid to light bodied feel, meh.

O: It is a decent summer beer, not Sammy Adams best but good.

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Photo of mclanem
4.54/5  rDev +34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear golden beer very light white froathy head

Smell: This beer smells great, has the smell of a white ale. very floral and clean, hops and caramel

Taste: Great clean white ale taste good hop flavor floral like the smell.

Mouthfeel: This beer has good carbonation, not thick but is refreshing just like a summer ale should be

Drinkablity: this beer is very drinkable perfect in the heat, I love this beer like all sam adams

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Photo of Alexmc2
3.35/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a hazy golden without much of a head to speak of, perhaps the pourer's mistake. The smell is of citrus and wheat beer, a delicious combination. The beer is fairly balanced, but I couldn't have more than say, two before the lemon taste started to get to me. A great offering from the Boston Beer Company, and one I'll have on any hot day.

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

This pours a hazy gold color, which is to be expected from a wheat beer.

About average carbonation.

I don't detect anything in the smell of this one. Just smells like a nice balanced beer to me...

Taste is where it's at. It's wheat up front. The middle is a crisp clean spice taste; I can't describe it, but it's probably the Grains of Paradise. The fade is lemon.

The finish is crisp and clean. This would be a great beer to quench your thirst after mowing the lawn.

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Photo of redfire89
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Bright golden color, lots of carbonation
S- Lemony hops and other citrus characteristics
T- Light lemony flavor with wheat taste
M- Very clean and crisp
O- This a very good summer ale, it' s refreshing like a summer ale should be. Much better than coastal wheat.

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Photo of ChugsMugs
3.52/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Drank out of a bottle so didn't get a nice look at the colors.

S- A very zesty lemon like aroma. Also had a strong wheat smell. Citrusy and enticing.

T- Tasted alot like it smelled which was nice. Good wheat flavor and good citrus summer taste. A hint of lemon or orange. However did have an almost chalky like taste left in the mouth.

M- Most impressive part of the beer as far as I am concerned. Very smooth onto tounge, with a nice carbonation level that doesn't turn it into complete foam when swished around, but also enough to not seem flat or dull. Swallows very easy and smooth dispite the chalk tasting residue leftover.

D- One or two would be alright. Whatever that taste/feel I am calling chalky is leaves me feeling that it is not up to par with other summer beers. However I have heard it is better on tap so I will give it another chance.

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Photo of thefireman
2.85/5  rDev -15.4%
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 akronzipfan
3.8/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's summer and I've enjoued a few of these already this year, so I figured an offical review was appropriate before summer's end.

a - pours a translucent, peachy amber with a rich, golden head

s - unmistakeable citrus zest with a slight floral bouquet

t - excellent blend of hops and earthy spices with a mildly tangy finish

m - medium carbonation and medium bodied

d - very easy beer to enjoy, one after another, outside on a warm summer evening

I poured a cold bottle into a tall, cyclindrical glass for this tasting. This seasonal brew is a fine summer compliment to the other Sam Adams offerings. I need to research this "grain of paradise" in more depth!

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Photo of aaronxsubaru
3.57/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this around the same time as Honey moon summer ale and i feel about the same as i did with that beer.

I was expecting this to be very refreshing and more unique than other beer. i felt it did ok in both those areas but it could have been better. It certainly wasn't a bad beer at all, it had good flavor and i liked the subtle differences it had but in the end i wish it would have maintained the drinkability but had more flavor like i later found boston lager to have. I think i would try it again one day, but so far i would reach for something else before i went for this again on a warm summer night

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Photo of sluggermatt15
3.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a darker yellow color with an orangish tint. About a 2 finger head with some white lacing that dissipates after several minutes following the pour. Average in my opinion.

S- Smells of wheat, sweet spices, and citrus fruits.

T- Tastes of wheats, lemon, and some spices. The lemon taste is apparent, making the beer have some sweetness to it. No bitterness here and you don't really taste the alcohol until about the end.

M- Some carbonation, but not a ton. I was pleased.

D- This beer is rather drinkable in my opinion. I would probably have about 3 in one sitting. Easy to drink it down because of the lack of a ton of carbonation and bitterness to it.

I really enjoyed this one from SA. I tend to like their seasonal brews and I was able to appreciate this one too. There's a reason they brew this one during the summer. It pairs well with a hot summer night. This was also the first beer I had on my 21st birthday, so it will be remembered. I would pick this one up again, even now that summer is relatively close.

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

I expect a lot from sam adams. With summer ale, i was not fully satisfied. The original citrus taste is satisfying, but i hate the bitter aftertaste. A slight bitterness is perfect among beers, but summer ale slightly overdoes itself. Is it too harsh to finish a six pack on a hot day? No. Is it better than a Corona? Yes. But is it the beer that I would prefer to be drinking? No.

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Photo of davecavemaster
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours with a pillowy, large bubble, white colored head. The foam slides up and down the glass as you drink, almost no lacing at all. The color of the beer is best described as a semi-opaque/yellow straw, with a touch of orange.

For a nose expect a bit of citrus, and a bit a malt. Somewhat of a spicy orange smell.

The taste starts with the citrus flavors, and then gives way to the spice on the end. This is a wheat beer, so you defiantly get the wheat feel and somewhat of a yeast taste.

The mouthfeel is very thin, and somewhat disappointing for this brewery. Slight carbonation, and a crisp citrusy finish.

Of all the seasonal beers that Sam Adams produces, this is certainly my least favorite. This brew is better than most of the gimmicky seasonals that you will find on the shelf of your local supermarket, but certainly at the bottom end of what the Samuel Adams brewery puts out. Not a bad beer, but not something that I will go out of my way to find, or even order in a bar.

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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 leechungsr
3.42/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours golden yellow with a little haze. poured into a weizen glass for about 1 finger of thick white head with good retention.

S: this may be the best part. smells like a hefeweizen without the cloves. yummy wheat and lemony citrus.

T: starts mildly sweet and wheaty with a hint of spice (much of which may be due to the high carbonation) and ends with a medium hop bitterness with hints of citrus. Maybe a little bitter for me, but still pretty good.

M: loads of carbonation. Very crisp, but maintains a medium-light body. Maybe too much carbonation as I couldn't help but belch like a child.

D: medium-light body with lots of carbonation feels right for summer. Would go over well at a barbeque.

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Photo of Kanyon22
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got a six pack for my wife cause this is like the only beer in the world she likes, but its been sitting in my fridge for over a week so I'm going to crack it open for a review.

A: Pale yellow slightly hazy lemonade color with a white tiny bubble head that quickly dissipated to a small ring around the top.

S: A muted lemony wheat smell with nothing else going on, oh wait really smelling the wheat in it as it warms up.

T: Starts out really smooth and easy going like a basic American wheat and then I'm hit with a lemon citric kick and finishes with a lemon peel bitter drying finish. As the beer warms the wheat malts start coming through more and more which is good cause its making this beer two dimensional instead of one.

M: Is what I would call having a medium mouthfeel with an abundant amount of carbonation. Maybe too full for style.

D: This is what this beer is made for drinking in abundance. Nothing stands out as great,but nothing stands out as bad either just beer you don't have to think about.

Sam Summer Ale is an easy drinking, no frills kinda beer that appeals to the masses. I find this beer to be really non offensive but at the same time there is nothing to keep me interest in it at all. With that said I'll be reaching for something else this summer.

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Photo of jcurtis55
3.73/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at a PPF Chang's. It was served in a frosted Pilsner glass, so it was hard to get a take on it until it warmed a bit, but I still had a couple of fingers of an off-white head.

Smell and taste was a bit of citrus and malted wheat, although the wheat is fairly subdued. It's pretty flavorful for a summer ale. I got none of the alcohol or off flavors some reviewers seemed to encounter. I would put the body at closer to medium than light.

Easy drinker and serves its purpose well as a summer beer.

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Photo of Popkorn615
4.42/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a cloudy orange with a 1cm thick marshmallowy head that slowly dissipates to a surface glaze.

S - Citrusy, (probably from the lemon zest added to the beer).

T - Lemony, orangey, citrusy, zesty, and malty.

M - Very light and smooth. A touch watery and could probably use a little thickness in its body, but it is by no means a distasteful lack of thickness. Personally, I thought the mouthfeel was great, but I could understand how others might think that it is a little thin.

D - A fabulous summer ale that is very light and refreshing, and possesses a great balance of each element. I could easily have countless numbers of these in one go, especially on a sweltering hot summer day.

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Photo of SMADMS
4.7/5  rDev +39.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at T-Bones Roadhouse in Plymouth
22oz is the standard at T-Bones Roadhouse

Poured from tap (decline the lemon garnish)
pours a beautiful hazy golden color. no head here they fill the mug to the rim...
Smells of citrus and spice ..not overpowering
Lemon zest and a crisp bite taste as it washes the palette full body.
very smooth beer, can drink endless amounts on a hot summer day/evening.

This is one of my summer favorites and it goes well with a bbq

I wish bartenders would stop putting lemon on the rim when this is ordered. ASK first

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Photo of cjl1209
2.65/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

"Refreshing, crisp, and tangy, Summer Ale is brewed with wheat malt, lemon zest and Grains of Paradise, a mysterious brewing spice used by Renaissance brewers centuries ago. Summer Ale is an American wheat ale from one of America's original craft brewers. Cheers!"

Freshness notched at September 2009

A - Pours a light golden honey with a small white head.

S - Lemon, wheat, and spice (which I'm assuming is grains of paradise which I'm not too familiar with).

T - The grains of paradise (I guess) are instantly noticeable. Citrus, namely lemon peel comes out as well as a wheat/yeast flavor. The spice is always there along with an overt sweetness. Grains of paradise is completely dominate making for a very one sided brew.

M - Medium. Actually much heavier than expected for a summer brew.

D - If you like grains of paradise then this beer makes for an easy sipper but for me this odd spice is just too out there, thus preventing me from having more than one or two.

Final Thoughts: An interesting twist on the style but I expected something more from such a well respected brewery and what is supposedly their best selling of all seasonals

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Photo of mutd8710
3.65/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of the six beers that same in the Summer Styles Variety pack I purchased last week.

This ale has a crisp and sweet smell that consist of lemon and malts. The taste of the ale is tangy at first due to the lemon and spices it is brewed with. The tangy feeling goes away quickly and the flavor of the malts pokes through quickly. Highly carbonated. The flavor is pretty good and definitely has a summer feel to it, but it is kind of boring and tastes bland after a bit.

A good beer to have with a steak or burger because it will not be too filling and would complement food made on the grill pretty well

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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
77 out of 100 based on 1,651 ratings.
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