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: 5,456
Photo of ekempey
3.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, the beer leaves a one finger head with lacing down the glass. The aroma of the beer is quite underwhelming, as barely a hint of spice is noticed. The taste is crisp and has nice hints of spice and malt, leading to a dry peanuty aftertaste. The beer has a nice level of carbonation, and is drinkable, perfectly suited for this time of the year. Is it the best I've ever had, no, the worst, no. I find that this beer is in the middle of the spectrum for me, I would buy it again but only if in an outdoor setting where it would really shine.

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Photo of fishtownhxc
2.36/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

i really don't know what it is about this beer, but i don't like it at all. from the tap it had a decent head and interesting aroma, but i didn't think it tasted good at all. i couldn't really put my finger on it, but honestly, i can't get into this beer. maybe i got a bad pint or something, but there was nothing remotely close to making me feel like this is a beer i'd want to drink during the summer. the spices almost made me not want to finish my beer, with an almost overbearing taste that detracted from the beer a lot and i had no desire to get another.

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Photo of myost88
3.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pale and cloudy like a good wheat beer should be! Leaves a nice 1 finger head with some lacing and a nice kind of floating top that never goes away.

Smell: Citrus is dominant here as expected. Grain and yeast are largely present. A little bit spicy, I guess from the grains of paradise? Smel

Taste: Again citrus is the dominant flavor. The lemon zest really stands out. Malted Wheat is next and yeast is there at the end of a nice gulp. A little bit peppery as it moves from the tip of the tongue to the back.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, but not like a soda. Carbonation never fades from the first sip to the last gulp. Goes down nice and crisp.

Drinkability: Drank this guy (and 3 of his brothers) while watching the 'Stros game. Very good summer beer. This was made for a nice relaxing evening of baseball. Good summer session beer!

Overall: One of my new favorites from Sam Adams! And I believe I'll be downing these all summer because Spec's has them on sale for 5.99 a six pack till August 1st!

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Photo of shanecb
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Light golden yellow color. Slightly opaque, though not as much as other wheat beers. Head is bright white, dissipating after a few minutes.

S - Not very powerful. Spicy aroma, coming likely from the grains of paradise. Picked up a mellow butterscotch flavor as it warmed in the glass. Overall, the smell is pleasant, but not strong at all. No banana smell like most wheat beers.

T - Not very powerful or strong. The lemon flavor is there in the beginning, but leads off to a slightly spicy flavor. As the beer warmed up, I was able to pick up the slight butterscotch flavor near the beginning that I got in the aroma. One of the least wheaty wheat beers I've had.

M - The effervescence tingles the back of the throat, but otherwise the beer is rather smooth. Not a very full feeling, slightly thin, but enjoyable.

D - Very drinkable. Could easily drink a few of these with no problem. Would be very refreshing during the summer.

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Photo of klaybie
2.4/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Cloudy golden yellow, nice two finger head with decent lacing.

S: Average in every sense of the word, nothing special, nothing adverse. Hints slight fruitiness with some astringency.

T: Very astringent, with a chemical taste that lingers. Some fruitiness, spice and yeast up front but that is quickly and brutally washed away by the harsh astringent flavor.

M: Fortunately the mouthfeel was medium-light in the body and not watery. Still, little comfort.

O: I could not finish this beer and the waitress was surprised I was leaving about 3/4 of the glass. I could not bring myself to choke this down even for the cost at the bar.


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Photo of fltmedic
3.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very clear light yellow pour with a pure white bubble 1 finger head of foam in a pint glass. The foam slowly works down throughout the drink and leaves a light lacing around the glass.

The aroma is very level. It is light and hints at the lemon taste but predominantly points to the wheat. There is a very slight spiciness at the end of each inhale.

The taste is clean and very bright with lemon zest. The wheat lets you know that it is indeed an ale despite some of its more lager qualities. There is a nice fade to subtle spices and the bitter and tart of the lemon rind lingers.

The mouthfeel is thinner than what I would like in most ales, but for a specifically summer beer and poured very cold, it will do. The carbonation is light and the thinness certainly adds to the thirst-quenching ability of the drink.

Overall it is less than I would expect for a summer ale, but well suited for a hot afternoon with the promise of many beer enjoying hours.

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Photo of abastias
3.35/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Hazy, bright golden orange-yellow. Foam is light, white, and short duration.
S: Soapy, lemony.
T: Cherry, woody, spices, white grape, peppery finish. Aftertaste sits on middle to front of tongue.
M: Smooth and slightly viscus to watery. Sharp.
O: Delightfully complex and yet refreshing. The aftertaste overstays it's welcome, but overall the spices and flavors.

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Photo of mattjv
3.32/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Warm golden color a few shades darker than a typical lager. Around 2 fingers of fizzy, crackling soda head dissipates rapidly. lots of bubbles rising up, looks highly carbonated.

S-Light bready grain, assertive lemon notes. An antiseptic quality lingers with the lemon, reminiscent of a lemon-scented cleaning spray. Faintly grassy with a mild yeast note.

T-Mild grain flavor with a hint of sweetness starts the palate off. Lemon flavors dominate, with a grassy hint. Light herbal notes that are difficult to place, I guess that's the grains of paradise? Things get a little rocky on the finish. Lemon notes transition into a coarse, bitter, lip-smacking sourness. The sourness is not especially strong, it just isn't pleasant. Very difficult to describe as I've never encountered it in a beer, nothing like a Belgian-style
sour or similar. Aftertaste is dry and mildly soapy. 3.0

M-Light bodied in keeping with a typical summer brew, carbonation is high but not offensive.

O-This beer has potential but the lemon peel just runs amok on the finish. This was a difficult one to make a call on, but what settled it is what one expects from a "summer" type beer. In a
style that typically goes down easy for hours, I never desire more than one of these.

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Photo of Bestinyourgirl
3.23/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It taste exactly like a more subtle version of White Christmas, I believe it is called, but without leaving your palate extremely dry afterwards. Excellent!

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

From a bottle so I couldn't get a true analysis of the look. Smell is somewhat average with a slight lemon smell. Taste is sharp with carbonation and an immediate presence of wheat, lemon zest and followed by a spicy note. Overall, a pleasant, enjoyable, yet decently spicy summer beer, but it doesn't pack a whole lot of flavor so that disappoints me some.

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Photo of VDJ104
2.93/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got to admit this was the first non macor I tasted. Even before boston lager or Blue Moon, and at the time I loved it. But I recently got again and was somewhat dissapointed. It reminded me of lemon flavors halls the lemon seemed stronger than I remember. Also the first time I had it I drank it out of the bottle . In the glass it has a weird look to it. Really thought I liked this beer now not so sure.

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Photo of PZuke
3.1/5  rDev -8%
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 JAL67
3.97/5  rDev +17.8%
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 thisisshsas
3.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beer is colored in a hazed golden hew. Smell shows hops, but also a little spice as well. The Taste is smooth, with lite hops and easily drinkable. Goes down easy, with a very littly bitter aftertaste. Summer ale is a staple of summer drinking, and for good reason. Its light hop aroma and simple mouthfeel make it a good session beer for the summer.

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Photo of Jyubei
4.08/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Pale yellow/gold body with a white one finger head very visually appealing.

S. A delicate floral bouquet with hops. Nothing incredible but still pleasant.

T. Bitter wheat at the front of the mouth leading to a Honey and nuts taste as it slides across the tongue.

M. Slightly rough carbonation feel at first but becomes smooth and silky, with a floral and citrus after taste.

D. Very good brew to enjoy with friends and a summer evening. I could go for another. Right now in fact.

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Photo of a4tuurbo
3.21/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A-This beer came to my table with just a tiny little head that quickly dissipated. It was a nice clear gold color with high carbonation.

S- The most prominent smell was malt with a little bit of lemon.

T- I could definitely taste the malt as well as a touch of hoppy bitterness. I did get a hint of lemon but not much. The grains of paraside gave a slight spicyness at the end.

M- I didnt particularly like the high carbonation. Otherwise, I can only describe it as average. Not too thick and heavy but also not watery.

D- Although not my favorite flavor profile, I could definitely drink quite a few of these.

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Photo of TheDragonTony
3.35/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Cloudy orange with a wonderful long lasting three finger head that leaves a beautiful lace as I drink the beer.

Smell: Very grainy with some citrus as well.

Taste: Malty, and spicy. The hops make for a nice balance. This beer is tasty but I think not outstanding.

Mouthfeel: Full mouthfeel, smooth and creamy. Heavier than I would expect from this type of beer, and not as much carbonation as I would expect from the appearance.

Drinkability: This is a very easy beer to drink.

This isn't a bad beer, I wouldn't mind drinking one, but I don't think that it is something that I will seek out in the future.

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

Sammy makes some really good ones. Sammy makes some so-so ones. This is one of the good ones. Cloudy, gold and smooth in appearance. Head is decent, little lacing, but what the hell, let's have a swig. Light hoppy and malty flavor combine very well. There is that under-lying sweetness that is soooo wonderful in the summertime. Some fruityness. Lemon / Orange? Good stuff. Carb is really right - not too much. Drinkability? - drink it and then drink another one. If it's a warm summer evening - sit out on the dock by the river and drink another. Thank you Mr. Sam. Keep up the excellent work.

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Photo of dansm
3.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Pours a cloudy pale yellow with a forthy white head that quickly fades.

S-Aroma comes off as a faint wheaty lemon smell with some spice in the background.

T-Starts with the sweet wheat and lemon followed by a little spice and just the slightest hop bite.

M-Nice and light, with a fair amount of carbonation.

D-The nice blend of flavors, and the fact that it goes down nice and smooth make this a pretty good summer beer.

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Photo of hegelec
2/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

standard pale wheat beer look, with substandard head and lacing - no torrified wheat? smell nicely peppery and citrusy, but disturbingly chemical and soapy. taste is clementines and bleachy solvents. almost unspeakable. i sincerely hope there is merely something wrong with the glass than with the beer, but a quick chat with the bartender, who has overseen innummeable kegs of this stuff pass through the draught line in the last two months, and another sample confirms my worst suspicions. african spices be damned. hideous.

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Photo of brobeerbot
2.94/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle best by Sept. Poured into duvel tulip.

First and foremost the best thing going for this beer is appearance. It pours a pretty golden pale color with a white fluffy two finger head. After that it goes to middle of the road. Now o love and respect Boston beer company and all they brew but I know that most offerings aren't going to be mind blowing but more often than not the deliver a beer that sets the bar for what styles should be better than and not worst than.

Anyways it smells of wheat and lemon and pretty much follows that on the Taste. Mouth is substantial with just enough body. Overall this is am easy drinker for hot days and nights and someone new to craft beer might be able to enjoy this simple summer ale.

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Photo of BrianBoruma
2.17/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had this on tap. Honestly I think there most have been something wrong with the tap line...

A: Looked good. Faint head that was white over blonde body.

S: buttery. No spices in the nose

T: Butter. It wasn't very drinkable.

M: Oily.

D: I didn't order another. So take what you will from that.

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

Bottom line, this beer is better than average, but not the greatest.
It pours a hazy golden color with a decent head that lingers.
Smell is kind of crispy like the American light beers. The taste is sort of lemony w/hints of wheat. Goes down easy and pretty drinkable.

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

I've had Sam Summer many times in the past, but I don't recall it being as good as it was on my most recent time to have it. While most summer beers seem to be brewed for little sissies that don't like the taste of beer and want the lowest of ABVs in order to not risk getting any alcohol poisoning, Sam still packs a bit of a punch. In fact, I kept asking my buddy, "Are we sure this is Sam Summer? Is it possible the tap was screwed up?!" It's darker than most all pisswater yellow summer beers and actually has a nice, complex taste. No idea what grains of paradise are, but they must be tasty. I don't know if this is "how" you make a summer beer, per se, but it's how you make a tasty, flavorable beer. Very nice wheat and malt body with a good lemon hint that nails you. Thus, based on an exceedingly small sample size and one single plastic cup draught at a ballgame, I will declare Sam Summer the best quote unquote summer beer in the bid'ness.


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Photo of philibum13
4.45/5  rDev +32%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After numerous different beers tasted over the years, I have to remove my hat for Summer Ale. It has to be my all-time favorite. A fan of Sam to begin with, I could not help but easily enjoy Summer Ale. I miss it when it's off the shelves and I buy out the store when it's in season.

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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.37 out of 5 based on 5,456 ratings.
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