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

BA SCORE
77
okay
5,486 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay
Read the review
Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
samueladams.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
5,486
Reviews:
1,662
Avg:
3.37
pDev:
16.02%
 
 
Wants:
69
Gots:
1,291
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,486 |  Reviews: 1,662
Photo of smcolw
3.61/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours cloudy; light amber. Thin head, decent lace

The smell is almost non-existent--too mild to evaluate well. I detect some wheat, little else.

A classic wheat beer taste. Some sourness and nice spice. Tight carbonation, moderate body.

Any easily quaffable brew. Think front porch, watching thirsty people walking by--here's the beer for that.

 353 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.31/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just finished polishing this one off at the inlaws tonight. I actually was suprised I had never tried this one in all of my tastings so when I saw it in the fridge I went for it. The pour was nice with a rich golden yellow coming forward right away. A nice tswo inch high head of white foam then rose over the top and settled down to a thin crown that covered the sides and the top. A nice side glass presentation and copious carbonation rising up from the bottom of the glass.

The aroma was rather bland. Just the slightest hint of lemon on top of bready malts. Some light grain as well. The flavor was more of the same, with nothing really standing out to me. A nice light body with ample carbonation and a low abv amde it totally sessionable, but the light grain, and a kiss of citrus in the flavor just really did not do it for me.

Overall it was not terrible and i have had much worse, I just thought it was far too libght and really just a touch too bland for my tastes. A nice beer for tailgating through and in the more popular establishments, if this was all that was on tap, you could do far worse.

 1,110 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Jason
3.01/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz brown bottle with a freshness date ... different label from before, no more sail boat. :-(

Super foamy with a dense white head. A cloudy haze of orange-straw color.

Slightly soapy aroma, malt sweetness, hops and some odd spicing going on. Hint of wheat and lemon in the nose as well.

Wheat is evident on the palate, fuller bodied than one would expect from a summer ale. Odd spicing and an all around orange-ish flavor in the middle. Mild hopping goes well with the maltiness.

I want to like this brew but the flavors just don't meld ... it just does not do it for me.

 586 characters

Photo of atrocity
2.5/5  rDev -25.8%

Photo of smithj4
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Nice hazy orange-golden color. Strong, moderately thick head.

Smell- Wheat smell with strong citrus overtones.

Taste- About what you'd expect from this beer. Typical wheat taste with highly noticeable citrus presence.

Drinkability- Not a bad brew. I could drink it again, but I probably don't like it enough to go out of my way and buy it again. There are better wheats out there.

Note- This is a fairly mediocre beer by Samuel Adam's standards. Their similiarly styled White Ale is better than this.

 525 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.16/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 09/11/10 notes.

a - Pours a nice golden color with an inch of white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of lemon, citrus, wheat, and bready malts.

t - Tastes of wheat, bready malts, and lemon/citrus.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent, easy to drink beer by Sam Adams. Not my favorite seasonal from them, but a decent beer to get when out to eat. Would never seek out but will drink again at some point.

 451 characters

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

A: The pour is a golden-yellow color with perhaps just a touch of haze to it and a fluffy white head.

S: A strong citrus aroma to the beer is immediately noticeable. The lemon zest shines through and there is maybe a light spice character as well.

T: The wheat provides some nice sweet flavors which goes along nicely with the lemon zest quality. Again, a hint of spice to go along with a mild breadiness.

M: The body is light, which you would expect from a summer beer with a moderate carbonation and a crisp finish.

D: A real easy drinking beer that does work quite well for the warm weather. I wouldn't mind having one of these on a hot day outside.

 656 characters

Photo of orangesol
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of vfgccp
2.2/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Blind taste test.

A – Pale side of yellow. White head holds up with about average retention and leaves a low lace.

S – Damp wheat with a musky overtone. Sprits of lemon on the backend.

T – Harsh, moldy bitter note. Very herbal with cilantro and sage characteristics. Pepper finish with sharp lime acidity.

M – Medium light body. Ok carbonation. Semi-dry, but astringently herbal finish.

O – Oppressive herbal note comes off almost like cleaning fluid. If the not was toned down to about 70% of it’s current intensity I think it’d be a much better beer.

 571 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.14/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It looks like either Jim Koch heard me or I won over their brewer during Philly Beer Week 2013! Jim Koch swore that he was not going to put his beers into CANs until he was totally satisfied with their design. In the meantime, their brewer, whose name I forget, (with his shaved head and bushy beard, he was the face of the company for a while), came to Philly for a luncheon at City Tap House. I knew the answer to so many of his questions for us and he was impressed by Bro. Woody and he picked up my tab, although I offered to pay if he would get his boss to start CANning their beers. Such is a day in the life of The CANQuest (TM)!

From the CAN: "Proudly Brewed By The Boston Beer Company"; "Seasonal Brew"; "Wheat Ale Brewed with Lemon Peel & Grains of Paradise"

They know their business since the loud Crack! revealed a brimful CAN. I raised a toast in return to Mr. Adams, clearly depicted toasting me, then hoisted the sails and the CAN in an inverted Glug. I recommend against inverting your sailboat. I got two fingers of dense, rocky, bone-white head with good retention for my troubles. Color was a slightly hazy Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4-5). Nose had a prevalent lemon peel/citrus smell with an underlying light pepperiness. Mouthfeel was medium. This beer was like a lemon tart or a slice of lemon meringue pie! It was lemony, but kind of sweet at the same time. No ABV was shown, but I could definitely see putting this in the cooler for the people who are not into bitter AIPAs or light, tasteless AALs. Finish had a slight pepperiness that made it semi-sweet overall. I liked the way that the spiciness seemed to linger and tickle my tongue well after the swallow.

My previous, bottle review follows:

CAN't I please get a CAN in somewhere?!? I know that I have strayed, bottle be good in the future.

From the bottle: "Brewed with Lemon Peel and Grains of Paradise, Samuel Adams' Summer Ale is a classic American Wheat Ale. Refreshing and citrusy, with just a hint of spice on the finish. [Undersigned] - Jim Koch".

The pour netted a finger of rocky, off-white head that was burbling and bubbling its way out of existence pretty quickly. Color was an oh-so-slightly hazy golden yellow, suggesting that they did not filter the life out of it like that extra clear Blue Moon Summer wack nonsense. Nose was initially lemon citrusy, but then I got a real whiff of those Grains of Paradise and I felt like I had inhaled black pepper. Zounds! Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but close. This tasted really good, especially after those last two Summer losers, with an initial lemon citrusiness that quickly got out of the way for those Grains of Paradise, which filled my sinuses like there was room or I wanted them there. I kid you not, I was so close to a sneezing fit that it was not funny! Finish was pleasantly dry and I would highly recommend it were it not for the fact that it is not in a CAN and bottles are frowned upon at many summer destinations.

 2,989 characters

Photo of MarkyMOD
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sam Adams sensory pint glass.

I wanted the Latitude 48, so I had to get the whole Summer Styles box. Oh well, I guess I'll suck it up and drink the extraneous bottles. Tee hee. This one pours a clear pale golden straw topped by a half-finger of white micro-foam. The nose comprises lemon zest and a very light bit o' wheat. Uncomplicated, yet still pretty nice. The taste holds quite a bit of cardamom, along with a bit o' coriander and some light grains. Too much spicy flavors, not enough of the grains. Something like that. The body is light, with with moderate carbonation and a crisp, refreshing finish. Overall, a decent lemonade-style brew, but nothing great.

 679 characters

Photo of millerbuffoon
4/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of ZEB89
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Huhzubendah
2.76/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On draft at The Upper Crust in D.C.

The beer is mostly clear and appears golden yellow in color. The head is minimal, thanks to a most generous pour from a gracious bartender. The aroma is weak, with some hints of lemon. The flavor is akin to Lemon Pledge...not digging it. The beer tastes of artificial additives. The back half is just too odd and artificial for me to enjoy. Not a repeat for me.

 398 characters

Photo of Zaphog
2.75/5  rDev -18.4%

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

Photo of InspectorBob
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3/5  rDev -11%

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.68/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours with an orangish golden tone with a nice frothing orangish white head that left me relatively quickly. Another sorry attempt for Sam Adams to make a classic style, it's not horrible it's just Sammed out. Has the same background flavors as many of their beers, which I am not crazy about. The aroma is full of the lemon zest aroma that is nice but the beer shouldn't just have the bitter taste of lemon zest. It cancels out the pleasure of the smell when you taste the bitter offness of the lemon zest. Overall not very drinkable or enjoyable for me. I don't consider this a true witte bit if I did it would be on the bottom of the wittes I have tried. Will not go for this one again.

 699 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.36/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep golden straw color with a smallish white head that quickly dissipates to a cap. Spicy aroma that smells of lemon, pepper, and sweet malts. Taste is sweet with honey like malts, lemon and pepper and that spicy wheat taste. Moderate level of carbonation, medium body, slick sweet mouthfeel. Nice Summer ale if not a bit boring. Not bad but nothing I would regularly seek out.

 386 characters

Photo of stakem
3.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle with a brewery freshness month of August into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Summer Ale appears a light golden yellow color with a slight touch of haze and a thin white cap of head supported by constantly rising bubbles of carbonation. A spotty amount of lace clings to the glassware. The aroma is filled with a lemony scent on top of wheat and spices. Taste is pretty much dominated by wheat with an upfront flavor of lemon and a bit of spice and pepper on the backend. Light feel with a very lively amount of carbonation. Overall a pretty decent warm weather wheat beer. As it warms, there is a change in the flavor and the lemon flavor starts to get to me. The lemon character seems out of wack and doesn't really mesh well with the rest of the flavor of the beer. It's a good lawnmower beer to drink on a hot day but to sit down and enjoy it I am having a hard time getting through just one.

When I had this before, I distinctly remember the character of the grains of paradise being totally dominating in both the flavor and aroma. The lemon character was slim to none but it was there. I don't know if that was from a previous recipe or maybe that has to do with the freshness. Regardless it was an interesting example of the style.

 1,261 characters

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.37 out of 5 based on 5,486 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe