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

Samuel Adams Summer AleSamuel Adams Summer Ale
BA SCORE
3.33/5
5,575 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#42,848
Reviews:
1,683
Ratings:
5,575
pDev:
16.22%
Bros Score:
3.42
 
 
Wants:
69
Gots:
1,349
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,575 |  Reviews: 1,683
Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of smcolw
3.61/5  rDev +8.4%
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 russpowell
3.89/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent honey color with 2+ fingers of ivory colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Grassy & lemon zest up front
& coriander

T: Follows the nose,, you get grains of paradise also & white pepper, slight white grape juice up front. Grainy & lemony notes plus all the spiceyness mentioned earlier as this warms. Grains of paradise really show in the finish, very crisp & peppery

Medium bodied & crisp

Presented well for the style, very drinkable

 473 characters

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.87/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy, yellow-orange body with a full, though collapsing, off-white head.

Smell: Caramel-coated malted wheat aroma with a redolent peppery scent from the Grains of Paradise and an apparent note of lemons.

Taste: Slightly bready wheat malt with a with caramel sweetness present. Tastes of oily lemon peels and a coarse black pepper. A whirl of sweetened tropical fruit juices accompany a slight bitterness which, along with the peppery character, help to temper the sweetness. Drying, spiced finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine, refreshing summertime offering, Samuel Adams Summer Ale walks the fine line between delivering the goods on flavor and being super easy to gulp down.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.14/5  rDev +24.3%
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 ZEB89
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

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

Review from notes.

A: Poured a golden/yellow color, not perfectly clear, but not hazy either. A foamy, one finger head formed on top with moderate retention and wisps of lacing down the glass.

S: A good bit of lemon and lemon peel, light spices, and a hint of hops. Slight windex aroma.

T: The lemon comes through on the flavor profile with a heavy hand of wheat and just a touch of spice. A little bit of beady malt comes in on the backend.

M: Light to medium bodied with medium to high carbonation. Crisp and light, fitting for a summer beer.

O: Its ok, not bad, but I am not really a fan of it. Not bad on a hot day outside, which is where I had this one, but plenty of other beer out there I would prefer.

 718 characters

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

Mildly murky goldenrod with sunshine yellow accents. The cream-colored head is large, finely pitting and hangs around a while. Unimpressive lace. The aroma is not what I had expected or hoped for. Summer Ale smells like a macro lager that's trying to dress itself up and pass itself off as a summer beer by adding a grating or two of lemon zest. The grain-like undertow is too pronounced to be completely covered up. It isn't a total loss, but I see definite room for improvement.

While the flavor is a bit better, it doesn't knock my socks off. Pale malt and wheat malt are dominant, but that same macro lager graininess is annoying the hell out of me. Citrus zest is now minimal and the spice load has been ramped up to moderate. The grains of paradise, used in both this beer and BBC's White Ale, don't seem to work as well here. The medium length finish gives a nod toward bitter, but is otherwise nondescript, and the light-medium body is just about right for a summer quaffer.

In terms of quality and enjoyability, Sam Adams beer covers a fairly wide range for me. While far from bad, this one is solidly in the bottom half. I'm not sure how often they change recipes, but Summer Ale is long overdue.

 1,212 characters

Photo of Jason
3.01/5  rDev -9.6%
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 mdfb79
3.16/5  rDev -5.1%
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 mikesgroove
3.31/5  rDev -0.6%
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 +5.1%

Photo of Zaphog
2.75/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of orangesol
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of womencantsail
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
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 atlbravsrno1
3/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of PA-Michigander
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of jgunther71
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of MarkyMOD
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of WoodBrew
3.12/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Summer Ale by Sammy A is not one of my favorite....there are many other summer beers I would choose over this one. The appearance is a pale yellow with white head that laced nicely. The smell is dominated by lemon citrus. The taste leaned on the acidic side and was not overly refreshing to me. The mouthfeel is fine...if you like a tartness to your beer.

 359 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
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 Huhzubendah
2.76/5  rDev -17.1%
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 johnnnniee
3.36/5  rDev +0.9%
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

Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.33 out of 5 with 5,575 ratings
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