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

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1,656 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: 1,656 | Ratings: 5,433
Photo of Tone
3.44/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, gold color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of lemon, sweet malt, pale malt, hint of hop, grass, slight yeast, earthy malt, and a hint of pepper. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale malt, hint of sweet malt, strong wheat, hint of hop, hint of ginger, and slight lemon. Overall, average appearance, good aroma, and average body.

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

On-tap at Faegan's in Syracuse.

Maybe the best American wheat beer I've had. There's a tinge of vanilla, and hefeweizen spice to it along with mellow wheat and malt. Hops are present, though only an afterthought. All in all there is a gentle complexity that makes this a good beer. Not too dumbed down like most light wheat beers. Worth a try.

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Photo of Duff27
3.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- two finger head atop clear golden beer. Nice effevescence.

S- clean lemon scent

T- slight lemon. leaves a weird grainy aftertaste.

M- typical BBC carbonation/mouthfeel. Somewhat thin in the mouth.

D/O- not my favorite style but their are some GREAT examples (Gumballhead, A Little Sumpin Sumpin Ale) and this one doesn't even compare. Others may like this one (BMCers?) but I don't care for it much.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
1.88/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

What a difference between the tap and bottle.
This poured a light golden body with a thin film that was supposed to be the head. Is this the same beer as from the bottle?
Smell? Nothing, maybe a hint of citrus, maybe. Gave it 2.5 cuz the smell isn't bad, just isn't really noticeable.
Taste is awful. Stale hops, malt, citrus. Nothing fresh or refreshing. Too sweet if anything. this must have been a keg from last year. It ain't good. Blah

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Photo of WesWes
3.77/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.29/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Roscoe's Deli last night, on to the beer:

It hazy orange in color with a pretty good head. It glows in the rather dark surroundings of Roscoe's. Not much to smell but yeast, perhaps being too cold. The first half of the beer was boring because it was too cold. But as it warmed up, it got better. Some mango, apricot, yeast, pepper, and spice become noticable. Smooth and creamy from draft. It must be more refeshing when it's warm, because I consumed this after midnight, when it's, you know, cool.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.54/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a hazy orange amber with a thin white head that dissipates to patches with light lacing. Aroma of wheat, light citrus and the woody spiciness of grains of paradise and hint of diacetyl. Flavor of grainy wheat, light biscuit malt, lemon citrus, apricot and a woody spiciness. Medium bodied with good carbonation. An different take on a pale wheat ale, with a more robust body that almost seems malty. The citrus and grains of paradise give a interesting interplay, but the the wheat and citrus do not support the woody spiciness in the finish. Refreshing on a hot summer day, but not a wheat that I would seek out.

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Photo of aasher
3.52/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It poured a golden straw wheat yellow, slightly cloudy with barely any head. It smells of yeast, citrus, and coriander and smells pretty good. It tastes of light yeast with the citrus, perhaps orange peel, coming through. It's slightly sweet and tastes pretty solid, definitely better out of a bottle than on tap. The mouthfeel is just ok. It's very light with just slight carbonation. It's extremely drinkable, being both tasty and light. It's something worth drinking if on funds are tight. It's probably my favorite Sam Adams brew after the Boston Lager.

 557 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.86/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Age date was Aug 05. Poured a cloudly yellow with a very small head, with not much lacing. Bottle sez wheat ale brewed with lemon and grains of paradise. Has a grassy scent with a very nice taste. This is a very socialable brew, many can be had. Will I buy it again, probably not.

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Photo of tone77
3.72/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smeel is slightly sweet, some lemon and wheat. Taste is light and sweet, some hints of lemon, a touch of hops is present.Feels medium bodiedin the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this makes a pretty good selection.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.95/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Hazy yellow with visable carbonation rising to the surface. Bone white head recedes to a small film.

S. Grassy wheat and hay are the dominant scents of this beer. Bready. As it warms theres a smell I cannot describe.

T. Spicy up front, fading to some citrus and wheat backing. Hops are there to add to the other spices. A unique American Wheat.

M. Interesting mouthfeel also. Literally, spicy on the palate which lingers on the tip of the tongue. On the light side of medium bodied.

D. Good brew here. Drinkable, you bet. Not as easy drinking as some summer brews, but great for what it is.

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Photo of plaid75
3.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light copper hue with a two finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a nice clean wheat aroma with a strong yeast, coriander and lemon aroma. Mild cloviness as well.

The taste was nice and spicy. Good biscuity wheat body and and spicy notes. The lemon zest made for a nice dry finish.

The mouthfeel was of medium chewiness.

Overall a very quaffable summer wheat.

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

'Summer Ale' is a befitting name for this beaming golden brew; although plenty of light is allowed to pass through, fine dusty particles blur clarity enough that only shadows are visible on the other side. Its linty white head is very responsive to swirling but always tapers off to just the one thick outside ring of foam. Hardly any lacing is left.

Like most American wheat ales, this is rather agreeable but has an additional, uncustomary savoriness that is definitely notable even while not being overpowering. The beer's 'aww chucks' appeal, however, quickly grows old as the lemon zest and grains of paradise notes go stale at the expense of tiresome malts and an overly complaisant spiciness.

The mouthfeel has both gritty bitterness and fruity tang, albeit each in compromised roles. The spices are again quite agreeable, and fitting for a beer meant to be light and refreshing, although a peppery texture definitely coats the palate long before anything earthy or sweet sets in. The finish is dry and croaky like steamed pak choy or other Asian greens.

Flavours of dry grass and grapes, raw wheat, and floral hops compliment the grains of paradise, which are actually quite mild in taste. The Asian greens flavour continues as a steamed bok choy plays right into a lemon zested chickpeas, with added mandarin slices and pomegranate molasses. It tastes like a healthy dinner, with as much bitterness as sweetness.

I got no qualms with this one. Sure, there are better summertime patio beers, but in a crunch this will do just fine. In fact, I can see this being enjoyed by the more casual crowd of beer drinkers as well as the more demanding aficionados. Indeed, come summer, this is exactly the kind of refreshing, endlessly quaffable ale one wishes were more widely available.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz as part of the summer mix pack.. poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

1" head dies leaving no lacing atop a milky golden straw brew.

Aroma is husky pale malts and wheat with a slight but present lemon zest note.

Flavor is better than the aroma.. but not a whole lot. Pale malts and wheat.. with above lemon and a background spice that reminds me of earthy hops... but not really hops if that make sense. Body is creamy lite medium and carbonation is fairly soft. Drinkablity is fairly high.. but I probably won't ever buy it again.

 542 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.05/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 bottle drank a few months after best buy notch on label and poured into a weizen glass

A: A nice murky, straw-golden color with a lot of tiny bubbles and a large white head that slowly dissipates down to a steady thin layer. Leaves moderate lacing in glass. Also some particles of sediment floating in the glass, not sure if I remember them from when I had this fresh.
S: Nothing remarkable, nothing bad. Some citrus, yeast and a little soapiness
T: Maltier than expected, strong citrus flavors, lemony. An adequate wheat ale, not overpowering.
M: Only part of beer that something seems off with. Somehow seems thick and watery at the same time.
D: While nothing about this beer was incredibly good or bad, I do enjoy drinking this (well, in the summer) and is a reliable beer at a chain restaurant in the summer and worth picking up a 6 pack for an outdoor afternoon

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.77/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a cloudy yellow, with a medium white head, good retention.

S: Very light, wheat malt and lemon.

T: Bitter lemon comes to the forefront, cereal grains and peppery spice in there too.

M: Light and crisp, smooth, medium carbonation.

D: An interesting mix of flavours, but just wasn't into it at the end, I'd choose others for a summer refresher.

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Photo of Zorro
3.33/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a mildly hazy golden brew.

Smell is a little sweet and a bit of wheat smell.

Taste is mostly a clean wheat taste. A cracker flavor is also present. A bit of lemon is present as well as a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good.

Light drinkable brew, good but pass the German Weizen please.

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Photo of flagmantho
2.55/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: clear yellow body with a thin head of fizzy white foam. OK for the style, but it's not a particularly inspirational picture.

Smell: light wheatiness and spiciness from the grains of paradise. It's an interesting aroma, but I'm just not a big fan of the spice: it just seems astringent and off-putting in a beer of this style. Not *bad*, but just not my speed.

Taste: the spice is significanly more prevalent in the flavor than the aroma. I'm getting lemongrass and pepper and bitter, astringent citrus. It simply does not float my boat; in my opinion a beer needs more heft to handle a spice like this.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation. Not bad, but not much to say here.

Overall: this beer has a few good points, but they are mostly blown away by the inappropriateness of this grain in this beer. I'm sure it would work well in a saison, but in this beer it is neither particularly tasty nor refreshing.

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

On tap at the Nashville airport. All things considered, I was pleasantly surprised to see a beer of "this quality" at the airport.

SASA poours a somewhat cloudy golden amber color with with fairly good head retention and lacing. Don't get a whole lot on the nose, just some light sandlewood and nutmeg... maybe a hint of clove and lemon. The flavor profile is pretty "wheaty," with some underlying light bitternes, light honey and spice. There's sort of a lemony, fruit cocktail flavor as well to this beer that is attractive. Mouthfeel is light and fairly refreshing, with some noticeable light spice in the finish.

Mehhh... suitable for quenching one's thirst at an airport while waiting for one's flight during a storm delay, but not really much else. Can't imagine ordering this one again any time soon.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.07/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle that expires August 2011. Sampled on April 9, 2011. The pour is a hazy pale yellow-orange combination with a short bursting fizzy white head the goes away quickly. The aroma highlights the lemon zest and grains far beyond anything wheat like. The taste is summer tart with a zing of lemon, black pepper, and a moderate hop note at the end. The wheat taste is downplayed too much.

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Photo of Derek
3.77/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber-bronze, white head, a little retention, not much lace.

S: Quite fruity (bubblegum fruity esters & a little banana), with a pleasant spicing.

T: There's a little more tropical fruit than most American versions (using British yeast); the spicing is certainly unique. Slight bready-caramel. Not as thirst-quenching as some, but plenty of flavour.

M: Smooth, slightly heavier than moderate body, modest carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable.

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Photo of weeare138
3.98/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'll admit that I moaned at my wife for making me get this at such a price for guests.
Appears a hazy light gold with a thick, 2 finger creamy white head that never fully goes away. Excellent lacing for the style and a steady 1/8" creamy head floating with excellent carbonation pumping to the top.
Smell is of light orange peel, zesty wheat, bubble gum and white pepper.
Taste is actually pretty good. Good taste of sweet orange peel balanced by the wheat, spice, and a mild hop note.
Mouthfeel is creamy, medium bodied and dry with a light gummy spiciness flowing through the palate.
This is actually a good beer and I was ready to be let down. Prepare to drink at a fast pace b/c they go down nice and smooth.

Finger licking good.

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Photo of jdhilt
3/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From my notes 5/25/07 - Pours a two-finger white head that fades quickly to a ring leaving some lace. Clear amber color. Faint wheat nose. Light-medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Flavor is light citrusy wheat. Clean finish. $5.50 on-tap 14oz at Houlihan's Logan airport Boston, Ma.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this last year and couldn't wait for this year's batch - I guess, as the Geto Boys once said, "my mind's playin' tricks on me".
I remembered trying this last year and it being a great pale wheat; that isn't the case this year. Pours a orangish body with a great one-finger head that was very creamy. Picked up some citric notes and clove, among other spices, in aroma but kinda weak. The beer threw me off. It was smooth, a little creamy, had a nice taste, but everything was kinda blase. Had some orangish, citric taste, and some spices, but overall was a little bland and watery. Not a bad beer, but I can think of other summer ales this season to try first.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.77/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a light, cloudy gold color with a vibrate white head.

S: nose was light, fresh citrus, lemongrass and a pleasantly soft herbal hopping.

T: For flavor there was a touch of sour citrus (oranges), pale malt and lemon peel as well some slight grassy hints. There was a slight hint of peppery nature in the finish.

M: crisp with a soothing sourness of lemonpeel and slight tartness.

D: Drinkability is light, refreshing, and crisp, good enjoyability on a hot summer day.

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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.37 out of 5 based on 5,433 ratings.
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