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

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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: 1,655 | Ratings: 5,429
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 rhoadsrage
3.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass)

A- This beer pours a straw yellow with strands of microbubbles gliding up to a thick eggshell of foam that last for a good bit.

S- The aroma of natural lemon dish soap finishes with a soft green hop snap.

T- The dry lemon cleaner taste has a hint of soap to it with a peppery spice to the dry finish. As the beer warms the green hops and pepper finish really grow.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a bit of a flat texture and a crisp finish.

O- The dry crisp taste is refreshing but the soapy notes and lemon pepper flavor are to strong and don't have any support making this a bit rough to finish a glass. The flavors described on the bottle are all there but that is all that is there.

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Photo of akorsak
3.73/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a pint of Summer Ale served at a beachfront restaurant in Long Branch, NJ in a standard glass. The ale is cold.

A: The ale is a straw color with little, if any, head.

S: The lemon zest provides a pleasant citrus kick.

T: The spices (lemon zest and grains of paradise) provide a pleasant tangy flavors that melds well with the light wheat body.

M: The carbonation seems a little over the top, giving the beer a hot, harsh feel.

D: Very drinkable, a perfect beer for a lazy hazy beach day.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2007 edition. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a hazy golden orange color with a white head. The aroma features malt and citrus. The taste is more malt and fruity citrus flavors. Overall, this is a pretty decent brew to down in the hot outdoors, but it is does not possess enough character to enjoy on a regular basis.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.03/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

US$2.86 for the 1 Pint .6oz bottle.

It pours a straw gold colour, a good 1 finger head of foam and the usual good lacing I expect from Samuel Adams.

A good note of lemon zest and some light spice that must be the grains of paradise. A good smeller overall and quite inviting.

The taste is the same as the smell and that works for me. Good thirst quenching lemon zest, light spice, and the wheat backbone bring good tasty flavours and I'm digging it.

Nice close to medium body and a lightish amount of carbonation. Excellent mouthfeel.

Drinkability? A summer thirst quencher if there ever was one. I'll be picking up more of this beauty, no worries.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.87/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Light, slightly clouded yellow color. Poured a 1 finger white head that dissipated to an even skim. Laced in light rings.

S: Lemony citrus aroma is dominent; light and refreshing. Musty, wet grains.

T: Lemon and citrus up front. Bready grains in the middle. Slight tartness lingers through the mild bitter finish.

M: Light body. Balanced carbonation keeps the finish clean and bright. Tasty without being heavy.

D: Very drinkable. Easy to know a few back.

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


Appearance - Mostly clear yellow with an average frothy/fizzy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 3 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell – Grains, lemons, light hops

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and most of the taste is made up of lemon juice and zest. There are also some grains and a very light amount of hop flavour. It finishes with a lemony grainy aftertaste.

Overall – A decent summer refresher. Probably not something I'd go out of my way to seek out again, but still decent.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.23/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into pint glass May,10,2011

A clear golden yellow with loads of big bubbles that feed a fingers worth of head that quickly falls to a thin film that stays until the bottom of the glass leaving a few patches of lace

S spicy lemon with some dry cereal and maybe a little bubblegum

T not far from the smell but with even more spice that I can't quite place,some faint licorice of all things and aspects of a Wit but not a very good one

M light and fluffy in the mouth with a lingering finish

O somethings just a little off with this one, nothing bad or offensive but nothing worth bragging about or looking for

I could take it or leave it, you wouldn't need to look further then this brewery for a better "Summer Beer" that being said I had no issues finishing it or the one after it for that matter but I doubt I'll be buying another 6er when its on the shelf beside their Nobel Pils for the same price

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Light yellow with fizzy head.

S-Lemons, peppery spice. All quite light.

T-Taste is stronger than the nose. Lemon zest, more spiciness, wheat.

M-Thicker than I expected still pretty light bodied however.

D-Less drinkable than anticipated.

Not a bad seasonal.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at TGI Friday's, Millbury, MA, presented in a 23oz hefe-type glass.

Big fluffy slightly off-white head on a slightly cloudy orangy-gold hued brew. Bready, but citrus-y aroma, which the taste resembled. A bit thin body-wise, but certainly an acceptable offering from Boston Beer. Perfect sidekick for my late lunch with the family on a nice spring day.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.38/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single 12 ounce bottle bought from Trader Joe's, bottle says best before August 2007. Head retention and lacing are both OK. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a hazy yellow/orange color with an inch white head. It smells like lemon, grain and some peppery spicyness. The taste is pretty much the same as it smells, except that there's a slight tangy finish. Mouthfeel is light, and the beer is smooth. Drinkability is OK, it's easy to drink. It's a good choice as a summer beer, I think it could be very sessionable on a hot day. Not a bad choice at all, overall I think it's a decent, non-offensive brew.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.52/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have had this before (old) but never reviewed fresh. Best by date notched at August.

A - Looks of a deep amber brown, hazy in color with a nice 1/4 inch of head and lacing is better than expected.

S - Smells of light hops, malts, lemon and grains. All present and accounted for.

T - At first the lemon really was the first thing that I could taste. Tart and unforgiving but as I tread on it balances with the grains to produce a nice crisp bodied ale. Nice level of hops in this years batch also.

M - Light to medium but not sure of it's session ability.

Overall it's not a bad beer but the clash of lemon tartness really tears me away from drinking it again.

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Photo of avalon07
3.08/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: When this one was poured from a tap to a pint glass, it had a slightly brownish-gold color and a somewhat thin consistency. Long-lasting head and some OK lacing.

S: The aroma wasn't particularly overstated. Detected some wheat and mild spices, but little else.

T: The flavor really wasn't that interesting. There was a muted wheat taste and some evidence of hops, but mainly it was pretty watery.

M: This one had a nice amount of carbonation a decently smooth finish. This is a medium-bodied beer.

D: Overall, this one didn't really impress me. There are so many better wheat beers out there than this one.

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

A - Pours a hazy pale orange color with a fluffy one fingered white head and active carbonation.

S - Coriander, wheat, lemons, and some earthy presence.

T - Grainy with lots of wheat, coriander, lemons, and mild pine hopping. The malt is crackery and crisp and blends well with the other flavors going on during the sip.

M - Grainy, light bodied, and crisp.

D - Marginal. I didn't finish mine and left about a third in the glass.

(There's 1200 other reviews for this beer - is someone really reading this???)

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Photo of bark
4.35/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The colour is gold with a tint of orange, the liquid is a little bit hazy. The two finger white head is airy; it sinks slowly down, leaving no lacing.

The smell is fruity with notes of citric and honey. There is some sourness paired with yeast and a fine bitter hoppy flavour.

The taste is fresh and refreshing. There is fine wheat-y sourness, some sweet malt. Fruity notes of lemons and blueberries(!). The aftertaste got a good amount of bitterness, some sweetness and a hint of yeast.

The carbonation is powerful; medium sized bubbles. The liquid is somewhat smooth.

A summer ale that really suits summer days.

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

Clear gold with a fine cap of white foam, good head retention, a bit of sticky lace, mostly sheets. The initial aroma after the pour was very nice, but it lost some of its punch fairly quick. Nice orange blossom and spice up front, fading to a crackery malt aroma. More orange and lemon citrus in the flavour, light bitterness, faint spiciness with sort of a soapy character. Light bodied with some dryness, moderate carbonation, a bit crisp. Pretty refreshing and nicely balanced.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.68/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice pale gold color with some frothy white head. Scent is of musty wheat with hints of citrus and spice. The taste is much fresher than the scent with a nice clean lemon taste and spice to it - all backed by a clean pale wheat charachter. Medium bodied, some grainyness to it. A nice, refreshing summer brew - the grains of paradise give it just enough uniqueness and charachter.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden with a nice pillowy off-white head, good carbonation, and sheets of lace. Prominant lemon zest aroma. Spicy and lemony flavor which dominates most anything else but allows a touch of lightmalt graininess. Light-medium bodied with a light creaminess and a spicy dry finish.

Not a great Wit and Not a great American Wheat... just is.

Label states "Wheat malt, lemon zest, and grains of paradise"

Puchase Before: 09/03
Tasted: 06/08/03

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Photo of bylerteck
3.64/5  rDev +8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

355 mL bottle poured into a tall Beck's pilsner glass.

A - Very thin cap of white head. Very carbonated. Golden yellow.

S - I definately pick up the lemon zest and some sweetness. Lemon zest dominates the aroma though.

T - Really zesty, citrusy and refreshing.

M - Really thin, almost watery.

D - I can see the carbonation holding the drinkability back a bit but this is really refreshing for a summer day. The lemon zest is a nice touch for a summer ale.

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Photo of tigg924
3.93/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: cloudy, orange-yellow, medium head and carbonation

Smell: lemons and wheat

Taste: lemons, wheat, small hops, small malt, some peppery taste as well

Mouthfeel: smooth, sweet, medium body

Drinkability: I had this on tap last night at the 99 because there were not many alternatives. Maybe it is new recipe but I liked this a lot more than I remembered liking it before. I have not had one in a couple of years. It seemed fresh and tasty. I could session these based off of last night's draft experience.

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

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

(A)- Pours a hazy goldenrod color. Some good white froth and lacing.

(S)- A nice dry, but zesty lemon/orange citrus component with a yeasty grainy background.

(T)- Similar to the smell. A zesty grain & yeast bit to it; slightly bitter with subtle lemon.

(M)- A good carbonation level. A good balance too albeit, a slightly bitter, almost grainy mouthfeel.

(O)- You know what? For what this is, it is not that bad. I would drink this in the summer. While I would not actively seek it out, I would not turn it down if offered to me.

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Photo of Brad007
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another beer part of the Sam Summer Pack. The Summer Ale pours a light amber color with a decent, frothy head. Overcarbonation? Anyway, the aroma seems light and crisp with spiciness. The flavor starts out malty at first and then segues into what appears to be lemon zest and the spiciness makes itself known. Goes down very smoothly and seems quite drinkable for the style. I think it is definitely a good beer for those long, hot days of summer.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Has some golden colors with plenty of haze running through it. 1/2" white head. Lemon like aroma.

Again, lemon stressed in the flavor, light amount of wheat in the mouthfeel. Definitely is geared to summertime. Lots of carbonation.

Its fine, just fine.

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

In some states, summer time does not have much of a meaning. Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, etc. However, when summer time finally comes in New England, it is a special time. After dealing with a brutal winter, we finally get 85 degree weather, baseball, and summer beer.

Sam does a great job of a summer ale. A light golden color and a small but attractive top. Upon first taste, a nice light and refreshing flavor. From the first taste, you must continue and have a few of these. Grab a burger and fries with Sam Summer and you will be living the good life.

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Photo of Viggo
3.6/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy amber, small white head forms, settles to a thin ring, some lacing. Smell is sweet, some lemon and spice, caramel and yeast. Taste is sweet up front, citrus and caramel, some spice in the finish, pretty dry. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium to high carbonation. Really not too bad, complexity is not its forte, but a pretty refreshing beer.

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Samuel Adams Summer Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.37 out of 5 based on 5,429 ratings.
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