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Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
74
okay
1,149 Reviews
THE BROS
70
okay
Read the review
Samuel Adams Cherry WheatSamuel Adams Cherry Wheat
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-25-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,149
Ratings:
3,797
Avg:
3.22
pDev:
42.55%
 
 
Wants:
50
Gots:
711
For Trade:
0
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,149 | Ratings: 3,797
Photo of biegaman
3.17/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Part of me is relieved Sam Adams Cherry Wheat doesn't have a spot of red - fruit beers that take on too much of the colour of their fruits tend to be contrived and superficial. That said, this dull, semi-clouded, honey golden appearance doesn't exactly excite the senses. And the lack of head is concerning, especially for something with "wheat" in the name.

Fruit can be frustrating to brew with; because it's comprised mainly of water and sugar, it's difficult to preserve those fresh, sweet flavours post-fermentation. It requires huge amounts (which, on a scale like that of Boston Beer Co., means a lot of money). Hence, a lot of producers (this one included) opt to supplement natural fruit with "natural flavors".

It's obvious. The aroma resembles that of a maraschino cherry jar. It's not even fruit juice - it's maraschino cherry juice. It smells preserved, sweetened, syrupy, even a little briny and has a bright, almost grenadine-like red fruit flavour that is more at home in a Shirley Temple than an American Wheat Ale. There's a hint of blanched almonds and powdered sugar too.

The flavour is equally shallow, offering only the most superficial fruit flavour, something resembling a cough lozenge or bar mix. Although tart cherries are cited on the label, the use of honey turns things quite sweet. The other components of the beer (yeast, malt, hops) contribute virtually nothing. After a short burst of carbonation there's little left but a stale, damp grain taste.

I last reviewed Sam Adams Cherry Wheat ten years ago. It is remarkable the similarity in my tasting notes and overall impressions. I'll give the brewery full credit for consistency though, as you can see, I'm not willing to grant points for much else. It may lack the eye-catching appearance but, make no mistake, this one of those purely cosmetic fruit beers.

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Photo of ribby
3.01/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The cherry flavor overwhelms this. No off flavors, but it is hard to tell what beer is underneath the cherry flavor. Unfortunately, it is sweet not sour cherry.

Tasted this side by side with bells poolside, which accurately says its a belgian wit with cherry. The poolside uses the cherry as an accent, not as the dominant flavor, and i would recommend that over the Sam.

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Photo of Rock_Glenn
1.23/5  rDev -61.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.25

I'm being a bit generous, this is one of the worst beers I've ever tasted. At first I thought someone slipped half a bottle of cough syrup in my wheat beer.

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Photo of psycHOPathy
2.79/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks like beer
Smells like cherry and wheat, actually. Some ester, some sugar
Tastes like cherry but sort of synthetically and medicinally so. Corn, wheat
A little syrupy
After a few sips it gets kind of sickening. Definitely won't be ordering this one

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Photo of goodbeer4cheap
3.9/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cherry in front. Cherry pie cherries and light beer background. I happen to like fruit beer because the summer beers are too light and empty in flavor so if it's summer I would go for this. Look- Nothing impressive in its pale wheat beer appearance nothing to think the cherry is real. Smell- Cherry pie filling, nothing else. Taste-dry cherry pie feeling on a light beer paddleboard. Feel-dry mouth, cherry beverage like sweetened cherries. Overall cherry is my go to fruit beer thus my higher rating but I always rate cherry beers to Founders Cerise and this one falls short. I also rate these beers on price to yum scale and this one is not as good to me in the fruit beer column as Oberon, Upland Wheat, or #9 pale or Curious Traveler Lemon Shandy in that grouping or the summer easy to find locally group. But would rate above purple haze or Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy. Also I am not a fan of orange, apple or raspberry fruit beers.

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Photo of the_awesometeer
3.6/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a hazy pale gold. There is visible carbonation and a very thin white head that laced the whole way down. The nose is pure cherries. Holy cow, I wouldn't even know this was beer all there is a scent of cherry and a splash of vanilla. The taste is similar and taste very cherry yet was not overly sweet. The flavor reminded me more of a cherry candy or cough syrup. I wish the beer had a slight more complexity in flavor or another layer or something. I enjoyed the mouth feel it was very smooth while still getting the carbonation tingling against my lips and tongue.

 589 characters

Photo of plumberman63
2.08/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

So far I have never had a Samuel Adams that I liked or could even drink. Alls seem like Black label skunk beer. may try a few more or just give it up...

 152 characters

Photo of RobertDBrase
3.61/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a hazy orange with a creamy white head with some sediment evident in the beer.

Smells of white bread and cherries.

The taste was a strong punch of cherries with some hops present in the flavor.

The mouth feel was light with a crisp finish.

Overall I was impressed with this beer and enjoyed it, to a certain extant. I really think this could have been better with a cut back on the cherry and vice versa being on the worse side with just a touch more cherry. So with that I really must say I cannot justify purchasing more of this beer.

 548 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
2.51/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Had this repeatedly years ago and had fond memories of it so when I saw a six, I picked it up. Wishing I had passed.
The look is fairly good, a reasonably good-sized white head with scattered lace. Retention is ok, at best. I expect a long-lasting, fluffy head on a wheat., not so here.
Smell was a key in memories. Cherry is very forward here with weak malt backing it up. Balance is missing.
Taste is.......artificial. Cherry is strong here, as well. Malt is more prevelant but still more of a bit player. The cherry note is reminiscent of cough syrup, very chemical in nature. Now, whether due to changes in the recipe or changes in my palate, this was pretty off-putting to me. Balance doesn't really exist.
Medium bodied for the style, effervescence is of big bubbles, not the small bubble, soft feel expected and in other wheats. Fake cherry lasts and actually gets a touch metallic in the aftertaste. I won't be buying this again.

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Photo of RIMH
3.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

This beer is very sweet. I do enjoy cherry flavor, and this one is good, but I usually can't finish a bottle unless I'm sipping it for a while because the sweetness just gets a little overwhelming after a while.

 211 characters

Photo of bhblbagpiper
1.12/5  rDev -65.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I usually like or am OK with most of Sam Adams brews. This is officially my least favorite beer. Tastes like cough syrup. I always try to give things a chance even if I don't like it but no matter how many times I try this I've only made it a few sips and have to get rid of it.

 278 characters

Photo of Bluegrass49
3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Broke my own rule and drank it straight from the bottle. Definitely very cherry. Okay for a change, but not a staple. Will finish the 6-pack and move on the a new beer adventure.

 181 characters

Photo of KACK1533
3.1/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Deep amber color. Whiff of cherries and grain. Pretty tart for a beer. Took me a couple of tries to like it. Ended up liking it. Overall this is a pretty decent brew. I'll have me another please.

 195 characters

Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.56/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had this one straight from the bottle. Aroma was sweet cherry syrup tempered by wheat bread. Taste follows, with the cherry flavor coming through crisp and sweet, and not cloying or artificial. This could be the light cherry ale I've been looking for.

 251 characters

Photo of NateDyk47
3.01/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

This beer is about what you would expect. Medium to strong artificial cherry flavor, but the wheat taste also comes through. Pretty drinkable, on the thin side. I'd drink it again but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of Aegelis
4.7/5  rDev +46%
look: 3.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sweet cherry and fine brew marry together in a harmonious blend. I would have expected a reddish-brown colour and more froth, but smell and taste more than make up for it. Bubbles are a fine fizz like a champagne instead of a typical beer. Not sure what to make of this other than to say it is an identifying characteristic. Sam Adams Cherry Wheat is on my favourite list.

 376 characters

Photo of Jomolieri
4.03/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Taste exactly like it should. Tart cherries with a honeyed sweetness and flavors of sweet honey wheat bread. Great creamy mouthfeel. Not overly complex but very flavorful and satisfying.

 187 characters

Photo of Hop_God
4.23/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: straw yellow toorange to amber, slight red hue.thin opaque head.

S:Cherries cherries cherries, vanilla, canied cherry.

T: Cherries upfront, creamy vanilla, like the kind you would get a cherry vanilla ice cream or soda combo. subtle bread. No hops to speak of.

F: creamy, likely oats added for this smooth silky mouthfeel.

O: This is tough for me, this beer was one of the first ones i liked when i began drinking craft so its hard to put down. This is def a gimmicky beer, no question, but it serves a purpose and for that, we thank you.

 547 characters

Photo of Strat58cat
3.82/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This strange brew will kill what's inside of you - like preconceptions. With the massive cherry aroma backed by a powerful malt, it's like a cherry wheat India Pale Ale, originating in the mid-1990s when nobody was making IPAs, much less cherry wheat ones.

I've heard Jim Koch and Samuel Adams criticized for not thinking outside the box. This brew shows Jim Koch doesn't even know there is a box. To enjoy it, I had to similarly erase the box containing my own preconceptions. This is a radical brew that somehow has become popular. Don't drink it unless you like cherries - a lot!

This review is based on a very fresh bottle from Bev Mo. I am trying to avoid brightly lit supermarkets that don't turn over their stock. This bottle was good until 2/16, and it's early September here in Southern CA now, and very hot. A cherry wheat might just hit the spot? It does.

In the mid-1990s, Koch was looking around for something to do with his wheat beers. He's pretty clear on a You Tube video that he didn't like his wheat beers at the time, feeling they were boring. So they took it to 11 with Michigan cherries and a very flavorful malt. There's a whole lot of flavors in there.

The defining character of this ale is the purple haze. Perhaps it's not purple. Okay, it's a deep amber pale ale with hints of orange in the evening light in my house. However, it's pure haze. It's haze like Southern California in the winter when a fog bank rolls in. It's a pea soup haze. I've rarely had a beer with this level of unfiltered malt protein floating around in it. That's the first hurdle to overcome - drinking an exceptionally hazy ale. The head foams up big time and retains so well that it becomes annoying, delaying the rest of the pour. Overfilled, the foam head piles over the top of the beer glass but does not overrun the sides. On the way down, it laces to a remarkable extent. That quality malt is the key to understanding this ale.

The aroma of this ale is overwhelmingly cherry. It's like cutting open a pile of cherries and snuffing in that aroma. You can't overstate how much cherry is in this brew. Using cherries instead of most of the hops to brew is technically using an adjunct, which means under German law this brew is not beer. That's the problem with the German law - restricting creativity. However, Samuel Adams has never used an adjunct to cut flavor. It's contrary to their whole business model. The brewer says they use fresh cherries and honey, and I'm not going to speculate about how they brew this cherry wheat IPA. The experience is cherries and more cherries. Now, I wouldn't say it's exactly fresh cherries. These cherries were brewed in the mash! It's more along the lines of cooked cherries. Don't even think about drinking this beer unless you really love cherries (which I do). Behind the cherries, there's a solid malt aroma of honey and cereal.

The taste is where the real challenges to expectations arise. The initial flavor is overwhelmingly cherry, yet not cherry. This drink is dry. So what you have is a dry beer with an overwhelming initial cherry flavor, backed by a substantial malt flavor. If the look and the smell suggest a sort of cherry cider, those expectations are ripped to pieces at the first sip. This is a beer with a very powerful wheat malt character. It has the sharp wheat feel, which lends an edge to the flavor behind the cherry. As the porch front of cherry subsides, the honey-cereal malt steps to the forefront, and there within it is just a hint of the trademark Samuel Adams caramel or sweetness. Honestly, this beer is a shock to the palate. I'm surprised that many people don't spit it out and pour out the rest of it afterwards. The most shocking thing about it is the popularity of this strange brew, not because it's not good but because the public has risen to the challenge. Once past the shock, it's very good. It's a treat of a cherry wheat IPA - if you like cherries and wheat beer.

For me, the feel of the beer is a weak point. I like more body in my ale than this wheat malt provides. The feel of the ale is intentionally thin. It provides an initial crispness that is perfect for a hot day. Although the flavor unfolds with layers of depth, the feel remains too thin for me to want to drink it every day. It's attractive right now, however, since we are having a major heat wave.

Overall, this is one of the most challenging beers that I have imbibed. This strange brew - a prehistoric cherry wheat IPA of all things - is worth the effort.

 4,579 characters

Photo of breardon1776
3.8/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Its for when you want beer but something different that is not just a beer taste. Pours to a cloudy straw/gold color. It is def. filled with cherry flavor and vanilla. Hit you in the nose, mouth and throat. Def. pungent and some may not like. Goes down smooth.

 264 characters

Photo of MicTar
4.09/5  rDev +27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Weizen

L: light Amber with a small white head, small lacing on sides

S: CHERRIES , yum, and vanilla

T: cherry and grass, small hop bite with a slight sour aftertaste

F: small sting from the carbonation but a very smooth finish

O: this is a nice end of the day beer that I could easily keep in the fridge for that "I want a beer" moments

 360 characters

Photo of Brian_L-2056
2.84/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light gold hazy color with pale white head. Can definitely smell the cherries! Good carbonation and little to no lacing. Initial taste of cherries, quickly changes to kind of bland slightly dry finish. Missing that flavorful taste of a typical wheat beer.

 267 characters

Photo of SitkaSteve
2.26/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

On the side of the bottle, it reads that the cherries come from Traverse City, MI. Well, due to my research, I've heard that this is the cherry capital of the world. Here's the rest...
This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a ruddy red to slight brown color. A foamy to bubbly one finger white head dissipates immediately barely leaving any lacing.
The smell, well, okay, there's the cherries, balanced by a sweet wheatiness.
The taste was fairly sweet through the cherries and wheatiness. But there's a slight medicinal aftertaste, hmmm...that's a bit disappointing.
The mouthfeel seems about a light to medium on the body. Carbonation runs about a medium as there's some harshness, another hmmmm....on my part.
Overall, between the medicinal aftertaste and the harshness on the mouthfeel (I would think that the wheat should detract from the harshness), also, true cherries are going to have a slight tartness to it. I didn't get that either. Ruh roh, Sam Adams, leaves me scratching my head a bit. I don't think I'd come back to this and I don't think those cherries are from Traverse City.

 1,108 characters

Photo of ordybill
3.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I had this beer at the Carolina Ale House in Columbia, SC. Served from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
The aroma was of wheat and cherry extract, not bad.
Appearance- The beer had a nice golden color.
Taste- This was the drawback for me, the flavor was overpowering on the fake cherry flavoring.
Palate- A medium bodied beer with mild carbonation.
Overall- A good beer, but you have to be in the mood for this cheery beer.

 426 characters

Photo of Nyg
3.75/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is my favorite goto beer when there isn't anything else really to choose from other then bud colors etc . Crisp light wheat beer with a perfect cherry note to it. This beer pours golden with a nice head and in my opinion a more natural cherry taste than some of the other fruit beers

 288 characters

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Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
74 out of 100 based on 1,149 ratings.
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