Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
839 Reviews
Read the review
Samuel Adams Cranberry LambicSamuel Adams Cranberry Lambic

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

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2001

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 839 | Ratings: 1,378
Photo of fdw3
3.16/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky, cloudy red with a medium white head that quickly dissipates; decent lacing.

S: Cranberry is the primary scent (even though it's relatively weak); citrus and wheat notes are also present.

T: An equal share of sweetness and tartness with light notes of cranberry and wheat; alcohol is barely noticeable; a definite acidic quality is present; ends with lingering yeast notes.

M: A bit thin with a light-medium body and plenty of carbonation.

O/D: Not bad, but comes across as a cranberry wheat beer as opposed to a lambic. One or two would be okay, but the acidic nature would certainly become too much for me beyond that. A decent beer overall.

 664 characters

Photo of jman892
2.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - pours a cloudy caramel color, with a fairly sudsy, sticky off white head

S - aroma is a little bit of cranberry tartness, a little bit of dirt/earthiness

T - some more of that tartness, but with an unexpected sweetness as well. Had to remind myself this is a beer and not fizzy fruit juice cocktail

M - a little on the thin side, the sweetness of this is a little overwhelming, and I normally don't mind sweet beers

O - Not my favorite from Sam Adams, not by a longshot. At least I can say I tried it.

 509 characters

Photo of MTNboy
3.97/5  rDev +44.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer has a red-brown body that is super cloudy. It has a decent head that when it disappears it forms little clouds.

Smell: Very sweet aroma with a lot of the cranberry coming through.

Taste: The first thing that hits you is the cranberries. It is not as tart as I would have thought but I was pleased with that. It is sweet and oddly refreshing with a nice sour finish. There are some grassy tones

Mouthfeel Not much carbonation to the body as far as the feel goes. It is full bodied.

Overall: I think this might have been my favorite out of the holiday sampler.

 585 characters

Photo of dankster
3.23/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle with freshness notched

Appearance is murky reddish brown with a decent amount of head. Smells very tart and fruity with a yeast and wheat undertone. Tastes like cranberry wheat beer. nothing special really. mouthfeel is a bit thin but very smooth and easy to drink. overall it is just ok for a wheat/fruit beer but refreshing. a nice change of pace from the everyday pale or wheat ales.

 405 characters

Photo of ckollias
2.51/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a murky orangish copper hue with a white 2-finger head that quickly disppitates leaving a nice trail down the glass and ending in a wispy lace.

S: Sort of a unpleasant aroma coming off this brew – hints of banana cloves, fruits, and phenols.

T: Slightly sweet but not as sweet as I would have expected from a lambic. There are some cranberry flavors and other fruits but not very overwhelming.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: This lambic just didn’t do it for me. I feel like they played it too safe and it came out too bland. I wouldn't call this a lambic.

 639 characters

Photo of harrymel
2.34/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Best by mar, 2010

Compliments of the dentist

A: pink, ruddy a finger of white foam leaves spotty lace. Sheet left.
S: smells like grain and hints of cherry(?)
T: tastes like sweet cranberries and cherries.
M: thin and dry and flat
O: well, actually great for women.

 269 characters

Photo of LazFTW
1.74/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

First things first, this IS NOT a lambic, not even close. Its really a wheat beer with some cranberry flavor. It lacks any of the things that make a lambic a lambic including the sourness and the unique odors/flavors. What you have instead is a strong malt flavor with a cranberry flavor that surprisingly has little tartness to it. Overall there's about two strong flavors to this beer, neither of which are great. It really lacks anything resembling complexity and I wouldn't even call it a good wheat beer.

Maybe their plan was to trick people into thinking it was a lambic with the tartness or sourness of cranberries? Even if not, Sam Adam's, bad job on this one.

 670 characters

Photo of Soonami
2.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not a bad cranberry wheat but definitely not a Lambic, no discernible wild character at all and based on the vague label description, it's not totally unexpected. The beer is okay with nice cranberry flavor, but it's overly wheaty for what I would expect. The MF was ok and overall I didn't hate the beer

 304 characters

Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.26/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a dark and hazy red. The small head vanishes quickly.
(11/11) '09 Vintage: Upping this .5, the pinkish red look is interesting, and pink hued head is impressive.

S: Lots of cranberry with some wheat.
(11/11) '09 Vintage: Still yeasty, but more acidic smelling. Has an artificial smell to it.

T: Okay, this beer takes a lot of bashing at times, but it is tasty. Is the cranberry overwhelming? Maybe a touch, but it has a yeasty kind of taste as well. Then back to a cranberry aftertaste.
(11/11) '09 Vintage: The big difference is that the tartness has increased, by a lot, surprisingly (at least to me). This makes it more lambic-like, even if it's been debated it is not that style.

M: Really smooth and creamy, perhaps the best part of the beer.

D: This is where it struggles, it is good for a little while, but good thing there are only two in the Winter mix 12 pack.
(11/11) '09 Vintage: Not even sure if it's available at all, was in six packs the other year. Might buy a six of this for fun...maybe just a single.

 1,032 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.48/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Freshness date notched on label. Served in a SA perfect pint glass.
Note: I first sampled this beer about 8 years ago and was repulsed at just how overly-tart and acidic it was. It was instant indigestion. It took 3 Tums to quell the acid reflux.
Now, I cautiously try it once more. I do believe it has changed. Not my taste buds...the beer.
It pours a cloudy rust color with a pink-hued beige head, along with a fair amount of sticky lacing.
A smell of citrus and cranberries waft up at first pour. A smell of Wheatees, is followed by a lightly pungent clovey yeasty aroma.
Tastes of cranberries (surprise!) and orange zest dominate early. The flavors evolve into citrus-dominated fruit cup with a lightly sweetened Farina. An astringent acidic/sourness is noticed in the aftertaste, though not as bad as I remember it.
The mouthfeel is a bit off-putting. There's a raspy, dryness to it which creates a desperate need for water to wash it down.
As bad as that may sound, it's not really bad. In fact, it's pretty good in an unusual way.

 1,052 characters

Photo of danedelman
1.84/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This one SHOULD NOT say the word Lambic on it. I purchased thinking it was and was very disappointed when I opened the case to find it was a Cranberry wheat.

A-red tinted wheat beer, cloudy and true to form for a wheat.

S-does have that little bit of "funk" in the nose but a little too rotten of a smell. Get the bready notes of a wheat.

T-I get a nasty wheat flavor with a large does of cranberry tartness, not wild yeast tartness with IMO is horrible. As this one warms it gets nastier. I dumped down the drain and will give to my non-beer snob friends over thanksgiving and X-mas.

M-Like a mediocre wheat beer should.

Overall-I was fooled on the name and should have realized when it was $32 for a case of "Lambic"...

 726 characters

Photo of rlee1390
3.26/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Cloudy light pinkish red, two finger head with a pinkish hue, extremely carbonated but does leave behind some lacing.

S-Lots of cranberries, not much else, some wheat sneaks in.

T-Some tartness, but not tart when compared to even non sour beer brewed with brett. Cranberries are present.

M-Overly carbonated, more like a fruit soda. Light in body.

O-The problem is that although it tasted ok, the carbonation did me in. It drank more like a Smirnoff Cranberry than a beer.

 478 characters

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.22/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours the color of ruby red grapefruit juice, with very little head that fizzles to nothing within seconds

S: Tart cranberries, odd fruity yeast, definite wheat. Not too bad actually, especially for a fruit beer/lambic

T: Same as the nose, starts off with a tart/sweet cranberry that is followed by the wheat malt and fruitiness of the yeast. Reminds me a lot of Lindemans, even though they don't make a Cranberry lambic

M: Light-medium bodied with full carbonation. A little too watery, though

O: Judging by the reviews, I thought this was going to be a disaster. It really wasn't bad at all, in fact quite enjoyable. Sure, it's not a true lambic, but it's really a nice go at it by an American brewery

 710 characters

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.42/5  rDev +60.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy Red/Orange one inch or so of head diminishes rapidly, nice lacing on the glass.
It really smells like cranberries with perhaps a hint of lemon.Cranberry tartness without bitterness.I truly enjoyed this beer, despite it being six months out of date! Will be looking forward to a fresh batch at Christmas!

 318 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
2.8/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice reddish-orange. Smells of sweet cranberry, possibly a little overpowering, but not too bad. Judging by the appearance and smell, I thought this would be a decent beer. Then, I took a drink. Tastes like a mixture of beer and metallic cranberries. I barely managed to drink one...gave the others away....ha ha sorry suckers! This beer is the worst Samuel Adams offering in my opinion.

 395 characters

Photo of Badbobx
3.38/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. There was about a quarter inch of foam on top of a hazy beer. The appearance was an interesting shade of reddish brown. The aroma was sour and malty not too pronounced. I enjoyed the flavor. I am a big cranberry fan and really enjoy the sours. The flavor lacked the sour punch of a Belgian. This may be due to the beer being 4 months past it's April date.

 396 characters

Photo of BelgiumBill
2.83/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not a fruit beer kinda guy, so I'll try to keep my preference out of the review.

This bottle had been sitting in my fridge for some time. It had a best by notch of April - it is now July. But that may have helped it? As I recall from when I had one back in the winter (which I didn't review) I disliked the tart sourness which I suppose is typical for the style.

Pouring this one left a 1 inch foamy off-white head. The color was of apple cider with a rose hue.

The fragrance gave off some sweet malts and dried fruits.

The taste was tart and fruity and lightly sour. Oddly enough, it wasn't nearly as sour as I remembered it to be. Maybe 3 months past expiration improved it??

If you like tart/sour you may enjoy, if not don't bother. Well maybe you should bother just to be familiar with the style - though I'm sure there are better examples of the style.

 867 characters

Photo of happygnome
2.26/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes

A: pours a hazy pink color with about an eigth inch of head that disappears quickly leaving not even a trace of lace to be seen anywhere. Carbonation bubbles can be seen rising to the top of the beer initially, but that soon dies making the beer look dull.

S: Wheat malts, coriander, citrus and sour cranberry. It reminds me of a wit.

T: very similar to the aroma. Reminds me of a wit with cranberries

M: light bodied beer with even lighter carbonation

Overall, this is not a beer that I will be purchasing again

 539 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.15/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Honestly, I have no idea how this bottle wangled its way into my fridge - it just appeared one day, as if by magic. I suspect a practical joker. But who knows where it came from, with all the people coming through this house bearing bear like the Wise Men.

Party cloudy light red, poured into two small tasting glasses. Actually smells pretty good, nice cranbeery slap, nice & sharp. Optimism flows through my veins!

Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic isn't the Amtrack wreck I feared, but it isn't Cantillon, either. The cranberry is tantamount, saddled up on an underlying sharpness that's drought-dry. There's enough wheat here to qualify as a hefe of some sort. Touch of sourness in the end, but can't shake that hefe image in my mouth. The mild medicinal quality that lingers like a Freddy Krueger really detracts from what might have been a pretty good beer.

Not bad, not great, a shave above average. Elimination of the aftertaste would make this a great gateway beer.

 973 characters

Photo of Knapp85
2.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First time I ha this beer I found it to be cometely undrinkable. I had a few sips and dumped it out. I was given another bottle as a gift some time later and gave it another try. This time It was much better. The red color was always attractive to me but the idea of cranberry isn't for me. I've never been a fan of them so naturally this brew wouldn't please me. For this who enjoy cranberry do try this, you'll probably enjoy it.

 431 characters

Photo of richkrull
2.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a cloudy reddish orange color with quite a bit of quickly dissipating mostly white head. Smells malty and grainy. Taste is not too impressive. Definitely taste the wheat though with a bit of a dry aftertaste from the cranberry coming through. Very bubbly feel. Not too drinkable in my mind. Probably would get sick of this after a couple.

 345 characters

Photo of KajII
3.04/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Flute Glass]

Poured a murky light red in color with a small fizzy head that was mostly diminishing with fair lacing. The aroma was that of bready malts and cranberries and well as a light scent of spice. It tasted sweet and acidic with a heavy cranberry wine like flavor. Mouthfeel was a little watery in texture with a light to medium body. Overall a nice flavored brew.

 390 characters

Photo of BeerLover99
2.4/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: pink amber bubbly body, zero head and zero lacing.

S: big cranberry, citrus

T: sweet cranberry and citrus up front, long sour finish

M: med/light body, big carbonation, sticky

D: Can barely finish one, not a huge fan of the style, but Lambics I have had from Belgium are definitely my favs.

 298 characters

Photo of WVRadar
4.33/5  rDev +57.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy Amber/Orange with hints of red. 1 inch head diminishes rapidly, excellent lacing.

S: Didn't really smell like cranberries, seemed to be more like citrus to me.

T: Pleasant tart taste without bitterness.

M: Creamy, with noticeable carbonation.

D: I really liked this beer, and couldn't wait for another.

 316 characters

Photo of JohnnyChicago
3.83/5  rDev +39.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Champagne flute. Bottle is a couple of years old.

A: Ruby with a huge fluffy white head. There's some sediment floating around in it.

S: Smell is very complex: cranberry and figs, breadiness and a bit of funk.

T: Taste follows the smell nicely! The breadiness is big here, making it complex and tasty.

D: Alcohol is completely hidden and flavour is interesting. I could easily have a few of these.

Overall: This is one of the best Boston Beer offerings. Its not a lambic, but it shines out in its difficult category. Its a polarizing brew, you either love it or hate it. I love it.

 620 characters

Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
2.75 out of 5 based on 1,378 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!