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

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Samuel Adams Cranberry LambicSamuel Adams Cranberry Lambic
1,387 Ratings
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

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Ratings: 1,387 |  Reviews: 841
Photo of cyberbmcd
2.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I don't understand everyone trashing this brew, but I do understand that it's not "great"

The color is wonderful in a glass and the aroma is pleasant but the sweet-tart taste is not what I want in a beer. I've never had a true Lambic but I'm hoping they're not all like this.

Overall though, I'd have another one, if it was the last beer in the fridge.

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Photo of tempest
3.21/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok, so its not a great beer and its a pretty weak lambic, but I was expecting something undrinkable along the lines of Saranac's Caramel Porter after all the pissing and moaning I heard about this one.

Amber body with a pink tint, white head and a little lacing. Smell is sweet and sour with a fruity cranberry note. Taste is predominently sour with the fruit sweetness coming through underneath. A bit watery and light for a lambic but drinkable and I'd have another.

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Photo of Xadoor
2.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pale gold with a a slight pinkish hue. Smooth creamy head. Aroma is light, but slightly sweet, fruity, sour. Taste starts sweet, maple sugar, cranberry, fruit flavours. Finishes bitter, sour and tart (slightly acidic). Mouthfeel is smooth, very low carbonation. Its certainly different, more like a cider. Its different and refreshing if served cold, but nothing that I would specifically seek out.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.26/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The consensus around here seems to be that the Cranberry Lambic is the weakest inclusion in the Samuel Adams Holiday Sampler, so naturally I waited for a while before deciding to try it. When liberated from the 12 oz. bottle, and poured into a flute, the beer looked pretty good to me. The body was yellowish orange in color, the carbonation quite active, and the head stable at one finger thick. The smell was typical of a Belgian Pale Ale, with a spicy, floral, fruity mixture of aromas. The taste was slightly soured with some light peppery zing. While not really like a true lambic, it was a pleasing light taste reminiscent of sweet tarts, which is one of my favorite candies. Normally I am not a big fan of fruit added to beers, and thankfully the cranberry flavor played very little part of a spoilsport and was very complimentary to all the other tastes. The beer was light on the palette despite not being too thin. It appears that I was dreading opening this bottle for nothing. A pleasant surprise is always welcome.

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Photo of sloejams
2.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I think the last time I had this, prior to this winter, was about 10 years ago. I remember as a terrible disgusting mess. But that was 10 years ago, when I was in college and was still able to rock out with a 40 oz of OE. Times done change, so why not give it another go. Worked out well, as Jim Koch again tossed it the holiday 12er assortment mix that people like to get me for Xmas. This time I didn't try to recycle 2 full bottles of the Cranberry Lambic, or pass them off to unsuspecting guests. I actually drank them.

In the past 10 years, I've learned a lot about beers; including what a lambic actually is. I've become fond of lambics. They taste a bit better than 40's. Even this one. I guess this wasn't too lambic-y in the traditional sense. It was kind of a thin fruit beer. It poured fine and actually had a nice fruity smell. If you expect the tartness of either a) a lambic or b) a cranberry - you're looking in the wrong place. This is a sweet one.

So I pushed my way through one, a couple weeks back, with some help from the girlfriend. I saw the last one staring at me from the back of my fridge, last night. I drank about half. It wasn't awful, but I think I can wait out another decade without one. The other 10 beers in the assorted 12 pack were great.

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Photo of danielocean03
2.2/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a reddish hued copper color with a thin fizzy white head that fell quickly away to light lacing. Appearance is reminiscent of that of a thin, watery maple syrup as far as coloration is concerned. Aroma is fruits and wheat, as one would expect, somewhat citrusy with a slightly earthy undertone lingering in there somewhere as well. Taste is tart and tangy, mainly of cranberry, some melon like flavor mixed with somewhat sweetly bitter aftertaste, fades quickly, much weaker wheat flavor than the aroma exhibits. Wheat is still present in the taste, but fades in after the cranberry tang attacks your mouth. I honestly expected much more from this brew in many ways, smells much better than it tastes. Mouthfeel is far from what it could be, feels overly carbonated and rough on the tongue, and as far as drinkability is concerned, I doubt I will finish this one, or even attempt the second one in this winter mixpack.

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.85/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This brew pours a cloudy reddish-orange color. The head is small and recedes within seconds. The aroma is cranberries (go figure), with some earthy notes. However, it is a lot fainter than any other fruit-lambic I have had. The taste is not unlike the aroma. Mild cranberries, with earthy tones. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lot of carbonation. Overall, I don't see myself drinking this beer again. In fact, I don't see myself drinking the other bottle that came in the mixed pack I bought.

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Photo of maddamish
2.07/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The brew had a dark pink grapefruit juice look to it. The smell is best described as cranberries mashed with cigarettes. it really was awful.

A sugary cranberry and watermelon are dominate notes here. This is the kind of beer you would sit down with once a year. Maybe as a desert beverage, maybe as a beer during thanksgiving dinner. But to just sit back and drink these would be just too much.

I see where Sam Adams was trying to go with this and I applaud them for trying. It just didn't succeed

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Photo of blackie
3.18/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: The pour produces a fizzy white head that quickly diappears. The beer is a slightly hazy, reddish medium amber in color.

smell: Big wheaty, yeasty, banana, and caramel aromas are first noticed. There's also plenty of cranberry, but it smells more like cherry to me. The hops are kept low, but do give a spicy aroma. The aromas are similar to a hefeweizen.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is towards the higher end of the medium range, and the body a light medium, with some slickness on the tongue.

taste: Wheaty notes, some esters, moderate cranberry/cherry flavor, a little yeasty chalkiness. Finishes with a lingering caramel/fruity sweet slickness on the tongue, with just a touch of bitterness.

drinkability: Pretty easy to drink, but nothing special

The label is notched as best by March, and the code C26F52214 is printed on the neck of the bottle. Part of a winter sampler pack from the grocery.

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Photo of Phatz
2.54/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Off the bat this was not what I expected. I am new to the Fruit Lambic style but I recently had Lindemans Framboise (a Lambic - Fruit brewed by Brouwerij Lindemans in Belgium), and I really liked it (so raspberry and delicious, mmm). I was looking forward to trying this beer in cranberry... but it’s not even close to the same attributes or characteristics.

Appearance: It pours an opaque dim golden orange color with a decent head. Nice lacing.

Smell: Harsh. The smell is cooked sugars and sour juice. Very tart.

Taste: Harsh. The taste is whiplash sweet sugar and tart sour, that does NOT taste like cranberries to me. Maybe it is closer to the red or orange colored SourPatch Kids candies. (if any of you know what those are). I think the yeastiness and the acidity also set me back a bit. They may have dumped in some sour cherry syrup or something for the taste but it is not very interesting or complex.

Mouthfeel: It is sticky sweet and too tart but the mouthfeel is not terrible. It is smooth but it is not refreshing or crisp. It just feels gooey.

Drinkability: A little bit of cheesecake or brownies helped wash this down beer down. As long as it was followed by a heavy chaser of food it was no problem to drink. If I was choosing a Belgian, for my holiday dinner this would not be it. I would instead go with a Tröegs Mad Elf.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
1.4/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

A - Hazy rose tinted golden amber with a small head and specks of thin lacing all over the glass.

S - Okay, this smells like something else, no cranberries, no maple syrup, no beer. It was bothering the hell out of me, but it is pickled beets! I am so happy that I finally realized what it was. However, that is a terrible odor for a beer to have! There is a faint bit of malt underneath.

T - Taste is better than the smell, but that doesn't say much. There is a bit of sweet cranberries in the foretaste as well as . . . pickled beets. The aftertaste is slightly malty with a bit of lingering tartness from the cranberries. I can picture worse, but that's very, very hard. The aftertaste is okay, but the foretaste makes me want to vomit.

M - Thin, refreshing, smooth. Presuming you can separate it from the taste.

D - I actually like both cranberries and pickled beets, but I don't like pickled beet odor or taste in my beer. Maybe I'd be more forgiving if it was labelled as pickled beet beer. Due to the mouthfeel, and the fact that I can choose not to smell it, it is slightly drinkable. I really wanted to like this beer too. I will never have it again.

Edit 10/06/06: Due to the continued fact that I shudder involuntarily whenever some mentions this beer in any context, I have lowered the drinkability to the absolute lowest notch. This beer truly makes me wish that the numbers could go below awful. I have nightmares about this "cranberry lambic."

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Photo of clabaugh
2.54/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a clear amber, with a pasty-white, watery head that quickly dissipates. Lacing is abysmal.

Smell: Brown sugar and syrup. Pungent and acidic, as the cranberry really bursts through. Toasty, baked malts present themselves as well.

Taste: Cranberry and hearth-baked dough. A strange, acidic undertone accents the malty backbone of this beer. The hops are difficult to distinguish through the malts and the fruity additions. Truly a strange flavor, and one that tries to do too much.

Mouthfeel: A bit chewy at first, but finishes with some wateriness. Solid carbonation. Not quite cranberry seltzer, but resembles it well.

Drinkability: Couldn't make it through too many of these. The unpleasant flavor and the nauseating aftertaste see to that. Far too acidic for continuous consumption.

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Photo of akajimmyd
2.65/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – Minimal head and retention. Pale copper color.

Smell/Taste - Tart or sour cranberry. No real “beer” taste. Sourness masks everything.

Mouthfeel - Farily smooth. No carbonation in taste or appearance.

Drinkability – Eh. Nothing going on. Serve cold and drink it down. Tastes like juice.

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Photo of jslot38
3.62/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: A weird one in fact. Lambic, yet wheat beer, yet... well, everyone knows about this stuff. I'm just going to give a review without the name stuff interfering.

12oz Bottle, Freshness date marked, 05-06 Winter.

Appearance: Cloudy amber with copper hues. Lovely off white head settles atop the brew - disappates to a top covering, lacing is intermingled around the glass.

Smell: A nice, not overwhelming brisk punch of cranberries. Sweetness envelopes the nose.

Taste: Yes, I'm back rolling down the roads of Sandwich or wherever in the Cape as a youngster on a bus for a field trip. Cranberry bogs on either side. Malt, no hops on this trip. Sweet lingerings throughout.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, slight carbonation lends to a nice mouthfeel. Does a little dance on your tongue, and then is gone, for that cranberry bog that hits you at first lingers perfectly.

Drinkability: Far too sweet to enjoy more than the two that SA offers in their winter packs. And maybe even two in one sitting would be too much.

Notes: Jury is a bit out on this one. Part of me loves it, part of me doesn't care for it. This is my second one (not in the same sitting), and I have to say I like it this time much more. It might just take some time to truly get used to and appreciated. Personally, I'd rather see SA remove their regular lager out of the mix before this one.

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Photo of RJLarse
2.35/5  rDev -12%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I found this beer in a Holiday 12 Pack, six different beers, two bottles of each. I’m not a big fan of fruit flavored beer and ale, but was intrigued by this one, and tried it first.

I poured this beer in to a pilsner glass. It is light brown and cloudy. The head was thin and white, and dissipated quickly.

The smell of yeast was evident, along with the sweet fruity smell. The label says it has maple syrup in it.

The taste was sweet, not unpleasant, but a little flat, and I found the after taste very mild.

The beer is certainly different, and drinks a little like cider. I can see how a lot of beer drinkers wouldn’t like it. It’s OK and might be good ice cold on a hot summer day, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to have one again.

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Photo of evh883
2.1/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This is not something that you would normally expect from Sam Adams. It had a cloudy, light brown appearance with a mid sized head that lingered throughout drinking it. The aroma was fruity and candy-like (easy to tell that they used flavor when brewing, not just cranberries). It had a very tart taste that was not that likeable. Not something that I would drink again.

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Photo of hanco005
2.22/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I got this a part of the Sam Adams holiday pack.

A--amber, with a 1/2 inch head. Head remained throughout the life of the beer

S--very fruity and fragrant...almost candle like

T--very strong sour cranberry taste

M--kinda gritty, very sour after taste

D--would not have more than one. Didn't like the sour taste

Not one of my favorites, but glad I tried it.

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Photo of Gruntlumber
1.98/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This really is a putrid beer. I've had it before and remembered not liking it, but this solidified the fact that I will never have this again. It looks nice in the glass, but it's all downhill from there. It has a strong Hefe flavor to it, but is quickly overpowered by the horrindous cranberry taste. I'm a fan of lambics, and I realize this is not a true lambic, but I'm not a fan of this. Totally avoidable.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.7/5  rDev +38.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This Samuel Adam's Winter twelve representative pours a cloudy, translucent bright orange color with minimal head and lacing. The nose is fresh and yeasty, very appetising. There is also a wheat flavor, seemingly like a hefeweizen.
Wow. I've been very surprised by the first sip. I like the wheaty taste followed by fruit, presumably cranberry. It is a bit sweet and a little cloying but overall this is a very tasty beer with good taste and enough texturally to keep me interested.
This is not my favorite beer but it has some decent qualities, even if I question why its been suggested that this is a winter beer.

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
2.04/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This may be the only Sam Adams I've ever had that I didn't like. True, I'm not a huge "fruit" beer fan, but something about this left a bad taste in my mouth (no pun intended).

Drank a 12oz bottle out of pint glass. The appearance was the best quality of this beer -- a nice amber color & good head. The smell was OK -- fruity, what one would expect. However, the taste, while crisp, left a really sour/bitter aftertaste. At times, it was truly a struggle to drink it b/c of it's bitterness. I would never be able to have more than one of these at a time. If you are into lambics, tho, you may like it.

Much prefer the Sam Adams Cherry Wheat to this one.

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Photo of murphysbleachers
2.55/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into a pint glass...

Appearance: Amber color, nice head and decent retention (holds up better in this respect than the Boston Lager does)

Smell: Yeasty and fruity...kind of smells like a Belgian pale ale I homebrewed...and that was okay.

Taste: Crisp with a sour aftertaste. I've heard bad things about this, but it is pretty inoffensive. More bland than anything else, with a sour cranberry aftertaste that's not entirely pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Nothing wrong here. The sourness is a little puckering (but that's not necessarily bad).

Drinkability: The aftertaste would make me not want to have more than one of these. Probably worth a try out of the seasonal mixed 12 pack, but I can't see myself drinking that second one in the near future. Sam has too many better beers to drink to spend too much time with this interesting attempt, but overall mediocre beer.

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Photo of whartontallboy
2.07/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

So I'd heard about how bad this one was. And I thought to myself, "No way it's that bad. People are probably just buying into the hype...I like cranberries, I'll probably like this."

Wow. How wrong I was. Pours out about the same clear, limp gold-color with a thin white fizzy head of the average macro. Head disappears quickly.

Smell is sickly-sweet with a lot of canned-cranberry scents. That's about it.

Doesn't really taste so much like a beer to me: the cranberry overwhelms, and not in the refreshing, crisp way that regular cranberry juice does; this is more sour and puckering with some lemon flavors thrown in for good/bad measure. Mouthfeel is thin and a bit fizzy.

Overall: By my records, I'd tried about 312 beers this year before I got to this one and hadn't have a single drain pour. Now I've had one.

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Photo of edmundfitzoil
2.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I picked this one up in a Sam Adams Holiday 12 pack. A twelve ounce brown bottle with a drink by date of March 06. I reviewed this one as a fruit/vegetable beer instead of a lambic.

The beer poured a slightly hazy orange/amber with a thin white head. The head retained through about a quarter of the beer and left no lacing. The beer smelled heavily of cranberry with some apple and malty sweetness as well. The beer's flavor lacked the tartness of the cranberry, which I had desired so much. I would compare the flavor to a can of beer poured or cut with cranberry juice. This beer is one the very sweet side with a medium body and lacks a much desired balance. Not a beer that I would purchase if not for its inclusion into a package with a number of other exclusive Sam Adams products.

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Photo of AlexJ
2.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Lightly hazed amber orange in color with a loose, two inch head that quickly fizzles down to a thin ring leaving no lace.

Aroma is tart and crisp, with green apple, berries, lemon, and a minute touch of something musty.

Flavor is a sweet/tart mess of wheaty flavors, lemon, apple juice sweetness, and raw, unbleached flour notes. Not gross or anything, just barely qualifies as beer IMO.

Thin body and a slick, wheaty texture don't help drinkability. At least the girls liked it.

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Photo of maximumsheehan
2.22/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was disappointed by this beer because I have to come to appreciate almost all of the beers in the Sam Adam's collection. The problem is the combination of flavor choices. Since it's a lambic, which typically has a sour taste to begin with, being combined with a cranberry flavor, which is also sour, the taste is overwhelming and the beer is unpleasant to drink.

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Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 2.67 out of 5 with 1,387 ratings
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