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

1,385 Ratings
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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: 1,385 |  Reviews: 840
3.03/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - 1/2" off white, creamy, dense head. Hazy apricot color. Good head retention. Good lacing.

S - Fruit. Tart. Powder. Twangy cranberry and apple.

T - Perfumey. Yeast. Sour cherry, cranberry.

M - Thin. Sweet, tangy.

D - Decent at best. I am not as down on it as the majority.

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Photo of skynxnex
3.08/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The 2005 winterpack, bottle clearly notched. Pours a light amber with a hint of pink. Head is very fine and white, but a good finger high.

You can smell the sweetness of the fruit, but it doesn't scream cranberries. The wheat beer elements come through as well. With the first sip, the sweetness runs out of a grabs you. It quickly settles as the tartness fights down and it ends fairly even. Here you can taste the cranberries and a light touch of cloves or bananas peeking through.

I'm not sure about this one. It has a nice creamy mouthfeel. It's not very beery, but I enjoyed it. It's not very complex, but once you get past the initial sweetness, it leaves a fairly good taste.

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Photo of blimey
3.52/5  rDev +28%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This came in a holiday mix 12 pack which I just can't pass up at 9.99. Not quite a lambic, not quite a fruit beer. Strawberry blond color with a definite aroma of cranberries. Some hint of the lactoacidity of a lambic, but not the real deal. Well placed fruit flavor with a low to medium beer support. I would get this again in the mix pack and only on its own if on sale.

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Photo of Hagbard
2.16/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic, the bane of the Winter Mix Pack. These usually hang around until mid summer before getting tossed. It looks nice enough in the glass, a medium gold with a pretty thick white head. The aroma reeks of some fruity syrup, but cranberry cannot be singled out. This fruity smell is reminiscent of chemicals. The taste doesn't improve on this, it just takes the faults and magnifies them. An intense sweetness filled with intense overripe and rotten fruit all in the form of some chemically enhanced syrup. The mouthfeel is fine. The drinkability is awful. It doesn't work as a Lambic as the label proclaims, nor a Fruit/Vegetable Beer as labeled on BA. This beer is really not worthy to sit next to such gems as the Holiday Porter, Old Fezziwig, and Black Lager. Replace this dud with the Stock Ale or Cream Stout and this mixer would improve greatly.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.49/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pouring into a tulip glass at a chilled 50 degrees, it pours an opaque orange/ruby color with about 1/4" of slightly pinkish-tan head that dissipates to a nice surface layer.

Aroma is thick of cranberry with a touch of spice (nutmeg), but nothing great.

I actually enjoyed this more than other due to it being a bit sweeter than most lambics, but it doesn't suit the style well, due to it's sweetness. The cranberries are HUGE but very sweet throughout the tasting. A slight wheat aftertaste along with the cran sweetness.

Nicely balanced. Fair amount of carbonation like most lambics I've tried, and the body is more of a medium feel. 6% is not felt on this one at all.

Overally, fairly easy to drink, but maybe a bit too sweet to have more than 1 or 2 at a time. Some will like and others won't. I for one, was on the fence really.

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Photo of clemtig76
2.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One of two in the Sam Adams holiday pack. Pours a beautiful hazy golden amber with a pinkish hue. When placed to the nose, the sweetness jumps out at you along with the smell of ripe fruit. Taste is a little too sweet for my taste. Not at all complex, almost overpowering sweetness with a little cranberry and maple syrup in the background. I would consider one for an after dinner brew, otherwise I will pass on this one. Now on to the Holiday Porter.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.83/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Hazy dark amber peach color leaves light cream head with evenly strung lacing. Aroma: Tart cranberry and malts with an eerie bledn of maple syrup among an oatmeal cereal grain scented aroma, kinda weird. Taste: Even weirder funky twang of cran and malt which almost induced the ol' gag reflex as the wave of cloying maple syrup flavor hit me I remember tasting this one in past Holiday samplers and I must say I don't recall disliking it this much. Mouthfeel: Medium body slight spritzy carbonation coats the palate and won't let go. Drinkability: I don't recommend this brew I didn't care for it, and it's definitely not a lambic sorry folks.

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Photo of CherylM
3.92/5  rDev +42.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I look forward each year to the Sam Adams Winter/Holiday 12-pack including this Cranberry Lambic. Actually, it tastes more like a wine with its strong cranberry, fruit flavor and light body. It finishes with a buttery, vanilla flavor which is pleasant drinking. It goes well with a turkey/cranberry sandwich on white bread! Cheers!

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
2.12/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Simply a gorgeous pink-amber beer with lots of tiny streams of bubbles under a huge white head.

From the beautiful start, things get weird quick. CRANBERRY aroma dominates all else. There is a tiny bit of malt there, with some hop bitterness barely perceptable.

Taste is all of the above, with a sour cranberry presence that is tooth-jarringly smash-mouth. Oh my gosh! It's holding my taste buds captive. Is this beer? I guess you can barely tell it. Reminds me of Magner/Bulmers.

Crispness and good carbonation make this pleasant enough in the mouth, but it's just too weird to have much drinkability.

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Photo of Bitterbill
1.78/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured in glass(room temp) with a smallish head that dissipated quickly. The colour is a cloudy reddish gold.

The smell is of some kind of sweetness that isn't all that attractive.

The taste is an unpleasant sweetness that has some sourness to it but that's not a saving point in this case. My goodness, this is a very difficult to drink concoction. Maybe serving this at very cold temps would help? Blech.

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Photo of MurphyMacManus
2.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. brown glass bottle into Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: I think "strawberry blonde" is the best way to put it; it's light gold with a pink/ orange tint. Starts off with a 1-finger white head that dissipates fairly quickly and doesn't stick to the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Sweet, fruity; the maple syrup and cranberry are very evident, but there is no characteristic lambic aroma.

Taste: Cloyingly sweet, faintly tart and fruity. None of the mouth-puckering tartness or spicy complexity that a lambic is supposed to have. But still not bad as a dessert.

Mouthfeel: tight carbonation that gives it a crisp, clean feel reminiscent of a lager of similar coloration.

Drinkability: too sweet to be a session beer. One is fine as a dessert, but any more than that and you'll have sugar overload.

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Photo of Zorro
2.17/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Pours a hazy almost cloudy amber beer with a skimpy white head. There is a tinge of red to the color that looks a bit artificial.

Smell is sweet and spicy with a faint fruit scent that I can't identify that is supposed to be cranberry I would guess. Bit of a sour scent here something like spoiled milk, not really pleasant.

Taste is sweet and sour with a weird off flavor that must be the maple syrup added. This beer can't decide if it wants to be sweet or sour. There seems to be some added spices to this to make it a Christmas beer but it doesn't work.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Easily the WORST beer this company makes. I remember this beer at one time NOT having any added sweeteners and being refreshingly sour and it was OK but this is CRAP! I cant drink any more of this I am going to pour the rest of this down the drain.

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Photo of WetCoaster
3.75/5  rDev +36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

OK , let's get it over with -- no, this is not a lambic. It's been discussed ad nauseum in 400 threads, and I'm certain at this point there are villagers in remote Bhutan who know two things about the US: Mickey Mouse and Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic is not in fact a lambic.

Let's call it a fruit beer and move on, shall we?

Because once you do, as much as you hate to admit it, the stuff ain't half bad. Tart cranberry, a bit of crystalized maple syrup. Fragrant Belgian yeast. Amazingly billowy and sticky head. Amber meets garnet body. Crisp but smooth.

You want to hate it, but you just can't. A guilty pleasure, but a pleasure nontheless.

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Photo of evanackerman
3.11/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

well, i finally got around to trying this much maligned beer, i did not hate it as much as many on this site, however, it is not very good.

appearance is copper with a nice head.

aroma is wheat beer and cranberry juice (seems pretty obvious i guess)

taste is sour cranberry with little else as far as i can tell, i think it tastes better than it smells.

mouthfeel is thin with lots of carbonation, like a cherry 7UP.

I wouldn't want to drink more than one of these at a time.

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

Cranberry lambic? Not a true lambic and not real beer tasting. Pours a reddish golden color, smells a bit sour. Tastes like an ok cranberry soda and not really like a beer at all. Highly carbonated for a Sam Adams product. I only had this cause it was in the winter 12 pack and wanted to finish these of first. Ok to drink if you put yourself in the mindset that it isn't beer. I'm still not convinced that it really is beer.

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Photo of Citadel82
2.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is not a true lambic as many on these boards have pointed out, nor is it a American Cranberry Wheat. It is somewhere in between and as a fan of tart and sour brews this one is drinkable on that basis, but scores no points for authenticity though it deserves some acknowledgement for breaking new ground. I would like to see the BBC try to make it more lambic-like rather than discontinue it as this is a style that deserves to be introduced to a wider range of palates. Pours a reddish amber with a short lived white head. Thin-bodied with a pleasing sour taste, little evidence of malt. Would not buy a sixer but would not pour down the drain either. Wonder if it is worth trying warm/hot?

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Photo of Vancer
3.51/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another Sammy treat, although I’m not a Lambic *expert*, I thought this one makes a good case for the American palate. Hazy amber/orange pour, with a dying white head – some lacing in the glass.

Pretty good sour mash aroma, comes through well in the quaff – along with apples and hints of the cranberries. Sweetish start, dry finish – not bad for a *cheap* mass market brew. Makes a good starter brew for the world of Lambics, I would surmise to say (even though, yeah, it's not a true Lambic).

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Photo of LordChesterfield
1.64/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Somehow I knew this beer was bad news. I don't know how a beer like this even makes it to market. I just tastes bad. It's coloring would be interesting if it just tasted halfway decent. The funky Lambic flavor doesn't taste authentic (it's a little too funky), and the Ocean Spray cranberry syrup they used just make me want to run away and hide (I'm from Jersey I know what cranberry tastes like). I had to gun this thing just to finish it as I don't believe in wasting beer. After all, the pilgrims landed wherever the hell they did for lack of beer. Poor guys, if they kept going farther south they may have found some arable land and Sam Adams wouldn't be around to produce this horrible fake lambic. That's it for me, the only bad rating I will ever give a beer, I never thought I would see this day.I'm done....mumble mumble....

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Photo of SteveO1231
3.55/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is the last of my Winter Pack.

Pours a cloudy rust color. Bright yellow and orange highlights. Thick, Fizzy pink head that hold well. Nice bubbly lacing. Moderate carbonation.

Very strong fruity aroma of cranberries and peaches.

Light and crisp. Very sweet fruitiness. Light tartness. It's pleasant, drinkable but is a little too sweet. Like drinking cranberry cocktail.

I enjoyed this as a dessert beer, but cannot see myself drinking more than one bottle at a time. Great for once a year release.


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

This is from the Winter sampler case. I drank it in a goblet. Expiry date clearly notched on the label.

Pours a very cloudy pinkish/orange with a 1/2 finger of off-white/pink foam. Looks kind of fizzy. The head falls to islands and a ring, with decent enough lacing.

Aroma is very fruity, but I can't say that it's cranberries. Notes of cherries or raspberries, maybe. Smells sweet and sour, bright and fruity.

First flavor is sweet/tart fruit and some real sourness going on there; there's a nice tingle across the tongue from sour. It's certainly not lambic sour, but it IS a refreshing beer for the holidays. Hop bitterness comes through late. Aftertaste is sweet anbd sour fruit.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a decent carbonation bite. For some reason, this beer feels good in your mouth. Finish is long and sharp.

OK, I get it, it's not a lambic, and, IMO, shouldn't be called one. However, taking the beer as a holiday seasonal, it's pretty damn tasty. I just had two of these in a row, and am looking forward to my next. Review this as a fruit beer and relax.

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Photo of IntriqKen
2.85/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a reddish amber with a watery head that didn't seem to hold the length of the pint. Maybe my glass was too warm. Bright, fruity aromas. Thin mouthfeel but refreshing. Not much alcohol burn as you swallow. Bright hop flavor with very light malt. Definate cranberry zing or bite in the aftertaste.
Interesting, but not something I would want to drink with any regularity. Not as balanced in fruityness as I would expect from a lambic. More like the the very predominate cranberry flavoring is forced.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.88/5  rDev +41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by April ('06?) on the side of the bottle. Part of the beers of winter pack.

Appearance: Pours a honey golden color with straw edges. A thin bone white cap develops.

Smell: Cooked veggies, some funky yeast, and a bit of tartness. Pretty sketchy but we've come this far...

Taste: Belgian tripel-like yeastiness up front followed by a jaw caving sourness on the back of the palate. A hint of cranberries followed by some honey sweetness. Hints of a grain base appear at the end of the taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied with a tart lingering finish.

Drinkability: Not sure I would make this a regular occurence but this would pair well with turkey for sure. Sam Adams continues to impress me with their holiday line-up. Worth a try for sure.

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Photo of KroMagnon
3.45/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Well, this is DEFINITELY not a lambic or even very lambic-like: I think it upset the Belgians that SA was trying to call it a lambic, but believe me they don't have to worry about anyone confusing it with those beers. That said its not a bad fruit beer, which is what BA is calling it. The beer is a bit cloudy and doesn't have much head at all. Its color is a reddish gold. The aroma is a little bready and fruity, kind of perfumy. I'm not super familiar with cranberries so I'm not sure if it smells like a cranberry or not - but the aroma isn't very strong anyway. The flavor is a little tart, with some beery background that's mostly malty. The beer is kind of simple though and could use some more complexity overall, I think. Still, not too bad.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.41/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a cloudy honey color with a big creamy head.The smell is weak with a little malt and fruit,but not very pronounced.The taste is very malty with hints of fruit and is a little salty.It's not bad,but this type isn't my piece of cake.The m/f is medium with the taste dominating your whole mouth.This isn't as bad of a beer as some of these reviews might say.It's worth a try even thu it is flawed.

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Photo of kmcnair
3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From the 2005 Sam Adam's Winter Sampler. ABV on the bottle is 5.9% rather than the listed 4.8%. Box says, best before feb 2006.

Pours a murky dark orange/apricot hue, makes a fine white head and laces my glass nicely. Smell is slightly vegetal, hint of oak and vanilla beans, just a smidge of funk, but not even close to what I would expect of a 'lambic'. Flavor is all over the place, its sweet, there's vanilla, some soured wheat, sour fruit but hard to discern that there is cranberry in this, my best descriptor here would be 'interesting'. Medium carbonation, medium palate and leaves a sticky coating, its not bad, but not really lambic-like at all. This is interesting, but there's plenty of other brews I'd rather have instead.

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Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
2.75 out of 5 based on 1,385 ratings.
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