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

Clear benign hfiltered friendly orange hued pour with sporadic bubbles beads rising offing and on to the surface.

Mixed wild flower Earthy bouquet.

First swigs: Lemon flavored hard candy sour flavor meets some Pez candy notes and a touch of a milky flavor finds its way into the mouth melee mix, somehow. Reminds me of old fashioned homemade lemonade that uses the actual lemon.

Thin bodied foamy carbonation, but I could be convinced to have another and will definitely try this BBC beer again if it happens to cross my path again, like this bottle did at a Christmas party.

Last swigs: Sort of a lambic, sort of not a lambic. Interesting creative styles beyond the standard ale or lager are really intriguing me lately. This tweaked an eyebrow.

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Photo of karst
3.68/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BBC's Seasonal Cranberry "Lambic" is sublabled “Wheat Beer brewed with cranberry juice and other natural flavors” , actually it seems to be just a fruit beer. .

Dull orange hue, slight chill haze clearing at end as glass warms. A single finger of off white foam forms and diminishes to a ring and a little lace on my tulip glasswith a white lace. Little patches of lace also linger above beads of C02. A nice level of carbonation about right for a fruit beer.

Aroma was fruity with just a faint cranberry tartness. Maltiness is larger part of its aroma, athough not over done.

Taste: Almost ciderlike and just creamy with a medium light body. Tartness is from cranberry and other fruitiness (esters). Mellow sweet malt graininess but I wonder if hops are too mild and leave it slightly out of balance-but not too bad. Weaker finishes with mostly tartness and cranberrys and with just the briefest malt "goodbye". Its drinkability is not high.

I gather it varys a little from year to year- judging from previous year's reviews '02 & '03.

Maybe they were afraid a winey tasting, wild yeast beer with an oak aged dryness would not have broad enough acceptance. This would have been my 1st Lambic but it is doubtful if it is much of a true lambic.

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Photo of waughbrew
2.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is just not a very good beer. No way around it.

Light gold with orangish hues, medium creamy head doesn't last long or lace. Smell is cranberry concentrate (whether they use it or not) like their cranberry wheat. It just doesn't meld with the slight sourness and the metallic hop. Flavor is a cheap, sugar-sweetened flanders red with wussy malt, hop, and sourness with an acidity and slight metal feel in the finish. Thin slick body. This really needs to lose the sweetness and the crappy cranberry flavor. This is not very interesting or flavorful. A flaw in Sam Adam's otherwise impressive line of beers.

I really don't understand who they are brewing this for if the beer geeks don't like it. Of course it isn't a lambic, but it is not a good beer either. And why include it in the winter pack? Because it's cranberry season? This would be more of a warm-weather beer for me if I liked it. As you can see, this one just boggles my mind.

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Photo of apintofknowledge
3.2/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

So, my Sam Adams Holiday Sampler has been long gone, with the bottles of Sam Light and Cranberry Lambic left behind. It’s been about two years since I’ve tried this one, and since my beer supply is running low (for shame!) I decide to give this one another try…

The beer poured an orange-pinkish-coppery hue with a wispy white head. The aroma… yes, I can smell the cranberry along with the sweet malt. The taste… hmmm… not as bad as I remember. Some tartness and sweetness at once… not sweet like one of those Ocean Spray drinks, but a sweetness of malt to compliment the tart fruity cranberry. I even taste a little sour yeast… yes, I know this isn’t a true lambic, but that character is there.

After about half a glass, the syrupy feel begins to bother me a bit. The flavor is still good, but that syrupy feel would keep me from having the second bottle right now. A somewhat enjoyable diversion, but definitely not something to drink all night.

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Photo of ken3c
3.75/5  rDev +36.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thin layer of foam recedes to isolated islands. Lacing is slight but evident. Very clear light amber.

Spicy hop aroma and slightly fruity. Maybe I'll get used to the hops but it doesn't seem right in this style.

Taste is quite tart with cranberries throughout. The spicy hops are well in the backround with a slight sense of sweetness. I love cranberries but it doesn't taste like a lambic.

Mouthfeel is medium carbonation and light body.

I really like this beer because of the cranberries. If it was called a cranberry lager, I'm sure it would score higher.

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Photo of JackStraw22
2.05/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

The lambic had a slightly hazy golden/amber appearance. There was a moderate white head with little retention. The aroma was nice, sweet, lots of cranberry obviously. Not sure if I'm just not used to lambics, but this is the only beer I've ever had that really made me cringe when I tasted it. It didn't taste nearly as sweet as it smelled. I'm not really sure how to describe the overriding taste, maybe I"ll edit this once I can figure it out. I probably won't be spending too much time drinking this, though.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
2.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Pours out a slightly hazy orange. I expected more of a reddish color from the cranberries. But then again, I also expected a lambic, which this is certainly not. Weak head retention. Sweet maple syrup aroma with wheat and a hint of berries. Starts out sugary sweet, but this sweetness is followed by a tartness that prevents it from becoming cloying. There is a fruitiness that could, I suppose, be cranberries, but it is not clear. Average mouthfeel. This beer could almost be refreshing, were it not for a somewhat syrupy consistency. Overall, reminds me a lot of their cherry wheat, minus the nasty flavor.

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Photo of alexgash
2.83/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Golden reddish-copper with a sticky, off-white head. Doesn't look that bad. Smells of wheat malt accented with tangy/tart/sour cranberries, and sugar. The cranberry scent isn't bad, but it feels artificial. Mellow wheat malt crispness up front. Tart cranberry and orange zest come in. A flash of bubble gum and then syrupy sweetness ino the finish. Not a lambic, but not a terrible fruit wheat ale. Actually, not as bad as I thought it would be. But as a sweet fruit beer with artificial leanings, not something I would drink often.

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Photo of 67cuda
4.18/5  rDev +52%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish-brown color with a 1 finger head... Doesn't taste much like cranberry, and since I dislike cranberry, I think thats a good thing. I really was expecting that I wouldn't like this beer, since it said "cranberry" on it, but I was pleasantly surprised. It's pretty sweet, and I liked that change.. I haven't had much experience with this beer style, but I like this beer a lot... Its kind of syrupy in your mouth, but not overly so, somewhat of a tart aftertaste... quite interesting. I could certainly (gladly!) drink this beer again.

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Photo of arizcards
2.81/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Part of a Costco holiday sampler case that I picked up for 18.99.

Nice looking orange tinted beer that pouted a nice head and is leaving a lacing down my glass. Nose is of belgian yeast and maple syrup-a rather interesting combonation. The taste starts off fine with the belgian yeast strains prevelan at the beginning but there is an overpowering sweet cranberry/maple finish. It has a decent mouthfeel to it, reasonably full but somewhat flat on the palate. Overall drinkability is not good. One is definitely enough for a sitting.

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

12 oz single from the Sam Adam’s Holiday Sampler. From what I’ve heard of this one I know not to expect a real lambic. Hey..I like beer, I’ll give anything a try. The body of this beer is perfectly translucent and copper colored. The head is small and rapidly fades to a wispy white layer on top. The nose is primarily grainy malt with maybe a tiny, tiny must sprinkling, I can pick up on a sweet fruit flavor, not the tangy cranberry I was expecting but more of a sweet currant aroma. The flavor is a little different than what I was expecting as well, the same grainy malt from the nose is here though. The middle is a weird mish-mash of a slight syrupy sweetness, tart fruitiness, and a flash of mild bitterness. Not bad though, just a little different than what I was expecting I do pick up a faint mustiness or at least some kind of nice little yeast character as opposed to just a clean fermenting yeast. This one is worth trying, make your own decision on it before you pass it up because of what you hear.

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Photo of sabrills70
3.05/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a orange brown color with a 1 finger head - good lace. Smells of a wheat malt - a typical tart smell. No cranberry detected. Immediate taste of syrupy sweet tart malt with cranberry flavors coming through. Mouthfeel is a bit too syrupy but it does have a nice berry tart aftertaste it offsets the syrupy taste rather quickly and finishes nice. This is a nice seasonal brew and not one I could drink a bunch of but will probably look forward to it yearly.

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Photo of tweeder263
2.65/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out a dark amber with MINIMAL head.Smells grainy malty no cranberry smell though.Taste is malty,fruity nothing of cranberry though does have a lil sweet taste of syrup as stated in ingredients.Not totally bad as others have said.I wouldnt go out of my way to but it but its better than BMC.

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Photo of beertaster13
2.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a reddish orange hue with an off white head. The smell is of corn, honey and cherries and melons. The taste was nothing of cranberries, more of an apple and watermelon with cherries, a liquid malt was present but was overpowered with the fruit tone. A beer that I think you have to get an aquired taste for, some will like it some won't, can't imagine drinking more than 1 of these.

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

I'll admit to not having high expectations. Most fruit beers I've tried are too syrupy or just strangely flavored. Still, I love cranberries.

From the pour, I had a flashback to an old product called Champale! Pink to orange hue on fine bubbles that quickly go flat.

Mildly astringent flavor that lasts through the big finish, which is somewhat metallic.

Just can't think of when I'd want to drink several of these.

I might have been happier if I could taste the cranberry and maple syrup promised on the package.

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Photo of GreenWBush
2.66/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ahh, the often lambasted "lambic" from Sam Adams. I hated it a few years back but either my palate has become more tolerant or they improved it. I think its a little of both.

Orangey copper with ample head and lace. Aromas are dominated by a husky wheat aroma and oddly Quadrupel-esque phenols. I don't really get any specific fruit flavors, let alone cranberry, yet the label claims that Oregon grown cranberries are used. Something akin to that crappy cherry-pie filling your friend's mom used to make.

Not as bad as its made out to be ... but still not great. I had major trouble finishing a 12-ozer.

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Photo of allengarvin
2.69/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

12-oz bottle, from a holiday pack.

Appearance: Clear amber-gold color, fine frothy head with small bubbles streaming up through the beer.

Aroma: Grainy sweet malt aroma. Only a very slight fruity aroma.

Flavor: Sweet malt up front, with some nice actual cranberry flavor. Slight tartness almost keeps it from being cloying. Almost but not quite. Finish is long.

Body: Good body, with typical carbonation.

I don't like cranberries, and I'm trying to be objective about it, but I just don't think this is a very good beer. I don't think this beer is as sweet as it used to be. I remember it being totally cloying the last time I had it. But it's still too sweet for me.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
2.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2 it goes. Pours a golden amber with a thin layer of head and only the slightest hint of red. For a cranberry brew I thought this was going to be much darker and deeper red...quite odd. The nose is an odd phenolic clove-ish smell...where are the cranberries?? I think they left them all on the label! A bit of wheaty grain aroma there as well.

First sip is upfront with a sour mellow cranberry flavor..mixed in with some cloves, a bit of earthy barnyard and a light honey sweetness. Overall it's boring and uninspiring. I was expecting a good deal of cranberry flavor from both the name and the label, but this just falls flat on its face.

Mouthfeel is not bad with a nice creaminess and medium body. Goes down easily enough. Drinkability is basically zilch. I'm glad I tried it, but nothing is making me want another. If you know someone who's been naughty this year, then this is the perfect gift.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
3.1/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this as part of the Sam Winter Brew Mixed pack. At first did not think i would enjoy this because i dislike some other kinds of fruit beers but this was not too bad. Certainly nothing exceptional, but not a bad offering in the mixed pack.

My biggest complain would be the after taste. The innitial mouthfeel is very good but the after taste leaves something to be dessired. It would have been nice if it had a bit more tart finish.

Not a bad beer to enjoy, but nothing special.

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Photo of granger10
3.05/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The last of my beers from the Winter Sampler pack. This was the worst of the seasonals but all of them were so good. This beer poured a cranberryish color with a medium light head. Smell is really fruity with mostly a sweetness to it. Taste begins with that sweetness that is bordering on cloying and eventually gets a little too sticky for my liking. There's a tart cranberry aspect in the middle that helps take away somewhat from the sweetness. The body is a bit light, but the fruits seem juicy and flavorful. Finish is a little dry and sticky once again. This is no lambic, and obviously they shouldn't be claiming it is, but still its not terrible either. I wonder if its ratings would be higher if lambic were stricken from the name.

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

Got a couple bottles for $0.00 from a little place called My Mom's Fridge. (She bought a couple Sam Adams samplers and didn't want the Cranberry Lambics.)

Minimal head, minimal lacing. Dark orange color. Smells tart and yeasty, but not overwhelming.

Starts with a tart/sour bite then finishes a bit sweeter. Bit of malt throughout. Tastes like sour fruits, but oddly not that much like cranberries.

This is, overall, very... nice. Pleasant. Not at all overpowering. Really, there's not much to say other than it tastes fine. This would probably be a useful tool for converting someone from "malt beverages" to "real" beer.

I don't think they should have called it a lambic, though, because 1. anyone who doesn't know what a lambic is will be put off by the term, and 2. anyone who does know what a lambic is will turn up their nose and go "pffft."

I wouldn't go out of my way to get more of these, but if someone gives me more, I'll drink 'em.

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Photo of Ave
2.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving is a 12oz bottle & a lambic glass. A hearty head of tiny bubbles forms quickly but soon losses its oomphf & settles out to a thin layer of larger bubbles that disappears almost entirely once the drinking starts. The color is of a slightly pinkish amber, or maybe a mostly amber pink, not sure which. The aroma is delicate floral & citrus extract. Not like zest or pollen, but something simulated to be such. Not unpleasant, but not entirely convincing either. There is certainly nothing to be found here along the lines of a true Belgian lambic funk. Upon tasting I immediately think of this as being thought of as a “lambic for the common beer drinking American” by the folks at Adams. The flavor is very inoffensive & easy going, sweet but not (too) syrupy, very fizzy in the mouth & just the slightest tartness at the end. Nothing unpleasant, but also nothing challenging or even close to a true lambic style. I hope that more people who have never had a lambic try this & get interested, than people who have had a true lambic try it & get pissed off.

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

I definently find this to be a beer for cranberry lovers, for the rest of us it's a little too strong in the berry department. Appearance is hazy orange, with weak dishwater head. Smell is strongly of cranberry, aroma is more like juice than beer. Taste is also very full of cranberry flavor. The finish is particularly "juicy". Some tartness keeps the flavor from being too sweet. I don't like this much, but I don't find it to be terrible. If you really like fruit beers or cranberry give this a whirl. However, if you're like me, you'll have to find someone else to pawn off the rest of your Cranberry Lambics. Thank goodness I saved the Boston Lager to wash this down.

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Photo of mynie
3.36/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This doesn't much look like cranberries. I was hoping for a fizzy red ale that looked like blood or something cool like that. This is just completely average amber with a nice head.

Doesn't smell much like cranberries, either. It smells like corn. Actually, more accurately, it smells like Rolling Rock.


Well, that's a new flavor! Grain and corn upfront, cranberry tartness and a strange medicine oil in the back. Kind of nice, in an odd way. A rich, sweet taste that will probably get tiring after a while.

People speak of this beer as if it were HIV in a glass. That is not the case. It's different--sure as hell not a "lambic," at least as I'm familiar with the term--and if you don't like the tart bitterness of cranberries you'll probably hate it, but if drinking a bottle of Rolling Rock mixed with Ocean Spray has ever seemed like a good idea then this is the beer for you!

Hold up...Now that I've drank some more I've actually developed a taste for the stuff (kind of like what I did with Dimetype only not quite as tasty). This is actually a pretty good beer.

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Photo of hero27
1.93/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a light brownish-orange color...thought it would be more red considering the "Cranberry" character of the brew. Lace is minimal and you'd miss the head if you blink after you pour it.

Smell: Doesn't smell like a lambic...aroma of cloves, sickly sweet cranberry, and other things i don't particularly find appealing..and it turned out i was right as soon as i tasted it..

Taste: Too sweet...too many spices..ugh. Cranberry "Lambic"? Lambic? laughable.. I typically don't even mind fruit beers for the most part...and i don't mind cranberries at all..but this thing just tastes gross.

Mouthfeel: Decent enough mouthfeel...medium bodied with a relatively clean, smooth finish...still can't get rid of the aftertaste, though.

Drinkability: ok, i'm just going to be brutally honest here..this beer isn't good. Got a few bottles in the holiday sampler and I had to drink them...but under protest. Sam Adams is such a great can they actually produce junk like this? disappointing. Anyways, drinkability is the only quality that isn't terrible because i suppose you could drink a few of these in succession if you were forced to.

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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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