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

Samuel Adams Cranberry LambicSamuel Adams Cranberry Lambic
1,385 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,385 |  Reviews: 841
Photo of soper2000
2.86/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ahh, the beast sits before me. I picked up the winter seasonal pack today and decided to start off with this infamous brew. Pours a ruby color with a small white head which quickly fades leaving only a lacing. I'm still struggling with the aroma on this one. I think I smell some grain, like a wheat but there is a scent which is throwing me off. Taste has some similarities of a hefe with an ever so slight hint of crannberries. I get no lambic qualities from this. But it's also not as awful as I was expecting. In any case I don't believe that I'll be dying to try this one again, although I will finish the other bottle left in the fridge.

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Photo of xgrigorix
2.19/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Twelve ounce brown bottle. Best by month notched on label.

Glowing medium amber, with a dense white head.

Vaguely cranberry-esque aroma with some cereal sort of notes. Not inspiring.

Tastes vaguely of dilluted cranberry juice. Just barely able to make out the hint of maple syrup. Sticky sweet from start to finish. Light bodied, moderate carbonation. Vile abomination.

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Photo of KoG
3.67/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From all the jokes about this beer, I figured it would be horrible. Got 4 bottles of it in the Winter Classics 24 pack(4 each: Boston Lager, Old Fezziwig, Sam Light, Cran. Lambic, Winter Lager, and the new Holiday Porter), at $19 I couldn't pass it up.

Looks similar to Sam's Boston Lager but with a fizzy head that goes away and leaves no lacing to speak of.

Smells like a lager, but sweeter. Not a bad smell but not something great either.

Taste was actually not as horrid as expected. Not cloyingly sweet, but as a "Fruit/Vegetable Beer" it's not too bad. I prefer the Quelque Chose to this though. Has a semi-metallic aftertaste.

Mouth was decent. Leaves a bit dry and sour(slightly Lambic...).

Overall, this wasn't too bad and I could drink without too many problems, but I think it would fit better in the summer. Not something I'd buy on it's own(comes in the holiday pack and thats alright) but an interesting beer to try.

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Photo of DPMomutant
3.39/5  rDev +27%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A light-colored beer with a nice, reddish hue. The head is small and short lasting, but does stick around.

Smell is of cranberries, but not overpowering. There's something else here too. Something sweet but I can't place it, maybe bits of other fruits. Actually not bad compared to some fruit beers I've had.

The taste is fruity but not purely cranberry. A little sour, a little sweet. Weirdly decent. Some spices I can compare to some Wits I've had.

This beer has low carbonation with a watery consistency but is easy going down.

I would have to say this is pretty drinkable as it goes down easy and it is not too strong in either taste (good or bad) or alcohol.

I've had a few of these in the past and was expecting to not be too nice to it, but it has grown on me a little. Not enough mind you to run out and buy all the holiday packs but it isn't too bad. As far as being a Lambic, I don't know as I have not really versed myself in the style, but this is as good as any fruit beer I've had.

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Photo of mobyfann
2.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Paid only $10.99 for the "Winter Classics Holiday 12 pack"

The beer pours a light amber colored base with a small white head with little-to-no retention and no lacing at all, what a bummer. The smell is simply cranberry meets alcohol, pretty 2-dimensional.

The taste is what I expected from the smell a lot of cranberry flavored beer. The mouthfeel is s a little smooth and that's about it. It's drinakable if you like cranberries, but I don't really...

Final Thought: I'll stick with a handful of Craisins and get some fruit in my system over this beer... I do not approve of this...

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Photo of Tballz420
3.32/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew is a deep golden color, with a small white head. The scent has some characteristics of a hefe, namely the yeast. The taste has light malts, with a touch of cranberry, hefe yeast. Slightly acidic. I had this one 2 years ago, and they have toned down the overpowering cranberry ( im not too fond of cranberrys to begin with). I remember hating this beer last time I had it, and I will say they have definately taken steps to improve this beer. Still not my favorite, but an A for effort.

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

Bottle arrived as part of the Winter Classics 12 pack I purchased last week. Freshness marked for consumption by February.

Pourse out a pale orange with a smallish white head that quickly settles to a thin collar. Minor lacing, but not great. Aroma is of bready yeast and fruit (presumably cranberries). Nothing distasteful, but nothing outstanding here either. Taste is another story... strong cranberry, high carbonation, and finishes sour. Thin body and the distinct sour aftertaste of the cranberries make this offering slightly unpleasant to drink. I'm normally a huge fan of Samuel Adams brews, but this one is not something I'd recommend... to anyone. Overall, its too thin, too sour, and not very drinkable. Not recommended.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
2.18/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I have not had this beer in at least a decade or so, honestly, and I remember the consensus back then was that it was so terrible, that I've steered clear ever since. Got some in the latest holiday sample package, so, goody me, may as well get a review out of it.
Clear, pale apricot/brandy color, like a faded cherry, under a slim white head.
Aroma: musty and yeasty, slightly sour, then comes the cherry, creamy, soft, a little off, but not unpleasant.
Taste: kind of dull. A bit flat. I'll keep giving it a chance, though, gonna finish this's weird, though. The cherry essence is but an echo in the flavor, and there's little real presence on the palate. An old bottle, or this really how this beer is supposed to be?
Ridiculous of them to call it "lambic", but even as a "wheat beer brewed with cranberry juice and other natural flavors", this is, at best, a dud. Doesn't taste as bad as I remember from way back when, but it's still very disappointing. Lackluster taste, minimal texture/mouthfeel, forgettable finish. Feels like lightly cherry-dusted damp cardboard.
No wonder they dumped this in the sample pack, can't imagine they move too many pallets of these.

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Photo of cro250klr
2.1/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Just had this because my buddy, a bar owner, was talked into buying the Sam Adams multi pak. He was having a hard time getting the selection to sell. So me, the guinea pig that I am, opted for the cran lamb. I have to say, and if you follow any of my B.A. reviews, I'm not a big fan of S.A. Give me an overpriced and under ABV'ed Chocolate Bock. Or, give me one of the fairly priced and overly potent Triple Bocks and I can deal with it. Albeit, both of these S.A. brews are hard to swallow. One kills you with the price. The other with the fact that it tastes like soy sauce with a killer abv. None the less, neither tastes like fizz water with a dash of something added.
Here in lies the problem. To me, all of the other offerings that I've had to date from S.A. pretty much taste the same. I'd have to say this cranberry lambic (?) is one of the biggest disappointments. The slightest hint of a cranberry aroma was non existent. At least in the S.A. Cherry Wheat you have the cherry taste and smell. I had the lambic at about 50 degrees so I couldn't say it was too cold to kill the taste. The fact is, this one has no taste. It's just another fizz water offering from a brewer that puts more capital in it's advertising campaign than in it's brewing endeavors. I wound up pouring in some Oceanspray Cranberry juice. Only then was this brew somewhat easy to down. My advise is to save your hard earned cash and pass this one up. The S.A. brewers should take a trip to Belgium. Once they have sampled a true lambic from Europe, I would have to say they would scrap this ' lambic faux paus'.

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

Like most, I was introduced to this brew as part of the Winter Classics 12 pack. Poured a cloudy orange color with a non-existent head. A pleasant sweet smell detected after a minute or so in the glass. Taste was sweet -- bordering on too sweet. Not especially cranberry but more reminiscent of a generic fruit flavoring. At times the sweetness was similar to that of a Radler, but more often was too syrupy to be refreshing.

When combined with the aforementioned sweetness, the carbonation created a mouthfeel of a soft drink. I ended up nursing this one for a while before choking down the rest. The 12 pack's second bottle of this brew was the last one remaining in my refrigerator.

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Photo of randal
1.46/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

So I buy the "holiday 12 pack" for Fezziwig and to try out the new holiday porter. Both are good BTW - However only 2 of each are in there and I am saddled with 2 useless SA "Light" beers (strange taste in that one, almost like homebrew made with old extract or something), 2 regular dime-a-dozen Boston Lagers, 2 Winter Lagers and 2 abominable Cranberry Lambics!

Every year I try to drink the Cranberry Lambic and every year I pour it out. It takes a lot for me to pour a beer out, if it's homebrew I let it sit and sit in the vain hopes the magic yeast will make it better. The combination of Cranberry flavor, an unremarkable amber beer base, maple flavoring and some ever-so-slight barnyard funk just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.12/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle and served in a pint glass. Freshness date is clearly marked on the side of the label for February. I got this as part of the Sam Adams Winter Classics 12 pack.

Peachy color with a fizzy white head on top. Some sticky lacings cling on the side of the glass.

Fruity and musty aroma.

Taste starts off with a syrupy sweet flavor and then the cranberry presence kicks in with a dose of tartness. The cranberry and citrus flavors taste like a blend of Ocean Spray cranberry juice meets seltzer water.

I have not had many lambics (yet), so I am not familiar with this style. Overall, its nice to have this beer as an option in a 12 pack that offers 6 different types of beers.

As far as drinkability goes...the first one when down fairly easy, but the second one was a little more difficult. This is a little too syrupy sweet. All the sweetness leads me to think this beer is trying to compensating for something its missing.

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Photo of RushLimbmalt
3.4/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From what I hear, this beer is not a real iambic. I have never had a "real" iambic yet ,so I wouldn't know how to compare them anyway. If it is a fruit beer, it is not bad compared to some I have tried. It is a reddish gold color and has no head to speak of. It has a nice wheat beer aroma with a bit of a sour cranberry aromas mixed in. The flavor is really tart cranberries and banana/clove like flavors. I would have to say it is interesting for sure. I wish you could get it in a stand alone package, but getting the mixed 12 pack isn't a bad thing. Another nice beer by Sam Adams. I have yet to see them do wrong.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
3.32/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I am not a big fan of wheat beers to begin with, but the cranberries peaked my curiosity. This one pours a light golden orange with a very thin head that leaves only specks of lace on the glass.

The aroma is at first kind of smoky, turning an odd fruity smell as the liquid goes down. The taste is not bad, fruity and dry much like cranberry juice. The aftertaste is somewhat bland and slightly bitter. An interesting flavor, nonetheless and appropriate for the time of the year that it is introduced to the market.

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Photo of oelergud
3.18/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reddish golden body, white silken head somewhat similar to a nitro head, not much retention, some lace and moderate carbonation.
Sweet cranberry all over the smell and taste, not much of malts or hops in this brew, balance does not seem to be an issue here.
This being my first lambic I have no idea what to expect, then again I was told this isn't a lambic at all.
Anyway, interesting and plenty fruity, closer to the wine coolers my wife likes than my idea of what a beer is.
All in all an ok experience.


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Photo of bozebus17
2.51/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy copper. It has a thin white head that doesn't stick around very long, but there is evidence of lacing. When smelling this beer there is no doubt in my mind that it has cranberries in it. The taste kind of took me by surprise. This beer has a very tart flavor and it definitely awakens the tastebuds. The cranberries also dominated my palate. The mouthfeel was thin and watery. I am a pretty big Sam Adams fan but this beer did not impress me. It was my least favorite of the holiday pack. I would have trouble drinking more than one of these.

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Photo of DFN
2.51/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I got four bottles of this brew as part of the Samuel Adams "Winter Classics" selection, and I'd rate it the lowest in the group. It's not awful, but it's in the bottom third of the curve. Nice honey/tea/copper color, with a half-inch head that lasts a minute or two. Slightly fruity smell. Taste is interesting, with just a hint of cranberry and spices, but it left a musty/cardboardy taste in my mouth. One is enough; I wouldn't drink a second bottle unless that's all that was available. Even then, I'd stop after two!

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Photo of hobbes2112
2.93/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle from the Winter Classics package

I don't drink many lambics, so I don't have all that much to compre against.

Pours a clear/pale copper with 2-3 fingers of white head. Leaves quite a bit of lacing. Smell is sour, cranberry and malt. Taste is pretty moderate malt in the start, then turns quite sharp and tart or cranberry. The alcohol is very noticible which is odd considering the 4.8%

I am not really that impressed with this beer, but I get two of them in the 12 packs so I usually drink them. Not a great beer but not horrible either.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.22/5  rDev +58.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not bad. Almost has the same colour as the cherry wheat. Pitiful white head dissolved in about 40 seconds. Medium lacing. The smell is nice, if you're a lambic fan. It has that damp, dank basement smell that most lambics have that I look for. There is some fruitiness of some sort present, but I cannot immediately tell that it is in fact cranberry. Either I'm getting a totally different impression of this stuff than everyone else, or the 2004 Holiday Season batch recipe has been altered from previous years. The taste is mildy spicy with a modertate sourness to it. Nothing like the "real" Belgian lambics that jerk your teeth out of your ass in the process of turning you inside out upon tasting the earth-shattering tartness...but one can tell that the folks at Sam Adams are trying, anyway. This is a great "kinda' heavy seasonal brew" sit around and sip on. I like it. As it warms and i type this review, a little bit more tartness manifests itself, and the cranberry becomes slightly more evident. I see a lot of folks think this is crap. I seem to enjoy it. Try it if you get the chance.

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Photo of Dmann
3/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An average beer at best, but a lambic it is not. This one poured an amber color with a small white head that left a little lace. The scent was of cranberries and a slight sourness that I can't put my finger on. The taste was ok with a bit of tart cranberries but there was an underlying sweetness that seemed out of place for this beer. If this one was just a little more tart and balanced it would be pretty good, but as it stands it is average at best.

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Photo of twi1609372
4.72/5  rDev +76.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

i see this beer has a lot of bad reviews. I found this beer to be quite good actually. unlike other reviews, i did not fidn the cranbery overtly overbearing. it's there for sure but it isnt overtly strong. it's cranbery lambic, it's soposed to have cranbery taste. i guess if you abhored cranberys i could se enot liking it, but i dont mind cranberies, so i would say this was a different, yet enjoyable beer.

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Photo of andyo
1.43/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I was interested in trying this one when I found 2 bottles of this beer in a sampler. I thought, "why not, how bad could it be?" After taking my first sip, I found out. I couldn't get over the overbearing cranberry taste. I could barely get through half of this beer before I had to pour it down the drain.

After this experience, I either give these beers to already enebreated friends, or use them when I cook bratwurst (surprisingly good)

I don't reccomned this beer at all.

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Photo of cptnjck101
1.12/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I'm a huge fan of Sam Adams, but this beer was hell in a bottle. Looked cool in the pilsner and even smelled interesting enough, but after taking a swig, I instantly gagged. The taste of Cranberry was overwhelming and I couldn't stomach another sip. Maybe I'm just not a vegetable beer guy, but this is a brew to be avoided at all costs.

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Photo of yeagerbm
3.06/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An interesting beer but I can see why some dislike it. Looks pretty good with an off-white head and red/orange body. Smell I think is the worst part of this beer. Musty and mildly rotten smell with a hint of fruit. The taste was alright after getting used to it and thinking more about a cranberry-beer cocktail than just a beer.

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Photo of watermelonman
1.64/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This stuff looks fine, like light beer with a cranberry tinge to it. However, that's where my kind words end.

Yuck! It smells like rotten berries at best, and some kind of cranberry/gasoline napalm mixture at worst. The taste is pungent and overpowering.

As for drinkability, I struggled to finish my 12oz serving.

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Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 2.67 out of 5 with 1,385 ratings
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