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

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Samuel Adams Cranberry LambicSamuel Adams Cranberry Lambic
1,388 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: 1,388 |  Reviews: 841
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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Photo of beergeek279
2.56/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in the 12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is amber, with a slightly foamy head. The smell is off. The taste is a light cranberry with absolutely no sourness and no notice of the malt. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability

Well, it's certainly an insult to call this a lambic, as it's nothing even close. Even as a fruit beer, this isn't anything to write home about...nothing much beyond the cranberry. Maybe something to give the SO, but I'm not much interested in another.

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Photo of Southernbrew
2.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orange with a bit of red hues, big head.

Strong aroma of cranberries, you don't even have to smell right in the glass. Has that lambic funk, but the bottle doesn't mention spontaneous fermentation. Hmmm.

Medium body, smooth with some tartness from the cranberries. Moderate cranberry flavor in the front that moves to a maple like finish.

An OK fruit beer, but certainly not a lambic. Kind of dissapointing.

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Photo of travolta
3.37/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle

Apperance: Not too much head or retention. The color is apricot and/or grapefruit.

Nose: Light bouquet. It starts with cranberry, and other bitter berries, bannanas but very ripe ones, It's quite sweet smelling.

Taste: Immediate, spice, like winter spices. Cranberry and maybe a little rasberry. The get the same fruity taste as I did smells with an added spice in the begining.

Notes: This isnt even a lambic. Why call it a lambic if it isnt? Jim Koch knows this isnt a lambic, so does he think his customers are dumb? This is a cranberry ale, plain and simple. It was good, and I am going to rate it well.

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Photo of HardTarget
2.86/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Aroma: A tart and sour smell. Some of the cranberry comes out with a mild horsy quality as well. Some sweet malt came out as it warmed a bit.
Appearance: A dark gold with a white head of smaller bubbles that laced my flute nicely.
Flavor: Has that lambic-like sour working, but has a medicinal aspect that draws a bit away from the flavor. The tart comes in too, but I didn’t get much “fruitiness” out of the taste.
Mouthfeel: Lighter body, but the sour triggers a bit of a pucker/chew response. The tart seeps in a stays a bit.
Overall Impression: Drinkability? Erm, no thanks. I can’t see this as much of a session beer, and I’m not going to cry over the fact that I’m not going to see any more of these for a while. A bit of a gimmick in my book. Would match a Thanksgiving dinner, but I can’t see many other times that I’d want one of these. Points for making a unique American beer, and I’d recommend it for a beer karma point, but don’t get too excited.

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

Bright orange-gold with not one hint of red. The cream colored crown has a soft texture, deflates to a thin disk and leaves an average amount of lace in ragged rings. The nose is earthy, musty and sweet... and has no cranberry that I can detect. Odd that.

SA Cranberry Lambic is overly sweet, as if corn syrup was added with a heavy hand. The flavor features the same earthy funkiness that is present in the nose. The beer is slightly bitter and slightly sour-acidic, but I still get no sense that cranberries or cranberry juice were added. A light syrupiness means the mouthfeel is slightly more full than medium.

This isn't bad beer when all is said and done. Nor is it good beer. Call me crazy, but if the word cranberry appears on the label, the contents should smell and taste like cranberries. Even if only a little.

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Photo of ark57
3.12/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

While this beer is should never been labeled a lambic, it does have some merit to it. The big, soft head tops off a slight reddish color beer. The aroma is hoppy and fruity. It has an oily body that is slight tart from the cranberries and then finishes sweet from the use of maple syrup. There is also a nuttiness to the flavor. Not the best beer I've ever had, but also not the worst.

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Photo of smcolw
2.76/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very nice frothy head; great lace; the color is light amber with a slight red tinge.

The aroma reminds me of tart cherries (not cranberries). The smell is surprising light, mostly a dry malt. I had expected a more robust aroma.

Tart flavors up front. The flavor of wheat is powerful. Again, I taste sour cherries. Not a true lambic, but pleasant enough--probably not one I'd re-purchase. Long sour aftertaste.

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Photo of vitesse
3.8/5  rDev +42.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served in brown 12 oz. bottle.
this beer has a lower average score than sam adams light, so it obviously ain't gettin much love from other BAs.
i don't understand how other people can knock it as a "not a real lambic" and then also criticise it for being too tart and sour.
i wouldn't call it a traditional lambic but sam adams cranbeery lambic is actually a pretty decent sour ale. the cranberries aren't really all that overpowering. i actually thought the beer had a nice yeasty, tart belgian-style flavor. i recommend this beer to someone who wants to find a decent, inexpensive american versio of a more sour belgian beer.

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Photo of jlervine
2.26/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured a honey brown with a thick white bubbly head that sank down to a thin layer about 1/8 - 1/4" thick. Smell hints very lightly of cranberries, but otherwise smells like a normal non-lambic beer. The taste hits you with bitter cranberries at the beginning that fade out quickly revealing the maltiness of the underlying beer. Not very complex on the tongue, it is closer to a fruit beer than an honest-to-god lambic. Tastes good, but way out of style.

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Photo of Reneejane
1.44/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

My husband (fiance at the time) and father-in-law-to-be dared me to try this beer. I really wish I hadn't. It wasn't much of a lambic. And the cranberry flavor was extremely overwhelming. It was very tart, sour, and rotten tasting. I don't recommend this beer at all, but then I'm somewhat picky about fruit beers.

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Photo of Boto
3.5/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle: This is a pretty nice beer. It is somewhat maligned as it is not really a true lambic, but it is still a tasty beer nonetheless. There is a slight cranberry sourness to the nose. Slightly tart cranberry taste, that is nicely balanced with a lighter malt. No hop bitterness at all! It also has a somewhat red head.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.31/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Body is yellow-orange, with a slight haze. I was expecting a much redder hue. Big three-finger rocky,shaving cream head which leaves nice lacing in its wake. Cranberries in the aroma, but more like a cranberry muffin than straight cranberry juice. There is also a very slight medicinal note. Taste starts a very light malt base typical of an American Wheat. The cranberry emerges next, alongside a mild hop wave, and the cranberry takes over the finish. Nothing is very big, nor very refreshing.

I don't find it awful as some have, as I did myself when I first tried it many years ago. But it is at best banal, a typical mediocre brewpub's fruit wheat, with cranberry indeed of the usual raspberry.

Is this Jim Koch's mother's favorite beer? While beers come and go from the Boston Beer portfolio, this remains a winter fixture. Have it as a Thansgiving novelty if you must, but I will gladly trade these for a couple of Boston Ales in next years Winter Classics.

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Photo of BeefyMee
2.04/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Cloudy with a bit of a reddish tint. It looks pretty good, except for the fact that I blinked and my two-finger head disappeared.

Smell: Jeez, that's a lot of cranberries.

Taste: Got worse as I drank it, which is not a good sign. The cranberry flavor is just too much. It's sickly sweet and downright disgusting most of the time. Let's put it this way: I shouldn't be making faces every time I swallow.

Mouthfeel: One of the beer's better features. It tingles like champagne.

Drinkability: Not really.

The upside is this beer has a lot of room for improvement. I think it can actually be a decent brew. BBC should take notes from their own Cherry Wheat to improve this one, although many people don't like that either, but I enjoy it. There's a better (I couldn't bring myself to say good) beer waiting to come out here.

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Photo of JAL67
2.08/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

So SA comes out with a wine cooler uh?! Come on, this was just a plain BAD idea. Way too fruity for me...damn thing makes you pucker.

Wicked sweet and it's just not a beer. Listen a lambic this ain't but if you are going to make one make it right. This is so wrong.

Now I am an SA lover...great company great beers but this one never again. I won't even drink it from the Holiday pack...well ok, maybe after I've had all the rest, ya maybe.

Anyway try it you...but don't expect much.


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Photo of kbub6f
3.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer gets a pretty bad beating in the forums, so I was pretty curious to try it. The head is small, white (slightly peachy) and foamy. The beer is deep orangey/peachy and slightly hazy. Nose is tart, fruity with some spice and grains. Nice. The tartness/fruitiness translates to the front. Good. The finish is nice, too, with sour apples and pleasant bitterness. The middle is where it falls down for me: too sugary/sweetened. It's like some artificial sweetener was added. Interesting and drinkable nonetheless (or sometheless, I guess).

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Photo of JamesBerry
3.79/5  rDev +41.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Normally, I shy away from Sam Adams brews, particularly the more exotic styles. However, this was one that caught my eye, as I'd never tried a Lambic before. This had a fruity, tannic taste, almost more like a red wine than a beer. Good reddish brown color, a firm head and clean lacing, with a pleasing aroma. Beneath the fruit flavor, I detected the characteristic taste of the Belgian yeast, which was a major plus. I can't say whether or not this is true to the Lambic style, but it's certainly a beer I'd drink again.

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Photo of marburg
2.11/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

I think a Band-Aid crawled into my beer and died. But seriously, if you're going to sell Triaminic flavored Kool-aid and call it beer, at least sell it in a powdered form so that I can buy it in bulk rather than the over-priced $1-something per bottle.

Medicinal, fake fruit aromas -- something akin to a scratch and sniff sticker -- with zero sour "zip" in the nose. Looks pretty decent though. Head's a bit off, and this brew has a sort of dead color to it. Extraordinarily watery and thin. Rubbery flavor going down. Reminds me of kindergarten when I used to eat paste -- or something. Not even a good fruit beer. Certainly not a lambic.

Moderately drinkable for something of such poor quality.

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Photo of marcobrau
3.79/5  rDev +41.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This year's version of this brew seems to have more tart cranberry flavor than previous versions and I like it. I like this beer a little more tart and I'm happy that it seems to have forgotten it's sweeter past. It's still a little syrupy towards the finish reminding me that maple syrup is in this brew. Could have more aroma and I still have a problem with name. As others have suggested, it's not a real lambic.

I have to agree with some other reviewers that this beer is a Thanksgiving classic. When I was a kid it was cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving -- now it's cranberry beer -- much better!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.06/5  rDev +52.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The full glass displays a slightly hazy (which is OK because it is a wheat beer...) orangeish-amber body with a crimson cast beneath a long lasting head of frothy off-white foam. The head retention is good and it maintains a thin lid throughout the glass and leaves some very nice rings of lace as well. The nose offers a bright combination of grainy malt and mildly tart fruitiness. The body is medium and its fine, median carbonation caresses the tongue before warming to become lightly creamy and smooth. The flavor delivers the promised Cranberry atop a delicate, grainy, wheatish malt base that's backed by just enough hop to keep it from becoming sweet. It finishes crisp and dry with some residual swirling notes of juicy fruit and cereal. Quite nice! I'm quite sure that this beer has improved over the years, and now offers a better balance with a reduced graininess and more fruit in its profile. I look forward to it each Thanksgiving - before, during, and after my meal!

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Photo of bewley
1.88/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I don't think good o'l Sam has ever tried a true Belgian lambic.

The color--a clear reddish orange with what starts off as an ample foamy white head--is most deceiving. After one sip, I cringed with disappointment. My fiancee called it "different." I call it truly disgusting. Hmm, well, yes, it's quite bad.

After reading other reviews, I must stress that this beer was in no way sweet. It was overly tart in my opinion. May be a bad batch?

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Photo of Ellbert
2.86/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The appearance was a slightly orange/red color with an off white head. it was crystal clear.

The smell was of tart cranberries and that was about it.

The taste was sweet and tart, the maple syrup showed itself in there a little bit. I couldn't find any hops in the flavor. there was something about this beer that didn't taste very appealing.

the mouthfeel was sticky and thick. there was tight and crisp carbonation that was nice.

This is not very drinkable because it isn't quite as good flavorwise as I would have liked.

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Photo of benmiliron
3.68/5  rDev +37.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got 2 of these in a 12-pack Samuel Adams winter specialty. After trying the sub-par Old Fezziwig, I was a bit skeptical of this brew. It's surprisingly good though! The cranberry doesn't hit you too hard, and there's a soft wheat beer taste and texture along with it. This is a great beer to try for something different. Now, if only they'd come out with it in a sixer so I wouldn't have to suffer through SA light and that nasty Old Fezziwig.

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Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 2.67 out of 5 with 1,388 ratings