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 Running4beer
2.47/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got this with the winter celebration pack, thankfully there were only 2 of these in the pack I don't think I could have had anymore. Poured a hazy amber with little head that disappears to a spots of lace here and there. Not to the aroma it was sweet and fruity. Tasted hints of cranberry, little malts and hops lots of fruit flavors though, too much. Mouthfeel was tart and crisp. This is just a celebration ale one or two is good for me once a year.

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

Pours dark amber with a nice head. lacing abounds. Smell is sweet and fruity. Taste is full and heavy, being almost too sweet for my taste. Decent maltiness, hops are readily tasted. Overall, this is a special occasion type beer, and not a session brew. This was a bit to sweet and overdone for my taste.

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Photo of stegmakk
2.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Peachy golden color with fuzzy head that dissapates quickly.
Aroma of sweet almost too ripe fruit.
The flavor was a bit thrown together. Some malt, hops, cranberry sweetness, and thought it had a bit ow alcohol warmth as it went down.
Good for my wife, indifferent for me.

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Photo of Redrover
2.8/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz brown bottle, with freshness date on the side of the label.

This beer pours a nice dark amber with shades of red. There is a big head, but is dissipates quickly. Only a small amount stays for the whole beer. No real lacing.

The smell is clean, probably to clean for a lambic. Some nice whiffs of cranberry, very inoffensive smell..

Too much sweetness and no dryness. After a few sips the sweetens turns very sour. The cranberry taste is not strong enough and some of that fruit's tartness would help! Carbonation was decent with nice small bubbles. I could not get past how sour this beer quickly became. The sournes is my overriding impression of the beer. I’m not sure it is a real lambic and if it is, it’s not a good one. Beers can be sour and still within style and still taste good. This one is not!

I have had this beer in the past I remember it as much better. Perhaps they have changed their recipe or I had a bad couple of bottles.

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Photo of cbl2
3.62/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this one at the last Jets game (they beat the Colts 41-0), so bear with my lack of detail:

Appearance: Golden with a splash of red (imagined?).

Smell: sharp and bitter, bursting with berry; reminiscent of a Berliner weisse.

Taste: Tart and sweet, reminiscent of Mort Subite, though not quite as good, but still, considering it is Sam Adams I must say I’m impressed.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: I'm not a huge fruit beer fan, hence the slightly lower numbers here, but I must say this one is worth checking out. I wouldn't buy a six pack of this, but it was a nice addition to this years winter pack.

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

I would not truly consider this beer a lambic. The color is a medium golden red, slightly hazy, with a smallish white head. There is a faint smell of cranberry, along with butter, and a slight maple scent. The first thing I taste is a sweet-and-sourness, followed by a very flowery cranberry taste, along with a buttery maple flavor, and a sour perfume finish. In my mouth it had a moderate round feel. I do not like this beer, to me it had an odd unnatural mix of flavors and was too perfumy. The first time I tried this I did not finish it and dumped the last 3oz. (approximately). I disliked it enough that I didn't even bother to finish my tasting sample. I have moderately enjoyed some of this brewery's other beers, and I do enjoy other cranberry seletions; needless to say my dissappointment was somewhat unexpected. (Although, it is frustrating that the only way, it seems, to get some of Boston Beer Company's beers is to buy their sampler pack and take the good with the bad but, that's a different story altogether. As a side note, I did not let this frustration color my review of this beer, I truly did not care for it.)

(source: ABC Baymeadows, Jacksonville, FL)

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
2.9/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy peach / amber color. The head is foams up quickly but dies quickly as well. On the nose, the aroma of cranberries. On the palate there is a decent sweetness, some citrus hints, decent malt flavors, and an ever slight bitterness / tartness but not like other Lambics I’ve tasted though. This beer gets worse as it warms up also. If you are into fruity type beers this one may be good for you, but you’ll probably have to drink it very cold, but why even bother with it.

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Photo of Todd
2.21/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz brown bottle, with freshness date on the side of the label. Beer was poured into a proper lambic glass.

This beer pours a very hazy peach / amber coloured beer, that initially foams up to a decent head, but quickly falls to a whispy lace with sticking tracks as it settles. I'm assuming that cranberries (even the juice) would give this beer more of a red hue, but it's not there.

Aroma has none of the expected funk that you'd find in a true lambic beer. There's plenty of artificial smelling cranberry juice though, along side of a sturdy sweetish malt aroma. I swear I can also pick of some caramel (diacetyl ?), too. What's that doing in this beer?

In the flavour, we get a heavy dose of sweetness, but none of the off-setting dryness found in Belgian lambics. The caramel is out of place, creating a sense of unbalance on the palate and it tends to dominate over the cranberry. And, as the cranberry addition is from juice (and additional flavours), the defining character of this beer, or what should be, is a very one-dimensional, barely tart, cranberry "cocktail" out of the can like flavour. Flash of citric lime-like bitterness races across the palate (pretending to contain our missing dryness) with a prickly carbonation and touch of mineral / salt. Finish is grain dry with citric flavours lingering in the nooks and crannies.

If you're going to call your beer a "lambic" at least make a true attempt to create a lambic. This is nothing more than a fruit beer, an unbalanced one and a very misleading beer.

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Photo of chilidog
3.7/5  rDev +34.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I didn't know what to expect from thisone. What I found was an ok "tis-the season" brew, like one or two per-year is just right. The smell was fruity of berry. It poured burnt orange with a higher carbon head than most out of BBC. The taste was very fruity & tart. The cranberry stood-out in its taste & mouthfeel.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
2.83/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I was expecting more from this beer. Add the fact that I really don't care for cranberries, and it bodes ill for the review.

Poured a deep and dark burnt orange color with a head that disappeared in an instant. The aroma was that of something souring in the trash can. The sour aroma carried right on into the sour flavor. Mouthfeel was poor...I just didn't care for it. I could probably stomach only one of these at a time. Perhaps the wife might like it. It's closer to a wine cooler taste than beer. I'll pass on this offering from the winter sampler pack.

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Photo of kwill
2.31/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours well with a half inch head that does not disappear immediately. The color is a nice cloudy amber that makes me think of a good wheat beer. Unfortunately this is the best part about the beer.

The smell is like sweet, over-ripe fruit. The taste is initially good, but the aftertaste kicks in very quickly and leaves a hint of bitterness and a flavor of fruit that has gone bad.

I generally enjoy fruit beers, and I enjoy all Sam Adams beers (except the Utopias and Light) so I am quite disappointed that I have to give this beer such a low score. Overall I am glad that this beer only comes out once a year so that it is not taking up shelf space of other, more deserving beers.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.92/5  rDev +78.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Lambic & Sam Adam's - I am a huge fan of the Boston Beer Company, But I was a bit hesitant to try this one. I am glad I did. This is an exceptionally good and very drinkable beer. The hops and the cranberry flavors combine to make a wonderful experience for the palate. The nose on this beer is exceptional as well. If you can find this - buy it and drink it. This is not your typical Lambic (Or chick beer as some call it). The exotic flavors that come pouring forth are to numerous to list and surprisingly the Cranberry is the least of them. Boston Beer company is very good at their hop blends. They have a knack that few can master. And here is a fine example of that mastery of hops with a fruit blend that is just fantastic Sam Adam's has achieved something special here.

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Photo of psugrad98
2.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First of all, I really don't like cranberries. Keep that in mind. Light reddish with burnt orange hues. Light lace and slightly fizzy carbonation. Bittersweet cranberry flavors predominate with fizzy on the tounge brew. Slight malty afterflavor. Not bad, but not great either. Its not even a lambic. The nerve!! Try a Frambioise for a true taste of a good fruit lambic.

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Photo of Brent
2.53/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The obligatory rant about this beer: it is not a lambic, it is a fruit beer. Sammy should just call it what it is. Call it a lambic and folks expect something special. Call it a fruit beer, and folks hope for something drinkable. Sammy did not really pull off either with this beer. Closest to a light wheat - quite tart, but there really is very little cranberry to add zest. I was expecting BIG cranberry notes - drink this as a side to dry turkey type cranberry notes. Here, the cranberry was sort of an echo, like they held a can of cranberry sauce over the wort and said "wort, meet cranberry. Cranberry, meet wort" and that was as close as they got.

It came in the holiday mix pack. That is about all you can say for this weak effort.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
1.17/5  rDev -57.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

hadn't had one in years (as i hated it so), but you can't avoid em when you want the old fezziwig, so i decide to revisit it. it pours a brownish orange and the fruity smell is instantly overbearing. it's not as fruity in taste as i remember it though, and that was thanks to the 'touch of' (what an understatement!) maple syrup. a different type of brew? yes. a good one? no way.

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Photo of TAMU99
1.18/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1


Well, it looks great in a glass. Pours a beautiful reddish brown with a nice thick head. So, if you're just posing with out actually drinking your beer, this one's for you.

However, the rest leaves much to be desired. For those of you who brew it tastes like soured beer.
The intense cranberry smell and flavor overpower you right out of the glass. It has an acidic cidery flavor that puckers your mouth without any real showing from the malty side of the house. Had I tasted this blindfolded, I would have thought it to be a cider first, not a beer.

I certainly do not recommend this for anything but photo ops.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.7/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hail the Sam Adams sampler pack. As a quick aside, I've been making some noise down here in Cincinnati to a few contacts at the brewery about only being able to obtain Fezziwig in the Holiday Pack, but that's another review...

Cranberry Lambic pours out smoothly, small head which bubbles away rapidly. The color is orange and cloudy, the aroma is fairly non-descript save for a slight sourness.

The taste isn't earth shaking, but it's not bad. I'd prefer it to most mega brews, but don't think I could drink more than 3 of these at one sitting. Good thing there's only 2 per 12-pack, huh?!?

There's obviously some kind of sour-producing yeast strain in there, but of course it cannot be a true lambic unless it is brewed in that proper area of Belgium. Still, it's brewed to appeal to the masses, which true lambics cannot do as they are far more sour.

The carbonation is pleasant, average to slightly above average I'm guessing, with the cranberry flavor hitting about the same time as the sour notes. Cranberries have a tartness to them anyway, so it's not a bad combo. I wouldn't mind seeing how a real lambic with cranberries would turn out. Leave the pits in like a cherry lambic, could be great!

Anyway, this beer is okay, the cranberry flavor doesn't come across genuinely, most likely added in at the end, but my wife likes it, the only 'lambic' she has given the thumbs up, so I at least know how to get rid of the other bottle. ;-)

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Photo of budgood1
2.69/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

amber color, ample head, above average carbonation and a good deal of lace. muted mustiness and some cranberry aroma hit the nose. cranberry juice flavored beer is all this is. brewed in the manner as not to offend anyone and making it sweet and drinkable for the holiday season. malternative drinkers should love this beer. beer drinkers should probably not drink it. oh well... grab this and the sammy light in the holiday pack and give it to the lady or light beer drinker in your life and horde the rest for yourself. everyone can be happy then!

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Photo of frank4sail
2.73/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Musty berry smell. Peach with a touch of blood orange in the color. White 1/4 inch head which dissapated rapidly to a white sheen. Interesting but watery taste.. there are hints of cranberry sweetness but the brew does not hold a candle to other lambic I've tasted when it comes to flavor, body, and character. It lacks any real complexity and seems like its been stripped down. There is a slight smoothness to the mouth but not enough to impact the palate. Not bad just weak and uneventful.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
2.61/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hazy, brownish-orange color with a red hue. Foamy white head that dissipates rather quickly. It has quite a bit of carbonation. There is some cranberry aromas, as well as quite a bit of sour/tartness. The tartness continues into the taste, but also the sweet cranberry flavors. The finish is sweet and syrupy. Overall, it is too syrupy and sweet, and should not be considered a Lambic.

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Photo of Bierman9
2.69/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Well, I'll try anything once (or so the rumor goes...) The Sam Cran-Lam does have a decent dark-golden color, with a thin, fine white head and a hint 'o lace. I can't say the aroma did much for me, though. It was fruity, yet in a weird, off sort of way. Mouthfeel was medium body-wise and smoothness-wise, too. Oh, but the taste!? Again, that off-fruity flavor, and even a flavor I connect to burnt pop-corn. Not my cup 'o tea, I'm afraid. I'm still debating whether I want to finish it or not... ....10 or so minutes later....Alewife asks what I'm drinking... I tell her that this bier is just NOT for me...Alewife asks "you're NOT going to throw bier out, are you?" She graciously finished it for me....Vielen Dank!!

overall: 2.9
appearance: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 2.5


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Photo of inebrius
2.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

If you can get past the funky "pancake breakfast in Grandma's basement" nose you might find the nicely balanced sweet/tart taste to your liking. This beer is helped immensely by its relatively short and clean finish. Drinkable? I'm not sure I could ever drink more than one of these without chewing on a citrus peel or something in between sips. I like Cranberries in my scones, not my beers.

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Photo of ADR
2.79/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Slightly hazy dark peach-brown appearance, 1/8 inch head that turns to a wine glass rim-clinging ring of small bubbles. Really lacks aroma almost altogether, a little sense of berries. Why are they even ATTEMPTING to allude that this is a Lambic? Sweet maple and cane sugar malts, slight sense of sugared cranberry juice, slight bitter sense and nothing other than berry at the close. Mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbonation. Given that cranberries are among the most tart of fruits, it seems Sammy just passed the buck and brewed a fruit wheat beer of no particular memory in order to not offend people unfamiliar with a Lambic's strengths (or weaknesses, depending on tastes). Sure, its a Fruit Experimental, but I wonder more than ever about the loss of the memory of true Lambic and Gueuze flavor profiles.

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Photo of mjohn27603
3.5/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark golden in color pours with a large head that overflowed the glass. Smells like cranberry juice tastes like cranberry juice with some maltiness mixed in. Not quite as sweet as I remember real lambics being. Doesn't make you pucker. Not very complex. Not one of the highlights of the Sam Adams Winter Classics pack.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
2.08/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Originally reviewed this more than a year ago...time for some serious editing today, 12/30/03. I originally said I didn't like this, and I didn't like real lambics either. Well...I love true lambics now, and I still think this brew blows. Don't know if BBC is poking fun at themselves calling this a lambic or what, but seriously...what the hell. Not even close...not even in the same universe. Rusty orange color, smells faintly of tart cranberries, but really, just doesn't smell appetizing. Dry wheat flavor with some mild fruitiness. Decent smooth mouthfeel. I opened this bottle thinking, "maybe it'll be better than last year." Nope. I hope the sink's thirsty. Where's my Old Fezziwig?

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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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