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

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Samuel Adams Cranberry LambicSamuel Adams Cranberry Lambic

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

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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Reviews: 838 | Ratings: 1,377
Photo of devilben02
2.69/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I received a few bottles of this one as a "gift" from my dad who had been "aging" them in the back of his beer fridge for about 2 years I believe. Needless to say, he isn't a fan and finally felt the need to pass them off onto someone else. Never one to turn down free beer, I gladly took them off his hands. Honestly, I don't understand the hate for this beer. It isn't great, but it isn't undrinkable swill either.

The first impression is fine enough, with a nearly opaque amber color that shows only a tinge of red. The medium-thick creamy beige head likewise only has a faintest pink glow. The berry flavor comes out in the aroma, though, with a berry jam kind of character that is a little tart as well as a bit artificial. The flavor has a little bit of a toffee malt and faintly wheat-like base that cuts into the mildly sweet/tart jelly fruitiness. The body is solid, with a light but present carbonation.

Overall, this one drinks like a light amber/wheat ale that has some mildly sour berry flavoring added in, just like the label promises. In this regard, I would say that it is to the beer world what that canned cranberry sauce is to Thanksgiving dinner. It isn't as good as fresh, whole-berry cranberry relish, but I'm still going to scoop some onto my plate if it's the available option.

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Photo of Homebrew35
3.4/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reddish maroon body on a vigorous pour yields a small white head. This dissipates to a few bubbles around the edges. Smells slightly sweet, slight bit of earthiness. Tastes sweet to tart and back to sweet fruitiness. Creamy medium body mouthfeel. I could only handle two of these in a sitting. I'll probably try this again next year.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.74/5  rDev +36%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a cloudy redish color, with a small head, that didnt last very long. It had a sweet cranberry like smell to it. THe taste is sweet, with a bitter aftertaste from the cranberry. Easy to drink, low carbonation; not really a lambic. Overall I enjoyed this beer, if you didnt like cranberry, you wouldnt like this at all.

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Photo of drizzam
3.16/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - A very cloudy red/amber body topped with a decent one finger foamy off white head. Head retention was decent and it left some spotty lacing down the inside of my pint glass.

S - Sour cranberry and wheat dominates the nose.

T & M - Big time wheat in this one, with a sour cranberry flavor cutting through the wheat. There also seems to be a bit of banana toward the back end. Light bodied and finishes crisp with just a tang of cran-banana for the aftertaste.

D - Not a true lambic, more of a fruit beer (as it is categorized here) so expectations should not be for a true lambic taste. They probably should have called it "Cranberry wheat". This brew isn't terrible, but it is easy to drink. It won't be a stocked item in my frig, but it was worth a try.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.06/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thanks drizzam!

A - Reddish orange and hazy with minimal white head starting at an inch or so and fading to just more than a trace.

S - Fruity with a wheat-banana scent. Not much for the nose.

T - Mild wheat flavor with a sour flavor as prevalent.

M - Extremely dry feel. Very nice. The best quality by far.

~ This is not the finest brew Sam Adams has put out but it certainly is unique. I'd like to give credit on a good attempt.

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Photo of kbutler1
2.76/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. Ok, so this is obviously not a lambic in ANY sense of the word, so as such, I will rate it as a fruit beer. Not sure why Sam Adams decided to call this a lambic when clearly it isn't. Poured into a NB tulip glass. Pours an apaque rust mahagony color with tinges of red. The head is a big, fluffy 2 finger head with a very slight red tinge. Head laces as it settles. The aroma is slightly similiar to a hef with banana and clove notes with an ever so slight berry note. The taste is ahhh, not that great to be honest, not competely terrible but not all that great either. Again, I get more of a slight hef flavor with cloves. Some mild, and I mean mild, tartness from what I am guessing is the cranberry. Medium mouthfeel. Slight bitterness in the end with some sweetness.

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Photo of arboristfish
2.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This beer pours an amber color with a white frothy head. The smell is sourish, with hints of cranberries. The taste is sour. This is the first lambic that I have tried, and I have to say this is a beer style may be one of those ones that requires an acquired taste. The mouthfeel was light to almost medium. I dont find this beer drinkable.

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Photo of chinchill
3.15/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle served in standard pint glass

A - Pours a reddish copper; hazy with short tan head.

S - grape more than cranberry? Fruity and spicy belgian-style lambic aroma.

T - mix of sour, sweet and bitter, in that order. OK finish

M - smooth excepting slight bite

O: an unusual lambic that is not so sweet as to be delegated to dessert beer. Should pair well with some foods.

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Photo of ryanonline
2.65/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reddish brown with a thick off white head that has a slight red tint to it. no real clarity, very murky.

smells faintly nutty with a hint of cranberry and light spiciness. more like a wheat bear or hefeweizen than a lambic.

it tastes like someone threw some cranberry juice into a hefeweizen and called it a day. slight nutty flavor and very light hopiness along with the banana clove flavor i find in most hefes.

watery but foamy and has a slightly dry finish as well as a lingering spice flavor.

it's easy to drink, but i don't wanna.

well, so on top of all that, I read on the bottle that it has maple syrup added in....WHY!!?!?!?!?!? damn you Sam Adams, you've tricked me again, i will stick with your Oktoberfest when i want something from you.

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Photo of DrJay
2.44/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Murky amber with a slight reddish tint. A fizzy cap appeared during the pour, subsided fairly quickly, and had a beige/rose hue. Spotty lacing. Sour wheat aroma coupled with musty/earthy berry and lemon notes, banana, cranberry and slight clove as it warmed -- pretty strong and not appealing to me. The flavour was mostly fruity, cranberry and lemon, with some malt sweetness up front and bitterness in the finish. Light clove spice lingered. Fairly dry with average carbonation that was on the coarse side, medium bodied. Although it tasted all right, I had a hard time getting past the aroma each time I went for a sip -- I found that exhaling during a sip was the best way to avoid the unpleasantness. Not the worst fruit beer I've had, but not one that I'd have again either.

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Photo of alleykatking
1.57/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. The infamous Cranberry Lambic...good choice for sure!

A- Pours a semi-hazed pinkish ruby color. Almost like someone just dunked a used tampon in a glass of water. Not a pretty color or sight for that matter. It left a 2 and a half finger white head that showed decent retention...maybe to hide from a bird's-eye view the watery vaginal discharge color of my beer below it. There was some light streaky lacing that seemed to scream for mercy as it slid back into the beer (well maybe not screamed literally but you get the point).

S- The aroma has a long metallic quality to it. I know this shouldn't be there but I really don't think it stops the beer from actually smelling worse. Loads of cranberry comes next...this is starting to feel like I'm smelling canned cranberry sauce. A light tartness to this about midway through the aroma. I didn't expect that and I must say so far it's the only redeeming quality here in the aroma. Malts ironically make up some of the ending aroma. There is a caramel like ending in the nose which doesn't fit at all.

T- Closing my eyes I took a sip. Nothing! I opened to see I took a drink of water instead. Upon making sure I had the right glass I closed my eyes again and sipped. I tasted caramel malts coming through the front with some artifical cranberry chasing after a Hollywood horror movie killer trying to track down his victim. Sadly this cranberry killer doesn't do a good job at tracking this teen malt down and snuffing him out. There is a light metallic flavor that comes out toward the middle of the beer but only for a second before escaping to the background. The cranberry does come out a little more in the ending along with a sharp pungent taste. A little tart in the ending? Yea I suppose so. It's there but hard to define it from the cranberry.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is fizzy but really goes well for the beer itself. A cranberry trainwreck across your palate from start to finish. There is some slight alcohol drying on the palate and a feeling like you just licked a 9V battery. Flavors are just a mess and not blended well at all. The mouthfeel is just a mess...I mean like someone smearing poop all over the bathroom kind of mess.

D- First off...this is not a lambic. This is nothing close to a lambic and Sam Adams should put a disclaimer on the bottle that even though it says it's a lambic it really is not. This one makes it into the ranks of Triple Bock with its greatness or lack there of. After my tasting of this I went to the bathroom and wiped my tongue down using Comet and a Brillo Pad. It has been 4 days and still all I can taste is Sam Adam's Cranberry Lambic....well maybe that's not true but I think it's pretty bad.

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Photo of SamN
1.25/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Of course, this is not a real "American Lambic", for the same reason there are no "American Champagnes". Essentially lying on the label is not a good start...

Appearance is a gross, cloudy ruby mess. Looks like a Bloody Punk (beer and tomato juice) with a extremely thin, weak head. Cloudy, dark and gross looking. Smell is of gag-inducing cereal grain malts, sour anonymous fruits and sour tin smells. Awful, to an extreme degree. Literally, I regret giving this aroma even a 1. Taste? Just like it smells. Artificial flavors of cranberries and sour cherries, finishing on cheap grains. Some sweetness flowers midway on the palette, but is then overpowered by the nasty metal finish. Mouthfeel is overly bubbly and thin, with a dry, cranberry juice finish. Drinkability is nonexistent.

Awful, awful, awful beer. Truly, a disastrous train wreck. Impossible to consume more than a few half-hearted sips. Who in the hell tasted this and said "Success!"?

Overall; a misleading title, simply awful looks, smells and tastes and utter undrinkability. This a Howard the Duck level fiasco, a total dud of a beer. Shame on Samuel Adams for even having this available, let alone in regular rotation!

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Photo of StevenBilodeau
2.97/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Cracked this one from a bottle.

The smell was tart, and lingering... sweetness, some malt expressions.

The taste wasn't matching the smell, it didn't have the sweetness I thought it was going to have. Which surprised me for being a Lambic. It almost reminded me of a Geuze.

The Head, ? I drank it out of a bottle so I couldn't really tell, but there foam did come out pretty fast when I hit it slightly on accident. (However this could happen to nay beer I guess)

Overall, this beer was just OK. Not great, tastes decent. I think Sam Adams wanted to make a beer that wasn't overly sweet/tart because Americans aren't really used to the style. I think it's pretty cool that they decided to take it out of the Winter Classics 12pk and make it into a 6pk. I think this would probably go really well with Turkey. hmmm... this did come out right before Thanksgiving... (Chuckles) - sarcasm

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Photo of baldmasterflex
2.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Another beer i wanted to try after seeing so many negative reviews. Although, this time i feel that this beer has lived up to the negative hype.

Poured out of a 12oz bottle, it leaves a huge puffy white head. It took a while to recede and in its appearance it reminded me of the head you would get off of an aggresive pour of miller high life (my goto cheap beer).

The beers color is a hazy soapy pinkish-amber.

Smell is sweet-tart.

The flavor is hard to put down, i want to say that it is very bland but it has a very sour and bitter background. Drinkability suffers from this as well, i dont know if its the carbonation or the flavor itself.

In the back of my throat it reminds me of trying to chug ginger ale.

Glad i tried it, but will not be drinking this again.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.21/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes.

My dad always buys the Sam Adams seasonal variety packs. I used to love that he was showing an interest in craft; now, it's about all here drinks. Long story short, I shouldn't have to drink this again any time soon.

Pours a faint amber orange color with an off white head. Nose is loads of cranberry juice. The taste adds in a bit of caramel, but this makes it taste more like some caramel candies have been soaking in a glass of slightly-carbonated cranberry juice cocktail overnight. Feel is a bit cloying and a bit tart. Poor drinkability. Many of the winter pack beers are pretty decent; this one is not.

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Photo of Plokhooy
2.4/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

First off, not a true Lambic but more of a fruit ale. The beer, as part of the holiday pack, was the one I dreaded finishing the worst (or actually the only one I dreaded). A very sour beer (typical of lambics) with a bad aftertaste. Overall very disappointing from Boston Beer Co.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
2.1/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A-Orangey. White head, not big.

S-Faint. Artificial cranberry.

T-Ick. Doesn't taste like a real cranberry. Artificial. Cranberry and splenda. Too sweet. My defintion of "sickly sweet". Gets old quick.

M-Light and slippery.

D-One and done. Don't like it.

Don't consider this a lambic. Fresh puke after eating too many cranberries.

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Photo of thatguy3579
2.14/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

A: Amber in color, nearly opaque, with rich pink head that reminds me of strawberry milkshakes.

S: Some sweet roasted smell and also some tartness which is probably the cranberries. The smell is not very strong but a little enticing.

T: Something here is just wrong. I can sense the roasted flavors and some cranberry tartness which sounds enjoyable but is not. I am not sure if it is the strange mixture of flavors or the smelly-sock finish, but I do not think I will be able to finish this beer.

M: Fairly thick, and with medium to high carbonation.

D: This beer is not terribly potent in smell or taste, and has a nice look and mouthfeel. That said, this beer is by no means "drinkable." The flavor is literally nauseating. I would serve this only to an enemy or very drunk friend.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
1.69/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

"Ooooh, that smell."
--Lynyrd Skynyrd

Looks like cranberry heavy and vodka light. Champagne bubbles, no head, retention etc. . . aroma was mildly enjoyable, just because it reminded me of breakfast.

Taste, brutally sacharrin sweet. Rough. Why people hate this but not all the other lambics I don't know, none of them are for me, but this was one you could try without taking out a mortgage (never again instead of Cantillon). No redeeming quality here, other than maybe the smell, of cranberries and artificial coffee sweetener.

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Photo of BottleOfPills
1.7/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Well first, it's July, I bought this beer back around the Holidays.. My fridge is empty and this is what's left and I felt like drinking...

So it's clean out my review is probably slanted based on that.

After drinking this I should say I'm thinking about giving up on drinking..

This was a 12 oz bottle from a local grocery store, you know the standard Holiday Mix. Forget what I paid.

The appearance, well it's kind of orangish/pinkish and cloudy in my colorblind opinion.

The smell really didn't bother me too much.. didn't stand out, I didn't cringe nor did I immediatly tilt it up and take a swig...

Taste though, if upon taking the aforementioned swig, would have immediatly brought about a hurling spit of salivia and cranberry hops... ughhh..

Nasty.. I didn't like it.. Is it because it's old, probably, but something about it, too sweet, but yet not, too hoppy but not. Clear as mud?

Mouthfeel, kind of flat, but my beer is old, so it probably is.

Drinkabilility, well I probably won't finish it.

That's it enjoy..

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Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hudsonphotog for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a red-orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is caramel, maple syrup and cranberries. The flavor is heavy on the cranberries with some vanilla and maple notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

I tried this several years ago and remember hating it. Not sure what is different this time, but I didn't dislike it - even though I went in expecting to.

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Photo of LuthersMug
2.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Deep muted red, reminiscent of cranberries (surprise) and/or pomegranates. 1/4 inch of head that dissipates quickly. No lacing observed during the drink

S - Sweet cranberries, but in a dull way

T - Sweet cranberries that sour as the taste lingers in the mouth. The wheat in the beer is also noticeable.

M - Decent carbonation, on the lighter side.

D - I've tasted some Lindeman lambics, which I thought were superior and would gladly have seconds. No need for another here.

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Photo of Carpathia
2.56/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Drank out of a large tulip glass.

Appearance: I like to say that its not real beer if you can see right through it. This is an opaque, dark red beer. Large head dissolves into a quarter inch head with decent lacing.

Smell: Sweet cranberries, not much else.

Taste: Sweet cranberry up front. Once the initial taste clears the gills however, it quickly turns sour. The taste is pleasant, at first, but becomes overbearing very quickly.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation, strictly average.

Drinkability: Not very. Its hard to get past the sour taste to drink another. I have a feeling this would be decent with Thanksgiving dinner, or with a heavy meal to dull the sweet and sour, but the swing is rather extreme. Its just too much to call this anything but average at best. It is quite pretty though, the rest is a let down.

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Photo of rodney45
3.18/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I have limited experience with fruit lambic's but i can tell you this is not a great example of the style. Smells pretty good upfront, and has the color of cloudy cider. The head is thin and fleeting. At first it has a intense wheat taste that is dominated fruit and malt. The lingering taste turns bitter and dull, and although still retains a cranberry taste it lacks the original intensity and sweetness. Could have been a little better, but they're on the right track with this lambic.

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Photo of BrewFanatics
2.31/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was offered this beer by my cousin. I'm always excited to try new beers, so I accepted. I've always been a fan of Boston Brewing Co, so I didn't really think much of it. That was my first mistake. This beer is terrible. It blows my mind that Boston Brewing even released this beer.

It doesn't look bad when you pour it (nice copper/gold color), but that's the only thing it has going for it. The cranberry aroma and taste are sooo overwhelming. It could be an interesting beer idea if the cranberry aroma and flavor were very subtle, but they're not. One thing is for certain, I will never have another one. Stay away from this beer. Or better yet, try it and see if you agree with me.

Rating by Tommy from

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Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
2.75 out of 5 based on 1,377 ratings.
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