Samuel Adams Winter Lager
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Samuel Adams Winter LagerSamuel Adams Winter Lager
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Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
Ranked #66
Ranked #24,208
3.65 | pDev: 11.51%
Mar 23, 2024
Nov 29, 2020
For the first time in 31 years, we’re updating the classic Winter Lager recipe to make it crisper and brighter. It’s the same iconic beer, with a wintery remix. Crisp Bock with citrus and spices, lager brewed with orange peel, cinnamon, and ginger.
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Ratings by CantDrinkEveryBeer:
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Reviewed by CantDrinkEveryBeer from Virginia

3.44/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Purchased in the 2023 holiday pack. Bottle has a pretty gold and blue color scheme, but shares the same generic graphic as all the beers in the collection. Some years ago each bottle had a unique piece of artwork, and the Winter Lager was one of my favorites. Poured into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Look: A rich, dark maroon, opaque on the table but translucent and bright when held to the light. Slightly tan head. A small amount of bubbles rise continuously.

Smell: The weakest part of the beer. Musty with some sweetness; cedar shavings and maple sap. Not super-appetizing.

Taste: Some odd bitterness upfront, redolent of unripe nuts. Then comes some toasty, wheat malts. Finishes very sweet. Cinnamon butter, warm milk, a bit of caramel. Lingers warmly on the tongue very pleasantly, inviting another sip.

Feel: Initial carbonation is harsh and soda-like; is that where that non-hoppy bitterness comes from? After the bubbles dissipate, the body is smooth and buttery, sticking to the teeth after swallowing. Just like the taste, weak at first but finishes much better.

Overall: When I first started drinking beer this was one of my favorites. I don't know if it's the new recipe or just growing more experienced, but I definitely am not as smitten. I did still enjoy the brew and will continue the yearly tradition of getting a few cases of the holiday sampler.

Edit: After letting the beer sit and warm up and lose some of its initial carbonation, the bitterness receded and became much more like the beer I remembered. Raised the score a bit but with the caveat that you give it some time to rest before drinking. Or maybe I just got an overly fizzy batch. Cheers!
Dec 30, 2023
More User Ratings:
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Reviewed by adamg39 from Ohio

2.02/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2
I had high hopes for this lager, but this one is one of Sam's disappointments. Just really bitter, but somehow without the "fruity" hops (or other added) flavor that one would expect. I can still taste the after taste on this one, like a wheat beer-level of bitterness.
Mar 23, 2024
Rated: 3.75 by netshark from Colorado

Mar 10, 2024
Rated: 3.72 by Satsuma from Florida

Feb 20, 2024
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Reviewed by Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

3.37/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75
Poured into a Nonic.

Pours crystal clear and amber with some great slowly streaming bubbles floating up to a tan frothy head. Great retention and good lacing.

The nose is mild caramel malt and not much else.

Malty sweet up front, maybe a bit of toasted character in midstream. Almost zero hops.

Creamy and smooth. Not sticky but a little heavy even for the style.

It looks and smells like a great bock. It's too heavy, malty, and unbalanced for the style, unfortunately.
Feb 11, 2024
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Reviewed by beergoot from Colorado

3.44/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
Ultra clear, dark copper body; excellent carbonation; fair head, thick at first then recedes to a half-finger thickness, khaki colored, semi-creamy texture. Nice yet muted aroma, primarily caramel. Interesting flavor; malty but with a strange bitterness aftertaste; mild caramel flavor; somewhat tannin-like character; woody herbaceousness. Medium body; smooth and velvety on the palate.

I wasn't overly impressed with the original version of Sam Adam's Winter Lager (earned a 3.48 BA overall score from me), and this one doesn't leave me wowed either. For a bock beer, it seems a bit weak and lifeless, and the supposed coriander, ginger and orange peel used in its creation seem AWOL.

Pouring temperature: 43 °F; bottling info: ENJOY BY APR notch on label
Source: local purchase (single)
Feb 09, 2024
Photo of vainosuomi
Reviewed by vainosuomi from Virginia

3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
L: Clear deep amber, frothy light tan head
S: Carmel, brown sugar/molasses, toasted grain, bread and floral notes
T: Follows nose. Hints of spice and faint metallic notes.
F: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

Not bad. Pretty easy drinking. None of the flavors are too heay but it does come across a bit sweet overall for me.
Feb 06, 2024
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Reviewed by donspublic from Texas

3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Poured from bottle into glass, good 2+ finger light tan head, great retention and great lacing. Ruby red in the glass, crystal clear to look at. Bready malt on the nose, slight mustiness. Taste is sweet malt, slight toastiness, some citrus notes thru the middle with a touch of the ginger/cinnamon coming thru as it warms. Easy drinking but not one of my favorites
Jan 29, 2024
Rated: 3.55 by Cathartes from Massachusetts

Jan 29, 2024
Rated: 3.57 by DrewTheBrew from Ohio

Jan 20, 2024
Rated: 3.92 by Thanatosbat777 from Georgia

Jan 07, 2024
Rated: 3.5 by bpfrush from Wisconsin

Jan 03, 2024
Rated: 3.78 by Zaphog from Michigan

Dec 29, 2023
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Reviewed by Death_Adder from South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Good looking gold label ruined with a “is it okay if this is a Christmas beer” phrase on it. Amber/brown color in appearance, and nothing on the nose. Mild flavors of cinnamon, ginger, and orange peel all blended pretty evenly together.

Style: Bock | Tap/Can/Bottle: Bottle | Abv: 5.6% | Rating: 3.5
Dec 29, 2023
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Reviewed by mcm180 from Ohio

3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Pours a coppery dark peach dark honey color. Pretty color. Inch of khaki head that retains well and eventually becomes a thin layer.

Tastes roasty, well balanced. Hops but not bitter, malt but not syrupy. A little of the spicing but not overly so. Quite good. Tastes like a beer for the winter, not winter-spice flavor overpowering a beer.

Light carbonation. Could be a bit more but fine as it is.

Overall: quite a nice beer.
Dec 29, 2023
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Reviewed by BJB13 from Maryland

4.09/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12 ounce bottle poured into a Spiegelau wheat beer glass.

L: Clear copper, one inch off-white head, good head retention, lively in the glass.
S: Fairly strong nose, rich bread malt, clean lager, some mineral notes coming later,
T: Dark bread and caramel malt, some honey and light spice, woody and spicy hops, finish is grassy/floral.
F: Medium body with a light creamy viscosity, medium-high carbonation
O: Has Bock character, balanced malt to hop, very nice.
Dec 28, 2023
Rated: 4.13 by Mac_Cheesin from Maryland

Dec 28, 2023
Rated: 3.54 by Slyde180 from Texas

Dec 27, 2023
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Reviewed by Franziskaner from Missouri

3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Dark copper colored with excellent clarity. There’s a fingernail of beige around the rim and covering a trace of the top. The aroma is of caramel and toasted nuts. I’m tasting caramel and cola. The mouth is easygoing and refreshing.
Dec 25, 2023