Samuel Adams The Vixen
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Samuel Adams The VixenSamuel Adams The Vixen
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Bock - Traditional
Ranked #64
Ranked #40,137
3.7 | pDev: 15.14%
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
Samuel Adams The VixenSamuel Adams The Vixen
Reviews: 256 | Ratings: 612 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons from New Hampshire

3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with a notched best by date of Feb - something. Sampled on April 23, 2018.

It certainly is a nice looking dark brown pour with a soft, silky tan head settling on top and barely fading.

The aroma has some chocolate elements but I also pick up a roasted sweet caramel malt character and a defiite hot pepper sensation.

The body is smooth and around medium.

Thiose chili peppers come on strong more in the taste than they do in the aroma with a baked chocolate character sweetness and a low to no hop finale. I remember when this first came out a few years ago and I didn't buy it then. Now it has been re-released and I probably won't buy it again. Not my thing.

Apr 23, 2018
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ethanbein from Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L - Poured from a 750 ml bottle. Nearly pitch black, some caramel color, good amount of fine head, late bloomer on the pour.

S - Faint notes of cinnamon, chili. Not much overall.

T - Cinnamon, chili, bocky flavor, chocolate, end bitterness of coffee. Could be a bit bolder overall but some very nice flavors here.

F - Quite crisp for a bock, only sits on your tongue for a second after.

Nice crisp lunch beer. The chili makes it a bit more interesting than your average dark beer as well as adding lightness. Doesn't try to be more than it is, but it's just enjoyable all around.

Feb 19, 2017
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CHickman from New York

3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black color with a little brown showing where the light hits the brew, leading up to a creamy 2 finger tan head which was full of bubbles and looked like a Guinness, fading slowly and leaving minimal spotty lacing.

Smells of dark chocolate, grains, bakers chocolate, yeast or that strong metallic / penny aroma, light vanilla and some mild dark fruit. Chocolate and grains basically dominate the nose, with sweet notes of cocoa and some vanilla adding accents.

Tastes very chocolatey with cocoa powder, dark chocolate, roasted grains, cinnamon, light vanilla, toasted coconut, herbs, floral hops, caramel, molasses, charred wood and brown sugar. Pretty one dimensional with no heat and no sign of the chili, which was a big disappointment. It's a nice sweet chocolate treat, but did not deliver in the chili as billed.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery with very mild carbonation, a medium to heavy body with weight, and a sweet grainy aftertaste that actually faded like a cold coffee with some dark fruit like a date or plum mixed in.

Overall it was alright, but it had zero chili presence which I was curious to try. This bottle was at least a year old (found it buried in the back of the beer fridge ), so perhaps it was better fresh with the desired chili heat.

Jun 06, 2015
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VirginiaBeerMan from Virginia

4.11/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Deep dark in color, retains thick head after settling, a nice latte color.

S - Slightly sweet and malty.

T - Rich in taste, but I expected more of a chili/heat and didn't get it, but that wasn't disappointing, just unexpected.

F - Never sure how to characterize this category, so overall, I'd say appealing.

O - Very enjoyable, would go good with steak or pork; I would purchase again if they continue to produce.

Nov 26, 2014
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Treyliff from West Virginia

3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Ale House, Huntington

A- Pours dark brown nearly black color with a small creamy off white head that reduces to a small layer skimming the top

S- cinnamon with a hint of chili, chocolate malt, brown sugar, very sweet aroma overall

T- nice spicy profile of cinnamon with a hint of pepper burn, chocolate malt mixes with molasses and brown sugar

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel, with a slightly warming finish

O- the cinnamon and pepper are well balanced, leaving me wanting more with each sip, well done

Nov 19, 2014
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle served in a snifter. Date notched BB Feb. 2015 (?; no year indicated).

Pours clear dark mahogany with a fine looking, creamy tan head that mostly recedes too quickly.

Aroma: sweet and a bit boozy, with hints of raisins, dates, cocoa, pancakes, burnt sugar and toffee.

Flavor: Moderately complex with all of the ingrediants readily detectable. Mild but obvious chili presence. Sweet overall, and a bit too sweet up front, but it eventually works out to an acceptable bitter/sweet balance given the chili, chocolate and other flavors.

Feel: smooth mouth feel; very good carbonation; full body with mild chili heat.

O: a sweet but intriguing brew that's certainly worth trying. Did not mix too well with the end of my dinner but worked great as an after meal sipper.

Oct 24, 2014
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57md from Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev +2.7%

Dark brown with both ruby and copper edges. The nose is mostly malty with slight chocolate undertones. The flavor profile is mostly reminiscent of a mild bock with some faint chocolate notes and a hint of chili heat. This is an enjoyable offering and works well as a little nightcap just before bed.

Sep 10, 2014
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barczar from Kentucky

3.78/5  rDev +2.2%

Almost 3 years old. Deep onyx body, with a frothy chocolate head, it's more reminiscent of a stout, in appearance. Aroma is chocolatey, dark chocolate, with a touch of malt fruitiness, mild melanoidins, and a hint of chili. Dark chocolate dominates the flavor, with an almost dark cherry specialty malt fruitiness lingering into the finish. Somewhat fat in flavour, with rich malt sweetness that is not quite cloying.

Aug 20, 2014
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laituegonflable from Australia

3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark murky red. Head is beige - maybe a pink tinge. Dense, some visible bubbles. Lacing is great. It's ALL great, yes.

Smells sweet - plenty of English toffee as a base, and a slight solventy note, giving this a malt liquor kind of character. Touch of carob, too. A bit meh.

Taste is similar. Sweet toffee, with needlepoints of sharp spicy coffee interlacing. Finishes slightly roasty, but with more of that carob sweetness and maybe a root vegetable sweetness. Yeah, not bad. Some more roast/spice would be nice though.

Decent body, finishes really surprisingly dry. Just cracks up at the end.

Overall a bit sweet/heavy for me. Something more safe and grounded on the palate would keep me coming back for more.

Aug 01, 2014
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superspak from North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 10/17/2011. Pours nearly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of raisin, prune, plum, chocolate, cocoa, molasses, roasted malt, toast, dark bread, biscuit, light coffee, cinnamon, herbal, light chile, clove, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt, yeast ester, and spice notes; with solid strength. Taste of raisin, plum, prune, chocolate, cocoa, toast, molasses, biscuit, dark bread, light coffee, cinnamon, clove, light chile, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Light cinnamon/chile spice with slight heat on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, prune, plum, chocolate, cocoa, toast, dark bread, light coffee, cinnamon, clove, light chile, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt, spice, and fruity yeast ester flavors; with a nice malt/spice balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good spiced bock style. Good balance, robustness, and complexity of malt, spice, and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Feb 06, 2014
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tigg924 from Massachusetts

3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1 inch head, clear, dark-brown colored, with high carbonation

Smell: cocoa, milk, and faint pepper

Taste: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, Bosco, light cinnamon, and pepper that gets stronger as the beer warms. It leaves a nice hot sensation in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy body, sweet with slight peppery heat, moderate carbonation

Overall: Was fortunate to find a bottle of this laying around. When I picked it up, I was thinking that the pepper would be all gone. I was surprised to find that there was still decent heat especially in the aftertaste as the beer warmed. While I would have liked more heat, my problem with this beer is more the chocolate flavors that were ok, but far from the best I have had. It seems like the dark chocolate and milk chocolate do not mesh as well here as in other beers. Would love to try this one fresh, but in reading other reviews, the taste seems to hold up.

Dec 03, 2013
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TempeBeerMan from Arizona

3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a dimpled mug. (Batch #2)

A - Pours a dark brown almost black, with ruby highlights. Massive fluffy four-finger head of tan foam. Moderate amount of lacing.

S - Strong aroma of prunes, soy sauce, smoke, and caramel. Kudos for the strength of the aroma, but it doesn't really smell that great.

T - Taste is much better; chocolate mousse, cinnamon, campfire smoke, and malted milk. Very sweet. Chilies not really present in the flavor, but manifest themselves as sort of an after-swallow tingle on the tongue in the finish. Enough complexity and interplay with the spice to leave you wanting another sip.

M - Full bodied and so, so creamy. Almost like drinking a slightly melted milk shake. Medium carbonation. Pretty amazing in this category.

O - I enjoyed this quite a bit, despite some flaws. Might be a shade too sweet, could have used a little more chilies, but overall a pretty decent beer that I would buy again when in the mood.

Nov 28, 2013
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WVbeergeek from West Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Appearance is deep dark almost black with ruby highlights once held toward a light source, with tan mocha head very creamy textures going on even scattered lace…looks pretty stunning.

Aroma dark chocolate roasted malts and cocoa nibs added, dark fruit I’d say plums/raisins, and a hint of chili in the nares after a few sips.

Flavor has a dark chocolate syrup rolling with each sip, bock character with this abv of dark earthy ripened fruit notes, claims to have chili additions but very hard to detect amongst the big malt layers and cocoa nib additions…roasted dark chocolate finishes pretty sweet!

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied lingering sweetness and lack of chili kick makes me yearn for a dry spicy finish…instead I get lingering dark fruit and caramelized roasted dark chocolate sugars which linger…the carbonation is moderate but carries this beer quite well. Those chili notes could have saved this beer.

Overall, I’m glad It didn’t my mouth or south end, but I wanted more out of a chili chocolate bock called the Vixen I was expecting some S & M maybe get slapped around a bit…it wouldn’t have hurt the balance glad to see this in a 12 ounce format as part of a lager mixed case I picked up in PA!

Oct 27, 2013
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fredmugs from Indiana

3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a tough beer to review because it tastes nothing like the description of the beer. Nothing about this says Bock and there is zero chili or heat. I get the chocolate and I get the nibs but that's about it. This comes across as a basic flavored ale. The aroma has hints of chocolate but nothing spicy.

Sep 16, 2013
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Smurf2055 from Washington

3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a porter-like brown with a large three finger head. Pretty nice lacing to it.

Smells somewhat wheaty and malty. Can’t get the chocolate, but I’m picking up some of the peppers.

Somewhat of a chalky taste. Good carbonation.

I’m not really a fan of the bock, but this is pretty good. Very drinkable at 8.5%. The chili and chocolate are very faint, but that’s not a bad thing. Very surprised with this beer. I’ve had some of the Imperial Series, and still don’t consider Sam Adams one of my favorites, but this one avoided the taste that seems to come with every other Sam Adams beer I’ve ever had. Not bashing on Sam Adams, either. It’s just that a few of their craft brews are not even close to standard. Overall, very good. I might just have to try some of the others of this series

May 28, 2013
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lacqueredmouse from Australia

3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle given to me by my brewing lecturer, nice guy that he is. Shared with Sam.

Pours a solid deep brown, quite consistent throughout its length, and genuinely brown. Head forms a full frothy crown of silky pale brown that stays around quite persistently. Nice fine carbonation and fine lacing around the edge. The body looks a little lighter than I expected, but otherwise it's a very nice looking beer.

Nose is sweet and chocolatey, with a slight spicy character that says "cinnamon" more than "chilli" to me. Indeed, it smells like churros dipping sauce. There's a light peppery character to it as well. It's quite pleasant, without being particularly big or complex.

Taste is a bit flat, but has some interest to it at least. There's certainly a persistent flat cocoa character throughout the beer, with a musty Mexican chocolate molé flavour. Some sharpness on the back suggests a hint of the booze, but the beer itself is a little flat and a little thin. The sweetness is omnipresent, but muted, meaning that it never really coats the tongue, or expresses everything I feel it has to express.

Feel is pretty good. Smooth but soft, with a lightness that stops it from being too heavy.

Despite this pleasant lightness, I feel like the beer could be richer and more exciting overall. It's still pretty solid, but it doesn't really run with the potential it shows. It could use more of something: chilli, chocolate, goat? Whatever it needs, bring it in the next iteration please.

Mar 23, 2013
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KattM2013 from North Carolina

3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Its color is deep brown, almost black, with a creamy tan colored head.

S: The aroma is very complex but notes of sweet chocolate and chili are definitely prominent.

T: The taste is similar to the aroma with chocolate hitting the palate up front and the chili setting in after.

O: The sublte quality of the chili is what makes this beer so great in my opinion. The sharpness following the sweet chocolate makes The "Vixen" exactly that!

Mar 15, 2013
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obywan59 from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown with a 2 1/2 finger tan head that recedes quickly. Not much lacing.

The aroma is of chocolate with dark fruits and a definite whiff of chiles. Fairly malty.

Taste is WAY sweet upfront, but there is a lightly tart aspect as well. Expecially after the sweetness mellows out.. Chocolate, caramel, and the chilis round it out, with just a hint of bitterness in the end.

Very peppery early via the carbonation and the chilis, the warmth reaching all the way to the stomach. Light syrup on the tongue, and drying in the end.

Better than I expected it would be. The first few sips were amazing before it settled down. A good warming brew for a chilly night. Definitely the best of the 4 beers from the SA Small Batch gift pack.

Feb 27, 2013
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JuicesFlowing from Kansas

3.49/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a New Belgium globe.

The beer pours a chocolate black with a dark cream head that cZlms to a film with light lacing.

The aroma at first smelled of cinnamon candy, but later it's more faint cinnamon and very faint milk chocolate. Not a lot of depth.

The taste is like the aroma, just not a lot to dissect: sweet roasted malts with faint chocolate in the background. There is a nice little spicy feel on the back end. Very faint cinnamon candy in there.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall, a little disappointed. This is utterly forgettable. No complexity, bland all the way around.

Feb 21, 2013
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured out a dark brown color with a small, short-lived head of foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of chili and chocolate. Some toffee.

T - Nice balance of chili and chocolate. Some sweet toffee balances the chili.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a good brew. Interesting take on a bock.

Feb 16, 2013
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mpedara429 from Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Cola color with a reddish hue and one finger of cappuccino colored head. Thin oily lacing.

S: Chocolate, a mild smell of chiles, and dark fruit.

T: Similar to the smell. The chiles have a little bite, but not overpowering.

M: Medium, oily body with carbonation a bit on the lower side.

O: I thought this was a really cool beer. I love chili chocolate to begin with so when I found this beer I had to try it. Of course, chocolate and beer, and chili and beer are a great mix so this takes advantage of both in one bottle.

Feb 06, 2013
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Fatehunter from Oregon

3.37/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

It pours fizzy, which looks nice. Ended up with almost three fingers of tan head on a dark brown body.
The aroma is boozy and a little chocolate. A bit of a letdown considering all the ingredients.
The taste is boozy as well. There’s a sweet layer throughout with just a little chili heat at the beginning and some chocolate in the middle. It’s an interesting mixture.
The texture is sticky with moderate carbonation and a thicker body.
It’s an interesting idea with the chocolate and chilies.

Feb 01, 2013
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lwillitz from Wisconsin

4.21/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

22-oz bottle into New Belgium globe

A - several fingers of medium tan foam atop a pitch black body (red highlights)

S - brown sugar, peppery spice, roast malt

T - caramel sweetness, semi-sweet chocolate, dark fruits, roast malts, pepper, cinnamon; chilies move in with a touch of alcohol for a warm, spicy finish

M - thick syrupy full body, low/medium carbonation

O - The Vixen is a nice bock if you're in the mood for something sweet and slightly spicy.

Jan 13, 2013
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BrewMaven from New York

3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Here's #3 of my Small Batch gift pack.

Pours almost black with a slight hint of dark amber light showing through. decent tan head that, as seems to be usual with high octane beers, drops to a ring/partial cover within a minute or two...splotchy lacing.

Not picking up much in terms of aromas here...a hint of a roasty smell...slightly spicy?

Taste ran from a bit of chocolate up front, spicy through the middle with more chocolate on the finish. Medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

Not bad, but not not really any better than the Polish Porters I can compare it to since it drinks more like a porter than a bock.

Jan 07, 2013
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jdkitchi from Wisconsin

3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured black with a decent amount of head that faded quickly and left minimal lacing.

I get a little earthy wood along with the malt aromas. The taste is a rather sweet malty brew with some cocoa and spice, a rather slick mouth feel and slight chili in the finish. This seems more comparable to a Doppelbock to me than a bock. The 8.5% ABV backs that up.

I would have liked a little more heat being a chocolate CHILI bock but it is a pretty good chocolate Doppelbock and I would drink this again.

Jan 05, 2013
Samuel Adams The Vixen from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 612 ratings