Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Samuel Adams White Ale | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Samuel Adams White AleSamuel Adams White Ale
1,516 Ratings
Samuel Adams White AleSamuel Adams White Ale

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

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Was a Spring seasonal, now a Fall/Winter seasonal.

Added by kbub6f on 01-30-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,516 |  Reviews: 966
Photo of NiceGuyMike
2.68/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks: not much of a look. More of a murky pale ale than a white beer. Smells of sulfer (think burnt matchhead). Taste isn't bad hard to put my finger on it. Not what I expect from a white. Sour after taste which lingers like an annoying mother-in-law. Low alcohol makes this beer easy to drink, but tastes doesn't keep me coming back.

Overall I'd will drink it again if given to me and nothing better is available.

 418 characters

Photo of MrSeth
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yellow-orange color with a 1/4" white head. Very minimal lacing on the glass. At first a very unusual smell.. malt and fresh mint? I'm sure it must be the hops, but it has some minty kind of quality. There is also a fresh orange smell there, a more likely and welcome smell for a witbier. It has a thin body but a big malty flavor with spices at the end. Ah, very nice taste. Pretty smooth drinking, but nothing jumps out at me.. except that odd minty note in the nose.

 469 characters

Photo of mynie
3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Strange witbier, right here.

Pours very pretty. A hazy golden white, like a nice white beer, with a large and retentive head. Excellent pour.

Smells funny. A little like metal and a lot like spices. Pleasant and warm, but absent are the yummy fruits I look for in a good white ale.

Tastes like it smells. Very spicy. I can't tell the different between this and their summer ale, actually, only this is just a little bit less flavorful. Not bad, but it just feels like it's missing something.

Hardly a grand example of the style, but a quaffable brew that would make for good afternoon drinking.

 608 characters

Photo of TinusTime
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy orange tinted deep gold with a bright white lingering pillowy head. Aroma is a bit spicy and peppery with some lemon-orange notes coming through. Taste is where this one falters. There is a bit of coriander and citrus that is traditional with the style. However after that initial touch the beer falls flat. In fact it seems more like a Hefeweizen than does their Hefeweizen. Overall this was just kind of boring. Not offensive in anyway, but just blah. Mouthfeel was OK with a decent amount of carbonation. Drinkability is low because well its just kinda dull and boring. I could drink a few of these, but I really dont want to. Sammy can be very hit or miss. The Black Lager was fantastic, but the White Ale just seems to go through the motions of being a Wit bier. Oh well at least I didnt plunk down a bunch of cash for it.

 840 characters

Photo of whynot44
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Medium bodied, hazy orangish gold color with a decent off-white head.

The aroma is primarily peppery coriander with some citrus and clove notes.

Taste starts with some mild malt sweetness, followed quickly by a citrus tartness and spices- pepper, coriander, cloves. Finishes tart, crisp and peppery with a bit of alcohol warmth.

A very decent beer, should be very refreshing ice cold on a warm spring/summer day.

 424 characters

Photo of unklesyd
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For some reason, the packaging made me wonder, did they decide to put mint in this? I figured it was just for looks, etc. and that of course they wouldn't do anything that silly.
They did not, but it may have been an improvement. The beer is not bad, but for a white, it is lacking. The characteristic spice and citrus are very, very subtle, and it comes through like a hefe that just isn't as thick.
The aroma is closer in aproximation to a traditional wit. Perhaps they were not going for traditional, of course, but this one is a little muddled, as if they started with a wheat/barley base, added spice on the light side, then blended in a little low-hop APA.
Not bad, but I'd pass next time.

 700 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
2.57/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I miss the old Sam Adams Spring Ale. Well, not really, but it is better than this beer. I poured my first bottle and poured it out because there were lots of floaties. Thinking the glass was really dirty I poured it out and got a clean glass. Poured a second glass and still lots of floaties. The color was a sick orange, with a thin head that receded to the edges. The aroma is slightly sour, but with hops and citrus present. The flavor is sour. Tones of wheat are also there. Hops are there and iI get the impression they threw in some extra spices... cinnamon, some nutmeg. The mouthfeel is very metallic and the carbonation feels like it is burning. Somehow, this beer is not undrinkable, but I have no intentions of buying any more after this six-pack.

 758 characters

Photo of twelvsies
2.71/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This isn't one of their best beers. I've recently been reiminded that Sam Adams in general is a very good brewery, despite being fairly mainstream. I've been trying or re-trying their beers and some I'd definately drink on a regular basis. This one is lacking though. Appears a very cloudy gold orange color with a head that shinks pretty face. Smell is odd, maybe even a bit metallic, but there's a strong wheat smell there, and a weird chemical scent. Taste is much the same. For some reason this reminds me of beer from a can, with a taste of tin and some strange chemical quiality to it. The bready yeasty wheat is there but it's not interesting enough to get the off tastes out of my mind. If you're gonna get Sam Adams go for something else, this really isn't a good example of the style or a good example of what the brewery is capable of producing.

 856 characters

Photo of redmosquito
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy yellow color with tints of gold and a thin white head. The aroma is mildly malty with a definate sweet orange aroma with a faint spice in the background. The flavor is clean malty, not very bitter, with the orange flavor definately present and spices in the finish. I like that the new label has an educationall bit about mouthfeel on it and I felt the mouthfeel was good. Overall this is a safe well made example of the style, and like most commercially successful wits, leans to the sweet orange flavors over the spice flavors.

 544 characters

Photo of Backer2004
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another impressive brew from the folks at Sam Adams. This poured a tad orange with nice head and carbonation. Really fizzes in the mouth and provides a nice sensation on the tongue. Typical witbier that has a grat taste. Would not be a great session beer though. Thumbs up.

 273 characters

Photo of rowew
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Old Chicago as part of Spring mini tour. Certainly not the best Belgian Wit available, but not the worst either. Cloudy with a nice sized head, and a spicy aroma. Taste has a lot of wheat flavor, with some spiciness coming through in small amounts. Not a bad gateway beer.

 282 characters

3.49/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A murky, hazy, white average density head with a dollop of brown matter askew from center.
Smells of mulch, and early growth.
Initially I sense a faint touch of cinnamon and vanilla. It is not very pronounced, for which I'm thankful, because if this lingered, the beer would be a disaster. Hurriedly this gives way to chamomille, juniper, bean sprouts and orange rind. These flavors continue to be represented in each sip, but they are sensed in a random order each time. This is the overall sense of the beer, and it would be quite empty at this, but in the finish it implies a loaf of french bread.
The mouthfeel is quite creamy with a nice tamed carbonic frothy finish to sort of organize this somewhat odd conglomeration of tastes and nuances.
This beer is probably more simple than this review might indicate. Overall it is refreshing and drinkable, sure enough. Don't bother with this if it is less than 60 degrees outside, or it may be totally lost.

 976 characters

Photo of pentathlete
3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange pour with 1/2 inch white head. Citrusy odor but not overpowering. Taste was mild for a witbier, very crisp, cracker like flavors with a little zest flavor thrown in. Dry finish. Mouthfeel was somewhat light. Witbiers are not my favorites. I can only compare this to a Hoegarden, and the Sam is a lesser version of the style. Now, this is a non-intrusive easy beer to drink, but it would ultimately be a tad boring. Nice enough. I'll drink it when I get it in a mix pack.

 484 characters

Photo of Reidrover
3.51/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Quite an attractive looking beer, very murky,light orange i colour with a monsterous but controlable bubbly pure white head.
The aroma is quite subdued ,with only a hint of Belgian beer spices showing through.Its quite fresh too.
The taste is actually quite pleasant ,with all the Belgian attributes ,but dulled down a tad.Slight coriander taste,very smooth.
Smooth anf full on the palate.
Nice drinkable spring time beer. Would definatlly have again.

 455 characters

Photo of whartontallboy
2.93/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy orange pour with a pretty big head that fades quickly. Smell is citric and malty with some fruit rind scents as well. Taste is pretty average. There's a distinct yeasty maltiness, but it's not so great. Somewhat spicy, but not very strongly. The aftertaste is tart with some yeast. Overall, not a great beer, the sweetness doesn't complement the fruity tastes very well, and these particular yeasty flavors just don't do it for me. Not terrible, but not something that will make me want another.

 502 characters

Photo of monkeybutler
2.51/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured great, though not as white as the name implies (definitely on the amber side), with nice carbonation, good lace and a respectable 1/2 inch head that lasted almost the entire glass.

The smell: a bit sour, maybe some carbonic acid odors. A tiny bit of the "spring spices" may be present, but nothing overpowering in the nose.

Taste: the first taste was pretty bad, I have to admit. It tasted heavily of peppercorns and a little bit of licorice; not the spring spices I had in mind. There are what look to be spearmint leaves on the label, but I'm not getting any mint flavors at all. The taste lingers a bit, unfortunately. It mellows in the glass somewhat, but I still get some of those peppery flavors in the end. Also, no maltiness to counterbalance the "spices" whatever the heck they are.

The mouthfeel would have been great, but the flavor kind of dampened it's thick, cloying, chewy body.

Drinkability: I don't think I'll be finishing this 6 pack anytime soon. I'm sure my mom won't mind drinking them, but I'll tell her to drink them icy cold.

 1,071 characters

Photo of scratchchance
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first time I tried this beer out of the bottle i was suppised at it. The pour definatly doesnt look like a traditional white ale but that is where the discrepincy stops. The smell has the traditional spice to it. Corriander comes to the top, something familiar but yet not able to nail it down. It feels like an old friend. The mouth feel is just about right, effervecent as a wheat should be but not too over the top. And drinkable, you bet. Refreshing but not heavy as some wheats can be. It is almost a summer beer but at the same time would be nice on a cold winters nite by the fireside.
Not that I would remember what that is like living in Hawail for the past 11 years.

 682 characters

Photo of BuckSpin
3.84/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got the opportunity to sample this on tap this evening. Nice, tight cream colored head with slow lace. As with most of this genre, color was a cloudy lemonesque warm blonde. Nose was exceptional - crisp, cool, very obviously citrus.

Unmistakable citrus (orange/lemon) with just a slight hint of pepper on the tongue. Crisp & even, smooth as opposed to flat. Throat was relatively uneventful, but not unpleasant. The flavors and wheat of witbier come to the forefront.

In that Witbiers are my favorite, I am predispositioned to this genre. I enjoyed this mug very much.

 574 characters

Photo of budsboy
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, very light amber with a short-lived white head.

Smells sweet and only a bit spicy - touch of coriander and mint.

Taste is gentle, soft. Spice is far from powerful. A bit citrussy with hints of lemon in there. There really isn't much here to talk about. A far cry from some of the more potent versions of the style you will find. Probably a nice beer to give somebody that thinks they don't like good beer.

Nearly light bodied, still a touch oily.

Easy to drink. Nothing there to put you off. Nice seasonal.

 535 characters

Photo of Truh
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Couldn’t figure out which season it was with this one on 3/20/2005. 16-oz. pint at Legends pool hall in Portsmouth, NH.

Very creamy ½-inch of starting covering with some nice stick. Hazy yellow/gold hue; like dark straw, and no action at all. Coriander, flour, flower petals and some wheat on nose; rosehip too. Very sweet lemon and sasparilla on mouth with a fair amount of body and a pleasant wheat cloak that doesn’t fall off the radar. Quality serving.

 462 characters

Photo of beermanbrian
3.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I prefer heavy stouts and porters so this beer didn't impress. Color was cloudy orange. The head was poor with little retention. Spicy smell was a little stong. Like the smell the taste was a little on the spicy side. Not a bad beer just not what i look for in a beer. Again, not my favorite style so i wouldn't go out of my way to have again.

 343 characters

Photo of ghurux86
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours a cloudy orange color with a nice white head that lingers for quite a while and leaves some decent lacing.
smell is good, hops citrus and spices.
flavor is like the smell except the spices seem to be a little more than normal and the bitterness of the hops is slightly high.
mouthfeel is pretty average for the style medium bodied with a medium to low level of carbonation.
drinkability suffers slightly due to the over spicing and over bitterness.
overall definitely not a bad beer and worth a try, but not the best either.

 535 characters

Photo of sweethome
3.31/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orange/amber color with a white head. Very little lace. A little dark for style, but has nice glow to it.

Nose is a little hash, musty, perhaps the corriander is put up a little hard.

Nice round mouthfeel. Fills out the palate well. The harsh flavor takes over midmouth. It isn't bad, just lacks the delicate nature I expect from Belgian White.

The strongest flavor profile reminds me of the old Sam Spring Ale.
I guess it is indicative of the malts present.

Decent finish, corriander and a littel citrus hint.

A much better beer than macro, but not up to the other recent Sam Releases such as the Dark Lager.

 634 characters

Photo of TheGoon
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this on-tap in a pint-mug at a local bar. The color was a pale orange with an unfiltered murkiness. The smell wasn't too prominent, but had some hints of spices with a little bit of a "wheaty" smell.

The taste was rather mild as well. Some nice spices in the backround, with a crisp carbonated mouthfeel.

Overall this was a good take on a Witbier, but nothig too impressive. The smell and taste could have been more prominent. I enjoyed the pint, but didn't come back for another.

 494 characters

Photo of ChrisBowers
3.51/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really not a bad beer or interpretation of the style. Not one that I'd go out of my way to get, but if its on special or you're faced with the typical boring lineup at the bar, I'd go for this one. Poured a bright unfiltered orange. Slightly fizzy/orvercarbonated perhaps. Smell is a touch spicy. Taste is pretty much what I expected.... slightly yeasty, with some orange and spicing present. Pretty smooth, very drinkable beer. A step above your average American hefe or wit, but not up there at the top. This one weighs in somewhere in Blue Moon territory or a little better.

 577 characters

Samuel Adams White Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 1,516 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.