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

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302 Reviews
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Samuel Adams White ChristmasSamuel Adams White Christmas

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

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
As crisp as the first snowfall of the year, this unfiltered white ale is blended with holiday spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, & orange peel. The familiar citrus and wheat characters of the ale are complemented by the warmth of the spices for a festive brew that's perfect for the season.

Added by TMoney2591 on 10-22-2012

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Reviews: 302 | Ratings: 1,657
Photo of chinchill
3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz. bottle dated best by March 2013.

A: Pours hazy yellow to light amber with a small white head.
S: Subtle, spicy aroma with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, bread dough and citrus.
T: The taste largely follows the nose, with some nice winter spicing and bready flavor, It is rather tart too.
M: Medium-bodied; medium-light carbonation that works well.

O: Well done, but not a favored style.

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

12 ounce bottle - $1.79 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a solidly hazed, pale gold body with a thin, short-lived, white head.

Smell: Not just some pilsner and wheat malt, but also some pale malt in the mix. There's no second guessing the spicing, you get the cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange peel.

Taste: Very light pale malt, the malted wheat and some pils with a soft breadiness and fair sweetness. The first few sips had me taken aback at the cinnamon and nutmeg spicing, but, eventually the tongue adjusted and it all kind of melded together, letting the citrus from the hops and added orange peel come forward a bit more. Finishes up a little sweet, a little spicy, and a little citrusy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation. Feels fairly full for a witbier.

Overall: I think I would take it over the ole Samuel Adams White Ale, though just barely. Speaking of, is this its replacement? Gee, man, that's gotta be rough, being laid off on the holidays. Poor White Ale. Thanks, Obama!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light yellowish gold color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a lot of spices, citrus, wheat, light caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with strong flavors of spice and citrus. Then some breadiness comes in from wheat, Belgian yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, this is a typical Sam Adams spice-laden lighter beer.

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Photo of Jason
3.42/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date

LOOK: Hazed golden straw hue, sufficient lacing

SMELL: Fruit cake spicing, bready, sweet, mildly plummy, hint of alcohol

TASTE: Smooth, moderate sized body, a bit slick, assertive spiciness, light breath of alcohol, semi-sweet, slightly bready, peppery, ripe pears, spicy grainy finish

Not half bad, sort of an odd ball to the group. Would have love to see this amped up to 7% abv or a bit more but they kept it safe. I'm sure they'll be snatched up during any holiday parties being a witbier and all.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy to cloudy pale golden yellow in color with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some darker golden and lemon yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall white head that quickly reduces to a small to medium sized patch of thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of wheat and pale malts with some stronger notes of spices - orange peel, cinnamon, and nutmeg stand out. Overall there is some sweetness to the smell.

T: Upfront there are some light to moderate flavors of wheat and pale malts which are followed by the spicy components of the flavor - the cinnamon and nutmeg really stand out with some lighter hints of orange rind. Light amounts fo bitterness which fade rather quickly, this beer is a touch sweet overall for me.

M: Just heavier than light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation.

O: Not a great offering but not a bad offering either for the style - a touch too much spice and sweetness for my personal preferences but it does not make this beer something I would tell people to avoid. I like the idea but just might like it better a little more toned down.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

I think it's way the hell too early for Bing-o to be crooning his signature at me, but that's a vain argument for another time. This stuff pours a hazy golden straw topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises orange zest, coriander, light wheat, and a pinch each of black pepper and clove. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some brown sugar and some fairly strong ginger. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, though nothing is necessarily outstanding here, this beer was pretty tasty and enjoyable. The spices are definitely present, but they're also balanced against the citrus-y wheat so they don't get out of hand. Not bad.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.92/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was intrigued by this during a recent beer excursion in Philly and decided to give it a whirl. I will be returning to The CANQuest (TM) shortly.

From the bottle: "As crisp as the first snowfall of the year, this unfiltered white ale is blended with holiday spices including cinnamon, nutmeg & orange peel. The familiar citrus and wheat characters of the ale are complemented by the warmth of the spices for a festive brew that's perfect for the season. Cheers! [undersigned] Jim Koch"; "Brewers have long crafted beers using the season's spices. We put a new spin on a Belgian white ale, replacing traditional coriander with cinnamon, nutmeg & orange peel, giving this beer a festive, warming touch. It's our gift to you this holiday season. Cheers! [undersigned] Jim Koch".

I felt that some agitation may be in order so I poured about one-quarter into a lass, then began to swirl the beer while still in the bottle before resuming the pour. I ended with a finger-and-a-half of rocky, eggnog-colored head with good retention. Color was a VERY cloudy orangish-yellow. Nose held an interesting melange of spices with the cinnamon and nutmeg wrestling for dominance. Mouthfeel was medium but now it was the cinnamon and the orange peel fighting it out on my tongue. Finish had a pleasant nutmeg-driven vanilla-like flavor. I have to agree with a previous reviewer that allowing it to warm really brings forth the spices. A very nice holiday ale, worth checking out while in limited release.

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Photo of stakem
3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Eric for gifting me with a bottle of this. Poured into a matching SA sensory glass, the brew appears a clouded pale yellow to almost light orange juice color. About a finger of white head composed of rather large bubbles fades back to a thin wisp across the top. A swirl agitates bubbles from solution to reform a half finger cap and produce some spots of lacing effect on the glass.

The aroma is like gingerbread or ginger snap cookies. Quite bready with a ridiculous amount of clove and a sweetness of holiday spices. Had I not seen what this brew looked like, I would have immediately assumed this was a pumpkin ale of sorts.

The taste is super spicy with holiday flavors. Primarily clove with a bready backing of something like gingerbread or ginger snap cookies as described in the aroma as well. There is a bit of a citrus component that is zesty and fruity almost like oranges/lemon or maybe just the spice of a fresh ginger inclusion.

This is a light to medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It has a smoothness about it that almost makes the brew feel more chewy. I know they were going for a holiday ale here but the spices are a bit over the top until the palate becomes accustomed to it. I appreciate the chance to try this brew, but it isn't something I would purchase.

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Photo of jwc215
3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of Winter Variety Pack - Best by April:

Pours clouded light orange-amber with a fluffy head that soon thins. Thin lacing sticks.

The smell is of wheat tang with mild spices.

The taste is of wheat tang, orange peel, coriander, nutmeg, mint, mild cinnamon. It has a tangy, spicy, crisp finish.

It is light-bodied and fairly effervescent.

A mild witbier with some "holiday" spices. Not bad.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.19/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

From the Holiday 12 pack
Pours a hazy medium golden color with a smallish white head that dissipates quickly. Aromas of pepper, anise, nutmeg and cinnamon overpower the nose of this one. Light sweet maltiness and a hint of wheat grain round out the aroma. The flavor is over spiced gingerbread cookies. There's a hint of beer in here, but the spicing makes it hard for me to find. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a slick spicy mouthfeel. Not the beer for me.

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Photo of tdm168
4.3/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - hazy orangish yellow with a thin lacing of white head

S - the nose is very nice; vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger

T - vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, faint citrus, wheat

M - light to medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is much better than I had expected. Some of the spices used are the typical ones: ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon. But then there's the addition of vanilla which adds a rich, creamy taste. This is definitely not a typical witbier. I could definitely have several of these with family during the holidays. I'll probably pick up some more.

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

The White Christmas can in a Holiday mixed pack...a much better replacement to the Cranberry Lambic. The beer pours a cloudy yellow with thin white head that is not lacing. Definitely smell the orange peel....not so much the nutmeg and cinnamon. The taste starts with a crisp citrus start and then the spice bolstered by the cinnamon kicks in. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it is a tasty beer...but it will not replace Fizzywig or Holiday Porter as my favs.

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

Poured from a bottle into a weiss-vase, the beer is an unfiltered, pale, yellowish coloring with a thin, sparse, filmy coating of white on the surface, with a little more substantial build up around the edges. Aromas of cinnamon and coriander on a bready backbone. The nose is subtle, other than the spices. Flavors of rich bread, with a heavy dosing of the clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and coriander spicing. Very well blended in the spicing, but very spice heavy overall. The backbone of toasted grains and bread support, but get somewhat overshadowed. The aftertaste is warming, with the spices blending around on the palate, leading into a clean, quick finish. Tasty, light beer that would be a crowd pleaser during holiday get togethers, but there are Witbiers out there that have more to offer.

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Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, enjoy before March notched onto the side of the label.

Pours hazed lighter apricot amber. Minor off white head, thin collar and fine bars of lace.

Light holiday spice on the nostrils. Ehh nothing too special.

Delicate wit, some coriander, and other typical seasonal spicing. Easy drinking and pleasant enough, holiday feel here is fairly subtle. Decent stuff, but nothing you need to run out and buy.

Would work with craft beer newbies at a holiday party....

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Photo of Tone
3.86/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, maize color. 2/3 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of strong lemon, citrus hops, sweet malt, hint of wheat, and slight spice (cinnamon and all spice). Fits the style of a Witbier. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, spices (cinnamon and all spice), hops, and slight citrus. Overall, good aroma, body, blend, and appearance.

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Photo of Gavage
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a hazy yellowish color with a 1" head that breaks apart quickly.

Smell: yeast,coriander, and a bit of ginger are mild but detctable.

Taste: mild malt profile with coriander, lemon, ginger, and cracked pepper are well balanced. Bitterness is mild.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp throughout. Short lasting aftertaste.

Overall: an enjoyable wittier that is easy to consume.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light straw amber with a half finger white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of mild wheat and bready malt with a hint of spices. Flavor is dominated by cinnamon and light cloves supported by wheat and sweet malt. Light bodied with peppery carbonation. The witbier character is subdued, but a well balanced flavor of light sweet malt, wheat and Christmas spices delivers on the name. Mild and pleasant.

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Photo of aasher
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

White Christmas pours a light bodied cloudy gold in color with a light white head around the glass. The nose is pretty straightforward and simple. There is slight Belgian yeast character with a touch of coriander and nutmeg. The flavors have more of a presence but finish quickly. It features slightly sweet pale malts, some nutmeg, cinnamon, and coriander. It's seasonally appropriate. It drinks light in body and is pretty drinkable. Would I buy a six pack? No. But this beer is well suited for their Winter Classics Variety pack.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.06/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up at the COOP today and enjoying while making dinner.. great foamy white head... nice retention and lacing.. the brew is standard hazed light golden..

Nose is warm spices.... nutmeg and a lesser but present cinnamon... orange peel is also there.. pale maltiness helps bloom the spices and makes them really jump out of the glass.

Flavor mirrors the nose with a sorta flat doughy malt profile.. Thankfully the spices are not as prevalent as the aroma.. still though, the nutmeg and cinnamon are the major players.

Body seems thicker than normal for a witbier, but somehow is right in line for a winter spiced beer.. Decent for what it is despite my aversion of spices in beer.

Okay... Not my cup of tea (though Xmas spices belong in tea, not beer).. I will not buy it again, but I think it will be a hit with folks who like this type of brew.


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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams White Christmas

Pours a pale golden color. Smells spicy with a note of wheat. In the flavor, sweet crisp wheat and a dry spice. Coriander and clove are easily identifiable. Little bitterness but not too sweet. Orange peel and allspice round out the flavor profile. Medium bodied, well carbonated and finishes clean. Overall this is a drinkable winter offering from Boston Beer Co, certainly a solid offering.

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Photo of biegaman
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Crackling is generally a great soundtrack for the holidays (i.e, marshmallows roasting on an open fire), but it's a horrible sign for head retention; the only actual white in White Christmas melts away almost completely and immediately. But it is pale, albeit distorted, and possesses that characteristic, almost unearthly glow.

The nose is only medium-zesty but has the distinct zing of spicy, grated fresh ginger. Most splashes of citrus seemed to have missed the glass, though I wouldn't dispute a drop of lemon juice. The savory-spicy ginger note gives this typically warm-weather style some winter-y edge (though not really since ginger beers and shandies are immediate go-to's in the summer).

The palate fills up fast with ginger and nutmeg notes, though they wash away easily with the dry, straw-like wheat. Apart from its capacity as carrier-away-of-flavours, the malt profile is virtually void. Also, I'm not so sure that cinnamon and nutmeg are as congenial to the style as coriander; this lacks 'pop' and each sip is increasingly like pumping a dry well.

The brewery says this is "as crisp as the first snowfall of the year", as if that's supposed to make sense. It is refreshing, I'll give them that, but the lemon-y acidity is really dialed back and very little of the spice lingers. Disappointing. That tang dissolving leaves a stale and uneventful finish. Too bad as the style's popularity is in large part due to its dynamic zestiness.

I opened my first bottle of White Christmas absolutely parched and pooped out from a long night of gift shopping - if it failed to impress in those conditions, with that big a handicap in its favour, then I can't be very optimistic about my next bottle. (Note: it wasn't any better.) Call it whatever you want, but this is really a ‘hot day in July’ beer and, at this quality, doesn't warrant attention for anything else.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A couple 12 oz. bottles from the mix-pack,

A: Pours a classic yellow to goldenrod with a small white head. Good head retention, solid spotty lace.

S: Lots of cinnamon, nutmeg and orange, almost smells like a spiced cider. Some bready wheat notes tells me that I'm smelling a beer though. Nice use of winter spice.

T: The taste as with the nose has a bit of a spiced cider thing. Maybe it's the overt cinnamon tricking me, there is no tartness, heavy fruit or other hallmark of winter cider I get aside from the cinnamon, so I'll leave it at that. The spice is very nice and blends with the wheat and malt for a nice tasty spiced witbier. Very good stuff.

M: Medium-bodied, seems a bit richer than the 5.8%. Very creamy, glides across the tongue on the finish. Elegant.

O: This is a really nice unique spiced beer that's a great addition to the Winter mix pack. Too bad I only get 2 of them in this thing.

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Photo of Zorro
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy orange colored beer with a small white head.

Smell is light crackers with orange peel and nutmeg.

Starts out light wheat malt with cinnamon and nutmeg with citrus lemon slash orange oil. Tasty beer, the spices are just right for the Witbier natural spice taste.

Mouthfeel is full.

One of Sam Adams more successful seasonal beers. FAR better than the dreaded cranberry lambic.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.22/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle, as part of the winter pack, purchased at Wegmans in Geneseo, NY.

Pours a cloudy honey yellow, with a one inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smell like over-ripe banana, orange, and indistinguishable strong spicing.

The taste is similar. This one just doesn't work. A Christmas seasonal wit bier makes no sense to me, honestly. Some cinnamon, nutmeg, orange, some black pepper maybe? Belgian yeast flavors. Citrus flavors. Just a mix of flavors that really don't meld together well.

Light bodied, crisp mouthfeel, low carbonation. Would be more drinkable if it tasted good.

Pass. Sam Adams can't make a white ale/witbier to save their life.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.29/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration date of March 2014. Sampled on November 15, 2013.

It has a mostly golden to orange pour. The fizzy white head erupts than diminishes.

The aroma brings out some malt characters along with citrus and spice as well a slight hope note.

The body is light to medium

The taste is really quite typical of a wit with the toasted pale malt notes, citrus, and mild hop bit. But it feels generally clean all the way through.

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Samuel Adams White Christmas from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.47 out of 5 based on 1,657 ratings.
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