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

BA SCORE
79
okay
1,717 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay
Read the review
Samuel Adams White ChristmasSamuel Adams White Christmas
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,717
Reviews:
317
Avg:
3.47
pDev:
15.27%
 
 
Wants:
28
Gots:
390
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,717 |  Reviews: 317
Photo of metter98
3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of holiday spices are present in the nose—nutmeg seems to stand out in particular.
T: Much like the smell, the taste is dominated by strong flavors of nutmeg and also has notes of cinnamon and orange peel along with some hints of wheat.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: With all of the nutmeg and spices, this beer seems like it is a hybrid between a pumpkin ale (sans the pumpkin) and a witbier. The wheat definitely lightens up the body so it is rather easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of kojevergas
2.48/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with typical simple Sam Adams label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired as part of the 2013 winter variety 12 pack box at me local HEB grocery and served into an Avery stem-snifter in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given the brewery. "Ale brewed with spices." Reviewed as a witbier because the label identifies it as an "unfiltered white ale." Best before: March 2013. 5.8% ABV confirmed.

Served cold - straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of white colour. Average thickness. Subpar creaminess. Decent consistency. Inconsistent but even lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. No "legs" on this one. Head retention is average - about 2 minutes.

Body colour is a cloudy lemon-orange - clearly unfiltered. Translucent yet nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. Looks a bit too dark for a witbier, most are bright, vibrant, and yellow.

Not unique or special. I'm optimistic. There are no obvious egregious flaws.

Sm: Artificial lemon fruit. Nutmeg. Artificial orange peel. Pilsner malts. Belgian white malts. Belgian pale malts. Clove. Coriander. Floral hop character. Wheat. Some citrus zest. Some limited banana. Vague hints of bland fruitcake. Not a real fresh aroma.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

A pleasant if artificial aroma of average strength. Far from unique or special. A witbier should be fresh and inviting, with a crisp wheat aroma. This is not. The spicing and fruit are also underwhelming. Not real evocative or appealing, but it's not offensive.

T/Mf: Wheat, pale malt, pilsner malt. Too full-bodied and heavy on the palate for a witbier. It should be fleeting, light, and refreshing, but it isn't. Smooth and wet. Overcarbonated

The texture isn't perfectly married to the taste by any stretch, but it suits it in a general sense. Okay presence on the palate. Not astringent, harsh, oily, hot, gushed, or boozy. It hides its ABV pretty well.

Hop profile is entirely floral, though the artificial fruit could emerge somewhat from the hops as well as from whatever fruit extract/syrup they used. I get vague orange peel, a hint of lemon, and vague citrusy zest. Spices also feel artificial and in no way fresh: stale ginger, fake cinnamon (cassia), coriander, clove, and nutmeg. Boy, I wish the fruit peel was much more fresh and evocative, but there's zero authenticity there. Real fruit makes a huge difference.

Little complexity and subtlety here. Very shallow depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. I'm not huge on this one, but it's by no means intolerable or offensive. Pretty boring. Misses the mark for a witbier.

Dr: The macrobrewing of Sam Adams definitely hit this one hard. I'll probably garnish the other bottles of this with some lemon; I rarely do that unless the low quality of the beer demands it (see Blue Moon). It's downable - I'll easily finish the bottle - but I'd like to see this winter seasonal go away. Not a keeper by any means. A throwaway witbier from Sam Adams that I wouldn't get again or recommend to friends. Well below average. I might honestly prefer Blue Moon.

Not worth aging.

Pair with mediocre food and/or bad news. Leftovers, take-out, getting dumped, and a bad day at work will fit the bill.

D+

---
11.12.14: Truncated impressions:

A: Unremarkable appearance. Pretty generic witbier.

Sm: Lemon. Wheat. Nutmeg. Maybe ginger. Average in strength.

T: Generic, with some artificial spices.

Mf: Overcarbonated and biting. Crisp.

Dr: Downable but low-quality. Another garbage Sam Adams seasonal beer. I'll avoid this in future. Sam Adams' own Blackberry Wit is volumes better.

C-

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Photo of brentk56
3.17/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a cloudy honey color with a rather modest head; the retention was not very impressive nor was the lacing

Smell: Banana, orange peel, cinnamon and nutmeg; more sweet than spicy

Taste: Overripe banana and spice cake flavors, up front, with increasing sweetness developing in the middle; though the orange peel was detected in the aroma, it is only vaguely present in the flavor profile, as this is much more about the banana and holiday spice flavors

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: Wits aren't my favorite style and this is not one of my favorite Wits

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Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.45/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a cloudy orangey color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light ginger notes with some coriander notes also perceptible. Taste is a mix between some light notes of wheat with some coriander and ginger notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. Not bad but really nothing to write home about either.

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Photo of zeff80
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a hazy, pale gold color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left some sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of cinnamon, nutmeg and wheat.

T - Lots of holiday spices, cinnamon, nutmeg and spruce-like flavors. Wheat flavor is present but not strong. Some caramel, too.

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

O - This is a nice witbier. I like the effort to do something different for a winter seasonal.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of LXIXME
3.52/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big white head slowly settles into a nice lacing above a clear pale straw golden colored beer.

Malted grains, wheat, light fruits, spices, cloves and more in the aroma of this Witbier.

Light spices dominate that taste with a little bit of the malts coming through as well.

A light spicy dry aftertaste that seems to also harbor some light wetness on this light to medium bodied beer.

A decent enough spicy winter beer.

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Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, best before April 2013. Pours hazy golden amber color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with plenty of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, orange peel, wheat, clove, pepper, pear, floral, biscuit, and earthy yeast spiciness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and spice notes. Taste of lemon, pear, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, wheat, light clove, pepper, floral, biscuit, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, cinnamon, nutmeg, wheat, biscuit, light clove, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Nice balance and complexity of malt and spice notes; with spices being more muted than I expected from the nose; and zero cloying flavors on the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with nearly zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a good spiced witbier. Good balance of malt and spice notes with good flavor robustness; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of mothman
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Boone757
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a six-pack of Samuel Adams White Christmas on a whim, and I'm glad I did. I haven't been so pleasantly surprised by one of their holiday beers since Old Fezziwig perked up my taste buds decades ago.

It's just a full bodied witbier with cinnamon and nutmeg added, but it's nicely done and perfectly accented by the spice... and sometimes that's all it takes, just taking a simple idea or common thing and adding a little bit of something extra to it. This, of course, is not the first amped-up witbier with holiday spices that's even been done, but it's been done very well.

I won't go into the specific details of the beer (color, clarity, head retention, body and so on) because I doubt that's necessary here, but I'll say that I find it remarkably well balanced. In fact, by the time I'd taken my second sip it occurred to me that it might just be the best (spiced) holiday beer that I've ever tasted. The cinnamon is clearly present but not overdone, and the nutmeg comes through nicely as well. The wheaty malt is full, but not cloying or sweet - there's only 8 IBU's to it, but the spice steps in where needed.

Worth trying for sure!

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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 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 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 ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma of winter green spice, banana, wheat, faint orange, nutmeg. Taste sweet orange peel, spices, ginger. Ok!

111 characters

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

Photo of Gagnonsux
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of atrocity
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of vfgccp
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

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 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 paulish
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

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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Samuel Adams White Christmas from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.47 out of 5 based on 1,717 ratings.
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