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

Pours a two-fingered white head that fades quickly to ring leaving traces of lace. Light-medium carbonation. Medium body. Hazy straw color. Nose is orange peel, flavor is sweet orange peel and finish is sweet and dry. 12oz bottle part of 12-pak $13.99 Market Basket Concord, NH.

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Photo of corby112
3.09/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy, dark golden yellow color with lighter banana yellow hues and a one finger, frothy white head that quickly settles into a thin, lasting ring. Minimal spotty lacing left behind.

Zesty autumnal spice aroma with sweet citrus, malted wheat and a strong bread/yeast presence. Smells more like a fall beer than a winter/Christmas ale. Reminds me of a pumpkin wheat beer with lots of cinnamon, allspice and ginger followed by bread, banana, clove, cider and orange peel. Interesting approach to the style but not very inviting.

On the fuller end of medium body with a peppery spice presence that lingers over the yeast and sweet citrus notes into a slightly dry finish. Prominent zesty spice up front with clove, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg followed by strong bread/yeast flavor, sweet citrus rind, banana, bubblegum, apple cider and subtle pumpkin. Tastes appropriate for the season but it's slightly watered down and the flavors don't mesh very well. Kind of bland except for being heavily spice and having strong wheat/bread flavor. Even the spice blend feels a bit generic and the orange peel is buried underneath the other notes. Okay for this time if year but not something that I would want to drink more than once.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by 3/13. consumed 3/13.

A: Lemon based coloring with some pale orange tint and a translucent quality, while a strong effervesce rages within. Chalky white head is slight, a bit whispy and weakly holding leaving no preferred window dressing behind.

S: A bit of tart orange and lemon with a hint of tropical fruitiness and white grapes. Complexity level is rather low.

T: Crisp beginning for the flavor, spiciness comes through, a bit more so then the nose with indications of cinnamon, nutmeg. Bright hops and orange peels and citrus while the wheat is also lively. Tart orange and lightly dry wheat finish. Spicy twang of tropical fruitiness and i detected a hint of banana thrown about.

M: bright and crisp, creamy wheat texture with a tart layering on the tongue.

O: Overall wouldnt drink in multiples. The nutmeg and cinnamon seem a bit out of place. A wit that wants to be a xmas beer, yes i get it, but something that comes off a bit more intriquing on paper then palate. A bit sweet overall, the flavor is not bad, just odd, seeming a bit forced and misplaced, i get the notion and concept of being different just may take a bit to get used to here.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from Walmart Cicero NY for 2$

Appearance – Hazy gold colour with an average size fizzy/foamy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some fairly great lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains/wheat, all-spice, citrus

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation. I can taste grains/bread mixed with all-spice, nutmeg, and some fruity citrus notes. Lots of flavour, but well balanced and even slightly refreshing. It ends with a spicy crisp aftertaste.

Overall – A well made and very drinkable beer. The flavours work well together and I could actually drink a few of these. Worth checking out.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours hazy straw gold under a sticky, persistent 2” white foam collar.
S: Herbal and spice with some bread.
T: Bread, caramel, orange peel, lemon, citrus, with some cinnamon and light drying in the finish.
F: Medium light body and medium high carbonation.
O: Big wheat beer flavors that might appeal to a wide audience.

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

A-Cloudy orange. Huge, downy white head. About an inch and a half of height. Leaves mild lacing. Body is far more orange than the pale white normally associated with a Wit.

S-Orange peel and coriander. Spiced wheat. Mulled cider. Quite spicy. I quickly notice the sweetness that I will soon be experiencing. A spicier Witbier.

T-Sweet and spiced. Toasted wheat. Nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. A tickle of pepper? Gingerbread. Caramel covered nectarine skins. Consistent maltiness.

M-Fuller bodied Wit. Massaging carbonation. Slick and semi-sticky.

O/D-Sam has put out a couple neat beers recently. This one is more dud than stud. 85% Witbier, 15% Winter Warmer. Weird little guy. Damnit, I can see two or three bottles from this six-pack becoming refugees in the fridge for a month or so.

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

Pours a hazy golden color with a loose half inch ivory head that quickly dissipates, leaving no lacing.

Aroma is ginger-dominant, with cinnamon, clove, and orange complementing a light wheat base.

Ginger is present throughout the flavor profile, along with wheat-beer/lemony tartness. Cinnamon and nutmeg surface in the finish, which is a touch dry and malty.

Body is moderate, with prickly carbonation that lifts the wheat flavor from the palate.

Overall, a fairly subtle Christmas offering. Not really a great wit or a great winter brew, though. Fairly middle of the road.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, best before March 2014. Oh well, better late than never! Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a hazy golden/amber color with a half inch off-white head that stayed around for a good amount of time. There's a small amount of lacing. The brew smells like nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and some orange and orange peel. It tastes pretty much just like the aroma, but with the addition of some wheat/bready malt. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating with moderate carbonation. Not a bad brew, but I wish I would have been able to try this when it was fresher. Hopefully I'll be able to this upcoming winter!

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Photo of rfgetz
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy straw color, moderate head. Scent is very pale with notes of pilsner and wheat malts, giving a little grainy tang to the nose, some faint seasonal spicing and a touch of lemon peel. Taste is light as well, faint notes of wheat and pilsner malt, lemon rind and seasonal spicing and faint as well. Lighter side of medium. Drinakable - yes, memorable - no.

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Photo of tigg924
3.12/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: 3/4 inch head, hazy, orange-brown in color, high carbonation

Smell: orange, cinnamon, and Belgian spices

Taste: bread, cinnamon, clove, light orange, an other Belgian spices.

Mouthfeel: sweet, light bodied with medium-high carbonation

Overall: An average witbier. I like the light holiday spices, but I would not get this outside of the holiday sampler. One of the weaker beers I have seen in the winter sampler.

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Photo of Brad007
3.81/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

They already have a white ale. Why another?

Pours a cloudy whitish-gold color with a thin head into my glass. Very straightforward for the style.

Creamy and spicy with light citrus and clove notes. Fairly average here. The spices add a bit of variation to the base.

Ditto for the flavor. Very creamy once again. Lots more clove with some buttery malt. Very clean with optimal carbonation.

Lingering creaminess and sweet malt make up the mouthfeel. Not much of the wheat base remains.

An interesting varation of their white ale with spices and a mouthfeel that while very unique, doesn't quite fit the style all the way. A worthy effort regardless.

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Photo of barnzy78
2.61/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, pours a hazy, ruddy, yellow color with a tinge of rusty orange, tall white head sticks around and leaves some lace as it fades. Aromas are oddly musty, wheaty, spicy, orange peel. Tastes are wheaty, nutmeg, cinnamon, yeast, still musty, orange. Thin-to-medium mouth-feel, higher carbonation makes it feel fuller. Finishes fairly clean with slight tartness & dryness. Overall, this was a disappointment. I don't feel that the cinnamon & nutmeg belong here, maybe some familiar clove might have rounded it out a bit?

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a yellow-amber color with a decent haziness. The head formed upon pouring is quite nice with it fading relatively quickly to leave a moderate level of lacing.

Smell – The nose is biggest of a citrus and wheat nature mixed with winter spice aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg. Mixed with these aromas are some lighter notes of an earthy hop aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with flavors of citrus and wheat upfront with lighter notes of coriander along the lines of a traditional wit. As the taste advances however, more spice flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg come to the tongue. These spice flavors, when mixed with more bready flavors as well as a more citrus start modifying the flavor from the normal wit. In the end it deviates even more as some more spice and some light herbal and earthy hop flavors come to the tongue. These meld with the other flavors to give a rather interesting lightly hopped and winter spiced wheat and citrus flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer was on the slightly lighter side with a carbonation level that was above average. Good for the wit like characteristics of the brew and not bad for the added spice flavors as well.

Overall – A delicious and flavorful brew. A nice winter style twist of a classic wit. Sam Adams dose it again.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Translucent bright orange, not much carbonation or head.

S-Oranges, spices, grass. Not much else. Kinda bland almost.

T-Bland. Blah. Not much. Starts with some orange and malt with slight spices. but there really isn't much to it.

M-Lighter, tad watery, not much carbonation.

O-Sam Adams could greatly improve their winter mix pack by replacing this with another Old Fezziwig.

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

This beer was a hazy orange color with a very small white head.

The aroma was mostly citrus, with a bit of spice. Some grain,

Orange taste, coriander, and a little cinnamon. Cereal in the background.

This was a pleasant enough beer, just not that exciting. Taken in context, I think it went well in the Winter 12 pack, however.

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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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