Beer Review: Winter Lager (Samuel Adams)

Beer Review: Winter Lager (Samuel Adams)

Winter Time

We’re due for snow – and I mean S-N-O-W – on Saturday. (Of course we are, the Farm Show kicks off tomorrow – Friday, so of course we would be getting snow.) Winter Lager is the epitome of winter time for me. This dates back to one of the earliest craft beers I got into, and felt like now is as good as any time to dive into and pick it apart for a healthy beer review.

History of Winter Lager

Samuel Adams Winter Lager has a rich history, having been first brewed in 1989 as one of Samuel Adams’ initial seasonal beers, alongside Octoberfest. This early introduction marked the beer as a pioneer in the realm of seasonal craft brews. Brewed in the style of a Bock, the Winter Lager is designed to be more malt-forward and darker than other popular lagers, setting it apart as a distinctive and flavorful option for the winter months.

Over the years, Samuel Adams has continued to refine and enhance the Winter Lager, ensuring that it remains a beloved and anticipated release each year. The beer has evolved to incorporate elements that capture the essence of the winter season, such as the addition of cinnamon and orange peel, further enhancing its festive and comforting character. This commitment to quality and innovation has solidified the Winter Lager as a staple in the Samuel Adams lineup, and a favorite among beer enthusiasts seeking a well-crafted and seasonally appropriate brew.

The Winter Lager’s enduring popularity and consistent evolution are a testament to Samuel Adams’ dedication to creating exceptional seasonal beers. As one of the brewery’s signature offerings, the Winter Lager continues to delight and inspire beer lovers, making it a cherished tradition for many during the winter season.

Beer Review

Beer Review: Winter Lager by Samuel Adams

Beer: Winter Lager
Brewery: Samuel Adams
Style: Lager – Winter
ABV: 5.6%
IBU: 22
Untappd Description: For the first time in 31 years, we’re updating the classic Winter Lager recipe to make it crisper and brighter. It’s the same iconic beer, with a wintery remix. Crisp Bock with citrus and spices, lager brewed with orange peel, cinnamon, and ginger.


Samuel Adams Winter Lager presents itself as a beer of distinction. As it is poured into a glass, the deep ruby-brown color immediately captures the eye, evoking the rich hues of the winter season. The beer’s clarity and the way it reflects light contribute to its visual appeal, setting the stage for the sensory experience to come. Topping the beer is a generous, creamy head that lingers, enhancing the beer’s presentation and inviting the first sip. The combination of these visual elements makes the Winter Lager an enticing choice for those seeking a beer that embodies the spirit of the season. The appearance of a beer is often the first interaction a drinker has with the brew, and Samuel Adams Winter Lager excels in making a memorable first impression. The deep, inviting color and the well-formed head speak to the care and craftsmanship that have gone into creating this beer. Whether enjoyed in a cozy setting or shared among friends, the Winter Lager’s appearance sets the stage for a truly enjoyable drinking experience.


The aroma of Samuel Adams Winter Lager is a prelude to the sensory journey that awaits. As the beer is brought to the nose, a delightful blend of scents emerges, creating an inviting and comforting atmosphere. Notes of malt, spice, and a subtle hint of citrus intertwine, evoking the warmth and cheer of the winter season. This complex aroma invites the drinker to take a moment and savor the anticipation of the first sip, promising a beer of depth and character. The Winter Lager’s aroma is a testament to the artistry of the brewing process, as it skillfully weaves together various elements to create a harmonious olfactory experience. The interplay of malt, spice, and citrus hints at the beer’s flavor profile, offering a glimpse of the richness that is to come. This carefully crafted aroma adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the beer, making it a true pleasure to engage with before even taking the first sip.


The first sip of Samuel Adams Winter Lager reveals a tapestry of flavors that reflect the artistry of the brewing process. The beer’s rich and full-bodied taste immediately commands attention, enveloping the palate in a warmth that is characteristic of the season. A harmonious blend of maltiness and a subtle bitterness unfolds, creating a complex and satisfying drinking experience. The initial burst of flavor gives way to a smooth and lingering finish, leaving a lasting impression of the beer’s well-crafted character. The Winter Lager’s taste is a testament to the brewery’s commitment to quality and innovation. The careful balance of flavors, from the robust maltiness to the nuanced bitterness, showcases the expertise that has gone into creating this exceptional brew. Each sip reveals new dimensions of the beer’s taste, making it a delight to savor and explore. Whether enjoyed on its own or paired with a hearty winter meal, the Winter Lager’s taste is sure to leave a lasting and positive impression.


Samuel Adams Winter Lager offers a distinctive and satisfying mouthfeel that enhances the overall drinking experience. The beer’s full-bodied nature imparts a sense of substance and depth, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a beer that can stand up to the rigors of the winter season. The smooth and creamy texture further contributes to the beer’s comforting character, enveloping the palate in a luxurious sensation with each sip. The Winter Lager’s mouthfeel is a key element in its appeal, adding to the beer’s overall sense of warmth and satisfaction. The beer’s 5.6% ABV and 22 IBUs contribute to its well-balanced and comforting character, further enhancing the beer’s overall appeal. The interplay of alcohol content and bitterness creates a sense of harmony in the beer’s profile, ensuring that each sip is as enjoyable as the last. Whether sipped slowly to savor the beer’s complexity or enjoyed more casually, the Winter Lager’s mouthfeel is a defining feature that sets it apart as a beer of exceptional quality and craftsmanship.

Overall Impression

In conclusion, Samuel Adams Winter Lager is a beer of distinction, perfectly suited for the winter season. Its rich flavor, warm aroma, and full-bodied nature make it a wonderful choice for those seeking a comforting and well-crafted brew. The beer’s careful balance of maltiness and bitterness, coupled with its smooth and satisfying mouthfeel, ensures that each sip is a delight to the senses. Whether enjoyed in a cozy setting or shared among friends, the Winter Lager is a testament to the brewery’s expertise in creating seasonal brews, and it’s a great option for beer enthusiasts looking to savor a distinctive and satisfying lager during the colder months.

My Untappd Rating: ***.5
Global Untappd Rating: 3.53 (as of 1.4.24)

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