Monday, February 9, 2009

Samuel Adams Winter Lager (AKA Winter Brew) Review

Brewery: Boston Brewing Co. | Beer: Samuel Adams Winter Lager (AKA Winter Brew)
Style: Bock | ABV: 5.8%
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into Pilsner glass

Samuel Adams Winter LagerFirst brewed in 1989 as one of their first seasonal offerings, Winter Lager (occasionally labeled as Winter Brew due to state liquor laws) is Sam Adam's main Winter seasonal. Since '89 Sam Adams have added more beers to their Winter seasonal collection: Winter Porter, Old Fezziwig Ale, and Cranberry Lambic. All of these and a few mainstays can be found in a handy Winter variety 12-pack.

Sam Adams list the beer as a dark Bock, brewed with "generous quantities of malted wheat." To be more specific, the malt backbone is composed of Two Row Pale, Caramel 60, Wheat Malt and Munich varieties. Hops are provided by East Kent Golding, Tettnang-Hallertauer and Tettnanger Noble varieties. As with most Winter beers, emphasis has been put on brewing something full-bodied and warming. Sam Adam's brew the beer using a decoction mash and is Krausen it to "add body and sweetness."

Appearance: Clear copper/burnt orange body with a finger and a mass of sticky, off-white head. It easily topped my Pilsner glass and left good lacing.

Aroma: Brown sugar and caramel malt with a decent dash of spices. A little bit of citrusy hops on the edges.

Taste: Bold, toasty malt with the spices providing decent balance. There's also a bit of honey that lingers into the aftertaste. Citrusy hops show up in the finish, but are still firmly behind the malt backbone. Occasional tinges of booze in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Compared to the sweet body, the finish drys a bit.

Drinkability: Another relativity quick Winter seasonal from Sam Adams. While very full-flavored, Winter Lager goes down easily.

Verdict: A solid Winter seasonal and, at least in my opinion, one of Sam Adam's best offerings. A safe bet for a mellow, but still full-flavored Winter seasonal, Winter Lager is worth a try for sure.

Grade: B+


Anonymous said...

I personally think its an OK winter beer, but the general public did not. The enthusiasm for the new seasonal has faded and distributors are going to have to send back massive amounts of failed displays that didn't sell.

L.Edward said...

Nobody likes it so much you have to wait for it to get in the Liquor store here NJ.

Insanely good (lager) with a good bang for the buck.

Thanksgiving in a Bottle.

Thank you Samuel Adams Boston Beer Co.

General Public is Fools buying BUDslobber

And Kore's Bullitshpitt


Adrian said...

I really enjoyed this beer. The spices really come through and it is very soothing on a cold night.