Saturday, January 5, 2013

Samuel Adams Winter Lager

Putting The Season Behind Us!

Promotional Shot of Samuel Adams Winter Lager

Beer Reviewed: Winter Lager (looks like a dynamic link, sorry if broken)
Style: Lager
Brewery: Samuel Adams


This beer is the final one in my holiday and winter themed series of postings. I’m excited to move on to new beers, different styles, and get the holidays behind me. I enjoyed the seasons, but when Jan 1 rolls around, I want to start dreaming about spring.

Regarding Sam Adams, I have had very different views of their beers over the years. In my youth, I was not into hoppy beers at all, and the Sam’s were a bit off-putting. Over the years, you grow out of the ignorance of youth and tastes change, and I’m now not only a fan, but I get excited to try something new from them.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager and Glass

They have been brewing this Winter Lager for more than twenty years, but what can I say, it’s new to me and that makes it fresh and exciting.

I have also mentioned how I enjoy beer related videos, and the fine people at Sam Adams don’t disappoint. Here is a video from their website, and here is another off YouTube:

The Beer

Beer characteristics

Quantitative parameters of beer character

  1. As I’ve mentioned previously, I wanted to gauge The Hitchens Taste Scale against that up and comer IBU rating for comparison. The brewery indicates an IBU of 22, and I would put this at an X on the international standard The Hitchens Taste Scale.
  2. The brewery again provides some great additional information regarding alcohol content, and has determined it to be 5.6%alc/vol and 4.4% alc/wt. My chemistry is a bit weak, but does that mean this beer is heavier than water? To speculate on this a little further, would the big industrial brewers have closer numbers as measured by weight and by volume, since their beers are like fucking close to water? Perhaps a discussion for another time.
  3. The brewery has indicated the color to be a deep ruby brown, with an SRM of 25. I don’t know if the SRM measurement is descriptive enough, but I would describe it as:

Qualitative parameters of beer character

  1. This has a very light aroma, which is a bit of a surprise, due to the inclusion of some additional aromatics like orange peel, ginger, and cinnamon. There seems to be a bit of spice, but it’s very subtle.
  2. The flavor again is mostly that of a darker lager, with the addition of subtle spice flavors. I wasn’t expecting such subtlety in this beer, and it’s an interesting surprise.
  3. There is a toasty aftertaste that lingers for some time.
  4. The initial mouthfeel is bright, but it exits quickly and maintains an aftertaste that coats the mouth through to your next sip.
  5. The carbonation is medium. More that an ale, but the head flattened out pretty quickly.
  6. I think this is best enjoyed at a lower temperature, so I’m drinking this quickly and not lingering until it comes up closer to room temperature.

Poured Samuel Adams and Glass


A great Lager that isn’t too overpowering with seasonal spices. I not only recommend it, but I suggest putting it’s availability on your calendar, since this season is almost over. It’s available November through January.

- Enthusiast

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