Product Review: Sam Adams Summer Seasonal Beers

Reviewer’s Note: Samples of the beers discussed here were provided at no cost in exchange for my honest review.

A shipment of Sam Adams seasonal beers arrived a short while ago. The season, in this case, is Summer, and the drinking is flavorful and wide-ranging in terms of style. The assortment sent to me appears to take great pains to ensure that every palate is accommodated, whether you favor citrus or sour, bready or fruity, frothy beers, or beers that don’t go overboard with foaming heads. For this review, we received samples of Samuel Adams’ Summer Ale, Session IPA, Berliner Weisse, Golden Hour, Hefeweizen, Golden Hour, and Tropic of Yuzu.

Hefeweizen is an opaque 5.4% ABV wheat-colored beer that displays a frothy head of fine bubbles on pouring. It gives up malty, toasted aromas and shy botanical notes, dusted with spicy intimations of cinnamon and nutmeg. Tasting reveals a mid-to-full body and flavor marked by bright cleanliness that conjures images of enjoying it in the company of friends.

Sam Adams’ Summer Ale, available in cans as well as bottles, is lemon-kissed, both in terms of its nose and its flavor. A faintly clouded pour of golden hue, it smells of fresh lemon peel and malt. The cleanest of the samples received, this 5.3% ABV beer is light and refreshing in a way that makes one feel at home drinking it in any setting.

Berliner Weisse is a mid-bodied 4.8% ABV opaque pour with minimal froth to its head. Its bouquet is packed with malt and subdued essences of hops that make their way from onto the tongue. Its flavor tends toward the tangy, with subtle sourness that emerges on the back end. These add complexity to its crisp and lively presence on the tongue.

True to its name, Golden Hour is a light honey-colored 5.0% ABV beer with just enough haze to make a foregone conclusion of comparing its hue to summer sunsets. It leads with intense, chatty floral fragrances that call to mind perfumed bath soaps. One of the more aromatic beers sampled, its bouquet bursts forth like a genie escaping centuries of bottled confinement, Its presence on the palate is marked by a body that’s light and a pronounced yet pleasant expression of hops.

Porch Rocker rocks a deep lemon hue, pouring hazy with minimal head. It boasts perhaps the most refreshing aromas, smelling of lemon peels cast amidst fresh-cut grass. This light-bodied beer goes down smoothly, a characteristic owed in good measure to a shandy-like combination of tart and sweet that recalls that time you topped off your lemonade with beer when you thought no one was looking. The aromatics and sweetness at work in this one are more pronounced than in the Summer Ale.

Tropic of Yuzu pours clear with a deep amber hue, a fine, frothy head, and bready nose underlaid by suggestions of tanginess. Its texture on the palate is creamy and clean, with the tart, fruity sweetness of yuzu whispering through its flavor. This 6.0% ABV beer delivers a delicate kick of heat on swallowing that lends complexity.

Session IPA is a faithful rendering of what an IPA should be. Its aromas of hops and faint pine fulfill their promise on the palate, accompanied by tart citrus notes of grapefruit and a touch of lime. Light-bodied and crisp in a way that tastes uncluttered, this is a straightforward 4.5% ABV beer suited to drinking outdoors, preferably while cooking outdoors.

In its Spring 2017 lineup, Sam Adams has collected a pleasing range of flavors and styles likely to offer something to every kind of beer drinker. Learn more about this seasonal product line at

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