Wheat Beer Week: Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat

Wheat Beer WeekI picked up the Samuel Adams "Summer Styles Mix Pack" from Costco last week, which includes their Cherry Wheat. This beer has been around awhile but it’s the first time I’ve had it. Their website proclaims:

Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat® follows the centuries old American tradition of brewing beer with native ingredients, in this case Michigan cherries as well as a touch of honey. The sweet fruitiness of the cherries is balanced against the crisp, cereal note from the malted wheat and the subtle citrus flavor from the Noble hops. The end result is a sweet, refreshing beer that is light on the palate but long on complexity.

Samuel Adams Cherry WheatAt 5.35% alcohol by volume, it’s the highest (by a slim margin) content beer of the ones I’ve reviewed this week.

Appearance: Mostly clear orange beer that goes golden at the edges. Head poured one finger thick, a tad off white.

Smell: Maraschino cherries—very sweet cherry presence, very pretty in the nose. That’s the dominant aroma here.

Taste: Sweet cherry washed with a slightly bitter bready flavor. Cherry sweetness turns a bit tart near the back of the tongue. The malt below that is fairly light with a bit of "red" (darker wheat, I’m assuming) character to it, otherwise it’s nondescript.

Mouthfeel: Medium-ish body and a bit gassy; there’s some bitter in the aftertaste—tannins from the cherry peels?

Overall: The cherry aroma is wonderful; the rest is okay, but a bit disappointing after the cherry build-up.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores a grade of B-. On RateBeer, it scores 2.78 out of 5 and is in their 28th percentile.


  1. Sam Adams Cherry Wheat was one of the beers that Boston Beer highlighted at a beer dinner in Denver in May. This was the beer served during the dessert course and was poured over the top of vanilla icecream with cherries in it. Made for a nice unique tasting treat.

  2. I also picked up a box of SA’s Summer Styles mix at one of our local ‘big box’ stores recently and found SA’s Cherry (CW) Wheat to have a taste so delightful that my wife even enjoyed it. Perhaps because we do not have overly-refined beer palates, we did not find CW to be at all bitter or sharp tasting, but rather smooth and mildly fruity. For anyone desiring to venture into specialty brews, I believe sampling SA’s CW would be an excellent starting point.

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