Samuel Adams Holiday White Ale

Review Date 11/8/2020   By John Staradumsky

Sam Adams and his witbiers! Jim Koch surely likes white ale because he brews them up aplenty, and then some. The first was probably a version served up as Samuel Adams Spring Ale, which I recall as a kolsch but based upon my glass was a witbier at least one year. There was a Samuel Adams White Ale after that, and over the years variants with more and more ingredients tried: Samuel Adams Cold Snap, Samuel Adams Little White Rye, Samuel Adams Blackberry Witbier, and Samuel Adams White Christmas. For 2020, Boston Beer adds a new beer to their white ale parade: Samuel Adams Holiday White Ale. But is it really a new beer?

Sam says it is. On their website they call this a New Limited Release! Suspiciously, though, the specs are remarkably similar to Samuel Adams White Christmas. Both beers have an alcohol content of 5.8% by volume, with 8 IBUs. Rather than the usual coriander, both beers are seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg.

From the bottle label:

Ah, the holidays. Full of friends, family, festive parties…and last minute gifts and food mishaps. Whatever happens, this beer is your trusty plus one, smoothing things over with orange peel and holiday spices.

It was still more than a week from Halloween when I picked up my 12-pack of Samuel Adams Winter Classics collection at Target, I paid $15.19 for it.

This year, the collection includes 2 bottles each of:


Samuel Adams Winter Lager

Samuel Adams Holiday White

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Sam ‘76

Samuel Adams Holiday Porter

Samuel Adams American IPA


I must say I was disappointed indeed to see my beloved Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig missing from the collection. Gone, too, is the Samuel Adams

Chocolate Bock. It’s Christmas; would it have been too much to ask for a few bottles of Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic to return or the delightful

Samuel Adams Cherry Chocolate Bock? These are a few of my favorite things.


Ingredients from the website:


Malt Varieties Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, IdaPils


Hop Varieties Spalt Spalter Noble hops

Special Ingredients Cinnamon, nutmeg, & orange peel

Samuel Adams Holiday White Ale pours to a hazy whitish yellow with a medium sized spritzy head that fades as quickly as it forms. The nose is inviting with juicy citrus and the palate is crisp and tart with crackery wheat. The spices permeate and dominate the palate, and the citrus pops through, but is subdued by the spice. The beer finishes dry with spice.

Not all that different than my tasting notes for Samuel Adams White Christmas:

Spicy, dry cinnamon; pungent nutmeg; and bright, citric and slightly bitter orange all make their presence felt. The tart crackery wheat underneath makes the beer refreshing and more-ish, and the whole affair is dried perfectly by the spice.

Samuel Adams Holiday White al is a new beer that is not really new after all. Would I buy it again? Of course I would. I enjoyed it as White Christmas,

and I enjoy it as Holiday White. What’s a little name change among friends?

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.