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Sankaty Light - Cisco Brewers Inc.

Not Rated.
Sankaty LightSankaty Light

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

224 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 224
Reviews: 80
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 16.09%
Wants: 15
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc. visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Light Lager |  3.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 06-21-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 224 | Reviews: 80 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

t0rin0, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden-yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and grass aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and grass flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp but somewhat thin mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is refreshing and tasty for what it is.

UCLABrewN84, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of metter98
3.4/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy yellow in color and poured with a thin white head that faded away and left a bit of lacing in the center of the glass. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are faint aromas of bready malts and citrusy hops in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of grainy malts and hints of sweetness; it finishes with a mild amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit watery on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to quaff because it isn't very filling and has a low amount of alcohol.

metter98, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

With a whole lott'a flavor for a "light" lager, The Cisco brewers link up that light and low-cal body with a a lavish pilsner-esque taste with savory impressions of sweetness, elegance and savory flavor without the much of its associated weight. How'd they do that?

With the pour of the beer bringing about richer tones than is expected from light lager, its goldenrod appearance is laced with a tightly woven haze that scatters light and allows the beer to glow inside the glass. As I hear the bubbles pop, I fear the worst but the beer retains solidly enough to offer islands of retention with impressive decoration of lace with every sip.

Its delicately floral bouquet opens with the scent of honey, orange blossom, fresh baking bread, toasted grain and a light savory note with a sun-kissed flare. A background of apple, pear and something of near-orange is off-citrus but playfully acidic to the nose. A slim sulfur note crispens the scent as the taste draws close.

Mostly malty, yet partly grainy, the beer's early sweetness inherently links up with the husken taste of whole grain bread and that elegant bread crust savory flavor. Its supportive honey sweetness unveils a bready-sweet character that's similar to angel-food cake before the hoppy spices settle in its middle palate. That growing spice of straw and grass turns bitter and dryly resinous as the sweetness fades and its refreshing bite concludes its quick taste.

With that heightened character and complexity for its style, Sankaty Light Lager shrugs all that off when it comes to its middle where the taste dries considerably and that slight sulfur character offers a crispness to highlight a mineral-rich finish. With just enough dry malt lingering on, it hides much of the beer's would-be astringency and bite. Only a minty-cool evaporation feel extends from alcohol and makes this ale one hell of a refreshing choice!

Sankaty is in most actuality a Vienna Lager but in the shell of a light lager. As a Vienna-style beer, the ale sorely misses its mark in body and hops. But as a unique American light lager, it's marketing might just be ingenious.

BEERchitect, Mar 26, 2014
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +14.9%

JAHMUR, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Served from the can in a taster glass.

You know it's a solid birthday when you spend it at a beer distributor's trade show, right? Here at the Cisco table, we've got Sankaty Light. It pours a clear straw topped by a finger or so of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises light white bread, mild flowers, mild grass, and a kiss of what seems to me to be tangelo rind. The taste brings in more of the same, the lightness in the name and the smell underlined here on my tongue. In addition, the bread from earlier appears to have taken on a slight sweetness, though it's not much to speak of. The body is appropriately light, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda watery feel. Overall, this isn't a bad beer by any stretch, especially considering how overwhelmingly underwhelming the light lager style has become over the years, but it's overt mildness borders far too much on boring for its own good. I could see myself drinking another at some point in the future, but it's unlikely I'll have paid for it.

TMoney2591, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of emerge077
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

BB NOV 2012 printed on bottom of the can.

Poured into a half liter mug, it has a fluffy souffle cap of foam that rises above the rim in a momentary gravity defying episode. Plenty of clinging lacing, clear gold straw body. Lasting retention, head sticks around for a good 15 mInutes.

Lightly grassy with wet straw, malty biscuit and tea aromas.

Watery and thin feel, to be expected I guess. Clean and malty with some expressive noble hop character. Wisps of bready biscuit and herbal tea. Little sweetness, more of a dry coarse finish. Not a bad lager, certainly has more flavor than most light beers on the market.

emerge077, Sep 08, 2012
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from a bottle at Eastern Standard in Boston:

A: Golden body. Average head of frothy white. Standard retention and lacing.

S: Grainy malt and mild grassy/leafy hops.

T: Straightforward malt, just a slight touch grainy/toasty. The hops appear more citrusy with a hint of lemon zest. Solid bitterness. Dry finish. Basic, but pleasant.

M: Medium bodied and gently crisp.

D: Easy to drink with some character. Accessible, but basic. A good BBQ beer, or for sporting events in the hot summer sun. An easy cross-over beer for friends who drink macros.

NeroFiddled, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.13/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of light malts and a pretty strong dose of hops for the style.

T: The taste is light and starts out a little bready with very little sweetness, which is a good thing in this beer’s case. A nice clean burst of mild hops bitterness follows. The malt character is thin as you would expect. Overall, it’s quite refreshing. The after-taste is slightly bready with a small touch of bitterness.

M: Crisp and very smooth, light body, medium-to-heavy carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, could use a bit more of a kick, but it’s perfect when you want something light. It’s well-worth drinking on a hot day and you’re not looking to get too hammered.

TheManiacalOne, May 13, 2007
Photo of Kegatron
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear pale gold, with a couple fingers of billowy bright-white head. This retains with a ¾ finger of robust froth, leaving back a good bit of creamy lacing that sticks in swathes to the sides of the glass. The aroma smells grassy, citric, and a touch spicy, with a rather supportive feeling sweet graininess underneath. The hops give this a nice airy crispness in the nose.

The taste mirrors the nose, with a moderate citric hop bite to it that is set against a backbone of sweet grains that thankfully isn’t coming off as overly grainy. The finish is dry, crisp, and spicy and the overall profile has a nice clean feel to it. The mouthfeel is lighter bodied, with a soft crispness that does have a bit of sharpness to it up front but then gets much more creamy feeling along the back. This is very easy drinking stuff.

This was a surprisingly flavorful and very quaffable Light Lager and seems like it would make a super sessionable selection for the spring and summer months. This beer was a great choice to put in cans.

Kegatron, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clouded gold with no head. Nose is subdued citrus with a grain quality to it. There isn't much to the nose though. It is rather light. Flavor is a slight bit hoppy and a fair bit earthy. Overall kind of toned down from something that seems like it could be a whole lot more. Feel is standard stuff. Overall it is drinkable, sure. I wouldn't say it is overly interesting, and definitely not worth the price. Nice, but not worth walking more than seven feet out of your way for.

RblWthACoz, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of WesWes
3.18/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a hazy gold color with a thick frothy white head and a ton of yeast floaties. The aroma is decent. It has a nice pale malt scent that seems a bit earthy (maybe the yeast) along with a mild hop aroma. The taste is average. It has a light pale malt flavor that is overpowered with citrus hops. It goes down slow, because of it's bitterness and finishes dry and a bit earthy. I like the use of hops, but I think this is a little too much. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a low bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is an average beer at best. Please leave the light lagers for the big three. This is one for the scrap heap.

WesWes, Jan 09, 2006
Photo of beernads
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

beernads, May 08, 2013
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3/5  rDev -13.8%

DrunkinYogi, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of smcolw
3.83/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Starts with a near white head which leaves some slippery lace. It settles to a single layer of bubbles. The liquid is light gold and nearly clear.

A blend of raw grain and light malted barley. Nearly no hop.

Tastes like the smell but with a good dose of bittering hop. More grainy than I like. The body is rich for the style--carbonation is low. One of the best light beers I've ever had, but it's still a light beer.

smcolw, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a hazy golden yellow color with a 1/2" had that lingers a bit. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: hint of lemon zest is all you pick up by the nose.

Taste: light malt base with a hefty lemony flavor. Hints of mild bitterness round it out. Simple and a basic lite beer that has some flavor.

Mouthfeel: crisp and lightly dry throughout. Clean aftertaste. Light bodied beer.

Drinkability: very easy to suck this down as it is light and has a mellow lemony flavor. For a lite beer, this is much better than any macro lite beer you may try.

Gavage, Apr 13, 2007
Photo of woodychandler
4.43/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My local trader, tone77, beat me to the punch on this one! I scored a couple during a recent field trip to Pinocchio's in Media and thought that I should include him in my spree. The CANQuest (TM) is all about spreading the wealth and karma since so many have been so good to me so far.

From the CAN: This Ameri[CAN] Golden Lager is the lightest lager we've made so far. It's [sic] drinkability, crisp citrus hop elements, and smooth malty finish make it not too light but just right. Don't fall off the bluff!"

I will never grow tired of the former, auditory portion of the Crack & Glug! Bottles will never have the same cachet unless it is a caged, corked beer, but I do not open those nearly as frequently as I do CANs. For newcomers, the latter half is why I am NOT a ticker - CANs do not "tick", they merely "Glug!".

The Crack & Gllug was up to spec and I managed to produce a finger of bone-white head with limited retention in this oppressive heat and humidity. Color was a beautiful sunshine-yellow with NE-quality clarity and plenty of fizzy bubbles. Take that, Greg Koch! Nose smelled like all-malt (no adjuncts) and grassy hops and my heart began to go pitty-pat. I CANnot tell you the pain that I have endured at times in this madness, and especially from this style, AALs and AMLs. This actually smelled like real beer, even in a Light Lager version. Mouthfeel was actually pretty big, very foamy with big bubbles and the taste was of light malt and light grassy hops. Zounds! Finish was semi-dry and I was ready for another sip. I CANnot remember the last time that I thought that way of a beer of this style. Now, all of that said, I am not going to pack the cooler full of such CANs, however. I do not care how good it may be, I am not into Light beers. I probably could stand to lose some weight, but not by cutting back on flavorful beer. If you are accompanying me to the beach or elsewhere, I will happily put some in the cooler for you, but that's it.

woodychandler, Jun 24, 2012
Photo of dbrauneis
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a lightly hazy straw yellow in color with some very light hints of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall white head that reduces to a thin film and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate lacing is observed.

S: A very mild overall aroma for this beer. Light aromas of bready malts and just a hint of grassy & citrusy hops.

T: Flavors of grainy and bready malts with a very light amount of sweetness. There is aslo a light bitterness contributed from the grassy and citrusy hops. Overall, the beer is very well balanced.

M: Light bodied with moderate to high amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery.

O: Very refreshing, very easy to drink, and very enjoyable... The low ABV makes this beer very sessionable and the lighter flavor and mouthfeel make this a great summer beer.

dbrauneis, May 13, 2012
Photo of tempest
2.73/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Ordered a pint at Pour Judgment in Newport out of curiosity. Man I was disappointed. This beer was all Ringwood character with a bit of diacetyl and oxidation. There was a mild bitter kick, but this beer was also a touch acidic and without much actual malt character. I'd avoid this in the future.

tempest, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -13.8%

ejimhof, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of DoubleJ
2.66/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

So here's 12 ounces of lager which I am ab...wait, it is a LIGHT lager?! But I don't like this style, you see. Have you ever tried Bud Light, Corona Light, or any others of the like? Well, I think I have shot myself here, but at least it's a one and out. So, here's 12 ounces of light lager, and on to the beer:

A heady beer at the pour, which drops away to a soapy lace and top, while beneath is a pale gold beer with lots of visible sparking bubbles. There is aroma fortunately, but there is a strong scent of diacetyl which does not belong. Slightly citrusy with a bang of butterscotch. Is this lager or bitter I'm about to drink?

Very light in flavor, which means that even a small flaw can wreck its balance. It was doing okay until a modest burst of esters and kiss of diacetyl came to the scene. Otherwise, it would be a light wave of grain and hops. Despite a lackluster overall flavor, the beer is very easy to drink. The beer is light bodied, but surprisingly sturdy for its low alcohol level.

Next time I want a light beer, I'll go with a Sam Adams Light.

DoubleJ, Jul 06, 2014
Photo of jdhilt
2.28/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a two-finger white head that fades to a thin layer leaving some lace. Nearly clear light amber color. Good carbonation and light-medium bodied. Skunky nose. Starts mellow but hops increase to finish with some bitterness. Not your usual light. $1.50 for a 12 oz bottle from Capital Convenience Concord, NH.

jdhilt, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of biegaman
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sankaty Light Lager is named after an historic lighthouse located on Nantucket island, the home of Cisco Brewing, although the beer itself is brewed in Utica, New York. As though that were not ironic enough, the beer named after a lighthouse has a dim tone and misty complexion. Its pale golden colour notwithstanding, this thing couldn't aid navigation any more than it could attract a moth.

But of course I jest, as that was not the brewer's aim. The idea here was a beer that could satisfy the appetite without doing much damage to the waistline (or liver, for that matter). Going by smell you'd never know this was only 3.6% alcohol and 128 calories. The aroma has enough cereal graininess to feed an entire daycare breakfast. It smells biscuity and bready, and has a mist of floral hop accenting. It's simple but lovely.

The taste, somewhat surprisingly, provides one more curtain call for hoppiness; faint, rose-like florals and a trace of grapefruit or citrus arise. They provide a light perfumed contrast to the prominent grainy notes. Those flavours are sweet and agreeable, like fresh bread (and a curious touch of vanilla). Despite this soft maltiness, however, a carbonation with the prickle of a cactus makes for a finish that is hard and dry.

The beer doesn't suffer when brewed with cheap, poor quality ingredients - it's the person drinking it that suffers. The converse is true too. And in this case, wholesome and good quality ingredients have made for a happy, satisfied drinker. It's also made for a beer that disappears rapidly. Sankaty Light does exactly what it was intended to: gives the palate plenty of flavour without giving the belly too much bloat.

Sankaty Light is a light beer that would make Coors Light cringe (not Coors Light drinkers, mind you, I bet they'd prefer it). It offers big flavour in a low-calorie serving and a level of quality that you simply can't find in macro, commercial brands. It is a reminder that lower alcohol beers are still real beers nonetheless; they have maltiness and bitterness just like any others. Good on Cisco for sticking up for the little guys!

biegaman, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of plaid75
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light copper hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a soft malt aroma complimented by a light flowery hop aroma.

The taste evidenced a solid pale malt body and slightly spicy and citric hop element.

The mouthfeel was clean and light. Good carbonation.

Overall a very drinkable blonde ale. Light and refreshing. An excellent summer beer.

plaid75, Aug 24, 2006
Photo of Latarnik
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Latarnik, May 25, 2014
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Sankaty Light from Cisco Brewers Inc.
79 out of 100 based on 224 ratings.