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Sam Adams Light - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Sam Adams LightSam Adams Light

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,026 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,026
Reviews: 820
rAvg: 3.26
pDev: 18.4%
Wants: 26
Gots: 108 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Light Lager |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,026 | Reviews: 820 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdr4669
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

App: Clear golden coloration with minimal head not much lacing.

Smell: Nothing stands out, it just smells like beer.

Taste: Biscuity, multi-grain, malty with a hint of hops, very well-balanced and tasty for a light beer. Pleasantly surprised.

MF: Water, there's no kick or punch to this beer.

OA: Not bad, but not fantastic either. There's nothing that stands out about Sam Adams Light, but nothing puts it off either.

mdr4669, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours into the shaker pint a dark amber color, trending toward yellowish. A healthy cap of foam sits above. The aroma is of starchy grain and grassy hops. The noble hops are showcased well here. The beer nimbly dances across the palate through its carbonation and light body. The malt flavor nicely emerges as the temperature increases. Not a very assertive beer, but a well made light beer.

BeardedBoffin, Jun 29, 2012
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light clear amber with a fair 1-finger head and some ok lacing. By sight, this could be any decent beer, and by far the darkest light-style I've seen.

Some whiffs of caramel and lightly toasted malt. Not easy to find, but there.

Ok, it is indeed light beer, so strength of flavor is getting a slight pass from me. Still, a bit on the thin side, some fair caramel and light sweet (fruit?) flavors, some fair maltiness, and a decent, clean finish. No off flavors, nothing that doesn't belong.

Decent carbonation, and a bit thinner bodied.

Overall, this went down very easy with the food served. A palate cleanser or hot weather beer for sure. Not something I grab to savor, but very easy to down these. If you find your middle is getting a bit thick, and want to cut calories and still drink a volume of beer, this might be the way to go.

OtherShoe2, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of tito42
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to an imperial pint. Best by NOV 2011 notched on label.

A: Golden amber, crystal clear, with little carbonation. White head dissipates quickly.

S: Roasted malt and caramel. Major points for a light lager not smelling like corn.

T: Malty with caramel notes, plum, and a metallic, grainy finish with a touch of hops. Head and shoulders above Bud Light.

M: Medium-light bodied, a bit too carbonated on the tongue. More body than your typical light lager for sure.

O: Head of the class for the light lager category, no doubt. I think I'd still prefer the better adjunct lagers (Schlitz, PBR) than this light, however. The flavor profile simply makes you wish you'd had a regular Sam Adams brew. There are times for a lighter beer, and PBR will still be my go-to for those occasions.

tito42, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of dnichols
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 12 ounce capped bottle into a 12 ounce mug.

A: It poured a fresh clear, bright copper body with amber highlights when back lit. A moderately aggressive pour produced a dirty white robust half finger head that receded to a ring around the collar and supported a barely there curtain.

S: It had crisp and clean lightly roasted malts with a recessed hop aroma. More aroma than any macro light I have tried.

T: It has a light sweet malt flavor with a recessed bitterness. There is a steady stream of carbonation that helps keep the taste fresh and zippy on the tongue. There are hints of sweet white fruit but they are so recessed it is difficult to determine the profile of the flavors.

M: It is a light bodied very clean brew with sweet malts on the front and slight bitterness on the back. The carbonation keeps the palate fresh and clean.

D: I doubt you could find a finer session beer for the diet set. This brew is easy to consume in mass and light and refreshing enough for a hot long day while being sufficiently flavorful to not loose your interest due to lack of character.

Comment: This is a surprising light brew. It is more like a dilute ale than any macro light. Well done and one that I could recommend to my Coors and Bud light friends.

dnichols, Nov 21, 2007
Photo of lstokes
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours light amber with a decent white head. Smells too grainy. Grassy, malty, faint caramel, pleasant taste. Clean, slightly drying finish. Surprisingly hefty, creamy mouthfeel for a light beer, and in the end, a perfectly respectable light beer. If you're gonna go light, I guess you should go for a Sam Adams.

lstokes, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of Jadjunk
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

#56. A light variation of a Samuel Adams Lager. Date is December 2010, again another beer I purchased after the expiration date. I have to look out for these dates more often. Let this light lager warm up; the flavors have better opportunity to be felt and tasted rather than when it be served at near frozen temperatures.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle to a pint glass at room temp.

(Appearance) Beer pours a 3 finger-depth highly carbonated head that settles down quickly to a thick cover in about 2 minutes. Color is a slightly hazy dark orange, much darker than most light lagers I have had. Carbonation is lively and plentiful. Looks decent, but nothing here is exceptional. 3

(Smell) Light cereal malts and some docile floral odors. Very clean, almost metallic smell. Caramel odors are surprisingly low-to-absent as far as I can tell which differs this from other non-light Samuel Adams beers, where it is almost a common ingredient. Potency average, a big improvement for the light lager category over pretty much anything. The end result is something that I neither die for nor resent. It's really a 50/50 aroma. 3

(Taste) Light taste but a far better one than the smell gives off. Some light clean malts and perhaps some more caramel. Not very hoppy and very little aftertaste. Big swigs reveal some alcohol traces. Nothing amazing but not a big letdown. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Considerably smooth, but rightfully so. Finish is pretty amicable and lacks any defining characteristics aside from a stretched out malty body. Body is on the lighter side of Samuel Adams beer. Possibly thin, possibly watery. This seems like a regular Samuel Adams lager plus a hefty deal of water as nearly every aspect of the beer has been cut in half. Mouthfeel is probably the most impressive part, as it remains pleasurably smooth without going flat. Not a bad mouthfeel at all. 4.5

(Drinkability) For light beers, one of the highest I can give. There's nothing amazing about this beer and I don't ever drink light beers, but this one has far more characteristic and detail for a light lager over most macros. Nothing overwhelming or even remotely dominant in flavor. It does a good job at remaining passive without getting boring. I could finish off a sixer with ease should I ever be watching my waistline. 4

Verdict: Light beers never venturing far into my drinker's repertoire, I have to say that this is one of the best light lagers one can get for their money. It does a good job at being light without sacrificing quality or content. It's not too watery and has plenty of flavor, much more than, say Bud Light. In the end, I wouldn't go for more knowing that a Sam Adams Boston Lager costs about the same and is far more fulfilling, but if you feel like a light beer for whatever reason, there is no shame in picking one of these up. B- (3.45)

Jadjunk, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of BeerLover99
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: deep orange/amber body, 2 finger head, decent lacing

S: mild malt, hint of citrus

T: sweet malt body, mild toasted, slight roasted finish

M: light/med body, firm carbonation, hint of dry finish

D: Dare I say it, this is one of my favorite "light beers".
Great session beer and fine gateway brew.


BeerLover99, May 22, 2011
Photo of everetends
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint tumbler.

A: Pours a nice amber color with a generous white head. Not much going on in the lacing category, but for a light beer this is good looking.

S: Nothing too complex but it is light. Got some malt, grains, and sweet, floral hops.

T: Same deal, the hops hit you with a bit of sweetness. The malt can be tasted with a bit of caramel. Not bad.

M: Very light, clean and crisp.

D: For a session beer, this is not bad especially if you are watching your calories.
Very nice one from SA.

everetends, May 28, 2008
Photo of wahhmaster
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Pilsner Urquell pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a translucent copper color with plenty of carbonation bubbles. Has a large foamy white head that dissipates quickly and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell: Smells grainy with a strong metallic smell. Could be better...

Taste: For a light beer, this is a full-flavored beer. Starts malty and a little bitter. Finishes hoppy with a bit of a metallic twinge. Hops are kind of subtle but this is still impressive for a light beer.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean, and refreshing.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable and tasteful for a light beer. Pretty average for a beer in general, but great for a light beer. Sam Adams impresses me yet again.

wahhmaster, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of micmillon18
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams pint class. Best Before date reads August of 2011.

A - Pours a clear amber color with a small thin white head. Surpise! It has color! It's easily the best looking light beer I've ever seen mainly because it looks nothing like your typical light lager. Head dissipates quickly with little to no lacing.

S - Sweet malt and a faint hop scent.

T - Sweet malts with a nice grainy taste at the end. Also finishes with a slight balancing hop bitterness.

M - Light bodied with a crisp, refreshing mouthfeel.

O - As far as light lagers go, this is at the head of its class. I can't think of another in its class that matches its flavor. If your going to worry about calories, it might as well taste good.

micmillon18, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 5/28/08. Bottle. Pours a light amber with a small white head. Aroma of light fruits, wheat malt. Initial taste is of stale wheat, but this disappears as the beer warms and becomes much more fruity and light and crisp. Although this is not technically a lighter version of the Boston Lager, it sure tastes like it! A little less fruity, weaker palate. But certainly the best light beer I've ever had and it is so close to the SABL that they're practically interchangeable. I applaud SA for making a light beer that actually has flavor and no adjuncts!! Tasty and refreshing.
6/4/7/4/12 (3.3/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of Doomcifer
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber color, very clear. Decent head that goes away pretty quickly. Minimal lacing. Smells of biscuity malts and a slight hop spice. A light beer that actually smells like beer! Taste is also great for a "light beer." Biscuity malts followed by a hop spice, some vanilla notes...almost like a watered down Boston Lager. Really terrific for a light beer, I must say. It doesnt have the usual off flavors that accompany the rest. Crisp, clean, and actually some flavor in there. Mouthfeel is light and fizzy. Clean finish. Very drinkable.

Doomcifer, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's nice when you try a new beer and don't expect much out of it, only to be pleasantly surpised by how much you enjoy it. Such is the case with Sam Adams Light. Judging by many of the previous reviews, I was not the only one surprised.

To me, "Light" beer instantly conjures up images of rowdy football fans drinking watered-down, yellow-colored beer. Not so with SA Light. It's the color that leads me to think, "There's no way this is a light beer!" It poured a clear amber color with a small white head that laced nicely.

Taste is nothing earth-shaking, but it is important to remember that this is a light beer. Finishes with a clean and crisp effect.

Of course it's not as complex as other beers, but how does it compare to "_____ Light"? Very favorably, in my opinion. Finally, a light beer that really tastes good. This is a beer that could be my new "Quantity over Quality" beer for those rare occasions when I want to drink a bunch in one setting.

I wonder how big of an impact this beer will have on the public. On one hand, how many traditional light beer drinkers would try a SA product? On the other, do the beer lovers that like a complex, hearty brew look with disdain upon such an offering from BBC?

Perhaps BBC has created a new niche of beers. How favorably the public responds to it should be interesting.

OldFrothingSlosh, Jan 17, 2003
Photo of zimm421
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Appears a dark amber color with off-white fluffy head that leaves no lacing.

Smells very bready, dominated by the malts. The taste is also full of malts, some caramel and very bready as well. There is a slight hop presence in the taste, actually very good for a light beer.

Mouthfeel is very light and watery, just as it should be. Very drinkable and refreshing. Actually quite a good beer for what it is intended to be.

zimm421, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of morimech
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Finally getting around to drinking and reviewing this beer. Certainly darker than any other light lager. Clear amber color with one finger of head that settled to a thin film. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Nothing special about the aroma. A little malt and a touch of floral hops. It does smell better than BMC light lagers but this underwhelming for a BBC beer.

It tastes like real beer. Sweet caramel malt is balanced by floral hops. Bitterness is high compared to other light lagers, but here it is nicely done.

Beer is nearly flat in carbonation. It was lively at the pour but after a few minutes there is almost no carbonation. Feels lifeless and stale.

No other need to drink another light lager after this. That is if you actually like the taste of beer. With better carbonation and a little drier taste, this would be a good beer.

morimech, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of aepb1
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Light brown with a small white head

S- Some malts, a bit of citrus in there as well

T- Malts, smooth light, and the citrus hops come in the end as well as the aftertaste

M- Light bodied with good carbonation

D- Great, will return to this one! I was leery as it is a light beer, but it had a better mouthfeel than most light beers I've experienced

aepb1, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of bluejacket74
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in the "new" Sam Adams Lager pint glass, the beer pours a gold/amber color with an inch white head. It's darker than any other light beer I've ever seen. The beer smells like grain, honey and caramel. It's a sweet smelling beer. It tastes the same way, but there's also a little bit of a metallic taste. Even then, there's still more flavor compared to most (if not all) light beers. Mouthfeel is light, but it's also crisp and clean. Drinkability is good too, it's not hard to drink at all. Overall, this is by far the best "light" beer I've ever had. I don't drink light beer too often, but if I made it a point to get one this would be the one to buy.

bluejacket74, Jul 14, 2007
Photo of fitzy84
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured with an extremely thin head with some patchy lacing. Clear, light amber color overall. Aromas had a slight roasty hint to a generally bready and malty smell. Taste mirrored the aromas with a slight fruity and hoppy taste. Lightly grassy and pretty sweet for a light lager. Great carbonation, in general; very, very refreshing, light and crisp. Overall, I am not a light beer drinker, but this is pretty darn good for one.

fitzy84, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of SickGnar
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Tawny copper, just on the light side. But quite dark for a “light” beer. Smallish eggshell head. Clear with a few lazy bubbles. Not much for retention, but a few splotches of lace.

S: Sweet lager nose with some soft muted esters. Munich malt with hints of bread crust and a pronounced malty sweetness. Barest ghost hints of noble hops. About like the regular, just toned down – less hoppy & spicy, and less richness to the malts.

T: Even sweeter than the nose implied. Far less hoppy & bitter, and far sweeter, than the flagship Boston Lager. Slight bit of cooked corn DMS even though it says all malt. Barest hints of bread crust and toasty malts. Muted herbal, grassy, and floral sweet noble hops. Faint hint of lemony citrus.

M: A bit under medium body with CO2 a touch over-balanced. A bit much carbonation actually, but it is crisp and quenching. Still, it is more substantial than the usual “lite” offering. Semi-sweet with just an edge of drying finish.

D: Pretty darn good for a “light” beer – far better than most. Good look, fair nose, a bit much sweetness, and rather too much carbonation. Significantly better than the average – “regular” non-light – macro swill. About the same calories though with less abv. Rated to “light” style, this is nice.

SickGnar, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of wedge
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright golden amber - foamy white head. Faint sweet malt aroma with a rich, toasty butterscotch note that I've never found in a light beer before. Solid flavor...nothing really sticks out but there's not a nasty or overly cheap taste to be found. Sweet with a grainy aftertaste. Solidly carbonated, better-than-light mouthfeel.

Real good for a light beer and no adjuncts either which is a huge plus. Suprisingly only 10-20 more calories than most of the others...not that I care.

wedge, Sep 19, 2006
Photo of spinrsx
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from CJ's Potsdam NY for 1.75$

Appearance - Clear amber/copper colour with a small size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, caramel/toffee, grass

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste light hops, malts, and caramel. There is also some grass and corn. It ends with a nice crisp aftertaste.

Overall - Probably the first 'light' beer I've ever had that didn't taste/look light. Really good stuff that I will buy again for sure.

spinrsx, Sep 14, 2012
Photo of rockdick
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just as it was meant to be, just a lighter version of SA Boston Lager. The smell is crisp and malty. Taste is slightly sweet, yet 'light'. Its a little bit weaker and easier to drink. I get a six pack every now and then meaning its a little above average.

rockdick, Jul 26, 2004
Photo of mactrail
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tastes more like diluted Sam Adams Lager than a lighter brewed version. Color is suprisingly orange-- more like a double IPA. Usual head and carbonation. Not very bitter at all. More of a club soda twang. Slightest hint of caramel, but doesn't have that insipid taste of most light beers. So something gives it a faint edge. Maybe hop by-products.

I suppose this ought to be rated fairly well for standing out in this dismal category. Quite drinkable, but I would never go out of my way to drink another one unless it was in a back yard ice chest with a load of Corona.

mactrail, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of thecarster1
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a pint, 3/4 inch off white head, golden brown clear coloring, decent amount of carbonation, minimal lacing.

s- very mild, malt, little sweetness.

t- mild once again, slight hop finish (which shocked me for a light beer), mostly malt, very decent.

m- has a little bit of body to it, good amount of carbonation, goes down very easily.

d- this beer was a pleasant surprise, this may be my new go to light beer, very drinkable, it's lightyears away from the usual adjunct light beers.

thecarster1, Jun 23, 2009
Sam Adams Light from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
75 out of 100 based on 2,026 ratings.