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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.

2,059 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,059
Reviews: 820
rAvg: 3.26
pDev: 18.71%
Wants: 29
Gots: 116 | 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: 2,059 | Reviews: 820 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of adam42381
3.9/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Remember that this is a light beer, because otherwise, it tastes just ok. It's still better than any other American macro full-bodied.

Color is about what you would expect from a full flavor macro.

Smell is decent, not great.

Mouthfeel is not too heavy.

Extremely high drinkability due to it being a great tasting light beer. Good choice for a light beer overall.

adam42381, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A light yellow color with light brown undertones. Head was small, but visible.
Didn't smell much of anything, but I was at a smokey bar.
Taste had bits of dill, malt and lemon. Not too bad for a light beer. Clean finish, dry and smooth
Very drinkable if you want to drink a lot.

Mebuzzard, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of casualbeerman
3.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was really eager to try this beer. Not because I'm desperate for a light beer that tastes good, but because I thought it might stand up well on its own. You see, for those of you who can't believe this is a light beer, I know the explanation. It's not really that light. Whereas say an Amstel Light is about 95 calories per 12oz serving, Sam Light is 120 calories for 12oz. Now if you're one of the people who still thinks this is a lame watered down version of the flagship Sam Adams Boston Lager, you're right too. Its made with the same two row barley and the same German Noble aroma hops as the origional, yet somehow serves up I think 30 less calories per 12oz (I'm guessing on that one, but I think regular Sam is 150 calories a bottle). So if you think Sam Adams Light is a typically lame light beer, it is because you are a person who likes beer that's heavy on the taste and probably think most beers lighter than the regular Boston Lager are weak. If your normal beer is oh say Heineken or Becks or something even weaker, you will think Sam Adams Light tastes just like a real beer. If you drink heavier, stronger stuff you'll think something is missing. Oh wait I'm supposed to give my opinion too aren't I?

Appearance- The color was ok. Still a pretty dark tan, the head is definately weaker than normal Sam Adams though.

Smell- Smells like a decent beer. Like a normal Sam Adams, but weaker. Shocked aren't you?

Taste- I was definately disappointed. I thought a slightly lighter more drinkable Sam Adams might be worthwhile not just as a light beer, but as a regular beer. Maybe it would be but this beer is a badly done version of that. Whatever procceess they used removed some of the good depth of regular Sam, and left a slightly wierd aftertaste too. Mind you, this wasn't a bad beer. It'd be a good option over some non-light lagers of lower quality (MGD for example), but it is NOT a serious option where really good beer is available. Especially not at the premium price.

Mouthfeel- Lighter than regular Sam, actually heavier than many Macro style lagers. Pretty near to what I usually drink actually.

Drinkability-Disappointing. I can definately think of heavier, higher calorie beers that are more drinkable and thirst quenching than this. Saranac
"Smooth" (Dunkel) Lager for just one example. I mean I could definately drink several of these in a sitting, but there are a lot of beers I rate higher in this category.

Conclusion- Ok, its not a bad beer, I didn't hate it. But I'm not really that concerned about beer as a source of calories anyway. I don't drink enough where it really matters, and like I already said this isn't very low in calories for a light beer anyway. And while it tastes ok, there are a lot of beers I'd rather drink (regular Sam included), so its probably going to be a while before I have another of these. I mean if someone just handed me one I'd drink it and be glad, but I could say that of an MGD as well.

casualbeerman, Jan 03, 2006
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.05/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

"Best Light Beer"
-2005 DarkerTheBetter Beer Awards

This beer pours an orange copper color with a slight tan creamy head. Smells of oat malt, honey, lime and banana. Tastes like… Is this a light beer? Wow! …Oat and barley malt with a nice nip of hops, smooth burnt caramel and a buttery, sour citrus finish. The mouth feel is medium-light with lots of carbonation. I seriously have trouble believing that this is a “light” beer.

DarkerTheBetter, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of daliandragon
3/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wow, I'm almost impressed that Sam's thinks enough of it's light lager to include it in the Winter Mixed 12 pack. I haven't given light beer any serious concern for several years. Post college I downed the Amstels, until I trealized that a lack of flavor wasn't much better than bad flavor and a few calories isn't worth missing out on the good stuff for. My brother, a maven of light beers, ranks this second best behind Beck's (but he also highly rates their regular offering, which I don't, really.
This beer has a light brown/orange color and light cap of ivory head, just like its more burley counterpart namesake. The nose is more direct with hops predominant but adjuncts raise their head as well.
Drinking this beer directly after a standard Boston Lager is revealing, as you can see right where they took that beer and removed some calories and taste. The caramel malt flavor is watered down and the hoppy bite is largely nonexistant. Overall is feels thinner and less substantial in the mouth. Also, I dislike carbonation generally but this brew could step it up a bit, its crispness factor is minimal and shows few signs of life from lips to gullet...it just kind of flows anonymously.
An interesting experiment but not really too enlightening. It hasn't raised my opinion of light beers too much. I can drink it without hating myself but I still wouldn't choose it over regular Sam's or any other half decent beer.

daliandragon, Dec 25, 2005
Photo of alankwak
2.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear and golden. Hideous head retention and lacing, all gone in 20 seconds. Lame. Forced carbonation.
S: Decent Saaz hop aroma.
T: Touch of bitter apples. Not too bad but damn....head just vanished and no lacing.
M: Fairly light. OK here...just OK. Not bad but...proof commercials are propaganda.
D: I could throw down a few but damn...it was"supposed" to win "German beer contests"(no light beer category)...I doubt it....very much(lies).
Overall...don't waste your money..buy MGD Light if you want a nice light lager with a decent taste, aroma and mouthfeel. Why do they go on TV with commercials about this being a "new era" light beer when it's lame???? "Years of testing"...my ass. I guess they think John Q. Public is an idiot. Are we???

alankwak, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of GuinnessHero
3.95/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I didn't expect anything good out of this beer seeing as it is a Light beer. However, I am horribly confused right now as this is amazing for a Light!

Got a bottle of this from Smokey's Beer and Tobacco in Guatier, MS.

Appearance - Deep golden yellow, more gold than yellow I would say.

Smell - Excellent. Hops fill the air with a pleasant aroma.

Taste - Very simple, but good. Almost has a German taste to it. Carbonation and a slight bitterness tingle in my pallet.

Mouthfeel - Typical, nothing offensive here.

Drinkability - This is where it stands out. This tastes so good that I would take it over any other light beer I want. I could easily down this, and will probably do so next gathering I'm at.

GuinnessHero, Dec 02, 2005
Photo of MSchae1017
3.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This was tasted from a bottle in a pilsener glass.

The key thing to remember here is that this is a light beer so one must take it for what it is. It pours out a slightly golden color with hints of brown. A decent head can be created but it does not hold to well. The smell however might be the best part of the beer. There is a good smell of hops and sweetness that is quite refreshing. The taste however is not as full as the smell. It is a little watery but you do get the taste of hops that far surpasses other light beers. It feels a little watery in your mouth and it could use a little more carbonation. Overall it is a very drinkable beer. I would much rather take this on a hot summer day over any other light beer

MSchae1017, Nov 29, 2005
Photo of walleye
3.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

was at a friends house for dinner they are not beer drinkers per say (they like light beers) so I was surprised when he asked if I wanted a sam adams. brings it out and it was a light, didnt want to offend him, I took the bottle poured into my glass, had to do a double take, this can’t be light I thought to myself color is all wrong but the bottle don’t lie.( piston Fans). poured a light brown with biege head. aroma caramel, hops, malts a hint of floral. flavor it did have some not alot got malts and hops with a touch of caramel. for a light this was pretty good

walleye, Nov 27, 2005
Photo of ElGordo
3/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Recommended by my brother, the homebrewer and fan of somewhat decent beer. I must disagree. Pours a golden/amber hue with almost no head. Nose is nice and hints of good things to come - some roasted light malt and a touch of hops. Flavor is that of a very weak McMicro amber ale. A thin body holds a palate of some subtle roasted malt, just the beginning of a floral hop profile, and not much else. I'll say this - you could drink it all day long. If faced with a choice between this and Bud Light, Sam Adams is the winner. Otherwise, I wouldn't seek it out.

ElGordo, Nov 24, 2005
Photo of danielharper
2.45/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Purchased from Target in Jones Valley, Huntsville, AL.

Okay, first of all, this isn't really a light beer. It's got just about as many calories as Budweiser or Miller High Life, about twice as many as Bud Light or Miller Lite, so if you're looking to cut calories, this isn't the beer for you. (I would say that if you're looking to cut calories you should just drink less, but that's another issue.)

All right, this one pours quite nicely into my pint glass. It has a transparent reddish-yellow body (much lighter in color than regular SABL) and a fairly impressive thick white head to top it off. The head dissipates down to a thin foam after just a moment, but sticks around for a little while. Overall a pretty decent presentation.

Aroma is more bland than the regular Boston Lager. Some hops definitely present in the nose, and I do get a bit of the caramel and malty aromas, but overall it just seems like a "weaker" version of the other beer. Not sure I could reliably differentiate the two in a blind "nose" test, however, based purely on aroma. Gotta give it at least some props for being reasonably decent.

Taste... where the hell did the malty, hoppy goodness of regular Sam Adams go? Deep down, there's a touch of malt and some hops on the finish, but other than that this tastes like... Bud Light. A vaguely astringent watery mess that goes down easy if you're just trying to pound it down, but with no complexity or lasting pleasant flavors to make it worth your while.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery. None of the luxurious coating that you get with Sam Adams' other beers. I know it's Light, but it's boring and useless.

Overall, I can't see recommending this to anyone looking for good beer. It's probably the best Light Beer ever, but considering the calories it's not even really a Light Beer. This might be a crossover beer, though, for those who can't handle even the moderate flavors of a Sam Adams -- keep 'em around for Bud Light drinkers you're trying to convert slowly to good stuff.

Disappointing. I expected better from Sam Adams.

danielharper, Nov 20, 2005
Photo of farHillsBrewer
2.5/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Looks like a beer.
Tastes likea lite.
I don't know why lite exists.
There is a place for this beer.
Perhaps a step up for drinkers of other lites.
Give one to a budmillercours lite drinker, just to show there is a difference.
There is a momentary flash of flavor, but it is gone quickly and doesn't leave much behind.
Considering the lack of satisfaction, I felt bloated.

farHillsBrewer, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of mmmbeer
2.9/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. with purchase by Nov. notched on the side. Pours a clear amber with a fizzy 1 finger head. Smells of caramel/toasted malts, metal, and a touch of hops. On the palate it's molasses, caramel, other darker malts, and some citric hops with a thin to medium body. The blurb on the back says they spent 2 years and made 23 recipes to get the final version. Maybe mine was a bad bottle but I don't think they got it quite right as it seemed a bit off.

mmmbeer, Nov 08, 2005
Photo of nortmand
2.73/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Never a Sam Adams light, ehhh....

Pours very light amber below a wimpy white head.

Sweetgrass scent. Not much else.

Pretty flavorless. A little sweetness throughout. Ends with a very faint bitterness.

Okay, so some say it's really not a bad beer. I say it's not good either. It has a bit more flavor and color than your typical AMerican macro, but not much. Corporate beer, and that's all she wrote.

nortmand, Nov 08, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
3.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It makes for a nice light lager, unless you interpret light beer as being much less in calories...it really isn't, so this beer should have good flavors, albeit on the light flavored side. A clean and crisp aroma brings out light malt and bread sweetness without being grainy or vegital. Looks a bit over carbonated, but with a nice light straw color and crystal clear. Little lacing and head retention, but nothing to brag about. Flavors, again, are clean and crisp with light malt sweetness and mild bread-like flavors. Yeastiness comes through a bit. Body is short of light, but pleasant with a mild creaminess and bit too much fizz. Finishes very crisp with a little residual malty sweetness. Never bitter or bite-ey. A good beer to chase a slice of pizza down.

BEERchitect, Nov 01, 2005
Photo of KarlHungus
2.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sam Adams Light, with three fewer letters than the regular Samuel Adams. This brew pours an amazing clear golden-amber color. Not amazing in that it appears to be a huge overpowering brew, but amazing for the style it is. The head is small and white, but lingers around forever, leaving nice lacing. The aroma is matly with hints of caramel. It is very aromatic for a light lager. The taste is kind of a let down. It is still better than every other light lager I have had, but still too light for my likings. The mouthfeel is a light bodied with ample carbonation. Overall, this is a damr good light beer, but a mediocre beer in general. Still, hats off to the folks at BBC for pioneering a decent tasting light beer.

KarlHungus, Oct 26, 2005
Photo of tomthumbsblues
3.2/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is an amber color with an off-white foamy head. Plenty of carbonation in this beer. Aroma of light malt. Taste has a good malt character, but is a little watery, as might be expected. Mouthfeel is light, but not as bad as most other beers. I'd have to say this is probably the best light beer, but then again, I can't say for sure since I don't usually drink light beer.

tomthumbsblues, Oct 25, 2005
Photo of mentor
3.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle was one of many provided to me for volunteering for the 2005 GABF. Thanks much. Drink before Feb 2006. Pours a half finger dirty white head over a crystal clear light rust liquid. Looks good. Smells very mild. Malt sweet is caramel and biscuity and I get no hops. Taste is thin light malty with anice hop floral that rises in the aftertaste. Honey-like, which I think of as Hallertauer. Malts are gently swet and a hint of caramel Mild, but sharp carbonation on my taste buds. Light body, but overall this beer is well done for the style.

mentor, Oct 23, 2005
Photo of dnrobert24
3.53/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rated on BA as the best "light" beer, I can see why. Unlike the majority of Sam Adams beers that take premium beer styles and tone them down to appeal to the masses, Sam Adams takes a beer style that appeals to the masses and makes it premium. High props to Sam Adams for making such a good "light" beer.

I consumed this a few hours after playing some basketball. With it, I ate a some "premium" nuts (what else to go with a premium light beer?), i.e. macadamias, hazelnuts, pecans, brazil nuts, and almonds. The beer is dark for a "light" beer--almost on the coppery side of golden. Aroma reminded me of keg parties that serve cheap beer, meaning it smelled slightly corny--just like any other light beer. No hops were discernable in the taste or smell, but there was a nice malt flavor with a tiny bit of caramel. It went well with the nuts and made for a nice post-exercise snack. Very drinkable--It was gone before I knew it.

dnrobert24, Oct 13, 2005
Photo of cubedbee
3.98/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I always avoid light beers, horrible flavor and not worth wasting my money, would rather drink water, but I heard good things about this one so I gave it a try. Right out of the bottle I know this is something special--doesn't look at all like the pale fizzy yellow drinks the other people at the bar are drinking---this is a nice caramel orange with a finger of foamy white head, and some good lacing evident right away. Nose was faint, a grainy malt with a subtle spicy hoppiness. Taste is a very nice clean malt, slight caramel flavor, and a crisp hop finish. Very nice, very assertive flavor for a light beer, better tasting than most macros, let alone lights. Mouthfeel is obviously a little thin, but there's a nice carbonation level and this is a crisp refreshing beer. Sam Adams really does it again, making an amazing light beer. The bottle label says "tastes unlike any light beer" and that couldn't be more true. I'll be looking for this in the future in lieus of BMC crap.

cubedbee, Oct 13, 2005
Photo of immunoboy
2.15/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The color made me wonder if this really was a light beer, but the nose lacked in depth. My eyes fooled my tastebuds, because at first sip, I was surprised at the watered down quality of the beer. As light beers go, it IS the best I have tasted. However, I unfortunately do not quite enjoy this class of beer.

immunoboy, Oct 12, 2005
Photo of burnstar
3.2/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice gold color with a fizzy white head that dissipates quickly. Smell is mostly sweet malt with also a few hops in the background. Taste is very light and sweet with some spicy hops in the finish. Mouthfeel is a little watery but hey, this is a light beer after all. Very easily to drink. Probably the best light beer I've had, and I like it better than a lot of the normal macros.

burnstar, Oct 12, 2005
Photo of whynot44
3.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light bodied, naturally, light amber color with a decent white head that hangs around and even leaves a bit of lace.

Aroma is also light with mostly sweet malt and a bit of citrusy hops.

Taste is mainly malt with a bit of hops at the finish. Not as good as it's big brother, Sam Adams Boston Lager, but possibly the best light beer around and better than some "regular" lagers. If you have to have "light" beer, this should be first choice.

whynot44, Oct 10, 2005
Photo of jmz62565
3.18/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Nice dark amber color with a full head and nice lacing.By looking at this you wouldn't think this was a light.The smell is pretty strong,full of a hop spice aroma.This looks better than it tastes,but it is a light beer,and may be the best american light beer.I don't drink light beers,but if I did I would reach for this.This is the tops for a light.

jmz62565, Oct 08, 2005
Photo of ski271
4.18/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Medium orange-bronze with a medium-large, foamy, off-white head that quickly diminished to a thick film. Some light lacing.

Smell: Bready malts, light caramel, light herbs and pine. Very pleasant.

Taste: Rather doughy & rich with flavors of sweet malts and a hint of tobacco with a slightly bitter finish that’s pretty long for a light beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, lightly chewy texture, soft carbonation

Drinkability: Probably the most impressive mass-produced, bottled light beer I’ve had. Very good body for a light beer. Refreshing, with enough character to keep a more seasoned palate happy.

ski271, Sep 07, 2005
Sam Adams Light from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
75 out of 100 based on 2,059 ratings.