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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.

1,990 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,990
Reviews: 816
rAvg: 3.26
pDev: 18.4%
Wants: 26
Gots: 95 | 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: 1,990 | Reviews: 816 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gusler
3.05/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

As I always rant and rave about not drinking anything with “Light or Ice” in the name, I must swallow my words, as I purchased a Samuel Adams Sampler and this beer is in it, so I’m going to eat a little crow.

The pour a typical limpid golden amber color, the head masterful in size and frothy in texture, with the left over lace a nice clinging sheet. Nose is all malt, crisp, clean and fresh, quite pleasant overall. Start is lightly sweet with plenty of malt, the top skeletal, the finish is biting in its acidity, the hops apropos to the style, very dry aftertaste, drinkable and something for the day’s this summer when it is 115 degrees outside.

Gusler, Jan 17, 2003
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 WilliamPhilaPa
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright, clear amber color with solid carbonation, small white lace. On the nose the aroma is fairly clean, slight grain. On the palate the flavors are all mild, light grain notes, slight sweetness, slight fizzy mouthfeel, light caramel maybe, and soft hop citrus flavors as well. This is hands down the best light beer I have ever tasted, but I haven’t tasted many.

WilliamPhilaPa, Jan 17, 2003
Photo of kelticblood
2.25/5  rDev -31%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a head that dissapeared within seconds to nothing.The color is an orange-red.A mild hop aroma.With a weird smell of pond water or the smell the outside after it rains.A very crisp mouthfeel with a fizzy taste.A slight hop taste with a wheaty finish.A light bodied beer with very little malt texture.The taste is really bad overall.I really cant believe Sam Adams would lower themselves in putting out a "Light" beer that tastes as bad as this.It really lowered my perception of Sam Adams.

kelticblood, Jan 11, 2003
Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.83/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I normally avoid "Lite or light" anything in any beer. But this was included in the Winter sampler from Boston Brewing. I was not thrilled either to find it in there. Since when is light beer a Christmas Seasonal (Although my scale might think it should be.)

OK - enough complaining: The fact is this really surprised me. This beer didn't suck. It was the last thing left cold in the fridge. So rather than wait - I went ahead and tried it. This beer is a lighter beer for sure. And it may compare to a lot of other lights in color and nose and calories. But that is where is stops. Most light beers in the U.S. are watered down beers that also kill the flavor. Boston Beer Company has compensated for that by adding hops to this one. This is more like a lager in taste but has a watery mouthfeel that is characteristic of a light beer. If you are a beer fan and you like most of us have to count calories periodically - this is a good compromise beer. I would burst into flame the minute I drank a Bud or Miller Lite.

AtrumAnimus, Jan 02, 2003
Photo of Jarod
3.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured into the glass a clear golden/amber color. To be honest, the color surprised me, it was darker then I thought it would be, like Coors light, Miller light, etc. No head except for a small skin on the top, white in color. Again surprised when I saw lace left behind. The aroma was light with some grains and hops (floral). The taste was also light. It had hints of sweet malt, grains and hops at the end. A well carbonated creamy beer in the middle and dry and crisp at the end. For this type of beer, I say “good job”

Jarod, Dec 30, 2002
Photo of SixpointJMH
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a very hard beer to rate. would i prefer just about any other BBC brew to SA light? yes. is this 10 times better than any other light beer i've ever had? yes. that said, it's an excellent light beer as light beers go. there's actually a bit of flavour and colour here. very smooth going down. i'd like to see the boston ale (or better yet, bring back the scotch ale...one of the best sam's ever) back in the winter classics 12 pk instead of SA light, but i certainly won't mind having to drink this one.

SixpointJMH, Dec 27, 2002
Photo of TAMU99
3.18/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It's a Sam Adams, so it's above average. Though I'm not a huge SA fan, this is a good light beer. It retains the essential qualities of the SA Lager, same taste (mostly), feel, etc. It's light, golden and yes, better than a Big3 light beer.
If you like Sam Adams, save yourself the calories and try it. If you don't like SA, this won't win you over.

TAMU99, Dec 25, 2002
Photo of MaineBeerMan
3.68/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color of this beer was a clear clean very light amber, pretty much orange, with a small and fast fading head of white foam that stays as just a collar around the glass and didn't leave any lace to speak of.
For a light beer, the aroma was quite nice, a small whiff of sweet sort of caramel-ish malt and a bit of floral hops, not spectacular, but beats the cooked vegetable smell of the typical American light.
Taste was pretty good, almost like a watery version of Sam Adams lager. Sweet pale malt flavor is most notable, with just a touch of caramel thrown in, very mild hop bitterness leads to a nice dry finish.
Mouthfeel is very smooth, kind of creamy with a slightly above average carbonation.
For a "light" beer, this beer does a far better job than others in the category of actually tasting like I feel beer should. Not something I would drink a lot or seek out, (the sample was included in a Winter sampler 12 pack) but if you know someone who drinks light beer and would like to expand their palate, you couldn't go wrong showing them this beer.

MaineBeerMan, Dec 22, 2002
Photo of frank4sail
2.45/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Musty cardboard nose (oxidation). Light clear amber color with a slight white head. No detectable hop flavor and very little malt base. Slightly more mouth that other light beers. Overall not to usual SA standards. I expected some hop taste.. this was just watery.

frank4sail, Dec 06, 2002
Photo of stegmakk
2.38/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I had to try SA version of light beer.
At first sight this was a nice light copper color with very little head that went away quick. Looks alot better than other light beers.

Then I tasted it. Does not taste watery like other light beers, but does not taste like any other BBC beers. I caught a hint of floral and a little metallic flavors mixed in with the slightly sweet malty taste. It had a better mouthfeel than any other light beers, but it still was not enough to get over the taste.

Better than drinking watery light beers...but id rather take the extra calories and have a Boston Lager.

stegmakk, Dec 05, 2002
Photo of psugrad98
2.78/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Goldem amber with moderage head and fizziness. Crisp malteness highlights the first taste, with a slight dose of dry hoppiness to round out the brew. Not quite the beer I've expected. Sam Adams tried to keep the full figured Reinheitsgebot thing going but still keeping a lower cal beer. I think there are better lighter beers out there. And at 128 callories, this really isn't that light!

psugrad98, Dec 05, 2002
Photo of mjohn27603
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

OK, a tough one to call. Pours with a big head that dissipates quickly. A bit of malty smell which is an accomplishment for a lite beer. Slightly citrus and metallic taste with some malty flavor. Has some character compared to other lite beers. I give it slightly higher marks for being good in it's style. It is not a 3.5 beer vs. others out of this style. As they say lite beers are like making love in a canoe - f***ing close to water. The two from the Winter Classics variety pack will be it for me. This beer sort of marked a change in philosophy for Sammy and I don't like the way it is going.

mjohn27603, Dec 04, 2002
Photo of BeerBuilder
3.15/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a light copper color with a white head that quickly dissipates. The nose is of light caramel malt and floral hops. The taste is a caramel malt sweetness, with little hop flavor and bitterness. It is light in body and smooth. Overall it is a very drinkable beer. It is a very nice surprise in comparison to your typical Americal Light Lagers. If I were to choose an American Light Lager to drink, this would be the one.

BeerBuilder, Dec 04, 2002
Photo of Bierman9
3.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Holy Michelob, Batman! This isn't that bad! A striking, light-alcoholic drink! As a slightly-older than 26 year old male, I found it tastier than expected, with decent mouthfeel! Has a decent golden color, yet with a fine, thin white head. Nose is a bit mild, yet the Nobles are evident. Compares favorably, price-wise, to other lights.... and at 124 calories....wow! That's just a potato-chip or 2 from being ultra low! How'd a light get such decent taste? Using only 2-row malt and expensive Spalt Spalter Noble hops! But "Sammy" himself is missing from the label? Why? Sloped shoulders, perhaps? I miss him! I'll tell ya, if I get on the Sammy Light band-wagon, I'll be really "ripped"! Watch out, goddesses!!

overall: 3.55
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3


Bierman9, Dec 03, 2002
Photo of ADR
2.95/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Time to test the Sam Adams Winter Variety pack...

Decent clear amber color, 1/8 inch head settles to a skim in 25 seconds. Slight hop to the very reserved aroma. Watery flavor, malt is decent and slightly brown sugar but quickly fades from the flavor. The hops are nice and "English" pollen-like floral (not like macro extract cop-outs in quick and cheap impression). This beer has a good finish but its the mid mouth "pause" between malt and hop that just doesn't cut it or identify it as a good beer. I guess its the best "botique" Light I've had so far (Amstel, Saranac, Leinenkugel's Amber Light) but, ehhh...why?

ADR, Dec 03, 2002
Photo of Lupe
3.83/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This does not look like a light beer. It has color!!! Not another fizzy yellow lite beer!

Nice amber hue and a frothy off-white head. Decent lace is left behind on the glass. Soft grain and floral hop aromas. Light bodied with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, not bad at all for a light beer. Starts malty sweet, followed by a dry crispness with hints of carmel. Hops are not very prominent, lend to a citrus flavor, not very bitter but still helps to balance. Finishes slightly dry. Very easy to drink.

A light beer with flavor!! See it can be done. Definitely the best I have ever had in the style. Full of flavor for a lite, and even when compared to regular macros.

Lupe, Dec 02, 2002
Photo of manofmanners
4.38/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am not a big light beer guy. If i have a light beer it is Amstel. But behold, America answers the call. This is the first American light beer i can drink. It is amlost as goo as regular Samy's, but you can tell it is lighter. First it won't fill up as quickly. Second it is a little lighter in color. This is as close as America will come to a truely Europian light beer. Ladies also drink alot of it too, whwich is a big plus. This is a truely though a manly beer, just take of the light an you are good to go.

manofmanners, Nov 30, 2002
Photo of Amdahl
3.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark amber with a amble amount of head that goes dowm pretty fast, leaving no trace of head. There is also no noticable lace. The auroma contians no noticable smells. The taste is is very good for a light beer. I would have no trouble drinking a six pack of this beer but dont think i will be buying this beer again.

Amdahl, Nov 30, 2002
Photo of BeerBob
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sam Adams Light pours a copper amber from a 12oz brown glass bottle. The light tan head went to about one finger before collapse.

Nose is a pleasant toasted malt and palate is toasted malt with a light drying bitter hops, interestingly there is also a sweet barley malt note as well.

Not a bad brew this Sam Adams Light, I will have to keep this one in mind the next time I’m doing the lights.

BeerBob, Nov 25, 2002
Photo of inebrius
3.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A good beer for people that believe the hype. So it has more flavor than your typical American light, who cares? BBC didn't think they could join the market share scrum without a beer that had the word "light" in its name, but it all weighs the same to me. What decent beer is the next victim when the ad campaign does its job and production of light takes priority? Sam has replaced the old-timey knit shirt and vest for a dark-blue suit and red power tie. So long old friend.

inebrius, Nov 24, 2002
Photo of johnrobe
2.98/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is light amber in the glass, darker than any "light" beer I've ever seen, with a two finger off-white head that quickly disappears. Almost no smell at all. Malt flavor dominates, hops are muted but evident and there's a slightly metallic quality to the finish. Very smooth and easy to drink. Kudos to SA for producing an adjunct-free light beer, but as has been pointed out many times before, the caloric difference between "light" beers and regular versions of lighter styles is minimal so why bother.

johnrobe, Nov 22, 2002
Photo of francisweizen
3/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A pretty average lager by the BBC but great considering it is a light beer. This is right up there with yuengling lager light in my book. A highly carbonated light amber pour makes a nice head on the top of this brew. This smells pretty nicely like a boston lager, and some water:-) It also tastes like a watered down Boston Lager, but this is still a good beer, even if the mouthfeel is a bit on the light side. This is still a highly drinkable brew, and one of the best light beers that I have ever had.

francisweizen, Nov 22, 2002
Photo of Morris729
4.1/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber color with a thin white head. Very dark for a light beer. Aroma is sweet malts and grains with some floral notes. Very malty flavor, especially for a light beer, and is crisp and refreshing in the mouth. This is one of the best light beers I’ve had the pleasure to drink.

Morris729, Nov 22, 2002
Photo of Winter
3.45/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a clear copper color. Aroma consisted of malt, hops and a slight caramel scent. This light-bodied lager has a crisp, clean mouthfeel. Taste was somewhat biscuity or malty and the finish had a feint metallic hint to it. Overall not bad for a light beer. Prior to trying SA Light, Amstel Light was probably my favorite light beer and it still might be a toss-up between the two.

I really don't think it's fair to say this is only a "lighter" version of SA Boston Lager. After trying the two back to back, there is quite a difference between the flavor charcteristics of each. Light is obviously much more bland compared to the regular. But between Miller Lite and Coors Light, the better tasting Sam Adams Light definitely gets my vote.

Winter, Nov 20, 2002
Sam Adams Light from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
75 out of 100 based on 1,990 ratings.