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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 Scooter77
3.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Alright, I had to try it…only because it was mixed in the Winter Sampler pack and if I threw it out it would be alcohol abuse. I was surprised, it was actually a decent light beer, much better that any other light American beer that I’ve had. Pours a light copper color topped off with a 1/2-inch white head that slowly fades away leaving a thin lace on the glass. The aroma had a moderate amount of toasted malt and hops with just a slight sweetness of caramel. The taste is very similar to the aroma. Even though, I’m not much of a light beer drinker, I will definitely keep this one in mind.

Scooter77, Apr 09, 2003
Photo of Shiloh
4.2/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very impressive light lager. Nothing ordinary here at all. The colour is a nice medium amber and the nose is crisp and clean. The head is limited, showing little to no lace at all. The body is medium/light.
The taste is fairly well balanced leaning slightly towards the hops, the finish seems dry. Lively carbonation added to this expierience.
Believe this to be the best light that I have ever tasted.

Shiloh, Mar 27, 2003
Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the Sam Adams Classic Winter Pack.

Pours a copper color with a thin, patchy head that keeps very well, does not look like any light beer I've come across, appears dark in color for a light beer. As the bottle states - two row malt and cascading hops, these seem to be very well balanced, the taste of malt, grain and a bit chalky is followed by just a bit of a watery taste, clearly the best light beer I've sampled, probably a good marketing tactic for future converts!

GeoffRizzo, Mar 20, 2003
Photo of LarryKemp
2.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a clear golden with a fair head that lasted for some time. It may be said that it is better than the macro beers, but I don't know for sure if that is true. The aroma was mild at best. The taste and mouthfeel were equally non memorable. I bought this to eat with a salad and red beans and rice. It completmented the meal without taking the lead. I guess that is what I wanted from this beer.

LarryKemp, Mar 08, 2003
Photo of freed
3/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My wife first had this in Logan Airport when the lady in the mini-pub realized the only thing flowing from the taps was normal Boston Lager and that cherry thing. The Light was better than the cherry, and my wife liked that it was a decent beer given its light name.

Since then we've had it around the house a number of times, and not one to turn down beer, I've had a couple. As an individual beer, its nothing too special, but in the class of light lagers, its pretty good. Its got some hop and malt aroma, some hop and malt flavor, and you feel more like you've been drinking beer than drinking water, which is more than I can say for most American Light Lagers.

There's not really any advantage to pouring it from the bottle to a glass, but I secretly enjoy drinking from the bottle now and then. Better to do it with a beer that won't blossom when poured into the appropriate glass.

freed, Feb 17, 2003
Photo of LiquidBreadMan
2.03/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I don't know if the generally good quality of Boston Beer duped me on this one. . . Or if it was the exceptionally juvenile ad campaign of their newest offering. But for weeks, I'd inquired with every liquor store in town about Sam Adams Light only to end up buying the Boston Lager or Stock Ale. After my first (and only) prized six-pack of the low-cal "sweet nectar", I can only express disappointment.

Admittedly, I guzzled the first one, right from the bottle. After that, I gave it a fair test in a pilsner glass. The appearance, a pleasant amber, is the only reedeming quality about this brew -- and even that is not an award winner in my book. The head was average in my experience.

Aromatically, this beer smelled stale, with a faint aroma of corn and hops. The taste was much the same. Mouthfeel was slightly on the dry side, which could have been my pucker.

Honestly, I'm concerned that this beer became overheated in the delivery truck. I'm a longtime fan of Boston Beer and this is the most disappointed I've ever been with them.

LiquidBreadMan, Feb 11, 2003
Photo of Bcant
2.33/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours with decient head which goes down in seconds. It is amber in color but lacks richness. Faint smell of hopps followed by a watery taste that is common to American lagers that are produced in mass quantity. The finish is the worst part of the beer, intruducing flavors that I am conviced are derived from rice or corn insead of malts and hopps.

Bcant, Feb 03, 2003
Photo of garymuchow
3.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Rather pleasing hoppy aroma, especially for a light, with a light malt backing. Amber. Clear. Medium fizzy head with left fairly quickly. Light overall taste,as would be expected, but some nice hop characteristics, with malt backing, again. Short finish, but not unpleasant. Fairly thin, but some fullness from the amount of carbonation. Certainly better that any light I've ever had. Has a sweetwater smell and taste of NA's, yet not too much. Could maybe even settle for this if I had too.

garymuchow, Feb 02, 2003
Photo of Reidrover
2.4/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

AS my wife had been chiding me about my small beer belly, I decided on a course of exersice and trying some Light beer.
I had tried the other lites before much to my disgust they were horrid..so after hearing some goodish reviews on Sam Adams light I decided to try some.
I must say it poured and looked better in a glass than any other Light I had seen, Smell was weak but acceptable, but I am afraid i was not impressed by the taste at all..better than Bud Light maybe but still very watery ...it was aklso very carbonated.
WEll luckilly I am aallowed one "proper" beer a week..I suppose this stuff is slightly better than most lights so looks like I will be sticking to this.

Reidrover, Feb 01, 2003
Photo of cretemixer
3.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish gold with an average head that fades rather quickly to a "cling ring". Floral hop aroma stands out. Decent hop bite and surprisingly well balanced. Probably the best light beer I've tried so far. Doesn't taste as watered down as all of the other offerings out there. Better than average for a light, but go for the extra calories, you really aren't saving that much.

cretemixer, Jan 26, 2003
Photo of putnam
3.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Surprisingly dark amber color with a soft, cottony head that stretches into fine lace with some irregularities. The nose is unusual. There is a suggestion of toasty, caramelized malts, but they come across weakly in combination with elements of overripe, lemons. On the palate it is indeed light, finishing within seconds, leaving a pleasant, clear aftertaste of brown bread and water. I find no flaw with this beer in terms of how it was executed. Stylistically, it seems to strain to pull all of the flavor elements together. Can rich, Anglo beer flavor work in a light format? Probably never as well as northern European Pilsner.

putnam, Jan 24, 2003
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
Sam Adams Light from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
75 out of 100 based on 2,026 ratings.