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Sam Adams Light - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Sam Adams LightSam Adams Light

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,813 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1813
Reviews: 814
rAvg: 3.27
pDev: 18.35%

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)
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Ratings: 1,813 | Reviews: 814 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of RonaldTheriot


3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sam Adams Light has a mostly thin, white head and a clear, amber appearance, with some streaming bubbles and little lacing. The aroma presents a whiff of honey, water, and bread. Taste is of Roman Meal brand bread, light cracker, and a dash of hop bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and Sam Adams Light finishes crisp, refreshing, easy drinking, and dull. This is no better than Milwaukee’s Best Light or Old Milwaukee Light, for a point of reference. Any company can take light beer and add caramel color to it. I think it’s average and not worth the elevated price.


Serving type: bottle

01-11-2012 21:45:52 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of kilustration


4.18/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into glass, rich bronze color for a light lager. Decent white head, doesnt last very long. Not very fizzy, which is a good sign.

Average to slightly above average smell.

One of the better tasting light beers around, malty.

Mouthfeel is fantastic. Smooth & goes down very easy.

I like this better than Boston Lager. Would buy again no question.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2012 02:26:46 | More by kilustration
Photo of RossPeterson


4.22/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A lighter amber color, capped nicely with a white two-finger head.

S: Caramel, malts and grains. Nothing super bold or standing out.

T: A hint of sweet caramel with malts and grains. A very pleasant, bold flavor for a light beer.

M: Crisp and refreshing, very drinkable but not lacking any flavor. Carbonated with a tiny bitterness. Not as watery as any other light beer.

Overall: Rating this solely as a light beer, this beer is the best in its class. Great beer and a decent beer compared to any other ale or lager.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 05:18:43 | More by RossPeterson
Photo of jondeelee


3.93/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Light opens with a yeasty malt aroma, smelling of sourdough bread and French baguettes, as well as wet wheat stalks and Grape Nuts Cereal. A few fruit esters, mainly apricot and orange, drift up through the bread-like aromas, as well as just a hint of hops and brown sugar. For a light beer, the aromas are surprisingly potent and delicious, and more resemble something I'd expect from a full-calorie brew.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a malt grain hit, full of toasted bread crusts, Grape Nuts cereal, and hay straw, with a hint of toasted nut providing a bit of earthiness. These flavors occupy the majority of the flavor profile, but are joined by slight touches of apricot and berry. Hops mainly provide a slight citrus counter. The aftertaste is more of the malt flavors--really just a continuation of the main mouthful--and fades with medium quickness. Mouthfeel is a watery medium-light, and carbonation is medium-high, biting at the tongue and soft palate.

Overall, and keeping in mind that this is a light beer, it's surprisingly good. It certainly wouldn't keep up with, say, a Dogfish Head, but it wasn't intended to. Sam Adams set out to provide the world with a flavorful light beer, and they did succeed; it's certainly in the top five of the light beers I've tried, and is leagues beyond any Anheuser-Busch light beer. This is not to say that the beer is without its flaws, for it does move too far in the direction of bread and grain flavors, and could use a bit more fruit and sugar (which, yes, would probably add calories) to help soften the flavor profile. But for a light beer, it's delicious: exactly the sort of fare I'd want with lunch after working outside on a hot day.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 20:47:00 | More by jondeelee
Photo of MDDMD


3.03/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-medium amber color with a light white head which dissipates quickly

S-mild malt notes

T-a little roasted malt and mild bitter flavors

F-light to medium body and moderate carbonation

O-a good light beer, but overall not one I would normally drink

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2011 02:07:56 | More by MDDMD
Photo of Shinypoptart


2.15/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I've always heard good things about Sam Adams Light. A lot of people say that its one of the best options in the realm of "Light Lagers". I completely disagree. From what other Sam Adams beers that I have had, their Octoberfest and Latitude 48, I have been pretty impressed. But I found Sam Adams Light quite disheartening. While their was a discernibly more malty taste to it as compared to other light lagers, it was not a pleasant maltiness. The taste comes off as a glass of tonic water with a little bit of "quality beer" poured in to top it off. While you can taste that Sam Adams used good ingredients in this offering, it just doesn't transfer to a good experience. When it comes to light lagers I would much rather have a generic BMC.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 07:35:46 | More by Shinypoptart
Photo of JohnnyChicago


3.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a SA Perfect Pint glass.

A: Pours amber with a wispy cap of white head.

S: Smells like weak Boston Lager...which I suppose is appropriate. Mild caramel-sweet malts with a dash of earthy hops.

T: Slightly watered-down flavour, but not as bad as I though. That familiar Boston Lager flavour is there and its hop presence is pretty nice and crisp.

D: Well, isn't drinkability the whole point of this style? So yes, its drinkable for what it is, but I can't say I'm craving another one.

Overall: Its tough to rate this beer. It isn't that great, but for the STYLE its downright superb! I have to give it a middling rating, but it was actually better than I expected and has to be one of the best light beers I've had yet.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 18:02:31 | More by JohnnyChicago
Photo of BeerKangaroo


2.48/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Into a pilsener:

A: clear amber body, fizzy white head forms but dies down very quickly, no lacing

S: slight fruity flavors, light bread/caramel/nutty

T: subdued sweetness, not much there

M: light, sessionable, bland dry aftertaste and finish

O: does the trick for what its worth - it fits the style, and at a decent price

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 20:31:49 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of morimech


3.6/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 20:31:23 | More by morimech
Photo of boilermakerbrew


3.93/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very light amber or deep gold. Not your traditional light lager look. 2 finger frothy head that dissipates quickly with a little lacing. Smells like a normal light lager with more complexity. Some clove in there, and no hops to be found.

Light, but fairly complex taste. Can definitely tell there are some adjuncts there, but definitely more higher quality ingredients. A little bit of the clove in there. No hops bittereness, and a light crisp finish with no aftertaste. Like and easy to drink.

Overall, I wondered why my dad raved about this growing up, and I can see why. He mainly drank Natural Light at the time, and this is a big upgrade and a solid beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 23:50:03 | More by boilermakerbrew
Photo of cbutova


2.73/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Clear amber ale poured into pint glass. A fizzy white head forms to a decent size but dies down very quickly. Eventually no foam at all and no lace either.

S- Not much, like a light lager indeed. A bit of bread and sweet caramel malt. Faint nutty.

T- Somewhat different from the aroma with a bit of fruity flavors, almost an apple juice sweetness feel. Light bread, caramel and nutty hints. No hops that I can detect.

MF- Light body with high carbonation, seltzer-esque feel. Slight bitterness.

Really not bad for a light beer but still nothing I would regularly buy.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2011 06:18:23 | More by cbutova
Photo of UncleAddie


3.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For a light beer, this one is pretty dark. I'm not a dark beer drinker but love Sam Adams beers so had to give this one a try. If I'm looking for a light beer but don't want to sacrifice too much taste I will go for this one. Smooth feel, great taste, has typical Sam Adas flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 23:07:07 | More by UncleAddie
Photo of Lauthaha


3.53/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug.

Appearance: Beer pours a mostly clear amber/copper color with light carbonation. Head appears rich and frothy, but fades away in a few minutes to a marginally impressive foam on the surface.

Smell: A light wheat-like essence accompanied by slight sweetness in the malt. A little citrus in there, maybe.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Definitely very light on the palate, medium to high carbonation. The beer really gets going if you swish it around. Almost like a soft-bodied wheat beer. Very malty, which is probably the best quality. Aftertaste is very tinny or aluminum-tinted.

Overall: It came in a sampler pack...2 bottles of 6 varieties. Glad I got this one out of the way, it just leaves me longing for the OG Samuel Adams Lager (or better yet, Samuel Adams Ale).

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 02:51:04 | More by Lauthaha
Photo of kshankar

District of Columbia

3.6/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty solid beer, not just by light beer standards, but overall.

Appearance is amber with a frothy, foamy head. Recedes to a thin film that stays all the way down.

Aroma is malty, grainy..which follows in the general taste. Good body and mouthfeel for a light beer..not as bland and one dimensional as one might expect, but it's still easy to tell it's a light beer.

I'd have it again.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2011 06:31:03 | More by kshankar
Photo of MrDonQuixote


2.93/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a wine glass:

A- Very dark for a light beer. Amber color with a white head

S- Extremely malty smell, with that typical Boston hops smell that all Sam Adams beers seem to have

T- One of the better tasting light beers, but that being said, the flavor is still very muted. Very malty with a taste similar to white bread.

M- Pretty watery with a bit too much carbonation

O- Pretty good for a light beer, although give me a Boston Lager over this any day of the week

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2011 04:11:33 | More by MrDonQuixote
Photo of lstokes


3.58/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2011 23:55:07 | More by lstokes
Photo of bobhits


2.03/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer makes note that there isn't any lingering bitterness, I'm already upset.

Pours a nice amber color, a good bit darker than any diet beer, and even a bit more than most lighter summer beers. Head and lacing are after thoughts.

Caramel, toast, and a hint of bitterness make for an inviting nose even the description, but a bit bland by any other standards.

This is like really watered down amber in the malt profile, but the hops given off just enough bitterness though I can't even being to describe them as they don't impart much flavor. I assume this is rather fresh because once the bitterness fades even a hair this beer is going from rather drinkable to being just water.

This beer delivers what it claims to. Not a singing endorsement and for a company that says "this is no light beer" and who admits that calories aren't light, well I'm not going to rush out to buy more.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2011 03:00:49 | More by bobhits
Photo of anglagard1


3.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm reviewing this partially with the idea in mind that this is a light beer. I say partially, because it is at the high end calorie-wise of this catagory.

This is a nice looking light beer. The aroma is light but pleasant, like honeydew melons and apples. Taste follows, but doesn't have a lot to add. Mouthfeel drops off from the Boston Lager. I remember this as being the most flavorful light beer I had ever tasted, but it has been a long time since light beer has passed these lips. I find myself taking huge gulps of it just to taste anything at all. I give it extra points for being a light beer, which probably means I'm giving it a better review than the full flavored Sam Adams. But as it has the same calories as a Guinness Draft, I'll stick with the Guinness.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2011 01:55:29 | More by anglagard1
Photo of WoodBrew


3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Light Lager isnt bad....not preferred...but not bad. The color is a nice amber with thin white head that isnt leaving alot of lace. The smell is caramel malt with sublte spice and grain undertones. The taste is primarily malt with some hop at the end that helps the beer clear the pallet instead of lingering. The mouthfeel is fine, nice and smooth....very drinkable. Definitely can session this one without issue.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2011 23:23:30 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of SickGnar


3.6/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 19:26:56 | More by SickGnar
Photo of BucannonXC5


3.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Color was honey or light copper with about ¼-inch of head. Light lacing on the top. Some film on the sides that stayed throughout the beer.

Similar to Sam Adams Boston Lager, but not as strong of aromas. Main smells were lemon zest, malts, hops and a tad bit of bread/grains.

Initial taste was bready and grainy. More bland than anything. Second/aftertaste was mild hops, but still a bit bland. Definitely not your typical light beer (Bud Light, Coors Light, etc.).

Average to mild carbonation. Still a bit bland and it got a little boring. I went back and forth here between a 3.0 and a 3.5, but went with my initial reaction - 3.0.

You know if Sam Adams is going to do a light beer, it was going to be good and this didn’t disappoint. I would call it a WNBA’s Sam Adams Boston Lager.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 06:11:36 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of kojevergas


2.08/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

33cl brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an imperial pint glass in high altitude Denver, CO. Reviewed live.

A: Five finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and good retention - though it's only four percent. Clear yellow-copper colour.

Sm: Lemon-lime citrus ester hops and slightly off barley. Not really appealing. Aroma is mild in strength.

T: Very light lemon esters, light weak barley as a foundation, and a nasty faux-cream climax. Best described as abysmal. It isn't even ruined by its simplicity, just by its flavour. Badly built and rather imbalanced.

Mf: Smooth and wet - overly so on both counts. Not at all complementary of the style or the flavours of the body.

Dr: You could easily down it if only you could get past the wretched "flavours". A huge disappointment from Sam Adams.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 04:10:19 | More by kojevergas
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.65/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear honey orange color with a 1 inch fizzy off-white head that fades to an oily film. Small legs of lace drip back into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of toasted grains, malt, and some honey notes. Taste is of toasted grains, bready malt, slight honey, and some mild citrus zest. Very little bitterness on the palate after each sip. A good level of carbonation makes for a crisp and fizzy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good light beer - probably the best light beer I have ever had really.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2011 02:10:53 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of MadCat

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fortunately for Sam Adams, light does not mean light on flavor.

Appearance: A nice light amber color, a few shades lighter than the Boston Lager. Pours with a decent white head that dissipates quickly, leaving some lacing.

Smell: Light malts, toasted grain, and some refreshing hops

Taste: Again, lighter on the malt than Boston Lager, has some toasted grains, as well as a hop presence, though the hops are lighter than Boston Lager as well.

Mouthfeel: Light body, full carbonation, smooth mouthfeel

Overall: Impressive for a light beer. Refreshing, very summer appropriate, and a good way to try and get the standard light beer drinker into craft. I wouldn't turn one down, though I wouldn't seek it out either. Only got this due to it being included in the Summer Sampler 12 pack.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 22:21:37 | More by MadCat
Photo of MattyG85


3.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Golden amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Big three finger off white head with very good retention and lacing.

Smell: Aroma of bready malts with caramel and biscuit. Very light hint of hops and lemon. Smells more like a full malty lager than a typical light beer.

Taste: Lots of bready malts with caramel and cereal like grains. Hint of lemon and a faint hint of hop bitterness. Very malty and fairly tasty for a light beer.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with a moderate carbonation. Fairly full for a light beer. Crisp and smooth.

Overall: A pretty good take on a light lager that is fuller than some regular lagers.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 02:19:34 | More by MattyG85
Sam Adams Light from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
75 out of 100 based on 1,813 ratings.