Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Sankaty Light | Cisco Brewers Inc.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
91 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Sankaty LightSankaty Light

Brewed by:
Cisco Brewers Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Light Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 3.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 06-21-2005

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 91 | Ratings: 276
Photo of fostwal
3.51/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a really good light beer. The color is light, but not as light as a Bud. Just more amber than golden. There is not much of a scent to it. What really counts is the taste, which is very good. And the fair amount of carbonation makes the beer feel tight and refreshing. The combination makes this beer very drinkable.

 323 characters

Photo of Bendurgin
3.51/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Pale yellow with lots of visible carbonation and a nice creamy inch of white head and some soapy lace.

Light grainy aroma with a little bit of lemon in the background and little bit of grassy hops. Similar to the aroma this has a nice grainy flavor to start and a little bit of bitter hops to finish. It's actually pretty tasty.

The body is nice and light with good carbonation. I can't help to compare this to the big boys. Yes, this is a light lager but there's a heck of a lot more flavor to it. Not a world class beer, but one I'm sure I'll enjoy around campfires in the summer.

 610 characters

Photo of KYGunner
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

All things are relative and this light lager pours with nice body, significant aroma and great taste...for a light lager. The body is clean pale straw with a sizable bright white head. The aroma is lemony with nice cereal malts and a Pilsner like scent. The taste is crisp, light and lemony with tea leaf malts, cereal grains and an almost wheat like body. This is a hugely sessionable lager with significant personality and very well done....for a light lager.

 461 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a pint glass.

A: Dull straw golden color with a very mild chill haze, Rocky white head settles quickly. Lacing is sticky and leaves webs on the glass.

S: Faint sweetish grainy scent. Straw. Very clean. Lemony hops, very floral.

T: Lemony hops, tangerine, grassy, slightly herbal and spicy. Dry, grainy malt base. Very clean. Bitter, hoppy finish.

M: Very light. Watery with a bit of a creamy texture. Stiff, seltzery carbonation.

O: Very simple and straightforward, just a clean, hoppy session lager. A no-frills 'just drink it' sort of beer. A nice lawnmower beer, and there's nothing wrong with that.

 630 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden-yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and grass aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and grass flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp but somewhat thin mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is refreshing and tasty for what it is.

 532 characters

Photo of Greenlabel
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've seen this product in Cape Cod stores before but never purchased it as I thought it would be just another "Light" beer. I should have realized that the brand name referred to an actual lighthouse rather than a tasteless low-calorie product. So I decided to give it a try and purchased a 6-pack in Harwich for a rather pricey $11. No dating on the bottles but noticed they were contract brewed in Ipswich.

Very drinkable and much tastier than an ordinary "Light" product. Nothing special about the smell and very little lacing appearance-wise. Somewhat lacking in body - no offensive aftertaste. Better than a macro lager but nothing of note to enable it to stand out.

In summary, I'd be willing to buy the brand again but not at an $11 price tag when a brand like Prima Pils can be purchased at a lower price. The romance associated with a connection to the glamour of the Nantucket name doesn't automatically command a higher price unless the product is a superior one.

 976 characters

Photo of BradMacMullin
3.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great summer beer - nothing special, but hits the spot when it is a lazy summer day and you're on the beach. Or sitting in your basement crying. Whatever this situation

 170 characters

Photo of tone77
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to woodychandler for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts and grains. Taste is crisp, malts, a touch of hops, more flavor than just about any light lagers. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a cut above for this style.

 289 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

With a whole lott'a flavor for a "light" lager, The Cisco brewers link up that light and low-cal body with a a lavish pilsner-esque taste with savory impressions of sweetness, elegance and savory flavor without the much of its associated weight. How'd they do that?

With the pour of the beer bringing about richer tones than is expected from light lager, its goldenrod appearance is laced with a tightly woven haze that scatters light and allows the beer to glow inside the glass. As I hear the bubbles pop, I fear the worst but the beer retains solidly enough to offer islands of retention with impressive decoration of lace with every sip.

Its delicately floral bouquet opens with the scent of honey, orange blossom, fresh baking bread, toasted grain and a light savory note with a sun-kissed flare. A background of apple, pear and something of near-orange is off-citrus but playfully acidic to the nose. A slim sulfur note crispens the scent as the taste draws close.

Mostly malty, yet partly grainy, the beer's early sweetness inherently links up with the husken taste of whole grain bread and that elegant bread crust savory flavor. Its supportive honey sweetness unveils a bready-sweet character that's similar to angel-food cake before the hoppy spices settle in its middle palate. That growing spice of straw and grass turns bitter and dryly resinous as the sweetness fades and its refreshing bite concludes its quick taste.

With that heightened character and complexity for its style, Sankaty Light Lager shrugs all that off when it comes to its middle where the taste dries considerably and that slight sulfur character offers a crispness to highlight a mineral-rich finish. With just enough dry malt lingering on, it hides much of the beer's would-be astringency and bite. Only a minty-cool evaporation feel extends from alcohol and makes this ale one hell of a refreshing choice!

Sankaty is in most actuality a Vienna Lager but in the shell of a light lager. As a Vienna-style beer, the ale sorely misses its mark in body and hops. But as a unique American light lager, it's marketing might just be ingenious.

 2,126 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours pale gold with a bubbly white head that disappears. No true lacing but the head reduces to a skim.

Light malt and bready aromas. Ok.

Biscuits here. Plain and simple. Light toasted malt, light bitterness, some raw dough and biscuit in the flavor. Light bitter in the finish. A little too light.

Lighter bodied, but appropriate.

Thinner in flavor, but watery. Flavors continue throughout the drinking process. It is ok, and very different from others in the style. Pizza beer, maybe grilling beer, but that is about it. Not bad, but why go here? Buy a single, not a 4 pack/6-pack.

 588 characters

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.47/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can into a pint glass.

A: It pours a clear light yellow color with a finger of white head.

S: Light citrus, pale grainy malts, and some grassiness.

T: Grass, light citrus, and cereal malts.

M: It has a very light body with strong carbonation.

O: This tastes okay and is very easy to drink.

 300 characters

Photo of Holderness
3.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L -- Pale and bubbly. No head to speak of
S -- Orange, musk, hops... and a hint of urine
T -- Fruity with a lightly hopped finish
F -- Dry and light, but not watery
O -- Quite refreshing as a lunchtime beer on a hot day

 219 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on May 29, 2011. It has a straw yellow pour with a bit of a fizzy, white head that settles down in typical light lager fashion. Lots of sweet malts, corn, and grain on the nose. The body is better than many lights. The taste has this vague bitterness with a weird mixture of sweetness and grains. A decent enough light lager.

 333 characters

Photo of rorykanderson
3.44/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid light beer that drinks best cold on a hot day. Like most light lagers the biggest flavors are cereal, corn, bread and water. Always the water. Doesn't bring anything new to the table but does the light beer thing right. When you're in the mood for a few cans of light lager you can't go wrong with this.

 309 characters

Photo of Taybeh
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

from a single into a pokal: not bad with a particularly nice substantial feel to it given the low abv, that is also quite refreshing. The nose has some zesty but nondescript citrus, some grainy notes, and is promising...the taste starts out nice but then the back end has something a little off and almost metallic.

 317 characters

Photo of bjohnson
3.41/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bought this as a single, due to the previous review. It pours an off golden color, a little cloudy. small to no head consistent with lighter beers. It smelled like a domstic light beer to me, but after sampling, it had more taste and mouthfeel that I thought. The drinkability of this beer is ok. Has a very faint taste, a bit fruity, with a tad of a bitter afterataste. I'm not a huge fan of the "lighter" beers, so this beer was just ok to medicore. As the previous reviewer stated, it does taste a bit towards the Sam light spectrum.

 536 characters

Photo of Davidstan
3.39/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I swear this tastes like some Belgian Ale offshoot. For a low cal low ABV it is delishous for sure. Very citrusy and thin but expected for a light beer. No weird aftertaste, finish is crisp. Overall a good light lager that blows away the BMC crowd but only negative is very expensive. 12 Pak cans 16.99 at Total Wine.

 317 characters

Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy yellow in color and poured with a thin white head that faded away and left a bit of lacing in the center of the glass. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are faint aromas of bready malts and citrusy hops in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of grainy malts and hints of sweetness; it finishes with a mild amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit watery on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to quaff because it isn't very filling and has a low amount of alcohol.

 564 characters

Photo of Duhast500
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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

The color is a clear yellow gold with two fingers of foamy white and some slight lacing left on the glass.

The smell is earthy with a slight fruit aroma that comes out here and there. There is a light wheat aroma in nose that does meld well with the some citrus notes found in the back that is sweet and inviting.

The taste is fruity with berry flavor that light with a slight strawberry flavor checking in towards the end. There is a light malt flavor that seems to spread throughout this beer and gets into every aspect of the flavor. There is a dryness that is present here through most of this beer that helps some of the light citrus flavor that is present way in the back.

This beer has a light feel that goes easy and has a nice crisp feel to it. There is a really great drinkable feel that is pretty smooth and makes for a great hot weather beer.

 923 characters

Photo of rdacey
3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: corn-like sweetness, slight grain, clean yeast characteristics, little to no diacetyl, no hop aroma or esters

Appearance: Thin, white, lasting head, great clarity, golden color

Flavor: Slight spicy hop flavor, malts are grainy, slight diacetyl slickness on the back on the tongue. Tastes slightly watery, could benefit from increased carbonation.

Mouthfeel: Thin, slight diacetyl slickness on the tongue, finish is slightly dry although the carbonation is lacking for the style.

Overall: Aroma and appearance are appropriate to style, but the flavor was slightly watery and could have benefited from a more dextrinious wort

 634 characters

Photo of lwillitz
3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12-oz bottle into pilsner glass

A - fairly clear straw yellow body under 3 fingers of white foam, high visible carbonation

S - honey sweetness and grain

T - honey-sweetened grain; light lemony fruitiness, grassy hops

M - light body, high carbonation, very refreshing

O - wouldn't buy again, but not bad for a light

 319 characters

Photo of Jayli
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at Logan Airport Cisco Brew Pub 2/20
Beer was served a darker hazy straw color, with a filmy white head. Decent head retention and a slight bit of lacing. There wasn't much to the nose other yeast - perhaps some slight hops but I really had to look for it. Taste is definitely heavy on the yeast. There was a biscuity flavoring to the beer though on the finish you could pick up some hops. Light on the tongue, decent carbonation. It goes down easily, though I felt this beer fell a little flat.

 499 characters

Photo of morebeergood
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap the the Corner Tavern in Boston. Served in a sharp looking glass, looked to be more than a pint. Thin white head. Slight peppery smell. Overall nice flavor, not very hoppy, but with enough malt to satisfy. I found it to a bit thin, but since it's a Light beer, I would assume such. Very low abv made this brew extremely easy to drink. Could easily be a nice session beer. One of the better "light" beers I've had in a while.

 431 characters

Photo of beersnoop
3.32/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I give an average rating to this one, but I see where they're going with it. I likes it better as I got to the bottom of the glass, in fact. Still, though, the only thing light about the beer is the feel, which is fine, but the flavor is quite strong and maybe too bitter for such a light feel. Strong taste of salt air and steamed clams, and I'm actually not just saying that because it's brewed in Nantucket. It really tastes that way. Probably would be delicious with steamers, but I don't have any to hand.

 510 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a golden orange color, creamy white head.

S: Spicy aroma with some citrus.

T: Spicy hops, saaz, with some lemon hints. Faint caramel, bread, hoppiness and drinks like a lager/pils hybrid. Finishes very clean and crisp.

M: Starts out thin and a little watery for mouthful and body.

D: Very smooth drinkability and nice flavor. Would make a good lawnmower beer though flavor is nothing outstanding it still good for what it is.

 442 characters

Sankaty Light from Cisco Brewers Inc.
3.49 out of 5 based on 276 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!