Sankaty Light | Cisco Brewers Inc.

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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

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Reviews: 91 | Ratings: 277
Photo of biegaman
3.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sankaty Light Lager is named after an historic lighthouse located on Nantucket island, the home of Cisco Brewing, although the beer itself is brewed in Utica, New York. As though that were not ironic enough, the beer named after a lighthouse has a dim tone and misty complexion. Its pale golden colour notwithstanding, this thing couldn't aid navigation any more than it could attract a moth.

But of course I jest, as that was not the brewer's aim. The idea here was a beer that could satisfy the appetite without doing much damage to the waistline (or liver, for that matter). Going by smell you'd never know this was only 3.6% alcohol and 128 calories. The aroma has enough cereal graininess to feed an entire daycare breakfast. It smells biscuity and bready, and has a mist of floral hop accenting. It's simple but lovely.

The taste, somewhat surprisingly, provides one more curtain call for hoppiness; faint, rose-like florals and a trace of grapefruit or citrus arise. They provide a light perfumed contrast to the prominent grainy notes. Those flavours are sweet and agreeable, like fresh bread (and a curious touch of vanilla). Despite this soft maltiness, however, a carbonation with the prickle of a cactus makes for a finish that is hard and dry.

The beer doesn't suffer when brewed with cheap, poor quality ingredients - it's the person drinking it that suffers. The converse is true too. And in this case, wholesome and good quality ingredients have made for a happy, satisfied drinker. It's also made for a beer that disappears rapidly. Sankaty Light does exactly what it was intended to: gives the palate plenty of flavour without giving the belly too much bloat.

Sankaty Light is a light beer that would make Coors Light cringe (not Coors Light drinkers, mind you, I bet they'd prefer it). It offers big flavour in a low-calorie serving and a level of quality that you simply can't find in macro, commercial brands. It is a reminder that lower alcohol beers are still real beers nonetheless; they have maltiness and bitterness just like any others. Good on Cisco for sticking up for the little guys!

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a lightly hazy straw yellow in color with some very light hints of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall white head that reduces to a thin film and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate lacing is observed.

S: A very mild overall aroma for this beer. Light aromas of bready malts and just a hint of grassy & citrusy hops.

T: Flavors of grainy and bready malts with a very light amount of sweetness. There is aslo a light bitterness contributed from the grassy and citrusy hops. Overall, the beer is very well balanced.

M: Light bodied with moderate to high amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery.

O: Very refreshing, very easy to drink, and very enjoyable... The low ABV makes this beer very sessionable and the lighter flavor and mouthfeel make this a great summer beer.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a standard pint. This one was a gusher; glass was 98% foam, 2% beer. Four inch bright white, volcanic head that formed lots of jagged peaks and crags as the eruption slowly subsided. Lots of sticky lacing on this one. Brew is a translucent golden-yellow. Nose is clean and mild; only a faint wheat scent is detectable. Taste is also clean; more light wheat with a nice well-rounded balance of citrus and hops with a slight bitterness at the finish. Mouthfeel was nicely balanced between body and carbonation when served in my pint; however, a pull straight from the bottle revealed way too much carbonation. Good drinkability; very flavorful and refreshing for a 3.8% abv.

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Photo of nukem5
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden color with nice clarity and some light lacing clinging to glass, very odd for a light beer.

S: Smells grainy and citrusy nice balance in aromas.

T: Grainy and crisp with slightly citrusy hopped feel in the finish.

M: Very odd again for a light beer to be so full of flavor and body it has a medium body to it and with a light swirl of the glass the foamy head comes back to life.

O: Very drinkable overall and sadly have never seen this in the Pittsburgh area and so thanks to Okey for bringing this one to my attention.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.62/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sankaty Light

Appearance- Light orange brown with a thick foamy head.
Smell- Huge malt, straw, and earthy hops. The aroma hit me immediately after popping the cap.
Taste- Light crisp straw like earthy hops with a sweet touch of malt.
Mouthfeel- Sweet up front and becoming drier and earthier in the end.

Overall- A very pleasent lager. A good, sitting at the bar during the summer, beer.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.62/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 Oz Bottle - Oct 7, 2007. Aroma is a gentle, light sudsy barley kernel and toasted almond. Subtle, soapy and with leaf. Pours a heavily opalescent pale gold, straw inflected, with rocky white head above. Flavor has three nice movements, first a bubbly fresh plain, clean malt, mingled with some Cascade hops and general resin and sugar. Then a faint whiff of bready yeast, doughy and creamy. Good middle body. Finishes off with a long, unexpected draw of hops, in good tones of Cascade and other west coasters. All around I was impressed by the body, drinkability and flavor of this beer. The hops are very enjoyable, the yeast character desirable and helping and the smack and body full and refreshing. Good stuff!

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.62/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden/yellow with a large amount of head but it drops quickly and leaves nothing. The nose contains hay and grass. A lot of freshly ground pale malt as well. Flavor is grainy malt almost like eating malt out of the bag. Finishes grassy with some subtle lemon. Bitterness is light but gets extremely dry after a while. Smooth drinking beer. Crisp and refreshing at first but it makes me want to keep drinking it to stop the dryness.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.64/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: pale golden hue with a hint of haze and a mild effervescence. Head is a thin layer of frothy white foam with little retention or lace. Not exciting, but OK.

Smell: nice sweet malt aroma with a light graininess and a hint of yeasty character. Aroma is awesome for such a low-ABV light beer. Quite good!

Taste: light malt flavor with a balanced graininess. Hop flavor is minimal but there is a hint of bitterness here. Not bad for a light beer.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a very good level of carbonation and a smooth, satisfying creaminess. I like it.

Overall: a good light lager. For a beer of this ABV, it's quite tasty and drinkable.

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Photo of Andrew041180
3.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured from the can into a pint glass. The beer is a pale golden with lively carbonation. The head overflowed the glass, which was surprising considering I wasn't really pouring that hard, and retained quite well. There is a small amount of lacing left on the glass.

S - Mostly grassy in nature, with a faint floral gesture.

T - Hints of a nice pilsner here. Grassy up front, with a hint of spice on the tip of the tongue. It slowly mellows into a calming bitterness.

M - Light-bodied for sure, which is to be expected. Still, there is a nice tingle on the tongue and a very refreshing finish.

O - Combine all of the above with a 3.7 ABV and I could easily drink a 12-pack over the course of a hot weekend. I wish I could, but the price tag is a little steep to allow for this on a regular basis. Very enjoyable, but since I normally limit myself to a beer a night, this one doesn't really fit into my regular rotation.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

somewhat hazed gold with a thick white head.
it's got a nice slightly fruity lemony herbal hop aroma, some breadiness, with some slightly grainy maltiness.
the taste has got a good amount of bitterness up front, with a lemongrass flavor in there. it ends up with a little yeasty twang, lending a faintly belgian quality, some grainy malts can be found towards the middle. very pleasant tasting for what it is.
it has an appropriately light medium body, with relatively active carbonation.
good drinkability, might be a little better in the summer months. not lager-like though.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clouded gold with no head. Nose is subdued citrus with a grain quality to it. There isn't much to the nose though. It is rather light. Flavor is a slight bit hoppy and a fair bit earthy. Overall kind of toned down from something that seems like it could be a whole lot more. Feel is standard stuff. Overall it is drinkable, sure. I wouldn't say it is overly interesting, and definitely not worth the price. Nice, but not worth walking more than seven feet out of your way for.

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Photo of illpass78
3.69/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. from the bottle. Poured a small amount in a plastic cup first.

Appearance: Very light straw with a soapy white head.

Aroma: Some citrus along with grain and faint grass.

Taste: Follows nose. Sort of a citrusy light lager. Refreshing. Pleasant. Mostly inoffensive.

Mouthfeel: Thin and easy, unsurprisingly.

Overall: Craft light lager is still weird, but this is a pleasant little number.

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Photo of grittybrews
3.69/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, pale gold with a finger of bright white head. Not much aroma, just some light grain.

Moderate carbonation and a light, crisp mouthfeel. Mild grainy sweetness followed by a touch of lemon with biscuit and grass on the tail end.

Clean and refreshing. Nice lager!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from a bottle at Eastern Standard in Boston:

A: Golden body. Average head of frothy white. Standard retention and lacing.

S: Grainy malt and mild grassy/leafy hops.

T: Straightforward malt, just a slight touch grainy/toasty. The hops appear more citrusy with a hint of lemon zest. Solid bitterness. Dry finish. Basic, but pleasant.

M: Medium bodied and gently crisp.

D: Easy to drink with some character. Accessible, but basic. A good BBQ beer, or for sporting events in the hot summer sun. An easy cross-over beer for friends who drink macros.

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Photo of Suds
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A cloudy golden-straw color with an agreeable, frothy head describes the appearance of this brew. There’s a rustic, malt and yeast smell that’s framed by a mild floral hoppiness. Also present is a faint citric, grapefruit aroma. In all, the smell’s pretty agreeable, it’s just a little faint. The taste is pretty sweet, with a nice malt foundation. Hops take over by the finish, though, which is solidly bitter and dry. Despite being a light-bodied brew, this one has a creamy texture to the mouthfeel. It doesn’t have the clean taste that I expected, given the style description, but it’s a very agreeable beer. Very nice flavor, and well balanced. I enjoyed it more than I expected that I would.

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Photo of alexskovan
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a pale cloudy gold with a small head that dropped quickly. Mild honey and malt aroma, with a hint of floral hops. Taste is light and lemony, hopped but not overly so. A very easy drinking beer, and a nice alternative to macro, if it's available.

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Photo of bigone4
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured a slight hazy yellowish straw color with a clean white head. A light lace was left down the pint glass. The inviting presentation gives way to an equally impressive taste. This beer smells floral with malt sweetness. There is a nice pale malt smell mixed with some fruit and citrus. You can certainly pick up the hop under tones. Good carbonation and mouth feel. Rather light but not watery it certainly has a good balance of flavors. Nice pale malt balanced out with the mild tone of hops. The hops leave a nice bitter tone in the back of my mouth. This is a smooth and very drinkable beer. No freshness date to be found on the bottle but it tasted perfect. This one is a very easy drinking session brew. I am glad I found this one and I am looking forward to enjoying more Cisco brewery products.

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Photo of erosier
3.78/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a light orange-yellow with a small and thin off-white colored head that leaves little lacing down the glass as it fades quickly.
S: Smells of sweet malts, a hint of hops, and that's about it. A very light smelling beer, about what I was expecting.
T: Tastes of sweet malts and a hint of earthy and citrus-y hops. Neither flavor is overwhelming which is nice since it's a light beer.
M: Light feeling, crisp, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, the flavors were not overwhelming and neither was the alcohol. The flavors mixed well and it was a decent light lager.

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Photo of Act25
3.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I'm going to rate this above many of the top raters here. Reason: It's packed with easy going flavor for a < 4% Abv, and it's a great example of pilsner. Blows away any mass light lager. Has a great nose for a lager. This brewer is good.

A: Very light straw pale body, like a pilsner, dotty lace.
S: Excellent - as good as any pilsner in memory: floral, honey, orange blossom, fresh baked bread, lemon. Neat, full, abundant for a light beer, great appetizer (in this case with champagne cheddar and pretzels).

T: Follows smell, just as rich. Sweet fruit (honey-lemon-pear) teams with baked bread, which then is dried by the long, lemony, grassy hops.

F: Mineral, dry, finish. Light, but not thin.

I wish this came in cans - contender for my summer go-to beer.

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Photo of smcolw
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Starts with a near white head which leaves some slippery lace. It settles to a single layer of bubbles. The liquid is light gold and nearly clear.

A blend of raw grain and light malted barley. Nearly no hop.

Tastes like the smell but with a good dose of bittering hop. More grainy than I like. The body is rich for the style--carbonation is low. One of the best light beers I've ever had, but it's still a light beer.

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Photo of DrJay
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at the Cisco brewpub at Logan airport.
I received a biker pour, so only ended up with a thin skim of whitish bubbles topping my pale gold beer. It had a bit of haze and the head left some fine, spotty lacing on the glass. It had a grainy, cereal flavour, fairly sweet, with mild bitterness and a hint of toasted malts. It was also slightly fruity and there was slight citrus to the flavour and aroma. The nose had a grassy, fruity quality with fresh grain character and hints of spice. Light bodied, but not thin, medium to high carbonation, off-dry, decent texture. This was decent for a light beer, much more flavour than you get from a typical BMC light beer. It may have helped that this tasted really fresh as well.

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Photo of msolar
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light amber, a bit clouded, and with a good head to it. Definitely had strong citrus undertones. I’m not a big fan of White beers but this seemed pretty balanced. It reminded me a lot of Harpoon’s UFO. This beer was nice – I’d buy it again but wouldn’t go hunting for it. I’ll try it as a ‘summer beer’ next time.

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Photo of Gavage
3.83/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a hazy golden yellow color with a 1/2" had that lingers a bit. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: hint of lemon zest is all you pick up by the nose.

Taste: light malt base with a hefty lemony flavor. Hints of mild bitterness round it out. Simple and a basic lite beer that has some flavor.

Mouthfeel: crisp and lightly dry throughout. Clean aftertaste. Light bodied beer.

Drinkability: very easy to suck this down as it is light and has a mellow lemony flavor. For a lite beer, this is much better than any macro lite beer you may try.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear pale gold, with a couple fingers of billowy bright-white head. This retains with a ¾ finger of robust froth, leaving back a good bit of creamy lacing that sticks in swathes to the sides of the glass. The aroma smells grassy, citric, and a touch spicy, with a rather supportive feeling sweet graininess underneath. The hops give this a nice airy crispness in the nose.

The taste mirrors the nose, with a moderate citric hop bite to it that is set against a backbone of sweet grains that thankfully isn’t coming off as overly grainy. The finish is dry, crisp, and spicy and the overall profile has a nice clean feel to it. The mouthfeel is lighter bodied, with a soft crispness that does have a bit of sharpness to it up front but then gets much more creamy feeling along the back. This is very easy drinking stuff.

This was a surprisingly flavorful and very quaffable Light Lager and seems like it would make a super sessionable selection for the spring and summer months. This beer was a great choice to put in cans.

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Photo of plaid75
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light copper hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a soft malt aroma complimented by a light flowery hop aroma.

The taste evidenced a solid pale malt body and slightly spicy and citric hop element.

The mouthfeel was clean and light. Good carbonation.

Overall a very drinkable blonde ale. Light and refreshing. An excellent summer beer.

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Sankaty Light from Cisco Brewers Inc.
3.49 out of 5 based on 277 ratings.
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