Sam Adams Light | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

837 Reviews
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Sam Adams LightSam Adams Light

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Light Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2001

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Reviews: 837 | Ratings: 2,221
Photo of twi1609372
5/5  rDev +48.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just like the Boston lager, with a less prevalent taste, but the taste kicks in at the end. A good beer for when you don't want to get full. But still not as good as some of the other Sam Adams varieties. not bad if you just want a good beer but don't want to be filled up, or excessively drunk, still a better alternative than bud light.

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Photo of Alestorm4069
5/5  rDev +48.8%

Comparing this against light beers like coors light and Bud light, other Light beers. This stuff is way better. Decent flavor at a decent price. refreshing on a hot day

 168 characters

Photo of RushLimbmalt
5/5  rDev +48.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Judging this beer solely as a light lager... WOW! This would give a lot of "full" lagers a run for their money. It has a malty backbone and decent hop character. I have never had a light beer that I have liked, including the much loved Amstel. I am not a light beer drinker, but if I was this would be my beer.

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Photo of AtlasBrew
5/5  rDev +48.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm not going to run through the usual on this one. It's got a great copper color, nice aroma, and a wonderful smell. I think that has been determined already.

However, here is what I want to convey to all of my fellow beer brothers:

Take this for what it is and not for what it isn't. Here is a brewer (I say pioneer) that has defied conventional wisdom by creating a light, lawnmower beer for the beer snob and did it with out rice syrup solids! Koch and crew have created a "Light" beer that has a wonderful flavor, aroma, and color. I say BRAVO!

This beer deserves an A+ for all that it represents and not the catagory it resides in.


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Photo of ommegangpbr
5/5  rDev +48.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tastes like "real" beer. Best light lager I've ever had. The scores for this guy are entirely unfair given the style that this is in.
There's head, there's depth of color (a lovely amber color), you can actually find malt and hops in the taste and smell...
Very smooth, very rich (for a light lager, mind you...)
Can we all say "session brew"?
What the hell else could ask for in a light beer?

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Photo of arboristfish
5/5  rDev +48.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There arent to many beers that I would give a perfect score to but this is one of them. I wish this was a standard for an American Lager. I really enjoy the malt aroma from this beer. The color is gorgeous, a hint of yellow with light amber hue to it. There is a very nice malt and hop balance here. Light enough to make it drinkable and yet flavorful enough to keep you wanting more! Great beer!

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Photo of Kahalo
4.8/5  rDev +42.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a very clear bright yellow. The head Served as a bright golden colored beer with moderate white puffy head. The aroma was good balance of hops and malt, with the slightest touch of citrus note.

The flavor was excellent with a nice and well balanced complex blend of malt and hops. The mouthfeel was light with good carbonation. This is a very decent and enjoyable beer considering it is a form of a light beer and when I decide to stock some light beer for guests this would be it. Of course, I don't routinely drink light beers. All in all, this is a good beer to try.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Brad007
4.8/5  rDev +42.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a golden color with a very thin head. Aroma is one of malt and a bit of sweetness, much more than a typical light lager. Taste is much of the same except that it has a nice biscuity goodness to it. Goes down very smooth and tastes better than many other examples of the style that I have had.

No other light lager can come close to this one. This beer is perfection for the style as far as I'm concerned. Not many craft beer companies have even made light lagers. However, it's too bad that many macros cannot come close to matching a beer as good as this. It's not thin or watery, there are no adjuncts and it doesn't taste like a typical light lager. Could down a few of these on a warm day when I didn't feel like drinking heavier beers.

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Photo of ronjohn
4.7/5  rDev +39.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite light beer. Just the perfect amount of flavor and 'lightness' for a light beer. Pretty easy to drink a few of these and not get weighed down and still have room for a meal. I wish this beer was more readily available in bars and restaurants.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.62/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just got home from the bar where i sample various beers. I cleansed my pallet before each.
Sam Adam's light had a great smell for a light beer.
My first sip on my tongue and I said hmmm, not impressed ( I run over all of my taste buds). then when I went to swallow I was surprised (it hit the back ones). It tastes like regular sam adams but with less of a bite. A little more watery. But tthat slides for light beers.
However, I wouldn't suggest this beer, just go for sam Adams. The carbs and calories are still high, which makes drinking it pointless.
Overall this beer is excellent especialy for a light beer. I rated other beers that aren't as good as this higher. I thnk for what this is going for, I believe a vienna lager type beer, it could do a little bit better. But then again, it is a light beer.

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Photo of Dirtgoddess
4.6/5  rDev +36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I tried this beer on a lark, wanting a bottle of light beer as a 'cleansing ale' after a bomber of the stronger stuff for my thrice a week 'beer night.' I couldn't find the Amstel Light, and purchased one of these.

First of all, I'm not crazy about light beer - many are just glasses of water spoiled - when I see the young guys lugging cases of that stuff to the check stand, I assume they're the victims of slick advert campaigns.

However, this brew amazed me, and I think in the pantheon of light beers should rate far higher than it is here. This is LIGHT BEER folks, not regular, give it its due. It has a firm, almost nutty taste, no skunk and a smooth mouth feel. It pours a rich colour into the glass, rather like my beloved Yuengling, and frankly tastes like an old recipe lager. It is light in alcohol, only 4%, which makes it a great afternoon beer - its flavourful character will hold its own with anything from pasta to burgers.

 945 characters

Photo of scaliasux
4.57/5  rDev +36%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Appearance - Fairly dark, but clear gold. Much darker than most lights; actually looks like a beer. Moderate-sized creamy head with that doesn't immediately fade. A little lacing.

Smell - Mild grainy odor. Slightly sweet smelling, but nothing like the adjunct odors of most lights. Might be just a hint of floral hops. Smell is much more noticable than almost all light lagers I've smelled.

Taste - Nice malty change of pace from most light lagers. Sweet, but not adjuncty. Little bit of hops adds a bite of bitterness lacking in most macro lights. Dry and clean finish. Nothing overly complex, but definitely legitimate beer.

Mouthfeel - Quite light, watery even. Heavy-carbonation tang after every mouthfull. Pretty average.

Drinkability - Light, but not like you're used to - its light, but its got taste. I would take this stuff over any light lager I've sampled.

In my experience so far, Sam Adams Light is the king of light lagers. Why? (1) You can taste it, (2) it tastes good and (3) there are indications that this is indeed a beer, i.e. malt and hops not corn and rice. While it's probably best to man up and drink a real beer, if you gotta go light try this.

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Photo of DrainBamage
4.55/5  rDev +35.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a copper color with a nice lace of head. The smell has virtually no aromas of corn or rice, but rather malty aromas. The taste has a very caramel malt flavor to it with bitterness being minimal. Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp. This is hands down the best light lager I've ever had. It's gonna be pretty hard to beat this.

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Photo of Kestrel452
4.53/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an EXCELLENT beer to try if you're relatively new to beer. Don't let the name fool you, this isn't a "light" beer. It's simply a lighter version of Boston Lager. It's also nothing similar to the vast majority of "light beers". It's full of flavor, uses traditional ingredients (no adjuncts), and is a nice amber color. The only low point to this beer is the lack of head retention and less than desirable lacing; but with that we're talking trivial aesthetics that don't effect how it tastes or drinks.

This was the first "real" beer I tried, and it was love at first taste. Right down the middle balanced, yet you can clearly taste both the malty sweetness and hop bitterness. While the hop character is subtle, it's clearly present. The appearance of this beer is hard to beat. A clear amber hue with a few carbonation strands make for a dazzling display in any beer glass.

I can't praise this beer enough, or stress it's drinkability, especially for beginning drinkers. It's also a great beer to have if you're the driver for the night because of the somewhat modest ABV; all the characteristics of a great non-light beer but you can enjoy one of two more because it won't impair you as fast as most other "real" beers will. Happy Drinking!

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Photo of dcook11
4.53/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- a lighter version of the regular version. Amber with a medium carbonation. Nice two finger head. Nice look for a light beer, puts all bmc lights to shame.

S- Not bad at all. Again, a less intense version of the regular.

T- Very refreshing after a run or yard work. Great summer beer.

M- pleasent, light and easy going down.

D- Great session beer

Sure do wish all light beers were this good!

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Photo of mbenthall
4.5/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clean, clear amber with thin head.

Smell: malt and floral hops.

Taste: Light in body with malty sweetness, undertones of caramel, finishes with a slight hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean finishes dry.

Drinkability: I'm reviewing this as a light beer and as such it is the best I've ever had. Nice and refreshing. But if your main reason for drinking a light beer is calories, and not taste, take note of the 128 calorie count.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.5/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my pint glass and appears a very rich clear amber color with a finger of tight, eggshell colored foam. Smells of honey, nuts and toasted malt. Tastes of sweet, toasty, bready malted grains, with a touch of nutiness. Excellent body for a light beer with medium carbonation. A fantastic light lager. I could session this forever and a day. The absolute mother of all light beers. Highly recommended.

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Photo of JayNH
4.5/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a nice clear light copper color with a foamy head.

S- a pleasant sweet biscuity malt with a hint of spice.

T- Bready malt balanced with a mild hop note.

M- Smooth, perfect carbonation, solid body for this style.

D- Excellent! This "light" beer is in a class of it's own

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Photo of sliverX
4.48/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a nice clear light copper with a thin whisp of white for a head.
Smell is just light malt don't pick up any hops.
Taste malts a slight vegetable tinge of hops, compared to traditional light lager this blows them all away.
Mouthfeel is light but no where near water like. Well carbonated.
Drinkability is for the style amazing.

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Photo of semihobo
4.45/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Best by August 08. Pours with a light brown, clear body, and a large enough head that the whole beer can't fit in the pint glass on the first pour. Poor retention. Very lively bubbling.

Smells very clean, just a simple malt profile, the bottle says two-row. The smell is not "light," although it's not strong either. Slight grassy hops. No off notes or adjuncts.

Tastes like Sam Adams Boston Lager mixed 50/50 with water. First taste was disappointing after the smell. Not disappointing for a light beer, but because it smelled like a real beer. Weak, slightly sweet bread taste with low alpha hops, minimal bittering. No adjuncts.

Body also suffers. I would prefer higher carbonation to cover for a light, watery body, as is the norm for the style. Carbonation is smooth but dies mid-sip.

The light beer that sets the bar for others in the style. Light beer drinkers should also see New Belgium's Skinny Dip -- 110 calories and 4.2% alcohol, vs. Sam Adams Light at 124 calories and only 4.0% alcohol.

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Photo of HockeytownBrew
4.43/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Clean, clear amber color. If you poured this from a non-labeled bottle, you wouldn't know it was a light beer. Very impressive. Pretty good sized head that fades before too long, doesn't leave behind too much lacing.

S: Floral hops and slight caramel malts are present. Much more so than in other light beers.

T: For a light beer, amazing. Hops and malt with floral notes in the background. Much better than other light beers.

M: For a light beer, this is full bodied. Very impressive.

D: Drinkability is perfect. Very easy to drink a few.

If you're been searching for a light beer that you can actually taste, then Sam Adams Light is the way to go. Cheers!

 668 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.42/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: clear orange in color with a 1" head that creates some soft lacing.

Smell: malt sweentess is pleasant and easy to detect.

Taste: malt sweetness, green apples, and a hint of caramel are balanced with a mild but noticeable bitterness.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp throughout. Light in body. Aftertaste is almost clean.

Drinkability: this has to be the best light beer on the market today. It has a nice flavor and is easy to consume.

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Photo of NODAK
4.4/5  rDev +31%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Aroma is a bit of husk, grain and perhaps some citrus. Kind of a mix...but not bad.

Taste is pretty good and full for a light lager. Carbonation is pretty ample. Initial taste is of slight lemony citrus...there's a good hop crispness on the finish that follows that. There's also a nice grainy sweetness after the finish that rounds out the beer. Pretty clean and refreshing. For a light beer, this is about as good as it'll get.

Awesome session beer, in my opinion. It's a light beer, but it isn't watery and has good flavor, and that's about all you can ask for.

 566 characters

Photo of LightEnthusiast
4.4/5  rDev +31%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased one bottle on a whim to see what the fuss was about. A few years back I tried a Sam Adams something or other (I can't remember, I was playing a show and it was handed to me) and I had to choke it down. It must have been a strong dark lager.

I purchased ONE of these just in case I hated it. That way I wouldn't be spending the whole $8 on a 6'er like I did with the horrendous Bud Light Golden Wheat (read my review).

I'm glad I purchased it. I had no beer opener so I had a little trouble trying to get it open (metal spoon, counter top, prying with metal objects) but once I did I noticed the foam was nice and thick (this was very different from the other light beers I had been trying). I couldn't smell much through the foam but I let it die off in the sink for about 30 seconds and took my first sip.

At first taste it was absolutely clear this was a stand-out from all of the other "light" so-called beers. This was thick, full, hearty - and the mouthfeel wasn't cheap or overly carbonated. The flavor was not artificial - this beer took time to brew. Wonderful honey and fruity tomato notes tagged at the end. My initial reaction was eye-popping "now THAT'S a beer." I was ecstatic.

Because I tasted it before I smelled it, I took a whif after the initial taste. The smell is not overwhelmingly original, but the scents do not clash and though it doesn't really reflect how the beer tastes, I have definitely smelled worse. If I had to describe it, I would say it is very robust, thick, and hearty. I'm getting some very strong wheat, barley and straw right out front with a note of sasparilla trailing right behind. Very very faint hint of vanilla creme and caramel. Floral notes are in the background, overshadowed by the straw and barley. I can't quite tell what they are.

The mouth-feel is incredible. Smooth, thick, full, floating. Its thickness is thick without being thick. Swishes to the back of your palette effortlessly and leaves a smooth finish all the way down. The finish disappears near-perfectly at the right time before the bitter sets in, like a good house guest that knows when to leave. No harsh notes, very mild bitterness. Smooth, smooth, smooth.

Drinkability is superb in the way that it drinks like a beer and not like a soda. Not as easy or as light as, persay, many light "carbonated beers" that go right down the hatch quickly and leave you craving for more (they have their place); but on the contrary you will have more time to enjoy this beer properly because it doesn't doesn't finish as quickly as the others and is likened more to hot chocolate than skim chocolate milk.

Incredibly smooth. Full of flavor, mildly sweet, very low bitterness. Absolutely impeccable. This is what a light lager should be.

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Photo of manofmanners
4.36/5  rDev +29.8%
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.

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Sam Adams Light from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.36 out of 5 based on 2,221 ratings.
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