Sam Adams Light | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Sam Adams LightSam Adams Light
2,233 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,233 |  Reviews: 842
Photo of Fnord
3.21/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Very light amber with a medium white head and a lot of effervescence.

Smell - Not much there. A little hay, some alcohol.

Taste - Again, not much. A little cabbage and hay, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Thin and highly carbonated.

Notes - Eh, it's a light lager. For the style, it's better than average, though, so I have to give BBC some credit. I admit, I just finished washing my car in really muggy weather, and it's very refreshing. Then again, so would a glass of water, and that would have zero calories.

 545 characters

Photo of Thiestru
4/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into my Terrapin pint glass.

Appearance: Copper with a thick white head at first. No lacing. Some head retention.

Smell: Orange, metals, and some hops. Easily the best light beer I've ever smelled, but then I've encountered very few (intentionally).

Taste: Orange again, tasty malts, hop balance. Faint metallic background, which I expect from light beers. Very, very easily the most flavorful light beer I've ever had.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp, and refreshing.

Drinkability: High for a light beer. I'm surprised this is so enjoyable, but then, this is Sam Adams, and they have a certain level of quality they aspire to.


 661 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
3.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours coppery amber with a thick soapy head.

Aroma is initially sweet and vegetal, but has sour undertones. Really not very pleasant.

Taste is biscuity caramel malt up front, then it is overwhelmed by a metallic sourness. Finishes with a crisp hop bite and a residual powdery sweetness.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied.

There are an awful lot of crappy light lagers out there. By comparison this one is actually quite flavorful with a generous dose of hop bitterness. That said; the flavor doesn't hold a candle to their standard offering. If I wasn't grading to style the scores would be much lower.

 606 characters

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.68/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Good head at first that goes away immediately. More golden yellow and less brown and copper than Boston Lager. Still lots of active carbonation but almost no lacing. Still, an attractive light lager.

Smell: I honestly get very little here. Nice, pleasant maltiness but nothing else. Above average for the style.

Taste/Moutfeel: Not as complex as Boston Lager. It's kind of water, but hey, it's a light lager. More complex than light BMC products. Good malt flavoring that gives a dry aftertaste. Doesn't taste great but I still enjoy it.

Drinkability: There's a bitterness to Sam Adams Light that gets kind of skunked at the end. At least average in this category.

Overall: Probably my favorite light lager. Definitely more malted and hopped than larger commercial light beers.

 793 characters

Photo of aval89
3.28/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a copper color, lots of bubbles sticking to the walls of glass.. Very little head.. Very dark for this style haha.

Smelled very sweet upfront ... Grainy/malty aroma.. Hop presemse is very very faint... Bananas? Maybe?

Taste again is sweet malt upfront...finishes grainy with just a touch of hops.. Kind of bland for me..

Mouthfeel is very light.. Light carbonation in mouth..

Finishes easy with a sweet grainy aftertaste.. Didn't really pick up much on the hops..

Overall I've had this brew before and this time I wasn't impressed.. Very bland.. Before this beer actually stood out and was impressive for a light lager..

 632 characters

Photo of Stigs
3.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, served in a SA Perfect Pint glass

A - briefly held about a quarter inch of loose white foam before settling to a ring. clear, light amber colored beer.

S - clean light biscuity malts with some caramel sweetness. barely noticeable earthy hops, some mint and light berries.

T - light and slightly sweet malt, toasted grains, caramel, very mild bittering at the end. some metallic but not too off-putting. finishes clean with very little aftertaste.

M - nice medium body for a light lager, carbonation is lively yet contained. leaves mouth feeling just a bit prickly, goes down smooth.

D - exceptional for a light lager. has a nice look, some taste, and a great body. great beer for hot days or dieters. overal enjoyable.

 737 characters

Photo of Chizoad
2.8/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

5-6-10: Consumed directly from bottle. The sweetness I found offensive last time was not there. Bottle to bottle variation within a case? Doubtful. Significantly more refreshing than before.

5-5-10: Poured into a pilsner glass, not much head, but a nice clear amber color.

Smell is a standard malty lager, with a little bit of sweetness peeking through. Fairly impressive for a light beer.

Tastes far too sweet for my liking. If I could remove the sugary taste of it, I would enjoy it far more. In the past I don't remember as sweet a beer as the batch I have now.

The mouthfeel is a little dense for a light beer, and the sugary nature only makes it feel heavier.

I find this to be not that drinkable, far too heavy for a light beer, and far too sweet. After about 2/3 of the glass I've had enough. It's not that it tastes bad, but it doesn't make me come back for more. Perhaps it's just not refreshing enough, and that's what I'm looking for in a light lager.

 967 characters

Photo of jwinship83
3.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with a best by date of aug 2010 drank out of a standard american pint glass. part of the summer mixed 12 case.

A- this one pours out a pale copper colored body with a skin of eggshell colored head. small spots of lacing are left behind. lots of carbonation can be seen racing to the top.

S- grainy malts are the first thing i notice, along with a very mild metallic twang. a decently hoppy end to the nose on this one.

T- the taste also has that metallicness that i could smell. the grainy or cereal like malts come through strong also. the hoppy finish i could smell is almost nonexistent.

M- light bodied. crisp carbonation. refreshing.

D- meh, not the most exciting beer in the world but certainly not offensive. just sort of bland and reminiscent of a macro lager.

 787 characters

Photo of sophisticated
3.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice amber with minimal lace. Mild smell of sweet malts and mild hops. Similar to the regular Boston lager - well balanced in flavor but a watered down version. While yes, this is more flavorful than many other light beers, after having zero light beers for a very long time, it tastes weak in comparision. But the sweet/caramel malts are there, the crisp apple lager taste, some hops as well. If I had to choose amongst light beers I'd probably choose this one. But if I could choose any beer, I'd probably not choose light. Its worth the calories.

 558 characters

Photo of channelzero0
3.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear

S - Nothing really to report on smell

T - For a light beer it has an exceptional full taste

M - Just the right amount of carbonation

D - I could drink this all day

I can see myself drinking this at a BBQ in the summer heat.
If I drank more light beer I would choose this one.

 292 characters

Photo of mjw2808
3.61/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden color with about a one finger head that leaves a little trail. The aroma is malty with a lot of citrusy lemon flavor in it. Also pretty grainy with a hint of caramel. Cant smell any hops. The taste goes down smooth, its lemony at first with some malt in the back round and grain as its going down. Light yet flavorful. In all honesty I hate light beers, but this is without question the best light beer ive ever had. Its a truely enjoyable light beer, which is something I cant say for any other light beers. nice mouthfeel and drinkability.

 561 characters

Photo of rootbeerman
3.89/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into perfect pint

A: pour clear light brown to amber, with a almost nonexsitant head light brown soft-drink like head
S: smells like boston lagers little brother, same malt same hops just not a potent.
T: just like smell, its not as potent, not that boston lager is potent but its a lighter version of it. light malt light hop, but is not lacking in flavor.
M: agian light and a bit more crisp than boston lager.
D: easy, THE easiest to drink and best tasting light lager I have ever had.

 499 characters

Photo of thscc1659
3.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

A - Has a clear amber tone with small amount of head that dissipates pretty quickly

S - No real aroma, but has a slight malty hint

T - Has an incredibly full taste for a light beer, but no light beer can match up to any real beer.

M - Mostly taste carbonation

D - Well, it's a light beer so it doesn't take much to throw one back.

In no way does this match up with Sam Adams' other brews, but it is undoubtedly the most complex light beer I've ever tasted. Personally I wouldn't go with it on most occasions, but if you want something with taste that isn't too heavy this would be a solid choice.

 601 characters

Photo of RichieS2
3.9/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance - The brew pours a slight amber color substantially darker than any other "light" beer and very much akin to the standard Sam Adam's. There is a thin head that dissipates quickly. Moderate carbonation.

Smell - The malt is there to greet the palate that gives off a bread like smell. This is followed by some faint hop floral scent to go along.

Taste - Almost identical to a standard Sam Adams, that is to say quite good. The malts are there at first taste and only slightly weaker. Then the taste fades away quietly without much hops to finish it off. This is a definite negative when compared to Sam's other brews but on the other had for a light beer to have this kid of flavor to begin with is terrific.

Mouthfeel - On the watery side to be sure but still noticeably thicker than the likes of Miller or A&B in this category

Drinkability - As light beer it is a no-brainer that it goes down easy and has a lighter abv so it can be drank all night. In short this is quite possibly the best light beer ever made

 1,076 characters

Photo of gordavidson
3.8/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A clear golden color with numerous streams of rising carbonation and a thin but creamy looking white head. Pretty rich looking considering the ABV and style.

S- Caramel, light fruits such as apples, and a bit of citrusy hops. Pretty aromatic and enjoyable.

T- Slightly sweet caramel, toasted grains, a crisp hop presence, and a distinctive Sam Adams-ness. Pretty enjoyable.

M- Crisp, clean. Can't ask for anything more.

D- I can find nothing wrong with this. Would make an excellent session beer. It is not something I will be seeking out, but I would never turn one down.

 579 characters

Photo of pzrhsau
3.69/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very rich deep golden color coupled with a slightly weaker head that did not stick.
Smell: Very strong hops aroma coupled with some sweeter malt to smooth it out.
Taste: Very good bready malt flavor coupled with a great subtle hops flavor.
Drinkability and mouthfeel: A lot of this beer reminds me of the main lager of the brewery but just made to fit in the light beer category. Judged against other light beers, it stands up very well.

 449 characters

Photo of Rbald42
3.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this tonight for the first time. Not bad!

Appearance is a dark golden color, one finger head that dissipates to a ring around the rosie.
Smell is faint hops and light amber malts. Some grassy hop notes. Nothing special. Taste is of course light , carbonation takes over but you get some decent lager yeast flavoring and light hops. Mouthfeel is average, it's slightly creamy but still too thin for my tastes. Drinkability is great. If I was a macro drinker this would probably be the perfect gateway beer into craft. I will definitely drink this again.

 557 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
3.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice appearance with a pale copper color and generous white head. Nose is a little light on aroma, but has some toasty grains in there. On the palate it is noticeably watery, but surprisingly has some hop flavor and bitterness to go with the light toasty malt. I see a resemblance to the Boston Lager, though I'm not sure how much they intended to be there. Easy drinking, of course.

 383 characters

Photo of bnes09
3.61/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Light copper colored brew with great clarity and tons of bubbles. Pours a thick and creamy white foam which actually sticks around pretty well. Exceptional appearance for a light beer.

Not much to say about the aroma. Very clean and grainy.

Taste is actually descent. By far the best light beer I have ever had. Mostly smooth and cream malt flavor comes through. Hops are subtle but there with a mild bite which is short lived. The best part is the lack of corn and rice adjunct flavors that taint the flavor of macro lights.

Mouthfeel is light-bodied as expected and tingly from the bubbles. Nice smooth finish.

Drinkablity for this one is actually exceptional due to the lightness and the fact that I don't want to dump it down the drain after the first sip. Strickly comparing it to other light beers, this is outstanding! Not a lot of complex flavors but no offensive flavors either. Well done!

 902 characters

Photo of samie85
3.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoy by month of Aug.

A-Pours a light golden amber color with a one finger head.

S-There's a grain aroma at first with some spicy noble hop notes bringing up the rear.

T-There's a nice bitterness upfront with a sweet grain and slightly dry finish.

M-Crisp and dry in the mouth with light body and ample carbonation.

D-This is a very easy drinking full flavored light beer, and while there's not a ton of things going on, there's a lot more here than you usual watery, light beer.

 486 characters

Photo of wahhmaster
3.56/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Pilsner Urquell pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a translucent copper color with plenty of carbonation bubbles. Has a large foamy white head that dissipates quickly and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell: Smells grainy with a strong metallic smell. Could be better...

Taste: For a light beer, this is a full-flavored beer. Starts malty and a little bitter. Finishes hoppy with a bit of a metallic twinge. Hops are kind of subtle but this is still impressive for a light beer.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean, and refreshing.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable and tasteful for a light beer. Pretty average for a beer in general, but great for a light beer. Sam Adams impresses me yet again.

 711 characters

Photo of Mosstrooper
3.83/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into half-liter Krusovice pilsner glass.

Appearance: Deep golden color with a slightly amber hue. Large tan-ish head that dissipates slowly and leaves thin, light lacing.

Smell: Grainy malt aromas with some grassiness and herbal aromas. Slight metallic hints

Taste: Begins with grainy sweetness, finishing with a slight hop bite and a sweet, buttery aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Thin body (slightly more on the medium side) with sharp carbonation and a crisp finish.

Drinkability: As a beer overall, this one is fairly average. As a light beer, however, this stands out in almost every way in comparison to others. I could also see this going well with most foods.

 687 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint.

(A)- Pours a clear amber color that produced a good white head with some good retention. The darkest looking "light" beer ive ever seen.

(S)- A toasty nuttiness with a corn meal thing.

(T)- A creamy-like nuttiness with a subtle sprinkle of brown sugar & corn meal.

(M)- A good carbonation level & balance. One of the maltiest "light" beers I have ever had.

(D)- Very sessionable. A beer I would definitely have all the time in my fridge if I was a light beer drinker since this have more flavor than any of the style I have had so far. Fantastic for the style.

 613 characters

Photo of Patrick999
3.24/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into Sam Adams glass. Looks suspiciously like real beer - attractive golden-amber, retention pretty good.

Small bit of caramel and butter in the aroma.

Taste is very clean and dry with a sharp mineral-water bite. Slight hoppiness and sour grain, otherwise I might think I was drinking a bottle of San Pellegrino.

As with most light beers, body lacking. Not as bad as BMC though.

Not exactly a full-flavored beer by any stretch, nevertheless at 4% it's not a bad lawnmower beer, or lunchtime table beer. Obviously a better light beer than you'd get from the big boys.

 587 characters

Photo of Groenebeor
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance was moderate, was a nutty almond brown with no head.

Smelled of nutty malts with a lemongrass sweetness.

Tastes very sweet with a low hop character, almost no taste but very refreshing.

Mouthfeel was thicker than most light beers, which was very welcomed.

Drinkability was excellent. Perfect for getting your beer thirst quenched after weeks of hop bombs and huge stouts.

 430 characters

Sam Adams Light from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.26 out of 5 with 2,233 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.