Sam Adams Light | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Sam Adams LightSam Adams Light
Liked This Beer
3.26 w/ 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,233 |  Reviews: 842
Photo of Onenote81
3.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this for lunch at a local restaurant. Poured into a pilsner glass. Pours a dark copper with a thick white head on top. Decent retention; left some sticky lace. Scents of grains, honey, and fresh bread. Light hop scent. The body is crisp and effervescent. Almost a little too much carbonation. Decent enough though. Great bready sweet flavors that finish with a slight bitter pop. I was impressed with this. The standard for light lagers I think. I'd have this again for sure.

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

The ultimate beer for the debate of style vs taste. With my latest tasting I tried to balance the two - and when it comes down to it this is a good beer regardless of style - it just happens to be a light lager.

Amber appearance with light white foamy head. Lighlty metallic and bit grainy, but largely the same to me as "Sam Heavy". Nice light body that goes down very easy. Excellent mix of malt and hops, and a faint bit of caramel. The true definition of light, except I actually prefer this over the heavy alternative. Completely drinkable, light and easy going down.

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Photo of backfat
3.13/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a light copper with a one finger white head. light floral aromas. the taste is very light and bready with biscuit tones. faint malt and caramel throughout. very grainy with a creamy mouthfeel. a bit watery but compared to most light lagers, decent flavor. crisp and refreshing, just very very light and too boring for me.

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Photo of LightEnthusiast
4.4/5  rDev +35%
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 spartanbj
4.1/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I absolutely love this beer. I hate the commercial light beers like Bud Light, Miller and Coors but I want to drink a flavorful light beer to save a few calories.

SAL fits the bill perfectly. It is great for sipping during dinner or guzzling with the guys during the games.

I stock this one in my fridge along with Peanut Butter and Jelly.

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

Glassware - Ikea Pilsener

Appearance - A nice rich amber color with a tall white head that had some decent retention but not much lacing. I'm kind of surprised by the color, it isn't straw yellow in color.

Nose - Toasted biscuits and caramel primarily make up the aroma of the beer. Not much in the way of hops, or anything really... though that's not a bad thing.

Taste - Lots of biscuit and caramel malt. Lots of caramel. Sweet and not really grainy (which I like.) It tastes like a light version of Boston Lager with less hops.

Mouthfeel - Thin body and lots of carbonation, as expected.

Overall - I really like this for being a light beer. It's very clean and refreshing without being bland and tasteless. No bad grain flavors, not off-tasting phenolic flavors. Just nice, clean and refreshing.

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

It is a decent light beer. It stays true to Sam Adams the original. There are a lot of beers that the light version tastes nothing like the original this not that beer. It seems to be just that a watered down version of the original. The mouthfeel is thinner. The reddish amber is just a little lighter as with the flavor except the flavor of hops. They stayed the same. Except the flavor of hops the stayed about the same. It is what is supposed to be.

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Photo of Cubsfan1087
4.03/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Light is an exceptional "light" beer. This brew hardly belongs in the light beer category. This is a surprisingly flavorful and refreshing beer if you haven't had the pleasure of enjoying a bottle of it (I've yet to find it on tap).

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Photo of WWWade
2.95/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

For a light beer, this has to be one of the best. No doubt.

L - clear amber with almost no head

S - faint hops

T - crisp with a slight backdrop of hops

M - carbonated and easy

D - not high when compared to other light beers, but very high for any other beer

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Photo of HerrBob
4.16/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is amazing for a light beer. I tried to score it as compared to other light beers and I am definitely not a light beer fan. Compared to my favorite IPA style - well you can't it isn't fair. I will say it has more real beer flavor that regular Bud, Coors etc. It looks real, tastes real and smells real. Most light beers are more akin to club soda than beer. It will never be on my favorite list, but when trying to go light it is a winner.

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Photo of kimcgolf
2.17/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Sam Adams beers are generally decent, but I must have either gotten a skunked one, or this beer just really sucks. Nose was grainy, taste was like wet burlap, and the finish was something I could not get washed out of my mouth quickly enough. Very disappointing.

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Photo of tone77
3.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a small head. Smell is mild, some malts. Taste is crisp with malts, actually some flavor here. Feels light in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall I found myself saying "this is a light beer? ". For this beer style, this one is darn good.

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Photo of jwhawkins81
4/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by date on the bottle says Jan 2010

Aroma - Aromatic hops and a definite malt sweetness that means good things for this beer.

Appearance - Darkest amber light beer I've ever seen. Poured with an off white head that maintained a thin film head for most of the drinking experience.

Taste - Creamy and neither overly sweet or bitter. Actually this beer is almost all malt. A bready malt quality is in there and just a subdued amount of hops. The finish is more dry than the crisp tahn you might expect from a light beer.

Notes - This is in no way what anyone thinks is a light beer. Sure at only 119 calories that might make it lighter. At 4% this beer was made to session. Just a good beer in my book. Might as well have another while I'm at it.

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Photo of seanbhudson
3.11/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle with enjoy by date of October 2009. Pours a clear amber color with a medium white head. No noticeable lacing.
Light aroma of toasted malt and hint of earthy hops.
Light toasted malt and hint of grain and spicy hops. No corn flavors. Definitely more flavor than most light beers but nothing exciting.
Light body with crisp mouthfeel. Lively carbonation. Finishes dry due to carbonation.
Easy drinking and relatively flavorful light beer.
NOTES: BJCP Light American Lager

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Photo of CRichardsMN
2.4/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Golden yet thin. Perhaps a bit darker than a standard macro lager. Thin wispy head which holds up ok.

Very light malt with a hint of hops.

Ok, considering the style (though not very light on the calories in comparison) this can actually be called a beer. The flavor is light and crisp with a little bitterness to follow. Not too bad.

Again, considering the style, you can only pack so much density into a "light" beer. Lets call it decent for a light but still light.

I'd have no problem with pouring out a few of these and could do so guiltlessly (not that there is usually a problem...).

There is a tie between this and Michelob Amber Ultra for my favorite light beer. Both still have a hint of flavor and far exceed any of the other macro lights (lites).

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

I am reviewing this beer completely with its style in mind, as I feel it is one of the only light lagers out there with any real flavor, albeit not a whole lot.
The smell and taste make it seem like this is a mini version of BBC's flagship Boston Lager. Some hoppiness floating around.
The mouthfeel is light and crisp, not too shabby.
I could drink quite a few of these, but this is far from my favorite style.

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Photo of thekanna
2.83/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A: A nice clear dark amber with about 1 1/2 fingers of cream head that dissipated quickly.

S: Sweet malts with some citrus and fruity esters. A slight burnt date flavor also accompanies.

T: Largely malty character with some fig and prune overtones and a slight honey character. However, the flavor dissipates too quickly and dribbles off into wateriness before it can be fully appreciated.

M: Very watery and thin body with medium carbonation.

D: Not bad for a light beer, but doesn't hold its own against the regulars offered by Sam Adams.

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Photo of jngle24
4.23/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured , gave a beautiful golden color, with a nice white frothy top, that did not cling to the glass. It smelled to me like a Sam Adams beer(to me they seem to all smell fairly similar). A very smooth drink from begining to end. I also found barely any after taste. I really enjoyed this beer, and would recommend to any light beer drinker.

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Photo of kpoole25
2.86/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle to glass. Honey color, head faded pretty quickly. Smell was Ok, very light malt and citrus. Taste was very lean, not much going on. Got some malt after it warmed to about 60-65 F. Thought this might be a good beer to just keep around when I wanted something on the light side but not really feeling this one.

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Photo of CBlack85
2.88/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

This beer pours a clean amber/copper color with about two fingers worth of foamy white head. not much lacing.

Light malty smell with a slightly fruity hint mixed in. You can barely detect the hops

Very malty for a light beer, not a tremendous amount of character, but not overly boring either. a little too fizzy for my taste, must be carbonated a bit too much.

Not exactly my favorite offering by Boston Beer Company, but not horrible either...

If I were to turn to drinking Light Beers (which I cannot imagine) this would be a decent choice.

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Photo of Kahalo
4.8/5  rDev +47.2%
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 medic25
3.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, sparking copper color, with a thin white head. Nicely carbonated. Minimal malty aroma. Taste is light and clean; maltier than other light beers I've tried. Got a little hint of hops, although certainly nothing powerful. Almost no aftertaste, and very easy drinking. A nice option when watching your calories.

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Photo of ujsplace
3.16/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pub glass

A: Light amber in color, off-white head that quickly dissipates to a thin, whispy head leaving minimal lacing.

S: Malty grains, faint hops

T: Mildly malty, very mild hop bitterness...

M: Very light and crisp

D: As soon as I poured this, I was impressed with the color. Incredibly colorful for a light beer. If light beer is your thing, which for me it is not, then this would be a caseworthy choice.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.91/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Copper body with allot of carbonation topped by a frothy pale tan head. This is the best looking light beer I've ever seen.

S - Apricot and malt.

T - Mild malt flavor with a hint of brown sugar.

M - The brew goes down relatively smooth with a hint of coarse texture at the very beginning and the end.

~ Again, for a light beer this good. I certainly recommend this brew to all interested in finally trying a light beer that's worth the time and money.

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Photo of marvin213
2.31/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

It's very light--totally translucent. The head, though it fizzles to near nothingness within a minute or two, really isn't too shabby (for a light beer). Not expecting much, I figure the head and some semblance of lacing makes this an above par look for the style.

The smell definitely ain't much, though I detect a distinct Sam Adams smell--maybe it's the two-row malt. Acknowledging I know basically nothing about noble hops, the beer certainly doesn't smell hoppy to me. For a light lager, it's got character but, at least for the odor, that Sam Adams distinctiveness is not a positive one.

Particularly for a light beer, I taste a bit more malt than I'd expect. There's undoubtedly that Sam Adams something in the taste as well. I don't want to knock it too much, but I don't really like it. The more I think about it, the more I think it's that two-row malt; if not, I maintain it's the same sorta substance I found displeasing about the smell. It's got character...but maybe I don't want character in a light lager.

It's fully carbonated--maybe overly so because the mouthfeel is really fizzy. I respect that it's homogenous--every aspect of this beer is the same with every sense you can use to experience it. It looks, smells, tastes, and feels the same throughout. Since there's that sole ingredient that seems to dominate the senses, and I don't really like it, the fizzy burst of it I get in the mouthfeel makes that the least enjoyable component of the beverage.

I bet this is a big seller, and I'm certainly not gonna knock Sam Adams just because it's readily available. I got this one in a summer variety pack, and I've enjoyed most of the beers out of that. Truth is, however, I'd prefer they leave this one out; furthermore, it's tough for me to contemplate a time when I'd pick Sam Adams Light over ANY beer. Maybe over the worst of the worst (read: Milwaukee's Best Light or King Cobra), but even then it might still be a decision.

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Sam Adams Light from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 20.5% out of 100 with 2,233 ratings
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