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Sam Adams Light | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Sam Adams LightSam Adams Light
2,236 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
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Ratings: 2,236 |  Reviews: 842
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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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark golden color with a decent cap of off-white foam. Retention is a bit above average for a light lager and there is no lace left on the glass.

The nose is dominated and lopsidedly sweet caramel malts. Has a distinctive Sam Adams aroma that is fairly similar to the Boston Lager but a bit sweeter and far less hoppy.

Flavor is very light and delicate, but tasty. Toasty and caramel malts are followed up by a very mild floral hop bitterness and flavor. To me this is like a light amber lager. It is pretty good for a lower calorie beer and would make a fine choice for converting some BMC friends.

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Photo of projectflam86
3.28/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a light copper color with a thick white foam head that clings to the edges leaving nice rings.

S- Hints of biscuit and grain with some floral and spicy scents.

T- A tiny amount of hop bitterness initially that gives way to some toasted grain and a touch of malt sweetness. Not overwhelming.

M- Light bodied with adequate carbonation. Crisp but a bit thin.

D- This is a great "light" beer but just an ok beer overall.

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Photo of wingman14
3.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark orangish amber with a small white head that fades fast. The smell is not very strong, some hops and malt there, sweet notes, underwhelming, but pleasant. The taste starts somewhat sweet with a malty flavor, finishes with smaller doughy notes, could use a bigger hop kick. The mouthfeel is light, highly carbonated, crisp but missing some balance. This is an easy drinker, not much flavor but still enjoyable. I can see why this is a better light beer option.

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Photo of mempath
3.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

wow. deep dark color for a 'light' beer...

malty sour nose notes...

taste is malty, grain-sweet (tho understated). mouthfeel is rich and in no way thin. makes me wish this was lightly dryhopped a bit for a flavor burst and increased chewiness...

quite drinkable on a humid summer night. as i continue to drink it, it reminds me of something else...

strange. the world of light beers are largely a massive oxymoronic reality...i think this and yuengling lager light are the most interesting semi-macro lights out there. this is sweeter than the big Y

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Photo of Rayek
3.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at a family function.

A: Clear amber color with very active carbonation. Foamy off-white head is small and has average retention. Leaves bits of lace.

S: Sweet, with aromas of toffee, caramel and lemon.

T: Mild flavor comes across to me like a 3/4 power BL. Not as sweet as the nose would indicate. Malt has toffee and toasted qualities. Nicely balanced bitterness is provided by lemon and a hint of pepper. Semi-dry finish with a mild lingering bitterness.

M: The light body feels a bit over carbonated.

D: As light beer goes, this is about as a good as it gets. Its flavor is leagues beyond the watery mainstays of this style. If I had to drink a Light beer, this would be my only pick.

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

Wow, this is a light beer? Color is darker with a light amber color than any light that I have had.
Pours a white head that has average retention with average lace.
Slight malty aroma of sweet breads and some toastiness and some distant orange peel.
Light and crisp, superb for a light beer.
Rated as much as posible within its style as a LIGHT beer, and being that I think this is superior to most "lights" pushes its score up some as oppossed to be rated as a beer that isnn't light.

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Photo of VTaler
3.38/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Dark amber/honey color with a decent off white color head that has some retention.
S - Hops and yeast are the primary smells. You can kind of smell some sweet fruitiness in the background
T - At first a little bit sour and tastes a little like seltzer water. Tastes kind of like a hefewiezen or another kind of wheat beer. Leave a bad sour taste in the back of you mouth. After a while you can taste the citrus hops and the malt. Moderate bitterness. It tastes better as you drink it. Does not taste anything like any light beer I've ever had before.
M - Medium high carbonation with a light body
D - very drinkable although I feel like I would get sick of the sour taste after awhile.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.45/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- pours moderate gold, nice color for a lite beer. Decent head, very tiny bubbles. Head is all but gone in 2 mins.

S- Actually, pretty close to the Boston Lager. Malt sweetness dominates.

T- Pretty good. Decent malt flavors and moderate hops provide a pretty good body all things considering. Grain is there but is not off-putting, this beer is leaps and bounds about the standard LL.Lacking in every aspect, flavor wise, but that's why it's a lite. I get it.

M- A bit light..but to be expected. Not bad at all.

D- Moderate to through the roof. Not my style of beer. But a shining light in the dark underbelly that is the light lager. Kudos to Jim for not cutting corners on this brew.

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Photo of u2carew
3.68/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A) Pours with a finger thick head then quickly settles. Lacing is big bubble and not together. Upward carbonation. Transparent. Copper in color.
S) Grainy. Caramel. Light citrus notes. Just a touch of banana under the surface.
T) Malt sweetness - light caramel. Very mellow hops in the end and lingering in the aftertaste.
M) Slightly grainy. Crisp. Refreshing. Light bodied.
D) For a "light" beer I would definitely drink another as long as it came in a glass - I don't want the stigma of "light beer drinker" advertised by the bottle.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint. Poured a translucent amber with a 1.5 inch off-white head that quickly reduced its volume to half its size before settling into a quarter inch consistent cap; copious tiny bubble present in solution. Simple nose - cereal grains, some caramel notes and a hint of skunk. Taste follows nose. Mouthfeel was light-bodied and effervescent; just shy of being prickly. Easy drinking, but nothing too special; however; compared to other light lagers its not bad.

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Photo of diabecktic
3.85/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring yields ~2 fingers of creamy, tan head that retains fairly well. After a few seconds, it leaves a thin layer on top of a translucent, light-amber colored beer. Plenty of slowly rising carbonation is present. Lacing is minimal.

I detect a large amount of hop character with some graininess. There's also a subtle caramel malt tone with a hint of citrus. It smells quite good for a "light" beer.

The flavor matches the nose quite well. However, the balance seems to be a bit different. I find that the beer is a bit grainier, but it has a decent hop kick, too. The caramel flavor is a bit more subtle and subsequently masked by the other tones.

I rate the body as medium-light. It's much thicker than a "light" beer, but it's not nearly as thick as the regular Boston Lager, so I'm not quite sure what to say here. The hop kick isn't overpowering, but it lingers after sipping.

The lighter body makes this beer easier to drink than the regular Boston Lager (not that its drinkability is poor, anyways). If you want to pound this one, then go ahead.

This is probably one of the best light beers I have ever had. It's essentially an excellent, lower-calorie replica of the original Boston Lager. The beer retains much of the non-light version's characteristics without being diluted too much. I found the hoppiness to be less distinct. Perhaps the graininess was added to compensate? If you're looking for an excellent light beer, I highly suggest getting this one. It's not as good as the regular Sam Adams brews, but I rate it so highly because it's an excellent light lager.

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Photo of DwnTwnBwn
3.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into a pint glass, bubbles were a bit large. Clear Golden Brown. Minimal lacing.

S- Not much. A hint of sweetness, maybe a touch of hops.

T- Not too bad. Its a mild version of Boston lager. There is caramel malts up front, sweet, then a decent hop finish. Well rounded.

M- A light bodied beer. Good amount of carbonation.

O- This beer isnt very bad for a 'light' beer. It doesn't taste like a rice/corn beer. Never thought I would say this but its just a good light beer.

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Photo of CityBoy1986
3.98/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pils. from a 12 oz. bottle. The freshness date is September 2009.

The pour is a dark gold with about a finger's worth of off-white head. Retention and lacing are low.

At first, the nose smelled like almost every other light lager: grainy and sweet. Deep sniffs help one to notice that the hops are there. The taste brings out the hops even more. It actually tastes like a sweeter Boston Lager.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side with a good amount of carbonation. With its light body and low alcohol level, this is a nice session beer.

I was pleasantly surprised by this. I don't know if I like it enough to buy it again (except during summer in the variety pack), but it is the best of its style I've had.

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

This was so much more than I expected for a light beer. Picked it up in the Sam Adams summer mix pack. Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. It had a very nice amber color to it, with some semi-stick lacing to it that lasts most of the drink. Had a white fizzy head, the middle dissapeares about 1/3rd through the drink and the edges stay through the entire drink, oh yeah and good clarity like most Sam Adams products. Based on the appearance alone you can't tell it's a light beer. The smell was ok, smells much less "cheap" than the average light beer. Has a bit of a grainy smell and a little bit of yeast type aroma, not strong though. You can taste the malt with slight bitter aftertaste, again not too string. I wasn't a big fan of the mouthfeel, I found the carbination bite a bit strong for my liking, not quite as strong as a tonic, but it doesn't last long. Despite the my carbination complaint, I found it very drinkable and refreshing. Overall I'd have to be honest that I was impressed.

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Photo of katan
3.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a color somewhere between brown and gold. Extremely clear - no hazing, no yeast. Head formation is light and eggshell white.

S - A combination of a grainy astringency from an adjunct of corn or rice and a light yeast note.

T - Starts off with a light malt flavor - just a hint of roasted malts. Mid-stream has some bitterness build, but overall the flavor is extremely clean (aka non-existent). Finishes with a bite of the astringency. Aftertaste is minimal.

M - Light body - carbonation bite is moderate. A bit of creamy smooth texture appears on its way down. No clinging aftertaste.

D - Very drinkable - smooth and easy going down. An abv near water. Flavors are very clean - lager all the way.

Not sure what competition this thing won, but its not a bad beer. But against beers that aren't aiming for "light", I have a hard time thinking this beer would be competitive.

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Photo of rossthefireman
3.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- nice golden amber hue, honey like

S- Nice malt smell with asome slight citrusy hops

T- Malty flavor, dry finish. Some caramel, spice and a little bit of hops. Tannin finish.

M- Good carbonation with the dry ness.

D- super drinkable, could session all night.

I like this for a light beer and treat it as such. Good for summer and those watching calories between their Belgians and DIPA's. Blows all other light beers out of the water but thats not saying much since other light beers are junk. I do prefer this light beer to all others.
Maybe a new catergory for beer? Not light but not regular, kind of welterweight?

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Photo of CheckMate
3.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz Brown Bottle obtained at Shaw's Supermarket Derry, NH. crystal clear amber color with a half inch of off white head that dissipated fairly quickly leaving an eighth of an inch of head to sit on top of the brew. tinges of caramel and toffee graces the nose with a citrusy smell, and a tinge of the supporting hops. tastes of caramel, toffee, cracker like undertone with an orange or lemon zest. light mouthfeel. good drinkability not too light where it tastes like water.

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Photo of JMD
3.38/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Light copper color with small white that dissipates quickly. No lacing.

S: Light malty aroma. Sweetbread and bisquits, a hint of carmel, some lemon grass.

T: Same as the aroma, light malt. Bready, with a faint touch of hops. Pretty flavorfull for a light beer.

M: Light bodied and crisp.

D: For a light beer, this has alot of character to it. It's by far the best light beer I've tried. Goes down so easy, it's scary.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- golden, but not bright with a redish/copper hue

S- biscuits and malt, light spice nose

T- bready malts with a nice litte hop flavor

M- smooth, great carbonation, drinkable

D- deceptive for a light beer, id put it above Amstel as one of th emost drinkable lights around

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.56/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light clear amber with a fair 1-finger head and some ok lacing. By sight, this could be any decent beer, and by far the darkest light-style I've seen.

Some whiffs of caramel and lightly toasted malt. Not easy to find, but there.

Ok, it is indeed light beer, so strength of flavor is getting a slight pass from me. Still, a bit on the thin side, some fair caramel and light sweet (fruit?) flavors, some fair maltiness, and a decent, clean finish. No off flavors, nothing that doesn't belong.

Decent carbonation, and a bit thinner bodied.

Overall, this went down very easy with the food served. A palate cleanser or hot weather beer for sure. Not something I grab to savor, but very easy to down these. If you find your middle is getting a bit thick, and want to cut calories and still drink a volume of beer, this might be the way to go.

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Photo of sudz42
2.85/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I give this OK scores because it is a "light" beer but I'd take Becks over it. It's not in the same league as Sam Adams. Sam Adams is a pleasant, perfectly balanced malt-hop experience, and SAL, while less calories, doesn't deserve the name Sam Adams.

Having said that, SAL does not fill you up, and you can metabolize a couple bottles very easily, whereas with regular beer you'll be working them off for a few hours.

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

A- Poured into a 16oz pint glass. Light head that disapates quickly leaving little lacing. Darker in color than the typical light beer, has more of an amber tone

S- Not to much there. Maybe a slight hint of hops and malt

T- Tastes more like a beer (some hints of hops and malt) than your bud, miller, or coors light... but still tastes watered down

M- Light and watery... carbonated

D- I'd reach for another over Bud, Miller, or Coors... but would rather be enjoying something not accompanied by the word "light"

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Sam Adams Light from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.26 out of 5 with 2,236 ratings
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