Sam Adams Light | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Sam Adams LightSam Adams Light
2,242 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: 2,242 |  Reviews: 842
Photo of BeerBelcher
1.69/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Don't believe the hype! After the commercials and wearing the Sam Adams label, I really expected better from this beer. While I know this beer is not made with adjuncts, it had an unpleasant corny/grainy taste that I assoicated with some of the Mexican imports, like Sol. It was not horrible, with more color than other light beers, but if I were to pick-up a light beer, I'd be much happier drinking a Miller Lite than with a Sam Light.

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Photo of TheDragonTony
4.06/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear copper with two fingers of head and decent retention

Smell: Soft; grainy and a little metallic

Taste: Malty and a little metallic

Mouthfeel: Very crisp, this feels quite nice going down a slightly weak finish though

Drinkability: Very easy to drink

Note: I rated this high because as far as light beers go I think that this is the best that I've ever had (which isn't saying much), but I wouldn't drink this if a (decent) non-light alternative were available to me (I wouldn't be drinking it now but four of them came in my summer sampler case).

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

a: clear light golden color with about an eigth inch of head that dissapears fast leaving little lacing, fairly typical given style
s: like other Sam beer the malt flavor is much more present than the hop aroma
t: kind of a fruity flavor, very nice that there is flavor in a light, the hop taste is noticeable as is the malt flavor
m: light bodied with a little more than average carbonation

overall for a light beer this is amazing, theres flavor and some body, my light lager of choice...if I ever decide i need one, I got this in a beers of summer sample pack

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Photo of goochpunch
2.56/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a light amber with a creamy head and scattered lacing patterns. I smell toasty, caramel malts, faint noble hops and a touch of alcohol, which is odd. Some graininess pops up as well. Flavor is metallic, grainy and with too much caramel. Like drinking a popcorn ball. Has a Sweet 'n' Low feel to the sweetness. Mouthfeel is extremely light, seemingly lighter than most light beers as the carbonation is so meek. I'll finish this, I guess. If I want a light beer, I'll stick with Shiner Light, which is actually pretty decent.

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

Appearance- Pours a medium off white head, almos totally dissapates and leaves little tracing, golden color.

Smell- Slightly fruity with hints of honey and caramel, not too hoppy.

Taste- Tastes seems dull compared to the smell, hints of honey and yeast, but only hints, slightly bitter at end.

Mouthfeel- Clean on palate.

Drinkability- Overall a very drinkable beer.

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

this is a small version of the boston lager, identical in every way, just smaller. in the glass next to the boston lager i couldn't see any difference in the appearance. same nose, just not as strong. floral, vegetal hop aromatics and hints of caramel. some breadiness in there as well. taste is almost bone dry. more lightly hopped than it's counterpart, but the same kind of hops. finish is crisp and shorter than the aforementioned. at this abv drinkability is good. hands down the best beer i've ever had with the word "light" in the name.

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Photo of ttu94
2.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I will usually pass on a light beer but it came in the varity pack. Actually looks very good coming out of the bottle. Smell is a promising too, a little malty. Taste is an unmistakably that of a light beer with lots of water. Not much there kind of blah. That being said its tolerable. Much better than bud light and miller lite but I wouldnt choose it over the rest of the stuff in the Sam Adams Summer Style case.

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Photo of tonistruth
3.25/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- crystal clear light amber with orange hues, disappointing small head, little retent, quick fading lacing

S- wet malt

T- bready, some fruit mango, apricot, touch of stale flavors at first, dried fruit in after

M- light body, drying, carbonation adds some life to body

D- malty light beer, though it enjoyable there just really isn't a spot for this brew. If your convinced you need light beer stop here first (really doesn't taste much like a light brew)

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Photo of Hawthorne
2.8/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As the folks at Sam Adams say, "this is the best tasting lite beer on the market." However, as many here know, the bar for taste in the lite beer market isn't that high. Indeed, at times it can be like running a foot race against first graders. That said, the beer pours nice, though as expected, the head on this thing isn't strong enough to defend itself against the slightest hint of oxygen. The taste is decent and easily better than any lite I have endured. When faced with a gut, I'd give it another pour.

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

Out of all of the light beers i have ever had this is definitely the best. This actually has taste and a decently thick head with respectable lacing.

It is also very nice to look at in a glass when poured. It has a thick amber color that resembles most full bodies beers.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.1/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

By far, the best Light beer I have ever had

Poured in to a pint glass, it has a deep amber color, nice head that stays around awhile and leaves good lacing.

I can actually smell malt here, nice.

It tastes good, almost as good as Boston Lager, just lighter, but I think that's the intent behind this beer.

Crisp, clean, refreshing, thin bodied, but not too thin.

A very drinkable beer, good job Jim Koch!

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Photo of Phatz
3.41/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In the entire world of beer options available this would never make it up to the "really want to try one" category *but* in the world of 'Light Beer' this is above average. I have had some real shit light beer and this one. Most Light beer drinkers would probably drink this beer really cold where I let mine warm up like I do all my beers. I imagine the warmer temperature helps with the body and feel.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear pale copper color with a tight sudsy white head, solid and retention is adequate. A few spots of lace.

Smell: It has the aroma of BMC light lagers with grain and other adjuncts but it is not offensive and it has more malt and depth than some so ... considering style... again above average.

Taste: Adjunct flavors of grain, with a sweet bread malt flavor leading and a bitter hop finish putting this leagues ahead of the rest but it is still not my style of preference.

Mouthfeel: Light in the mouth with a dry bit on the cheeks and a bitter finish.

Drinkability: It is hard to say. This is more malty than many light beers so I liked it better but the people who are after a 'typical' light beer, will this suit... I don't know. It doesn't quite work for me but maybe as a transition beer it has a place in the market. Certainly at 4% ABV with no cloying elements it could make a fine session, if you really wanted to.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of pmcadamis
2.75/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Translucent brown hazelnut color. A thin cap of off-white foam sits on top of the brew.

S - Very weak but pleasant SA nose. Pretty much like regular Sam Adams, just much weaker. Nothin' special.

T - Weak SA taste, but watery. Pretty good for a light beer, but this doesn't even come close to other SA offerings. Nice try though.

M - Watery and over-carbonated. Pretty thin and watery.

D - If you must drink light beers, then this is the way to go. But seriously, just drink regular SA. You won't get fat off the extra fifty or so calories and your mouth will thank you,

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Photo of FenwaySquid
3.39/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle, BBD of June '07 notched into the label, poured into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear amber color, very dark for a "light beer." The head formed 2 fingers thick and faded into a thin layer and some lacing, both remained.

Aroma: Grains and sweet malts, a little faint but considering the style that's not too surprising.

Taste: Nice, although soft, caramel malty flavor along with some grains. The hops remain in the background throughout but never really show their teeth. The finish is a mix of the caramel malt and grains. Noticeably missing is the corn and adjuncts that one would usually taste with this style.

Mouthfeel: Tough to put a finger on, really. At first it seemed kind of watery but crisp. But at times it was also very smooth and full-bodied, almost creamy.

Overall: While I'm not a fan of the light beers any more, (ah youth) I do enjoy this one. One should note, though, that it is a light beer in name only. The color, ingredients, taste, and mouthfeel (not to mention calories I bet) are not typical of the style at all, which is in reality a good thing. I usually try to keep some of this around for my non-BA friends when they visit, and it tends to get good reviews. I'd recommend it to anyone, BA or non-BA. Like with most light beers you won't be offended, but at least this one has some taste to it.

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Photo of Drew966
3.51/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Light pours an orange color, much darker than most regular lagers and it has an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is mild and malty. Light, crisp and malty. Best light beer I've tasted, but I'm not sure how light it really is, most companies would consider this a darker lager.

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Photo of prototypic
3.45/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a transparent golden color (has a reddish tint when held to light) with a one finger head. Very short retention and little lacing.

Smell: Smell is predominantly malty with a light grainy aromas bleeding through. Not really hoppy. But, it has a bit of a better smell than most light beers.

Taste: Very crisp taste. Nice malty flavor. It does have some grainy flavors. There are hints of hops, but it lacks serious bite. It also has a slight watered down taste, but far from what one would expect from a macro light beer. Noticeably absent is the strong corn taste also found in the macros.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Very light bodied beer. 4% ABV lends itself well to drinkability. Overall, this is easily the best light beer on the market. I'm not a huge fan of light beers, but this is my preference out of the bunch. It really is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of EStreet20
3.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My first ever light beer review, simply because I never beer light beer. A family friend had some of this left over from a party and gave it to us so I figure I'd review it. I had this once before quite some time ago (before I discovered BA) and remember it being better than any other light beer out there. Here goes...

A - Light, and pale colored but had a little golden character to it, not as yellow as most light beers. About one finger of foamy head that dissipates rapidly. Lots of bubbles.

S - Nearly non-existent. Basicallly just a clean "light beer" smell.

T - A light beer. A little bit better than most adjunct laden light beers, as it doesn't have an offensive corn flavor to it. Still largely just a watery liquid.

M - Very light and highly carbonated.

D - I really just don't get how people drink light beer. This could be a session beer for someone drinking beer for the sake of drinking a beer but there are no characteristics that make me want this brew.

M -

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Photo of treehugger02010
2.98/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this 12 ounze bottle from my brother and poured it into a flared pint glass.
Appearance: Pretty much the only saving grace. I poured a nice light amber color with a couple fingers of head. The head was a light light tan with pour rentention and light lacing.
Smell: A hopping smell that hits the nose fast but goes away just like it came.
Taste: A horrible 50/50 mix between hops and malts. One would think that would make a well blend, but nope.
Mouthfeel: A fare crisp mouthfeel, a bit ridgid.
Drinkability: Not very high, but it was nice to look at.
Don't drink and review.

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Photo of Gatch
4.2/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The greatest light beer in the world, hands down. The low ratings don't make sense to me. I think people have the anti-AB snob mentality when it comes to light beers. I also think people tend to forget about rating a beer based on style. This beer has just as much flavor and nose as a Boston Lager, yep I said it, and it's one of the most drinkable beers I've ever had. It's a great night when you have a 12-pack of Sammy's Light and don't have to worry about a huge amount of calories or a lack of flavor.

Other light beers don't even touch Sammy's Light and there's a reason it doesn't participate in Light Beer competitions. Jim Koch spent a lot of time developing such a great Light Beer and he definitely did it right.

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

Appearance: This is a nice looking light beer. It pours light to medium copper depending on the angle of the glass with two and a half fingers of white head.

Smell: A light and balanced blend grains, semi-sweet malts, hops, and yeast makes up the soft and inviting aroma.

Taste: The flavor profile starts out with grains and crystal malts, followed by toasted malts, and a noble hop flavor and bitterness that pops in momentarily before it fades away, leaving a bit of malts and grains in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is light-bodied and crisp with plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability: It's not an amazing lager, but it's much better than any other light beers, so if it's important for a beer to be light, this is the only choice. I like this quite a bit more than Boston Larger.

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Photo of 1fastz28
4.07/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this is one of my absolute favorite beers. Pours a nice amber hue with a decent head. Smell is like fresh bread, very malty with a slight hopiness. Taste is similar, very sweet maltiness with a breadish taste. The alcohol is hard to detect, which isn't too hard to believe considering its only 4% ABV. I could easily drink this beer on a hot summer day or a cold winter evening, all day long, i truly think its a great beer.

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Photo of jaydanahy
2.89/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 12 oz...poured into pint glass

Poured a pale yellow color with moderate white head. Smell is very light. Taste is also very faint overall. Beer doesn't have bad qualities about the beer, but little flavor that Sam Adams Lager has for a mass-market beer. A decent alternative if necessary

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Photo of ikats
2.71/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, light amber in color. Head builds up to a nice size, but then fizzles out quickly. Light hops in aroma, definitely not enough. Taste is more substantial then in other light beers, but flavor is not there. It is light in taste, yet with some presence. I guess if there was nothing else, I wouldn't mind drinking it.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.5/5  rDev +38%
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 rowew
3.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck. Best by month and date notched on the label.

Appearance: Pale amber in color, decent sized head that fades quickly. Quite dark in color for a light beer.

Smell: Bready malt aroma - a bit sweet, and some grassy smells.

Taste: Similar to the aroma - malt dominated, with some grassy hop flavor in the finish.

Overall impression: This seems to be a light beer in name only. Color, flavor, and everything else are in the range of a standard amber lager. Enjoyable - and maybe the name will get more people on to quality beer.

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Sam Adams Light from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.26 out of 5 with 2,242 ratings