Sam Adams Light | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Sam Adams LightSam Adams Light
2,260 Ratings
Sam Adams LightSam Adams Light

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

Style: American 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,260 |  Reviews: 848
Photo of allboutbierge
3.6/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very pleasantly surprised with this beer. Its a light and its good! I usually can not stand a light beer and I can see myself drinking this again when I don't fell like getting filled up. It pours little head which disappates in a few minutes, leaving no lace on the glass. Carbonated rather heavily with big fluffy bubbles. Nerofiddled noted its slightly sweet carmel flavor. I agree, it is the primary taste of this brew. Has secondary mellow malt flavors. If any thing is THE beer drinker's light beer (if such a think exsists as I think that is an oxymoron) this, not Amstel is.

 589 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear, rich amber in color, with a big bubbled off-white head that drops quickly and soon dissolves to nothing. Not a great appearance, but at least the head didn't immediately disappear like a Coors Light. The aroma offers a lightly sweet caramel maltiness and very subdued hops. The body is surprisingly firm for a light beer - medium/light - and it's not watery at all. It starts off with a fairly crisp carbonation but loses quite a bit as the beer warms. Fortunately, that allows some more of the flavor to come through, displaying a surprising amount of sweet caramel maltiness. The bitterness and hop flavor are understandably well-heeled. It finishes lightly sweet at first, but quickly dries out with a light touch of hop - similar to many other lights, and even somewhat reminiscent of a non-alcoholic beer. Much better than I'd expected! My new favorite light beer.

 884 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.18/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is almost a copper color. Very clear. Interesting tone for a light beer. A thin head recedes to a thin film quickly and then sticks around for a while. Decent maltiness and noble hop aroma on the nose. The mouthfeel is almost too carbonated for me to give it a good rating in the drinkablility category. Pretty big body for a light beer though. Maybe a little better than medium. The taste is a notch above most macro brewed light beers. But it's not that much better. The noble hops make their presence known only with a slight spiciness. The malt backing is o.k. For a light beer, this is decent. Still not enough taste in it to make it very enjoyable.

 677 characters

Photo of DarthMalt
3.91/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I made the mistake of pouring this beer into a glass and drinking it--AFTER a night of 4 distinct micros at a local brewpub.


I recommend drinking this beer from the bottle, as that is how it was designed, is promoted, and will be consumed. Putting it in a glass, as I did, only makes your Pavlovian senses anticipate a real beer flavor, which does it a great disservice in being reviewed.

Yes, as a light beer, this is quite a phenomenal brew. A nice toasty malt flavor melts out on the tongue in all directions. Hop flavor and bitterness is slim to nothing. It's a tinge watery up front and back, but that is to be expected. There are no sour or astringent flavors, as are found in the other light beers, that make you want to, that is a good thing. Aftertaste is not invisible either and leaves a nice ale-water twinge in the background, albeit very syrupy, like an NA brew.

This is a great beer to run on the treadmill with.


 969 characters

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

As a producer of better-than-average beers, Sammy takes a risk in jumping into the light beer market segment. They can set the standard for light beers, proving that taste and "light" are not mutually exclusive terms, or they can produce yet another dumbed-down beer to appeal to the widest audience possible. I was hoping for the former, but looks like we got the latter. Not to say that this was as bad as most lights, but I expected more. Light golden color, some sweet grain in the nose. Flavor was a little course with grain flavors, and the hopping, while I could tell it was Sammy's, was too light to punch up this beer, leaving it weak and flaccid. If the choice is this or some other light beer, I'll take this. But if I have any other decent choice, I'll pass.

 777 characters

Photo of Delirium
2.73/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer does not remind me of a typical Sam Adams brew. It pours light and thin like a club soda and it's shallow head quicky dissipates leaving little to ponder behind on the glass.
The light hint of metalic hops reminds me of a mass produced beer. The flavor meets the expectations set by it's fragrance.
There is too much carbonation here for me to even enjoy the flavor of Sam's Light, but it redeems itself in the sense that it is a lite beer that tastes a little better than a typical American Lager.

 516 characters

Photo of RBorsato
3.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright golden color with a low head that virtually disappears. Suprising nice light hop and light malt aroma balance. Light malt flavor with a decent balanced flavor - certainly not as hoppy as SA Boston Lager. I found the taste and finish to be a bit metallic (tin?). Light bodied but creamy compared to the BudMilCor light beers.

 335 characters

Photo of Pegasus
3.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely crystal clear copper color with quite lively carbonation and a lingering thick and creamy off-white head with lots of sticky lace. Mild malty aroma with understated hops. Taste begins with sweet malt flavors and some soft carbonation, hops assert themselves towards the middle of the taste, finish is dry and crisp.

I do not concern myself with the caloric content of beer, so the fact that this is a light beer would not cause me to buy it again. However, this is a really good beer and one that I will drink again. It also might serve to gently introduce friends to the universe of better beer.

 618 characters

Photo of jtw5877
3.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber with a little white head. Tastes maltier & hoppier than any light beer I have tried, not a bad beer. I am sure it would be a good session beer. If you put aside all bias towards or against BBC, you have to admit it's not bad.

 248 characters

Photo of Zraly
3.21/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Light beer is the exact reason why beer turned me off for a long time. So, I was rather skeptical but nonetheless curious as to what Sam Adams could do with a light beer.

It definately has a deeper gold color than your standard light American brews. And upon tasting, it definately has more flavor. I actually get a malty feel from the taste of this, something that is not very common to most light beers, say a Bud Lite.

The finish is smooth, crisp, and clean...very non-aggressive. I don't notice any particular aftertaste or lingering. I think this indicates that Sam Adams Light is true to the lightweight form, but with a sense of quality. And that might be what seperates this light beer from others that have filled up the market for years.

I think that this beer is a worthy option for light beer drinkers. It is my personal opinion that The Boston Beer Company actually deserves some respect. They carried through with consistency and quality that they are known for rather than just dismissing this as a light beer that doesn't need to be contended with. I value that brand of integrity.

 1,106 characters

Photo of budgood1
3/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

dark, deep golden color. thin head that died quickly and left no lace. light toasted caramel malt aromas with a light hop balance. tastes ok....more flavor than any other light beer i've ever had, not to mention more flavor than most domestic "heavy" lagers. decent mouthfeel and drinkability. not a beer to overanalyze, just to enjoy and thank the beer gods that someone came up with a light beer worth drinking. not worth the price though. i hope SA gets their cut of the light beer drinking market and maybe will change a few minds about what beer can and should be.

 578 characters

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

Was prepared to jump on the anti-BBC bandwagon, seeing the comercials and all. Has a nice copper color with a whispy white head. Does have taste, almost like a good summer beer. I am not a big of lights, but will not turn down an offer of one of these. Buying one however is another matter....

 293 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.83/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Okay, I've been a fan of Sam Adams products for many years, from the now extinct Honey Porter to the Boston Lager to the Triple Bock. When I heard they were coming out with a light version of beer, I immediately started looking for it. You see, after playing ball, many times you want a beer that tastes great, but not one that has so much quality flavor that you feel guilty taking a good healthy pull from the bottle. Sam Adams Boston lager is like that. It's so full of flavor, you just want every last milliliter to traverse its way over your tongue, getting max flavor from every lovely bottle. Ahem...

Okay, so I'm thinking SA Light oughtta have that same great flavor we know and love, but in a light form so when we're thirsty we can take a big mouthful and have no regrets. Well guess what, Boston Brewing is spot on with the SA Light. It is just as I was hoping. Most light beers taste like pee colored soda water, this beer has character. You can taste the Sam Adams classic taste, but it's not so intense that you can't take a good swig. 'Sweet nectar of life' may be a bit strong and I don't think I'd ever go light on a non-sports night, especially if they got regular Sammy on tap... :-)

But it is a great pick for thirst-quenching without coming across as too heavy. Big thumbs-up here...

 1,310 characters

Photo of marc77
3.38/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Crystal clear copper hue, covered by a fluffy two fingered ivory white head that manages lace. Much more enticing in appearance versus the typical insipid light. Light caramel sweetness and a hint of toasty malt in aroma, along with a very mild floral hop nose. Bland, but above average characterwise aromawise for a light. Unfortunately, flavorwise this brew falls prey to the typical dearth in flavor of a typical light, and is both thin in body and malt character. Sweetness is caramel malt derived, and hints of dry, toasty malt provide character a bit above the norm for a light. Hop bitterness is above the norm and provides a crisp, quenching feel. Paltry Mittelfruh hop flavor eeks its way in, but isn't assertive enough to prevent overall blandness. Very well attenuated and dry overall, w/ a slightly watery mouthfeel. Finishes dry, w/ trace biscuity malt briefly lingering. SA Light tastes like a Boston Lager diluted with Seltzer water. Although perhaps the most flavorful light I've tasted, it's still very much a lackluster beer.

 1,051 characters

Photo of ZAP
3.81/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First the good news....this is without question the best light beer I have ever had...

Now the bad news...for the price, I can't rationalize spending this much for a light beer. True it has better flavor than any other light beer, but if I'm spending Micro $ I want something more than this..

It is golden in color...pours a puffy white head that fades very quickly...not much of a nose...the taste is toasty to me...the noble hops add a lot to the overall taste...the body is light, but for the style it is excellent....not as much of a floral hop flavor as S.A BL, but a fine beer in a different way...

If this was the same price as any other light beer it would be a staple in the ZAP household....maybe some day.....right now I'll be spending my $$ on Octoberfests/stouts/doppels/IPA's/etc...

Still...I challenge anyone to find me a better tasting light beer....

 879 characters

Photo of Todd
3.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle with freshness date on the side.

Appearance: Bright, clear amber in colour with very active carbonation and a semi-sticky thin white creamy lace.

Smell: Soft metallic, grain and floral aromas.

Taste: A light bodied, dextrin malty sweetness starts this brew off, followed by grain notes, a smooth and creamy palate (fizzy, tight carbonation), a slighty dry crispness and background metallic and very faint caramel flavours. Hop flavour is soft with a mild citrus quality to it. Ends with a drying grain tannin feel and flavour.

Notes: This is a light beer that is sure to revolutionize the perception of light beers! Okay, no it's not ... and it's not even really a light beer. Sam Adams Light is full of flavour, colour and aroma at 128 calories (no different than most non-light beers) per 12oz serving. It's also made from two-row barley and 100% noble hops -- unlike other light beers that are chuck full of adjuncts and sometimes other icky things. In the light category, this is at the top, hence my rating, but as a beer this is something that I would not normally buy.

 1,119 characters

Photo of yen157
2.99/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Unlike other Light beers, it's better than bad! However at 124 calories, it's not as light as Miller Lt. or Amstel Lt. (96 & 95 cals). It's pretty dark for a Light beer, a nice dark gold. Average head, and sweet aroma with some hops noticable. Malty and grainy in taste, the hops are there, too. Good job, Jim!

 310 characters

Photo of StevieW
3.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a very pleasantly surprising clear copper color, with a better than expected white head. Smell had the characteristic Sam Adams "2 row barley malt" and decent hops as well. Very much in the Boston Lager tradition. Taste was creamy, smooth, and very enjoyable. Enough barley, and crisp dry finish to make this taste like a beer. Easily the best light beer I have had. A pleasant surprise and another winning product for the Boston Beer Co.

 449 characters

Photo of powoo19
4.3/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I happen to be a fan of Sam Adams for years so my opinion is bias, but this beer is a hearty light beer without the awful aftertaste. Other beers such as Amstel try to pass themselves off as a great tasting light beer, but it's aftertaste is just plain aweful!
Jim Koch did it again and as usual, has yet to disappoint

 320 characters

Photo of chilidog
3.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good looking brew. Dark Amber in color. Very nice head & ok on lace. I don't know other light beers so I can't compair fairly.It is drinkable with alittle hop smell. But...To me its no Boston Lager, it falls short on finish with no hop kick and leaves mouth with a foam-like feel. Its ok for someone who dosn't know Sam Adams. We that do, its alittle light, then again, thats its purpose.

 388 characters

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

wow! a light beer with some flavor. it goes down nice and smooth, and doesn't have that typical light beer watered-down taste. i can see why it is such a hit. it is not fantastic, but there is probably not a better american light beer out there. It has more flavor than your average light, which doesn't mean much, but what can you really expect.

 346 characters

Photo of IrishRedRock
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was pleasantly surprised with this one. Seems to be the newest craze with all the kiddies these days, probably due to the amount of marketing it is getting.

Anyway, it was good. Extremely smooth for a light beer and very easy to drink. And the taste beats any other American light beer I have had to date. Very faint hops in both smell and aftertaste. A very nice light beer, and its quite easy to drink 2 or 30 of them. Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

 456 characters

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

Better than average light beer. A little more flavor than is the norm for lighter fare and a much nicer color. Hint of caramel aftertaste as well. I still wouldn't classify it as a "revolution".

 194 characters

Photo of Suds
2.68/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours with an attractive amber color and a respectable white head. Faint hop aroma. I expected more from the taste, however. With very little body, the beer lacked a satisfying fullness. Granted, this is better than all other light beer's I've had, but it doesn't live up to the standards of the brand.

 306 characters

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

Copper amber body. Lots of carbonation. Large white head of micro bubbles which quickly settles to half-inch. Decent lacing. Both floral and citrus notes in aroma. Some of the Sam Lager spicyness. A little too fizzy, which pushes back the taste. Could use more malt backbone, but then it probably wouldn't be a light beer. Far superior to any of the major light beers, and better than my memory of other micro lights (Harpoon, Mr. Mike's, New Amsterdam). I don't really remember Lightship, so I can't compare them. And better than a lot of Sam knockoffs over the years. One ugly label, though.

 594 characters

Sam Adams Light from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.26 out of 5 with 2,260 ratings