Friday, May 29, 2009

Sam Adams Light


3.3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (597) - Albany, USA - APR 4, 2010
I’d like to preface this review by pointing out that of all the beers in the “Samuel Adams” line by the Boston Beer Company, their light is the only offering to go by “Sam” instead “Samuel” (although it doesn’t surprise me they spell it “light” instead of “lite”).

For a light beer to be included in the Samuel Adams line is akin to hypocrisy since they’re not mass-market brews meant to appeal to everyone (which is exactly what ALL light beers attempt to do). Is it really possible to create a light beer with great taste, smooth drinkability and few calories? Let’s find out:

POUR, COLOR AND AROMA

Right from the pour it’s clear Sam Adams Light isn’t your usual light beer. Few light beers pour to such a beautiful copper/amber color since color is an indication of complexity. An average amount of head forms, which is white in appearance and has no distinct taste. It doesn’t last long, but it never dissipates entirely.

Most light beers never stop bubbling, but this brew eventually calms down but not to the point of being flat-out tepid.

Since this is essentially a watered-down version of the Boston Lager, it’s no surprise there’s a faint scent of hops you don’t detect in other light lagers and pilsners. Overall, the aroma is fairly reminiscent of other beers of this style in that it’s a little weak and just smells like plain old beer.

TASTE

Trying to describe the flavor of Sam Adams Light is a challenge. For a light beer it has a strong taste, but for a craft beer it has a weak taste, so take your pick. As I drank this beer the flavor seemed to be playing tricks on my palate. Since this is a craft brewer’s beer and has the basic characteristics of such, you expect a stronger taste. But then again it is a light, and it’s meant to be easy to drink, not strong in flavor.

FINISH

Initially, I thought this beer was quite tasty, but it finished weak and watery. Although I suppose that’s the idea right? This is a light beer after all, it’s not exactly a stout or an IPA. Compared to Boston Lager it is very easy to drink, but it might have just a tad too strong of a bite to be a party beer.

BODY

Sam Adams Light is by far the weightiest light beer I have ever encountered. At 119 calories per bottle that’s about 10-20 calories too many. Few lights clock in at triple digits on the calorie scale, so for a light to have such a high count means it’s not watered-down as much as the competition. For some, this might be an attribute, but for others it’s a demerit. And at only 4% ABV it’s even lighter on its toes than those by the bigger-name macros.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It’s extremely hard to come to a conclusion on this beer. I guess it depends on how you approach it. Since this is a light beer by a craft brewery you have to wonder if it was intended for everyday Joe Six Packs or for true beer connoisseurs. In either case I can’t help but wonder why it’s priced so high. Surely Joe Six Pack won’t likely feel the need to spend upwards of 50% more on a light beer just because it has a reputation for quality. And beer snobs might not see the point in buying a light beer when they could get a regular for the same price.

As it stands, Sam Adams Light is easy to drink and has enough flavor to genuinely enjoy. I think it makes the mistake of trying to be everything to everyone, though.

Grade: 6/10

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