Style: Light Lager
Color: Amber, 11 SRM
Original Gravity: 9.2° Plato
Malt Varieties: Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend and Caramel 60
Hop Variety: Spalt Spalter Noble hops
Yeast Strain: Samuel Adams lager yeast
Brewer’s Note: “Sam Adams Light® is not just a lighter version of our Samuel Adams Boston Lager® but rather the culmination of over two years of tireless research and brewing trials that proved to be worth the wait. Brewed using only the finest two-row malt and Bavarian Noble hops it has a smooth, complex, roasted malt character that is superbly balanced with the subtle fruity notes of the Noble hops. Sam Adams Light has a crisp and smooth finish without any lingering bitterness, leaving you yearning for that next sip.”
The beer’s label is light blue-to-white. It has some interesting oldtimey things going on in its background, but not much in its forefront. I like the flag for the “Light” text but it still seems a little boring to me. The fonts are boring and simple, much as a light beer is. This label is actually better than some of the other Sam Adams labels, but is still not worthy of the shelf or scrapbooking.
The beer pours a very clear and clean amber with a slight rose tint. The body is superbly clean and translucent, as it should be for the style, with lots of nice carbonation bubbles, and a light scrim head of eggshell white bubbles that sit at the top of the beer. Lacing is slick and thin, running right back to the beer and not waiting around for awhile on the glass. On the nose, the beer smells of sweet caramel malts with a light grassy touch stepping through from the Noble hops. Cereal grain scents can be detected in the sweet caramel, but the smell is very clean and light, as a light lager should be. It’s actually quite nice to smell in comparison with other light beers. On the tongue, the beer tastes sweet clean and light. The beer begins with the sweet caramel malts from the smell and a water-neutral taste that sits separate from the malt, but slowly the taste opens into to grainy cereal and biscuit notes with light grassy side notes. The finish has this weird minty medicinal flavor in it that seems to have been there throughout the sip, but is more prevalent in the aftertaste, although there are also light grain notes. On the mouth this beer is properly thin and watery, with a nice little trundle of carbonation greeting the tongue. The mouth is left supremely clean with only a slight hint of saliva to ask for more beer. The beer is actually quite quenching of thirst. Overall this is a good beer for what it is; in fact it may be the best beer in its style. It is highly drinkable and has some noticeable and interesting flavors with minimal complexity. I could drink a lot of these easily. My only complaint is the weird minty-medicinal taste that seems to be hiding behind everything else. Overall, this beer is a success for what the Boston Beer Company was trying to do with it. If you want a light lager, drink this.
For fun I tried pairing this with the diner I was having, turkey a la king, and from that experience I would just like to state that light lagers aren’t meant for food. Keep them separate. Drink water instead. The only positive of a light lager with food is that the carbonation scrubs your palate. The sweet was really the only thing that stood out in the beer, and that became cloying and gross.