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Harbin Lager - Harbin Brewery Group

Not Rated.
Harbin LagerHarbin Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
68
poor

155 Ratings
THE BROS
75
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 155
Reviews: 120
rAvg: 2.84
pDev: 19.01%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harbin Brewery Group
China

Style | ABV
Euro Pale Lager |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: atigerlife on 03-20-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 155 | Reviews: 120 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yesyouam
1.55/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Harbin Beer is a very clear and sparkling light golden lager. The soft white head fades quickly. It has a funky aroma, like vegetables, melon, alcohol and rotten fruit. It has a medium-light body that's pretty smooth, with a reasonably crisp finish. It has a fusel flavor. It burns my nose. There is, perhaps, a note of citrus. It was a challenge to finish this beer. It comes in a fancy bottle, though!
(rated Nov 28, 2008)

yesyouam, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of pmcadamis
1.6/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A - This comes in the most elegant package. The bomber sized bottle is wrapped in a silky gauzy gown of white material covered in kanji characters. The beer, however, is pretty lame looking. It's yellow, pale, and clear with a fizzy white head. Looks like any American macro. Blah.

S - Not assertive at all, this smells like rice and nickels. I don't like metallic flavors in my beer, and I can already tell that this is going to be a coppery mineral water type brew. Weak, corny, and ricey.

T - Yeah....this isn't very good. I was really excited about this one since it's one of the most beautifully packaged beers I've ever seen, but looks can be deceiving. This is pretty boring and corny with lots of metallic mineral water notes.

M - This is sort of a redeeming quality for this beer. It's thin and overly carbonated, but thirst quenching and palate cleansing.

D - This beer is pretty boring, and almost nasty. In a blind taste test, this could be confused for Natural Light or something of that ilk. Pass.

pmcadamis, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of slammo
1.68/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I got this at one of my usual stops. I put it on the counter and the woman who knows I am a good customer and seek good beer did not charge me for it. That was the first sign of something not up to my standards but the packaging was very exceptional to say the least.

I really cannot say something good about this experience other than the bottle looks great and if I just mowed the lawn it would be refreshing. Tsingtao is a better Chinese beer in my opinion but I steer clear of that as well.

Good luck in Beijing but I recommend avoiding this one.

slammo, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of DmanGTR
1.68/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Review from notes on 4/17/10.

This is a sad looking piss-yellow beer with no head. Corny and grainy. Not much else here. I'm struggling to find descriptors here. There is just a massive lack of flavor. Ok, I found some DMS, but isn't that unwanted in a beer? This isn't just a bland beer, it has a strange twang to it that I can't put my finger on. Regardless, I'm glad to have gotten rid of this last bottle from my fridge.

DmanGTR, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of smcolw
1.7/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Fizzy starting head that drops to nothing within 10 seconds. The beer looks like a lighter colored Chardonnay. Crystal clear.

The smell is quite mild. What little I could detect, was raw and grainy.

Hyper-carbonated--beyond soda pop. Again the graininess is dominating. No hop. I will not finish this beer. I think it's poor even by most macro standards.

smcolw, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of Hellpop65
1.75/5  rDev -38.4%

Hellpop65, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of allengarvin
1.75/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Crystal-clear light gold color with a small head. Wow, no aroma... none. I can't pick up a single hint of any scent at all. Grainy, corny flavor, no detectable bitterness. Bleagh, this must be the Chinese equivalent of Coors. I could barely finish the whole glass.

Avoid!

allengarvin, Jun 09, 2007
Photo of avalon07
1.78/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: When I poured this from a bottle to a pilsener glass, had a clear texture and a bright yellow color. Hardly any head or lacing.

S: I picked up the scent of some grain, malt, a little hops, but not much else.

T: A thin, watery flavor. A minor amount of hops. Not much else to note.

M: Below average amount of carbonation and a metallic finish.

D: This is just another mass-produced beer. Zero flavor and no personality whatsoever. Pass.

avalon07, Apr 17, 2008
Photo of BigRedN
1.85/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Purchased as a single as part of a mixed 6 pack.

Appearance: Poured from the 11.2 fl oz bottle into a pilsner glass. The beer is a dark gold. My pour produces a fluffy white head about an inch and a half in height. The head is very short lived, like a soda pop. Nice looking bottle though with the foiled top.

Smell: Sweet adjuncty, some slight skunkiness in the bottle which recedes somewhat as it sits in the glass.

Taste: Nothing too "off". But it is mostly adjuncts, nothing very good. No hops, is there any malt? I'm not too sure. I drank this cold and rather quickly before it could warm and surprise me with any bad flavor.

Mouthfeel: Light in body but not watery. Low in carbonation.

Drinkability: I bought one just to try. As I finish it off there is no need to ever have another. Not very good. There are much better macro lagers available for much less. Skip it.

BigRedN, Aug 21, 2007
Photo of jkdrummer
1.88/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Wow, wrapped in a nice cotton cloth with a gold elastic band - looked so fancy. $2.09 for 24oz -- hmmm -- something's up. Pours a nice frothy fluffy white head, better get a good look, oops, it's gone. MMM flat ricey, hay flavored beer. Where's the hops? It's not even sweet. Ugh, only half a mug to go. Awful stuff -- not recommended.

jkdrummer, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of beerhunter13
2/5  rDev -29.6%

beerhunter13, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of Brad007
2/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a very pale color with a fluffy head. Aroma is slightly skunky with the typical pale lager characteristics. Smooth, somewhat grainy and goes down kind of rough. Tastes of corn in the aftertaste. Very average, unimpressive. This is from China? I'd have a hard time believing that if it wasn't on the label.

Brad007, Nov 25, 2007
Photo of beerthulhu
2.03/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Poured a brilliantly clear golden-orange with a rocky 1 finger high off white head that settled to a compact layering. No visible carbonation or lacing was to be seen.

S: light in nature with traces of fresh grass and wet grains.

T: The flavor was thin and worty, with a touch of sour mash. Overall was dry, rather bland with light traces of oranges and a slight flower bitterness. Some light grassiness, corn and dried rice were also noted.

M: watery, thin, with a little carbonation fizz. Nothing spectacular to behold.

D: Drinkability was slightly less then average, and macro-like. Wouldn't go out a buy a sixer of this. Wouldn't drink a second one back to back.

beerthulhu, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of Skotrat
2.1/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Sweet and Corny. Another fine AB beer.

The display was very good but I must say that that the skunked aroma was a big turnoff.

There are many fine beverages from Asia but unfortunately this is not one of them. I was actually reminded of many of the US malt liquors out there when I sampled this beer. A few sips and it was poured right in the sink

Skotrat, Apr 29, 2007
Photo of meatmallet
2.13/5  rDev -25%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Yellow and kind of dirty lookin but clear. Very small white head disappeared quick as I could pour it.

Smell: Rice grain and malt. Not a whole lot there other than a slight skunkiness.

Taste: Barley and rice and nothing more. I really dont have anything else to add.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Clean and kind of crisp which is all the good I can say. I dont plan on trying this again.

meatmallet, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of Dubbercody
2.15/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received as a present from a non-beer geek friend. I have to appreciate the attempt, even if the result was mixed.

Big fluffy head clear golden. Smells of grass, bread and rice. A bit like the opening of a rice cooker. Mostly grain flavor that drinks down easily.

Interesting beer, too bad it was stocked with the Microbrew Bombers and not the 'imports'/'Macros'.

Dubbercody, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of NJpadreFan
2.23/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Harbin

Served up at P.F. Chang's- Princeton, NJ

Appearance- Light yellow and heavy carbonation. Fizzy head that disappeared quickly.
Smell- Sweet corn syrup and rice. Your basic adjunct. Light straw detected also.
Taste- Light and sweet corn syrup malt. Very watery.
Mouthfeel- Watery and almost flavorless.

Overall- Blah. Very little flavor. Not worth the time.

NJpadreFan, Oct 01, 2007
Photo of beerpadawan
2.25/5  rDev -20.8%

beerpadawan, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of ToddT
2.25/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

A- Pale golden yellow with a one finger off white head. Head falls quickly to a ring and leaves very little lace on the glass.

S- Thin in aroma. Grain, adjuncts, malt, and a whiff of hops.

T- Thin in taste too. Minor hit of malt at first, slightly sweet followed by a dry finish. A little presence of hops at the end with a slight bitter twinge to the finish.

M- Thin almost watery, carbonation is good however.

D- Easy drinking but no real standout in any flavor profile. At 5.5% it could be a session beer if it had some flavor going for it.

Cool to try just to say you have had a beer from China, but nothing special and the Chinese are not really known for brewing world class beers, I'll take their food over this beer any day.

ToddT, Aug 14, 2009
Photo of Liverocks
2.25/5  rDev -20.8%

Liverocks, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of bzach
2.25/5  rDev -20.8%

bzach, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of cammo84
2.25/5  rDev -20.8%

cammo84, Jul 14, 2012
Photo of TerryW
2.25/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

An unremarkable macro brew, inoffensive, but bland.

Pours a soapy white head that disappears to a partial film, no lacing. Clear pale straw coloured beer. Looks like weak-kneed apple juice.

Smell is sweet and corny, on the apple juice side. Also tastes quite sweet and of corn and apple juice. Thin bodied, mild carbonation. Not offensive, just anonymous.

TerryW, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of KStark
2.25/5  rDev -20.8%

KStark, Jul 18, 2013
Photo of atigerlife
2.28/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 600ml bottle. The bottle is attractive and it comes wrapped in a decorative sleeve with chinese characters and tied with a golden cord [sleeve not shown in the photo I took]. Nice packaging. This beer only became available in the US last month [February 2006] in Hawaii & LA. It is imported by Anheauser-Busch.

Poured a large fluffy white head. Sparse carbonation can be seen rising. A rather light golden color. So far, the packaging and the look are quite nice. Unfortunately, it was downhill from there....

The smell was faint hops. Not a lot going on. The taste was very light hops. Very mild. Really, not a lot of flavor. Very non-descript.

The mouthfeel was very light. No cleansing. Was somewhat "slippery" feeling. Not good. Overall, this beer looks nice in the bottle and in the glass, but there is not much going on after that. Nothing offensive, but no character.

atigerlife, Mar 20, 2006
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Harbin Lager from Harbin Brewery Group
68 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.