Sleeman Honey Brown Lager - Sleeman Breweries Ltd.

Not Rated.
Sleeman Honey Brown LagerSleeman Honey Brown Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

277 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 277
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 20.07%
Wants: 6
Gots: 24 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sleeman Breweries Ltd. visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: canadianbarman on 08-22-2001

Smooth Sleeman Honey Brown Lager is brewed in the tradition of cottage breweries at the turn of the century. Some might think the tradition is outdated; we just think we got it right the first time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 277 | Reviews: 143
Reviews by kdoc8:
Photo of kdoc8
3.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this before - it comes in stylin' clear glass bottle with raised images of Canadian paraphanelia - beavers and maple leaves and all that. It didn't really have a head, the color was golden-brown. The smell was faintly like sweet malt but it's very faint. The taste isn't much of anything actually - just light and tasteless. It's not my first Sleeman's choice - I'd probably choose their Cream Ale over this one.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
1.47/5  rDev -50%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Presentation: 12oz clear glass bottle, not to worry the six-pack holder was a cardboard box as to not let the light in.

Appearance: Deep tawny copper, close enough to brown. Thin but sticky lace.

Smell: Big cloying sweetness … not appealing at all.

Taste: Bit of smooth crispness, cloying sweetness gets to be a bit unbearable. Hops are minimal and the sweetness tastes fake. Lame maltiness … sweetness all over the place.

Notes: Please beer god take be away from this beer … perhaps a good beer to cook with, a sweet dark beer to balance out a pot of chili or beef stew. As for drinking it … no thanks, never again.

Photo of Mora2000
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

473ml can. The beer pours a light amber color with with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the toffee without too much else. The flavor is toffee with a light amount of bitterness and flavor from some grassy hops. Still, this is a very malt-forward beer, Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
2.71/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Running low on cold beer in the house, and the Thanksgiving weekend totally destroyed the stocks at my local liquor store. This was an old high-school favourite of mine, and it was one of the few cold six packs left. So there you go.

Poured into a little Hoegaarden bucket. The very definition of amber, with a sticky 1/2 inch head that dissolves into a little ring.

Nose is sweet and one dimensional, no hops or grain to speak of. Just...honey brown. Maybe a bit of molasses or brown sugar.

Tastes about the same. Overly sweet, not the faintest trace of hops or anything interesting, as if the brewmaster forgot to add them in the brewing process. Finish is just diminished sweetness. Thin bodied, sharp cola carbonation.

Now, having said all this, I don't tend to mind sweetness as a general rule, and I would probably drink this instead of a lot of macro Euro lagers. Also, I'm about 20 minutes from the brewery, so this is a brew that tends to show up a lot at parties, so it's in my best interest to cultivate a taste for it. Fortunately, I rarely get stuck in this situation, and when I do, I drink it as cold as possible straight from the bottle.

In summary, unless you like overly sweet, overly carbonated honey lagers, avoid this.

Photo of ADR
2.73/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Clear pale brown color, billowy head that stays at 1/2 inch for a while. Caramel aroma, a little hay smell. Light and sweet, a little buttery with minimum hop impact. Could really use some more overall oomph, its watery enough to be pretty much done by the back of the mouth. A little impression of overcooked celery. Drinkable, I suppose, its a little more subtle than some honey brews in heavy sweetness.

Photo of biboergosum
3.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

355ml can. For what seems like forever and a day, this beer has been my go-to when faced with nothing but the big boys on tap at the finer establishments around town who show PPV Oiler games. Now it's go-time in inland BC, after a day on the slopes.

This beer pours a crystal clear, medium copper-amber hue, with two fingers of loosely foamy, bubbly, and surprisingly creamy dirty white head, which leaves some broad strokes of uneven coral reef lace around the glass as it quickly recedes.

It smells of sweet grainy pale malt, caramelized rice, a bit of heather honey, and mildly astringent plastic. The taste starts with a slight floral hoppiness, followed by an almost overwrought tinged caramel malt sweetness, emboldened by some extra dextrin or other cheap sugars, a straightforward, plain-ass honey sweetness, and some lightly sour notes - hop or lingering graininess-borne, it's hard to say.

It's a little high on the carbonation side, though mostly just frothy, the body an adequate medium weight, buoyed as it is by the murky sugars, and generally smooth. It finishes rather sweet, the generic honey and touched caramel malt providing all one needs to know here.

A more or less innocuous, everyman example of the 'honey' beer phenomenon in Canada and parts farther removed. It's easy to put back a few of these, sure, but at some point one becomes aware of this particular sort of acquiescence to blandly-made universal offerings.

Photo of jackndan
2.73/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sleeman’s Honey Brown Lager: nice enough looking brew. Deep amber, but not much head, and what there was tended to disappear quickly. The aroma was almost absent, as far as I could tell. Each of the Sleeman beers I’ve had are fairly unremarkable as far as taste goes, they seem to be very bland. No off tastes, no skunk, but not bad, but not good.

This one is surprise, surprise, and surprise! Bland. It has a standard lager taste, and what honey it has is notable only in the smoothness it imparts to the mouthfeel, and a hint in the aftertaste.

Photo of nortmand
3.53/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An above-average beer actually not too bad, maybe others are drinking skunked bottles.

Amber pour with a white head, no lacing.

Smells like sweetgrass, a hint of chlorine at the end.

Sweet honey flavor with the barest hint of roastiness on the edge.

Nicely carbonated, not too thin mouthfeel. Pretty good "just drinking" beer.

Photo of joemcgrath27
2.84/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

have had this on a few occasions over the years but mostly just at pubs getting shitfaced
A - clear bronze, off white shiny head with decent retention, some lacing
S - corn adjunct, grains, light brown sugar, not as expected
T - corn graininess up front with a strong syrupy sweetness that lingers along with some metallic, nothing special about it
M - medium weight with a solid carbonation kick, sticky sweet for a second but quickly moves to a bitter finish
O - for a run of the mill mass consumption brand its decent, but a pretty average honey brown all told

Photo of Richter35
3.28/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a thick tan white head. Colour is honey-brown [really] and looks decent.

Smell is like any other lager. Nothing special.

Taste is slightly above average. Minimal bitterness, with more malty goodness than your typical light/pale lager. Some biscuit tastes, more reminiscent of a brown ale. Pretty good for a high-volume Canadian offering.

Mouthfeel is good. This beer is light to medium bodied with just enough carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. Nice beer on a hot day, but not something I'd serve if I wanted to impress. Just average.

Photo of souvenirs
3.4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

500 ml can bought at a liquor store in Port Moody on the way to Sasamat Lake. I ended up bringing it home and drinking it at the end of the day, out of the fridge and poured into a glass. This is probably the kind of beer that's appropriate to drink in the sun on a hot day.

A: Clear dark amber with lots of head that dissipates fairly quickly.
S: Maltier than I would have expected for a macrobrew lager. Sweet. I definitely pick up the honey.
T: Not bad. I'm not sure why the ratings are as low as they are. I've had much, much worse beer!! This is better than drinkable. I certainly wouldn't seek it out, but it's really not that bad. Malty and fairly sweet.
F: Watery. Could definitely stand to be crisper, too.
O: The one thing that's really off on this beer is the mouthfeel. Other than that, it's much better than I expected.

Photo of tjd112
3.45/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Why Sleeman would put this in a clear bottle is beyond me!!!

Appearance - Pours a hard amber with lots of head, but little lacing

Smell/Taste - Like honey and caramel, with some bready malts

Mouthfeel - A little uneven and watery

Drinkability - Only if the bar didn't have many other options

Overall - an average beer

Photo of GrimmReaper
2.36/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep brownish,copper kinda color with a decent tan head that dissipates fairly quick and very mild lacing.
Smells sweet caramel and a tinge of hay,not much else.
Taste is kinda sweet toffee,maybe buttery,malty and musty.
Medium mouthfeel that goes down not bad but leaves a musty aftertaste behind. Not to my liking.

Photo of CortexBomb
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

What I would call the essence of an average beer.

Poured out a "beer" colour, with some minor red tones and a sweet nose. The flavour was mainly..."generic beer" flavour with a strong sweet tinge to it and some vague, vague rememberence of honey in it somewhere. The mouth was light and bubbly, as I would expect for a beer like this, while the drinkability was middle of the road as well.

The thing about this beer is that it does nothing particularly wrong, or particularly right. I wouldn't be offended to have one given to me, but I wouldn't ever seek it out either.

I ended up having one of these while I was in Montreal, and the other choices at the place I was eating were such luminaries as Molson EX and Labatt...which I would take this over any day. That said, the best thing I can say about Sleeman's is that they saved Unibroue, my favourite brewer, though if this is any indication of the product bearing their own name, well, I certainly won't be seeking it out in the future.

Photo of DaveBar
3.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Purchased at the LCBO as a single for $2.00 for a 341ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a 1" high white head that films out within a minute. Dark gold color and filtered clear

S- Kind of funky nutty scent

T- Not bad. For some reason people are giving this brew a bad rap and it's pretty good overall. Nice malty base and slight hops

M- Creamy and dry

O- Not a bad brew. Not a great brew but not a bad brew

Food Pairing

This nice blended brew went well with...... Korean BBQ. Short ribs with a sticky sweet sauce.


Photo of beerthulhu
3.13/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a deep honey-copper color with a dirty white head that was thin and scarce and quickly diminished. Visible carbonation was very light and soft.

S: The nose brought forth some light honey malt and was fairly sweet.

T: The initial flavor was dry caramel, honey toast, and a hint of apple cider. There was some sweet caramel and a flowering bitterness of hops that balanced the initial sweetness quite nicely in the finish accompanied by some dry alcohol rounding things out. Overall nothing to write home about but a decent example per style none the less.

M: medium, syrupy, and smooth with a very soft carbonation.

D: A sweet toasted lager with slightly above average drinkability.

Photo of ChrisCage
2.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Pours an amber color that is mostly clear, and also contains a slightly reddish hue. Lots of carbonation is rising to the top, which seems to be typical of Sleeman. The head is decent, starting out thick and creamy looking, before settling down to a thick layer of puffiness over the brew. Lacing is also decent, with moderate stringy whips of foam clinging to my glass.

S- Unfortunately, the aroma doesn't lead on that this is a honey brown, but rather starts out with a dry grainy and/or adjuncty phoniness about it. A little bit skunked and a tinge of alcohol don't help matters. There is a hint of bitterness right at the end, but it's not enough to save the smell of this one!

T- Hints of malt sweetness and honey flavoring, but otherwise this actually tastes somewhat boozy and synthetic. There is a metallic flavor that comes through, even though this was poured from a glass bottle! There is no real hop bitterness on the finish. The aftertaste isn't too bad, if not a little cloying in sweetness. I know this section sounds bad, but strangely enough, my palate gets used to the flavors as I drink more and it does get a little better!

M- It's light bodied, that's for sure, but it is surprisingly smooth...the carbonation is fine, which provides for a creamy texture that allows that honeyed sweetness to come through well.

O- I remember a time when this was among my favorite brews, but now it just doesn't hold that same pizzaz! I've moved on I guess to bigger and better beer...still, it was interesting to have one of these again and though I'd still drink this, it's not what I remember...I know I've had this on tap from time to time and think it's much better in that form....maybe that's what's wrong here! This is a good one for those who are just breaking into beer or new styles for that matter, but trust me, there are much better takes on this style.

Photo of Rutager
2.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance. Pours a clear copper with a finger of bubbly, slithtly off-white head.

Smell. Sweet light grain. A little metal or chemicals something ...can't quite place it but not very appealing.

Taste. Sweet malt and light grains. Metalic aftertaste with a hint of hop bitterness. Not not as bad as most mainstream lagers, but still meh.

Mouthfeel. Strong carbonation seems a little exadurated. A bit thin.

Drinkability. Pretty sweet without offering much else. Not a great drinker, but would pick over most mainstream lagers.

Photo of BierFan
3.12/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No freshness date on the bottle. Poured from an 11.5 ounce brown bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy dark orange with a small off-white head that doesn't stick around for long.

Smell: Sweet and malty. I would say it smells a fair bit like a Scottish ale.

Taste: More sweet and maltiness. I can't really pick out the honey flavor. Little bitterness on the finish.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium brown lager with a subtle taste of honey. Regular head for that type of lager. Probably the best product from Sleeman but I still don't approve of the clear bottle. Lack of spice and aftertaste in this beer. The malt is also very sweet, almost like a light beer.

Photo of Spikester
3.46/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Recently tried a few different Sleeman's products. This was the best of the group. It is an unusual type for me, a honey lager.
Poured a handsome honey-amber color with a sweet malty aroma. Nice amount of white head and some lacings.
Taste is sweet but not unbearably so. A suprisingly tasty well balanced lager. A pretty good hop level for a lager. It would be a good beer for someone who finds the bigger hop styles unpleasant.

Photo of Mountainmanbrewing
4.02/5  rDev +36.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This poured a clear, dark amber colour finishing with a nice foamy two-finger head which lasted throughout with fairly good lacing. The aroma is mostly that of honey and grainy malts. This is a sweet beer with a faint hint of hop bitterness and a medium level of body.

Photo of livingregret
3.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type: 12 Oz Bottle

Appearance: A light brown colour w/ little to no head to speak of. Lacing is there which helps a little

Smell: Malts and honey. Some nuts mixed in too

Taste: Sweet malt w/ a touch of honey and spice. Was pretty decent

Mouthfeel: Smooth and Crisp, went down easy

Drinkability: Good enough on a hot day and goes great w/ BBQ. I couldn't see myself pounding these down...but good enough to enjoy

Photo of Garin
2.26/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A puffy white fizzy head that quickly shrinks, leaving a little lace. Underneath is a clear amber beer.

The aroma is sharp and sour, and very odd.

The flavour is grainy and bready, with a bit of honey funkiness. It tastes.. stale or something. Weird.

At least it goes down without a fight. Man. Is all this Sleeman stuff such junk? Three in a row!

Photo of evlu1441
2.98/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a very clear amber/brown. There is a thin soapy head that quickly dissipates.

The smell is boring. Slightly bready and slightly skunky, but generally faint.

It actually tastes decent. Sweetness at the beginning, followed by a little hoppy bite. The finish is kind of like brown bread.

Very easy to drink, and better than many other beers at the same price point. Not crazy, but I would rather this than a lot of other macro lagers.

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Sleeman Honey Brown Lager from Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
69 out of 100 based on 277 ratings.