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Sleeman Honey Brown Lager - Sleeman Breweries Ltd.

Sleeman Honey Brown LagerSleeman Honey Brown Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

227 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 227
Reviews: 134
rAvg: 2.95
pDev: 18.98%

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:
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 Some might think the tradition is outdated; we just think we got it right the first time.

(Beer added by: canadianbarman on 08-22-2001)
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Ratings: 227 | Reviews: 134 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

3.29/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I should probably credit Sleeman for helping me to graduate beyond Molson Pilsener, Saskatchewan boy elixir of choice, to a much wider world of beer styles and legit quality-focused breweries, but a) that doesn't mean one can't turn an "objective" eye towards these Canadian standbys now and b) do not presume that Sleeman is necessarily one of the latter breweries. Sleeman was a transitional step. I likely consumed a disturbing number of honey browns and cream ales during my grad school days, so this trip back into Sleemanland, Onterrible was tinged with some nostalgia. Oddly enough I used to think this was an ale despite the term "lager" being right there in the name ... I suppose the goal of drinking back then wasn't to pay close attention. Also, Woody's Tap House only has so many wares to sample. It was this or something from a clear glass bottle that rhymes with "Borona". In any event, Sleeman honey brown on tap is a very light burnished bronze color, looks quite watered-down, with traces of white foam skittering on the surface. Aroma is sweet boiled grains, ephemeral brown sugar or caramel, lemon rind, a sourish apple fruitiness, and perhaps a hemp seed nuttiness. Palate is a blend of different malt and hops-generated effects, I get sweet white bread, sour vines candy, play dough, dilute citrus iced tea, and interestingly enough some cooking molasses. More dark malt character than expected! Nice! Less optimistically, however, the whole watery package is flavor-anemic, everything interesting is ramped down in favor of enough gas and bubbles to launch a hot air balloon. Crisp and dry finish does include a pleasant hay-like sweetness. Not fantastic but there was enough interest here to make me masochistically wonder what the cream ale would taste like now ... Stay tuned!

Serving type: on-tap

01-01-2014 18:41:59 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of NV9

Ontario (Canada)

2.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Very nice deep colour with a little bit of head that looks great at first but unfortunately doesn't last long.

Honey/molasses smell, with some typical macro-ish hop smell as well.

Pretty smooth tasting, goes down easy for a dark-ish beer.

Overall, a pretty solid beer, not one I search for but often is the best thing on tap in a sea of molson/labatt.

Serving type: on-tap

04-27-2012 19:04:41 | More by NV9
Photo of notchucknorris


3.23/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Ruby/brown color with no head. Doesn't look extremely exciting.

S: Smells pretty sweet. Some berry and pale malt notes here.

T: It's drinkable, but I don't know it's something I would want to drink a ton of. Smooth malts and some honey on the finish. You're probably better trying something else.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2011 23:58:37 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of CrazyMike

Alberta (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark brown appearance with decent head that sticks around. Smell is vert sweet, picked up a hint of honey.

Picked up a syrupy brown sugar taste as well as caramel and grain. Thicker bodied with decent carbonation. Aftertaste is bitter and sweet.

Overall, not a bad dark beer. It is thick with lots of taste to go with it, a bit to sweet at times though. Would recommend over other sleeman beers.

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2011 03:34:44 | More by CrazyMike
Photo of scott451

Ontario (Canada)

3.13/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap. Served in a pint glass. Clear amber brown. One finger creamy tan head. Good head retention. Good lacing.

Mild grapefruit and citrus malt notes in the smell. Mild smoky notes in the taste. A mild hop finish.

Creamy. Moderate carbonation. Drinkability is OK. No major flaws in this nice fresh glass of draught, just not a lot to come back for.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2010 07:29:03 | More by scott451
Photo of rarbring


2.78/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The color of the beer is light amber, a rather white head that leaves little lacing.

It actually smells of honey and some malty tones.

The taste is also sweet honey on a slice of bread, a slight acidity and some rather faint bitterness.

Medium carbonation, rather simple body.

Not really a high mark, a bit too light for being a Euro Dark Lager.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2010 22:15:43 | More by rarbring
Photo of EatsTacos

Yukon (Canada)

2.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a amber brown colour with an eggshell head, 2 fingers. Not a lot of lacing to speak of.

The aroma is faint. Some honey as expected, with some graininess and malt. Sweet bread, cookies?

Taste is pretty disappointing after looking at the color of this beer. Its pretty straightforward and bland. Very clean finish. Soft carbonation and watery mouthfeel make it seem a little flat.

Drinkable beer, good to pair with food when the beer is on tap. Overpriced though, and nothing to brag about.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2008 04:12:33 | More by EatsTacos
Photo of zerofear13

New York

3.8/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not sure I agree with the very low scores. I had this beer on tap in Montreal and enjoyed it very much.

Brown, amber hue. Nice head, not very creamy, and not very good retention. Smelled of faint nuts and spices, and maybe a dash of honey. Great nutty taste and the sweetened malts were very good. I don't think I got an "artificial" sweetness out of it like many have claimed.

Pretty light-tasting beer. Not very complex like a brown ale or usual dark lager, but I think the honey effect is present and noticeable. Overall, a good beer. If I saw it on a menu, I'd definitely have another.

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2008 21:37:44 | More by zerofear13
Photo of botham


2.68/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

on tap poured into a pub glass. pours a crystal clear amber color with a single finger of off white loose head.

aroma is of a sweet malt character with notes of caramel and munich malts and a tart honey base. a fruit note of apple is in the background.

taste is malty, with caramel and munich malts and a sweet base of honey. a subtle apple note is present here as well.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with a mild bite from CO2 and a mild finish of residual caramel.

drinkability is good. this is an easy going brew with just enough honey. smooth and mildly complex. decent.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2008 04:04:53 | More by botham
Photo of aquatonex

New York

3.5/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the offerings at Ric's in Calgary...

Pours a medium copper brown, mostly translucent with a large frothy head. Moderate lacing. Smells pretty sweet, malty, and slightly floral. Taste is good, not much complexity, but the balance between the sweetness, malts, and hops is pretty good to provide a very easy drinker. I downed the first one rather quickly.

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2007 21:06:48 | More by aquatonex
Photo of kdoc8


3.2/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2007 21:06:44 | More by kdoc8
Photo of aychbomb

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance: deep amber/copper color creamy head with little retention.

smell: malty, toffee like, mild hop aroma, almost flowery. (clover?)

taste: moderatly malty, slightly toffee like. (again clover? is there actually honey in this honey brown lager, i'd be interested in finding out for shure) lightly hopped.

mouth feel: smooth, medium bodied, little carbonization, sweet finish

drinkability: nice, smooth, tasty althoe to sweet for a lager. (imo)


Serving type: on-tap

10-14-2006 01:47:54 | More by aychbomb
Photo of BigRedN


3.4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From Notes. Consumed during trip to Calgary from 9/27 - 10/1. Purchased expecting somthing similar to JW Dundees Honey Brown. I was not disappointed.

Appearance: Poured for me into a pint glass, this beer is amber in color with a thin off-white head. Left minimal lacing.

Smell: Mostly malt, aroma of caramel and slightly sweet, but no honey.

Taste: Tastey with a good malt backbone and some hops, but mostly malt. Slight sweetness to it. I did find it somehat like the JW Dundees, but not exactly, which is good.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium in body, just enough carbonation, so as to keep it not overly light and bubbly.

Drinkability: A good beer that is easily sessionable. I wouldn't mind having more of this.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2005 05:05:38 | More by BigRedN
Photo of GClarkage


3.23/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

09/14/05- Had on tap at Angus MacToogle's Pub in Invermere, British Columbia.

Presentation- 20oz pint pour from the tap into a pint glass.

Appearance- Amber pour with a nice 3/4 inch creamy head. Quite nice lacing as well.

Smell- Smell...what smell? This guy was almost scentless. Maybe a touch of dark malt and a bit of sweet honey...if that.

Taste- Medium dark malt flavor with a touch of honey extract. Has a bit of that macro flavor.

Mouthfeel- Lighter carbonated than expected. Goes down fairly smooth.

Drinkability- Not great, but it served it's purpose. Wen't decent with the shepards pie I had.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2005 01:53:46 | More by GClarkage
Photo of Tang07


3.03/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The honey ale looked very appealing when it was handed to me. It is a nice amber/brown color, and a nice thick head on it.

The smell is a bit sweet and malty.

The taste is a bit too sweet for my taste, but it was by no means bad, just not to my taste.

The brew has body and a great mouth feel. Others I was with liked more than me and continued drinking it.

The head never died and laced the glass all the way to the bottom

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2005 04:55:36 | More by Tang07
Photo of BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

3.23/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draft, not comfortable with clear bottles. Amber colored, small white head, thin lace left on glass. Smell of floral and sweet honey, hops is there but not overpowering. Taste is well balanced between the sweetness of malt and honey, and hoppiness. Nice sweet/bitter combination. Continued carbonation gives a smooth finish and appropriate mouthfeel. Bit of a metalic aftertaste I find in all Sleeman products. Overall a pretty good beer. Personally prefer Big Rock Honey Brown for this style.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2004 20:39:31 | More by BigBry
Photo of vwahaszee

Quebec (Canada)

2.73/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had a pint of this in a bar. It did not have much head, and what it had left after a little bit, leaving the beer just sitting there. A little honey in the smell, but nothing special there. The taste was sweet, with a light mouthfeel. Not much carbonation, just a slight honey taste in the beer. I did find it pretty easy to drink, although the name makes the beer sound better than it is.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2004 22:18:33 | More by vwahaszee
Photo of stegmakk

New York

2.3/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured light amber but with a nice head and lacing. That is the best part of the beer.
Aroma was faint. Slight sweet malt nose.
Taste was slight metallic. No honey whatsoever. Some sweet malt. Not very good. And I know Shoreline keeps a good clean line, so I would assume it is the beer.
Mouthfeel was water like.
Drinkability LOW.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2004 01:03:24 | More by stegmakk
Photo of allboutbierge


3.55/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had a draft at boston's pizza in niagara falls this past weekend. Color was a transparent light brown with a small white head. Flavor was of sweet and light malts with a slight honey taste. Nice medium body with light carbonation. Good pizza beer.
My only other run in with a 'honey beer' was JW dundee's honey brown and this is no comparison. Much better, mainly due to its milder honey flavors that are by no means overpowering.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2002 21:40:07 | More by allboutbierge
Photo of Dolanmcduk

Alberta (Canada)

1.75/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Sleeman has really increased the amount of advertising here in Canada, and many fellow Canucks seem to believe this is a fancy beer probably because of the clear bottles...right?

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Comes out of the gate with a big building head. Doesn't hang around long, leaves a ring with a couple nebulae. Dark amber, doesn't look as clear as it should. Lots of carbonation.

S- Mealy, gassy, a syrupy sweetness.

T- Watery brown sugar/corn, subsides quickly to a slightly off bitterness, not a positive bitterness, dry and metallic.

M- Fizz, fizz, fizz, as much fizz as good old Dr. Pib. As the beer sits it gains the slightest amount of weight, at that point your teeth are thankful for something that isn't giving them the Oxyclean once-over.

O- I recall in my younger days Sleeman being better, but all of their beers had this strangeness to them you can't quite put your finger on.
My only reason for reconnecting with this beer was someone gave it to me for raking the leaves our adjoining boulevard. I do not recommend this beer at all.

gooby pls

Serving type: can

10-18-2013 02:05:59 | More by Dolanmcduk
Photo of Mountainmanbrewing


4.01/5  rDev +35.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2013 21:28:48 | More by Mountainmanbrewing
Photo of PorterPro125

New Brunswick (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Although I really enjoy all of the beers that Sleeman produces, this one really stands out from the pack.

A- A very nice, honey like reddish-brown hue. Quite enticing to say the least. It poured with a 1/2 finger head that dissipated fairly quick. Minimal lacing on the glass.

S- The smell of this lager is very dark in nature. A little bit of roastiness with some bread notes mixed in.

T- Despite the fact that the bottle is completely clear, there is no skunky notes to be found here. The taste is bar none the best, most sessionable beer that Sleeman makes. It displays some beautiful brown sugar notes with a slight hop characteristic that makes it that much better. If you aren't into sweeter beers, I would shy away.

M- Very smooth beer with excellent carbonation. You know its good stuff when it doesn't feel like a soft drink in your mouth : P

O- If you seek a very well rounded session beer that pleases the palate, don't hesitate; pick this one up and chances are you won't be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2013 02:43:23 | More by PorterPro125
Photo of Olek4374

Alberta (Canada)

3.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Of the "Big 3' Sleeman beers, this is probably my favourite. It's still just slightly above average as a beer, but it has a lot of nice characteristics to it for a very efficient price.

It pours with an inordinate amount of head, maybe 4 fingers' worth. It is a great orange-brown colour and despite being served in a clear bottle, it doesn't have a lick of skunkiness to it.

It smells is a little nutty and smells of some dark malts, interestingly enough. Tastes much of the same - although the mouthfeel is very light, a bit more body would be nice.

it's an average beer, but this is a tasty one.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 06:42:39 | More by Olek4374
Photo of AlexDuMond


3.65/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I can remember having this beer in Monteal New Years eve when I was 19. Overall I felt it was a pretty good beer but I think everyone here is missing a huge and hilarious characteristic of the beer...it smells exactly like weed. Like spot on, I really dont understand how no one else has commented about that.

S- Ganja

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2013 20:13:42 | More by AlexDuMond
Photo of bacabuck


3.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As other reviewers have noted not certain why the brothers rated it so low. Of course it is sweet. It has "honey" in the name. I was not expecting something like a Dead Guy Ale. I was actually impressed with this and many other local beers on a recent trip.

A- deep amber. Gentleblace. No head
T- crisp apple. Remarkably smooth. No after taste. Slight hoppy finish.

Had this on a recent business trip to the Cambridge Ontario area. Really pretty good beer that goes well with most any food. Paired this time with schnitzel and braised cabbage.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 15:27:23 | More by bacabuck
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Sleeman Honey Brown Lager from Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
69 out of 100 based on 227 ratings.