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Old Style Pilsner - Molson Coors Canada

Not Rated.
Old Style PilsnerOld Style Pilsner

Educational use only; do not reuse.

46 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 46
Hads: 124
Avg: 2.84
pDev: 37.68%
Wants: 8
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Molson Coors Canada visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
German Pilsener |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-05-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (58) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 46 | Hads: 124
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.48/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Can: Poured a light golden color pilsner with a nice pure white foamy head. Aroma of lightly sweet malt based with light cereal notes. Taste is also dominated by lightly sweet adjunct notes with light cereal notes and light sweet finish. Body is light with good carbonation. This was not as bad as I had expected but it is still a pretty bland offering.

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Photo of biboergosum
2.83/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

20oz pint, at Hudsons Canadian Taphouse. Pil, along with Canadian, was the de facto beer choice amongst my peers for well into our early 20s. I recall having to buy a two-four of this when it was my turn to buy the beer for my men's league hockey team a while back, under strict instruction, no less.

This beer arrives at the bar, and appears a clear, very pale golden yellow colour, with a single finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and kind of wispy dirty white head, which leaves a bit of sticky forest foliage lace around the glass as it quickly settles.

It smells of gritty rice/corn grain, a rather uninviting plastic acetone essence, dry spent yeast, and faint, yet still rather skunky, grassy hops. The taste is more sweet than the aroma let on - the malt displaying its rice and corn heritage in all its lurid glory - with some subtle, yet still skunky herbal notes, still evident yeast, and soft, stale green grassiness, the kind with just a kiss of Roundup applied.

The carbonation is a bit on the high side, which appears to cut through some of the overwrought sweetness, the body fairly light, weight-wise, and quite thin, with a certain clammy pithiness. It finishes off-dry, with an emphasis on that sweet adjunct corn row, um, heartiness.

Normally, I'd give this one a wide berth, but tonight, with the weather acting like it's still April, and hockey still on multiple LCDs in the pub, this went down just fine with a sweat-inducing (by my own silly order) category 5 hotness bison burger. The real problem with ordering this on tap is, of course, the missed opportunity for searching for the hidden white rabbits.

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Photo of biegaman
2.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

'Old Style Pilsner' is an ironic name for a beer that looks so modern: deliberately antiseptic, filtered to within an ounce of its life, spot-on yellow with cartoonishly large bubbles and a head that, like most every hitter in baseball circa the late 1990s, is obviously benefiting from some sort of steroid in the form of an added stabilizing agent.

It is also an ironic name for a beer that probably contains at least a half-dozen additives that weren't yet invented half a century ago. The smell of it would suggest an ample use of corn syrup, or some kind of corn-derived fermentable. A malt extract at the least. Two of the style's most distinguishing features - hops and bitterness - are both notably absent.

Let's call a spade a spade here: this is less an "old style" pilsner than it is a contemporary, mass-produced adjunct lager like everything else in the Molson portfolio. But let us also be fair: it isn't quite as offensive as the majority of other beers in that portfolio and, relatively speaking, can get away with being considered a fairly neutral, acceptable beer.

Provided, of course, you're the type who prefers light-bodied, lightly-flavoured beers. I'll reaffirm that the lack of bad tastes is more important to me than the presence of good ones, but some flavour would have been nice. This presents a stale breadiness and a faint tinge of corn kernel and, less you consider water to have a flavour, not much else.

Old Style Pilsner was a beer that I didn't have much interest in trying and, despite having drunk it in an historic old-timey Wild-West saloon in the badlands of Alberta, is one that I certainly have no interest in trying again. Sure, it may be one of Molson's less offensive brands, but assessing that as a positive is like calling petty theft ok because it's "merely a misdemeanor" - a minor offense is still a crime nonetheless.

...And considering how much I was charged for this, I'd say petty theft is a fitting analogy!

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.34/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was able to try this fine beer prior to departing Calgary International Airport. The beer was golden in color with decent carbonation. The scent was rather bland with grain tones. The taste was good....for me there was a bit of sweetness, which then was followed by grain/wheat taste. The beer came off the pallete quite nice and didnt linger. I thought this to be a very good beer.

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Photo of wordemupg
2.74/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml can poured into pint glass oct20 2009

A clear straw yellow with a nice two finger head with better then expected retention and a fair amount of lace and lots of bubbles.

S a little skunk floral hops, grass, and a little bread

T as it smells with a metallic flavor from the can perhaps. maybe a little cooked veggie taste too, nothing special

M lots of carbonation almost makes up for how thin this beer is

D overall this is as average as they come, a staple for all teenage Canadian's and football fans from Saskatchewan

this beer is slightly better from a bottle but that's saying very little, just another mass produced Canadian beer that lives off the brand loyalty of people that don't know any better

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Photo of spinrsx
2.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Can from the Ottawa LCBO for $2

Appearance - Clear yellow colour with a massive size fizzy white coloured head. There is a high amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Corn, apples, grains

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste corn, apples, and grains. There is also a slight cardboard type flavour. It ends with a stale adjunct aftertaste.

Overall – Pretty much what I was expecting I guess.. just another poor adjunct from Molson Coors. It did have a nice appearance, I will give it that.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.35/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

YES! So happy to see this available at the Beer Store. A classic prairie pilsner that has a serious cult following and a disgusting association with the Riders. From notes.

A - Light apple juice coloured pour with good carbonation. Bright and had a two finger fluffy white head that left good lace rings and a finger of retention.

S - Sweet grain, apple, pear, corn.

T - Sweet grain again, mild hope note, honey. Not all that unpleasant.

M - Strong carbonation, medium body, sweet finish. Good for the style.

O/D - I've had this a couple times out West and never felt it was too bad for the style. I could definitely have a few of these in a night and consider it one of the better adjunct lagers around. Avoids the DMS assault most examples of the style carry with them.

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Photo of tpd975
2.65/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to jdubfl for bringing this one to a local tasting.

A: Pale yellow with a small fizzy head.

S: Corn bread, honey, and light grass.

T: Very grainy, overly sweet with a bit of bitter herbal grass.

M: Light in body, fizzy, meh.

D: Not really

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Photo of BigBry
3/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

'Pil' - the beer of every small town in the prairies. Your very average macro product that is reasonably priced and is available everywhere. Pours a pale straw color with a white head of small bubbles, that quickly flattens out and disappears. Some smell of grain, slight hops (but you have to really lookfor it). Light flavor, with a clean finish. Lots of carbonation give a crisp mouthfeel. Thirst quenching on a hot day. Just don't let it get warm or the taste will burn you. Enjoy the Saskatchewan way - straight from the bottle.

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Photo of IronDjinn
2.3/5  rDev -19%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

True, this is the can you associate with finding in the gutter, it's a timeless classic in Alberta since before I was born, a fall back for the majority of the population. I however, found this particular can in my dad's beer fridge (well, at least he replaced the Old Milwaukee).

It pours out of it's very familiar green, red, gold and white landscaped can depicting the average day out in the West back in the day (tongue in cheek). Pale cidery straw in appearance, the head puts up a fairly decent fight and lingers for a bout a minue. Smells of sharp corn husks, slight biscuit. Has a bit more flavour than the average macro that I've been used to (although for many it's been a while). The mouthfeel is fuller than the average macro as well. The only problem with Molson Pilsner is that it makes me sleepy after a couple of them, which totally reduces its drinkability points. A possible substitute for a sleeping pill, but that doesn't say much.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.08/5  rDev +43.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Straw gold filtered, little carbonation, 4 fingers of fluffy white head.

S: Saaz hops, grainy, hay, spicy green hay, a touch of molasses.

T: Very balanced with a light sweetness right from the start, all the hops big spicy green hay and touch of molasses all coming through, wheatgrass. I think it’s a tribute to the freshness of this beer.

M: Medium almost syrupy bready body, medium low carbonation.

O: This one surprised me in a pleasant way. Cool old style can takes me back to old Germany, which is appealing if you want an old style beer. The smell and taste deliver in balance. The sweetness took me off guard a little, perhaps a little too much in this beer, but the freshness of it makes me want to keep drinking it. Really it’s a great beer.

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Photo of pootz
3.1/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I feel I must come to the rescue of this timeless Western classic beer. It has been a staple in Saskatchewan and Alberta pubs since the 30s for good reason. I find it inconceivable to denigrate a product that stands the test of time and is completely unpretentious in what it attempts to be…..a light Canadian pilsner. That’s what it IS…it is NOT German or Czech pilsner nor is it some pretentious micro brewed grog. Those of us that grew up with this beer remember the unique label depicting local historic landmarks and….. the seemingly ballooning rabbit population.

This is a staple light pilsner Alberta brew made with quality western barley and German hops in good balance in a modern brewing process. As an icon of western brewing history “Pil” naturally draws attacks from the novice connoisseur whose expertise only extends to trashing all traditional Canadian brews…. but this is just ignorance of Canadian brewing processes speaking. “Pil” is a good representation of the classic Canadian brewers art……all malt from conquest barley, clear, crisp and repetitive quality. “Pil” was originally brewed by Sick’s Lethbridge Alberta brewery which was acquired by Molson in the 70s. I note there is now some variance in the taste of this beer as it is made in other Molson plants. I recently enjoyed a “Pil” at the Tilly Bar in Alberta after a Pheasant hunt….it hit the spot and added a unique regional taste to the occasion. Hasn't changed much.

“Pil” pours a pale straw color with a white head that quickly dissipates to a fine lace. Aromas of hop and grains are faint but present. There is quite a bit of carbonation since Molson took over the process. This beer starts light and crisp with pale malt grainyness then a pleasant Pils hopping takes over the palate, then the clean crisp finish with virtually no after taste. A very good light thirst quenching and drinkable summer beer to be served up frosty with pretzels after a hot day on the bald-ass prairie. Try it when you get out west, and come at it from the proper perspective…..you’ll appreciate what this beer is all about.

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Photo of thehyperduck
2.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Pours a pale golden adjunct lager colour, with a half-finger head that dies down over the next few minutes, leaving behind some modest lacing. The smell is uninteresting - malts and corn - confirming my suspicion that this is just a regular macro labelled as a pilsener.

Taste is actually not that bad. There is a bit of a diluted bread malt sweetness at first, followed by a very mildly bitter finish. There is a bit of an adjunct flavor, but compared to other Molson products it is very subdued. Of course, all of the flavors are subdued; if I didn't know better I would think this was a light beer for that very reason. Very watery and thin, with heavy carbonation. I feel a little bloated after drinking half of this.

For an adjunct lager, Pilsner is quite drinkable due to the lack of any serious off flavours. However, if they are going to call it a pilsener they should at least have the decency to use hops. Taking this as a macro lager, the score above would likely be at least a full letter grade higher (C+). Pilsner is to pilsener as Alexander Keith's is to IPA - but regardless of style interpretation, they're both good campfire/hockey/mindless inebriation beers.

[Updated Oct. 23 2013]

I did a bit of a double-take when I saw this tallboy at my local Beer Store - Vitamin P available in Ontario? When did this happen? I haven't seen this stuff since I was out working in Alberta. It looks great in the glass, but other than that there's not much I can add to this review. Molson's Old Style Pilsner is a passable adjunct lager that might get a halfway decent grade if they'd just call it that, but it's a piss-poor pilsner with no detectable hop bill. Maybe I'm being anal retentive, but other than the low price this one really doesn't have much going for it - if I'm trying to get drunk then James Ready is more abv at the same price, and if I'm trying to enjoy a tasty lager then there are plenty of vastly superior German/Czech imports at surprisingly comparable prices.

Final Grade: 2.33, a D+.

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Photo of TerryW
2.51/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Pale, pale yellow brew under and big, big bright white soapy head. Settles to a bubbly cap before giving way to a ring. Reasonably

Nose is typical pilsner-type hops and malt, nothing particularly exciting or offensive. Corny sweet to drink up front, slightly redeems itself with some proper graininess up the middle before giving way to a sweet sticky finish. Ends with a doughy bitterness. Not crisp in any way, just big and puffy sweet on the palate.

Not particularly fun to drink. Cheesy looking can as a bonus. That's done.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.16/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This may be the most nostalgic beer of all for a Saskatchewan born fella such as myself ... One of my earliest memories is of rooting through this giant bowl of beer bottle caps my grandpa kept for who knows what reason, plucking out this beige-brown colored cap that said "Old Style" as my favorite. I guess I started early. The green, yellow, and red is more current and better known, but suffice to say this adjunct beer has been around for a while and any self-respecting Saskie drinks this instead of Labatt's or Bud (perish the thought). Anyhow, I will provide an unbiased and objective review. Pilsener is crazy-pale, almost clear, and smells grainy, with a bit of baker's yeast and green grass. The high level of carbonation makes the aroma a tad difficult to discern but realistically, who smells this chugger anyway? Flavor is muted, gentle, and smooth, with the thin watery body you'd expect and a sweeter than expected, slightly sour finish. I get some breakfast cereal, soda crackers, apples, weak lemonade, corn syrup, and a little coarse astringent rubbing alcohol in the finish. Some bias may creep in here, but I feel this brew has fewer flaws than many other macro-lagers (alright, the apple is probably acetyldehyde!), less DMS cooked character, and a pretty reasonable balance of sweet and dry. Obviously its a beer designed for mass consumption without too much in the way of mindful sensory analysis and I'd ratchet up the overall flavor intensity. Admittedly it was fun to try a Pils again, well aware that this is not a world-beater but able to enjoy some pretty good memories just the same.

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Photo of leaddog
3.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a straw yellow with a finger width of bubbly head.

Smell- Sweet corn, grains, apple, grassy.

Taste- Sweet corn, grains, and apple are all present followed by a grassy and dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall- An easy drinking pilsner. This is one of the better macros out there considering its brewed by Molson. This would be perfect for a hot summer day after doing yard work or something along those lines.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
3.21/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: 1" white head that receded over 3 minutes and left a slight lacing over straw coloured liquid with excellent clarity.

S: Musty, yeast and citrus hops.

T: Citrus hops upfront, bitter in the middle and a slight malt finish.

M: Thin viscosity and a low level of medium carbonation.

O: Better than average macro-brew that is surprisingly more drinkable than I remembered...

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Photo of RJLarse
2.98/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked up an 18-pack of Old Style (cans) on a family adventure to Penticton BC last summer. I remembered Old Style from 25+ years ago, when a bunch of used to trip across the Canadian border to drink Old Style, and escape the oppressive 21-year old drinking age in Washington.

This beer pours a pale gold color, with a thin white head. It is very fizzy, and actually looks a little like champagne.

The smell is faint, and not particularly distinct. It smells a bit of malted grain, hops maybe some adjuncts. Nothing special.

The taste is mild, typical of a macro beer, a little hoppy, again nothing special, but it’s not bad.

The mouth feel of this beer is light crisp and clean. An excellent thirst quencher especially ice cold.

This is a nice beer, and very drinkable, but perhaps a little too common. For all I know this is the “Bud” of Canada. I probably like it more out of nostalgia than anything else, but I do enjoy the Pilsner style, which is becoming harder to find, at least in the western US.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
2.98/5  rDev +4.9%

473 ml can served cold into a Keith's pint glass. Purchased from LCBO for about $2 CDN.

Appearance - clear and pale golden color. Few bubbles but capped by a finger and a bit of white fluffy head that leaves a trace of lacing.

Smell - some grassy notes, but not terribly aromatic even for the style.

Taste - grassy up front, then more grainy on the back end. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Decent pils, but not terribly exciting.

Mouthfeel - medium body and carbonation is a bit low. Medium finish.

Overall - not a bad effort at a pils, but there are many other options available for about the same price.

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Photo of RuckusDu
3.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a large head, just slightly off white. Body is extremely clear, golden yellow. Some lacing but doesn't stick around long.

S - sweet scent. Some wheat aromas, but overall pretty nice.

T - Again it is very sweet (relatively to other lagers). Good malt flavors. Everything is very light in flavor, but not offputting in anyway. As I continue to drinking, it becomes more and more mundane. The hops start to come out more and it tastes is a pretty typical pilsener.

M - Decent. Ok carbonation and slightly below average body. No complaints, but nothing sticks out.

O - Pretty typical, but always fun to try new brews. Thanks to richoch3t for bringing this back from Canada for me.

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Photo of beerluvr
2.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the colorfully labeled can into a Duvel glass. Fairly decent white head settling over clear deep yellow colored beer. Nose is unremarkable: some corn and weak maltiness with barely a hop flower to be found. Taste is light bodied with corn adjunct apparent, scant light malt and again nary any hoppiness. Finshes light and watery, seems like an 'old school' old man's beer. Glad I could only buy a single without having to put out for a six of this stuff. MIGHT go well with the hot Ottawa weather we've had of late but otherwise don't bother.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.38/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Purchased at The Beer Store approx. $2.20/ 473ml can. Served at 8deg C in a draught glass

A- Standard Canadian beer. Clear and foamy

S- Not much here but that is standard for this mass produced beer

T- Pretty good! Brings back a bit of nostalgia from visiting BC

M- Not much as usual but that's ok

O- Got to give this beer a passing grade

Food Pairing

Pair this with anything you want at a BBQ.


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Photo of mrmanning
1.71/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Thanks Josh. Pale straw with a foamy white cap, leaving scads of lacing. Faint malty and corn aromas, tin and bread also present. Sweet malt flavours, corn and grain/hay/grass? Strange creamy mouthfeel, almost unpleasant. Odd bitter tin finish. Not in my top 100.

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Photo of TheHammer
2.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, it's this year's Banjo Bowl, and as a Ti-Cat fan, I'm rootin' for the Roughriders, so I thought it was time to review the beer know as "Saskatchewan Champagne"

Appearance: Solid finger and a half of head that retained well enough but did not lace. The body is a pale gold that has steady carbonation.

Smell: Has a bit of a mild swamp scent to it. Warmning doesn't help either way as vegetation and earthy note dominate the nose. It's not strong enough to call it offensive, but it rubs me a bit wrong.

Taste: A straw and corn malt with a bit of earthiness in the background which turns to an almost cabbage like taste and ends with a small dose of mild earth hops.

Mouthfeel: The sweeter malt dominates the aftertastes with only notes of the earthiness. The carbonation helps out the entire beer as well, but the transitioning is a little abrupt.

Drinkability: It seems a bit lighter and crisper then most adjucts, but I wouldn't call it a work of art. It's a summer. A Macro, but somewhat more tolerable then most.

Final Thoughts: I guess this is another part of the Roughrider fanbase I'll never understand, much like wearing watermelons for helmets, and I for one am grateful not to be one of their number if I had to drink this stuff at games.

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Photo of ChrisCage
2.97/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

A- I've had enough of these to know this isn't the best looking beer out there, but it doesn't look bad either! It pours with a decent foamy head that actually retains decently, settling to a thin layer of foam over the beer. The color is lighter than a typical Pils style, being a clear grassy tone, and there's lots of big carbonation that clings to the glass within the brew. There is some moderate lacing that sticks to the glass as well. The label is classic so there's points for that!

S- This is where the macro quality of this beer starts to show. The aroma is fairly mild, primarily being of grass and dry dusty grain. There is some sweet corn aromas and not very much for hop bitterness...bland overall in my opinion.

T- More of the same here, there being a distince grassy flavor, some sweetness from the malts....subtle honey and corn comes to mind. The hop bitterness is there slightly on the finish, but not enough that someone would know that this is a true Pilsner style beer. Not offensive and a small notch above the average macro, but nothing special here.

M- This has the typical macro wateriness that I would expect from Molson. The carbonation scrubs the palate well and it delivers a thirst quenching quality.

D- The relative lack of flavor, watery feel, and amount of carbonation lead me to say that this is a great beer to have many of. This is a great patio beer....it doesn't cost a ton and it can be enjoyed by the majority of beer drinkers. I would have no problems having many of these over an evening!

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Old Style Pilsner from Molson Coors Canada
69 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.