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Black Label Beer - Pabst Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Label BeerBlack Label Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

54 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 54
Hads: 151
Avg: 2.41
pDev: 48.96%
Wants: 4
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager | 4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-23-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 54 | Hads: 151
Photo of EHopkinsi
3/5  rDev +24.5%

Average at best, in reality. But throw a kennel of labs in the cooler in the back of your bro's full size Chevy Blazer and hit the Cascades with it, and it picks up some sentimental points...

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Photo of Bumdisc
4.3/5  rDev +78.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I love this beer. I hear so many say this beer is bad but when asked when is the last time you tried it they say years ago or they heard it was bad. I love the look, taste and finish. Some what easy to find. This is my beer of choice. I think a true classic.

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Photo of alabencki
3.65/5  rDev +51.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taking the style of this beer into consideration (American Adjunct Lager in this case), I try not to judge a beer on its style, but rather how does it compare to others of the same style, and how I would rank it accordingly. I fear too many give their reviews on their bias on how they feel about the style, I try my best to not do that.

Poured into a Pilsner glass giving me a three and a half finger wide head of bubbly white foam, similar to a soapy appearance. The color is pale straw, true to its style. The smell seemed typical of this style; grainy and sweet with a pungent smell of corn added for adjunct (boosts alcohol and shortens brewing time) with faint malts and fainter hops (typical to the style). Taste matches scent profile very well. Grains and sweetness are the first things tasted, followed by flavors from the malts and adjunct off-flavors, and finishing with very faint hop bitterness.

All in all, this is a very excellent example of the A.A.L. style. It has good flavor and balance, crisp mouthfeel, and good finish. Not the best example of the style, but pretty good.

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Photo of LWG1970
3.2/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found this at Jungle Jim's in Cincinnati, Remember this from College.

Poured into a Pilsner glass, Head fades Quick, Light amber in color. Smells like Corn and Citrus, NOT a Bad taste as long as it's COLD. It does taste a lot like PABST, A good Go-to summer beer as it's cheap and not offensive. A bit HARD to find around here and it will not be something I go LOOKING for.

I would buy it OVER Budweiser or Coors anyday.

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Photo of Blueribbon666
3/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Enjoyed many times over the years reviewed here for the first time. Poured into dimpled glass mug fro reviewing. Typical AAL straw yellow coloring with that familiar funky smelling corn sweet flatness pours a fluffy head of about a half an inch to an inch in size. Not as sweet as the smell, a bit funky a bit of a watery finish with a bland attempt by some hops. Overall, I'll have this every now and again as it is brewed by whomever is currently brewing the Pabst line up (Miller contract) of old man cast off beers of yore. Really is like PBR's lesser cousin as it's not as sweet and goes down ok as a session beer, but I've found comes back to haunt and hang around the next day, which keeps me away from the beer that was once brewed here in Cleveland until 1971 by the Carling Brewing Company.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
2.7/5  rDev +12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Light yellow color. Head grows with the pour then dies shortly after.

S-Pretty bland and skunky like most. Very light, only thing to speak of is the metallic smell, a light grain and some sweetness.

T-Nothing too different to Pabst. I like normal PBR better but for what it is I have had worse. All in all its nothing I would really ever care to buy in my entire life, but there is some worse macro junk out there I think.

M-Yeah, you know.

O/D-Less drinkable than the super-watery beers because the taste here gets quite boring and a bit nasty after a few. I prefer PBR to several macro brews and this one is like a slightly uglier twin. Could be worse, but not much worse.

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Photo of tone77
2.94/5  rDev +22%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a very pale yellow color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some notes of malts and corn. Taste is crisp, mild, some bitterness at the finish, nothing offensive just not a lot going on. Feels light in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a mediocre brew.

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Photo of cpolking
2.77/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a very light and pale gold in color with a quarter-inch head that rapidly disappears but does surprisingly leave a bit of light lacing down the glass. The aroma is of light, fresh grain, a bit metallic, a touch of lager "funk", a touch of sweet and tart apple and just a hint of hops. The taste is of light grain and lager, and a barely detectable hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is highly and finely carbonated, but a bit watery just the same. Very light. It does have a pleasing aftertaste.

I have based my ratings on beers of this style (American Adjunct Lager), I am not comparing it to all beers in existence.

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Photo of mnrider
2.22/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12. oz Can

A: Pours the clearest yellow I've ever seen. Plenty of carbonation with a large white head, which does not last long.

S: Watery with cereal grains.

T/M: Bubbly and crisp, but watered down. Mostly grains with a weak balance of hops and malts. Clean aftertaste.

D: Not that great of a brew. For the price It's good for games and maybe even to just have around.


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Photo of keeganfrank
1.58/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Has that wispy head and light golden color that are typical of this style. Smells like sweet corn and bread. Taste starts out as sweet adjuncts but sours as the beer warms. Mouthfeel and drinkability are nothing to write home about-CBL is pretty weak.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
2.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I see multiple/duplicate entries for this beer, but figuring that this is, indeed, brewed by the folks at PBR I thought I'd review under this entry.
This beer is, well, average. Nothing about craft beer lives in here. The point of this beer is that it is cheap. One is going to keep lots of this around for football watching. I found a twelve pack for $5 and I'm pretty happy with my purchase. This is pretty identical to PBR. Unremarkable and easy to drink if you don't mind fizzy, yellow beer.

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Photo of hardy008
1.85/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pale color, thin white head with poor retention. The smell has some sweet grain, a small amount of hops, and metal. The taste is much the same as the aroma. The metallic taste is off putting. Light bodied, with too much carbonation. Not very exciting. I will pass on this in the future.

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Photo of Arenbeer
3.34/5  rDev +38.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured out of a 40oz into a Pint Glass

A- Crystal clear light yellow tint with a pearl white two finger head. Couldn't believe the lack of color in this beer.

S- Not much to it, sweet grainy smell with slight hops.

T- Once again not to much there, just a sweet malty, grainy taste with a slight hops backround which is suprising. Was kind of pumped to actually taste hops in a malt liquor. Definitely IMO the best tasting 40 beer.

M- Excellent mouthfeel. Real light and smooth with a decent amount of carbonation, enough to tickle the throat as it goes down. Nor does it leave the mouth dry by any means.

Overall if your looking for a good 40 and something to just relax with, i'd recommend this beer over all the others. No foul alcohol taste or trouble getting this one down, it's actually worth getting every now and then when you don't have much to spend.

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Photo of woodychandler
2.02/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I CAN't believe that I have not reviewed this before now.

This was the first beer that I ever tried and that was at the tender age of ~ 5 y/o. My late Pops, who rarely drank, had some buddies from work over and I was given an open can to take a sip or two. I remember really liking its bitterness and then inadvertently spilling the remainder onto the carpet. That was then.

Now, it got two fingers' worth of rocky, bone-white head with lousy retention. Color was a straw-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a faint lager-like sweetness, but it was barely discernible. Mouthfeel was thin with a light lager sweetness on the tongue. Finish was light, airy, ethereal. I need more from a beer.

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Photo of ThickestHead
2.2/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

No need to bother with the details on this macro-brew. Let's just say that drinking it is more of a chore than a pleasure, sure it tastes relatively better than other similar cheap beers but with an ABV of 4.0 you get disgusted with the stuff before you even get buzzed enough to forget how bad it is. Personally, I use this beer to cook with and it adds enough flavor to the food but it doesn't overwhelm and take over a dish.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.4/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light straw yellow color with a thin white head that fades very quickly and leaves very little lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of light malts, pungent adjuncts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is mostly adjunct & light malt sweetness with bready flavors of grain and barley. There's a very mild hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: A little smooth and a little crisp, very light body, high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Not very flavorful, goes down easily because there's hardly anything to it, not filling at all, very mild kick, this one is as drinkable as any fizzy yellow beer and it's low price helps it find a market niche, but I wouldn't want to drink it if I had much else to choose from.

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Photo of Mistofminn
3.29/5  rDev +36.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Found one of these in my friends fridge recently. Was shocked to say the least. This is one of those people who wouldn't be caught dead drinking from a can. He quickly backtracked and explained "it's my go-to beer pong beer." That I can attest to.

If you like cheap and drinkable beer that still has some sort of taste and substance, this is definitely for you. While it has the characteristics of macro lager written all over it, it just has that little extra quality that makes you say "hey this isn't half bad." Definitely its best and most prominent quality is the drinkability. It better be smooth and easy drinking if its going to be someones "beer pong beer."

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Photo of puboflyons
2.81/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 fl. oz. can no. B82-82355C. It pours a pale yellow with bubbly carbonation that keeps trickling up the side of the pint glass. I note an aroma of grass, corn, and maybe some hops. Watered down on the mouth. The taste is somewhat metallic. I don't rate it quite as bad as other BA raters.

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Photo of neenerzig
3.38/5  rDev +40.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this because it was really cheap at a bar I was at recently, being $2.00 a can. Poured out of a 12 oz can into a pint glass. this beer is a very clear light to medium gold color. Head is a good 1/4 inch when poured, before settling to a nice surface coating about 5 minutes later. I was surprised at the very decent surface layer that I had from a beer of this caliber. Pretty decent lacing too. Smells of somewhat sweet malt and some grain of corn, as is typically found in these types of beers, were present. The taste pretty much followed suite. Somewhat sweet and malty flavors along with the aforementioned corn or grain flavor. No discernible hops whatsoever. The taste is certainly somewhat bland and uninteresting, but also not offensively shitty and bad like many other cheap macro lagers are taste wise. The first thing I thought of when I started sipping beer is that it reminded me a lot of PBR, only for me to find out when I logged on here to write my review that this beer is brewed by Pabst. This beer is pretty much like a clone of PBR, at least to this palate. I doubt that I, or most of you guys could tell the difference in a blind taste test. The price is comparable to PBR too. It has a somewhat crisp and smooth light to medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Easy to drink, partially because this is like drinking seltzer water more than beer, which is never a good thing when it comes to beer. I have to admit though, I don't really see a reason why this beer even has a need to exist as long as PBR is around.


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Photo of chilidog
2.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not much to say on thisone other than this is a good get ya by brew.

Not much on appearance, clear yellow straw, even looks alittle thin. Head is white and does maintain allittle after the pour. It will fade with no real lace.

Aroma is faint, grain or corn like with a grass undertone.

Taste is watered grassy grain. Slightly sweet but no real hop or malt to speak of.

The mouth is thin, light bodied and a slight tartness as it dries.

Drinkability, sure till your next better beer. That said, the value and the old name plate drew me to pick up this 12-pk. for 4.99. Its better cold, but lacks in every area.

I'll use soom for cooking.

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Photo of icefisherman
3.53/5  rDev +46.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 5

well to start off $5 a 12-pack is a hell of a buy anywere in my opinion so on to the reveiw appearence yeah. . . . well its a pretty can no glassware was offered but im going to say it was not needed smell well yeah it smelled like cheap beer to me not bad at all taste is were it shines and does it ever shine hard mmm mmm good a slightly sweet and slight unplaceable note but still freakin delicious mouthfeel was just a little on the light side not impressed is an understatment would i drink it/buy it again yes on all acounts

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Photo of cfriend2
2.28/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - pale clear yellow in color. barely noticeable head.

S - very anemic, yet vague unpleasant straw-like odor

T - first thoughts were immediately on how watery the beer is. Detected a bit of hops, and half-hearted hints of grain, accompanied by a dry finish.

D - I've had quite a bit of this beer over the years. it tends to be a loyal standby when funds are low. taking into consideration the bigger picture, this beer is far from greatness. if you compare it to other cheap convenience store beer, and then it can put up a decent fight.

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Photo of Beastdog75
2.11/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

It isn't easy trying to track down exactly who or what brews this beer (and where), but some other BAs touch upon the subject a bit more eloquently then I could, so I will just say it is contract brewed in America somewhere. There are quite a few beers called "Carling Black Label" so tracking it down here at BA posed a slight challenge as well. I think I got the right beer here, so after going through all the trouble to review a VERY mediocre brew, here it goes:

Black Label pours a clear, somewhat pale light yellow color. The best and most surprising part of the brew is that a decent foamy head forms and actually lasts for quite some time. Perhaps "head retention" agents were used in the brewing? The smell is your standard husky adjuncty smell that you usually find in any cheap canned brew. There is a very sharp carbonation present, much like seltzer water. The taste? Not too pleasant. Adjuncty, husky, vegetable-like, with some medicine-like taste. A bit on the bitter side when all is said and done. The cooked veggie taste lingers on and the beer finishes off with some alcoholic warmth.

Yes, this brew pretty much defines your standard, bland American macro. Supposedly my grandparents drank this stuff, but I would bet that is beer was probably a lot better in its heyday.

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Photo of jadpsu
2.87/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dull pale yellow but also pours a decent head. Clean taste but thin and watery, not much flavor. Laregely inoffensive but also there is nothing distictive. While it has little or no aroma it also has no chemical taste. Still a decent thirst quencher on a hot day.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.05/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-ounce can into my Willimantic Brewing Co. pint glass.

A: Pours a very clear, pale yellow. Turns more golden away from light, but looks like carbonated white grape juice when held up to it. Soda-like carbonation fades within seconds, leaving some soapy residue. Yum-town.

S: Smells like a funky, skunked grain and sweet corn. For some reason, it smells a bit like cheap pinot grigio to me as well.

T: The sweetness balanced with a slight hop bite is more pleasant than anticipated. Though not complex by any stretch, this is one of the smoother tasting macros I've had.

M: Mouthfeel is light bodied and crisp. Not overwhelming, most likely because not much goes into it in the first place.

D: This can came from a 15-pack (not a typo), and I could see taking down most of this by my lonesome, but easily with a pal. I feel better drinking this too as opposed to swilling Bud Light when forced to.

Overall, Carling Black Label is alright in my book. When going macro, which is rarely, I tend to go Pabst, Keystone, or Rolling Rock, just to stray away from BMC products, but this would be a welcome addition to the fold. Good call for the style.

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Black Label Beer from Pabst Brewing Company
62 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.