1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Colt 45 Malt Liquor - Pabst Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Colt 45 Malt LiquorColt 45 Malt Liquor

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

721 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 721
Reviews: 237
rAvg: 2.22
pDev: 34.23%
Wants: 5
Gots: 36 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Malt Liquor |  5.61% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 08-24-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Colt 45 Malt Liquor Alström Bros
Ratings: 721 | Reviews: 237 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of crossovert
3.18/5  rDev +43.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Disclaimer, a C or a B rating from a malt liquor means it is tops for the style for me.

From a 12 oz can pours a thin gold into my vintage pbr glass, the head is big and white, quickly dissipating, leaves some lacing.

Smells like sweet malt with a pinch of corn and hops, actually a bit of a hop aroma per the style.

The flavor is a hint of caramel over a bed of adjunct lager, it hides the corn a bit better than other adjuncts.

Mouthfeel is actually alright for this cheap beer.

Drinkable when cold.

Prob the best adjunct lager out there.

crossovert, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of troobie
2.42/5  rDev +9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A classic malt liquor. Colt 45 deserves credit for having been around for so long. Who knows if the recipe was changed over the years, but hopefully not.

I'm of course not going to pour this out of the clear 40 oz. bottle. I paid for the glass and I'm going to use it. Not attractive to look at. Dark golden yellow color. Moderate foaminess that dissipates quickly. Crystal clear to look through.

I've had different experiences with Colt 45. The bottle I'm currently reviewing seems a little stronger all around. The smell is not good. Skunky. This bottle is fresh for 3 more months. Reminds me of Silver Thunder. Corn, cooked vegetables, and sweaty socks.

The taste isn't as bad as the smell, but not far off. Colt 45 has that classic bad beer taste. Finishes clean which is the redeeming value. Try not to burp.

Carbonation is low to medium. Smooth. Watery, but the carbonation gets foamy very quick.

If you like Colt 45 there is nothing to stop you from drinking any amount you feel like drinking.

As I said, I've had different experiences with Colt 45. I'm not impressed with the bottle I'm currently drinking. I may have started with a bottle that was too warm. Remember, in the malt liquor world, colder is better.

troobie, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of rootbeerman
2.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

dont exactly know why i got it but here goes, pour a little into a tulip for looks, 32oz bottle.

A: in bottle and in glass it is straw yellow, with barely half a finger of head in the glass, and a huge what looked like a soap bubble left in the bottle

S: light grainy malt, cooked corn, maybe a touch of alcohol.

T: sweeter than the smell, tastes better straight from the bottle than from a glass. same light malt and corn, barely noticeable hop grassy/bitterness. oddly a little better than i was expecting.

M: watery carbonation is somewhat high.
D: just as easy to drink as it is to drain pour, feel like it needs to be in a brown bag.

rootbeerman, Jul 06, 2010
Photo of hardy008
1.25/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pale gold with a white 1 finger head which is gone quickly. Smells of sweet malt, grain, and cheap alcohol. This taste like one cheap nasty beer. Corn, grain. sweet malt, some alcohol. Not at all pleasant.

Light to medium bodied, low carbonation, nothing to write home about. This was left over after a get together. I wonder why?

hardy008, Jul 03, 2010
Photo of jsprain1
2.35/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a golden yellow, reminiscent of adjunct lagers, the only difference being a better constructed head.
S- Smells sweet, cereally, and a bit of alcohol in there.
T- Sweet grain and alcohol dominate this beer, with only enough hop presence to slightly bitter it.
M- Kinda fizzy but stiffer than some counterparts.
D- It is what it is, and if one is to consume "party beer," this is actually not the worst thing out there.

jsprain1, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of bundy462
2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Pale yellow with a big bubble head.

S: Sweet malt and cheap grain. Boozy smell.

T: Pretty harsh despite more malt that I had expected. Warming alcohol in the finish. Some bitterness from slight hops.

M: Harsh considering the malty backbone.

O: This stuff has one use, to get smashed right out of the 40 ounce bottle and that's about all that it's good for.

bundy462, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of Spineypanda
3.23/5  rDev +45.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Did not pour, drank from bottle. Which one should do, with a brown paper bag.
Golden in color, nice frothy head.
Smells of beer, beer and beer.
Tastes like a malt liquor, lots of sweetness that comes from that.
A quick 40oz drink that will do the trick. Thats it. :D

Spineypanda, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of OneDropSoup
2.38/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 40 oz. to a tulip pint: Pale golden-yellow with lots of big, fast nucleation bubbles under a finger of foamy head white head that drops to a spotty coating on the surface. Leaves splotches of lacing.

Smells dank, musty, with faint traces of corn sweetness & a sharp character, presumably from hops. Very dry smell.

Tastes pretty watery, with restrained corny sugars & just a tiny bit of bitterness from hops. A metallic element shows up & takes hold in the aftertaste, not so great but not overwhelming either.

Feels decent, definitely light-bodied but with a foaminess that's kind of enjoyable.

Expectations are a bitch, but this was honestly better than I'd anticipated. Pretty easy-drinking & nothing overtly offensive. Granted, I have no plans of finishing the entire 40, but I can imagine there are worse malt liquors out there.

OneDropSoup, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of zeff80
1.9/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Consumed as a Memorial Day BBQ joke.

A - Poured out a very clear, very bubbly straw yellow color with a small, short-lived head of white bubbly foam. No lacing at all.

S - It smelled of corn and booze. No hop presence detected at all.

T - Very sweet with a big corn/grain taste. Again, no hop bitterness at all.

M - It was crisp but still fairly chewy/sticky in terms of mouthfeel. Not good.

D - Could not finish my 24oz can. Just to sweet and messy.

zeff80, May 30, 2010
Photo of BabyBastard
2.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I may be the only person to ever pour this into a chalice. Very pale golden, also clear with a decent size white foamy head that leaves great lacing for this style. Most lace I've seen on a malt liquor to date. Not much carbonation bubble action to speak of, but this looks around the average mark to me.

Smell, on the other hand, totally different story. Skunk like and very, very rice filled nose, if that is what rice smells like. Hard to tell. This is the most unpleasing aspect of this brew. I'm sure the clear bottle does not help this situation in any way.

Taste is light on the palate, was served cold so the flavors are muted, but corn like notes and that great adjunct, mass produced flavor make themselves known. Unimpressive in the department.

Feel is light, airy and slightly tingly, though I'm not sure where those tingles are coming from. Average feel for a below average brew. Drinkability is only average if this is served at the proper temperature, ice cold.

BabyBastard, May 22, 2010
Photo of drunkboxer1
2.08/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

I know I've taken a ride on this wild stallion before, but I can't remember when or why. It is not very good.

Poured into a 350 mL beaker, then drank the rest out of the bottle. Looks fine, golden straw color with lil white bubbles. Smells sweet and grassy. Tastes even sweeter, and mildly of some pale malts. Its think and heavy on the tongue. If you let it get warm its kinda hard to swallow. Despite all this, I remember it being worse.

I could of had a Mickey's! It was right next to it. Living the dream to be sure, though.

drunkboxer1, May 22, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
3.5/5  rDev +57.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - I drank this drank out of the can. The can has that 'authentic' malt liquor look. Now, it is not a perfect '5', like, say, OE800 in the 64oz with the cider-jug handle, but it is pretty damn dope.

S - The smell (largely derived from retro-olfaction) is surprisingly competent. Some discernible hop bitterness, some sweaty-noble-continental Pils aroma, too. Not too cheap smelling, and certainly devoid of the malt liquor disgusting burnt plastic and hot rotgut in the 'nose'.

T - The taste is also surprisingly decent. Better than the standard BMC offerings, IMO. It has a well-balanced malt and hop, given the style... the fact that the malt and hop qualities are appreciable in this brew is commendable, in and of itself. Plus Billy Dee Williams is down with it, so it is obviously good. I don't think Lando Calrissian would lie.

M - Well-carbonated. Decent.

D - I have had many a malt liquor over the years. Tonight my buddy had a 4-pack at a street party, so I indulged. I think this is lesser than Haffenreffer or Crazy Horse (RIP), but way better than OE800, Mickey's, St. Ides, etc. The main problem, in my view, (aside from mediocre taste) is that it is disagreeable to the digestive system.

ktrillionaire, May 17, 2010
Photo of yesyouam
1.6/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Colt 45 is a very clear, very sparkling, pale golden lager with a thin, soft, foamy, white head that slowly fades and leaves decent lacing. It has a corny, slightly sweet, aroma with notes of corn, funk and maybe lemon. It's medium-light bodied and tinny with a starchy, papery finish. It's slightly sweet and doesn't really have any bitterness. It tastes like beer breath. Fusel is detected. It's almost tolerable. It works, but not every time.

yesyouam, May 04, 2010
Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.88/5  rDev +74.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Colt 45 malt liquor has a pretty thick, white head and a yellow to golden color. Carbonation is higher than what is usually associated with malt liquors. Aroma is faint to nonexistent. The taste is mild, balanced, and has some bite to it. I'd say it has the stereotypical American-style lager taste profile. But, it is not too sweet. Mouth-feel is pretty light, but not watery. Colt 45 finished crisp and smooth. Overall, I rate this one very high. I enjoyed it and would recommend it. NOTE: only buy this in the can as the clear bottle allows light to spoil the product.


RonaldTheriot, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.3/5  rDev +48.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz can served in a glass beer mug.

L - clear yellow color with a thin white head that got even thinner in a minute or two.
S - grainy, corn chips aroma.
T - grainy taste with some sweetness but not overly sweet or ethanol tasting like a lot of beers in this style can be.
F - lighter bodied with mild carbonation.
D - drinks a bit better than most malt liquors.

JoeyBeerBelly, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of taez555
3.15/5  rDev +41.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a 4Ooz bottle straight into a wine glass.

This beer poured an extremely clear straw yellow body with a super bright white head.

Nose is almost non existant except for some mild adjunt like malt smells.

Taste is light to light medium bodied with a very clean and crisp white bread sort of flavor. It honestly has a taste like someone fermented wonder bread or something. Very clean and compact with absolutely no off flavors. The slightly higher ABV in this beer gives a little more backbone than your typical american BMC type beer, yet hops are no where really to be found.

I'm not sure what you're expecting from a malt liquor, but this is light and yet very malt. No off flavors at all. If you're in the mood for a simple American macro beer, this is actually very very good. The high ABV and big malt really shine compared to Bud or Miller, etc. For what it is, I really like it.

taez555, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of Lacesoutcody
3.8/5  rDev +71.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this from an 18oz. bottle.

A: Murky yellow

S: Faint hints of corn and grain, a typical "bad beer" smell.

T: Really not obtrusive, mostly faint hints of corn and grain with a little bit of malt creaminess/bitterness on the back end.

M: Creamy, and smooth, a good contrast to be honest.

D: As always with malt liquor you're not going for the intricacies of beer, but what you will get is a thirst quenching way to further your beer intake, and/or live on the street.

either way I recommend it.

Lacesoutcody, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of Wasatch
2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a light yellow color, nice carbonation, small white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some hops, slight caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, slight hop note. Light body. Not drinkable, would not buy again.

Wasatch, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of TheTrevor
2.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I guess a forty ounce counts as a bottle. There isn't much to say about this one. Poured a light yellow, fizzy head that didn't last long. Kind of smells and tastes like old corn, best consumed as close to frozen as possible and as fast as possible. The only reason to pick this over other malt liquors is because Lando Calrissian was in the commercials for it in the 80's.

TheTrevor, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
2.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I strolled into the University Liquor Mart and said to the shopkeep: "Two of your finest malted beverages, sir". The store owner grinned and produced two cans of premium quality. The label read: Colt 45 Malt Liquor. This fine gentleman rang up a total of $3.50 and was even so kind as to provide complimentary protective brown paper covers (what a steal)!

Later on, as we parked our imported automobile in the campus parking lot, I began my pregame intramural volleyball warmup routine. I slid down the paper covering as though it were the undergarments of a fine woman of the night. The luscious aromas of corn, rice, and alcohol intoxicated my being.

I finally brought this divine creation to my lips and savored the rich, grainy, corn, rice, and alcoholic flavors. The elixir filled my mouth, leaving with it a light and airy reminder of its magnificence.

After taking several mighty gulps, I found myself in possession of an empty vessel. I signaled my completion of the beverage with a thunderous discharge of digestive gasses (which could be heard for several yards).

As my partner in crime mimicked my actions, we strolled towards the gym, pausing only at a trash receptacle to dispose of the evidence. It was at this time we vowed to never repeat these deeds. At least, not until next Tuesday.

womencantsail, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of Shaw
2.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From a 16-ounce can I bought at a gas station. Freshness date stamped on the bottom.

It's very yellow with a nice foamy white head.

It has a weird sweet, lightly grainy aroma.

The taste isn't very good, but it's not bad. Sweet and grainy.

Very light body with a tiny amount of substance.

Overall it's not very good. But I was expecting a disaster, and this beer beat my expectations.

Shaw, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of alkemy
2.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 16 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass. I doubt Jim Koch had this swill in mind when they designed this glass, but it will certainly be classier than a brown paper sack. Color is straw yellow with no head. I wouldn't describe the beer has hazy, but it gives the appearance that your glass has a film covering it. Smells sweet and skunked. Taste is surprisingly not hateful. It's sweet for sure, but the skunky smell doesn't show itself too bad in the taste. Hops is not really discernable, but there is a bitter note that lets you know it's there. I can't believe I used to knock these back in the 45oz. size in college on certain (ie. brown bag night) occasions.

alkemy, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of Bitterbill
2.93/5  rDev +32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

24oz can, best by? Nov 3 2009.

A clear and bubbly yellow gold colour with a finger's worth of foam.

It has a sweet cloying smell, slight note of charcoal, and very grainy.

The taste is of swwt malt/sugar(though not as strong as in the smell)some corny grain, and a light bitterness throughout. Not bad.

Close to medium bodied with the carbonation at a very brisk level. Head retention turns out to be better than average, nah, quite good actually.

This isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I see the abv isn't outrageous so the huge dump of sugars to get the alcohol up there, like in many Malt Liquors, wasn't the route taken with this one. A 12oz sample would suit me better but the 24oz isn't the greatest chore I've ever put myself through. Bottom line, it's ok but it'll probably be years before I visit it again. ;^) I'm more of Mickey's Fine Malt Liquor fan...

Bitterbill, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of tjd112
1/5  rDev -55%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Malt liquor should not even be considered beer...

Presentation - Straw colour with little head and little lacing

Smell/Taste - Corn, sugar, and lots of alcohol, like, if you put an eyedrop of everclear into some MGD 64

Mouthfeel/Drinkability - Icky and I could not get past a few ounces.

tjd112, Dec 16, 2009
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
1.69/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

How to drink Colt 45.

Think of Billy Dee Williams. Get that 40 oz ice cold. Tell yourself its kitsch value or something.

Anyways, looks like yellow swill. Smells like 54 day old beer. Surprisingly, the taste isn't "horrible". I mean, you can drink this if you had to, there is worse stuff. Its pretty much all corn and rubbing alcohol. Don't let it get warm, or it gets even worse.

Lando Calrissian.

Beerandraiderfan, Nov 29, 2009
Colt 45 Malt Liquor from Pabst Brewing Company
54 out of 100 based on 721 ratings.