1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  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.

736 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 736
Reviews: 238
rAvg: 2.21
pDev: 34.84%
Wants: 6
Gots: 41 | 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: 736 | Reviews: 238 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of toomanyideas
3.1/5  rDev +40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

When reviewing Colt 45, it's best not to compare it to premium beer, and to remember what Colt is meant for. Colt is a beer that you can enjoy on a very tight budget, because people with a low income should be able to afford a beer to drink.

The look is a bit thick, the smell is a little off, but the taste is quite average and enjoyable. If you serve it ice cold in a glass, it's not much different than some standard draught at a bar.

I personally drink this a few times a week, it "works every time" as the slogan indicates, and I've never gotten sick of it.

toomanyideas, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of beerprovedwright
1.98/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Goodly amount of head, about two fingers of white, thick foam. Good clinging lace, nice pattern. Color is a 3 on the SRM beer color chart. So clear I think I could spear a shark in 40 fathoms of this stuff. Smell is that of wet straw and barley. Taste is not much of anything initially, but the after taste is sweet malt. Mouthfeel is nothing special, about one step above water. Nothing really stands out as good in this beer, but nothing that turns my stomach either. Cheep, drinkable, available, good yard work or attic exploring beer.

beerprovedwright, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of HalfFull
3.1/5  rDev +40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tall Boy can poured into a pint glass, I continue my exuberant sampling of a style so rare to me. And at 5.61%, not really much stronger than many an Adjunct Lager, what exactly defines this Malt Liquor thing? This can pours a clear and light straw, more like many a Light Lager. Half inch cap drifts away in short order with some lacing left behind. Better looking than Bud Light, but not by a long shot.

Nose of rice and a hint of corn along with some yeast. So-so and surely not as robust as others of the style. Taste is slightly sweet and creamy on the palate, yet reveals its PBR parentage as it warms given its spicy/sour yeast character which alone causes me to bump the nose by half a point.

Feel is a bit thin even with the creamy nature. Offers a bit of orange citrus on the finish followed by a slightly drying nature. A pumped up PBR? Not sure, but seems to share some roots. I prefer the dryer nature of the original.

HalfFull, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of 7beerphil
3.7/5  rDev +67.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

consumed from the 40 oz bottle

through the bottle, I see a pale straw color (as well as the likeness of Billy D!)

not much of a smell form the bottle. hint of malt, no hops. the taste is somewhat like the smell, semi-sweet, but not overpowering. Once again no bitterness, no hop presence.

this is a smooth one, with no harsh mouthfeel, although there is a slight sour aftertaste that lingers a minute. very drinkable. I could see downing a few 40's of this on a humid summer night after toiling in the yard.

7beerphil, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of ronniebruner
1.38/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Wow... How could a beer be bad in every way possible? Easy answer: It is consumed in mass quantities in the ghetto. This beer is outright horrible.. disgusting taste, bad smell, disturbing color.... I honestly cannot think of a nice thing to say here...

ronniebruner, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of woodychandler
2.65/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I love that some of these hi-grav AmeriCAN Malt Likkers (the artistes formerly known (by me) as AMLs) are now being packaged in 22-ounce bottles. Long live the revolution! I am (finally) withing striking distance of my 400th bottle and frankly, I CANnot wait for this madness to end. I am jonesin' to crack open a CAN and rejoin The CANQuest (TM) in its unstoppable glory. In the meantime, cheap mass-produced beers are on the menu.

I got a finger of fizzy bone-white head that was determined to dissipate its way out of existence. Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-plus quality clarity. I could see into the future and it looked kinda cold and bleak. That's what I get for indulging in this stuff. The nose smelled like the interior of a silo. Fermented grain, corn cobs and other slop left to ferment in the hot summer sun to be strewn before barnyard animals. Yum! The taste was actually better than the smell. It had a dry, cotton-candy-like sweetness thanks to their genius at biochemistry in developing a yeast strain that rips through fermentable sugars leaving only alcohol in its wake. No, really, it was bone dry but the residual sugars gave it a slight sweetness. It was pretty much the same ol', same ol'. Mouthfeel was fizzy on the tongue. Not too bad if you want a palate cleanser before moving on to something better. Finish was gaspingly dry. Again, it might be nice as a warm-up or a palate-cleanser before drinking something else.

woodychandler, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of harpus
2.1/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A= drank in true 40 oz fashion straight from the 40. Looks a typical macro yellow color in the bottle. After I pour a bit out for my lost ones a small head forms and falls fast leaving small cascading sheets of lace on the bottle.
S= sort of like a more pungent macro I guess. Not too bad.
T= oh wow that's pretty bad. The small amount of alcohol is present amd the after taste is really gross like syrupy veggies.
M= not bad. Light and crisp.
D= the taste is a deterent but while sitting around with the boys I could have one.

harpus, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of Lagerfeld
3.63/5  rDev +64.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

let me start out this review by saying what needs to be said about colt 45 first - this is not a world class beer and we all know it, BUTTT it is a decent beer and for the price is better than miller/bud/coors light in my opinion - i think this beer gets so much negative reviews just because of the stigma behind "malt liquor" and the joke that only bums drink it - hell i know a lot of college students who drink it too - people are tired of the same old keystone/bud every weekend.

appearance - very average, looks the same every time that same yellow every time, never poured into a glass so no need to worry about reviewing the head or lacing lol

smell - average as well, very faint smell of alcohol

taste - good - not a complex taste by any means, nothing to savor or look for, no notes or hints to really pick out - this beer was made for you and your broke friends to enjoy on a TIGHT (im talkin TIGHT) budget.

mouthfeel/drinkability - pretty average but not bad at all has the right amount of carbonation so it goes down smooth - one of the easier beers to drink at 6% alcohol, much easier to drink than its HIGH GRAVITY counterpart which tastes nothing like beer

overall i give this beer a C based on every beer i have tried so far, based on me being a cheap bastard though i'd give it a B - not much you can find better for the price.

Lagerfeld, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
2.13/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Crystal clear golden yellow with lots of carbonation, fair head and not a lot of lacing.

Smells of alcohol, grain, corn, slightly sweet malts.

Can't say this is my fav malt liquor. Tastes of alcohol, corn, adjuncts, grains, a bit sweet.

Feels average for the style. Wet and carbonated, light body, thin.

There are other cheep malt liquors I'd much rather drink on those days where I'm digging for change beneath the seats of my car.

AlCaponeJunior, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of Sachsenfreude
1.15/5  rDev -48%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Bought this one out of curiousity about this imfamous style. I expected the worst and yes it was bad but not as bad as I thought it would be.

Poured a pale, clear, yellow with a fizzy white head. Too my surprise, the head stuck around for a while but left no lacing. The smell was pretty bad of stale malts and unpleasant fuel-like alcohol. The taste was at first very watery but then a bit of cheap barley and corn came through. Mostly alcohol flavors dominated and not in a good way, like watered down, cheap, vodka, mixed with miller light.

Very watery in the mouth with some alcohol sting, not much more but could be worse. This was a hard beer to drink and I could feel a head ache coming. Rather than waste it, I split it with a friend. Glad I tried it but I will stay clear of the style in the future.

Sachsenfreude, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of daliandragon
2.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Even before I knew what malt liquor was, I knew it was what Billy Dee drank. If it's good enough for Lando, it's good enough for me. Although I still expect it to be pretty poor.

Golden and clear with lots of carbonation. Filmy cap with a touch of lace. A ton of corn and nonsense in the nose. The taste is thin and corn addled but not abusive to the tongue or stomach like some malt liquors. More drinkable than most malt liquor or even ice beer. Colt .45, gets um every time...

daliandragon, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of JMad
2.42/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a 40 ounce to a glass mug...
Pours a golden straw color, has a white head with little bubbles.
Smells of corn, metal and malt.
Tastes like white bread, more corn, and malt.
The mouthfeel is medium, carbonation is ok.
Drinks good. Not the worst beer out there.

JMad, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of mikesgroove
1.27/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

So, he decides to bring back two Malts with him as well, eesh. My journey into the bottom of the barrel continues. We did a side by side with this and Steel Reserve. Consumed on 08/09/2010.

It had been a long time since me and Billy D had hung out together so I was laughing my butt off when this one showed up at the tasting. The pour was better then I thought with a medium amber color and a head of about two inches that stuck around for a few moments before falling into the same path as the others with a crystal clear, dark color with tiny strings of bubbles that were coming up through the glass. Aroma is of corn, alcohol, wet hay, and just a mess. Really just astringent and not very appetizing at all. Every sip seemed to bring a similar reaction from me as I struggled to get this one down before finally pouring the rest out. Just not a redeeming quality as far as taste, and I generally do not mind the style terribly, but this was atrocious.

Overall all I can say is not for me. It is going to be a fun couple weeks as I take a turn away from the rare and big guns and try and knock out this list of grocery store staples.

mikesgroove, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of mostpoetsdo
2.9/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: An unappealing, flat looking yellow, but actually had a creamy looking head, but no real lacing.

S: Cheap grains, notably corn. Adjunct notes and malty sweetness too.

T: Pretty malty, a little sweetness, but overall just not that enjoyable. Has that macro taste, but with malt and sugar.

M: Highly carbonated, not at all smooth.

D: Billy Dee on the front of the 40 oz can't save this one, but if you're thirsty, it does the job.

mostpoetsdo, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of BeerNinja007
1.53/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

24oz can, served cold.

Appearance... it's a can, I'm not gonna contaminate any of my glassware with this stuff. Smell: not too much aroma coming out of the little pop-top hole. Mostly aluminum. Taste is also a lot of aluminum and some malty funk. Thin and watery. Pretty terrible all around, there's better stuff available at this rock bottom price point.

BeerNinja007, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of crossovert
3.18/5  rDev +43.9%
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 +9.5%
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 +0.9%
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 -43.4%
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 +6.3%
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 -9.5%
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 +46.2%
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 +7.7%
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%
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 +1.8%
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
Colt 45 Malt Liquor from Pabst Brewing Company
54 out of 100 based on 736 ratings.