Rainier Ale - Pabst Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Rainier AleRainier Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
61
poor

55 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 55
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 2.35
pDev: 33.19%
Wants: 3
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Malt Liquor |  7.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-13-2003

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 31
Photo of Darkmagus82
2.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance- The beer pours a clear golden amber color with a billowy white head of two finger height. The head has a light level of retention, fading rather fast to leave a light level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is strongest of a corn and sweet caramel smell. Along with these smells comes some notes of a paper smell as well as a little bit of a more grainy aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with a sweeter corn syrup taste mixed with a little bit of a bready flavor. As the taste advances some more metallic and paper flavors join the taste profile, giving a somewhat off flavor to the brew. A grainy flavor replaces the bready at the end of the taste, with the flavor that is left on the tongue at the end being one that is of a malt liquor base, with it being somewhat musty and metallic, all while not super offensive,.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thinner and more watery side for an ale of 7.2 % with a carbonation level that is on the slightly higher side. While it has a lighter body, the thinner feel mixed with the higher carbonation level is more appropriate for the sweeter, more malt liquor like flavors of the brew, and make for a rather easy drinking feel.

Overall – Not the greatest malt out there. It has a bit too much of an off metallic and papery taste to make it one of the better for the style.

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
1.65/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.25

This is awful. Avoid at all costs.

Photo of Spikester
3.37/5  rDev +43.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 24 oz. can brewed in Irwindale, CA. Huge white head that lasts about ten minutes and as the head recedes it leaves foamy rings of lace. Clear gold body.
Smell is where we drop below the 3 level. Usual corny grain husks some spice and then a pungent aromatic that reminds me of nail polish remover. Faint but there.
Taste at first it was way too sweet. Second sip reminded me of a cream ale. A slight bit of spicey hop bitterness shows up on the back of the tongue. Some apple skin starts creeping in as it warms. Mouthfeel is medium with plenty of carbonation. If tasted from the can the carbonation is really big. Overall this is the first time I have seen this beer in many years. The 24 ounce can is really handsome.
I used to drink this on occasion back in the 1960s. I can't be sure but this reminds me of the "Green Death" of old. I didn't think it was that high an abv. But that might explain the crazy behavior of the young folks that drank it!

Photo of Brenden
2.69/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Classic older generation beer...obviously not drunk by the guys who say Mickey's had the highest alcohol content in their day.

Clear medium gold with an orange-tinted fizzy white head, the look doesn't hold any surprises. Retention is reasonably decent, and some light spotting clings to the glass.
Fusel alcohol and some corn husk with the weird sweetness that sometimes accompanies it, Rainier actually does show some pale malts along and even a little grassy and floral hops bitterness. A little.
The taste has the grassiness, the malts, the fusel notes, and the corn husk, only with an unpleasant creamy sweetness coming alongside it and a more strongly vegetal note.
The body is very light and carbonation isn't as high as I would expect. It's a little flat as well as thin. With a beer like this, you at least expect some crispness. This has a bit, but not enough.

Photo of Fatehunter
2.36/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from the pounder can. A finger and half of head on a golden colored body.
The aroma is honey mixed with metal and lemon.
The taste is super sweet without a hint of bitterness. A long sweet finish too, in case you hadn't had enough.
The texture is sticky with moderate carbonation.
Just a really sweet ale with no redeeming quality.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.76/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Best by 4/15/13. 7.3% ABV per the label.

Pours a clear gold with a foamy orange-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and some fruity and grassy aromas. Taste is much the same with sugary, chlorine, and vegetal flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer with a decent aroma but it's not very drinkable with the odd flavors I am getting.

Photo of AllisonWunderland
1/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

"Green Death" is what we called Rainier Ale when I was a kid, too young to legally drink. But we drank it anyway, because it was potent. Hard to know if we got sick from drinking it because we were kids and unaccustomed to consuming alcohol, or if it's just really heavy, sweet, and sick tasting which leaves you holding your head, or your friend's head while they toss their cookies.

But a lot of serious memories tied up in this stuff!

Photo of jeffjeff1
2.31/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I found this today at Travis AFB.

Poured into a pint glass

Appearance- gold color, no head

Smell- adjunct grains mostly corn, made me turn my head away

Taste- corn mostly

Mouthfeel- light to medium bodied

Drinkability- I didn't like it very much. It would be better colder and that's what I will do with the rest that I got.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
1.44/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Golden color, actually produced a reasonable amount of head. Lacing? Fuggetaboutit.

Wicked alcohol and corn aroma. Awful really describes it, and if you're a masochist, smell it (and drink it) when it warms up substantially.
More corn and rubbing alcohol in the taste. Decent hopping, pretty bitter, but unfortunately, the taste of rubbing alcohol and an old ashtray is tough to overcome.

From the 40oz tasting with elrogish back in the day. Yeah man, that one. Ugh.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.32/5  rDev +41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint can, says brewed in Irwindale, a trite 35 miles away along the 10, Vitamin R, Green Death, whatever you call it, it's a classic beer in the West, as a so-called "grandfather beer," I wanted to try it, my cans say 7.3%,

A: Pours gold with a firm soapy fizzy macro lager head, very good retention for the style.

S: Corn, with a bit of fusel alcohol/malt liquor booze smell.

T: Light corn flavour, mild booze. There are some good bready notes which were enjoyable and even a hint of hops.

M: Surprisingly very smooth and not boozy at all. Clean, very good.

D: $6.79 for a 6-pack of pint cans, a de facto 8-pack, so around a fiver for a sixer. A hell of a lot better than Bud in this price range, not too bad at all. I'd probably put this more in the Cream Ale category than malt liquor, as macro as it is it does show a bit of an ale yeast character, think Genesee, but a little worse, but cheaper.

Photo of zacgosteli
3.81/5  rDev +62.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

Its better than drinking steel reserve or a similar beverage.
and you definitely feel like your drinking a beer that is 7.3%
I do agree the taste isn't the best, but if you buy it when you're already drinking (why would you buy it sober?) it tastes fine.

Plus the can looks sweet.

Photo of beertunes
3.03/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, clear, bright yellow with a tall, fluffy white head that had good retention and light-to-moderate lacing.

The mostly benign aroma did have some grain and sweetness in it. There was some corn taste to with the grain and a slight bit of hoppiness at the back.

The body was typically thin. Drinkability is dependent on your taste for this style. Overall, for a cheap, strong fizzy yellow beer, this isn't totally terrible and pretty average for the style.

Photo of andyfrancis
1.84/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bought the sixer while drunk, only because it looked comically bad. The can says copyright Rainier Brewing Company, Irwindale, CA, but I'm 0% surprised to discover an association to G. Heileman. It looks ok in a glass, but smells like my grandparents' old recycle bin, full of Special Export empties. Or a derivative of any of their other swills. It claims to be an ale, but definitely has a malt liquor taste and feel. If you really like Mickey's or Steel Reserve, but are on a budget, grab yourself an ice cold Rainier. Otherwise, stay away.

Photo of woodychandler
2.77/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was claimed by Rainier BC of Irwindale, CA, further, if it was an ale, I was disappointed.

Nose had a cereal sweetness. Oof. Color was a golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Hmmm.
Mouthfeel was medium with a very sweet cereal-like taste. Finish was too sweet to distinguish it from other beers. Man, I CANnot get in front of this one.

Photo of magictrokini
1.68/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Oh Lord, the green death. Light yellow with a fizzy head. The smell is quite pleasant, kind of like a forest with a lot of wet leaves on the ground. Then you actually taste it. Sugary sweet corn and cereal with the taste of rotting wood. And when I say rotten wood, I can only imagine it is that log you see lying in the mud that breaks apart when you touch it. Ugh.

Photo of Murchmac
3/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

White head, golden ale, cut grass, sweet, thin taste. All delectable adjectives when describing this watered down pabst. I enjoyed it and felt deliciously white trash drink it. Also, for 1.39 it's hard to beat the price. So put on your mesh beer drinking hat, bust out your skoal, and throw down a tall can.

Photo of pleasewearpants
3.15/5  rDev +34%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer's best quality is its attractive green sixteen ounce can. HOWEVER! This is one of the better malt liquors ol' Montell has had for a long time.

Medium golden color, light ethanol nose (but also pleasantly bready if you don't inhale too hard). Best served cold and not held on the palate for too long. The alcohol aftertaste is there but not as pronounced as say Mickey's or 211. At 7.3% it does the job.

If you have to drink malt liquor this is a fantastic way to stand out in a crowd and still get nasty. Mountain fresh!

Photo of Offa
3.65/5  rDev +55.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is one of my favourite higher alcohol "malt liquor" types - it is fairly robust, warm, and pungent, yet exceedingly smooth and drinkable, and it goes really well with food.

It's slightly deep gold with a thick, dense white head that lasts and slowly shrinks to a thin, wispy top that leaves some weak lacing.

The aroma is sweetish grainy malt, a little flowery with a hint of herbs.

The taste is lightly but consistently malty with a lot of grain, a hint of pine, light fruitiness, a warm pungency, and a spicey grain finish. It is lightly sweet with faint bitterness, while the alcohol mostly adds to the body and spicy warmth without any off-putting odd, moldy fruit or vinegary wine qualities that such beers sometimes have. It's very smooth and satisyfing in its pungency.

Photo of stephendr
1/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Sixteen ounce aluminum can- color of pale yellow, with a thin white head - nose of skunk , and metal – taste of bile, and skunk- body is watery, and with high carbonation – aftertaste of bile- just horrible I could not finish this so called liquid claiming to be “beer”

Photo of Zorro
2.18/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured in my glass there seems to have been a recipe change since the early 1990s when I had this. It used to be a red colored ale.

This current version is a clear gold colored beer with a tall but fast fading white head.

The smell sweet and a little herbal and soapy smelling. There is a clear ethanol scent here.

The flavor begins sweet and corny with an alcohol burn to it. Not much beyond that, not the beer I remember from my proto beer geek days. At best it is the best tasting malt liquor, better than crap like Elephant for instance.

The mouthfeel is thin.

Either the formula has changed, which I do believe based upon the color, or my taste buds have grown immensely. I used to hold this beer in such high esteem, I no longer do. This is pretty much easy to drink Hooch at this point.

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.03/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've got to say this is more of a malt liquor than a cream ale. Anyhow, it pours out to a medium yellow color with a small head of white foam that held up pretty well. Aromas of fresh, young hops and mild adjunct and malts. Taste was fair for a brew with such a high ABV; Medium bodied malts and sharp grains, with corn and hops blending in to give the notion of "malt liquor". Alcohol is noted. Mouthfeel is slighlty smooth, and has some consistancy. Drinkability is average at best. Special thanks goes out to dubbercody for the 40 oz sample.

Photo of idResponse
2.48/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a cream ale, Rainier Ale fails miserably.

When drinking this beer keep in mind that it's gargantuan alcohol content (as far as cream ales go) is rather easy to miss as it compares to malt liquors of similar or slightly stronger alcohol contents. Around the northwest especially in my town it's less than $2 for a 40oz bottle of this, and this is the way this beer was meant ot be consumed. It is the cheap drunk heaven send of beer. It is meant to be guzzled swilled and inhaled at a furious rate when the necessity of getting completely wasted has arisen.

Do not mistake this for a decent beer, it is simply something that is easily inhaled quickly when in need of a quick bout of blacking out. It beats the pants off of malt liquor 40oz beers and should be heralded as king of 40'z!

Photo of pootz
1.03/5  rDev -56.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Like no other "ale" I've ever tasted. This is even a poor attempt at a brown bag park bench buzz bomb...no ale character at all... no head to speak of...corney...boiled corn in the aroma, sweet corn dextrose and alcohol in the taste....weak pale gold color, no aroma of grain to speak of...just a sweet vegetal taste (filled with adjuncts) and a half hearted attempt at an astringic hop flavor. I got stuck buying a sixpack to sample this and I feel cheated.

Photo of sockeye101
1.5/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Oh man....where do I start.

Rainier Ale aka "Green Death", is perhaps one of the most, ummm how shall I put it, 'unique' beers I've ever had.

I remember having some this back in college and it was so repulsive that me and my buddy couldn't even finish off a 6 pack. So, when I thought I'd embark on a Rainier Ale journey years later I was expecting the worst. And well, it's not as bad as I remember, it's by no means even slightly good, but just not that bad.

Fist of all, I'm not sure how this got in the Cream Ale category, but whatever. It's cheap, malt liquor that is excellent in the alcohol to dollar ratio. $4 for a six pack of 16 ouncers which are 7.3% abv.

On with the review...the color is golden with a very, very small white head that lasts about 2 seconds and left no lacing whatsoever. The smell is suprisingly unoffensive, kind of sweet but not overpowering at all. Then comes the taste....good lord. It is indescribable. I have never before, or will ever in the future taste a beer like the Green Death. At first there's a hint of sweetness, then you get clubbed by something that is not of this world, and then you're slammed by the alcohol and it gives you a nice warming sensation. Overall this is a very difficult beer to just sit back and drink. Some tips for consumption are drink it ice cold, drink it as fast as you can (the high abv will help mask the other unsavory things going on in your glass) and perhaps have some spicy nachos, or hot wings to give you a real reason to want to drink something.

Rainier Ale is not for the faint of heart, the beer geek or someone that isn't in the mood for a challenge. So, if you find yourself in the great Northwest grab this NW classic that is now brewed in TX.

Photo of DogFood11
2.31/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

It has been years and years since my last Rainier Ale. Used to suck these down at my brothers band practice in the late 80's. It pours a frothy silky head that laces well, straw color, heavy carbonation supports the suds.

Taste and smells like baked corn/grain. Fairly sweet but not near the sugar I get from most malt liquors. I know this is labeled a cream ale but its a malt liquor in every way except the title. I got a hint of some actual quality in the aftertaste, finishing with some burnt malt and just a touch of sugary sweetness.

All in all not one I'll jump back into, If I only have 2 bucks in my pocket and want a decent malt liquor this would be up for consideration....

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Rainier Ale from Pabst Brewing Company
61 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.