1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Rainier Ale - Pabst Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Rainier AleRainier Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
62
poor

47 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 2.37
pDev: 34.18%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Malt Liquor |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-13-2003)
View: Beers (58) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 28 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.38/5  rDev +42.6%
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.

Serving type: can

09-22-2010 04:43:34 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of zacgosteli
zacgosteli

Washington

3.85/5  rDev +62.4%
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.

Serving type: can

08-01-2010 02:24:57 | More by zacgosteli
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

3.03/5  rDev +27.8%
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.

Serving type: can

06-07-2010 22:06:33 | More by beertunes
Photo of andyfrancis
andyfrancis

California

1.83/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

Serving type: can

04-30-2010 00:40:23 | More by andyfrancis
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

2.8/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

Serving type: can

08-03-2009 04:19:48 | More by woodychandler
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

1.6/5  rDev -32.5%
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.

Serving type: can

12-10-2008 19:28:05 | More by magictrokini
Photo of Murchmac
Murchmac

California

3/5  rDev +26.6%
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.

Serving type: can

10-24-2008 01:25:11 | More by Murchmac
Photo of pleasewearpants
pleasewearpants

California

3.23/5  rDev +36.3%
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!

Serving type: can

08-10-2008 22:08:25 | More by pleasewearpants
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

3.68/5  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.

Serving type: can

04-23-2008 17:06:10 | More by Offa
Photo of stephendr
stephendr

California

1/5  rDev -57.8%
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”

Serving type: can

01-04-2008 05:12:00 | More by stephendr
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

2.15/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Serving type: can

07-16-2007 00:19:52 | More by Zorro
Photo of Frozensoul327
Frozensoul327

Michigan

3.03/5  rDev +27.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2006 00:06:11 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of idResponse
idResponse

North Carolina

2.5/5  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!

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2006 01:13:30 | More by idResponse
Photo of pootz
pootz

Ontario (Canada)

1.02/5  rDev -57%
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.

Serving type: can

04-07-2006 23:15:58 | More by pootz
Photo of sockeye101
sockeye101

Washington

1.43/5  rDev -39.7%
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.

Serving type: can

01-11-2006 05:18:29 | More by sockeye101
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11

California

2.28/5  rDev -3.8%
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....

Serving type: can

09-17-2005 23:39:10 | More by DogFood11
Photo of RootedFool
RootedFool

California

1.02/5  rDev -57%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Dumped from a twelve ounce can into a standard beer mug, the head rises assertively and has the color and consistency of Cool Whip. The body is straw yellow, translucent. Smell: Opens with a wad of cotton candy that has perhaps been mysteriously lingering in a corpulent person's back pocket for an afternoon -- a musty sweetness. The middle pulls out some wacked weed earthiness, some hints of hop activity, and finishes with a waft of water-logged garbage: dank, sickly sweet. Taste: Cheek-clenching (all four of them) at first, due to an extreme pinch of spoiled powder sugar sweetness, worse than that, it's like taking a shot of Equal straight on the tongue. The middle has an old orange pulp bite, like sucking a wedge that has already been sucked and left to sit for at least an entire day, not that I've ever done that! Towards the end, the alcohol heat takes over, warming the throat to the point where I think "yes, yes, warmth! take over the taste!" However, the alcohol heat has the reverse effect of reinforcing the saccharine sweetness and the painfully thin and rusty hop presence, if you can even call it a "presence." Mouthfeel: Well, imagine having a cold, a sinus drip...

Serving type: can

08-27-2005 04:18:37 | More by RootedFool
Photo of chrisms86
chrisms86

Washington

2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

At 3.99 a six-pack and 7.3% abv I'm sure it is easy to imagine what this will taste like. Imagine a weaker Steel Reserve, that's basically all Rainier Ale is. Starts off tasting sweet like your normal macro, but as it goes down you taste the extra alcohol on the back of your tongue. Not as evident as in Steel Reserve but it tastes as if they just poured some everclear into the batch to raise the ABV. Not bad if you're going for a hobo brew but stick to normal Rainier if you're looking for a cheap, decent tasting beer.

Serving type: can

05-07-2005 20:41:33 | More by chrisms86
Photo of rajendra82
rajendra82

Georgia

1.85/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

The cream of the crop (pun intended) among the constituents of the BIF 13 – From Hell package from BeerAdvocate drewbage, this baby came in a green 16 oz. can that broke the record for overuse of a word by mentioning that this Quality Brewed Rainier Ale is a Mountain Fresh Ale and that the can holds One Pint Ale, and then repeating this on the other side of the can just for good measure. Pouring it in a standard Pilsner glass revealed an ultra pale straw colored body with a fizzy artificial head. The aroma was sugary sweet, and the taste confirmed the adjunct laden origin of the alcohol here. Taste was basically fermented sickly sweetened water passed over corn flakes. This thin and mineralized tasting malt liquor had a mouthfeel like a bad headache waiting to happen. Thank God, the old college days of drinks like this are a distant foggy memory thanks to the blackouts induced by the alcohol. THIS IS NOT AN ALE.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2004 04:58:56 | More by rajendra82
Photo of drewbage
drewbage

California

2.23/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Bought as a part of the Hell BIF and as an occasional dip back into the world of "normal" beer. Of course.. this at 7.3% abv isn't really a normal beer. More like a Malt Liquor. Heck.. even comes in the tall boy can!

Sampled in my nice 12 oz Falcons Tulip.

Beer pours light gold yellow with sparkling clarity and a low white head that disappears quickly.

Aroma is lightly alcoholic with a grainy corn sweetness wafting off a CO2 burn.

Flavor to the brew is candy corn sweet with a pricking of CO2 that evidences in the background a mysterious heretofore unknown presence in a beer from the Miller plant in Irwindale.. hops! Light and spicy with just a touch of green to them.

Overall.. meh.. way way too sweet to my taste without anything to balance, but it's cheap if that's where your thrill lies. As for it being a cream ale, not quite. Much too big, too much alcohol burn and too much residual sweetness to match the likes of Little Kings or Genesee in that style.

Serving type: can

09-27-2004 01:12:14 | More by drewbage
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

1.18/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance – Very light yellow in the body with a giant head that went down slowly and laced the glass. Looks good.

Smell – Doesn’t smell good. The funky sweaty horse aroma from the beer is back. This is raunchy.

Taste – Egad! It’s a horseskunk! This is unbelievable. The soft grain and cheap sugars are dwarfed by the mating of an overworked mare and skunk road kill.

Mouthfeel – Surprisingly flat and uneventful.

Drinkability – A prose, if I may:

The ale,
is pale,
and boy does it stink.

This horse,
of course,
belongs in the sink.

Serving type: can

09-25-2003 02:12:26 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Reidrover
Reidrover

Oregon

3.18/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok I had heard about this semi-legendary beer up here for a while..but had not seen it for a year, when I spotted it in a 40 oz green bottle in Albertsons.
Ok its actually quite a nice looking beer in the glass..a nice solid golden colour with a good sized white head..that went down but a small semblance persisted to the end of the beer.
Nice fresh smell..mostly malts..nothing exciting but reasonable.
This is pretty thin and malty..but i cant really taste the 7.3% alcohol..well hidden, until you feel it later half way down the throat but its not unpleasant.
Feels rather "different" on the palate surprisingly creamy and smooth.
This is actually a very good deal for $1.70 a 40 ozer..a step above many macros..its not great but I can see why many used to like this before the dawn of the micro beers.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2003 22:59:13 | More by Reidrover
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Rainier Ale from Pabst Brewing Company
62 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.