Colt 45 High Gravity Lager - Pabst Brewing Company

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Colt 45 High Gravity LagerColt 45 High Gravity Lager

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59 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 59
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 2.63
pDev: 28.14%
Wants: 3
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Malt Liquor |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Zorro on 09-26-2009

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 59 | Reviews: 33
Reviews by vacax:
Photo of vacax
3.33/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As much as you hear about Colt 45, this HG masterpiece somehow flew under the radar. The fabled story of HG malt liquor continues to prove they are better than their counterparts. Pours a glowing golden with a gloriously thick white head that left fair lacing. Smells of grain mostly with a bit of honey sweetness. The taste is grainy malts and plastic, the plastic carries through into the finish alongside some cookielike malt. Feels fairly normal with the typical higher carbonation. Not a bad malt liquor actually.

More User Reviews:
Photo of squezey
2.92/5  rDev +11%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

doesn't taste as great as say Steel Reserve around the same alcohol level to me but for the alcohol content and how easy to drink it is in comparison you can't beat it for the same price.

Photo of EagleTalon
2.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Pours to a nice looking white head that hangs around for a while and tries to lace, but then it craps out to a thin ring. Color is light gold. Aroma is sweet corn and veggies--there's some malt in there too. Flavor is sweet, tangy, clean, boozy and corn-syrupy as hell--just what it should be. Finish is all alcohol and corn. Mouthfeel is light and dry and more like brandy or vodka. Overall, a decent buzzer that plays to its audience well.


Photo of tone77
2.73/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of mild malts and alcohol. Taste is alcohol with some hints of malts. Not terrible but a tad unpleasant. Feels light in the mouth and is slightly below average drinkability. Overall this is a mediocre beer.

Photo of puboflyons
2.81/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From the 710 ml. can marked OCT0410-D07021828. Sampled on Aug. 23, 2010. It pours a bright pale yellow with a good inch of fizzy white head that stays around for the entire time along with decent lacing on the glass. Malts, corn, and other adjuncts greet the nose with, dare I say it, a thin hoppiness around the edges. The taste is mainly grains and malts with a light hoppy bite at the end. But the 8.5% ABV is reasonably masked. But your head reminds you that it is there when all is said and done. This is very much like any macro high gravity malt liquor. Tons of punch but little in the way of character or taste.

Photo of emerge077
2.9/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Another "top ten" AML, currently sitting at #9 on the style list. Found this at a neighborhood bodega, surprisingly it's not all that easy to find around town. The black can is dated JUN1112" on the bottom, a possible production or best by date (assuming best by, considering the source).

Crack & glug, as ol' Woody says... pale urine gold with slow trails of carbonation rising upward. Copious amounts of foam, a good 3-4" on top, though it quickly fizzles out to a feeble broken skim on the surface. Second pour was 1" with a creamy surface texture. Some spotty lace clings inside the glass.

Smells ok, not bad not good. Believe me i've whiffed worse. Pretty tame, grainy and dry, no trace of the alcohol yet.

Tastes pretty nondescript, like white wine and cereal grains. The alcohol is present as it warms, and not all that pleasant. Slightly fusely but not too astringent really. The first sips deaden the tongue a bit, and the low carbonation gives it a certain slickness. Pretty drinkable considering the style, actually drinking it as opposed to dumping it.

Is it bad? Not really. Wouldn't seek it out, and I think there are better tasting budget options out there like Hurricane and Natty Daddy.

Photo of longbongsilver
3.17/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Heading back home from Columbia needed to get gas, and spot this 24oz in the store. I like regular Colt (seriously. For the category I'd only rank it behind Steel Reserve), figured why not?

Pours clear yellow, humongous white thicker-than-expected (resembles biscuit dough) head. Bubbling below the head vanishes. Sharp apple-ish smell, plus a whiff of the usual corn -- it is a malt liquor, after all. Hint of booze on the scent but not as much as I expected. Taste continues the theme, with a bit of melon in there somehow.

Honestly, this reminds of a low-budget barleywine minus the hop strength. It goes down thicker than usual for a malt liquor, as if some wheat was involved. Only point I'd specifically ding for mouthfeel is being too far on the flat side.

For the most part, the best you can say about a malt liquor is if it's close to a traditional beer taste and feel -- "this doesn't taste like a malt liquor" is a high mark, in other words. Well...this comes oddly close to not tasting like a malt liquor. High gravity Colt is within inches of bumping SR off its throne.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.88/5  rDev +47.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Colt 45 High Gravity Lager has a thick, white head and a clear, golden color. Carbonation is moderate to high. The aroma is of corn and malt, but not particularly strong. The taste is surprisingly mild for an 8.5% abv drink; it is not stinging, if anything, it has a stereotypical beer flavor. Mouth-feel is moderately heavy. It finishes crisp, a further surprise. Overall, this full-flavored malt liquor is very enjoyable and satisfying, and I'd recommend giving it a try.


Photo of biggred1
2.73/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

24 OZ. can purchased for $1.19 out of an iced tub I spotted while standing in line at a less than reputable beverage purveyor.

Clear pale golden with a fizzy white head. The smell is creamed corn and trace floral hops. Green apple skin, sweet grits and untoasted grain with a touch of grain alcohol in the finish. Medium bodied and super carbonated. This is not bad for the style but not really good either. Good bang for the buck if you want a cheap and drinkable high octane beer.

Photo of GeezLynn
2.73/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Has been a white whale for me for a long time. Thanks to the unknown person that kindly left it in my fridge (a true BA, no doubt). Batch CO7022139

A: Golden blond like apple juice. Accompanied by a fleeting snow white head that dashes off before you can reach her.

S: (1st 12oz) Corn, stale veggies (broccoli or cauliflower), slightly sweet with a big sour twang. Is that some funk? Must be brett, right?
(2nd 12oz) Same stank corn, but there are some nice floral notes in here (very pungent, like an easter lilly).

T: Malt liquor sweet, but there's a nice apple/pear fruitiness. Pleasantly surprised at the light fruit flavors, but then soon disgusted by the mouth puckering, cloying effect on the palate.

M: Thin, a little watery (even for the style) and under-carbonated. Drying. Worst part of this beer by far.

Exquisite offering. Get it now while you can. Probably the next big brew once people catch on.

Photo of Zorro
2.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Life is moving at an ever-faster pace for everyone, even for the homeless Southern California alcoholic. Places to go and begging to be done who has a whole Hour to get drunk anymore? That is why they invented the new and improved 8.5% Colt 45! Hey you got places to go and things to puke on Hurry up!

$1.50 for 24 OZ black can of alleged beer.

Clear yellow beer high on carbonation with a good white colored head, this looks like regular type beer. Darker shade of yellow this could be called yellow.

Smell is sweet buy lots tamer than most other malt liquors. Noticeable herbal scent with a little lemon. Detectable hops, better than expected.

Starts out sweet and alcoholic with a strong saltine cracker aftertaste. Lots of fruity esters in the taste, you can tell this was fermented hot. The expected corn is here, but sweetness is much less than I was braced for. This produces a quite noticeable warmth in the chest, no hiding the alcohol here. Tastes more than a bit like Korean Soju, a sweet potato vodka.

Mouthfeel is average.

Actually tolerable if you drink it really cold. But lets not kid ourselves; this is Hooch suitable for college students and professional alcoholics.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.78/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 24oz can into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of light malts, adjuncts, honey, some alcohol and a very faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of grain and corn, followed by a sweet light malt flavor. It doesn't taste as boozy as most Malt Liquors. The hops presence is as faint as any other beer in the style. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little flavorful for the style, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, overall it might not be pretty bad but within the context of what this beer is meant for it could be considered fairly good. The regular Colt 45 might taste a little better but that's the price you pay for "high gravity".

Photo of woodychandler
3.38/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bump Red Stripe and "Yay, Beer!" Howzabout "YAY, CANs!" as an alternative?

I had about a finger of bone-white head and while I was typing the proceeding, it evaporated. Whoops! Color was a beautiful sunshine-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose was slightly fusel, but not overwhelming. This was actually drinkable. Mouthfeel was medium with a taste of berries, sugar, and simple starch carbohydrates (think licking a raw potato). Not my favorite set of flavors in combination, especially where beer is concerned, but deadly, or drain pour-like? Hardly. This will get its users where they are going, but with minimal damage incurred on the trip. Just don't drive and/or operate heavy machinery afterward, babies! You'll be fine. Trust the monk. Finish? Dry. Like the Zephyr winds blowing across the Sahara. That is what happens when you suck all of the sugar away. Boo hoo. You want sweet, drink some white wine. This is unapologetic and so am I!

Photo of crossovert
3.15/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

made sure i froze it an extra 20 min after refrigeration, drink fast and cold. 16 oz can that was dirt cheap.

Pours a bit deeper gold, though still crystal clear than a regular colt 45, the head is again bright white and foamy, it sticks a bit longer than the average malt liquor and leaves tom okay lacing, which is odd because it is higher alcohol than the regular, thank god for additives.

The smell is better here than normal colt, even more of the corn smell is gone, it has a fruitiness to it, slight adjunct feel, dare i say even a hint of yeasty smell.

When cold it tastes alright, bread, caramel, apple cider, hint of walnut, more corn than a regular colt imo though. More gravity inevitably means more corn unfortunately.

The colt 45 beers are probably the best adjunct lagers, but then again, only if your in a pinch would i recommend this.

Photo of barleyman
2.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the 24 oz. can into my 0.5 liter frozen cold stoneware mug. Keeping malt liquour cold is key to it's "enjoyment". This beer has the proper color for pleasant viewing, the smell is one of adjunct grains, the high ABV is nicely hidden in the aroma. The taste is quite light and innocuous for a beer of this volume. The mouthfeel is also light and has very little of the sweetness associated with HG beers. I can drink a couple of these after work and still enjoy dinner, and tv afterward. All in all, better than the competition.

Just a thought,


Photo of TMoney2591
1.96/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Beer #9 during Swill Tour 2010. Somehow this one came out rather short and to-the-point. It looks just as pale yellow as pretty much everything else today, with the same kind of ADD froth on top. The nose is soapy, with a hint of burning flowers. The taste is of calcified rice syrup. The body is overtly light, with a hint of heft, a light carbonation, and a sweetly stale feel. Nothing else to say for something so crappy.

Photo of womencantsail
3.19/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A tall boy I picked up and very begrudgingly shared at a tasting this weekend.

A: I was absolutely shocked by the pour on this beer. The pour is a clear golden yellow color with plenty of small carbonation bubbles and a fluffy white head with great retention.

S: The nose is light and sweet with some definite corn and rice and no noticeable hop character. Quite neutral, to be honest.

T: The flavor is similarly unobjectionable. The corn and rice give the beer sweetness, but there's no hops at all--not surprising, however.

M: The body is on the light side with a high carbonation and lacking that usual malt liquor aftertaste.

D: This is one of the best malt liquors out there. I was expecting this to be terrible considering the regular Colt 45, but I found this to be quite decent.

Photo of JoLight
1.9/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This beer is light gold in its appearance, with a soapy head that doesn't stick around.

The aroma is mainly straight-forward alcohol, balanced with sweetness, corn & generalized graininess.

The taste is a big punch of alcohol, and alcoholic bitterness, with no hops and very little grain/malt presence. Then the aftertaste leaves a slight trace of barley malt. To be quite frank, it has sort of a wine aspect to it.

It's clean, crisp, super dry, and very carbonated.

Overall, it's just too alcoholic for my preference for beer. I don't mind the alcohol taste at all, but it's almost just that, and no beer aspects whatsoever. There is no skunkiness or fowl aromas or tastes to it, but it's just too unbalanced for me.

Photo of keeganfrank
3.45/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden beer with a thick, foamy head that dissipates quickly. Smells very sweet and of fermented fruit. Tangy fermented fruit flavor as well, with some burnt grain aftertaste. Pretty drinkable for a malt liquor, especially a higher ABV variety. No musty, offensive flavors present.

Photo of nlmartin
2.27/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This beer was served cold in a pint glass and finished in the can wrapped in a paper bag.

Appearance: The beer is a golden yellow coloration. The head is thin white and doesnt hang around long. Think I perfer the beer from the can in the bag.

Smell: Alcoholic corn bread dominates the aroma. No off aromas noted. Again got to say out of the can the aroma is undectable and prefered.

Taste: The flavor of the beer is sweet alcohol and corn. No hops noted. No major gag inducing off flavors noted.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The body of the beer is medium. A bit of alchol peaks out in the mouth. The beer isnt bad for what it is no gag inducing flavors noted. This is an ok buzz beer.

Photo of RacerX5k
3.58/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Works every time? it sure does, at least for me. $2 for a 24oz 8.5% beer? I don't think you can get a better value. And you know what?; this beer is alot better than poor. in fact, anyone rating this beer poor or below average needs a reality check. It's actually better than average, and once again, better than tons of mediocre craft I've had. And the gorgeous 24oz can doesn't hurt.

Pale yellow decent head not my favorite look but it's ok. Nicely malted aroma, no off smells and very fresh. Big malt liquor taste, smooth and refreshing with plenty of flavor. Hop presence noted with hints of apple and pear. Easy drinking for a hot summer night.

Dropped my car off Monday night picked up my rental in the hood. Heading towards K&A (that would be Kensington and Allegheny, Philadelphia PA (where i grew up) knew I'd find a beer deli. Sure enough, there was B&G (or was it G&B?) walked in saw this 24 had to have one. Tasted it, grabbed 2 more. Gotta love the hood, hey, it's where I'm from. Will certainly get this again.

Last year i spent $75 on my Rare. Yes it was good but I'm sure was much better fresh. Spending that $75 was just fucking stupid, and a complete waste of money. This proves beer doesn't have to be expensive, or craft, just has to be good. This is Beer Advocate, not Craft Beer Advocate, after all.

Photo of archyquaffer
3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a tallboy into a Pilsener-style sampler glass. I fill the glass, then put the tallboy back in the fridge. A moderate pour will produce about 3/4-1 inch head that billows over the top and proves pretty sticky, really. The beer is an extra-pale golden with a tinge of ruddiness and light to moderate carbonation.

You actually get some light floral hops on the nose, along with a bit o' corn mash. The taste is of light malt with salty cooked corn undertones, some caramelly sweetness and spicy, fruity alcohol. Sourness and salt in the aftertaste, balanced with some sweetness, and a little hoppy bitterness.

SOAP BOX: I wish people would stop referring to beer as "piss" or its synomyms- a common descriptor in the malt liquor reviews. ("Urine" is actually the worst- at least "piss" evokes the sound of the can being cracked). Please, please refrain from such crude verbiage. They who employ such crudities are truly a beer snob, but of the lowest order (and "snotty at that). Have you no class? No shame? Do you consider the fact, that some of us might actually be drinking and/or eating something whilst reviewing these often interesting, informative reviews?

Do us a favor- the next time you liken beer to urine, please also explain how the real mccoy tastes- we're all dying to know (not).

Anyhow, this beer, while not a gem of the brewing art, does indeed possess the normal characteristics that any sane person would regard as those of beer, no matter how low the perceived cultural associations.

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
1.58/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

24oz can poured into an old jar (I thought it was the most appropriate glassware for this style. A paper bag could have worked nicely.)

A: Champagne-like creamy clear yellow. Heavy carbonation bubbles. Soapy white head falls most of the way but hangs around. Lace coats the entire glass.

S: Like a bowl of rice krispies swimming in cheap vodka.

T: Actually, there is some intrigue here. This is very unexpected. If it were a little sweeter, I might be convinced I'm drinking a hard cider. As it is, the flavor is harsh, boozy, anf lacking dimension. Rice, Red Bull, apple peel...

M: Alcohol warms and cuts through all texture. Heavy carbonation. Overly dry.

D: Really?

Photo of troobie
3.31/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been looking for this since it came out in 2009. I finally found it in Klamath Falls, Oregon. I don't think Colt 45 HG is available in anything but 24 oz. cans.

No, I didn't pour it out. You want to talk about appearance? This is a wicked looking can. Great graphics with black, red, white, and grey colors. I usually am not impressed by labels but this can has impressive graphics.

Ugh, off-putting smell. Extra high ABV high gravities, like 9.0% and above, have the grape tinge to them. This smells like it is going to have the grapey alcohol overpowering taste thing going on. Maybe a little malt smell, barely.

Does not taste as bad as it smells. Much less taste than I expected. Smooth, like regular Colt 45. Actually this tastes a lot like regular Colt 45. Extremely dry compared to most HG's (Steel Reserve 211, St. Ides.) Barely any sweetness at all. Smooth, dry, some alcohol heat, and it is gone. This is definitely brewed to not leave a lasting impression based on taste.

Carbonation is on the low side. Smooth and creamy.

Drinkability is high until the ABV hits you. At $1.29 for 24 oz. you don't have to stop until it makes you. I don't think Colt 45 High Gravity is close to overthrowing Hurricane High Gravity as the king of high gravities, but it deserves an honorable mention, especially at 8.5%.

Photo of harpus
2.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- No head, no lacing, yellow corn body with a lot of carbonation bubbles rising to the top of the glass.

S- Some malt, and a lot of alcohol smell no hops.

T- A lot of alcohol tastes and some malt. The alcohol overrides all the tastes.

M- Very watery.

D- The alcohol taste killed it for me.

O- Better then expected, did not expect much for only paying $1.50 for a 24oz can.

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Colt 45 High Gravity Lager from Pabst Brewing Company
65 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.