National Bohemian Beer - Pabst Brewing Company

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National Bohemian BeerNational Bohemian Beer

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140 Reviews
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Reviews: 140
Hads: 477
Avg: 2.96
pDev: 45.95%
Wants: 12
Gots: 92 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.28% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-01-2003

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Reviews: 140 | Hads: 477
Photo of DavoleBomb
2.38/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass.

3.5A: Clear straw yellow color. Creamy white head with average retention and some lacing.

3.0 S: Touch of sweet malt and not much else, but not bad.

2.0 T: Not horrendous, but bad nonetheless. There's a backbone of no taste with an unwanted corn sweetness.

2.5 M: Light body. Good carbonation, but not smooth at all.

2.0 D: Not the worst choice for a frat party, but far from the best.

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Photo of iuhoosier336
2.58/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Well I'm in college so my friends drink this one on more of a regular basis than we'd like. Its cheap and for a reason. The appearence is about what you would expect for a beer you get at $10.99 for a 24 pack. Its very light yellow with almost no carbination.

Its smells about as good as it tastes, better than most low low end cheap beer from any northeastern distributor. The taste is bland and not much to speak of, very very light on taste.

The mouthfeel is not great as well, almost no carbonation with no head. The only thing is that you can drink this all day, although you mouth won't taste very good the next morning.

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Photo of filthyphil
2.92/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was the first beer that i ever had, i was about 14, im suprised i ever drank beer again, i just visited Baltimore and i always have a can when i go for laughs

A- abit like soda water with a little yellow food coloring, very clear

S- the smell is a little off, almost like an old old high life

T- The taste is not really there at all, it is like a beer mixed with water, it is but your happy about that because more taste would not be a good thing, it more after taste than taste

M- Very thin very crisp

D_ one or two give me a headchae but it is so light one could throw back about twenty or so if they can stomach it.

I will stick to drinking it for old times once a year.

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Photo of JohnnyWS6
3.1/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is very common in the Baltimore area.
Very reasonable price
Pours straw yellow, crisp taste with a corny flavor. Finish was ok but not anything amazing.

Not the best brew out there but nothing to really complain about. Would make a great dinner beer. Natty Boh is a given with a table full of hot steamed crabs.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.17/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very clear, pale yellow, with quite active carbonation. Head is seltzery and active, quickly dissipating to nothing. Only a few little spots of irregular lace.

S: Faint grass and corn. Sweet, clean, and light.

T: Sweet corn and grass, with a faint kiss of hops that lend a touch of bitterness. The finish is slightly salty.

M: Light to medium bodied, with carbonation on the active side. Clean and somewhat crisp. Finishes slightly dry.

D: Nothing offensive about it at all, although the flavor is somewhat weak and watery. The taste is actually well above average, but it's just a little too muted. Still, better and more drinkable than most comparable bargain-basement macros.

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Photo of USCTrojanBrian
2.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For laughs ...

Baltimore's pride (no longer made in town), crab been extraordinaire, etc. etc. etc.

Ridiculously transparent, yellow in color. Old school lager smell, like from when I was growing up and the folks and neighbors would be slamming Old Style or Milwaukee's Best, stuff like that.

Purchased a can, but poured it into a 12 oz Pilsner glass.

Just not a whole lot of taste, watery, that lagery aftertaste simmering in my mouth well after each sip (a classic flavor, mind you). Has that aluminum can taste a bit too which drove many a person from Coors etc. into craft beers in the first place.

There's some good tastes, they're just so mild. More drinkable than you would assume, at least if you get it into some decent glassware and let it warm up a bit.

Throwback beer.

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Photo of 7beerphil
3.3/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Foamy 2 inch head, quickly dispersed, faint lacing. Beer is golden yellow

S: Mainly corn, although a hint of the Baltimore inner harbor is detected.

T: You actually can taste the "Choice Hops" in this one. Also noted are corn and malt

M: Light carbonation, very thin brew

D: One of the most drinkable brews. Tied with Keystone Premium as my favorite party/spacer beer.

For what Natty Boh intends to be, you can't beat it. The price is great, about $9 for a case of cans, and the taste is not at all foul. Although I do prefer and recommend the slighlty more expensive bottles, the cans fit the bill just fine.

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Photo of Tbn2
3.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Consumed directly from bottle.

This beer is one of the better massed produced provided you don't have it from a can. If you get this beer in a bottle, I'm sure will be surprised by this beer.

It looks like any other massed produced lager. It smells like any other massed produced lager. The taste is what sets if apart. It has a sweet, earthy taste and that truly finishes clean. Exactly what you are looking for from a macro lager.

If you can get your hands on it and are looking for a beer to consume in the mass quantities, go for it.

Bottoms up...

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Photo of woodychandler
3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

CAN it be true?

This was the last of a six pack and I thought that it might be a good idea to get a review on file. It poured with a finger's worth of bone white head with lousy retention - it was disappearing as quickly as I could pour! The color was a crystal clear pale/straw yellow. The nose was on the sweet side, very lager-like, but with an underlying sugary smell at the same time. The mouthfeel was thin and watery and there was a faint sweetness on the tongue, but that was about it. The finish was unobtrusive, at best. This is truly a lawnmower beer. It would be nice and refreshing cold out of the cooler on a hot day, but beyond that, it was pretty nondescript.

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Photo of John_M
2.45/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

OK. For good or for bad I live here in Baltimore, so what the hell I feel as if I'm obligated to drink (eeewww) and review a natty boh. This beer is more or less an institution here in Baltimore, even though (according to the label) it's now brewed (squeezed, pissed, whatever....) by Heilman in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Guess the water, hops (do they use hops for natty boh?) are extra special up there in WB.

So.... despite a hard pour into my Belgium chalice (yeah, the guys at Max's are laughing their arses off), I get almost no head or lacing. The beer is a light gold color, and what can I say.... based on what I see, I'm not overly optimistic. On the nose... much to my surprise I actually get something and it's not all THAT bad. There is kind of a sweet corn aroma, which while not very pronounced or impressive, I can't say it's all that unpleasant. Hmmm..

On the palate, well of course this is not a good beer.... but it's ohhhh so much better then the crap put out by BMC. Not that this is such a high bar, but in all fairness this beer isn't nasty and isn't as bad as I was expecting. The beer has a light mouthfeel (big surprise), and is pretty easy to drink (assuming one doesn't mind the fact that it's rather boring to drink).

So... this crappy beer (let's not kid ourselves) sort of reminds me a bit of strohs, but with a somewhat cleaner flavor profile. Of course it's a terrible beer, but in the world of lousy macros, I have to say I've had much worse (pretty much everything made by BMC). This beer would make good snail bait, or for that matter probably wouldn't be bad in beer chile or beer bread. This is a lousy beer, but in all fairness is not nearly as lousy as I was expecting. In a blind taste test, I'm not sure but I wouldn't rate it higher then Yuengling lager. I know that's not saying a whole lot, but this truly isn't nearly as wretched a beer as I was expecting (though the longer it sits in the glass, the more tiring/boring it is to drink). Ho hum... I've had worse.

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Photo of armock
3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured a golden yellow color with a white head that fades fast

S - Is of corny malt fairly typical

T - Follows the smell corny malt average for the style

M - A little watery with medium carbonation

D - For the style its an average beer not great but not bad this could be a session beer on a summer day while bbqing

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Photo of hdofu
2.27/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This was probably one of the most disappointing beers I have ever drank. Trying to be unbiased, but the most noticeable taste was the aluminum in the can. Smell was sort of funky, has an ok middle taste but an aftertaste which is slightly light less enjouable follows. Felt a bit watery. Ok for one drink or 2, but not one I'd go out out of my way to get or drink.

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Photo of nrpellegrini
3.23/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured to pint glass.

A: 1 finger white head, beer is yellow
S: corn, tap / dirty water
T: very watery, malty, corn
M: on every sip you seem to get a mouth full of non existing head, carbonated
D: very easy

First choice of beer to drink with Maryland Blue Crabs. Its not the greatest beer in the world but it goes down easy and is pretty good. Give it a try!

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Photo of BMoney575
2.88/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 1-25-08

Pours a very clear, yellowish-gold color, with no head, no retention, and no lacing.

Smell is adjuncty, slightly carbonated, with a combination of B.O. and skunk.

Taste is astoundingly good. Thin malt and very macro, but with a very nice hop balance. Not offensive at all.

Mouthfeel is standard, very thin and fizzy.

Drinkability is good, there are no nasty flavors to contend with.

Overall, a fantastic macro lager. Too bad I can't get it here in MI.

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Photo of demo3210
3.5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First, my tastes. I typically enjoy a smooth yet strong and fairly hearty beer like a sam adams or a blue moon typically, but i will occasionally binge on some Coors Light or Budweiser.

Now to Mr. Boh.

Natty Boh...this is the best beer you can buy for the money, at least in Maryland (the land of pleasant living AKA chesapeake bay). A 24 pack will cost a little more than 12 dollars.

The color is a darker piss yellow color with fizz in it. No different than Coors Light or Bud Light. Nothing impressive here whatsoever.

The smell is actually kind of stinky to be honest. Just dont go around sniffin the beer all the time...people'll prolly think your strange at parties anyway.

Taste and mouthfeel...this is where natty boh shines for its price. It has a very smooth mouthfeel at first. Not too fizzy and not too mellow like miller lite. Very clean feel to it and smooth. The taste is clean and smooth with a little bit of a hoppy taste. Comparing it to Coors Light, it has more body to it and gives it heartier taste and feel.

Drinkability is extremely easy, but don't take that negatively. I drank 6 beers in a power hour fairly easily considering the amount. Its only because of its smoother character and lighter (not too light) characteristics.

Now, this isnt to say, those of you that enjoy the hearty beer and like to sip and enjoy A beer versus a few or more in a sitting should switch brands or anything. Natty Boh doesn't try too hard to impress, it just does. For those of you that drink a lot of macrobeers like Coors and Budweiser, deff gives this one a shot. I think you will be 'pleasant'ly surprised.

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Photo of rell
3.21/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

National Bohemian seems to be a college norm - at least where I am, and frankly, not reviewing it would do the beer wrong.

Boh is not a classy beer - yes, it's (originally) from the land of pleasant living, but a 12 pack should only run you about 5 bucks.

The pour is generic - it's the normal yellow goldish tone with a slight head. The smell is the weakest part of the beer, it leaves you asking for something better.

The taste is good for a canned beer (in my situation) and definitely makes up for the smell. Mouthfeel is about the same.

It's drinkability is actually pretty good. If you're like me, you do a "3 in 3" because the drink goes down so easily - 3 beers in 3 minutes. Ah, the college days.

Overall: This is a classic college-esque beer. Don't expect much more out of it.

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Photo of Redrover
3.13/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was visiting Baltimore and of course had to sample a Natty Boh!

The beer is a light gold with a fairly impressive off-white head.

The nose is the weakest part of this beer. I get some grainy smell backed with a hint of hops.

The taste is slightly sweet with a bit of grain. There are more hops than a typical BMC (still not a lot). The hops add almost a perfumy aftertaste. The beer is well balanced and did not have any of that cheap adjunct funk that so many macros posses.

The mouth is blessed with crackling carbonation that adds to the enjoyment of this simple beer. You could do much worse than this old time favorite. Very easy to pair with crabs and oysters.

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Photo of ericj551
3.31/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I grew up in Maryland, so I know this beer well, despite the fact that I moved out of the state before I really had a chance to give it a shot. I had my friend pick up a twelve pack on his recent visit. Natty Boh pours a crystal clear light golden yellow with a foamy, short lived head. The aroma is sharp and grainy, not too much else. Taste is a sweet grainy malt flavor, no hops really to speak of. Fuller body and more flavor than I would expect from a 4.2% macro lager. This one is definitely a good party beer when you're on a very low budget, and I would drink it every now and then if it was around my area. Next time I'm eating crabs in Maryland, I'll be sure to pick up a six pack to help them go down.

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Photo of dedrinker
2.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now stand back a minute pardner! Why such high marks on mouthfeel and drinkability? Well, it's the funnest water I ever swallowed with a slight buzz to boot! At the end of a long night of British and Belgian ale drinking, I thought I was down for the count. But I was still thirsty and not ready for my pre-bedtime glass of water. Mr. Boh to the rescue! It was nothing short of miraculous. I got a whole can of it down, quenched my thirst for one more beer, and didn't add to the risk factor of my heavy evening. Score!

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Photo of Phatz
2.68/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a typical corn yellow color with a withe head and moderate lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt, sugar and corn starch in the nose.

Taste: Starts off not as repulsive as I predicted. Sweet and malty with a corn and grass flavor. The grains are typical but the finish sees to have a bit of sulfur or something I can't quite put a finger on but it is not pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Despite the bad taste it does in fact have a very pleasant mouthfeel. It is a light body, well carbonated and dry. Smooth enough for an American Macro Lager.

Drinkability: If an American Macro Lager is what you are looking for this one is light and smooth and very cheap if you get over the finish & aftertaste then the soft sweet flavor is drinkable and makes for a suitable party beer.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
2.51/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz aluminum can, 08216 / D50734 inkjetted on can bottom.

“From the Land of Pleasant Living”

Pale, faded straw. Bright white head that evaporates in a flash, but a vigorous pour is able to produce a tall head that lasts a bit at the expense of the carbonation. A few reluctant carbonation streams a visible. The aroma has just a touch of sweetness, corn maybe, and a distinct chemical edge. A bit of light corn/adjunct adds sweetness while these is a barely there hint of hops – as if the pellets were wafted over the boil. Some dusty grassiness is present as well, but this one is mainly faintly sweet and not much else. Light as air body, with some light carbonation initially, but the vigorous pour that generated a tall head managed to remove all remaining traces of carbonation. A little bit of warmth renders this barely drinkable. National Bohemian, aka Natty Boh, is a Balmer institution, but now brewed by G. Heileman in Milwaukee, WI. More cult classic than classic, it is simply unremarkable and there are definitely better beers in this category. But then again, none are the Boh.

This beer proved to be a suitable foil for the DFH Golden Shower.

As a side note, after the old National Brewery closed, a small corner of it eventually went on to house Brimstone Brewing, operated by Marc Tewey.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.64/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reminds me of my first homebrewed pilsner. I didn't drink much of that either. This beer is a bit muddy, but intriguing nevertheless. A dirty, bruised apple and peach, yeasty, confectionate sugar sweetness eminates in the aroma and flavor. Has a typical lager look with good head formation and retention. Body actually stood up a bit better than expected. an extra corn-sugar sweetness persists and leaves the body a bit heavier. Problematic is a heavy presence of buttererd popcorn, celery, and cooked vegetable flavors that was difficult to look past. As you could imagine, the finish had a thick lingering and left the mouth very slick and oily.

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Photo of lackenhauser
2.88/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Figured I should review this since its logo is my avatar so here is my 500th review. Rather pale golden color with a fair amount of carbonation. Very low aroma-nothing there really. Its not bad or anything just isnt there. Mild malt flavor with a trace of bitterness. Somewhat sweet in the finish. Average body for the usual macros out there. Fairly average overall. I love a good macro but think I would pass on this one. From what people tell me this and National Premium were quite the beers in their day.

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Photo of MLegendre
3.3/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I recently have become intrigued with the infamous Natty Boh. After reading up on it's cult status in Maryland I decided I had to try it at least once. Or maybe I was just hypnotized by the Cycolps Pringles guy on the bottle. Whatever it was, I just had to have some, and thanks to lackenhauser, my wishes were granted...

A: Well it looks just how I thought it would, carbonated piss... though a bit more color then most macro's. Head was there for a second, then POOF! it's gone. A very miniscule amount of lacing.

S: I'm a bit surprised, this actually had a definitive smell... and it smelled kind of good! Very grainy and sweet.

T: Again, I'm surprised. I was expecting this to taste like every other macro in the world, but it actually has quite a bit of flavor. It dosn't have a whole lot of hops or anything like that, but it dosn't taste like water. My only complaint is the aftertaste which reminded me of nutrasweet. Though it's not the best tasting beer I've ever had, it's actually pretty good for what it is.

M: Nothing special, but not bad. Light and lots of carbonation.

D: Let's just say this. If this was available in my area, and I was in high school again... this would be my beer of choice. I'd much rather be drinking this as apposed to Mickey's or Beast. In fact, I could see myself drinking this now on occasion. Not bad.

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Photo of musicjustintime
3.45/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have to agree with palffyfan from Boston...'Tiz a malty beverage, and that's what I notice more than anything. Not a BAD thing, however, as it's a very drinkable brew...and smooth. Plus, I get sick of hearing about HOPS! They're decent...but what the hell??! That's not what beer is all about. Malt is another aspect, and Nat. Boh. seems to deliver in that category. Nice switch from the "hop craze" and I really don't mind this classic brew at all. Again, very SMOOTH and easy to drink. Decent flavor, light on the palette...or tongue, if you will....And pretty cool-looking old-fashioned design! (I DO think that's the Pringles dude! He must be moonlighting!) I recommend this, and at $11.79 for 24 of could you beat it?! Although I've yet to try 'em with crabs as everyone recommends....It's pretty damn good just drinkin' by it's lonesome whilst sittin' here on the pc! Give 'em a try....especially if you like a more MALTY brew, with less of a hop character. You WON'T be disappointed, and your wallet won't hurt EITHER! Bottoms up my friends!

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National Bohemian Beer from Pabst Brewing Company
70 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.