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Labatt Canadian Ale / Labatt 50 | Labatt Brewing Company Ltd.

107 Reviews
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Labatt Canadian Ale / Labatt 50Labatt Canadian Ale / Labatt 50

Brewed by:
Labatt Brewing Company Ltd.
Ontario, Canada | website

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
John and Hugh Labatt, grandsons of founder John K. Labatt, launched Labatt 50 in 1950 to commemorate 50 years of partnership. The first light-tasting ale introduced in Canada, Labatt 50 was Canada's best-selling beer until 1979 when, with the increasing popularity of lagers, it was surpassed by Labatt Blue. Labatt 50 is fermented using a special ale yeast, in use at Labatt since 1933. Specially-selected North American hops and a good balance of dryness, complemented by a fruity taste, provide Labatt 50 with all the distinguishing features of a true ale.

Added by Todd on 10-24-2001

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Reviews: 107 | Ratings: 197
Photo of PorterPro125
3.54/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type: 355 mL Can

A- Pale Golden topped with a foamy 1 1/2 White Head with half decent retention. Light patchy lacing.

S- Light, Airy grain and a hint of citrus (slightly lemony)

T- Pale grain followed by a spicy, floral hop presence. Similar hop profile to a good Euro Pils.

M- Light Body and Moderate to High Carbonation. Dry finish.

O- Pretty decent example of an American Blonde Ale. A little bland, but certainly better than other similar mass produced beers.

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Photo of Pmicdee
3/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tastes no different than your average macro, bud, canadian etc. A little too bubbly for my liking. Ales usually have a stronger beer-y taste. This tastes mass-manufactured

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Photo of mynie
4/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 740 ml can, because Quebec is strange.

This is something like Miller High Life or Rolling Rock, an old legacy brand that's kept in production so as to avoid angering septuagenerian blue collars, and is marketed as sub-premium because it comes with very little advertising. But it's actually better than the premium-priced brand, because as your mom explained to you in 4th grade when you asked for a pair of Jordans, those other people are just paying more for the same thing with a fancy label. Only this isn't the same thing. This is better than the more expensive thing.

Labatt Blue sucks. It's the Bud Light of Canadian beers: watery candy-flavored swill. This is an older Labatt, and it was once the best-selling beer in Canada. At the time it was released, it marked a movement toward relatively lighter flavored beers. That movement got way out of hand and then eventually we found ourselves with Blue as the only beer that gets exported into the US. And that's shame.

This is pretty good. Not stupendous, but an easy pick for the upper caste of (North) American macro adjuncts.

Pours gold. The aroma is spritely, comprised mostly of a lightly spicy, lightly floral grain bill that's pierced by some sharp, light hops. The grain bill reminds me of Heineken but with some rough esters on the back end. The hop profile is old school medium-aggressive, similar to the current formula for Ballantine XXX.

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Photo of Burgz
3.96/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

740 ml single can poured into a schooner mug. Pours a pale golden with 2 fingers of long lasting head. Light carbonation. Smells of hops, oak and very light citrus hints. Taste of citrus and very subtle hops. Velvety and incredibly refreshing feel. This is the first labatt 50 I've tried and is the first time I've ever seen it available. If I can find it in standard size cans or bottles this may very well be my new go to beer. Absolutely fantastic!

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

I have done a disservice to this beer in the past. i have treated it harshly. But it is not a bad beer. It is, in fact, a borderline *good* beer. Certainly the best beer left that carries the Labatt name.

What was once the harbinger of North Americans' slide toward "lighter" fare (as outlined in *Brew North*), away from IPAs and richer ales, has, through a quirk of history, actually come to represent the "richest" Labatt offering left.

Yellow-ish colour (maybe leaning toward hints of orange), meagre head. But an actual, honest-to-god hop presence (I'd say Casacde-y, but that variant wasn't cultivated until the 70s--though who knows). A nice crispness, cleanness, a good bite. I genuinely enjoy this beer. And am delighted by its availability, locally, in embarrassingly large 740mL cans.

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Photo of haharight
3.26/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks suspicious at first. Used to be one of the most popular beers back in the day. I can see why. Refreshing and good flavour. Nice carbonation, not sweet and goes down dry. A classic!

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Photo of kevofficiel
3.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Drinking at the bar and I didn't got disappointed at all.
The look of it its more about a yellow brown look.
Nice carbonation with 1 finger of head that quickly disappear .
The smell of it is really nice. You have that corny smell.
About the taste you got that corny taste. Really different than the budweiser or the molson. The after taste is smooth. Its an easy drinking beer. I was really surprised.
So overall would I recommend it ? Of course ! If you see that the price is the same as a Budweiser or a Molson or a Coors as a Labatt 50 , take the Labatt 50 with no doubt or no fear. This is a nice refreshing testing beer, with that personal taste. I took one and I was surprised that I took a second one.

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Photo of VbolieuV
3.43/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale blonde beer with a small head and some carbonation. Smells of malt, metallic smell too, nothing much other than that. As for the taste, it's far for incredible, but for a macro beer I find that it has a decent hop profile and not bad bitterness. One of my favorite macro beer.

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Photo of Retroman40
2.93/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a hazy straw color with a decent but fleeting head that gave to some lacing.

S - Grains with some cooked cereals.

T - Grain flavor dominates with some faint hop bitterness in the finish.

M - Watery with good carbonation.

O - Disappointing since I can recall this beer being much more heavily hopped many years ago. I wouldn't turn one down, but I don't see myself buying this again as there are better choices in this class for the same money.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Decent sized white head slowly settles into a nice lacing above a clear golden colored beer.

Sour grain malt aroma.

Same sour grain malt taste as in the aroma but not overbearing makes this a easy drinking beer with just that touch of sourness.

A light dry aftertaste with just a little bit of the tastes remaining behind with this light bodied beer.

Seems like another standard light drink.

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Photo of andrenaline
2.78/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A staple to Northen Ontario...

A - Pours a light golden colour, thin layer of head with some retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Grainy malts, honey, sour dough bread and a sweet corn finish.

T - Grainy malts, sweet corn, light caramel, a hint of grassy hops and an overbearing bready finish.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dryness on the finish.

O - More of an adjunct, lots of bready malts and quite sweet. Easy drinking but not something I would grab for unless no other options were available. A simple minded brew indeed.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – Pours a medium golden color with a one finger white head. The head has moderate retention fading to leave only a decent level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is a mix of malt and a light papery and citrus smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a grainy and light caramel taste. Some notes of a fruity taste come to the tongue as the taste advances mixing with the initial grainy flavors to produce a rather smooth flavor. As the taste goes even further to the end, a light citrus hop and corn flavor come to the tongue and melds well with the smooth bready, grain, and sweet flavors of the brew.

Mouthfeel –The body of the beer was on the average to slightly above average side in terms of its creaminess with a carbonation level that is slightly lower than average. The creamy body accentuated the smoothness of the beer with the lower carbonation only helping it along further.

Overall – I was quite surprised by the brew. While not a flavor powerhouse it was much smoother then I would have expected and was quite easy drinking and enjoyable.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.04/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clean yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, faint nose, more lager tones than ale. In the taste, a bit sweet, and still lager like, not so much ale like. A small bite and a lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dryness of a standard lager. More a lager that ale, however fresh nonetheless.

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Photo of NV9
3.18/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden straw colour with half inch of foam that stays around longer than you might expect.

Not a ton of smell, mostly citrus with some malt.

Taste again is citrusy, a bit of bread and very slight metallic.

Light, drinkable beer with not too much carbonation and floral aftertaste

Great beer by macro standards, good beer by any standards.

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Photo of Stocean1
3.12/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

one finger white pillowy head with little retention or lacing, straw yellow and relatively clear.

floral hops, biscuit, some skunk, light fruit

Taste follows the nose with corn and light fruit (pear)

Light body, some carbonation, slight bitterness, refreshing and balanced.

A tasty macro worth sucking back in a pinch.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tallboy can picked up from the LCBO. A Canadian classic that I have so far never reviewed or even tried... my brother-in-law swears by this stuff, but in general Labatt fans seem to be few and far between these days.

Pours a bright golden colour, basically indistinguishable from any other macro lager - or it would be, if not for the presence of an impressive and surprisingly long-lasting white head on top. Long-lasting is a relative term, though... it's still mostly gone within a few minutes. Bland aroma, with pale grainy malts and some light astringent lemony citrus notes.

Pretty basic flavour, but nothing offensive at all - pale malts, bready in nature, leading into some honeyed sweetness and a bit of lemon zest. Decent astringency in the aftertaste, certainly more hop presence than the usual macro. Light-bodied, with good carbonation and a very crisp, refreshing mouthfeel.

[Updated Sept 2 2015]

This used to be classified as an APA on this site, but now that it is listed as a blonde, I feel that I should update this review (because I expect different things from those styles). As far as macro beers go this may be the best I've ever had - and that is saying a lot, because I've had plenty, and drink this one on a somewhat regular basis. I'd rank it well above Molson Ex, which is arguably this beer's main competitor. I'm under 30, so it's not like this is something I grew up with and 'grandfathered' in - it's a legitimately decent blonde ale.

Final Grade: 3.37, a B-.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

473ml Can

Appearance – Clear yellow colour with a large size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some pretty good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains, bread, hops

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation. I can taste bread/grains/corn mixed with light malts and some floral hops. There is also a bit of a metallic taste, but it seemed to fade. It ends with a corn/grainy aftertaste with a bit of a lingering floral hop bitterness.

Overall – I was actually surprised at how decent this beer was. Growing up it seemed like this beer was the lunch line for a lot of beer jokes. For the style it's actually pretty drinkable and has a decent taste. You could do far worse.

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Photo of MartyPuch
2.88/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Probably 30 years since may last "fitty". Not sure if it was the nostalgia or the ale but I enjoyed it on tap at the Sheraton Toronto. Wish it were more available as an option when compelled to drink a mass produced product or chlorinated tap water.

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Photo of heebes
3.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Notes from dismal selection at Phoenix Concert Theatre while attending the Stephen Malkmus concert.

Poured into a clear plastic cup a clear bubbly golden with thin bubble head. Nose was malty, grain. Taste was surprisingly crisp and decent, pale malts and more grain/grass but mixed together well. Mouthfeel was thin and watery.
Overall, a surprise macro that works well in dire situations, when theres no other choice at shows.

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Photo of garymuchow
2.91/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hard to resist at $3.99/6 pack. And, really at that price worth it.
Little sulfur, slight DMS, very mild hops , soft pale malt backing.
Brilliantly clear straw. Smallish white head that settles out quickly.
Soft pale malts with balancing hops (and a little flavor too) that point into a mild bitterness with a slight dryness that lays long on the finish. Clean for an ale. Seems to be some hints of DMS.
Ample carbonation with some stinging tingling going on, but it also softens at times too. A little bigger than light, but not to moderate body.
This doesn't completely suck, especially for a rather warm summer day and looking for a thirst quencher.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.67/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thos brew pours out as a clear yellow color with a fizzy whit sheaf that last only a few seconds. The smell of the beer almost has a pilsner aroma going on in it. There is some grassy notes and some hops on the nose. The taste was kinda hoppy and earthy. The mouthfeel is light and a little bitey. Overall not really that much of an impressive brew really. Wouldn't need to have this one again.

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Photo of sdj5
3.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass. Smells very sweet and creamy. No hop scent.

No head, no lacing. It's also quite cold. Definitely very sweet, a bit of hops on the end. Definitely some bitterness in there to counteract the sweetness. Seems like lager, but has that ale taste.

Nothing special on the mouthfeel, maybe a bit sticky.

I think this beer is definitely an above average macrobrew. It's cheap, has no really bad qualities and is drinkable. I might keep this around the house.

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Photo of kwjd
3.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Future Bakery in Toronto. It had been a least a year since I had 50 and it was always my favourite of the Labatt lineup. I had no idea that it would be classified as an APA, it certainly doesn't seem to market itself as such. As an aside, I've never heard of "Labatt Canadian Ale". Is this what they call 50 in the US?

Pours a golden yellow colour with thin white head. Some mild lacing on the glass. I can smell a hint of hops with bready malts. No off flavours, just some mild bitterness pretty much. This used to be one of my favourites before I knew of craft beer. It has more flavour than a typical macro lager.

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Photo of CrazyMike
3.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Straw yellow appearance with bubbly head that disappears quickly. Smell is sweet and grainy, picked up grass as well.

Taste is grainy with bitter hops, picked up some sweetness and a small hint of malt. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Aftertaste is bitter, and oddly enough, malty.

One of my favorite beers when I lived in London, ON. This is refreshing and crisp, but overall mediocre. Still, if I wouldn't turn it down on tap for sentimentality.

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Photo of biboergosum
2.96/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

My 341ml bottle says Labatt 50, with 'Canadian Ale' in very small print. Enjoyed before a Fringe show at the Black Dog, put on by a friend of mine - break a leg, Zyp!

This beer pours a clear, medium golden yellow colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and soapy off-white head, which leaves some spotty streaks of lazy cloud lace around the glass as it quickly dissipates.

It smells of semi-sweet grainy malt, dry honey, warm corn cereal, a twinge of sour yeast, and weedy, somewhat floral hops. The taste is sweet corn, subdued barley grain, a hint of stale bready caramel, mild and indistinct citrus and apple fruity notes, and more low-key floral, weedy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, just a soft trilling edginess throughout, the body a day late and a dollar short of true medium weight, a bit oily, and somewhat clingy in its punch-clock smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the breakfast corn cereal showing off its resiliency, amongst the equally dogged floral, weedy hops.

Another ale from the big boys that blurs the line between lager and ale (Kim Mitchell should look into this!). I drank most of this before being distracted by watching an (entertaining) amateur play, so it turned out to be sufficient for the lull, but now onto something more modern and appropriate for the venue - oh, right, Big Rock.

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Labatt Canadian Ale / Labatt 50 from Labatt Brewing Company Ltd.
72 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.