Kokanee Gold - Columbia Brewery

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Kokanee GoldKokanee Gold

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57 Ratings
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Ratings: 57
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 2.93
pDev: 24.57%
Wants: 2
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Columbia Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-28-2003

Kokanee Gold was launched in 1990 and is brewed in the B.C. Kootenays at the Columbia Brewery. Using western-grown North American hops, Kokanee Gold is brewed to a fuller body with a hint of caramel overtones on the after-taste.
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Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 27
Reviews by pootz:
Photo of pootz
3.48/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Labatts attempted to market this beer in the east of Canada by doing a brand "X" and brand "Y" mass comparison not unlike the old coke-Pepsi wars in the 70s. It lost in the east but was thumbs up in Western Canada where they like lighter beers. That's what this is...a light roasted malt beer with good thirst quenching and drinkability qualities...beer snobs need not apply for tastings. The majority of folks out west here that drink the occasional domestic draft and wear sneakers when our cowboy boots are in for repair, like this stuff..it's the number 2 draft beer out west(Canada)...and for good cause. Kokanee gold is a fuller bodied draft beer than the watery offerings from Molson or the other mega brewers and it isn't a heavy yeasty drink like the local crafters churn out. This beer is made for socializing after the slopes at Fernie or Norquay and it fills that niche well...Obviously sales afferm that point.

Average folks know what they like and they like K-Gold....where does that leave it's critics?... Fortunately there are more than enough regular folks to keep the Creston Brewey busy filling K-Gold draft orders.

Pours a crystal clear dark copper-gold with a smallish off-white head that laces out quickly. Has subtle sweet malt aromas, some toaty tones, some light spice mingled hints of hop. Starts crisp like a pilsner but mellows on the tongue where all the great carmel tastes, nuts, spice and medium body is departed, then finishes clean with no after taste.
Try some, you'll like it... the locals do.

More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
2.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

20oz pint at Ceili's, the faux-Irish pub across the alley from my abode. Many moons ago at the Power Plant on the U of A campus, Kokanee Gold on draft fueled many a post-class Friday afternoon gathering. Now, years later, and supposedly wiser, let's see how it has held up.

This pint arrives on the bar, appearing a crystal clear, medium golden amber colour, with one finger of aspiring, but eventually futile, fizzy dirty white head, which leaves a few random specks of wayward islet lace around the glass as things sink away.

It smells of disagreeable stanky reduced corn syrup, a faint stab at a sweet, disemboweled grainy maltiness, and rather grassy British hops, of the dead, and rotting sort. The taste is much in the same over-tapped vein - sickly, yet not-so sweet corn-fed mash, a fading hint of real, somewhat caramelized malt graininess, and a small dose of musty, weedy hops.

The carbonation is a bit active, but not overly so, the pricks on the tongue hardly life-threatening, the body medium-light in weight, and rather tacky in its attempt at smoothness. It finishes off dry, and kind of cloying in its indistinct lingering sweetness.

While a better (though hardly akin to my inflated memories of) offering than the standard version that Kokanee/Labatt/Inbev peddles, I'm no longer into pounding pitchers of this, for myriad reasons, but somehow this is still something I'd begrudgingly accept in many a circumstance, which speaks more to my circumstances, than anything.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.65/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear and light copper and topped with a fizzy, quickly dissipating head that leaves nothing but a ring, nice color on this, at least considering the type of beer it is and that you really don't get this kind of color on macros these days.

D: Slightly corny, but otherwise balanced between a decent malt sweetness and slight hop fruitiness, mild green apple in here as well, so a bit off the score here.

T/MF: Clean, slightly fruity, mostly clean and grainy, on the lighter side of medium bodied and feels a bit fizzy on the tongue. Quite hoppy for a macro and scathes the tongue much more than a traditional macro.

D: Clean and crisp with a bit more character than a Bud or Miller or Coors. Very easy to drink, not something that I'd really look for, but if this was in the area I'd pick it up before a BMC beer, even though its probably a subsidiary.

Photo of GrimmReaper
2.83/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got a free glass with this one so i picked up a 12 pk.
Pours a copper golden,with nice white head and some lacing and tiny bubbles floating up.
Smells grainy,grassy just like all the other Kokanee beers.
Tastes about the same too,maybe a little more thicker,but not much and a little more carbonated.
Went down quite well with a little more maltiness comming through compared to the others,but i quickly grew tired of it after the 4th one,,not bad i guess...but just a macro.

Photo of IronDjinn
2.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tries to come across a bit fancier, a bit more upper crust than most macros with the logo silkscreened on the bottle, rather than the already dog-eared labels you pull out of an average 6 or 12 pack. Plus by proclaiming to be an amber lager, it also tries to put it a step apart from the other fizzy yellow stuff. In Canada this is the choice of most macro beer drinkers who aren't quite prepared to make the next step to micros, the hoighty-toighty swill quaffers.

This sample is from the original brewery in Creston, not the Labatt's clone in the East. 5.3% abv listed on the bottle. True enough to it's name it pours out a clear light amber ale, although nothing really spectacular. An okay splash of head on the pour, it recedes quickly but remains a dime's width of existence on the surface. The aroma is somewhat decent for a macro as well, toasted malt with almost a touch of caramel, trying to mask out the subtle cooked veggies funk that lurks below. The flavour itself is, well, it's there, and it's inoffensive, but completely lacks in character, I couldn't even break it down, the same drone all the way through. Consistent at least? The mouthfeel is fuller for a lager, and carries a bit of a carbonation bite to it, but pretty mild as a whole. I don't order this very often, and rarely buy it otherwise, it tends to be a last resort in an establishment if they don't carry any micros. Or if their micro lines are dirty.

Photo of hopwave
2.26/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Hiding in the back of the fridge over at mom's... might as well do a quick review. light brown amber colour with very small white head, not much of a smell... light grain. taste is same a touch better then expected... amber lager, sweet honey. boring beer.

Photo of MTNboy
3.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My father-in-law gave me some of this beer while we were out in Washington. It was good for a mass produced lager. It seems to be everywhere in Eastern Washington. I have had regular Kokanee but never the Gold. It was a decent change.

Appearance- A little better than average color. It is a copper amber a little too much on the head and fizz but it does have some nice lacing.

Smell-Average; malt hops maybe some corn. You know what you expect from a macro.

Taste- Pretty good and better than most macro lagers. You can differentiate between the different components of the beer’s flavor.

Mouthfeel- Fizzy, thin and light.

Drinkability- Not a bad lager for catching up with friends and family. Easy to drink fast or slow typical of a beer of this style.

Photo of BigBry
3.1/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is what you get when you ask for a "dark beer" at most cheap local drinking establishments. Color is darker than regular Kokanee; since they say Amber on the label, I will call it amber colored too. Small head that dissapears to nothing. A little bit fuller body than Kokanee, but still bland and watery. Not much smell at all. Subtle tastes of malt and hops, but not a full flavor by any means. Crisp, clean finish, no after taste. Nothing really special, but a step up if you like commercial lagers.

Photo of LampertLand
3.74/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Columbia Brewing 'Kokanee Gold' Lager @ 5.3% , served from a 6pack of 341 ml bottles purchased for $13

A-pour is a golden amber with a good size off white head leaving a streaky lace along the stein

S-crisp smelling lager

T-crisp tasting lager at the start , mellow finish

MF-ok/good carbonation , medium body

Ov-not a great beer anymore , my oh my , have my taste buds changed , sorry Kokanee

prost LampertLand

Photo of CrazyMike
3.88/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is a nice light brown with a smell that is sweet and grainy.

The taste is very malty with a dark sweet maple taste. Hint of brown sugar. Has a medium body, nicely carbonated and a dry aftertaste.

Was definatly impressed and would definatly drink it again. To bad this beer is next to impossible to find in Ontario.

Photo of berley31
3.18/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a spare, off-white head, and a clear, sparkling amber body. Little lacing, no particles. Looked better than it smelled, with light malt. Light and thin on the palate, with soft carbonation. As for the flavor, there are caramel notes and it is moderately sweet, with a short duration. More pleasant than I would have guessed from the smell. Overall a very nice lawnmower beer that goes down very easy.

Photo of Noxious26
3.33/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I've had this beer on several occassions in the past few months and this is a compilation review of sorts.

Clear, golden in colour. White head is frothy with decent head retention when poured properly. Unfortunately, most places that carry this attempt to leave no head.

Aroma is grainy and lightly sweet with hints of toasted malt and honey.

Taste is lightly sweet and grainy off the start then smoothly blends into a tangy finish. Short lived aftertaste is grainy and sweet.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with average carbonation for a macro (that is to say lots). Clean and smooth.

I used to drink this stuff by the gallons in the late 90's at a place called The Blarney Stone here in Regina. Discussion with friends (macro drinkers) of mine that enjoyed this beer at that time confirm my belief that it isn't what it used to be. Seems more adjuncty and less smooth than it used to be. This beer brings back some great memories, but it just doesn't hold my interest the way it used to. I used to think of this as a good to very good macro, but now it's just above average.

Photo of andrenaline
3.2/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice golden amber colour, thin finger of head with no real retention, and surprisingly left a little acing on the glass.

S - Very mild on the nose, with only some light bready, biscuit malts coming through.

T - The biscuit malts dominate the flavour, some mild caramel, as well as a bit of a sweet corn taste that lingers on the palette.

M - Nicely carbonated, goes down incredibly smooth.

D - Great session beer and more flavourful than the regular Kokanee offering. No strong flavours, but nothing offensive either. Memorable, no, drinkable, yes!

Photo of prosper
3.25/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I really rather like this stuff, for when a nice cold refresher is called for. There might not be a whole lot going on, but there's nothing offensive about it to put me off of it either.

Anyway, appearance is much darker than your average lager, more golden colored. Good head and some lacing.

Smells decent. There are barley notes to it, quite prominently. Grassy, malty smells. Maybe a Vienna or Munich malt? No yeast character, and I didn't sense any DMS or other 'off' notes.
Tastes a lot like it smells. Not sweet, not dry - dextrine? Faint hops, sort of a 'noble' hops character (as opposed to the piney citrusy american hops). They're not prominent in any case.

As I said, I rather like this stuff as a summer day 'refresher' after mowing the lawn or other activity. It's unremarkable, for better or worse.

Photo of BigRedN
3.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes, consumed on 9/30 during trip to Calgary, at The 5 Hotel bar. My first impressions and notes were good, imagine my surprise to find out this was a Labatt's product (I was told it was from BC). Another bar that had this on tap referred to it as the medium (with Molson Canadian the light and Big Rock Traditional the dark).

Appearance: Poured into a glass mug a clear, light coppery color. Decent white head that faded quickly. Left no lacing. Better than most macros.

Smell: Somewhat sweet, malt and grain mostly, smelled like a typical macro.

Taste: Back to being a step above a typical macro. Notes say some barley malts and grains.

Mouthfeel: Slightly more than light bodied, medium for a macro, good carbonation to keep it light and drinkable.

Drinkability: Good substitute in the presence of all macros, but if there is something better around I'd go with that something else.

Photo of Shadman
2.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

another refegee from the BBQ of june 2007.

Damn nice appearance for a macro..Crystal clear, light amber-copper color with a large head ( surprising as it was fridge chilled) that stayed quite a while before receding to a thin ring. Soome nice lacing noted for a macro-lager.

Looks can be deceiving however, smell is of husky grain and slight adjuncts.

Taste..also so-so. Sweet and slightly watery, the flavors are quite muted. slight hop and grainy malt flavors luring in the background. Finish is quite dry.

light body, medium carbonation = average mouthfeel in my books.

Certainly better that the other refugee from my BBq, but really...for the extra buck or so they charge for a six-pack of K-Gold I'm gonna have to take a waver.

Photo of riversider76
3.36/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not so sure this a Labatt product. The bottle says Columbia Brewing in BC. Anyway. Pours a honey amber in color. Fluffy white head,with some retention,and good laceing.Nose is grainy with,maybe some honey. Body is light and carbonated. Taste is bready,with a sweet undertone.Refreshing.

Photo of biegaman
2.76/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at The Iron Goat, in Canmore.

The beer has a sheen mahogany tone that goes great with the alpine sky lodge motif found not only in this restaurant but typically much of the Canadian Rockies (more than fitting considering how much Kokanee exploits the theme in its advertising). Its surface has only a distant spattering of different sized bubbles that almost resembles a miniature scale orbit model of the solar system.

The beer may look a lot maltier, toastier than a typical mass-produced lager but it doesn't smell it. As can be said for virtually all industrially made swill lagers - truest most for the poorly made - the foul stench of commercial corn syrup reigns supreme. It smells synthetic and off-putting. I couldn't get my nose out of and away from that glass any faster.

As the saying goes: where there's smoke, there's fire. This thing smells like corn syrup because that's essentially all it is. While a trickle of authentic, pleasant sweetness is evidence of at least some actual malts being used, the beer is definitely lacking that firm, vivid, and, most importantly, delicious taste of real toasted, boiled, fermented grains.

Likewise, it lacks their texture too; this thing not only tastes like corn syrup it nearly drinks like a syrup too. Once again, the palpable, substantive presence of bona fide malts is hardly even feigned where as even the notion of any bittering hops is downright laughable. Hell, it even seems a few bubbles short of a full load. Tisk tisk.

I found Kokanee Gold to be almost agreeable but nowhere close to acceptable. What do I mean by that? I mean that could finish the pint but considered it a chore to do so. And even then I still felt like I hadn't had a beer - a pop, maybe, but not a beer. No, this should be considered a "beer product" and not be confused with the real thing. And for anyone with half a palate there's no chance of that happening.

Photo of woemad
3.24/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from a 12'er I picked up on sale at the Foothills Yoke's for $9.79. I needed some bulk beer and figured this would occupy that niche. The label is totally different than the one posted, btw. FWIW, Labatt doesn't brew this, and it's not brewed in Ontario. Kokanee is brewed at the Columbia Brewery in Creston, BC. Labatt does own the brewery, however.

This beer's appearance was way beyond what I was expecting. It poured a copper color with a big, white head that slowly settled. Spotty lace was left behind.

The nose was a quick trip back to macro lager reality. Crude grain and corn greet the nostrils. A blind sniffing of a regular Kokanee and this would probably make me think I'm smelling two of the same beer.

Oddly enough, the taste was better than the smell led me to believe. It's pretty much malty sweetness, but much better balanced than most beers in the style, and the corn flavor doesn't come through like a standard Kokanee. There's a subordinate grainy flavor, but it's pretty well balanced into the background.

Mouthfeel's pretty much average for the style. Kinda watery, but could be worse. Well-carbonated.

A surprisingly decent mass market lager. Definitely moves toward the front of the pack of cheap macro beers that I'll buy.

Photo of RJLarse
3.33/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought a 12-pack of Kokanee Gold on sale at a grocery store. Poured in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a brownish bronze/gold color and is clear. A thin fizzy head forms, ans dissipates quickly. The foam is not very sticky, and produced virtually no lacing.

Smell is of grains, corn mostly. Not much of the perfume aroma in most lagers.

The taste is OK, with a cereal flavor initially, then an acerbic mildly bitter finish. The taste is not real robust, but not bad.

Mouthfeel is clean and refreshing. Perhaps just a bit watery, but not bad at all.

A very drinkable beer, especially at this price point. I think it's a lot better than the regular Kokanee. I bought my 12-pack on sale for $9.48. I have no idea what it goes for regularly, but this is a very nice brew for under $5 a six pack. I would compare it to Henry Weinhard, maybe even Sam Adams in terms of quality. I have not seen Kokanee Gold in these parts until recently, but it could become something of a staple at my house, if the price holds.

Photo of madtappers
3.8/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

For a cheap Canadian beer this is something special, no doubt this is no craft beer but, for a long hot day of mowing the lawing or playing ball, defenitally better than your everday Bud or Miller or Coors.

Again this is an above average mass brewed lager beer...and as for amber, no way just darker golden version of Kokanee Galcier with more flavor.

So next time you your looking for a good beer just to drink pick one of these up!

Photo of beertunes
2.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into clear plastic cup in the bistro car of an Amtrak train. Poured a medium honey color with just a thin cap of khaki head that had no retention or lacing.

The aroma was a below average example of the style, some malty sweetness and no noticeable hops. Same goes for the flavor, just bland and unmemorable.

The body was nonexistant and drinkability was good, in the way water is drinkable. Overall, avoid. Unless you've already had a few and you see it on a train. Then use the opportunity to tick it.

Photo of dnichols
3.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I shared a six pack of 12 ounce capped bottles with a buddy who recently moved back to town.

A: It had a diluted amber body with a robust white head and a steady flow of fizzy bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. There was a thin and clinging lacing. that followed the beer down the glass.

S: It smelled grainy with whiffs of malts and grassy hops.

T: It presented a sweet toasted malt flavor that was thin. There was a funky grassy hop flavor that turned sour in the aftertaste.

M: Light bodied and heavily carbonated.

D: It was a reasonably decent macro lager with some flavor, a light body, and low ABV making it an acceptable beer if non other is available, the beer is ice cold, and the day is hot and muggy.

Photo of CalgaryFMC
2.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Had a pint on tap at a Calgary pub with limited selection. A darker than expected reddish amber color with a half-inch of largish beige bubbles on top and looking rather fizzy throughout. Extremely mellow, downplayed aroma, a whiff of grain husk, corn syrup, and raisin, perhaps some sourish apple. Reminds of a Sleeman's honey brown or its ilk, albeit even more toned down for the masses. Taste is the same, faint sourish raisin and apple, sweet corn syrup, saltwater taffy perhaps. Difficult to taste much here at all although I will say that this beer is so clean that there's nothing objectionable of note either. Maybe a bit metallic in the finish. Nil hop flavor or aroma. Watery body, super fizzy, actually not a bad option in the absence of alternatives but I would not recommend getting stuck at such a place if one can avoid said fate. Red beer for the generic drinker. Needs flavor of course and more bitterness to cut the saccharine sweet vibe.

Photo of Bookseeb
3.08/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It does appear to be a honey gold with not much head. Smell is macro with the grain and corn. Taste seems balanced for a macro, slight hint of sweet, grainy and hopped. Mouthfeel is light - medium with a crisp carbonation. Not one I'd go out and have every weekend, but one to try.

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Kokanee Gold from Columbia Brewery
71 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.