Ionizer Lager
Lightning Brewery

Ionizer LagerIonizer Lager
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American Malt Liquor
Ranked #4
Ranked #42,601
3.43 | pDev: 13.41%
Lightning Brewery
California, United States
Ionizer LagerIonizer Lager
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 27 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of d4114
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden yellow with a 3 finger white head

Malty sweetness, getting the corn coming through pretty strong. Not getting any hops.

Nice full flavor. You don't get the corn as much as in the smell. Mostly a sweet malt flavor with a nice creaminess to it. There is some bitterness to it which is nice.

Feel is fine but the the carbonation is a little low.

Overall this is a little on the sweet side for me but it is more or less what i'm looking for in a high abv lager. Its refreshing and not that heavy but has tons of flavor.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.35/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

After a lot of time and effort in putting together the complete 2004-2011 Dark Lord vertical plus all four variants, of course we change plans and have a malt liquor tasting. Beer advocacy, my ass.

A - Hazy amber color with a small head. Some bubbles with minimal action.

S - Macro lager sweetness and bad chemicals. Smells bad. I'm sure this will be bad.

T - It's sweet, mostly like corn syrup. God, is this what we're coming to? Next time I'll just mix corn syrup with some alcohol and call it a day. If you like sweet stuff, maybe this is your thing. If you like beer, I hope you don't like this.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

O - Ugh, whatever, I don't know why we kept doing this. This is okay for a malt liquor, meaning is just plain sucks instead of royally sucking.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First Annual(?) Chicago Malt Liquor Tasting. Bottle courtesy of Shane (Hophead84). Jason thought this was the worst beer of the event, while I actually kind of liked it - go figure.

A - A finger of white foam quickly settles to a thin ring and some bubbles on-top. Transparent dark peach body.

S - Grain, sweet malt, honey, sugar, corn, maybe even some light floral hopping.

T - Again, sweet malt, sugar, corn, fruity notes. Largely inoffensive with no off flavors.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly grainy texture. Alcohol is reasonably well-hidden even though this is on the lower end of the malt liquor spectrum.

D - I found this surprisingly enjoyable. It wasn't as good as the Dogfish or Midnight Sun offerings, but it was a passable high-gravity lager.

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Photo of aknight
3.34/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Bruery tulip. This is a beautiful looking beer, a real honey amber color. No head to speak of which is my only quibble with its appearance, this is an otherwise gorgeous looking beer.

The beer smells sweet. It kind of has a boozy sweetness to the smell not too far different from a malt liquor. Not the most exciting smell.

Taste is pleasant. Syrupy sweet, strong notes of honey and maybe a touch of lemon zest. The beer is mostly sweet with just the tiniest bit of bitterness hiding under the sweetness somewhere. Blink and you'll miss the bitterness.

Moutfeel is pleasant. The beer has a syrupy sort of mouthfeel. Not overly viscous but the carbonation is light which no doubt adds to my perception of sweet and syrupyness.

Overall this is a decent beer. For an American style lager it's pretty good. I don't know that I would drink this again over any of the thousands of amazing ales that are out there. Come to think of it, I can't imagine why I would drink this beer again. I like the beer, don't get me wrong, it's just not exciting so there is no reason to come back. This may be a good craft brew for people just getting into craft brews or transitioning from American style lagers.

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Photo of Dijeriduster
2.95/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Small Bar in SD

A - Light lager colour with a finger or so of crisp white head. Fairly clear with just a hint of chill haze.

S - Almost approaches a malt liquor smell with a hint of more sophisticated yeast coming thru.

T - Pretty much what you'd expect in an imperial lager. Starts bready and almost sour from the yeast and alcohol combo. Finishes slightly syrupy with a lingering alcohol and lager yeast taste.

M - Thinnish as a lager should be but has a distinct syrupy feel on the tongue.

O - An interesting study in imperial beers. Really, this would be much better with a lower ABV and more attention to taste vs. gimmick. Worth trying but not really worth having a spare bottle. Might age it a little but the style isn't known for getting any better...

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Photo of mactrail
3.49/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks and tastes like unfiltered apple juice. Amber and cloudy.

Very malty in a perfumey, fruity way. Aroma rather alcoholic. Very strong flavors and strong alcohol taste. Quite sweet, like hard candy in unusual flavors. Orange and a hint of peel. Odd hoppiness takes it out of the dimension of industrial malt liquors. Very bitter aftertaste.

Not what you'd want a tankard of, but it's an interesting glass of something strong and sweet, minus the Belgian musk of a golden ale.

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Photo of portlandjeff
2.71/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy honey-amber with no head and very minimal visible carbonation. Barely-there ring of bubbles forms on the edge of the glass and quickly dissipates.

S: Sweet, followed my macro-lager corny middle and ending with strange chemical bitterness. Not a good start.

T: "Better Beer Through Science" should not be on this bottle. If anything, this beer is proof that making good beer is more of an art than a science. While I'm usually capable of pulling out various flavor notes from a beer, the best I can do with this one is to say that it doesn't taste dissimilar from something you'd buy in a 24 ounce can at 7-11. I like a good lager, so it's not that I'm trying to judge this beer by ale standards, it's just not that good. To be fair, compared to the 24 ounce macro malt liquors, some of the harsh edges and heat have been smoothed out in this beer, but the general flavor profile doesn't seem to be improved. Weird and sweet up front, chemical bitterness in the back, and no flavor or aroma from the hops.

M: Mouthfeel isn't horrible. It's not too thin, and not too thick and sticky. The biggest fault is the low carbonation which leaves the experience underwhelming.

D: This is a drinkable beer compared to cheap convenience store malt liquor, but not drinkable compared to any well conceived craft. I'd imagine this could be a good "gateway beer" if you were trying to convert a homeless person with a winning scratcher to something better, but it's not going to win anyone over who already appreciates the finer things.

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Photo of regspeir
3.12/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle (acquired in a trade) into a standard pint glass.
Poured a light yellow-orange with a smallish head that dissipated completely. There was little or no lacing. Nose was caramel, lemon, pale malt and corn. Taste was boozy and sweet with elements of lemon, honey, caramel, and grains. Carbonation was light and it felt thin, though sticky. WHile a bit too sweet and thin for me to drink much of this, it wasn't awful. I admit I wasn't expecting much here, so it is not a shock that it wasn't as bad as I expected. Like most, a malt liquor was last tried in high school when friends wanted to get drunk and could care less why or how and certainly didn't care about anything tasting good.

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Photo of vacax
3.79/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ionizer pours a rich, dark gold color, bordering on copper. Less than a finger of off-white head fizzles away too quickly. Aroma has an ambiguous malt sweetness to it, a bit rough with some of the corn that makes up 20% of the malt bill coming through.

Pleasant, crisp malt comes through on the taste, tinged by a bit of a metallic flavor, moderately bitter, alcohol comes through on the finish along with a fairly pleasant cookie malt flavor. Despite a couple flaws, the finish is quite clean, which for a malt liquor is very desirable, it lends drinkability. More than light body, but not too much more, carbonation is moderate, much lower than typical lager, which is not bad, in fact probably better balance of body and bubbles than most lagers.

As far as this beer goes, it is a good example of a craft malt liquor, or as Lightning is calling it "Pre-Prohibition Style" but basically anything over 8% with a substantial amount of adjuncts is a malt liquor in my book. In which case, this is on the better side of most, but I wouldn't exactly call this a tasty beverage either.

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Photo of Kaiser81
3.28/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into my Bruery snifter

A - Pours orange with just a few mm of head. It settles to a nice ring on top of the beer, and leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

S - Mild hints of lemony zest and a tiny bit of maltyness on the backend. It almost smells like a watered down IPA.

T - The malt definitely is the defining character of this beer. There isn't much bitterness from the hops (what hops) at all. It's just...kind of malty on the back end and that's about it as far as I can describe for taste. there is noticeable alcohol on the back end too.

M - Light body with good carbonation.

D - Not so sure I want too much more of this. I have another bomber. Maybe I can divvy it up with some camping buddies next weekend.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A quite golden yellow color with a rather ample white head on top. The head sticks around much longer than I would imagine for the style.

S: Sweet corn and malt dominate the nose as you would expect from a "Pre-Prohibition Lager". The sweetness gives the perception that there could be some fruit in there, but I could not identify anything in particular.

T: A very sweet beer with an almost corn syrup flavor to it. Some sweet malts as well as a hint of hop bitterness and citrus, but no real attempt at balance.

M: Despite the lager status, this has a fairly substantial body with plenty of carbonation.

D: Definitely one of the best malt liquors available. Usually I drink them for the novelty, but this wasn't all that bad.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pineapple gold with a hint of tangerine orange and a fine yeasty haze. A manila colored crown filled half the glass after the pour and isn't giving ground willingly. It's also laying down filmy sheets of impressively sticky lace. Talk about your high-class malt liquor.

Too bad the nose doesn't make a bigger and bolder splash. A hint of fruity hops is all that's appreciated so far, although there's still at least two fingers of foam running olfactory interference. No corn and no alcohol is mighty strange indeed.

Ionizer Lager reads like an American malt liquor on paper, but it doesn't taste like one. Having said that, I'm not sure what would be a more appropriate choice. The brewery calls it a 'Pre-Prohibition Premium American lager'. It's extremely doubtful that any of those late (and possibly great) old school brews weighed in at 8.3%.

I think it tastes like a lightly American-hopped Imperial Golden Ale. Let's add that to the list of styles, shall we? Seriously though, with the use of an estery Belgian yeast rather than bland lager yeast, this stuff could be pretty damn good. As is, it ain't too bad. Almost no corn and very little alcohol still don't fit the AML template. Besides, it's too expensive to be the vagrant's choice.

Other than a hint of white toast, the flavor derived from barley malt and corn is akin to rock candy. There are just enough citric hops to add flavor interest and to focus what could have been an overly sweet brew into something approaching balance. There may be clover honey notes as well, although I'm pretty sure no honey was used.

The body/mouthfeel is nicely done. It's medium-full and is as smooth as a polished pebble. I'm actually tempted to bump the score, but it doesn't quite earn the increase. Great job with the bubbles, though.

Ionizer Lager is the best beer that I've had from this brewery yet. The fact that it's hard to categorize makes it somewhat intriguing. And even though there's no real flavor hook, I'm enjoying the hell out of the bomber. Must be the alcohol talking. Note to the brewers: give some serious thought to Belgian yeast. Trust me.

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Photo of opwog
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now Listening to: Bill Clinton speech at the DNC

A- Kind of an uninteresting golden yellow, with very little head. Kind of like a macro
S- not much nose at all. Some corn, which also hints at macros
T- Tase is where this beer finally sets itself apart. The alchohol stays hidden as a distinct characteristic, but instead blends nicely to bring up the malt and mild hoppiness
M- Nice malt body with matching carbonation.
D- This is a sneaky little bugger. atch out, it drinks quick and easy but packs a whollop!

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Photo of prototypic
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This one pours a hazy, golden straw color. The head is foamy and white, only about one finger deep. It receded fairly quickly and left little lacing. There's a bit of interesting sediment floating around. Quite an interesting and pretty impressive look.

Smell: The nose is a little ho-hum, but above average. It begins with an earthy and slightly grassy smell. It's followed by a funky, sour smell that's a little yeasty. The label characterizes this as a "pre-prohibition lager." I'm unsure if that's a malt liquor or not. But, the nose is not quite reminiscent of a modern day American macro, that's for sure. There is a wealth of corn on the nose that permeates throughout. There's some light hop notes toward the end.

Taste: It tastes a little better than it smells, but not in any material sense. It is primarily sweet and has a strong corn flavor. There is a secondary yeasty flavor that's a little sour, but it's not quite so prevalent here. There's a decent bit of malt blended in that makes it even sweeter, yet provides a decent base. There's a light hop flavor toward the end that's a little grassy and grainy. Amazingly, no alcohol is noted. That's perhaps the most impressive thing about this beer.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and smooth. Carbonation is low and attributes to its smooth feel. Drinkability is likewise good, in part, because it does not feel anywhere near as big as it is. Alcohol has been masked really well.

A pre-prohibition lager, huh? Interesting. If that's indeed malt liquor, this isn't my first encounter. It is a little reminiscent of my memory of malt liquors, but it's quite a bit better than those. As a whole, it's a pretty decent beer. Some of the corn flavor could be backed down. That'd be an immediate improvement. But, it's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of scottoale
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at O'Brien's Pub...poured into a pint glass is a very bright amber gold with a 1/2" of short lasting pure white foam head. Big bubbles of carbonation clinging to the glass within the liquid, but little activity other than that.

The smell is of very sweet corn, cereal malt and a faint grassy hop.

The flavor of sweet corn, sweet corn and some sweet corn...un-balanced just barely by the hair of a hop, just briefly. Did I mention SWEET ?

Medium body with plenty alcohol, a sweet craft malt-liquor that rivals any American Macro, if you like em sah-weeet, this brew is for you.

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.3/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at O'Brien's

Appearance is a clear light orange hue, thin layer of dissipating bubbles, minimal lacing

Smell is sweet bread malts, corn, a touch of darker fruits, grassy hops

Taste is sweet grainy malt with a underlying dark fruit presence, slight bitter grassy hops and lager yeast, finishes dry w/slight alcohol warming

Mouthfeel is full-bodied, creamy thick and chewy texture, moderate carbonation

Drinkability is moderate, thickly sweet lager that almost feels Belgian-ish, even at 8%abv there is good balance and flavor going on here, very unique style of beer, I was pleasantly surprised!

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Ionizer Lager from Lightning Brewery
Beer rating: 70 out of 100 with 27 ratings