Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844
Guangdong Blue Ribbon Group

Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844
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Guangdong Blue Ribbon Group
American Pale Ale
3.51 | pDev: 9.69%
Nov 14, 2014
Oct 24, 2010
Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844
Notes: This is an ale, different from the standard PBR lager which is also brewed in China. It was conceived by American brewmaster Alan Kornhauser. Brewed with German caramel malt (NO rice, all-malt) and American cascade hops. Aged in new American oak barrels.
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Ratings by Thorpe429:
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Reviewed by Thorpe429 from Illinois

3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Thanks to spycow for bringing out this treat at DLD 2011. Having Pabst headquartered in the town I was born in, I've wanted to try this one since its release. Thanks for delivering, Chris. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours a moderately-light copper color with a pretty good white head that falls pretty quickly without leaving much lacing behind. The nose carries some notes of the barrel character, though that portion is a bit faint. Contradicting myself, there is a more-prominent wood character as it warms, as well as some slight caramel. The flavor brings a bit of light caramel and toast plus the barrel. Light to medium body with some barrel in the finish. Interesting, but not exactly my cup of beer. Thanks again.
May 11, 2011
More User Ratings:
Rated: 3.1 by chcfan from California

Nov 14, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by spycow from Illinois

Nov 01, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by enelson from Illinois

May 02, 2013
Rated: 3.75 by Benny3000 from Michigan

Apr 29, 2013
Photo of jlindros
Reviewed by jlindros from Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Thanks to tai4ji2x, for providing this for me, thanks Xenon.

here comes an awesome fun review... pouring a fizzy bubbly head, almost like a sulfur pond, dark copper red color though so not too bad.

Nose is malty sweet, light macro like imperialized bad lager, like they made a bad lager but imperialized it somehow, then sweet caramel toffee additions, a bit of an unhappy lager yeast, minerals, and lots of pure "meh".

Taste brings malts, lesser quality malts, caramel and toffee again though so at least something decent, watery but reddish malts, little rum like surprisingly, some bitter flavors, but then a minerality and light skunk like flavor which is macro tasting. A weird bitter fake sugar candy like. Finish is sweet, malty and macro unhappy lager, minerals and a bit of not good bitterness.

Mouth is lighter bodied, little watery, lighter but not so bad carb.

Overall, ba-hahahah, oh man, I expected something really interesting, and I got it, but not in a good way. It's pretty much PBR made in China bit an imperial version of it. But in the end, still better than most macro beers.
Oct 28, 2012
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Reviewed by rudzud from Massachusetts

2.82/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Thanks to JLindros for sharing this rare brew.

A - Poured into a stone ipa tulip glass a crystal clear honey amber hue with a half finger head.

S - Aromas of pure malts and old funky hops uhhh Yah...its old pbr.

T - Taste is yep old pbr tons of malts and light barrel notes. This is funny. Not the ha ha funny but a tickle me.Elmo funny.

M - Mouthfeel isn't bad forwhat it is...yay its drinkable.

O - Overall this beer was crazy happy dun time. Seriously though wtf have you done....
Oct 13, 2012
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Reviewed by kaufmaal from Alabama

3.72/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
A very generous colleague acquired a bottle for me and a friend to share. The packaging and bottling adornments are pure kitsch, but from an Eastern cultural perspective these flourishes are normal. Fully carbonated, with a loud hiss once the faux cap was removed (to much laughter) and then the real twist-off top was unscrewed. The pour was deep amber with orange hues. Maple syrup, vanilla, some orange scents were noted. Had the taste somewhere between a medium amber lager and a light dubbel. I couldn't discern and oak aging, either in the smell or the taste. A bit too much carbonation for me. Overall, a decent beer, and one that I would drink again, but not for the price, even if I were in China.
Sep 08, 2012
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Reviewed by JohnGalt1 from Idaho

3.17/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
Got 2 of these in a great trade with tai4ji2x .... Thanks brother.

I shared this one at an amazing tasting down in SLC...

Tannish head... drops quickly.. decent lacing. The brew is a clear amber.

Nose shows clean pale malts with a bright perfumy oak... slight flowery/light citrus hops...

The flavors are a bit more odd... toasty with hints of caramel.. almost a watered down malt extract component... I got a bit of oxidation (nobody else did) ... the oak is everpresent, but does little to help the flavor.

Lighter body with good carbonation.

Thanks a ton Xenon!! I still have my other bottle.... It has been refrigerated the entire time.

Dec 29, 2011
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Reviewed by portia99 from Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
750ml bottle received in trade with tai4ji2x. Thanks Xenon! Poured into a New Belgium globe.

A - Crystal clear dark amber with ruby highlights. Low head of off-white head with average staying power...dies to the surface with no real lacing.

S - Quite malty aroma, sweet and carmelly. A bit metallic with fruity hops. Smells well balanced.

T - Metallic with a heavy caramel flavor, touch of alcohol, mild hoppiness. As with the aroma, a bit fruity.

M - A bit on the thin side...metallic, caramelly all the way. Medium level carbonation.

O - A good beer, but nothing to get too excited about. Just a basic, well balanced pale ale that tends towards the American amber style favoring the malty aspects a bit more than it tries to highlight any hoppiness.
Dec 28, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
Reviewed by AgentZero from Illinois

3.36/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Throwing PBR into a barrel, how could this not be a good idea?!

Thanks to spycow for the share.

A - Bottle is sexy as hell, gets a 0.5 bump on appearance for that. Twist off cap is weird, but whatever. Amber colored beer with a bit of an off-white head that that left some splotches on the sides.

S - Some bourbon, pale malts. There was some sugar and a bit of toffee. Bit of wood and dark fruit. Surpringly this isn't bad.

T - Pretty sweet with some caramel, vanilla, wood, malts. There isn't much of a hop presence in this one, but it's better than I thought it would be.

M - Medium bodied, good carbonation.

O - Not bad. Considering my expectations were really low, this blew them away. Decent wood and some sweetness. Would drink again, unfortunately the price is prohibitive.
Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Reagan1984
Reviewed by Reagan1984 from Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Thanks to tai4ji2x for providing this treat. Certainly an interesting beer. Shared with my buddy Mike during the first half of the Pats/Raiders game. The packaging is absolutely classic here. High end box, a faux wax top (really plastic) and underneath a Pabst 40oz screw cap. Just too good to be true.

Not a great deal of head forms atop this beer. A clear bright straight amber color. No lacing at all either.

Aroma has lots of vanilla notes, a bit sweet and some toffee.

Nice little beer. Now I had heard it was potentially dry hopped with Cascade. If so, those notes have long faded. Toffee and light toasted malt meld nicely with the oak and light vanilla notes. Some more straight wood in the end. Reminds me a bit of the Southern Tier Cuvee series. A note of coconut as well.

Medium body, standard carbonation.

Certainly interesting, that’s for damn sure. Really glad to have had the opportunity to try this. Not classic in itself. But the concept is great.
Oct 02, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
Reviewed by HopHead84 from California

3.67/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not sure who brought this oddity, but thanks. Snifter.

A: Dark orange with a copper tinge. Small head.

S: Oxidized caramel with a little bread and oak. Toffee is faint and there's a touch of vanilla. 

T: Caramel and grain with a little oak. The taste is lightly nutty with some toasted bread.

M: Lower medium body with moderate carbonation. 

Overall: This was surprisingly good and definitely worth trying.
Aug 14, 2011
Photo of TurdFurgison
Reviewed by TurdFurgison from Ohio

4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bottle shared by spycow at DLD 2011 (thanks Chris!). Very happy for the chance to try this, I went in with an open mind and found that it wasn't half bad.

From the moment the cap is unscrewed (yes, odd presentation for a barrel aged specialty beer that sells for a premium price) this beer was full of surprised. It definitely didn't smell or taste like PBR. This smelled of bourbon and sweet malts, sugar and light toffee, some caramel, that sort of thing. Same with the taste, this was a very sweet tasting beer with a satisfying bourbon flavor at the end of each sip. Wow, is this really what a bourbon barrel can do to any beer?

The carbonation is on the light side but is definitely there, and my pour was gone very quickly. Not sure if it's worth the money more than once but it was a nice treat at DLD.
May 08, 2011
Photo of Vdubb86
Reviewed by Vdubb86 from Illinois

3.16/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Served in a pint glass

Thanks to TMoney2591 for sharing this oddity

This beer pours a clear amber color with an offwhite head. The aroma is essentially non-existent, and as I've learned from past experiences into the odd and unusual that can sometimes be a blessing. The flavor was almost non existent in the beer as well. If they used hops it sure as hell doesn't taste like it. There really doesn't seem to be oak barrel here at all, perhaps a twinge of plywood barrel or some cheap wood that is the same. I was expecting to taste the salty tears of communist child labor, but that wasn't in here either. The mouthfeel is rather on the watery side that I really didn't expect for a beer that poured with the viscosity that it did. The metallic finish doesn't do wonders for this beer either. It's pretty decent going down, I'm surprised I don't hate it, but it is sooo not worth the money that was apparently shelled out for it.
Feb 14, 2011
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Reviewed by TMoney2591 from Illinois

3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Served in a Buffalo Bills shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to tai4ji2x for this Chinese aquatic mammal!

If crazy Chinese barrel-aged Pabst doesn't scream Super Bowl celebration, I don't know what does. It pours a sunrise russet-amber topped by a finger of dirty ecru foam. The nose comprises oak, flowers, light greens, and a general sense of chlorinated water, which, thankfully, is not very strong or distinct. The taste is pretty weak, holding notes of watered-down caramel, flowers, and cedar. The body is a very light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a slightly watery feel. Overall, as glad I am as having been able to try this, it wasn't exactly what I would call enjoyable. It's really not bad, per se, but sorta painfully average. Perhaps compared to things like Tsingtao and Bull Brew this is a step up, but compared to other things it falls rather short. Frankly, I'm just glad the rumors of bottled Communist oppression proved pretty wrong.
Feb 13, 2011
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Reviewed by nkersten from Illinois

3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Bottle shared by Chris - thanks for dragging this halfway around the world to share with us. Poured into a Lost Abbey tumbler from a really well packaged bottle/box with a fake wax seal over the regular old PBR 40oz screw top cap... Pretty hilarious. Color is an amber orange with a tiny off white head that fades to a collar. Smells like candied honey malts, sugary, caramel malt, a bit of earthy hops but not what I would expect from Cascade. Taste follows smell, sugary dark fruit, raisins, sweet caramel malts, a little spicy hops/oak . There is a slight off flavor.. possibly the oak? I would have expected a much stronger wood smell and flavor from using new oak barrels. Medium body with a light carbonation and a sweet finish, not coating. This isn't a bad beer, much better then I expected it to be. I don't think I could put down a whole bottle of this by myself though.
Jan 05, 2011
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Reviewed by Sean9689 from Illinois

3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3
Bottle shared by Chris, thanks dude! The presentation of this one is excellent...just gorgeous.

A - Pours a reddish/copper color, some off-white frothy head with some large bubbles here and there on top. Some spotty lacing but no retention besides a random bubble around the edge of the glass.

S - Sweet bourbon, malts, some oak, light dark fruit notes. Overall, sweet, but not overly so. The wood and bourbon work well on the nose.

T - More malty sweetness, honey, roasted oak notes. Not quite as good as the nose, but still, better then I was expecting.

M - Medium, smooth, lighter carbonation.

D - Well, not exactly sure where I stand with this beer. It's decently good, but not outstanding. It was sure a lot better then I was expecting and I'd drink it again if given the chance. The price tag ($50) is crazy, so I'd never buy a bottle for myself, which hurts the drinkability score.
Jan 04, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
Reviewed by MasterSki from Canada (ON)

3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Thanks to spycow for picking this up in China. I wanted to try this one ever since I first heard about it. Served in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - Pours with a nice, attractive, orange-tinged foam that features great retention but little lacing. Light transparent amber color with a few slow-moving bubbles.

S - Nice toasted malt character, some sweet caramel, fruity esters, and vanilla. No overt spirit character, which confirms the note on the listing about this being aged in new American oak.

T - The taste isn't quite as good as the nose. Slightly cloying, with lots of caramel, vanilla, honey, and dough character. The Cascade hops that were used in this have faded away.

M - Slightly fizzy to start, but otherwise smooth and medium-bodied. Finishes sticky, but slightly dry at the same time.

D - This was pretty decent. I'd definitely have it over regular PBR, and it wouldn't be an unwelcome addition at a local brewpub as an oaky session beer. The packaging is pretty sexy too, with the strange juxtaposition of fancy labeling and screw-top cap.
Jan 02, 2011
Photo of jrallen34
Reviewed by jrallen34 from Illinois

3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bottle provided by Chris for our NYE tasting...Medium copper, clear, light off white head good, good looking...The aroma is very sweet, syrup, corn, light skink, a little hint of oak...The taste is also really sweet, but somehow successful, especially in relation to what my expectations were. Sweet corn and oak on the front, a hint of vanilla too. The finish really shows off rubbing alcohol though, hurt drinkability.

A rare tick for sure and its actually decent for a ba Chinese pale ale. Not worth the almost $50 price tag, but I'm happy.
Jan 01, 2011
Photo of Lukafer
Reviewed by Lukafer from Michigan

3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5
Thanks go out to Alleykatking for this! This beer was the highlight of a tasting we did the other night. I'll probably never see or taste this beer again, and unfortunately this little intro is probably going to be way longer than my review.

Pours a medium/light brown, with a small white head.  Smells are bourbon, slight vanilla, oak and some sweet malts.  for some reason I smelt way more oak than everyone else, so I dunno, maybe I was looking for it too much. I taste some malt, slight oak and that trademark bitter than done PBR finish. This beer tastes nothing like PBR, but the finish was the exact same to me, interesting.  Mouthfeel is thin and drinkability is high. I am so glad I got to try this, thanks again Josh!    
Dec 08, 2010
Photo of alleykatking
Reviewed by alleykatking from Indiana

3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
Poured from 750ml bottle. Many many many thanks go out to tai4ji2x for this bottle! On to the review.

A- Pours a coppery amber color. One finger light tan/off white head shows poor retention. Ends up being some bigger bubbles on the top of the beer. Ringy lacing on the glass to start with ends with spotty lacing once all is said and done.

S- Caramel malts with sweet alcohol in the front of the beer. A touch of light oak in the backing of this with a grassy style hop. The backing of this beer aroma wise reminds me of PBR here. Short simple and sweet on the nose which isn't a bad thing at all.

T- Sweet caramel malts in the front of this with maybe a hint of toffee. Light bitter hops are in the middle and fade into a sweet alcohol. The ending once again has that interesting american PBR taste to it with a muted oak presence in the background.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is low but works for the beer. Heavy caramel notes left on the palate. A certain staleness (not offputting) with a hint of oak and sweet alcohol left in the aftertaste. Flavor was blended well for what it was and very clean tasting with no off flavors. Light drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D- Easy drinking beer....period. The malts they use seem to be different but the bittering hops seem to be the same as PBR brewed here. ABV is low enough that you could drink this whole bottle with no real problem. This beer reminds me more than anything like a amber ale with a touch of PBR to it.

This beer is not bad at all. The oak notes I thought could have come out a little more in the beer and not just toward the end. This was a nice surprise as I didn't really know what to expect overall. I would get another bottle of this no questions asked to be honest if only I was able to get to China!
Dec 04, 2010
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Reviewed by chinabeergeek from Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3
received an industry/trade sample here in beijing, china. tasted in late september 2010.

720ml bottle with screwtop cap, itself covered by a plastic snap-off enclosure. dating is printed in hard-to-see black ink near the base of the neck. "A20100116", which should mean january 16th, 2010. (chinese custom for calendar dates uses a sequence of year-month-day)

sampled in both the branded, champagne-flute-like glass, and in my duvel tulip. review is based on latter.

clear, deep copper color w/ amber tones. 1-finger beige head, soon fades to thin ring and a thin wispy layer, replenished by the duvel tulip's etching. very little lacing ever sticks however.

aroma: gentle to moderate american hopping, w/ light citrus and pine notes. apple esters and caramelized maltiness as the foundation. faint, trace phenols reveal a gentle spice and oaky vanilla, and maybe just a hint of coconut.

taste: hopping is a little more forward in the flavor, giving moderate bitterness, resinous pine notes and maybe a touch of citrus zest, but mostly citrus rind. maybe needs to be fresher? hints of apple juice concentrate and maybe even cherry. a decent caramel/toffee maltiness provides a base. the hops start to bounce back, with some resinous pine quality in the finish. phenols bring out some of the oaky vanilla, which has taken a backseat overall.

light to medium body, with syrupy moments, then a resinous astringency in the finish. moderate carbonation provides tingle, some contribution to body, and helps a little with lifting flavors.

this is actually a half-decent attempt, though of course can't really stand up to the superior (and much more affordable) barrel-aged beers we're used to in the USA. the drinkability score could have been a 3.5 or 4.0, but the obscene 400 RMB (approx $60 USD) retail price just makes it difficult to enjoy it more.

NOTE: above review was of the earlier (inaugural?) batch. the bottles i've recently sent out as trades have come from a more recent batch, dated "A20100807" on the bottle, meaning august 7th, 2010. reports so far have been underwhelming. as is often the case with chinese companies using foreign advisors or experts, there is a chance that the first batch's american brewmaster, alan kornhauser, is no longer directly involved in subsequent batches. this is usually done to cut costs, and is a practice seen in businesses and establishments throughout the country.

NOTE 11/22/10: just tasted the second batch. seems consistent with the previous batch. my personal opinion is that some people might be too biased against it.
Oct 24, 2010
Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844 from Guangdong Blue Ribbon Group
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 23 ratings