Great Western Original 16 | Great Western Brewing

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Great Western Original 16Great Western Original 16

Brewed by:
Great Western Brewing
Saskatchewan, Canada

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by wordemupg on 05-20-2011

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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 42
Photo of biboergosum
2.35/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

341ml bottle. Apparently named in honour of the 16 ex-Molson employees who founded Great Western.

This beer pours a clear pale golden straw colour (putting the 'pale' in the 'ale', with gusto, it would seem), with one finger of thinly foamy, soapy off-white head, which dissipates rather quickly, leaving but a few lonely specks of random islet lace around the glass in its wake.

It smells of grainy, fairly stale cereal malt, sweet corn, and some thankfully mild musty, dead vegetation hops. The taste is certainly more welcoming than anything proffered on the nose, with some semi-sweet, yet still bland cereal grain, a bit of acerbic, indistinct fruitiness, and innocuous musty, earthy hops.

The carbonation is average, just a wee twinge here and there, the body on the far side of medium weight, for the purported style, and smooth enough to obviate further analysis (something carried over from the Molson days, that's for sure). It finishes off-dry, the graininess subsiding a fair bit, in favour of a dry yeasty, vegetal mineral character.

Hard to judge this on the established style - perhaps the 'Canadian Pale Ale' on the label doesn't translate across the 49th parallel - this is basically a lipstick-adorned Canadian Adjunct Lager. And their "special and unique Double Aged process"? I doubt many will be clamoring to discover the secret, in the vein of your neighbourhood nutbar and the KFC recipe.

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Photo of smakawhat
2.72/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from the can into a tulip pint glass.

A sudsy light foamy bone white head on appearance, falls normally, with pinhead bubbles in its appearance. Body color looks like classic adjunct, straw gold with slow rising carbonation. This does not look anything like a pale ale at all

Nose smells a little macro sweet with corn, a little hop grass action hiding in the back but some very faint light malts. Faint butter (possibly diacetyl?). Not too bad, but kind of boring, and certainly more macro ordinary.

Sweet macro like tasting in the palate, a good richness in feel, but some sweet malts and cream character. Carbonation is actually quite good and full, not fizzy or weak, and not detracting.

Overall though, what is the point of this for a pale ale? It seems just like a standard attempt to keep the macro crowd happy with not getting much to style. What's the point, I'll pass.

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Photo of wordemupg
2.42/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

473ml can poured into pint glass May,19,2011

A clear golden yellow with heaps of big bubbles sustaining a thumbs width of foam well down the glass leaving patches of lace on the way down

S sweet malt and cream corn

T what I smell with some plastic notes and a rough sour cooked veggies flavor that will stick with me for a while

M thin and over carbonated

O not something I'd reach for even on a hot day, even just a little warmed it starts to taste wicked, I wouldn't bother if I was you

looked good and that's about it, nothing worth searching for

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Photo of andrenaline
2.3/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Grabbed a pint of this as the seasonal rotation at the local watering hole...

A - Pale golden colour, no real head or lacing.

S - Sweet corn, grassy notes and a bit metallic.

T - I struggle to consider this a pale ale, and rather consider it a traditional lager. The hop notes are barely detectable and the sweet corn flavours dominate.

M - Comes across a tad thin and watery.

O - Probably the most disappointing pint I've had at this pub which typically specializes in high quality craft offerings. Drinkable, yes, but very one dimensional and bland, and certainly not a good example of the style.

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Photo of argock
3.09/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Served on-tap in a branded tall pilsner style glass at Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. (Canmore, AB).

A: Light copper with a short cap of head that didn't quite reach the 20 oz line. No lacing. Poor pour.

S: Light caramel and toffee maltiness with earthy hopping. Light yeast fruitiness. Not aromatic at all as wouldbe expected for an APA.

T: Flavor is also subdued to a fault with earthy hopping followed with some mid-range crystal maltiness and a bit of toasted malt character, like Munich malt was used in a pretty big proportion. Yeast character is fruity but low. Low bitterness. Very ho-hum at best.

M: INobtrusive with light body and moderate carbonation. Not dry or full -- just sort of there.

O: A very boring beer without much to suggest it. Back to the drawing board with this beer -- it needs some signature malt note if it's going to be a malty beer, or some unique hopping -- really a blase brew.

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Photo of BigBry
2.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A new 4 pack of 473 ml cans that I saw on the shelf (and have been hearing the radio ads). Had to pick it up, 1 for me and 3 to trade.
I guess I should have known not to expect a true 'pale ale'. Pale gold-yellow color, bright white head, with good retention and lace. Smell of grass, not sure if that iis the malt or hops, not much either way. Taste is a bit thin, almost watered down. Light on the malt, light on the hops. Nothing offensive, but not much else. A decent competitor for Molson Canadian / Labatt's Blue, but no comparison to other pale ales. As mentioned, body and mouthfeel light and a bit watery. I hat eto sound negative, but one is enough.

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Photo of Bunman3
2.9/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Really, this is your standard Canadian macro beer. There is not much to choose between this and the majority of the mass produced lagers available. It's pale, but it doesn't seem much like an ale.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.13/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Tried on tap at a neighborhood pub. Arrived in a standard pint glass, a light gold color with maybe a finger of white head that dissipated quickly. Aroma is rather faint, sweetish with maybe the barest hints of citrus and caramel malt, corn sugar and cheap dough. Aggressive carbonation prevents one from smelling or tasting that much, although the taste was fortunately better than the aroma and improved a bit as the beer settled down. Very mellow toasted malts provide a backdrop for subtle orange, peach, and lemon flavors. Finishes dry and crisp with a spice seed vapor trail. Watery thin body and the aforementioned bubbles are an impediment but in all honesty this prairie staple is not bad. Perhaps the taste is much worse in the bottled version. Tastes less like an adjunct lager than many of its competitors: This is a better example of a macro-brewed pale ale/IPA than the almost tasteless Alexander Keith's. The sort of thing I'd quaff in quantity under the right circumstances ... Of course, such circumstances are pretty rarely encountered in this day and age of increasing craft beer accessibility.

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Photo of cambabeer
2.97/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'd have rated the appearance as 3 as well if this beer was a pale lager, because that's what it really does look like. Not much head, and yellow.
The smell is much more characteristic of an ale, but not outstanding in anyway. Bready and malty.
Taste is so unentertaining but there's absolutely nothing to complain about it either. Citrusy in the background and bready through, but neither is outstanding. Feels creamy and smooth, like it should. This beer is worth getting for sure. I'd just rather call it a successful pale lager.

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Photo of Shadman
2.49/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Always the sucker for a new beer on the

Pale..hell yeah...pale amber yellow colour, with nice head and excellent lacing

grainy malts, faint hint of the so-called 5 hop varieties.

To best honest, taste is a lot like a light beer...thin malts, hint of hop bitterness, and a dry' slightly metallic finish.

very light and watery feel for 5% abv

Calling this a Pale Ale is akin to Alex Keith calling their lager an IPA..if you like the taste of Coors Lite but want the kick ( abv wise) of your regular lager, then this is a brew for you..

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Photo of ChrisCage
3.31/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Well first off, this looks nothing like a pale's clear, yellowish in color, with a tinge of gold and looks to be heavily carbonated. There is a nice thick white head that looks super creamy, but it doesn't last very long, settling to a patchy layer over the brew. As for lacing, forget about it...there isn't any. Not the best way to get this beer started basically looks no different than a standard macro lager, but it's an ale...

S- This actually has a nice aroma, even if it isn't suitable for the style...I don't smell any adjuncts, but rather richer malted barley, and a fair bit of bread/biscuit. There isn't much of a hop aroma, but it is there in modest quantity.

T- Again, this area isn't what the style is being called, but it's quite nice. There is a solid malt flavor going on, with more of the above mentioned biscuit quality as well. As for the hop bitterness on the finish, there is some noted....not super strong, but you can tell some effort went into it. I don't mind the flavors at all and think it tastes quite good!

M- The beer is actually nice and creamy smooth, and is medium-lite in body...definitely not totally watered down like previous reviews have suggested. The carbonation is fine and doesn't scrub the least very hard! The buttery texture is quite welcomed and overall I'd say this beer goes for a relaxed mouthfeel.

O- I'm going to say it....I think previous reviews are taking advantage of the, what I like to call, a mis-categorized beer by the brewery...I simply think there's some unnecessary bashing going on here! This would be very suitable if labeled as a cream ale. There is nothing wrong with this one and outdoes any macro peer. Great Western is churning out some decent brew and this one doesn't disappoint. I will definitely get this again and recommend trying it out!

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Photo of Noxious26
2.66/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had this on-tap last night at The Last Straw here in Regina. 16oz serving in it's own branded pilsner glass.

Light golden in colour. Very thin white head with little lacing. Few carbonation streams.

Smells very similar to their lager. Mainly grainy with a light sweetness and no hops to speak of. Not really in the Pale Ale category so far, let's give it a try.

Ok, this is called a Pale Ale, but really isn't. It's more like an American Lager. Simple grains with a light sweetness in the middle. Finish is grainy and short lived. Very similar to their lager.

Light bodied and mildly carbonated. The light carbonation makes me believe this really is made with ale yeast, but otherwise is their lager recipe.

I've decided to review this as it is, an American Lager not an American Pale Ale. It's a decent option that falls somewhere around their lager with less carbonation and a hint more sweetness. Both traits I assume are from using an ale yeast. It's an ok industrial beer, but DON'T EXPECT A PALE ALE. I had 3 of these last night and they went down nice on a hot summer evening, but it's nothing to write home about. If they called it a lager they'd get higher marks simply for being in the right style.

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Photo of CrazyMike
2.25/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Straw yellow appearance with a small amount of bubbly head that quickly disappears, leaving no lacing. Smell consists of grain, sweet corn, cereal and vegetables; Very generic so far.

Taste consists of sweet corn, cooked vegetables, some sweetness, malt and grain. Light and dull overall though, these are the trade mark qualities of a cheap Adjunct Lager. Light bodied with low carbonation. Aftertaste is dry with lingering spicy grain taste.

As past reviewers have stated, there is nothing in this beer that makes it a Pale Ale. If you’re looking for a cheap beer to shotgun, pick this up, otherwise there are better beers in this class.

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Photo of Converge
2.35/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

341ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Pale ale you say? This looks an awful lot like an average adjunct macro-lager. Sad head of white fizz gone in about 10-15 seconds. Yellow. Fizzy and yellow.

S - Seriously skunky. Musty corn maybe? I can't detect anything past this skunk. Not even some subtle light malt sweetness, just pure skunk. I'm seriously dreading the first sip right now. One of the worst stenches from a beer I've ever experienced. If it wasn't for me knowing that this beer doesn't always reek with this intensity, this would easily be a 1.0. But given my past encounter with this, err.. "pale ale" I know it isn't actually that bad.

T - Tastes way better than it smells; but it would have been hard to follow a nose that horrendous. Sweet, sweet and more sweet. Sweet malt, clean barley. That's it. This "ale" is kept extremely clean and simple. Insanely drinkable, but not all that great. No hop presence whatsoever.

M - Fizzy carbonation, light body. Very much a macro-lager in this regard as well. Easy to drink.

D - If it wasn't for the gag-inducing aromatics going on here, I might not mind this one. However, I didn't get this smell at all when had on-tap, so it was likely just this bottle. As far as this goes as a pale ale, it isn't one. Just like Alexander Keith's isn't really an IPA. Just a poorly disguised alternative from the norm. With an overall delivery like this, I don't think they'll be fooling anyone. But, like a good BA, I've taken style into consideration and it's done nothing but hurt the overall rating. If this was simply marketed as "Original 16 Lager" it would probably be a solid 3.

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Photo of h20mbh
2.6/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It is as pale as an ale could ever beer, looks more like a pilsner than an ale to tell you the truth. Virtually no head to speak of.

Can definately smell the malt. Lack of hoppy smell makes me think it will not be a well balanced taste.

As the smell dictated, there is much to be desired as far as hops go. I give them credit for obviously putting some effort into getting the malted flavors going, but a clear lack of hoppy balanced leaves much to be desired.

Feels like it looks, a bit thicker than your average lager, but not much.

It is a pale ale, and is better than your average lager, but leaves much to be desired. I'd be interested to taste this again after an extra infusion of hops.

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Photo of DBarley
3/5  rDev +9.5%

This beer is just fine - its drinkable and can compete well with any other Macro brew out there. However, for the price point it is as unimpressive as its competitors (Budweiser, Coors, Molson). There is absolutely no reason to be spending this much money for a beer in this category.

Great Western is an excellent company that brews true classic prairie grain belt beers, but the company has excellent offerings that are almost exactly the same for about half the price point (Brewhouse Pilsner being one example). Ill continue to be a fan of this company, but this beer will not be something I purchase again.

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Great Western Original 16 from Great Western Brewing
2.74 out of 5 based on 42 ratings.
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