Carlton Cold
Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.

Carlton ColdCarlton Cold
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Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.
American Adjunct Lager
Ranked #309
Ranked #30,262
1.66 | pDev: 31.33%
Feb 28, 2022
Feb 24, 2002
Carlton ColdCarlton Cold
Notes: None
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Photo of RichardLeahy
Reviewed by RichardLeahy from Australia

2.01/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5
Looks like beer, smells and tastes like urine with a metallic taint to set your teeth on edge. In the Worst Rated list on BA and its place is well deserved. Horrible! No longer abv 4.9% but reconfigured a few years ago into a 3.5% mid strength. I never tried the heavy version, which a few members rate moderately.
Feb 28, 2022
Photo of Sigmund
Reviewed by Sigmund from Norway

2.23/5  rDev +34.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25
September 2008: 375 ml clear bottle, courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 4.6%. Crystal clear pale golden colour, fizzy, with a big to moderate lasting white head. Moderate fruity aroma, notes of candy and citrus. Zesty mouthfeel. The flavour is moderately sweet with some fruity notes, minimal hops, bland finish. Not much to write home about here. Far from undrinkable though.
Jul 20, 2021
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Reviewed by kitschiguy from Hong Kong

1.02/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1
I recently reviewed Victoria Bitter which I drank for old time's sake by chance and it reminded me of one of the other beers I drank whilst in Australia; Carlton Cold.

I wanted to review this beer because unlike VB which I liked at the time but recently gave a very poor review, this beer I disliked even at the time so I wanted to see if it really is as bad as I remember.

My friend recently went to Australia so I asked him ton grab me a bottle so I could review it.

Poured most of a 355ml bottle into a 350ml beer glass.

Poured a pale watery yellow with a very loose, low head that disappeared almost immediately. No lacing.

Nose was extremely disappointing. A faint hoppy aroma, some other faint but unidentifiable aromas. maybe chemical. Horrible.

Palate. Much the same as the nose; faintly hoppy and watery. No complexity or malt. Horrible. Probably worse than the nose.

Mouth was watery with very loose medium to heavy artificial carbonation. Horrible.

Overall, probably even worse than I remember. An almost unbelievably woeful attempt at brewing beer. Breweries that churn out abominations like this shouldn't be allowed to call it lager or beer. It should perhaps be called "Carlton Cold - Adjunct Grain Derivative"

Absolutely horrible. Highly unrecommended.
Jul 27, 2015
Photo of Andrewharemza
Reviewed by Andrewharemza from Australia

2.95/5  rDev +77.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Carlton Cold is filtered below zero degrees celsius, creating a full flavoured fresh taste. The mid strength beer has subtle bitterness with a crisp dry finish, providing an easy drinking experience.
Jun 13, 2015
Rated: 1.34 by nitrofenix from Australia

Jan 29, 2015
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Reviewed by SmashPants from Australia

1.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75
Format: a standard clear 355mL bottle with that old Carlton Cold macro label. I get the feeling that CUB has dropped Cold from being a full strength to a mid at 3.5% (as this bottle is) when they started their big advertising campaign a year or so ago. I used to drink Cold at barbeques because I was a poor student. Let's revisit it at 3.5% and see if it is any good.

Appearance: poured out a light yellow in colour with a continual swirling cascade of carbonation. Even with a fairly generous pour, very little head pops up - just a light white cap and ring.

Aroma: this has a smell? I got so close to try and smell it that I accidentally snorted some, which was both embarrassing and a bit of a mistake. Once it was clinging to my nose (and possibly my brain), I got wet cardboard and some cheap grains. Great.

Taste: a pretty damn awful cheap grain and corn adjunct dominates what little flavour this thing has. One of the rare few beers that actually makes me pull a weird face.

Aftertaste: drops away quickly with just a touch of sweetness coming through from the grain.

Mouth feel: light and watery in body with a mouth-filling carbonation. Not great.

Overall: for the sake of my many barbeque memories, I will assume that the Carton Cold that I used to drink 10 years ago (the full strength 4.9%) was less bad than this 3.5% that you get now. This beer manages somehow to be both boring, and taste bad. Most of it was donated to the Gods of the sink. It's only AU$40 a case, but seriously, just drink water or something. It certainly tastes better.
Dec 19, 2014
Photo of Andrewziggy
Reviewed by Andrewziggy from Australia

2.1/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25
Just a typical Aussie macro lager. Whilst the taste is not offensive and thankfully lacks the coin flavour that many others feature, it is just so plain and unimaginative that I couldn't commend it in any way other that to say it does not make me recoil. Basically water with a slight generic beer taste. OK for a knock-off beer after grafting on a stinking hot day
Dec 18, 2014
Rated: 3.12 by mgi020 from New York

Dec 02, 2014
Rated: 2.5 by Stuckey_Stuckey from Australia

Sep 16, 2014
Rated: 1.6 by Rickus from Taiwan

Sep 06, 2014
Rated: 2 by NorCalAussie from California

Jul 30, 2014
Rated: 1.5 by Taphouse_Traveler from Florida

Jul 29, 2014
Rated: 1.5 by BuddhaBrowett from Sweden

Jul 05, 2014
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Reviewed by WaynesWorld from Australia

1.12/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1
Honestly and without hesitation I can say that I used to love this beer.
When it was considered a heavy, in the older style bottle and before the $5m relaunch.
It had the crisp yet satisfying appeal but now that Carlton have sucked the the living essence out the first beer I ever tried I will never be buying it again.

All I can say is good job to the dickhead who thought that that was a good idea.
Mar 16, 2014
Rated: 1.5 by spycow from Illinois

Mar 15, 2014
Photo of piss-wreck44
Reviewed by piss-wreck44 from Australia

1.28/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5
this beers is crap when i open there is minimal fizz from the low carbonation in the beer its self. the aroma that comes out when first opened is putrid my fat chicks girlfriends shit smells and tastes and better than this and trust me i would know. give me a VB any day that shit is fucking holy water even better taken as a suppository.
Jan 04, 2014
Rated: 1.5 by djbx from Australia

Oct 20, 2013
Rated: 1.5 by colbster92 from Pennsylvania

Sep 29, 2013
Photo of Olek4374
Reviewed by Olek4374 from Canada (AB)

1.57/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5
This is the second of three Australian beers my store has brought in, and is surprisingly the most expensive one despite... on here anyway, looking like the worst. I had to go for it though. My store, to make any sort of decent margin, sells this catastrophe for 4 Canadian dollars per small 330ml bottle, making it by far the biggest rip off in the entire store. Nobody even gave it a chance as a $21 6-pack. I digress though.

The beer honestly looks pretty nice - it as a slightly darker shade of yellow than most adjunct lagers and has a copper-y colour to it that makes it resemble almost exactly the bottle of maple whiskey that is sitting on my table. Not bad on that front.

The smell is also not bad. It's got the standard adjunct smell, but it has some kind of deep, fruity smell that makes smelling it almost interesting and is not offensive, especially considering the beer vatriety. Smells good; looks good; what could go wrong?

Well, after the first sip, I very well knew what went wrong. The taste of this beer is just bad, bad, bad. It's a corny burst on the tongue with an explosion (no joke, it felt that way) of sour aftertaste. Going down the beer felt like straw... it was ROUGH, a term I don't even use much for heavy beers, but that is what was going on. 1's for taste and feel for sure - I can't even finish more than 5cm of the glass, it is just that putrid. Do not want.
Aug 05, 2013
Rated: 1.5 by magpieken from Australia

Apr 11, 2013
Rated: 2 by harpus from Alabama

Mar 28, 2013
Rated: 1 by magnusdave from New York

Feb 26, 2013
Rated: 1.25 by avschmitt from Michigan

Nov 14, 2012
Rated: 1.25 by fionn13 from Ireland

Jun 04, 2012
Rated: 2.5 by Julian4077 from Australia

May 11, 2012
Rated: 2 by BrazilianAussie from Brazil

Feb 21, 2012
Rated: 2 by galluch from Canada (ON)

Jan 17, 2012
Rated: 3 by kfourte from New York

Dec 04, 2011
Photo of dansmcd
Reviewed by dansmcd from Australia

1.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5
Just a typical Aussie macro lager. Whilst the taste is not offensive and thankfully lacks the coin flavour that many others feature, it is just so plain and unimaginative that I couldn't commend it in any way other that to say it does not make me recoil. Basically water with a slight generic beer taste. OK for a knock-off beer after grafting on a stinking hot afternoon.
Aug 15, 2011
Photo of aeolianshredhead
Reviewed by aeolianshredhead from Australia

1.03/5  rDev -38%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1
Sometimes I wonder why I even bother with this crap. Oh well, I payed a dollar fifty for this so I could satisfy my "curiosity" to find out whether this beer is as bad as I remember it.

A- For some reason, I poured this into my pilsner glass. Hell, I bet most drinkers of this wouldn't pour it at all. Looks like piss with dissolved chemicals on top that attempt to form a thin layer of head which dissolves instantaneously.

S- This smells like the result of blending a small amount of soap and a HUGE amount of water together. Unless my imagination is playing tricks on me, I can also detect a faint, bizarre metallic twinge which worries me a little. I do wonder EXACTLY what goes into this mass-produced bile.

T- Oh. My. GOD!! This actually tastes feral. The taste reminds me of water that has been left in a plastic bottle for a year- where the plastic has started to seep into the water. Hideously offensive, this is a true assault on the palate. Battery acid would be more appealing. What saddens me, is that there is no beer flavour of any kind at all. I tend to think that the label of "filtered" is refering to the ingredients themselves- that they have all been entirely 'filtered' out.

M- Insultingly watery and horrendously flat. I could have spent my dollar fifty on a bottle of water instead, hey, it would have tasted and felt the same. So disgusting that any chance this had of being somewhat refreshing is completely negated.

O- I utterly don't believe that people can label this atrocity 'beer' while keeping straight faces. This is to beer what Justin Bieber is to music: fake, mass-produced, weak and a disgrace. Yet despite all this trash talk about this *splutter* beer, I actually had a positive experience drinking this- it reminded me of precisely why I switched to craft beer in the first place. The people at CUB need to be jailed for fraud- or even better, shot on sight.
Aug 09, 2011
Photo of laituegonflable
Reviewed by laituegonflable from Australia

1.16/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1
Pours a pale, clear gold colour. Not a lot of fizz crawling up to a fluffy white head that consists of visible bubbles, sinking slowly and leaving a frankly unappealing trail of lace behind that looks more like soap sud residue than traces of residual malt. Pretty bland, unimpressed.

The smell combines all the bouquet of a chemical weapons plant with the organic undertones of a mass grave for holocaust victims. Seriously though, it's the bitter alkali aroma of chemically-induced beer flavouring with weak yet syrupy undertones of sucrose. Objectively speaking, it's appalling.

Taste is actually a bit of a nostalgic journey for me. While it wasn't Carlton Cold, it was Hahn Ice that gave me my first ever taste of beer when I was about eight years old. And, like that first encounter, this beer also makes me want to rush, gagging, for the bathroom before I'm sick all over my mother's linoleum floor. Front palate is virtually non-existent with maybe some light granules of insta-malt dissolved in water. Bitterness kicks in midway, all metallic and alkaline with that battery acid component and just the taste of the inside of Carlton's "big metal things" that they use to manufacture (not brew) this horrific liquid waste. It's not even worth noting any more, because it's so far gone that it's beyond the boundaries of meaningful human reproach.

There's a bit more body than I expected. Not a lot of fizz and leaves without a trace. Yep, mission accomplished, it's an empty beer, suitable for downing by the six-pack before your shotgun wedding to your own pregnant cousin.

If, as Benjamin Franklin is reported to have said, beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy, then surely Carlton Cold is God's way of testing our faith. Unlike Job, I will not simply 'endure' this tribulation but rather take advantage of another of God's useful inventions, the sinkhole, and return this manifestation of His bounty to the bowels from whence he excreted it.
Jun 08, 2011
Photo of Finite
Reviewed by Finite from Australia

1.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5
Filtered and chilled to within an inch of its life. This beer presents little to no character whatsoever.

Smell is non existent aside from the usual dull malt and adjuncts tones we come to expect from a beer of this kind.

Taste is again artificial and the high carbonation makes for a truly rough drinking beer.
Nov 04, 2010
Photo of philphilphil
Reviewed by philphilphil from Australia

1.63/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2
A - like a beer coloured soft drink.
S - none, only more than 1 because it isnt offensive
T - halfway soapy, nasty.
M - the rating says it all
D - i wouldnt have it again, but then again its the cheapest beer in australia, so if i was drunk and wanted more maybe i would get it again.
Aug 18, 2010
Photo of sammiles
Reviewed by sammiles from Australia

1.52/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5
Normally I would not bother submitting a bad review, however if "Coldies' get enough of them maybe CUB will pull it from the market so that if someone offers me it beer next time I come over, it will be impossible that it is the only thing in the house.

It has no smell I can make out and the appearance is typical of a cold filtered beer (avoid at all costs). Also as usual for some reason, like all cold filtered beers in Australia, as soon as I opened the bottle it frothed over the top.

The taste? I would of welcomed it. Yellow water.

The beer may have some application of a 45 degree day, however I can think of at least 50 beers in the same price bracket that I would slam down ahead of this.
Feb 27, 2010
Photo of istarilord
Reviewed by istarilord from Hawaii

2.01/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5
Boldly going where many reviewers have gone before and ending up unsurprised. Had a hard time figuring out which beer to review, the labeling is very vague.

Pours a nice light golden color, smells of malt, metal and fruit snacks.

Flavor is incredibly light, very little going on. Very light malt, very light fruitiness, very watery. Decent carbonation at least....

I've had worse lagers, but I'd pick several others before grabbing this one.
Aug 23, 2009
Photo of ADZA
Reviewed by ADZA from Australia

1.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5
Well im sure we have all heard it before but as im leaving work im asked if i want a beer so i reply yes and to my my horror yes its carlton cold i didnt recognise the bottle at first as they have tried a revamp on it and lowered the alcohol percentage too which is now 4% the beer pours a golden straw colour and smells mainly of water and feint grains,it tastes of water and mass production you can tell when tasting this beer that there is no love whatsoever put into making this beer,try at your own downfall i know i wouldnt waste my hard earned on it.
Jun 29, 2009
Photo of vancurly
Reviewed by vancurly from Australia

1.64/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2
There's a good mate of mine who, when knowing I'm coming over, buys some decent beers. I'm happy to have converted him, even if he's just keeping me happy.
It's sad that he hasn't been converted for his own sake, as a recent foray into his fridge uncovered.
Carlton Cold.... the original Australian cold filtered beer, and one that I had not intended reviewing, as I would not part with my hard-earned money for this swill.
Cold, lifeless, bodyless. The best descriptor is "macro-flavoured cardboard water".
And avoid my mate's fridge, too.
Jun 28, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
Reviewed by biboergosum from Canada (AB)

1.83/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2
From a clear glass bottle (how do they expect that to help, especially in sunny Oz?), this beer pours a clear, very pale golden, like once, twice, three times diluted apple juice. It has a whole whack of puffy, airy, white head, that leaves some lacing around the glass.

It smells of very faint white grain, and, well, hard water. The taste is mildly sweet white grain - rice husk and mealy corn, and skank. Don't know if it's from the grain or any hops that might have made it into this waste of time, but I also don't care. It gets a decent score on the skank scale, actually, and that's because I have a recent Coors Light experience from which to make comparisons, and frankly, the Coldness of Colorado beats out the Coldness of C.U.B., hands down in this case.

The carbonation is moderate, the body pretty thin, and it finishes off-dry, with more of that adjunct sweetness lingering like a bad cold...wait, no, ok, pun intended...

Had to try this in the interest of Beer Advocacy and general ignorance on my part of Australian beer. Never again. I want my 7 bucks back, kitschy Aussie theme pub!
May 21, 2009
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Reviewed by Macca from Australia

2.14/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2
This pours a golden colour with a good finger of head. Some lacing and retention.

A nose of grains and some hops. I keep thinking about burnt toffee but maybe I am imagining it.

Some grainy notes on the palate. The normal CUB metallic taste is not there, thank god.

Reasonably crisp with medium to high carbonation.
Jan 14, 2009
Carlton Cold from Carlton & United Breweries, Ltd.
Beer rating: 50 out of 100 with 51 ratings