Sleeman Honey Brown Lager | Sleeman Breweries Ltd.

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Sleeman Honey Brown LagerSleeman Honey Brown Lager

Brewed by:
Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Amber / Red Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Smooth Sleeman Honey Brown Lager is brewed in the tradition of cottage breweries at the turn of the century. Some might think the tradition is outdated; we just think we got it right the first time.

Added by canadianbarman on 08-22-2001

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Reviews: 139 | Ratings: 298
Photo of mwilbur
1.06/5  rDev -64.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured from bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pale tan-yellow with very thin white head that quickly disappears.
S: Malt, caramel...and skunk. Bad.
T: Very bad. Hint of malt. Mostly just tastes bad though.
M: Acidic, thin, and watery. Terrible.
D: Not drinkable. Unbelievably bad. Stay have several thousand other beers that taste better to spend you money on. Don't be a fool like me.

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Photo of Jason
1.47/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Presentation: 12oz clear glass bottle, not to worry the six-pack holder was a cardboard box as to not let the light in.

Appearance: Deep tawny copper, close enough to brown. Thin but sticky lace.

Smell: Big cloying sweetness … not appealing at all.

Taste: Bit of smooth crispness, cloying sweetness gets to be a bit unbearable. Hops are minimal and the sweetness tastes fake. Lame maltiness … sweetness all over the place.

Notes: Please beer god take be away from this beer … perhaps a good beer to cook with, a sweet dark beer to balance out a pot of chili or beef stew. As for drinking it … no thanks, never again.

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Photo of cambabeer
1.61/5  rDev -46%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This is a joke. This beer is not worth buying, thankfully I was given it. I guess the color is alright, ruby and golden, but the head is nonexistent. Smells like bad cream soda left out in the sun that someone poured bud light into. Taste is watery, way to sweet, and then at the end there's a little taste of malt and hops that give you a slight clue that what you're drinking is supposed to be beer. Don't buy this, please.

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Photo of slitherySOB
1.62/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

The definition of swill is this beer. Their was neither taste nor smell that I could detect. Expecting a skunk smell due to the clear bottle, I practically snorted the bottle trying to detect any scent whatsoever. Nothing. Tasted like water. In shock, I kept looking at the bottle to see if I were drinking Aquafina by mistake. The appearance was alright. Attractive maple leaf gold. It's only winning attribute.

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Photo of Dolanmcduk
1.75/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Sleeman has really increased the amount of advertising here in Canada, and many fellow Canucks seem to believe this is a fancy beer probably because of the clear bottles...right?

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Comes out of the gate with a big building head. Doesn't hang around long, leaves a ring with a couple nebulae. Dark amber, doesn't look as clear as it should. Lots of carbonation.

S- Mealy, gassy, a syrupy sweetness.

T- Watery brown sugar/corn, subsides quickly to a slightly off bitterness, not a positive bitterness, dry and metallic.

M- Fizz, fizz, fizz, as much fizz as good old Dr. Pib. As the beer sits it gains the slightest amount of weight, at that point your teeth are thankful for something that isn't giving them the Oxyclean once-over.

O- I recall in my younger days Sleeman being better, but all of their beers had this strangeness to them you can't quite put your finger on.
My only reason for reconnecting with this beer was someone gave it to me for raking the leaves our adjoining boulevard. I do not recommend this beer at all.

gooby pls

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Photo of Lucaskowalik
1.92/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Poured from a 355mL can into a chalice
A- Extremely bubbly clear honey brown color with a delicate white head. Looks more like soda than beer.
S- Smells solely of sweet toffee and not much else, continuing the more soda than beer theme.
T- Upfront toffee sweetness over a very watery beer
M- Extremely watery and light bodied, bubbly and sickly sweet like a cheap soda
O- Truth be told I used to really love this beer prior to really reaching beer geekery. Now it just tastes one noted and plain paired with overwhelming sweetness.

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Photo of lampkins
1.96/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Beer pours a small foamy head. Smell of beer is skunky and does not smell the greatest.

Could not taste the honey in the ale and first impression was that I was drinking a watered down new castle brown ale. The taste did not change from first sip to the last. As hard as I tried I could not discern the honey taste in the ale.

Tried another bottle and let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. However, this did not change the blah taste of the beer.

This beer might be more appealing to those drinkers who like Miller and Bud.

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Photo of ludachris
2.01/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Sadly, this is the last beer in my fridge. I figured I'd finish it off before I haul in the next load.

Pours a deep golden/light amber with a 1 finger white head. Decent retention, but minimal lacing. Lively amount of carbonation is clearly visible.

Strong scent of overly sweet honey and caramel in the nose with a touch of grain, buttery malt and a metallic presence.

Artificial honey and caramel right upfront that only becomes more pronounced as the beer warms; almost to the point of cloying. A hint of grain, grassy hops and metallic character cap off the finish. The few flavours that are going on here are less than decent.

Mouthfeel is light, very wet and completely unbalanced. This sucker is going down the drain.

It's sad to think that I use to like this stuff. The last time I had it was Thanksgiving and I had to pour it in the grass when no one was looking. Too sweet, awful mouthfeel and extremely overpriced. If you can, stay away, but if not, don't judge Canadian beers based off of this.

 1,012 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
2.11/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Sleeman Honey Brown Lager/Euro Dark Lager into a pint glass.

The liquid appears light brown, maybe a few shades tanner than that, the build looks light and the bubbles are big and off white with a semi tan look, dies down no lace. Smell is caramel forward and sweet smelling with some grainy background. Taste is grain up front with caramel backing with what I would call sweetners, that's all I really get. Feel is a step up from other sleeman beers and matches the style, a light crisp carb but smooth beer none the less. Drinkability is low because, well, it's pretty one sided.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.18/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Medium orange with a sparse number of fine floaters. Thanks to the clear glass, labelless bottle, I was able to tell that much when I pulled it out of the fridge. The smallish head of orange-tinted beige is fair-to-middlin' looking and persists for a reasonable amount of time. While there isn't a whole lotta lace, some manages to stick.

The nose is weak. It's minimally grain-like with a fruity overlay, but I'm reaching even then. There are no off-aromas because there's barely any aroma at all.

My first impression is 'nasty'. My second impression is a little more kind and is more along the lines of 'odd and artifically sweetened'. It turns out that honey, like the name suggests, is the natural flavor listed on the neck label. Why not just say 'brewed with honey' and leave it at that? In any case, the beer tastes like artificial caramel flavor and artificial honey flavor were added in significant quantities.

Honey Brown Lager is insufficiently malted, as evidenced by a thinner than thin mouthfeel. Why use malt when you can give your beer flavor by adding extraneous crap that's less expensive? Something else besides honey is in here, I'll bet. I know what honey-flavored beer tastes like and this ain't it. It's actually not that sweet and favors bitter by the time the finish rolls around.

The finish is brief (a blessing) and brings nothing new or interesting to the table. As noted, the mouthfeel is irredeemably light with a cheaply carbonated feel. At least it doesn't allow the flavor to sink in, but rather washes it away as soon as the beer is swallowed.

Sleeman Honey Brown Lager is my first Sleeman beer. I'm less than impressed. A brown lager (Euro dark lager?) flavored with honey sounds like a good idea, but this rendition leaves a lot to be desired. Rarely have I sampled a beer that tastes as artificially flavored as this one does. No thank you.

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Photo of Garin
2.26/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A puffy white fizzy head that quickly shrinks, leaving a little lace. Underneath is a clear amber beer.

The aroma is sharp and sour, and very odd.

The flavour is grainy and bready, with a bit of honey funkiness. It tastes.. stale or something. Weird.

At least it goes down without a fight. Man. Is all this Sleeman stuff such junk? Three in a row!

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Photo of GrimmReaper
2.36/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep brownish,copper kinda color with a decent tan head that dissipates fairly quick and very mild lacing.
Smells sweet caramel and a tinge of hay,not much else.
Taste is kinda sweet toffee,maybe buttery,malty and musty.
Medium mouthfeel that goes down not bad but leaves a musty aftertaste behind. Not to my liking.

 324 characters

Photo of stegmakk
2.36/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured light amber but with a nice head and lacing. That is the best part of the beer.
Aroma was faint. Slight sweet malt nose.
Taste was slight metallic. No honey whatsoever. Some sweet malt. Not very good. And I know Shoreline keeps a good clean line, so I would assume it is the beer.
Mouthfeel was water like.
Drinkability LOW.

 335 characters

Photo of Hoptometrist
2.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Served from the bottle into a strange glass at Edgewaters Tap and Grill in Niagara Falls

A- Poured a clear amber color with a two finger fluffy head and left good lacing. Lots of fizzy carbonation.

S- Honey and some indistinct maltiness

T- Some honey, caramel maltiness, slight bitterness, and water. Pretty bland and watery

M- Thin, very watery, and fizzy carbonation

O- A pretty bland and watery lager with an undesirable mouthfeel.

 439 characters

Photo of RyanBelle
2.46/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Half-Liter can poured into a Czech-Style Pilsener Glass.

This beer is not my cup of tea. Here is why:

A - The only redeeming factor on this is the way it looks. Nice brown color makes you think you are in for something special, perhaps even inspiring and the head sticks around for a few minutes on

S - Bland and sweet. Nothing to rant about at all.

T - Bland until the end when the sweetness takes over to a degree where you know a hangover is in store after drinking more than one of these. The sweetness is very artificial and I sense no honey...I'm thinking more like Sweet-N-Low artificial sweetener to mask the taste of this super plain macro-lager with no personality whatsoever. I would never try this beer again unless it was free, and only one, to avoid a hangover. It has no toasted notes, no bready notes, no citrus notes...but it could be nice on a hot day in small quantities (so could any other macro-lager?).

M - Higher carbonation, but no taste. It's a very simple beer with no real character to it at all in the mouth. It goes in and goes out...doesn't make me anything special of it in between unfortunately.

D - I'll drink one and be dissapointed but will not have a second one in my system until it is free, and again, only in small quantities to avoid the hangover from the supposed "sugar" content.

Notes: Skip this one, in the name of better beers with flavor that deserve your time and energy.

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Photo of mwa423
2.46/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Poured a clear dark brown color with a slight haze. A beige finger and a half of head quickly disappeared but left a good lacing around the glass.

S - Smell is a mixture of macro lager, saaz hops, and honey. Not exactly a pleasant combination.

T - The taste is complex, but not in a good way. First you get hit by macro lager and saaz hops, then you get the honey sweetness and the aftertaste is simply just the skunky flavor of a bad euro lager.

M/D - Mouthfeel is week and punctuated by the different flavors, all of which you want to choke down as fast as possible. This will be a hard one to get through, thus the low drinkability.

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Photo of EatsTacos
2.49/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a amber brown colour with an eggshell head, 2 fingers. Not a lot of lacing to speak of.

The aroma is faint. Some honey as expected, with some graininess and malt. Sweet bread, cookies?

Taste is pretty disappointing after looking at the color of this beer. Its pretty straightforward and bland. Very clean finish. Soft carbonation and watery mouthfeel make it seem a little flat.

Drinkable beer, good to pair with food when the beer is on tap. Overpriced though, and nothing to brag about.

 497 characters

Photo of Rudgers73
2.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Just like all of the other sleeman's products. Thin.

When I randomly chose a beer I was glad to see something not so pale yellow. Maybe this has potential with its smooth caramelly color.


It's really too bad about this beer. I really like the taste of it, but there isn't enough taste for the amount of beer in the bottle. If I could boil this down into some sort of beer espresso maybe it would rank higher.

C'mon sleeman's, I really thought you had something here.

 484 characters

Photo of terrabyte
2.52/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear, dark-orange color with a short head that quickly disappears.

Smell has a caramel lager before turning a bit skunky. In fact it smells exactly like bottled Heineken. I'm wondering about the all-clear bottle now.

Tastes just like Heineken too, without as much carbonation. Actually, not as bad, but the clear bottle (without even labels) just can't be helping this bottle while sitting on the shelf. Before the overwhelming skunk type flavor, there is a caramel base with honey sweetness.

Mouthful is smooth but slick with less than average carbonation.

Drinkability is low due to skunking. Would have a much better from tap. Despite that, it still has something going for it.

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Photo of Rutager
2.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance. Pours a clear copper with a finger of bubbly, slithtly off-white head.

Smell. Sweet light grain. A little metal or chemicals something ...can't quite place it but not very appealing.

Taste. Sweet malt and light grains. Metalic aftertaste with a hint of hop bitterness. Not not as bad as most mainstream lagers, but still meh.

Mouthfeel. Strong carbonation seems a little exadurated. A bit thin.

Drinkability. Pretty sweet without offering much else. Not a great drinker, but would pick over most mainstream lagers.

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Photo of kwjd
2.56/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Was at an event and this was the best beer (Canadian and Coors Light were other choices) so decided to go for it since I haven't had a Sleeman Honey Brown in year or so. Pours an amber brown colour with thin off-white head without much lacing. Smells really sweet, like caramel and honey, without much else. Flavour is pretty muted, just sweetness comes through. No trace of any hops or bitterness. Carbonation is a bit aggressive, but wasn't bad. I had a couple, so drinkability can't be that bad, but I'll never get this unless I'm in a similar situation again.

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Photo of Bighuge
2.61/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer is a clear bronze color. A well retained beige head tops it off. A little mustiness and graininess on the nose. The taste is pretty bland. No bad off flavors or anything, just plain ass bland. It wouldn't be hard to throw some of these back, but water would work nicely as a substitute for this. Maybe I pick up a little bit of honey and the crispness that goes along with it. Some faint maltiness. Buy something else. There's a lot better than this out there.

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Photo of necoadam
2.69/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured out a copper/bronze color with a nice amount of head that stays with you a while. Smell was quite weak. Very light with some caramel and buttery tones coming through but again, very light. Taste was so-so. A little bit of malts showing through but it was quite a bit on the sweet side. A little too much sweetness in this brew. Aftertaste was just plain watery with nothing going on afterwards. Has a very thin body to it, which would drive up drinkablility somewhat for having some flavors, but the sweetness is too much for me.

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Photo of Gump
2.7/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Here's a review for all of the Sleeman beers that I have tasted.
Very grainy and proud on the tongue. Perfect light golden color and strong "beer" taste. Smells like beer, tastes like beer. Nothing really stands out to make this a special drink, and unfortunately all styles are very similar. I include the cream ale, honey brown lager, silver creek lager and original dark into this review.

 392 characters

Photo of Ellbert
2.7/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance was very clear and light. The color was orange/amber but completely see through.

Smell was of malt mostly... subtle hop aroma.

Taste was again, mostly malt but subtle hop flavor. It was very light.

Mouthfeel was very thin and lacking.

Very drinkable... The taste was ok and the alcohol is low so it would be easy to drink more than one of these. However I don't think I would want to.

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Sleeman Honey Brown Lager from Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
2.98 out of 5 based on 298 ratings.
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