Sleeman Honey Brown Lager | Sleeman Breweries Ltd.

139 Reviews
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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 Some might think the tradition is outdated; we just think we got it right the first time.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 BEERchitect
2.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer actually fares better than most Sleeman products. Not that it's a great beer, but it avoids any critical errors that would kill the beer. Opens with a bright copper / oragne hue, highly carbonated, and leaves a decent foamstand with lacing. The aromas release a part-malt, part-grain flavor, that indicated lightness of both. Mild hops ride in the background, along with a light butter scent. Flavors show the balance of grain and malt that the aromas show, albeit light. Light, earthy, metalic hop flavors and bittering hardly offset the grains / sweetness. Feels light and partly scrubbed to the palate, leaving a light diacetyl on the toung. Finishes quite grainly, and lightly grain-astringent. Basically ordinary and un-eventful. I'll be happy to drink a free one in the future, but not likely pay for another.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

355ml can. For what seems like forever and a day, this beer has been my go-to when faced with nothing but the big boys on tap at the finer establishments around town who show PPV Oiler games. Now it's go-time in inland BC, after a day on the slopes.

This beer pours a crystal clear, medium copper-amber hue, with two fingers of loosely foamy, bubbly, and surprisingly creamy dirty white head, which leaves some broad strokes of uneven coral reef lace around the glass as it quickly recedes.

It smells of sweet grainy pale malt, caramelized rice, a bit of heather honey, and mildly astringent plastic. The taste starts with a slight floral hoppiness, followed by an almost overwrought tinged caramel malt sweetness, emboldened by some extra dextrin or other cheap sugars, a straightforward, plain-ass honey sweetness, and some lightly sour notes - hop or lingering graininess-borne, it's hard to say.

It's a little high on the carbonation side, though mostly just frothy, the body an adequate medium weight, buoyed as it is by the murky sugars, and generally smooth. It finishes rather sweet, the generic honey and touched caramel malt providing all one needs to know here.

A more or less innocuous, everyman example of the 'honey' beer phenomenon in Canada and parts farther removed. It's easy to put back a few of these, sure, but at some point one becomes aware of this particular sort of acquiescence to blandly-made universal offerings.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium brown lager with a subtle taste of honey. Regular head for that type of lager. Probably the best product from Sleeman but I still don't approve of the clear bottle. Lack of spice and aftertaste in this beer. The malt is also very sweet, almost like a light beer.

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Photo of zeff80
3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a caramel/brown color with a foamy, off-white, one-finger head. It did not leave any lace.

S - It smelled of honey and nut.

T - It tasted of sweet roasted malt. It had some subtle hops spice. There was also a touch of honey flavor.

M - It was smooth and crisp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This wasn't bad. It just didn't grab me with a lot of flavor. Not the best offering from Sleeman.

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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 Slatetank
3.37/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

thanks to my Aunt for sharing this bottle given as a gift through my mom, enjoyed chilled in a tulip.

The color is dark amber bordering on bronze with good clarity and thin white head with fine bead. The smell has a malt presence with sweet aroma of honey and mild yeast scent with touch of caramel. the feel is decent with slight sweetness and medium high carbonation level with subtle toasted texture and dry almost crisp finish.

The taste has a bready character with light honey sweetness up front and mild yeast in the taste with perhaps a slight diacetyl smoothness and caramel in the malt as it finishes with some grain and honey flavor but generally mild as far as overall taste goes. This is a pretty standard take with decent taste, yet not exceptional -just a ordinary vienna/red/amber lager easy to enjoy and smooth

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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 GClarkage
3.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

09/14/05- Had on tap at Angus MacToogle's Pub in Invermere, British Columbia.

Presentation- 20oz pint pour from the tap into a pint glass.

Appearance- Amber pour with a nice 3/4 inch creamy head. Quite nice lacing as well.

Smell- Smell...what smell? This guy was almost scentless. Maybe a touch of dark malt and a bit of sweet honey...if that.

Taste- Medium dark malt flavor with a touch of honey extract. Has a bit of that macro flavor.

Mouthfeel- Lighter carbonated than expected. Goes down fairly smooth.

Drinkability- Not great, but it served it's purpose. Wen't decent with the shepards pie I had.

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Photo of WesWes
2.71/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours an amber color with a white lace head. The aroma is weak and skunky. It has a lager scent, but I cannot detect any honey or crystal malt smell. The taste average at best. It has a Budweiser type taste. It is skunky, but with a slight malt underlining. It is bitter and has a mild hop flavor. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a low bodied beer with massive carbonation. It drinks decent, but this is one that I'm sure to never buy again.

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Photo of Mora2000
3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

473ml can. The beer pours a light amber color with with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the toffee without too much else. The flavor is toffee with a light amount of bitterness and flavor from some grassy hops. Still, this is a very malt-forward beer, Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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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 biegaman
3.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A fairly attractive colour, deep brown with lighter yellow highlights a top and ruby amber underneath. A fine level of suds for head. Some macro starchy aroma but with a touch of sweetness. Flavour contains a surprising amount of brown malts with a touch of 'cola' taste to them. No depth however. Odd copper metallic taste. Past that ounce of nice flavour there is nothing but adjuncts. Still drinks fairly clean, little aftertaste.
No mistaking it, this is macro and far from quality craft brewing - but I still prefer it to MolBatt.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.8/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very suprised to see this beer on the shelves of a cheap, cut price store in Shropshire. No other Canadian beers to be seen.

This was a brown 341ml bottle and I poured it into a stemmed Corsendonk tulip glass.

Deep golden/amber colour, good white head. Looked like a Dort, except the head soon began to leave.

The aroma was sweet, toffee and honey mix, not overpowering, but there for all to smell.

Very pleasant drink, a little sweet for some maybe, but I liked it.

Overal I thought this OK, honey beers are becoming more common and this one was better than a few I've had the misfortune to try. I will have a few more if there are any left when I revisit the shop.

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Photo of Derek
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber-brown, slightly off-white head; not much retention, but it initially leaves a little lace.

S: Sweet amora with an underlying spicyness.

T: Modest bitterness allows the sweetness to come through. Slighty nutty, with a pleasant spicyness (Willamette?).

M: Moderate body; residual sugars have a hint of syrupyness.

D: Easily approachable, but too sweet for me to session.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.13/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - The beer pours a clear amber/red colour with a fair size frothy/creamy off-white head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing. There is also some pretty good lacing and the head lasted for a few minutes time before it dissipated.

Smell - a grassiness, breads/grains, roasted malts

Taste & Mouth - There is a low to average amount of carbonation and the beer fees slightly watery. I can taste apples, corn syrup, light caramel, and breads/grains. The beer finishes with a faint bitter aftertaste.

Drink - Definitely the best beer in the Sleeman lineup. If there are no better beers available, this is a fairly decent choice. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours without much head leaving little lace. Clear amber with light carbonation. Nose is distinctly skunky which is disappointing, I'm expecting a little bit of honey. Taste does have some sweetness with a brief hoppy finish. FWIW it is better than a JW Dundee - has more body.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.13/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a deep honey-copper color with a dirty white head that was thin and scarce and quickly diminished. Visible carbonation was very light and soft.

S: The nose brought forth some light honey malt and was fairly sweet.

T: The initial flavor was dry caramel, honey toast, and a hint of apple cider. There was some sweet caramel and a flowering bitterness of hops that balanced the initial sweetness quite nicely in the finish accompanied by some dry alcohol rounding things out. Overall nothing to write home about but a decent example per style none the less.

M: medium, syrupy, and smooth with a very soft carbonation.

D: A sweet toasted lager with slightly above average drinkability.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.08/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml can poured into pint glass july8 2010

A clear light copper with plenty of bubbles feeding a thumbs width of head that quickly falls to a 1/4in film leaving a partial ring of lace

S more sweet malts then honey and some slight candied fruit

T much more honey but almost a fake kind of flavor that seems synthetic and unnatural

M thick for a macro and slight sticky on the lips

D nothing offensive but nothing worth bragging about, decent beer for a macro

every no and then I sip a honey brown at a bar that has nothing better up for grabs, sadly this would be most bars here in Calgary

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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 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 Gusler
3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer decamps the clear 330ml bottle a luminous copper color with a medium sized head that frothy and light tan in color, the left over lace a thin veil upon the glass. Nose is sweet malt, crisp and clean with the start sweet and nicely malted, top is light in its feel to the palate. Finish is benignly acidic and the hops apropos to the style, a crisp refreshing beer.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.3/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a crystal clear, dark copper colour, thin layer of head with little retention and no real lacing.

S - Scent is mild and sweet, but overpowered by bready caramel malts.

T - Much like the scent, the flavour is mild, but the sweet caramel malts do come through. Touch of honey, and the finish is a much like a graham cracker.

M - Good carbonation, light bodied, and goes down quite smooth.

D - This one is easily drinkable, non-offensive, but not overly memorable. I would never turn one down, but there's plenty of other offerings within this style which offer more robust flavours.

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Photo of papat444
3.28/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Date code is F0214 so canned June 2, 2014.

A staple of mine in my younger days. Delivers on its namesake color and has a solid 4 finger head to show for itself. Nutty flavor with some sweet caramel. Decent and good though tame to be sure.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.92/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is brownish golden yellow, some big bubbles for the head that fizz out fast. Smells of strong sweet honey and malts. Taste echoes the smell. Smooth with a honey hop tangyness thats a little rough at first and ends with a nice malt coating. Quite drinkable and flavored honey lager, better then most I've had. Has more solid body where as most others are kinda watery.

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Photo of francisweizen
3.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A very good Honey Lager, much better than JW's honey brown IMO and it should be! This comes in an elegant looking clear bottle, and it pours a nice amber-ish brown colour with a minimal head. This smells of lager and honey, and it tastes like more of the same, with the honey becoming more and more apparant with every sip that you take! This has a nice crisp and almost dry mouthfeel and a decent drinkability as well.
Not a bad honey brown, if I do say so myself...

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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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