Sleeman Honey Brown Lager | Sleeman Breweries Ltd.

299 Ratings
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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 Some might think the tradition is outdated; we just think we got it right the first time.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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Ratings: 299 |  Reviews: 140
Photo of kelvarnsen
2/5  rDev -33.1%

Photo of bigox420
3/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Exiled
3/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of PEIhop
3/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
2.71/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Running low on cold beer in the house, and the Thanksgiving weekend totally destroyed the stocks at my local liquor store. This was an old high-school favourite of mine, and it was one of the few cold six packs left. So there you go.

Poured into a little Hoegaarden bucket. The very definition of amber, with a sticky 1/2 inch head that dissolves into a little ring.

Nose is sweet and one dimensional, no hops or grain to speak of. Just...honey brown. Maybe a bit of molasses or brown sugar.

Tastes about the same. Overly sweet, not the faintest trace of hops or anything interesting, as if the brewmaster forgot to add them in the brewing process. Finish is just diminished sweetness. Thin bodied, sharp cola carbonation.

Now, having said all this, I don't tend to mind sweetness as a general rule, and I would probably drink this instead of a lot of macro Euro lagers. Also, I'm about 20 minutes from the brewery, so this is a brew that tends to show up a lot at parties, so it's in my best interest to cultivate a taste for it. Fortunately, I rarely get stuck in this situation, and when I do, I drink it as cold as possible straight from the bottle.

In summary, unless you like overly sweet, overly carbonated honey lagers, avoid this.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
2.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

have had this on a few occasions over the years but mostly just at pubs getting shitfaced
A - clear bronze, off white shiny head with decent retention, some lacing
S - corn adjunct, grains, light brown sugar, not as expected
T - corn graininess up front with a strong syrupy sweetness that lingers along with some metallic, nothing special about it
M - medium weight with a solid carbonation kick, sticky sweet for a second but quickly moves to a bitter finish
O - for a run of the mill mass consumption brand its decent, but a pretty average honey brown all told

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Photo of Antikythera
3.88/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: light brown, fine cream coloured head

Smell: nondescript. Weird. Fizzy? A little honey.

Taste: the honey and caramel really come out in the flavour, over top of pale malt. Sweet without being candyish.

Mouthfeel: thin without being too watery. Refreshing but flavourful.

Overall: easy-drinking but more interesting than most budget beers.

Yeah, I love it. When I was younger the first beer I drank was probably Coors, and I was not impressed. SHB was the first beer I had that I thought was actually interesting, and I still have a soft spot for it. It's not boring but it's not pretentious either.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
2.43/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.2/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Ruby/brown color with no head. Doesn't look extremely exciting.

S: Smells pretty sweet. Some berry and pale malt notes here.

T: It's drinkable, but I don't know it's something I would want to drink a ton of. Smooth malts and some honey on the finish. You're probably better trying something else.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear, dark amber colour with a foamy two-finger head with fairly good retention and decent lacing. A soapy film is left behind, once the head finally fades away (half-way through the drink). I noticed this film with their Cream Ale too - at first I was worried I haven't been rinsing my glasses well-enough, but it seems to just be a trait of something in the heads of their beers. Looks heavily carbonated. The smell is very sweet; mostly honey and grainy malts.

Sweet, sweet, sweet. That's all this beer tastes like. There are definitely some grain and bread malt flavours going on, but honey and brown sugar are pretty dominant. There isn't really a finish to this beer, the sweetness just sort of fades. There's a faint echo of hop bitterness, I guess, but it's fleeting and is easily missed amongst the cloying sweetness. Decent body and much heavier than your average macro, but for the style it's a little watery. Carbonation prickles the tongue but isn't too overpowering.

This used to be my 'old standby', and even though it's clear my tastes have changed, this is probably still one of Sleeman's better brews. It is better than your average macro, but due to the cloying sweetness it's really something you have to be in the mood for. Not really anything special... but a highly drinkable option if you're looking for an easy-to-find beer that will satisfy your sweet tooth. The bottles generally taste better, but only if you live within a reasonable distance of the brewery, and are buying it at a store that moves decent volume.

[Updated Feb. 23 2014]

I picked up another can to compare this past favourite of mine with a few other amber lagers (Creemore, Barking Squirrel and Faxe Amber). Sleeman Honey Brown looks great in the glass, but as far as flavour goes I think I have to say that my palate has moved on - the malt backbone is weak, there's no hop presence, and it's really just sweet... nothing else. Early in my beer-drinking career I was a fan of the macro ambers, and the best I can say of this one is that it fares better than Rickard's Red and Keith's Amber, in that I don't avoid it completely. The craft/imported ambers I am comparing it to all compare favourably.

Final Grade: 3.05, a C+.

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Photo of atigerlife
2.74/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a creamy white head. Very little carbonation rising. Decent lacing.

Aroma is non-descript.

Taste is of light malts, sweet [like artificial sweetner]. Not heinous, but it seemed to lack depth throughout the profile.

Mouthfeel has a nice body, decently cleansing.

Overall, it is quite drinkable due to a relatively low ABV, but there are much better beers out there to drink.

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Photo of ChrisCage
2.72/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Pours an amber color that is mostly clear, and also contains a slightly reddish hue. Lots of carbonation is rising to the top, which seems to be typical of Sleeman. The head is decent, starting out thick and creamy looking, before settling down to a thick layer of puffiness over the brew. Lacing is also decent, with moderate stringy whips of foam clinging to my glass.

S- Unfortunately, the aroma doesn't lead on that this is a honey brown, but rather starts out with a dry grainy and/or adjuncty phoniness about it. A little bit skunked and a tinge of alcohol don't help matters. There is a hint of bitterness right at the end, but it's not enough to save the smell of this one!

T- Hints of malt sweetness and honey flavoring, but otherwise this actually tastes somewhat boozy and synthetic. There is a metallic flavor that comes through, even though this was poured from a glass bottle! There is no real hop bitterness on the finish. The aftertaste isn't too bad, if not a little cloying in sweetness. I know this section sounds bad, but strangely enough, my palate gets used to the flavors as I drink more and it does get a little better!

M- It's light bodied, that's for sure, but it is surprisingly smooth...the carbonation is fine, which provides for a creamy texture that allows that honeyed sweetness to come through well.

O- I remember a time when this was among my favorite brews, but now it just doesn't hold that same pizzaz! I've moved on I guess to bigger and better beer...still, it was interesting to have one of these again and though I'd still drink this, it's not what I remember...I know I've had this on tap from time to time and think it's much better in that form....maybe that's what's wrong here! This is a good one for those who are just breaking into beer or new styles for that matter, but trust me, there are much better takes on this style.

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Photo of uno99
3.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the brewery. A style of beer I typically don't like. Only really ever order one at a low rung brew pub with little choice.

A: A clear bottle, twist off cap. attractive. Pour into a stella glass gives a bright white one finger head and a clear amber body.

S: quite sweet but pleasant. definitely a good whiff of honey and brown (yes, brown is a smell as well as a color)

T: sweet and malty. decent hop finish. Honey is kickin around there. sort of unpleasant finish.

M: pretty good mouthfeel. not too sticky, kinda over carbonated, and thin... hmmm, maybe not that good.

O: Not exactly a great beer, but certainly not an F like the Bros. say!

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Photo of marty21
2.74/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear golden/light brown with one finger worth of white foamy head. Settles to a thin cap and left a decent amount of lacing.

S: A little bit of light malt but otherwise there isn't much there.

T: The taste there's some sweetness but otherwise not a whole lot there either.

M: Medium carbonation with a light body.

O: Either my palate has changed a lot or this is way better on tap. I don't remember this beer ever being so bland. Atleast it tastes better then any adjunct lager.

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Photo of evlu1441
2.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a very clear amber/brown. There is a thin soapy head that quickly dissipates.

The smell is boring. Slightly bready and slightly skunky, but generally faint.

It actually tastes decent. Sweetness at the beginning, followed by a little hoppy bite. The finish is kind of like brown bread.

Very easy to drink, and better than many other beers at the same price point. Not crazy, but I would rather this than a lot of other macro lagers.

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Photo of Rutager
2.53/5  rDev -15.4%
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 CrazyMike
3.71/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark brown appearance with decent head that sticks around. Smell is vert sweet, picked up a hint of honey.

Picked up a syrupy brown sugar taste as well as caramel and grain. Thicker bodied with decent carbonation. Aftertaste is bitter and sweet.

Overall, not a bad dark beer. It is thick with lots of taste to go with it, a bit to sweet at times though. Would recommend over other sleeman beers.

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.68/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a standard pint glass.

pours a crystal clear amber tone with a fizzy, quickly diminishing off-white head; patchy lacing.

not getting a tone in the nose, mostly a caramel maltiness, maybe a muted hops presence loitering somewhere in the background.

flavor is a welcome improvement. sweet and toasty. notes of honey open up mid-palate. malt-forward but some hoppy undertones, especially in the finish. by no means is this memorable, but all in all it's a pleasant, unassuming, relatively tasty brew.

crisp, light/medium bodied mouthfeel. drink well; a good football-watching beer.

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Photo of Mora2000
3/5  rDev +0.3%
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 spinrsx
3.13/5  rDev +4.7%
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 case4816
3.13/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Very clear golden brown in colour. Foamy head that dissipated very quickly with little lacing.

S- Roasted malts smell with some hints of toffee and molasses. Not very sweet smelling, though a little honey smell is there.

T- Fairly light malts with little flavour. Hints of sweetness come out after, but not much other flavour than that. A little molasses and sweetness, some bitterness, and that's about it.

D- Not a very good beer. Drinkable id it's all there is, but other than that I won't seek it out.

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Photo of kwjd
2.56/5  rDev -14.4%
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 scott451
3.15/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap. Served in a pint glass. Clear amber brown. One finger creamy tan head. Good head retention. Good lacing.

Mild grapefruit and citrus malt notes in the smell. Mild smoky notes in the taste. A mild hop finish.

Creamy. Moderate carbonation. Drinkability is OK. No major flaws in this nice fresh glass of draught, just not a lot to come back for.

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Photo of rarbring
2.75/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The color of the beer is light amber, a rather white head that leaves little lacing.

It actually smells of honey and some malty tones.

The taste is also sweet honey on a slice of bread, a slight acidity and some rather faint bitterness.

Medium carbonation, rather simple body.

Not really a high mark, a bit too light for being a Euro Dark Lager.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.3/5  rDev +10.4%
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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Sleeman Honey Brown Lager from Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
2.99 out of 5 based on 299 ratings.
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