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 Some might think the tradition is outdated; we just think we got it right the first time.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 mrmanning
2.85/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly cloudy, orangey/red body with a thin and watery looking head. Aroma is sweet, and slightly hoppy, with a hint of honey. Taste is a little bit of honey, but could be more. More hops and water than honey to be honest. Smooth and refreshing.

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Photo of Kooz
2.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light brownish-orange color, thick head (even from a mild pour) dissipates quickly. No discernible smell.

Tastes okay. Not terrific, but okay. Nice aftertaste of caramel. A little too bitter up front.

This is a fairly innocuous beer. I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but would not hesitate to have it with dinner.

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Photo of JayQue
3.31/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not bad. Had one with lunch at the Secret Garden in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Looked pretty good, a nice caramel / amber color with a decent size white head. Average retention and a little lacing.

Smell wasn't much. Tasted ok, sweet caramel malt with a little bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel was a hair thin but nice and crisp and no skunkiness or aftertaste.

Drinkability was pretty good to wash down food or as a session beer. Nothing great but not bad either.

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Photo of nighthawk
2.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

473mL can poured into pint glass. No freshness date to be found.

Pours a clear caramel colour that's a bit on the orange/red side. Head is quite generous and foamy to start, and a small ring retains well.

Smell is virtually non-existant. Mildly sweet in a refined sugar sort of way.

Taste is a bland sweet malt that's sort of caramel-like, with a similarly bland leafy hop before the sweet finish. Plays chicken with cloying, but just manages to restrain itself.

Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied, plenty of stickiness (but not syrupy) and balancing carbonation fizz. Probably the best part of the beer.

It's drinkable enough, I guess. I've shared pitchers of the stuff with friends before, and it's not terrible as an accompaniment to pub food. Don't pay too much attention and it goes down the hatch easily.

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Photo of decimator
3.16/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

473ml poured into a pint glass.

A - Poured a golden brown colour with a 1.25" foamy white head. Lots of lacing on the glass.

S - Aroma has lots of sweetness (like caramel & sugar) and malts. Not really picking up honey per say. Hint of hops in the background.

T - Tastes similar to the aroma. Sweetness up front and a hint of hops in the finish. It's a bit one dimensional though. It improves somewhat as the beer warms up.

M - Good carbonation and stickiness that I'd expect from a sweeter brew.

D - It's drinkable. I don't mind it. I can only drink a couple though before I get bored of it.

It's not a bad beer for a Canadian macro. A bit one dimensional but a pleasant change from the typical blond Lagers.

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Photo of funkengruven
3.41/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 24 of this, having not drank this beer in quite some time (give or take 9-10 years) I felt it was time to give it another go, and here it is.

This beer has a nice look to it, it pours a deep amber, lots of thick white head, and a bunch of sticky lace that rides the glass well. Smell is sweet, malty, a hint of some metal in there. Flavor is also quite sweet and malty, a touch of bitterness, it's not that bad actually. Mouthfeel contains some medium carbonation and a sweet aftertaste that carries for a little while. Drinkability is not all that bad however it is quite a sweet brew, best drank with bold food.

For being what it is, a mainstream Canadian mass produced beer, it fits the bill nicely, and it's not all that bad. I'd say worth a try if you've never had it.

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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 CAMRAhardliner
2.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purs a shiny bronze color with a head that manages to leave some lace trails on the glass, but doesnt last very long. The smell is sweetish and un-noteworthy. The taste is slightly nutty with some caramel notes that provide at least a hair of nuance to the morrasse of non-descript sweetness. Hops are quite low profile, even in the finish. the mouthfeel is medium bodied and briskly carbonated.

A mediocre macro lager, not much to speak of. Its too sweet to be enjoyable, but it isnt undrinkable.

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

Poured a 341-ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - a tawny-copper colour with a deep honey hue sporting a frothy little head.

Smell - fresh sugary malt over a slight hint of hops.

Taste - quite a watery beginning for the colour it has, then gives way to a sweet malt flavour tempered only by the slightest hint of bitters below.

Mouthfeel - this is too carbonated, but it does make your teeth feel a slight coating of wax. Not really great.

Drinkability - not a great session beer due to the sweetness, waxiness, etc. Has some okay flavour but there are several better choices.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.83/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Clear bottle, which is always a welcome change, even if it can potentially harm the beer. Dark Amber Color that is very clear, I can see my fingerprints on the other side of the glass. White frothy head, but dissipates quickly. Leaves no lacing behind, but seems to leave small dots of honey on the inside of the glass.

Smell - Sweet caramel smell with a bit of underlying honey and malt. Sadly not quite as pronounced as I'd like it to be, which is really a shame.

Taste - Sweet as expected, and unsurprisingly similar to the smell, although honey taste is a bit more pronounced. Finishes off with a slight, subtle spice taste at the end. If it had a little more kick, while avoiding more of an aftertaste, it'd be perfect.

Mouthfeel - Needs a little bit more carbonation and leaves something of a sweet toffee like aftertaste, although there is something a little bit off that I can't describe. Thankfully it is quite subdued and refreshing.

Drinkability - Medium bodied, not particularly heavy, but not so light I'd be inclined to guzzle it. This beer is great with a meal, or as a after dinner treat, or to have one or two with the boys, but as an all night option, I'd be hesitant.

Final Thoughts - Seriously, I just wish I could concentrate this beer slightly more. If the scent was a bit stronger, and the flavor more pronounced it would certainly get a better rating. That being said, I'd gladly pick up more of this stuff or order it at a restaurant with my meal.

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Photo of BierFan
3.12/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No freshness date on the bottle. Poured from an 11.5 ounce brown bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy dark orange with a small off-white head that doesn't stick around for long.

Smell: Sweet and malty. I would say it smells a fair bit like a Scottish ale.

Taste: More sweet and maltiness. I can't really pick out the honey flavor. Little bitterness on the finish.

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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 hunteraw
3.58/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Recommended by the guy behind the counter at the shop.

Appearance: Attractive amber/honey in color, with a one finger head. Little lacing.

Smell: Light malt aroma, with hints of brown bread and honey. Aroma falls a little "flat."

Taste: Calls toast with honey to mind. Overly sweet, but not as bad as the reviews on BA would indicate. Underhopped, but this is obviously a malt-focused beer so no one should be surprised.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Sweetness does become cloying half way through the glass. Not for hopheads, but if you're looking for an easy-drinking malt-focused beer, you could do a lot worse.

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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.

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Photo of riversider76
3.51/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden amber with a thin white head.Good retention,and a pretty decent lacing. Nose is of honey and malt. Body is medium with some carbonation.Taste is of honey up front with a bitter sweet fruity finish.Decent balance. Worth a try if you get a chance.

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Photo of zerofear13
3.77/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not sure I agree with the very low scores. I had this beer on tap in Montreal and enjoyed it very much.

Brown, amber hue. Nice head, not very creamy, and not very good retention. Smelled of faint nuts and spices, and maybe a dash of honey. Great nutty taste and the sweetened malts were very good. I don't think I got an "artificial" sweetness out of it like many have claimed.

Pretty light-tasting beer. Not very complex like a brown ale or usual dark lager, but I think the honey effect is present and noticeable. Overall, a good beer. If I saw it on a menu, I'd definitely have another.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.38/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single, 11.5 oz bottle purchased singly from The Palisade Liquor Store in Jersey City...
"Beer with natural honey added" on the bottle neck sticker...
Pours a light-to-medium brown hue with a decent-sized foamy head that quickly receded and left behind a generous amount of lacing...
Mild, malty aroma with slight hints of clovers and honey...
Taste had a strong malt-backbone with nuances of candied sugars, honey, caramel, and vanilla...
Good mouthfeel with an ultra-easy level of drinkability...
Not too bad...

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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 Antilochus
2.8/5  rDev -6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear bottle. Fridge temp. 5.00% abv, 341mL. Into a wine tumbler.

Reddish brown body, no head. A bit of a white bubbly collar.

Grainy nose. No honey here that I can get, but perhaps a bit sweet. Noble hop spice. A bit sour.

Full palate. Inoffensive flavours, finishes sweet with spice. A bit fake. Perhaps a bit of honey. Not overly complex, that is for sure.

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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 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 Spikester
3.46/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Recently tried a few different Sleeman's products. This was the best of the group. It is an unusual type for me, a honey lager.
Poured a handsome honey-amber color with a sweet malty aroma. Nice amount of white head and some lacings.
Taste is sweet but not unbearably so. A suprisingly tasty well balanced lager. A pretty good hop level for a lager. It would be a good beer for someone who finds the bigger hop styles unpleasant.

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

on tap poured into a pub glass. pours a crystal clear amber color with a single finger of off white loose head.

aroma is of a sweet malt character with notes of caramel and munich malts and a tart honey base. a fruit note of apple is in the background.

taste is malty, with caramel and munich malts and a sweet base of honey. a subtle apple note is present here as well.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with a mild bite from CO2 and a mild finish of residual caramel.

drinkability is good. this is an easy going brew with just enough honey. smooth and mildly complex. decent.

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Photo of dirtyoldtown53
3.4/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very drinkable, smooth with a bit of honey sweetness. Haven't been drinking it as much lately, because of cost. It's above average in my opinion, but lacks a bit of unique character. Sleeman definitely brews better beers than most bigger Canadian companies, but on a student's budget I haven't had the opportunity to try some of its other brews.

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Photo of rodenbach99
3.12/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

bouteille transparente de 341ml.

cette bière a belle couleur ambre foncée, mousse blanche passablement fugace. elle possède un nez marqué par le miel, aussi de sucre et de malt, bouche ronde avec un petit coté de miel non pas désagréable. finale courte. pourrait finir par écœuré à la longue.

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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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