Carling Beer | Molson Coors Canada

30 Reviews
Carling BeerCarling Beer

Brewed by:
Molson Coors Canada
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Carling has been Britain’s best selling lager for more than three decades. It is brewed to have the perfect balance of sweetness & bitterness ensuring it is as brilliantly refreshing from the first sip to the last. The story of our product can be seen on the crest which features on all of our packaging and is designed to demonstrate the care that goes into brewing Britain’s favourite beer.

Added by Shiloh on 01-29-2003

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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 80
Photo of Andrewharemza
2.79/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

From a can, pours a bright gold colour with a good thick white head that disapates but laces well. Aroma grass, grain, bread, corn. Taste malt, corn, malt, sweet crisp and clean.

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Photo of josanguapo
3.25/5  rDev +37.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

From Hipecor. 50cl can. In Ikea's pint glass. Reading CSHTP6 Ch7. Much more balanced than other adjunt lagers, with the corn little noticeable. Very drinkable and smooth. Good body for its low ABV.

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Photo of FLima
2.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Added again after vanishing from Beer advocate...

Bright golden color with a thick head that would not go away (even 30 minutes later) and leaving laces, to make any true Pilsner envy.
Very light aroma of bready malt and very distant floral hops.
Sweet flavor of pale malt and corn with floral and herbal hops. A little cardboard on the finish.
Light body with good carbonation.
An adjunct lager a bit over average.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
2.78/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

473 ml can served cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - Clear, pale golden yellow color. 2 fingers of white head with some retention. Sparse lacing. Lots of bubbles rise to the top of the beer. Looks decent.

Smell - Some adjuncts and light grassy and grainy aromas. Nothing offp putting and nothing powerful here either.

Taste - Fairly bland with some corn which makes the beer a bit on the sugary sweet side. Retains a clean and refreshing taste too.

Mouthfeel - Clean crisp and refreshing. Medium- high carbonation.

Overall . Not a lot to say other than a better than expected AAL and definitely preferred to many of them.

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Photo of spinrsx
2.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

473ml Can

Appearance – Clear light yellow colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is a below average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fairly good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains, bread, corn, malts

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a high amount of carbonation. I can taste bread mixed with malts, and lots of corn. There really isn't a whole lot of tasting going on.. it drinks like a light beer. It ends with a corn syrup sweet aftertaste.

Overall – Figured I'd give this one a shot based on the 'Bros' review.. but it's really nothing special. Its very light tasting and has a lot of adjunct qualities. I guess it would work well for a camping/lawn mower beer.

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Photo of pieman25
2.93/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this at a party, poured it into my generic pint glass. This stuff is one of the cheaper offerings from Molson-Coors in Ontario. I should really start reviewing some beers that I actually like, but for now, this will do.

Appearance - Nothing too special, a nice golden colour, with some foamy white head that dissipated relatively slowly (after about a minute or two) into a slightly thicker foamy white head.

Smell - Nothing too special, just some grains, nothing else that I could smell.

Taste - I didn't like it too much, it started out nice and grainy, then it just kicked into this overpowering sweetness that I did not like. It gets points for not having any of that funky "boiled cabbage/vegetables" flavour that I find very off putting, but the odd sweetness - I assume from corn or perhaps not enough fermentation - was just terrible after a while. No hops that I could taste either, I wasn't expecting much but this beer could really benefit from some nice sharp bitterness at the finish.

Mouthfeel - Mouthfeel, the body for the style was pretty good, not heavy at all, but a bit too light for my preference. Carbonation was actually really nice. Lastly, the light body of the beer and the overwhelming sweetness caused it to really slick down my throat in an unpleasant way.

Overall - This isn't going to win any awards, although I've heard it one a canadian brewing award in the pale lager category. While I would definitely rate it over some other beers in it's price range, this beer couldn't stand up to some of the other, pricier pale lagers out there like moosehead, in my opinion. In general, a frat boy beer that isn't completely repulsive, but there are other beers I would definitely pick over this.

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Photo of thehyperduck
2.98/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Tallboy can picked up at the LCBO. I've never had this Canadian classic before, but according to this year's Canadian Brewing Awards it's one of the better pale lagers available to us Canucks. I kind of want to see if they're full of it or not (like I need an excuse to drink new beer...)

Pours a familiar pale golden-straw colour, topped with a little more than a finger of bone-white head that takes a few minutes to dissipate into a reasonably thick, creamy cap. Bland aroma; corny adjunct and grains.

Wow this is boring. Pale grain malts and sickly-sweet corn are basically the only flavours. Clean finish with virtually no aftertaste, but that may have to do with the fact that it has little taste to begin with. Heavily carbonated, watery and thin-bodied, but ridiculously easy to drink. If nothing else, it's inoffensive.

This is without a doubt the least-interesting non-light beer I have ever consumed. I have definitely had worse beers, but I am struggling to think of anything I have ever had that approaches this level of blandness. I get that this is an adjunct lager and minimal flavour was probably intended, but it's possible to make an AAL that doesn't just taste like corn water. Why bother? Oh right, the price.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +68.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VIII:

Is there such a thing as "Canadian Retro Lager"? The brand has been around since 1840, Rocky Mountains are on the label ... this one screams "BEER!"

Obvious filtered clarity donning a pale yellow color, decent head retention with a thin layer of lace that stays for a good while. Sweet, oh sweet cooked corn aroma ... not offensive and actually clean with a mild graininess in the back of the nose. A crispness that was manufactured to perfection drops a smoothness on the light body. Very light and wet malt sweetness up front with some cooked cereal and a clean, drying grain in the finish. Muted hops only bring bitterness to the palate, which does help balance. Clean and refreshing aftertaste, very little lingers on the tongue.

Yeah, this is beer. Call it macro, industrial, retro or even mass-produced, this is actually a very clean and drinkable lager and spot-on for the style--it could easily give PBR a run for its money, given the chance.

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Photo of exnx
1.85/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

to be honest, this was perhaps the cheapest beer at the store at $1.90 for a tall boy, so i got one. good thing i had low expectations.

smells, tastes, and feels like mediocre-to-poor beer. simple as that. very little flavor from start to finish, leaving a bit of an unpleasant taste and feel.

if you're looking for plain and simple inexpensive lagers, i'd definitely just go with something like bud over this. after a couple of these i imagine i'd start to feel pretty gross.

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Photo of mintjellie
2.54/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep gold colour. Poorly retained fizzy white head doesn't lace. Smells of wet bread and grain. Beery sweet grain aroma with a bit of grassiness. Tastes grainy and stale with mild bitterness and a bit of green apple twang. Light bodied and crisp with sharp carbonation. Some cheap macros are just as good, if not better, than their "premium" counterparts. This is not one of them. This drinks as cheap as it costs. What flavour it has is so weak that it's still easy enough to drink, if you drink it as cold as possible.

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Photo of DrJay
2.45/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear gold with a collar and skim of white soapy bubbles. There was a bit of spotty, short-lived lacing. Grainy cereal aroma, a little bready, slightly fruity. Sugary sweet up front with a dry, slightly metallic finish. A bit of fruit mid-palate and a hint of bitterness towards the end. The body started out fuller than I expected, but it felt thin by the end of each sip and the carbonation was a bit coarse. Not bad for an adjunct macro lager, but I know these guys can make a better beer.

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Photo of slitherySOB
1.65/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Served at a barbeque. Best drunk out of a can; a very cold can.
Pours a straw colour yellow with foam that's like a teenager's erection. Rises quickly then disappears. The smell is, well... Has that wet bread smell I find very common in most macro lagers. Not much else. Taste has nothing offensive to it, but nothing pleasant either. Just a dull, beer taste. Very thin mouthfeel. Again, a gassy beer that leaves you belching alot. Not recommended. Something best drunk cold and fast, or not drunk at all.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
1.83/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

It's been a long time since I've had a Carling, and with a new design can - and a cheap price, figured it was time to do so.

Poured into a lager glass. Light golden, lots of visible carbonation. About a half inch of head that dissolves quickly.

Nose is barely perceptible. Light malts, corn, chemical. Blech...

Tastes like a light beer. Seriously, there's nothing here of value. Light corn, tin, not a trace of hops or flavor of any kind. Inoffensive, but then again, so is tap water.

Mouthfeel is thin, aggressively carbonated. Burping like crazy...

Look elsewhere for a cheap lager product - this one has nothing to offer. I finished it, at least, but that's about all the praise I can muster.

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Photo of biboergosum
2.36/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Having recently read a book about the history of the big brewers in Canada, and not being familiar with Carling products in Western Canada, I thought it at least somewhat worthwhile to drop less than a toonie on this gem at the local LCBO during my recent lengthy sojourn to Toronto...

This beer pours a clear, very light straw 'colour', with three fingers of thin foamy white head, which leaves some pretty thorough lace around the glass as it quickly melts away. It smells of white grains, some nail polish remover, and a metallic edge - hops? Nah. The taste is sweet corn mash and, really nothing else of note. The carbonation is average, the body clammy, thin, and oil slickish, and it finishes off-dry, the smooth corn sweetness the only thing perceptible.

As expected, a corn-sickle, definitely not improving as it warms. At least the skunk factor is pretty much negligible.

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Photo of MattyV
2.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Despite my best efforts, this has been my mother's go-to beer for quite some time now. Figured that since I'm home for the holidays and I may have consumed copious amounts of this as a teen, it was worth reviewing for old time's sake

A: just like most other macro lagers, pale yellow, fizzy white head disappears very quickly, no lacing to speak of, reminds me of a glass of apple juice

S: corn, something I can't place (and probably don't want to) that is typical of adjunct lagers, sweet, grainy

T: sweet, graininess/grassiness, unsurprisingly lacking in this department, nothing overly offensive though

M: overcarbonated, very thin

D: light and inoffensive, but has no interesting qualities that really makes this worth a try

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Photo of TheHammer
2.83/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: The beer pours with a good thumb of head that retained and laced somewhat, which is nice for a buck a beer. Decent carbonation and has a clear straw color. Distinctly average.

Smell: The smell of this beer is decently strong, but I wouldn't call it pleasant. It has a straw and grain scent with a mix of skunk and metal to it.

Taste: Nothing overly great here, but it's not offensive. Pretty much your standard adjunct lager. Starts with a hay like taste that turns to a more corn and grain mix and ends with the barest touch of hops. However there is a definitive plastic and metal taste to the whole beer.

Mouthfeel: Well, the beer transitions well enough and the carbonation is decent but it leaves a plastic aftertaste that while not strong, does linger.

Drinkability: Well the beer does go down smoothly and doesn't cause bloating or gas issues. It's fairly refreshing and the low price gives it something of a free pass. Certainly the most redeeming part of this beer.

Final Thoughts: Pretty much your standard buck a beer fare. It's not really meant to knock your socks off, it's meant to be guzzled down and get you drunk. As far as buck a beers go, this one is pretty average. If you are on a budget, you could certainly do worse, but there isn't anything special about this beer.

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Photo of steeler
1.86/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Another very popular buck-a-beer in Ontario, how this is popular is beyond me. When poured into a pint glass, it looks like a light lager, but what can you expect, its a macro. The smell is of wet cardboard, corn adjunct and metal! Taste is insanely watered down, and tastes like mineral water. Brutal. Thin, overly carbonated, and watery mouthfeel. Its an alright drinker, when ICE cold, but when it warms, seriously don't even bother. Much better out there for the same price. AVOID!

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Photo of EatsTacos
1.48/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

There's no excuse really to be drinking this beer, its one of a few beers that I will turn down if its offered to me.

Pale yellow, 1 finger head after agressive pour. No lacing.

Aroma and taste are mostly malt extract, adjuncts, wet cardboard. Pretty terrible and undrinkable really.

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Photo of cyrenaica
1.88/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

473ml can
4.9% ABV

I tried this beer on December 31, 2007 after purchasing from my local LCBO outlet. The beer poured a very translucent pale gold colour with a huge fluffy white head that was gone quickly. The aroma was very grainy/grassy. The mouthfeel was fuller than water, and far too carbonated. The flavour was very grainy/grassy too.

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Photo of relapse
2.01/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It's a molsons value brand that still somehow manages to offer an experience comparable to their more expensive products. A consistent gold colour, a consistent corn smell, a consistently bland, innocuous flavour. Yep it's an American macro. I can't bash it too hard because I don't find anything offensive about it- at least they didn't go crazy with the cheap adjuncts.

It would still be near the bottom of my list if I were going for value. It IS possible to spend a buck a beer and still taste something.

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Photo of soupyman10
2.48/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This one's really just your standard American macro. Copper color, big bubbles that die down with the quickness. It's basically Bud in Canada (maybe a little better), but if you can't get anything better (ie. Moosehead, Keiths, etc.), and you feel like being not sober, this'll do the job. I had one before we went out and got something better.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear golden yellow into the glass, with a big head of white frothy foam. Some notes of lace and a medium to medium high level of carbonation.

S: Some notes of adjuncts and biscuity malts, and a touch of yeasty bread. Fair.

T: Middle of the road Canadian lager. Some mild maltiness is washed away with thrifty hops and mineral water flavors. Slightly sweet finish. Average.

M: Crisp, nominal, slightly sharp. Would go well on a hot summer day. Carbonation makes things entertaining, albeit, nothing out of the ordinary.

D: Fair. Better than Bud, but that's not really saying much, and that's all i'm gonna say.

Notes: Special thanks to biegaman for the sample.

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Photo of trevorwideman
1.77/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

355ml can poured into a pilsner glass.

This beer actually looks pretty nice in a glass. Light straw colouring, full one inch head that subsides but sticks around at 1/2 inch. Medium carbonation. Smell is where things go downhill unfortunately. Soapy and skunky corn aromas mixed with a sharp metallic twang that is likely supposed to be hops.

Taste is lightly sweet and full of adjunct. The skunky and cheap beeriness of it all is almost overwhelming. Soapiness is definitely a characteristic of this brew, there is nothing "clean" or "refreshing" I just feel (and smell) like a cheap drunk after one. Mouthfeel could be worse, carbonation is more muted than in many cheap macros, and it finishes a bit sticky and dry. Having a rough time finishing one, more than that would be punishment.

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Photo of Noxious26
2.86/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

355ml can poured in a pilsner glass.

Clear, pale straw yellow in colour with lots of carbonation streams. Bright white head is 1/2 inch on the pour, but settles down to a steady 1/8 inch cap. Sporadic lacing on the sides.

Fairly standard aroma for a macro lager. Grains with that typical adjunct (petrol) undertone. A little sweetness and corn as well.

Lightly sweet and grainy at the start with undertones of corn. After the carbonation rush the sweetness fades away and a harsh adjunct (petrol) quality sweeps in briefly before disappearing into a slightly dry finish. Aftertaste is grainy with a bit of a veggie taste and little bitterness, as if someone waved some hops over this batch.

Thin bodied and fizzy and generally smooth, but with a harsh caustic blast between the fizz and the finish.

I found this to be a fairly average macro lager in all respects. Strangely enough, it's better than more expensive and well known beers from Molson. A couple of times I had one of these from a 6 pack after a different lager (macro or euro) and at times it seemed quite good and at other times it seemed sub-par. Whatever the case, I found that it can stand up against other Canadian macros, but that still doesn't mean I'm going to drink it all the time.

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Photo of CrazyMike
2.21/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Overall this beer seems very watery. In fact, it seems when you have a mouthfull of this beer the taste disapears within a second or two.

Very carbonated to. Smell is next to non existent and I would not recommend you drink this warm.

One very good point about this beer is the price. In Ontario it is $24 for 24, a difference for $38 for 24 for some beers. But in my opinion, there are better cheap beers out there.

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Carling Beer from Molson Coors Canada
2.37 out of 5 based on 80 ratings.
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