Rickard's Cardigan | Molson Coors Canada

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Rickard's CardiganRickard's Cardigan

Brewed by:
Molson Coors Canada
Ontario, Canada

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
We’ve carefully selected the seasonal spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove as an inspiration for our flavourful nod to fall. With a final hint of brown sugar, you’ll find this spiced lager as familiar as putting on your favourite cardigan. Pair it with braised ribs, sweet potato fries or let it upstage dad’s famous turkey at the next family feast.

Added by wordemupg on 09-08-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 47
Photo of CrazyMike
4/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber orange appearance wit thick white head that slowly settles down leaving some lacing. Smell consists of honey, pumpkin, orange, various spices and malt.

Taste consists of pumpkin, various spices, malt, caramel and bread. Taste is very similar to the smell and pretty good overall. Medium bodied with low carbonation. Finish is dry and a bit boozy.

Overall, this is a good seasonal beer, probably the best Rickards beer. Worth a try while it's available.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

473 mL can picked up at TBS. I skipped the chance to sample this offering last fall, although I rather enjoyed the follow-up Oakhouse (let's just forget about that shandy, though). It's a little early for a spiced autumn beer, but my summer is effectively over in a few days anyway, so I'd better get the drinkin' in while the drinkin's good. Served well-chilled.

Pours a bright golden-amber colour, completely clear and without much effervescence. Seated atop the liquid is one finger's worth of foamy, frothy white head that gradually dies off over the next few minutes, leaving behind a thin, creamy cap and a collar of lacing around the glass. The first sniff immediately reminds me of potpourri - it's a very fragrant, perfumy aroma, with nutmeg and cinnamon being the most prominent features. There are also undertones of caramel and gingerbread - quite enticing, at least for a Molson product.

The taste is a minor letdown - not a major one, but perhaps the aroma raised my expectations unrealistically. The flavour is a little too sweet, with toasted bready malts, honey and brown sugar being strong contributors initially. The spicy notes of clove and cinnamon surge forth afterward, mixing with nutmeg and some earthy notes in the finish. Off-dry finish, with some brown sugar sweetness in addition to a mild, lingering nutmeg/ginger spiciness. Light-bodied, maybe approaching medium, with a good bite from the carbonation that helps cut through the spice. Fairly light and drinkable for a spiced ale, though I'm not the sort of person who would opt to drink multiple servings of any spicy brew.

Final Grade: 3.59, a serviceable B. This one grew on me a little as I made my way through the glass - as far as spiced beers go, it's nothing mind-blowing or memorable, but it at least maintains a sense of balance and remains both fairly tasty and quite quaffable. Cardigan is probably the best beer ever released under the Rickard's banner - for me, this narrowly beats out their Blonde, which (despite being a better session option) is not quite as impressive as this seasonal release. For a macro spiced beer, this is rather well-executed - something I might wish to pair with Thanksgiving dinner (or any hearty meat/potato/stew-type dish, really), though I'd likely save the Pumkings and such for dessert.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.53/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle, a single from somewhere. The big-ass signs promoting this seem to be everywhere around the city now.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium golden yellow colour, with one finger of average, foamy off-white head, which leaves zilch in the way of lace as it hastily recedes.

It smells of mildly bready pale malt, sharply spicy clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and faint ginger, with a pumpkin flesh essence that may or may not be real, given the metrics thus far. The taste leads again with the edgy spice - somewhat metallic cinnamon, more sedate clove/nutmeg earthiness, and nearly overlooked dried ginger - all taking the day over the meek, underwhelming pastry breadiness of the malt.

The carbonation is even, and actually fairly understated, the body medium-light in weight, and more or less smooth - maybe just a wee twinge towards the latter. It finishes off-dry, the malt doing its remedial school best at proffering an offset to the barrage of Thanksgiving spice being cast at it.

I'm getting the same feeling I get as when I put too much cinnamon on my pancakes on a Sunday morning - the realization that over-use of a particular spice brings out heretofore unexpected attributes in its application. That said, props to Molson for at least attempting this endeavour - the mild imbalance aside, the flavour here is decently representative of the season - at least for those who don't have an issue with corporate imperfection, read: damned near all of us. Still, I could do worse than to have another of these, turkey and dressing by its side.

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Photo of Kremlock
3.53/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a perfect clear golden straw colour. Head was about 1/4 inch think and then fell to a thin white layer with no lacing happening.

S: Cinnamon, cloves, hints of sage and white pepper. There is a small hint of alcohol in the background.

T: Much like the smell, cinnamon, cloves but the sage and pepper don't come through much at all. The alcohol is also not present as I found it in the smell (though faint). Sweetness is present and there is a late bitterness that comes in and is well balance for what I'd call a "pumpkin ale" without the pumpkin.

M: Carbonation is right, body seems a bit thin

O: I give Molson the thumbs up for making something to with flavour and out of their comfort zone. I would buy this again.

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

341ml bottle poured into pint glass 7/8/12

A clear light brass with enough bubbles to sustain a thin film for a couple minuets leaving a couple random patches of lace

S cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, honey and faint pumpkin, its not bad and much better then I expected

T more of the same really, some burnt brown sugar I didn't smell and some caramel malt, again its not bad

M light with some lingering spice and slightly slick after the fact

O it is what it claims, not a bad spice profile and perhaps one of the best Molson products I've ever had

I had no issues with this one, its not a mid blowing beer or anything like that but considering the source its quite good

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Photo of DaveBar
3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Purchased at The Beer Store approx. $2.20/473ml can. Served at 5deg C in a draught glass

A- Poured with a good head. Unfiltered beer

S- Very good! Hints of spice and herbs

T- Clove, cinnamon and nutmeg shine through but not that forward. Ok beer

M- Real let down here. Dry, bitter and hoppy in a subtle way that doesn't promote "beer"

O- Not that great but pretty good. Wouldn't buy again

Food Pairing

This interesting beer matches well with... pineapple chicken


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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

473 ml can picked up from LCBO with the cool orange cardigan can. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Pale pumpkin colored with tons of bubbles present. Generous 2 fingers of mountainous head was poured, receded a bit but some head was still present 20 minutes later which was impressive. Some lacing streaks were left inside the glass.

Smell - Cinnamon, spices, cooked brown sugar and maybe a little pumpkin (or is that my imagination). Not much else in terms of hops or malts. Nonetheless while not overpowering, this has a mild pleasant nose.

Taste - Cinnamon, brown sugar and some trace pumpkin flavors come through here. Slightly artificial taste to it, but still pretty good. Sweet aftertaste that doesn't really linger potently, but remains in place for some time.

Mouthfeel - Highly carbonated, a bit too much and isn't rich feeling especially given its more decadent appearance. Medium finish as well.

Overall - Rickard's was one of the beer I enjoyed most before I got into craft beer, Belgians and the good German stuff, but in retrospect this is one of the best offerings from Rickard's that straddled a line between mainstream and full on pumpkin ales. Not a bad place to be,

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Photo of andrenaline
3.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Surprised to find this on tap at a local eatery, knowing that it was released well over 6 months ago I had low expectations.

A - Pours a clear copper colour with an amber hue, finger of soapy head with solid retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Surgared corn, hints of cinnamon amongst bready malts and some wheat grass on the finish.

T - Surprisingly bland with heavy sugared corn, buttered bread, a hint of cinnamon and a sweet caramel malt flavour that lingers.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dryness on the finish.

O - Certainly didn't fall short of my expectations, but since my expectations were already low, it was an easy benchmark to meet. This brew is certainly not something I would go out of my way for. The flavour profile was weak and didn't offer up anything that was much different than any other macro amber. The spices were dull and subdued and were rather disappointing.

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Photo of biegaman
3.29/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Rickard's Cardigan is an autumn seasonal that looks like it doesn't want to let go of summer; its radiant yellow colour draws an inevitable comparison to a hot summer sun. Not very fall-like. Its tone may be fair but the complexion is marred by a smog that could rival that of a Shanghai street. Its head gradually fades into a waning half-moon shape.

It smells as though Molson simply dissolved stale ground cinnamon in water. Neither of the other two spices (nutmeg, clove) are very noticeable on the nose and any kind of malty qualities are inappreciable (no surprises there). I assume I could have made this at home by adding a dash of cinnamon to the blandest mass-market lager of my choice.

Though a lager, Rickard's Cardigan has a lot of Pumpkin Ale-like character. My complaints about feeble spicing don't apply nearly so much on the palate; this tastes like pumpkin pie. Each sip provides an instant flash of Thanksgiving - it turns out to be fall-appropriate after all.

The trace of clove on the finish is subtle, but it's enough to hide the presence of adjuncts (assuming they were used, as they are in others in the Rickard's lineup). It may be bland and uninteresting, but at least it's not distasteful and cloyingly sweet (brown sugar is advertised).

Most reviewers are quick to bash anything Molson puts out; they're not entirely unfair in doing so. A lot can be said about Rickard's Cardigan but since I’m the one doing the saying, not all of it is bad. The lack of adjuncts and passable level of seasonal spicing make it an acceptable option. It's also a step in the right direction for a brewery that desperately needs new wind in their sails.

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Photo of bryehn
3.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear golden colour with a tinge of copper. Sizeable white head that remains as a film and collar without leaving much lace.

Spices jump out at the nose. Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves are all present, along with a faint pumpkin smell. The backing is very sweet with a honey-caramel tone.

The taste is quite sweet at first and shows its macro roots with a corn syrup-like flavour. Luckily, the spice blend quickly takes over and dries things out, perhaps too much so. Regardless, there is a sense of balance here. The finish remains dry and reveals a light toasted malt flavour.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin with moderate carbonation. The texture is mainly syrupy on the tongue and has a mild oiliness, but the dryness of the cinnamon really dominates and the flavour lingers in the aftertaste.

All things considered, this is a pretty decent beer and appears to be the start of a series of seasonal craft-esque offerings. It’s good enough that I’ll try the rest when they’re released, though the spice blend is somewhat lopsided by cinnamon and it could use some honest-to-goodness pumpkin in it.

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Photo of spinrsx
2.9/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tall can from the Ottawa LCBO for $2.60

Appearance - Slightly hazy yellow colour with an average size fizzy/frothy white coloured head. There is a high amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Breads/grains, clove, all spice

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, breads, grains, and nutmeg/clove/cinnamon. There is also something along the lines of apples.

Overall – A little too heavy with the spice for me. It's like someone shook an all spice shaker into a basic lager. Not something I'd pick up again.

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Photo of TerryW
2.81/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Attractive golden-amber colour under a moderate white head that gives good lace. Looks pretty decent.

Pumpkin pie spice on the nose with a whiff of sour apple that makes it smell like a cider. Surprisingly sour bite on first taste, malty sweet up the middle with a drying bitter finish.

I'm not overly impressed with Rickard's approach which seems to boil down to picking up on whats hot in the craft market and packaging up some sort of mock <insert beer style name here>. Makes me feel like I'm drinking faux beer every time I pick one of theirs up. And it's essentially the same bland faceless crap over and over again. Maybe I can just cut and paste my review once Rickard's <insert beer style name here> comes out.

Drinkable. Dull.

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Photo of Haydn-Juby
2.77/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A: A pale gold color. One finger of head good lacing and moderate to good retention.

S: Cinnamon as advertised. A touch of nutmeg too. The cinnamon really overpowers all the other aromas.

T: Cinnamon, spices. A touch too much in my opinion. It's not very subtle and its really in your face. Not something I care for in spice beers honestly. I like the spices to be more of a subtle complement to the base beer. A bit of sweet malt comes forward gradually. A bit metallic in the finish as well.

M: Crisp, clean, and easy drinking.

O: Good I guess but personally I found the spices to be out of balance and it was a bit bland besides them.

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Rickard's Cardigan from Molson Coors Canada
3.27 out of 5 based on 47 ratings.
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