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Carling Black Label | Molson Coors Canada

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Carling Black LabelCarling Black Label

Brewed by:
Molson Coors Canada
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A contemporary lager beer with a light, crisp, refreshing aroma and taste.

Added by Shiloh on 02-17-2003

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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 189
Photo of IronDjinn
1.06/5  rDev -56%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Mabel, Black Label! *whistle!* Or so the old commercial from the 60's used to go, way before my time. Along with Molson Pilsner and now Big Rock's AGD, Black Label is a standard among the blue collar low paid working class. And I salute them, it's a rough ride to bust your ass every day just to barely scrape by, as I was one of them when I first graduated from art college.

Still, it's not very good beer, all that said and done. Poured from its unmistakable black can and recognizable label, it's clear and pale yellow, quite a bit of carbonation, and it produced a fairly impressive white head ay first. That quickly receded to a wafer thin ring. The aroma is pretty much summed up with the word acrid, plus sickly sweet and pungent come to mind as well. Do not put your nose near this beer. The flavour is a lot mellower, watered down sweet corn and grain, a very caustic texture on the aftertaste, not smooth by any means. The more this warms up, the more flavour it loses, and more additive-riddled sandpaper texture it picks up. If you're going to drink this, it has to be ice cold and out of the can in order to screen out the off-flavours and to prevent any aroma from escaping. May cause trauma.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
1.1/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Bottle: Poor fizzy yellow lager with no taste or aroma except for the usual macro corn syrup. Cannot believe that this is the best selling beer in the UK since 1971! You could have thought that they could have done better with the wide array of choice of decent beer (Bass, Bodingtons...)

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Photo of ski271
1.2/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Ha! I was slumming it last night. Neighbor offered me a cold one, and I was shocked to see that it was the old Black Label. I hadn’t seen this stuff since my college days, and one sip reminded me why. When I can say “I’d rather have Bud”, that’s low.
Appearance: Pale, pale, yellow with a medium-sized, white, fizzy head that didn’t hang around much longer than a soda. Just the slightest bit of lacing early.

Smell: Uh... that typical adjunct stench and not much else.

Taste: Hardly any taste, but what is there is bad. Fizzy water with a tablespoon of beer and a teaspoon of raw sewage would probably taste similar to this. OK the raw sewage is a little harsh to use as a description, but there’s something in there that’s just…. just nasty. Otherwise, the light taste is made up of weak malts, the faintest hints of hops, and a tiny touch of citrus.

Mouthfeel: Typical. Fizzy water.

Drinkability: It was a struggle to put down the last bit of this after it warmed up a bit while talking with the neighbor. Next time I’m offered one of these, I think I’ll pass.

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Photo of steinlifter
1.3/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

pours lighter than piss! smell is like a band-aid!, taste is actually not as bad as the smell, cheap shit, all the way! mouthfeel:average carbonated macro, drinkability: for me, only in the most desperate times!(like today).... oh all righty! ...have to have enough characters in this! God forbid! how much can you actually say about this stuff!

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Photo of granger10
1.5/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

One of the clearest non-light beers I have seen. Head doesn't really maintain itself. Smells like stale bread, maybe cardboard, a little astringent. Taste has a fake creamed corn adjunctyness to it. A bit medicinal and cardboard in the finish. Body is lacking. I am always willing to try cheap beers in hopes of finding another PBR or MHL but this certainly wasn't it. Worse than tasteless, this was bad.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
1.5/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

So, the other day I caught some punk kids who had smuggled cans of this into my bar, and confiscated the contraband before giving them the bumrush. Why would they need to hide this under their coats, is it because my offerings aren't good enough for them? Is this the holy grail of brews, that has somehow escaped my purview? Let us see...
Appearance: clear and extraordinarily pale, just a shade above invisible, with bubbly bone-white foam above, short in duration.
Aroma: best compared to ripe cardboard, dried lemon peel, dirty socks, and yesterday's urinal cakes.
Taste: None. No, sorry, there's an over-abundance of nothingness, and me, I'm stuck with no way to describe it. I'll try harder...lemonade without the sugar and the lemons..iced tea without the ice and the tea...a moist ghost faintly traveling through the palate, leaving the mind with only a fuzzy, bad memory, and the bladder with another load to bear.
This is the Official Beer for Nihilists, Everywhere. If you believe in Nothing, this is your God.

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Photo of EMV
1.51/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This is truly one of the worst beers I've ever had. Cheap macro junk that I really had a hard time finishing.

The appearance was probably the best feature of this one, and that's not saying a lot. Poured a dark yellow color with heavy carbonation. Thin head that fell fast, and a definitely chemical aroma that was fairly unpleasant.

The taste is macro-corn, with again, that unpleasant chemical sensation that really made this one rough on the palate. Worse by FAR when it gets a little warm, this is one I'd definitely avoid.

If you're poor or already drunk, maybe worth a shot... otherwise, buyer beware, and if you're that hard up grab a Molson Export, a Labatt or even a Budweiser to avoid this stuff. Cheers.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
1.56/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I had a really tough time getting past the smell of this beer. It is just unpleasantly cereal-y and reminds me of everything I don't like about bad beer. Combine that with a rather unimpressive appearance and a light yet unpleasant cereal flavor, and you have yourself a real winner here...I'd rather have a Miller Lite any day.

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Photo of MMansfield
1.59/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Acquired sample from a cheap beer party.

Appearance: Pours a golden pale colour with a foamy bone white head. Retention is less than stellar. Actually does not look too bad.

Aroma: Corn and skunk. Sample is cold, therefore there isn't much to smell. I'd hate to smell a warm sample.

Taste: Very sweet and corny. Keith described this as tasting like Corn Pops, and he is correct. The sugary sweet coating of the beer reveals a strong corn flavour. Not pleasing.

Mouthfeel: Sharp, carbonated, typical.

Final Statement: If you purchase this, leave it in the can, punch a hole in the bottom, place lips on said hole, pop the tab, then consume. This way, you only need to taste this corny rotten swill once. How did this ever become of the best selling brand in the U.K.? To the sink it goes.

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Photo of rfgetz
1.6/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Went away for the weekend with a bunch of friends and each of us was responsible for a case of beer each. I brought a Great Divide mixed case and we had atleast 6 people bring your standard BMC products. The final guest arrived with a case of this brew. Never saw this exact product, but British friends always talk about drinking massive quantities of Carling products.

One of the lightest beers i have ever seen, im not even sure how to classify it - very pale straw color and overly carbonated to boot. Smell is almost non existant... no beer smell but hints of cooked vegtables. Tastes so light, it could be a small beer made from the runnings of a small beers small beer runnings. Blows your mind, huh? Very slight metallic taste. Almost like carbonated pond water flavored with a few strands of dried grass. Light, thin, overly carbonated. One of the few beers that made me wish i had a BMC light product.

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Photo of jwhancher
1.67/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A neighbor gave me one of these last night. He bought a case trying to save some bucks from buying his traditional Bud case. What can I say: this beer is pretty bad. It looks fine. Nice and clear with great carbonation, but it tastes so husky and grain like that it almost makes me cringe after each swallow. This one is for the end of the night after you've blacked out or maybe if you want to shotgun a beer with some friends. Not good.

 438 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
1.71/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very light gold color, nearly clear. Head is ok. Smell is very, very light grain, that's about it. Taste is unbelievably watery, like soda water, there isn't much discernable hops or malt of any kind. A very uninteresting and bland beer. This beer somehow completely avoids tasting like beer.

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Photo of Sammy
1.78/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I never bothered to review this before, but while I am waiting for a serviceman..beer cheese smell, a little taste, thin, fizzy carbonation. A little white head on yellow. One has to be very thirsty to try, however not the worst macro I have swallowed.

 252 characters

Photo of shamus
1.85/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This beer has an interesting history if nothing else. A case study in the power of marketing. In the early 80s in Canada this was a beer associated with rummies, ie the down and out old guys who drank beer in dives all day. Sometime in the mid to late 80s some genius decided he or she was going to turn this beer into the hippest, chicest beer in Canada.

Out of nowhere stylish black and white ads appeared showing beautiful young urbanites drinking this swill as if it were sex in a bottle. The label was also modified to what was then a swanky angled placement. What happened was that the beer became a trendy best seller among the Queen Street crowd and those who aspired to be associated with all that entailed. And still the beer was horrible.

What they proved was that you can sell a label to enough people that it really doesn't matter what is in the bottle. Corona followed this model not long after.

Black label seems to have largely and greatfully disappeared from the market as the major Canadian breweries seemed to have focused on a few other product lines that have an even more massive and generic appeal.

In short this is barely beer.

 1,165 characters

Photo of Greggy
2.06/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- piss color, good lacing and head.

S- terrible crap smell with skunky hops.

T- light straw w/ hint of lemon.

M- med carb that is ok.

D- The beer at hand, Carling, had a Terrible smell, color, decent taste, but still it isn't something that I would drink, and might not even wish it upon my enemies.

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Photo of Kulrak
2.1/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured a very pale straw color. Almost clear. It has a very tall light head that took a while to fall and left lace on the glass. Smells slightly yeasty, a little citrusy, and a little moldy. Not too happy with the scent of it. The taste is a little sweet, not bitter at all, finishes fairly clean, though. Tastes like they brewed it with nothing but adjuncts, which wouldn't surprise me, given the (lack of) color. I taste no malt at all. The mouthfeel is a little weak, a little foamy, but not much else. All in all, it's fairly drinkable, mostly because it doesn't have any flavor, but there are plenty of flavorless beers out there that don't smell as bad. I won't be buying it again.

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Photo of dedrinker
2.1/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I had a pounder can with a slice of pizza - the package store was right across the street from the pizza place. It was about as thin and watery with light grainy flavors as most macros, but somehow left a little less impression me. It almost didn't wash down the pizza so well either. Old surfer dude came up to me while I was drinking it and goes, "yep, good old Carling, I remember back the day...blah, blah, blah." It wasn't bad or good - it just almost wasn't at all.

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Photo of showell
2.1/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I'm trying to be fair. This is one of the beers that I used to get simply because I wanted to drink beer... back in my teenage days. Don't do it. It's really awful. If you have no money and simply HAVE to have a beer... buy something else. I'm sorry that sounds like I'm slamming it, it's just truly awful.

 306 characters

Photo of Brenden
2.11/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Notes are from a fresh can taken home from a party yesterday afternoon and drunk (and subsequently poured out) this afternoon.

This is a pale gold, a bit deeper and darker than straw. A half finger of white foam serves as the head for a few seconds and then leaves a remainder along the edge of the glass that leaves a few spots of lacing.
TGhe problem with some AALs is that there's simply nothing to them. That's not so bad as the ones that are actually offensive. This one leans toward the former, fortunately.
The aroma is completely nondescript and barely detectable. Grains, very light notes of malt and a lame sweetness is pretty much it.
The flavor is about the same with the addition of a very light dose of hops that is so light that it attempts bitter and just ends up adding another element in the flavor. At least it has that going for it, although "musty" isn't the greatest attribute. Regardless, more comes through than on the nose for sure.
The mouthfeel isn't that bad for the style; it is light and a little slick, but it's crisp and it does its job pretty much as demanded. It's what the BMC crowd expects.
I drank enough to review this thing, then it was down the drain.

 1,192 characters

Photo of evlu1441
2.11/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

My friend, knowing my love of good beer, got me a 6-pack of these for my birthday... As a joke of course.

It looks like any other pale lager. Nothing exciting, but not unappealing. There is hardly any aroma to speak of. It's mainly a sweet grainy smell. It tastes like water with some malt flavour added. It has a kind of nice buttery thing going on though. The intense carbonation makes it slightly acidic.

Not a very good beer. I wouldn't even buy this if money was tight. There are many other cheap beers that are better than this.

 537 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
2.14/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Tallboy can from TBS; dated Feb 26 2016 and served slightly chilled. Listed at 4.7%, this is the first time I've seen Black Label being sold in this part of Ontario in recent memory. One of those regional beers I suppose.

Pours a clear, pale straw-yellow colour, topped off with two fingers of fizzy white froth that proceeds to vanish over the next 60 seconds or so. Cotton candy, corn syrup and corn husk on the nose. Very unappealing.

Drinkable, but that's the strongest compliment I'm willing to offer. Sweet and super corny. Corn husk, corn bread, corn syrup. Soggy cardboard and a grainy, dirty aftertaste. Light body with a fizzy, crisp aftertaste that at least helps scrub away the nasty flavour. There are some value brand lagers that I can tolerate and even appreciate, but this is not one of them.

Final Grade: 2.14, an awful D-. Black Label is Molson's answer to beers like Lucky Lager and Old Milwaukee. It is total swill, with its only redeeming quality being the cheap price - but even for 2 bucks a can, there are at least a handful of more respectable options that I'd recommend long before this one, including Old Style Pilsner and regular Carling Lager. An old school "legacy lager", but definitely one of the worst beers in that category. I would take this over Lucky Lager or any Minhas product, but that's where the favourable comparisons stop.

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Photo of Antilochus
2.16/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Found in my house. 341mL bottle, no freshness statement. Poured into a pilsner glass.

Appearance is light straw, classic macro soapy white head. Streaming bubbles and decent retention. No lacing.

Aromas are grains, sweet malt, corn. Fairly sweet and subtle. No noticeable hop bitterness. Some erroneous sourness (apple vinegar). If I let it warm up I'm sure I'll be able to pick out some nice stuff... do I dare?

Aggressive carbonation stings the mouth, sweet palate as expected. Pretty low on flavour (rice?). Light body, watery. Corn, diacetyl, refined sugar. Creamy medium length cloying finish that isn't all that appetizing.

 633 characters

Photo of Maltoftheearth
2.2/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is what you expect. Not much flavor, the taste is more than a bud lite. Finishes crisp and it's over. Now I will say that there is a bit of skunky hops flavor that is a positive. Drinkable beer than rips hole in your stomach. But for a cheap pilsner it's actually drinkable. Take over a Bud any day of the week.

NOTE!! This is NOT the same CARLING Pete Coors is brewing in the UK.

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Photo of Tallboy
2.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: A clearish off-yellow with a decent white head and little carbonation.
Smell: A faint bit of grain and nothing else.
taste: Sweet corn bitterness and grainy hops with a faint touch of "something" citrus.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer that is a little thinner than what I prefer and enjoy.
Drinkability: I have drank this beer on several occasions and find that it is not a top contender for any beer medals, but at the same time it is not nearly as bad as some fellow BA reviewers would have you believe.
It is a cheap "session" beer for cheap thrills...nothing more nothing less!!!!

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Photo of biegaman
2.26/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours with only a thin trim of head, plenty of bubbles though. A pale yellow in appearence, very little colour with bright clarity. Very unfavourable aroma - mostly DMS. From the smell of things I can almost say for sure this lager didn't sit long enough before bottling. Mouthfeel stays unobtrusive. Very light, little texture. Carbonation is clearly CO2 induced. Flavour robust with corn-starch, hard to find any taste past that. The adjuncts seem to stick to your tongue on the aftertaste.
This offers no aspect to differentiate itself (for better or worse) from other macro swill. Not too offensive, but all in all one sad (and unappealing) beer...

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Carling Black Label from Molson Coors Canada
2.41 out of 5 based on 189 ratings.
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