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: 194
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 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.

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Photo of biboergosum
2.6/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Coming out of seeing a movie downtown with a few friends, and we decided to have a brew at the nearest open pub to where they parked. Hmmm. Turns out this meant the Richelieu bar, a place I've walked past countless times, yet never felt the need to darken the doorstep.

This beer, the only thing on tap, pours a very clear, very pale yellow colour, with one finger of thin soapy white head, which fizzes away quickly, leaving a small irregular ring of lace around the glass. It smells of mild corn/rice sweetness, and faint weedy hops. The taste is sweet, fibrous corn, a tiny inkling of grainy malt, a bit of nail polish, and a mild weedy hop dryness. The carbonation is moderate, the body light, spritzy, and clingy. It finishes off-dry, mostly a soft sweet grain alcohol essence.

A very plain, boring lager, par for the course, though nothing offensive, and unsurprisingly adequate for guzzlin' in the local dive bar.

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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 chinchill
2.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 ounce can poured into a snifter.
The beer is a golden yellow color with a weak white head of foam.

Light body and medium+ carbonation.

The aroma is light, sweet and grainy .
Flavor: weak but OK. Lightly sweet with faint hops and corn. Poor aftertaste.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.95/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce can - $2.25 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Incredibly clear body with just a hint of yellow to it and capped by a thin, fizzy, white head.

Smell: Sadly, a near vacant nose with only the mere faintest hints of light pale malts and a few sweetish cereal grain notes.

Taste: Rather light pale maltiness, a tad grainy, and with a cereal sweetness to it. Meager hint of corn. Faint touch of floral hops and an altogether minimal amount of bitterness. Finishes clean and crisp.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: I'm told my grandfather has a fan of this beer back in the 50's and 60's. Nothing inherently wrong, there are no off-flavors, but it's all just sooo thin in every regard that you'd swear it was a self-designed light lager.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.13/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When I was a kid, my parents liked to take weekend trips to various food factories. It was fun, interesting, educational and, best of all, free. I remember going on tours of Kellogg's in Battle Creek, MI; Hershey's in Hershey, PA, the Ballreich potato chip plant in Tiffin, OH; a Heinz pickle factory; and the old Carling brewery in Cleveland, OH. I've been looking to review Black Label for some time now, for sentimental purposes. Thanks biegaman.

Pale straw with a few, fine, wispy floaters that eventually sink to the bottom of the glass. The cream white cap looks pretty good. It's soft and whipped frothy, gains some character as it melts, and is fairly generous when it comes to creating lace.

This must be a fresh bottle. The aroma is untoasted grain-like, with a musky hoppiness that will most likely be needed to offset what smells like a bit of cereal grain sweetness. Not bad at all, considering the style, with very little impending nastiness.

Black Label isn't horrible by any means and is actually drinkable in a straight shootin', lack of bells and whistles kind of way. Sure, it tastes like simple grain and musky hops, but I've had a helluva lot worse. Warming might bring badness, but so far I'm pleasantly surprised.

There really isn't any more to comment on regarding the flavor. There's a bit of underlying sweetness that is nicely balanced by more hops than one usually experiences in beer of this sort. The finish is clean and could even be described as semi-crisp. Keep this stuff on the cold side and it would be a more than adequate warm weather picnic brew.

The mouthfeel stays well away from watery, which is yet another surprise. There's some substance there and even a hint of creaminess born of near perfect carbonation. The bubbles are energetic without being annoying about it.

I've tried very hard not to let sentimentality influence this review... and am pretty sure I've succeeded. Carling Black Label won't make anyone forget Rochefort 10, but it's a solid brew of the old school sort that, in the right circumstances, can be counted on to do its job well. Not only that, but it beats America's most popular beer by a country mile.

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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 plaid75
2.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured a very light, almost clear, straw hue, with no head to speak of.

The smell was rather non-existant. A faint aroma of adjunct graininess.

The taste was very light. Adjunct grain dominated. A mild biscuity and sweet aftertaste. Not as bad as I thought it would be.

The mouthfeel was light and suprisingly clean. Good carbonation.

Overall a drinkable beer for what it is - cheap swill. Honestly you could do a lot worse than this. Not to say I would ever buy it again, but would make due if it was the only beer in the cooler.

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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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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 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.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.7/5  rDev +53.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Carling Black Label has a thick, white head, a clear, bubbly, straw appearance, and some lacing left behind on the glass. The aroma is standard: grain husks, sweetness, and straight-up beer. Taste is the same: sweet grain, sourness, a touch of bitter, some bite, and "that beer flavor". Mouthfeel is light and watery, and Carling Black Lager finishes crisp, clean, refreshing, and very dry. Some metallic taste shows up, which is usually the case with canned beer, regardless of what is claimed by the major media. Overall, I think this is a very good beer and it should pair well with a burger and fries. Check it out, if you ever run across it.


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Photo of Brent
3.07/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Some odd marketing going on here - the Canadian maple leaf is shown prominently on the can, as is the notation "made in the USA."

Poured a rather frighteningly glowing yellow-gold, which I'd peg as exactly urine colored. Not much hops, and the malt leaves no question that a lot of corn is involved here. But, taking the beer for what it is - an old-school really cheap beer, I found it surprisingly refreshing. There was an apple cider tartness that almost had some Beliner Kindle Weiss tang to it. This has lake beer written all over it. Lower your expectations, and this beer will strive to be average.

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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 jsprain1
2.93/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pale golden. Very clear. Head is two fingers and white. Only a slick retains. Meh, a little better looking than most BMC stuff.
S- The aroma is fairly clean, and there's just not much there. Some stale grain.
T- Clean sweetness up front. The flavor is fairly mild but not altogether bad. A bit of corn/adjunct/off flavor in the finish.
M- Standard body for style. Carb is a bit smoother though.
O- It is what is. It's not the worst beer out there.

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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 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 Bouleboubier
2.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a euro pint - convinced this type of glass is the most ideal for enjoyment of this style - makes the worst bearable.

This is the glass in question, which I have of late referred to several times:

Whatever....let's not edit the notes into something fantasmic.

This beer falls flat, despite its huge 2-3" head, which disappears slow, leaves a decent-looking cap/blanket on top and actually some lacing. Color of a pale, cheap/fake yellow-gold.

The stink hits you immediately, y no bueno. Industrial grain and chemical. Smells like the can. Dry, musty, stale/stiff. Nasty crab grass or stale dirty ole hops, and I want to say corny as well.

Sabor - little bit of sweetness up front - malty? That darn grain and some bitter/carb flares in the way back. A chewing-gummy/pink-rubbery tang hovers. Some weak residual cornbread is found sitting on tongue with some time between sips. Not much going on otherwise - one-dimensional. But nothing horrible, though.

Kind of a softish, smooth feel. No harsh carb bite throughout though the gas hides - big burps later. Not too much slime left behind, despite the gum. Not as dry in the middle as most.

The taste and smell hurts this beer the most. About average as far as crap can lagers go.

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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 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 dfillius
3.54/5  rDev +46.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass
A: Moderate pour yields 1 finger of rocky snow white head with poor retention. Crystal clear very pale yellow liquid. Very carbonated. Better retention and darker yellow color with less fizz would be appreciated.
S: Corn, bread, noble hops. Slight metallic aroma. Fairly nice.
T: Fairly mild and balanced. Tasty but slight metallic flavor detracts. Nothing bad, nothing great.
M: A bit too fizzy.
D: Could drink a few of these. I wouldn't buy, but wouldn't pass one up if offered.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
2.46/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A below average lager that is in the heritage of American macros. Yellow color that is clear and has a fizzy white head. Leans heavily toward the malts in both nose and taste with a bit of adjuncts thrown in for good measure. Hopping is very light providing little balance. Not a best effort.

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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 Shadman
2.88/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's a macro and I'll probably hate it, but I'm broke and a needed a beer.

Decent looking enough, although a bit on the pale side. Decent sized head, sticky lacing. Still a thin, white cap ten minutes after pouring. Aroma was mostly grainy, slightly earthy malt. Some crispness/sharpness up front, grainy malt in the back. Both seem to balance fairly well. Has a 'funny' aftertaste that lingers and this knocks it down a grade. A bit watery and light, but certainly smoother than I expected. Light years ahead of Bud/Corona/etc. A good drinkable macro at a decent price.

as a side note, we used to have 'curse of the Black Label' nights once and a while 20+ years ago at college. Why? Just Because!

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Photo of Shiloh
3.03/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An average Canadian lager with a pretty face..Very typical of the major Canadian macro's lager class...Certainly drinkable and refreshing but nothing to distinguish itself from its peers with the exception of its appearance..
Full bodied, slight yeasty aroma and fairly well balanced leaning slightly towards the hops, but ever so.
I am glad we met and hope to again..

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Carling Black Label from Molson Coors Canada
2.41 out of 5 based on 194 ratings.
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