Colt 45 Malt Liquor | Pabst Brewing Company

868 Ratings
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Colt 45 Malt LiquorColt 45 Malt Liquor

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Malt Liquor

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.61%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Introduced in 1963 by the Baltimore, Maryland-based National Brewing Company, Colt 45 was named in honor of running back Jerry Hill, who was #45 on the 1963 Baltimore Colts football team. Through high-profile partnerships with actor Billy Dee Williams and comedian Redd Foxx — who both appeared in radio, print, and TV advertisements – Colt 45 established itself as the premier malt liquor beverage by the early 1970s.

It was also during this time that the iconic slogan, “Works Every Time,” became synonymous with the brand. The Williams relationship lasted for nearly four decades, until he passed the torch to music mogul, Snoop Dogg in 2010.

With Snoop at the helm, we’ve entered an exciting new Colt 45 era.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 08-24-2001

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Reviews: 270 | Ratings: 868
Photo of maccroz
4.43/5  rDev +86.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

mmm-mmm good. This beer has magical properties when consumed properly from a 40oz container. There should be another column in the ratings for "value" this would get a 6.0. $1.99 for 40 ounces of malt liquor bliss. A malt liquor for the true connoisseurs.

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Photo of MikeNMER
4.36/5  rDev +83.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've graded this on the 40-scale, meaning that if you're not into drinking 40oz beers, then you won't understand the high ratings.

Serving - 40-oz bottle.

Mouthfeel - It doesn't foam up much, so under the yardwork/tv/videogame/guitar/backyard conditions that 40-oz'ers are consumed, this is good. Sometimes, I go as far as shaking the beer to flatten it almost all the way.

Taste - There probably aren't any hops at all. It's like taking corn on the cob, blending it into a gallon of water, and putting in a double shot of vodka just for a tiny alcoholic hint.

Smell - Boiled corn.

Overall, this is for 40's. Hang out, no refrigerator trips necessary. Enjoy it.

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Photo of Tuberoni
4.16/5  rDev +74.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I will most likely be ridiculed for this review. However, having a fair amount of experience in the beer field, as in having drank many of those "specialty" beers, i gotta say my personal favorite is Colt 45.

Opening the bottle, nothing special. Looking in the bottle shows 40oz (or 22 oz) of fun. I slug it down, 2 or 3 gulps for the taste, 4 or 5 if trying to let it hit quicker. Smooth, flavorful, a delight for a hood dude. Goes in smooth, NO BITTERNESS (screw you, rolling rock and heiniken), leaves you in a happy mood.

My beverage of preference? Colt 45.

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Photo of N1ght5hade1994
4.04/5  rDev +69.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

My personal favorite cheap malt liquor. The flavor is not half bad and the smell is inoffensive. My only complaint is the shape of the bottle. It is a bit hard to hold onto unless you have fairly large hands. But overall a very good choice!

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Photo of tzieser
4/5  rDev +68.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this out of both 40s and cans. It's malt liquor so it should be reviewed as such. Typical clear golden, frothy white head that dissipates quickly. Sweet malty adjunct aroma, notes of cooked corn and subtle alcohol. Flavor is sweet and corny. Not much malted barley flavor. Alcohol is noticible but not overpowering. It's an above average malt liquor so I will score it as such.

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Photo of BJC1982
4/5  rDev +68.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Graded on the "40" scale.

Colt 45 is the Cadillac of 40 oz beers!

Colt is not for the aficionados, it is a good malt liquor for the price. Get it in the 40 oz bottle do not bother with 16 or 24 oz cans its not the same.

The 45 is straw yellow and smells of booze it is wonderful if you can accept what it is... malt liquor.


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Photo of esv
4/5  rDev +68.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A) Bright-white head. Very porous. Looks highly carbonated. Crystal clear. Light champagne color. Looks like a big class of champagne. A little more straw than champagne. Head and light lacing all the way down?!?!

S) Corny nothingness

T) No real flavor. A slight nauseating sweet malt if you think about it too hard. I'm afraid that it's going to warm up though.

M) Light

O) Considering that it's a malt liquor, I think it's terribly drinkable and flavorless. In my book, this is a great malt liquor and the gutters and areas surrounding the street trash cans confirm it. ABV isn't nearly as high as I was thinking.

So I think this is an B+ malt liquor but can I really give a malt liquor beer an B+? Yes.

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Photo of Kriztofuhr
4/5  rDev +68.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 5

Look - Poured into a frosted mug. Pale golden in color. A fingers worth of rocky white head. Noticeable lacing after each gulp.

Smell - Big corn, cereal grain sweetness, slight acidic or yeast aroma.

Taste - Corn and white bread sweetness, cereal grain body. Finishes quick and dry.

Feel - Medium bodied, loads of carbonation. Faint warmth of alcohol in the throat.

Overall - One of the few that won't immediately bite back if it gets the slightest bit warm.

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Photo of PintOHops
3.87/5  rDev +62.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured from a 24oz can into a mug.

Appearance/Smell - Appears pale gold/yellow with medium carbonation and an inch of bubble bath head. Has a decent head retention, very large carbonation bubbles, and very spotty lacing but it's there. Smells of intense musky malts, grains, rice, corn and mixed vegetables. Very grainy profile with hints of citrus grape, and doesn't seem to be offensive as it warms.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes very, very grainy. Lots of rice, malts and mixed vegetables as well. Finishes with lingering rice and malt flavors, but overall dominant rice/grainy flavor profile with nothing offensive. Moldy, or stale malts with hints of metallic twang develop as it warms. Still, not offensive but not desirable. Mouthfeel is smooth going down with lots of active, lively carbonation on the palate. Lite bodied and pretty bitey overall.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - Had once before and it's not anywhere as bad as I remembered! This Malt is smooth, and easy drinking. Has allot more flavor with a little more alcohol than say, King Cobra. Pretty easy to consume as much as you wanted. Not bad, with only very minor flavors that may be offensive to one, as it warms. I definitely will be buying again, I liked it! I recommend you give it a try. Cheers!

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.85/5  rDev +61.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Colt 45 malt liquor has a pretty thick, white head and a yellow to golden color. Carbonation is higher than what is usually associated with malt liquors. Aroma is faint to nonexistent. The taste is mild, balanced, and has some bite to it. I'd say it has the stereotypical American-style lager taste profile. But, it is not too sweet. Mouth-feel is pretty light, but not watery. Colt 45 finished crisp and smooth. Overall, I rate this one very high. I enjoyed it and would recommend it. NOTE: only buy this in the can as the clear bottle allows light to spoil the product.


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Photo of Spikester
3.81/5  rDev +60.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

One of the better malt beverages on the market today. Pale gold with a good sized white head. Few lacings. Aroma is corny and metaliic.
Taste is sweet malts with a touch of copper.
Easy drinking for the style. Mouthfeel is slightly better than average. More taste and less ethanol than many of this genre. Drop the abv to 5.5% and you would have one of the best tasting M.L.s.
Update: 03/15/2014.
Well guess what it is now listed as 5.61% abv and has improved a good deal. The appearance is very good with a thick white long lasting head and plentiful lacing. Aroma is minor corn and barley malt. Still no real hop smell or flavor but metallic taste has departed. Good medium mouthfeel and finishes more wet than dry. It is a wee bit corny but very little for the style.
Overall as good as any AAL and much better than most.
Update: My bottle (a 40) says brewed in Milwaukie, WI. not L.A. (07/24/14)
Update: 12/10/2014
Enjoying this after a Rainier Ale. No bad attributes whatsoever. In the lower abv range of MLs this is perfection. Get some, now.

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Photo of KACK1533
3.77/5  rDev +58.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

One of my favorite malts. Consumed in a paper bag per tradition. Sweet tasting, albeit skunky. Consumed at a fast pace as when it is warm it turns into a different animal.

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Photo of Beerwolf666
3.76/5  rDev +58%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

How in the hell can so many people hate this Beer? I Just do not understand it..Colt 45 is absolutely Fantastic,it's super smooth and taste sooo damn good!...I Think it comes down to Colt 45 being a "Malt Liquor" and How all the snobby Beer Critics Hate most all Malt liquors..why? because they are basically full of Shit,thats why, I am so sick of all these whiny,snobby,bitchy Beer snobs who slag and slam a Beer because it is does not cost 25 bucks a pint..WTF?
Colt 45 pours out a very nice straw/golden color,with a nice creamy head and lots of carbonation,it goes down smooth and easy and taste me,thats what I want from a Beer of this style,and Colt 45 Delivers everytime,it is priced right,it is available most everywhere,& is top notch for BBQ's,cookouts,parties,or just chillin out with friends or a night in..honestly man,dont listen to the haters & the snobs,Colt 45 is a VERY Good Beer & the rating of "Awful [55 or so] is utter Bullshit,try it for yourself my friend:)Cheers&peace2all.

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Photo of Lacesoutcody
3.75/5  rDev +57.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this from an 18oz. bottle.

A: Murky yellow

S: Faint hints of corn and grain, a typical "bad beer" smell.

T: Really not obtrusive, mostly faint hints of corn and grain with a little bit of malt creaminess/bitterness on the back end.

M: Creamy, and smooth, a good contrast to be honest.

D: As always with malt liquor you're not going for the intricacies of beer, but what you will get is a thirst quenching way to further your beer intake, and/or live on the street.

either way I recommend it.

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Photo of JoLight
3.72/5  rDev +56.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - golden, filtered, and a stark-white frothy head that retains very well.

Aroma - Sweetness, mostly corn.

Taste - unusually sweet, but then a general grain flavor. And literally almost no hop bitterness to speak of.

Mouthfeel - Carbonated and medium

Finish - Dry

Overall - It's peculiar, but there is nothing offensive about it. This is a good beer.

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Photo of 7beerphil
3.66/5  rDev +53.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

consumed from the 40 oz bottle

through the bottle, I see a pale straw color (as well as the likeness of Billy D!)

not much of a smell form the bottle. hint of malt, no hops. the taste is somewhat like the smell, semi-sweet, but not overpowering. Once again no bitterness, no hop presence.

this is a smooth one, with no harsh mouthfeel, although there is a slight sour aftertaste that lingers a minute. very drinkable. I could see downing a few 40's of this on a humid summer night after toiling in the yard.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.64/5  rDev +52.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

(32 oz, twist off cap - some poured into a stemmed fluted goblet, the rest swill-ed)

A: very pale canary yellow liquid with jade tinges on the edges, crystal clear... attractive, spongy-cottony white foam - actually a moderate degree of retention... ample ballooning of foam on each pour, some crusty globs of lace here and there

S: slightly black peppery spicy phenols, delicate apple-y undertone, a bit of wet dead grass... no bubblegum notes, which I find in some malt liquors... mellow overall

T: kind of a dirty overtone, as if the beer was brewed with unfiltered 'potable' water running from rusty antique pipes... fair, mildly doughy malt foundation - slight buttery biscuit note on the tail end... little bit of a champagne-like note in the aftertaste, mild hint of corn meal... not terribly sweet, fairly clean... basically tastes like an adjunct lager with an enhanced/underattenuated malt profile... light-mild hop bitterness combines with a delicate boozy spice to balance... bit of a brown paper bag essence late

M: medium-plus mouthfeel, rounded, a touch plump... alcohol lends a mild drying sensation in the finish... bit of a masa-doughy film left on the palate

O: not bad at all... a little less of a rich flavor than an Old E (very fond of that one), the flavor of grain kernels sticks out... alcohol seems a notch or two more exposed... I'll stick with my Old E, though I won't refuse this when offered it

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Photo of thinkbreakfast
3.63/5  rDev +52.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

App: Come on now. Straight from the 16oz can

Smell: Plenty 'o wet cardboard. Hint of overripe bananas.

Taste: strangely this swill brings to mind the banana esters of a hefe. Interesting. This still tastes like a malt liquor, but one of the better variety.

As a malt liquor enthusiast, I recommend this one.

post-script: Im reviewing within the style here...

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Photo of Lagerfeld
3.6/5  rDev +51.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

let me start out this review by saying what needs to be said about colt 45 first - this is not a world class beer and we all know it, BUTTT it is a decent beer and for the price is better than miller/bud/coors light in my opinion - i think this beer gets so much negative reviews just because of the stigma behind "malt liquor" and the joke that only bums drink it - hell i know a lot of college students who drink it too - people are tired of the same old keystone/bud every weekend.

appearance - very average, looks the same every time that same yellow every time, never poured into a glass so no need to worry about reviewing the head or lacing lol

smell - average as well, very faint smell of alcohol

taste - good - not a complex taste by any means, nothing to savor or look for, no notes or hints to really pick out - this beer was made for you and your broke friends to enjoy on a TIGHT (im talkin TIGHT) budget.

mouthfeel/drinkability - pretty average but not bad at all has the right amount of carbonation so it goes down smooth - one of the easier beers to drink at 6% alcohol, much easier to drink than its HIGH GRAVITY counterpart which tastes nothing like beer

overall i give this beer a C based on every beer i have tried so far, based on me being a cheap bastard though i'd give it a B - not much you can find better for the price.

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Photo of Brad007
3.6/5  rDev +51.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Comes in the badass 40oz size. Pours a light yellow color with some decent foam and lacing. Aroma is strong, much like a typical malt liquor. Smooth and as someone mentioned, I would agree to it being PBR on steroids. Taste is very smooth and somewhat sweet. Malty/corny flavors. Not offensive at all. Goes down smooth. Cheap. It's got the hallmarks of a malt liquor. What more could anyone expect?

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Photo of scottfrie
3.59/5  rDev +50.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

24oz can purchased for 99 cents at the gas station. Such a deal!

A: Pours a deep golden hue with a huge, pillowy, bright white head that took forever to collapse into a thick film. A sticky network of complex lace was left down the glass.
S: I get notes of adjunct grains, flaked corn, sweet malt and a hint of volatile alcohol. Smells better than I expected though.
T: Creamy adjunct grains, mashed barley, semisweet malts and corn in the finish. Creamy flaked grains. Not offense but not great.
M: Creamy full body, soft and thick mouthfeel. Soft splashy carbonation.
O: I've had worse. As far a malt liquor goes its not bad, but as far as beer goes its near the bottom of the barrel. Would probably drink this over certain macro lagers though.

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Photo of priwen
3.54/5  rDev +48.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear, yellow appearance with a creamy, white head. Shows good carbonation. There's not much to the smell. Some light grains and some breadiness. Very mild taste. Nothing offensive. Medium mouthfeel. Finishes semi-dry, crisp, and refreshing. Overall, it's inoffensive and enjoyable.

40 oz bottle
Date on bottle: Dec0114
Served in a Mug

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Photo of asnider
3.52/5  rDev +47.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

OK, I'm reviewing this in the context of malt liquor. Unlike some reviewers, I will not be comparing it to craft brews. It's a ridiculous comparison, so I'll be reviewing it for what it is, in the context of the style.

Colt 45...the classic malt liquor. As a rule, I would say that, if you're going to drink a 40 of malt liquor, drink it straight from the bottle. And, Colt 45 actually tastes pretty good straight from the 40. But, in an effort to be fair and make this a real review, I've poured it into a pint glass.

Here's the review:

Pours a pale amber with a thick, soapy head. Head shrinks to a thin ring pretty quickly. Leaves mild, spotty lacing.

The aroma isn't exactly pleasing...there is a strong smell of alcohol as you first open the bottle, but it's not as overpowering as other malt liquors. Beyond that there is a sweet smell typical of adjunct-filled beers.

The taste is, to my surprise, pretty damn good. Obviously, it doesn't compare to a nice craft brewed beer but, as malt liquor goes, Colt 45 is one of the best (though, admittedly, my sampling of malt liquors is pretty limited). It doesn't have the boozy taste that many malt liquors tend to have. Sure, it's high in alcohol, but it doesn't really taste like it. There is a lot of malty sweetness, which is nice, but there are also some noticeable adjuncts. Despite the "off taste" created by the adjuncts (corn and dextrose, I think), Colt 45 is actually pretty tasty. It's definitely the best tasting malt liquor I've had.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, which is typical for a malt liquor. In other beers, I might find this thickness off-putting, but it works in a malt liquor, so I'll call it "average."

Drinkability is high. Very high, in fact. Unlike a lot of malt liquors which have the burn of high octane booze, Colt 45 is smooth. Billie Dee Williams was right, this stuff is smooth and easy drinking.

While I'm certainly not going to start sucking back Colt 45 every weekend, I actually think I might buy it again. It'll get a few laughs from the friends, and it'll go down nice and smooth.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.5/5  rDev +47.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - I drank this drank out of the can. The can has that 'authentic' malt liquor look. Now, it is not a perfect '5', like, say, OE800 in the 64oz with the cider-jug handle, but it is pretty damn dope.

S - The smell (largely derived from retro-olfaction) is surprisingly competent. Some discernible hop bitterness, some sweaty-noble-continental Pils aroma, too. Not too cheap smelling, and certainly devoid of the malt liquor disgusting burnt plastic and hot rotgut in the 'nose'.

T - The taste is also surprisingly decent. Better than the standard BMC offerings, IMO. It has a well-balanced malt and hop, given the style... the fact that the malt and hop qualities are appreciable in this brew is commendable, in and of itself. Plus Billy Dee Williams is down with it, so it is obviously good. I don't think Lando Calrissian would lie.

M - Well-carbonated. Decent.

D - I have had many a malt liquor over the years. Tonight my buddy had a 4-pack at a street party, so I indulged. I think this is lesser than Haffenreffer or Crazy Horse (RIP), but way better than OE800, Mickey's, St. Ides, etc. The main problem, in my view, (aside from mediocre taste) is that it is disagreeable to the digestive system.

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Photo of steeler
3.4/5  rDev +42.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Alright this is gonna be reviewed, according to style here. This is MALT LIQUOR, so it needs to reviewed in the realm of malt liquor. Anyway, pours that coppery color with decent head, i didnt pour all of it into a glass, so i dont know about head retention, and besides, who cares? When its a malt. Smell is fruity, boozy, adjuncty, could of been hidden better for 7%. Taste is great for a malt, its my 3rd favorite malt, so its just slighty above average. Goes down kind of rough, finishes sweet and boozy. Not bad. Mouthfeel, full and sticky. After a 710 ml can the next one is easy, so drinkability is solid. Keep swillin.

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Colt 45 Malt Liquor from Pabst Brewing Company
2.38 out of 5 based on 868 ratings.
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