Colt 45 Malt Liquor | Pabst Brewing Company

268 Reviews
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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: 268 | Ratings: 864
Photo of Knapp85
2.02/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The first 40 I ever had. This beer is lightly golden in color mostly yellow. Not a bit of head retention after the pour. Grains and Malts on the nose. Not a lot of hops in the flavor or the aroma. I'm glad that I tried this, but I don't need to find this again.

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Photo of metter98
2.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high bright white head that quickly died down, leaving a small patch of bubbles in the center, a thin collar around the edge, and some specks of bubbles on the surface in between.
S: Light aromas of adjunct malts are present in the nose—corn and rice seem to stand out in particular—along with slight hints of sweetness.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste starts off with a big blast of rice adjuncts and has notes of grain malts and corn adjuncts with bits of associated sweetness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn't very flavorful, but I give it credit that it manages to do a good job blending different ingredients so the taste isn't offensive. It also does a good job at hiding its alcohol from the taste.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of biboergosum
2.74/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

40-ouncer, the format of choice amongst those poor souls panhandling outside the liquor stores, in my experience. This one is 8% ABV, and made by the Silver Creek Brewery, of La Crosse, Wisconsin, blah blah blah. Sleeman must have some sort of agreement with Pabst in the US, because the label is identical, and I am not creating a new, unnecessary entry.

This beer pours a clear medium golden yellow colour, with two fingers of sudsy off-white head, which settles quickly, leaving a paint job of solid lace around the glass. It smells of ripe apple, pale adjunct grain, and mild boozy yeast. The taste is more well-aged (benefit of the doubt here) apple, this time stewed in soft fusel alcohol, and quite sweet, with some weird floral essence. The carbonation is very shy, the body less so - medium in weight through the contrivances of The Cloying! It finishes still sweet, albeit with some residual drying from the booze and dead flowers.

Not that bad, really. Without the big sugar (heh), this is pretty inoffensive. No skank, or alcohol edge - a hell of an option for getting your advanced buzz on for a mere fiver (or 'Laurier bleu', north of the 49th)...

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Photo of kojevergas
2.59/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

40oz clear glass bottle with a branded screw-top purchased at a crappy bodega in Brooklyn and served into a nonic pint glass.

Malt liquor per the label. Best before: January 16th, 2017. No ABV listed on the label.

HEAD: Off-white and frothy, with above average retention (~5 minutes).

BODY: Clear pale copper. Has a syrupy look to it. No yeast or particulate is visible within.

Average appearance for a malt liquor. No egregious issues, no dazzling characteristics.

AROMA: Cream, corn, 2 or 6 row barley, subtly estery yeast (maybe ale yeast?), buttery notes.

Aromatic intensity is average.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Prominent notes of corn adjunct set off this syrupy brew. Subsidiary notes of pale malt, barley, and buttery notes. Not imbalanced, though it's admittedly pretty simple. Shallow as well.

Less harsh than many a malt liquor, but by no means great.

Smooth, wet, well carbonated, unrefreshing.

OVERALL: An inoffensive brew that will yield intoxication. The price is tough to beat and it doesn't have any egregious faults. Unlike many of the cheap lagers this competes with, it isn't watery and has sufficient body. This has its place, but it wouldn't be my first choice even amongst budget beers.


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Photo of emerge077
2.96/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This marks some kind of personal malt liquor milestone, but I can't remember what at the moment, go figure...

Into a pint glass it pours a pale straw gold with a swarm of rising bubbles. Bright and clear, with lots of lacing surprisingly enough. Head retention isn't great however, and it fades after a minute or two.

Smells sweet like Apple Jacks cereal, and cereal grains in general. Not too offensive really, just sweet and bland.

Flavors are similar, sliced apples and some cereal grain. Thankfully it's not astringent really, as the worst offenders of the style are. Lighter carbonation over time, but it's still a bit gaseous and burp inducing. Drank this with no complaints to be honest. As far as malt liquors go, it's mad decent.

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Photo of zeff80
1.9/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Consumed as a Memorial Day BBQ joke.

A - Poured out a very clear, very bubbly straw yellow color with a small, short-lived head of white bubbly foam. No lacing at all.

S - It smelled of corn and booze. No hop presence detected at all.

T - Very sweet with a big corn/grain taste. Again, no hop bitterness at all.

M - It was crisp but still fairly chewy/sticky in terms of mouthfeel. Not good.

D - Could not finish my 24oz can. Just to sweet and messy.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.3/5  rDev +39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. clear glass bottle with the "Call me to Win!" neck label that features a young hispanic or black woman. Classy! It pours a crystal clear straw gold body topped by a foamy bright white head that holds well. The aroma is lightly malty with a very light touch of hops. The body is medium with a standared carbonation that leaves it crisp in the mouth. The flavor is a well balanced, lightly sweet and grainy maltiness with an underlying bitterness and very limited hop flavor. It finishes dryish with a mild, lingering sweetness. This is less sweet and more balanced than many malt liquors on the market, although it doesn't seem as well brewed.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.03/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a very pale yellow color with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of adjuncts, light malts and touches of alcohol and hops.

T: The taste starts out with an adjunct and light malt sweetness that is quickly followed by the breadiness of grain and barley. I'm not getting the same alcohol bite in the taste that most other malt liquors have, but I'm guessing that it might be because this beer is on the low end of the ABV spectrum for the style. There's a mild hops presence which is normal. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it's one of the better Malt Liquors that I've had and even though it's not the stronger one out there, it's still a cost-efficient way to get a buzz going, which is what this kind of beer is intended for.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.18/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

If I had been asked, in my pre-BA days, to name as many malt liquors as I could think of, Colt 45 and Schlitz Malt Liquor would have been it. These two old warhorses (well... a horse and a cow) have been around forever, so I thought I'd pit them against each other in a malt liquor grudge match. They don't really fit into my Macro Smackdown series of head to heads, so I think I'll start a spin-off series and call it Malt Likkapalooza. Welcome to the inaugural bout.

Clear medium amber with a steady stream of rising bubbles; a quarter shade darker than the Bull, but it's a virtual dead heat. A vigorous pour resulted in a large, off-white cap that's holding up pretty well. A loopy necklace of lace is beginning to appear as the head falls. Not bad, not bad.

The nose isn't offensive, despite whatever preconceived notions I may have had. It ain't that good either. It's big on grain with a sweet, floral aroma that may or may not be hops. Probably not. This nose is a little more subdued and a little less floral, so the edge goes to the Bull.

The two beers taste pretty similar. In fact, this is my 7th or 8th comparison tasting and this is the closest one yet in terms of flavor. Like the noses, they're inoffensive on the palate, but in this case it's a near thing. Allow them to warm up a little and all bets are off. The flavor profile consists of earthy, corny sweet grain with a rapidly fading floral character. The Colt lacks a bit of depth and character compared to the Bull and (while they're still cool at least) is the lesser beer as a result.

The mouthfeel is solidly medium and slightly slick due to the corn sweetener. No complaints about the carbonation; it does what it has to do and no more. Alcohol isn't really noticeable, which is a surprise.

This is okay beer if your expectation meter is set on 'rock bottom'. If one is in need of a drinkable, remarkably inexpensive beer with a kick, one could do much worse than an ice cold can or three of Colt 45. The edge has to go to the Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull, but it's a nose at the wire rather than a runaway.

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Photo of mikesgroove
1.29/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

So, he decides to bring back two Malts with him as well, eesh. My journey into the bottom of the barrel continues. We did a side by side with this and Steel Reserve. Consumed on 08/09/2010.

It had been a long time since me and Billy D had hung out together so I was laughing my butt off when this one showed up at the tasting. The pour was better then I thought with a medium amber color and a head of about two inches that stuck around for a few moments before falling into the same path as the others with a crystal clear, dark color with tiny strings of bubbles that were coming up through the glass. Aroma is of corn, alcohol, wet hay, and just a mess. Really just astringent and not very appetizing at all. Every sip seemed to bring a similar reaction from me as I struggled to get this one down before finally pouring the rest out. Just not a redeeming quality as far as taste, and I generally do not mind the style terribly, but this was atrocious.

Overall all I can say is not for me. It is going to be a fun couple weeks as I take a turn away from the rare and big guns and try and knock out this list of grocery store staples.

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Photo of Jason
2.7/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 24 oz can, they call it a "TWO FOUR" on the label, no freshness date to be found anywhere.

Appearance: Pale golden yellow colour, two fingered head forms from a spritzy big bubbled carbonation. Very thin sprinkled white lace is left, something is better than nothing right?

Smell: Both a sweetness from the malt and cereal grain as well as the alcohol. Smells faint of trifle, lady fingers in alcohol.

Taste: Stiff medium body with an increasing smoothness as the carbonation unleashes. Slightly creamy mouth feel shows that there is a decent amount of malt in this brew. As soon as the flavours rush in sweet warming alcohol fumes from the mouth and nose. Grain and sweetness are the forefront, touch of corn grit flavour and a cracker like maltiness come from that. Hops are barley in the flavour though there is a sharpness from them that essentially is the bitterness which is coupled with the warming alcohol and graininess. A biting grain and warming alcohol warp things up in the end.

Notes: Not a bad brew when wanting to quickly consume for a buzz. One of the most known malt liquors on the market, this is typically consumed out of the can or more popularly out of the 40 oz bottle.

A friend of mine always brings over a couple "FOUR Os" of this stuff as a gag ... funny thing is that we end up polishing the stuff off everytime.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.06/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I strolled into the University Liquor Mart and said to the shopkeep: "Two of your finest malted beverages, sir". The store owner grinned and produced two cans of premium quality. The label read: Colt 45 Malt Liquor. This fine gentleman rang up a total of $3.50 and was even so kind as to provide complimentary protective brown paper covers (what a steal)!

Later on, as we parked our imported automobile in the campus parking lot, I began my pregame intramural volleyball warmup routine. I slid down the paper covering as though it were the undergarments of a fine woman of the night. The luscious aromas of corn, rice, and alcohol intoxicated my being.

I finally brought this divine creation to my lips and savored the rich, grainy, corn, rice, and alcoholic flavors. The elixir filled my mouth, leaving with it a light and airy reminder of its magnificence.

After taking several mighty gulps, I found myself in possession of an empty vessel. I signaled my completion of the beverage with a thunderous discharge of digestive gasses (which could be heard for several yards).

As my partner in crime mimicked my actions, we strolled towards the gym, pausing only at a trash receptacle to dispose of the evidence. It was at this time we vowed to never repeat these deeds. At least, not until next Tuesday.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
2.5/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Obviously Colt 45 isn't anywhere near the best beer around, plus it doesn't have that nice of an appearance or smell either, but it tastes pretty damn good for $1.59 a bottle and it goes down easy. This is my first bottle of "ghetto juice" in at least four years, so its hard for me to compare to the average convenience store malt liquor. So in summary, Colt 45 isn't great by any stretch, but is pretty decent for the price and has nice drinkability.


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Photo of woodychandler
2.58/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I love that some of these hi-grav AmeriCAN Malt Likkers (the artistes formerly known (by me) as AMLs) are now being packaged in 22-ounce bottles. Long live the revolution! I am (finally) withing striking distance of my 400th bottle and frankly, I CANnot wait for this madness to end. I am jonesin' to crack open a CAN and rejoin The CANQuest (TM) in its unstoppable glory. In the meantime, cheap mass-produced beers are on the menu.

I got a finger of fizzy bone-white head that was determined to dissipate its way out of existence. Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-plus quality clarity. I could see into the future and it looked kinda cold and bleak. That's what I get for indulging in this stuff. The nose smelled like the interior of a silo. Fermented grain, corn cobs and other slop left to ferment in the hot summer sun to be strewn before barnyard animals. Yum! The taste was actually better than the smell. It had a dry, cotton-candy-like sweetness thanks to their genius at biochemistry in developing a yeast strain that rips through fermentable sugars leaving only alcohol in its wake. No, really, it was bone dry but the residual sugars gave it a slight sweetness. It was pretty much the same ol', same ol'. Mouthfeel was fizzy on the tongue. Not too bad if you want a palate cleanser before moving on to something better. Finish was gaspingly dry. Again, it might be nice as a warm-up or a palate-cleanser before drinking something else.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
1.32/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

The first of our terrible beer sampling. Six beers sampled in a blind tasting. 40 oz. bottle poured into a tumbler.

Appearance - Yellow body, very clear, with a white head.

Smell - Sweet and revolting. Smells like fusel and corn.

Taste - Crisp, light, nothingness, except for the adjunct flavors that separate this from water.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied, of course, with high carbonation. It's drinkable, except for the taste. It's like drinking putrid water.

Overall - Bad, but drinkable because there's really nothing there.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
1.38/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance: Light clear pale golden hue with a bright white eggshell colored head leaves nice even lacing...somehow it's doesn't look too unappetizing. Aroma: Cereal grains light toasted pale malts with heavy corn and rice providing some evident sweetness influences touch of alcohol. Taste: Well...this is where it gets harsh...this one's definitely for my homies. Corn husk offness slightly metallic adjunct ridden in the worst way no hop flavor brings out just a bit of my gag reflex is it worth the 24 oz 99 cent offering to drink this beer. Mouthfeel: Is light bodied... a bit thicker than the typical mass produced lager a bit of residual sugars. Drinkability: Well no don't drink alot of this or a little in multiple sittings not good beer even for a malt liquor.

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Photo of tdm168
2.58/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale gold with a thin layer of loose, bubbly, white head that has little retention. The smell is very faint but sweet and grainy. The taste is grainy and very, very subtly grassy. The mouthfeel is very light and crisp.

This isn't a bad beer, but honestly even for the style there's nothing special here. It may be worth the cheap price tag for a a cheap drunk but otherwise avoid.

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Photo of jwc215
2.84/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from yesterday's notes -

40 oz. bottle - Best by March 11 13 -

Pours golden with a small head that has decent retention, leaving some lacing.

The smell is of - well, not much - some grain with some alcohol.

The taste is mild - not much too it. Some cereal/grain, a touch of sweet corn and a touch of alcohol. Finishes clean and abruptly. It's smooth. For the style, I think it is very smooth. Some fizz but not harsh.

Not bad for what it is. It's smooth, cheap beer with a bit more alcohol. Fits the style well enough.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
1.32/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

It happened again.
No matter how hard I try to provide good beer to the people of Minneapolis, there are some who are unsatisfied with my selections at the Blue Nile, even when it comes to high alcohol brews. I've got Expedition Stout, Kasteel Donker, Caracole Nostradamus, Westmalle Dubbel, Duvel...they're all much stronger....must be something in the flavor that caused a certain individual to smuggle a 6-pack of Colt 45 into a booth. I kicked the miscreant out, and saved these cans for myself...he must know something I don't, right?
One way to find out!
(oh, and since he was drinking it warm, I figure that was the optimum condition)

glug, glug, glug...
plain golden cast, majestic snowy head, dwindles in a hurry...
wickedly sweet nose, rough and rugged, raw alcohol peeking through...
in the mouth, an unbalanced, belligerent oaf strides along...spitting, stumbling, spilling anything unchained-down...although he is kind to you if your aim is pain, and heart's journey is merely obliterating your consciousness. You overlook the lack of flavor, grit your teeth and grimace, seeing the star you seek at tunnel's end, yourself and your brain, no longer on speaking terms...
bang, bang, bang!!!
"Hello, it's me, drunkenness! Billy Dee sent me! I work every time!"

“It is time to get drunk!
So that you may not be the martyred slaves of Time,
get drunk, get drunk,
and never pause for rest!
With wine, poetry, or virtue,
as you choose!”

— Charles Baudelaire (1821 – 1867)


thanks to Larry Bell, for inspiring the quote, however inadvertently...

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Photo of Tone
2.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale yellow with a 1/4 inch head, but poor retention. Slight lacing throughout. Smells of a lager with secondary maltiness. Fits the style well enough. Slightly sweet flavor consisting mostly of cleanliness of a lager with some sweet malt. Average carbonation and a crisp body. Not real bad, a little kick with the higher abv.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.06/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

At the time of this Bad Beer Thursdays review, this is the #22 American Malt Liquor on the best of list, also the #81 beer on the bottom of the barrel list on here, poured from a clear bottle into a Golden Pheasant glass.

Beer is yellow, clear, heavily carbonated, nice white head, no lacing.

Aroma is sweet with a mild vegetalness.

Beer is sweet medium to light in body. Actually not bad, there is no aftertaste, it is slightly corny throughout but I've had much much worse. It is wet throughout and the finish is also wet. I drank the whole thing and I doubt I'd ever have more if it but it was as good as Schlitz. Which is a compliment if you were confused by that comment.

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Photo of tempest
1.41/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Bought a case of 40's for shits and giggles with a bunch of friends. Worst idea ever.

It doesnt look horrible, just your typical mass-produced rotgut. The smell is at best, unpleasant. The mouth feel isn't bad, but the taste will make up for that.

I can only describe Colt 45 like this: Someone took a light-bodied beer, squated over the bottle, and farted. Beer + Fart = No fun for anyone.

I should also mention that if its your first time with a 40 of this, be prepared to get your ass kicked.

Again, Colt 45 40's night: Worst idea ever.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
1.05/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Colt 45 and two zig zags, baby that's all we need...

So I bought this evil beer from a dirty convenience store in Oxford, OH, when a little bit tipsy. My friend and I decided to drink our Colt 45s while walking down the street. Not the best idea, given open container laws, and whatnot. I also think there are laws against transporting chemical weapons.

It's colored sort of a dirty brown, like fetid marsh water. I can't believe I'm gonna put this in my mouth!

Smells sorta sweet, a bit metallic.

Tastes like creamed corn and old grass clippings. As it warms, it tastes like creamed corn and old grass clippings that's passed through the devil's small intestine. It's utterly disgusting in every way. Just skunky, corny, alcoholic, and gross.

Light bodied, I suppose, a little fuller than most malt liquors.

This beer is just rancid. I couldn't even finish it, threw it in a dumpster. The sound of breaking glass was the most enjoyable thing about this one.

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Photo of Wasatch
2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a light yellow color, nice carbonation, small white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some hops, slight caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, slight hop note. Light body. Not drinkable, would not buy again.

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Photo of tone77
3.18/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a clear bottle into a weizen glass. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Mild malt smell, not much aroma. Taste is slightly malty, mostly bland. O.k feel in mouth and drinkability is average. A good beer to get wasted with, otherwise not so great.

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Colt 45 Malt Liquor from Pabst Brewing Company
2.37 out of 5 based on 864 ratings.
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