Colt 45 Malt Liquor | Pabst Brewing Company

875 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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Ratings: 875 |  Reviews: 272
Photo of barrenbane
2.88/5  rDev +21%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pale golden with a slight hue of orange, which is probably from the malt. Pours a small head that quickly dissipates. Lacing disappears within 30 seconds.

S - Corny, malty, and sweet. Only a slight hint of booze. Not too offensive.

T - One of the better malt liquors available. The malt makes it sweet and smooth. Very drinkable.

M - Has a decent body. Moderate carbonation that won't overwhelm.

O - For a malt liquor, it's quite tolerable. The alcohol content isn't too high, so it doesn't have a boozy aroma or flavor like others in its category. If you want a cheap moderate buzz, treat yourself to a deuce or a forty (brown bag included).

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Photo of drabmuh
3.06/5  rDev +28.6%
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 MadCat
2.26/5  rDev -5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

40oz of cheap beer. Who can resist? Figured I should try it for fun. Tastes very similar to PBR to me, so the review that follows is similar to my review for PBR.

Appearance: Pours a very pale yellow, with a decent white head, leaves no lacing

Smell: Light grains and light fart.

Taste: Light grains and adjuncts. Not a whole lot of flavor there. A little bit bitter. Thats about it.

Mouthfeel: Light body, crisp carbonation.

Overall: If it weren't for the fart smell, this wouldn't be half bad. If you're in the mood for something cheap without a whole lot of flavor, its not a bad way to go. Hard to beat the price too. And who can resist consuming 40oz in one sitting?

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Photo of twiggamortis420
2.75/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

18 oz clear bottle with Billy Dee holding a can with a question mark..."Find Billy Dee's Colt 45 and win a trip to meet Dee in Las Vegas"...nice, I must say the label reeled me in, along with the fact I have never seen an 18 oz bottle before. Pours a clear, dark gold color with a fizzy white head. Retention sucks, but it does leave a fairly nice sheen and collar. Lacing shows up after a few drinks.

Nose is clean, light grainy malts and cornbread. Not much else, maybe a splash of alcohol.

Taste is sweet and full-bodied. Grainy and adjunct filled flavor with plenty of scrubbing carbonation. One of the smoother malt liquors, but at 5.61%, it falls on the low side of the scale for this style. I would rather grab a few Coors Originals than drink this stuff. Has a light mustiness and the hops are pretty non-existent. I think the 7-8% ABV range is the money slot for malt liquors, above that and they start getting grimacingly tough to drink and below that you might as well just go with your basic Adjunct Lager.

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Photo of jeranbrews
2.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - diluted urine color. Gold spray paint. Clear. Low bubbly bleach white head.

S - dry stale hay bitter caustic cheap.

T - surprisingly paletable. I don't want to throw it down the sink but I don't want a second one either. Not too dry not too bitter.

M - kind of creamy. Like corn on the cob with not enough butter.

D - if you can get past the smell this is worth giving a chance just due to the price

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Photo of keeganfrank
2.1/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Brownish gold beer straight out of a 40 ounce bottle. No pouring necessary, except what's poured for my homies. Smells a little skunky and of sweet adjuncts. Sugary sweet flavors of corn and grain. It's not something I'll buy very often. Milwaukee's Best 40s are cheaper and taste better, even if they don't have that signature bottle shape.

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Photo of Natural510
2.69/5  rDev +13%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, no dating.

Pretty awful pour....light golden straw color with fizzy white head which quickly dissipates to nothingness. Flat appearance.

Scent is mostly made up of creamed corn with hints of minerals and grasses.

Flavor is mostly corn adjunct as well; light and sweet with a hop presence which balances it out somewhat.

Body tastes about as flat as it appears, and has a watery consistency as well. Nonetheless, it is still drinkable for effect.

I haven't had a malt liquor since I was a teenager, and I suppose my personal prerequisite is it not make me sick. Colt .45 isn't half-bad, similar to your average mass-produced American lager.

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Photo of ElCommodoro
1.88/5  rDev -21%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had this straight out of the 40, as God intended. It was a very light gold colour. I can't say anything about the head, obviously. The smell was sort of a nauseating sweet malt with some corn. The taste was the same, but with a twist. There were hops in this beer! I could clearly taste a slight piney flavour. Except it was real cheap and accentuated by the sweetness of the corn in such a way that it was more like Pine Sol. It was gross. Those piney-flavoured hops have no place in a malt liquor. As a result, this is now among my least favourite malt liquors and the worst 40 I've had so far. Oh well. At least now I know. I guess there's a reason this doesn't get sold anywhere near me. Sorry Lando, I'm sticking with Olde English.

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Photo of JizackFH
1.5/5  rDev -37%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A - This beer pours a clear pale yellow straw color. It has a small fizzy 1-finger head. the head fell very quickly, leaving no lacing behind. There are tons of visible carbonation bubbles rising in the glass.

S - It smells of your average malt liquor. It is mostly just sweet corn and barley. Definitely not very appetizing.

T - Not good. Like the nose, it is basically just sweet corn flavors and sort of grainy. Other than that there is not much flavor. The finish has a bit of a sourness to it.

M - This has a light body and high carbonation. It goes down like water, and has a bit of alcohol sting.

O - It goes down like water. There isn't much flavor, and the flavor it does have is not good. Overall, I definitely do not recommend picking this up. There is no reason to spend your money on this beer, unless you are just looking to get fucked up quickly without having to taste much.

PS - Do not let this get at all warm.

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Photo of BucBasil
1.68/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Drank from the 24oz can. I don't know how many more of these horrible beers I can take. Oh well... All in the name of beer exploration!

This one has that classic malt liquor sweet corny smell that can be detected from several feet away. It tinges your breath with the scent of sweet corn and death and lets everyone around you know that you are drinking some foul stuff. It reminds you of that bum you sat a few rows from on the Metro a couple of days ago who muttered to himself all the way home while sipping on a mysterious liquid in a brown paper bag, and now you are doing the same thing yourself. Each sip I take, I start muttering to myself, damn, what am I doing with my life. What Am I drinking? The taste is of corn and barley with a slight twinge of Wonder bread and failure. Finishes with an alcohol burn and an alcoholic's regret.


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Photo of WeezyBoPeep
2.37/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from a big can into a pint glass.

A: Looks ok, typical golden yellow with a decent amount of carbonation..a little wispy head and moderate lacing.

S: Weak and sour with corn traces and no hops.

T: Watery and thin with not much positive to say. Almost brings on an instant headache. Not too sweet at least. Nice mouthfeel I have to say.

D: I don't think I'd have more than one of these and the thought of having a 40? Maybe back when I was 14 that woulda been fun.

Value: Even for the price it pretty much sucks. Hmmm who can I give the other three of these to?

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Photo of ozzyCobblepot
2.17/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Dissipating, bubbly head ... Clear, pale golden color ... Light carbonation ... Kind of DOA
S: Straw malt notes ... simple and unobtrusive
T: Sweet grainy malt, bit of a sour aftertaste
M: Crisp, bubbly feel, light bodied
D: My favorite malt liquor, but after this review I realize that thinking too much about malt liquor isn't just some harmless exercise in irony--it ruins the beer, wastes your time. Please learn from my mistakes.

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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 Knapp85
2.02/5  rDev -15.1%
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 biboergosum
2.74/5  rDev +15.1%
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 toomanyideas
3.08/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

When reviewing Colt 45, it's best not to compare it to premium beer, and to remember what Colt is meant for. Colt is a beer that you can enjoy on a very tight budget, because people with a low income should be able to afford a beer to drink.

The look is a bit thick, the smell is a little off, but the taste is quite average and enjoyable. If you serve it ice cold in a glass, it's not much different than some standard draught at a bar.

I personally drink this a few times a week, it "works every time" as the slogan indicates, and I've never gotten sick of it.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
1.96/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Goodly amount of head, about two fingers of white, thick foam. Good clinging lace, nice pattern. Color is a 3 on the SRM beer color chart. So clear I think I could spear a shark in 40 fathoms of this stuff. Smell is that of wet straw and barley. Taste is not much of anything initially, but the after taste is sweet malt. Mouthfeel is nothing special, about one step above water. Nothing really stands out as good in this beer, but nothing that turns my stomach either. Cheep, drinkable, available, good yard work or attic exploring beer.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.12/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tall Boy can poured into a pint glass, I continue my exuberant sampling of a style so rare to me. And at 5.61%, not really much stronger than many an Adjunct Lager, what exactly defines this Malt Liquor thing? This can pours a clear and light straw, more like many a Light Lager. Half inch cap drifts away in short order with some lacing left behind. Better looking than Bud Light, but not by a long shot.

Nose of rice and a hint of corn along with some yeast. So-so and surely not as robust as others of the style. Taste is slightly sweet and creamy on the palate, yet reveals its PBR parentage as it warms given its spicy/sour yeast character which alone causes me to bump the nose by half a point.

Feel is a bit thin even with the creamy nature. Offers a bit of orange citrus on the finish followed by a slightly drying nature. A pumped up PBR? Not sure, but seems to share some roots. I prefer the dryer nature of the original.

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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 ronniebruner
1.36/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Wow... How could a beer be bad in every way possible? Easy answer: It is consumed in mass quantities in the ghetto. This beer is outright horrible.. disgusting taste, bad smell, disturbing color.... I honestly cannot think of a nice thing to say here...

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Photo of woodychandler
2.58/5  rDev +8.4%
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 harpus
2.11/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A= drank in true 40 oz fashion straight from the 40. Looks a typical macro yellow color in the bottle. After I pour a bit out for my lost ones a small head forms and falls fast leaving small cascading sheets of lace on the bottle.
S= sort of like a more pungent macro I guess. Not too bad.
T= oh wow that's pretty bad. The small amount of alcohol is present amd the after taste is really gross like syrupy veggies.
M= not bad. Light and crisp.
D= the taste is a deterent but while sitting around with the boys I could have one.

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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 AlCaponeJunior
2.13/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Crystal clear golden yellow with lots of carbonation, fair head and not a lot of lacing.

Smells of alcohol, grain, corn, slightly sweet malts.

Can't say this is my fav malt liquor. Tastes of alcohol, corn, adjuncts, grains, a bit sweet.

Feels average for the style. Wet and carbonated, light body, thin.

There are other cheep malt liquors I'd much rather drink on those days where I'm digging for change beneath the seats of my car.

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Photo of Sachsenfreude
1.16/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Bought this one out of curiousity about this imfamous style. I expected the worst and yes it was bad but not as bad as I thought it would be.

Poured a pale, clear, yellow with a fizzy white head. Too my surprise, the head stuck around for a while but left no lacing. The smell was pretty bad of stale malts and unpleasant fuel-like alcohol. The taste was at first very watery but then a bit of cheap barley and corn came through. Mostly alcohol flavors dominated and not in a good way, like watered down, cheap, vodka, mixed with miller light.

Very watery in the mouth with some alcohol sting, not much more but could be worse. This was a hard beer to drink and I could feel a head ache coming. Rather than waste it, I split it with a friend. Glad I tried it but I will stay clear of the style in the future.

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Colt 45 Malt Liquor from Pabst Brewing Company
2.38 out of 5 based on 875 ratings.
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