Colt 45 Malt Liquor | Pabst Brewing Company

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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: 863
Photo of Rhynes2
1.74/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Well if you're gonna pick up a few of these then you must already have low expectations. We bought these as a joke. We spent the night listening to old school gangsta rap and downed a few forties. The taste sucked, but the atmosphere was spot on. Tastes really cheap. The alcohol shows through and not in a good way. It was really foamy and and light in color. It was like natty light and sprite mixed together. t goes without saying that this is a bad call for humanity.

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Photo of dapearl9
2.3/5  rDev -3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2


I poured the Malt Liquor into a large pint glass, a little too direct perhaps creating a large foamy head about three fingers thick. The foamy head was puffy white, not unlike a cloud on a beautiful day, lazily passing through the sky. Sadly this dissipated quickly into a look like ragged cotton as the carbon dioxide faded.

It's body is a thin golden orange that some people may crudely refer to as "piss-gold" and I am one of those people. With barely a head left a minute after pouring, tiny bubbles laced to the surface in small isolated streams.


The alcohol is the first smell to hit my nostrils, gently reassuring me that this malt liquor will indeed do the trick for me. Just below that is a slightly doughy scent, reminding me of baking bread in days gone past. Below that is a stronger alcohol smell and slight metallic hit as well - like a conduit to the factory from whence it came.


After an excruciating wait, the anticipation tearing my insides apart, I sip from my pint glass gently. The alcohol is not as pronounced as expected, though it has a crisp bite to it. Not as great a bite as a Pale Ale, but something lying between old citrus peels and childhood regret.


The beer is on the thinner side though it still has a certain 'heft' to it; it's not water but it flows quickly into the mouth. Swallowing it down is slightly more challenging as it foams and bubbles as you drink it, not not unlike a fine champagne.


It goes down easy at first but it can become a challenge as you continue drinking. With a generally smooth if somewhat industrial taste and feel to it, It goes down quick at first but quickly builds a heavy feeling in your stomach. Once you realize this though you also realize, "Oh my, I'm a little buzzed." Then it doesn't seem so bad so your drink more, continuing on your vicious cycle.


While Colt 45 may not win many awards it has one at least one, the key, to my heart. Nothing high class by any means, but if you're hanging around with a couple friends looking just to goof around or dirt poor, living on ramen noodles, pretending you're not in you're apartment to avoid bill collectors since there's no money even though I am since I have no where else to go-YOU! I mean, you have no where else to go. Anyhow, what I mean is it's a decent, cheap malt liquor to get you by and a solid choice for college or chilling around on the cheap with some friends.

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Photo of steeler
3.4/5  rDev +43.5%
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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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.07/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

That's right katz & kittenz, it was malt liquor night at my house again! Out of a 22oz. bottle this beer was a clear gold color with a moderate amount of rising carbonation. The aroma was of semi-sweet malt with some light floral notes on grain mash - much better than I expected! The flavors, however, were about what I was thinking. It was very dry, dominated by doughy malt and some grain mash. Acidic. The mouthfeel was semi-rough, the body medium and the carbonation medium/high. Not bas, as far as they go!

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Photo of Spikester
3.81/5  rDev +60.8%
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 puboflyons
2.18/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This was poured out a 40 fl. oz. bottle marked 03099-F51136. I picked up one of these 40 ouncers to watch the Wild Card playoffs. I figured I'd milk it for the rest of the day. It pours pale yellow with a whole lot of fizzy white head and actually a little bit of lacing. It smells metallic and looks like most cheap American pales although the taste ends slightly dry. It leaves an after taste and a headache. Eh, nothing special here but it is really, really cheap.

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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 Mistofminn
2.18/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I haven't had a 40 of Colt in a long time. Way back when, me and the buddies would have competitions of who could down these faster.

The taste and smell are putrid. Mouthfeel is nothing impressive and I can't even tell you about drinkablility. Does it even matter? Aren't you suppose to slam these anyways? Colt 45 is like an on going joke with me and my friends. But given the right situation and mood, I'd still to this day take that 40 down.

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Photo of Drew966
2.52/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Colt 45 Malt Liquor pours a pale yellow with a fluffy white head from a sixteen ounce can. There's not much going on in the aroma, a bit of sweet malt is noticeable. There isn't much going on in the flavor either, a bit of sweet malt, a bit of grain that's about it. Not as offensive as I remembered it.

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Photo of johnnybgood1999
3.11/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

For some reason this reminds me a little of iced tea and is about as drinkable. One of my old high school staples, so it deserves some props for that. It isn't something I would drink today, however, I might break a forty or two out for a night out with some old high school buddies.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
2.71/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Straw yellow body, perfectly translucent. fluffy white head that goes away pretty quickly.

Smells of some rice-y and corn-y sweetness.

Wow, I prefer this to most macro lagers I have tried. Some grainy, cereal like flavors followed by some big sweetness (not the good malty kind, more like the corny kind). A little bit of earthy flavors in the finish

Super thin and watery mouthfeel without a ton of carbonation.

This stuff doesn't drink too bad. At least I'm not disgusted like I would be with a Bud Light or something.

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Photo of PatrickJR
3.02/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Pale yellow with a tint of gold. A quarter inch of soda-pop head rises and falls quickly. No lace.

S - I was expecting a lot of DMS, sulphur, and skunk, but surprisingly none of these aromas were present. Instead, there's a very sweet cereal grain element. Even some old, cheesy-smelling hops hang in the background.

T - Wow, I wouldn't have thought that malt liquor would be better than a lot of macros I've had, but it is. Generic grain starts things off, something like liquid Cheerios. A big, one dimensional sweetness follows, drying out by about 50% with a grassy, cheesy flavor with accompanying bitterness.

M - Light, borderlining on medium bodied with a moderate to low carbonation. Although not terrible, some crispness would really help things out, especially with the huge sweet component.

D - I actually bumped this down half a point because this beer has not warmed well. Sweetness has become more cloying and the carbonation has gotten even lower. Really, it's not that bad.

I am pleasantly surprised by Colt 45. Though it's been years since I've had it, I've never approached it with a critical eye. It's better than a lot of American macros, and the ABV, while somewhat low for the style, is well hidden in both the aroma and the flavor.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Tonight, we finish up the Brown Paper Bag Invitational with a classic: Colt 45. On to the beer:

Pours clear, light straw colored body, crystal clear body, soapy head on top. The nose isn;t much ot hollar at...some adjuncts and a whiff of can liner. I brace myself for the taste...

It's not too bad, but that cooked corn flavor jumps out on you at first. After that, it mellows out to a tolerable adjucnt lager-like flavor. It's quite clean and the alcohol is untraced. Somewhat dull.

The final contestant in the Brown Paper Bag Invite has shown what it's made of. Now it's time to announce the winner. And the winner is...

Dad's Little Helper!

Some might debate whether the Rogue offering shouldn't take home the prize because it is craft beer. Hey, the name of this invite is Brown Paper Bag, which conjures malt liquor, and the Rogue offering is that. If you don't like it, do your own. Well, time to wrap this up (no pun intended), thanks for watching the Brown Paper Bag Invitational. Good night everyone!

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Photo of Beerislife652854
2.23/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Purchased from a ghetto mart on Dixwell.

A -Yellow with a 1/2" head.

S - Slightly skunked.

T - Corn malt and sickly skunk.

M - Watery light beer-ish.

D - $2.50 per 40 oz, can't really go wrong here.

This is a malt liquor that is cheap and gets the job done.

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Photo of cvstrickland
2.87/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

24-ounce can poured into my Duvel glass yields a sparkling clear body capped with two fingers of bright white foam. The head recedes slowly to a sheet, leaving a webby ring with trailing freckles of lacing on the glass.

The smell of the drink is malty metal, with a bit of fruit and a whiff of DMS.

The taste of the drink is sweet and a bit grainy, with a chilling rush of refrigerant alcohol that settles into a tummy-warming heater in no time flat. Spent-grain sourness rises as the drink warms, as does a bit of wet cardboard.

Light-bodied with good carbonation. If I couldn't smell or taste it, I could drink Colt 45 all day long.

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Photo of IBUnit63
2.33/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 40 (what else?!) into a Red Oak mug. Listening to the extra-long extended live version of "Pick up the Pieces" by Average White Band.

Pours off a eavy bubble-bath foam. Clear, faded apple juice color with sporadic, intermittent (almost timed) carbonation. More bathtub ring than lacing.

Salty, cheap champagne, silage. a little alcohol, some bicarb...and with all that it doesn't smell as bad as it sounds.

Damning with faint praise, it could be wayyy worse. There's some malty sweetness with layered alcohol. Carbonation breaks it up a little bit when warm. More leafy corn silage. Don't let this get warm - throw it back before it gets ugly!

The silage and bitterness from the second cousin of old earthy grassy hops squeezes the mouth a little bit. It's kind of tough on the palate.

I could drink this in a smaller increment but a 40 is way too much. Having said that, for what it is, it really isn't horrible. When it's cold, that is, which means you have about 5 minutes to choke down whatever's in your glass.

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Photo of Tuberoni
4.16/5  rDev +75.5%
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 changeup45
1/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Oh boy... Golden color topped with a white head that fizzles away. Just go ahead and brown bag it and drink from the bottle. Tastes very musty with dust particles, corn and low grade malts. There's decent amount of alcohol in this, especially for the price, but you won't see me getting near this one. Awful.

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Photo of GrimmReaper
2.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This one was made in Canada with an 8%abv,lite pale yellow with small white head and thin lacing.Nose was corn,skunk,some rice maybe and the high alcohol faintly coming thru,Tasted like mashed corn,with some hints of sweets and musty with the alcohol taste finishing off and lingering in the background,medium mouthfeel that left you waiting a while before you really wanted to glug some more,not to my liking.

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Photo of BoSox5902
3.03/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bought a forty of this the other day. when i was younger i would buy this from time to time and it wasn't terrible like other malt liquors i've had. but i had to reassure myself so i turned on Afroman and drank my colt 45. i was pretty pleased with my purchase. it does leave a strange coating in your mouth but it quickly disappears. easy to drink and it gets you drunk what more can you ask for

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Photo of KaiMiller
1.84/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

corny, peppery-fuselly, cidery orchard-fruit aroma. alcoholic. cideriness increases with temperature. no perceivable hop aroma. brilliantly clear, golden-yellow, swiftly-disappearing fine white head. flavour dominated by cidery flavours. opens up to a grainy, dms-laden adjunct flavour. insufficient bittering to carry the alcohol. light, dry, slick mouthfeel. gets foul and chemically in the finish - the fusels and the acetylaldehyde create a nasty flavour as it ends. If I were a 14-yr-old on the street, this would be my choice. UPDATE: As it warmed (it's now the serving temperature for real beer) it ended up getting unbearably fuselly and harsh, which with the acetyl flavours was just thin and vile.

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Photo of kbnooshay
1.82/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured a light urine. Aroma of corn and nothing. The taste is sick and corny malt dick with no hops. The flavor kind of leaves me queasy. Its not quite of chemicals but its nasty. Feel is lightly crisped from the carbonation. Not drinkable unless you are a crackhead that needs a cheap buzz. SICK.

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Photo of Getinthevan
2.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Ah, the legendary Colt Billy Dee Williams says, "Rule #1, Always have plenty of Colt 45 and rule #2 never run out of rule #1"

Appearance is bland, yellow and very average at best. There's noting over-the-top special about it, except it does have quite the carbonation.

Smell is very high in corn and barley. This stuff is very grainy and contains a very overpowering smell right from the bottle that lasts until the last drop.

Taste is average at best. Out of all the malt liquors however, Colt is probably the best, as you get what you pay for. Very corn filled malty liquor that gets the job done with that 6% abv

Mouthfeel is next to nil, as it goes down smooth and quickly. No time spent on this wild ride of a beer.

Drinkability is okay if you're in a pinch or you feel like going cheap. Otherwise, save the money for a much more fulfilling beer.

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Photo of baos
2.95/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

40 oz into Barilla spaghetti sauce jar.

Billy D. is right or I mean Lando Calrissian.

A: Golden straw. nice head retention. lacing here and there.

S: Heavy malt almost an elmers glue smell minus the sweetness.

T: Starts off okay but the aftertaste is what gets me.. Strong metallic.

M: Ahellofalotbetterthan i expected

D: Gimme nother fortee!

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Photo of hwwty4
3.01/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured this beer into my "United We Stand" pint glass. This beer pours a clear straw yellow with just a hint of carbonation that foams up but has no head retention at all. The smell is sweet corn syrup and that's about all. The taste is clean and adjunct-y. The mouthfeel is clean, and crisp with just a hint of booze that is normally really prevalent in cheap malt liquors. This would be a really easy summer drinking brew. Give it to me on a float trip any day.

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Colt 45 Malt Liquor from Pabst Brewing Company
2.37 out of 5 based on 863 ratings.
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