Champale Golden
Pabst Brewing Company

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American Malt Liquor
Ranked #69
Ranked #48,300
1.91 | pDev: 47.12%
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States
Notes: Celebrate tonight with Champale... a finely brewed and unique malt beverage in a class of its own.
View: Beers
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 23 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BerthaNelson
1.25/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25

What made the company change , Golden Champale from the green bottles, to the clear bottles. That was the worst thing you could have done!!!!! I was a loyal Champale drinker. The clear bottles, don't have the quality, that the green bottles presented. I know others that have stop drinking it also. The clear bottles , taste like sugar water. What a let down!!! So I am contacting you, wondering is it possible, to order the Golden Champale (original ) in the green bottles. You should really consider , putting them in the green bottles. I know for some reason the color of those bottles, make a difference. Take a survey among your Champale drinkers, and see what you come up with .

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Photo of superspak
3.72/5  rDev +94.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

24 ounce bottle into lager glass, bottled on 7/23/2018. Pours crystal clear pale golden yellow color with a foamy soda off white head with poor retention, that reduces to a nothing very quickly. No glass lacing, fair amount of streaming carbonation, and clinging bubbles on the glass. Okay appearance. Aromas of white grape juice, roses, wine, cracker, corn, white bread, white sugar, and light herbal/grassy hops. Nice aromas with good balance of grapes/wine flavors, pale malt, sugar, and slight herbal hop notes; with good strength. Taste of big white grape juice, roses, wine, cracker, corn, white bread, white sugar, and light herbal/grassy hops. Mild herbal/grassy bitterness, and grape tang/tartness on the finish. Lingering notes of white grape juice, roses, wine, cracker, corn, white bread, white sugar, and light herbal/grassy hop notes of the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness and balance of grapes/wine flavors, pale malt, sugar, and slight herbal hop flavors; with a solid malt/bitter/tartness balance, and no cloying flavors after the finish. Very crisp/clean finishing. Light-moderate increasing dryness from lingering bitter/tartness and carbonation. High carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth, fairly grainy, and lightly syrupy/acidic/tangy balanced mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 5.4%. Overall this is a very tasty flavored malt liquor. All around nice robustness and balance of grapes/wine flavors, pale malt, sugar, and slight herbal hop flavors; very smooth, crisp, clean, and refreshing to drink. Very flavorful and not watery for the ABV. Not overly sweet from crisp carbonated dryness. Tastes like a wine cooler more than a malt liquor, but I rate on enjoyment for weird stuff like this. They did really well for whatever they were going for on the champagne-like flavor profile. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of OldSchoolMike
1.5/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Something that should have never existed, though I guess there is a limited marked. Tried it, in fancy bottles, in Indianapolis once. Beer should be beer flavored. Period.

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Photo of mynie
3.1/5  rDev +62.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Finding this was the brightest bright spot in my recent hellish roadtrip to Savannah, GA. Been looking for it for years, ever since I was little and my uncle would regale me with tails of a mystical beverage, marketed to the very poor, that was part malt liquor and part champagne.

I was expecting something awful--along the lines of the mythical Meister Brau, which I still haven't found--is surprisingly pretty okay. Not just a regular malternative–you can pick up definite nodes of champagne yeast, along with big nodes of artificial grape flavoring that taste not like dimetapp but like actual grape, only artificial.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3/5  rDev +57.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I originally entered Champale Golden and Pink Champale on beeradvocate years ago and the bros turned it down, saying something like "no way dude" because I'd mentioned it was flavored with grape. I think I said something in my review that offended them along the lines of "historically, it was the first malternative", but the truth remains that it was, and still is - if you can find it (it's production is limited now).

Champale Malt Liquor, starting with "Dry Champale" in 1939, was, in fact, advertised as a "flavored malt beverage" back in the '60's.

More importantly, my review also gave a quick history of the brew, noting that it was brewed in Trenton, NJ, and that it helped save brewing in the area by allowing other "dying" brands to stay alive. Additionally, it was marketed directly to African Americans as a "poor man's champagne", which was somewhat unusual at the time, and still retains a high level of interest.

So what's it like? Golden. Clear. Highly carbonated. Fruity and sweet with notes of grape. That's about it. I wouldn't call it balanced, but I really wouldn't call it "cloying" either. It's an interesting and unusual beer that also has a lot of history behind it. If you can find it, you should try it just to see what it's all about.

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Photo of emerge077
2.4/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Unearthed from a dank cooler in a run-down liquor store in Wood River IL, outside of St. Louis. "Celebrate tonight with Champale... a finely brewed and unique flavored malt beverage in a class of its own." Clear 24 oz. bottle, neck stamped 120610.

Into a large mug, it sizzles with lively carbonation, but not really enough to emulate champagne. Anemic pale gold color, with a finger of white foam that rapidly fades to a thin ring around the sides.

Smells like 7-up and white grape juice, definitely artificially sweetened. Tastes and feels very similar to 7-up... fake lemon lime, sweet, bubbly, astringent. There's a undercurrent of swill in the aftertaste, along with a chalky smarties candy sweetness. I'm getting flashbacks to college, drinking Tequiza, Mike's, and similar artificially fruity alcopops. Doesn't really come across as a Malt Liquor with all the sweetener and "flavoring" dumped in. Four Loko and the like have gotta be edging Champale off the market...

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Photo of alabencki
3.74/5  rDev +95.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The "champagne on a beer budget". "Live a little on very little". Slogans of Champale that have been used through the years.

Poured from the 24oz bottle into a champagne flute. It foams up with a "champagne like" head that foams fast and vanishes almost immediately. Very bubbly like champagne and has the color of champagne.

Smells of white grape juice and hints of pale malts.

Taste is that of a cheap champagne, but champagne nonetheless... White grapes with some tiny maltyness.

Very effervescent malt liquor. I found it to be quite good, and if I ever need champagne, I may just buy this for $2 a bottle instead of the real stuff. Quite good and quite different. It's a little hard to find but if you find it i'd recommend trying it simply because it's different.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.52/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to vacax and jerz for bringing this one to our tasting this weekend.

A: The pour is a very pale yellow color with a thin layer of white foam on top, but plenty of bubbles coming up from the bottom of my glass.

S: The nose is incredibly sweet, and fruity. I pick up a lot of peaches and some mild grain sweetness as well.

T: Surprisingly, the flavor is actually decent. It's almost soda like due to the sweetness and the high level of carbonation. The champagne aspect of the beer is amusing at best, but it does add a little something different to a normally awful style.

M: As previously mentioned this beer is incredibly effervescent. Although the body is quite thin, the carbonation and cold temperature make this one quite crisp and refreshing.

D: I'm not one that normally likes the overly sugary beers, but I must say, this one was really not too terrible.

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Photo of vacax
1.37/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I was at a stop light today in the ghetto of Long Beach and I felt a calling inside the barred up liquor store on the corner. Cautiously I swerved into the parking lot and after talking to a cognac saleswoman and an odd man perched on top a cardboard box in the corner, a golden beacon of light glimmered in the corner of my eye. I turned and was greeted by the majesty of Champale Golden. I was stunned, immediately knowing I had found a pearl on a dirty street corner. Not only that, but they had two bottles to choose from of a surely glorious beer I had never seen before. After picking up a Camo Black Ice (another great find) I returned home.

My brother, needing to celebrate several strokes of good fortune in his career, was there and I had the most choice beverage for such an occasion. I knew this because of the text on the bottle: "Celebrate tonight with Champale... a finely brewed and unique flavored malt beverage of a class in its own. Indeed, my previous belief I had already tasted the champagne of beers was so far off I suddenly found it preposterous... this is the ultimate champagne of beers, it has to be--it is a malt liquor flavored as champagne.

The pour was a pale gold, not creating much head actually, but with a vigorous pour I netted a decent sized crown of foam with some decent retention and a couple bits of lacing. The aroma verifies that this beer is in a class of its own. The smell is somewhere between malt liquor and wine vinegar with a cup of sugar added to cover up the vinegar. Yes, it has artificial flavors, but the bottle assures me the colors are certified. Despite being only 5.4% it is slightly boozy on the nose.

The flavor is equally impressive. There is enough sweetness here that I genuinely have to wonder if this has been spiked with generous doses of high fructose corn syrup. There is no malt bill I can imagine here. There is some tangy tartness here, a bit of sour grape. It may look pale, but this is just as sugary as the modern day energy drink malt liquors despite this being a rather historical style. Sweet, uniquely tangy finish that is fairly distasteful. The body is light, but heavier than many of today's light lagers. Carbonation level is actually fairly pleasant, not too high, though honestly who knows how long this stuff has been sitting on the shelf.

Tangy grapey beer with cloying levels of sweetness, not a very nice beer, but I can't help but be a little amused by it.

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Photo of youngleo
1.47/5  rDev -23%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured to a two fingered head that disappeared as fast as it came. Very minimal lacing. Was very golden in color. Head had a slight pinkish tint. Smelled very sweet and of apples. Also smelled hints of alcohol. Tasted sweet and also of apples. Felt like I was drinking carbonated apple juice. Felt very thin in the mouth. Carbonation wasnt as bad as I thought it was going to be. This would probably make a good womans drink because of its sweetness. This was suppose to be a malt beverage. I dont know how it could be classified as a beer. Not one time did it remind me of a beer. Perhaps a wine cooler would be more accurate.

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Photo of dustylong
1.18/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a very clear, pale yellow color with a quickly dissipating head leaving no lacing (poured from a bottle into a flute). Supposed to taste like champagne, and it does..disgusting champagne. Has an overly sweet champagne smell and taste. This is supposed to be a beer (malt liquor actually), but it doesn't even try to be beer. Very, very light body with a lot of carbonation. Overall, a pretty gross beer...I doubt I'll even finish the 24 oz. bottle. Do not drink this should not be legally available.

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Champale Golden from Pabst Brewing Company
Beer rating: 59 out of 100 with 23 ratings