Olympia 95% Malt | Pabst Brewing Company

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Olympia 95% MaltOlympia 95% Malt

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.78%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MNJR on 03-18-2011

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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 58
Photo of Arsenal11
5/5  rDev +48.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drove 35 miles to get this stuff and was it worth it! By far the best American Macro it really needs to be more available.

A-Looks like a good old fashioned Lager
S- Some grains and sweet malts very nice nose for the style
T- Awesome, bready malty goodness as noted in other reviews no off taste whatsoever, this is far better tasting than even PBR or Schlitz
M- Creamy, grainy and smooth taste doesnt last linger to long but thus stuff is the goods.

Find this beer and drink it, you will be suprised how good it is. My new favorite Macro!!!

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Photo of Chaz
3.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant amber-straw in color, topped with a frothy head which is just a shade tanner than off-white. Carbonation is exemplary. Lacing is good -- definitely good for the style.

Pale and crystal malts here, along with an addition of Vienna and Munich or Carapils. Quite bready, somewhat earthy, and with a very minimal hop character. Reminds me of a classic Helles Lager.

A light sweetness and a bit of a sharp hop tang start the palate off on the right track, and a dry, bready character takes over from the midpoint onward. Dry finish, and with an exemplary lingering bitterness -- this is an AAL?

The sweetness here is -again- somewhat reminiscent of a Helles, and never takes center stage much less is overwhelming. Approaches medium bodied which -considering the style- I typically find is true of heavier, boozier AALs, Ice beers and malt liquors, which are almost always sweeter. A very clean beer, good mouthfeel, and with a very minimal adjunct aftertaste.

Overall --and for the style-- Oly 95% is exceptional. 95% malt and 5% adjunct -- very interesting. I've enjoyed two cans over the past two nights, and while it compares favorably to 'classic 1960s / Gusto" recipe Schlitz, I prefer this one : )

This is one of the best pale American lagers I've had in years, and I'd go so far as to call it an exceptional buy (12pack for under $8 after tax). Worth seeking out if you like a nice, easy-drinking mostly-malt pale lager!

Served chilled, in a vintage Olympia Pilsener glass.

Note: Best before: July 04 2011

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Photo of MNJR
3.88/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has the Olympia label, basically, but the color scheme is orange and tan, and it says "All Natural 95% Malt." I can find no reference to this product anywhere on the web. It is a true mystery. I bought a 12-pack at Mandy's Liquor on Lawrence in Chicago, and this is the only place I have ever seen this beer. It tastes very good, and the price is right. Pours a dark lager/amber color, smells clean, and tastes like a solid, medium-priced beer should: crisp and refreshing, with the added benefits of slight spice and round grain flavors expected from a microbrew. I emailed Pabst to find out what is going on here. Stealth test marketing in Chicago? Who benefits from this? This is very odd: a new beer with no advertising, marketing or promotion of any kind suddenly appears out of nowhere at an obscure liquor store in Chicago. Go figure.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Pilsener Glass
TEMP: Chilled to approx 38 degrees (Warmed while drinking)
12oz can

A very brilliant, golden tinged, straw color with light hints of amber. A light shade of off-white colored foam sits on top, two-fingers tall. Retention is okay and leaves a spotty surface film. Lacing is in medium-sized strands and sufficiently sticky.

Loads of grains with some underlying hints of sweetness. Good bready/biscuity notes. Nice burst of lemon zest.

Bready yeast notes. A good dose of malts and some sweetness, as well. Light citrus zing. Light hint of dry earthiness, in the finish....hops, perhaps?
This is actually quite nicely balanced. I'm surprised.

Medium-to-almost-full-bodied describes this one. A high-medium level of carbonation. This has a very crisp and clean taste and mouthfeel.

Okay, I'd gladly drink this one, in a social situation (i.e. House Party, etc.). Between this and Schlitz Gusto, the macros really seem to be upping their adjunct lager game currently.

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Photo of Another6Pack
3.81/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep yellow - almost gold. Huge head on this and I needed two pours to get all 12ozs into a pint glass. Smells like most all other AALs - grassy and sweet.

First taste was a very pleasant surprise. Nice and malty with full body and a nice clean finish. No skunk, no beechwood flavor, none of the other adverse aspects of your typical AAL. I actually enjoyed this one quite a bit, and am looking forward to drinking the rest of the affordable 12 pack over the next couple days.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.8/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm reviewing this beer from abundant "notes" stored in my brain from drinking this stuff off and on all summer.

I usually just drink it straight out of the can, so I have no clear idea what it looks like- but I know it has more color to it than most AALs. You can smell and taste the hops- it has a west coast imprint for sure. It also contains some malt, and has a nice bit of body for an AAL, with just a wee bit o corn mash, along with some pleasant sweet-bitter-sour and a kiss of metal. It's frothy with a good mouth feel. I don't find myself getting burnt out by it to the same degree as other AALs out there.

Oly is actually sort of hard to find around here. Some of the more trendy, cosmopolitan locations have it- the Albertsons in Livingston, the C-store in Montana City, and odd places like the Three Bears in Butte. If this beer was more available, I would drink it even more than I do now (hint hint, marketing people).

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Photo of Duff27
3.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Aggressive pour leaves a three inch tall off-white head on a medium golden/light amber bodied beer. Well above average head retention for the style...spotty lacing.

S- Smells of grain and lemon zest perhaps. Kind of weak.

T- More cereal malts but no off-putting flavors like you find in nearly every adjunct lager, very nice.

M- Crisp, medium mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

D/O- After being warned numerous times how awful this beer was I didn't find it half bad. Absolutely love the can graphic. Very drinkable, would drink again is the moment called for it. Thanks fdkayti for bringing this little gem back from Montana for me!

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Photo of CarefreeT
3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I went to the local liq looking for Olympia (I really do like it), and, Olympia being pretty rare in my neck of the woods, I went to Applejack in Wheat Ridge, Colorado since it's the biggest store near me. Going in I found Olympia to be packaged in orange and tan rather than white and gold as usual. I picked up the carton and examined it making sure it wasn't "light" or "ice" or something strange. I didn't notice anything obviously weird, so I bought it for $8.49 for a 12-pack.

When I got home, I noticed that below the horseshoe it said "95% Malt." Well, I thought, that could only be GOOD! I enthusiastically drank it, and sure enough, it was my original Olympia but with much more body, a bit of bitterness, and a dryer taste throughout with no obvious rice or corn dilution. BUT - I couldn't figure out what this brew might be on the internet - it has no website, no mention at Pabst Brewing Company, no real mention here at Beer Advocate other than the other reviews here asking what it is...it's a phantom brew. I've e-mailed Pabst wondering if it's a viral, below-the-radar shot at returning Olympia to it's former recipe like they've done with Schlitz and Old Style, because it really COULD be what Olympia tasted like in the '60s or before. It's a good beer, it's very cheap, and it's a classic brand name, not to mention it's almost completely a barley-malt brew, making it a good-quality beer for the style.

Anyway, I thought it was medium-bodied, a bit dry, lager-malty, perhaps-lacking-in-hops although with a satisfying bitterness that makes you want another gulp and at a completely reasonable price of $8.49 for 12 cans. This is an old-school American lager at a plenty affordable price with old-school quality. But I know NOTHING about this beer, honestly I don't. I wish Pabst would market this! This is a winner with a truly great recipe that Pabst refuses to market right now, but we can hope it means they intend on a viral marketing kind of spread for it rather than the superliminal marketing of Schlitz and Old Style. I've gone and bought cases of this Olympia 95% Malt just to have on hand in case this is limited. I think it's very good for what it is.

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Photo of bump8628
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$4.80 for a 12-pack at a local ghetto liquor joint...you have to be joking me, this is too good of a deal to pass up.

Clear, deep gold with a seriously impressive head of white, creaminess...hmm.

95% is close to 100% malt and this certainly tastes like it. Clean, with a definite cereal note and a mild general hoppiness to boot.

Better than some of the American craft Blonde Ales out there and a hell of an improvement over most of the American Adjunct Lagers. This just beat out PBR and Schlitz Gusto as the go-to cheap AAL.

Note: This beer was reviewed to style with the price point in mind.

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Photo of Spikester
3.56/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Oly from the 1960s era was a bit too hoppy for my young taste buds. Brewed in Tumwater, Wa. the catch phrase was "It's the Water" and this new can captures all the great label art with some flashier colors. This new version 95% malt is a very good AAL but not quite up to the 1960s version. That could be the haze of 50 years obscuring my vision and tastes. Suffice it to say that the 95% malt version is a big cut above most AALs. The latest versions of OLY do not display the 95% malt any longer and some say it is the same. I had a 24 ounce "Bigfoot" 24 oumce can recently and to me it did not taste special at all. So I guess I will take one for the team and review another Bigfoot can soon. I will soon have a definitive answer for you.
Edit: Still not sure it is the 95% malt but if you drink it ice cold from the can it tastes like the 1960s recipe. Brewed in Milwaukie, WI.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.55/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I don't recall where I first heard about this one, but having enjoy the new Schlitz, I set about to find it. My first stop was Argonaut, and there I picked up a 12 pack for about 9 bucks. Poured a darker than expected golden color with a big white head. Aromas of malt and light hops. On the palate, similar to the regular version, but bigger, maltier and better.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.54/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another CAN from Chaz who deserves a nice return package from me for the gem that he shipped out! Someone recently inquired as to whether I am holding on to my spent CANs and the answer is generally "No" with some exceptions, especially those with cool graphics, like this one.

I have a distinct fondness for Oly, dating back to the mid-1980's when I was a young, (usually) broke punk sailor who loved to frequent Annie Newsome's El 'n' Gee Club in New London, CT. The best night was Oly Night, when CANs were on the cheap, the music was loud and I was having a rockin' good time. I know that it is no longer brewed in Tumwater (I spent a lot of time staring at the label back inna day), but the mere logo speaks volumes to me. I like that they are willing to tweak the recipe to bring something even slightly different to the table. Yeah, I could be a smartass about what CANstitutes the other 5%, but its Oly and it gets a pass from this aging rocker. Anybody know what became of Circe? Was that The Reducers that just took the stage?!?

A nice example of the Crack & Glug resulted in two-plus fingers of thick, rocky bone-white head that held in like a champ, finally falling into nothingness. Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Dang, I wish that I had poured this into a schooner glass, as was the standard. I may have been hallucinating, but I could have sworn that I smelled Saaz hops on the nose. Hey, it's my story and I'm sticking with it. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was maltier than many AALs to which I have subjected myself, but it was not completely unadulterated, either. I got some cereal flavors in there, but still ... better than the standard. Finish was semi-dry, not sweet at all as that grain bill might suggest. The lacing was phenomenal for the style. I would put some in the cooler for both nostalgia purposes as well as the aesthetics of a cool looking CAN.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Best by 7/8/13.

Pours a clear yellow with a foamy white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy latticework of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and some subdued grassy and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a surprising hop presence I am getting in the aroma and flavor.

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Photo of emerge077
3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jamming to Funkadelic's "Freak of the Week" at Millie's, Oly cans for cheap, why the hell not?

Can dated MAR 12 12 on the bottom, so it's in code.

Appears a light shade of gold, fizzy white foam that later ends up as a feeble skim, but the head does last longer than usual for an AAL. Rapid carb trails visible.

Smells grainy and dry, some vague apple, maybe from the yeast.
Tastes malty, mild white bread and apple flavors, crisp and fairly quenching. Light bodied, no discernible off flavors. Not bad for what it is really, a simple utilitarian lager. Simplicity is underrated these days, there's a time and a place for a beer like this.

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Photo of HugePlume
3.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a pint.

Note, this is micategorized, its not malt liquor, its an AAL.

A- A crystal clear golden yellow, topped with a nice thick relatively dense 3 finger head that is slow do dissipate. Some lacing.

S- Benign nose, mostly sweet cereal malt. No yeasty funk.

T- Nice clean crisp cereal malt sweetness, with a tiny bitter kick at the end. To say there was a hop profile would be a lie though. There's something there though.

M- Very drinkable, well carbonated but a very light body.

O- Very drinkable. This is an improvement over the Oly of old that had a peculiar nutty flavor. Has decent taste and a light body. A quality sessionable lager with proper flavor and a body that doesn't feel too light, nor too heavy.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This just showed up in town, best by date on the bottom of the can...Jan 2, 2012.

It pours a hazy orange yellow with a pretty impressive head of foam that seems to have some real staying power. Holy cow, the lacing is outstanding!

The smell is pretty much the usual for malt liquors and American adjunct lagers. Light bitterness, light sweetness, corny, grainy.

The taste is kind of earthy; nondescript bitterness, not much sweetness at all, more of a grainy flavour with, surprisingly, very little character of the corn persuasion. Much better than the Olympia that's been around locally for the past whatever years, but still isn't anything that approaches the heights of say, a Narragansett or a Schlitz Gusto. Still, it's a good effort and for the price, I think I can live with buying some more.

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Photo of LWG1970
3.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Just tried this tonight.

Pours almost orange-yellow

Sweet taste, not bad, and very smooth.

Smells nice and Clean, and improvement over regular Olympia.

Overall, not bad for the price. A lot better than other beers more expensive (You know who you are.)

I noticed they removed the word "Tumwater" on the packaging. Someone told me this is the "NEW" Olympia, and they are not making the old. I got a few cans of the old if somebody wants one for their collection..

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Photo of ARJaeger381
3.35/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had only heard mentions of Olympia, usually referring to the past. So I go to my little corner store tonight, and there it is, Olympia; since I had never even seen it before, the colors didn't throw me off. I grab a 12pack for $8.99 and start chatting with the owner of the store. "Oh yeah," he says, "Oly, we used to sell hundreds of cases of this a week back in the day." He said that back in the 70s, Olympia decided to just stop marketing altogether, to avoid trying to compete with Budweiser. But anyways, on to the beer. For the price, this is a decent beer, nothing special but not terrible either. Its basically a much better Budweiser, Coors or MGD and at a much better price considering that it doesn't have to pay for advertising.

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Photo of TheRealBigC
3.28/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

We all just want cheap beer sometimes. Surprisingly, with Olympia it's like you're not even on a budget. It really isn't that bad of a beer. I mean, you know what you're getting into, but you don't have to cringe every time you take a sip. It's a great alternative to the major American adjunct beers.

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Photo of flexabull
3.21/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My brother likes good beer, but he also likes cheap stuff too (so do I from time to time) so when he came over last night, I went beer shopping, and picked this up for $6 for 12, 50 cents a can!

95% malt, I guess that leaves 5% rice?

Here goes, pours a bright yellow color with a very nice big white head, I see some lacing too. This actually looks good!

Aromas are about non existent. I smell maybe some sugars and minerals, but nothing else. Not bad though.

Taste is much like the nose, hard to find. Taste is pretty clean, some bready flavors, light spice, and a crisp mineral like finish.

Mouthfeel is not bad, fairly full, with good body, smooth too.

Overall, a pretty decent adjunct lager. It lacks aromas and a lot of flavor, but it's refreshing and thirst quenching.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found at Winco, Salem. $7.58 a 12 pack.
Having read the two reviews i was intrested in trying this. I had Olympia a few years back and it was dreadful.
Here goes.
Appearance typical American lager..yellow,clear body small white head..big difference this time was the copious and thick lace.
Aroma, biscuity,papery malts,,with a hint of lemon zest..not offensive
Taste is were this is different from the original..much bigger malt profile,not too sweet though and leaves a noticable bitterness at the end..maybe even a kiss of hops .Way better.
Mouthfeel is also way better..much more substantial.
Overall an average lager really..but thats a huge inmprovment from the Oly i had 4 years ago.
Im guessing this is a reversion to an older recipe..way older.
Nice for the price.

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Photo of McStagger
3.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

From my understanding, all Olympia is now 95% malt. So I'm reviewing it here.

A: Pours a fairly golden color. Moderate to high carbonation. Finger of white head. Rapid dissipation. Can hear the bubbles. Not much in the way of retention. Looks fairly typical.

S: Smells fairly typical, as well. Some small malt bill. Hops are sorta soapy and metallic. Little bit of straw in there. Some adjunct is coming through, but it's not an overpowering mess of cornflakes. Smells clean and straightforwad, if not a little watered down.

T: Light, crispy and easy. Up front is thin malts, transitions into a mild apple/grain that has just some adjunct in it. Hops are much more prevalent on the end. Slightly spicy finish.

M: Light bodied and carbonated like a BMC. My biggest complaint about this beer. Bubbles are vigorous to the point of being seltzer like.

O: I'm not so sure this is the 95% percent after drinking it. Has enough of a corn element to make me wonder.. Still, no "off" flavors and a fairly clean finish. Not a Schlitz by any means, but also 3 dollars cheaper a twelver.

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Photo of Foyle
3.08/5  rDev -8.3%

Poured from 12 oz can into pint glass.
Appearance: pours a thick, frothy white head which gradually recedes leaving mild lacing. Clear, light golden appearance with plenty of streaming carbonation.
Aroma: white bread dough, yeast, maybe a little corn.
Mouthfeel: light bodied and fairly fizzy with a pleasant dry finish.
Flavor: lightly toasted barley malt, yeast roll, corn and some grassy hops in the finish.
Overall: pleasant and easy drinking. Well done to the style

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Photo of industrialswill
3.06/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Anxious to try this new version of a beer I drank 30-40 years ago.
Bright yellow with a thick head.
Smell is faint
The flavor is non-descript. It doesn't have as much flavor as any of the AALs that I usually drink. It's not bad, just nothing special.
This was the last 12 pack on the shelf at the supermarket, so maybe I got to this one a little bit late...?

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Photo of chugalug06
2.95/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Clear yellow with orange tint, lots of white foamy head.

Lots of earthy grains, slight rotten aroma, smells like keystone light.

Light, crisp, slightly buttery, lighter carbonation, wet, refreshing. No bitterness or sweetness. Very balanced and mild.

Highly recommend for a shitty beer; it was $5.09/6pk of 16oz cans. I'm ok with this beer. It's very welcoming and inviting.

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Olympia 95% Malt from Pabst Brewing Company
3.36 out of 5 based on 58 ratings.
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