Carling Black Label | South African Breweries plc

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Carling Black LabelCarling Black Label
42 Ratings
Carling Black LabelCarling Black Label

Brewed by:
South African Breweries plc
South Africa

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-07-2002

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by AKBelgianBeast:
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
2.82/5  rDev +11%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My PH's favorite go to brew. And Props to Wild Footprint Safari's for a fantastic hunt, and a steady supply of beer throughout! Pours fizzy yellow gold with alot of PBR type nose. Typical cheaper macro lager flavor, but not as bad as many of our american travesties. Lawnmower chugger.

 285 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of jazzyjeff13
1.94/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A 440ml can with no BB date. This was given to me back in December by a friend visiting from SA. Not sure if it has any connection to the UK version of Carling - this one is produced by SAB Miller.

Poured into a straight pint glass. A clear pale straw colour with plenty of fine carbonation. Forms a brilliant white head of foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a surface layer. Aroma of ultra-light malt with an unpleasant sweetness, followed by notes of stale corn, stewed veg and a sulphurous background hint. Gross.

Tastes of weak, watery malt with a corn-like sweetness. Notes of overcooked veg and stewed hops. An acrid staleness and a hint of solvent in the background. Mouthfeel is light and watery, with prickly carbonation. Quite dry. Aftertaste of sweet stewed veg/corn.

Vile. I haven't rated many of the African lagers that I've tried particularly highly, but this really scrapes the barrel. The taste and aroma are disgusting, and the mouthfeel is weak. The only thing going for it is that it looks quite nice. I'm not sure I'd want to drink this even if I were dying of thirst under the relentless African sun - avoid.

 1,150 characters

Photo of rastaman
1.13/5  rDev -55.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Pretty awful stuff, sweetish start, not much hop or malt, lots of chemicals in the finish, and very bland and watery, extremely thin body, pretty horrible stuff.

 161 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
2.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of BigAl18
1.8/5  rDev -29.1%

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
1.48/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Whatever happened to Mabel? Anyways, this is just a terrible tasting beer. There is no taste of hops, kind of sweet. I am basing my review on the American (Canadian?) version. I never met a steady drinker of this swill.

 219 characters

Photo of eye2
1/5  rDev -60.6%

Photo of akorsak
2.26/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A 12 oz bottle with a twist off cap that my sister brought home from a recent visit to South Africa.

A: The lager is pale and yellow, looking almost lifeless save for a steady stream of carbonation. The head neared one finger on pour and has slowly whittled away to a small white patch atop the beer.

S: The nose has a strong adjunct sweetness, some creamed corn and sugar (not candi, mind you).

T: The start of the sip lacks any characteristics beyond fizzy, no flavors register at all. Only as the sip passes into its latter stages does a sweet graininees emerge. The grains are quite thin, adding hints of sweetness that are poorly defined, spicing the tastebuds up a bit before vanishing. The lasting finish is a sickly sweet adjunct one.

M: The mouthfeel is bland and dull throughout, failing to rise beyond the yellow fizzy bar.

D: The abv is quite moderate but because the lager lacks significant flavor, you are better off drinking lemonade.

 964 characters

Photo of Basoos1
3/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of bca115
2.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of Waymore
2.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of FLBeerGuy
2.5/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of PrendUnVerreDeBiere
2.12/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of BierBliss
2.28/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of rex_4539
2.71/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

L: Clear golden color, no head, no lacing, light carbonation.

S: Smells like...lager.

T: Better than I expected actually. Decent lager.

F: Light bodied and smooth.

O: No as bad it sounds. Drinkable but then again, why would you want to drink this one when there are so many amazing beers out there?

 302 characters

Photo of BeerCon5
3.21/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear pale yellow color with a decent amount of white head.

Scent is of grains, not much else.

The tast is again dominant of grains, also a little sweet.

Light bodied, crisp and kind of watery, good carbonation.

Very easy to drink, not a bad beer, just not that interesting.

 286 characters

Photo of KeithE
2.67/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Bobhoya
2.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of sd123
2.5/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of TheBrewo
2.8/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

We pour a brew of golden yellow. It holds a half finger high white head which leaves minimal lacing around the glass as it quickly recedes. There is no sediment or haze noted and carbonation appears standard. The nose opens with pale malts and other adjuncty grain. These peak with sweetness, offering forward some faint esters to ride on. Hops are lacking, but a smooth leather flavor emanating from the yeast used provides a soft edge. As we sip, bitter grain hits up front. This sensation is given from the grain itself, along with a cutting metallic punch. Moving through the middle gives soapy flavoring and a faint toast of grain, with faint alcohols wafting up to actually sweeten the palate. The finish is watered-down, offering more faint grain and sour bitterness of unidentifiable adjuncts. The aftertaste breathes hollowly of floury grain, ethanol, and general bitterness. The carbonation is high and the body is light. The feel to each sip is incredibly watery and light, with virtually no froth, cream, or smack. Thin overall. The mouth is left neither dried nor coated, but rather prickled from the big carbonation. The abv is appropriate and the beer drinks decently.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the aroma. It was soft and estery, and particularly inviting for an adjunct lager. With the flavoring, however, came a watery beer with little to hold it up. There were big metallics, and a bizarre acidity, as if fresh tomato juice had been squeezed into the bottles. The beer lost further points with the over-the-top carbonation, placing this guy somewhere in the middle for the style.

 1,622 characters

Photo of IrishRedRock
3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on tap in England...I haven't heard it called Carling Black Label in quite a long time, but I assume it is the same beer anyway. I also thought it was brewed in Canada or the UK. Anyway, a decent lager. Average all the way. Nothing special, but nothing to jump out at you either.

 288 characters

Photo of fizzyted
2.5/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of bark
3.13/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The colour is pale yellow, the head is three finger high airy and white.

The smell is malty with sweet notes. Some bitter notes.

The taste is light with some bitter flavours. Some metal, white loaf and beef stock in the aftertaste.

The carbonation is fresh, small bubbles. The liquid is a bit smooth.

Well, that doesn't sound that impressive. But this is one of the better beers I had in South Africa. Gulpable with some character.

 438 characters

Photo of snitsky
5/5  rDev +96.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The second best cheap beer out there besides Coors Banquet. Just an easy drinking beer that has a good taste. Goes down smooth with no nasty bitter taste or nasty aftertaste. I have tried lots of cheap beers for around the same price that were awful. Very hard to drink because of the taste. Where I live I can get a 12 pack for $7 to 9 usually around $8. However its hard to find and only comes in cans. Other people on here have gotten it in glass. Its also great (for me) to bring to parties because the majority of people don't know what it is, won't drink it, and it tastes good (to me). Its one of my go to beers if I can find it in the store.

 649 characters

Photo of spycow
2/5  rDev -21.3%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Carling Black Label from South African Breweries plc
Beer rating: 2.54 out of 5 with 42 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.