Kokanee | Labatt Brewing Company Ltd.

98 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Labatt Brewing Company Ltd.
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Kokanee has been one of B.C.’s best-selling beers for more than ten years and was awarded a Silver medal at the 1996 Brewing Industry International Awards. Brewed using a blend of Pacific Northwest hops, Kokanee delivers a smooth, clean and lightly hopped taste.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-25-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 205
Photo of Sammy
2.35/5  rDev -10%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Serviceable lager, with a light body with a bit of fluffly white head. Light colour, only some metallic taste and refreshing malt flavoured water.Inoffensive mild taste, and scent, even when not ice cold after skiing. Fizzy carbonation. Not bad for Labatt.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
2.84/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

just a beer. on tap at the hockey rink, when lined up next to budlight and coors, id take this beer any day. light lager color with an average head. a little malty sweetness in the taste of an otherwise generic mass produced beer. high drinkability though i guess, and the price was right, but nothing special at all here ladies and gentlemen

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The very definition of straw yellow with abundant, fine-bubbled carbonation rushing up to a blindingly white head of airy froth. Look in the dictionary under 'adjunct lager' and this is what you'll see (assuming that your dictionary has pictures of course). At least the head's lifespan can be measured in minutes rather than seconds. Amazingly enough, some lace actually sticks and is still present when the glass is empty.

The nose consists of untoasted husky grain with the suggestion of sweetness and a little shot of lemon zest. Thankfully, there are no artificial, skunky or off odors. If a macro lager's nose doesn't offend, it's ahead of the game as far as I'm concerned.

The downward slide continues. On the positive side of the ledger, the flavor is mild and the body is light and airy. On the negative side, the beer is just short of unpalatable. It's artificially sweet and tastes like stale grain with a bitterness that bears no resemblance to hops. The lemoniness is gone and in its place is... nothing.

The body/mouthfeel is thin and watery, for which I'm grateful. If the flavor was cranked up a few notches and had more palate permanence, this lager would border on undrinkable. A word to the wise: don't drink it once it warms or, I promise you, you'll be sorry.

Kokanee Glacier Beer isn't a particularly good example of a style that I have a hard time tolerating. Needless to say, the usual caveat applies: drink it ice-cold (glacier-cold, eh) if you must drink it at all.

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Photo of russpowell
2.97/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an effervescent gold/hay color with 3+ fingers of fluffed up pearl colored head. Below average head retention & lacing

S: Corny & a bit lemon hops as this warms

T: Lemony hops, a bit of cereal (corn flakes), honey malt & some grassyness up front. Dryness, honey & cornyness are there as this warms. Finishes crisp, but way too thin

MF: Light & soft bodied with moderate carbonation, balances too sweet

I could do about 2 of these & I'd have to move, way too sweet. Could be worse, just not that tasty

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Photo of WoodBrew
2.84/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brought a can of Kokanee back from Canada. It is typical of most North American beers. Golden clear in color with white head that eventually dissappears...no lacing. The smell and taste are mostly grain with enough hop balance to make it smooth. Mouthfeel tends to be light in body with good carbonation. Overall it is a decent drinkable beer.

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Photo of GClarkage
1.89/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

06/18/05- Had at a party in Montana while on vacation.

Presentation- 12oz can with no dates. Poured into my Duvel tulip....yeah, yeah, what a travesty.

Appearance- Bright golden pour, thick creamy head, but no lacing.

Smell- Funky malt scent, not sure if this is grain or corn or whatever they use. Smells like no glacier I have ever smelled.

Taste- Grainy flavored cardboard. Some hops and malt present, but not a good taste overall.

Mouthfeel- Very very watery. Splash of carbonation to hold it from being just that...flavored glacier water.

Drinkability- On a camping trip or fishing or hunting trip....no other time. Mistake one made by me. Had to try it before saying I hated it though.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.82/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Right now, a "glacier fresh beer" sounds like it would hit the spot. Whether this actually is good or not is another story. 11.5 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

A pale shade of brilliant yellow, if that makes any sense. The creamy white head on top holds up pretty well and surprisingly throws up lots of good lace. The aroma has some cooked cereals and some sulfur. It could be worse.

Off-flavors are minimal, but so in the flavor in general. Light doeses of simple esters and dried grass lead the charge of this Western Canadian beer. Also there's a trace of cereals which linger in the aftertaste. The carbonation level is medium-high, and has a refreshing character. Quite clean overall.

On the bland side of flavor, and also lacking nasty off-flavors so commonly found in macro lager. This would be good to quench any thoughless thirst; that isn't much of a compliment, but better that than nothing.

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Photo of flagmantho
2.65/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: pale, clear, somewhat golden hue. Not bad for the style, though the head is practically nonexistent. Sorry, big K, I'll have to mark you down for that.

Smell: wet grain and water. Not very good, but not actively disgusting like some other beers of the style.

Taste: grainy and even a bit plasticy. That said, there is not much in the way of nasty aftertaste, so I guess that's something. As adjunct lagers go, this is among the least bad.

Mouthfeel: pretty watery with not even much fizz. Not too exciting.

Drinkability: most of my Kokanee consumption revolves around my band's practice nights, during which it provides a valuable source of hydration. It's not terribly good in most respects, but it is pretty darn drinkable.

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Photo of jdhilt
1.51/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a five finger white head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Crystal clear, pale amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Hoppy nose. Starts with a sweet corn/hoppy flavor that reminds you of a beer with adjuncts. Hoppy/metallic finish. $1.05 for a 12oz bottle from Northridge Discount Liquors, Laramie, WY.

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Photo of spinrsx
2.62/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5


Appearance – Clear yellow colour with a small size fizzy white coloured head. There is a below average amount of carbonation showing and there is almost no lacing. The head lasted for around 3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains, bread, corn, malts

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation. I can taste malts and very very light hops mixed with corn. There is also a corn syrup sweetness. The beer ends with a grainy yet slightly sweet aftertaste.

Overall – I used to think this was the 'good stuff' back in my younger days. I think I was being persuaded by their marketing campaign. It's really just another average Canadian macro beer that leaves me no reason to buy it again.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours from 12oz bottle a clear yellow-gold with a 1 finger head of foam that shrinks quickly to a fine broken layer.

The smell is typical for the style with notes of corn and malt and a slight hop pinch.

The taste is of corny malt with a slight bitterness near and through the finish. Nothing offensive here but there are many that I can say that about. Pretty drinkable. There's not much more that I can say about it.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.53/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a golden yellow color. Nose is malty, grainy and nothing to really distinguish this beer. Taste is good but you can immediately tell there is NO CRAFTMANSHIP in this beer much like other macros. Mouthfeel is decent at best but its an average mcro lager, if flows smooth and has little to no after taste.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.38/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pale straw yellow color. Poured a stark white wispy head. Decanted continually. No lacing.

S: Faint sweetness and a little grass. Not much in the nose at all.

T: Muted malt character. Sweet corn adjunct. Crisp, dry and light.

M: Very light body. Ample carbonation. Crisp and dry; very clean by the finish.

D: Very easy to drink. Just not much in the nose and so muted.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.43/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Fizzy yellow pour, average lace, head. Retention was blah. Aroma was that canned food smell with a light sprinkling of corn syrup.

Bland taste. Lots of water and fractional sugars. Still kinda expensive when you find it anymore. Its Canadian AAL beer. And it delivers on that end, it is what it is.

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Photo of Viggo
2.85/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Have had this many times but never reviewed.

Pours a clear amber/yellow, fluffy white head, settles pretty quick, some lace spots but generally dies pretty quick. Smell is typical, sweet corn, some caramel, bread, citrus, bit of floral. Taste is sweet and corny, honey, citrus and some floral, bit of yeasty bread in the finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation. Pretty average for the style, I grew up with it so it has a painful soft spot in me.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.28/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Yellow pour, white head, a decent amount of lace for a fizzy yellow beer, but nonetheless, still uninspired. Corn and egg smell. And not in the good breakfast way.

Taste, again, uninspired, just blandness, far from the worst AAL, but being middle of the road for this style is usually pretty bad regardless. Mild corn flavor, sugar water, thin mouthfeel, non existant hops, tons of carbonation. A pretty watery experience, which is good, because non of the off aroma stuff came into the taste.

The most intriguing aspect of this beer was where I found it. In the mexican food store on the southside of Milwaukee. Its like, all these central american lagers, and then bam, kokanee for $7.99 a 6pack. Why the price is that high, I have no idea, no marketing, no advertisements, no ingredients = a price slightly higher than the everyday price for SNPA?

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Photo of ZAP
3.03/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sweet corny aroma....Husky graininess on the taste....I've found most Canadien lagers to be a little more fuller bodied and harsher feeling than their American macro counterparts but not this one...lighter bodied...an interesting lemony taste to this too....kind of refreshing I guess...certainly a little different tasting than Molson Canadien or Labatt Blue or even Moosehead...looks decent...clean crisp light golden color wit ha nice creamy white head ...

I've had worse...I've had better...I won't buy again...

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Photo of andrenaline
2.98/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a very light golden colour. Carbonation is barely visible with next to no head. Some very faint lacing remains.

S - Bready malts and corn. Much like a pilsner, and a very light scent of alcohol on the finish.

T - Sweet corn and bready malts, just like the scent. Finishes very dry, and leaves a slight bitterness on the tongue.

M - Very light and goes down smooth. If they've got one thing right it's how this one goes down.

D - Not my favourite domestic mass produced beer, but I would never turn down a cold one on a hot day. Perfect beer for camping or for those sessions where you're looking to have something refreshing with no real strong flavours.

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Photo of KarlHungus
1.43/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This beer pours a pale straw color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma is of corn,and not much else. The taste is even stronger than the aroma is the adjunct department. The mouthfeel is thin, and watery. Overall, this beer is a drain pour.

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Photo of RoyalT
1.82/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Appearance – Light yellow in color with a foamy white head that poured big and laced the glass.

Smell – Stale grain with no sweetness noticeable. The only fresh thing in this glass was a baby skunk.

Taste – I got a little bit of sucrose in the taste, but the nasty grain showed up as well along with some funky kind of hop flavor. This was almost as bad as Heiny-in-a-can.

Mouthfeel – Very light and thin, which was disappointing.

Drinkability – I barely got this one down. They should have left this one on top of the glacier

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
1.62/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Presentation: After half a days short notice travel and then another half day spent crawling around inside a very hot and incredibly humid Steam Surface Condenser at the Calgary Energy Centre (proper spelling note!) I was knackered and needed a beer as soon as I got back to the Hotel at 8pm. Even before heading for a Shower and a change of clothes I elected for a “dust-buster” at the Hotel Bar. The waitress got me one of these before I had come to my senses.

Appearance: Oh dear, my sweat has more color and character than this. Pale yellow fizzy water with a big head that soon fades away.

Nose: It’s just like Michael Jackson’s - one minute it’s there, the next minute it falls off to reveal an awful freaky mess. Boiled cabbage mixed with some soaked oats.

Taste: I tried to find some, I failed, guess it must be buried under all the ice from the Glacier. Synthetic like grain mixed with water. Insipid at times. Quite awful. Tasted like a bargain basement, cheaply brewed 3% Supermarket lager.

Mouthfeel: So thin, it’s almost anorexic. Well this never touched the sides, and helped me replenish some bodily fluids that I lost earlier in the day, mainly my urine.

Drinkability: Well it quenched a thirst – but not my need for a beer !?! What a mistake, I should have just drunk from my Shower Head instead.

Overall: Awarded a Silver medal at the 1996 Brewing Industry International Awards, presumably no-one else bothered to turn up and the water from the Flower Vase got the Gold. Like sucking on an ice Popsicle, just hope that you get the bottle that uses the bit of the Glacier that the Polar Bears pissed on – it will hopefully add some flavor.

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Photo of Reidrover
2.91/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 1 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ok 5 th and last of my lager tasteing foray..and thank goodness its over..that Guiness Extra Stout sure is looking good at this point.
Ok Kokanee comes in a brown long neck with a pic. of some snowy mountains on the label..it is apparentlly a "Glacier beer" ..mmmm ok.
Have to say this has to be one of the very worst beers I have seen as far as appearance goes a horrible urine yellow with very little head ,..disgusting to look at.
The aroma howver is not quite so bad..just bland like all macros.
Have to say though the taste is actually quite pleasant..i get some nice malt undertones ..with some nice biscuit and butter tones.. and some bitterness..some hops mayhap?
Its pretty average lager on the tongue though.
Average drinkablity.
This is an odd lager indeed in appearance its horrid but it tastes pretty good..another one to be drank straight out of the bottle.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.2/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This has become the session beer of choice at my new girlfriends
apartment and I must say this is a decent Canadian lager that offends no one. The finish is slightly sweet but with a decent aftertaste. I like this beer better than Canadian, Blue and many other of the lawnmower ilk. If you are in BC give this lager a try as it isn't half bad

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Photo of tgbljb
3/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

gift of a friend from Canada. Poured a pale yellow color with white head. Smell is not imprerssive with only a slight sweetness. Taste follows through, while not being unpleasant, there is nothing to get excited about either. same for mouth feel. Average across the board.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
2.92/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was once a go to beer before I began my journey in beer advocacy, lets see how its stands up today...
A - light straw golden, short white head dissipated to quickly to a thin covering
S - grassy, grainy, and metallic mustiness
T - corn and grainy malt flavours with faint hint of leafy hops, but its generally watery and mild
M - light and and watery, a slight dryness on the finish, easily chuggable but not much character
O - it is what it is, a mass produced american lager competing for a market that does not reward risks but rather light flavour and drinkability, it achieves those goals but not much else, although when push comes to shove I will always order a Kokanee over Bud, Canadian, Coors, and the rest

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Kokanee from Labatt Brewing Company Ltd.
2.61 out of 5 based on 205 ratings.
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