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Kokanee | Labatt Brewing Company Ltd.

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97 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: 97 | Ratings: 202
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 Kulrak
2.69/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear straw color with white fluffy head that takes a while to fade away, leaving lace on the glass. Smells faintly of yeast, not much else. Tastes .. like very little. Sort of tastes like glacier water. I'm not sure if that's good or what, but since it says it's a 'glacier beer' I'll take it as good. I actually can't think of another beer that has so much....nothing. Mouthfeel is very watery, and a little heavy. All in all, it's very drinkable. More because it has absolutely nothing disagreeable in it than anything else. If you make no statement, nobody can disagree with you.

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Photo of vancurly
2.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm always a bit suspicous of a beer that pours with an excessive fizzing noise. Sometimes means it's a bit old, or it's all CO2 with no body to support the head.

The Kokanee pours with this fizz, a pale yellow to straw colour. The head is there....fleetingly. What a surprise.

Smells fairly ordinary. Macro generic notes - metallic, sulfur, neutral grain.

It's one of these highly attenuated beers... in the "dry" or "ice" style... a drink for standing around the BBQ on a hot day and not paying much attention to what you're consuming.

It's generic, non-descript... maybe some interest in a subtle ginger ale flavour.

Very light body, and crisp finish. Beer-flavoured soda. I'll rate drinkability the highest of the five scores, only because it's very quaffable, and you could easily put five or six away without realising it.

Serves a purpose I suppose, but not one that I have right now.

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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 Orrshow
3.15/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one pours a very filtered looking yellow while retaining a small amount of white head. It looks somewhat the same coming out thirty minutes later.

Smell – A touch of skunk, wet grass, hops, and a touch of malt.

Taste – Tastes grassier than anything. I taste a touch of sweet honey in there with a nice crisp hop finish. It’s very straightforward and simple.

Mouthfeel – Highly carbonated and thin. Not how I like my beer to feel.

Drinkability – This one can be downed like there is no tomorrow. It’s not a beer meant to be savored so it has achieved its goal here.

Kokanee is what I’ll serve my not so adventurous friends. It’s a reliable easy drinking macro which does fine as a refresher on a hot day.

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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 CrazyMike
3.27/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Average golden yellow appearance with a small head. Has a malty corn hop smell.

The taste is very sweet with good hops. A bit thin bodied and watery but it's smooth and clean.

Probably more flavorfull on tap in British Columbia, very mediocre beer but easy to drink and refreshing.

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Photo of variousartists
3.28/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Suprisingly good head. Unexpected for a macro. Nice consistency.

Smell: Not much here. Little of everything. Cascade hops, little malt, and what I think smells slightly like corn.

Taste: Far surpassed my expectations for the style. Nice hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Just average. Not bad but nothing special. Light to medium body. Little overly carbonated.

Drinkability: A great party beer, goes down with a nice crisp bitterness. Very satisfying.

This is a damn fine beer for what it is. Its not going to beat any microbrews, but compared to the other macros this is the best out there.

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Photo of funkengruven
3.29/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up as part of a bunch I haven't feasted on yet.

This particular macro poured a typical yellow with a light and slight uninspired head that leaves a bit of lacing. Smell is also very typical of a macro, a tad metallic, and slightly corny. This stuff however carries with it a flavor that really isn't all that bad. Some grassiness and corn in there but not so much where it's sickly. In fact, this is quite refreshing. This also isn't too hard to drink and goes down quite easily.

It is definitely a macro, but not a bad one.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
2.68/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another typical yellow lager. Pours out to a medium yellow color with a nice foam head of about 1 inch, and calms to about 1/8 of an inch. Minor notes of lace. Medium to medium high levels of carbonation. Aromas are light; some sweet grain and malt. Taste is the epitome of average; corn, malt, grain, a sour metallic finish toward the end. Mouthfeel was bubbly and watery, but otherwise forgettable. Drinkability is averge at best. There's better out there.

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Photo of headlessparrot
3.47/5  rDev +33%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Much like its Alexander Keith brew and Molson's Rickard's imprint, Labatt's goes to a considerable length to distance itself from Kokanee, and thus perhaps increase its appeal as a craft beer (thus, also justifying the higher price). However, Kokanee also isn't a bad beer - if I'm faced with a list of macros as my choices, it will be the first I choose, without a doubt. But let's give it a proper tasting and see how it holds up.

Pours from a brown ISB bottle into my pint glass the fairly standard macro colour. Straw golden, though a bit more noticeable than most macros, and I'm almost convinced I'm seeing faint streaks of copper or ruby. The brew is initially topped by a fairly healthy two fingers of white foam that dies down in a minute or two to a tiny layer - but with a some decent lacing. Very heavily carbonated, as you can tell just from the appearance of the beer. Rather anemic looking, but at least it holds a little head, unlike the major Canadian macros.

Smell is what you'd expect - a faint maltiness, with a very light sprinkling of Pacific Northwest hops that are almost lost in the background. I'm tempted to claim this as an all-malt lager rather than a macro, but there's just the slightest hint of rice and corn (though it could very well be my imagine) to keep me from making that classification. Faintly grassy and fruity, which is more than you can say for most macros, and the suggestion of adjunct is distant enough that im temporarily willing to dismiss it or downplay it considering its subtlety in comparison to 99% of macros.

Taste is crisp and clean. If there's one thing Kokanee does right, it's the water source - it lends itself to this crisp, clean flavour quite well (as for advocates still claiming that some Kokanee is brewed in London, this is a fairly far out claim, considering each bottle exclaims "brewed right here in Creston, B.C." - not even the macros could get away with false advertising to this degree). Beyond the crisp, clean taste, there's a subtle grassiness with hints of green apples, and a bready malt profile that I rather like. Ever so faintly metallic, but also remarkably refreshing. This is a hot summer day pounder for sure, and miles ahead of most other macros.

Mouthfeel actually isn't bad, either. Obviously, it's overcarbonated, as all macro lagers are, but the body is fairly substantial, and feels quite nice sliding down your throat. I'm willing to chalk this up to the water source, or a lack of adjunct, but I can't say for sure.

And drinkability is tremendous. Like most macros, you can tip back quite a few of these and feel just great about it.

There's nothing special about Kokanee, but it's not a bad little macro. Certainly, if Blue or Canadian had tasted this good, I wouldn't have really felt the need to explore and become a Beer Advocate. It's a simple beer with a simple flavour profile. Crisp, clean and refreshing - a great brew that you can drink in a glass or even right from the bottle and not feel to badly about it.

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Photo of atigerlife
2.2/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured a light golden color with a light white head which dissipated quickly. Very clear with small bubbles.

Aroma was very light. Some grainy notes. Not much else.

Taste was like the usual macro lager, but worse. Very thin, very watery, very sweet. Basically, it tasted "fake." Like something concocted in a lab and not a brewery.

Mouthfeel was light and listless, though there was some mild cleansing power.

Overall, just terrible. No character to this beer. Sort of like liquid plastic....never again!

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Photo of elricorico
3.55/5  rDev +36%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ah Kokanee, a staple of my younger days, when I drank beer most often for the alcohol, not the taste. I swore by it then, swore that it tasted better than any of the other major beers.

The beer looks pretty good as far a lagers go, clear golden yellow with a foamy white head that sat at about a finger thick. It has faded to a thin cap, but there is some lacing left behind.

The smell is grainy, with a faint sweet malt base. Has a certain freshness to it that makes it a bit better than the average macro.

While it enters the mouth a bit watery, the beers flavour follows up relatively well. The back half of the mouth gets a grainy and slightly bitter flavour. There is a sweet taste that seems to only enter the mouth after a mouthfull is swallowed. All in all the flavour is light, but certainly inoffensive.

I find that Kokanee has more body than most macro lagers, almost being a tad sticky. The carbonation is what one would expect for a lager, and it does get a bit coarse in the finish.

I wouldn't try to sell any advocates on this beer, though I wouldn't suggest that they avoid it either. This is still what I'll pick if Molson and Labbatt are my choices. Goes down great and makes me think of hot days on the golf course.

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Photo of pootz
2.95/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sampled from a can bought in Ontario: Pour was typical of this Creston-made brew...pale starw color, lightly protein haze, small rocky white cap reduces quickly to a ring that lightly laced the glass.

Aroma is very understated but you can tell from the wisps of biscuity pils malts and light NW noble variety hops that it mimicks a pilsner....etremely delicate aroma.

Body is light.... sharp fluid mouth feel.

Flavor profile is malt pronounced with some noble "hay-like" presence....good balance in a delicate, understated light pilsner....finishes quick, dry, crisp...light biscuit aftertaste...no detectable adjuncts.

I can confirm the Kokanee purchased in the Ontario tastes identical to local BC product. If this beer has one word needed to describe it and explain its popularity it would be "average"..this is a light malt pils that is unoffensive, easy to drink and average in quality and taste.

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Photo of jayc333
3.27/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pale yellow with a quarter-inch white head, which quickly turned into a little bit of lace around the edges. A few bubbles rise to the top. Sub-par looking, even for a Macro.

Smells of sweet malt with some hops. Not bad, but not spectacular either. I'd say average for its style, as I've smelled better and worse.

Tastes pretty bland. Sweet malt again with a hoppy tinge at the end. Not at all complex, but I must admit it's damn clean tasting.

Mouthfeel is probably the best part of this brew. Thicker on the palate than the average Macro, and instead of fizzyness, there's actually good carbonation.

As I stated before, not at all complex, but this stuff is still actually quite drinkable. Good if you just want a "straight out of the bottle" cold one, or a session brew in the Summer.

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Photo of jarmby1711
2.02/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Proclaiming to be a Glacier Beer (whatever that may be ) I elected to serve this one well chilled.(And this being the first time the fire has been cranked up for Autumn).'
Mid gold and midling effervescence an initially foamy head failed to persist far down the glass.
Obviously Glaciers dont smell, as this beer had the faintest of maltiness and that was that.
How sweet can beer be? This had the sweetness of soft drink proportions and also had the same depth of character.It wasnt unpleasant just lacking in character.
The effervescent subdues the sweetness in the mouth but still feels quite watery which I thought was at odds with its taste
It is not refreshing
It is not complicated
It is not to be drunk again

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

This one was on tap at a local tavern, poured into a pint tumbler.

Pours a pale gold color and clear. There was virtually no head, might have been due to the pour. There was quite a bit of carbonation in the beer so I doubt the keg was flat.

The smell is faint, but earthy, sweet and smells like barley malt. The smell is not robust.

The taste is grainy like barley or corn, with a hop finish, and slightly bitter.

Mouth feel is crisp, thin and a little watery.

This is a typical macro, not particularly flavorful or robust. It’s a nice run of the mill mass brewed lager, but nothing special.

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Photo of BDTyre
2.2/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Nasty piss gold colour.

Where was everything? I couldn't detect much of anything in this: scent, flavour, mouthfeel. I haven't had Kokanee for a very long time, and this was handed to me at a dinner, so I had it. I was told it was water and that is pretty much what it tasted like. Very faint trace of corn adjunct, and maybe a bit of something else.

Blah. Bland. Weak. Just easy to drink.

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Photo of Finite
2.65/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Yellow straw not much head no lacing.

Smell: Not to bad, little bit grainy quite unique smell actually but doesn’t really smell to refreshing.

Taste/ Mouthfeel: Different than I expected. I quite smooth and more like a really saturated grain. It was almost like they had poured it through cardboard. I know that sounds harsh but its kinda true. It wasn’t really bad just kinda, OK. Better when really cold I found.

Drinkability/Overall: Average, I wont buy another but I’m sure the Canadian’s love it.

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Photo of 67cuda
3.4/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a standard golden yellow color, with a small white head. Smells like grain and malt, nothing terribly exciting. It tastes better than many other macro lagers, malty with a slightly bitter finish. Not bad, but not exceptional either. The mouthfeel is OK, seemed a bit over-carbonated, and was rather thin overall. This beer is very drinkable, I'm sure I could down many, and it isn't very expensive. I'll stick with Stroh's though, when it comes to macro lager.

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Photo of ozmodium
2.06/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Maybe its the glacier water they use. But there is some funk here that is simply not good.

Pours a standard lager yellow, if a little ememic, pale. Creamy head, no lacing.

Smells really sour, and not much else. Seems like its "missing something"

Taste sort of reminds me of drinking diet pop for some reason. Tastes like beer, looks like beer, just something kind of chemically, funky. The sweetness seems manufactured. This is all brought together by a decent hopiness and a good helping of the funky glacier water. Tastes rather watery.

Feels like you're drinking Perier water. Water + funk = Kokanee.

The only thing this stuff has going for it is the hops and when served cold its pretty refreshing. I'd drink this stuff if i was thirsty and there was no other beer around.

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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 kbub6f
3.23/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

One inch of dense, whiter-than-white meringue. Superclear, shiny, bright gold beer. Nuts! in the nose. Peanuts and dust. Strong. Peanuts and fruit in front, a thinnish, fritzy middle, sourish, tangy-fruity, nutty, dry finish. It's a very nutty, fruity, lagery beer. Not as boring as I remember.

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Photo of Noxious26
3.41/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured in a pint glass.

Clear, pale gold in colour. 1/4 inch white head has big bubbles. Head reduces to a thin skim.

Aroma is typical macro lager, grainy and slightly sour.

Bright and crisp. Sweet malty flavours at the swallow. The sweet flavour is cut by the carbonation and a subtle hop aspect. Grainy and slightly bitter in a mild aftertaste.

Light bodied mouthfeel is smooth and not as fizzy as some macros.

While this isn't going to blow your socks off, it does have a more complex flavour than most macros. This is an easy to drink lager that is one of my regulars.

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Photo of adarby
3.06/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

This is my first beer review, and I must say I love this website (and beer). As for this beer, it has been a preferred inexpensive beer of choice around my house. At a cost of about $10.99 per 12 pack here in Alaska, it works out very well with movie nights and camping trips.

Appearance: I've poured many beers and this one isn't very special, an average translucent golden color.

Smell: The smeel isn't really attractive, it smells like the inside of a beer bottle that has been left out overnight without being rinsed, really bland with a slightly sour smell.

Taste: The taste is fairly good, no disgusting aftertaste which drives some beers to be "chugged". For it's value, it's taste meets my expectations.

Mouthfeel: Served cold, the carbonation can be a bit overwhelming. This beer has a thin consistancy and can "foam up" when you take a drink, this makes me want to swallow it sooner.

Drinkability: Taking into consideration the taste and appearance, this beer is rather impressive for it's cost. In my experiences, you get what you pay for with beer. This one, it's value and taste is made up for with it's less than desireable smell and mouthfeel.

In my honest opinion, this beer is good for parties, get-togethers, camping, and wherever else you would bring beer for others to drink. It's an all around good beer, I would recommend it over a lot of party other favorites.

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Kokanee from Labatt Brewing Company Ltd.
2.61 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
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