Kokanee Glacier Beer | Columbia Brewery

47 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Kokanee Glacier BeerKokanee Glacier Beer

Brewed by:
Columbia Brewery
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by riversider76 on 03-30-2008

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 166
Photo of ZAP
1.33/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

One of the worst Canadien beers I have had. It has a watery, seltzer like mouthfeel that is really hard to get beyond....Aromoa is husky and grainy but the flavor is really lacking...very light tasting and what taste there is features a cheapish Red, White and Blue or generic beer of the 70's element.

I like a Moosehead from time to time and can enjoy a Molson Candadien or Labatt Blue in the right circumstances but this is one beer I cannot enjoy. Not recommended...brewerd by Labatt I think....reminds me of 1/3 labatt Blue and 2/3 water...I'd much rather drink many of the American Macro lights than this one and this isn't even supposed to be a light beer.

 664 characters

Photo of KeefD
1.94/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The palest yellow I've seen from a macro with a two finger white head and pretty decent looking lacing. Appearance score would be lower if it weren't for the good foam. Slightly floral in the nose, a bit of honey, but really nothing there. Pretty same for the taste. Water mixed with light corn and barley. Very clean crisp, goes down easy. I could drink quite of few in these in one sitting, but why would I want to?

 417 characters

Photo of Scrylol
1.97/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice yellow-golden color, 1.5 finger head, decent retention, and lot's of lacing. Lot's of bubbles.

Bit of grain on the smell, some sort of metallic smell, and lot's of skunkiness, more than other beers of the same style (like Coors for example).

Lot's of grain, touch of skunk, and quite a bit of metallic water in the taste. No real hint of hops, and there's an ever so slight sweetness to it.

Decent carbonation, goes down real easy and smooth.

Probably something you can drink at a party or as a lawn mower beer, otherwise not much to say for this beer.

 569 characters

Photo of biboergosum
2.03/5  rDev -28%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

355ml can. I loved the commercials for this stuff back in the 90's. "We're out here, and the beer is in there!" "Hi, I'm Kelly, and this is my friend, Mike". Mmmm...Kelly...but I digress.

This beer pours a crystal clear pale golden straw "colour", with lots of thinly foamy, and soapy off-white head, which disappears a lot quicker than this stuff seems to out of the ski lodge fridge, and leaves some chunky tree-top lace around the glass in the process.

It smells of pithy grainy adjunct malt, strained overcooked vegetables, and an acetone skunkiness. The taste is astringent, sour rice and corn, with more cooked veggies, wet metal, and a hollow echo of any hoppiness that might have been.

The carbonation is all right, soft in its bearing, not that it much matters in this case, only that it doesn't make things worse, I guess, the body on the light and watery side, and well smooth in the same sense. There is a bitter aftertaste, unrelated to any hops that I've ever tasted, and the carbonation finally makes an unwelcome appearance after the fact, just in time to make my stomach feel as bad as my taste buds do.

Not the worst of the Great Canadian macrolager hegemony, but then it really is hard to tell without trying them all at once - what fresh hell that would be! Oh - and the Kokanee Ranger? Good freaking riddance.

 1,335 characters

Photo of BeardedBoffin
2.11/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The beer pours a yellowy mix with a wispy head. The aroma portends some unpleasantness to come. The adjunct dominates along with some overall skunkiness. More of the same on the palate. It is hard to stay positive with this one--I had trouble finishing it.

 256 characters

Photo of womencantsail
2.19/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The pour is the appropriate pale yellow color with a short lived, but voluminous white head. An extremely powerful skunk aroma to this. A fair amount of grass along with some lemon, yeast, and sulfur. The flavor is mostly just sweet cereal notes with a bit of rice. Quite a bit of grass, lemon, and tons of skunkiness to go along with it all.

 342 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pale maize beneath an ivory colored cap that reached four fingers following a vigorous pour. The crown actually looks pretty good and is lasting much longer than expected. Since beer of this style is almost always light amber, head and lace usually end up determining the appearance score. It's hard to find much fault with the look.

The aroma isn't too bad, considering. Sure, it's grain-like, but there's nothing offensive about it. It smells fresh and lightly sweet, almost like a cream ale. For what it's worth, Columbia calls KGB a 'Pilsner Style Lager'. No one really expects a brewery to call their beer an American adjunct lager, do they? Especially if they're Canadian, eh.

Things begin to fall apart when beer hits buds. Kokanee becomes much more grainy and has a harsh, ragged sort of hoppiness. Don't these guys know that most people don't like bitterness and 'aftertaste'? They must be doing something right, though, because this little lager is hailed as 'British Columbia's most popular beer'. And we all know that popularity is the same thing as quality, right?

This is the sort of offering that should be kept as cold as possible (while maintaining the liquid state). I start most low-ABV beer out at 45-50 degrees when I review and a nasty quality is already starting to creep in. The final two-thirds of the can will be a chore to drink. I'd like to suggest more malt sweetness and less hop bitterness. Or better quality hops.

The body/mouthfeel is close to watery leading up to the finish, then frankly watery on the finish. While it seemed acceptably bubbled initially, the carbonation has now lost interest. Truthfully, so have I.

The fact that Kokanee Glacier Beer is the best selling beer in British Columbia makes about as much sense as Budweiser being the best selling beer in America. Bottom line: this is drinkable in a pinch, but I hope I'm never in that much of a pinch.

 1,905 characters

Photo of thisismyname
2.38/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This is one of my go-to beers if I'm going to a party... Not really expecting much, but here goes nothing.

Poured from 2 cans into a giant frosted mug.

Pours a crystal clear bright golden piss colour. A huge white head is present at first and promptly vanishes, leaving the odd speckle of lace here and there. Looks like most other macro lagers you can get.

Doesn't smell like much. Mostly of corn and musty alcohol.
Tastes very VERY light, almost like beer-flavoured water. Not many flavours are distinguishable when the beer is ice cold (which is probably the idea) but once it warms up a bit, corn, a touch of sweet malt, and lots of metal make their way onto the palate. Still tastes better than most macro lagers though.

The first couple sips almost burn your tongue, there is so much carbonation. It has the consistency of club soda.

Overall it's not worth thinking twice about buying. That being said, I personally prefer this to Bud, Molson Canadian, Coors, and what not.

 984 characters

Photo of Knapp85
2.38/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Given to me as a gift, a good gesture for sure but the beer itself was a bit on the blah side. Poured out as a pale yellow color with bubbles rising to the top and some foam on top. The head fades and doesn't leave any lacing at all. The smell of the beer was a little skunked... Not the best aroma here at all. The taste of this was a little bitter but had flavors of corn, and some other grains. The mouthfeel is like a club soda. Overall I'm happy that it was a gift and I didn't pay for it.

 494 characters

Photo of Thepumpkinpiper
2.41/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

An utterly average beer in many respects, yet it was my favourite back when I was 19-21. Back in the day, nothing beat an ice-cold Kokanee served in a frosted glass...don't know why, but served that way, it's everything one could ever want in a refreshing lager.

Look: Standard lager appearance. Pale-yellow, minimal head.

Smell: Smells like any other lager really. Some corn.

Taste: Compared to the other cheap lagers I've had, it is more bitter and Pilsner-y than Budweiser, not as grainy as Canadian. Kind of a watered-down pilsner flavour, slight bitterness, grain.

Feel: Light, lots of carbonation. Nothing unexpected.

Overall, it's nothing special, but in my opinion it's a better choice than many other equivalent lagers out there. Beats Lucky by a long-shot.

Kokanee, thanks for the memories.

 807 characters

Photo of LittleDon
2.45/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a pilsner at a Chinese restaurant in Vancouver, BC. Straw colored with a bleached white head with some retention. No lace. A bit of honey sweetness in the aroma but nothing more. Lightly hopped front and nothing in the middle and back, waterlike. Very, very clean. Too clean. Thin mouthfeel. Better than most adjunct lagers, but not terribly interesting as beers go.

 376 characters

Photo of Converge
2.49/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

355ml can poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours with just over a finger of fizzy, bone-white head with surprisingly decent retention. Very clean, light golden yellow. Looks like apple juice.

S - Adjunct grains with a touch of sweetness. Pretty boring.

T - Simple lager taste as expected. Light cereal sweetness with adjunct grains. Not a lot to say...

M - Well carbonated, but the body feels very thin and watery; atleast it's refreshing though.

D - It's a fairly boring lager, as expected. I don't hate it, but it's nothing special at all.

 543 characters

Photo of DCon
2.53/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed a 11.5 FL. OZ. - 340 ML bottle of this @ a friend’s house in Yakima, WA. Poured from the Blue/White Glazier labeled bottle into a 16oz Pint Glass. Has F05G21 on the front of the label (hardly visible) but doesn’t seem like a sign of a best by date...

Aroma- Almost no aroma present... Only thing I found was a sweet, watered down malt character. Below average for the style but should be some other things here!

Appearance- Pours a .5 finger head that dies quick. Has a pale straw colored body with great clarity. Leaves a bit of lacing behind.

Flavor- Very dry and has a sweet malty taste all the way through. No bitterness or hop, very average.

Mouthfeel- Light Bodied, High Carbonation, Corn, and this is all...

Overall Impression- A decent adjunct, but nothing special. Its always fun comparing different lagers from other countries and this one fell a bit below average. Give it a try yourself!

 917 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
2.54/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

The usual faint straw yellow weak pour with lots of water and carbonation, under average retention of the 1/3" head. Aroma was cooked corn in the can.

Metallic for being so watery, bitterness was up there, go big alpha acid long hop boil! Bag of cereal, corn pops mouthfeel. Corn syrup in small proportion.

Total under impressed lawnmower beer at a premium price, pass. . .

 380 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.62/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Kinda weird to find this stuff at the local Mexifood mart, but that's where it turned up. Faint straw yellow pour with a ton of head/carbonation with large bubbles that quickly recede. Aroma was largely mild, some cooked corn stuff happening.

Metallic water beer, no hops, but the bitterness and skunkiness is larger than expected, minimal cereal and corn chex mouthfeel going on here. Functionally sweet. Nothing offensive. Nothing impressive. Easy enough to drink, but why is this almost $7 a 6pack exactly?

Kind of like a lighter version of Labatt's for my opinion.

 572 characters

Photo of Tone
2.72/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear, straw color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of pale malt, grain, rice, and a hint of hops. Fits the style of an American Adjunct Lager. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of rice, grain, hint of pale malt, and a hint of hop. Overall, well blended, but not complex and the appearance and aroma are lacking.

 402 characters

Photo of Lingenbrau
2.72/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Short and simple, looks, tastes, smells, and feels right between Miller Lite and Coors Original. The thing is, I kind of like Coors O and see no point in buying this over it. Let's not lie folks, it looks as an AAL, so knocking points for that is a joke. Aside from the near non existent flavor and aroma, the biggest down fall for this beer is the exceptionally dry character that leaves you nearly parched. But maybe that is the intention...to demand constant consumption. Cheers!

 487 characters

Photo of ThomasT
2.75/5  rDev -2.5%

Appearance: Straw-coloured with lots of bubbles and a two-finger, rapidly fading head.
Smell: Corn, malt, and a little bit of rice. Slight piney hops.
Taste: Relatively dry, with a little bit of corn and malt and a decent hop bite on the finish. Vicious carbonation.
Overall: A drinkable and affordable beer that is good if you are trying to save money and doesn't have to be ridiculously cold.

 394 characters

Photo of Zorro
2.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Clear yellow colored beer with a small white colored head.

Smells mildly malty with detectable levels of noble hop aroma. Slightly spicy and grassy. Slight lemon aroma.

Starts out fairly dry with a slight lemon flavor. Toasted grain flavor and no off tastes. This is pretty clean.

Mouthfeel is medium.

Overall a pretty clean and not particularly notable beer. Boring but competent and cleaner tasting than Budweiser.

 420 characters

Photo of Libeertarian
2.83/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

From notes taken 01/22/17:

The quintessential clear straw-gold with foamy bright white head, lower retention. Weakest beer aroma I have yet to encounter, to my recollection. A little bread, grass, lemon, honey, almost too weak to say. That’s okay, weak certainly beats unpleasant. Palate, though considerably more tart, isn’t much different, fairly weak though I’ve had weaker, but not altogether unpleasant in spite of its lack of character. Bready aftertaste might be the best thing about this beer. Light-bodied but approaching medium, extra sudsy, each sip seems about 75% CO2.

 588 characters

Photo of archyquaffer
2.84/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a pint can into a shaker pint glass. A semi-aggressive pour produces about 1.5 inches of creamy, frothy head. This settles down to about 1/8 inch and sticks around for the duration. The beer is a pale straw color with pretty active carbonation.

Light corn and cooked vegetable characteristics are in evidence in the flavor and aroma, but nothing too off-putting. Actually, it's rather watery in flavor and mouthfeel. Maybe just a slight tang of metal. I don't detect any of the skunkiness that I associate with Canadian brews. The finish is quite clean with just a tad bit of lingering sweetness. Some light floral hops are perhaps in play, but barely detectable.

This is a clean tasting, light bodied beer with good head retention, and rather easy to drink. You could do a lot worse with the AALs out there. I paid $6.99 for a six pack of pint cans at a Safeway store.

Note: I modified this review after drinking about three of these in succession. The wateriness really gets to me after awhile. Though I don't expect much for the style, this beer could really use some flavor.

 1,094 characters

Photo of searsclone
2.85/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: decent head that was gone quickly, very clear, about the same color as apple juice.

S: some skunky hops, rice, maybe a little citrus

T: a little sweet, maybe honey and a little rice, slight citrus finish, lingering after taste that I can't figure out. Grain maybe?

M: a bit more fizzy than I prefer, a bit watery

D: I was pleasantly surprised by this beer, easy to drink, but I think that after a few of them that the taste would linger to much and I wouldn't want to have more.

Worth a try.

 544 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
2.86/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had a chance to try Kokanee whilst in Calgary for a conference at the local Earls Bar and Restaurant. Kokanee's appearance is quite nice, it is golden clear with no head. There really was no smell, grainy if anything. The taste carried a solid grain with well balanced hops....went great with my ribs. The mouthfeel was very smoot and easy drinking.

 349 characters

Photo of Olek4374
2.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Kokanee is a popular macro here in Edmonton, and everyone has had it at one point or another. It pours a pale yellow with not much smell to report. It's got dat corney taste that adjunct lagers have, but it is not as pronounced as some of the cheaper beers. Aftertaste is tolerable.

I'd grab this sooner than a bud or canadian. It's best cold and is very refreshing.

 367 characters

Photo of Redneckwine
2.91/5  rDev +3.2%

Badass 32oz frosty mug on tap

Appearance - Light golden yellow, just about like any other AAL. Nice fluffy, persistent white head. Lots of sticky lacing.

Smell - Very light, sweet cereal grains, maybe some feint grassy hops, not much else going on. Smells pretty clean.

Feel/Taste - Medium body is feeling a bit thick and slick, light tingly carb isn't overdone, quite smooth.Taste is of mainly of malty sweetness with hints of doughy malt and a touch of corn, almost to the point of being cloying. Very feint grassy/herbal hops.

Overall - Realistically, I don't think this is a "poor" beer for what it is. I remember it being much worse out of the bottle, but it was serviceable on tap in a pinch. There are no glaring flavor defects to me; nothing offensive at all. The body seems a bit heavy/sweet though, unfortunately, which detracts from the expected crispness and refreshing qualities associated with the style.

 922 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Kokanee Glacier Beer from Columbia Brewery
2.82 out of 5 based on 166 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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