Chad9976 (1504) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 17, 2010
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: SEP 29, 2012 I’ve never been a fan of the two big Canadian brewers Labatt and Molson. Neither has left much of an impression on me and I don’t see the point in paying extra for the north-of-the-border versions of Bud and Miller. So when I came across a “Summer Blonde” by Labatt I was optimistic for an original tasting beer from a mass-market brewery.
Unfortunately, this beer is anything but unique. Don’t fall for this marketing gimmick.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
Well, at least the moniker is accurate as Labatt Summer Blonde does pour to a very clean, clear and bright blonde color. It’s a lager, so of course there is quite a bit of carbonation action present, and a very tiny white head which quickly dissipates and leaves no lacing on the glass.
I didn’t have high expectations for the taste judging from the scent, which is extremely malty in that traditional “beer” sense. Aren’t summer beers supposed to be citrusy, or at least have some unique characteristic? Why does this smell like a run-of-the-mill lager?
TASTE AND FINISH
I can’t say I was surprised when I winced a little after taking my first swig of Labatt Summer Blonde. I’ve had Labatt Blue before and this beer tastes nearly identical to that big-name brand. Perhaps my beer was some sort of fluke on the assembly line and actually is Labatt Blue but in a Summer Blonde bottle?
Regardless, I’m not very impressed with the taste here. It’s very flat, watered-down and leaves no impression whatsoever. This beer has a bitter aftertaste and thanks to its high carbonation, you’re going to be tasting it well after your glass or bottle is empty.
But at least there’s good news: the beer is drinkable. I guess that’s why it’s considered a “summer” beer, because it’s very smooth and would work well as a summer cook-out beer for people who want to drink many in a row.
The best way to describe the body of Labatt Summer Blonde would be “a light beer with a body.” Most major-label light beers are essentially alcoholic water, but at least this particular brew has some definite weight to it. This gives it the bare minimum of flavor, certainly better than your dime-a-dozen lights from St. Louis or Milwaukee. Combined with its smooth finish it’s definitely a party beer, but in no way do I mean that to be complimentary.
If this is the Canadians’ idea of a “summer” beer, I’d like to know what they consider the real difference to be between seasonal and year-round beers. Just because it’s light and smooth doesn’t make it a summer beer. It’s just a mass-market light beer with a fancy name.
Hance07 (192) - DownSouth, Georgia, USA - AUG 17, 2008
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Pours golden with small white head. Flavor is light and crisp and overall pretty decent. More flavor than Labatt Blue for sure.
Onslow (1301) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - SEP 26, 2008
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
From a bottle. Light gold in color, pours with a white head that quickly disappated. Aroma is grain, faint but nothing unpleasant. Taste is light, crisp, nice combination of malt and hops, but light. Not outstanding but enjoyable on a hot afternoon.
jimmack34 (640) - Lancaster, Ohio, USA - DEC 1, 2008
2.8 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: DEC 3, 2008 Bottle. Pours hazy gold ith a with frothy head. Smells light. Crisp and refreshing, but light and mildly thin. Tastes about the same. Grassy and crisp. but light and refreshing, not too bad.
Mechem (13) - Lima, PERU - JUN 18, 2009
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
I found this beer to be pretty enjoyable for a good social beer. Not extremely noteworthy, but still good.
The beer looks and smells crisp and clean, and it finishes thusly. Nice little bite at the end. Its not the most interesting beer in terms of palate. Its quite simple as far as I can tell. No real afternotes or mid-tones. Simply a matly crispness that quickly fades out.
Not something I’d be against drinking though, one of my favorites of the Labatt’s collection.
cbkschubert (2900) - BFE, Arizona, USA - JUL 11, 2008
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle - Pours a light golden color with a small white. Light lacing. Aroma and flavor is grain and herbal hops. There is a little more flavor in this beer than the regular Blue. Not much, but just a little more. Worth a try.
FROTHINGSLOSH (5768) - GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 12, 2008
2.7 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Sampled from a 12 oz brown bottle this beer poured bright golden color with a large yellow-white head that fades fairly quickly but produces decent lacing. The aroma was sweet, sour, tangy and corny industrial lager. The flavor is sweet, tangy and lemony. There is a light yeasty and peppery undertone and a long tart finish. Surprisingly tasty.
jb (2639) - Rochester, New York, USA - JUN 7, 2008
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: JUL 13, 2008 Thick rocky head, bubbly, golden, good retention. Decent grassy aroma along with some corn, honey palate, along with grain, somewhat bland in the taste department, but a gritty feel, some alcohol showed through, decent body, thanks for trade Ron!
MrManning (2009) - Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 15, 2008
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle from my buddy Jon- Thanks Jonny! Deeper shade of gold pour with a creamy white cap. Nose of grains and bread crust, a bit of lemon and grassy hops. Sweet grainy taste with some fruitiness and white bread. A bit of a citric bite leads into the finish. Ok. Thanks Jon!
cheap (4755) - Beaver Valley, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 16, 2008
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Decent taste and aroma. A little hop bittterness in there but mostly well mannered and fresh. Enjoyable good crisp feel. Finish is acceptable for the most part. Good session brew and it goes down fairly easy. Overall, enjoyable and refreshing.