Formerly brewed at Sleeman Brewing & Malting Co. (Sapporo)
Style: Pale Lager
Guelph, Canada


on tap


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RATINGS: 28   MEAN: 2.83/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.84/5   EST. CALORIES: 117   ABV: 3.9%
Watney’s Red Barrel was a notorious British keg bitter of the 60’s and early 70’s. It was so bad that it prompted several journalists to form CAMRA to protest against it. A pale lager with the name Watney’s Red Barrel was being brewed by Sleeman up to at least 1997.

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BuzzBeer99's rating

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
BuzzBeer99 (80) - Oklahoma, USA - FEB 25, 2002
I wasn't impressed. It almost made me miss a plane. It did make me toss cookies in a bus on my way to catch the plane. Need I say 'Its not as good the next morning!!!' Burned my nose, harsh after- aftertaste.

DelAl (1) - New Castle, Delaware, USA - JAN 6, 2015 does not count
I signed up just to rate this beer. I remember a strong caramel flavor. I used to chill it in the fridge and as I sipped the flavor would slowly change as it warmed. I really liked this beer but my tastes are very different than others. NOW, the mind blower - I have an unopened bottle in my fridge right now! It is over 14 years old. Piss water you may say BUT I had a second bottle that I opened two years ago and although the flavor had changed a bit, it was still close to the original and very drinkable! I did meet a guy who brewed his own and had a brew that was almost spot on to Watney’s but he’s passed on now. I would love to know if someone has a recipe or has found a substitute to the original. On a stack of bibles, this is the honest truth

blueden (31) - Essex, ENGLAND - DEC 22, 2013
I used to think this was the worst beer ever made, but later in life I discovered John Smiths smooth, even worse.

rlevenberg (1) - - DEC 8, 2013 does not count
I used to enjoy Watney’s Red Barrel at a bar in Port Washington, NY where my college rock band used to play between 1966 and 1968. This bar was frequented by international types (I can remember one Scottish lass and her Swedish friend). Watney’s draft was the most popular beer in the place. Nowadays, I’m much older and enjoy microbrews and imports with deeper flavors. I’ve often looked for Watney’s but never found it. Now I know why: production ended!

reebtogi (6378) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - AUG 13, 2012
330ml bottle tried many years ago (circa 1995) with brewer listed on bottle as Watney Combe Reid and Company poured a pale amber color with a small white head that revealed a small amount of lace. Aroma was caramel with some light hops. Taste was a caramel malty sweetness with a moderate hoppy bitterness. Was a decent amber ale but nothing special.

Onslow (1529) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - OCT 26, 2011
Back in the day - late 70’s - I would pick up some of this this as my standard sunday afternoon "take the edge off drink. I’m surprised at the commerical description - I remember it fondly and considered it a treat to be consumed only in moderation - which is why I seldom consumed more that a couple of the two liter bottles at a sitting. But, back in the day we didn’t have as much to pick from...

beereality (4) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 14, 2011 does not count
I have to recall to review. About 1978, I used to buy this is in 2 liter plastic bottles, and the beer was so drinkable. I think I polished one off in a sitting once.

rubbishystuff (2537) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - SEP 13, 2010
UPDATED: JAN 27, 2015 I was always confused by the bad rep that Red Barrel had. It makes much more sense that the Sleeman lager version was what I was drinking. It really wasn’t that bad, in fact for a pale lager pretty good. Serving: Bottle

bhensonb (15756) - Woodland, California, USA - JUL 24, 2010
This is an old bottle from the Stag Brewery.Poured amber gold with a large frothy off-white head. Smells lightly malty with a touch of carmel Medium minus body with lightly frothy carbonation. Flavor is light sweet malt with not a lot of hop. Ends with a very mild stroke of toffee - maybe from age. Quite drinkable, but it’s not unlike a macro with a little breadiness. Not sure why it was granted the royal warrant., especially since the label indicates it’s for export.

badfinger (55) - Washington, USA - DEC 9, 2007
Loved it when it was on tap at a specialty tavern in town, Smooth and creamy with a nice head. but later had it in bottles and it was awful. Not good at all

BREWMUSKCLES (2744) - New Jersey, USA - NOV 14, 2007
used to enjoy this regularly from the tap at the madison in hoboken. right from the big dimpled mugs it was hoppy -for the time- and was nicely sweet with moderate body that was clear but instead flavorful. glad it had low alcohol because i usually drank it after a couple hours at the ymca down the block. i miss it.

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