Sunday, July 27, 2008

Labatt Summer Blonde

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Chad9976 (735) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 17, 2010
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.

BODY

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.

FINAL THOUGHTS

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. 
Grade: 5/10