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
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
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
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
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
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.