Barley Mowat 

Molson and Me – Part One

with 7 comments

The most popular question asked of me at this weekend’s excellent CAMRA Spring Fest of Ale was not what my favourite beer was, or what I thought of that weird blood orange concoction from R&B, but rather if I’d gone ahead and sampled the Molson M that magically appeared on my doorstop last week. This perturbed me somewhat because, here we were surrounded by oodles of delicious light ales brewed specifically for our enjoyment, and everyone wanted to talk macro to me. (This is not like talking dirty, not even close)

So I figured I’d just get down to business and say it. Yes. Yes, I did sample the Molson M. And the Canadian, and a local craft lager (Central City’s), all side by each. I performed this subjective review, as promised, during a hockey game on Friday. Here are my impressions.

Wow. Molson M is quite possibly the easiest drinking, smoothest tasting lager I have ever had. It’s astonishing how many years of my life I have wasted in pursuit of darker, more flavourful ales, when beer nirvana was just $2 away at the local LDB. I don’t want to take away from Canadian, though, as it does have its place when you want to slow down and enjoy things, but for quick refreshment and a no-questions-asked finish, M is the place to be. I love this… hang on, Ted from accounting just popped in. What’s that? Bounced? You sure? The whole thing, eh. What about the briefcase of cash? Not actually money, you say? Yeah, I know that was just regular paper with my picture on it, but it just seemed so… natural.

Well fine, if you want to bribe me to praise your product, you better make good with the Bordens. So, back to the review, now without sudden and shockingly excessive income influencing my opinion.

Molson Canadian and M are terrible. Just ungordly awful. I paused after my second sip of each and pondered what exactly I had done wrong in my life to wind up here, now, drinking this schlock. These beers are not just pale, insipid, hollow ghosts of what a beer might once have aspired to. No, they are just plain dreadful.

They start with a faint nose of slightly-off straw, which can only be described as “barn-like” in quality, or perhaps even more accurately “used barn-like.” Too vague? Ok, piss. It smells like goat piss on wet hay. Perhaps, the piss is why the hay is wet and mildewing. I’m not really going to invest too much thought on this one, but I’ve spent enough time in petting zoos to confirm this comparison is apt.

Gotta admit, not sure how this could help the smell,
but also not sure what would make it worse.

The body is virtually non-existant, although some of the M did have a slight tinge of unfermented malt (not all, though, making me think their quality control isn’t where Canadian’s is). The finish is like being physically assaulted by a bad, off-beer taste. When I say this beer is bad, I do not mean “not good.” I mean “bad as in milk.” In fact, the most repeated first comment after a sip was not “Ugh”, “This is bad” or “Yuck.” No, the first comment was universally a gag reflex. I am not making this up. This beer is so bad your body confuses it with poison and wants you to stop drinking it right-the-fuck-now. After that, you’re stuck with a off-putting chemical taste on the palate that only another sip can seemingly cure, even if temporarily.

But that’s not what we’re here to evaluate. The job is to determine if M is better, or easier drinking than Canadian, which is about a relative evaluation rather than an absolute. Are they even different beers? Well, I have to admit these are two very slightly different beers, perhaps by as much as one or two percent overall. When you take a sip of one, and concentrate very very hard for 10 seconds or so, you can determine an ever-so-slight difference in the second, but this difference is so slight that it could honestly just be because the second sip is of beer which has now been open 10 seconds longer.

Is M better? No. M and Canadian are practically indistinguishable. In fact, we had to abandon the first trial part way through because it was no longer clear which product was which, and repeated samplings did nothing to address the situation. After that one glass was flagged to allow us to keep track. The microcarbonation process, which Molson refuses to talk about, did not inject tiny little pixies into the glass, nor did it somehow magically violate physical law to make nitrogen-like CO2 bubbles appear when you opened the bottle. In fact, the carbonation level of each beer appeared nearly identical, although I have not yet precisely measured it.

How did it compare to a local lager, brewed by Central City? Perhaps all lagers are flat and taste vaguely uric? I’m not a huge fan of the CC Lager. I find it quite boring and honestly not that good. However, after the Molsons, I easily could have confused it with a light hefeweizen. Yeast aromas popped out of the glass, and the crisp clean finish made it practically beg me to have another sip.

So, I guess Molson M does have a use in the real world: making mediocre craft beer seem absolutely awesome.

Kinda like Ben Affleck and Matt Damon,
although I’m unsure which is which in this analogy.

But I’m not done yet. Next up is a double blind taste test where random people will be asked to sample a variety of fluids and rank them in a variety of categories. Does anyone have a goat I can borrow for a few hours?

Update: The epic concludes in part 4. (Or go back to Part 2)

Written by chuck

April 18th, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Posted in Beers

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7 Responses to 'Molson and Me – Part One'

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  1. Thanks for taking one for the team. Your bravery and sense of adventure, not too mention your dedication to beer/goat piss research, is second to none and has saved the rest of us who are fighting the good fight from having to go where no craft-beer drinking man should have to go.
    Carry on, looking forward to Part 2. And I promise not to mention this topic if we happen to bump into each other.

    VanEast Beer Blog

    18 Apr 11 at 14:35

  2. The fact it made the Red Racer Lager taste like a krystal weisse says it all. Oh Molson.


    18 Apr 11 at 22:38

  3. […] In order to sample Molson’s products in the best possible environment, I will perform a side-by-each comparison of Canadian, M, and Central City Lager this evening while watching the Canucks/Blackhawks game and record my impressions. I will then ritually flagellate myself in penance for having violated the beer temple that is my body, and perform a ceremonial cleansing of my light ale palate tomorrow at CAMRA’s Spring Sessional Fest of Ale. (Update: this test is covered here) […]

  4. For those of you who aren’t aware of how microcarbonation works, you may find this educational

    Not only is the premise of microcarbonation rediculous, its a rubbish beer.

    Odyssey Ales

    20 Apr 11 at 19:03

  5. Adam here again from Molson. Just to be clear: i did not “bribe you to praise our product” as you state in your post. You called us out in an earlier post and I simply responded to your request. To insinuate that something shady is at work is just plain wrong. I was trying to help you out. You’re entitled to your opinions about all beer, including ours. Now through your test you can confirm your premise going in. Case closed.


    21 Apr 11 at 06:25

  6. Hi Adam,

    Thanks for the comment. I’d like to think my regular readers are sophisticated enough to pick up on the intended satire in my post, but in order to be perfectly clear, you are correct. At no point did Molson ever offer a bribe of any sort to influence the outcome of this review. In fact, all my dealings with Molson (via you) have been perfectly cordially and professional.

    I think most people would find the notion of Molson bribing a small time blog for a favourable review about as unlikely as a cheque from Molson Marketing bouncing. If, in fact, a bribe of any sort had been offered, the resulting post would have been quite different, as I am a scruple-less scoundrel of the worst kind, and would easily sellout my family for so much as a two-pence.

    Now back to the reviews, which are actually based upon real reactions and comments of volunteers who have taste-tested the product. More reviews to come.



    23 Apr 11 at 12:10

  7. […] to answer, but unless the thing in question was a humanity reducing and esteem debasing action like reviewing macro beer, odds are you’d suck it up like a champ and get back to your client in that dirty alley […]

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