Review of Carlsberg Elephant

01 Oct
For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Carlsberg Elephant brewed by the Carlsberg Danmark Brewery located in Kobenhavn, Denmark.

This a beer that I’ve seen on the shelves of my beer store numerous times, but have never picked up, so I grabbed a single to see how it was.

The website,, was written in Danish, so I retrieved the commercial description from

Carlsberg Elephant Beer is an amber-coloured beer with big intensity in its aroma, and with a distinct maltyness.  There are notes of honey in the aroma.  The palate of Carlsberg Elephant shows a good balance between a good body from the alcohol, and a discrete sweetness which is tamed by the sophisticated bitterness of the aftertaste. 

Let’s give it a try.

The Carlsberg Elephant came in an 11.2 oz. bottle and has an ABV of 7.2%.

The beer poured a very clear, golden/honey color.  It formed a very bright white, large, fluffy, soft and soapy cap from a relatively easy pour.  The retention time was average, but the lacing looked pretty decent.  It doesn’t appear half bad in the glass.

On to the smell.  The aroma was very grainy with a musty corn husk fragrance.  It was a touch bready and I also picked up on some light cracker notes.  It had the most faint lemon citrus in the background too.  As I kept sticking my nose in I started to detect an odd scent of something very similar to caulk.  You know the sealing compound?  It could have just been me, but whatever it was started to become unpleasant very fast.

Within the taste I found notes of a very dank, wet corn.  It also had a very forthcoming graininess to the profile with a significant alcohol tone in the background.  As it warmed, the alcohol and mustiness became a lot more prevalent and less pleasing.  It did seem to have a mild sweetness though and I also discerned a slight savor of yeast. 

The mouthfeel was medium and dry.  It seemed to have a rough alcohol warmth that made it not so crisp or refreshing.  A little bit of flavor was left on the palate, however it consisted of a funky, skunky aftertaste that I was not too keen on.

Well…… this beer looks much better than it smells or tastes I must say.  I really doubt if I try this again anytime soon.  Some may find this beer very enjoyable and suited to their needs, so I don’t want to discourage you from trying it if you so wish.  I finished the beer with no problem, although it was much better when ice cold.  Once it warmed, some of the disagreeable qualities started to show themselves.  Man, I hate giving a beer a bad review and I want to reiterate that this is just my opinion of this particular tasting experience, so I mean no disrespect to the brewery or the brewers.  By all means, pick up a bottle and see how you like it.  I would love to hear a second opinion.

Thanks for reading everyone.  Until next time.


Score:  2.55 out of 5
Grade:  C- 


Posted by on October 1, 2011 in Carlsberg, Country: Denmark


4 responses to “Review of Carlsberg Elephant

  1. Ken

    October 3, 2011 at 4:28 am

    Do NOT lament being 'fair'. Question? Do you think the 'off' flavors are related to age, green bottle, bottle cap oxidation, heat flux OR… brewing related OR… a combo thereof?

  2. shrews824

    October 4, 2011 at 12:29 am


    First of all, thanks for reading and commenting on the post. I really appreciate it. Secondly, I think you are probably right. I would say the “off” characteristics were likely a combination of all the above. Although, I can't say for sure because this was the first time I have ever tried this beer, so I don't really have a base of reference. I also think that you are correct in regards to the fact that I should just call it like I see it. I just know that someone out there put their heart and soul into brewing this beer, so I like to give every brew the benefit of the doubt.

    Thanks again for perusing the blog. Check back from time to time and feel free to comment. I try to post daily.


  3. ste

    July 4, 2013 at 6:28 am

    You say ‘craft beer reviews’, but have not defined ‘craft beer’ ? Most would say a craft beer is brewed at a small brewery, so Carlsberg hardly qualifies. Might as well drop the term craft and just say ‘beer’.

    • Beer Apprentice

      July 4, 2013 at 7:31 am

      Thanks for reading and commenting Ste. Yeah, you’re right I should probably just call it “Beer Reviews”. I have a few reviews of beers that are of the “macro” variety on there. It’s just fun to do one every once in a while, but I’ll say that probably 99% of them are craft.

      As far as defining “craft”… in a sense all beer is crafted, so that meaning is subjective. Now micro or nano is a different story altogether.

      Either way, thanks again for reading and commenting. I’ve had a couple other people mention that before, so I’ll try to refrain from putting those “big” beers on there from now on.



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