Pale lager aged in foudre on Brettanomyces. Tried in a bottle at the Wild Rover in Surry Hills during Sydney Beer Week.
Pours a deep orange amber colour. Head is beige, big, voluminous and foamy. Decent head; decent lace. Looks pretty good.
Smells funky and wild. Sour, unripe apple with tart berry and peach notes too. Slight vinous character with wildness. Seems alright, yeah.
Tastes a bit tart, and gets kinda weird, sour and yet creamy, with a big kind of dry, yet creamy note on the back. Has some oaky vinous characters, but it's quite wild and sour too. Tastes ultimately herbal and a bit dour; lots of character but not really pulling them all together; I think the base beer is a little simple so it's just ageing characters piled on.
A bit fizzy; has some substance but doesn't match the flavour profile.
Drinks a bit weird, some tartness but also a weird citric bitterness; not ultimately very drinkable.
38 / 100
Bottle kindly bought and muled back for me by my Italo-Slovenian colleague Helena. Tried at home by myself (hence the terrible webcam picture - my phone battery is dead). Reviewed live into this form.
Pours a pale golden colour, decent head when poured but doesn't stick around, dissipates to a thin spit cloud. Light bead that trickles slowly up the sides. Lacing is not bad, and a bit of tilting gives some life back to the head. Not bad; standard lagery but has its charms.
Smells bland. Light and grainy with a distinct rice adjunct kind of character; some dour bitter noble hop that smells mildly grassy and herbal but largely just chemical, and doesn't really outweigh the underlying sweetness of the insipid malt. Yeah, predictable yet disappointing.
Taste is not a whole lot better. Sweet upfront with a rice pudding kind of flavour, porridge-grainy but also unnecessarily sweet. Gets some very faint hop notes late-mid that are a bit more potent than they seemed on the nose, but just a bit. Finishes with a grassy note that gets a little bit spicy; not in an interesting piquant way but in a dry and somehow bland kind of way. Not as sweet on the finish as it might have been, which is good - but 'not being unpleasant' is not a huge scoring point to be honest.
Mouthfeel is fairly bland. It's thin and untextured, with a fair drying character on the back. Not terrible for the style but it's really shapeless.
Yeah, it's fairly lacking in flavour so it's drinkable enough, and it isn't overly sweet like so many other Euro lagers. But it's very average and there's not a lot to recommend it.
500ml can purchased from Dan Murphy's in Alexandria.
Pours a pale golden colour, with a coarse, rocky head of white bubbles that leaves chunks of lace behind as it collapses. Ends up looking alittle like scum on the top of the glass. Body is very light and the carbonation is minimal, but fine where it occurs. Looks about what you expect, with a slightly worse head.
Nose is almost non-existent. There's a faint metallic twinge above some perhaps very neutral grain character. But there's almost nothing there at all. Maybe a slight farty smell, but who knows where that came from.
Taste is very, very light as well. It's watery on entry, leaving very little in its wake, and leaving all the flavour to the back-palate, where it leaves an insipid brassy character primped with a little sparkle of carbonation. Finish is metallic, but also dull.
Feel is extremely light, but with a very light spritz of that low-carbonation on the finish.
It's a nothing beer, really. It has almost no flavour, no aroma, no texture. I guess you can slug it back if you don't care that the amount of enjoyment you get out of doing it is effectively zero. If your one goal is to get drunk without tasting anything, then maybe this is the beer for you. But at only 4% ABV, there's probably better ways to even do that.
48 / 100
500ml green bottle purchased from Dan Murphy's in Alexandria.
Pours a standard pale golden colour, with an initially very frothy and impressive head of white. This sadly bubbles out very quickly, leaving only a thin mesh of bubbles on the top, and minimal lacing. Body is light, but the carbonation forms in nice fine bubbles at least. Look decent enough.
Nose initially has a nice whiff of green-bottle skunk, but this burns off quickly, leaving bare the base notes of wet grain and chewed-up cereal. A slight grassiness comes through, but it's mild, and not enough to integrate with or mask the other characters. It's not great.
Taste is extremely light. It's good in a way, because there's so little flavour, and given the aroma, I can imagine the flavour would have been unpleasant if it were strong. Instead, it's left a little bit grassy, but quite mild, with a faint dusty flavour on the back that adds a dry crispness. It's still not really very good, but at least it's sluggable.
Feel is very light, but with a reasonable spritz of carbonation on the back.
Overall, it's a pretty standard, but not distasteful green-bottle Euro lager. I've had better. I've had worse. It fulfills its style at least, and would make for a fairly inoffensive session beer if you wanted to drink the local brew.
Bottle purchased in Honiara, muled back on a cruise ship to share with Jez.
Pours a pale champagne colour, with light bubbling at the edges. Slight bead, no lace. No head. Looks pretty uninspiring.
Smells grainy, sweet with honey notes and subtle grassy/woody hop, touch medicinal and fruity. Bit sweet and uninspired but OK for the style.
Taste is very grainy: puffed rice, with some oatmeal character, and then subtle herbal hop on the back. Too much malt lingering with too much sweetness. Not very clean, body and palate seem quite heavy and not all that refreshing. Bit of a shame but the characters are right enough. Still, meh.
Needs more carb to cut through.
Like the Solomon Islands generally, it has the feel of other pacific lagers/destinations but there's just an underlying corruption that undermines its otherwise calm and refreshing nature.
12 / 100
(Bottom of the Barrel)
330ml green bottle purchased from Sam at some black market stall in Honiara.
Pours a very pale yellow, with a slight haze to it. Head is a piddling, minor ring of white. Body is very light, letting through very fine, very fast carbonation. It looks very minimal. I'm unimpressed.
Nose has a slight green-bottle skunk to it, which adds a slightly pleasant note, or at least some semblance of normality. Once it burns off though, we're left with a slight soda and corn character, which does it no favours. Slightly floury note—as it warms this turns savoury, almost with a hint of smoke or rubber. Hmm.
Taste is similar. Very thin, light and grainy, with a slight bitter carbonic character through the centre of the palate. Faint metallic tones, turning coppery on the back. But mostly it's bland. It's just that the characters that aren't bland are offensive.
Feel is very light as well. It's just not a good beer.
Did I mention it's just not a good beer? It's thin and light, so ostensibly quaffable, but it also has some unpleasant notes to it that make me not even want to quaff it down without tasting it. Stay away.
58 / 100
Muled back from Africa by Mother Fletcher.
Shiny gold colour, steady bead. Head is white, whispy, generous when poured but sinking steadily. Lace is OKbut not very sticky. Looks alright, standard.
Smells standard; grainy and slightly chemical edge. Herbal hop notes hiding behind. Cereal grain, oatmeal and a hint of sulfur. I appreciate that it's not too sweet; fairly well balanced even though it's not hugely interesting.
Taste is sweeter. Fairly grainy upfront with some chemical detergent bitterness midway, then late-mid is mostly oatmeal, touch of honey and finishes clean. Still a bit of herbal hop very late. Otherwise clean, but it has a slight soapy hang. Not bad but nothing exciting.
Fizzy, but decent body. Fine for the style.
Decently balanced but unexciting. Drinkable and nicely made for what it is, though.
Can purchased/acquired by my mother when she was recently on a cruise that went by Namibia.
Pours very clear, with a crisp body. Head is a foamy, coarse-bubbled mess of white that leaves minimal streaks of lace. Head runs out of steam after a while. Carbonation forms in fine strings of bead. It does look a little bit generic, but it also looks pretty good for what it is.
Nose is a little sharp and crisp, with aromas of German hops, giving a slightly grainy or grassy character. Hints of metal come through, and its missing the other characteristic common with this style, which is the green-bottle funk. Slight sweetness comes through as well, perhaps with a touch of yeast in the back.
Taste is a bit sweeter, almost giving the phantom suggestion of additional booze. Along with the grain notes (here, slightly corny), we get a wet flour character that gives a vague suggestion of malt liquor. Feel is still relatively dry and crisp, although the hint of sweetness makes it feel a bit fatter.
Overall, this is a surprisingly drinkable and well-made beer. It's fairly light and approachable, but with rigour to its construction. As far as mainstream Namibian beers go, this is the only one I've tried. But if they're all as good as this, I'm actually a little bit impressed.
Pours a pale amber colour, steady bead, fizzy head of medium density. No lace and doesn't retain all that well. OK but meh.
Grainy and sickly sweet. Big honey character on there with puffed rice and oatmeal. Smells treacly and definitely needs more edge.
Taste is similar. Decent whole grain body upfront, with barley and maybe touch of wheat and corn, then midway tries to clean it up with a subtle lick of hops, but finish has that sweet oatmeal character and it's somewhat unpleasant. Creamed corn kind of character. Not my thing.
Bit of density to it; actually that doesn't help with the sweetness, it needs more cut through.
Yeah, not loving this; it feels like an attempt at an easy drinking lager that just hasn't cleaned itself up enough.
Bottle at Masala Zone Indian restaurant in Soho, London. Enjoyed with dinner.
Pours a bright, burnished gold colour, steady trickle of bubbles. Head is foamy, fairly sparse with touches of lace left behind. Pretty standard; head could be better.
Smells light and crisp. Fair grainy note with a touch of caramel sweetness and a bit of light carbolic acid, maybe slightly fruity but more just a touch of zingy bitterness with some vibrancy. Pleasant smelling, refreshing.
Taste is very malty for the style. Big cereal grain note that gets rich toffeed malt midway and onto the back. Notes of noble hop butterness late; slightly resinous but also a touch phenolic with a slightly medicinal hang. Somewhat clean overall for all that, with a touch of soda stream late. But has a slight heaviness to it which could be alleviated slightly.
Yeah, a bit full-bodied, then leaves a little thin, without being necessarily crisp.
Decent lager, has plenty of flavour but could just crisp or freshen up a bit.
38 / 100
330ml thick brown bottle purchased from Dan Murphys somewhere in Sydney.
Pours much as you'd expect. Mostly clear pale golden colour, with a rocky, loose head of white. This settles out to a vague film and a bit of a sudsy ring that leave minimal streaks of lace. Body seems to have some weight to it, or at least it has some very languid carbonation when tilted. It's also true that when you hold it up to the light, it does actually have a fair bit of haze to it. I don't mind that usually, but it's not what you expect in this type of lager.
Nose isn't all that bad. In fact, it reminds me rather nostalgically of the days of truly imported green-bottle Euro lagers like Stella and Peroni (before they were all brewed under contract in Australia instead). There's a mild, slightly peppery sharpness to it that tends a little towards the more eastern European pilsners as well. Under it is a mild, powdery sweetness, and a hint of either very plain light malts or adjuncts. It's not bad all up though.
Taste is a serious let-down though. Where there was a suggestion of hops on the nose, there's almost nothing here, and the malt doesn't do a great deal to fill the void. Instead, we get an insipid, floury note that leaves everything rather dim and flat, with the exception of a crisp, almost arid dryness in the finish. This at least makes it quaffable, perhaps in the best Viking spirit of the word, where it touches the sides as little as possible.
Feel is very weak indeed, even for this type of beer. Given it has so little interest intrinsically, this lack of body just emphasises it to an unpleasant degree.
It's not a great beer by any stretch, and to be honest, it's probably quite inferior even to other bland beers of its ilk. But at the very least, you could drink it easily without being offended. And let's face it, a bland, cold lager like this is probably just what you need on a hot, humid Icelandic day, right?
44 / 100
Pours a pale gold, bubbly. Head is white, fairly whispy with some lacing left behind. Not too bad for a lager.
Smells petroleumish. Very chemical with some sweet grain notes and plenty of ethyl alcohol. Honey, oats, maybe a touch of apple. Not much else.
Taste is similar. Big oatmeal character, puffed rice and honey upfront. Some mild, subtle underlying tang cleans it off a bit, but it just tastes empty and bland. Could use more of everything, finishes sweet and insipid.
Bit of carbonation texture, but really rather standard and stodgy. Glutinous-seeming, even.
Nope. Not much to it, and I don't like what's there.
49 / 100
50cl can purchased somewhere on the highway through Luxembourg by my mate Frosty. He muled it to Sydney and I cracked it open with Rich.
Pours exactly as you expect for the style. Clear, sanitised pale golden colour, with a fine lacing of greyish white. Head initially froths up quite pleasantly, but settles out as a rather disappointing film of pocked bubbles. Let's be honest: it looks like a Euro lager.
Nose actually isn't bad. There's a clean greenness to it that suggests a little freshness. This is adulterated somewhat by a bready yeast quality, and a very slack grain note. These make it feel flabbier than the crispness of the hops might have suggested. Still, it's perhaps better than I was expecting.
Taste is also relatively clean. It's not really exciting, but there's a straihtforward lager quality that isn't overrun by other characters that can be unpleasant. There's no overt sweetness, no dank yeasty notes, no aggressive carbonation. Of course, this means there's not much of anything, but in a beer like that, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Feel is very light, almost water-like and evanescent.
Overall—look, it's by no means a great beer. But it's actually a remarkably inoffensive Euro lager. It's certainly far superior to Diekirch, the other brew that Frosty brought back from Luxembourg for me. It's bland enough that I could certainly see myself chugging a couple in Luxembourg when there's nothing else on offer.
50cl can purchased by my good mate Frosty at some petrol station in Luxembourg while he was driving through, after Rich and I expressed a desire to drink a beer from Luxembourg. Finally we got the chance on a brewday after Frosty brought us these cans down to Sydney.
Pours a disappointingly clear, piss-yellow colour, with a nonetheless frothy and solid head of pure white that leaves some reasonable lacing. Carbonation is coarse and rapid through the glass. There are some good things about it, but I won't deny it looks very generic.
Nose is mostly pretty bad. It has a light, grainy, almost corny aroma that rolls over much else, but there is a slightly rounded sweetness to it that has the vague suggestion of Belgian qualities to it—like this may have at some point in its genesis been sired by a Belgian golden ale many generations ago. It helps it slightly, but not a great deal.
Taste is in some ways both better and worse. It is incredibly bland, but crisp and empty, which means that it doesn't have the vegetative sweetness I feared it might have. It is a little bit more sweet than it perhaps it should be even so, but here it does at least suggest more of those Belgian notes—even though it suggests it very quietly in the back of a dark alley.
I mean—it's a Euro lager. It's not bad, but it's perhaps only as good as it could ever be. I don't hate it, but my enthusiasm for a beer like this is always going to be limited. Even if it is from Luxembourg.
Beautifully branded black and white 330ml can, purchased from the brewery in Wellington. Poured into a stemmed wine glass, because such a finely packaged beer deserves a fine serving vessel.
Pours a brilliantly clear golden colour, with a fine, frothy head of white that leaves good streaks of lace. Carbonation is fast, but surprisingly subdued, only forming in a few vacant streams. Body is really very light, not unexpectedly. Overall, it delivers what it promises.
Nose is really quite pleasant. Bright, herbal hops above a crisp, grainy basis, with nice clean cereal overtones. It's unassuming and unpretentious, but with a great deal of aroma. It's like you've distilled out all of the nicest parts of a generic Euro lager.
Taste is similar, but perhaps a bit more trending towards the truly generic. Clean entry, laced with a mild grainy sweetness, that develops into a flat plateau, only marginally lifted by some thin hop characters. Lingering sweetness smoothes over some of the more unsavoury grain notes you might have gotten otherwise. It's still quite nice, but is the sort of beer that would be best ice-cold straight from the can.
Feel is smooth and clean.
Overall, it's a drinkable drop—flavour-wise it certainly derives from the type of beer it's emulating (or satirising, depending on where you're coming from). But there's a cleanness to it, and a lack of anything untoward that marks it as quality. People say the mark of a truly good brewer is the ability to brew a clean, bland lager without anything to hide behind—and Garage Project have certainly achieved that with Beer.
47 / 100
500ml tall can purchased from a 7-Eleven in Singapore—hey at least it was a beer I'd never seen before.
Pours a very pale straw yellow with marked clarity and large-bubbled carbonation which seems rather anarchic. Head is quite fine and fairly frothy and full on the pour, settling down to a fairly persistent and consistent film of white that leaves some streaks of lace. Overall, for what it is, it looks pretty good.
Nose is bland and fairly standard. Weak cereal characters, with a slight heaviness of carbonation that lends a twang. There is a slight spritz of lemon to it as well, which isn't unpleasant. As it warms, there's some more of a metallic character which does detract from it somewhat. But mostly, it's fairly inoffensive.
Taste is similar to many others of its ilk. There is indeed more of a citric tone around the edges which works with the carbonation to give a slight vitamin C note. This is mild, but it's a distinguishing character setting this apart from, say, Tiger. On the back that metallic character comes though with a faint medicinal character. But mostly it's light, inoffensive and beyond anything: bland.
Feel is noticeably weak. Even with the slight upkick of carbonation, there's very little textural interest to the beer.
Overall, it's not bad—it's probably slightly better than Tiger, but they're really cut from the same cloth. I actually don't remember the price difference, but unless this has a significant markup on it, it's probably the more solid choice from the APB stable.
57 / 100
Tried on-tap at the White Horse Parson's Green in London.
Pours a bright golden colour, brilliantly clear and crystal. Head forms a fine crest of slightly greying white. Lace forms fine and light as the beer goes down. Not bad.
Nose is crisp for the most part, with muted hops, but a light, grainy euro-pils character which isn't unpleasant. Some faint honey and floral characters come through as it warms up. Again, it's fairly decent.
Taste is clean and light from start to finish. Smooth mid-palate leads to something a tad buttery on the back. Crisp carbonation helps punctuate the ending. Hops are again muted but provide just enough balance. Aftertaste has a slight hint of yeast or flour.
Feel is light and sparkling with a fineness to it. Really not bad.
Overall, this is pretty drinkable stuff. Light and fairly crisp. It's not the greatest beer in the world, but it certainly does its job, and it's probably less offensive than some equivalent beers that claim to do the same job.
50cl champagne-shaped brown bottle purchased from the local supermarket in Sorrento.
Pours a very clear amber-red colour, quite light and very fluid in the glass. Head forms frothily at first, but settles out to a loose ring of off-white. Carbonation is coarse, but effervescent. Looks pretty decent.
Nose is a little dusty but with a malty grain basis at least. Slight German-malt characters, a little herbaceous and vegetative, and an underlying roasty character. It's all very light, but it's decent enough.
Taste is similar. Pleasant, but subdued malt characters, undermined by a slightly lacklustre body and a thinness from a zealous yeast. Aftertaste has a slightly metallic or mineral quality to it, but it's a minor issue really. It's still lacking a great deal of complexity and oomph, but it's still fairly solid stuff.
Feel is a bit weak, as I said. It only weighs in at 5.2% ABV, so it's not stylistically a problem, but a bit more weight overall would have helped the beer a lot.
Overall: it's okay, or slightly better than okay. Decent, I'd say. Compared to some of the other Peroni offerings, it's clearly a step above, but that still puts it in the generic middle-ground of the beer pantheon.
9 / 100
(Bottom of the Barrel)
66cl bottle purchased from the local supermarket in Sorrento. Drunk on the balcony of my hotel room, which should have given this beer an easier playing field. What a shame it doesn't even know the rules of the game.
Pours an extremely clear, extremely pale yellow colour, maybe a shade or two lighter than dehydrated piss. Head forms a wispy film of white that disappears after the carbonation gives up out of sheer apathy. No lace. The clarity is good—no doubt filtered beyond recognition, otherwise: woeful.
Nose is extremely weak, almost nothing making itself known at all. There's perhaps (if I'm looking extremely hard for it, a slight floral character to it, a soft banana blossom note, perhaps. And there is certainly a slight hint of watery grain. But mostly, it smells of nothing. Zip.
If anything, it tastes of even less than it smells. Really: nothing. Perhaps a slight taint of muggy grain leaves a ghostly impression, and there's a gritty earth character towards the back, otherwise it's like drinking flat mineral water.
It feels like it's flat even though it's not. It just makes the palate even more lethargic and pointless.
Overall, extremely poor. Ghastly, even. When a beer makes Peroni look masterful by comparison, there's something damagingly wrong. I probably made the pitiable mistake of expecting a beer with "luppoli" in the name to have some sort of hop character. I guess it's my own damn fault for expecting something so foolish.
38 / 100
Bought from a convenience store in Mongkok. Drunk in my hostel room from a tumbler.
Pours a pale gold colour with an almost green tinge. Fluffy head of sparse white bubbles that settles out to a ring of foam. Leaves no lace but a persistent string of fizz. Bit blah; as expected.
Smells sweet and adjuncty. Mostly corn but a decent amount of honeyed oat, and a slight citric edge to it as well. Just mild acid that could be down to pure and simple carbonation, but makes it tolerable; not too sweet although it smells a bit insipid.
Taste is bland and empty. Bit of grain upfront may be genuine, with a touch of honey, barley and sticky rice. Gets maybe a touch of melon midway but doesn't go anywhere, just a whole heap of nothing on the finish but it's not crisp and clipped, it just fades quickly to a muted version of before. Mildly sweet, too, which is a turnoff. Yeah pretty meh.
Flat yet quite thick in the mouth. Not full, though; just empty glugginess. Needs more fizz.
Might go well with Chinese cuisine, but as a beer it's a big empty cauldron of nothing.
Tried on tap at the brewery in Seattle.
Pours a very pale yellow colour with a clear and light body. Head is a faint ring of white white that doesn't leave any lace. It looks decent, but dull as anything.
Light lemony hints on the nose suggest a touch of mild hoppiness. Some rind characters come through but not much else. Pretty light overall.
Very light entry, with some citrus characters coming through mid-palate. Touch of seltzer water. Finish is pleasantly mellow, however, melding the dryness on the finish with a touch of almost Belgian roundness. Feel is light and fluffy, but ultimately empty.
It's clear, light and very drinkable. No, it's not going to make you redefine your vision of craft beer, but it's solid enough.
62 / 100
Not sure why this is retired; it seems to be being churned out as regular as ever. Had on tap at the Hong Kong Brewhouse in Lan Kwai Fong.
Pours a boring golden amber colour, with white head that is quite dense. Sinks to a thin film before too long. Leaves thin trail of lace. Pretty dull and empty looking.
Smells grainy, with lightly caramelised barley note. Slight carbonic aroma is unfortunate and mild herbal hop note is welcome. Smells pretty standard, but kind of refreshing. I'm surprisingly enticed.
Taste is fairly standard. Grainy upfront with notes of barley, lightly toasted and caramelised. Some light esters. Maybe some
Phenols on the midway point. It might just be the carbonic flavour, but it's mild and drinkable as it progresses. Finishes with a hint of cedar wood and pepper but very very mild, it's all dumbed down and lagery. Pleasant overall though, and crisp, although at times a bit too muted.
Bit of body to it, slight fizz on the back. Woud like it thinner actually to go down more easily.
This is what Asian lagers should be. Light, crisp but doesn't have too much sweet adjuncty note or over-carbonation problem. A bit bland, but very clean and drinkable.
Pours a fizzy, soda-like nothingness: body is a clear pale golden colour, with absolutely no head whatsoever, even when siwrled, agitated or poured aggressively. Large bubbles stick to the edge of the glass, belying the fact that it has some fine carbonation streaming along the sides. Really, it does not look like a particularly pleasant beer.
Nose is fragrant with fresh pickled ginger aromasâgenuinely in its favour is the fact that this is proper ginger aromatics. Crisp, biting and spicy. Unfortunately, it's brought back to earth with the unpleasant yeasty bread dough grainy character that sickens and wilts whatever fragrance the beer has on its own.
Taste is similar. It's really dragged down by a thin, waning and unpleasant grainy adjunct character, but lifted and masked somewhat by the ginger which is genuinely good ginger flavours. Unfortunately, the lack of sweetness, body and genuine character means it feels weak and insipid, but you have to give them credit for doing justice to the ginger.
Overall, probably one of the better cynically produced and appallingly weak ginger beers available in Australia. That's up against some pretty weak competitionâit's an appalling beer saved by the use of some pretty decent ginger.
38 / 100
Brewed by Bavaria, apparently for the Australian market, or so I hear.
Pours a very clear, slightly insipid pale golden colour, with a filmy head of nothingness that forms nothing more than a bubbly ring around the edge. Extremely light body, slightly scummy and rather unappealing.
Pleasant, if generic Euro green bottle funk to it. Some fragrant skunkiness, a touch of biting metallic twang but mostly light, both in depth and pure aroma.
Taste is bland and thin, with a slight muskiness on the front, and some slightly sharper bitterness on the back, giving a twang of copper pipes of alfoil. There's a thin adjuncty sweetness to it as well. In summary: yep, it's about the most generic Euro lager I've ever had.
Overall, it's not really offensive intrinsically, but it's offensively bland and so generic it hurts. There's really no need for this beer at all: it's just like any other mass-marketed green bottle swill.
Pours a pale gold colour, head is white and bubbly, disappears very quickly. Stream of big carbonation bubbles don't revive it. Not very interesting.
Smells carbolic and...meh. Sweet grain with rice and a sour acidic 'beer' aroma. Maybe hints of bittering hops, mildly metallic. Inoffensive but very generic.
Taste is sweet upfront with weak rice notes and hints of corn syrup. Develops mild cereal grain note with pearl barley on mid-palate. Bit residually sweet on the back, with nowhere near enough bitterness, just sweet and grainy, and overall very bland.
Fizzy feel but gently so, it needs fizz to cut through the sweetness but not enough, not a great job.
1 / 100
(Bottom of the Barrel)
Purchased in Jerusalem and drunk alongside the Palestinian Taybeh beer. Completely Hebrew label, which I thought was pretty cool
Pours a fizzy, bland piss yellow with nothing but a seltzer large-bubbled carbonation film ringing the glass. Very light bodiedâalthough there's little carbonation, it streams incredibly quickly to the top, as though its life depended on not being surrounded by this beer any longer. Looks awful.
Nose is horrid. Weetbix, corn, skunk, dodgy hotdogs. It's meaty, but artificial with the turgid funk of dishwater. Urgh... It's just horrible. Not only this, but the entire nose is wrapped up and laced with a sort of corn-syrup sweetness. It's awful. Just awful.
Taste is the same. Sweet and cloying, with husky corn grain characters, seltzer acid, minerals and grit. Finish is metallic and meaty, making you want to wash out your mouth with something else. Urgh. The feel has a tiny amount of spring to it, but otherwise. Damn, this is a terrible beer.
Horrible, horrible brew. Just atrocious. Bad even for the style. Sorry, Israel, but Palestine brews way better beer than you.
Reading no German, and only a smattering of French, I didn't really know what I was getting myself into with this beer. I do like Perle as a hop variety though, so I thought this might be a worthy candidate for review.
50cl brown swingtop bottle uncaps with a pleasant vzzt of carbonation. Body is clear and golden; bright and sparkling with fine carbonation. Head is fine and frothy, with a white sheen of lace across the top. Looks like a decent, German-style lager.
Nose is crisp and fine, with some clean grainy malt and a touch of noble hops. Grassy and haylike, with a touch of citrus bitting through to give a life. Fresh and bright, but classic. Pretty good, without being very exciting.
Taste is clean and grainy, with a very standard German lager character through the most part. Clean bit of hops on the back, which ensures the light sweet organic grain doesn't dominate too much. Feel is light and bright, tending towards thin, which is not unexpected.
Not a bad drop all up, but not that great either. A pretty standard German style lager with a dusting of Euro blandness. It neither shines nor disappoints, so I guess that's something.
60 / 100
Tall 50cl can picked up from a local supermarket. My first brew in Switzerland, but only because this was the only one I had cold.
Pours a slightly hazed burnished golden colour, with a filmy and large-bubbled head of white foam. Carbonation streams through the body very quickly, suggesting very little residual sugar. Head is disappointing, and it's not a great looker all up, but it has a little more character than the average Euro pale.
Light pilsner grain on the nose, with a subdued green Euro hoppiness. A little too sweet, with a cake batter type aroma to it as well. Pretty average all up.
Taste is similar, although a direct, slightly coppery hop bitterness through the centre gives it a touch of character. Otherwise, there's some light dry grain, and a fine sugary character that thankfully dries itself out by the end of the palate. Feel is rather broad at the start, but tapers off at the end.
Eh. it's a pretty average beer, but probably slightly above the average standard of a generic Euro pale. Not something I'd actively seek out, but not something I'd turn down in disgust either.
45 / 100
Pours a pale champagne colour with mild cloudy haze. Nice white head when poured, sinks to a film that is quite decently thick, but disappointingly lacking in lace. Slow but steady carbonation keeps the head alive. Pretty good.
Smell is very grainy, and a little too sweet. Lots of corn notes with an over-sweet vanilla aroma and an odd cough syrup note at the back. Slight bready notes as well - just full of those insipid grain lager notes I despise. Too strong, too sweet.
Taste is better. The same sweet notes abound though, but they're less offensive and strong. Starts well, proper grainy notes with barley and sourdough characters, gets overly sweet on the mid, with a processed, floury character and touches of vanilla as well. Not a lot of hop flavour on the back, but a mild phenolic bitterness at the back cleans up the sweetness...adequately, if not really well. It's a light, airy beer and I'm far more an earthy, sinful beer kind of guy. I don't really care if it's organic as long as it tastes good.
Mouthfeel is quite thick on the front and gets a harsh carbonation sizzle on the back; not great.
Yeah, could really take or leave this beer.
Rebranded as "GAGE (!) PREMIUM LAGER", this is apparently "Batch Brewed" and "Extra Smooth". Let's see, shall we?
Pours a piss-yellow, uninspiringly light colour, with a filmy white oily-laced head and a stream of carbonation that makes it way boisterously to the surface, as though it can't stand to be confined in the beer. Some slick lacing that falls off as soon as it's created. Not a great looking beer. In fact, almost the prototypical poorly shaded brew.
Grainy nothingness on the nose. Very light and unpleasant, with very mild characters throughout. Seriously. There's a faint hint of cereal to it, and nothing else. Blech.
Taste is clinging, but relatively clear for the most part. There's a grainy, mildly unpleasant character that stays and overwhelms everything else though. It's like clear water at the beach which still rises up and dunks you. Not all that unpleasant in isolation, but situationally problematic. Corn cereal characters still dominate, which is a genuine drawback.
It's not really that offensive, in objective terms, but there's so much wrong with it. It's watery, it's weak, it has very few genuinely interesting characters... the list goes on. Interestingly, I drank this after XXXX Summer Bright Lager, and the former was a much better beer, because it provided something without pretense: a genuinely light, easy drinking lager. Maybe the "Premium" on the label just raises my hackles, but this is bland, bland, bland, and pretends it's something better than it is.
Purchased on a random trip to the not-very-good local bottle shop, searching for things I hadn't tried.
Pours a very clear golden colour, with a full and rather good head of very white foam. Lacing is excellent, and gives that good lagery sudsy froth down the sides of the glass. Not a lot of carbonation visible. Looks pretty good, for what it is.
Nose... Blech, just a big dollop of porridge-like cereal sweetness, with a dollop of dry bread yeast thrown in. I thought I smelled a bit of green organics when the bottle was opened, but there's almost nothing of that here now. It's just dry, grainy and insipid. Very unpleasant.
Taste is similar, but less offensive, because it's less flavoursome overall. The cereal character is still cloying, but the light spritzy body makes it less noticeable. Very lame, though. Not tasty, and the bready, yeasty finish gets intolerable after a while.
Don't waste your time. This is a reasonably unpleasant beer, although it doesn't offend me so much that I couldn't drink it the need arose.
70 / 100
Pours an extremely pale straw yellow colour, with a slight haze to it. Head is very large bubbled and fizzy at the start, meaning it dissipates very quickly. Very poor retention. Haze is good - too few pilseners go the even-slightly-unflitered path - and the light colour is great, but the head is certainly a disappointment.
Nose is mild, but pleasant enough, with some light cereal grain giving a pale pilsenery crispness, matched with a very subtle character of crushed organics. Hints of citrus, but it never really gets up there particularly strongly.
Taste is where this really starts to get going. Lovelt crispness and a slight phenolic twang on the front, followed by a cereal grain character peppered with a bitter citrus bite. Firm but crisp in the mouth. Quite light bodied, but very deliberate and solid.
It's a very easy-drinking beer, and the hoppiness comes through when it's needed to add the crispness. A very decent pilsener.
Pours a pale, but bright and deep golden colour. Head is fine-bubbled, but incredibly filmy. Even when opening the bottle, there was only a lackluster vzzt of carbonation, and although it's pretty steady in the glass there's not a lot of it. What's good about it is that it's very languid, which implies some body to the beer. Not bad.
Husky grain and a dollop of oxidised wine on the nose. Bit of old champagne cork, and some corn ethanol characters. Blech. Smell is almost akin to malt liquor, an atrocious waste in a mild pale lager that only weighs in slightly above average in the ABV department.
Taste is no better, and in fact is possibly worse, as the astringency of the malt liquor plus-sized alcohol wallop takes over much of the back palate. Minimal character otherwise, a light carbonic acidity on the front, an acetone spike in the centre. Yeesh. Grassy finish that's possibly the only enjoyable factor in the beer to date, and that's not a good sign.
Mouthfeel is surprisingly thick, but the ethanol bite on it cuts through unpleasantly.
What a thoroughly horrible beer. Has such harshness and raw unpleasant bite, and minimal character on which to base its astringency. Their Grand Reserve? What a laugh. For a 6.6% beer, it's incredibly harsh. More than happy to sink pour this one.
45 / 100
Pours a bright and light coloured yellow colour, with a monumental crackling and frothing head of pure white. The head almost looks like bubble-bath, it's made of huge bubbles that stay full and puffy for a long time. Lacing is pure suds across the edges of the glass. Carbonation seems high, but that's expected for the style. Decent look for the style.
Nose is, I guess you'd say expected for the style. Some slight funk and a big dollop of bready yeast notes. Perhaps even a hint of PoR; in any case, it reminds me just far too much of a classic Aussie macro, and it has some rather grungy characters in any case that I don't care for much.
Taste is similar. Wow, yeah there's obviously some Ringworm in this. That classic dirty, woody bitterness throughout, pronounced on the mid- to back-palate, and a yeasty finish to top it off. Feel is clear and crisp, and to be fair, there's nice body to it. If anything, it does a good job of showcasing the Pride of Ringwood, but that's not really something I feel you want to do.
So, to be fair, it's a pretty well-made beer, it's just they used ingredients which really grate with me. I would *love* to see the same brew done with, say, Nelson Sauvin - I think it would be a fantastic beer.
At least, it has that classic property of Aussie lagers that the more PoR you drink, the more it numbs the tongue, and the less you notice it. Drinkable enough.
Had in a bottle at Auckland Airport. Unfortunately, I fear my ordering of the beers I tried here meant that the quality went downhill. Oh well.
Pours a bright but gaudy golden colour, living up to its name at least. Innitially, some large bubbled soda-like fizz froths up, but it settles to a minimal patchy film on the top of the glass. Lots of carbonation. Looks like every really bad beer I've had before.
Nose is light and grainy, with a fair whack of husk and a light honey-like sweetness. Very faint all up though. Not a lot to it at all.
Taste is very light, with a very husky grain character throughout that leads to nothing on the back. The body just falls out at the end, leaving a faint and rather unpleasant yeast character. Feel is extremely thin, but bubbling with soft carbonation.
What a terrible way to end my beer adventures in transit. This is on a par with all the really terrible adjunct lagers out there in the wide world.
It's alright New Zealand, I know you brew good beers too.
Pours a light golden colour with a full bodied and firm head of creamy white. Lots of streaming carbonation. Good lacing. Looks cloudy in the frosted glass.
Stylistically, the frosted glass makes it look worse. Why would they even do that? Otherwise, it looks pretty good for what it is.
Nothing on the nose, or very little, anyway. Very thin with a little hint of grain. Without the green bottle treatment it doesn't even have the pleasant euro skunkiness. Thin, reedy and insipid.
Taste is clean with a slight bitterness, but a slight chemical twinge on the back giving an acetone finish. No structure to it. Prickly feel that fizzles towards the back. Eh.
Not great. I think it's probably better in bottle, where it's at least clean, bland and drinkable. This is rather tasteless and very forgettable.
Light golden colour, with a reasonably decent head of white foam. Bit filmy after a while, but it does leave some nice lager lacing after a while. Not bad.
Slight bread yeast on the nose, with a bit of dryness, but otherwise, very little at all. Maybe a slightly chemical acidity. That's all. It's weak and unimpressive.
Taste is also very weak, with almost nothing. Slight acidity and prickly carbonation, some bready grain character and a finish of dry acidity, like cheap and nasty champagne.
Very dry, very pale and very, very empty. It's verging very close to being deeply offensive. Worth avoiding.
Pours a very clear deep golden colour, with an initial soda-pop head of white foam that dissipates as quickly. Carbonation is big-bubbled, and for some reason sticks to the edges of the glass. No lacing. Really, it looks appalling. Really, really terrible.
Light grain and corn sweetness on the nose, without a lot of anything else. Hint of carbonic acid, with a bit of faint grassy hops. Organic and slightly rank, but not that bad. Could be worse.
Taste is thin and grainy, with a light sweetness on the back that gives a faint hint of artificial vanilla flavour. Faint carbonic acid on the back, with a vaguely harsh bitterness. Feel is thin but crisp with weird acidity.
It's certainly not a very good beer. This is a true thing. But it's also not horrible or offensive; just a pretty generic Euro Pale lager.
Pours a very clear and extremely light yellow colour, with a fizzy and dissipating head of white crackling bubbles. No foam to this one, it wears itself out pretty quickly, leaving merely a faint filmt on the top, and a few large bubbles around the rim. Not impressed.
Nose has that very classic euro lager funk about it - that slight skunkiness that mingles with an aroma of green crushed vegetation. To be honest, it's not entirely unpleasant, giving a hint of spiciness and something quite fresh. It at least has some character dragging it above bland pale lager territory.
Taste is also much like the generic euro-lager staple. It's very clean, with a very slight uplift of green hops and carbonic acidity. All in all, it's hard to call it more than bland, given its rather short and lifeless palate, but it's not undrinkable.
Sure, it's pretty weak, and pretty devoid of character. But it's certainly not offensive, and is certainly drinkable. Head to head, I'd probably rate this better than the standard Barons Lager, but it's not a great beer, and falls way, way short of the "ballsy" claim made on the bottle.
Unless they're merely referring to the name.
Part of my latest adventures to up my repertoire of beer reviews of generic Australian beers.
Pours a very light, very clear yellow colour, with a minimally weak head of white, which dissipates almost immediately to a loose collar around the edges of the glass, despite a pretty vigorous pour. Minimal lacing. Looks very insipid.
Not a lot on the nose, although there's a pleasant crushed vegetation greenness to it that lifts it above the more generic sweet grain husk character. For the style, it's reasonable - I've had far worse and far more bland Aussie lagers.
Taste is disappointingly thin, without any hint of the hops the green character hinted at. Bland seltzer water start, with some grainy notes mid palate and an unpleasant wet bread sweetness to finish. It's remarkably empty, but has an odd acidity to it that conjures up bile. Eh.
It's not really that offensive, it just has very little to offer. You could probably swill this down alright for a while, but after a couple you'd probably start to hate yourself.
Pours a deep golden colour, certainly in the range of "jasne pivo", and still golden yellow, but so deeply coloured as to verging towards bronze. Head is a wonderfully frothy affair of white bubbling, that dissipates after a while to a slight film that still retains its ability to lace the glass like crazy. It's a really good looking Czech pils.
Nose is balanced between this odd grain sweetness that reminds me of brown bread, and a sharp crisp hop character that doesn't quite manage to bite its way through. The sweetness wins out, and it's a shame.
Taste is crisper, at least, with a twang of metallic hops that is so classically Czech that just that little reminder takes me right back to when I was in the Czech Republic. It's a clean bitterness through the centre of the palate, mixed with more of that grainy sweetness -- together it's very classic, and makes me think I should have bought this beer at the corner store for 10 koruna.
It's a nice Czech pils, while still being a pretty generic one. While they do have a knack for belting out a good exemplar of this style, they rarely push the envelope, so they all end up pretty generic. But it's still good.
38 / 100
Pours a golden urine colour with big fucking head, white and fluffy. Seriously, it's huge and sinking slowly, leaving mostly dull specks of lace. Very thin bead. Looks pretty standard and fizzy, good head though.
Nose is grainy and slightly sour. Fair amount of malt that smells like sour mash or spent grain with a hint of aloe vera and cut grass. Not much else, pretty plain and not very enticing
Taste is a bit insipid. Lots of sweet flavour which is kind of like refined sugar dissolved in water. Slight phenols, not very clean on the back but still remains sweet with an odd alcohol heat probably due to lack of flavour otherwise. Maybe a slight lucerne or straw character on the finish and slight acidity which combines with tingly fizz of the mouthfeel to give it a slight bite. Mostly thin overall.
Hopefully it will match the Polish food i'm having with this, because I certainly wouldn't drink this on its own. A matcher maybe, but a drinker no.
Pours a pale golden colour with opaque fuzzy haze through it. Slow bead trickling up to a very small, white lacklustre head. Lace is bubbly and thin but pretty nice. A bit odd, but good.
Nose is extremely fruity. Huge pineapple with banana and pawpaw, slight caramelised tinge to all this wonderful tropical flavour. Slight peppery spice at the back as well. Sweetness is not overblown, just tasty and enticing.
Taste is fairly fruity as well; lots of banana and slight lemon flavour with some pawpaw as well. Hops come late-mid, quite earthy with slight soapiness as well. Not the cleanest finish I've had (and yes, I'm aware of the irony of calling a soapy finish not clean). Some slight tart notes are not bad but just not a fan of that soapy flavour. Could use more fruit on it, really.
Lots of texture to it, quite a good body. Carbonation tingle is there, but not harsh.
Yeah if finish were cleaner, this would be a cracker. Still very drinkable and enjoyable.
On-tap at Harts Pub, was served to me blind by @laituegonflable.
Pours a very clear pale straw colour, with only minimal head. What's there is a fine white foam that only adheres slightly to the edge of the glass to create some lacing. Steady carb. Pretty average.
Lots of floral honey on the nose, almost to the detriment of everything else. Flowery and sweet, almost cloying. Not a fan, I'm afraid.
Light grainy palate, again with more honey characters to add some craziness. Taste of something green (lucerne) to stick with the graininess on the back, finishes with a slight seltzer bitterness. Mouthfeel very watery.
It really has some issues in terms of flavour - it's not a particularly enjoyable beer, even if it's light enough that it's not that hard to drink.
56 / 100
0.5L bottle, tasted with a plate of paprika chicken at Alchemy Polish Cafe in Surry Hills.
Frothy headed, thick from a big bubbled and heavily carbonated body, this looks the classic Euro lager from the get-go. Colour is standard pale yellow. Sure, it's not the best look in the world, but it's not bad for the style.
Wet grain and a little sweetness on the nose. A little something organic and a slight green apple note to go with it. Not great, but it's still classical for the Euro pale genre again.
Taste is clear, with a touch of sweetness. Some metallic notes with a grainy finish whacked with bread yeast. Not offensive, but the taste is not from the stock of better stylistic examples. Mouthfeel suffers from the aggressive carbonation.
OK, it's not the greatest beer in the world, but it's not bad. It certainly strikes me as something you could drink happily with abandon in the squares of Warsaw or Krakow.
Very lovely dark golden colour with lots of small-bubbled streaming carbonation. Head is a fine white film of tiny, almost creamy bubbles. Lacing is very good. Overall, it looks like a very tasty lager.
A lot of grain sweetness on the nose, very European, in fact, quite like the classic German lagers. A little seltzer water funk, some coppery metallic character. It's possibly the hops, but otherwise they're absent. Nice.
Very carbonated body - that's what I notice first. It's so crazy with tiny sparkling bubbles. And it adds an unusual acidity to it. Other than that, it has a reasonably pleasant grain character. And despite this, it's not overly sweet, the cleansing metallic character is pleasant. Mouthfeel's a bit much, but it's quite interesting.
A very decent lager, very smooth and cleansing. The carbonation is slightly too extreme, but otherwise I found it perfectly drinkable and enjoyable. Nice.
57 / 100
Pours a pale amber with generous white head and furious streaming bead feeding it from below, leading to some very impressive retention. In fact, this might seem absurd, but I'd swear the head is growing thicker as time goes one, that's how intense and persistent this carbonation stream is. It's a very impressive effect and overall looks good, but I don't think that level of carbonation bodes too well for drinking.
Nose is standard lagery in essence, with a healthy grassy hop aroma and some grainy malt characters. Quite pilsenery actually, with a bit of a metallic edge. Smells quite crisp, but no really unique or interesting characteristics.
Taste is fairly bitter for the most part, a little flavour of bitter melon thanks to a fruity ester or two on the front, pleasant hop freshness on the mid with light phenols and a bit of an English hop bitterness - that tea-like acerbic character. Finishes quite metallic and leaves an unfortunate astringency on the back, with the flavour of a rotten grape. There are some nice fresh grassy and fruity flavours detectable on the mid-palate but they're pretty much swallowed up by some over-potent hopping. Not a bad job, but the astringency is a bit disappointing.
Mouthfeel has a fair fullness, a bit of a body to it with obvious malt presence, luckily the aggressive fizz doesn't carry across too badly to the texture. Leaves slightly dry, but certainly decent.
Quite enjoying this actually, it would make a good thirst-quenching drop in Summer. The astringency may detract from the flavour, but not enough to ruin the overall experience.
Had as a sampler from the brewery.
Pours a slightly burnished gold with large effervescence, huge aggressive stream of bubbles. Head is quite modest, but good retention, dense and white. Lacing is dense and thick. Too much carbonation but otherwise good.
Malty at first on the nose, hint of cream with some gentle grass notes and some citric bitterness. That's really all there is, not much, pretty subdued and simple.
A lot of bitterness on the front palate, with flavour of lemon rind, some earthy POR character that trails off towards the back. Some orange and tangerine as well on the mid, fair amount of fruit but lacks complexity. Not very much of a finish at all, which makes this - compared to the bitter lager - not so much 'smooth', as lacking flavour. Lowering the hops probably makes it smoother but it needs something else here to keep me interested.
Mouthfeel is a bit harsh at times, very drying on the back. Not great, fairly thin.
Drinkable enough though, have definitely had better beer but it could be okay on the patio during Summer. Just a bit bland.
59 / 100
Pours a pale yellow with lots of fizz and head as well, made up of dense white bubbles which leaves some nice dense lace around. Looks maybe a bit too fizzy, but otherwise impeccable for the style. Looks crisp and refreshing.
Has a slight lemon smell reminiscent of air freshener, some sherbet notes. Light bitterness at the back with a slightly phenolic edge. Overall it smells like a lemon vodka pop, not great for a beer.
Tastes very bitter right from the start, hints of lemon rind and quinine with a slightly tangy tartaric edge at the front, with an earthy bitterness that comes through at the back, reminds me of eating gravel. Because I do that a lot. Interesting, the flavours are unusual but not too bad and the balance is OK - average, anyway.
A nice foamy mouthfeel with a fair amount of body.
Pretty tasty and drinkable overall.
9 / 100
(Bottom of the Barrel)
Pours a slightly coppery golden colour, head is effervescent and white, too fizzy to stick around for very long at all. Slow, minimal bead, and some patches of slippery lace when tilted. Looks pretty uninteresting.
Nose is a bit of a sickfest, a lot of overly sweet, caramelly malt aromas, with a slight diacetyl edge and a whiff of creamed corn as well. A resiny hop tinge is welcome, but combined together with the sweetness it gives off a mildew or mouldy smell, like the stench of an uncleaned bathroom. Unpleasant.
Taste is little better - sweet and sour characters on the front, with a lot of buttery caramelly notes that last throughout the palate, a bit of rice sweetness on the mid, thin and fairly weak. Hint of a tart, carbolic edge on the back with some mild herbal notes, but not nearly enough to clean up the palate. Taste is just sweet, with all the worst fizz flavours of a soft drink to render it nastily so.
If mouthfeel were sticky it might pass as a sweet-style beer gone awry, but it's wafer thin and still makes my stomach want to explode.
A dreadful beer, not enough flavour and just has nothing to offer beer drinkers or the beer world. If they've been brewing this since 1846 then shame on the last 160 years of Italian beer drinkers and those worldwide for not telling Menabrea this beer is shit.
Pours a golden colour with decent snowy head of sparse bubbles that sinks pretty steadily. Bead is thin, but steady. Lacing left as rings of white foam. Looks nice.
Nose is pungent, with a kind of corn sweetness and a whiff of barley. A slight chemical aroma and some slightly medicinal hop phenols. Has a sourness to it, slightly citric, maybe a bit bready, like undercooked dough. An odd mélange, but not horrible.
Taste has elements of that sourness, but ultimately seems sweet. Aspects of lolly water and a bit of a saline character almost like seawater. A bit of a chemical aspect and quite savoury on the mid-palate, like a crackery malt flabour. Tartness comes through on front and back, slightly phenolic and gives it a nice rounded profile, even if the flavour itself isn't wonderful.
Mouthfeel is slightly textured with a hint of tingle, but mostly watery, a little bit thicker than your average lager though.
This is pretty standard Euro fare. Nothing outwardly bold on the palate, but noticeable hops and a distinct lager yeast strain that gives it a slight savoury character. Not undrinkable.
Pours a golden colour with furious carbonation on first pour that translates into a good thick head of honeycombed bubble formation. None of that carbonation sticks around, although lacing certainly does albeit sparsely.
Nose is very sweet, with a molasses syrupy character to it, hints of some medicinal phenols and a touch of vanilla. Hops are subdued, but there, slightly phenolic without any real punch to them. Truth is it doesn't smell refreshing, but it's not too bad.
Taste is a bit of a disaster; I think a yeast bomb just went off in here. Hints of banana and honey on the front, and a bit of a dessicated coconut flavour as well. That's all good, but it's soon overwhelmed by a tidal wave of nutty, cloying bread yeast character, which not only strangles the palate but does the same to the finish, which simply disappears under the force of this unwelcome, unpleasant tsunami of flavour. Maybe a slight linger of phenolic bitterness, but certainly no noticeable back palate.
Feel is a bit sticky as well, could be full but there's no texture, it just crawls like a slug through your mouth.
Not a great effort here, flavour is unbalanced and there's no real likability, or drinkability. A bit of a struggle to get down actually.
Pours a clear golden colour, quite mirrorlike, with a fine bubbled but slightly filmy head of pure white foam. Some decent lacing. Not stupendous, but very pleasing to look at in the glass.
Unpleasant over sweet corn characters on the nose. Hints of cooked veggies and sugar water. Rice is also quite possible. Very unpleasant, and appallingly insulting after the reasonable looking appearance.
Thin, but some how glutinous and weak in the mouth. Texture reminds me of someone else's saliva. Some fizziness, and a hint of weak rice or maize sweetness, but it's incredibly thin nonetheless. Back palate leaves a vaguely unpleasant organic bitterness in my mouth - I can't help but think that it's what the floor of a chimpanzee's cage would taste like. Very unpleasant.
Mouthfeel has that odd gelatinous character to it. It's not good, but it adds some interest at least.
No, not for me - very thin, very weak, devoid of character, and not even particularly refreshing for a hot summer day. I only save it from utter annihilation because I have had some truly offensive beers in the past, and this doesn't have enough character to be truly repellent.
Pours a pale straw colour with decent snowy head, quite sparse though with big bubbles; good retention. Bead is virtually non-existent, and lacing is decent but doesn't stick to the glass. Looks fairly decent.
Nose is absolutely revolting. Sickly sweet with the mega-diacetyl-tron rampaging through it. Huge corn syrup stench, just sugary and syrupy. If I'm to be generous I'd imagine a brief and very slight grassy character, but really it's all treacle and molasses and sunshine. In a really sickening way. A pig of a smell. Smelling like a pig would be better.
Taste is not very nice either. Pretty watery on the front with mild buttery notes, and then mid-to-back altogether is a cloying, sticky mess. Not so sweet but large chunks of adjunct flavour and a doughy biscuity malt character. Hops are very mild and herbal, with a very slight woody character and a bit of sap in there.
Fizzy carbonation on the front also sours it up unpleasantly, while mouthfeel as a whole is undesirably sticky. Not good, not drinkable.
8 / 100
(Bottom of the Barrel)
Dark green and gold can, with barley stalks edging the GOLD lettering. Not much else to it except that it says to SERVE COLD, or "SOGUK ICINIZ" if you're Turkish.
Pretty insipid lemon yellow pee-colour, with a frothy loose-bubbled head that collapses into nothingness very quickly. You can see and hear the massive carbonation which feeds this baby, the low fizzle reminds me of a can of soft drink, not a beer.
Slightly earthy, body odour smell, maybe with a more pleasant dash of pastry or bread dough thrown in. Slightly salty even, like spray from the sea or a tequila slammer. In any case, it doesn't work, and leaves me very wary of what I'm about to put in my mouth.
Ooh. Err. Yeah, well the nose didn't lie, and there's not much to appreciate on the palate. Slightly metallic, rusty start, with a hint of old barnyards, or chewing on a wet nail. Finish disappears very rapidly, rather like it's trying to run away and hide, because it knows what a bad job it's doing. Slight note of soda water, overcarbonated.
Blech. What a joke. Manages to be quite offensive for a beer which ultimately you can forget very easily. Not very good by any standard. Stick to Vole! Even the ubiquitous Efes urinates liberally on this one.
48 / 100
Light lemon gold colour, with a decent filmy white head and fine carbonation. Reasonable head retention, although it doesn't billow very much on the pour. Decent lacing.
Slightly bready nose, and a hint of hops. Rather timid and weak, but suitable. Just very understated.
Taste is also pretty bland, with a slightly floral hint of hops, but otherwise quite dry and insipid. Mouthfeel is rather good though. Nicely creamy, but with enough zing to give the beer a little bit of a lift, which it sorely needs.
Overall, it's a pretty drinkable beer. It's not going to wow you but it'd probably be worth having a couple.
Pours a very light gold colour with a filmy head of white foam. It's fine-bubbled, but only around the collar. Some lacing, but not a lot. To be honest, not very inspiring.
Lots of corn on the nose, a clean but unspiring adjunct sweetness. No aromatics, no hops, just a lot of cereal grain. Not a fan.
Light sweetness and a whole heap of nothing on the palate. Starts out with a light sugar water character, finishes with a very uninspiring carbonic acidity, rather reminiscent of the aftertaste of a puke. Mouthfeel thin as filtered urine.
My hatred for this beer grew and grew as I sample it, until I was sobbing in disgust that anyone would brew something so horribly devoid of character. I'm very pleased to be able to toss the rest down the sink.
56 / 100
Pours a pale gold with healthy carbonation and a dense white head that fizzes away, sinking slowly to leave a pleasant ring of lace. This is how I knew beer as a child: golden, fizzy and frothy. It really takes me back...
Nose is quite pleasant, floral and aromatic with hints of biscuity and caramelly malt, a large hit of rosewater and a slight tang like sherbet. A very weak suggestion of a phenolic aroma is too slight to make an impression. That lack of impression makes this nose a little too sweet, which is a shame because it's close to being excellent.
Taste is similarly sweet, with the same rosewater character and slightly tartaric edge. Malt is prominent and actually quite sticky on the mid-palate, makes this lager feel a bit heaver than usual. Hops are very floral but not really dominant, and the only significant hoppiness simply lingers on the back in a dank, earthy bitter king of way.
This beer is tragically close to supremacy. Its flavour is sweet, but not in a sickly adjunct way, and pleasant enough to make it unique among pale lagers, but it's slightly too sweet and doesn't leave cleanly enough to be a refreshing, enjoyable drop. A little more bitter hopping could make this a lager colossus, but at the moment it just doesn't really do it for me.
Pours a pale golden colour, flat with no carbonation, thin ring of white foam where head should be. Lacing is nice and sticky, unfortunately it's the only thing here that's nice or sticky.
Nose is very nutty and malty with a good belt of honey and corn with maybe a pecan edge to it. Definitely has a bread yeast character to it as well but not overpowering. Nose is too sweet and simple, but OK characters. Definitely needs more, or better, hops.
Taste is a bit weird; sweet and sticky with honey on the front, bread yeast on the mid and some kind of watermelon phenolic ester on the back. Definitely no hops, and in fact very little finish as a result. Has a bit of an insipid soft-drink character on there and leaves you feeling hollow and uninspired. Actually makes me cringe a bit on the finish, it's quite unpleasant and really needs work, more malt and hops; I'd go so far as to say whatever flavour is here is created almost entirely by yeast.
Mouthfeel is thin and pathetic, no tingle or anything. Overall it's a weak effort, poorly constructed and quite repellant in drinking.
43 / 100
Pours a pale golden colour with strong, vibrant carbonation frothing up a very pleasant snowy head that sinks slowly, about a finger thick, 1 minute in. Lacing is pretty slippery, but overall it's a decent, refreshing-looking lager.
Nose is quite pungent, with a lot of biscuity vanilla malt, quite sweet with a slight phenolic edge. Hints of a dusty character, some grass clippings as well, overall not all that fresh, a bit sweet for all the lagery goodness.
Taste has a similar malt underlay, with a strong and persistent biscuity malt flavour, with some other elements creeping in: anise, peppermint and a very metallic hop hit on the back. Slight tartness comes through midway. Has a bit of an off flavour towards the end, kind of like a rotten potato, which I think is just a bit of unbalance between flavours.
Feel is nice, with a pleasant tingle, although the body is overall a bit sticky. Yeah, flavours are just a bit skew-whiff and they don't taste fresh or crisp, which means this isn't all that pleasant or drinkable. It's close to being both though.
Pours a golden amber colour with modest white head that sinks immediately to a film of big bubbles. Lacing is sticky and thick like in many other lagers, but it's the only thing here that isn't pathetic.
Reasonably fruity nose with a light citrus hint and a bit of apple. Maybe a very slight hop hit but very little else. Better than I expected, but still pretty weak and simple.
Taste - unpleasant. Very simple and a bit watery on the front with a big lingering kick of hops that comes in off the wave and crashes in a horrible bitter wipeout on my tongue. Not much adjunct character, but also very little of anything else. Just a slightly yeasty and dirty hop flavour that lasts throughout the palate.
Mouthfeel is atrociously thin and watery. No carbonation sparkle at all, no body. Just bad.
Overall it's pretty inoffensive, but far too simple and pretty poor for the most part.
Pours a very pale colour like distilled urine, strong carbonation with minimal white head, retains thanks mainly to that strong carbonation. Lacing is a fairly standard streaky white. Looks alright.
Nose has a fair hit of hops with a strong POW aroma. Unpleasant sticky sweet fragrance rather like honey, but I think it's a rice adjunct aroma. Pretty standard and a bit unpleasant.
A strong sticky rice flavour on the mid-palate, quite insipid. Mostly saccharine with a bit of a very light phenolic hop towards the back. Finish is very bland, with not much, really doesn't have much of an aftertaste. A bit sweet is all, fairly boring and thin.
Mouthfeel is not too bad, a bit sticky for a pale lager though. A little bit of tingle saves it.
Not a great beer, adjuncty and dull, needs more of everything really.
49 / 100
Enjoying a Summer ale on a very cold Winter evening. Ooh yeah.
Pours a burnished gold colour with large effervescent bubbling, but a disappointingly thin head for all its efforts. White in colour, thin crown, retains well but I'd like it thicker. Lacing is enjoyable, but fairly thin. Pretty average-looking, has a soft drink appearance.
Smells tangy, sweet and spicy. Hints of clove, banana and red apple on that. But actually smells a lot like mead, which I guess is the "honey-spiced" aspect. Nice smell, very pleasant. But not very beer-y at all.
Taste is also sweet and tangy with a slight carbonated flavour and a fermented honey kind of flavour on the mid. Hints of clove and cinnamon without any real bite, just the flavour of spice without the sensation. Feel is a little thin, with a little bit of a tingle at first that pretty much dies to leave none of that effervescence that I can see in the glass.
Overall this is a beer with pleasant flavours, but it's very sweet and too hearty to call itself a Summer brew. I'd say this would drink better heated up on a chilly Winter evening (which is kind of what I'm doing with it) A bit sickly when it comes right down to it, unable to be drunk all the time. Not too bad though.
Pours a golden amber colour with white head of standard thickness, fairly quiet bead and a pretty slippery, thin lacing. Looks really, really average. Nothing exciting going on here at all.
Nose is horribly sweet with a powerful bread yeast whiff, slight honey hint and an odd oatmeal underlying, or at least a sort of wet grain mash throughout. Nothing particularly hoppy about it, and yeah, a pretty horrible effort.
Taste has a bit more going on, although front palate is quite weak and watery, with a slight honey character coming through for the mid and then getting caught up with another hint of that doughy yeast. Hops appear at the death to save the day (Tarantaraa!), and while they deepen, rather than lessen, the bread yeast character, there is enough of a metallic edge to them to save this from the dark realm of rotting zombie flesh horror. Mouthfeel is slightly thicker than I would expect, but would like more of a tingle from the carbonation.
Overall, this tastes like a bad German pilsener, but really it just smacks of poor brewing. Not tasty, and not refreshing, not much to recommend.
Pours a pale straw colour with a medium white head, thins out to a ring around the top, not helped at all by weak but steady carbonation. No lacing. Looks very dull.
Thin smell, virtually no malt. A lot of grassy hops but mostly just a soda water aroma. Smells acidic, basically like carbonated water. Unimpressed.
The taste is revolting. It has the palate of a backwards pilsener. Starts off, well, watery, while the mid-palate has bitter notes with a slight POW hoppy character, and then a thoroughly nasty lingering sweetness on the back. The flavours might be okay if the hops were at the back to truncate the sticky malt, but it's topsy turvy and as a result leaves me syrupy and sweet. Mouthfeel gets sticky at the back as well, but is not too watery, quite appropriate for the lager style.
Not very pleasant and not drinkable. A failure.
Pale saffron-coloured with medium-sized head, quite a fair amount of lacing. Lots of carbonation. Looks decent but not great.
A lot of unpleasant yeast and pride of ringworm on the nose. Light and ricey malt. Ever-so-slight hint of spice. That's either a mistake though, by me probably but if it's there, by the brewer. I can't imagine it being intentional.
A lot of malt and sticky yeast on the palate. Yuck, indeed. I could tell from the nose that this taste would be poor and sadly, I was correct. A lot of sticky bready yeast and a horrible adjunct flavour, palate is short but with a lingering unpleasant hang, and mouthfeel is viscous yet watery with nothing to recommend it.
Golden honey colour, very thin, with no head apart from a very thin ring around the edge. It looks flat. No carbonation, no lacing. Very uninspiring indeed, possibly one of the most unappealing looking beers I've ever laid eyes upon.
Yeast cider on the nose, hints of floury apple, a little zing of metal, but not much. Nothing really prominent, rather flat over all.
Such a weird character on the palate; slightly yeasty and floury, like bread dough. Also some odd sugar flavour, reminiscent of those candy teeth you used to get. It's weird. Doesn't taste like beer.
Mouthfeel surprisingly carbonated, especially given the flat look to it.
This is incredibly dry and just a little disturbing. It's not that hard to drink, but it's just so unusual, and not really beer-like at all, in any sort of style.
Pours a pale golden appearance, with a bit of head, but not much. Thin but very nice, clingy lacing. Clear body with a little bead. Not bad, but fairly weak apart from that lacing.
Fair hint of apple cider on the nose with an unpleasant sour, almost meaty character hidden at the back. Fairly sweet with not much hoppiness, also fairly weak.
Really quite dreadful flavour, has a sugar-dissolved-in-water front palate with a slight hint of green apple on the back. A bit acidic, and kind of grainy like PERUVIAN THING. Weak, for the most part. Bit sour on the back, but mostly watery. Mouthfeel is quite thin. Can't say I expected much from this, and I was right. Mind you, having tried the O'Briens Gluten Free beers I can safely say that this is definitely the best and most drinkable of this variety.
57 / 100
Pours quite a pale yellow colour - the stream coming from the bottle looked almost witbier colour, although when it settles in the glass it's certainly a lagery golden kind of colour. Good pillow of snowy head. Retains a bit of lacing but nothing special. Flat - the bubbles appear when first poured to form the good head but don't stick around for the encore.
Modestly foul nose - a touch of hops but a great deal of yeast. Sour yeast, as well. Certainly has an aroma to it which is worthy of respect for strength, but unworthy of respect in every other....respect. It's unappealing, really, and has no depth or complexity to it - it's just a strong example of a by-the-numbers, textbook lager smell.
There is a far more impressive character on the palate: a strong, rich malty character on the front, quite dark and mysterious with a fairly long entourage of hops following. That yeast I picked up on the nose disappears here, which at least distinguishes this from its snotty little cousin Nastro Azzurro. In fact, the more I drink this, the more I'm enjoying it. This is actually a very respectable drop, with a finely balanced palate. A good, healthy malt character, bitter somewhere in the middle but a fairly sweet, and full-bodied finish. The alc vol says it's 6.6, which is believable - this feels like a slightly heavier beer, although the drinkability factor is high.
You've surprised me, Peroni. I was fairly nonplussed after the look and the first smell, but the palate is actually quite skillfully skulpted, and the thick, uncarbonated mouthfeel is a very good complement to its full-bodied flavour. A very drinkable drop, I must say. Pleasant.
49 / 100
Pretty trendy looking yellow, gold and red can, carefully sporting the Croat red and white checks.
Pale yellow with a hint of gold in the body. Head is a pleasant crown of rocky white foam that dissipates to film. Some carbonation, but understated.
Pleasant hoppiness on the nose, a little bit of citrus - it would go well with seafood with a squeeze of lemon. A certain unpleasant yeastiness creeps in, however, but overall it's reasonable.
Quite smooth and pleasant on the palate, a little hoppy, but again understated, leaving it pretty clean and drinkable. Mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth.
Not as good out of a can as on tap, but pleasant enough. One of the best mass-produced Croatian beers I've had.
43 / 100
Green and gold 50cl can sampled from a supermarket in Iaşi, Romania. Standard sort of logo and a proudly displayed "Winner of the Gold Medal, Bruxelles 2003-2006".
Pale, clear yellow colour. Coarse bubbled white head which disappears to nothingness very quickly. Highly carbonated, almost too much.
Quite sweet, but reasonably fresh on the nose, a hint of hops, a sweet grainy sort of character. Smells like it will be smooth, but forgettable... Let's see, shall we?
Slightly sweet, sticky front palate, with a decent, lagery sort of flavour to it. I don't really know how else to describe it. It's slightly bitter, a little bit yeasty, but it just has that nice clean euro-lager character. It's not amazing, of course, but it has a certain nostalgia of the time before beer to me was big, hoppy and exciting. It's actually pretty smooth, pretty enjoyable and pretty drinkable. Mouthfeel is unfortunately too carbonated, a bit like seltzer water.
Overall, though, it's pretty drinkable. Pretty smooth, pretty clean. It's not a beer that's going to knock your socks off, but it goes down easily and you could drink a couple without too much trouble.
Notes: When I was out drinking with some Romanian colleagues later, I was informed that this beer is considered a "woman's beer". When I asked why, they said because it's quite sweet. It was still a fair bit better than a lot of the other Romanian swill like Ursus, Silva and Ciuc, though, so I continued to drink it.
44 / 100
Pretty refined looking black can with an unassuming golden oval and the Laško goat staring out at us. Ingredients stated as water, hops, malt and unmalted cereals. Oh well, let's see how this goes...
Pale yellow body, with thin streams of fine carbonation floating leisurely to the top. Excellent crest of white, solid foam, which leaves good lacing. Very decent looking pale lager, everything you'd expect from the style.
Some raisiny sweetness initially on the nose, and maybe just a hint of yeasty bread dough, which is a little unpleasant. Very little though, on the nose, overall, and really it's pretty bland.
Palate has an initial sweet flavour reminiscent of rosewater, but then is descends into a murky mishmash of floury aridity, hops that aren't quite all there, the faint hint of honey and a selzer-water spritz. It's not the generic blandness of just-another-Euro-lager, but the flavours are a mess, and it doesn't know what it's doing. Feel is surprisingly flat and brittle, given the good-looking carbonation.
This one almost has something to it which would put it above the generic pale swill, but it's just everywhere, and what you end up with is a surprising flavoured but ultimately uninspired beer. Given that the standard Laško offering is a cut above the average, this one is disappointingly mediocre.
Comes in a pretty standard half-litre brown bottle, with a green, white and yellow label bearing proud Croatian mottos.
Pours a gold-just-turning-to-amber hue, with masses and masses of fizzy, coarse-bubbled carbonation. Head fizzes like soft drink very quickly, then disappears, leaving not even a hint of a ring around the glass. Hugely overcarbonated, it looks like a soft drink. Possibly the most unappealing looking beer I've ever seen.
Slightly salty, sea-water type aroma on the nose, with a hint of rubbing alcohol and menthol. The only good thing you can say about it is that it's not overpowering, but it's by no means good.
The taste actually starts off reasonably well, with a hint of hoppy bitterness, but then is decends through a bland, watery nothingness, only to come back and stab you in the back with a truly unpleasant bread-yeast character that sticks to the back of your mouth. Mouthfeel is overcarbonated. Far from pleasant.
A truly unpleasant brew. To top it off, the carbonation makes you feel bloated after only a little while. Undrinkable.
43 / 100
Picked up from Fidelio Supermarket in Iaşi, Romania.
Golden 50cl can with a yellow and blue crest and a mountain. A couple of possibly stylistic medals adorn the front of the beer. Some wild mottos in Romanian as well. Wish I could read them, I'm sure they're amazing.
Pours a darkish yellow-gold colour. Lots of coarse-bubbled carbonation, feeding a large buy collapsible white head of rocky foam. Minimal lacing. No retention.
Slight meaty aroma on the nose, and a hint of salt. Mostly, though, it's the CO2; an overcarbonated smell of seltzer water. I would have said something pleasant about it, but I can't really find anything. Pretty bland.
Taste is actually ok, but still pretty bland. It has a surprising sweetness on the front palate, even (although it's sacrilege to say it) a little reminiscent of the Belgian yeast character, which the dips to a quite biting hint of hops. I'm surprised just how good this is on the palate, given the appearance and smell were marking this as a complete dud. Yeah, it grows on you. Mouthfeel is still definitely suffering from the high carbonation though.
It's ultimately quite a drinkable brew, but there's a huge polarity gap between the smell and the taste. If you don't let your first impressions fool you, this one might just take you by surprise.
57 / 100
Clear, consistent light amber gold colour. Good frothy-verging-on-creamy white head. Excellent lacing and retention. This is a good looking lager served in its big chunky glass.
Not much on the nose. Slightly yeasty, with a hint of citrus, like sweet orange. It's quite fragrant, but rather subdued still.
Taste is also a bit weak, with a grainy, yeasty bred dough character predominant. Very clean feel though and quite refreshing.
Very easy to drink and rather enjoyable for a mass-marketed lager. I was expecting a lot worse.
I mistakenly ordered this at a small restaurant in Split on the coast of Croatia, expecting a brew called "Točeno Pivo". I belately realised that Točeno is Croat for "Draught", and this was just the on-tap version of the ubiquitous Oujsko beer.
Yellow-gold body with a decent, though collapsing white filmy head. Large bubbled carbonation.
A little citrusy hops on the nose, and a bit of bread yeast. Still, it's not too bad, although a little weak.
Hmm, not bad at all on the palate, a really decent clean, full-bodied lager. Quite nicely peppered with hops and a very clean finish.
Very refreshing, and great to wash away the summer heat of the Dalmatian coast. An above average Euro lager - worth a try.
39 / 100
Pours a very ordinary amber colour with a small amount of carbonation. Head - none, lacing - some. Not so impressive.
Nose has slight hints of honey - quite malty really, no hops which are immediately apparent. Almost a sickly kind of smell to it, but passable.
Palate has a fairly dulled hit of hops with a slight rich maltiness accompanying. The palate is disappointingly short although there is a bitterness which lingers more through inertia than any strong evidence of bittering hops. Taste is standard and ultimately unimpressive.
It's not a bad brew, but it certainly isn't great. Again, passable.
Pours a golden colour with very little head, sits flat in the glass with a thin bead of carbonation. Not much lacing. A pretty watery but standard-looking beer.
Nose has a slight hint of spice, but dominant are hops, no real trace of yeast (which is good, of course). Quite an aromatic lager, actually.
Taste has a malty front with a long, slightly acrid finish. Evidence of a long bittering hop addition late in the palate and a finish that definitely leaves an impression. Not quite so complex but certainly a fair amount of character on this palate. Mouthfeel though is slightly flat and lifeless. Overall, an enjoyable and interesting lager.
57 / 100
Looks like a very standard lager, with light yellowish colour and a fairly thick white head, furious bubbling when first poured. LAcing is OK but not great. Looks pretty alright.
Fair amount of hops on the nose, with very few other characters. Slight citrus undertone, bit of sweetness. Wouldn't say I'm overly impressed.
Taste is dominated by a fair amount of rich blended hops. Has a sweet cereal character, with an ever so slightly sour character mostly on the mid palate. Bit of a herbal edge, with an inoffensive, clean finish. Nice exciting feel with effervescence to burn.
Very European in style and taste, nothing too exciting but certainly a clean, drinkable beer.
Pours a light golden colour, stady and champagney bubbling forming a very thick and resilient head of snow-white foam. Lagery but good appearance.
Nose has lots of hops and little else. Quite lagery in aroma and simple. Needs more character, it's too similar to any other swill.
Fair hit of yeast on the front palate descends into a slight, barely perceptible hop bitterness. (That was ripped straight from the back label but it's a perfect description). Drinkable but very bland (That's what SHOULD be on the back label), could use a lot more bittering and just more flavour in general. Pretty poor overall actually.
Pours a decent deep yellow-amber colour. With an aggressive pour, I got a reasonable white rocky head. Decent lacing. Carbonation is minimal.
Light sulphur and crushed vegetation on the nose. Behind it is a rather unpleasant character though, a bit like rancid meat. It's just enough to turn you off. Not good.
Taste is inoffensive and bland. A slight hint of bitterness, and a dry finish are the only notable characteristics. Mouthfeel is quite light, but suitable. It's pretty dull, but in all honesty it's probably pretty hard to call it unpleasant.
Ultimately, this is a very bland, very inoffensive beer. It's not unpleasant (apart from the rancid characters on the nose), and it's not undrinkable, but why on earth would you bother with it?
49 / 100
Explodes on opening. Huge frothy four-fingers of head. Coarse rocky foam, that leaves a bit of sticky lacing. Body is light clear gold with some suspended floaties.
Not much on the nose - a light spice character, perhaps a hint of lemon, or sugar.
Taste is a bit messy. The front palate is almost reminiscent of a Belgian wit, with spice characters dominant and a hint of light toffee sweetness, but the back stings with an unwelcome amalgam of hops and bread yeast. There's some good characters here, but they're a bit unbalanced and the whole thing feels a bit slapdash.
Ends up being like an overhopped wit - I think it needs to be one thing or the other: either spicy-sweet, or dry and hoppy. Together the characters clash.
Overall though, it's actually reasonably drinkable, but I feel as though they need to tone down the schizophrenia here.
50cl green bottle with a very standard Euro-style crest on the label. It probably tells me something about the beer in Hungarian as well.
Very pale low-carat gold colour, with masses of coarse-bubbled carbonation. Head is suitably frothy, but not very strong, and collapses to a foamy ring before too long.
Very little on the nose, perhaps a slight soda-like sharpness, and a hint of rusty hoppiness. Still it's not very pronounced, and rather weak.
Taste is very bland, with an initial flat taste of copper, followed by a bland flavour, rather like chewing on paper. Hint of yeastiness at the end, but not much. Mouthfeel is spike from the overcarbonation.
It's not great, and it can't hack it if you're drinking it with anything other than the spiciest or most flavoursome food. Anything else doesn't cover up this beer's blandness.
60 / 100
Nice bottle, with a swingcap.
Very clear yellow body, with only a little head unless you pour pretty aggressively. Overbubbly once the head arrives, and although it's sticky, it collapses pretty rapidly.
Slightly sour metallic character on the nose. Not bad, although hints of barnyard funk creep in. It's alright, but not great.
Slightly bitter on the palate, clean and crisp. Not a lot of complexity, pretty simple, but still nice and drinkable.
In the end this is just a good, easy to drink German style lager. It's not going to knock your socks off, but it delivers the goods if you're after an easy drinking beer.
41 / 100
I saw a fascinating documentary about the English guy who was trying to export this "Indian style beer" to India, marketing it as a "premium beer", and having to contend with issues like the fact that beer advertising is prohibited in India. Anyway, when I saw this on the shelf, I thought I had to give it a go.
Pours a very clear golden yellow colour. Lots of big-bubbled carbonation, leading up to a very light head, which fizzles for a bit and then disappears. Not a great looking beer.
Light and grainy on the nose. Subdued, but not unpleasant. A little too sweet for my tastes, but reasonable.
Taste is very flat. A little hint of coppery bitterness paired with a persistent rice sweetness, but not much else. It's clean and crisp, it just doesn't have a lot of character, so you end up wondering what it's really got going for it.
It's a pretty clean, but ultimately pretty flavourless lager. Better than some, that's for sure, but I even think the Indians would be doing better with a Kingfisher.
40 / 100
Standard reusable 50cl brown bottle. White yellow and maroon label with the "Sarkany" crest of a fledgling dragon.
Light yellow verging on gold body, with a fair amount of coarse-bubbled carbonation. Head looks fizzy and unstructured. Leaves only a slight ring around the edge, and almost no lacing.
Slight cidery nose, hints of carbonic acid, and a little bit of matellic hoppy resin, but not much. Pretty weak on the nose, and the aromas that it does have are pretty forgettable.
Taste is a little better, with a clean, crisp bitterness, and an easy-drinking but light back-palate. Mouthfeel is also quite crisp, leaving this one pretty refreshing.
Better than a lot of the generic Euro lagers you come across, but it's still not that far away from swill. Easier to drink than most.
38 / 100
Very pale yellow-gold, with no head and lots of verry coarse carbonation. Looks pretty unpleasant - but here goes anyway...
Hmm... Not bad on the nose. Slightly tangy zesty citrus and metallic hops. A little bit of that soda water flavour, but apart from that, reasonable.
Extremely carbonated on the palate, very spritzy, and rather refreshing. The taste itself is a little less pleasant, however, quite sweet, with a yeastiness. It's drinkable, but there's this empty, airy sorta of flavour in there. Almost a dried fruit character, which makes it rather sweeter than it should be.
Not great, but not really that offensive.
6 / 100
(Bottom of the Barrel)
From the label: "Brewed and canned for Cambodia Brewery Limited by APBS Singapore. Brewed for export!"
Massively fizzy yellow body. Looks like a soft drink. Head fizzes for a bit the disappears completely. Much like you expect when pouring a Coke.
No smell. Like, no smell whatsoever. This beer has no smell. I don't know how else to put it. Smell no beer this has. I don't see how I can give it a score for smell, when it doesn't have one.
Taste is little better. Almost nothing more than fizzy water. A slight bitter taste on the after palate. But that's all. Bland bland bland!
Mouthfeel is overcarbonated, but hey, it gives it a little interest at least.
Well, you could probably slug this back, but this is probably one of the most flavourless beers I've ever tasted. Really, really bad. Don't bother with it...
Had it before in Aus, but this was reviewed when recently in Thailand.
Pours a watery pale yellow colour with no head.
Nose is pretty insipid, based on light grainy malts or rice. Sweetness, but no fragrance.
Taste is watery, with only a slight hint of sweetness. Slightly yeasty back palate. Very unintrusive. Very uninteresting.
It goes down easily, I'll say that for it. This was fantastic sitting on the beach and looking over Phang Nga bay. As a beer to appreciate though, it's pretty woeful.
Tried in Phnom Penh, at a very nice restaurant near the river.
Golden orange body, with a fluffy white head which collapses into a sticky ring around the edges. Minimal carbonation. Excellent lacing.
Good lager hoppy nose, with a touch of treacle sweetness.
Taste is sweeter than expected, but not overdone. Hints of hop bitterness, but not very prominent at all. Finishes grainy and dry, like overcooked, crusty bread. It's surprisingly drinkable though. Mouthfeel is light, but with a little rambunctiousness.
It's not overly different, but it's done quite well. It is, however, different enough from the generic swill in Cambodia to make a nice change...
Very pale yellow body with a quite frothy fine-bubbles white head. The head collapses after a while but leaves some decent lacing. Carbonation is subtle.
Unpleasantly metallic nose, with a large whack of yeasty bread dough. Other than that, very bland.
Very bland on the palate as well. A little ashy bitterness at the end just emphasises how bland the rest of the beer is. If this beer were a film it would be Snakes on a Plane without the texture or subplots. Mouthfeel also very limp.
Drinkable? Maybe. But only if your options are very limited.
41 / 100
Tried on tap at the Australian Beer Festival, Sydney. 1st October 2006...
Amber gold colour, minimal fizzy head. Not a great look, but reasonably expected for the style.
Quite a bland aroma. A little clean hoppiness, but very, very muted. It's not bad, but far from impressive.
The taste is better. Quite a good malty backbone, but definitely influenced by a kind of mineral water spritz. A little bitterness, but not a great deal.
Not overly impressed, but it does have a little character to it...
Poured out of the big yellow can.
Appearance is a yellow to dark golden hue, below a decent head with moderate stickiness.
Nose is funky, not particularly appealing. A definite whiff of off vegetative material.
Taste is particularly subdued. Very watery, very little flavour. Not much to the mouthfeel. I suppose I wasn't expecting a great deal from this one, but even still, it disappointed.
Pours a golden colour, light carbonation. NO head. Terrible.
Strong beer-y nose. Mostly bitter, some richness but mostly just simple.
Low-tasting rich characteristics: there is a boldness in the palatte that demands attention. Lagery front palatte, then descends into a very curious richness. This certainly isn't a standard beer, even though it seemed like it at first. There is something else to it. It's a man's lager, very continental and quite bold but meant for drinking, not tasting. Certainly worth a try.
Pours a golden colour, good head that sticks around.
Nose is very nice: crisp and somewhat spicy. Lightly bitter, in fact very nice.
Taste is also very good, tastes like it smells. Again lightly bitter which is just how I like a lager. It's a very drinkable beer. This was a very good drop, and it definitely reminds me why this is one of my favourite drinking beers. It's simple, but in its simplicity it hits upon just what I ask for - light bitterness, good smooth flavour characteristics and mouthfeel, just easy to drink and enjoy.
Pours a light golden colour, not much carbonation. Soft, foamy head.
Nose is quite bad. Smells like bad cabbage. It's almost rancid, rather than bitter. But it's not so pungent so I can forgive this.
Taste is unimpressive, although not quite as bad as I expected given my dislike of the nose. The mouthfeel has a sharp character to it which gives it a slight kick - a good thing, given that otherwise the taste is fairly bland. There is a European, slightly sweet character to the hops but there is not much else to speak of. It's slightly bitter, slightly tangy, slightly flavoursome. Slightly drinkable.
44 / 100
Lightish champagne gold. Filmy head, which disappears very quickly. Minimal lacing and carbonation. Quite insipid looking.
Sweet hoppiness on the nose, very light. Hints of honey, but rather reminiscent of a plain lager. It's ok, but a little bland.
Nice sharp entry on the palate. Crisp bitterness and a hint of lager yeastiness. Drops away very quickly to a watery aftertaste. It's remarkably bland, but I do believe it's better than the generic Australian swill. It's an easy drinking, rather forgettable beer.
Dark amber colour with almost no head. Quite a lot of carbonation. Low viscosity. Looks like a soft drink.
The nose is ginger. And more ginger. In actuality it's more like asian pickled ginger. It's got a bit of sweetness, but there's very little else outside the overpowering ginger. Very one-dimensional.
The taste is pretty bad. Initial taste of ginger again, backed up by a strong hit of wet yeast. It's unbalanced and quite unpleasant. Eh. Mouthfeel very lifeless and dull.
Quite a disappointing beer. You could make a much better spiced ale for summer, and this just doesn't deliver.
Pale lemony yellow colour, with almost no head after a few seconds of fizze white froth. Very unpleasant looking beer.
Standard lagery smell. A bit yeasty and malty. No fragrance, no hoppiness. Very bland.
Taste is bland bland bland. A bit of malty bitterness, but mostly pale and watery flavours. Mouthfeel slightly fizzy and unpleasant.
Very poor, even by the standards of the big brand euro lagers. There are much better lagers out there and many many more far better beers.
This is a very bad beer, and I won't be drinking it again.
Appearance: Clear orangey gold. Fluffy white head which dissipates quickly. Some lacing, but not much.
Nose: Nice standard lagery nose. Some noticeable hoppiness, a little sweetness. It's not particularly complex, but I guess it doesn't disappoint. Just about average.
Taste: Quite sharp and biting front palate. It flattens out a little, but stays pungent and strong. It's not unpleasant, but it is a little one-dimensional. Mouthfeel is pretty flat and lifeless.
Yeah, I could drink it, but it's certainly not anything special. I wouldn't turn it down if someone handed one to me, let's say that.
Overall it's an ok brew. Not great, but not bad.
Golden amber colour. This sticky white head. It disappears quickly but it was there to begin with.
Smell: Quite odd. It smells almost burnt. Quite husky, grainy smell. Very strange for a light lager. None of the light hoppy fragrance you expect. It's not bad, just very unusual.
Taste: Quite sharp and crisp. Again, there's that burnt character to it - it ends up verging on phenolic. Very strange indeed. To be honest, it almost tastes like a dark lager. Mouthfeel is a little flat and lifeless however.
I don't know what to make of this one. It's certainly not true to style, but in reality it's quite drinkable.
Overall, this is a reasonable beer. If it wasn't so freaking weird I think I'd like it more, but it's damn confusing as it stands.
Weak, watery yellow, with a thin loose head which disappears into film quickly. Looks very unappealing.
Rather citrussy. It smells rather like a cider. The citrus is most prominent, but it's not the nice citrus you often get from hops. It's almost like a sour fermentation, like it's off. It's alright, but not what you expect, and I wonder whether it's not meant to smell like it does.
Weak, watery. It's kinda what I expect from an Australian "premium" beer. Take a rancid crap Australian beer and water it down. It's drinkable, but so's water. Water's also cheaper. Glad I didn't pay for this one.
Mouthfeel is weak, hey, what a surprise, like water.
A very shabby effort.
Pale yellow colour with very little head. Not much carbonation is evident. A very inauspicious start.
Mmm. A very good lagery smell. Yeasty and peppery nose. It's sorta like how you imagine a good lager should smell like. For the style, an excellent nose.
Sharp and bitter, with a good yeasty base. A refreshing beer, very drinkable. Quite a good euro lager, probably one of the better ones I've tried. The mouthfeel is rather flat however, but it probably aids the style. It does have a decent amount of character, something I respect in a lager, when often blandness is the order of the day.
A drinkable lager. When you place this is the context of its style, it's a good example, and a relatively good beer.
From tap, this poures a light golden yellow. Lots of fizzy carbonation, which forms a reasonable head for about two seconds before bubbling down do a light film.
The nose is very standard. Not much of the skunk that you get from having it in a bottle, but just bland. A little bitterness, maybe, some yeast. Just really the standard lagery smell. Very bland.
The taste on tap is quite similar to in bottled form. Standard lager bitterness, with a dry aftertaste. Although there is this unpleasant off yeastiness there that really seems to lacquer itself to the back of your throat. I think the taste is slightly better out of a bottle.
Yeah, not a top notch drop this one... Very standard, and reasonably unlikeable. There are far better lagers out there...
60 / 100
Lightish Gold coloured body with a cloud-white reasonably frothy head that stays around for a while.
Standard lager aromas. A little sweetness, some musty yeastiness; not much of a hop prescence. As it warms a little there are perhaps notes of caramel and some fruitiness.
Not the most complex of unique aromas, but reasonably pleasant.
The sweetness is dominant early in the taste, a slight amount of fruitiness. This changes to bitterness mid way through the piece (pleasantly so), before dipping to a dry clingy afterpalate, with a slight hint of that Belgian yeast. Very slight mind you.
Mouthfeel rather flat and uninteresting. Drinkability excellent. Smooth, easy to throw back.
I find this one's much better on tap than from the bottle (although certainly still drinkable in its bottled form). I certainly think this is one of the best (if not the best) widely available Euro lagers.
49 / 100
Quite a dark gold colour, light carbonation. Clear flitered with filmy head which disappears rapidly.
Very clean nose, lots of bread dough and yeast, a little fruitiness, maybe berries of some kind. I might be imagining that though. There's a touch of spicy hops there, but these are minor characteristics. Overall quite simple but pleasant aromas
More bready yeast on the palate. Quite rounded with a hint of lemon and bitterness. It's actually very drinkable and rather enjoyable. I get the feeling I'm trying to find characteristics in this beer that aren't there. It's quite simple in fact, but it makes you feel like there's something eluding you. There probably isn't.
I was expecting a generic euro lager. That's what I got, although it did intrigue me enough to perhaps rate it a little above average.
Saw this one on special as I walked to the counter of my local bottle shop. For $1.50 Australian (damn cheap) I thought it was worth a try.
Comes in a 330ml green bottle with a blue label portraying a tall sailing ship. Freshness date October 2005.
Poured a mid to gold amber, clear body with a coarse-bubbled foamy head which disappears rapidly.
Some hops on the nose and a lot of bready yeastiness. Rather clear an pleasant without being overtly complex. Certainly in good condition - no off stink.
Intense hoppy bitterness on the front palate which falls away to a watery nothingness. Quite uninspiring. Flat mouthfeel, no complexity.
It's a one trick beer this. It's drinkable, but forgettable. There are certainly better examples of Dutch Lagers out there. For the price, it was probably worth it, but I guess you get what you pay for.