Friday, April 29, 2011

Baltika Classic

Today I try a Russian beer. It comes in a 500mL brown bottle, with 4.8% alcohol/vol. The label on the back is a bit funny. The last sentence says "This beer is brewed specially for you." It's good to know that the brewers are telepaths.

The label on the back says it has a hoppy aroma, and it's right. When I hopened the bottle, I was presented by a wonderful hoppy smell. I was a bit disappointed by the light colour when poured, but it formed a thick head that lasted a bit. Lots of large bubbles.

The first taste was sweet. Very sweet. Again, the label says it is a malty taste, and it is correct. I didn't notice it on the first sip, but it definitely has a strong hoppy aftertaste. While it was fairly good, it didn't overly *wow* me. If I was in Russia, I would buy this.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


The beer comes from the Netherlands. I've seen it before, and I think its bottle is semi-famous. It comes in a 450mL green beugel-style bottle with 5% alcohol/vol. Very retro.

It opened with a loud "pop", and released an aroma of hops into the room. A really neat effect. Upon pouring, it formed a long-lasting thick head. Lots of small buggles floated up from the glass. It also has a beautiful dark golden colour.

The first sip was phenomenal. I truly can't say enough about this beer. It has a full flavour that is hard to describe. Malty and hoppy at the same time. Almost no aftertaste. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. The only thing bad about it is that it goes down so easy, you're done before you know it. I'm placing it near the top of my list.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Today's beer brings me even further away from home. This time it's China. Tsingtao comes in a 330mL green bottle, with 4.5% alcohol/vol. There is absolutely no other information on the label.

It made a thick head when poured, and had a strong hoppy smell. Its straw colour makes me think it is a light beer.

The first sip: Flavourless. The next sip: Flavourless. I feel like I'm drinking dirty carbonated water. The only good thing I can say about this beer is that it goes down easy. About as easy as water.

I can sum the experience up in three words: Made In China.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Kingfisher Premium

Before anybody accuses me of being euro-centric, I decided to leave the continent and head to India. Today's beer is Kingfisher Premium. It advertises as a premium lager. It comes in a green 330mL bottle with 4.0% alcohol/vol. Despite being an Indian beer, the small print on the back says it was brewed in the U.K. (under license). So I'm not 100% certain I'm getting the true Kingfisher experience.

Upon opening, I noticed a strong fruity aroma. Almost floral. When poured, it comes out pale yellow with a thick head that took a while to disappear. Lots of bubbles.

My first sip was "feh". The beer is very light and dry. Not terribly malty, not terribly hoppy. The carbonation left an impression in my mouth, and left a strong (but not entirely unpleasant) aftertaste. The only characteristic worth mentioning in this beer is the interesting aroma.

If I was in India, I'd gladly drink this as it is readily available there. But seeing as I have many other beers at my disposal, I'll place it further down the list but not off it entirely.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Gösser beer comes from Austria in a 500mL can with 5.2% alcohol/vol. It has an ingredients list that shows (unsurprisingly) water, barley-malt, and hops. It also has a best before date, which I believe is a handy feature. On my particular can it was October 2011, which is well in the future. There should be no danger of skunkiness.

When I opened the can, I instantly noticed a sweet smell. But after pouring the beer into a glass, it almost instantly disappeared. A thick head formed upon pouring, and lasted a while. The beer has a yellow-ish colour and almost no bubbles. The few bubbles that did come up were rather small.

The first taste was pretty good. Apart from a metallic aftertaste (I need to stop buying beers from cans) it went down very smooth. In a way, almost too smooth. Very close to water. Practically no hops in the taste at all. It has a slight apple taste to it.

I do not think I will buy this beer again. While the entire experience wasn't unpleasant, it failed to wow me.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Czechvar Original

This is a Czech lager that comes in a 500mL green bottle. The foil wrapped cap is a nice visual touch and gives it an air of elegance. With 5% alcohol/vol, it's a bit on the light side but definitely wouldn't fall into the "light" beer category.

When poured, the first thing I noticed was the massive quantities of bubbles. A thick head formed that dispersed rapidly. The lager was a deep gold colour. I also noticed a strong smell coming from it (hops?).

The first sip was very good. The flavour came on slowly. Not malty, with a strong hoppy taste. It reminded me of Pilsner Urquell, but I enjoyed Czechvar much more. So far, this has been my favourite lager. Each sip made me appreciate it more than the last.

I'm adding this beer to my list of winners.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Löwenbräu Original

This is another german beer. It comes in a 500mL can, with 5.2%alcohol/vol. It has very little english on the can, but it does have an ingredient list: Water, malted barley, hops, hop extract. No earth-shattering revelations there. But at least I know that it's not a wheat beer.

When poured, it foamed up with a healthy head, that disappeared fairly quickly. The colour is fairly pale, with large bubbles.

The first taste was smooth. Very smooth. A malty flavour, with absolutely no aftertaste whatsoever. On second thought, there was almost no *taste* whatsoever either. If I was to take a guess, I'd say this was a light lager. This made the beer go down very fast. I'd drink this one again, but I'm not in a huge rush for it. I have a feeling it's the Labatt Lite of Germany.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Neuzeller Klofter-Brau Original Badebier

Can't say much about this beer. The label is 100% in german, and I didn't do too well in german class. It comes in a dark 500mL bottle, with an advertised alcohol content of 5.2%. From the little german I know, Badebier means bath beer. So I guess you're supposed to drink this beer in the bathtub. I decided to drink it in front of the computer.

When poured, it produced a generous amount of head. The beer itself is quite dark. It has a sweet and *something* smell to it. I can't quite place it. The first sip was a success. It has almost no aftertaste. The entire flavour happens the moment it hits your mouth, and it's very hard to describe. It's not hoppy at all, and has a slightly sweet flavour to it. It's very rich and full. Overall, it is quite quaffable.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pilsner Urquell

This Czech beer comes in a 330mL green bottle. The alcohol content is a light 4.4%. The label on the bottle says it is the original pilsner, which may or may not be a good thing. On one hand it set the bar for all other pilsners to try and imitate, but on the other hand it might have led to a lot of room for improvement. Once poured, the beer is a deep golden colour. It is very forgiving to a bad pour, as the head disappeared quickly.

My first sip was full of flavour. Very hoppy. It has a slightly bitter aftertaste that does not detract from the overall experience. I thought tasted more like an ale than a pilsner. I can imagine this being a very popular pub drink. After the first few sips, I was a bit unsure about drinking it. But the distinctive taste grew on me and I really enjoyed it by the end.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Castle Lager

I decided to venture away from Europe for today's brew. Castle Lager is made in South Africa. It claims to be "The Premium South African Lager", and "Brewed in Perfect Balance". This are mighty big claims, and we'll see how it fares in the taste test.

It comes in a 440mL gold-coloured can, with an alcohol content of 5% by volume. It also has a best-before date, which I am glad had not expired yet. Today is April 9, and it is best before July 21.

When I poured it into my glass, it generated a nice head. Not too thick. The smell coming from the can was also promising. Lots of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. Then it was time for my first taste. I'd call it so-so. It was definitely a large improvement from my fiasco with Leffe. It almost tasted like a domestic beer. I could definitely see myself on a hot summer's day on the patio drinking one of these while soaking up the rays. And knowing that it comes from South Africa, that very well may be their intention. :)

It definitely does not have a hoppy taste. In fact, I'd say it's on par with most lagers for its weak taste. And after the first few sips, you can barely taste anything at all. Unfortunately it does have a slightly metallic aftertaste, most probably from the can. I'm not sure if I would buy this beer again due to the aftertaste. If it wasn't for that, I would definitely put it on my "hot sunny day" list.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Leffe Blonde

This beer comes in a 330mL, slightly amber tinted, bottle. It says "strong beer" on the label, and is 6.6%/vol. I'd agree that qualifies it as strong.

It was fairly easy to pour. The head formed with big bubbles. From what I understand, this is usually a sign of artificial carbonization. The head didn't last very long either, disappearing in about 2 minutes.

My reaction from my first sip was not a positive one. It has a very distinctive taste, and one that lingers for a long time. Very hoppy, which is odd because I usually like hoppy beers. I felt dread each time I put the glass up to my lips, and the feeling didn't pass until the glass was empty. If you want to get drunk fast on expensive beer, this is the way to do it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Erdinger Weißbrau Dunkel

Before I begin, I must apologize to any beer aficionados that my opinions are based upon my own uneducated observations. I am also aware that I do not have the correct beer glassware, having only (high quality) beer flutes available instead of glassware appropriate to the type of beer being drunk.

That said, on with the review:

This German wheat beer comes in a 500mL amber-coloured bottle. The alcohol content on it is a healthy 5.6%/vol. Not enough to call it a strong beer, but definitely not on the light side.

My first reaction after pouring my first glass of this beer was that it looked like a German knock-off of Guinness. But the similarities end there. It is a dark beer and has a lot of head (when poured improperly as I did). But it doesn't have same bitterness that Guinness has, and a little bit of light manages to make its way through the dark brew.

Its taste is clean and slightly sweet, and actually a bit on the weak side. For a wheat beer, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it didn't have any citrusy flavours added (after a bit of research, I discovered that adding citrus to german wheat beers is typically not done.) It has a very subtle malty aftertaste, that is not overpowering and quite pleasant.

The taste certainly grows on you. After each sip, I appreciated its initially weak flavour a little bit more. I'm actually disappointed that this is the first beer I reviewed, since that means I probably won't have another bottle of it for quite some time.

A new beginning...

It has been a while since my last blog post. And while I'd like to say nothing much happened since, in reality quite the opposite has been true.

Bean has been growing steadily, and slowly taking over my life. I've heard that babies do this, so it hasn't come as a big shock to me.

My marathon training has been kicked into high gear. I'm now poised to crush my PB time come Fargo Marathon.

And lastly, our basement has been renovated and we now have a kickass man-cave, complete with a well-stocked bar. And I decided to take this opportunity to re-invent my blog as a beer blog. I will be periodically (attempt for 3x per week) testing a different beer from around the world and writing up what I think about it. My first post will be about Erdinger Weissbrau Dunkel.