Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dos Equis Lager Especial and Dos Equis Amber (Mexico)

Dos Equis Lager Especial (Mexico) 4.5%

Pale gold in a glass. Lightly flavoured: somewhat malty and sweet, a little bitter. Musty taste like damp cardboard. Fully carbonated and very drinkable but pretty light on taste. A standard international lager but it has great ads though.

The cardboard taste is due to oxidization, and unless this is due to sloppy brewing practices where the beer is exposed to oxygen during the brewing, this probably because the beer is old and has gotten a little stale. Unlike Samuel Adams there is no 'brew date' or 'best before' date on the bottle so you can't be sure if a bottle of Dos Equis is going to be stale tasting until you drink it! And unless your local beer store moves a lot of Dos Equis, there is a good chance you could end up with an older than optimal bottle of beer. Not the brewers fault but something to consider.

Dos Equis Amber (Mexico) 4.6%

Dark amber to the point of being brown. Sweet with hints of caramel, a little musky (like the Dos Equis Lager), malty and roasty. Dos Equis Amber is a surprisingly complicated beer (considering that the lager is quite bland), and it is quite good in my estimation.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Pair of Very Different Dark Beers

Gosser Dark Beer (Austria) 4.5%

Dark brown in a glass. A creamy malty flavour of dark chocolate and yet not very bitter. Velvety foam. A very nice beer in all.

Guinness Draught canned (Ireland) 4.2%

This is a watery offering with coffee and malt flavours and bitter but without any hints of dark chocolate that might be expected from a black beer like Guinness. All in all, the canned version just isn't Guinness Draught even if it says so on the label and even though it is black in a glass with the cascading silky smooth foam that it is known for.

And what is this "beer - serve extra cold" business at the bottom of the label? That seems more suitable to flavourless American style lagers rather than a pint with this much history.