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Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekend Tastings - Ugly Beer cans and Shandys

The title says it all, yes, I am trying a beer that caught my eye because of its ugly label. Well, it worked. What also caught my eye was the Hockley 100 and Rickard's Shandy that were sitting beside it. Who says you have to make an attractive label when this ugly one got me to buy this product.

Old Style Pilsner

So lets start off with the ugly can, because...well...you are probably most interested in it. Before I get into the beer, I have to say one thing - this beer is made by Molson! This isn't a small mom and pop shop (err...brewery) brew, this is something made by a giant corporation.

So the label is ugly, so what? You know what is not ugly? The price! That's right, this beer was only $1.90, which is one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest tall boy you can get at the LCBO, it is even about the same price as a PBR.

The beer itself has a pale straw color and pours with a bubbly head that recedes very quickly to a thin ring around the glass. The aroma is typical of such macrobrews - sweet and malty with a hint of adjuncts. The taste is what I was expecting - malty, very sweet, some adjuncts and boozy. Tastes a lot like a regular Molson, except a little sweeter I think. Over time a grassy taste builds up as well as an odd sweetness at the back of my throat.

I wasn't disappointed by this one, but I wasn't expecting much so...you know it is drinkable and some may enjoy it, but...blaaaaargh. Even if I wanted to have more than one, the sweetness will easily stop me.

Taste - 4/10
ABV - 5%

Hockley 100

Here is another light beer for the hot summer nights...except that this one tastes like sweet malt water with some adjuncts tossed in there. The aroma is veeery strong with a lot of sweet malt and butter. The flavour is similar, but with more of the buttery flavour and the finish is more of the same.

I like Hockley, but this just isn't a good brew. Sorry guys. But hey, on the plus side there is no nasty build up of any flavours like the beer above.

Taste - 4/10
ABV - 4.3%

Rickard's Shandy

Sooo, saving best for last? Best by comparison to the previous two.

The beer is slightly hazy (from the lemonade I assume) and pours with a lingering bubbly head. The aroma is strong and veeerry lemony. You can tell there are lemons in this thing from miles away (OK, like many, many centimeters). Also a little bit of sweet malt pokes from underneath.

The taste is disappointingly light and mediocre. The aroma led me to believe I was going to get a lot of lemons and some beer, but what I got instead was a watery beer taste at the start with a light lemon flavour. The finish is refreshing with the medium length lemon notes...and some sweet malt. Overall the beer is light and easy to drink, but the aroma was so misleading. I can see this being hugely improved by squeezing half a lemon in the beer.

Taste - 5.5/10
ABV - 4.5%

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