Saturday, March 13, 2010

Double Review: Two Boring Lagers!, or: Trust Your Instincts!

Whenever I hit up the old LCBO (at least once a week if not more), there's always a good chance that I'll walk past a beer that I won't buy, even though I've never had it before and I have no justifiable reason for avoiding it. I just...don't want to buy it. Just by looking at the brew, I assume it's going to be awful, so I walk on by to greener pastures. Every once in a while, though, some of my synapses fire a little differently and my what-the-hell section of the brain decides to give that beer a go. "Even though it looks like just your average, run of the mill pale lager, maybe it'll be good!", it'll say. "Shut up," you'll respond. But eventually, you cave.

Here are two fine examples of why your what-the-hell region doesn't know what the hell it's talking about.

Beer: Tecate
Brewery: Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma (Mexico, obviously)
Type: adjunct lager
ABV: 4.5%

After spending a week at a Mexican resort drinking nothing but Dos Equis (the only brew they had), I figured I'd try another Mexican brew to provide a comparison. Except they're from the same brewery...damn it.

Tecate pours a light golden, with a thin, fizzy head that dissolves almost immediately. No lacing, no ring. Brilliant...

The nose is slightly better than most macros, and certainly better than Dos Equis. A bit of malt character with floral hops near the back. The taste is but a muted version of the nose. A bit more character than some, but still incredibly boring. Light malts, a bit of hops, slightly bitter finish. Bland, but drinkable. Certainly tastes better poured out than in the can. Although its watery, the carbonation isn't ridiculously spritzy, which is a plus for me. Pound-backable.

I can barely tell the difference between Tecate and other brews of the style, including Dos Equis. Not worth it. I suppose I'd give this one a slight edge, but if you're going to drink it, do it quickly and make sure it's cold.


Beer: Lech (it even sounds awful...)
Brewery: Lech (Poland)
Type: pale lager
ABV: 5.2%

Apparently, this is one of the best-selling beers in Poland. It's always nice to know that Europeans are just as capable of drinking mass-produced swill as we are...

I'd show you a picture of a poured-out pint, but I never took one because it looks EXACTLY THE FUCKING SAME AS TECATE.

Pale golden colour, about a half inch head that dissolved entirely within about 40 seconds. No head or lacing whatsoever.

I could hardly detect a nose - light hops and malts, that's about it. Smells like a Euro lager.

The taste was very bland, with a touch of hops near the finish, but otherwords very ordinary pale lager flavor. Inoffensive, but incredibly boring. This brew was tough to finish, knowing I had far better beers tempting me from the fridge. Mouthfeel is thin, spritzy carbonation.

So there you have it. Two boring lagers that don't offer anything but a carbonated means to get you drunk, and there are much tastier and more satisfying ways to achieve this noble aim.

Avoid. Tecate gets a slight edge for being boring, but not bland. (Grade: Tecate: C; Lech: C-)

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