Monday, February 7, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Identical! or: The Extra 'A' is for 'Awful.'

Beer: Saku Originaal
Brewery: Saku (Harjumaa, Estonia)
Type: Pale Lager
ABV: 4.6

After a successful tasting of a foreign, hard-to-pronounce lager from yet another country-that-isn't-known-for-its-beer (Turkey's Efes Pilsner), I decided to finally try some of those strange looking brews the LCBO has decided to carry on its shelves for some reason.   These are those cans that feature bizarre labels with names possibly written in Cyrillic that look like they come from a country that has experienced a flower-named revolution in the last ten years.  Lezask, Tyskie, Slavutich, Ochakovo - those fun characters.  So far, I've had moderate-to-dismal success with these brews - Poland's Warka Strong was a decent strong lager, while Bosnia's Nektar was an unholy mess.  But, with the decent flavors and average character of Efes Pilsner fresh in my memory, I figured I'd give another one a go, this one in particular adding a new country to my list of countries-I've-had-beer-from.

Like many of these former Soviet republics, I don't know a lot about Estonia - other than the fact that their flag looks like it was designed by Columbia Sportswear and that they seem to be pretty good at skiing and shooting, which probably means I shouldn't piss them off until I finish my top-secret desert base (target completion date: August, 2012 - you know why...).  Now, Estonia actually has a pretty lengthy history with brewing, having tinkered with the beverage for over a thousand years.

You wouldn't know it with this beer, I'll say that much.  This stuff was bloody awful.

Poured into a lager glass.  Like most of these imported lagers, the brew's appearance will be hit or miss, depending upon the quality of the brewing and the conditions of its travel.  In this case, Saku was a hit - light golden, visible carbonation, frothy head and decent lacing.  

Thus concludes the positive attributes I will bestow upon Saku Originaal.

The nose is sweet and corny, which is not something I look for in any product except for sweet corn.  If there was any hop extract or malted barley present in this beer, it has long since been washed out. 

Then there's the taste, which consists principally of two basic elements: corn, and nothing.  Actually, scratch that - there is, in fact, a third flavor that I'm getting now, and that's an astringent metallic tinnyess that has proceeded to assault my tastebuds with every sip.  At least Budweiser and Molson have done their customers the courtesy of attempting to mask their corn/rice adjunct flavors with some sort of hops or malted grain; Saku didn't have time for all that - there's biathlons to win.  This beer is like eating a stale cob of corn that was wrapped in tinfoil to keep it warm, except I accidentally bite into the tin foil which gets caught in my teeth, and then the cob of corn starts punching me because of some perceived slight.  And then it starts raining and I find that my car has been stolen.

Two thirds of the way through the can and I've had enough.  I could waste my time with the rest of this brew, but I have three cans of Creemore and a bottle of Aventinus Weizenbock in the fridge, which would be a far better use of my time / caloric intake.  Down the sink it goes...

I may have successfully added another beer country to the list, but it comes at the expense of my tastebuds who weren't prepared for such a brutal experience.  At two bucks a can, I might as well have spent it on Labatt's Blue or Molson Canadian, because at least I'd be supporting Canadian (kinda) industries.   PBR and Old Milwaukee are boring brews, but at least they aren't offensive.  Saku Origniaal starts with corn and ends with eww.  Avoid it like the plague.  (Grade: D-)

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