This will be a “work in progress” for a while this evening. How long? That will depend on my liver…
So H.R. gave me a 6 pack of interesting beers. Looking it over, he tends to the darker beers and the higher % beers. I’m quite OK with that ;-)
So this evening I’ve begun “Sensory Evaluation” … at least that’s what it was called in my Viticulture & Oenology class ;-) (I really did have such a class – grape growing and wine making – at UC Davis where most of the California vintners get their education…)
I started with the Baltika Extra Lager Grade 9. This LOOKS like a regular light amber lager in the glass, but the bottle informs that it is an 8% brew. Visiting their web site:
Informs that they are now part of the Carlsberg Group:
Did you know that today, Baltika Breweries, part of the Carlsberg Group…
is one of the largest fast moving consumer good companies in Russia
is the Russian market leader with the share of more than 32.7% of the market (according to retail audit Q1 2017 Nielsen Russia in respect of both Urban Russia and Rural Russia markets)*
is the producer of Baltika brand – the No. 1 brand in Europe in terms (Euromonitor 2015)
has 8 breweries in Saint Petersburg, Yaroslavl, Tula, Voronezh, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Khabarovsk, Novosibirsk. Together, they have an aggregate capacity of approx. 40m hl of beer per year
employ about 7,500 people
is a major Russian exporter of the products present in more than 75 countries, including Western Europe, North America and Asian Pacific region.
So looks like they are part of a “roll up” in the beer world.
So meanwhile back at the brew…
It’s a nice flavor and easy to drink. Normally high alcohol beer is a bit rougher on the palate, but this is nice. So it would be great as a “sleeper brew” where you pour some 3.2% crap for yourself and this for your “friend” and “drink them under the table” glass for glass….
Sidebar on Bachelor Parties: My Brother In Law had a sedate bachelor party with some beverages but not too over the top. After everyone else left, we had a “tequila shooter” face off. First off, I was about 30% heavier than him, so in a head-to-head, I had an unfair advantage. Not content with that, I supplied the tequila, lemons, salt, and the 2 shot glasses. Mine was taller and thin and dark blue glass and about 3/4 of an ounce… while his was clear glass (so looked smaller…) and a full ounce. Needless to say I got him way under the table… My mistake was telling him what I’d done.
Years later, at my bachelor party (that was mixed guys & dolls and with my spouse to be there) he arranged for a bunch of folks to do “1 on 1 shots” of whiskey with me. I figured this out in the first 4 or 5, but ran with it anyway. Fair is fair, and he’d found his revenge with a certain charm. So about a dozen or two into it I was toasted and everyone else had had 2 shots each ;-) I admired his creativity in a group solution.
So tonight I had 1/2 bottle of Saki with some sushi for dinner, then a Corona Premium. The point? I’m not starting this Baltika from a zero point. Since I can still type and spell, I’m pretty sure I’m not so far along as to be an unreliable reporter. Given that, it’s a pretty nice brew. Beats the pants off of things like ButtWiper, pardon, Budweiser, and I’d rather drink it than Coors or Miller or such. Just be advised that it’s got “kick” beyond the flavor profile. The flavor profile is that of a nice German Lager, but the kick is more…
Back in a bit with an update as I move on to the next brew….
Baltika 7 Export lager. At 5.4% alcohol and a lighter finish I ought to have started with this one first, but I guessed wrong. Oh Well. It is a lighter yellow color, and lighter on the palate. A nice lager like beer. Easy to drink and after what I’ve already had, easy to guzzle ;-)
It’s a nice brew and easy to drink. I’m good with that.
I’ll be a back in a bit when I’ve finished this beer and moved on to the next one.
Trois Pistoles Belgian style Ale. 9 %
A very dark ale. Not very hoppy, but ales and especially Belgians, are more about the flavors from the particular yeasts and grain treatments (degree of roasting).
It’s drinkable just from the fridge, but seems to taste better as it warms toward room temperature. A rich but not thick or heavy pallet. Interesting flavors (that’s what Belgian Ale is all about ;-) and at 9%, two of these are equivalent to a whole 6 Pack of 3.2% beer.
The wife decided to prune the roses today and I was “assigned” to pick up the bits… A small bleeder and a pile of “stuff” for the pick-up folks later and I decided to try this one. I’m now part way into the 2nd bottle and there’s already a bit of a buzz. This is stuff with a kick, but it slides down Real Easy so’s you don’t expect it.
I like this beer, but it is more of a sipper than a guzzler. You could guzzle a few bottles, but then you would be loopy pretty quick.
OTOH, when you just want to get that warm happy feeling with a nice sipper with interesting flavors, this is a good one!