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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Kronenbourg 1664 Lager

It's unfortunate the scope of a "beer a day" limits me to only reviewing a single beer a day, especially after last night's visit to my favorite local bar, The Gypsy.  That said... in the event they don't make the rotation as a reviewed beer, a quick mention is order for three outstanding beers I tried after yesterday's tasting- the extremely limited Willamete Dammit English style pale ale from Oaskshire Brewing, the always challenging but delightful seasonal The Abyss imperial stout from Deschutes Brewery, and the Widmer Bros. seasonal W'11 (not even listed on their site), another imperial stout.

After a night of decadent beers, I decided to go with what I assumed would be a more subdued brew with some international flair, Kronenbourg 1664.

Kronenbourg poured the golden-yellow color I expect from a lager, with a fizzy white head and constant slight bubbling as it sat.  The nose was also standard lager with a balanced but extremely subdued generic hop and malt odor and a non-offensive hint of petroleum.

Upon tasting, this beer surprised in ways it probably shouldn't.  Considering the bubbling happening in the glass, it was unexpectedly flat and lacking in hop, quickly followed by a bitter-sweet orange rind malt that coated my mouth and sat on my tongue for a good ten seconds.  This lager certainly didn't drink as clean, light, or refreshing as the appearance, nose, and body implied.

Admitting that lager is one of my least preferred beers (I like it and drink it, but never seek it out), this still fell flat in most qualities one expects from a lager.  In fact, it TASTED flat and stale.  I even checked the expiration date, but this beer was quite a ways from what the manufacturer labeled as expired.  I really wanted to like this beer, and a little more hops and effervescence could have made this a good lager, but it misses the mark.  I'd be curious to try this on tap "at the source", but short of that or every other tap being blown, I recommend passing.

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