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Archive for the ‘Country: Netherlands’ Category

Amstel Light

June 16th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Amstel Brouwerij, Country: Netherlands, Grade: D regular, Style: Lager

3.5% ABV (not a misprint)

Went to my aunt and uncle’s place upstate to celebrate Father’s Day. Besides my 18-year-old cousin who spent the entire afternoon texting and messaging on Facebook, I was the only being in the house under let’s say sixty (even the dog is 77 in canine years). Tired of hearing debates about medicaid, discussions of Obama, lectures on correct propane grill usage, and thoughts on Tim Russert, I had to escape. I snuck downstairs to the basement to watch the US Open and find some “relaxation” medication (i.e. beer) to allow me to continue existing around my loud Jewish family. Unfortunately, all the house had in stock was Amstel Light. Yuck. What a horrific beer. I’ve always detested the brew but when I was younger I assumed it must be highly regarded due to it’s “classy” commercials and the fact that I always see douchebags in suits drinking the stuff. It’s, in fact, one of the few beers that suited men feel comfortable imbibing on. Come to find out, Amstel is just the Absolut vodka of beer. In other words, a savvily marketed libation meant to make people think it’s highbrow. It’s a good trick. Overprice something crappy and now all of the sudden people like it. Price Amstel cheap and no one’s touching the swill. Call it an “import” and sell it for $6 or $7 at a bar and now everyone’s a fan.

However, it wasn’t until last week or so when I finally realized why I detest this beer so much (besides the fact that it tastes like shit). I was at a bar that nicely listed the ABV of every beer on its menu. I was stunned to see the absolute lowest ABV offering they had was Amstel Light at 3.5%. I thought that had to be a misprint. Root beers are higher ABV than that. Beer sold in Utah is more potent that 3.5%. No, it was NOT a misprint. My god.

So what to say about this semi-alcoholic water? It tastes very salty. Seriously. Like a pack of Lay’s Salt & Vinegar chips made into liquid form. The beer is arguably thinner than Corona. And that’s saying something. The only way Amstel Light could be worse is if it was bottled in gas form. Then you’d just pop the top, inhale the zero-calorie Amstel Gas as it escaped, and not get fat. Or drunk. Exactly what happens when you drink it in beer form. Amstel Light is the Netherlands’ answer to Stella.

Speaking of which, has any one ever seen a regular Amstel?

D

Koningshoeven La Trappe Quadrupel

June 9th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven, Country: Netherlands, Grade: A regular, Style: Quadrupel

10% ABV on both draught and from a bomber

Wow, what a glorious beer. Another choice selection from Tria, maybe the best thing I’ve ever had there on tap. I can’t recall every having a quadrupel in my life and quite frankly I’m not even sure what they are. I told some beer nerd I ran into that I had just drank a quadrupel and his eyes bulged. And the Tria menu claims this is the only Trappist “Quad” that even makes it to America. But what is it quadrupel of? I think it simply means it’s a potent motherfucking beer. And, to my knowledge since there are no quintuples or sextuples, this is about as good as it gets. Especially for me as I am a huge fan of incredibly high ABV beers.

When I tried this beer I was absolutely floored. Firstly, because I had never even heard of it. A tiny, squat Lilliputian-like female waitress recommended it to me and my friend and for some reason we trusted her. Thank god we did. We have now spent the past 10 days discussing how mind blowing this brew is. It has somewhat consumed our lives. Upon returning to New York from Philly, I immediately went to my Whole Foods to see if they had any bottles of this stuff. I looked everywhere and finally located it. It was no shock to see it sporting one of drabbest labels I had ever seen. There was a reason I had never noticed it. (I am now starting to think I should have a tasting session of beers with drab, boring, and/or ugly labels.) Whole Foods had one bomber left and even though it was a pricey $13 I had no compunction in snatching it up. I had to validate my feelings about this beer.

After trying the bottled version I am definitely willing to call this a great one. It’s potent, almost wine (or barley wine) or even bourbon like. I think if you gave this to a beer neophyte they might not be able to even ID it as beer. Next to no carbonation (only 25 IBUs too) but very sweet. The smell is intoxicating. Fruity, sugary, almost candy-like. It almost overwhelms your nose and mouth and tastebuds. But that’s a good thing. You are forced to take minuscule sips, savoring it the whole time.

This is a beer I will definitely begin listing among my all-time favorites, one I will continually seek out. I also look forward to trying other bottlings from Koningshoeven as I have located a store stocked with their Dubbel and Tripel. Can’t wait to get my hands on those.

A

Heineken Lager

June 3rd, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | 2 Comments | Filed in Brewer: Heineken, Country: Netherlands, Grade: D plus, Style: Lager

5% ABV

This beer doesn’t even merit being poured into a glass. It probably doesn’t even merit coming in a glass bottle. It should come in a cheap plastic one like they give you at Yankee Stadium so when you get drunk you don’t start hurling dangerous projectiles at Jason Giambi after yet another golden sombrero.

My ladyfriend’s pathetic ex-boyfriend-who-she-inexplicably-still-talks-to left several Heinekens in her fridge after they had a Sunday playdate. I had nothing else to drink that night so I went with this terrible dreck. Heineken used to be “my” beer back when I was a 19- to 21-year-old dumbass. I thought I was classier for drinking it, more sophisticated than my buddies who sipped on Milwaukee’s Best. Nope, I was just a fucking tool. Only tools drink this beer. And Puerto Ricans.

It smells terrible, it tastes even worse. It burns my throat going down. At least the label is pretty cool but I hate drinking from the short stubby bottles it comes in.

Make no mistake, sportsfans, despite the European pedigree, despite the fact that Heineken appears for $6 in the “import” section of beer lists, this is one heinous beer (coincidence that heinous and Heineken start the same?). As bad as any American macro. And, when the price is considered, it’s arguably worse.

D+

(F - if other factors such as price and “Europeanness” are considered)