Archive for May 18th, 2008

Beer Review: Karpackie Premium Lager Beer

18 May, 2008

CHEAP Polish lager has swamped the shops of Britain in recent months. Undoubtedly to quench the thirst of the hundreds of thousands of Polish tradesmen and builders here. This one is Karpackie Premium Lager Beer. This 500 millilitre bottle cost £1.19 pence from an off-licence corner shop, but this one is much harder to find than its competitors.

Karpackie Premium Lager Beer bottle

First impressions are that it’s trying to be a Tyskie or a Zywiec. Put them next to each other on the shop shelf, and from a distance, they look almost identical.

The neck label is uninspiring. White background, gold colour scheme and the “Karpackie Premium” logo. And nothing else.

Karpackie Premium Lager Beer neck label

Maybe the main front label is better?

Karpackie Premium Lager Beer front label

No. It isn’t. On the same, plain white background, is simply a bigger version of the same logo. It’s not all bad though. It is a fairly good logo. Even if I have no idea what the implements it features are. There are some Polish words around the edge too. One of which I think means “Tradition” or “Traditional”. And other which I think say “Original Polish Recipe”. Is that right? Can anyone out there translate what’s on this bottle? If so, do please leave a message in the comments box at the end of this post.

That’s nearly everything on the front label. But not if you look very closely. That’s because there is some tiny writing on it. And that writing tells us that this 500 millilitre bottle has a 5% volume. A fact so unremarkable, you can understand why it’s the size of our national defence budget.

Like the back labels of most Polish beers, it’s hard to learn very much from it.

Karpackie Premium Lager Beer back label

It does have the odd bit of English writing however. The ingredients are water, malted barley and hops. It also tells us, in English, the size (500 ml) and volume (5%). That’s it’s best stored in a cool place. And that Karpackie comes from a company called Van Pur SA, who are from the Polish city of Warszawa. A city you might know as Warsaw.

Apart from that, there’s nothing else to read on there. That means it’s time to see if Karpackie Premium Lager Beer is any good. I doubt it will be. So the new question is, will it be better than the other Polish lagers? I doubt that too.

Poured briskly into the glass, a thick head froths up. But give it just a few seconds, and it’ll die down to a thin and inconsistent little layer of bubbles.

Karpackie Premium Lager Beer poured into a glass

The colour is a weak shade of yellow. It certainly doesn’t shout flavour and body. And it’s visibly full of bubbles, which hardly inspires confidence. Still, this is a lager. Low quality is a pre-requisite.

The smell is… lagery. Fortunately, not the ghastly ultra-strength lagers or “Mocne” style smell. Karpackie smells of cheap lager. That is to say, a mild blend of malted barley and hops.

The taste is equally as unimpressive. Apart from the lagery bitter and sourness, there’s nothing else in there. The bitter isn’t strong. The sourness doesn’t linger for long. And there’s no complex blend. This is a straightforward cheap lager.

In its favour, it is refreshing if you have it cold. And, it’s easy to drink.

On the other hand, it’s easy to drink because it’s so watery. And that means it’s got no body. And that it’s not full-flavoured. Karpackie is, sadly, yet another cheap and sub-standard lager.

If you want a good lager, then try one of Karpackie’s competitors. You’re not short of choice. You’d have to be very short on choice or taste to choose this over something better.

Rating: 0.9

Have you tried Karpackie? What did you think of it?
Got any translations, corrections, comments, ideas or suggestions? Is there something you really want me to review for you?
Leave your messages in the usual place please.


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