THUS far through my exploration of beers from the Latin world, Sol was as enjoyable as paying water rates. And Damm Estrella the beer equivalent of a potato. Unexciting average-ness. Let’s see if Corona Extra from Mexico can improve things.
First glance says that this is a lot like it’s Mexican counterpart, Sol. The transparent glass. The partly transparent front label. The pale yellow drink within. It shouts sunshine.
The front label is a mess. The top-half with the white background is fine enough. There’s an attractive crest and everything. But under that, on the blue background is a mass of multilingual text. Look hard enough though, and you can make out this beer’s vital statistics.
The little bottle is 33 centilitres. And the alcoholic volume is a reasonable 4.6%. Not weak, but you would need the build of Victoria Beckham to get drunk on it. Elsewhere on this mess is the name of the brewer. Which I think, is someone called Modelo S.A. And the country it is from. Which I think, is Mexico.
Unusually for a beer, the front label is ruined by too much text. Whilst the back label is virtually empty.
Apart from the size and volume, which we already know, there’s not much else on there. In fact, the semi-transparent label seems too large for the tiny quantity of information it holds. We learn that the importer is Belgian. And that this bottle has 1.5 of your UK units of alcohol. This won’t make much of a dent in your recommended daily limit. Girls, you can have two of these before the Government will start making tutting noises.
Now time to answer the important questions. What will it taste like? Is it any good? And is it better than Sol or Damm Estrella?
In the glass, the colour is no surprise. But it does look very fizzy indeed. We’ll see if that translates into gassiness. The head is good though. A consistent layer of bubbles. And one that’s controllable during the pour and that doesn’t disappear in a flash.
The smell is nothing special to behold. It’s a rather typical blend of beer ingredients. I’d say that it smells a bit cheap. Not bad, but definitely not special. Like almost anything manufactured by Kia.
And that’s exactly what the taste is. The flavours you notice are a blend of archetypical beer flavours. The malted barley, the hops, everything usual. But nothing that stands out. Or that is distinctive.
Besides a weak offering of malt, barley and hop flavours, there is a bitterness. Not a strong one. But a light, possibly tangy bitterness that lingers for a little while on the back of your tongue. To its credit, it isn’t terribly gassy. And the blend of tastes and flavours is not at all bad. It is even quite drinkable and refreshing.
On the list of downsides, it is hard to find a compelling reason to choose this. If you did a blind taste testing, you would be hard pressed to identify it from the multitude of indistinctive beers out there. And while the flavours aren’t bad, there simply aren’t enough of them. Nor are they standing out particularly prominently. So, you can level the criticism that it’s also a bit weak, watery and lacking character and body.
Around London, Corona Extra has been marketed as the “party beer”. There was even an open top bus promoting the brew, travelling down Oxford Street a few weeks ago. As a party beer, I would have no problem if I turned up at a party and all my host had was a big crate of Corona Extra bottles. And I would have no problem drinking this in Mexico. There’s little to truly dislike about it. Better than that, it is better than Sol. And at least on par with Damm Estrella.
This is a beer to buy in for guests, parties and barbeques. But if you want real taste, quality and flavour for yourself, then look for a different bottle on the shop shelf.
Have you tried Corona Extra? What did you think?
Corrections, opinions, thoughts, ideas and suggestions here please.