Beer Review: Bud Ice

WITH regular Budweiser proving unexpectedly drinkable and Budweiser Budvar proving a disappointment, where does that leave Bud Ice? Let’s answer that question as I turn my cynicism to this little bottle.

Bud Ice bottle

This one cost £1.19 pence from a shop on Brick Lane. I think it looks good. From the transparent glass to the ice shaped surface around the shoulder, this is a beer for the trendy young drinker. It’s also quite a lot different to either Budweiser or Budvar. Just have a look at the logo on the neck label.

Bud Ice neck label

And how different everything looks on the front label.

Bud Ice front label

The big “Bud ICE” logo is slightly reflective. Everything is trimmed down from the regular Budweiser style. But it remains jolly American and unmistakable “Bud”. Look a little closer and you’ll spot some familiar sights. Near the top there’s the Anheuser-Bush logo of an eagle colliding with a large, stylised “A”.

Getting down to the details on there, the alcoholic volume is clearly labelled at 4.7%. A deliberate attempt to separate itself from the established premium beers perhaps and go head to head with the likes of Corona Extra and Sol? Perhaps. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.

Under the big “Bud” logo we get a concise and informative sentence about what this drink is supposed to be all about. And I quote “Our exclusive ice brewing process produces a rich smooth taste that’s remarkably easy to drink”. Is this “ice brewing process” something real or just marketing speak? Whatever it is, “rich smooth taste” and “easy to drink” are two very welcome qualities. Let’s hope it pulls it off.

Under that, we get the name and address of the producer proudly displayed. “Anheuser-Busch Inc., St. Louis, Mo., U.S.A.”. Does that mean this is imported? Why else would it have that on the front label? Alas, I’ve already checked the back label, and can reveal that it’s all just marketing. I’m as disappointed as you are.

Last detail worth mention from the front is that this is a 330 millilitre bottle. That makes it the same size as Budvar. And 30 millilitres more capacious than Budweiser.

Over on the back label, and the “Born On” date makes a welcome return.

Bud Ice back label

As with regular Bud, this one has its “freshest taste within 110 days”. But there’s something you should know about the paragraph underneath it. The entire “Fresh Beer Tastes Better” paragraph is exactly the same as that on the Budweiser bottle. Only the name “Budweiser” has been changed to “Bud Ice”. Whether that affects how “clean, crisp” and “refreshingly different” it purports to be, I’ll have to investigate. I’m feeling rather mislead at this point.

Elsewhere on the label, the only address we get is the one from Richmons, Surrey, England. So you’ll know who to write to, to ask them to import the genuine article instead. It includes barley malt. And gives us no clue about how many UK units of alcohol there are. Not that you need those daft symbols to tell you that more than three or four in a night is too much. I recommend everyone at some stage in their lives be a student and work such things out for themselves in the environment of halls of residence or the student union.

Back to the beer, someone’s got to “pry off” the cap of this bottle and pass judgement on the contents. Any volunteers? Oh okay. I’ll do it then.

Bud Ice poured into a glass

Once in the glass, it looks more like Budweiser than Budvar. That is to say, it is an anaemic yellow. Rather disappointingly patchy head on it too.

The smell is like every other cheap lager in the world. Some generic blend of malted barley and hops. Not as rich as Budvar nor as well-rounded as Budweiser. Just a cheap lagery smell. I think I can see where this is going.

And sure enough, a couple of gulps proves this to be an undistinguished cheap lager. It tastes lagery. Not the premium continental lagery or the quality independent or craft brewer lagery. Just lagery. You get a brief taste of malted barley before you receive a lingering bitter taste.

To its credit, that lingering bitterness isn’t as strong and unpleasant as with Budvar. It is rather muted in comparison. The label describes it as “smooth” and “easy to drink”. I can’t really disagree. It’s smooth. And it’s inoffensive enough to be easy to drink. Well I had no problem throwing back each gulp of the wretched stuff. As for the taste it leaves, at least it leaves a taste at all. And it’s a taste that isn’t up there with the worst of them.

Unfortunately, Bud Ice can’t hide the fact that it’s just an ordinary cheap lager. The taste doesn’t stand out at all from all the other cheap lagers. And compared to the lagers that have rice in the ingredients list, this one reaches sub-mediocrity at best.

In summary, Bud Ice is a slightly gassy, run of the mill lager. Not as distinctive as Budvar, not as tasty as Budweiser. This is actually what I expected Budweiesr to be like. But instead, Bud Ice receives the honour of being most pointless Budweiser in the small range available in east-London off-licences. There is no rational reason for you to choose this over the alternatives.

Rating: 2.15

Have you tried Bud Ice? What did you think of it?
Leave your corrections, opinions, ideas and recommendations with the world in the little boxes below.


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17 Responses to “Beer Review: Bud Ice”

  1. 08/01/08 Friday Round-Up | STL Hops - A St. Louis Beer Blog Says:

    […] you were ever interested in a review of Bud Ice, I found one for […]

  2. jarrod Says:

    the beer may not taste the best but it is good for us young people it gets you drunk, it’s cheap, and its way better than keystone

  3. Joe Says:

    You said that it has a 4.7 AVP when the bottle clearly sais it is 5.5%

  4. George Says:

    Drinking it right now. Been drinking it for 10-15 years as my primary beer. Good price, good taste, and good buzz. Its all I require. Enjoy BUD ICE!

  5. Lee Says:

    obviously they tame the beer down for anywhere outside the US.Ive had 4.7 Bud Ice from the tastes like wee.its 5.5% alc here and it tastes better.The cheaper version is called Busch Ice (5.5% alc) and the really cheap variant is Natural Ice(5.9% alc).The Premium Ice product is Michelob Ice(5.0%).They all come from the same vats.It all depends what level the beer comes from.Natural Ice comes from the top,hence the higher alcohol and more bitter taste.Busch comes from the middle,Budweiser comes from close to the bottom.Michelob comes from the bottom.All breweries with several brands with the same theme use this method of drafting from the vats to grade their beers.

    Id say to try Michelob Ice but its hard to find anywhere.It does taste the best.

    If you want to get completely smashed…go with Natural Ice.Its 20% cheaper than Bud or Busch Ice and it will kick your ass.Its great on tap.

    Bud Ice here in Texas is called Wild Ice because it causes massive fighting problems at parties.Approach with caution.

    the really nasty one is called Old Style Ice(6.9%alc) tastes ok….and itll make you slap your mother after a 6 pack or 2.

    • Mohammed Says:

      Update! We did open the bottle up last night, and to my great siurprse it wasn’t oxidized at all! It had lost some of Budweiser’s usual rough edge (not that there’s much there to begin with, but normally Bud has a sulfury character I don’t care for) and was slightly sweet with a hint of bitterness.Yes, in the end it was still Budweiser , but it was still an interesting experience.

  6. richie79 Says:

    never actually had this. But ill tell you what could be the most worthless beer on the planet (in the uk/ireland versions).. BUD LIGHT. Oh my… I can drink 15 cans of that crap and I am NOT DRUNK. it says 4.1% but I find it hard to believe. Worst is the taste. Dreaful. Will like to try bud ice if I get a chance

  7. BI4L Says:

    Interesting, I have drank Bud Ice for a very long time. I like Bud Ice and prefer it over any other beer. Here in the lower 48, its 5.5% per beer. I really don’t drink it to get drunk. I drink it because of its taste. And like all beer; an acquired tasted is needed.

    I’m glad someone has posted something like this but it really boils down to the drinker, not the reviewer.

  8. another fool Says:

    Bud Ice is a good every day beer…i should know, i drink it every day.
    lol. I like it b-c it’s got 5.5% alcohol by volume and for the price, you can’t beat it. I also live in a very warm climate…it is very refreshing on a hot day!!

  9. Candi Says:

    When did Bud Ice change to Bud Ice Premium?

  10. Michael Chelednik Says:

    I like it, buzzed already.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    its a good beer,back a couple of years ago some genius tried to recycle the glass bottles,which in return cleaning agent were trapped inside the poor fella had foam comming out of his mouth,then doa done in from an ice brew,glad it wasnt me.the shape of the bottle creates this problm thats why its non returnable.the worst beer ive had are keystone,original coors,valentine ale40 oz,ice house ,mickeys,steel reserve,i like millers taste as well but had a bad batcup your ass@aol.comh of that the taste was of,and bud is good but requires you to get used to it

  12. troobie Says:

    4.7% ABV? I thought American Bud Ice was weak at 5.5% ABV. I wonder why it is watered down for Europe?

  13. First Time Loss - The Royal Half Says:

    […] Not to be confused with Bud Ice. […]

  14. Anonymous Says:

    In the US Bud Ice is 5.5% abv. Some nutter did a database-driven website that rates beer on “efficiency”. Efficiency was defined as the greatest abv/calorie ratio. A beer with the high abv but low calorie count was deemed “efficient” by this metric — not entirely irrational. The US version of Bud Ice ranked second of all beers rated with its 5.5% abv and only 123 calories per 12 ounces. (There were many, including craft, the winner was a light beer I’d pass on despite said efficiency rating) So, there’s the reason for Bud Ice to exist. It is an inoffensive lager, has a solid abv (in the US), and not many more calories than those horrid not-worth-drinking-might-as-well-skip-the-beer-and-just-stick-with-water “lite beers”. When seen in this light, Bud Ice is a masterpiece of modern brewing and an underappreciated gem.

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