Beer Review: Karmi Malínowa Pasja

WHILST up Stoke Newington way in North London, I was delighted to find an Eastern European shop that I hadn’t yet plundered for beer. The shop in question was Kołos Supermarket. And for £1.09 pence, one of the bottles beers I bought was this. At least I thought it was a beer at the time. Now, I’m not so sure. Whatever it is, it’s called Karmi and has the words Malínowa Pasja on it. Polish translators, I’m going to need your help again, big time. Translations at the end of this post please.

Karmi Malinowa Pasja bottle

It’s a curvy and mysterious looking bottle, isn’t it? Not quite as much as Brahma Premium Lager, but there’s something feminine about it. There’s a picture of, and colour of raspberry. Is this one of the girls beers that commenter’s warned me about in earlier Polish beer posts?

The neck-label doesn’t exactly answer any questions.

Karmi Malinowa Pasja neck wrapper and label

The bottle top is of the “Twist Off” variety. Is that a clue? I’m beginning to think this isn’t a real beer.

The front-label doesn’t help either.

Karmi Malinowa Pasja front label

If you know what Karmi or Malínowa Pasja mean, do please leave a comment. All I can glean from the front-label is that the contents might have something to do with raspberries. I may have made a huge mistake buying this bottle.

Thanks to my almost complete lack of understanding of the Polish language, the back-label, which would be helpful, isn’t. Translators, this is where I need you most.

Karmi Malinowa Pasja back label

Mind you, language has never been a barrier before with all the other Polish beers I’ve tried. So let’s press on and see what I can understand, or misunderstand.

The writing at the top says something about taste. But I’ve no idea what. The first word at the start of the ingredients list is, I think, ‘beer’. Which is a relief. Unfortunately, I think it’s telling me that it has an alcoholic volume of 0.5%. Oh dear.

It might be almost non-alcoholic, but it was made by Carlsberg Polska in Warszawa/Warsaw. And Carlsberg are a brewer. So it’s nearly a proper beer.

Elsewhere on the label, it says, I think, that it is a small 400ml bottle. And that they have a website at www.karmi.pl. A quick look reveals that it is a low-alcoholic drink for women. And that there are Karmi’s is lots of other flavours.

Okay, I admit it. I made a big mistake when I grabbed this out of the cooler in the Kołos Supermarket. It’s not a real beer at all, but a literally fruity low-alcohol drink for women. Despite this, you’ve got to be wondering… what does it taste like? Is it any good? And, if you are a woman, should you buy some? Lets find out.

Karmi Malinowa Pasja poured into a glass

The surprises start right away. That is not a coloured glass bottle. The bottle is transparent. It’s the beer that is that deep, reddish black colour. Once in the glass, the drink has a decent layer of head. If it were a real beer, I’d be impressed by it. What’s more, that head is noticeably red in colour.

What does it smell of? As you’ve guessed by now, it smells of raspberry. Not the natural sort. They don’t really smell of anything. This smells the same chemically way that it looks.

How does it taste? It tastes strange. On the back label, I saw a word that looked like the word ‘syrup’. Well, that’s what Karmi Malínowa Pasja is like. It tastes mildly of raspberry, in a synthetic and syrupy way. After that flavour, there is a tiny, slightly bitter alcoholic kick of an aftertaste. Not much. Just enough to remind you that it’s there.

What am I enjoying about Karmi Malínowa Pasja? I like how it’s unlike anything I’ve ever drank before. I like how easy it is to drink. Although it’s not got to try hard with only 0.5% alcoholic volume. I like how rich, smooth and un-gassy it is. And as a product, it looks good.

There are however, a few downsides to Karmi Malínowa Pasja. It might taste vaguely of raspberry. But it also tastes awful. It’s like drinking a concoction of chemicals that taste a little bit like a berry. Like hearing your favourite song ruined by someone doing karaoke. What it’s aiming for is admirable enough, but the ingredients are all wrong. It could get away with it if it were light and crisp. But in this heavy, thick, syrupy form it is atrocious. To cap it all off, with so little alcohol, it’s not even a real beer.

To sum up, Karmi Malínowa Pasja is a disgusting drink aimed, presumably, at women with no taste. If you see a woman drinking this stuff, avoid her. She has a terrible taste in drink. If, like me, you spot this in a shop refrigerator and hope that it will be an interesting Polish beer, you’d be right. But only just. And you’d wish you weren’t.

Rating: 2.1

Can you translate anything? What reputation does Karmi Malínowa Pasja have in Poland? Do women there actually drink this stuff? What do you think of it? Do please leave all your translations, pronunciations, corrections, opinions, requests, recommendations and places to buy here in the comments.

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8 Responses to “Beer Review: Karmi Malínowa Pasja”

  1. Jacek Says:

    Mailna == Raspberry
    So “mailnowa pasja” == “Raspberry Passion”
    Women likes this beverage – esp. those, who doesn’t like the “real beer”. Probably this is real product created “by women for women”.
    Mens avoid this.

    Writing on the bottle says:
    Piwo ciemne == dark beer
    dosładzane == sweetened
    karmelowe = caramel
    z syropem o smaku malinowym == with syroup of raspberry taste
    Cheers!
    (you should find some women to do this test. Mens find this “beer” disgusting )

    • Mar Says:

      Mens? It’s MEN. There is no S, stupid. Obviously you’re no English expert so don’t act like you’re a beer expert. The Raspberry beer is an offshoot of another popular drink in Poland- raspberry syrup. Last time I visited Poland I saw beer on tap being poured into huge mugs with a squirt of thick raspberry syrup. I was curious so I tried it and it wasn’t all that terrible. Now the difference here is that it was really pale ale and the ratio of syrup to beer was just right. As to the bottled version- I think I’d avoid it UNLESS it was something like a Colorado local “Angry Blue” which is a blueberry malt with 8% alc.

  2. MoonWalker Says:

    Back-label:
    “Karmi Raspberry Passion is a perfect combination of two eminent flavors of raspberry and caramel, creating unique beer that will help you unveil your feminine style and personality.”

    What reputation does it have here? Well, you pretty much nailed it: a disgusting drink aimed at women with no taste.

  3. grzegor Says:

    “Karmi” brand is another way of promoting Żywiec company. Thay can’t promote alcohol products in many places so they made this. I disagree that it is aimed at women as none of my female friends would take a sip of this. It’s sometimes served at places in which alcohol would be inappropriate.

  4. Nate Says:

    its actually a popular type of drink called “piwo i sok” which translates into “beer and juice”, but in Poland, sok, in the coxtext of mixing with piwo, is a fruit syrup. So it’s basically a fruity, beer based beverage, Although I would never drink one that premade in a bottle.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    if you like a combination of fruit and beer, but not the kind where the fruit/chemicals are added later, you should try Kriek beers from Belgium. I those the real fruit is part of the beer making process. There are Polish beers in this style made by small breweries. Avoid the addition of syrup, but do try the beer with fruits part of the brewing process.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    This beer is very popular with ladies as it is know to Help with production of breast milk, it is alcohol free beer:))))

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