Posts Tagged ‘rio de janeiro’

Beer Review: Brahma Premium Lager

6 September, 2008

THE next big-name bottled lager falls into the Latin-world category. That’s because this stunningly good looking bottle is Brahma, all the way from Brazil.

Being what it is, it’s immediately in competition with the likes of Sol and Corona Extra. It looks a bit like them too. Does anyone know if there’s a reason why beer from South-America all seem to have clear glass and a bright, cheerful look?

Brahma goes a step further. If Cola-Cola bottles look like women, this bottle of Brahma is so curvy, it looks like a woman dancing. This is one curvy, and stylish looking bottle.

Enough salivating over the looks. It’s substance that matters. And this one has all the details in a wrap-around neck label.

Brahama neck label 1Brahama neck label 2Brahama neck label 3

It’s hard to know where to look first. Everything is in a good looking jumble. In the absence of any order, I’ll call out the details as I see them.

“Desde 1888” probably means “Est” or “Since” 1888. So the Brahma name has some history to it. They describe it as “Premium Lager” which puts it firmly in the mainstream. And Brahma seems to come from Rio De Janeiro. Since it has that printed on the label. I must say, this is one of the hardest to read labels out there. The microscopic text printed in various combinations of shiny on matt and vice-versa makes it almost impossible.

Persevering, I can tell you that this is the ever popular 33 centilitre bottle. And that the lager within is a nearly strong 4.8%. It also contains malted barley. But then I discover some disappointing news. Brahma Premium Lager wasn’t imported from Brazil at all. Instead, it was “brewed in the UK to the authentic Brasilian recipe” by brewing giant InBev in Luton. Yes, Luton is Britain’s answer to Rio De Janeiro. It’s where I would have picked, too.

If there is any more information written on the label, I can’t see it. The way this one was printed and designed, there could well be more to read. I just don’t have a magnifying glass to hand. So without further ado, it’s time to crack open this bottle. What will it taste like? And how will it compare to its competitors? Keep your expectations low.

There is absolutely no head. Something that makes pouring it very easy. Not that you’ll want to. At 330 millilitres, it will be a little too much for just a half-pint glass like mine. In the glass, it’s a nice shade of amber. It certainly looks better than the anaemic yellow you find with lots of other lagers.

How does it smell? Does it even have a smell? Yes it does. Just about. You can barely make out the same blend of malted barley and hops that you get with virtually every other lager. It’s ok for a lager I suppose. Just don’t compare it to an ale.

How does it taste? A couple of gulps in, and this is a lot like its South-American competitors. There’s barely any malted barley flavour before that familiar lagery “bite” kicks in. That aftertaste “bite” is about the only thing you’ll notice.

Is there anything to like about Brahma Premium Lager? There is. But only if you like lager. Lager fans will enjoy how light and easy to drink it is. They will also relish that lagery “bite”. It’s also possible that they will like how few different flavours and tastes there are in Brahma. It is smooth though. I’ll give it that.

As you’ve probably guessed, there’s a lot I’m not enjoying here. A lot of which is down to it being a lager. A fact which renders my criticisms unfair. But which I intend to vent nonetheless. To start with, there’s no flavour to speak of. Then there’s the bitter “bite” that is simply too rough.

To sum up, Brahma Premium Lager is a lager. If you like big-name lagers, this is a perfectly good example. By all means, try it. If, however, you like flavour and some level of depth, look elsewhere. If you accidentally pick up a bottle of this instead of Sol or Corona Extra, well, then you probably won’t notice any difference.

Rating: 2.25

Have you tried Brahma Premium Lager? What did you think of it?

Leave your corrections, translations, opinions, thoughts, requests and recommendations here.

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