Posts Tagged ‘Strasbourg’

Beer Review: Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc White Beer

3 May, 2008

COULD this be my new favourite? You remember how much I adore Hoegaarden White Beer. And you remember how much I like fruit beers like Badger Golden Glory? Well this distinctive, white bottle, bought at a premium price from Tesco, promises to combine them both. So let’s see… will we have a new favourite here?

Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc White Beer bottle

The bottle top, not normally worth a mention is the only place on this bottle that you’ll find the coat of arms.

Kronenbourg Blanc bottle top

Instead of the usual neck label, front label and back label combination, this bottle surprises yet again. Instead, it has a main front label, but all the usual back label small print is on the little label around the neck of the bottle.

Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc White Beer front neck label

Here’s the front of the neck label. The Kronenbourg 1664 brand name is still here though, reminding us of its connection to it’s more mainstream sister. Above it, is what I think is French. And it reads “La Bière Blanche De” And then the Kronenbourg 1664 logo follows. Using my almost non-existent French language skills, I’d say that it means “The White Beer of…”. Is that right?

Turning the neck label clockwise takes us to the UK units of alcohol warnings.

Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc White Beer details side of neck label

This bottle has 2.5 UK units of alcohol. And the label gives a summary of the daily maximums for men and women. Four and three respectively. All very dull.

Next to that though, we get a clue as to this beer’s origin. This one was “Brewed in the EU by Scottish & Newcastle” before giving their Edinburgh postal address. Even if that is under agreement from Brasseries Kronenbourg from Strasbourg, France, this news comes as a let down. If you feel strongly about that, then you might want to contact their consumer care line or email, both of which are directly under their postal addresses. Their email is given as, although I haven’t tested it. If you give it a try, leave a comment at the end of this post to let us know if they’re any good at replying to emails.

Turning the bottle further, brings us to the barcode side of the neck label. This is the side where all those important little details are hiding.

Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc White Beer barcode side of neck label

As you would imagine, being only the little label around the neck, there’s not an awful lot of detail. It describes itself as “White Beer”. And says that it “Contains Barley & Wheat”. Hardly surprising for a beer of any type. This is a 500 millilitre bottle. And I’ve never seen it in any smaller quantities. Have you? Does it exist in can form? Lastly, this has a volume of 5%. Strong-ish, but not remarkable.

Where you would expect it, there’s the main front label. And I think it fits in rather nicely with the rest of the bottle. The text is stylised, but easy to read. And the background matches the colour of the bottle, so it has a very classy appearance.

Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc White Beer front label

The word “Blanc” is the most prominent part of it. And for the few people who don’t know that “Blanc” means white, directly under that is the description “White Beer”. But it’s the text below that in a sort of gold colour that tells us most about this beer. It describes itself as a “Refreshing”, “Fruity”, “Imported White Beer”. I’m salivating already. Are you?

With nothing else to read on the outside, it’s time to open this bottle up and see if it’s as good as I’m hoping it will be.

Poured into a glass, you’ll do well to keep the pouring slow and smooth. But even I managed to keep the head under control, so you won’t have a problem. And what a creamy head you’ll get atop your beer. And it dies down to a drinkable level within a minute or two.

Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc White Beer poured into a glass

This is also a very cloudy, nearly opaque beer. I’d guess that this is because it’s live rather than filtered, like other white beers out there. Even though it doesn’t say so anywhere on the bottle.

The smell is as gorgeous as I had hoped. The fruitiness of the aroma is the first thing you notice. And not of one particular fruit. More like what you’d smell if you were standing over a big bowl of fruit salad. Not unlike the many other fruit beers out there. Sniff a little harder, and you’ll notice the rich, yeasty maltiness. A similar yeasty maltiness to Hoegaarden White Beer and Leffe Blonde and Leffe Brown. Am I the only one who loves the way that these all smell?

After all of that, I was expecting an explosion of flavours. But did in fact find my first few gulps to be treated to some very subtle flavours. None of which really dominate or jump out at you. And that surprised me.

After some pondering and tasting a few times, I’m starting to make sense of it. The main flavours are yeasty and malty. And that’s not surprising, considering that this is a white beer. What is surprising is how much they are in hiding. The other flavours that you’ll notice are of fruits. No one fruit group stands out, but there’s definitely something citrusy in the there. Again though, it doesn’t jump out at you.

Kronenbourg Blanc is very very smooth. It has the full-bodied taste and consistency that I demand of beers and ales, so no complaints of watery-ness here. Not only is it surpremely drinkable, but the lack of bold flavours means it won’t offend anyone. And that makes it accessible. Accessible enough for it to appeal to female drinkers too, I suspect. Girls, what do you think of Blanc?

If I had to look for downsides, I’d say it’s a little bit gassy. Although my belching during this review might have been due to the kebab eaten just before posting. Also, while the lack of strong flavours might make it inoffensive, it’s not quite what I was hoping for with Kronenbourg Blanc. I was hoping for the strong flavour of Hoegaarden or Leffe, but they just weren’t there. It’s clearly not what Kronenbourg were aiming for, but I found it rather disappointing for this reason, none-the-less.

What Kronenbourg Blanc is all about, are tasty aromas and flavours, deliciously arranged in subtle, understated ways. Some of you will adore the way that nothing about it is too strong. Other, like me, will be wishing that at least of it’s many qualities were more prominent.

Rating this beer, isn’t easy.

Rating: 4.35

I’ll happily drink Kronenbourg Blanc again. And recommend it to people. But it misses out on the highest scores by failing to take a chance and stand out with its flavours. That said, it’s still a feast of smells and flavours.
Have you tried Kronenbourg Blanc? What did you think?
Got any corrections, suggestions or ideas of your own?
The leave a comment now. Go on. Do it. Now.

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