Posts Tagged ‘super skol’

Beer Review: Skol Super strong lager

21 March, 2008

AFTER trying super-high-strength Duvel ale, Gold Label beer and K cider, we’ve finally reached the first of the notorious tall cans of lager: Super Skol.

At the 9% volume, prominently displayed in the front roundel, this is the strongest brew I’ll have yet tested. But this is not unusual, with many lagers out there also 9%. The wording around the top of the logo reads “a very strong lager of the highest quality”. If it is as strong as I’m expecting, it better had be high quality. A strong and unpleasant drink wouldn’t be good.

Around the bottom of the circular logo is the name of the brewer. In this case Carlsberg UK Ltd. Not as well hidden as K, but still hidden enough to help distance themselves from this alcoholics choice of beverage. Also prominent at the bottom of the can are the instructions to “serve cool”.

On one of the two ‘sides’ that isn’t full of logo, we get some text and other information.

On this side, they tell us what to expect from the drink. And I must, say, it sounds very appetising indeed. And you would too, going by the mentions of “full bodied” and “fruity aroma”. All of which make this strong lager sound more like an ale.

On the other ‘side’ things are a little more boring. There’s the barcode. The Drink Aware website address, which, lets face it, is probably needed by the sort of people who buy this stuff. The Carlsberg web address and their Northampton address are also on there if you need to write them a letter.

The best thing about that ‘side’ of the can is the full list of ingredients. Most ingredients lists are mere summaries, so it’s good to see one that it a little more complete. This one mentions water, malted barley, syrup, hops, carbon dioxide and caramel. How many are noticeable we’ll find out soon enough.

Compared to K, I’m not such a fan of the Skol Super can. It’s messy with likes and colours everywhere. And the information is split between two ‘sides’ of the can. For me, K has set the standard for design of the tall cans of high-strength drink. And Super Skol doesn’t quite reach it. But that’s all secondary to what it’s like to drink. So here goes with the strongest lager I’ve ever tried…

Once in a glass, it was good to see a good thick head. Not that that will bother most drinkers of Super Skol. The colour also looks about right for lager. Nothing notable there. What about the smell? Nothing special there either. It smells faintly of barley and hops. But it’s barely noticeable.

Now the most important part. What does it taste like and how drinkable is it? A couple of gulps down and It’s not as bad as I expected. It really is fuller bodied than most lagers out there. Especially the cheap ones. The taste is still bitter and sour so if you can’t stand lager anyway, you’re not going to like this one. I’m not sure what to make of their promise of fruity aroma at this point. Or to put it another way, there doesn’t appear to be any fruitiness at all.

A few more gulps down, and I’m not enjoying this as much as K. Yes this is fairly drinkable. But it is rather gassy. And that aftertaste awful. Maybe that’s something lager drinkers get used to. But I’m not. And predictably, I’m beginning to think this is an unpleasant experience. It certainly is going to my head quickly however. And that is probably the point of Super Skol.

And there you have it. Super Skol is affordable and strong. If you like strong lager, you might like this. If you don’t like lager, you probably won’t like it. If you want to get drink quickly and cheaply, you’ll put up with it. In addition to my rating, I also award Super Skol two and a half ASBO points.

Rating: 2.9

Have you tried Super Skol? Or any other strong lagers? What did you think?
And what do you want me to review next?
Comments below please…

Update:

A huge thanks to all the readers and commenter’s who’ve made this ‘review’ one of the most popular on my blog. Your comments are brilliant. That’s why I’ve come back nearly two years later to update it, and the other super popular super strength lager reviews with some new photos.

While I had all the 9%er cans handy, it made sense to try them all again. Only this time with the benefit of having read all of your comments beforehand. Incidentally, I’ve done the same for the other 9%-ers. Check my updates for them after you’ve finished reading this.

This time, I made sure that the can was very cold. And to drink it straight from the can to avoid accidentally smelling it. That’s why I haven’t updated the photo of it in a glass. I was also watching out for it tasting worse as you go on, while it warms up in your hand.

How did it taste this time around? Almost as bad as it did originally. Sure, the cold helps. But it’s still incredibly strong tasting. Like the other 9%-ers, it contains syrup. Yet it’s still not as sweet or balanced as they are. Does this mean it has less syrup than the others? Possibly. The taste was a long malted barley finish. Like a normal lager, but bigger. Maybe a Carlsberg response to Crest Super. It definitely seemed less syrupy, less refreshing and less drinkable than the competition.

Against the other four 9%-ers, I rank it fourth. The worst of a bad bunch. Think about that for a second. How bad does a beer need to be for Carlsberg Special Brew, Tennent’s Super and Kestrel Super to be better?

What do you think? How else can you make it taste better? Or less horrible? Add your comment now!

P.S. My ‘reviews’ of Carlsberg Skol Super’s equally popular competitors are at Carlsberg Special Brew, Tennent’s Super and Kestrel Super.

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