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Notes on beers in the style

American Adjunct Lager

Leinenkugel’s Original

12 oz can, many thanks to Kevin for the chance to try this American classic. Pour gives lots of typical, American Adjunct Lager classic traits, but the body is a quite strange glassy affair with alarming clarity. As is son often the case the beer produces an initially very good head, but it fades very quickly and leaves no lace. Poor retention. Nose is slightly vegetal but with no really offensive notes. Tastes are much the same as the nose in terms of their neutrality and non-offensiveness...

Lakemaid

12 oz single from Kevin, thanks mate. Pour offers a slightly hazed yellow body and an aggressive dispensing yields a pretty decent head if truth be told. Obviously little retention and/or lace, but not bad considering everything. Nose and tastes do no more than a beer of this style and nature should. A sweet, grainy, vegetal note with limited bitterness and weak malts. Mouthfeel is average for the style and the beer delivers a thoroughly underwhelming experience pretty much across the board....

Haywards 5000 Super Premium Beer

A Super-Premium beer no less! What could possibly go wrong?! Having spent a large portion of my first 35 years of life in Indian restaurants, I though that I had seen most of the Indian based adjunct lagers that one could be exposed to , but this was a new one on me. Went to an Atlanta curry house and sw it on the menu, but they were out. A few days later i picked up this gold foiled, 650 mL bottle at Total Wine, Perimeter, Atlanta, GA, USA for $2.49 (I think). There really is very little to...

Hamm’s

12 oz can, many thanks go out to Kevin for the chance to try this one. Can and the brand make this look like a real retro beer - America in the 50's and 60's is the feel I get from it. Pour is a very pale golden hue with a large, frothy head. The head has some decent retention and lace, and doesn't look bad a tall. To be honest, I did pour it in a very aggressive manner. Nose and tastes are largely devoid of any character with a slight, sweet grain note and perhaps a little crisp citrus. To be...

Blatz Beer

12 oz can, many thanks to Kevin for the chance to try this. The pour produces an almost transparent lemon yellow color, a highly carbonated but a typically poorly retained head and not much lace. Frankly it screams American adjunct lager which I suppose could be viewed as a good thing! Light, grainy and neutral nose. Tastes are watery and only give a sweet, light vegetal and light grainy effect. Pretty much devoid of any character or taste but to be honest not offensive in any way. Still,...

Burger Classic

12 oz can courtesy of Kevin - thanks again! Orangey, yellow pour with some pretty fierce carbonation. The head that forms initially is very high, fluffy and white. It fades quickly though to give nothing more than a tiny film on the surface of the beer and one or two wisps of lace. Little to report here other than a pretty sweet, thin beer that to be honest I don't mind too much. It has a lemony aroma but not much of that is transferred to the taste. Some acidity and fairly drinkable given the...

Name Tag Lager

Trader Joe's purchase as a single, 12oz can. Given this stuff is about $3 a sixer I guess this cost around $0.50. Still struggles a little on the value! Water like pour with a only hints of color, carbonation, head , lace or retention. Carbonation seems higher than the appearance would suggest. Grains and pale malt dominate the tastes and aroma and the beer drinks much like a pale seltzer water. Aggressive burps suggest the carbonation IS indeed, high. Pretty much as expected.

Simpler Times Lager

12 oz, single can, Trader Joe's, Sandy Springs, Atlanta, GA, USA. Golden body on the pour (nice) but with a seemingly very low carbonation. Head is quite big at first but fades badly to give no retention and no lace. 6.2% is an interesting level of alcohol as the beer drinks below that and with plenty of room for kicking back a few. Simple is the watchword here with some mild cereal and quite a lot of sweetness. Big fan of the can, so that's in its favor, but as expected this is very ordinary...

R Lager

22 oz bottle from Kenny Road Market, Columbus, OH, USA. $5.49. The label on the bottle is obviously amateurish which is probably a combination of deliberate style and cost consideration. Either way it looks like it was done by a freshman art class. Pour is a little odd with a clouded butterscotch appearance that was mildly reminiscent of a Hefe or other wheat beer. Strange. Head was poorly retained though and the lace was watery. Nose was a nice combination of sweet malts and some citrus based...

Stroh’s

Can from Arbor Place Beverage's bargain cart - 75 cents for the privelege! Took my own regular advice and paired this with a decent curry from The Viceroy. Despte some pretentious suggestions about IPA's and the like being paired with curry, after years and years of drinking beer with curry, I fail to find a better combo of the cheap, macro adjunct lager and a great Ruby. Appearance is as expected with a golden clarity, well carbonated body and the usual short-lived, wispy head that fades to...

Participation Lager

12oz single from Mac's in Atlanta, GA, USA as part of their $8.99 mixed sixer. Pour is a darker golden color than the BA designated style might suggest. Head and lace are also superior than a normal macro lager. Definitely more bitterness in the initial tastes and finish, but this beer still seems a little astringenet in terms of the edgy solvent alcohol and mouthfeel. Not 100% sure what Magic Hat are trying to achieve here, but they've done enough in the past to earn my respect. Seems a bit...

Landshark Lager

Interestingly enough this is not only "Premium lager quality", but it is also an "Island style lager"! WOW! OK, golden urine appearance that is well carbonated but produces a terrible head and no lace. What a shocker! I smell nothing. The taste is a slighly odd chlorinated one. Not sure if it is a citrus base or not but it seems a little lemony. Nasty corn and vegetable mix with an unpleasant aftertaste too. To be brutally honest the most disappointing aspect for me is the PURE marketing...

Tooheys New

Well, it is what it is. Keep expectations low and you'll not be disappointed IMO. Purchased as a single from Total Wine in Kennesaw, GA, USA. $1.99 I think. 375 mL bottle, semi-stubbie appearance. I like the label and colors. Drank a lot of Tooheys (amongst others) on my visit to Australia back in the early 90's and this is really a nostalgia purchase for me. Appearance is good with a nice head, decent retention and surprisingly good lace. Mid-level carbonation and golden clarity; good looker....

Carling Black Label

This is a great example of why I feel the need to walk into nearly every single beer retail outlet that I ever pass - you just never, ever know what might be in there! Picked this can (as pictured on BA) up for 50 cents at Track One between East Point and West End on the less glamorous side of Atlanta, GA, USA. Good value - just! OK, here's the deal. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw this can. Carling Black Label is a brand that I grew up with in 1970's (and also the...

Imperial

$0.99 as a single from Green's on Buford, Atlanta, GA, USA. EXACTLY as expected. Golden yellow appearance, fading head, no lace. Cooked veggies, corn additions, NOT clean and a thin mouthfeel complete the macro lager experience. NOT good and quite watery. Difficult to finish outside of a BOILING hot outdoor event. No point otherwise. UGH...

Fosters Special Bitter

Oil Can as a single from The Wine Shop, Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, GA, USA. Amber body with some decent carbonation, small head and some pretty good lace. Good clarity, this is not a bad looking beer at all. Nose is a bit worrying - has that corn/vegetal macro air about it, but the taste is better. A malty bitterness. Light in the mouth (perhaps thin), but finishes kind of creamy. Finish also produces a metallic bitterness that lingers a little. I was not very excited about this, expecting...

Brahma

A nasty, nasty concoction sampled in, of all places, the old Drakes Bar in the old Rougemont Hotel (now the Exeter Thistle) in Exeter, Devon, England. Nothing to report here other than a urine colored, corn and adjunct driven lager that even lacked the sometimes present refreshing qualities of similar products. Metallic, tinny and sour. Simply don't bother.

Iron City Beer

Single, 12oz bottle, Jax, Sandy Springs, Atlanta, GA, USA. Perhaps a little lighter and cloudier than your standard crystal clear macro pour, but much the same in all other respects. Brief, highly carbonated head, gone in seconds, no lace. A very large whiff of corn/adjuncts on opening and the classic veggie tastes. Finishes clean, so that's in its favor, but that's about it. Ice cold on boiling hot days at approx $5-6 a sixer I might consider it; in all other situations I almost certainly...

Frugal Joe’s Ordinary Beer

Actually pretty nasty. Having had a whole bunch of GOOD experiences at around $1 a single form Trader Joe's, this was the first serious letdown. Head on the pour is good, but it fades just about as fast as I can remember for ANY beer. Gone literally in seconds. ZERO lace. A tiny bit of carbonation. The classic aroma and taste combo of cooked vegetables, corn and mild skunk. Really quite nasty even in the context of the style. A drainpour and that doesn't happen often at all.

Molson Canadian Lager

On-tap, $3.25 Taco Mac, Douglasville, GA, USA.I think I last drank this at The Maple Leaf in Covent Garden - MEMORIES! WOW, that brings back MANY, MANY HAPPY days! What to say? Not much. Light yellow pour (could be any macro in the world), some decent lacing but no head of any description. Some spotty cream on the surface of the beer. Mild corn aroma, not too offensive and just the usual in the taste. Just about managed to finish one of these, but it wasn't easy - all in the name of research!...

Lone Star Beer

12 oz single, Mac's downtown, Atlanta, GA, USA. Well, what do you expect? Uttterly bland with virtually no taste at all. In its favor there was a decent head that lingered much longer than I expected. Some scant lace and an ultra clear, very, very light colored body. Peppery astringent nose. Nasty stuff, but I knew that before I opened it.

Tusker Premium Lager

12 oz single bottle, attractive black, white and yellow design with Elephant motive on the label. Extraordinarily pale yellow body, and after a large head from the pour, this fades to almost nothing. Some small amount of lace left behind. Typical adjunct style macro, but at least it's clean and fresh. No lingering aftertaste - good, mild corny sweetness - as expected and average for the style in all other respects. Could be one of thousands of others.

Horse Piss Beer

Pour provides a big, fluffy pillow like head that is rather attractive. Decent density too. Some half decent lacing as well - of course this all fades very quickly to not much at all. The body is a sort of weird macro lager/Hefe misty combination. This looks rather good. Some dry sweetness with a little bitterness, but the mouthfeel is very watery and before you know it there's not much to distinguish this from say, a Miller Lite. Mild skunk is revealed in the aroma. Glad I tried it, won't be...

Point Special

Thanks to SilentSabre for the opportunity to try this beer. 12 oz single bottle. Very fizzy pour indeed. Noisy effervesence. Large, light head disappears very quickly to reveal a typical macro pour. Light and golden body with rising bubbles. Stacks of corny, grainy aroma and tastes this is basically a standard American macro. Clean and dry, very little bitterness, just a simple macro type lager. I guess it could be just about any macro, but at least it's simple and non-offensive (unlike...

Karma

650 ml brown tapered bottle with foil on the neck and cap and Indian accented label. High carbonation on the pour, with a really noisy, fizzy head. Some minimal retention and a *tiny* bit of lacing. Outside of that, this is essentially a adjunct/macro lager. Lots of sweet aroma and corn based tastes with some alcohol. Quite refeshing, but not very clean, so this beer fails on one of my two criteria for a decent macro/adjunct. On the plus side there is a lack of skunk - not a lack of sweet corn...

Dos Equis Special Lager

Typical, crystal clear light golden pour that could be any one of 10,000 beers, but still doesn't look horrible. Low carbonation leads to a quickly disappearing head and no lacing - again, utterly typical. Aroma is the adjunct, sweet grain and the taste follows directly behind. A little more alcohol in the nose than usual for the style and the taste has an alarming sweetness at first but does smooth out a little. Well, what were you expecting? Fairly nasty stuff, but it doesn't pretend to be...

Famosa (Gallo)

Very pale straw color with a complete lack of body and character. This horribly watery beer is exactly what you'd expect. On the plus side there is no skunk and it is refreshing in the way that water is, but outside of that, no taste, no body and frankly no point. Starts with corny sweetness and finishes with a bitter twist that is not really hop based, more like a peppery driness - you get the picture, don't bother.

Sol

Well, it is what it is, and nothing else. I drank this stuff from the bottle (which tells its own story) and I would advise you to do the same. Pouring into a glass would only disappoint. This is not the most offensive macro on the face of the earth, but it is simply utterly bland, virtually tasteless and hardly what one would call beer in terms of taste, mouthfeel and experience. It's difficult to give this any defining adjectives or characteristics. It's a malted beverage certainly, but...

Busch Beer

This is pretty much as pale as it gets. Hydrated urine look, fizzy head that disappears immediately and a little lacing. Massive corn and alcohol aroma. Mouthfeel? Well, it's carbonated water isn't it? Warming alcohol is the overpowering "taste", burns slightly at the back of the mouth and on the way down. I suppose there is some taste of "macro beer" too. To be honest, this kind of junk is increasingly difficult to swallow (literally and metaphorically). Perhaps that's a sign of age! It's...

Rolling Rock Extra Pale

Rolling Rock is one of those beers that I'm going to reach for ONLY as a result of being in a bar when the selection is nothing more than macro swill fare. OK, so fair enough, we know what we're getting here, an ultra bland macro with little or no characteristics outside of being wet and mildly alcoholic. There really is very little else to report other than a distinct adjunct corn flavor and a very, very mild hop bite somewhere near the finish. However, it drinks fairly clean, lacks any nasty...

Bud Ice

Almost colorless, with a hint of extremely diluted golden color when poured into a pilsner glass. Aroma is difficult to pin down, but it reminds me of the days when I was working in bars and I would go in on a Sunday morning to start the cleaning up process and everything would be covered in that sickly, sweet, sticky alcoholic smell of spilled and stale beer. This is very sweet, with a very short bitter snap of a finish that does not linger at all, but leaves behind the residue sweetness....

Coors

Above average looking (at least for the 45 seconds or so that the head lasts), aroma of sweet alcohol and a slightly stale cereal. No lacing, some bubbles rising in the glass. Some skunk in the aroma too. Taste is fairly straightforward, clean with no frills, with the exception of a harsh, bitter metallic finish. No hops here, just bitterness. Not the worst macro on the block, just about par for the course.

Tsingtao

Not bad for what it is. I think that (along with Bud light) this may be the beer that has the least amount of color that I have ever encountered. It really does look like "frightened water". The usual silly, wispy head that instantly disappears accompanies the pale, plae body However, having said that it did fufil my own criteria of a macro/adjunct lager, by not being skunked to any extent; being relatively refreshing (in a lawnmower, Atlanta summer day) kind of way; and by not having a taste...

San Miguel Premium Lager

Surprisingly drinkable. I was expecting the usual adjunct macro swill, but got a half-decent, creamy sweet lager that looked attractive and drank easy. Some hint of grain in the nose, but not too much and it passed the skunk test! Some creaminess in the mouth and quite refreshing without ever breaking into tastiness! Don't get me wrong, this is like lots of other thirst quenchers out there, and is no more than a decent lawnmower style, but I wouldn't turn it down. Lack of bitterness in the...

Cristal

Very light and predictabley disappointing. Pale straw pour with a wispy, thin head that didn't hang around for long. Corny and grainy with little or no malt detectable, but some bitterness in the finish. Pretty clean - that's on the upside, but utterly non-descript outside of that. Definitely does a good job with some spicy food, or as a lawnmower, but outside of that this offers absolutley nothing that other, probably cheaper macro swill can't do. Don't go an inch out of your way to try...

Tiger Beer

Very, very simple, non-descript and instantly forgetable. My wife picked this up and said, "This is the kind of beer I like, not as strong as the stuff you usually drink". That says it all. Simply put, another adjunct macro lager with nothing to endear it to anyone. Clean finish, but some skunk, definite over-carbonation and zero positive aromas. A little bitter hoppiness against the backdrop of some weak malt, but frankly a wash. Don't bother.

Carta Blanca

I'm assuming that the designation of Marzen/Oktoberfest is simply a mistake, and that this is what it appears to be, purely and simply a macro adjunct lager? (If it looks like a duck...). If not, please enlighten me. <EDIT: 03/10/05 - Jason changed it to Adjunct - cheers> The context that I drank this in says it all. I enjoyed it with a lunchtime, Mexican meal and it was served to me as probably the coldest beer I have ever come across, in a super-frosted mug. In that context it was...

Slavutych Pivo (Slavutich Premium)

Very odd looking beer that appeared like an extremely weak, insipid looking cross-breed of a wheat beer and a macro lager. There was also some yeasty sediment in the pour that refused to settle down, making lots of odd swirling motions in the glass even after it was left undisturbed. All mildly alarming. Some good continual carbonation from the bottom of the glass. Medium sized frothy head that didn't last long and left me with a slightly skunked, macro lager with nothing much to endear it to...

Molson Ice

$1.99, 24 oz Can, Gas Station purchase. As time goes by I really have no idea how one is supposed to distinguish between these North American, macro, adjunct lagers. If it were a blind tasting I doubt, even as an experienced drinker, that I would tell between all of these mass produced products. OK, large head and clear yellow pour from a 24 oz can. Very corny aroma, but a fairly clean taste despite the obvious mild skunk. It's drinkable (just), but like all the others, thin in the mouth and...

Red Stripe Jamaican Lager

Bottle, $3.75, Buffalo Wings Bar & Grill, Douglasville, GA, USA. I probably haven't drunk any Red Stripe for the best part of 10 years, and from what I've read since, and what I remembered from back then, I was expecting very little. In fact, I was expecting to be disappointed. So I was delighted when I experienced a refreshing and clean lager that was very drinkable with none of the nasty aftertastes and junk associated with so many macro adjuncts. The pour was a golden yellow with a small...

Foster’s Lager

Frankly, I think it depends on what you're expecting and the context of your consumption what you might write about this beer. If you're looking for something cold, clean and refreshing then you could do much worse. If you're looking for anyhting outside of that context then you might as well forget it. A bit better than the standard macro adjunct appearance, with a decent head, good color and a little more body than I was expecting. Head goes quickly though, no lacing, but the drink still...

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)

$7.99, 12 pack, Kroger Supermarket, Thornton Road, Atlanta, GA. $4.99 for the 6 pack at Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. PBR - a legend? Well, its reputation clearly goes before it, and helps it get reviewed in a generally far more favorable light than it really should. This is a fairly nasty swill that I don't think deserves a lot of the praise it gets. It seems to benefit from the idea that if lots of people used to drink it, it must be a classic. I see no more than classic, North American...

Miller Genuine Draft

Of the scores of garbage adjunct macro lagers, this is one of the more drinkable and less offensive. It actually looks pretty good. It had some seriously deep color (relatively) and pours with a decent head and some lacing. After that it's pretty much downhill all the way with the usual problems associated with over-carbonation, extreme cold and general macro swillness, but at least it lacks some of the offensive excessive alcohol taste and nastiness. Stuck as I am so often, staring at a shelf...

Icehouse

Really just noting this for my consumption log rather than a review. I honestly have no idea whether I would be able to tell this beer from Miller Lite, Bud, Bud Light, Coors or any one of a hundred other macros. What can you say? Typical golden yellow, good looking pour, a head that disappears almost instantly, a refreshing "beer" drink that, unlike any quality brew, is probably enhanced by taking it down to Arctic temperatures. Aroma is indistinguishable to me and it tastes like cold,...

Budweiser

I feel as though it is difficult to be incredibly objective about this beer simply because of its place on the North American macro stage, but here goes.... The standard appearance and aroma from a macro lager, a little skunky, pale yellow fizz with a head that disappears almost immediately with no lacing. The taste is that of a grainy alcohol with little or nothing else to report - what can one say? As one reviewer said earlier, "better than water"!

Taj Mahal Premium Lager

Not bad, I've had worse, fairly typical for an Indian lager. This is reminiscent of your standard macro, but with a little drier, harder bite. I like it as long as it's very well chilled and I'm eating with it. I've drunk a lot of this stuff with Indian food, but it will do a good job with any spicy offering. An attractive pour with good golden color and a substantial head that hangs around for most of the drink. It's dryish, with a bitter ending and some metallic characteristics. Nothing...

Red Dog

$4.15 for six-pack, Save-Rite supermarket, Villa Rica, GA, USA. On the plus side, $4.15 for a six-pack, you know what you're getting - not much, but it doesn't pretend to be much. You are also getting 5.00% ABV. On the down side, well - pours like piss, looks like piss, tastes like piss - might even be piss! Never mind, no more or less than I expected. There are scores of better crappy, macro alternatives (e.g. Miller High Life, Schlitz), turn to them first.

Pacífico

The usual report on this kind of stuff. Pours pale yellow, fizzy head that disappears quickly, is thin in the mouth and generally forgettable. Mine tasted slightly metallic and infinitely better after three or four bottles, with lime added, in the scorching heat. If you are just going to have one, when it is not 100 degrees and without lime, forget it. Just one of the thousands of macro, adjunct lagers that are 100% non-descript.

Corona Extra

To me this is no worse or better than it pretends to be. It's North American macro lager, so what do you expect? Like all of these brews, it's pale, pours with a lot of carbonation that disappears instantly to leave no head and no lacing, invariably smells skunky, isn't easy to drink, often gives headaches when drunk in quantity and generally is a nasty experience. Add in the fact that Corona appears to the lack the thirst-quenching properties of similar beers and you've just about said it...

Tecate

This is as about as bland a beer as one could imagine. Having said that it does have a distinct advantage over it's northern cousins in that it is fairly inoffensive. Most of the American macro lagers lack a cleanliness, and you often get really offensive skunkiness and nasty alcohol aromas and tastes. Tecate has none of that, and as a result is a refreshing, thirst quencher despite a lack of body and taste. My advice - take it for whait is, drink it ice-cold in hot weather and you won't be...

Schlitz

16oz six pack, Publix Supermarket, Villa Rica, GA, $4.79. Schlitz. Not being an American, or growing up with this beer I can't really comment on its legendary status, but I hear it is a classic. My wife tells me her father used to drink this when she was growing up and it seems to have a nostalgic affect on most Americans that I talk to about it. Simply put, you get what you pay for - but frankly, I like it. This is a no-nonsense American lager that doesn't pretend to be what it's not. It's...

Miller High Life

Six Pack of 16oz cans, less than $5, Publix supermarket, Villa Rica, GA. Six Pack of 12oz Bottles, 3.89, Green's Beverage, Ponce de Leon, Atlanta, GA. Very strange review this one. Essentially Miller High Life, is, at least on the face of it, everything I dislike in a beer. Light colored, no body and a distinct lack of taste (either hops or malt), a mass produced American macro with little or no appeal to those who enjoy quality beer...but...I keep on coming back to drink it. One thing it does...

Modelo Especial

OK, make no mistake this is a fairly low quality beer, but it doesn't really pretend to be much else. It's simply a mexican lager that you're going to drink and enjoy when it's really hot or when you are eating spicy food. It's got to be mega-chilled (since doing that will not affect the taste or experience at all) and you've got to gulp it down quickly. Golden yellow, thin looking pour, with highly carbonated head that disappears quickly. Not too unpleasant aroma and initial taste that this...

Hatuey Lager Beer

Very suprised to find this at a small package store in a very Hispanic part of Atlanta. I got into a conversation with the Cuban owner of the store who informed me that it was legal to sell this stuff, since despite the map of Cuba on the label, it is brewed in Puerto Rico. He was VERY enthusiastic about it! It poured a nice golden color with a decent head and aroma. Drank like an average lager, something I would drink in the summer months only. Pretty undistinct really, I thought it had...

Labatt Blue

Reviewing the pint can, "The Big Blue". Poured with a large frothy head that disappeared instantly to reveal a lemon colored solution. The overwhelming experience of taste, aroma and aftertaste is alcohol. I found it very difficult to distinguish anything else. I don't feel that this particular mass-produced North American lager is any worse than any other, they all are instantly forgetable. Of course we all have our own favorites and styles, but I simply can't imagine getting any joy from...