Thursday, September 29, 2005
All in all, I was not impressed. The Baltika was the best of the bunch, which is not saying much. Alcohol is a critical part of the taste of a good beer, but in these three beers, especially the Zhiguly, it was overwhelming. Considering the punch these beers pack, I suppose that's not surprising, although other beers with similar alcohol content do a much better job masking the flavor. When it came to taste, there's just not much else there with this trio.Good beer ends at the Czech border by and large. (Gambrinus all over Pilsner Urquell, btw. Maybe Radegast too.) The problem is that most of the Slavic beers aren't meant to ship. The good stuff, like Coors of the old days, isn't pasteurized. I have very fond memories of Obolon from my Ukraine days, but damned if I can find a decent bottle here in the States. Particularly the dark beers like this porter. (Yes, that's in Cyrillic. That's part of my explanation.)
At least you can find them there. I worked in Egypt one summer, and that was as expected a wasteland. But it was at least better than Indonesia. Bintang -- eeyewww! And the imported Malaysian Tiger and Singa beer was no better. So during your Trinkensraum, Chad, give South Asia a wide berth.
BTW, the Obolon website notes this "Interesting fact":
Just like breakfast cereals, beer is a rich source of B vitamins which are an essential part of a healthy diet.So that explains the guy who drank three of those on the Air Ukraine flight sitting next to me before we took off on the 6am flight to Budapest! I will be noting this interesting fact to Mrs. Scholar, who continues to feed me kasha (Russian for bird seed) for breakfast.