Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Carib Lager - Trinidad and Tobago - 17-9-14

The low down: 
I've barely hit 7 of the 28 nations and territories in the Caribbean, it's slow going because of their limited exports. Thank God for Top Hops New York. Unfortunately they were out of a couple I wanted, but they did have this gem.

I'll be visiting the Caribbean in 2016 and I'm hoping there are more beers like this. It's a really refreshing drop, no significant flavour to speak of, but in this case it's not a bad thing.

It's not very carbonated and drinks well from the once again clear bottle, but this was well refrigerated and I drank it at night, though it might suffer on a shelf.

Packaging: 7/10
Feels Caribbean, and doesn't come in red and green!
Refreshment: 8/10
It was barely 19 degrees in New York, and this still worked.
Flavour 6/10
Fruity, a little malty, but not amazing.
Alcohol Content: 7/10
5.2% High for a Caribbean lager.
Price: 8/10
$4.15. And this included the corkage at Top Hops.
Total: 36/50

Trinidad and Tobago invented the Calypso and the Limbo, which pretty much define the Caribbean for me. The cuisine is a combination of Indian, African and Creole. One of their specialties is a fried dough called Fried Bake. Can you see where this is going?


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Kalik - The Bahamas - 11-9-14

 The low down: 

The Bahamas is only proceeded by Aruba, Jamaica and Bermuda in the list of places The Beach Boys want to take you to. Then again, Kokomo is in Indiana, so they probably don't know crap.
For the record there is also a Kokomo in Mississippi as well, but no one cares about that.

The beer is OK, but has a distinct skunk smell that is brought on by its shelf storage and clear bottle. Considering the Bahamas are supposed to be the sunniest place on earth, someone should have thought of this.

It's macro produced by Heineken on the island, so with that consideration in place, it does pretty well, in that it is better than Heineken.

Packaging: 3/10
A clear glass bottle for a beer to be drunk in the sun....
Refreshment: 6/10
Skunk ruins it, but otherwise reasonably easy drinking.
Flavour 5/10
Almost no hop flavour, a little malt and that's it.
Alcohol Content: 5/10
5% About par for the course.
Price: 8/10
$1.85. It's probably more in a resort, but it will be better there too.
Total: 27/50

Atlanta is a pretty good analog for the Bahamas, except it has no sea breeze, no beach and a lot more craft breweries. Apparently conch fritters are a thing and hugely popular in the Bahamas. I would like to eat some, and I could do worse than pairing them with this beer.

Presidente - Dominican Republic - 10-9-14

The low down: 
In the Dominican Republic in 1496, Bartholomew, the kid brother of Christopher Columbus, established the first Spanish colony in the West Indies. This began 30 years of the decimation and subjugation of the native Taino people. I say 30 as opposed to 500 as they were all but eradicated by the 1530's.

With that depressing story out of the way let's talk Caribbean beer. It's not quite as heinous as the actions of the European settlers in the 15th and 16th centuries, but it's also not that great.

The primary flavour is sickly sweet malt, but there isn't a lot else to it. Another in a long line of beers that are forgettable but serviceable in the tropics.

Packaging: 3/10
What is with Caribbean beers and this colour set?
Refreshment: 5/10
On the Island of Hispaniola sure, in Atlanta, partly.
Flavour 2/10
Fake sweetness not optional.
Alcohol Content: 5/10
5% Good enough for government work.
Price: 7/10
$1.65 Well, at least it's cheap.
Total: 22/50

I drank this with preserved meats from the Pepper Palace, it's probably better suited to something even spicier. We visited the world of Coca Cola before I drank this and it still seemed sweet. Drink it with jalapeƱos, or habaneros.

Cerveza Tona - Nicaragua - 8-9-14

The low down: 
I have to admit, I know nothing about Nicaragua, except that there's a lot of coffee. Research indicates that the 2 largest lakes in Central America are located there, which makes sense because this is one watery beer.

There's also an area of Nicaragua called the Mosquito Coast which sounds entirely unappealing. Thankfully this beer does a pretty good job of making me unlikely to want to go to Nicaragua, which I keep wanting to spell "Nicuragua" and I'm not sure why.

Watery equatorial lager with flavours of corn and cardboard. Whoopee.

Packaging: 4/10
Looks like an impoverished Christmas.
Refreshment: 3/10
San Fran was wonderfully hot and this beer didn't help.
Flavour 2/10
As I said, it basically tastes rubbish.
Alcohol Content: 2/10
4.6%, low enough not to matter.
Price: 7/10
$2.00. Cheap, but not cheap enough for redemption.
Total: 18/50

So there you have it, the things I will drink for a country tick. If this wasn't so cheap I don't think anyone would drink it. With that said it costs the same as the average Nicaraguan earns in a day, so maybe its the Bollinger of Central America. Drink it with Bananas.