15 November 2007

Kalnapilis 7.30 (LTH)

Beers of the World has a pretty large selection of Eastern European brews, and it's hard not to resist picking one up every once in a while. A half liter bottle of this plonk set me back a shade over $2. The label brags winning a Gold Award at the 2004 World Beer Cup, something the brewer's lower-alcohol Kalnapilis Original can also claim (as can Labbatt's Blue Light).

It doesn't look bad, kind of cloudy gold with a decent head, and the body has the right amount of carbonation. In both aroma and taste, I convince myself that there's something slightly citric. But really it's mostly cheap malts and alcohol. The hop level is about the same as for an American macro (i.e., low). The difference is that 7.30 brings 7.3% worth of alcohol, and the aftertaste is quite harsh. While Beer Advocate categorizes this as a string European lager, Ratebeer just says it's a malt liquor. For what it's worth, Beer Advocate says it's "worth a try" despite 71% thumbs being down. I think there are better ways to get 7%+ alcohol cheaply, but you have to drink the bad stuff every now and then to appreciate the good.

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