23 August 2008

Baltika Zhigulevskoe (RUS)

For some reason I couldn't pass this up: a light (4%) Russian lager in a 1.5 liter ("1 qt., 1 pint, 3 fl. oz.") plastic bottle with a name in cyrillic lettering. It cost $2.99, which comes to about 75 cents per 12 ounces. Shaming so many microbreweries who don't do the same, Baltika provides both a production date (05.03.08) and a best before date (05.09.08). I'm assuming these are given in "little endian" date format, used in most places outside North America. If not, this beer has a very short shelf-life.

The body is more light brown than yellow, which is a good sign, and is nicely clear. However, there's not much aroma, and not much taste. This is more of a flavorless pale lager than an offensively tasting one. There's a slight corn sweetness that becomes cloying if you drink too much of it, or if you let the bottle warm up. Slight hops, slightly grainy malts. No real hop bite, though, and no rich maltiness. Still, I didn't think it was all that terrible, but it really needs accompanying food and maybe hot weather to make it worthwhile. The plastic bottle allows you to drink half, then put the cap back on and squeeze the bottle so as to reduce surface area and retain carbonation. That's a plus.

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