Saturday, March 5, 2011

Foreign Tastings: Mexican Lager's

Just last week I was fortunate enough to be invited/vacation with the Misewicz family to Cancun, Mexico. We stayed 5 days at Dreams Hotel & Spa for an all inclusive relaxation experience. I ate a LOT. Drank a good portion and Probably should have run a bit more. However I did discover a treadmill in the fitness center that went down to 4:00/ mile. So Tuesday I did a 2 x mile workout (4:52, 4:52) and again Thursday, the same thing a bit faster (4:44, 4:38). Following these runs I recovered with some free on tap Negra Modelo and/or Corona extra. The rest of the beers were tasted while Jen and I ventured to the Flea market for some quality bargaining. The Sol was tasted while on an excursion trip to Chichen-itza, the Mayan astrology city. Anyway, these are the Beers (cervesa's) I tried while in Mexico:

Corona Extra (on tap & bottle) - Light straw and bubbly. No head. Corn or rice adjunct. Pungent with a bit of plasticiness (especially on tap) light flavor and lagered, and skunky. Found I like it a lot with limes. Fizzy feel. Very refreshing when its hot.  75/100

Negra Modelo (on tap) - They either referred to it as Negro Modelo or Corona Dark. Browned but clear. No head. Fizzy looking and feeling. Some caramel but predominantly corn sugar? Some graininess at the finish. Worth switching between following the corona. But I found this beer is 100x better in the bottle. 76/100
85/100 (in bottles - Thanks to Henry Lapka for the introduction at El Patron in Rock Island)

Modelo Especial (cans) - Tried on the bus up to Chichen-Itza. actually quite flavorful and delicious. Light lager but some barley makes it through to the finish. Look of normal American lager. Very drinkable and satisfying. Easy to down 3 after a long hot day of walking. 78/100

Dos Equis Amber Lager (bottles) - Tasted in an alley in the town. Brown with clarity. Bubbly. Toastiness of malt and a touch of caramel. Still maintains a refreshing lagered characteristic. some hops carry through in a floral character. Still a corn sweetness. High carbonation, with a light body. 79/100

Bohemia Amber Laber (bottles) - Tasted in an alley in the town. Darker brown and sweet smelling with a touch of toasted funk. Lager and mild roastiness with a caramel backbone. Balanced and refreshing. Strong carbonation with a balanced crisp finish.

Sol (bottles) - I tried it in the U.S. and thought it was decent. Tried it again on our trip to Chichen-Itza with lunch (4$ a beer!) I argued and got it free because they told us it was inclusive. Anyway this beer is very light in color with a brilliant straw/gold color. Fizzy and refreshing. Strong corn sweet flavor with a bit of graininess. Normal Mexican go to lager with a bit more flavor than the rest. 77/100

The beers in Mexico are made for their climate. They are light and crisply hopped with a lagered skunky character. Though I'm not overly enthusiastic about this kind of class of beer, I can still appreciate the style. These beers were rated against my palate and my experience with all other beers I've tried with a dash of relativity against each other. I was nevertheless grateful to come back to a country where the micros out weigh the macros and the variety is abundant. (sorry for lack of a contextual photograph)

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