3AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: SEP 30, 2012 I’ve travelled to many different countries and I’ve noticed the most popular beers are usually some of the least impressive. In the USA we have Budweiser, Miller and Coors and Europe has Carlsberg and Stella Artois. Stella is definitely a distinctly European-style brew, but because it’s a mass-market beer it’s only average in quality.
POUR, COLOR AND AROMA
There is a special “chalice” glass specifically designed for Stella Artois, but I do not own one, so I had to use a regular pint glass. The beer poured extremely rough out of the bottle and formed a large, bright white, creamy head (this is impressive for a pilsner). The color was a crystal-clear, beautiful shade of light gold with a lot of carbonation apparent.
A problem with this beer is its green bottle which does not adequately protect it from light. As soon as I popped the top I could smell a very “skunky” scent which is typical for green bottle brews. The scent was much more potent than simply a generic, grainy “beer smell” (which was also evident upon closer inspection).
I was pleasantly surprised upon my first swig of this beer because I was expecting a typical dry, bitter, bland, watery taste that pilsners of this type are known for. Instead I got a surprisingly creamy-tasting head with a body that was fairly standard in the pilsner style, but with just a tad more flavor.
The problem with Stella Artois is this enjoyability is only good for a short amount of time right after the beer is poured. As it flattens and warms the taste becomes blunt, dry, bitter and watery. It claims to be a premium pilsner, but there isn’t much to the palate to suggest neither any premium ingredients nor any high-end, delicious taste. This is a beer that is fine for very short bursts only, and probably even better when accompanying food. Otherwise, the taste is unremarkable.
Light lagers and pilsners are not known for their smooth finish, but Stella Artois is a notable exception to that rule. With its creamy head and fairly watery body, it’s no wonder this beer is easy to drink without any friction at all.
I haven’t been able to get official statistics on this beer, but my sources tell me it is fairly light at 5.2% ABV and 140 calories per serving. I can at least attest from experience that Stella Artois is probably about that light as it had very little effect on me. It was actually quite refreshing in a way and would probably work much better as a summer beer than a winter one.
A smooth finish and a light body are nice qualities for a beer to have, but I’d much rather have some real taste to my beer. Stella Artois is only delectable for a limited time and even then it does nothing to impress my palate. . It makes me wonder just how “progressive” our neighbors across the pond really are if they’re drinking this stuff en masse.