Sunday, January 25, 2009

Budweiser (2009 original review)

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
Chad9976 (736) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 12, 2010
Quality and popularity do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. We usually associate this trend with pop culture, but it also applies to the food and drink market. Case in point: Budweiser. It’s the most popular beer in the world, but despite how it’s advertised it’s far from the best. If only it were as enjoyable as it is drinkable.


Very few people other than beer nerds such as me would ever pour Budweiser from anything other than the keg. I did anyway and the pour was quite rough. It formed a large layer of fizzy, bright white head which evaporated quickly and completely. The head to most beers will dissipate but will usually linger at the top of the body, but Budweiser’s head totally vanishes. Considering the beer’s complexion is a bright shade of gold it almost looks like a urine sample. Absolutely no lacing is left on the glass.

The scent is very typical “beer” smell. In fact, this is probably the scent most people tend to associate with beer in general: grain, rice, alcohol and a general potpourri of chemicals. If the beer is allowed to warm the smell grows stronger and quite pungent.


What’s interesting about Budweiser is the initial taste is actually quite good. It has a lively, sweet palate that is clearly derived from rice and a cereal-like grainy flavor. However, as it finishes the taste changes on a dime and becomes very dry. In fact, it almost has something of an oily character, which is typical of low-quality lagers such as this.

Still, the flavor here could best be described as neutral: neither off-putting, nor delectable. Its sweetness is only noticeable if you’re really looking for it and only if the beer is drunk while very cold. Once it warms the acetaldehyde makes itself known and gives the beer a tart, green apple-like taste (and not in that good way like an India Pale Ale).

Although no matter what the temperature, rice remains the most prevalent flavor to the palate. Personally, I prefer the taste of hops or malts (the two main ingredients in any beer, other than water), so the fact an adjunct ingredient is the most noticeable says a lot about the craftsmanship here.


Although the beer’s flavor seems to undergo a shift during the drinking process, the mouthfeel remains very soft and it finishes clean and easy. It’s my contention that people would prefer a beer that is easier to drink to one that is tastier, which probably explains why this brew is so popular (although advertising definitely has a lot to do with it as well).


Most people tend to associate Budweiser as something you drink while eating or as a way to supplement another form of entertainment or social situation. Most don’t know just how heavy this beer really is. At 145 calories; 10.6 grams of carbs and 5% ABV these are numbers more apt to describe a craft beer, not a mass-market lager.


Until I sat down to finally give Budweiser a serious look, I don’t think I ever gave the beer a fair shake. I have to admit it’s definitely not as bad as most connoisseurs would have us believe, but then again it’s not nearly as good as Anheuser-Busch’s marketing department would want us to think, either. Remember, it’s the “King of Beers” in terms of sales, not quality.

Grade: 3/10

NOTE: Read and watch my 2014 re-review here:

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