Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Corona Extra (2009 original review)

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
Chad9976 (744) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 23, 2010
 Corona is a difficult beer to honestly review. It’s usually drunk straight from the bottle with a piece of lime wedged into the neck. So if I drink it this way am I truly reviewing Corona or a lime with beer wrapped around it?

I think the only way to honestly critique this beer is to drink it both traditionally (i.e. poured into a pint glass sans fruit) and in the pop culture fashion and base my final decision on an average between the two.


If poured into a pint glass, Corona Extra flows smoothly to form a crystal-clear, straw-colored body with massive amounts of carbonation evident. What miniscule amount of head it produces quickly fizzles away. And for a beer packaged in the clearest of bottles, it is surprising the scent is not skunky. Not that the actual aroma is much better as it’s rife with grain and corn and maybe even a little metallic.


I’m not sure how Corona Extra came to have the reputation that it must be drank from the bottle with a lime. Is this a marketing gimmick on the brewer’s part? If so, it’s almost difficult to believe since the lime must be purchases separately (and the brewery makes no money off the sales of limes). However, in a way this is understandable since in Mexico and many Latin American countries, many different foods and drinks are served with lime and lime flavoring.

If drank “naked” (that is, the beer itself), Corona has a taste reminiscent of many American macro lagers but blander. A thin, crisp, watery body is immediately evident followed by a taste of grain and toasted corn. No hops or malts are noticeable, in fact, the beer has almost something of a salty taste. It’s actually reminiscent of those European green bottle pilsners, but with even less flavor.

If drank the way it’s served at bars, restaurants and parties with a wedge of lime in the neck, Corona suddenly takes on a new identity. Of course, I find it to taste like lime-flavored carbonated water. This isn’t surprisingly considering how watery the body of the beer itself is and adding a lime to it certainly does not add to the authenticity (quite the opposite, actually). It does have a crisp, tart finish which is quite appealing, but again, this is due to the fact the majority of the taste is nothing but lime juice and pulp.


For such a watered-down beer, Corona Extra is not quite a smooth as you might think. While it is highly carbonated, the mouthfeel isn’t quite as intense as other cheap pale lagers of the style. With the addition of lime, it takes on a juice-like quality making it almost thirst-quenching.


Like all the major macro lagers, Corona’s statistics are perfectly average at 146 calories and an alcohol content of 4.6% by volume. This beer is generally known as being quite versatile as it can be enjoyed on its own (and usually in copious amounts) at parties and other social gatherings and/or accompanying a meal (especially Mexican fare) and of course on its own as a session beer. It never seems filling in the least and does not overwhelm the drinker unless consumed en masse (which it usually is).


While I found Corona Extra to be a very drinkable beer and appreciate its ability to multi-task, I just don’t see what the appeal is. There’s very little difference between this and an American macro lager in all aspects. Plus the fact it’s more expensive and requires the additional purchase of a lime from the produce department makes it entirely too gimmicky. It definitely is easy to drink, but it just doesn’t have the makings of a truly good beer. 
 Grade: 4/10

NOTE: Read and watch my 2014 re-review here: http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2014/02/corona-extra-2014-re-review.html

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