Thursday, May 7, 2009

Negra Modelo (2009 original review)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (744) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 28, 2010
A lot of Americans tend to associate Mexican beer with Corona and other pale lagers. I didn’t know there were other Mexican beers of a remotely different style until I tried Nega Modelo – a Munich-style dunkel lager which could easily be mistaken for an authentic German brew. Busting stereotypes is always a good thing in my book.


Despite being packaged in a very stubby bottle, this beer pour surprisingly smooth to form a body of extremely dark amber or maybe brown proper. It’s clear with a little carbonation apparent, but also a very small off-white soapy head which dissolves quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet with a distinct malty presence.


I didn’t know what to expect out of this beer, but was pleasantly surprised when the first flavors I noticed were caramel and honey. Negra Modelo has a sweet, but rather mild palate full of malts. There isn’t much hop volume here, although the beer does seem to have just the slightest amount of bitterness in the back of the mouth.

I did not drink this with a lime and would be curious to see how a piece of citrus fruit would complement such a malty palate rather than a crisp hoppy one (my guess is not well). This is a tasty beer in and of itself with a pleasing flavor that doesn’t need lime to "enhance" it.


With a mouthfeel as soft as water and a mild palate to match, Negra Modelo’s drinkability is extremely high. It finishes very smooth which I think would make it appealing to anyone. There’s nothing intimidating about this beer at all.


I wasn’t able to find the official statistics for this beer, but the sources I did check listed the ABV at around 5.4% and I would certainly agree with that. While Negra Modelo is darker than your average lager, it still maintains all the basic characteristics of an average lager. It doesn’t overwhelm and would work well paired with food.


While Negra Modelo is definitely not a world class beer, it’s obviously much better than the typical Mexican beers Americans like me are familiar with. Not only does it have genuine flavor, it’s also very easy to drink, which makes it a win-win in my book. 
Grade: 7/10

NOTE: Read my 2017 re-review to BJCP specs here: