Saturday, May 28, 2011

Asahi Super Dry

Remember back in January I said one of my new year's resolutions was to start reviewing more beers from more countries around the world than just Belgium, England and Germany? Well I'm trying to make good on that promise. We start in Japan with their best-selling beer Asahi Super Dry. Like most countries, Japan's top beer is a pale adjunct lager. I drank this on the front porch on a very hot and humid afternoon hoping it would at least work as a refresher - did it? Watch the review to find out.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (630) - Albany, USA - MAY 26, 2011
It seems like no matter what country you go to, their best-selling beer is a pale adjunct lager. I’ve never understood this since these beers are very difficult to brew consistently and they lack flavor. The only thing going for them is their drinkability. And when it comes to Japan things aren’t any different, as Asahi Super Dry is their "No. 1 Beer" according to the can. While I’m not an expert on Japanese cuisine or culture by any means, I still don’t get why this is the top beer there.

I poured a 500ml can into a football-shaped glass.

Appearance: Dark gold hue, almost crystal clear with slight haze. Large carbonation bubbles visible en masse. Forms a surprisingly large, bright white foamy head which eventually dissolves and leaves no lacing.

Smell: Since this is from a can you wouldn’t expect skunkiness, but I did detect a slight green bottle-like aroma here. I find macro pale lagers all tend to have a scent like this whether canned or bottled. There’s a slightly sweet rice scent and an otherwise generic-to-the-letter cardboard "beer smell" here. It’s not wretched, but it’s far from appealing.

Taste: Based on the appearance and smell, I literally "braced for shock" as I took my first swig of Asahi Super Dry. I was pleasantly surprised that my palate was NOT assaulted with anything sour and foul-tasting as is often the case with those green bottled lagers. Not that it was hit with anything pleasurable, either. What’s most prominent about this beer is that there’s nothing prominent about it at all. The palate is bland, neutral, pain, mild and whatever other adjectives you want to use to describe a lack of flavor.

Since this is a Japanese macro adjunct it’s no surprise it’s made with rice as an adjunct, yet it doesn’t taste nearly as sweet as its American counterpart Budweiser. It has a slight startchy-like flavor akin to crackers, which is slightly sweet. This increases as it warms, but at a point the green bottle-like components begin to come out too, with a sour, green apple tang. It’s tolerable to be sure, but there’s really nothing to enjoy about this beer’s palate.

Mouthfeel: Starts off as a typical fizzy yellow beer with plenty of carbonation burn when drank very cold and quickly. Softens up to a more watery consistency as it warms.

Drinkability: For beer that calls itself "Super Dry" I find Asahi to be anything but. It’s actually a little refreshing, but then again it’s a bland lager so that could be due to its overtly watery qualities. At 5% ABV it’s very drinker-friendly, although I probably wouldn’t session it unless I had access to plenty of salty snacks and used this to quench my thirst.

Overall, a mediocre/below average macro lager. There are other brews of the style that are far worst, but I’m still not giving this one a free pass.

Grade: 4/10

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