Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dos Equis (2011 original review)

For some reason, people always want me to review Mexican lagers. Every time I review a Mexican lager I'm unimpressed by it (except Nega Modelo which was pretty good), so everyone tells me about a supposedly better Mexican lager to try instead and 9 times out of 10 they're just as lame. Dos Equis XX Special Lager is the beer with that famous advertising campaign of "The Most Interesting Man in the World," and perhaps that's what made request I review it as part of all viewer request month. So will it do anything different or will it just be another boring Mexican lager?

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Chad9976 (643) - Albany, USA - SEP 7, 2011
I poured a 12oz green bottle into a lager glass.

Appearance: Pure gold hue with absolutely crystal-clear body. Some carbonation noticeable. Not much head and little to no retention or lacing.

Smell: For a light lager in a green bottle it’s surprisingly skunk-free. That’s not to say it’s very aromatic, though. Just a generic "beer smell" with a faint malty sweetness in the background. Otherwise, odorless.

Taste: When it comes to macro lagers, I’ve reached a point where simply not tasting foul earns a lot of points on my rating scale. Honestly, I was expecting Dos Equis XX to be the Heineken of Mexico, but it’s more like a Schlitz. Very clean, neutral-tasting palate throughout the entire first half. For a moment there’s a quick hop nibble, followed by more clean lager taste. What’s interesting is that for a second or two it leaves a slightly sweet, malty aftertaste of caramel or sugar water. Why couldn’t the entire palate have the same flavor?

As the beer warms it begins to rear its ugly generic macro lager head. I begin to taste a bit of wet cardboard throughout the palate. The sweetness on the finish is replaced by a subtle corn water flavor, which, while sweet, leaves a dry, pasty aftertaste similar to high fructose corn syrup. It’s easily tolerable, and I’ve had other macro lagers that were much worse - but simply not being awful doesn’t make the beer good. It’s average at the absolute best.

Mouthfeel: Cold, wet, slightly fizzy, thin.

Drinkability: Straight from the fridge, Dos Equis XX is actually quite refreshing. The neutral palate and thin mouthfeel make for a very smooth, highly chuggable brew. This is, until it warms even slightly, in which case the carbonated corn water becomes a little distracting. I suppose if you paired this with Mexican food you wouldn’t notice it. The body is dead-on at 5% ABV.

Overall, Dos Equis XX is a very generic lager in many ways. You could do worse for a Mexican macro lager.

Grade: 5/10

NOTE: See my 2018 re-review to BJCP specs here:

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