Sunday, September 11, 2011

Yuengling Traditional Lager (2011 original review)

Yuengling holds the title of "America's Oldest Brewery," yet they are still an obscure brewery, especially to anyone that doesn't live on the East Coast. And whether they are considered macro or craft is in the eye of the beholder I guess. The "Traditional Lager" is their flagship beer - an amber lager that may or may not be brewed with adjuncts (I think it is). Up until recently it was always packaged in green bottles which lead to the beer becoming skunky and basically a darker, American version of Heineken. Now this beer is finally in cans so I can taste it the way it was meant to taste!

Thanks to who requested this as part of all viewer request month.
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (643) - Albany, USA - APR 30, 2010
I poured a 12oz can into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Dark amber/copper color with slight orange hue. Very clear with plenty of carbonation visible. Forms a large, off-white, foamy head which retains and laces surprisingly well for a beer of the style.

Smell: Very generic American lager without any of the obvious adjunct presence. Lightly sweet, plenty of milled grain, no hop presence.

Taste: Yuengling is a very interesting American lager because this brewery and this beer isn’t exactly what you’d consider "craft" and yet they’re nowhere near as big as the behemoth brewers of fizzy yellow beer. I’m not sure if this beer is brewed with adjuncts (although I do get a slight corn taste), so perhaps the best description would be "craft adjunct lager"?

The beer is an amber lager, bordering on a bock due to its color alone. The palate is clean from beginning to end. It begins with a very light malty sweetness with a hint of caramel but not much else. There’s a mild hop presence through the mild with a quick bitter tap on the taste buds, but then it quickly reverts back to the clean, mild, almost bland palate from whence it came.

NOTE: It’s so refreshing to finally drink this beer from a can instead of the green bottle it’s been packaged in for decades. The can prevents the skunky, Heineken-like qualities often found in green bottled versions.

Mouthfeel: Cold, wet, thin, and very fizzy - almost stings the lips.

Drinkability: With its clean taste and light weight of only 4.4% ABV, Yuengling Traditional Lager is a highly drinkable and sessionable lager. Although it is quite fizzy, aside from a vibration of the lips, it’s fairly comfortable in the mouth. Less CO2 gets stuck in the throat than most macro lagers. Although it’s the kind of beer that wears out its welcome rather quickly. I was once on vacation where Yuengling was the closest to craft beer I could get and after just a few days I grew tired of it. Your dad and his friends might have a higher enjoyment and tolerance of it, though.

Overall, Yuengling Traditional Lager is a great alternative to other American adjunct macro lagers, but it’s still just an above-average beer in the end.
Grade: 6/10

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

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