Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Carlsberg Elephant (2014 re-review)

2.6
   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Chad9976 (1042) - Albany, New York, USA - JAN 8, 2014
I poured an 11.2oz bottle into a mug. I couldn’t decipher the bottling code. It cost $3.15 ($0.28 per ounce).

Appearance: Golden hue, completely clear, some carbonation visible. Pours to a small, white, foamy head which completely dissipates, but does leave some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Intense skunky aroma due to the green bottle. Some pale malty sweetness is present.

Taste: Carlsberg Elephant is basically malt liquor, but it’s fancy Danish malt liquor so it’s kind of cool, in a way. It’s really no different than regular Carlsberg (or Heineken, or Stella Artois or other European pilsners that come in a green bottle), just a stronger version. The lightstrike is the most prominent component to this beer and it takes some getting used to.

The first few swigs are noticeably sour as you can literally taste the skunkiness. However, I seemed to have built up a tolerance to it quickly as I began to taste the true brew hiding underneath the flaws. There’s a sweet caramel/honey/amber maltiness to be found here, though it certainly tastes stale (probably an old bottle). Yellow lollipop is quite prominent, and is an off-flavor I’ve encountered many times in old beer. On the finish there’s sourness at first, but it transitions to tanginess and finally just generic lager graininess. Alcohol isn’t hidden very well and imparts a dry astringency and warmth to match. I could see some of the base flavors here being enjoyable if the beer were fresh, but I don’t think this beer is meant to be consumed for its taste. Tolerable at worst… and best.

Drinkability: While Carlsberg Elephant may not exactly be pleasing to the palate, it’s at least not a challenge to drink. The mouthfeel is a little thicker and more tepid than the standard pale lager variety, which makes it surprisingly quaffable. It is in no way refreshing, though. It leaves a slightly dry, starchy aftertaste, though it’s not all that offensive. At 7.2% ABV there is some alcohol presence throughout the body, though it doesn’t weigh on the system like a heavy brew. 
Grade: 3/10

NOTE: Watch my 2010 original review here: