Sunday, February 23, 2014

Budweiser Black Crown

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (1060) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 23, 2014
I poured a 16oz can into a lager glass. It was canned on 10/27/13 and cost $1.90 ($0.12 per ounce).

Appearance: Pretty copper/orange hue. Crystal clear with constant carbonation visible. Pours to an average sized, white, frothy head which retains and laces fairly well.

Smell: Faint hint of sweet malt, but otherwise totally generic macro lager aroma. No obvious adjunct distractions, though.

Taste: Budweiser has finally decided to make a "serious" lager with their new Black Crown brew. The recipe seems to be rather simple: one malt and four hops, yet the hops are not that prominent. What you really get is a stronger American version of an Oktoberfest as it has the usual flavors of toffee and caramel. There’s some diacetyl here as well, imparting a movie popcorn butter-flavoring. This is definitely a much better beer than regular Budweiser, but still has a way to go to be truly crafty.

Up front there’s a distinct sweetness of caramel, toffee and butterscotch (though that’s probably diacetyl). It fades quickly and morphs into a general lager flavor with some faint dryness from the hops. It’s not especially bitter or hoppy despite the marketing hyperbole. Though the palette here is much cleaner and more authentic than your average fizzy yellow beer. The beechwood finishing really doesn’t do much, except maybe impart some vanilla to accentuate the malt base. In the end, Budweiser Black Crown is a decent amber ale and a macro lager that’s more than just tolerable.

Drinkability: There’s a definite difference to the mouthfeel and drinking process of this beer compared to others of the genre. The delivery is a little thicker, calmer and noticeably smoother overall. I might even call it refreshing for a moment there. Still, I’m not sure why Budweiser Black Crown needs to be 6% ABV, as it drinks and feels like something a tad more sessionable. At least there’s no alcohol presence. 
Grade: 6/10

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