I poured a 12oz bottle into a shaker glass. It was bottled on 10/24/13 and cost $1.83 ($0.15 per ounce).
Appearance: Slightly darker gold than most pale lager. Plenty of
visible, consistent carbonation. Pours to a small, white, sudsy head
which doesn’t retain well but leaves a surprising amount of lacing.
Smell: The usual corn-forward adjunct lager aroma. No repulsive characteristics or brewing flaws, though.
Tastes: Utica Club is generally considered one of the cheapest of the
cheap beers and by the same logic -one of the worst of the worst beers.
However, this reputation isn’t really fair. While this beer is indeed
pretty generic and lacks anything particularly special for the style,
the fact remains it’s pretty neutral-tasting with just a touch of
genuine old world character to it.
Right away the taste is that of a standard adjunct macro lager: corn
grits to be sure, though they are sweet like that of cereal and not
vegetal or abrasive. There also seems to be minor malt flavor here:
amber, pale, blonde malts to be sure, but maltiness nevertheless. The
accentuate the sweetness a tad, making this a little more approachable
than most of the general style. Nothing in the way of hops, though (not
surprisingly). The finish is clean with a light, starchy aftertaste, but
it fades quickly. Overall, a beer that’s decent in comparison to most
of the style.
Drinkability: No one seems to know the exactly ABV of Utica Club. I
toured the Saranac brewery and I got three different answers from three
different people. Estimates seem to be between 4.8% and 5.5% ABV. I’d
peg it closer to 5% or 5.2% (regardless, it should have more flavor for
this weight range). It drinks like a pretty light beer, but not a "lite"
beer per se. The mouthfeel is thin, but not watery. Crisp, but not
fizzy. It’s refreshing while in the mouth, but I’m not sure if this is
worthy of sessioning.