Saturday, June 7, 2014

Third Shift Amber Lager


2.6
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Chad9976 (1108) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 7, 2014
I poured a 16oz can into a lager glass. It had an expiration date of 10/6/14 and cost $1.00 ($0.06 per ounce).

Appearance: Clear amber/golden hue with plenty of effervescence visible. Pours to an average sized, off-white, foamy head which laces and retains fairly well.

Smell: Pretty generic macro lager aroma, though a little sweeter than most. Nothing appealing, though.

Taste: The big macro brewers have been putting out a lot of quasi-craft and faux high-end lagers in the last few years. Third Shift Amber Lager appears to be Coors’ attempt at a Yeungling-like brew, though it doesn’t taste nearly as good. In fact, this seems reminiscent of so many economy or “premium” lagers because it’s so simple, boring and has an awful finish.

I’m not sure what the point of this beer is. The palate is familiar to say the least: a generic combination of pale malt, standard macro lager taste and a touch of added sweetness at the beginning. It’s the finish that kills it as a sour, vegetal-like astringent taste emerges out of nowhere and completely ruins everything that had come before. Had the taste been consistent this would be a decent amber lager, but what I’m left with just seems overtly flawed and cheap. Perhaps there’s a hint of caramel to be found in here, but the off-flavor of what is probably DMS just ruins it. No hop presence to speak of, though that’s fine. I think this has the potential to be a good amber lager, but the adjuncts need to be removed and stricter quality control needs to be initiated at the brewery.

Drinkability: For what should categorically be a fizzy yellow lager, Third Shift Amber Lager is not all that fizzy. Plenty carbonated to be sure, though the mouthfeel is thicker and calmer than most brews of the general style. It has a slightly oily texture and leaves an aftertaste of astringency and starch. It seems to be right on the nose with its 5.3% ABV, though it’s not an especially drinkable beer. Trying to finish one can is rather annoying. 
Grade: 3/10