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Mission : Leap Beer, 366 Beers in 366 Days

Leapbeer Reviews – The First Lager-off

Today is the first real day of summer weather we’ve had here (Written on July 4th), so I thought it’d be a great day to break out a couple of lager beers from the leapbeer fridge. Bear in mind these arent really the craft beers that has been so much my focus as of late. I didn’t include a craft lager as it would likely skew the results.

The Rules of my [Beer]-offs are going to be very simple. I’m going to break them down by Appearance, Smell, Taste and Overall Impression and edge a winner in all catagories. After that the winner will be declared.

Our combatants for this 1st ever Leapbeer Lager-Off are Red Stripe Lager from Jamaica and Steinlager Classic from New Zealand.

Appearance

Both are quite pale gold, the red stripe is a slight shade darker. Both are well carbonated and have fluffy white head on top. The Red Stripe came in a old school stubby bottle where the Steinlager came in a 750ml bottle. A Stubby will always hold a place in my memory as a piece of canadiana. I believe there’s even pictures of stubbies in the old family photo album.

Edge: Red Stripe – This was a close race for me. Even though the Red Stripe is ever so slightly darker, I can’t make the decision based on the colour of the poured beer. I am going to give Red Stripe the edge on the packaging.

Smell

Red Stripe: The scent in this beer is fairly light. It smells yeasty and lager-ish.  The way you’d expect a beer to smell, Beer-like.
Steinlager Classic: Smells of a euro hops strain, almost canaboid in nature (strange I was expecting that in the Jamaican beer). The kind of smell you would expect from a Holsten or a Grolsch.

Edge: Steinlager Classic – I like hoppy beers, and this beer certainly brings you the hops on the nose.

Taste

Red Stripe: Nice malty body, with a mild bitter note at the end of tasting. Quite carbonated. Refreshing for a hot day.
Steinlager Classic: Considerably more bitter than the Red Stripe. It is very full of flavour. It has been a long time since I’d had one of these. It’s good, for a fairly mass produced product.

Edge: Red Stripe – It is a hot day and I’m really wanting something to quaff to cool me down. The Steinlager, while good, does not have the same quaffability.

Overall Impressions

Red Stripe: This is my definition of a summer beer. I could easily destroy these in quick succession without blinking. I find them esthetically pleasing because of the stubby bottles, and the beer inside isn’t disgusting. There’s very little defining character to the beer, but when you’ve been working outside on a hot day you just want to cool down.

Steinlager Classic: This beer is very well hopped. I wish I knew the strain of hops that they use in this beer, but I don’t yet. Beyond that hop note it falls a bit flat though.

Decision: Red Stripe – It comes across as the clear winner in this 1st ever lager off. I realize that these beers aren’t craft, but they were both gifts from Leapbeer readers. Because of that I knew I’d have to take them on at some point, and this seemed like a great way to do that. My wife preferred the Red Stripe as well. One other interesting fact about the Red Stripe that I learned while doing the research on these beers is that they are brewed under license by Moosehead Brewery.

Our Winner

Leapbeer #188 is Red Stripe from Jamaica

Our loser, Steinlager Classic will be listed as Leapbeer #189. It still got consumed though, because it isn’t all bad. It just lost the decision to the Red Stripe. I wanted to say thank you to both Frank and Keegan for donating these beers to the leapbeer cause. They were thoroughly enjoyed.

Thanks for Reading.

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2 thoughts on “Leapbeer Reviews – The First Lager-off

  1. The “canabanoid” smell from Steinlager is probably more likely due to the effect of light on the beer. It wouldn’t have been noticeable in the Red Stripe because green glass lets in a whole heap more light than brown.

    I feel like a traitor talking smack about the only NZ beer you can get in BC now.

  2. Wow, really nice! Jamaica is so beautiful. I just wrote an article about my trip there and all my recommendations of what to do and see. Check it out:

    http://caseykurlander.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/if-youre-going-to-jamaica/

    Thanks!
    Casey

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