29 March 2012

Wotcha Coq

"Triple Filtered" isn't a good thing when it appears on spirits; I don't know why the makers of A. Le Coq Premium Extra thought it was something to boast about on their label. This 4.7% ABV Estonian lager pours a very pale gold, though gives a decently fluffy and lasting head. Appley sweetness predominates, almost to the point of becoming difficult to drink: think watered-down tramp juice. The carbonation is quite low, which I'd normally take as a good thing, but here it severely hinders the refreshment abilities of a beer that's not capable of making a more positive contribution to the drinker's experience. Even stranded in Tartu I'd have to think twice about ordering one of these.

I have greater hopes for Special 1807, despite the clear glass. Black and gold label, and "Jubilee Edition": it's not going to be any old crap is it? Actually, it's not bad. 5.2% ABV and very smooth in a helles kind of way, with no bum notes. Not a whole lot else, mind: going for dry, crisp and clean and pretty much hitting its target.

In the absence of anything better, I could drink this. That's approval of a sort, I suppose, though I can't help wondering why a brewery capable of something this neutral -- a technical achievement, if not one of flavour -- is turning out lager as flawed as the Premium Extra.


  1. It's called Coq and has a lasting head. Giggles.

  2. Have you not got enough puerile beer gags on your doorstep?

  3. I thought the beer in Estonia far more grim than in the other two Baltic states when I visited them a few years ago. A Le Coq was grimmer than most I recall.

  4. I don't recall even seeing it in Tallinn, though Saku was everywhere. I thought the beer in The Beer House was decent, and the spiced concoction they served at Olde Hansa was right up my quaintly cobbled alley.

  5. Thomas Carroll3:33 pm

    Olde Hansa's spiced ale was lovely, their herbal one was definitely an acquired taste though. Top marks for their waitress' marketing skills, "Do you want man size or lady size?" i.e. 1 litre or a half.

    Hell Hunt bar had a very nice dark beer too. http://www.hellhunt.ee