08 May 2014

God no

I don't know where Thomas picked me up this bottle of Nils Oscar God Lager, but somewhere in the UK. The back label is particularly interesting, where it describes itself as an "ultra premium craft" beer -- in for a penny, eh? -- and makes clear to the punters that the contents will deliver the "big flavours of a real ale", though there's a somewhat cavalier approach to German styles in these Danes' Swedes' description of their product as a "Dortmunder/Helles Pilsner". Why not throw in Spezial, Kellerbier and see if you can complete the set?

The three dense paragraphs had talked up a good game before I raised the glass. The smell is definitely on the Dortmunder spectrum: a sweet bready aroma, like cornbread, with a flash of metallic hops behind it. No fireworks on tasting, however. Though it's within its expiry date and has been looked after since I got it, there's a distinct staleness: a harsh not-quite-right roughness to a malt flavour that should shimmy charmingly past the palate and down the throat like good Dortmunder Export does. The bready sweetness is too sugary and the hops are nowhere to be found. And while I'm throwing the book at it, I detect a nasty gastric acidic note in the finish too.

I probably wouldn't have been so harsh on this if it had just presented itself as a plain old Danish Swedish craft lager, but by invoking German lager and British ale on the packaging Nils Oscar wrote me a cheque that their beer simply couldn't cash. The lesson for me, then, is never read the label first.

12 comments:

  1. Nils Oscar is Swedish actually, not Danish.

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    1. Ha! Post in haste, repent at leisure. Thanks!

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  2. "Nils Oscar is Swedish actually, not Danish."

    Still shite though either way it seems.

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    1. I've enjoyed their beers in the past, which is why this one surprised me. The Hop Yard IPA, for instance, is lovely.

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  3. Probably purchased from Waitrose, they carry it. I bought a bottle once. Just the once. It was unmemorable.

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  4. Tesco stocked it too. Once bought......

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  5. Call this Alworth's Hypothesis: any beer that uses the word "premium" on the label isn't. "Ultra" and "super," when used to enhance the premiumness, are additional red flags.

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  6. What does "God" mean in Swedish? If it's the same meaning as in English, they set their standards far too high.

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  7. "Good". Your observation still stands.

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  8. Jeff beat me to it. If I see "Premium" branded on a bottle, it's a cue to move my eyes to the next bottle on the shelf.

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  9. I had this about 6 years ago in Stockholm and it was a great beer at the time. It was on my 30th Birthday and I blogged about it. http://www.thebeerdiary.com/2008/08/nils-oscar-god-lager.html

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