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Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Alexander Keith's Spin-off's and the Black'n'White.

Now, ever since the beer-rep at my bar decided that it was absolutely prudent to put Keith's White, Amber, and Stout on tap I've had throw-up stuck at the base of my mouth. Here's a little breakdown (in both senses of the word):

Keith's Red Amber:
First Impression:
Most red beers tend to taste flat -- and not in the "no carbonation" sense, but in the "music note without any 'umf' to it" sense; this one is no exception. What are you doing Alexander Keith? Are you trying to get a piece of the pie for red beers? You have an amazing product already, too bad you couldn't bring your chemical genius to bat when brewing up a good amber. At least the colour is pretty -- Says George, who is currently petting a bunny rabbit a bit too hard.
1/6

Speed Rating:
If I was rating the speed at which I'd dump this product out of my glass and into the alleyway next door to cleanse all the hobo-puke and pigeon crap, I'd give it a 24/24. But the speed rating applies to how well I could tug these pints of food-coloured Molson Excel down my unwilling throat. I'm not even gonna dignify it with a response as to why I can't drink this concoction at half a shot glass an hour.
0/6

Intangibles: Like I said, the colour is pretty. And at least the Keith's label resembles something to be proud of. Look at that stag and his great big horns!!! I'ma give it a half-point for that, and another half-point for being the mentally handicapped brother of a brilliant and popular IPA.
1/6

Overall Taste Quality: Do I have to?
0/6.

TOTAL: 2/24

Keith's White Wheat:
First Impression:
The label should say "knock-off" in great big, fat letters. First we had Rickard's White trying to get a piece of Wheat-Beer-Paradise, and we all know what I think of that (See my review on Rickard's White) -- but then Alexander Keith's thinks that they too can stick their hands into the pot, like they didn't already make one shitty beer (see above), now they have to spawn another short-handed brew. They probably even stole the recipe from Rickard's, who stole it from some other true, Belgian wheat beer. That's like eating imitation spam! Yes, Keith's White is imitation spam... It's not quite the beer that is not quite a wheat beer.
Now I'm going to go and copy/paste what I said about Keith's Red and change the colour of it, because that's exactly how I feel about this beer as well:
"Most white beers tend to taste flat -- and not in the "no carbonation" sense, but in the "music note without any 'umf' to it" sense; this one is no exception. What are you doing Alexander Keith? Are you trying to get a piece of the pie for wheat beers? You have an amazing product already, too bad you couldn't bring your chemical genius to bat when brewing up a good wheat beer."
Now, I'm not even going to say that the colour is pretty on this product. And don't get me started on the whole "you have to add an orange slice to it" bullshit! Beers that require you to add something to make it taste right means that the flavour is imperfect -- it is incomplete without the added touch. Yes, I'm talking to you Corona! Yes, Hoegaarden... I'm sorry to talk behind your back, but you need to fuck off with the whole lemon-adding thing.
2/6

Speed Rating:
I could drink this. I mean I could drink this if it was fed to me through an intravenous tube... or if every other wheat beer including Rickard's White was somehow wiped out by a strain of mutated bacteria or something. I'll give it a decent score though, and you'll find out why by the end of this overall encompassing Alexander Keith's review.
3/6

Intangibles: Again I shall copy/paste... "at least the Keith's label resembles something to be proud of. Look at that stag and his great big horns!!! I'ma give it a half-point for that, and another half-point for being the mentally handicapped [second] brother of a brilliant and popular IPA."
1/6

Overall Taste Quality: Maybe I'm not rating it in the right atmosphere. Maybe I need to be outside in the summer on a patio with some of my friends, and the beer has to be free, and the beer-rep casually mentions that if I can finish the beer he will arrange a meeting between me and Kate Hudson, and somehow in the mix of it all there has to be some kind of Haiti relief fund for every ounce that I drink. Then maybe I'd give it a better score, but for now...
1/6.

TOTAL: 7/24

Keith's Stag's Head Stout:
First Impression:
Why, why, why, why, why must you keep insisting on creating these half-assed, one-note flavoured beers that bring shame to the industry? Who are you catering to that looks for cheapness, flatness, flavourless... in their beers? First you insulted the Amber liking population, and then you personally hit me hard with your wheat-crap. Now you really put doubt in my mind as to whether or not you have any competence left with your abysmal rendition of a stout beer. That hurts man! Yeah, I get it... you're slogan goes something like "why does stout have to be thick?" and so, you've created a thin-as-Coors stout and marketed it as such. But I'm here to tell you (for, if there isn't any other product out there that I like more than wheat beer, it's stout beer) Stout has to be thick!!!!
Stout has to be thick -- simple as that. It should be creamy, perhaps nitrogenated, and not see-through! Seriously, I'm starting to think that Alexander Keith has some vendetta against the whole beer industry and thought up this brilliant plan where he'd start with a fantastic beer to gain our trust, and then he'd laugh his ass off and touch himself silly every time he saw us try to taste a Red, or a White, or a Stag's Head for the first time. I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, could go on about how much of an insult this beer is to the brew-community, but frankly, it isn't worth the blog space.
0/6

Speed Rating:
I don't know how I can rate this worse than the Red or the White without going into the negatives. Well, let's just say that since this is a "speed rating" and not a "difficulty drinking" rating, I'm going to say that technically... I suppose it is possible to drink it. But I'd sooner give a can of soda water a 1/6 than this nasty brew.
0/6

Intangibles: Again, again, again... shall I copy/paste ?!?... "at least the Keith's label resembles something to be proud of. Look at that stag and his great big horns!!! I'ma give it a half-point for that, and another half-point for being the mentally handicapped [third] brother of a brilliant and popular IPA."
*Note the lack of sisters in the family. Feminine beers like Fruli (the one that tastes like strawberries were added to it) still taste better.
1/6

Overall Taste Quality: If I could brush my teeth with it, it might improve the flavour. If I could burn off my taste buds it might improve the flavour, but then, I'd need to also lose the sensors that remind me that this particular stout isn't creamy. If I could drink it after it's been ingested by a cow, and passed through all of it's stomachs and out the tail end it might taste better. There's a though Keith's: Why don't you add a cow to the distillation process?
0/24.

TOTAL: 1/24 (That's a new record)

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And Now.... The real reason I began to rate these gawdawful beers in the first place...
My invention before anyone thought to advertise it: [The Black and White]

Yes, we all on occasion think of a good idea before it gets promoted into the mass media, and sometimes we wish people would believe us that we came up with it first. Well, this idea isn't the golden nugget of ideas or anything; it actually came along sorta' naturally.

You see, a number of years back my bar was forced into putting Rickard's White on tap after it first came out. Of course I was excited about it until I tried the stuff (again, see my review on Rickard's White), but then I had an epiphany. One day a man sat down on my bar and asked for a good old Black'n'Tan. Traditionally the concoction is created by filling a pint glass half way up with Harp (a Guinness product), and floating Guinness overtop of it as a second layer. Now that's pretty cool, and I found that -- as gross as it may at first sound -- the flavour blends well throughout the entire experience. Somehow you never get too much Guinness or too much Harp.
But I also like wheat beers, and I knew that the only one available to me was the malevolent Rickard's White. So I thought, let's try blending the white beer with Guinness and see what happens. Lo and behold, the Guinness floated magnificently, and the entire drink was improved! Now, I like Guinness by itself, but I must confess that this Black'n'White method was what caused me to like it in the first place. The flavour was great, the texture, thick, and somehow it didn't bother me that I was using a shitty variant of a Belgian Wheat Beer. Perhaps it's like asking the bartender to put a high-end vodka into your Caesar -- what's the point? The purity of the vodka is not distinct through the clam-juice and hot sauce, so you may as well use the bargain-bin, plastic-bottle cheap stuff.
And so the Black'n'White was invented... but don't you dare think that by substituting Guinness for Stag's Head you still have a good beverage, 'cause you don't! Guinness is truly the only think that saves the Black'n'White from utter shittiness, and by adding a 1/24 rated beer you're just asking for crap. Now the bar I work at has only Keith's White available, and with Guinness floating overtop of it I feel like I'm hurting the Guinness.

I was going to rate the Black'n'White as though it was an entity all on it's own, but I invite other's to try it in a less-bias situation and tell me what you think. Just remember: Don't use Stag's Head like those advertisements suggest, and if you can, use a good wheat beer.

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