The Brew Club is becoming so popular that readers are now sending me perfume-scented letters, love poems, doll heads, and occasionally even beer!
Our man from Australia “Coops” who recently reviewed Blue Tongue Lager, wanted me to try Australia’s favorite beer. What did he do? He took it upon himself to send me a bottle of James Boag’s Premium Lager clear across the globe so that I could try it and write up a little review. How cool is that? Five-star cool! Rating:
In addition to the beer (which I received in one piece!), Coops sent along a bottle opener fashioned in the form or a hard-hat (see picture), and also two “stubbie coolers” which is apparently what Australians need to use with their beer to prevent frostbite! Thanks Coops!
For the review, I compromised a bit. From what I’m told, beer is enjoyed very cold in Australia, (like put it in the freezer cold) and so I poured it from the fridge into the glass and drank it as soon as the head went down instead of waiting 10 minutes or so as I normally would. To me, beer that is too cold is kinda tasteless, but I wanted to try it the Aussie way! (Or close to it anyway)
So here it is… James Boag’s Premium Lager reviewed – beer courtesy of Coops!
Q. How does this beer from Tasmania look?
- James Boag’s Premium Lager had a “typical” kind of lager look to it. Very clear, golden yellow, and when poured into my official tasting glass it created a large, fizzy white head that took some time to go down. There was no lacing left on the glass, and because I used my beer pouring technology, there wasn’t much carbonation (besides in the head).
Q. How does the James Boag’s Lager smell?
- This beer had a kind of sweet smell that reminded me for some reason of Troegs Sunshine Pils. To me, that’s interesting on several levels. I’ve read the James Boags lager is made with “pilsner malts in the European style”, and its also interesting that I can remember a beer that I tried over 2 months ago! Usually, I can’t remember yesterday!
Q. What’s this Australian Beer taste like?
- Well, it ‘aint bad! It’s not bitter, and it is really quite smooth, and I also found this lager to be light, crisp and refreshing. I could see polishing off a bunch of these beers without really filling up! There wasn’t much of an aftertaste, and the body was quite thin and it had something of a watery mouthfeel. This would be a decent beer to have at a BBQ or I’m thinking it would even go well with Mexican food! It isn’t a complicated flavor – crisp and light, but still a bit bland and not overly inspiring.
Q. Did the Premium Lager remind you of anything?
- I mentioned above how the smell reminded me of Sunshine Pils. Regarding the taste, some people say this beer reminds them of Molson Golden out of Canada and they can pick up on some rice flavors in the brew. I haven’t reviewed Molson yet, so I can’t say one way or the other. Strangely enough though, the James Boag’s Premium Lager reminded me of the Tsing Sao lager from China, which also uses some rice in the mix! Does James Boag’s Lager use rice? I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they did. It has just a little different flavor, and apparently rice in the mix can do that.
Q. Would you have James Boag’s again, or recommend it to your Grandmother?
- I don’t think I would buy it for myself as there are so many other beers with more complex taste on the market. The James Boag’s is good, but its too much like a common lager to go out of the way for, at least in my opinion. It would be a great beer if you’re looking for refreshment as it does have that “crisp” thing going for it. Otherwise It doesn’t really distinguish itself as something remembered for long, which is why maybe it’s suitable for my Grandmother to enjoy!
Q. What’s the verdict? How many stars are bestowed hereunto?
- I understand that James Boag’s is a very popular beer in Australia, and has won numerous awards and whatnot for taste and quality and that good ‘ol Esk River water. Its good, and I did enjoy it nice and cold (as recommended) after some hot yard work. That being said, I wonder if the James Boag brew is something akin to America’s Budweiser? Very popular, sells by the ton, but somehow a bit ordinary.
Have you tried this beer? What do you think about it? Is it really the best Australian beer, or is it just good marketing? You can let us know by posting a comment below!