Red Stripe Jamaican Lager is one of those beers that seems to be everyplace, but in my mind its too close to a ‘big-brewer macro’ to consider buying for my beer drinking enjoyment. Well, maybe that’s not fair to do, and so from time to time we like to venture out from the craft-beer scene and review something more mainstream. Nothing wrong with that!
So let’s give Red Stripe lager a fair shake then. The first thing I notice is it’s funky (iconic?) stubby bottle and painted on red and white label. Definitely looks different on the shelf, and if you remember the corny ‘Horrayy Beer!’ Red Stripe commercials, they certainly have a marketing thing going for them. Everything is cool so far.
Now we open the bottle. And pour.
OK, the Red Stripe pours a clear pale-ish yellow that one might expect from any ol’ macro lager, perhaps just a touch darker. It created fizzy white head, but before I knew it the head was gone leaving just a trace on the surface of the beer. OK, nothing special so far, but nothing unexpected either.
Getting on to the smell, it was not exceptional in any way except that it seemed to be a combination of hops and a touch of that ‘sulfury’, skunky smell. It wasn’t skunky like “WOH, that beer is skunked!” but there was a touch of that in the nose. Just a touch. Otherwise, its really mild and its hard to pick out a particular scent. I’ll still drink it.
Tasting this Jamaican Lager, I found it to be a really smooth drinker. It was very easy going down, no bite, no burn, and I would say that nice and cold, this beer is also very crisp and refreshing. The taste is mild, perhaps a touch on the sweet side but generally unremarkable and unmemorable otherwise.
So, what’s my verdict for the Red Stripe Jamaican Lager? I’d say its better than your ‘typical’ macro-lager, but that’s not saying much actually. Its not bad, but it’s not great either. I didn’t mind drinking the Red Stripe and I’m glad I finally had a chance to try it, but I wouldn’t go out and buy it again either. If I could give it a 1.75 I would, but I can’t so I’m going to round up and give it 2 stars.
Have you tried Red Stripe? What did you think? Did you notice that slightly odd smell? Want to try another beer from Jamaica, one that is anything BUT ordinary? Check out this Jamaican Stout!