This was given as part of an Easter gift, along with the Stallion (here), and shares with it that idea of being from somewhere else: Turkey in this case. Never heard of it before, though the net says that it is quite well known. Yes, it's a beer review; yes, I can make them last longer than they really need to and yes, tonight it is the turn of Efes' Draft from, uh, the Efes Group of breweries.
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Being furrin, it tends toward the Pilsner end of the spectrum and this is immediately apparent in the snick of carbonation, more like a lager than an ale, and the resultant colour that would put it in straw ale category if it had been brewed over here. In that regard, this is very like San Miguel (here) and the ilk. Mind you, that lovely shaped bottle is rather unique, if a little funny, and so there is a definite plus going for that thing. The aroma light hops in there and notes of yeast, largely as you would expect. Get too close and the carbonation will pretty much spatter your nose and keep the air alive with the smell.
There's a vigorous and long lasting head alive with fizz when poured, and the lager-like carbonation remains for a very long time after the pour. First taste is surprisingly light and airy, almost thirst-quenching, and not the usual fizzy metallic taste that I associate with poor ales or the few lagers I've had (I think Rolling Rock carries the dubious honour for my last such foray). There's a malt buried in there but it is small and flat compared to an assault of hoppiness, lacking in fruity flavour, that takes over and then fades to a dry, almost Blonde, finish. It's similar to other light ales that I've had but at 5% ABV it's no slouch and definitely higher on the scale of the ales so far tested. Crisp taste starts the ball rolling, sharp yeast on the bubbles and dry hops at the end fading to a pleasant aftertaste. It's schtick is the fact that rice is added in the brewing process and there's definite remnants of that starchy sort of taste and feel, more texture than taste actually, in this brew.
In short, this is one to enjoy pretty much anywhere and pretty much at any time. I'd recommend having a few on hand, there is something about that starchy texture that keeps you guessing and is actually quite comforting, and then just letting an evening take its course. Shoot some pool, watch some sports if you must; there's the option of discussing a book you've all read (easily the preferable option) or just chatting about theories from favourite series in the garden after a sunny day as the dying rays of sunshine slip away. Equally, this could work on an early evening when no one has to drive and you fancy an early winter night. Versatile. A funny little beer in a funny little bottle.