This is a tipple that my father used to have, I know he did because I can recall seeing the tiny little bottles in the garage and, once, under the stairs. I always wondered what it was, whether it was like coke or something and so, naturally, on seeing this in my local supermarket at an insanely cheap price for 300ml I had to try it. It is Red Stripe, being sold as lager, Jamaican Lager Beer no less. Well, thought I, I have to try me some of that.
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It is a lager beer we're talking about here so there are no hops that are going to tempt me at any point. I understand that this probably makes me some kind of 'hop-head' and that probably means that some people in some areas are going to hate me. I also realise that by dint of having a relatively well kempt beard I am, quite possibly, approaching 'hipster'. However, in my defence, I can get very boring about local ales and I have a paunch and I have no tattoos. I suspect this saves me from being a 'hipster'. Also, my clothing is neither old enough to be 'cool' nor new enough to be 'fashionable'. At 4.7% ABV, this beer is very close to being beyond sessionable though.
There's a definite hint of yeast on the nose upon opening and the dull hint of malt beneath it. However, I don't know how much of this was down to the proudly displayed word: 'Jamaican', there was almost a touch of rum about it, like there was something more spicy and sugary in the offing. It was the sort of aroma that I associate with Jack Sparrow. I realise that, having never met the man and him being an entirely made up fictional construct played by Johnny Depp whom I shall also never meet, this is a fallacy but it was an entertaining one and that will do me. Anna agreed that it smelt "different". It was also a rather odd colour. In the image above I have it in the one remaining goblet bought as a wedding gift for Anna and I by the Hills. It is greenish glass, so the full horror of the pale-ness is lost to the viewer. Because the glass is more at fault than the awful phone camera that I use, yes.
Anyway, the taste was true to the promise and there was a spicy hint to the proceedings. Not a lot else, the yeast and the malt were pretty much all there was to it and they shot their bolt early on in proceedings. Aftertaste was minimal but that spicy hit was enough to keep me drinking. Anna did raise her eyebrows on tasting and declared it "interesting" and "different" so I guess that counts as being different overall. I think I can safely agree that this is different to ale. It is lager beer.
Enjoy this best as a parent on an evening when you want to balance something on your belly and watch sports on the telly, shouting advice at some of the fittest athletes in the world. For the full effect I encourage you to be male and watch women's football and shout advice at the screen that may or may not be slightly misogynistic. It's that kind of beer drink thing. Mind you, there's also a case for more genteel consumption whilst doing work that requires some though and concentration so that you can slowly slink off work and to bed without having to think too much about what you're drinking. It's the sort of role that I have relegated Gangster (here) to these days, but it is better at the job than this brew by dint of having been introduced to some hops at some stage.
In short: I'm not sure there will be too many lagers reviewed here.