Thursday, 9 February 2017

Asahi Super Dry

Tonight I am reviewing something that Willow got me for our anniversary last year (yeah, I know) and that I finally got round to having. Only the best part of a year later, I think I'm doing well. The story behind why she bought me this particular bottle is that she had been reading the Song of Ice and Fire series and one of the characters keeps banging on about the city of 'Ashai' and this reminded her of that. I think that makes sense. It's the Japanese Asahi 'Superdry' lager. But I noted that this actually brewed in the UK by Shepherd Neame, whom I seem incapable of avoiding. Not that this is a bad thing.

It's a 660ml bottle, so this ought to be fun! Would you like to know more?

I did rather baulk at the size of the bottle and one of the reasons I have waited so long is because I was hoping to share it with Willow, but then we couldn't. Oh well, instead I open it in the kitchen and let it do the thing where it whisps and lets it be known that this is a lager and not an ale by being full of activity and heavy on the malt in the nose. True to the name it is rather dry and puts me in mind of some of the heavier ciders I've had in the past (I'm not really a cider drinker). Furthermore the aroma does rely somewhat on the alcohol content and, at 5% ABV, there's a bit of punch to it. It pours as lagers do with plenty of fizz and activity leading to a short-lived but pretty big head. The malt continues, being joined by a dry yeastiness, and then settles over the top of the golden brew.

Good amount of bubbles and these continue into the mouth where there is a burst of some malt and yeast before settling to a kind of thin and light wash of golden maltiness in the middle. Little in the qay of complexity but certainly the sort of drink that would please people who claim that lager is superior because it quenches thirsts. There's a battering ram of alcohol wrapped in that shroud of malt and fizz and then it's down the back of the throat leaving the sensation of having had a particularly long drink of something carbonated and dry. It is called superdry after all!

To be fair, it's not a bad drink and would likely serve well in the sort of situation where having a cider is an option. I get the distinct impression that cider drinkers would probably tolerate it more than those that dislike cider (and I don't dislike it). It is heavier than the average lager and having two glasses drives that point home. I can confirm that this tastes at the strength it is and there is no real chance of being fooled into having too much of this but that trying to drink 660ml of this in a single sitting, even over several hours like I did, is probably pushing the limits of what I can achieve. Mainly due to the fact that there's so much liquid to it and you have to keep supplementing with water and juice to maintain hydration in a room with the fire on. Maybe that's just me.

I think this is best had in a beer garden with mates who are watching the sports on the big TVs and understand things like football and rugby. You might possibly be able to pair this with the cricket on a summer's day but it would rapidly lose the coolness in the sunshine on the terraces and may even go a bit flat - unless you were sharing with three others and then you'd likely need multiple bottles. Make sure you have some snacks on hand, I'd suggest oranges and some ready salted pretzels.

In short, it was nice enough but I have totally had it at the wrong time of year. Also, heavy, I suspect I shall be paying for it come the morning!

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