Archive for the ‘Lager’ Category

Pistonhead Kustom Lager - CANPistonhead Kustom Lager
Sweden Flag

Brewery info:
Brutal Brewing AB,


Can size sampled: 330ml

Alcohol: 4.6%
Standard drinks: 1.2

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $4.75 AU

Label info: ‘Custom brewed with a double-clutch of Munchener-malt and pilsner malt injected with spalter select, magnum and perle hops’ 

What the label really means: The description is definitely revving my taste buds into action.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: This is the label I have been looking for all these years. Sheer design perfection. The can is a matte black finish with a white sugar-skull inspired design. There are splashes of blood red across the skull’s forehead with a spade motif smack bang between the eyes. The skulls itself is surrounded by a simple silver flame that shoots off behind it. There’s a banner beneath the skull that proudly announces ‘Pistonhead’ in big bold lettering while ‘Kustom Lager’ is in a cursive script beneath. It has a style of tattoo meshed firmly with street art graffiti and works brilliantly. This truly is label perfection. I cannot find a single fault with this and I am proud to hold this in my blood-stained hands.

I give it a label rating of 10 out of 10.Pistonhead - GLASS

AROMA:  Citrussy, musky, good. 

Taste: GLASS – It’s most certainly a very familiar lager encased within this canned beauty. But what is it that distinguishes this from the myriad of lagers in its class? Well…nothing really. It’s a very, very enjoyable drop that is incredibly smooth and has a slight hint of malty goodness, but it’s a bit run of the mill. I guess I expected, and hoped, for more. Still…it’s a great beer that deserves a tasting.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 7 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – From the can Pistonhead loses a good dose of that malty undercurrent and as such becomes a little one-dimensial. It’s still good, it’s just not as strong.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 6.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: Chilli prawns or chilli beef would suit this well.

Best season to appreciate: A real summer thirst quencher. 

All-nighter beer? Absolutely! Pistonhead slides back very easily. I am most certainly up for the all night challenge.



Coedo Beniaka - BOTTLECoedo Beniaka
Japanese_flag - SMALL

Company info:
Coedo Brewery
Saitama, JAPAN


Bottle size sampled: 333 mL

Alcohol: 7%
Standard drinks: TBC

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for approx. $3.10 AU

Label info: ‘Imperial Sweet Potato Amber’
‘Super Premium Japanese Craft Beer’

What the label really means: It was the very mention of sweet potato that compelled me to purchase this beer. Keen to see how it tastes.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The label is predominantly red with silver text all over it. ‘COEDO’ stands out in huge letters, with ‘Beniaka’ in a cursive script beneath it. At the top of the label is the company logo that is flower-inspired, flanked by the words ‘Beer Beautiful’. A more subtle design element are the letters C-O-E-D-O in a darker red, patterned across the label – it adds a nice touch of depth to the label which would otherwise be rather dull. However it’s the textured bottle (with the same letters scattered about) that this label scores big points with.

I give it a label rating of 7 out of 10.Coedo Beniaka - GLASS

AROMA: Caramel malty tones shoot out at all directions. There’s a slight alcoholic aroma in there too, hinting at the 7% contents.


Taste: GLASS – A surprisingly smooth mouth feel with strong, hearty, upfront malt flavours. Very easy to drink, and surprisingly not overbearing in alcohol. A very interesting and complex brew, despite no real detection of sweet potato flavours. It is certainly tantalising my taste buds and I am very pleased to be drinking this from its home country.

I give it a beer from glass rating of out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – From the bottle Beniaka is just as good. It’s just as malty, remains very smooth and ultimately very enjoyable. The caramelisation is perhaps a little more pronounced now and it makes for one very delicious drop.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of out of 10.

Accompanying food: Smoked duck with wasabi. I had this dish the night before (minus the wasabi) and I feel it’s the perfect accompaniment. 

Best season to appreciate: Most definitely a winter brew.

All-nighter beer? The perfect apres-ski beer that I feel is easily sessionable. An all-nighter.

Note: According to Coedo’s website, ‘Beniaka refers both to the unique potato with which it is made and to its vibrant, yellow-tinged red colour.
Because of its use of sweet potato as a secondary ingredient, Japanese laws classify Beniaka as a happoshu (malt beverage) rather than a beer’.

NEXT WEEK: Pistonhead (the beer I promised weeks ago)

Duff - CANDuff
USA flag - SMALL

Company info:
Imported by Pinnacle Liquor
Surry Hills, NSW
Product of U.S.A

[No website listed on can]

Can size sampled: 330ml

Alcohol: 4.7%
Standard drinks: 1.3

Cap type: Ring pull

Cost: I picked this up for $2.99 AU

Label info: N/A

What the label really means: N/A

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: The beer made famous by animated series The Simpsons has materialised as a real brew. Here is the label that we have seen in countless episodes. The same font, the same colour, the same everything. It is instantly recognised as easily as we would recognise one of the characters and instantly the connection from the beer to the series is made.
I vaguely remember many years ago an Australian company released Duff and was subsequently taken to court by Fox for copyright infringement. Now, this brew has been released as an ‘Australian Edition’ purporting to be a product of the USA and endorsed by Matt Groening (his signature is on the can!) and Fox. To me it reeks of a marketing ploy with the brewers knowing they have an instant customer base of nostalgic fools. Let’s hope the beer brings more to the table than a cheap gimmick. For attention to detail and authenticity to the celluloid design I have rated this label accordingly.

I give it a label rating of 5 out of 10.

AROMA:  It’s how I imagine the carpet in Moe’s Tavern smells – a washed out stale-citrus aroma.Duff - GLASS

Taste: GLASS – Duff is a generic citrus infused lager with a smattering of bitterness and little else. It’s exactly as you’d expect. But perhaps that is the joke…it tastes just like all the other big US brews (think Bud, Millers, Coors, etc). It’s the stereotypical US beer that fits the mass produced formula of blandness, designed to be consumed in high quantity. Is Duff being ironic? Is this a post-modern brew where bland becomes unique? No. This is as boring as a night watching slides at Patti and Selmas. 

I give it a beer from glass rating of 4 out of 10.

Taste: CAN Surprisingly, Duff becomes even more dull when tasted from the can. It’s like the night at Patti and Selmas just got turned down a notch with the arrival of Principal Skinner’s mum. What little taste I could sense from the glass has now all but packed up and headed back to Grandpa’s retirement village.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 3.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: I often suggest spicy dishes for bland brews, especially lagers, and this is no exception. Grab yourself a chilli pork dish and tuck in like Homer at an all you can eat buffet.

Best season to appreciate: Summer I suppose.

All-nighter beer? Designed to be consumed in quantity. To be thrown back as quick as you can. It’s so inoffensive that it could be an all-nighter in the right hands. Not for me.

NEXT WEEK: New Englander Brown Ale

OB Golden Lager - CANOB Golden Lager

South Korea flag - SMALL

Company info:
Oriental Brewery Co

[No website listed]

Can size sampled: 355 mL

Alcohol: 4.8%
Standard drinks: 1.2

Cap type: Ring-pull

Cost: I picked this up for AU$10.00 (6 pack)

Label info: ‘Authentic German style 100% malt beer’
‘Crafted from golden malt and selected aroma hop with oriental brewery’s tradition of perfection’

What the label really means: ‘Alright, who fired the proof reader?’


The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: Gold. My old arch enemy gold. Do I dare look beyond, to the big blue lettering of OB, to the depiction of malt in various sizes and shades of gold? No. The gold is too horrid to see anything else. This is a cigarette packet wrapped around a can and it just cannot be redeemed.

I give it a label rating of 1.5 out of 10.OB Golden Lager - GLASS

AROMA: An enticing zesty, malty aroma.

Taste: GLASS: There’s a bold, dry, bitter finish that rounds off this zesty sparkling lager. There are some good initial flavours but over all it’s a bit too generic, a bit too watery, and it really lacks any lasting flavours. One to drink if cheap, but let’s be honest, this is not a great brew.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 5.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE: From the can, what little flavour was obtained from the glass has now completely gone. It’s a carbonated watery mess. Very disappointing. Stick to the glass. If you insist on drinking it.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 4 out of 10.

Accompanying food: A spicy chilli dish could really make this brew pop.

Best season to appreciate: A Summer brew

All-nighter beer? Reaching the end of the can, the dryness is really over-emphasised now. But, I can move past this and I believe it does have the guts to stand as an easy to drink session brew.


Budweiser - BOTTLEBudweiser

Brewery info:

Missouri, U.S.A

[No website listed

Alcohol: 4.9%
Standard drinks: 1.4

Cap type: Twist

Cost: I picked this up for $TBC AU

Label info: ‘This is the famous Budweiser beer. We know of no brand produced by any other brewer which costs so much to brew and age. Our exclusive Beechwood Aging produces a taste, a smoothness and a drinkability you will find in no other beer at any price’. 

What the label really means: I’ve read this label text a couple of times now and I’m still not sure I understand it. Maybe I’m a bit slow. Can anyone help? Seriously.
I hope the brew inside is less confusing.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: As arguably the most well known beer label of our time, this is a bold, in your face brand. The red makes the label jump out while the white and gold soften it and create an air of bogan-pride. The label portrays itself as a throwback to an era when smoking was advertised as a tool for picking up ladies, and conjures images of crack dens and whore houses. It’s sad, it’s depressing…it’s like a 68 year old man at a rave sporting a faux-hawk and fluro pants. Budweiser claims to be the ‘King of Beers’, I claim it to be the ‘King of Oversized Under-durps’.  

I give it a label rating of 3 out of 10.

AROMA:  A very mild aroma…sniff carefully and you may catch a citrus hint.

Taste: GLASS – This is a very mild pale lager with no discernible flavour profile emerging. There is a soft citrus swirl through what is unsurprisingly a very bland brew. It’s very easy to drink because of its inoffensive style but that’s hardly endearing.
Putting your pre-conceptions aside when tasting this beer is difficult. But try your best to sample the brew within and judge it based on its performance and not its reputation. Budweiser - GLASS

I give it a beer from glass rating of 3.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Much the same from the bottle as it is from the glass…perhaps a tad soapier now. It’s not great, it’s not fun, it’s not impressing anyone. Very disappointing no matter which way you look at it.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 3.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: A strong Szechuan beef with extra chilli. Team it with this dish and Bud could at least act as a softener to the heat. 

Best season to appreciate: I suppose a Summer brew. Though by saying that I fear I’m insulting Summer.

All-nighter beer? Because this beer is so easy to throw back in large quantities, this really is a sessionable beer. Unfortunately it would make for a very dull evening.


KISS Destroyer - BOTTLEKISS Destroyer
Sweden Flag

Brewery info:
Stockholm, SWEDEN

[No website listed]

Alcohol: 4.7%
Standard drinks: 1.2

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $3.99 AU

Label info: ‘The hottest beer in the world’ 

What the label really means: Ok…great…I see what you rock gods are going for here. Playing it cool. I read ya. 

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: This is glarey, flamboyant, over the top and decidedly 1970s in style. Everything that the rock band KISS epitomises. I like the fact that it is instantly recognised as a KISS branded item, but is it a little marketing-ploy schmultzy? Come on, how many other bands release their own beer? (Stay tuned for word on You Am I’s brew out soon). I do like the dual two-tone colour arrangement here that reflects the KISS make-up patterns so well. What I don’t like is that awesome KISS album art hasn’t been used to create an even rockier brew. I just think more work could have gone into this one.

I give it a label rating of 6 out of 10.

AROMA:  A meaty, hop-heavy brew.

Taste: GLASS – This surprisingly is a very flavoursome all-mouth brew that hits with a great punch to the smacker. It’s refreshing with a back of mouth bitterness. It prances very cleverly on the edge of being pilsener in flavour and then sort of backs off a bit to be a bit more subtle. I’m glad to say that this is a beer KISS should be proud to have their name attached to. It’s not an amazingly complex beer by any means, but it is definitely enjoyable. I’m claiming this as the demented love-child of Becks and Pilsner Urquell.KISS Destroyer - GLASS

I give it a beer from glass rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – From the bottle, KISS Destroyer hits with a similar level of enthusiasm but just falls short of the mark. Still good but not great. 

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 7 out of 10.

Accompanying food: Red meat…beef preferably.

Best season to appreciate: I’d suggest this is destined for outdoor Summer music festivals.

All-nighter beer? Yes I could definitely drink this all night…and party ever-eey night.


Monteiths Golden Lager - BOTTLEMonteith’s Golden Lager

Brewery info:
Monteith’s Brewing Co
Auckland, Timaru & Greymouth, NEW ZEALAND


Bottle size sampled: 330ml

Alcohol: 5%
Standard drinks: 1.3

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $3.65 AU

Label info: ‘Monteith’s Golden.
A golden malty lager with mellow hop characters and a cashew nut smoothness. Refresh and relax with this classic-style beer‘.

What the label really means: I like the sound of cashews. After all, who doesn’t like cashews? Could this brew have the taste of cashew nuts (not particularly known for their smooth taste). Or are they just saying the beer is as smooth as a cashew nut? If so, surely a better analogy for smoothness could have been sought.
‘…a baby’s bottom smoothness…’?
‘…a recently sandpapered piece of timber smoothness…’?
‘…the skin of a banana smoothness…’?

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: This is what I’ve said in the past for Monteith’s labels:
‘I’ve been a fan of Monteith’s labels for a while now and this is another fine label. Each of their beers has slight differences in colour and font’.
I think their colour variation labels are still working for them. Here we get a warm orange glow singing of Summer, crispness, and bbqs. It works.

I give it a label rating of 7.5 out of 10.

AROMA:  Citrussy, zesty, fresh. No real surprises here.Monteiths Golden Lager - GLASS

Taste: GLASS – Refrshingly zesty, citrus infused, and mildly carbonated, this is a very easy to drink brew. It’s good that it’s easy to drink, and certainly inoffensive, but put this beside twenty other golden-lager style beers and you’ll be hard pressed picking this out from the bunch. I just get the impression these guys just aren’t trying any more…bit of a let down.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 6.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Much the same from the bottle the predominant flavours are the zesty, citrus notes with a swirl of wheaty goodness. Again, this is one very easy to drink beer, that is super refreshing. But perhaps it’s leaning a little too far over the generic fence.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: Rissoles and mashed potato would work well here I believe.

Best season to appreciate: This is a genuine Summer weather brew guaranteed to quench that unquenchable thirst.

All-nighter beer? I could quite easily drink this beer all night long.