Friday, June 11, 2010

Mexico - To Lime Or Not To Lime?

That is the question?

I know the stereotypical Mexican beer is what you're going to find on special every year around May 5th... Corona, with a lime.  

In my taste test I decided to skip the Corona and go for a Dos Equis Amber Lager, an undoubtedly better Mexican beer that isn't owned by Anheuser-Busch.  And it doesn't hurt that they have possibly the best advertising campaign on TV right now.  Sure, it's not about the beer because very few beer commercials are, but it's hysterical.  (Yes, I know that Dos Equis is owned by Heineken International... it really is a shame that all the major Mexican beers are either owned by AB-Inbev or Heineken!)

Moving on to the beer, though... first I broke out a Dos Equis in the stereotypical American way to serve it.  In the bottle, with a slice of lime.

The problem with drinking the beer this way is that the aroma gets trapped in the bottle, and what you do get is dominated by the lime.  'They' say that smell is a large portion of how we taste things, so as a result the malty flavors of this Vienna-style lager are lost in the lime juice flavors.  Unlike a Corona or Modelo Especial which are American-style adjunct lagers, Dos Equis Amber is brewed with a greater malt presence in a more traditional German style.  In fact, the creator was a German-born brewer.  With the lime, it's still a solid beer, but for the second one, I decided it was time for a pint glass.

It just looks more appealing, with the amber color and bubbly head, doesn't it?  And I'll be honest, it tastes better this was as well.  The smell still isn't strong like a stout or IPA, but there is a noticeable malt presence with hints of caramel that get completely lost in the lime before.  The taste is more open as well, malts dominate and there isn't much balance but it's still a significant improvement.  

In the whole of the world's supply of beer Dos Equis isn't anything special, but as far as Mexican beer available in the United States and more specifically Baton Rouge, I think it's the best option and best enjoyed on tap or poured into a glass without the lime, with some friends and some chips and salsa! 

Hopefully the Mexican fans aren't TOO disappointed in their 1-1 draw this morning against yesterday's featured country, South Africa... and always remember; stay thirsty, my friends.

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