Brewery: Budéjovický Budvar
Country: Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is linked to the lager style of beer like Belgium is to chocolate or Britain is to gin. They go hand in hand together. When I was decided I was going to hold a blind beer tasting, I knew I wanted to have a classic Czech lager in the selection. There were many candidates but Budvar was chosen in the end. Founded back in 1895 and owned by the state, Budvar is a major force in the lager brewing scene. The company is the second largest exporter of beer out of the country and is a world-renowned brand name. It is of course not to be confused with the American brewed Budweiser owned by Anheuser – Busch, with bitterly fought legal battles over control of the Budweiser name stretching across many decades.
The beer had the classic clear golden hue associated with many of the Czech lagers and formed a nice foamy white froth that held for a bit but nothing long lasting. There was little lacing around the glass and the boy was rather light. The malt character shined through in the first aroma strongly, as I hoped it would. There was a slight cellar dankness to it that was musky, but not unpleasant. Robust bread tones were evident along with the lesser hits of straw and grass that was also noted. The taste followed the smell perfectly. The big bread hit continued in the tasting and then fell away to a light sweetness in the aftertaste. The saaz hops were present but they take a strong backseat to the malt notes. It was crisp on the tongue and rather drying on the palate.
I wanted a classic Czech beer and this is exactly as I hoped it would be. Fresh, hearty malts wrapped in a well made body that was full of crisp, thirst quenching flavour. It is to me a great example of how well a lager can be made. I will definitely be drinking this again soon.