Newest Review: ... premium continental brands. It is cheaper, but often flat and I would rather pay the extra for better quality. Served cold on a hot day i... more
The north west's favourite?
Member Name: jazz_mavericks
Advantages: Easy to drink, inoffensive, cheap
Disadvantages: Bad aftertaste after a while - chemical-y
Ahhh - Carling, the darling of the pumps in northern pubs and clubs. At 4.1% volume, it isn't the strongest lager on the market, but is fairly cheap, and doesn't taste all that bad.
Carling, much like other lagers such as Fosters or Carlsberg, is generally seen as a 'lads' drink, which, in my experience of working behind a bar, I would say was pretty much right. It is a non-offensive drink, that you can drink easily and by the bucket load, but I always find that after a few, you start to get this sickly taste in your mouth, that after a while I started to get sick of.
Like most lagers, the warmer it gets, the more disgusting it is - god, is there anything worse than warm flat lager? With this in mind, you find yourself drinking it quicker so that it doesn't get too warm.
The taste is fairly smooth, and pretty refreshing, and I find it a much nicer drink than the repulsive alternatives like Carlsberg. However, these days I find myself drinking more premium imports such as Budvar and Erdinger, and after drinking these to go back to Carling, you realise what a mass produced, chemically enhanced lager it is.
I will still drink it when on nights out, purely for the fact that it is so easy to drink, and rounds in the pub seem to fly past. Even if you aren't the biggest fan of the taste, a quick dash of lemonade added to it can take the edge off, and makes for a much more refreshing drink on a cold day.
A few years ago, the makers of Carling obviously heard comments about the warm beer thing, and released Carling Extra Cold. It is exactly the same as normal Carling, but the delivery tube at the pump goes through an additional cooler to make the lager colder, and it stays colder for longer too.
Probably their greatest release however, was the recent C2 - basically Carling but with half the alchohol content. This is extremely handy if you like to have a drink after work, but are in the car, as it tastes not too dissimilar to the regular Carling, but is only 2%.
I'll also have to mention that I also find a massive difference between Carling from the pump, and Carling from a can. In a can, it is remarkably cheap, at around £3.00 for 4 cans, but the flavour has that horrible, tinny taste to it, and unless you pour it into a glass, it gets really warm, really quickly!
Summary: An easy to drink lager, with a decent taste - but not a decent beer.