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I absolutely love lager and I like nothing more than trying new ones out. As a family we love lager at weekends usually with a nice bbq and especially so in the summer we've just experienced!
My Stepdad usually buys in boxes of Fosters, Stella or San Miguel but when I buy lager I buy a variety and the amount on the market is literally staggering and when it comes to this beverage its saturating the market (quite literally) and we are really spoilt for choice!
I hadn't tried this Red Stripe Larger till last night for the first time, quite frankly I had never seen it before anywhere that I had shopped and I could of bought it in bottles or cans but I bought just a can of it in my local Nisa store for about £1.39 which for the size of the can was good value in my opinion.
No matter if its packaged in bottles or can the labels/colouring is pretty much the same. My can was white and red and on the front and the back of it we are clearly told that it is Red Stripe 'Jamaican Lager Beer' and to 'Serve It Ice Cold', that the size of the can is 484ml in total and that it contains 4.7% alcohol, then down the sides of the can other information given includes being told there is 2.3 units within this and contact details for the manufacturer are given but no ingredients or anything else that would be handy to know about!
The Lager Itself:
The lager is a light straw in colour and with a gentle fizz this simply tastes smooth and it really doesn't have a harsh/tinny flavour and really it is best served chilled/cold. This is stronger in alcohol unit content than many lagers on the market at the moment so you would expect it to have a really sort of thick yeasty/malty taste to it but doesn't, it verges even on tasting naturally sweet and refreshing with an aftermath once drunk of a slight malty taste, but only lightly when its being consumed! I like the fact it isn't overly fizzy and that it is rich in flavour and has a decent amount of alcohol within it and that its very different to a lot of lagers I have consumed recently and that must be due to its brewing process,! Its really is nice this one and its certainly one I would drink in the future as it combines 3 vital ingredients..... Flavour, value for money and great quality.
Available in all good supermarkets etc and if you do consume alcohol/lager I advise you to try it yourself....moderately of course!
Jamaica is famous for a lot of things, its beautiful landscape, great people (with amazing accents), its 'herb' medication (wink wink) and its Bobsled Team, but one thing I didn't think I'd be finding Jamaica exporting is some amazing Beer!
I was up for something different one late afternoon after a hard shift at work and I was browsing through my Tesco beer/lager section and fancied something other than my typical Kronenberg or Budweiser '66, so I turned around and saw Red Stripe, the packaging is somewhat simple, in fact looks like some Tesco Value beer in the sense of it being all White with a red stripe saying "Red Stripe" in white text through the stripe (get it? hahaha). Having heard from somewhere that Red Stripe is good, I was eager to try it as I am up for trying anything once, so I grabbed a pack of it.
The beer isn't anything special in apparel when you pour it into a glass, the typical lager/beer colour with the standard amount of foam at the top, (if you pour it holding the glass at a 45 degree, does any beer justice). Trying it for the first time, I tasted nothing different from Kronenberg, so it was good, a decent taste and very drinkable. Quite light and goes down well, it's the sort of beer you can easily down a pint off in a few seconds without any problems. But the real "specialness" comes in when you take a good half mouth full, you can really taste the difference between your typical beer, it's got that extra 'crisp' taste, which doesn't linger in your mouth for long after swallowing, so you go in for another gulp and enjoy that as much as the first, second, and third!
I also found that when I couldn't be bothered to find a glass, I took a can on it's down and took it down straight from. I found that it somehow tasted better from the can. Probably something to do with the taste and greatness being compacted into a small space escaping from the can.
Basically put, Red Stripe is something special in the Beer department and definitely worth a try!
Packaging, Price and Volume
As I've mentioned the packaging is quite simple and nothing eye catching, but it is found in the premium section of beers/lagers in Tesco in 440ml cans in a 4 pack for around £4.00, which is a typical price for a premium lager/beer (to date of posting there is a 3 for 2 offer on at Tesco which Red Stripe is included in). Red Stripe is also available in 12oz bottles, but probably rare to find.
The alcohol level is at 4.7% Vol, so it's above the average. But personally I don't find it to have as much of an effect on myself. I usually get drunk of a cider much faster than of a beer. Can easily take 2 of these cans and not feel a difference (but that's me).
Red Stripe has earned its space in my all-time favourite beers due to having a unique taste and can be easily drunk with a meal or on its own. It's also the same price as the other lagers and beers on the market and I will definitely be stocking up on Red Stripe over anything else in the future.
Jamaica's most successful lager export is this Premium brew: Red Stripe. Currently controlled in England by the brewing company Charles Wells (producer of the highly popular Bombardier Ale), Red Stripe has been a favourite of mine since I was old enough to drink. I first started liking it due to peer 'pressure'. Quite simply, all my friends and colleagues at the pub where I worked drank it, and swore by it.
I do like Red Stripe, although more recently, I have gone off it a bit. It has dipped in popularity in comparison to other lagers over the past decade or so, and although I cannot really tell the difference between the taste now and when I used to drink it on a regular basis, other lagers seem to have stepped it up a bit and I go with them instead.
Registering in at 4.7% ABV (alcohol by volume), Red Stripe is considered a Premium lager, but is significantly weaker than Bud or Stella, for example. However, this doesn't mean that you can just drink more of it! It means that it is less strong.
The chemical content of Red Stripe is okay. Lots of imported lagers rely a lot on chemicals to support its transport from original destination to its final one, but Red Stripe seems to taste a little more natural. It has a smooth taste, although I find it gives me a headache now even after I drink one pint. This may be a chemical reaction, it may even be my body recognising it and telling me I drank too much of it when I was younger! Either way, the taste itself, while nice, doesn't live up to that of other Premium lagers such as Stella or Bud, for example.
It has a rather hoppy taste, stronger in flavour than other lagers, and perhaps this is why. It's not as smooth as other Premium lagers. This having been said, it is still a quality lager and I will gladly drink it if the other options don't appeal to me at the time. It is available on tap, although not as widely as other lagers. By the bottle or cab, it is more available, and a typical 4 pack of 440ml cans costs £3.28 at Asda currently.
I do recommend Red Stripe, as I know how nice it can be, don't let the fact that I have gone off it put you off. No doubt I'll be back on the Stripe before long, and it will remind me of when it was my favourite tipple!
Dinner the other night had a definite German feel to it. Potato salad and bratwurst, crusty bread and a big dollop of mustard. That's the food sorted, now for the beer. Now what would compliment this dish? Some weiss beer? A bock? Perhaps a dunkel. Let's see what's in the fridge. RED STRIPE! Oh well, I suppose it resembles a pils - and it is cold - and it's all I've got - so, that'll do nicely.
Red Stripe was first brewed in 1934, by Desnoes and Geddes in Kingston, Jamaica. The company remained under the control of the same families until 1993 when it was acquired by Guinness Brewing Worldwide.
Of course the beer I'm drinking is no more Jamaican than I am, being brewed by Charles Wells Ltd. in a factory in tropical Bedford, but that doesn't make it a bad beer. Does it?
Let's find out.....
Red Stripe pours lively and bubbly with a fizzy, but not particularly big, or foamy, head which dissipates fairly quickly. It's a very pale gold to straw-yellow in colour and is clean and clear. The nose is clean and opens up to a light malty sweetness with just a touch of floral hops.
It's very light-bodied and crisp, with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel and a rather sweet maltiness at first, but it turns a little more hoppy with the meerest hint of fruitiness. There's a slight bitterness and a light grainy dryness in the finish, but it's very subtle and short lived and on the whole the beer is quite well balanced.
At 4.7% ABV, it's not a bad brew. Quite refreshing, it's a good thirst quencher. I expect it goes well with jerk chicken or other Carribbean fare, I wouldn't know. But I do know this. It went down very nicely with my 'bangers and mash', thank you very much.
I don't think I'd
lose much sleep if I never had another Red Stripe, but it was pleasant enough and indeed better than a lot of other 'imported lagers'.
One thing I did learn though, I need to go beer shopping!
It's available almost everywhere, from pubs through supermarkets to corner shops, in 500ml cans at around a fiver for a six-pack and also in 330ml bottles for a little less.
Thanks for reading,
Red Stripe reminds me of many mediocre American lagers, but it has one distinguishing feature: it costs twice as much as a comparable domestic. Really, I see no point to spending money on this Jamaican brew if one can get two six packs of something equally tasteless like Rolling Rock. Red Stripe is simple and light, it has no particular taste to mark itself by, and I could only understand drinking it in Jamaica, where it is perhaps cheaper and you have nothing to do but sit around on the beach. Kind of like a Mexico/Corona experience. In all seriousness, I would not recommend Red Stripe unless you have money to burn and have tried every other import under the sun. And if you have a hankerin' for something from the Island, buy yourself some Dragon Stout, it's harder to find but so much more worth your cash.
Red Stripe is possibly Jamaica's most popular beer! Its made from the finest ingredients and is combined with that bit of Island attitude as the can says on its side. Island attitude eh, i wonder what that means, coming from Jamaica the Rasta home lands, no it can't be, i wish anyway, no definately not that would be illegal. Still it would be nice to find out that Red Stripe had that traditional Rasta herbel ingredient, shame really! Its a beer thats malty and hopsy, with out being horrible like Carling and other similar lagers. Its 4.7% and comes available in 330ml bottles and 484ml cans (I don't know why 484 but its just 484 oh well), in Jamaica they do short yet very stumpy fat bottles, i don't know whether you can get them over here i have only ever seen the regular bottles and the strange 484ml cans. If you like to drink the likes of Carling, basically a hopsy bitterish tasting beer then this is the best lager for you, even if you don't like Carling like i don't give it a whirl as i think its delightful. Its strength is a bonus as its stronger then carling and say skol, but its not quite as strong as most import premium lagers, its just about right. I can't really describe the lagers taste other than its alot like Carling but its far more easy to drink, when i first encountered the lager it tasted like shandy, it was easy to drink and tasted almost as weak, except it wasn't, its a hell of a lot stronger. Nowadays having more refined taste buds i can safely say that it does have a smooth taste, with a slight bitter tang that is exceptionally refreshing and a dream to drink. I have encountered people who aren't really interested in its refined hopsy taste, they way i see it its a lager in a catagory that usually has loadsa horrible lagers in it but this stands out from its similar lager counterparts and has a serioulsy 'Easy Vibe' that just makes it so so special. Its tends to be ex
pensive about the cheapest i have ever found it is £5 for 8 330ml bottles, and £6 for 8 484ml cans, both offers came from the same shop. I have seen it being sold basically for £1 for a can with no speical offer, and also for around £7.00 ish for 8 cans. So it can be quite pricey and its hard to get hold of, alot of small shops says its too expensive to get it, where as your bigger stores will generally have it in. Its a shame though as i haven't seen this very often at all lately, theres about 3 shops in my town that i know of that sell it. Even Asda don't have it in, they did a while back but they were expensive about £1 per can, so it wasn't exactly trumps up for value! So do as the reasta's do light ya spliff and shill with the Red Stripe, If those Jamaican didn't invent Red Stripe, i would never take life so easy as them, thank you MAN!
Its the classic gig or club beer! Every time I've been to a gig or an indie club in London they've always got this premium lager for sale! But why? It must be because its such a quality beer. Its a strong lager that goes down very smooth. Its got what I'd call a clean crisp distinctive taste, and is perfect served chilled. Without wanting to go all 'Food & Drink' I'd have to say its a great lager. Can't comment on the draught as I've only seen it for sale in cans or bottles. I'd recommend a Red Stripe without hesitation. Although you may only see it at a club or a gig in London! Joking aside, I think all the major supermarkets sell it.
Lager, 4,8 percent Alcohol.