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Sainsbury's Basics Bitter

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2 Reviews

Brand: Sainsburys / Type: Soft drink

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    2 Reviews
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    • More +
      21.08.2011 08:52
      Very helpful



      For those who are happy to trade quality for value

      Last night we had an Indian - it was actually leftovers from Friday night when we were defeated by quantity. Now lager is generally the drink of choice amongst blokes when they are eating a curry, but I tend to not drink during a meal - I like to eat, savour, digest and then have a drink.

      So it was with full belly but fiery mouth that I considered what options were available to me. I had bought some Crabbies Ginger Beer for the first time earlier that day, but it seemed to me that might lead to taste bud war - too much of a conflict with The Jalfrezi Warriors, so ignoring two other choices - Grolsch and Pear Cider, I found a sorry looking orange and white can - the one remaining from a 4 pack of Basics Bitter at the back of my beer cupboard.

      Wanting merely to slake my thirst (I had not, nor have ever had, anything else requiring to be slaked) rather than have a deep meaningful experience with my beer, I elected to give it a go. If nothing else it would then release that lovely piece of retaining plastic which holds the cans together and for which I have yet to find an alternative legitimate use.

      I had bought this pack several weeks ago, along with a similar pack of Basics lager (previously reviewed) and had actually enjoyed it a bit more than the lager. Both had been on summer offer in Sainsbury's at £1.00 for 4 cans. They are now both priced at £1.20.

      So, I grabbed the can, opened it up and began to drink.

      It wasn't very cold, but never mind. The can is extremely thin and doesn't spell quality (It spells can). I drank this one from the can, but on the earlier cans which I had poured into a glass, I remember that any head was thin and short-lived.

      It isn't very fizzy and it doesn't have a strong taste at all - not at all hoppy or malty or in any way interesting.............but it did taste like beer and in any blind taste test, I might not have guessed it was from a value range.

      The strap-line on the Basics familiar orange and white tin tells me that this is a lot less bitter and indeed, that is a very good way to describe it. It's rather like when, as a lad, you have your first taste of beer - which as a spotty youth tastes absolutely foul but you're supposed to like it so you pretend that it tastes great.

      It is rather thin and lacking body and after the initial refreshing feeling, it didn't score any further points against The Jalfrezi Warriors who went on to win every swallowing round until the can was finished.

      That said, it did contribute in providing me with that nice satiated feeling when, with distended stomach, you lie prostrate on the couch and fall asleep in front of Who Wants to Be a Celebrity Millionaire, wondering why Michelle Collins chose to wear that silly backless dress and whether, given the chance..... would you? ....could you?.

      Any regulars in the Rovers Return would reject this drink on first taste and it's no match for Newton and Ridley, I'm sure. That said, it does have two redeeming features:

      * It's very cheap
      * It has only 2.1% alcohol by volume

      We don't always drink beer to get drunk and it doesn't make a lot of sense to drink really expensive beer whose subtlety of taste will be lost in the curry mix. At least after one can, you don't feel inclined to open another so that's probably a good thing.

      I can't say this was a hugely exciting beer to drink, but I would buy it again just for those times when you need a good long thirst-quenching drink .

      At 30p or less for a 440ml can, it's a lot less expensive than most cans of pop, so I will generously and unashamedly award 3 dooyoo stars.


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    • More +
      31.03.2011 01:51
      Very helpful



      Not for me!

      Although I don't drink very much alcohol I always like to have some cool beers in my fridge 'just in case'. Saving up at the moment as I'm going away for Easter and have lots of eggs to buy people etc I decided the other night when I was in Sainsburys to give these a go as they only cost £1.02 for four of them!

      The Packaging:

      What you get are 4 cans that are white and orange in colour and each can holds 440ml and each one has a ring-pull to the top of it. On the front and on the back of the can we are told that they are Sainsbury's 'Basics' Bitter 'A bit less bitter' there is a picture scribbled on of a glass and we are told that each can contains 2.1 % vol. Other information given on the can includes being told that a can contains 0.9 units, the size of the can is stated (as I have listed already), we are told that it is suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians and contact details for Sainsbury's are given. Its a really, really cheapo looking can but I couldn't wait to try it out and had high hopes that it was a bit of a hidden gem.

      The Bitter:

      Well pouring it out (although I was really careful!) it was really foamy and had a bitter like aroma to it. It took a couple of minutes for the foam to settle and what I was left with was about 1 pint of a rather flat, dark and transparent bitter with a small amount a hop fragrance to it but nothing really.

      On the front of the can we are told that this is 'A bit less bitter' to me that isn't really true. It lacks body and life within it and it is rather flat from the moment it is poured but it is tangy and bitter with a sort of tinny taste to it that lingers in the mouth for ages after it is consumed.

      Both me and my flatmate thought this was cheap, inferior alcohol that was worth no more than the amount paid for it. Low in alcohol with no life and cheap packaging, the only way we managed to consume any of it was with some lime cordial added...other than that it wasn't for us.

      No ingredients or nutritional values are given on the can by the way which I thought was unusual but they that keeps in line with a cheap product idea I guess!

      Only available in Sainsbury's stores.


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