Saturday, August 15, 2009

Kenya's Tusker and France's Desperados

Yes, you are in luck today. I'm also going to do a couple of beer reviews. I mean, I may as well, I'm drinking anyway. This is Tusker, the national beer of Kenya. This is the first African beer I've ever drank, and it's not bad at all. At 4.2% it's not the strongest lager in the world, but it's got a surprisingly robust flavour for how light it is. It's a pleasant dim amber colour and probably fits heavily into the 'thirst-quencher' category that a lot of beers from warmer climes tend to abide to. In a way, its quite similar to Keo, although I think that Cypriot beer may well be quite a bit stronger. Anyway. I like it a lot. Good fact about Tusker that I learned by reading the back of the bottle: Did you know that Tusker was the name the elephant that killed George Hurst, one of the founders of the brewery. And for some reason they saw fit to immortalise the homicidal pachyderm by naming the beer after it.

Let's be honest. Desperados is a girl's drink. I don't care if it's 5.9%, has tequila in it, or has a tough, Mexican wanted poster typeface on the bottle. El Mariachi or even Inspector Yuen from Hard Boiled would probably spit it out if they drank it. It tastes like Babycham. It pretends to be Mexican, when it's not, and it pretends to be a guy's drink, when it's not. It's a girl's drink. Fact. I'm just telling you this to put the review in context. I don't dislike it, the limeyness is pleasant, and it goes down very easily. It is very noticably intoxicating though, even though you can't really taste the tequila in it. There's also something very dry about it, putting it firmly in the 'drink to get pissed' rather than 'thirst quencher' category, which is what I like about Corona and Sol, the beers that Desperados seems desperate to ape, albeit in a much stronger way. Put it this way - I would buy a crate of this if I was trying to get blazing, but not just for the pleasure of drinking. Having said that, I gave one of the bottles to my wife and she said it was the best beer she had ever tasted. Ergo: girl's drink.


Neil said...

I think they make a stronger export version of Tusker as well, although I've never had it.

There are two situations when a man can drink Desperados; while tucking into tasty fajitas made with Lupe Pintos' legendary guacamole, and while drinking at altitude in a French ski resort (you're only allowed to do it in French ski resorts, there's no excuses in Austria or Switzerland). You can get it draft and in 5 litre party kegs, although both are usually a bad idea.

The people who make Desperados also make another beer fortified with whisky instead of tequila, it's truly awful. I keep forgetting and end up buying a bottle every couple of years.

Kaki said...

I loved Desperados - hands down the best beer I ever tasted. And I happen to be a girl. Sue me.

C7 said...

I'd like to hear about your plans for a weak suicide attempt after Oasis broke up. Is this finally the end of Cool Britannia?

Blackwood said...

Fuck Oasis. It's about time.