Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bud Ice Review

Brewery: Anheuser-Busch, Inc. | Beer: Bud Ice
Style: American Adjunct Lager | ABV: 5.5% | IBUs: ~10
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into Pilsener glass

Bud IceAh, the North American ice beer. Unlike their bigger German cousins, American and Canadian ice beers are essentially just your typical crappy adjunct lager frozen to remove some of the water and boost the alcohol content a bit. The problem is, when you filter that water out, you end up filtering out yeast cells and protein particles as well, resulting in a more potent, yet less flavorful beer.

Introduced in 1994, Bud Ice is one of the most popular ice beers out there. While it lacks a little of the punch found in the competition, it's claimed to have more flavor. Despite all this, Bud Ice is best known for those "duby duby doo" penguin ads.

Also, for some unknown reason, there's also a light version of Bud Ice. If anyone can explain that one to me, I'll buy you a beer.

Anyway, with the temperature above 100 in Houston today, the ice-shaped bottle is enticing. Let's get to it.

Appearance: A crystal-clear, paler-than-pale straw body with a bubbly white head that burns out rapidly and leaves no lacing.

Aroma: Sweet, grainy malt with the barest hints of hops. Clean and thin.

Taste: It's all grainy, ricey, and slightly sweet malt up front. Then... there's really nothing to back it up. If you go looking for it, you may be able to pick out some grassy hops towards the end, just don't bet on it. The aftertaste is grainy and rather short-lived.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and watery with lots of fizzy carbonation.

Drinkability: The only thing holding you back is the utter blandness of it all.

Verdict: Let's do a mental exercise. I want you to imagine a bottle of Bud Light with a percent more alcohol and perhaps a little more grainy malt. Can you see it? There, now I've saved you from ever bothering to try this. Bleh.

Grade: D-


Royce said...

Ew... I give you a gold star for courage for even drinking this thing, let alone reviewing it.

What kept this from getting an F? By the way I don't know a single person who drinks this. I give it a solid F just for existing.

Unknown said...

You bring up a good point, Royce.

In my book, the only beers that get an F are beers that taste "bad." I don't mean bad in the way you'd usually think when you hear "bad beer," I mean actual nasty flavors.

For example: Bud Ice sucks, but objectively it's just watery and twangy so it gets a D-. Think of that as the neutral point; the score water would get.

Anything below that... well, let's just say if you get an F on PintLog, you really deserved it.

Also, props for being such a loyal reader and commenter.

Larry said...

I notice Miller Light actually has an F rating, back in the college days I actually prefered that to Bud, but Coors always seemed to taste the best (relatively speaking hehe).

I think you need a Busch, Keystone and Milwaukee's Best light review to round out the macro light 6 pack review series.

Great blog btw, inspired both me and the wife to start trying a much wider variety of craft beer than our local micro standbys.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the kind words Larry!

I'm definitely going to get those other light beers up one day. Right now I'm working on a big "non-light" macro roundup, stay tuned :)

troobie said...

Bud Ice is one of the better ice beers. I have found that it's the easiest ice beer to drink due to a lack of real flavor (remotely like Budweiser) and outstanding mouthfeel (dense for an AAL, good carbonation, and not cloying.) The lower ABV and higher price hurt Bud Ice versus other ice beers, but not enough to keep it out of the game.

Unlike Royce I enjoy all beers and give them a chance within their category.

Since we're all handing out letter grades, Bud Ice is a B.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing your opinion troobie!