Monday, August 9, 2010

Corona Extra Review

Brewery: Grupo Modelo S.A.B. de C.V. | Beer: Corona Extra
Style: American Adjunct Lager | ABV: 4.6% | IBUs: ~10
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into Pilsener glass

Corona ExtraCorona Extra is one of the most popular beers in the world, hands down. And like it or not, for the bulk of the population this single beer has become the default definition of Mexican beer despite the fact that it's essentially identical to the stuff sold in red, white, and blue cans.

With decades of clever marketing behind the brand, not only is Corona the beer most associated with Cinco de Mayo, but it's almost become the official beer of relaxing on a white sand beach. Marketing is a powerful thing, and a lifetime of peaceful beach scenes centered around ice-cold golden beers in beautiful clear bottles clearly works.

One of the most characteristic things about Corona is that clear bottle it's sold in. There's a continuum of beer containers ranging from the perfect UV protection of a can through to the skunk-inviting whisper of protection offered by a clear bottle. Clear bottles look great, but lead to off-flavors (especially in delicate beers like a soft lager); I think the fact this beer is sold in a clear bottle speaks volumes about the quality/image ratio here.

Anyway, I may not have any fresh lime slices on hand, but let's go ahead and dive in.

Appearance: A drastically pale straw body capped by less than a finger of white head that fizzes out rapidly and leaves no lacing.

Aroma: Just a whiff of corny and grainy malt. Meh.

Taste: A grainy malt body accompanied by some slightly skunky hops with notes of lemon and grass. The aftertaste is grainy and clean. At the end of the day, there's nothing offensive here, but really nothing pleasant either.

Mouthfeel: A medium-light body with good carbonation.

Drinkability: All that's holding you back is the way it tastes.

Verdict: Don't be fooled by the Spanish on the bottle, Corona Extra is just another bland and watery American Lager. I'm usually not a big fan of fruit served with beer, but in this one's case a lime certainly can't hurt.

Grade: D

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