It’s been a while since I did one of these, mainly due to the fact that I’d rather spend what little money I have at the moment on decent beer. Having said that, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try these two, which I picked up from the IKEA just outside Edinburgh last week. Having read the thoughts about them on Hungerlust, I wasn’t expecting much and my expectations were pretty much met.
First up, the Öl Ljus Lager beer. I was quite surprised by the aroma streaming from the bottle when I opened it. Huge wafts of those classic grassy hop notes appeared the moment the crown cap came off and continued during the pour. I think that initial surge got rid of all of the aroma though, as once it had sat in the glass for a few minutes, that lovely grassiness had pretty much disappeared, to be replaced by some vague soapy notes. It was darker than I thought it was going to be, a lightly burnished copper, rather than the pale and insipid straw colour I had been expecting to fall into the glass.
The taste wasn’t what I was expecting either, it wasn’t that bad, actually better than I was expecting, but just a bit too bland and uninspiring. It definitely leaned just a bit to the sweeter maltier side of things, but without any interesting flavours coming from the malt. There wasn’t enough bitterness either, just enough that you knew they’d showed it some hops, but not enough to give the mouth any sort of a tickle. The after taste was a big let down as well, no lasting flavours or bitterness, just a slightly sad, sweet stale taste, slowly drying the mouth out.
I sometimes find that when I’m presented with a light and a dark lager, I prefer the dark one. I suppose that’s true in this case too, as the Öl Mörk Lager had far more flavour than the Öl Ljus Lager, even though it’s still nothing to get too excited about.
The nose was interesting, with subtle juicy, figgy, stewed fruit type notes; not what I was expecting. I thought there would have been a few more roasted notes in there, but it was all just dark figgy, stewed fruit. The nicest thing about it though, was it lasted, every time I picked the glass up, there were the stewed fruit notes, which was nice.
It was pretty smooth in the mouth, with no real roasted flavours, just more of the same figgy stewed fruit. It’s all sounding a bit one dimensional at the moment, as both the aroma and the taste were pretty close to each other, but it did have a bit of bitterness to liven things up a touch. It started with ever such a slight tingle in the cheeks, before popping above the maltiness to tickle the top of the mouth, it then unfortunately disappeared under the malt, only making a fleeting appearance on subsequent mouthfuls.
While neither of these beers are actually bad, they’re not going to excite anyone, they’re too generic and bland, and for £1.95 for a 330ml bottle, a total fucking rip off. Pardon my French, but they’re only £1.05 via their website, so how they can justify selling them with a 90p mark up in-store I have no idea. Save your money and buy something else instead, I hear the meatballs are good…