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21-02-2011, 09:00
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With a lack of great bargains on the big lout boxes my perusal of the smaller beer unit packages at half price went beyond trying the relatively new Bud 4% (http://cookinglager.blogspot.com/2011/02/budweiser-66.html), and into the old school charm of Holsten Pils. Holsten is a beer I haven’t drank for years. I remember it being quite heavily advertised on TV when I was a child by the likes of American actor Jeff Goldblum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Goldblum), who succeeded in giving the impression of a rather sophisticated drink for the discerning beer swiller. I think these were replaced by a more humorous campaign involving the clever editing of old movies interspersed with scenes of a contemporary comedian. It’s all on you tube here (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Holsten+Pils) if you fancy a bit of nostalgia.

I’d all but forgotten the beer existed until seeing the film “This is England (http://www.thisisenglandmovie.co.uk/)” on TV. The presumably authentic representation of the 1980’s had many characters necking cans of Holsten Pils as an iconic 80’s brand. When a four pack turned up half price, I was only ever going to remind myself of the beer.

The can informs me on the label it is brewed in Hamburg but in the small print “the EU”

See wiki here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holsten_Brewery),

Holsten is specially produced in Germany (since 1879), but it may be produced by other Carlsberg companies around the world.

The can also contains the spurious bullshit that due to an enhanced fermentation process more sugars turn to alcohol. Also that the beer is lower in Carbs than other leading lagers. Interestingly it is a Carlsberg product and in the great game of being the purest lager it lays claim to only 3 ingredients, water, malted barley & hops. There really needs to be consistency with beer ingredient labelling but heh, the grog is cheap.

An older friend tells me the beer used to far stronger than the 5% it currently is. Certainly when I last drank it, it was 5.5%. My friend informs me it used to be 6%+ but I have no way of confirming this. If it is not on Google it never happened. Further to this my memory of the beer was one of being a crisp clean pilsner lager with the crisp bitterness you expect from a pils.

In its current form the beer is a little lacking on the nose with a taste that lacks the expected bitterness. The lack of a sharp crisp bite is followed by a rounded after taste of dryness but is lacking any body. It fails to make its mark as the beer I remember or being a lout that is in any way up to the standard of current 5% louts on the market. Most of the current 5% louts from Carlsberg Export; Grolsch & Becks have more going for them than this. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t bad, just a drinkable grog that is nowt special on the market. If it stays half price I might do it again.

It is certainly a pity that Carlsberg haven’t done anything with this brand. Reducing it to 5% and reducing its flavour has put it in a category that does nothing for it. Failure to invest in marketing the brand makes it a forgotten retro brand rather than contemporary continental lout. Maybe there isn’t a market for lout above 5%, maybe that’s tramp territory, but there doesn’t appear much of a market for it at 5%

Like running into an old girlfriend. At first you might be pleased to see her, then you remember why you broke up and exchanging a few pleasantries before going your separate ways is the best possible outcome. She's put on a bit of weight since you last saw her and not really the bird you remember. You certainly don't want to hit the sack with the girl.


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