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Karlovačko Laganini

October 16, 2015 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.45

My last review of a radler beer for quite some time now, probably until my next trip somewhere warm I would imagine but it’s probably not a style that I’ll miss all that much to be honest. This one is another from the Karlovaċka brewery in Croatia, my sixth overall from them and one following hot on the heels of their Limun variety that I added here a short time ago. This one is the lime variant of the brewery’s radler and is yet another I managed to pick up at a local supermarket in Rovinj on the Istrian peninsula near the end of my trip to Croatia and the surrounding areas. It was one I was surprised to find so close to the end of my trip, I thought I’d managed to pick up all of the radlers available in Croatia but apparently I’d missed this one so it would have been a shame not to grab a can despite the fact I wasn’t holding out much hope for it to be a good one.

Karlovacko Laganini

Appearance (2/5): Quite a cloudy looking and very light yellow coloured beer with a half centimetre tall head that is partially foamy and fades to nothing after about fifteen seconds.
Aroma (4/10): There is a surprising amount of lemon coming through to kick this one-off, the advertised lime from the wording on the can is there but to be honest it takes somewhat of a back seat to the lemons. There’s a few other citrus notes coming through as well and I could detect an artificial sweetness that features the odd herbal note but not much beyond that.
Taste (5/10): The taste follows in a similar vein to the nose with the lemons seemingly a little stronger than the limes but the gap is a little closer here at least. There was some strong citrus notes and a lot of sugars coming through to give a very sweet taste that was only hinted at by the nose. There was the odd grassy hop with some hay and corn to see things out.
Palate (3/5): This one was quite a light bodied beer with a thin but not overly watery feel that helped keep the beer smooth on the way down. There was plenty of sweetness but it did seem a little artificial at times and there was only a touch of bitterness coming through. This one was very much like a soft drink on the palate with no alcohol showing and a fairly refreshing feel.

Overall (11/20): Another radler, another fairly forgettable one. This offering was quite an average one from Karlovaċka with a surprising amount of lemons coming through with both the taste and smell for what was apparently a lime flavoured beer. There was still some lime in the mix but it seemed secondary to the lime and there wasn’t a whole lot going on beyond that with the taste seeming a touch artificial and overdone but it was at least slightly refreshing offering.

Brewed In: Karlovac, Croatia
Brewery: Karlovaċka Pivovara
First Brewed: circa. 2014
Full Name: Karlovačko Natur Radler Laganini
Type: Fruit Beer
Abv: 2.0%
Serving: Can (500ml)
Purchased: Konzum (Croatia)
Price: 8.99 kuna (approx. £0.87)

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Karlovačko Limun

October 16, 2015 1 comment

Rating: 2.05

One of the last few radlers I have to review from my recent visits to Croatia and Slovenia over the summer, this one is the penultimate review I believe and is one that I managed to sample when in the Istrian town of Rovinj in the north-west of Croatia. I picked up a bottle at one of the local supermarkets in the town after realising it was one of the few that I hadn’t already tried after two weeks in the region, it’ll actually be my fifth beer from the Karlovačko brewery but the final radler I have to review is also from them so I’m not quite done just yet.

Karlovacko Limun

Appearance (2/5): This one is the usual light yellow colour with it sitting in the glass looking like cloudy lemonade. It started with quite a thin, foamy white head that disappeared almost instantly and there was plenty of visible carbonation.
Aroma (4/10): Naturally quite a strong lemon aroma that was artificial smelling with plenty of sweetness coming through off the back of it. There was some sugars and a touch of lime but no sign of any hops. There was a light bitterness and the odd herbal note towards the end but the lemons definitely dominated.
Taste (4/10): Sweet tasting to start with a huge amount of sugar alongside the lemons that still seemed to shine through strongest. There was some lime again and the taste felt artificial with some light bitterness to go with the citrus and faint hay flavours.
Palate (2/5): Smooth but very light bodied and thin with a sticky sweet but artificial taste that came with a lot of acidity. There was a background bitterness to proceedings and quite a lot of carbonation too but it wasn’t as refreshing as some of the other radlers I sampled on the same trip.

Overall (9/20): This one turned out to be quite a poor offering in truth, it didn’t come anywhere near the heights of a few better radlers I tried over the summer and it didn’t prove to be all that refreshing either sadly. Naturally the lemons dominated but there seemed to be a huge amount of sugar too and on top of that the beer seemed quite artificial; definitely not one I’ll be looking out for again I’m afraid.

Brewed In: Karlovac, Croatia
Brewery: Karlovaċka Pivovara
First Brewed: circa. 2011
Full Name: Karlovaċko Natur Radler Limun
Type: Fruit Beer
Abv: 2.0%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Konzum (Croatia)
Price: 8.99 kuna (approx. £0.87)

San Servolo Tamno Pivo

October 13, 2015 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.7

The third and final San Servolo beer that I have to review now and one that follows quickly on from their flagship pilsner and their Premium Crveno Pivo, both of which I reviewed here previously with me really enjoying the former but finding the later to be a slight disappointment when compared to the pilsner. This one is a dark lager from the Bujska brewery and is another I had in the Mediterraneo Bar after discovering them to be one of the few places in Rovinj to stock this variant of the beer. This was one that I had high hopes for when ordering as I’d found over the course of my visit to Croatia and the surrounding areas that dark beers tend to be of a slightly better standard than a lot of the pale lagers you come across and given  I enjoyed this brewery’s pale lager quite a bit I was fairly confident of getting a good beer with this one.

San Servolo Tamno Pivo

Appearance (4/5): Dark caramel brown looking with a one centimetre head that is foamy and sits a light tan colour in the glass. Head retention is okay with the head halving in size over the course of the opening thirty to forty seconds and the body is an opaque one.
Aroma (7/10): The nose starts with some lightly roasted caramel malts and touches of sweetness before some burnt sugars and a faint chocolate aroma make themselves known. I could detect some light bitterness throughout but it was most pronounced right at the end. The beer seemed quite well balanced on the nose and also a quite earthy.
Taste (7/10): Matching the nose well, the taste kicks off with some lightly roasted malts and a pleasant caramel sweetness alongside touches of chocolate but this seemed to be even lighter here than with the nose. There was some bread and biscuit like flavours coming through with a faint hint of brown sugar and some earthy, quite nutty flavours as well. Some grain and toffee start to come through right at the end and the beer is a good tasting one yet I couldn’t help but feel it would have been better had it been a little stronger.
Palate (4/5): Light bodied but definitely not a thin beer on the palate, there was some touches of grain but for the most part it was a smooth beer with nice sweetness throughout and a fairly earthy, bitter one as well. There was fine carbonation and the balance seemed good, particularly with the nose making this one quite an easy beer to drink.

Overall (14/20): This one proved to be a fairly enjoyable dark lager, it was perhaps a touch light but there was some pleasant touches of chocolate coming through alongside quite an earthy taste that featured some pleasant roasted malts. It was a fairly easy beer to drink whilst not being quite as good as the brewery’s pilsner but I still enjoyed it.

Brewed In: Buje, Istria, Croatia
Brewery: Bujska Pivovara
First Brewed: circa. 2014
Type: Schwarzbier
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Mediterraneo Bar, Rovinj, Croatia
Price: 37 kuna (approx. £3.58)

San Servolo Premium Crveno Pivo

October 13, 2015 1 comment

Rating: 2.95

The second of three San Servolo beers from the Bujska brewery that I plan to review here now, this one being the Vienna lager of the set and one that follows on from their flagship Czech pilsner that I reviewed here and quite enjoyed previously. Again this is another from the Istrian based brewery that I tried back in August on my last few days in Croatia, while I was based in the seaside town of Rovinj. After trying the main beer from the brewery and liking it I knew this was one that I’d have to look out for and try before heading back home so I made a second visit to the Mediterraneo Bar on the rocks above the beach in Rovinj to try this second San Servolo offering in as many days since it was the only place I’d seen this variety of the beer available; here;s what I thought of this one anyway.

San Servolo Premium Crveno Pivo

Appearance (4/5): Caramel amber with the odd red tinge coming through, this one had a cloudy body and was topped with a centimetre and a half tall head that was foamy white and settled to about half its original size after roughly one minute.
Aroma (5/10): The nose of this one was quite light in truth, there was some light caramel and a few pale malts to start things off before some sweetness from various sugars made an appearance. There was a few background fruits in there as well but it was all a little weak on the nose for my liking I’m afraid.
Taste (5/10): Following on in a similar fashion to the nose, this one also tasted quite faint and wasn’t overly pronounced with the pale malts starting things off here too. There was again some light sugars to add a little sweetness and I got some subtle fruits making themselves known together with some grain and faint grassy hops but it seemed quite bland and faded off to nothing towards the end.
Palate (3/5): The beer had a light-medium body and was well carbonated but as I’ve already mentioned, it was also quite a bland and boring beer with touches of bitterness coming through but nothing to grab your attention. It was easy to drink but also unimaginative and not that enjoyable on the way down.

Overall (11/20): This one was a beer that proved to be quite a disappointing effort, particularly when compared the same brewery’s Czech pilsner that I reviewed here previously. Despite being drinkable, this one was fairly weak and very bland with not enough strength coming from either the aroma or the taste to be honest. I got some nice pale malts and the odd bit of bitterness early on but things faded fast and left me disappointed; definitely a beer that I was expecting a lot more of.

Brewed In: Buje, Istria, Croatia
Brewery: Bujska Pivovara
First Brewed: 2013
Type: Vienna Lager
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Mediterraneo Bar, Rovinj, Croatia
Price: 37 kuna (approx. £3.58)

San Servolo Svijetlo Pivo

October 13, 2015 2 comments

Rating: 3.8

The first of three San Servolo beers that I managed to sample whilst in Rovinj on the Istrian peninsula of Croatia over the summer, this one being their Czech pilsner variety. The beers are all from the Bujska brewery based in the town of Buje on the peninsula and are ones that I became aware of when I first arrived in Pula on the first night of my holiday but I only managed to sample any of them for the first time two weeks later when I arrived in the Istrian town of Rovinj later on my trip. As it turned out, the San Servolo beers only appear to be widely available in Istria as I was able to spot them at the odd bar in Zagreb but they definitely were not as popular as the were in Rovinj and particularly Pula. From what I can gather, this particular offering was introduced in early 2013 and is naturally the most popular of the brewery’s beers. I was able to sample this one (along with two more of the brewery’s offerings) at the Mediterraneo Bar in Rovinj towards the end of my trip and I’m quite glad I was able to give them all a go.

San Servolo Svijetlo Pivo

Appearance (4/5): Golden coloured with a very slightly cloudy body and  ahalf centimetre tall, foamy white head that holds well for the first minute or so before starting to fade and turn a little patchy.
Aroma (7/10): Fresh grassy hops come through well as the start and are followed by some hay and light malts. There is some decent strength citrus notes in the background as well as a light bitterness and pale malts towards the end.
Taste (7/10): Pale malts and quite a fresh lager taste start things off here, there’s touches of citrus and some hay following on soon after with a subtle taste of corn in there as well. The beer is fresh but not overly complex, it’s just a very nice Croatian lager.
Palate (4/5): Smooth with a light medium body and very fresh on the palate with some subtle bitterness coming through and quite a good balance overall. Refreshing to drink in the sun and there was no sign of any skunk or off-flavours making it a surprisingly good and easy to drink beer.

Overall (16/20): This one was a very nice and highly enjoyable Croatian lager that was easily one of the beer of the style that I managed to try whilst in the country. The beer was smooth, fresh and easy to drink with a nice balance despite it not being the most varied or complex tasting beer that I had in Croatia; a good beer and one well worth trying.

Brewed In: Buje, Istria, Croatia
Brewery: Bujska Pivovara
First Brewed: 2013
Type: Czech Pilsner
Abv: 5.0%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Mediterraneo Bar, Rovinj, Croatia
Price: 35 kuna (approx. £3.38)

Ožujsko Rezano

September 11, 2015 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.35

Another from my time in Zagreb now, I’m very slowly making my way through the backlog of beers I tried over the summer that I’ve still to review here. This one will be my sixth beer from Zagrebačka Pivovara and is actually a mix of two beers from them that I’ve reviewed here previously. After trying this one I discovered that it is made up from a mix that consists of 60% Ožujsko Pivo and 40% Tomislav Pivo, the later of which I’ve been a fan of ever since I first tried it in Split a few years ago. I had initially assumed when I picked this one up that it’d be similar beer to Tomislav Pivo, especially since they’re both from the same brewery but it seemed something at least a little different when I tried it which is always nice when travelling since pale lagers make up the bulk of the selection available.

Ožujsko Rezano

Appearance (4/5): Caramel brown and slightly lighter than I’d expected, the beer looks a lot like a Vienna style lager and comes with a clear body that is topped with a foamy, slightly off-white head settling to thin surface lacing after about a minute.
Aroma (6/10): This one starts with some caramel malts and a little toffee that accompany some burnt sugars and give the beer a sweet aroma. There is a few medium strength malts and touches of grain around the middle before some faint background fruits make an appearance. The beer wasn’t a bad one on the nose but I felt it would have benefited from being a little stronger.
Taste (7/10): Matching the nose well, this one starts with a caramel malt taste backed up with plenty of brown sugars and a few roasted malts. There was some burnt flavours and toffee coming through after that and I managed to detect some subtle hops and sweetness towards the end.
Palate (3/5): There was some grains to this one but for the most part it was quite a smooth beer with a sweet feel and a decent balance. There was a slight tang to proceedings and carbonation levels were about medium, sitting on top of a light-medium body and coming just before a dry, slightly bitter finish.

Overall (13/20): Not quite as dark a beer as I’d been expecting when compared to some dark beers I’ve tried of late, perhaps down to it being 60% Ožujsko Pivo. There was some nice caramel notes and flavours coming through alongside a decent amount of sweetness but it’s not one that struck me as being a classic beer and I’d probably opt for a Tomislav Tamno over this one everytime.

Brewed In: Zagreb, Croatia
Brewery: Zagrebačka Pivovara
First Brewed: Brewery since 1892
Type: Dunkel (Dark Lager)
Abv: 5.9%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Prehrana Trgovina (Zagreb)
Price: 7.99 kuna (approx. £0.77)

Velebitsko Tamno

September 11, 2015 Leave a comment

Rating: 3.75

Another Croatian beer now, this one is a dunkel from Gospić in the Lika region of the country and is one that I tried a couple of times whilst in Croatia recently. I first picked a bottle of the beer up from a Spar supermarket in Zagreb early on in my trip after being intrigued by the fairly old styled label on the bottle and that fact that is worked out at under 80p when I bought it. The beer is from the Ličanka brewery which was founded in 1997 and comes in at a respectable 6% abv. having been 5.1% up until 2010. The beer is brewed following the Reinheitsgebot and is one of two main beers from the brewery, their pale lager being the other but I never had am opportunity to try that one this time round sadly.

Velebitsko Tamno

Appearance (4/5): Dark chocolate brown with a finger-sized, tan brown head that turns into a foamy surface layer after a minute or so and has the odd patchy spot as well.
Aroma (7/10): Lightly roasted malts and some caramel give the nose a fairly sweet start with some darker, ripe fruits following soon after. There’s a few sugars making an appearance and I could detect some faint coffee and subtle hops around the middle and towards the end. There was some burnt toffee towards the close and the balance seemed to be a good one.
Taste (7/10): Roasted malts and some dark fruits kick things off before some caramel comes through an imparts some sweetness. There is some burnt sugars and earthy malts around the middle before some toffee sees things out.
Palate (4/5): Creamy, smooth and quite rich on the palate with a good balance and some nice sweetness throughout. The beer was easy to drink with some touches of bitterness and subtle carbonation levels on top of a medium to full body.

Overall (15/20): This one was a very nice dark lager, there was a good roasted malt taste and plenty of sweetness throughout as well as some nice bitterness to help balance things out. The beer had plenty of flavour but thankfully didn’t overpower and it was easy to drink, part of the reason I picked it up more than once whilst in Croatia.

Brewed In: Gospić, Lika, Croatia
Brewery: Pivovara Ličanka
First Brewed: Brewery since 1997
Type: Dunkel (Dark Lager)
Abv: 6.0%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Spar (Zagreb)
Price: 7.99 kuna (approx. £0.77)