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Bintang Pilsner (351 of 1001)

June 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Rating: 2.7

My first ever Indonesian beer now and one that I’ve actually been looking for since I first started working through the beers in the 1001 book. This is a beer that I assumed would be relatively straight forward and easy to pick up in southeast Asia but on my last trip there a couple of years ago there was no sign of it in Singapore, Malaysia or Thailand; I’d didn’t search too hard but I’d thought it would be available everywhere and sadly it was not. The beer is the main one brewed in Indonesia and yet I only managed to pick it up recently when Morrison’s started stocking but it’s better late than never I guess. Brewed in the country since 1930 when Indonesia was still under Dutch rule, the beer is effectively a localised version of Heineken and the brewery is still owned by them so the taste is said to be quite similar so I’m not as hopeful for this one as I was before finding that out.

Appearance (3/5): Medium to light amber in colour but probably not as light as I’d be expecting given it’s a macro pale lager hailing from Asia. The head was a relatively thin, bubbly one that sat a white colour in the glass and initially covered the surface well before starting to turn a little patchy around the edges after thirty seconds or so; there was a touch more build up around the edges through and the beer was a clear one. 3.5
Aroma (4/10): Fairly standard on the nose for the style in the early going, there was some basic grassy notes and a little skunk coming through in the early going whilst some citrus notes were hinted at but never really materialised. The beer was somewhat fresh with the odd lager malt and some earthy hops going but there wasn’t a whole lot going on. Around the middle and towards the end of the beer a hay aroma and faint biscuit started to come through but it was hard to distinguish between smells at times and the grassy notes seemed to dominate for the most part. 2.25
Taste (5/10): Again a basic lager taste that matches the nose closely, there was some grassy flavours and a little corn to open things up before some of the faint citrus touches from the nose started to come through but again they were weak. There was some background biscuit and hay nearer the middle with a bit of vegetable adjunct in there as well but thankfully the skunky flavours were kept to a minimum. The beer was faintly hoppy, mainly from the grassy flavours and the odd bit of grain showed as well but it was nothing to write home about. 2.25
Palate (3/5): This one can only be described as a very light bodied beer that bordered on thin and bland, although it was relatively well carbonated and had a crisp feel that you could easily imagine being refreshing in the Indonesian sun. It’s not got a whole lot going for it and there wasn’t much variety coming through but it was easy to drink with the skunky flavours appearing only briefly and there wasn’t much in the way of offensive flavours beyond them. 2.5

Overall (12/20): This one is pretty much what I’d been expecting when I picked it up, it was an easy going and somewhat refreshing pale lager that could easily be described and basic and bland but definitely not offensive. It was easy to drink without much in the way of flavour showing, some lager malts and the odd grassy flavours were about it really but I won’t complain too much since the beer serves a purpose. I can’t imagine it will be a beer I’d pick up again unless I manage to visit Indonesia, and if I do then I’ll probably end up drinking it 24/7 over there; it’s also not the worse Asian beer I’ve tried which has to count for something.

Brewed In: Surabaya, Central Java, Indonesia
Brewery: PT Multi Bintang
First Brewed: 1930
Full Name: Bir Bintang Pilsner
Type: Pale Lager
Abv: 4.7%
Serving: Bottle (620ml)
Purchased: Morrison’s (Glasgow)
Price: £1.67