I should start calling this the “Green Bottle Review Session,” but here we are. We’re going to review a Stella Artois that I happened to find without the case punctured—no holes in it, so there should be no light that has gotten to it. As you can see, it pours fairly nice, as you would expect; nice carbonation with the bubbles; head retention’s moderate—went away fairly quickly, but it does leave a little white tiny head on the top.
Let’s get some aroma here … mainly getting some malt, that’s about it. There could be a tiny hint of skunk, which leads me to believe that, maybe, something in the way they produce these in the factory lets the UV light in them, but I’m not sure. Mostly malt is all I’m getting; I’m getting no hop at all on this.
The flavor—again, I’m getting that undercurrent of a little bit of skunkiness, very tiny amount. I do get a lot of malt, but it goes into a little bit of hop bitterness. Stays pretty malty with a slight, slight bit of hop bitterness to it; I don’t really get any hop flavor.
Get another little aroma here since it warmed up a bit … still nothing but malt, to me. Could be a tiny, tiny hint of some floral hop on there.
Again, I’m getting some malt in the flavor, but I do get this tiniest hint of skunk, which leads me to just wonder—I’m not sure what their packaging procedures are, or how it got skunky, but somehow it did. I can guarantee that package was sealed, or I wouldn’t have bought it, because I don’t need to prove to myself that green bottles get skunky.
My impression of this beer is it’s definitely a lot better than the skunky ones you get—not as good as the stuff I had when I was over in Antwerp. I’d probably give this about a thirty out of fifty. It’s not terrible. The skunk is not really overpowering. Like I say, I barely get it. Not a great example of this beer, because I know it tastes a lot better in Belgium.
There is actually, now that I’ve had it for a little bit in my mouth—I’m getting a tiny bit of paper. I should have checked the date on that one. I don’t have the box anymore, but I don’t believe it was out of date. One thing to look out for is—when you’re buying beer, especially beers that you don’t want to age, if they have a date on them, and most European beers will have that, just make sure it’s not expired. The closer you get to fresh, the better.
I’d basically say it’s drinkable, but certainly not like I remember it. Again, green bottle beer is terrible. I wish these marketing people would get that in their thick heads and let the brew masters tell them, “We don’t want any more green bottles.” They look stupid. Everybody knows now in America that green beer sucks, so let’s start putting your good beer in a good container.