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Grolsch = skunky or not?

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Jesse17

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I just bought a 4-pack of Grolsch 'Premium Lager' (for the bottles) and tried it for the first time. My first reaction was 'yuck'. To me, it tasted like a BMC (which I don't mind) but with a...I want to say sour taste. Not really a hoppy bitter taste, but more of a sour taste to it.

I kept thinking that I recognized the tasted from somewhere, and about the 3rd 16ozer. it hit me where I recognized the taste from...Heineken. I've never liked the stuff, but always heard about how 'skunky' it is.

So, I guess what I'm asking is, "Is the 'sour' taste what people refer to as 'skunky beer', or just part of the style?

I did notice that it's in a green bottle like Heineken, so I'm thinking that the 'skunky theory' is a reasonable proposition, as to why they remind me of each other.

What do y'all say on the subject?
 

cclloyd

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I have to agree - Grolsch and Heiney both have a disagreeable "skunked" flavor that I am not at all fond of. I don't know if it's intentional or a byproduct of the green bottle and extended transport under less than ideal conditions. I do know that I'd rather get my Grolsch bottles empty than filled with what they come with.
I almost think it's intended for them to have that flavor because every single one I have ever tasted have all had it. I guess the only way tro really find out is to try it on tap or hmmmm....... go to Amsterdam?
 

Iordz

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Try Heineken in a can, it is quite different, way better. I would say that most imported beers are better in the cans, at least they are not skunked and you can taste the beer.
 

Vermicous

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I've had reasonably fresh grolsch and it's good, not great, but good. However, probably 90% of the bottles I usually get are skunked to some degree.
 

maltMonkey

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Grolsch does = skunky, IMO.

They have a two-fold problem though. They are known for their green bottles, so they can't really change that without a marketing problem. They also make a pretty light generic American Pilsner lager which is the style most likely to skunk. Combine that with the fact that they have to ship it overseas & that it doesn't "move" like BMC off the shelves, and you have a great recipe for skunky beer.

I've tried their Amber, and although it's in a clear bottle it's actually a pretty good brew....ales are much less likely to skunk, IMO.

I have had so many skunked or wet cardboard tasting lagers that it's not even worth it to me to buy an "off-brand" lager anymore....not that I even care for that style anyway.

I bought $150 worth of Russian/Czech/Lithunia/any_other_country_you_can_imagine beers (seems they are mainly lagers) and so far they have all been horrible. I am trying to be fair when I judge them because I would bet my house that they have been on the shelf I found them on for at least a year......

I would really like to try Grolsch & many other beers fresh from the brewery.....
 
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Jesse17

Jesse17

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arturo7 said:
At least you've got 4 new swing-tops.
+1

I noticed that it's not really bad at all, if used to chase a shot of tequila.:drunk:

I may have to get more tequila and more Grolsh this weekend.:ban: (just for the bottles of course);)
 

Kevin Dean

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I've got a small wall of Groslh bottles behind me. I keg and have a BMBF and stopper to fit them. That combo really can't be beat, IMO.

That said, I've had skunky Grolsh from crappy beer stores and well kept beer stores offer "good" Grolsh.

The skunking is because it comes in a green bottle and was exposed to light. Brown bottles do a better job of reducing the light that gets through. This is something that could happen to all beer, mishandled.

Grolsh when it's "good" is very similar to BMC, actually.
 
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Jesse17

Jesse17

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Kevin Dean said:
That said, I've had skunky Grolsh from crappy beer stores and well kept beer stores offer "good" Grolsh.

The skunking is because it comes in a green bottle and was exposed to light. Brown bottles do a better job of reducing the light that gets through. This is something that could happen to all beer, mishandled.

Grolsh when it's "good" is very similar to BMC, actually.
I noticed it's similarity to BMC, what I was really asking is, Is the kind of sour taste what everyone refers to as 'skunky'?

I got it at a local grociery store, because that's the closes thing to a beer store in my town. I'm sure it's sat on the shelf for a while, as I think all non BMC does in this town. And naturely, it was on the front of the top shelf, about 6" from the florecent tube style light in the beer case.
 

rdwj

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Iordz said:
Try Heineken in a can, it is quite different, way better. I would say that most imported beers are better in the cans, at least they are not skunked and you can taste the beer.
I like the mini-kegs despite the horrific commercials. It's AMAZING how smooth Heineken is when it isn't skunked. I'm never had a Grolsch that wasn't skunked to high-heaven. What's funny is that lots of people actually get used to the skunk flavor and attribute it to "good" import flavor.
 

Kevin Dean

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Jesse17 said:
Is the kind of sour taste what everyone refers to as 'skunky'?
Personally, I think skunky is about as it gets to a description. Skunky is like dead skunk + a grassy smell/taste in the sinus. Sour is pretty far from how I'd describe skunky. Sour would be more like the biting aspects of vinegar...
 

Junebug

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Kevin Dean said:
Personally, I think skunky is about as it gets to a description. Skunky is like dead skunk + a grassy smell/taste in the sinus. Sour is pretty far from how I'd describe skunky. Sour would be more like the biting aspects of vinegar...
I agree. Skunky tastes just like evil skunk spray smells. I've learned my lesson and I never purchase beer in green or clear bottles.
 

DeathBrewer

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Kevin Dean said:
Personally, I think skunky is about as it gets to a description. Skunky is like dead skunk + a grassy smell/taste in the sinus. Sour is pretty far from how I'd describe skunky. Sour would be more like the biting aspects of vinegar...
yeah, i wouldn't describe it as sour. Skunky or ****ty will work :D
 

uglygoat

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i've found the european lagers shipped to us in the states do better when you buy them by the twelve pack. they're usually in a sealed cardboard box, and don't get the light exposure a six pack or pack of swing tops will get. the stuff made for the states is different i suspect than what is served fresh over there. i think us based straub makes better pilsner styles than grolsh or hieney any day.
 

BrianP

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I've had mostly un-skunked Grolsch. A good beer store who pays attention to storage and has a good turnover is your best bet.

If you can find it, there are other good European beers in amber flip tops.
 

Pugilist

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I really dislike Grolsch and Heineken, as I have never tasted one that didnt have at least SOME skunky flavor to it.
 

cclloyd

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uglygoat said:
i've found the european lagers shipped to us in the states do better when you buy them by the twelve pack. they're usually in a sealed cardboard box, and don't get the light exposure a six pack or pack of swing tops will get. the stuff made for the states is different i suspect than what is served fresh over there. i think us based straub makes better pilsner styles than grolsh or hieney any day.
I think you're right on this one - I buy Stella pretty regularly - it comes in a sealed cardboard 12'er and I have had minimal skunkery with those.
 

beenjammin

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drinking grolsch in holland makes a world of difference...having lived there for a few years i can definately say that it is not bmc...not amazing, but not bmc...skunked or not, drinking imported beer never seems to be as good as drinking in situ (meaning its birthplace). you can't really experience a beer separate from space and time. sorry, anthropology student been drinking...
 

boo boo

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The Glolsch and Heiniken and other euro lagers we get here are fine in a can but do tend to be skunky when in bottle. I wonder if the sour taste you got was just the dryness and bitterness from that style. I have PU in bottle and it isn't skunked but rather the dryness and maltyness are blended with the hop bitterness to give a sort of sour taste. YMMV.
 
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