Friday, April 4, 2014

BBC Brewing Horse Piss Beer (7/10)

It’s a common insult in some parts of the world to tell someone that a beer “tastes like horse piss” when it’s not very pleasant.  Bluegrass Brewing Company (BBC, not to be confused with the British television network) of Louisville, Kentucky, decided to take that insult and turn it into a product.  Yes, gentle reader, it’s possible to drink an honest-to-goodness beer called “Horse Piss” and this is it.
The web site (linked above) says that their efforts are dedicated to “bringing you a smooth tasting, micro-brewed beer for your drinking pleasure.”  A portion of the sales of the beer and merchandise go to help disabled jockeys and horse adoption programs, so you can feel good about drinking your Horse Piss.

The beer pours a clear, pale amber color with virtually no head.  The little you see in the picture required a fairly strong pour to achieve, even in a frosted glass.

The aroma is sugary and sweet, with no hint of hops to it.
The flavor follows the aroma closely.  The strongest hint in the aroma is probably corn.  It’s not at all hoppy, which I like.  It’s very smooth, mildly sweet, and finishes with a very nice balance.  There is no bitterness at all in the aftertaste.  If you’re an IPA lover, you’re going to hate this beer because it in no way resembles an IPA.  A Yuengling lager is probably five times as hoppy as this, to give you a basis for comparison.

That said, it’s not a complex or particularly exciting beer.  Maybe it’s not meant to be.  You won’t find the spice notes you get from a good Belgian ale.  You won’t get the vanilla and oaky flavors of an Innis & Gunn ale.  You’re not going to swish it around in your mouth and marvel at how you pick up honey, brown sugar, vanilla, cardamom, or subtle smokiness… because it’s not here.  For many craft beer fans, that lack of complexity and subtlety is a turn off – and I won’t disagree with them.  I like this beer, but it won’t be on my list of “the 10 brews I’d want to be stuck with on a desert island” any time soon.  But would I rather have this than a Budweiser, Miller, or Coors product – oh yeah!
It’s no surprise that the Beer Advocate crowd doesn’t like this blonde ale.  They give it a 64/100 or “poor” rating.  The folks at Rate Beer are even harder on it, giving it a 2 out of 100.  On my scale, where a 5 rates “equal to drinking a Budweiser product”, a 1 means “I had to force this down or I poured it out”, Horse Piss rates a solid 7.  It’s pleasant enough and very drinkable, just not that special.

Flavor Profile:
Sweet, Malty, Dry, or Bitter:  Sweet
Spice Level:  None
Hops Level:  Extremely low, so as to be almost non-existent
Dominant Flavors:  Corn and malt
ABV: 5%
IBU:  Unknown, but can’t be more than 10-15
My Rating: 7/10

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