This is how you know when a beer is trying to be special: when it has a golden foil wrapping the bottle neck to make it look fancy. I don’t know what to say about that. The Golden Pheasant Lager is definitely trying to come off as something other than what it is really is. A basic lager. Let me reiterate again. I’m not an avid beer by any means. I’m not a beer expert. I’ve only just started getting into craft beers that are primarily made in America as well as micro brews. Foreign beers aren’t really something I go out of my way to buy to drink but for the purposes of this review and my overall blog, I’ve been buying bottom shelf liquors and in this specific case, bottom shelf beers at my local Bevmo. (Granted, ‘local’ here might be a bit misleading as the most local Bevmo location is actually a good 8-15 miles away, depending on which location I want to go to: Glendale or Pasadena). It bears noting that if you’re planning on going to the Glendale location, you’ll be supremely disappointed at their limited selection. I don’t know what it is with that particular location but it would seem as though Armenians are not that big on beer and more big on wine. (And I say Armenians because that area? Glendale? It’s predominantly a city where the most amount of Armenians congregate and live in.)
And funny enough, I bought this beer at the Bevmo in the City of Walnut way out where I used to work. (I purposefully drove out there for other reasons but since I was in the area, I thought, ‘Hell, since I’m here, I might as well stop by this location and grab a couple of beers for my blog).
Let us return to the Golden Pheasant though. Ignoring the golden foil wrap for a moment, I find that this beer has this certain unique taste where only the type of beers where barley is on the heavier side would have. Truth be told, I actually like this taste. This taste of burnt barley, I guess one can say? I say ‘burnt’ purposefully because that’s essentially what it tastes like. It’s the same sort of taste like burnt toast taste except it’s not burnt toast but rather burnt barley. It sounds unappetizing from the word usage here but it’s actually quite pleasant, in my opinion. This burnt barley taste is actually the highlight of this beer because nothing else really stands out about it. In other words, nothing else about this beer is remarkably unique except this taste.
The good news is that this taste of burnt barley doesn’t linger. It’s actually pretty clean on the whole. And like my previous review of the Zywiec beer, it doesn’t skunk up like your typical American domestic beer. Carbonation isn’t really a big thing on this beer just like the Zywiec. I realize that I’m comparing apples and oranges here as I do not know what the style of beer the Zywiec is and what the Golden Pheasant is supposed to be but if we were to suppose for a moment that the Zywiec is like the Budweiser of Poland and the Golden Pheasant is like the Budweiser of the Slovak Republic, we can see here that both are uniquely strong in there respective regions and, in my opinion, are far superior to the Budweiser of America so far as the taste is concerned. It’s not terribly remarkable but as a basic base mark, I find that I like Zywiec and Golden Pheasant a lot more than I like a Budweiser.
It’s a clean taste–sort of. Unlike the Zywiec, there’s this weird sticky feel on my lips that this beer tends to leave as well as this lingering sensation in my mouth of what appears to be barley. It’s quite faint, all things considered, but it’s there. And maybe it’s just me and the California weather but I find that this beer leaves my mouth rather on the dry side like I need water to clear my mouth and throat of this distinct dryness. Other than those fairly minor drawbacks, I actually quite like the Golden Pheasant.
Nevertheless, if I had a choice between choosing the already expired Zywiec Polish beer and the Golden Pheasant Slovak Republic beer? I would choose the expired Zywiec Polish beer. Why? It’s cleaner in taste and for the most part, it’s a more pleasant experience. This is the first time where I’ve considered how dry my mouth feels when drinking beer. Normally, it wouldn’t really occur to me as American domestic beer doesn’t give off that kind of side effect. But after this experience, this might be a cause for concern for those who are a bit more adventurous and want to find another beer that’s not an American one but is pretty decent on an overall level. My personal preference is the Zywiec but you may the Golden Pheasant to be more pleasant depending on your taste buds. Nevertheless, I still recommend this beer. I really rather like the burnt marley taste and if you don’t mind the dryness factor affecting your experience, this is actually pretty alright. For $2.69 a pint? I wouldn’t buying this again at Bevmo.