When I was browsing the Bevmo section at the Glendale location yesterday, I had noted in my previous review that I grabbed three other beers, this one being the second of the four beers I decided to buy. It was on sale and priced at $2.99 a bottle at Bevmo. The Baltika 4 was priced at $2.99 while the remaining two, which will remain unnamed until I get around to trying them out later were priced at $2.49 each. All of them are pint sized bottles with varying levels of alcohol content. But so far, both Baltika 4 and this one, the Okocim OK beer are hovering at the same ABV, namely, 5.6%.
Let me sidetrack for a moment and say that I’ve noticed that most imported beers tend to have higher alcohol content than any of the mass-produced domestic beers. I’m not talking about the craft beers or micro brews or even the small batch brews. I’m talking about the Budweiser’s, Coors, and Miller’s. I’m talking about Rolling Rock, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Natty Light’s. Anyway, point being, domestically produced beers tend to have a full 1% lower ABV than the imported equivalent, which really sort of sucks, now that I think about it. I mean, these imported beers are basically the beers of their respective countries, which isn’t that many. Every country has about three or four name brands that pretty much dominate the market. And then some countries only have one or two, tops. And so far to date, they tend to be above 5% ABV overall. And the funny thing is, we, as Americans, must pay a major price premium just to get beer that actually tastes good and that has a slightly higher alcohol content, relative to imported beers. Meaning, something is not quite right here. If other countries can make pretty decent tasting beers while holding a higher alcohol content, why can’t America, ya know what I mean? And these imported beers aren’t even anything special like the craft brews or micro brews that are popping up all over the West Coast in the US. These are the “everyday beers” that natives of their respective countries would consume. So basically, it boils down to them being the Budweiser’s or Coors of Poland, Germany, Russia, Japan and so on and so forth.
Getting back to the Okocim OK beer though, I must admit, the first sip was quite unremarkable. And the name OK beer that’s stamped right on the label definitely gave it away. It certainly gave me an impression that this beer is at least “OK.” And it is, by all accounts. There’s really nothing that stands out about this beer. And upon perusing Beer Advocate’s website on this beer, it gets a pretty high rating, all things considered. Frankly though, maybe it’s just me, but I don’t find this beer anything particularly special. Many of the reviewers on Beer Advocate started talking about these “spicy notes” or “floral notes” that seem prevalent in this beer but I, for one, do not detect either of those. I don’t know what to say. It tastes fine. Light but I wouldn’t say crisp. It leaves something in your mouth. It’s not foul tasting but it does make one’s saliva thicker than usual, which is a first for me when it comes to anything imported.
If I had to compare this beer to one of the domestic brews, I’d say that it’s closer to a Coors, if anything. It’s not quite like Coors but it comes pretty close. And the one major thing I’ve noticed about this beer is the seemingly lack of hops flavor in this beer. Otherwise, it tastes fine. It’s fairly easy to drink. There might be a bit of an aftertaste that’s somewhat malty, the same kind of malty taste that you might get from ice beers, like Bud Ice, but otherwise, it’s not bad. It’s OK. Just like the beer says it is. Granted, the “O” and “K” on the label probably represents something else but nevertheless, this is just one of those beers that’s pretty A-Okay to drink, if nothing else.
And if I had to compare this to another imported beer equivalent, this beer reminds of the Tusker African beer that I had some month or two ago. In other words, nothing special, overall. If I had to tag something negative about this beer, it’s when this beer hits room temperature, the smell emanating from the beer bottleneck is not particularly pleasant. Otherwise, it’s pretty light bodied and easy to drink.
Would I buy this beer again? Probably not. Why? Because like the Tusker beer, I could get an approximately similar tasting beer, domestically, than paying the price premium for an imported one that tastes about the same. The only real plus here is that it’s ABV is 5.6%, a full percentage higher than the domestic stuff. Me personally though, I wouldn’t buy this again.