Let me just start this review right off by saying, this turned out to be a bad bottle. Not a bad beer—that I can’t judge—but a bottle that went bad, or so I believe. It was one of the beers I bought from the restaurant garage sale that I acquired the Boss Beers from—and if you recall, I was a bit worried about the condition those beers might be in.
So why bother reviewing the beer if it’s a bad bottle? Because it’s educational—knowing what makes a beer bad is just as important as knowing what makes it good.
Forst Kronen Speciale is a light lager from Italy, 5.2% alcohol and typical, I believe, of the Italian beers I’ve been exposed to. I was expected a light gold, clear lager, crisp and similar to a Pilsner. However, my notes tell a different story.
Appearance: Hazy, pale copper, not much head. Kind of an apple cider vinegar look.
Smell: A surprising sour note—vinegar might not be far off! Grassy and a bit fruity… not great.
Taste: Bitter, woody, a little oily—bad bottle? Not very good. Almost a medicinal, herbal tincture taste—like echinacea extract.
Mouthfeel: "Hard" and a bit astringent. Light, kind of watery.
On BeerAdvocate, there are only 6 reviews—not enough for the full scoring system—and they’re split 50/50 on approval. The average score is 3.17 out of 5. On RateBeer, it scores 2.42 out of 5, and is in their 16th percentile.
So yeah, based on the review notes from the other sites, I’d definitely say I had a bad bottle, and I suspect I’d be fine with this beer. Hopefully I’ll run across it again so I can do a proper review.