Karlovacko: All too typical
Are you Croatian? If you are, that would be the major reason to give this pilsner a go. I’m trying to think of some others, but none are leaping to mind. To be fair, no real reasons not to leap to mind either, but that can hardly be a ringing endorsement.
I did hear a rumor, stated under the breath of some large man in a Budweiser shirt loading an adjacent cooler with Budweiser, which he apparently procured from his large truck with the Budweiser written on the side. Anyway, after a bit of nose tapping and some nudges, he implied, in a vaguely Eastern European accent, that the brewery responsible for the six pack I was holding might have been closed due to improper hazardous waste disposal.
Maybe intrigue is the main reason to try this beer?
There certainly isn’t much of interest in the drinking. Karlovacko has been brewing this Croatian version of a pilsner since 1854. There is negligible difference between it and practically any other average Eastern European pilsner you could pull off the shelf.
Just like the other merely average pilsners, it is a clear pale gold with a decent but quickly fading head. There is just a whiff of yeast in the slight aroma. The flavor is a bit on the weak side as well. A smattering of malt gives it a sweet bread and honey start, but the hops take over to give it a grassy taste at the finish. Sure, it is clean, crisp and refreshing, but nothing to go on about.
This would be a beer I’d use to wash down a blistering hot curry -- if it weren’t for the import price, at least. Since the alcohol level is at 5.4%, I could beat the heat back with as many as it might take. It would effectively cleanse the palate without leaving much of an unpleasant aftertaste. Pilsners are good summer beers, and this one is typical. Softer in the flavor department than some of the better ones, but light and crisp enough. That tinny, metallic essence that seems to be omnipresent in most of the beers of the region sneaks in, but it isn’t as pronounced.
Karlovacko is just a forgettable European pilsner. I can’t imagine many Croatians are sitting about pining for this particular taste of home. Unless you are, grab a better example of the style. There’s nothing particularly awful about it, unless this improper waste disposal involved bottling it up for unsuspecting Yanks....