Thursday, November 25, 2004

Instant Beer Review: San Miguel Blue Ice

One more choice for beer drinkers in Thailand with the recent addition of San Miguel to the corner store coolers. Branded as Blue Ice, the single serving bottles are clear with striking royal blue labels and foil neck and top coverings of the same colour.

Supermarkets, a few specialty shops and pubs that cater to foreigners have a fairly decent selection of beer including numerous more pricey imports but for the local corner stores in Bangkok the pickings are fairly lean. It is nice to see another selection.

I'm just about to lay into my first San Miguel as swilled in Thailand, so give me a few moments as I retrieve one of the bottles that are chilling in the fridge.

**ahhh** Distinctive, crisp, goes down well. The taste is remarkably smooth and light for the relatively hefty alcohol content—6.4%.

I can't definitely say if the total sensory experience is influencing my opinion at the moment, including the excitement of trying a new product, the impressive packaging and the good memories I associate with drinking San Miguel, but I am definitely impressed.

A fleeting yet not unwelcome aftertaste.

I believe this will be my beer of choice for the next while. I'm a brand shifter when it comes to beer--Heineken and Leo are my usual choices with the occasional Chang so this will be one more product I can rotate in and out of the lineup.

I don't usually put much stock in beer blurbs touting the very product on which they are printed but:

"BLUE ICE BEER redefines refreshment. Experience that distinctive full-flavored taste balanced with a special cooling effect resulting in a refreshing beer that is exceptionally smooth and easy to drink."

does do it justice...though 1 minus in that the cunts chose the yank spelling of "flavor"...ahh, I guess Flips were colonized by the yanks so I'll let it pass.

Though my first impression is good there is a strange coated feeling inside my mouth after the first bottle. I will now swill my second bottle accompanied by a packet of crisps.

Yes...the flavour is solid and carries through the second bottle. Goes well with a salty snack. This bodes well for drinking this beer while eating a meal.

San Miguel originates from the Philippines though my own experience is from drinking it in Spain many years ago. Impossible to conjure up the taste as experienced then though I definitely remember enjoying it at the time. There is often conjecture as to varying tastes of a single beer brand as brewed in different countries but because of the intervening years I can't definitively comment on this.

I should also mention that after a quick perusal of San Miguel products on a few websites, this Ice brand is but one of numerous products the brewery produces and I am not sure if there are other lines currently available in Thailand. Also, I have only seen the 330 cc bottles or cans though it is quite likely the larger 640 cc job is or will become available.

Getting into categorizing the buzz is a mug's game, on par with those heads and their nuanced discussion of various strains of ganja, but still, I'll classify this one as cerebral.

With the quality and the moderate price of this new product, hopefully it will spark a slew of promotions and a potential price war amongst competitors. Overall a strong first impression and recommendation.

San Miguel Blue Ice beer brewed and sold in Thailand, single serving bottle 29 baht, or can 25 baht.