Tecate Light Premier
Recommend this product?
"Cerveza elaborado con ingredientes naturales de óptimo calidad; malta, cebada y lúpulo."
How's your Spanish? Did you catch all that? Even with my limited Spanish skills, I can make out the basic statement: "Beer made from the highest quality natural ingredients, malt and hops."
This Mexican import is Tecate's "Light" beer version, which is brewed and canned by Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma (now Femsa/Interbrew) in Monterrey, Mexico. (Not Tecate, Mexico. But, yes, there is a big FEMSA brewery in Tecate. As well as in the cities of Guadalajara, Navojoa, Orizaba, and Toluca.)
I enjoyed reading Mark Stevens' -- mrkstvns -- most excellent review of this beer, and can do little to improve on his evaluation other than to say that I do see this beer in my local markets, so it is something that is indeed being exported to the U.S.A. (Through Cervezas Mexicanas of Norwalk, Connecticut. )
I won't say that this is a very popular beer brand in Los Angeles. I don't see too many of my friends or family members at group gatherings drinking Tecate Light, but I do see them drinking the regular Tecate... a brand that is actually the most popular beer brand in Mexico, and a Mexican Clara that I find quite acceptable.
Tecate was first developed as a beer brand in the 1950's, and this is the beer that some point to as being the one responsible for the curious trend of consuming with lime and salt. Tecate Light was developed in 1992... so, this year, this product line is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Is it a beer worthy of special occasions? Let's try a few cans together and compare notes:
Alcohol: Not revealed. But light beers are typically defined as having about 25% less alcohol (and calories) than their full-bodied counterparts. For Tecate Light, this would yield an estimate of around 3.8% alcohol by volume. Compare to Amstel Light (3.5%) or Bud Lite (4.2%).
Appearance: My beer poured with a surprisingly dark yellow color and a modest head of white foam that settled fairly quickly. Moderate levels of carbonation. Actually, looked pretty good in the glass.
Nose: barnyard barley malt nose; grain husk and a kind of malty German Karamalz ("near beer") character.
Flavor: Rather strange flavor; a slightly soapy quality; prominent malt body for a light beer, but an odd hay/straw thread runs through from mid-palate to finish. I am almost wanting to say that this beer has been spoiled -- allowed to oxidize and get old and, in the process, develop a kind of cardboard taste. I really don't fault Tecate for this. I purchased this beer from a refrigerated case, but I know nothing as to when it was made (no "born on" dates), about how it was transported to the U.S. (I doubt refrigerated trucks were used), and I don't know if or how it was warehoused before distribution to local retailers.
The silver can that this beer is packaged in is, in my opinion, the most "premier" attribute about this beer. The can's cylinder/body has a ribbed/corrugated/faceted feel that is unique. But, then, I don't buy beer because I think the can is "neat" or the bottle is "cool" looking.
Price and Availability
I paid $2 for two 12 oz. cans at my local liquor store. Didn't want to commit to a six-pack purchase because, quite frankly, I don't really much care for light beer. See little sense in the idea.
I may buy a few more cans of this beer some weeks or months down the road, as the summer heats up. Light lagers like Tecate are typically thin in flavor, but are fine thirst quenchers. If I do buy again, it will only be because I am wanting to compare tasting notes to see if I didn't just try some spoiled beer this go-round.
But, for now, I am pointing my thumbs down on Tecate Light. There's nothing here that I can't find in a domestic brand for half the price.
P.S. I am still waiting for mrkstvns to write those "totally unbiased and impartial light beer reviews" that he was teasing us all with... the parade of reviews on champion brews like Meister Brau Light. C'mon Mark. Let's get some action in. No one has posted an Epinions review about Meister Brau Light since Nov 16 '00. It's time for some fresh reviews everybody.
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