Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Supermarket Specials: Sainsburys.

We've all been there, floating around the beer aisle of the supermarket looking to get the best beer for the least amount of money. More often than not, the immediate response is to disregard the own label bottles and focus on the brand names. WOAH THERE! Let's not be too hasty! Back up a bit and let's reconsider the supermarkets efforts.

I'm not talking about the 2% value lager that tastes more like week old bath water, but having a look at some of their premium range stuff. More and more people are buying supermarket label wine nowadays, so why do we ignore the beers and ciders?

Over the next few weeks, I'll be taking a lager, a cider and an ale and taking you through some of my most favourite finds from the supermarket shelves. This week, it's Sainsbury's.

First up is everyone's favourite bottom-fermented brew, lager. Every supermarket has a one of these, the cheap French lager that comes in stubby bottles. Quite often you'll see it at something ridiculous like £15 for a case of 30. Sainsbury's version known as the St. Cervois is a cracking brew that represents value and no nonsense.

 Give it a sniff and you'll find the classic beer hallmarks of malt and citrus. In the mouth it's smooth and full bodied with a slightly sweet twist at the end. It's perfect for when you don't care about standing on ceremony, and neither does your beer. £3.69 for 8 bottles. WHAAATT!!

Next up is Sainsbury's Original Somerset cider. It has a rich, honeyed colour, with orchard smells such as pear blossoms and well...apples leaping out of the glass.

Sometimes Somerset ciders can be an acquired taste with a little bit too much bitterness. This however is succulent and sweet throughout with just a little bit of a bite towards the end. £1.79 a bottle. Sure, you can get even more hammered on a big bottle of white cider for a similar price, but let's be honest, we're not 14 any more.

Finally, from the ever popular Taste The Difference range comes Sainsbury's Taste The Difference IPA. A very distinctive amber colour, it has whiffs of toasted barley and almond. After it's initial warming toasty flavour, the classic malt flavours coat the palate, giving way to a fresh bitterness and a long dry finish. What's more, it's on offer for 3 for £5! Otherwise it's £1.89 a bottle.

So don't just go straight to the Hobgoblins or Rekordeligs or Fosters and try out what the supermarkets are putting their names too. You will be pleasantly surprised.

P.S. While I was tasting, I mixed together the remaining Somerset Cider and IPA to make a snakebite. I can highly recommend this!

Top photo taken from the awesome BitchBuzz's photostream in accordance with the Creative Commons License.

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