Carlsberg Lager is on tap, it seems, at most of the pubs in Dublin. The company sponsors the Irish national soccer team after all. One can drink only so much stout, believe it or not, and during a study abroad term in Dublin, a pint of Carlsberg here and there helped change the pace from Guinness. So bottles of Carlsberg in the mixed-six rack of the local Kappy’s brought up fond memories and one bottle found its way home with me. As these things tend to go, it wasn’t quite how I remembered it.
Carlsberg poured pale yellow from the green bottle. The thin head fizzled out quickly, which was the first difference. The body seemed thin and the flavor was pretty simple. There was some sweet bready malt with a bit of a dry, husky grain taste. The hops were mainly grassy with a little bit of lemon. In the background, the water tasted like mineral water. You could easily drink several of these.
I remember Carlsberg having more head, better body, and being strangely creamy for a lager. All these things could give truth to the old saw (often said of another Diageo beer, Guinness) that it's better on tap, or maybe these things are all tricks of nostalgia.
Bottled Carlsberg is certainly not a bad beer, but it’s hard to justify going out of your way to buy it. It’s better than a lot of fizzy yellow lagers, but still not as good as some craft pilseners.