Decision making made uneasy
A Review of Sagres Bohemia by Sociedade Central de Cervejas
Posted on 1/20/2012 by Chops
Sometimes brew enthusiasts will find themselves in a particular situation that can undermine their decision making skills. If you find yourself in a pub that serves plenty of high quality brews, the decision is easy: pick a beer style or a brewery that you like. If you find yourself in a pub that serves nothing but crap, the decision is also easy: go to a different pub. But if you find yourself in a pub where every beer rests in that mediocre gray area, then decision making can get a little stressful. You scrutinize every damn beer and eventually become a bane to the bartender. Usually you end up sighing and going with whatever unfamiliar label catches your attention. You already know that there are no diamonds in that rough. You're just hoping to find something slightly above average. Such was the case when I crossed my fingers and ordered the Sagres Bohemia, a Munich Dunkel from Portugal. I believe my exact words were, ''gimme the red one.''

In the glass, this beer has more of a standard amber coloration rather than a darker dunkel. It actually has some prominent red hues, which prompted me to revisit the bottle label to double check the style. The aroma was oddly pungent and consisted of overly sweetened malty smells laced with spicy characters that seemed misplaced. The sweet notes were so aggressive that they actually came across as candied. Consequently, there is a strong bubblegum vibe that can get pretty distracting.

That first sip was not a pleasant experience. It is way too sweet and comes across as a sugar infused amber. The sweetness tastes like an odd mixture of bubblegum and cough syrup. Why they are calling this beer a Munich Dunkel is beyond me. Nothing about this beer denotes a dunkel. The mouthfeel is very sticky and somewhat unpleasant. I found no hop profile whatsoever (and trust me, I was desperately looking). The stickiness carries well through the finish, but mercifully lightens and leaves behind a candied malty aftertaste.

Overall, the Sagres Bohemia from Sociedade Central de Cervejas is an odd and mysterious brew. I don't know enough about Portuguese beers to decide whether it's decent or not, but I can say with great clarity that it's not good. This beer is no more a Munich Dunkel than I am a Munich neurosurgeon. I would have believed it more as an amber ale, but even in that arena it's not exactly appealing. I can't even recommend it as a bridge beer. It's certainly better than the mass produced piss waters, so feel free to drink it in a pinch. But if I can help it, this will be my first and last experience with Sagres Bohemia.

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Sagres Bohemia by Sociedade Central de Cervejas
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