Friday, June 12, 2009

Quaff Review #3: Nektar

One of the many things I like about Toronto is the profusion and variety of LCBOs - even if I would ultimately prefer I could get my beer and liquor the same way Americans seem to, from the grocery store, as it would save me a trip. From the endless racks of the North Toronto Station store to the narrow rows of the one in Union Station, to make that evening GO train seem like it's going just a bit faster, none of them have quite the same things.

Frequently they'll have things you've never heard of.

As I'm a (reluctantly) former resident of the 1990s, it should come as no surprise that when I think "Bosnia," I think "war." Though the Bosnian War only lasted three years, being that it was a significant armed conflict and that the Soviet Union was no longer around for the media to stare at, it got a lot of press here.

Now, when I think "Bosnia," I can also think "beer." Specifically, Nektar.

Nektar is a product of the Banjaluka Brewery, which began making beer in 1873 with ancient recipes and German technology, according to its website. Nektar itself apparently includes German malt, but I didn't notice anything particularly German about it. The bottle I picked up was 500 mL, and is 5% alc./vol.

What I did notice was that this is a smooth beer. It's nice and golden, with a thick but not-too-thick body of foam at the top, and goes down well with no aftertaste - that is my biggest problem with some beers. With Nektar, though, I didn't find anything to really distinguish it as a "premium" beer, which is how the LCBO sold it. It's not a bad beer, but I don't find it outstanding, either - for me it falls into that wide continuum in the middle of so-so, where it's good enough to drink and get drunk on if need be, but unlike something special like Innis & Gunn I'm not going to go out of my way to look for it. It just didn't present anything that might distinguish itself to me.

I must note, though, that it does burn when it ends up infiltrating one's sinus cavities. Be aware!

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