Friday, 30 March 2012

REVIEW #86: Negra Modelo (Grupo Modelo)

Pours auburn in colour with a short-lived white head. Sugar and caramel nose. Light toffee and fudge notes up front. Some bitterness in the finish but more of a refined sugar taste comes through much like that which occurs in D&G's Dragon Stout. Perhaps the (over)use of sugar is a characteristic of dark beers from hotter climates, no doubt it results in a more refreshing product. The body of the beer is erring on the thin side with quite heavy carbonation. Not as great as I was hoping but far more flavour than a standard euro-lager.

Mexican brew group Grupo Modelo started off as Cerveceria Modelo in 1925. Negra Modelo came along in 1926. Grupo Modelo owned 63% of Mexico's beer market in 2007. Despite producing the ubiquitous (and insipid) Corona Extra for the export market, they actually produce some interesting beers, many of which are inspired by German and Austrian lagers. The company claim Negra Modelo to be based on a Munich Dunkel style but late beer expert Michael Jackson likens it more to a Vienna lager (a sweet malty lager); I'd go with his stance. A large amount of Vienna lager is made in Mexico, much more than what's brewed today in its native Austria. This isn't so surprising considering a Habsburg made himself 'emperor of Mexico' in 1864. His rule lasted a mere 3 years but Austrians continued to migrate to Mexico throughout latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries leaving an indelible impression on its beer scene. 
  • MALTS: includes Vienna and/or munich malt plus corn (as an adjunct)
  • HOPS: ?
  • IBU: 22-38 region
  • ABV: 5.3%

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