Carlsberg Serbia: Lav Pivo (Serbia: Pale Lager: 5% ABV)
Visual: Light gold. Some carbonation. Small yellow white head.
Nose: Shortbread. Soft lemon and caramel. Custard.
Body: Lemon sherbet. Toffee. Light aniseed. Fizzy mouthfeel. Caramel. Custard.
Finish: Aniseed. Toffee malt. Light liquorice. Palma violets.
Conclusion: So, after that tasty Serbian craft beer, I thought it was time to take a swig of the everyday available cans of Belgrade for comparison. When I tried this on tap I found it ok, it gave a much smoother and superior experience, however for now it is the can in my hands so the can version we will discuss.
First comparison I shall do is against everyday canned lager in the UK. So how does it compare? here, fairly favourably, it doesn’t have that soda stream fizziness of a lot of UK lagers – the main base is soft lemon and caramel that isn’t bad. However it is pretty heavily let down by the finish where dry aniseed and liquorice off notes rise up and shit all over the main flavour. It says a lot about the UK canned lager scene that this still compares favourably despite that. Those elements were not present in the tap version, which is why I hold that one as superior. Meanwhile, back at the can the aroma is pretty much a non entity for the most part.
So, how about a second comparison, this time to the beer scene as a whole? Here this really suffers. It has an ok middle, but really weak front and actively bad end – it really isn’t worth grabbing.
So, anyway, on tap – more gentle, not great but much better than on the can and manageable. This canned version? It just doesn’t hold up. Despite having a reputation for getting a lot worse in the past ten years, I would still say Jelen is the better of the two mainstream lagers I encountered.
Anyway, this is called Lav, and tastes a bit piss. Snigger. I am such a child.
Background: Milos kindly put a few cans of beer in the fridge for me to try while I was in Belgrade, so I decided to do notes on one to see what the standard lager scene is like. I decided to go with this one as it is called Lav. Pivo means beer. So this is basically toilet beer to my ruined British mind. I am puerile. I had tried both light and dark version of this on tap in the pub the night before.