Review: Royal Jamaican Alcoholic Beer (Big City Brewing)

Review: Royal Jamaican Alcoholic Beer (Big City Brewing) by Cody La Bière
Not every day do you see me reviewing Ginger Beer. In fact, this is my first Ginger Beer review I've ever done.

I like trying new beer as much as the next person, but trying out beer that's all about hype (looking at you Bud Light Lime and CLIT), that's something I will never spend my money on.

I've seen Royal Jamaican Alcoholic Ginger Beer (Big City Brewery) on the shelf at my local liquor store for a while now, but never really had a need/desire to try it out. So this week, when I saw it on the shelf again, it was an impulse purchase.

Moosehead already has a Ginger themed beer with Moose Light Ginger, but I'm not going to pay $20 and some change for a case of beer, just for the sake of trying it out. Thankfully in the case with Royal Jamaican Ginger Beer, they're sold individually so you can buy one just to try. I had a very small sample of Moose Light Ginger this time last year, and I remember it being just Moose Light with a bit of ginger ale added to it, that was all.

Appearance: Royal Jamaican Ginger Beer pours much differently than I expected. This looks much more like a soft drink (or pop, or soda) than a beer. In fact, it does not look like a Ginger Ale at all, it looks like carbonated lemonade to me. Very fizzy and carbonated when I pour the beer.

Aroma: This smells like your standard ginger ale to me, that sweet gingery aroma that you're used to in a bottle of let's say.. Canada Dry. It also has a hint of lemon to it.

Taste: The first thing I notice is that it has a weird bitterness to it, almost earthy. Quite a ginger flavoured beverage, so much so that it is incredibly similar to a regular Ginger Ale soda. There's a bit of a spicy heat that really hits the back of your mouth, throat and even parts of your tongue (and roof of mouth). Quite a sweet tasting beer.

Overall Thoughts: This is incredibly confusing me as.. is this a beer or a ginger ale? Is this a beer? In no way does it seem like a beer at all. Is it a Ginger Ale? It sure does seem so. I actually don't mind it at all. To me, this is a better summer time heat quencher than Bud Light Lime or CLIT as this isn't a half assed attempt at making a beer a cooler. I've seen this product marketed in the "beer" section of the local liquormarts at some stores, but in the "cooler" section at other liquormarts. I would say that this is much more closer to a cooler than it is to a beer. That said, I don't mind it. The spicy heat from the ginger may a bit much for some, but it's quite refreshing. This is recommended for those looking for something different for summertime heat. Instead of wasting your money on Coors Light Iced T or Bud Light Lime, this may be a better option.

Costs $2.79 for a 355mL bottle, which is a bit pricy for "beer" from the Caribbean, but about average if you're comparing it to a cooler (ie Mikes Hard Lemonade). Has 4.4% ABV.

I dislike ginger ale, but this isn't bad, at all. Doesn't taste fake (a la Bud Light Lime).

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