#35 – Kingfisher Strong

“India’s Premier Lager” according to, er, itself. If true, this is unfortunate.

Name: Kingfisher Strong Premium Beer
Style: Lager
Brewed by: Blossom Industries/United Breweries (Bangalore, India)
Alc: <7.2% abv.
Price: $4 per 500ml can from Countdown (Crofton Downs)

First Tightarse Tuesday post for a long time and so I turn to the Kingfisher strong, a high strength lager from the land of…wait, what was that? Less than 7.2%? What the hell does that mean? How much less? Could you be a bit more specific on this? No? Well why not say less than 10%, or 18%, or 40%? Regardless, this is what it says on the can. In small writing. Right above where it lists the ingredients which are, and I quote:

Water, Malted Barley, Sugar, Rice/Maize/Millet/Corn Syrup, Ethyl Alcohol (generated in the process), Hops and Yeast. Contains permitted natural colour.

…and suddenly I have that sinking feeling. By the way, natural colour of what? Iguana spleen? Ladybug tears? And what would constitute an unnatural colour? Oh, and just who permitted this? Larry from shipping? Trustworthy chap, is he? So why does he need fifteen freezers for a one bedroom flat? And so on, with a thousand questions that really should not pre-empt the kind of drinking session one hopes to enjoy.

This was a drinking session I did not enjoy. The Kingfisher is nasty stuff. On the plus side, for a lager it is satisfactorily full in the mouth with decent carbonation and a pleasant enough tingle on the tongue. So, well done there. However, as to the rest of it…starting at the top then, it pours a pale, insipid yellow with a thin white head that soon – too soon – becomes a patchy grey film. There is a vaguely citric sting in the aroma, less orange grove than orange disinfectant, with a truly disturbing chemical unpleasantness. As far as flavour goes, along with the orange draino there is a jarring alcohol kick I would find excessive in beers twice this strength (of which I have had several in the last fortnight; I’m not exaggerating when I say this) and, to top it off, a headache-inducing metallic aftertaste that emerges just when you think you’ve beaten this thing and lingers long after the glass is empty. Oh, I’ve encountered that before. It was not fun then, and it is not fun now. However it is cheap, and unapologetically so. This makes no effort to hide its shame, so credit where it’s due for that. And one can hardly accuse them of being misleading: on the label it only proclaims its use of “the finest malted barley and hops” which, as one might argue while under oath, leaves a lot of wiggle room regarding various grades of whatever else they threw into this stuff.

A music match? Jeez, why? You’re not actually going to go out and drink this, are you? I suppose I’m obligated given the premise of the blog. Now I freely admit I have no wish to endure or understand Bollywood films, but after a thorough examination of the entire art form I believe I have found the perfect clip to match this beer. It comes from the 1994 smash hit movie Dulaara in the form of the iconic anthem Meri Pant Bhi Sexi (‘my pants are sexy’). This is clear almost from the very start [0:03 – 0:05] which neatly captures some of the more nuanced characteristics of the startling and frankly deviant aroma, and the look one tends to assume [0:06] when confronted with such an aroma emerging from a can that is clearly intended to convey the sentiment that the contents within resemble beer. The ensuing reaction, as demonstrated here by the unfortunate girl in the blue dress [0:07 – 0:14] is a sound response; the tragedy that is described in the remainder of the video is the result of not getting away quickly or far enough.

Because now things change. Something happens at 0:29 that corresponds to you not hurling the can away from you at the earliest opportunity. Suddenly this creepy and odious thing, gormlessly shuffling and gurning away like a demented fat pixie is all in your face and you (the pretty girl in the blue dress) can no longer escape. The headaches kick in soon enough [0:46] and before long the very laws of physics and continuity break down irrevocably [0:59, 1:22] as the fat pixie, now twisting a forelock like some moustachioed train bandit who happens to find himself momentarily beardless [1:18] completes his frenzied victory dance. You really should have thrown the beer away, dude. You won’t get that taste out in a hurry.

It only gets worse as the fat pixie behaves more and more inappropriately [1:40, 1:46, 1:58] and the slide into sub-Benny-Hill-farce continues [1:48-49]. The sequence lasting from 2:12 to 2:58 is clearly a cautionary tale – do not share this beer with friends in an effort to dilute its effect as its loathsome force is too strong. Instead you will only turn your friends against you [2:24]. Family will not help you either [2:58 – 3:50]. I told you it was nasty! No-one can stop him. No-one can escape him. He is evil and insatiable. The fat pixie will have his way, and his way is most unpleasant. Except of course if you are in actual, life-threatening danger [3:50 – 4:24] at which point he will loaf about, ignoring you, dancing uselessly at nothing in particular, until you resolve the situation yourself. I’m not sure how this relates to the beer, to be honest. I lost track about here.

Of course, by this stage, you’re hardly worth saving anyway, having become a squeaky, simpering, easily disempowered [4:39] shell of a human being. Perhaps that is the lesson here. By drinking this beer (that is, by not just up and stabbing the fat pixie in the eye when you had the chance) you sacrifice your dignity, independence and sanity; you become a deranged, screeching harpie, fixated on shoes [5:26] and literally running around in circles [5:34]; unable to support yourself you descend into incoherent madness [5:40] and though even at this late stage your friends may try to save you [6:11] it’s too late – the fat pixie has won and you are little more than the plaything of a cruel and stupid master [6:33-41], one whose true motives, in a maliciously bizarre twist, remain unfathomable [6:48]. So congratulations, you are now a wasted shell, a blithering fool, wilfully misrepresenting obscure and nonsensical video clips you neither like nor understand, on a blog that lost any hope of being any use to anyone several paragraphs ago, trashing an unloved and unlovable beer that you nevertheless, quite inexplicably, paid for, which pretty much makes you king of the idiots this week. Huzzah! Plus you still have a nasty headache.
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Verdict: Avoid. This is a poor, even very poor, beer. If you hate yourself this much you can drink bleach to get the job done cheaper and quicker. Add a dash of orange cordial and you won’t know the difference. 31/100.

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One thought on “#35 – Kingfisher Strong

  1. When you say fat pixie, all I could think of was Frank Black. And then I wondered what he’s doing in a Bollywood video? Robbing a train, with or without a mustache, slicing up eyeballs. Where is my mind?

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