Name – Czech Premium Lager
Brewer – Pivovar (or 'Brewery') Herold
Classification – Premium Lager (As the brand name may suggest)
Strength – 5.0% ABV
Verdict - At A Glance
On the eye – Late summer sunrise on the North Norfolk coast. Pretty much.
On the nose – A lovely nutty, oaty mix. A bit like a bowl of adult, liquefied cornflakes. A surprising grassy finish.
On the tongue – A blend of all those healthy option 'upmarket' cereal-based breakfasts which I always aim for but ultimately avoid when faced with a posh hotel's self-service buffet.
On the subject – On your knees while in the presence of one of the oldest firms of any sort in the entire world! (And I don't mean ASDA!)
On the market – ASDA. (But, like I just said, my 'oldest firm' comment does not refer to this company. Look, just read on...)
On the whole – 7/10
I've harboured a strong fondness for the Czech Republic and it's people since the early 90's when all kinds of work commitments had me popping back and forth to Prague on a pleasantly regular basis.
The far smaller town of Březnice lies way over on the eastern side of the country and is famously the home of the Herold castle brewery, which is now producing this “Premium Czech Lager” for the ASDA chain of supermarkets here in the UK.
For the uninitiated – the beer in question does at least offer a clue as to the delights of the company mentioned in it's name because, unlike many of the supermarket 'authentically foreign' beers, this one really is brewed precisely where the label suggests. In this case, that means you're in for a bottle of (genuinely) finely crafted beer for a pretty respectable fee.
In spite of my understandable caution, I was very rapidly reassured by this brew.
In fact, considering how so very wrong these corporate 'arrangements' can go, this particular beer really is pretty bloody marvellous – and I would challenge any beer aficionado to offer anything like a damning verdict on it.
Delightfully, it has rustic flapjack as its main flavour theme, with a strong honey and raisin finish which, sooner or later, leaves you wondering if you're actually having breakfast.
The cereals are unquestionably out in force here, but it's a well trained force, it's a force which has a modern and politically correct approach to warfare, and it's priority is to win hearts and minds.
That training pays off.
All of a sudden, this brewery looks set to begin making a real impact on the domestic market here in Britain. The only reason I say 'all of a sudden' is because this brewing operation is now over half-a-millennia old, which officially makes it among the oldest going-concerns in the entire galaxy.
After 500 years, I applaud ASDA for finally getting the UK public up to speed.