Thursday, January 31, 2013
Beer Tasting: Budweiser Black Crown
Super Bowl 47 is coming up this Sunday, and what better time for a beer to get its advertising debut? After all, Anheuser-Busch had great success launching Bud Light Platinum just days before Super Bowl 46 and first advertising it during the most-watched American Football game of the year. The apparent idea was to advertise the beer and when people saw the ad they would ask their bartenders for a Platinum. And boy, did it work; within months, Bud Light Platinum took up over 1% of the American beer market. Will Anheuser-Busch see a repeat with the new Budweiser Black Crown?
Black Crown was developed when 12 pairs of AB-InBev brewers were tasked with creating the next Budweiser variation. 12 beers were created and tested among 25,000 consumers who elected Black Crown the next "King of Beers". If Bud Light Platinum had an "Irish Twin", that twin would be Black Crown. While Platinum is a malt-liquor marketed as a sophisticated beer for the sophisticated drinker, Black Crown is more highly-hopped when compared to Budweiser and appears to be marketed as a more sophisticated beer for the craft-beer enthusiast. Both are 6% ABV, compared to the 4.2% ABV Bud Light and 5% ABV Budweiser, and both cost 35% more than their classic counterparts.
Budweiser Black crown pours a translucent amber color with a large head which quickly dissipates. Black Crown smells very much like the classic Budweiser with faintly more hop aroma. At first taste, this beer has slightly more body than the classic Bud and a stronger malt flavor with a very light bitterness from the increased hop presence. The signature rice flavor is there, lightening the taste of the beer while giving a distinct flavor and sweetness which only comes from rice. At first taste I did not really enjoy Black Crown, though after drinking four bottles throughout the week I grew to like the beer a little more. But all in all, this beer tastes very much like Budweiser's other beers. They have a classic formula that appeals to the broadest audience possible, so it's only natural for Anheuser-Busch to tweak the beer, give it a new label, and advertise it as a very different beer.