|Dos Equis by way of Wikipedia|
For reasons I cannot remember, I was skimming through my beer list a few months ago looking for Dos Equis. It might have been in preparation of our Cinco de Marzo celebration but regardless of the impetus, I did not find an entry. Frankly, given the prevalence of Dos Equis marketing and its ubiquity at bars throughout the city, I was stunned that I had never even tried one. I made a mental note to keep an eye out for it should I see a loose bottle floating around since I knew I wouldn't want to try it while I was out sampling craft brews.
The other day, my wife, son, and I were at Trader Joe's on Staten Island and I decided to peruse their interesting collection of beers. They have a few house brands that piqued my interest and so I snagged a bottle or two of their KBC brews. Then I saw it--a pair of red x's crying out to me. I hesitated for a moment before picking it up, knowing that, once I set down this path there would be no turning back. I haven't had macrobrewed beer outside of a special occasion in years. I pondered for a moment and then realized that my first Dos Equis was, in itself, indeed a special occasion and so I added it to my basket.
Earlier this evening, I decided finally to end my Dos Equis virginity. I took the bottle out of the fridge and noticed its classy green glass look. The only other beer that I can even remember having from such a colored bottle was a Rolling Rock. I realize that this does not bode well for the Dos Equis. I admire its flashy cap and try to twist it off; it remains securely in place.
"Touché," I say to the emerald cruet. "It would appear I have underestimated you."
I reach for the bottle opener and then stop. My routine for sampling new beers at home is relatively consistent: grab the bottle from the fridge, remove a Sam Adams tulip glass, grab the bottle opener and my quarter, and commence the tasting. I realize that I have unconsciously neglected the glass-getting step and I find myself in a quandary: am I really going to pour a Dos Equis into a glass that has been used to taste the likes of Dark Lord, Founders' KBS, and Goose Island Bourbon County Stout? The thought of drinking it straight from the bottle springs to mind but I just can't get myself to do it (there's a time and a place for bottle drinking and that moment wasn't it).
And so I remove the cap and pour the beer into the glass.
Then I laugh.
A golden, fizzy liquid bubbles pleasantly inside of the glass walls in front of me. It looks too much like urine for me to think of anything else.
"How bad could it be?" I think as I nose the beer.
It smells exactly like what I thought it would: a Corona mixed with a Heineken with a spritz of Bud Light. I take the first all-important sip and notice how light-bodied it is as it makes its way down the hatch. The first thing that springs to my palette is corn--lots and lots of corn. Maybe some rice too. Basically, an adjunct-laden mess of fizzy yellow liquid. To its credit, it is cold and it is somewhat refreshing. In other words, it's the perfect summer swill that adult men and underaged teenagers across the country will drink by the caseload simply because it is cold and it looks kind of like beer.
Ultimately, I was left underwhelmed though not disgusted like I was with most Budweiser beers. (They have always made me sick to my stomach. It's not beer snobbery though because Coors and Miller products sit fine--it's just something in the Buds that induce illness in me.) I found myself looking longingly at the other treats sitting in my fridge, waiting for me to call them to the stage. Having been sick since last week, I haven't wanted to try any of them because my senses of taste and smell have been muted by the cold that has been hampering me. I couldn't justify opening a bottle of nuances that would be lost in my congested mess of a mouth and nose.
And so on to the conclusion:
I don't always drink Dos Equis...but when I do, I usually wish I'm drinking something else.