Anheuser-Busch isn’t set to release Bud Light Platinum (its new higher-alcohol beer) to the nation until January 30th but we were able to pull a few strings and score six of these highly publicized, hyped up brews a couple of weeks early.
We’re not going to reveal our source, so don’t bother asking how we got them.
It’s no secret that we have ties to the craft beer industry. It doesn’t take long to figure out that craft beer lovers love to hate macro brews. In fact, it often seems that despising "the big guys" is just as important to the culture as drinking good beer. All of the industry rumors seem to identify Bud Light Platinum as a desperate attempt to appeal to craft beer drinkers. Will anything they ever make appeal to indie drinkers? We’re not sure it’s possible.
However, in an effort to be fair, we wanted to give A-B’s most recent effort a real chance. We put together a two-person tasting panel consisting of the most refined palates in our office. We also managed to keep the identity of the new brew a secret. We really wanted to know how they’d feel about Bud Light Platinum’s taste, without allowing the beer’s name or origin to skew their opinion.
Anheuser-Busch describes Bud Light Platinum as having a slightly sweeter taste and more alcohol than Bud Light. According to their third-quarter earnings report, the beer is "a trendy blue-bottle line extension that appeals to a key group of beer drinkers and expands consumer occasions."
Here’s a "by the numbers" comparision:
|Bud Light||Bud Light Platinum|
|Alcohol by Volume||4.2%||6%|
Check out what happened when Pete and Justin tasted Platinum for the first time (without knowing it):
After everyone else in the office got to try a sample, we’ve determined that this upcoming Super Bowl commercial star is drinkable and it does have more of a flavor profile than the Buds that have come before it.
Loyal macro drinkers and college kids will probably buy into it but if the folks at Anheuser-Busch are aiming to lure part of the craft market back, this beer probably isn’t going to do it. Then again, as we touched on before, it’s unlikely any beer could.
The blue bottles and packaging kind of remind us of Zima. There is no vortex mouth, the glass is blue regardless of the temperature of the beer inside and we can’t really say whether it’s been triple hopped or not but we can say that the 6% ABV is definitely its selling point. The higher alcohol content is plastered all over the bottles and packaging like a badge of honor.
Whether you’re a loyal Bud drinker or a total craft beer snob, we urge you to give it a try and formulate your own opinions before you make any judgements. Every beer is worth at least one try, right?
We recognize that some of you are opposed to drinking any beer produced by Anheuser-Busch, based solely on principle. We respect that, we just ask that you try not to get too ridiculously preachy in the comments.