Monday, February 15, 2010

Doppelgänger

Does this label look a lot like Pilsner Urquell, or is it just me? It provoked a double take on my part when I spotted it out of the corner of my eye in the local Spar. For a moment I thought it was some manner of re-branding by the big Czech brewer, but soon realised it was a lookalike attempting to piggy back on hard won marketing of Pilsner Urquell. Interestingly this beer is brewed in Slovakia by a no doubt once proud independent brewer that is now owned by Heineken. I wonder if Slovak brewers are at all jealous of the huge success enjoyed by their once countrymen in the Czech Republic? Zlaty Bazant isn't quite as enjoyable as Pilsner Urquell; it is harsher without the effortless mellow character that I like in latter, but the nose is similar with wonder floral hops and the body has the same satisfying and distinctive malt found in lager from around those parts. Overall it's a heavier, boozier affair with a bit more DMS too, giving a slight veggie note that I don't particularly care for.


I suppose I have fallen into an inevitable comparison with Pilsner Urquell, but that's what you get when you market your beer in a perilously similar way to one of the most enjoyable lagers in the world. Sadly it was also inevitable that the comparison would be unfavourable.

10 comments:

red dave said...

Maybe its a generic branding all lagers from that region have? Or are they trying to be sneaky?

Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens all the books I have are already coloured in. I must get some fancy books to make my photos look more edumacated.

The Beer Nut said...

They have this and Pilsner Urquell on tap at the Czech Inn.

By coincidence, we've not done a lager blind tasting...

Thom said...

A blind tasting would be fun, though I have no doubt that I would mistake Zlaty Bazanc for Urquell and look like a tool.

Dave - I love books as much as beer and combine the two whenever possible.

Séan Billings said...

That looks very like PU. To the point of being a bit cheeky, in my opinion.

A lager blind tasting eh? That sounds interesting...

Cormac O'Dwyer said...

Funny, I was in Slovakia three years ago, but don't recall it being so similarly branded as PU.
A quick google, and the image in this blog is the beer I remember drinking:
http://www.robertpenridge.com/blogger/2007/01/bratislava-slovakia.html

Must be a relatively recent change.

Cooking Lager said...

How cheap was it?

Thom said...

Same price as all the other Euro lout.

Leigh said...

yep - it sure does. It's a big ask though, stepping up to Urquell.

Bailey said...

Heh. The beer Boak always refers to as "Sweaty Peasant". I think you're right -- it's an attempt to 'invoke' the spirit of Urquell.

My local Turkish supermarket sells this at a quid a bottle.

Barm said...

I don't think it is an imitation at all; it just shares the same graphic design language as other Czech and Slovak beers.