For this edition of Tasting Notes, we spice up the weekend by getting into some Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer from Halewood International (Liverpool, United Kingdom).
The result of “pioneer John Crabbie’s search for the finest ingredients from the Far East,” Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer is crafted with a “closely guarded secret recipe” that dates back to 1801. Featuring only the finest Asian ginger and exotic spices, Crabbie’s is a “deliciously refreshing beverage . . . made with purely natural flavors – none of those artificial and hard-to-pronounce sweeteners.” Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer (4% ABV) can be easily enjoyed on its own (straight or over ice with a slice of lime), as an ingredient in cocktails such as the Moscow Mule and Dark & Stormy, or as the perfect palate cleansing pairing for fine Asian cuisine.
Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer is available Year-Round, and you can expect to find it available in 4-packs of 330ml (11.2 oz) bottles at fine beverage retailers located in Alabama, Florida and throughout the rest of the U.S.
Now that we all know a little of the history behind this offering, let’s crack open a few bottles and let the spice carry us through these Tasting Notes!
Tasting Notes for Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer from Halewood International
Appearance: A steady pour produces a brassy, light golden yellow Ginger Beer that is topped with right at a finger of fizzy, bright white foam. When held to direct light, the darker brassy tones diminish a bit to allow the brighter golden yellows to push through. The beer is perfectly clear, displaying a rather vibrant carbonation presence bouncing about within. Head retention is decent, quickly falling to a frothy, lasting top cap that has some good stick to it as it sheets the glass with a solid coat of lace.
Aroma: As expected, the ginger is quick to command all aspects of the aroma. This is a powerful presence of freshly chopped ginger root that fills the air the moment the cap is pried from the bottle. Lemongrass and lime zest eventually join in, but the aromatic profile is pretty much dominated by the featured ingredient: ginger.
Taste: Spicy ginger is quick to grab the palate with a pleasant, refreshing bite. The ginger notes then pull back a bit, allowing notes of lemongrass, coriander and lime leaf and zest to surface. All of this is balanced by a solid backbone of brown sugar and caramel-like sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Light in body with an effervescent level of carbonation, this brew is bright, crisp and easy drinking. Mostly spicy on the palate, it does find some level of cool balance thanks its lightly sweet malt character. The 4% ABV is obviously light in presence and is almost completely masked by the ginger spice. The aftertaste is a bit of caramel-kissed ginger.
Final Thoughts: Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer pulls absolutely no punches as it asserts itself with a true, potent representation of what ginger is all about. The ginger character – in both flavor and aroma – is fresh, clean, incredibly pronounced and downright delightful. With that said, this Ginger Beer still has depth as it allows the malts and other spices to add to and accentuate the overall experience. This dynamic quality made quite the impression on us as we were able to thoroughly enjoy Crabbie’s straight from the bottle and also in a round of Dark & Stormy cocktails (and yes, the ginger held up beautifully against the sweet nature of the dark rum). If you are a fan of bold flavors and ginger in particular, Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer needs to be on the shopping list for your next beer run. Prost!