Nassau, Bahamas — Caribbean beer products are usually lagers and they are often noted for their lightness and easy- drinking characteristics- qualities that are important for those who live and thrive in these tropical latitudes. One popular Caribbean beer is brewed and enjoyed just east of the state of Florida. It is called Kalik Lager, a beer brewed in the Bahamas.
Basic Characteristics of This Beer:
Kalik is golden/straw in color and has a highly carbonated, clear body. These bubbles converge into a white head of foam that lasts for a very short time. The aroma of this beer is unusual, with scents of light grain but also some fruit and light spice/grassiness, leading me to suspect that Saaz hops are a key ingredient.
Kalik offers a taste that is generally one of light cereal grains with a little bit of vinegar, lemon, and saltiness, followed by a metallic finish that offers only the slightest glimpse of hop flavor. The taste fluctuates from bitter to sweet and I even noticed slight differences from one bottle to the next. Some bottles tasted sweeter, others were more bitter, making for an inconsistent tasting experience.
This beer is brewed using the basic ingredients (malt, hops, water, and yeast) and is well- filtered to give it that clear, see- through body. The alcohol content of this beer is 5 percent by volume.
The first food that came to mind when I tasted this beer was salt and vinegar potato chips, thanks to the combination of salt and vinegar in the taste. Other light snacks like pretzels would also match up with this beer. But nothing else is really suited to this taste.
Kalik Lager is referred to as the “Beer of the Bahamas” by Bahamian natives and others who recognize this as the flagship brew of this island chain. Commonwealth Brewery of Nassau makes this beer and it is one of three products the company offers.
Kalik is a beer that offers few surprises. I had heard about this beer in the past but never gave it an official tasting until I spent a week in the Bahamas. This product is widely available throughout the Bahamas and it the nation’s best selling brew. These qualities led me to correctly predict that this beer would taste like a typical macro brew. In many ways, it is very similar to other mass- produced Caribbean beers and to several Mexican beers. It offers a bland flavor profile that makes it easy to drink in large quantities and enough watery character to make it acceptable to the masses.
One small surprise with Kalik is that in spite of the clear bottle, there isn’t very much skunky character. Many beers bottled in clear bottles have the dreaded skunk aroma due to the damage from light. The brewers at Kalik obviously perform at least one task well: Protecting their packaged product from exposure to light. There is only a little bit of skunkiness and this probably correlates directly with the age of the beer. The longer the bottles have been sitting on an open shelf, the greater the skunky character will be.
Besides some of the odd flavors present, one other thing that really bothers me about Kalik is the carbonation. The amount of fizz is really too much. It makes it seem like a glass of seltzer water with some added beer flavoring. And yet, with all that bubbling action, there is little foam retention and what little there is disappears faster than you can say “Conch”.
Kalik Lager is beloved by native Bahamians who often refer to it as the “world’s greatest beer”. Hmmm…. Either the people of the Bahamas have no taste or they have let native pride get in the way of sound judgment. I’m going to vote for the latter since many of the different Bahamian food dishes are tasty and they prove that the native folk know something good when they taste it. But as far as the beer goes, I’m going to rate Kalik Lager 2 stars out of 5 and give it a non- recommendation. It tastes ok when you’re sweltering on a Bahamian beach and need something to quench your thirst. But its flavor is mostly bland and forgettable- typical of a mass produced product from any country.