Saturday, February 11, 2012

Kilimanjaro Premium Lager – Predictably stable, refreshing, and boring

Every country – or region of the world at least – has their own unique beer culture, some of which is driven by well-financed macro-breweries and standardized pale lagers and some of which is driven by more artful breweries and their crafty beverages. My recent trip to Tanzania unearthed the former: A country seemingly devoid of a craft-beer milieu, yet a country that still manages to  boast a decent variety of fairly tasty lagers that are perfect for the warmth brought on by the equatorial sun.

This was not my first trip to Tanzania or the East African region for that matter. In some sense, I consider Dar es Salaam to be my third home, next to Norway and the United States. However, this was my first trip where I actually paid close attention to the beer availability with the intent of reviewing some of them on this blog.

Over the coming weeks, I will be writing out my tasting notes on what I consider to be some of the more notable beers available in Tanzania: Safari Lager, Kilimanjaro Lager, Serengeti Lager, Serengeti’s Pilsner, Ndovu Special Malt, Castle Lager, Castle Milk Stout, Tusker Lager, Tusker Malt Lager, and Windhoek Lager. My previous post covered Safari Lager, and this second post covers Kilimanjaro Premium Lager, which is produced by Tanzania Breweries – a wholly state-owned company during Tanzania’s single-party era, but has been partially acquired by SABMiller during partial privatization in 1993. As a joint venture between the government of Tanzania, SABMiller, and a variety of shareholders, the company today operates four breweries scattered throughout the country – Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Arusha, and Moshi – and manufactures a wide variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Next to Safari Lager, Kilimanjaro Premium Lager is one of the country’s most popular brews. In my view, it’s consistency in aroma and taste makes it a safer choice when compared to Safari Lager. At 4.5 percent ABV, Kilimanjaro is a rather light and refreshing late afternoon beer. However, when  compared to Safari Lager, Kilimanjaro’s consistency makes it considerably more boring, especially in the context of Tanzania’s limited beer variety.

When properly chilled, Kilimanjaro yields a pretty nice two-finger head, but one that vanished rather quickly. The lacing is distinct insofar as it has virtually none. The body appears as a translucent golden color – exactly what one would expect from a premium lager. 

Kilimanjaro’s aroma is relatively weak. Malt notes are evident, as are the grassy notes from the hops. A distinct adjunct note is also detectable in the nose.  As for the taste, when served cold, Kilimanjaro Premium Lager is quite refreshing in the context of the sometimes unbearable equatorial heat. If you’ve had adjunct lagers before, which I’m sure you have, then there’s nothing surprising to report here. Sweet malts dominate the taste, except for the mildly bitter finish. There’s nothing offensive to report, but not too terribly exciting either.

All-in-all, Kilimanjaro Premium Lager is very refreshing when served at the appropriate temperature, although depending on where you are in Tanzania, this might not be possible. Don’t expect much from the taste, but the crisp and watery mouthfeel is well-suited for the Tanzanian heat.


Kilimanjaro Premium Lager on Ratebeer

1 comment:

    To choose the right Kilimanjaro Climb route for you, there are plenty of variables to be mindful of.
    Who: Who is climbing? The whole group's abilities must be factored into choosing a route. The rest of the party is relying on your decision. Pick a route that best fits everyone.
    What: What limitations surround your climb? Are you bound by a budget? Or the number of days on your trip? There are cheap/expensive routes, and short/long itineraries.
    How: How do you see your trek? Do you want the most challenging route or a less strenuous one? These answers will affect which route is for you.
    Where: Where do you want to begin your climb? The routes start from all sides of the mountain. Where you begin affects cost, scenery and scenic variety.
    Why: Why are you climbing? Is it very important to summit? Then choose a route with a high success rate. Do you want to take the best photos? Then pick the most scenic route.
    When: If you are climbing during the dry season, great. But if you are climbing during the rainy season or the shoulder seasons, then the route you select can play into the climb's difficulty.
    So Which is the best route to use to climb up kilimanjaro? Lemosho Route and Rongai Route are the most scenic routes up kilimanjaro. Mt Kilimanjaro Machame route is also a scenic and very popular route with many climbers.
    The Marangu Route Climb is however the most used route since it has the advantage of sleeping in huts with bunker beds, hot showers, beverages and beers in the evenings are also available. Marangu is also the shorter route and can be done in 5 days although an extra day for acclimatisation is recommended.


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