To our panelist Amy, Stella Artois is more than a pale lager. It’s a reminder of good memories with her father.
The two of them would sit at a seafood bar at a nearby casino, enjoying plates of steamed Ipswich clams, cornbread and glasses of the Belgian pilsner.
Maybe we’re being a little harsh on Stella. It’s not a bad beer. But when you have more to say about the gold-rimmed glass it’s typically served in than the beer itself…you’re not off to a great start.
Stella Artois has a long history, dating back to 1926 (pay no mind to the “1366” adorning the bottle.) But it’s now a mass produced product of Anheuser Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer. So perhaps comparing it to Bud Light isn’t that far-fetched after all.
Stella Artois is nicknamed “wife beater” in the United Kingdom, due to a perception that it’s connected to binge drinking and domestic violence. As mediocre as this beer is, we certainly hope you have a better experience with it than that.
Our panelists took no exception to Stella’s clear golden color. It certainly looks refreshing, with lots of carbonation and a thin white head.
Accompanying that is a clean, crisp lager smell. Not overly impressive, mind you, but not bad…though one panelist picked up a bit of a metallic scent.
As you might expect from a mild, pale lager, the taste was crisp and refreshing, but the panel found it only slightly better than average. There really wasn’t much to say about the taste, and that’s where this beer is lacking.
It has a faint grassy taste with a bit of a sourness that one panelist noted as “lemony.” Don’t be intrigued by that, though — our panel really had to work to identify any discernable flavor characteristics.
One thing that was clear to us was that this beer needs to be consumed cold and quick — much like Rolling Rock. In fact, more than once during the tasting were the two beers likened to each other. Any warmth risks skunking this brew.
Aftertaste was average, with a dry finish. Panelists noted it as metallic and wheaty, with a slightly tart note of grapeskin/wine, and a faint bitterness.
As for drinkability, the panel agreed that it’s a light drinker that you could consume all night. It’s crisp and refreshing enough, for certain. But many of the panelists just weren’t impressed with the flavor — or lack thereof — to justify drinking much of it.
So overall, Stella Artois isn’t overly impressive. There simply are much better choices.
But it’s a decent enough to enjoy a couple of gold-rimmed glasses, while splitting a bucket of steamers with your Dad.
And if that leads to some wonderful memories, perhaps that makes the beer all that much better.
Buyer Beware: Stella Artois comes in 11.2-ounce bottles, instead of standard 12-ounce.
(Appearance 6.25, Smell 5.75, Taste 18.75, Aftertaste 11.75, Drinkability 21.5)