Kotayk Lager Beer - Pivzavod Abovian

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Kotayk Lager BeerKotayk Lager Beer

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50 Ratings

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Ratings: 50
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 2.85
pDev: 22.11%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pivzavod Abovian visit their website

Style | ABV
Euro Pale Lager |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-17-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 50 | Reviews: 33
Reviews by Shadman:
Photo of Shadman
1.95/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The Bavarian's have their purity law of 1516...the Amerians have licence # 2704

A darker amber yellow than what one normally sees in a macro lager. 1 1/2 finger head that receeds quickly.

faint citrus & floral/sweet aroma

heavy, heavy taste of adjuncts(veggies, raw sewage) with a citrus/metallic after-taste.

fount it to have a a full mouthfeel, but that was about it.

Not to my liking at all - maybe the licence was issued allowing just about anything to be used as adjuncts.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz pale green bottle, no freshness date or info about the beer.

Appearance: Yellowish straw colour with a frothy two fingered white lace that stick well, mild haze.

Smell: Lemony and floral hop aroma, a touch of fresh cut hay from the grain seems to be all in the semi clean nose. Virtually no skunk in the aroma.

Taste: Moderate body with a level carbonation that provides a suitable crisp and smooth mouth feel. Touch of sweet grain followed by a slight lemony hop that hands the taste buds a light spicy bitterness. Alcohol is mellow but noticeable. A twang from the grain, possibly from under modified 6-row malt or a light use of adjuncts which has a mild cooked veggie flavour. Semi-dry finish with some residual grain.

Notes: A decent lager, nothing to go out of your way for but certainly worth a try. At $1 a bottle it was worth it, I’d have this around as an in-between beer. Meaning I’d drink this in-between the great beers. I could see having this with some mild goulash over roasted red potatoes.

Photo of ChristopherWIU-UTPA
2.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I picked this rare Armenian beer up at a Friar Tuck Store in Savoy, Illinois (Part of the Champaign-Urbana area). The fall of the Soviet Union has led to many new countries and the emergences of many new breweries and beers, this one has only been around since 1996. it pours light golden-light orange, with little head, and below average carbonation. It has a slight edge, but is smooth to drink, and has a somewhat filling. It has a light bitter taste of strong malts, honey, well water, and corn, it is wreck of tastes in my opinion, but has an okay taste.

Photo of tempest
3.26/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle at EuroMarket in Queens. No surprise, this green glass bottle beer has a hint of skunk to it. Otherwise is a very clean, medium-bodied lager. It's a touch creamy with white bread and a hint of caramel, reminding me more of an export lager than a cheap-tasting adjunct beer. I might even get a hint of grassy hops in the finish. I guess next time I'm in Armenia I'll have to try finding a fresh bottle.

Photo of shbobdb
3.16/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Try crackin' one of these babies during 90-degree weather and you'll be in heaven. Otherwise . . . I'd stay away from it. Think 'Corona', but in a green bottle, so it is less skunked. Fewer hops than Corona as well.

Bland, bland, watery, bland. I mean, not bad for what it is. I could see drinking these until the freakin' cows come home without too much complaint. The question is: would I want to? Sure, you can knock it back, but why?

Less of an adjunct flavour than the general fair from BMC. There are worse beers out there.

Photo of elricorico
1.94/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a deep golden colour, very clear. A good finger and a half of white foamy head with decent retention for a lager. Some sticky lacing.

The smell is sweet and dry, I would say rice sweetness and a bit of dry grass. Not very nice.

Dry and grainy taste with a bit of cooked vegetable to it. Something lingers in the taste that reminds me of furniture polish.

A bit coarse in the mouthfeel, and fizzy. Not a beer I would suggest.

Photo of tone77
3.5/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a green 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of grains, a touch of skunk. Taste is grains and malts, crisp, a slight hint of sweetness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an easy drinking and decent beer.

Photo of matjack85
2.63/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I found this single 16.9oz green bottle on the discontinued shelf at the Bloomingdale, IL Binny's store for $1.49. No freshness date or any information about the beer on the label.

The beer poured a cloudy golden/orange color with a ½-finger of white head that lasted less than a minute, but did leave some decent lacing.

Nasty skunky smell upon opening. After the skunkiness dies down you are left with a touch of lemon, some sweet grain, and a mild floral hop aroma.

The taste follows the smell without the skunk. A mild sweetness from the grain, a touch of lemon, and a mild hop bitterness underneath.

Medium bodied with crisp carbonation.

If you can get past the initial skunkiness it's not that bad for an adjunct lager, but it's not somehing I would seek out again either.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.02/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a medium golden amber with a half finger white head that dissipates to a thin film, leaving light lacing. Classic sweet adjunct and malt aroma with a hint of grassy hops. No skunk from a green bottle, yay! Flavor is mild sweet malt and adjunct grain which dissipates into a somewhat drier very slightly tart finish with a bit more grassy hops than I expected, although there isn't much flavor to support the hop bitterness at that point. Light bodied with nice carbonation. Nothing unexpected here, a typical international adjunct lager, although this one is a hair harsher than the carefully modulated, truly boring domestic adjunct beers. A bit more malt would have made the neutral hop finish a little distinctive. Perhaps more of a Euro pale lager than an American adjunct. Not too bad, but no need to go back to this. I would certainly not pass this up on a hot summer day in Armenia. I've had a lot worse ticks of light lagers from far away places.

Photo of pnkermiz
3/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale and a little bland, but really not that bad. Still, nothing to rave about. A very typical taste for a light lager in a green bottle. Someone should try and squash that green bottle syndrome by putting a full bodied imperial stout in a green bottle. Might be interesting... Try the Kotayk Dark for a beer with a lot more character

Photo of DoctorZombies
2.61/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Gold pour with thick white head. Good lacing. Lite spice nose. Skunky, odd spicy flavor. Lite mouthfeel. Off putting flavor.

Photo of Globetrotter
2.55/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very bubbly gold under and off-white, very bubbly head that disappeared before I could blink. Somehow, though, that head left spots of lace about one third down the glass. The nose is metallic grain - not malt, not barley, but some indistinguishable adjunct, which sat in a rusty tin can for a week before being added to the beer. The mouth is OK, not too prickly, not too flat, neither heavy nor thin. The initial taste is sweet malt barley, with the emphasis on the sweet. Sure enough, sugar is an ingredient. The finish comes on harshly bitter, leaving an aftertaste equally harsh. No skunk in this bottle, though, despite the fact that the bottling date stamped on the label is October 16, 2002 - over nine months ago!

Photo of Zorro
3.43/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another weird beer from the Beverage Warehouse.

Green glass but no skunking smelled.

In the glass this is a slightly chill hazed gold colored beer and is decidedly more robust appearing than your usual macro lager. A good and lasting white head forms.

The smell is malty and grainy with a good spicy Nobel hop aroma. The malt here has a fairly strong biscuit aroma.

The taste begins sweet and robust with a strong sweet bread flavor and a bit of bitterness. Flavors of sweetbread and hay are the main ones. More robust than any American version I have tasted.

The mouthfeel is good and fairly thick.

Well I sure could go for one of these over a Budweiser! Much better than expected and a real robust lager. Not quite up to German standards this is something more like a Roggenbier than a lager actually it is robust and a little more raw like a liquid bread.

Photo of JoeProbst
2.12/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had this at Franklin Inn in Richmond, Virginia. The owner is Armenian, so they carry this in bottles.

It pours a slightly thicker, dull yellow, slightly hazy (no bueno) color with about a 1/8 inch head that leaves quickly.

Smells of adjuncts, slightly malty.

The taste crosses the line ever so slightly on how much of an up-front malt profile I want in my lagers. It's also sweet all the way though-- low to moderate carbonation. Not very fond of this guy.

Photo of daliandragon
2.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I can always count on Sam's Blue Light to have at least one beer whose name I couldn't pronounce if my life depended on it from some strange country I know almost nothing about. Cue Kotayk! Featuring an ugly green bottle and head shot of some (Armenian?) king located in the "O" of the label. Sweet, sweet tackiness.

Kotayk pours a predictable golden with a stubborn quarter finger of tight bubbled head that has gone ten minutes with little sign of giving in. Nose is skunky out of the bottle but has since upgraded to grainy.

Surprisingly flavorful, full bodied, and not overcarbonated. Of course the flavor is kind of rancid in a sawdust way but at least its trying. I detect malt and hops; they're just not clicking quite right. Still, fairly refreshing for something I expected to blow monkey scrotum. For $1.39 for a half liter you could do much worse.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
1.98/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades very quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains pungent light malts, adjuncts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a mild sweetness from adjuncts and a thin malt character. Then some grain breadiness comes in. The hops presence is very mild and there isn’t much balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not filling at all, mild kick, standard representation of style, this is not a beer I would want to drink again.

Photo of woodychandler
3.29/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another of Tone77's recent drop-offs and I will state again for the record that everyone should have a local trader.

Armenian beer?!? I know that when I think of Armenia, beer is not the first thing that comes to mind. Actually, I am not sure what comes to mind when Armenia is mentioned. Let's see if this changes things ...

I got a finger of soapy, bone-white head with low retention from my pour. Color was an oh-so-slightly hazy golden-yellow. Nose smelled very malty and I am unsure of its designation as an AAL. Mouthfeel was medium and I got a honey-like lager taste on the tongue. I am not buying this as an AAL (and I have had enough on The CANQuest (TM) to know), so a Change Request may be in order. Finish was on the sweet side, but still clean. I am not getting the adjuncts that others mentioned, so perhaps they have cleaned up the recipe. Worth seeking out? No, but as another entry in the global nature of beer, I can now say that I have had Armenian beer. You may want to do the same someday.

Photo of jdhilt
1.53/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours wierd - like it needs to be mixed, slight head and lace. Pale straw color, nose is distinctly skunky, doesn't help that the bottle is a pale green. Thin, watery and skunky taste, malts are barely noticable, hops are there - not overpowering. I was forced to buy this because it was a new country for me but unless you are a bottle collector skip this poor example of a lager. FWIW their website is a dead link.

Photo of 10bear
2.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I drank Kotayk and all its derivatives for 2 years while living in Armenia and will say that no beer is sometimes better than bad beer.

After a while, you get used to Kotayk and come to appreciate it by virtue of the fact it is competing with very few beers. Occasionally, a ten dollar Budweiser will come your way, or you'll find imported Bechs or Heineken in the Yerevan cafes, but for the most part you are limited in your choices. As far as Armenian beers are concerned, however, you can do much better with Erebuni or Kilikia, though the latter tends to grapple with quality and consistency issues.

Bottom line? Kotayk is a fabulous diuretic, but a poor lager. A real legacy of Soviet manufacturing!

The pour is pale colored, carbonated and produces a hefty, white foamy head. I find it has sort of a pungent odor, is heavily carbonated and leaves a sort of metallic after taste. It has plenty of body, but that just may be the carbonation talking. Given that there is no distinguishable malt or hops flavors, I get the impression there are a lot of adjuncts used in Kotayk. The dark is mildly better, but is by no stretch of the imagination a vast improvement. If served cold enough, Kotayk can pass as a mildly refreshing summer drink. Best paired with some kghozee kghorovats. Even the Armenians prefer their homemade mulberry vodka over beer as a festive libation, which should tell you something.

Sentimental value aside, there is little reason for me to drink another Kotayk, and even less reason for those in beer land to even start.


Photo of jmdrpi
2.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 mL bottle, no date

appears a yellow straw color, soapy white head. actually decent head retention, and some lacing. minimal aroma, a bit of sweet grain. decent flavor clean, some corn. no hops. smooth thin body. medium carbonation. easy to drink, works for the beer.

overall - better than expected for my first Armenian lager.

Photo of DogFood11
3.18/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Green 12oz bottle 5.2%abv. Poured into a stemmed pils glass it forms a tight whispy white head that leaves solid ring lace behind. Golden body with a touch of light copper in the core. Fine carbonation race up the sides of the glass.

Smell is of wet hay and some cracked grain. Taste reveals a nice floral type hop presence. Lingering grain, wet cardboard, slightly metallic, and some cooked vegetables hover in the background. With all that being said I thought it was a decent example of the style and it was dry enough to keep me coming back.

Notes: If it could just eliminate the lingering grain in the finish this would be a worthy sessioner. All told it does the trick.

Photo of mactrail
2.81/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Light amberish brown in the wine glass. Head foams up and then dissipates. Likewise the carbonation in the mouth. By a second pour it's flat. Woody smell is rather pleasant.

Tastes like Long Island Iced Tea. Rather sweet with a woody, cedary malt flavor. Hops are not much to brag about. This might be an OK swill but I wouldn't have it with food-- take a few bites and your beer is flat. From the 500 ml bottle purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle.

Photo of artoolemomo
3.16/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance- Pours up a decent amount of head that seems to have some retention to it. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a dull golden straw (almost bronze) which looks a lemon mixed with pale golden straw in the light. Puts up a considerable amount of lacing. Aspires toward sheeting. Weird for an AAL.

Nose- Not nearly as unique in this category. Pretty typical AAL aroma- cracker, grain, hints of cornflakes. Doesn't seem to have any white grape to it but we will see about that on the palate. Cornflakes begin to brighten and cancel out a bit of sourness that I smelled before. Sourness and cornflakes are more noticeable after swirling.

Taste- Starts off with slight bubblegum aspects while moving through grain, cracker, and cornflakes. A little reminiscent of a Euro Strong Lager but without the astringent qualities. A little weird- not exactly the foreign AAL I was expecting. In addition this oddness, the notes of the flavor profile recede to form more roundness and balance than I expect from an AAL. No real white grapes or vinous qualities that I find with most AALs. Pretty smooth as well. Not my favorite beer in the world but this is sort of a surprise. This is above average and would be definite improvement over Bud, or even Pabst. Nothing is especially different about the basic flavor profile of an AAL, it just happens to be very clean and crisp as far its flavors are concerned. And it had to travel. And it's in a green bottle. I'm a little confused.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with a light amount of carbonation which lends it a certain amount of smoothness. A little slick or greasy but better than what I get from most beers in this style.

Drinkability- Pretty easygoing. I don't know why this isn't more popular. InBev should buy this up and export it here. Pretty pricey at the moment though. 2 bucks+ a bottle.

Overall- Surprising, but just above average beer. Definitely would be a heavyweight in a foreign AAL tournament. I would say give this a try and I never suggest anyone should try an AAL. This isn't bad. I think this is what all those beer commercials are actually referring to when they describe their beer as smooth. You could say that it's unrepresentative of the style by being slightly enjoyable.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.53/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: This was another one of those “beers I haven’t had yet but wanted to try even though I figured it may turn out to be much”. Green glass 12 ounce bottle, with a front and back blue label and one around the neck also. The main label lists the beers names as “KOTAYK” but has a word written above that which is presumably Armenian in nature. Listed as 5.2% Vol. and a Lager Beer.

Appearance: Clear pale yellow with some golden hints when backlit. Massive carbonation from the start, constant streamers and a decent white head. Some lacing as the head settles to a constant ¼” thick collar. Looks OK but nothing special.

Nose: Pilsner like malts and some sweetness in the nose. Grainy ending with a light mustiness. I can understand why some would think that this is “skunky” – but it isn’t.

Taste: Sweet biscuit malts and some soft crispness at the start. Middle has a light spicy feel and a hint that there are some hops here. Finishes with a dry-ish soft bitterness mixed with some sweet malts.

Mouthfeel: Crisp at times, grainy middle, dry ending. The solid carbonation helps maintain a mouthfeel that is average throughout.

Drinkability: It’s OK, not that bad, but one 12 ounce bottle was enough. It probably goes well with your typical Armenian food, including Pickles, etc.

Overall: Not as bad as I suspected, but not one I would seek out again.

Photo of flagmantho
2.84/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: pale golden hue with a light haze and nearly no effervescence. Head poured an anemic layer of white foam which disappeared rapidly. Color is actually decent, but this style should be clear and effervescent.

Smell: mild aroma of lightly grainy malt. Basic, but decent.

Taste: lightly grainy malt with a tiny touch of noble hop flavor and a light bitterness. Grainy on the finish. Not the best, but at least it tastes like a mostly-malt beer and is relatively free of flaws.

Mouthfeel: light body with a low carbonation. Not much going on here.

Overall: this tastes more like a Euro-style pale lager than an adjunct lager, by dint of the fact that it genuinely tastes like an all-malt beer. Despite its low carbonation, it's a refreshing lightly-flavored brew.

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Kotayk Lager Beer from Pivzavod Abovian
69 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.