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Zagorka Special - Zagorka Brewery / Pivovaren Zavod Zagorka

Not Rated.
Zagorka SpecialZagorka Special

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
68
poor

60 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 60
Reviews: 47
rAvg: 2.79
pDev: 21.51%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Zagorka Brewery / Pivovaren Zavod Zagorka
Bulgaria

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-22-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 47 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
2.7/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Freshly brought back by CR. Yellow with rising bubbles. Above average tingley soda pop carbonation. Good foamy head with lace. Lawnmower beer. A tad metallic. Aroma is passable malt. Mouthfeel is a bit thin.Very drying but oddly drinkable. Better ythan a lot of Canadian macros.

Sammy, Aug 03, 2007
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden yellow with a 2 inch puffy white head that settles to a small cap. Random streaks and splotches of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grains, grassy notes, and some honey aromas. Taste is of grains, grass/hay, and some cooked vegetable flavors. There is also a metallic taste I am getting as well. A lower level of carbonation with a slightly flat mouthfeel on this one. Overall, this is a pretty average beer but I am glad I got to try one from Bulgaria.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.43/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich amber with miniscule flecks that aren't big enough to be called flakes. Several vigorous streams of bubbles zoom upward and lose themselves in the large, richly creamy cap that is currently occupying the upper half of the glass. An impressive amount of Swiss cheesy lace seals the deal on a very nice appearance.

The green bottle skunkiness that greeted my nose on crown cracking is now gone. I'm fairly sure the muskiness that I now smell is due almost entirely to noble hops. Why this beer isn't classified as a Euro pale lager is beyond me. It isn't offensive, but it's no great shakes either.

Zagorka Special is decent beer. Like the nose, the flavor is confident, whether you like what it delivers or not. I'm on the fence at the moment, but I definitely appreciate the bud busting boldness. There's a nice balance between pale malt and floral, grassy hops. The flavor takes a slight detour midway through when a pleasant, peppery spiciness appears and lasts until the bitter end. The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium and contains a generous, yet far from hyperkinetic, amount of carbonation.

Prior to tasting, I was willing to scoff at the words 'quality product' and the five gold medals displayed on the label. Even though this is far from great beer, I'm not scoffing anymore. My advice to any Eastern European brewers who might be reading this (yeah, right) is the following: when brewing in this general style, let 'bold' be your watchword and let Zagorka Special be your guide.

BuckeyeNation, Sep 17, 2005
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a clear, yellow-gold body with a nice-looking cap of white foam.

Smell: Initial waft of skunk, so we'll let this one sit a spell. BAK! Simple, grainy nose with a worrisome hint of metal, like sniffing the insides of a CoinStar machine.

Taste: Grainy, listless maltiness with the standard cereal sweetness and smooth hint of rice. Faintly spicy, floral hop character and bitterness. It's around this point a severe, unpleasant taste of metal slips into the proceedings -- always a deal-breaker for me. Drying finish with a lingering taste of antique coins, paper clips, and a dungeon jailer's keys.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not recommended! It's only appropriate the beer has won five medals when it seems to have been brewed with five metals.

ChainGangGuy, May 24, 2009
Photo of zeff80
2.55/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly golden yellow color with a one-finger, bubbly white head of foam. It left little to no lacing.

S - It smelled a little skunky but not too much.

T - It tasted of corn, grains and a touch of spiciness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light bodied lager with a dry finish.

O - This isn't very good, but, hey, it's my first Bulgarian beer.

zeff80, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.38/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A crystal clear golden body is capped by a frothy bright white head. Hundreds of tiny bubbles stream quickly upwards, adding to the head and helping to maintain a thin surface covering throughout most of the glass. Lacing around the glass is limited, but far from non-existant. The nose delivers some gently sweet grainy malt and a good dose of herbal and spicy hop. The body is medium, and the tight carbonation gently caresses the tongue. As it warms it becomes mildly creamy in the mouth. The flavor delivers exactly what the nose promised with a grainy malt that has just the right touch of sweetness juxtaposed against a bracing bitterness and spicy/herbal hop flavor. Wow! It's nice to find a Euro-style lager from the Balkan region with some real hop character. It finishes drying with a dollop of sweet malt that's immediately enveloped and overcome by an herbal and spicy hop flavor, and a gentle, lingering bitterness. Very nicely done. This is kind of like the rough-edged and angry older brother of Heineken. It's certainly not a great beer, but it's refreshing and a nice change of pace.

NeroFiddled, Jun 01, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
1.23/5  rDev -55.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Perfectly pale and clear, in the best bland lager tradition. Big, frothy head. Aroma:piney...lemony...um,...stinky...pissy, if you'll pardon my Bulgarian. No flavor to speak of, nothing at all to recommend it. Did I spend money on this? Must be the Miller High Life of Bulgaria.

feloniousmonk, Dec 05, 2002
Photo of mactrail
3.2/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Standard eastern European lager with a kiss of hops.

Definite skunky aroma with the pop of the bottle cap. Half litre bottle bought in a small town in Bulgaria. Cheerful yellow gold color, clear, and a decent head. Beery flavor, just the hint of malt and a bit metallic. The hops are slightly interesting with a wee bite and the odd aromatic flavors. Long aftertaste of hoppy funkiness. Then the next sip isn't too bad. It's quaffable and certainly a cut above the endless swill produced in Hungary, Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria.

mactrail, May 08, 2010
Photo of BlackHaddock
2.1/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Green 500ml bottle, drank well before its use-by date.

Special my arse!

Why oh why do people import this stuff into the UK? We have gallons of our own crap lager without bringing more in.

Poured into a Veltins Pilsner 0.2l stemmed glass it looked a very pale gold, crystal clear with a medium sized white head. A typical lager/pilsner appearance, a little lighter than some, but not all.

Like most lagers there isn't a pronounced aroma, some barley notes maybe, but nothing much, so it gets my standard 3.

Tasteless and very dry, you could call it refreshing if you were going to be kind, which I am not.

Weak and thin on every count.

I only bought it to review, wish I hadn't.

BlackHaddock, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of kojevergas
1.81/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

1 litre green plastic bottle with plastic resealable screw-top acquired at a Picadilly supermarket in Sofia for right around 1 euro and served into a Staropramen pilsner glass in me friend's gaff in Sofia. Reviewed live. Expectations are low given the packaging. 5.0% ABV.

Served chilled. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Pours a one finger wide head of off-white colour. Disappointingly thin. Lacks any creaminess or frothiness whatsoever. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Retention is poor - less than 15 seconds.

BODY: Clear yellow-copper of average vibrance. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears undercarbonated. Not a very appealing appearance overall; I'm not looking forward to trying it.

AROMA: Ugh. Overly sweet and buttery. Clean but stale barley. Faint candy. Low quality hops. Grassiness. Vegetables. Grain. Sweet corn adjunct.

Off-putting. Average in strength.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

TASTE/TEXTURE: Bleh. Low-quality cheap barley, overly sweet malts, corn adjunct, unwelcome grains, vegetables, and buttery notes. Poorly balanced and built, with poor depth of flavour. Average duration, amplitude, and intensity of flavour.

Smooth, wet, stale, and overcarbonated. Too syrupy and thick for the lack of flavour. This texture does not suit this beer's taste or style well at all. Unrefreshing.

OVERALL: It's hard to down given the low quality, but I guess at this price point it meets expectations. Not recommended. There are better budget brews out there, even in Bulgaria. Avoid this one.

Low D-

kojevergas, Jun 26, 2014
Photo of wl0307
2.48/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Brought back from Sofia by my Bulgarian friend. BB 07/02/09, served chilled in a large weizen glass.

A: pours a light golden hue, coming with a thick white foamy head and extremely fierce fizziness.
S: lightly lemony and floral notes come with sparse lager malts, maize-like starch and some plastic note of a macro-lager.
T: the carbonation-attack upfront totally neutralises the (already faint) taste and renders the tastebuds totally numb... only later on the light maltiness contributes a little pleasure on top of a belated but welcomed powdery bitterness from hops. Also the semi-dry finish adds a few points.
M&D: the mouthfeel is sharply fizzy, hugely compromising the palate, whereas the body is very light; the late touch of bitterness and a sheer cleaniness seem the only positive things for this beer. Still, many thanks go to my friend, Lyubka, for taking the trouble bringing me this gift~~

wl0307, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
2.08/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Freshness probably makes a difference here, but as the bottle is green glass and as the freshness date space on the label simply says "FL", who the hell knows how old this beer is. Pours dark golden with the faintest haze. A very porous white head fades almost immediately. The smell is grainy and with a heady smell of adjuncts and wasa crackers. Slight alcohol in the nose as well. Taste is unbalanced and very grainy with a soapy aftertaste and a hint of bitterness. If I was really thirsty on a hot summer day I'd drink it. Otherwise, I'm pouring it down the drain.

Georgiabeer, Nov 27, 2007
Photo of DoubleJ
2.94/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Bulgarian beer! Coming out of a green 500 ml bottle, on to the beer:

It actually looks attractive and not dull dishwater. It's pale gold and topped with a sturdy creamy soapy head which retains well and leaves acceptable lacing around. That good first impression is quickly lost at the smell, where a little stink dampens the mood. There is hope though, as minerals and grass arise after the skunk. The taste is a yo-yo between sulfur and fruitiness. The fruitiness gives it a a unique flavor for a lager, but the sulfur keeps it from reaching its full potential. Keep out the latter and this is a good drinkable beer. The light body and gentle crispness attempts to keep the ball rolling. It's not quite enough though, as Zagorka lands just below the middle among national lagers.

DoubleJ, Mar 24, 2013
Photo of jdhilt
1.68/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a two-fingered white head that stays and leaves a good lace. Pale, clear golden color. Very low carbonation. Light bodied. Skunky nose - what is it with green bottles?? Flavor is lacking, boring hoppy aftertaste. Bought this since it was a new country (#57) for me. $2 for a 500ml bottle, found at Colonial Spirits in Acton, Ma.

jdhilt, Aug 09, 2004
Photo of LXIXME
3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear golden colored with a medium to big white head when you pour it from an inch or so above the glass, giving it the standard lager look, IE Bud, Bud light, Coors, etc.

This light bodied beer has a sour lemon citrus with an added grain to grain malt aroma.

he taste is quite similar to the aroma with maybe a more hops bite and less of the grains coming through.

A light dry aftertaste is left behind making this beer pretty much the basic drink for the style, nothing special but then again nothing really bad either. Basically, same ol'

LXIXME, Sep 11, 2011
Photo of Latarnik
3/5  rDev +7.5%

Latarnik, May 25, 2014
Photo of beerthulhu
1.98/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: Poured a clear, pale golden-orange with a 2 finger frothy white head that displayed very good retention while leaving vertical columns for lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: a tad skunky, some sour green vegetables most notable asparagus.

T: The flavor followed suit with some green vegetable stalks, dry corn and a touch of sourness with not much else beyond the initial impression. Labeled as a gold medal winner but fails to comment in what festival, and im guessing it was strickly local.

M: to say the least was light, watery thin and sour.

D: Drinkability, not good at all. One bottle is more then enough of a struggle if your willing to go the distance, I however got help from the kitchen sink. A pass needless to say and just keep on walking if you happen to spot this without giving it a second glance.

beerthulhu, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of Gusler
2.05/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The beer pours as one would expect from a typical lager/pilsner a sparklingly clear gold, portly white head, frothy in structure, the lace adequate to coat the glass. Nose is fresh, sweetly malt, with the start somewhat sweet, lots of malt, the top skeletal in feel. Finish is moderately acidic, modestly hopped, dry aftertaste and totally forgettable.

Gusler, May 26, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
3.05/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one is a nice yellow in color with some orangish tints but little head.

Smell – The light rice and corn does indeed remind one of the classic American macro stinker. I can also pick up a hint of Budweiser and maybe a splash of MGD.

Taste – The flavors here are different from the nose. It’s like pure European grain with maybe a hint of hops. Maybe the nose was skunked from the green bottle. It’s not THAT bad.

Mouthfeel – This is actually a shade bigger than light-bodied with an easy carbonation and a surprising amount of dryness throughout.

Drinkability – This is a nice, even lager that won’t disappoint as long as you keep your expectations low.

RoyalT, Jul 01, 2005
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 500ml [1 Pint 0.9 fl.oz] green glass bottle. My sample resembles the BA Avatar. Listed strength is 5% ABV, but there is no freshness date.

Appearance: Golden pellucid body that sits cleanly underneath a solid ½” thick white uniform cap that has excellent staying power. Average levels of finely dissolved carbonation. Light speckled lacing.

Nose: Fresh aromas that have exceptionally clean lines. Saaz like hops are detectable, but retrained, some pilsner malts and a light lemon citric bite. Average strength but sanitary – no horrendous odors.

Taste: Lager like…..and erm……well lager like. Reasonably clean with a slightly annoying sweet spicy hoppy feel in the finish that somehow tastes rather strange. Far from awful, nothing special….more like anonymous.

Mouthfeel: Medium body that has some finely dissolved conditioning which really bolsters the feel in the mouth. After the swallow the feeling soon goes though.

Drinkability: Average attraction for a reasonably average lager. Erm…Average.

Overall: Earlier tonight I tried brews from Namibia, Lebanon and now Bulgaria, so I guess I have a solid grasp for odd-offerings tonight. Actually its not that bad, it has no high profile detractions, but neither does it have much to entice me to get another bottle. The Bulgarian Bud no doubt.

TheLongBeachBum, Dec 29, 2004
Photo of drpimento
3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

ok. Decent light east European lager. Drinkable. Not remarkable, but drinkable. Poured with some nice head and lace. Bittersweet. Easy beer. Session beer. Clean with an interesting interaction between bitter and sweet. Fairly fresh tasting especially given its voyage.

drpimento, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of mynie
3.75/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark gold, very bubbly with an insane head. Very nice.

Smells okay. A little skunky, a little grainy.

Tastes great. Czech pilsner grains upfront, bitter, moving into coffee in the middle and a very nice bittersweet finish. Surpisingly complicated.

Goes down smooth, crisp body. This is a prime European lager and one hell of a session beer.

mynie, May 06, 2005
Photo of Suds
2.75/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This brew is an unassuming yellow color, with a slight shade of darker gold. It’s completely clear with a decent head. Pretty long lasting head, and nice lace. The aroma is of sweet cereal grains. There’s a touch of Saaz hops, and a bit of grass. Not much else in the smell. The taste falls flat. Very little flavor at all. I was hoping for a hint of sweetness or breadiness, but there’s noting. The finish has a little hop bitterness, but no crispness. Very thin mouthfeel, almost watery. Given the appearance and smell, this brew could have done better. It’s a sub-par euro lager.

Suds, Jun 11, 2006
Photo of dcmchew
2.84/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours golden, poor white head, low retention.
Smell of grainy malts, faint skunk, a bit of hops, touch of sweetness.
I get why it fits the "adjunct lager" bill, with the "corn" malty sweetness, which isn't overbearing tho, but there's also a nice grainy feel and a bit of lemon zest. Just a bit touched by skunk, uninteresting mildly bitter finish.
Medium body and carbonation, sweetness gets bigger in the aftertaste.
Not horrible, but unclean and bland. Meh.

dcmchew, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of matjack85
2.25/5  rDev -19.4%

matjack85, Jan 28, 2013
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Zagorka Special from Zagorka Brewery / Pivovaren Zavod Zagorka
68 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.