Obolon Lager
Obolon Brewery

Obolon LagerObolon Lager
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Style:
European Pale Lager
Ranked #110
ABV:
5.2%
Score:
72
Ranked #47,072
Avg:
3.16 | pDev: 16.77%
Reviews:
73
Ratings:
118
From:
Obolon Brewery
 
Ukraine
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  1
Gots
  8
SCORE
72
Okay
Obolon LagerObolon Lager
Notes:
View: Beers
Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 118 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by hudsonvalleyslim:
Photo of hudsonvalleyslim
3.8/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

To start a belated celebration of the Celtic #17, I thought something traditional might be in order. Naturally Obolon Lager would be the appropriate beer. And pleasantly surprised I was. The macro brewery success story from the Ukraine really hit the hoop. (Cool story, google it!)

500ml (about a pint) green bottle, $2.15 at Baza in Newton, no freshness date. Poured a nice golden-yellow, with no real head retention to speak of.

This is really a nice lager - fresh apple fruitiness, some real flavor and a great lingering aftertaste (which I love.) Some sublimnable ("Is our children learning?") skunkiness - not intrusive, perhaps by design but probably green-bottle syndrome. Heineken could learn a lot from Obolon.

(July 8, 2008) OK, my second try of this one. I've downgraded a few of the columns. More on the principle that this ain't a grade A beer. But it is very good and consistent with my previous comments. Lacing gleefully adorns my Liberal Cup pintglass this time, and no real skunk, so probably fresher. Checkin' some different lagers this summer, and Obolon is very drinkable. Gonna bring some to the next Group 5 jam - those dudes may appreciate it!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 500 ml green slender Euro style bottle, no freshness date.

Appearance: Nearly clear, dusty gold colour with a thin yet sticky white lace.

Smell: Apple and lemon zest in the aroma, sweet to the nose with a pale grainy malt and a light herbal hops.

Taste: Smooth and full in the mouth feel with a light crispness, medium bodied. Right away is an imported lager flavour of slight aged or cooked hop. Bitterness and grain rush with this flavours to the finish yet the malt character tries to salvage the rest by throwing in a straight up sweetness that suggests honey and apple peel. Hops are herbal to the point of medicinal with a ghost like skunkiness. Grainy finish with some sweetness and a grassy flavour that lingers just about forever.

Notes: Tastes like a beefy Heineken, not as skunky and with more flavour to throw around. Still not a beer that would be in the same class as many German and Czech pilsners.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.29/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours with a four-fingered white head that fades slowly and leaves good lace. A golden color. Nose has a hint of skunkiness maybe it is because of the green bottle. Starts hoppy/bitter, finishes hoppy and bitter. Very good carbonation. Light to medium bodied. $1.90 for 500ml.

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Photo of stoutman
2.37/5  rDev -25%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pale yellow color, light white head and lacing. Nose of light hop and fruity malt, some alcohol and husky corn. The flavor is a bit biscuity with some lighter hop notes, stronger sweet alcohol and some malt accents. The finish is a non-event, as is most of this beer.

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Photo of budgood1
3.35/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

i'm guessing this is a run of the mill euro lager. from the ukraine. hazy golden color, nice euro smell, very little skunk, thin head. moderate carbonation makes for a prickly mouthfeel on top of a solid body. a hop bite in the end rounds out the profile. comparable to a becks/heineken sort of profile with just a little more teeth to it. not too bad.

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Photo of Suds
3.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew is a cloudy, dark golden color that borders on burnt-orange. The head is stick and firm, but shallow. Sweet and grainy aroma with some floral hops. Slight sulfur note in the back of the smell, but it’s not distracting. It’s actually quite tasty…sweet, malty, and very soft. Break-like qualities are not present in the smell, but come out nicely in the taste. It’s a medium bodied, very drinkable beer. Finish is a lingering maltiness that isn’t overly sweet. I enjoyed this one much more than I expected.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
2.76/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear, bright golden body topped by a bright white head that drops to a very thin surface lace and minor collar. The aroma is quite limited but offers some light malt and spicy hops, as well as some light sulfur (which seems to be characteristic of the brewery). The body is medium with a very fine, median carbonation that's crisp in the mouth. The flavor is a gently fruity, well-fused malt & hop. The maltiness has an odd, almost musty, bready note that's fortunately overshadowed by a spicy, but indistinct, hop flavor. The finish is dry, and lightly sticky with malt & bitterness. Lightly astringent.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.76/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Strong Lager pours out brass with a small white head and leaves a thin clingy lace. Light/Medium lightly herbal malt. Odd, slightly sulfuric and citrusy hop aroma with some alcohol fumes. Fairly high in metallic hops with a mild citrus aftertaste. Noticeable alcohol kick! 5.2%abv

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Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The upon its extraction from the green 500ml bottle resides in the glass a crystal clear light gold, the head generous in size, the color a brilliant white with the texture semi-creamy, as it evaporates, the resultant lace a thin white curtain to drape the glass. Nose is the prototypical lager, somewhat sweet, crisp and fresh, start is somewhat sweet, the grain profile light as is the top. Finish is the light to moderate in acidity, the hops mild but present, quite dry and to me a drinkable beer, but rather light for me.

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Photo of crookedhalo
2.43/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Slightly chill hazed pale golden color with a white head that dies pronto. Very skunky aroma with a malt backup. Tastes rather sweet and malty with a dry hoppiness in the finish. Doesn't taste skunky, just green bottle IV ray amplified skunky; not offensive, just not really what I was expecting. Generalized lager qualities abound. A bit like Grolsch, in my opinion. Not venturing to try one again.

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Photo of ecoboy
3.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Ukranians of New York state care very much for this beer. If they find you like beer in general, they might press a bottle of this into your hands and make sure you drink it.

Far sweeter than I expected, even as the color would lead me to believe we were stepping into stronger territory that ordinary U.S. lagers. Not cloudy, but... really hard to see through for a lager. Head was fine, and I was impressed by the lacing. Aroma reflected style: remined me of Grolsch and Fischer. Yep, that residual sweetness must be a part of the 5.2% abv. But it is offset by a decent dose o' hops..

I drank this at fridge temperature. I can only imagine how cloying it would be at 50 degrees.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.97/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must say this pils has the best nose of this style that I have come across in awhile. The taste is crisp, hoppy and nicely put together. I rank this beer higher than most reviewers only because I have had a lot of ok pils lately and this one hit all the right notes.

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Photo of Gavage
3.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very cloudy orange color with a medium head that slowly receded to the rim of the glass. The smell was strange - a mixture of fruit, grass and yeast that wasn't what I expected. This sports a medium body, very sweet with some fruit tones. The hops are evident but not very strong. The sweetness lasts long on the tongue. I found this to be slightly better than average on taste but quite drinkable.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.18/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Came in an emerald green 500 ml bottle. Poured out a bright clear golden colour, nice head that recedes to a thin cap. Aroma is sweet, grain and corn, a touch herbal. Flavour is very sweet, totally reminds me of corn. Not corn adjuncts or corn syrup, but sweet ripe corn! Very crisp and dry, mild metallic flavour on aftertaste. An okay lager, but I find the aftertaste dries me up more than it refreshes. Either way, an interesting offering from the Breadbasket of Europe, yet I don't think I'd reach for another one so soon (water, I need water, I'm parched after this bottle!).

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Photo of aluskungs
4.09/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very carbonated, a light and bubbly beer. The head fluffs up and then dies down, a shame. The color is a golden white, a bit of a haze.

The smell is of wet straw, like an old barn. Some malt sweetness follows with a little bit of smoke. At the very end a hop stalk smell comes through. Pleasant.

Tastes like a pale lager, what it should be. On the sweet side with a lot of malt flavor, not so much of a hop presence, but enough to keep the malt from overpowering. A hint of maple syrup, very minor.

This beer goes down easily even with a lot of body. A lot of flavor and being sweet but not sickly sticky sweet. The hops keeps this the malt sweetness back but lets the flavor come through

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.5/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Simple amber, not quite pallid enough to qualify as straw. A few large bubbles cling to the sides of the glass, while smaller ones zoom up to a white cap that looks to be of poor quality. The foam isn't the least bit sticky and very little lace forms as a result.

I smelled skunk on crown cracking and I still smell skunk. Interestingly, the graininess of the beer covers up the badness to some extent whenever I actually put my nose over the glass. There's nothing especially noteworthy about the stale noble hoppiness of the aroma. Open a few hundred other EPLs and you'll get the same thing.

I wonder why Obolon Lager is classified as a Euro pale lager and the other Obolon pale lagers that I've had (Magnat and Premium) are called American macro lagers? I don't care enough to read through my other reviews, but as far as I remember, all three taste basically the same. Here's the short version: none of them are good beer.

I have no desire to describe yet another simple, harshly grainy, grassily bitter, borderline musty, don't-wanna-let-it-warm lager from Eastern Europe. Whoops, looks like I just did. This one might be slightly more bitter than most, but otherwise it's a black hole of originality. Not that I was expecting anything else.

The mouthfeel is par for the style course with a carbonation load that is peppy enough to keep the beer from feeling overly lackluster. I would have thought that all those bubbles would have resulted in better head formation and endurance.

It looks like Pshenichnoye (a hefe weizen) is still my favorite of the whole, sorry lot of Obolon beers. The one that I really want to try (Porter) has eluded me so far. As far as Lager goes, it's about as interesting as its name.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.2/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very pale yellow with a big frothy head after a vigorous pour.

Aroma is sharp, yeasty, grainy, some fruitiness (citrus?), and an off-bitter metallic (and sulpher?) note.

Flavor isn't as sharp and off as the aroma- perhaps because it is still fairly cold. Seems fairly well balanced, mostly malty, with a slight hop finish, actually not bad overall. After the swallow goes down, a slight metallic aftertaste remains, and (sorry to say this) I burped up some sulphur taste.

Mouthfeel and drinkability is probably the best part of this beer. The beer sits nice and full in the mouth, and this could be a nice yard or session beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.44/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yes, I really scored some in a CAN! crossovert put me onto a European market that carries this and others in a CAN and you CAN believe that I was quick to place an order.

From the CAN: Nothing that I CAN impart. The writing is all Cyrillic, but there was an importer's sticker that read "Famous Ukrainian beer, brewed with old world recipes, using the finest ingredients."

My pour produced a finger of foamy bone-white head with moderate retention. Color was a slightly hazy golden-yellow. Nose had a mild honey-like sweetness, very lager-like and free of adjuncts. Be still my heart! Mouthfeel was medium with a taste of black pepper, Saaz hops and honey on the tongue. Weird, but it worked. Finish was really dry. I was reminded more of a wit than a lager, but who's complaining? Not me, since it beats just one more AAL. Lots of nice lacing throughout. All of the previous aside, I am not sure that I would want a whole bunch of it in my cooler. It was one of those beers where one was good, two would be passable and more than that would be too many.

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Photo of DrJay
3.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear and light yellow with a thin smattering of bubbles on the surface, modest collar, and a few specks of lacing. Herbal and lemony hop aroma, mild cereal and grain. A little more than light bodied with a smooth texture and some crispness in the carbonation. A bit dry, but not overly so. Bitterness was nicely balanced and didn't get lost in the malty sweetness. More lemony hop character, a bit floral. Maybe a hint of sourness with mild pear-like fruity undertones. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. I figured I was taking a risk since there was no date on the label or bottle, but the beer tasted pretty fresh.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.8/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was a medium yellow color with a short head that took a long time to die down into a moderate film of foam.

The aroma was somewhat complex... hints of pine and citrus over a pale to medium malt scent, with a bit of skunkiness overlaying the whole thing. In fact, that was the first thing I noticed when I popped the cap... I was glad that there were other things that figured into the smell as I let it sit.

The foretaste was bitter... but this was followed by a very surprising slight smokiness with a bit of a yeasty taste to it. It was quite smooth, but a little bit thin.

A pretty drinkable beer, much better than the initial whiff led me to believe. I bought it because I wanted to see how the Ukranians make their beer... turns out not half bad. Gonna try another of theirs tomorrow night.

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Photo of mynie
3.54/5  rDev +12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got a new state motto for Iowa:

"If you like obscure, middle-of-the-road Eastern European lagers, then come on in!"

Pours really dull yellow. There's a decent head, but it dies away and leaves only a cap. Looks like a macro.

Smells like rich skunk, richer grain, and a nice little hop presence. Solid, for the style.

Tastes like rich, fruity grain upfront. That moves into a more dull and bitter middle that's a combination of earth and weeds. The finishing hops are dull, but present.

Well balanced and certainly nothing offense, but far too tame fir me. The only thing exceptional about this was that 16.9 ounces cost me three bucks. If you should happen to find yourself in Kiev (they do have good whores, I understand), this would be worth a pickup. At inflated import prices, though, it's not really worth it.

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Photo of TheDeuce
1.98/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Obolon Lager....in the bottle at Veselka in Manhatten NY

Appearance-pours a musty gold/yellow, overactive head burst up linges for a minute or so and then dissipitates.

Smell-musty, mix of corn and other starch, alcohol, not much else

Taste/Mouthfeel-light mouthfeel, notes of corn mostly and not much else sour and grainy, ok smoothness, finishes clean,

Drinkability-no major issues

Overall-a less than adequete lager, not a disaster but it doesn't measure up

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Photo of Vancer
2.71/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Classic lager - clear straw pour into the Bitburger pilsner glass, darn good white topping that leaves a good ring lace all the way down.

Big whiff of euro yeast skunk upon opening and pouring, it settles after awhile. Dry, grassy and grainy quaff, bit astringent finish - needs a crisper ending to make it truly a drinking beer. It was fun to sample, but I'd pass on future purchases.

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Photo of droomyster
3.42/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm tasting this beer side-by-side with Baltika lager (which I assume, given their regional proximity, similar bottle sizes and the depth of Ukrainian-Russian cultural ties, is its natural competitor) and prefer the Obolon. Its appearance is less apealing, with its unimpressive head barely rising above its clear golden body, but its flavors have more character. Its honey sweetness and crisp hoppiness are more pronounced than Baltika's. It is simply a richer beer, despite being the same style. It isn't a great beer, but neither is it a bad one.

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Photo of jarmby1711
2.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mid golden in colour with a faint bead and a quickly disappearing head.
Grainy malt smellotherwise unremarkable
Sweetness predominates the early flavour and becomes acidic on the finish There is a touch of cloves in there.
Oily in the mouth a little like honey
Pretty stock standard Euro lager with no particular merits or disappointments

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Obolon Lager from Obolon Brewery
Beer rating: 72 out of 100 with 118 ratings