Earthquake High Gravity Lager (12%) | City Brewing Company, LLC

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Earthquake High Gravity Lager (12%)Earthquake High Gravity Lager (12%)

Brewed by:
City Brewing Company, LLC
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Malt Liquor

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Zorro on 07-12-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 51 | Ratings: 73
Photo of emerge077
1.06/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Nothing says happy thanksgiving like shitty malt liquor!

Poured into a mug, it's a dark urine gold orange. Rapid club soda carbonation, bubbles clinging to the sides, despite a thorough glass rinsing. Audibly crackling fizz, thin layer of white foam that leaves behind a feeble scab of skim floating on the surface. Looks like carbonated apple juice.

Reeks of fusel alcohol, grape/apple juice, and envelope glue. Sickly sweet, sharp, and stomach-turning. Pure malaise in a can.

Sweet, green apple jolly rancher flavor, solvent fumes, blatant alcohol, astringent as hell. The tongue numbs on impact. Alcoholic, carbonated grape juice. Harsh finish that lingers, bitter apple seeds, slick with an alcohol burn that's just pure nasty. This is only a feasible drink when partially frozen, and only when down on your luck, out on the curb. Truly the bottom of the barrel. This is probably among the worst, if not the worst beer i've ever drank.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
2.03/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

There are several ways to look at this beer. One is that it's just malt liquor crap, but one is also that it's a bit of a new style. And I wonder, if one of America's funky craft breweries produced this would it be better received? I think probably so. And on that note, I don't normally mention packaging (because we're really just interested in the beer here), but the graphics on the can really do make an impression, and most likely not for the beter. So let's get to it.

The body is a hazy deep golden that appears almost orange in a pint glass. The creamy white head settles quickly and leaves little lacing behind, if at all (there are some spots and streaks here and there). Of course, in a beer that's 12% alc./vol. that's somewhat to be expected.

The aroma is oddly reminiscent of many malternatives. It's fruity like apple juice and fruit punch combined; and there's a clear note of alcohol and solvent. If there are any hops present, I can't find them beyond the esters.

The flavor is exactly as the aroma indicates it will be. It's fruity, a hint tangy (or biting on the tongue), cidery, and clearly hot with alcohol. I get some ethyl acetate coming through pretty distinctly; and it's definitely hot (there's a bit of the peppery spice that comes with that). I'm also finding some plastic-like phenols as well in the finish, where it also sweetens up for a quick bit. I'm sure that there are enough hops in here to meet the legal requirements of "beer" (probably from liquid extract), but it seems as if the drying alcohol is all that's there to balance the sweet malt.

As to drinkability... I personally have a fairly bad reaction to higher alcohols, leaving my face and ears to turn red as I get very hot in the face - and that happened to me only 3 or 4 ounces into this! I can drink distilled liquors (or wine, which is usually about 12%), but not this unrefined stuff, so that cuts down its drinkability for me. Beyond that, I'm not sure I care for the flavor at all - or that anyone would. If I was going to drink this I'd at least want the 'fruit cushion' of a JOOZE or FOUR-O LOKO. They may use lager yeast, and it's certainly high gravity, but this is far from what I'd consider a "high gravity lager" as there are really no hops to it at all.

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Photo of womencantsail
1/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A: The pour is a fizzy, light golden color with pretty much no head.

S: Oh wow, this is bad. The nose is a terrible combination of sugar, caramel, and cream with some coffee and grape juice. The alcohol is incredibly well pronounced.

T: I wish I could give this lower than a one (I gave a one to the appearance to compensate). This is the most god-awful tasting beverage to ever grace my tongue. The coffee, caramel, grapes, abrasive alcohol, metal, and absolutely disgustingly sweet...what were they thinking?

M: Thin bodied, highly carbonated, and hot from the booze, even when ice cold.

D: This is the worst thing I've ever had (and I've had a lot of malt liquors). I would never have this again, nor would I suggest anyone consider buying this. The 24 ounce can was about 48 ounces too much.

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Photo of woodychandler
1.98/5  rDev +23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The CANQuest just CANtinues to take me to new and unexpected places. I CANnot tell you how overjoyed I am to be reviewing yet another AmeriCAN Malt Liquor. And from the good people of City BC, LLC, no less. I wonder, as I drink their products (NOT their beers), how they sleep at night. A special circle in Hell must be reserved for purveyors of such swill, or so I would believe if that were my belief system. I am at the mercy of the almighty CAN and so, I proceed only hoping to come out on the other side.

Once I cracked the top, I was committed! The CANQuest will abide nothing less. I saw a finger of bone-white head that looked like something I might see from 7-Up as it popped, fizzled and reduced to wisps in record time. My liver began to hurt. The color was a golden yellow with NE-quality clarity. And now, for the moment of truth - I leaned in, taking a deep whiff. Yoi! It smelled like a plastics manufacturing plant or maybe the production facility for styrofoam. My liver began banging around, hoping for escape in the face of the inevitable. I took a good mouthful, in case I might have to abandon the quest. Whew! I was suddenly sad that I did not have a gas station nearby as I could sell someone the remainder for their tank. I got an initial flavor of VERY green apples which gave way to a flavor resembling only the finest unleaded gasoline. Perfect, if you are looking to commit suicide by beer. The finish was hot in a molten way. I was afraid to do anything that might possibly create a spark. My liver disengaged and began shoving other organs out of its way in its search for an exit. My eyes began to water and I could feel the suction pump vacuuming the moisture out of my brain en route to a stellar hangover. By my second mouthful, I was praying to a God in whose existence I was heretofore an unbeliever. Remember the old saw about atheists and foxholes? Incoming! I began to taste cotton candy, another sign of a quality beer. I refilled my glass, watching it come out of the CAN like viscous apple juice. This is wrong on so many levels, it is not even quantifiable. I began to have convos with my Pops, my grandparents, and my uncle Rick, all long deceased, ala Willy Loman in "Death of a Salesman". I see dead people! Why are they all disapproving of my beer? CAN it be that I may be on my way to join them? I am pressing on. By my third swallow, I was drooling openly, unable to control my motor functions and preparing to urinate in the sink. Damn, this is real good! I am coming around to their POV - nothing like a good, cheap erasure of my mind on a Friday night, especially on the cheap. Cheep, cheap. Hoo ha. Who R U? I CANnot open the bay doors right now, Dave. Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do ... I happy to pleased meet you are. Where CAN I get some more of this jaunt? Taa daa. I'm here! Lucky you. Wait, what was I supposed to be doing? Sorry, I've got to go, in order to operate a construction crane high above multiple people. Good times!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
1/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I bought this for a novelty to see how bad the highest alcohol content malt liquor I have ever seen could be. For a dollar and some change for a pounder can you're definitely getting the bang for your buck but why would you want it if you have to drink this beer. Pours like apple juice minimally carbonated, faint fizzy white head wispy thin lace. Aroma has tart alcohol/cidery greeen apple notes/and booze of course. A cooked vegetable metallic character in the finish, almost like there's a penny aging in the bottom of the can. Flavor induces the gag reflux, worst tasting creation fusel alcohol harsh finish cloying sweet green apple tartness, completely terrible in everyway. I will never go down this road again. Mouthfeel again cloying fizzy carbonation doesn't carry the medium bodied malt liquor very well. Drinkability this is quite the train wreck of a beer drinking experience, only the brave will attempt and the crazy will drink the whole can. Mine went down the drain, yet I'm satisfied by the experiement.

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Photo of MasterSki
2.28/5  rDev +41.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Can generously provided by t0rin0. One of the Malt Liquor Tasting leftovers that we're slowly working through. Served in a BeerAdvocate taster glass. Poured out a few oz for our homies who couldn't be there.

A - Big white foam quickly settles to a thin ring and some spotty lace. Transparent golden body, with big bubbles adhering to the sides of the glass.

S - Sugar, corn, grape juice, Kool-Aid, and some obvious fusel alcohols. It's a malt liquor alright, but it's far from the worst one we've had.

T - Taste is a step down, with mostly sweet corn and grain alcohol that gets increasingly obvious towards the finish. That being said, not entirely unpalatable.

M - Surprisingly low carbonation, medium-full body, some definite alcohol warmth but otherwise quite smooth.

D - Like Evil Eye, this was only somewhat bad, and not epic bad. A large portion of the can was actually consumed (albeit by a large group of people).

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Photo of tone77
2.28/5  rDev +41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 24 oz. can. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts. Taste is of alcohol, maybe a touch of malts. Feels light in the mouth with a bit of alcohol burn, and it was a real challenge for me to finish this can. Overall the only reason to buy this beer would be to get slam faced as cheaply as possible.

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Photo of Mora2000
1/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this high gravity greatness.

The beer pours a dark yellow color with a white head. The aroma is that of plastic and oil. Seriously, how does a beer smell this bad? The flavor is skunk (not sure how a can gets skunked but it did), citrus fruit and awfulness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. The appearance of the big 24 ounce can is awesome, everything else is terrible.

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Photo of Zorro
2.6/5  rDev +61.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

24 OZ of 12% Booze for 99 cents, well that just plain says you might go blind! Pretty much this is the unflavored base beer they make the "Four" Alco-pops out of.

Clear golden colored beer with very slight head formation and retention.

Smells light and corny with a slight corn syrup scent. Sweet and corny smell. Scientists with a gas chromatograph can only detect hops. Still no off odors here at all.

Starts out sweet and alcoholic with a slight metal aftertaste to it. If you ever wondered what bock must taste like with no hops, grab one of these and find out. Corn syrup and candy flavor, guessing they are not adding all that much sugar to the Four Series of alco-pops, just brew a beer until it kills the yeast and force carbonate it. Not completely awful, just too sweet.

Mouthfeel is pretty good since this thing is just loaded with unfermented sugars.

Drinkability is OK, but the sweetness is just too much. Run this through a Randall or add about 60 IBUs bitterness and it would be decent. Better than you could expect out of a 24 OZ Ghetto can of beer, still no repeat sale here.

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Photo of Bitterbill
1.29/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Big old 24oz can.

It pours a clear gold colour, 1" head of foam, and a ton of bubbles.

The smell has a big grain and sweet notes and quite a big alcohol aroma. Fancy that.

The taste is cloyingly sweet from the added sugars to bump up the abv. Wow. The grain in the smell is nowhere to be found...just super sickly sweetness and a ton of booze and some near burning of my throat in the swallow. Yuckity yuck.

Medium body lots of carbonation.

Drinkability? It's off the charts in the wrong direction! No way will I finish this one...

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Photo of twiggamortis420
1.06/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

24 oz can pours a dark, desert-tortoise urine gold color with a small, creamy head. Looks evil, thickly viscous and rough.

Nose is absolutely stomach-curdling. Oh my god, the acetone and green apples on this are just rampant and disgusting. This might be the worst smelling beer I have ever had.

The first sip of this made me wretch a little in the mouth, something that has never, NEVER happened to me before. Wow, it is absolutely wretched. This is the most disgusting, foul-tasting brew I have ever had in my 20+ years of beer drinking. This rivals Bud Chelada for worst ever, and I actually think this might surpass it. I cant even stomach 3 sips of this. Holy shit, brewing this must be a complete joke. I knew it would be bad, horrible even...but this takes F-O-U-L to a whole new level!

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
1.09/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Earthquake High Gravity Lager can only be described as monstrously bad. This hideous product has a thick, off-white head, hazy dark gold appearance, and thin, quickly-dissipating lacing. Aroma is of some sort of over-ripe apples or other fruit. The taste is like foul cough syrup or some type of chemical extract. Mouth-feel is harsh and nauseating. It finishes down the drain. I hated to waste 24 oz. and some money, but this is beyond the pale! Earthquake is an insult to humanity and a shameful product. Not only should you avoid it, you should run from it. Oh, the horror! The horror!


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Photo of JISurfer
1.1/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I started the night off with the Schlitz VSL, figured it's a good beer to go fishing with. After I had that, I was starting to feel kinda good, but I didn't have anymore. I went down to the corner gas station to see what they had, as well as get a beef stick for my wifey type. I saw the Earthquake for only $1.50, plus it was 12%, AND it was cold. I went against my better judgement and got it. Pretty much tasted like poorly made moonshine beer. I say that, because I've had good moonshine, which this was nothing like. It did start to taste a little better and made it more drinkable, as I got to the bottom, but I think we know why that happened. Never again, but I'm glad I survived the Earthquake and the After Shocks.

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Photo of budgood1
1.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

24 oz. can.

pours out of the can a glowing gold almost seems like it could glow in the dark! a relatively modest head appears and dies down quickly leaving some sparse lace. weird fruity aroma....combination of green apples and vanilla...some bubble gum too. doesn't smell bad, just not right! whoa baby...the taste is a sickly sweet mouth jarring combination of rubbing alcohol and corn syrup. more fruity esthers and plastic phenols abound to really make for an interesting flavour profile. instant belly warmer. i'm sipping this and it's a chore. i'm getting dizzy already. heavy handed body and slick oily mouthfeel. poor drinkability.

oh boy...this brew should be poured into shot glasses and chased with tequila!! i'm not sure what redeeming qualities this has other than to get a big buzz on quickly and violently. this might be good to boil some brats in...i see no other use for this vile, yet "flavourful" liquid. ugh.

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Photo of nlmartin
1.83/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Oh lord!... This is not a good idea. This beer was bought while shopping for Ryans Ghetto BIF. My apologies to Naproxen as I sent her a can. The beer was served cold in a pint glass. In all honesty when you buy a tall boy of 12% High Gravity Malt Liquor you know what you are getting yourself into. Why am I doing this to myself? Sometimes I suspect I hate me.

Appearance: The body of the beer is a fizzy golden coloration. The head of the beer beer is a white coloration. Retention of the head is non existant. Doesnt look bad but I suspect this is the high note for this beer.

Smell: Slightly earthy sweet corn syrup aroma. No hops are present. Lots of sweetness this may melt my molars.

Taste: After the smell I cannot say my mouth is watering. This is nearing molar melting sweet. Lots of alcohol sweetened candied candy corn. No off flavors just straight up sweet.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The beer is very sweet. The body is light actively carbonated. Not really all that drinkable due to super sweetness. In short this is a High Nitro Buzz beer. Serve super cold in the can and drink as fast as you can stand it. Its not gag inducing but there are way better malt liquors.

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Photo of pmcadamis
1.28/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A - This is a giant 24 oz man-can that would be at home in any paper sack, and would be the appropriate serving for any occasion held at your cardboard box estate at the most prestigious back-alley address. The brew itself is a clear and dark-amber concoction that looks like a healthy first morning void. Head and lace? Who are we kidding here. We BA's are probably the only people who have ever poured this stuff into anything other than a paper cup or an open mouth.

S - Sweet caramel candy and booze. Smells like the breath of a homeless dude who just found a full packet of Worther's Originals in a dumpster, and chased that candy with a pint of vodka. Diabetics in ketoacidosis have a similar perfume spewing forth from their gullet.

T - Like the "nose" this has a super-sweet and super-boozy character that will put the fear of god into the mind of teetotalers everywhere. This tastes like two girls put sugary caramel candies into their nether regions and then did something unspeakable with a small paper cup.

M - Thick, sugary, husky, and boozy. Finishes with a gin-like herbal fire that warms you from the inside out, but not in a good way.

D - It's honestly not as terrible as I've made it sound, but be warned... this is pure crunk juice at it's finest. Only the most penny pinching connoisseur of the most powerful of gas station offerings will find any joy in this beast. If you are going for this sort of firepower, why not do yourself a favor and just pick up a bottle of the cheapest gin or vodka you and find? If you are going for pure strength (12%? WTF?) , at least with a nice bottle of MadDog 20/20 you might not have to pee every five seconds. After all, cardboard boxes don't have the greatest plumbing in the world... all of that used up Earthquake might just come running back down the gutter into your "recyclable" home.

Note: It is my day off, but I still poured over half of this down the drain because I was starting to feel too dizzy too fast. What the hell, it was only like a dollar fifty.

1 24oz can of 12% ABV beer
4 bottles of a 6% craft beer

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Photo of Bookseeb
1.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

For $1.19, 12.0% and 24oz. I just had to do it. Appearance is a light golden yellow with a crisp head. Smell has a sweet sour wine aroma to it. Taste for me is like an underaged fruit wine with the same amount of alchohol. Mouthfeel is a lighter medium and light carbonation. I have to say I'm having a hard time getting through this one, it's rather rich. Test yourself and see what you think.

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Photo of Chaz
2.29/5  rDev +42.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours a rusty-golden in color ("copper", I suppose) topped with a rocky off-white head. Head falls at an average pace, leaving just a bit of clingy lace.

The smell is very, very sweet. It smells like what it is, a sweet, malty pale lager, maybe a bit of sour-ish apple cider in there, and honey-ish notes, but this is literally nothing to write home about. No hop presence here, vegetal notes, boozy, slightly phenolic, industrial solvent notes, burning sensation . . .

Sweet and acrid on the first sip, but this is hardly a sippin' beer. This is something to get wrecked on. HOT, boozy, any flavor here tastes like burning and prickly needles in my tongue. Ouch! To be fair, I've enjoyed eisbocks with similar phenolic characteristics to this, so I'd say this one might appeal to the folks that dig big, burly super-lagers, but there's no finesse here. The malt base needs some hop bitterness and it just ain't here...

Body is thin-yet-treacly. More burning as it settles in my belly... for what it is (12% -- holy crap!) this is quite drinkable, but I just can't think of very many people wanting to drink more than about 2 ounces of this and then doing a drain pour. This reminds me of the time I handed some n00bish friends of mine some ice-cold cans of 'Bavaria 8.6', which they promptly dubbed "Super Beer!" About half the folks couldn't stomach the solvent-like character of that stuff (I liked it...) and poured 'em. One guy drank the entire can and promptly locked himself in the bathroom for three hours.

Sadly, Earthquake is way, way cheaper and easier to come by than the fabled Bavaria 8.6, and it's a wonder I don't see more of these cans down by the river . . . this one's definitely not for the faint of heart!

Served chilled in a Paulaner Mass (sacrilege!)

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Photo of vacax
1.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I am obligated to give Andrew another huge shout out for breaking this one out alongside that Colt 45 HG. This one pours a yellow-gold color (shocking). Smells of grain, plastic, and apples. Tastes of grapes, sugar sweetness, metallic, astringent. Finish is tart with plastic and cookielike malt. Medium bodied, I think, not sure due to huge sodapop fizz carbonation. There is no reason to drink this. There's none.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
2.89/5  rDev +79.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Compliments of AKBelgianBeast in part of my losing the LNBA FF.

A- The beer had a sizable head at first, then shrank as quickly as a boner does when confronted by a mouthful of razor blades. Darker gold color then your typical beer of this style and origin.

S- The smell is actually kinda nice. It is fruity with an effervescence to it. The fruit smell is that of...oh crap this reminds me of MD 20/20, the red flavor mixed with the orange flavor. Even has that harsh sweet alcohol undertone.

T- Wow this is sweet! It's like someone used pixie sticks as a swizzle stick. Perhaps pixie sticks were used in the primary. This totally has the feel and taste of MD 20/20 with the sweetness and fruit flavors it has. Man this is sweetly rough.

M- Thick and ultra sweet. The carbination helps, but not much.

D- I'd say chug this o

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
1.12/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12oz can poured into a Budweiser pint glass. No apparent date, just cryptic numbers on the bottom of the can.

Appearance - Clear copper body. Off-white head in the glass, but when it foamed up upon opening the can it was a light brown color.

Smell - Vinegar. Soy sauce. Alochol. Dark fruit. Not appealing at all.

Taste - Alcohol. Corn. Earth. Musk.

Mouthfeel - Very astringent finish. I can do nothing to prevent making a face.

Overall Drinkability - Probably the worst beer I've had in a long time. This is totally a sink pour.

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Photo of whatthehull
2.55/5  rDev +58.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pint Glass

A - Merky golden sunset, no head and no lacing

S - Tons of malts, funky yeast, sugar, very slight, barley and tons of alcohol

T - slight hop, tons of bitter, sugar, alcohol, grains, rice, yeast and huge amounts of malts

M - Full bodied, no complexity, not very balanced, medium minus acidity and very long sweet/malty/boozy finish

D/O - I enjoy this a lot. Easy to drink, nice abv and a low, low price. Not a crafty beer or something I would drink a couple cans of, just a good getting tipsy beer

Final thoughts - $1.50 and 12% abv? Haha. This one is ok by me. Watch out for the hang over!

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Photo of DannyDan
1.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours out an amber hue with a thin white head that leaves no lacing or retention. The smell is of alcohol, rotting apples, rotting corn and mildew. The taste is lots of alcohol, spoiled corn and sweet malts that leave a bad aftertaste in the mouth. The mouthfeel is burning alcohol and an unpleasant feel on the tongue. This $1.30 for a 24 oz. can was one of the worse beers I ever tasted and will never buy it again.

Serving type: can

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Photo of Avagadro
1.1/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: can is poorly designed, but big with the abv listed proudly and large.
S: diesel fuel, acetone, and other solvent-esque characters dominate the nose.
T: I was literally stunned by the flavor. It was as of an earthquake hit me at first sip. This stuff is just awful.
M: thin bodied, but nothing. Is really wrong with it.
D: this is just awful. I have never developed a headache before finishing my first brew. That is, until I found Earthquake. Avoid.

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Photo of boudreaux
1.83/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 4

16oz can drunk straight from the can
A: Didn't even give it the time of day
S: Some sort of over-ripe apples or other fruit
T: cough syrup and sour malt-hop mash; alcoholic
M: Pretty bad; kinda like drinking watered-down cough syrup
D: Actually, fairly drinkable; pretty much brewed to be a high-alcohol, high consumption "get drunk" beer

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Earthquake High Gravity Lager (12%) from City Brewing Company, LLC
1.61 out of 5 based on 73 ratings.
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