Zhiguly Ale | Gubernija Brewery

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Zhiguly AleZhiguly Ale
20 Ratings
Zhiguly AleZhiguly Ale

Brewed by:
Gubernija Brewery

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gusler on 07-07-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 20 |  Reviews: 20
Reviews by stoutman:
Photo of stoutman
2.12/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

These beverages from the former Eastern bloc countries are a new, inexpensive, yet adventurous foray into the unknown for me. You just never know what you'll get. This one, to me, is like a colt45 malt liquor. Its alcohol taste clearly comes through, but not quite with the cheapness or bitterness. It has a unique taste, and has some malty smoothness to it. Cheap malt liquor, yes, definitely not a barleywine ..not EVEN close!

 428 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
2.58/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – Bright orange in color with a little haziness. Even the head was orange. What is this, Lithuanian malt liquor?

Smell – Yep, Eastern Europe’s version of The Juice. The alcohol is sharp and assaulting on the nose but the American grain is replaced by some decent malts.

Taste – Compared to American malt liquor, this isn’t bad. The orange flavor and alcohol is way over-the-top, as expected.

Mouthfeel – Shy of medium-bodied with a bit of carbonation and a hint of dryness.

Drinkability – You can keep the 40 oz; 0.33 l is plenty for me.

 567 characters

Photo of Jason
2.33/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 16.9 oz green bottle with no freshness date or info about the beer.

Appearance: Tightly cropped lace that subsides to a patchy lace. Nothing special about the head at all.

Smell: Sugary, herbal leafy hop and clean alcohol aroma. Lager like in a way.

Taste: Clean one dimensional malty palate, medium body with a sufficient carbonation. Sugary on the tongue with an ample hop bitterness and alcohol spicy backing. Slight graininess with a bite of yeast. Quite bland … even more in the finish.

Notes: Looks, smells and tastes like a clean American Malt Liquor though there is a slight Euro lager twang that gets lost in the shuffle. No need and bother with this beer, you may as well by a 40 oz of domestic to get the same effect.

 760 characters

Photo of Billolick
2.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

16.9 ounce brown bottle, no freshness info. Pours light and clear, the white head is gone in a few seconds, and leaves no lace. Malty nose with a hint of orange. Malty brew, 8% alcohol slinking in the background. Peppery and crisply fruity in the midsection, with a slight metalic note. Nothing special, nothing terrible. actuelly decent for the style. (how is that for damning with faint praise?)

 397 characters

Photo of ADR
2.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear and medium gold color, brightish. Head starts OK, but is down to a speckly skim in in 50 seconds. No real lace, just some spotting. Honeyish aroma, maybe enough oomph for light brown sugar. Thickish in impression, lots of pasty white bread, somewhat moderated by a flowery tone. Doesn't change, start to finish. Winds up plasticky and with too much sweetness. Could really use some hop infusion, its monotone quality gets old. If this is a top ferementer, it has some Malt Liquor-quality ingredients somewhere in the family tree.

 535 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.58/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This interesting Lithuanian ale pours a hazy orangeish-gold body beneath a short head of creamy bright-white foam that collapses steadily to a thin surface covering. It does leave some nice lace in its wake, however. The nose is fairly basic with a healthy handfull of malt and a subtle hint of fruit, but no hops (there is a light touch of alcohol!). In the mouth it's medium bodied and zesty. The flavor offers sweetish malt and a touch of fruitiness along with some spicy hops (or is that alcohol?), and a solid bitterness. It finishes warming with a wash of spicy alcohol on the tongue. Worth trying.

 604 characters

Photo of marcobrau
2.99/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy gold with the aroma predominated by malt. Pours with a pretty good amount of foam, but then the head falls flat. I don't notice the higher alcohol as much as I though I might. (I've had some of these Eastern European beers before.) I can detect a little bit of an anise aroma as the beer warms up, otherwise pretty straightforward and lacking complexity. The finish is fairly dry, which is favorable, but otherwise nothing complicated -- just strong. Is it really an ale? I don't think so. Thanks to RedBaron for the bottle!

 537 characters

Photo of Gusler
2.06/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A winsome translucent golden color, the head miniscule, white and what there is of it disappears faster than beer at a “BA” gathering, scant lace to speak of. Nose is all malt, fresh and crisp, lightly sweet, start is mostly malt, sweet with the top skeletal. Finish has a stinging acidity, hops present, dry alcohol bitter aftertaste, with a bit of belly warming as the 8.2% ABV kicks in, can’t say it does much for me in any category.

 439 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
1.52/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Pours as orange of a color as any beer that I have ever seen, what head it does have fades into the abyss of this sweet cloying nightmare of a beer. Taste is malty and grassy, very much like a lot of euro lagers, except this has a big shot of alcohol in the nose. Taste is sickly sweet with malt and a disturbingly large amount of alcohol present. Probably good on a cold Lithuanian night, but for being in America, this beer has no place.

 439 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.36/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a tall, bubbly head that doesn't stay not leaving any lace. Nice golden color. The nose is a non-descript mix of malt and hops but starts on the sweet side, finishes crisp. High ABV but the alcohol is not noticeable, really a smooth mouthfeel. 500ml - $1.75.

 269 characters

Photo of putnam
3.65/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very cloudy with a very fine dusting of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Yellow-tan colored liquid with a fine head. Expressive, but soft aromas of basmati rice, hay, rotting wood and urine. Neutral flavors combine with fairly rich texture. Notes of fresh and boiled hops, barley, toast and mineral water appear on the short palate. This is what American Macros would taste like if they weren't filtered and otherwise treated a little more crudely. This is pre-sanitized, cheap beer. More interesting for it.
3.0, 3.0, 3.5, 3.0, 3.5 = 3.25

Retasted on 5.29.04 from a brand new package (vaguely flagon-shaped, 11.2 oz. brown bottle):
Fresher now, with a nice, nutty toffee expression on the nose. The palate is still uncomplicated and sweet like dried apricots. Rich, creamy and slightly metallic, the finish is very quick. If the price is low enough, this would make an adequate stand in for a Belgian golden Ale like Duvel.

 939 characters

Photo of RedBaron
3.15/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Lithuanian strong ale (as the label reads, though I think this may really be a strong lager).

Appearance: Orange-y hue; nice carbonation throughout
Smell: Citrus-y, but mostly roasted malt sweet on the nose. No detectable hop aroma.
Taste: Perhaps a complex mixture of different malt varieties; sweet up front; mostly sweet with some bittering hop in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Definitely a full-bodied, strong and fairly sticky malt feel. Good malt, to be sure.
Drinkability: Basically, this is a beer that doesn't really arouse much interest, other than the fact that it was an oddball beer, found as I was perusing a fantastic Polish grocery store near my home. Having never seen or heard of it, I thought I'd give it a try (and for $6.99 a sixer, I thought "What the hell, why not?"). lt is a decent beer, but there are better Eastern Euro beers on the market. Having said that, it is delivers a nice malty sweet taste -- just not distinctive enough to garner a higher rating.

 985 characters

Photo of beerguy101
2.66/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Light gold color, medium white foamy head. Aroma is grainy and sweet. This beer is the ale and its more of a lager than an ale. A light bodied lager. Fairly hoppy and malty for a lager. Full flavor, slightly fruity. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter

 302 characters

Photo of BillA
3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 33ml bottle into a goblet; a small head developed, which quickly collapsed. Some lace remained behind. The beer has little nose. I was rather surprised at the mildness of this beer. There was a slight hop bitterness, followed by notable maltiness. Alchohol was evident, as you'd expect at 8.2 abv. I'm not impressed by this beer. It's certainly not a bad brew, but if I'm going to drink a high alchohol ale like this, I'm gonna go for something that has more taste.

 479 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
2.57/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark gold with a mixed head of large bubbles and promising cascade that suddenly vanishes as if salt were poured on it. The aroma is mainly grainy malt with a whiff of alcohol. The overly sweet malt body houses a cheap vodka-like alcoholic presence. There is some citrus bitterness and an acidic, spicy astringent mouthfeel. This strong ale seems to worsen with each swallow.

 383 characters

Photo of genaro
2.53/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Beer Researcher gave me this beer and I didn't look at the green bottle before pouring. Withough thinking I assumed this was just going to be another East European pilsner. If I had at least paused to read the name of the beer I would have known it was an ale. I must have been real thirsty. It seemed like a pilsner at first with its light clear gold color. It had a decent head and no lace. The surprise was that its grainy aroma was very alcoholly. It had a smooth malt taste with a good hit of alcohol that led to a dry, grainy, alcoholly finish. The alcohol was pretty much up front throughout and not blended in too well, sort of like it was just added to it. I liked this beer the first couple of times I drank it, but it didn't take long for me to get sick of the taste.

 778 characters

Photo of proc
2.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This one had a faint, light-struck aroma upon the initial pour. The skunked smell wasn't noticeable while drinking though. Taste is somewhat sweet, with a noticeable corn presence. The 8+% ABV is well hidden. Very bland overall and not really distinguishable. As Jason's review said, grab yourself a 40oz. domestic and have it...now where is my 40 of Colt 45...?

 367 characters

Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - this "american" macro lager pours a clear dark yellow with a big fizzy white head that dissipates almost immediately, a few thin carbonation bubbles

S - strong malt aromas, almost appley in nature, with a backbone of alcohol

T - sweet appley with the malts, with a sweet vanilla finish, more flavorful than i had ever thought it would be, esp. after have the "Grand 9.5", the one for $0.99

M&D - layered and smooth, very much more so than I had expected, there was actually a nice and sweet finish with a few different flavors, surprising, not great, but definitely drinkable

 588 characters

Photo of macpapi
2.03/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Well I went against two general principles with the purchase of this one. First, I usually shy away from Eastern European/Baltic beers due to past experience. Secondly--and more of a generalization--never buy beer in green bottles. But the cheap price and need to broaden my international scope drove this attempt.

The beer poured a light golden color. It had little head, and that small level quickly dissipated. Lacing again was minimal. Not impressive at all. Neither was the smell. The aroma is best described as simple, with no complexity whatsoever. It is comprised of basic hops and wheat with little else noticeable. Similarly there is nothing to write home about with the flavor of Zhiguly. The presence of malt is there, along with quite a bit of sweetness. But the image that I will longest remember is the alcohol kick, which is not covered over at all. The easiest way to put it is that for a brief second I wondered whether or not some mass produced Lithuanian vodka is poured into each bottle in small doses. In the mouth the beer quickly evaporates. It has the thinness of colored water with a bitter alcoholic kick.

Unfortunately this is a beer more likely to be forced down than sipped. One try was enough for me. Time to return to American micros I think.

 1,282 characters

Photo of Chaz
3.94/5  rDev +44.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Zhiguly Ale is Zhiguly Ekstra's big brother, over 8% of full-bodied malt
goodness. It's big like an American Malt Liquor (think OE's "HG800")
but although it starts big and malty-sweet it actually finishes rather dry and without the crappy aftertaste of what most of us expect out of a 40 oz. Pours a clear-but-not-brilliant straw in color, with a white head of short duration. No lace to brag about, and the nose is malt, malt, and more malt. And by the way, it's not an ale but a lager, so don't think for a moment that your BJCP-trained taste buds have gone south. This would probably make for a great session beer if you ever found your bad self in some Lithuanian barrio (hell, what do I know? I'm a blackirishman from East Side of Saint Paul!), and alternately a great alternative to vodka when it becomes necessary for a little wintetime "anitfreeze".

Not a bad tasting beer, malty and full-bodied. Nice bitterness but poor aromatics . . . rather balanced at any rate. Tthe booze is definitely there, and warming rather than hot, unlike some other Lithuanian malt-monsters I won't mention. Quite average in a couple of ways, but with a much higher degree of drinkability than many strong euro lagers or American malt liquors.

As for what sort of food it might compliment, heck, who cares? After a couple of these you'll forget about food and just want to paint the town red. For what it's worth, I always loved the goofy long-necked 12 ounce bottles sticking up out of the wacky six-pack tray, even though I was convinced it would fall from the tray if I placed it to high in the cooler for my clumsy customers : D

 1,629 characters

Zhiguly Ale from Gubernija Brewery
Beer rating: 2.72 out of 5 with 20 ratings