A phrase to terrify the beer shopper perusing the off licence shelves in search of a new thrill: "Mild & Frisch". And I would have passed on the Flensburger Gold if it wasn't one of a matching pair, the other of which looked genuinely interesting and it didn't feel right leaving this one behind. But more of that below. Gold comes in a dinky 33cl swingtop and shows off its pale gold hue through clear glass. Unsurprisingly, then, there's a definite lightstruck whiff from it. It has a characteristic German smoothness but little by way of flavour, with just a hint of graininess at the back. Enjoyable in its own little way, but there are much better German lagers out there. Somehow I can't see it stealing market share from the other popular 33cl bottles of pale lager: the Coors Lights and Coronas of this world.
It was the Flensburger Winterbock that attracted me to the pair in the first place. The red label had me expecting something much darker than what I got: the sort of orange an IPA would be happy with. I think the dark, smoky bocks of Norway may have spoiled me for bock in general. This one certainly has the raw, sweet malty notes of a German bock and the thick sugary mouthfeel, though the bock flavours aren't as strong as they could be and an odd gassy dryness, almost like a pilsner, comes in behind it. It all has me craving something heavier and stickier. From the branding -- red with snowflakes --I assume that this is meant to be a fireside warmer, but I'm sitting by the fire now and I'm just not feeling the love.
Just as well winter's nearly finished, eh?