Hollandia Extra Strong Imperial Pils, Holland (Alcohol 12%) The Beer Store $4.25 (500ml Tall Boy cans)

There is bad beer, and then there is really bad beer. Hollandia Extra Strong undoubtedly falls into the latter category.

When the promotional material screams:



…you can tell it’s not exactly going to be a delicately nuanced brew.

Now, if by “Start Your Engines” they mean “Drink a few, stagger about in a confused manner, fall over and ungraciously soil yourself” then I think they would be right on the money. Which also beggars the question, who on earth is the intended target audience? I mean, a 12% beer is hardly a crowd-pleaser at the best of times, unless of course your crowd is a bumdle [sic] of gentlemen of the street. In my mind, this disgustingly syrupy can of suds is specifically designed to be consumed en pleine air (or perhaps under a bridge depending upon one’s preference).

It pours a clear orangey colour in the glass, with an uneven mousse not dissimilar to sea scum/spume. There’s a distinctive and unpleasant punch of rank fusel alcohol mixed with rancid honey that would surely put off all but the most determined of alcoholic adventurers. If one is foolhardy/desperate enough to actually imbibe, there is a dominant but clumsy and sticky alcoholic maltiness on the palate, and a similarly persistent syrupy finish that unfortunately for the drinker lingers on and on… and on.

I swear I could taste it in my mouth the next day. Actually, I think I could actually smell it from my skin the next day, this awful stuff is that pervasive within the human body. I swear its sweet stink was oozing from my very pores.

What with recent British news reports stating that such super strength beers cause more harm that both crack and heroin, The Beer Store hits a new low with this fizzy cloying muck aimed firmly at the anti-social drinker. So much for their much-touted credo of social responsibility.

Zero Apples out of a maximum of five.

Jamie Drummond

Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And that was really minging.