Monday, September 24, 2012
Browar Staropolski - Zorg
A few weeks ago, I stopped by a local liquor store to see what new beers they had in stock. Right away, a huge plastic bottle with a flip top cap near the beer shelves caught my eye. At first I thought it was some kind of drink mix, but as I got closer, I made out the word "Lager" on the bottle. I picked it up and gave it a look over. The name on the plastic label said "Zorg," which immediately made me think of Buzz Lightyear's nemesis from "Toy Story." (Author's note: I now realize the name was "Zurg" and not "Zorg." My bad. Sorry, Buzz.) I turned the bottle around and noticed that the beer was Polish and clocked in at a whopping 8%. I know 8% may not seem crazy high, but it is when you consider that there are 51 ounces of 8% lager in a Zorg bottle. At the $3.99 the liquor store was charging, that works out to less than $0.08 per ounce! To give you some idea how cheap that is, Ballast Point's Sculpin runs around $0.36 per ounce and Westvleteren 12 ran me about $3.33 per ounce. I don't know what possessed me, but I had to have this beer.
Alright, let's run this one back. How many warning signs did I miss here?
1: Plastic bottle, flip top cap- This is almost worth double points. A plastic bottle alone should tell you "stay away." Try to class that up with a flip top cap, and you've basically created the mullet of beer bottles. Warning sign!
2: You mistake the bottle for something other than beer- If you think a bottle of lambic is a wine bottle, that's definitely acceptable. If you think a bottle of lager is a drink mix? Warning sign.
3. You find yourself saying "No way can it be that cheap!"- It is that cheap and it's for a reason. Back away slowly. This beer in particular was imported from Poland but was somehow cheaper than water. Warning sign!
4. The beer comes in a 51 oz. bottle- Ummmm, I really don't think I need to say anything more about this one. Warning sign!
Alright, I think that's enough. Needless to say, I got what I deserved on this one. Let's move on to the beer itself.
Zorg pours a milky brownish green color with all the visible carbonation of tap water. When swirled around a bit, there was a lot of visible muck circling the glass. It looked like a stool sample from the Creature from the Black Lagoon. This was going to be bad. Epically bad.
I wish there was a way I could accurately put how bad this concoction smelled into words. The truth is that no words can do Zorg justice, but I'll try my best. This beer smells sweet. Like sickeningly sweet. I picked up an awful mix of honey soaked in stagnant water and a heavy note of malt syrup. Behind all of that sweetness, I picked up some artificial hazelnut and rotten apple flavors. I literally cringed every time I got near this beer to take a sip. Not that I lasted too many sips.
The taste opens with a crippling wave of sweet flavors that are almost mouth-numbing. Massive blows of malt syrup, fermented honey, watered down barley and something I can only describe as honey-soaked sewage beat your palate into submission with every sip. I tried this beer with a few friends and no one could put down more than a few sips of the Zorg. Eventually, we bypassed the traditional sink drainpour and sent the remaining Zorg down the toilet where it belonged. I really, really wish I had heeded the warning signs on this one. There's a new king in Worst Beer Ever Land. All hail the Zorg.
Final Grade: F
Top 100 Beers Tasted: 39