If anyone in my house is going to drink lager, it's me - as a rule, my partner ignores anything under about 9% ABV. I, however, like lighter stuff when she’s switched to G&Ts in the summer, meaning that when it gets hot, I don't ask her for beer suggestions. So when I found some Tiger Lager at my local market, I gave it a try. You’ve never heard of Tiger? That doesn't surprise me - it's Asian. Of course you know Asian beers; but unlike the ones usually found in Asian restaurants (Tsingtao, Singha, Sapporo, and Asahi), Tiger is from Singapore. Ever been to a Singaporean restaurant? Me, neither.
Asian Pacific has brewed Tiger in Singapore since the early 1930s. As you would expect of beer for the city’s sticky climate - average annual temperature over 80 °F, annual rainfall almost 80 inches - Tiger Lager is light in color, texture, and kick (5% ABV). In that, it's pretty similar to a typical American Lager, say, Budweiser. There are differences, though.
Tasting Notes:Pour: pale yellow with faint greenish highlights. Poured cold into a lager glass, it generates almost 2” of very pale cream-colored, fine-textured head. While the bubbles dissipate quickly, Tiger continues to produce tiny bubbles that coalesce into a long-lasting lace.Nose: Tiger, like most lagers, has a subtle nose; in fact, it’s nearly nonexistent. You may detect a faint citrus aroma and a hint of hops, but even the base of the nose, its pale malt scent, isn't particularly persistent.Mouthfeel: Tiger is more complex than your ordinary mass-market American Lagers (that’s not saying much), with a hint of lemon that quickly yields to a sweet, light malt flavor with a faint hops bitterness. It's a clean-tasting beer, better for lacking the heavy carbonation of Coors or Budweiser, for instance. It’s a tit more muscular than more common Japanese beers; and seems less bitter to me than the other common southeast Asian beer, Singha.Finish: a sharp, clean flavor with just a hint of bitterness.
Overall, Tiger is designed for the climate of its home city, where summer never seems to end. As are many similar beers, Tiger matches well with spicy cuisines from Southeast Asia. If I ran across it in a restaurant, I'd chose it before most of the common Asian beers, except perhaps San Miguel. I probably wouldn’t go in search of it, however, in a market already saturated by summer-ready brews.
Rating: 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 because it’s summer out there.