Beer Review: STONE BUENAVEZA SALT & LIME LAGER

Beer Review: STONE BUENAVEZA SALT & LIME LAGER

The Stone Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager pours into the glass with a crystal-clear, deep golden hue, boasting a bright white foam that lingers surprisingly long for a non-hoppy lager. While the appearance is commendable, the packaging leaves much to be desired. The laser-printed packaging date on the neck and the limited format options of bombers and 12-pack cases of 12oz bottles are questionable decisions that hinder accessibility for most beer drinkers. A more consumer-friendly approach, such as a 6-pack of 12oz cans, would have been preferable.

Aroma

The aroma of Buenaveza offers a promising start, with hints of sweet white bread and a subtle touch of lime zest. It presents an inviting and soft bouquet, featuring notes of freshly-cut grass, zesty citrus peel, and fleeting maltiness. However, it’s worth mentioning that the official description’s claim of inspiration from Mexican beers since 1996 conveniently overlooks the fact that their Mexican hot chocolate-inspired imperial stout, Xocoveza, was the brainchild of San Diego homebrewer Chris Banker. Proper credit should be attributed where it is due.

Taste

Disappointingly, Buenaveza falls short in delivering the promised salt and lime flavors. The salt character is too subdued to discern, while the lime flavors are faint, almost imperceptible. The label and aroma prime the palate for lime, making its weak presence even more disappointing. Furthermore, the finish abruptly veers towards macro lager-like paperiness around the edges, leaving much to be desired. One might wonder if the choice of glass bottles was intended to allow consumers to add their own salt and lime to salvage the experience.

Mouthfeel

The mouthfeel of Buenaveza is unremarkable, failing to stand out from the crowd. It lacks the distinctive flaked maize flavors that have become a common trait in Mexican lager recipes. This absence, coupled with the subdued salt and lime elements, results in a beer that feels rushed and ultimately misses its mark.

Overall

Stone’s interpretation of a Mexican lager in the form of Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager falls short of expectations. It lacks the boldness and intensity of salt and lime flavors that one would anticipate based on the name and description. Instead, it comes across as relatively uninteresting and surprisingly familiar, bearing more resemblance to an American macro pale lager, the very archetype that Stone Brewing seemingly opposes. The absence of flaked maize flavors further compounds its underwhelming character, leaving us with a beer that feels rushed and uninspired.

Similar Beers

If you’re seeking a pale lager with refreshing salt and lime flavors, alternatives like Belching Beaver Dia De Los Deftones and Epic Los Locos are worth exploring. For a truly exceptional beer with prominent salt and lime notes and a refreshing profile, Dogfish Head’s SeaQuench Ale or Sierra Nevada’s Otra Vez Lime & Agave are far superior choices.

In summary, Stone Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager disappoints in its execution, failing to deliver on its promise of bold flavors. With underwhelming salt and lime elements and a lack of unique characteristics, it falls short of the high standards set by the craft beer industry.