This is one of my guilty pleasures, and probably yet another nail in my 'craft beer blogger' coffin. Whenever we pop into Wing Yip, I can't resist picking up a bottle (or a case) of this stuff because it's absurdly cheap and pleasingly tasty.
Also, as I've previously explored, this beer contains no actual horse, red or otherwise.
Red Horse Beer is an unashamedly strong 6.9% ABV lager from the Philippines. I say 'unashamedly' because clearly the rules on alcohol promotion are less aggressive than we have in the UK - their website doesn't exactly pull its punches when it says that "Red Horse Beer is your extra strong beer that brings you that pure alcoholic experience."
Pure alcoholic experience? That's almost Brewdog-level hyperbole.
It's a pretty standard-looking lager in the glass; pale gold, a biggish fluffy head and large rising bubbles - it's unremarkable to look at (although as I often commit the cardinal sin of drinking it straight from the bottle, that doesn't really matter too much).
The aroma is, to be honest, not terribly appealing. Gentle, dank green hops with a hint of slightly sweet maize underneath.
The flavours are subtle; a light sugar sweetness with plenty of fizz, slowly joined by a significant dryness and just a little muddy and indistinct hoppy bitterness. As with all the best big beers, you wouldn't particularly notice the ABV - certainly I wouldn't describe it as a "pure alcoholic experience".
To be honest, this isn't a beer to be explored on it's own. It's made to go with food, and it goes down marvellously that way. Open a bottle (or two) next to something hot and spicy and you can't go wrong.
Three stars, just for having a horse on the label.
This review was originally published 28th December, 2015. It was last updated 1st June, 2023.