Kingfisher Premium vs. Kingfisher Strong

Figure 1. Kingfisher Premium

Introduction

Kingfisher beer dominates the Indian beer market with a range of products including Kingfisher Premium, Strong, Ultra, Blue, Red and Bohemia (Wikipedia, 2010), and it’s parent company, United Breweries, has been producing beer since 1915 (see United Breweries website, 2010).  In addition to being loved by the Indian public, Kingfisher beers also appear to be loved by judges at international beer exhibitions as they have won no less than six international awards.  It is possibly this popularity that has led Kingfisher to adopt the slogan “The king of good times” (see Kingfisherworld website, 2010).

The target audience of Kingfisher beers is clearly aimed at young, wealthy males as the website displays cornerstones of maleness in swimsuit calendars, a model search, sponsoring a soccer team and a Formula 1 motor racing team.

Aim

This experiment was designed to compare numerous characteristics of Kingfisher Premium with Kingfisher Strong beer including, but not limited to, aroma, flavour, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

Six 330 ml bottles of Kingfisher Premium (5.0% alc/vol) and a single 650 ml bottle of Kingfisher Strong (less than 8% alc/vol) were obtained from a local bottle store for NZ$12.00 and NZ$8.00 respectively.  The beers were chilled to approximately 6 degree C.  The stoppers were removed under controlled conditions and the contents were decanted into clean glass vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beers.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the beers and discussing them with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glasses were held up to a standardized light to evaluate colour, and aesthetic aspects of the vessels were considered.

Results

The results for Kingfisher Premium and Kingfisher Strong are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Kingfisher Premium and Kingfisher Strong.

Characteristic Kingfisher Premium Kingfisher Strong
Aroma Significant citrusy and appley hoppy odour with a smidgen of white grapes Clean fresh scent reminiscent of lying in a field of wheat which has been drying in the searing heat of a late spring day
Flavour Initially, bitter and slightly floral hops rush onto the taste buds and linger pleasantly high on the palate.  This is complemented by an underlying malty sweetness. Slightly sharp taste that bites down the sides of your tongue finishing with the aromatic taste of lemon. Cumbersome flavourings become a little muddled.  Leaves the palate tasting as if spearmint chewing gum has been taken 10 minutes prior
Colour Deep yellow, reminiscent of a pale caramel Clear amber liquor similar to apricot infused honey
Satisfaction A premier candidate to accompany almost any Indian curry, particularly nice with papad Palatable, but high alcohol content could leave the consumer with impaired faculties
Vessel Design Uncomplicated white, red and gold label with an image of a kingfisher (see figure 1) Maroon, gold and white label induces imagery of a Victorian bordello or the flocked wallpaper seen in Indian restaurants across England in the 1990s (see figure 2)
Head An effervescent fizz produces a thin white veneer on the surface which disappears completely within 29 seconds A thin white spume rapidly disperses exposing the beer beneath within 36 seconds
Drinkability 7 6

Figure 2. Kingfisher Strong

Conclusion

This comparative study has uncovered several interesting features of Kingfisher Premium and Kingfisher Strong.  Firstly, both beers consisted of considerable amounts of flavour which directly led to substantial satisfaction.  Secondly, Kingfisher Premium appears to be a good candidate for a session beer, perhaps best consumed in the early evening on a balcony, while Kingfisher strong would not be unpleasant shared with friends and accompanying a meal.  Finally, the inextricable link between Kingfisher, India and curry could not be avoided by the researchers and the consumption of the samples was accompanied by palak paneer and dahl makhani with garlic naan.  It is beyond the scope of this study to evaluate whether the presence of curry influenced the experience of consuming the beverages, but it all went down without complaint.  When considering the outcome of these two heavyweights of the beverage world locked in a fight to the death – the agility and zippyness of Premium against the raw strength of, erm, Strong – the beer left standing at the end would probably be Premium, albeit with a bloodied nose and a broken limb or two and perhaps a large patch of hair missing, gripped in the dying hand of Strong.

References

http://www.kingfisherworld.com/index.aspx

http://www.theubgroup.com/index.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingfisher_(beer)

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