I know I crap on about the wonders of craft beer and this even strays into a bit of macro brewer bashing at times (it’s just so easy sometimes) but let’s face it the two giants of the Australian beer scene Lion Nathan and CUB still feature in even the most ardent craft beer drinkers line-up of most drunk brews.
In fact through the wonders of untapped I happen to know that my most drunk individual beer is Carlton Draught (in fact every 11 beer I drink is a Carlton Draught) which is a product of happy hours/pubs without anything else of offer/jugs where you have to cater for everyone’s taste.
In fact if I count all of the sub brands like Matilda Bay, Little Creatures, James Squire etc in my count (but not the imports) I’ve worked out that 1 in every 4 drinks that I drink is from either the CUB or Lion Nathan stable (and it’s spilt almost 50/50 between the two).
And what does this prove? Well we can pretend all we like that craft beer is overtaking the world, but in reality even if you try your hardest to support craft beer, you will find yourself in the arms of CUB or Lion Nathan soon enough.
So what should you drink in the Tooheys or Carlton range? Well we all know I love a dark beer so today I pit Lion Nathan’s Tooheys Old against CUB’s Carlton Black.
Tooheys Old pours a dark amber colour. It is slightly too carbonated for any real flavour to come through, and is quite thin in the body compared to the regular craft brew. It’s a little tangy in the aftertaste but only slightly. Enough for you to know that you have drunk a beer, but not enough to turn anyone off.
Now Carlton Black is the forgotten child of the Carlton range. Although does anyone else remember a fantastic campaign for Carlton Black about ten or so years ago, it went something along the lines of ‘Turn to the dark side?’ In particular I remember the beer coasters with cool quotes like ‘I am your Father.’ Which appealed to the Star Wars geek in me, clearly didn’t sell much beer though.
Anyway back to the beer. This pours darker than the Toohey’s Old, I’m not sure I would describe it as Black, but I guess Carlton Black sounds a lot better than Carlton brownish amber. It also has a slightly bigger body, with just a hint of roasted maltiness. It is also less carbonated than the Old. This is a pleasant enough beer to drink, and more interesting than your standard Carlton Draught, and a rating – Schooner.
Oh and which is better? Well If you have read any of this site before, you’ll understanding, that bigger body and less carbonation means better beer for me – So it has to be the Carlton Black.