durhambeer (2500) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - MAY 26, 2008
1.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 6/20
This is the commercialized version of the "village beer" of Malawi, but from the other ratings, I guess it’s also sold in Zambia and possibly other neighboring countries as well. This is a very unique brew. As noted, it’s served in cardboard cartons that swell with the carbonation. Ingredients are maize, water, sorghum, yeast, and enzymes. Pours the color of a vanilla malt with tons of grit and grain in it, hence the "shake shake" to mix it all up. Smells very acidic/vinegary like a Belgian, but simply tastes like white vinegar mixed with cornmeal. Thick, pasty, and gritty. A one-of-a-kind experience, but definitely tough to get down.
jsquire (3336) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - JUL 2, 2002
1.5 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 5/20
I was amazed at this stuff when I visited one of the breweries. It is mixed, cooked, packaged and shipped the same day. The cardboard carton has a vent in it to release the gas. It is really a slurry and it does coat the mouth. There is a lot of acidity in the flavor and if you don’t like that in a Belgian beer, you sure won’t like it in this concoction. Apparently the locals still make a lot of home made chibuku, and I think that Shake Shake is to only commercial one in Zambia. It is a must try, but I don’t ever want to try one again.
Oakes (11770) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 13, 2002
2.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 9/20
First, it’s called ’shake shake’ because it separates. To call this densely sedimented would be a major understatment. Opaque, light brown, no head or discernable carbonation. Aroma is heavily grainy. I guess this is sorghum, but cassava would be an analogy more familiar to me. There are also sour green apples and barnyard. The palate has the same elements, but with less emphasis on the barnyard. The texture (and that is a better word that mouthfeel for this stuff) is kind of fizzy but also rather mealy. Not an unpleasant taste, quite mild, really. Certainly better structure than Victor Beer. However, the way that the grain coats your mouth and sticks to the back of your throat is unpleasant. Get past that, and it’s kind of refreshing. More similarities to kefir than to beer.
omhper (18939) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - MAR 6, 2002
1.7 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
Comes in a leaking cardboard box. Grainy beige/pink appearance. Lambic-ish acidity in the nose. Thick like yoghurt, but much more grainy or mealy - you nearly have to chew it. Surprisingly clean flavour, actually a lot like lambic. Not much flavour in the finish, but it’s difficult to get the meal out of your mouth. A slightly unusual beer...