hfmejias (397) - Dover, Delaware, USA - JAN 20, 2013
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle. Poured a clear yellow with a foamy white head. Pine/grassy aroma. A little bitterness to it combined with sweet notes. OK beer quite refreshing.
snoworsummer (460) - baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAR 17, 2013
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
From a bottle. Clear golden, medium carbonation. Smooth and light. Faint smell of hops and malt. Not too bad.
sonnycheeba (1985) - Federal Hill, Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAR 17, 2013
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle. Pours clear gold with thin, creamy, white head; short retention and spare lacing. Aroma is straw and biscuit malts, lemon, grassy hops, and light spice. Flavor is dry malts, straw, grass, and light spice; crisp, dry finish. Light body and medium carbonation.
BeerandBlues2 (7466) - Hanover, Maryland, USA - MAR 17, 2013
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle. Pours clear gold with a small, fizzy white head, short retention with spare lacing. Aroma is straw and Pils malt, light spicy hops. Flavor is malt dominant, light hops and bitterness with a clean lager character and a dry finish. Crisp and smooth, but I cannot tell if weíre ripple hopped. One thing for certain, this ainít no vortex bottle. Light body and moderate carbonation.
gsmitty80 (1593) - Washington DC, USA - NOV 25, 2012
2 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
I really thought that this was just Natty Bo in a prettier package. Nothing too different in the taste department except for a little more body.
SudsMcDuff (4925) - .....Manchester United.........., Texas, USA - NOV 9, 2012
2.4 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
as i walked up to the bottle, i really thought this was some obscure import, but its from ímerica! .. . simple yellow .. light foam .. light corn and hay, and non offensive .. . . parrots are tasty!
gpekar (451) - Maryland, USA - JUL 14, 2012
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Iím old enough to remember the original National Premium and from what I remember this is pretty close to the original brew. Drinking this brought back memories of the guys digging through their pockets trying to come up with enough change to spring for a case of Premium that was about $4.79 a case instead of Natty Boh that was $3.99 a case. The logo on the bottle cap is a nice rendition of Mr Boh, but not the real thing and the label is not original either, but nice. The beer itself poured a crystal clear yellow amber with a steady stream of carbonation bubbles rising up in the glass through the entire drinking of the glass. The head was bright white, foamy and about 1 finger. The head dropped to just a film rather quickly, which hurt the apperance, though I enjoyed the constant flow of the bubbles. The aroma was good with some bisquit and grassy scents. The beer has good carbonation and is crisp and clean. There is a nice hops bitterness that develops right away and lingers well into the finish. There is a nice amount of sweetness to balance the bitterness. The additional amount of ingredients is what made Premium a smoother beer over the Natty Boh. The finish was on the dry side with that lager bite, but refreshing. Iím glad this was brought back and hope it stays around.
CharmCityCrab (110) - Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 18, 2012
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
National Premium began as sort of the high-brow line of beer brewed by the same company that brewed National Bohemian in the good old days of the big regional brewing companies. From what Iíve heard, Natty Boh used to cost 10 cents a bottle, and National Premium 15 cents a bottle.
Originally, both were brewed in Baltimore and ubiquitous in the region. As the big national beers like Budweiser, Miller, and Coors came in, some of these regional beers struggled. National Bohemian survived pretty much continuously to the present day with a lower profile, eventually no longer having an independently owned brewery in Baltimore, and eventually being bought and brewed by a big national conglomerate that would contract brew and shipped back to the region.
Unfortunately, National Premium simply disappeared- until now! A local Baltimore guy bought the rights to the name of the beer, along with the old National Brewing Company name. The front of bottle is classy, featuring a couple of lions and a paneled icon that looks like an old symbol for a lord in feudal times or something. The Premium version of National Bohemianís Mr. Boh makes it onto the new bottles on the very top- the bottle cap- sporting a monocle and a fedora. You know itís classy when the cartoon logo sports in one monocle!
Though Premium is contract brewed in Delaware, the company that owns it is headquartered in Baltimore, so they managed to get "Baltimore, MD" on the label (Which National Bohemian canít do)..
Iím pretty much excited about every aspect of this beer. A Baltimore legend on the beer scene, brought back to life! Cool bottle cap, cool label, etc..
The beer itself is similar to a typical adjunct lager, with maybe just a little extra hint of roasted barley and a sweeter strain of barley than is typical.
Iíd say the drawback here is price. One sale, it was $6.99. Regular price looks to be $7.99. Itís closest competitor is Yuengling, another sort of regional non-macro macro that also is just a tad more flavorful with a regional tradition. But Yuengling can match the price of a Budweiser, and National Premium so far canít. Hit $6.00 or $6.50 a 6er and I think this would be a hit. As is, Iím not sure whatís going to happen after the initial excitement of having it back wears off. Natty Premium used to be big at a price that was a little high for itís day, but that was before craft brewing!
People could at this price point go down a little and grab Yuengling if they want a similar flavorful adjunct, or save even more money and get Natty Boh if they want something that traditional was a Baltimore beer.
One thing this beer has over Yuengling that is very important is bottled on dating. Itís right on the back of the label in clear day/month/year format. The two I had today were born less than two weeks ago! Itís important to know my beer is fresh. Yuengling sometimes youíll get a bad bottle because thereís no dating to tell you how long itís been sitting here, and many companies, including craft, obscure their bottled on date with codes and whatnot (or smudgable dates on bottles that come off), but this company follows Budweiserís industry best practice where itís clear and on the label.
I was not of drinking age when National Premium disappeared, so I was very excited to see it in the store, and it was exciting to drink it. People talk about beer "whales"- upscale craft beers they just canít find and are always looking for. Well, this has been sort of the non-craft Baltimore version of that for a lot of people, and there seemed scant hope of itís return. Well, itís back baby! Drink up!