According to Anheuser-Busch … Oculto combines the social invitation of beer with the exciting nature associated with tequila—for a step in creating an entirely new category. Oculto is infused with blue agave for a bright citrus flavor that delivers a smooth, bold taste. With a premium look, unique flavor, seductive positioning and 6-percent ABV, Oculto is designed to tap into late night occasions.
Oculto is brewed by Broken Barrel Brewing Co, which is a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch. It is a lager infused with blue agave blended with a beer aged on tequila barrel staves. They were not specific on what “beer” or “lager” was involved in this blend.
Beer Alien received a fabulous marketing package complete with a six pack of 12oz bottles, two limes, some bar salt and an instruction sheet detailing how to get most out of our Oculto experience. Here is a pic of the package we received and one of the tasting instructions.
Since we are not accustomed to following directions from major Earth based corporations, and the fact that we had six bottles, we decided to taste the first one by itself, poured into a glass. The only way we can describe this beer is to say that this is the first beer from AB that we could actually finish. It is not a bad beer, nor is it a good beer. This beer falls somewhere in between. You can taste the agave and the tequila, but the base beer itself isn’t very flavorful on its own. Perhaps this is why the instructions include limes and bar salt…
We then followed the directions to the letter with the next two bottles to compare the results.
Salting a lime wedge and sucking on that like a fruit bat version of a vampire, we then tasted Oculto as the instructions indicated. This was a vast improvement in the overall flavor and make Oculto much more interesting. That being said, we find it strange that salted lime juice was not added to the beer itself to create the desired flavor profile.
We had three bottles left and since the word tequila was being used a lot in the marketing materials, we decided it was time for some blending. We wondered how would Oculto taste with some tequila? Could we make margaritas with Oculto? Well… we discovered this beer’s true calling. Making beer cocktails using Oculto and a good blanco tequila brings out the agave/tequila hints that are in the beer. This makes quite a tasty treat. Then it was time to make a beer-garita… We mixed Oculto, blanco tequila, triple sec and some lime juice in a tumbler and salted the rim of the glass. Now, Oculto truly shined. This was a refreshing alternative to a standard margarita since we didn’t use a sour element.
Overall, we are impressed that AB created a beer that we could drink and that worked well in beer cocktails. We thought is was a little sneaky to print on the bottle Brewed and Bottled By Broken Barrel Brewing Company with no indication that AB was involved. For someone picking up Oculto off the shelf, they may think that this is a craft beer from some local brewery versus something made by AB. With the Earth temperatures rising in the United States for Summer, the Beer Aliens are pretty sure this beer will go over well with some humans, while others may see this as something with too much going on. We are not sure of AB’s target audience for Oculto, but we can’t picture craft beer fans going for this versus the plethora of better tasting craft beer choices available. Based on some of the humans we talked to who had tried Oculto, the overall consensus seems to be the same… not a bad beer, but nothing exciting either.
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