March of 2020 is not the best time to launch a new product, but Anheuser-Busch had Budweiser Nitro Reserve Gold in the pipeline already, so I snagged a six-pack at Total Wine before heading into the treehouse for a few months.
Most beers are fizzed with carbon dioxide. A few, including Guinness Draught and Boddingtons Pub Ale are nitrogenated. The bubbles are smaller and less acidic than CO2, so they feel velvety, not bitey.
Budweiser Nitro Reserve Gold is the latest beer with nitrogen bubbles. The weird thing is that it doesn’t use a little plastic ball to hold the nitro like other brands. In a can of Guinness, you pop the tab, releasing pressure, and nitro freshly squirts out into the beer. With Budweiser Nitro Reserve Gold, you have to shake the can, but not too much (!), to get the nitro dissolved in the beer.
I’ve tried the “triple flip and pour hard” method twice now and I end up with a sweet, malty beer that goes flat fast. Maybe there’s a reason other nitrogen beers use that “widget?”
Budweiser beers are not very malty, so that’s interesting, but, overall, Budweiser Nitro Reserve Gold is disappointing. If you’ve had Boddingtons, it’s a bit like that but sweeter and not as rich. It’s a clean sweetness, not heavy, but the creamy effect from the nitrogen fades quickly.
Regular Bud drinkers want crisp and dry. Nitro drinkers want velvety with a little bite. Budweiser Nitro Reserve Gold isn’t going to make either group happy. It’s like those weird Oreos. You’re happy to try Birthday Cake flavor once, but this is more a novelty than something that goes on the shopping list again. Alcohol by volume is five percent.