Modelo Especial Review


As far as standard mass-produced lagers go, Modelo Especial rates well for drinkability, but its "effervescent" skunkiness failed to wow our tasting panel.

A lager imported from Mexico, Modelo Especial found favor with our 2016 review panel. They preferred it over the four American-produced lagers we sampled in a blind taste-off but ranked it behind the four craft beers tested. Lager fans called it "light" and "clean," and appreciated the "bubbly" consistency. One among the seven in the tasting group said the "first sip hits with a strong taste" that some described as "skunky." Others declared that flavor to be "sour." Panelists, unaware what brands they were tasting, wondered aloud if this was Heineken or a "Mexican beer," but opined that Heineken and Corona were better. This brew's ABV is 4.5 percent.

Modelo Especial reviews at RateBeer are much harsher than our panel. The weighted average rating, which considers factors such as appearance, taste, aroma, and palate, is a lackluster 1.98 out of 5 points, with more than 1,200 reviews taken into account. This beer ranked in the bottom 3 percent when compared against all beers reviewed on the site. However, Corona Extra, produced by the same corporate parent, scored even lower, with a weighted average of 1.69 and placement in the very last percentile of all beers reviewed.

The price of this import is slightly higher than the four domestic American lagers we sampled, namely Budweiser, Miller High Life, Rolling Rock, and Pabst Blue Ribbon. We bought a six-pack of 12-ounce bottles from the local liquor superstore for $7.99, which equates to about 11 cents an ounce compared with the average 8 to 9 cents an ounce, or $6 to $7 for a six-pack, of most comparable domestic brews.

This was the first time Modelo Especial was included in one of Cheapism's budget-beer taste-offs. Few in our tasting group were positively overwhelmed by this crisp lager, which one panelist described as "nothing special." Still, most agreed it was drinkable and inoffensive and best served "ice-cold."

Gina Briles

Gina K. Briles writes family, household, and shopping-related product reviews. She is a displaced Jayhawk and a coffee addict living in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two small children, and Vizsla dog.

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