Beer and spirits (especially whiskey) have always had a very symbiotic relationship. Often paired together as a “beer and a shot,” spirits and beer are frequent companions. This is no accident as beer closely resembles the fermented mash which is distilled to make things like whiskey, which is often referred to as ‘distiller’s beer.’ It was probably only a matter of time before someone figured out how to make this popular combination easier to take on the road. Bruvado, a premium Mexican beer company, is one of the first to package this concept with their new Bruvado 5 Pack.
The Bruvado Beer and A Shot 5 pack ($12.99 per pack) brings together 5 bottles of the Bruvado Mexican lager along with a single bottle of spirits. Available in tequila and bourbon options, Bruvado makes enjoying the ‘beer and a shot’ much easier. In both packages you get 200ml or 6.76 ounces of spirit and three glass shot glasses. If you were to divide the bottle up into five shots, you’d get around 1 1/3 ounces per shot. While the source of the bourbon is unknown, the tequila comes from Fabrica de Tequilas Finos, S.A. De C.V. (NOM 1472), the same company that produces tequila for Kah Tequila, Kirkland (Costco’s brand), and El Diamante Del Cielo.
The tequila in the Bruvado is labeled as 100% Agave Tequila (80 proof / 40% ABV), but also marked “Gold Tequila” which means it’s a mix of blanco and reposado tequila. On the nose the tequila from the Bruvado 5 pack has a slightly pickly note to it along with agave, vanilla, and oak spice. The entry is slightly spicy with heat that ramps up fairly quickly in the midpalate along with a significant pepper kick. The heat and pepper overpowers the other flavors in the midpalate and carries on to a sharp and long finish. While it may not be the best of sipping tequilas, it does pair well with the Bruvado beer which has a slightly vegetal green pepper flavor and malty midnote. The two go together quite well with the green pepper note in the beer complementing the white pepper note in the tequila.
For the Bourbon version of the Bruvado 5 Pack, all we know is that it is a “4 Year Aged Bourbon.” Ironically the label states “produced and distilled in Kentucky, bottled in Mexico” so this would probably be the first Mexican bottled bourbon we’ve tried. The bourbon (80 proof / 40% ABV) has a nice deep, golden amber color. The nose on the bourbon is very light with light cinnamon and soft oak standing out. The entry is extremely soft, light and sweet, with vanilla, caramel, cinnamon, and oak dominating the midpalate. It’s actually the vanilla flavor that leads the finish which is supported by the oak spice and a little heat. Overall this is an extremely light bourbon that is very easy to knock back. The pairing between the bourbon and the beer isn’t as unified as it is with the tequila, with the vanilla and the malt working the best together. Ultimately the bourbon disappears when drinking it in conjunction with the beer.
The concept is fantastic: a beer and a shot is a no-brainer, and presenting it in a five pack of beer with a small bottles of spirits is truly inspired. We can’t say we’re crazy about the Bruvado beer – it’s a very distinct flavor profile and a lot more vegetal than we typically like when we are going for a Mexican beer. Of the two packages, the Tequila 5 Pack is by far the best pairing. The bourbon in the Bourbon 5 Pack is just too soft to stand up to the notes in the Bruvado (and would probably better be paired with something extremely light, like a Tecate). Either way we’re glad that Bruvado took the plunge and we will be interested to see if other brands follow.Beer and a Shot To Go by Geoff Kleinman