The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste

I don’t do beer tastings for I doubt my own judgement and taste buds.

I know what I like and some people seem to think that if I like it then they probably will too.

Myself and BeersManchester have similar tastes, I pay attention to what he likes.

Locally Fez wearer Otto is also a man who knows his stuff.

Though the most knowledgeable people I know (no disrespect to the above) are the quietest: Des and Jaz would really “kill it” if they ever did their own blogs.

These guys are “good people” but they also will tell you what is good without the need for extraneous bullshit and unnecessary verbage, well BeersManchester does go on but at least it is with descriptions the mortal people can understand and flavours that limited funds can buy.

Also, as far as I know, they hold know certificates to say just how much they know about beer.  Experience counts for a lot in this pastime.

CAMRA doles out certificates for various things in beer, now this isn’t a go at CAMRA at all but of the superfluous nature of certification.

I’ve heard CAMRA bods at the 2016 Manchester Beer & Cider festival say that a Rauchbier “tasted like ashtrays” – now whereas an ashtry isn’t the most complementary of comparisons, if the simile was to suggest it was smoky then that suits what the style of beer is about.

Likewise there were complaints that that some beers (IPAs) were “too hoppy.”

There are those who (and sometimes I can sympathise with them) claim that some modern beers don’t taste like beer and instead just taste like grapefruit – I quote Boak & Bailey as a retort to that opinion.

Likewise there is a lot of bullshit at the other end of the scale. If you’re masochistic enough to ruin your Sunday by watching Simon Rimmer and Tim Lovejoy fawn over the most average of not only variety acts but also of “experts” then you’ll know what I mean.

Yes, I have tasted nettles, but I have no idea and no memory of what they taste like let alone am I getting any hints that they might be in my beer.

I fully appreciate that some people have highly adapted palates and if a brewer describes what to expect in a beer on either the bottle or in tasting notes then I might see if I can identify them.

But most of the time I think some are doing it for either the sake of bravado or that they are just really, really bored.

In the end, every time I read or hear overly dramatic beer witterings or clueless complaints I get this in my head…



Thanks for reading.



5 thoughts on “The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste

  1. With you here. I’m never going to try and describe beers for two reasons. I can’t dredge up enough bollocks to fluff out the flavour bullshit. And I can’t be arsed.

    Beer falls into two categories for me. That’s tastes good. I’ll have another one. That tastes shit. I won’t.

    Simple enough for me.

  2. If you’d like to learn a non-bullshit way to identify flavour elements in beer, I highly recommend gathering a few friends, 20 cans of Stella and a flavour standards kit.

    They usually contain 10 capsules. Each is mixed with a litre of beer (I recommend Stella because it’s relatively flavourless but flawless too), and introduces a specific taint. Then rather than referring to nettles, etc you can confidently say “this beer tastes of acetaldehyde/diacetyl/H2S/isoamyl acetate”.

  3. As much as I would LOVE to argue with you, I totally respect those two reprobates too! And if Jaz recommends a beer, it’s a must try for me.

    I could go on….(“well BeersManchester does go on….”) but for the sake of brevity….

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