Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Beery adjectives quiz

What do you think might be the most common adjective to describe the taste of a real ale. Well of course there is bitter and perhaps malty, but tonight I have been engaged in intensive research to bring the tasting vocabulary up to date.

We've just got back from our first evening at the Cambridge beer festival, and whilst we were supping our halves of Fraoch heather ale and Ginger Tosser and the like, I did a count up of the most popular words used in the tasting notes of the 212 ales in the catalogue. Now I should add that we only tasted six beers between us tonight, most of them half pints, so there notes refer to what is written in the catalogue, not what we tasted.

A huge range of descriptors were found in the notes, many naming specific fruits or spices such as pomegranates, cloves, liquorice, elderflowers etc. I couldn't possibly bore you with them all, but after discounting such generic terms as bitterness, malt, hops and sweetness, here are the top ten in alphabetical order.

Spice /spicy

Would anyone care to guess what the top three or four in terms of frequency of use were? You might be surprised. Answers tomorrow.

BTW those we have tasted tonight have all been remarkably good, because the tasting notes help us to find the ones we like. Once again we were blown away by the gorgeous BBC2 from Brentwood Brewery. This lovely beer comes in at an unbelievably low 2.5% alcohol. It has more taste and aroma than many a much much stronger beer. If Brentwood can do it, why can't the others?

Yours in moderation

The Herbies.


Anonymous said...

I don't really drink beer but I do like low alcohol products, especially ciders - they're refreshing and you can drink volume without falling over!

I can't understand the rush to make beers/ciders that are strong as wines.

Enjoy Crick and see you soon.

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

Rick said...

My guess is that the top three are:

Halfie said...

I think the trend is for lighter ales, so I'll go with:


Anonymous said...

Some tweeting boaters have been discussing the wisdom of offering libations to ensure fair weather for the Gravesend trip.

There is a reluctance to throw good beer/wine into the canal so can you canvass the views of the beer tent at Crick - if narrowboaters drink the alcohol while standing near the canal, would that be enough to appease the relevant spirits? :-D

Sue, nb Indigo Dream