Day 71

Another hard day at the office.

(“How was your day, dear?” “I had to taste beer all morning — AGAIN!”)

Today in Sensory Evaluation was our last day sampling the various beer styles. (Well, to a point. Over three weeks we tasted about two dozen different beers that covered the major classes of beers. However, further subdivisions within those classes mean there are actually about about 80 different recognized beer styles. Admittedly the differences between some of those sub-styles–Baltic porter versus robust porter, for instance–are sometimes a bit indistinct.)

We started with wheat beers (kristal weizen, hefeweizen, dunkel weizen and weizen bock) with their complex, spicy, sometimes medicinal or herbal aromas and astringent yet effervescent taste of bananas and cloves .

Then we moved back to ales and tried the darker ones: dark ale, porter, stout and imperial stout. From the many and varied descriptors used by the class–dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, roasty, toasty, biscuity, bready–obviously many felt called to the Dark Side.

And that’s it for stylistic tastings. On to the blind tastings! Let’s see if the visual, aromatic and taste clues we are given will help us to unmask the hidden beer.

(“Mes amis, you are doubtless wondairing why I ‘ave called you all ‘ere to zee drawing room where Colonel Mustaird was murdaired. I ‘ave to confess, I was puzzled in zee begeening. But zee ‘aziness, zee bountiful white ‘ead, zee delicate scent of coriander, zee herbal taste–yes, it is you, Monsieur Belgian Witbier, who murdaired Colonel Mustaird avec zee  lead peep!”)


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