How to taste beer, sort of
I’ve previously mentioned that I am no connoisseur of beer and that I do not wish to be.
I watched a video on beer tasting and now I’m an expert.
I’m joking of course. But I have become a little bit more interested in the tasting process and started to educate myself as a way to spot more differences in beers and to help me write about them and express myself better. I’ve also learned some new words recently and found out how to play with colours in black and white pictures. This all means that the posts from now on may be read a little better and also appear a little more varied. Or not…
No. 292 – Dieu du Ciel Brise-vent!
I didn’t know what to expect from this beer as I have no idea what sea buckthorn is. So I continued in ignorance (that’s how I generally do things), and applied my new tasting methods. This involves rather simply only pouring a couple of ounces into the glass, swirling it a lot to allow it to breathe and release the flavours, sniffing it a lot then drinking it slowly. It’s not much but it seems to have made a difference as I found a lot more in this beer than I have with many others. That could just of course be the magic of sea buckthorn.
It’s a cloudy yellow colour with a bubbly fizzy head, as you can see, and on the nose, after extensive sniffing I got that it was sour. Seriously, after all the build up, after watching serious people tasting beers and getting so much from the aroma alone, I got one word. Though, I have had the cold, so that’s maybe somewhat forgivable.
Fortunately, on tasting I was able to glean a lot more from this beer. It had a little sourness in it and was quite refreshing on first taste. It felt more like a wine however. The first thing I noticed was tannins hitting the back of my mouth like a red wine. I haven’t noticed this in a beer before. I then began to notice that the initial hit felt very much like a white wine. I could feel the grapey-ness of a sauvignon blanc (something I am familiar with). There was an acidity in this beer that also distinctly felt like a wine. From the aroma, I had been expecting a berliner weisse style beer – a sort that I don’t really like, but from the taste I got a wine hybrid.
On googling sea buckthorn I saw that tannins are indeed present in sea buckthorn oil which possibly explains where I got that from, but the sense of drinking a white wine still bemuses me. I’ll have to track down another beer made with sea buckthorn to compare.
This gets 7/11 for being good, for the price, for accuracy (the French description above does mention tannins and dryness), for having something different, for drink-again-ability, for recommend-ability and for the fact that I would go out of my way to try this again.
Something tells me this would go well with something spicy, Chinese, Thai or Vietnamese perhaps.
This beer was an experience, which was exactly the point of trying 500 different beers in a year.