Brewing and reviewing since 2012.
As you may have noticed, beer reviews can get a bit…creative…when it comes to describing any aspect of a beer. It’s something I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of at one point or another, but when it comes to highly sought after beers the reviews can get out of hand. With that in mind, and in the spirit of April Fool’s Day, I’d like to play a little game.
Below are 5 snippets of reviews, only some, or all, or none of which are true. Can you pick out which are the real quotes?
1. “It gets a little weird for me on the swallow, though – that’s when this weird astringent, minerally, medicinal flavor comes in that I’m not really crazy about. It tastes kind of like if you crushed up some rocks and mixed it in water maybe?”
2. “They should just call this an exceptional IPA and stop with the pageantry. Sure, you have the malts and all this yeast run around but I feel it is like when they put glasses and a ponytail on a really hot girl to set her out as a nerd.”
3. “Pouring a jet engine black into my snifter, this massive smoked stout came across the nose like a discarded Starbucks cup left over a homelessman’s trash can stove for the day. Beechwood (or possibly cardboard) BBQ dominated the palate, futilely backed up by arabica and left-in-the-summer-sun chocolate.”
4. “The flavor is a mildly biscuity, not too complex vehicle that delivers a two-trailer 18-wheeler of hop resin down your throat. … At alternating intervals as I drank this, I detected lingering notes as far off as juniper, grapefruit, lemon zest, maplewood sawdust, hash, macaroons, and cinnamon.”
5. “The color was like looking into a burning fire, and the woodsy aroma of the hops reminds me of a bonfire in a glass.”
Got all that? Good. Scroll to see the answers.
1. Actual review. This comes from a review of Cantillon Gueuze on Beer Advocate. For the actual reviews I picked beers I’ve had before so I could compare what they were saying to what I tasted. I’m not sure powdered rock is what I would have gone with there, but I don’t know what rock mixed in water like Crystal Light tastes like, so who am I to say?
2. This may surprise you, but actual review. It comes from Don’t Drink Beer, a complete take down of the inner rings of craft beer circlejerking, but still a legitimate (and entertaining) review of Troegs Nugget Nectar. By the way, for someone who mocks whale hunting so much he sure is good at it.
3. Not an actual review. This is just how I imagine we as a collective sound while describing beer to our friends who don’t give a shit at 1 AM on a Saturday night.
4. Actual review. This comes from a review of Surly Abrasive on Beer Advocate. The maplewood sawdust is what got me. It’s so specific, I can just imagine the reviewer sitting there going through the different types of wood they for some reason have inhaled before finally settling on maple.
5. Not an actual review. I mean, who would mention two different types of fire in one sentence like that? And compare a chilled drink to a raging inferno? It’s totally fake, really. I hate myself.
So of the five, three (fine, four) were actual sentences written about beer. Isn’t language so much more fun taken out of context? Sometimes I can’t help but think that brewers are in on a joke that us consumers aren’t.