Doctor Duvel

I'm like a sommelier, but for beer.

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Location: Upstate New York, United States

Favorite Beers: Orval, Samuel Smith, Duvel, Hennepin, Oude Gueze, Chimay, Dogfish Head, Anchor Steam, and anything made by Trappist monks.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bad Beer Party

The long awaited bad beer party was a hit. Members of the Amalgamated Brewers' Guild brought their worst to my house, invited a few others, and got fairly well trashed. We kept a comment sheet to record the occasion.

Andrew brought his overly banana-y Belgians, which were nowhere near bad enough to contend for the prize of "Worst Beer." Randy brought a so-so pilsner, a so-so steam, his bizarre lactose-enriched Belgian ( a long story...), and his best entry, a sour schwarzbier. Brad brought a weird IPA that has had problems. There was a point where it smelled just ungodly, but it may be getting better. Except the one he somehow put in a twist-off bottle that was getting ready to go to vinegar--ugh. Buck brought "Nothin' under the kilt" Scottish ale, a profoundly lifeless, uninspired title-contender. One taster noted "Watch out Dasani!" Another noted a profoundly repellant Cepacol aroma. It really blew.

I had the most entries, as I was the host and had a year's worth of mis-fires close at hand. My Kolsch was described as having a "hint of Irish Spring" as well as being disagreeably sour. My OBB Oatmeal Stout was a psychotic geyser, prompting the note "Holy Volcano Batman!" A jeroboam I've been trying desperately to open and empty contained my over-spiced Belgian. Randy, I think, wrote "hideous aroma, as always." Buck and I shared the final bottle of my way off-style VMO, which has a bizarrely excessive aroma of mulling spices--it almost comes off like a pumpkin ale. No idea what happened to that one. Worse still, I used the yeast cake for my Doppelbock, one of the great disappointments of my brewing career. It garnered the following reviews: "What IS that smell? An abomination. Great with an old boot. Medicinal aroma; solventy malty flavor." My Oatmeal Ale also won few fans. Randy hated it most. I think he wrote down all of the following: "No smell, sour apple cider! Yuck! Awful. Absolutely horrible; a wall-scaler; clarity, head, aroma, flavor."

The best beer of the night may have been my accidental sour brown. This was a beer that was intended to be a Rochefort 6 clone. It was horribly sabotaged by the use of this bad sack of unevely kilned Franco-Belges Pilsner malt. It wouldn't attenuate properly and had some weird flavors, so I wound up heating it, and shaking it, and testing it like 5 times. Lo and behold, it got infected. Everyone agreed, however, that it has a nice sourness that almost seems intentional: "If I have to drink a shitty beer, this is the one!" I'm hanging onto a sizable stock of that one and will see how it develops; it really feels not entirely unlike an oud bruin. Finally, the beer formerly known as Fawcett's Amber, currently known as "Ass-Juice Amber" received the following remarks: "Great aroma, a little bitter and sharp. Aptly named! Mmm, candied prunes. Ugh-blech." This would've been poured out a week ago if I had had a beer ready to go in the keg, but I was glad I saved it for the event.

Buck and I were the last two there who were committed to picking a winner. We probably should've set up a ballot box. Anyway, we used what was left of our palates to decide that a co-winner was in order. Despite Randy's hatred of Oatmeal Ale and his strange appreciation for Ass-Juice, we gave the title to Ass-Juice and "Nothin' under the kilt." It was just too close to call. Thanks for comin' everybody!


Anonymous Buck said...

A fine way to consume an evening and a plethora of beers that otherwise would never have seen the light of day; a great time and an inspired idea.

clearly, we need categories for voting! ...should we be idiotic enough to want to do this again:

"greatest deviation from style"
"most unusual flavor for beer"
"greatest microbial diversity"
"most inappropriate effervescence"
"olfactory assault"
"health violation"
"least likely to be mistaken for beer"
"I can't let you drink that, pour it out now"

let's definitely do that again...errr...let's wait a while though!

2:32 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Yeah, in a perfect world, we'd never do it again. We'd only have ass-kicking beer parties. But it was fun... Those are great categories. I sure as hell had a mortal lock on "most inappropriate effervescence."

3:23 PM  

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