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<strong>The Disgruntled Chemist</strong>

5/14/2007

Blind Beer Challenge

This is a report of a blind taste test that I did with todd (from the comments) and a couple of other UCI grad students over a meal of pizza (from Ameci's) and wings (homemade by me) on Saturday afternoon. Everything in plain text was written at the time; my comments this morning are in italics. The pictures are still on my roommate's camera, and I will get them from him sometime soon.

3 beers enter. One beer wins.

Here's the deal: I have three pewter mugs full of beer. One has Budweiser from a 24 ounce tallboy, one has Mother Lager from Magic Hat Brewing in Vermont, and one has Warsteiner. I'm going to drink them one-by-one and see which one is the best. The three mugs will be known as the Coors mug (left), the Brussels mug (center) and the German mug (far right, from some bar in Germany) [this will make more sense when I get the pictures off my roommate's camera. Until then, use your imagination]. Coors mug first:

The aroma is bready and a little sour. As for the taste, I don't like it, frankly. There's a certain amount of skunkiness, that sourness again, and a little bit of malt. No hops to speak of, and no aftertaste either. I am not a fan.

Next up is the Brussels mug. The aroma is almost sweet, and maybe a little floral if I look for it. Not much to it; I can't find any hops. The taste is much smoother than the beer in the Coors mug; it's definitely not coming out and punching me in the mouth the same way. There is a bit of sweet, light malt out front and a very little bit of hops behind, but there's just not a lot going on, and compared to the beer in the Coors mug that's a very good thing. No aftertaste here either.

Finally, we come to the German mug. It smells a lot like the first one, with that same little bit of sourness. The flavor is not as strong as the one in the Coors mug but it tastes similar, and definitely has more total flavor than the one in the Brussels mug. The sour taste isn't as prominent, but there is the malt out front and the lack of aftertaste. There's a little bit of hops, but not so I can really tell what they're supposed to taste like. Overall decent, but I'm not digging the flavor too much.

Rankings: Brussels mug, German mug, Coors mug.

Identities, best one on the left: Bud, Magic Hat Mother Lager, Warsteiner

[picture goes here]
Insert your own outraged gasp here.

So the Bud won. If I have to take one lesson away from this blind taste test, it's that I should never listen to my commenters that I just shouldn't drink lagers (and I usually don't), but if I'm going to I shouldn't waste my money - I should just have a Bud. Your mileage may vary.

As a scientist, I have to try and explain such an unexpected result. I can come up with three possible explanations:

1. I simply do not like lagers. True, I gave the Mother Lager a rating of 7 a while ago, but I also classified it as 'watery'. Lack of lager flavor may be a good thing for me, considering that I ranked the beers here in order of descending amount of flavor.

2. The fact that I gorged myself on wine, rum and cigars the night before may have destroyed my affection for booze. I think I can discount this one, because I drank (and enjoyed) a Stone Pale Ale immediately after the blind taste test.

3. I am not a good judge of what makes a good beer, and I should stop beer blogging.

You can leave your theories and mockery in the comments.

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