Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Palate or Pretense

Okay, now when I write about a beer I might describe it as smoky with a hint of caramel. Not likely, but I might. I might refer to chocolate and coffee, maybe toffee. Usually not all in the same beer though. But this has got to be the most laughably outrageous description of a beer I have ever read. Can you even imagine discerning all of those flavors in a beer let alone remembering them and the sequence in which they appeared.

This was written by David Gilbert in a column titled Beer Predator. It can be found in February/March edition of Ale Street News.

The review is for Mikkeller Black Hole, a beer I certainly do what to try. Without further ado, his review:

Mikkeller Black Hole (13.95%) is a massive and multifaceted coffee stout that is smooth, creamy, hoppy, fruity and warming. Coffee from Sumatra (the largest island in Indonesia) and vanilla are added at the end of the fermentation process. Flavors of concentrated coffee, sweet cream, chocolate syrup, grapes, burnt marshmellows, lemon peel and caramelized sugar appear.

Mid-palate a roasted bitterness enters followed by underlying dry malt, spruce, molasses, green apple, prunes, vanilla, pine, and Amoretto di sorrono.

The finish is malty, chewy, dry and vinous with flavors of tea biscuits, licorice, nutmeg and bitter dark chocolate followed by menthol infused hops with a suggestion of Sambucca.

Man, that has to be some beer. And someone who can discern licorice (with nutmeg and bitter dark chocolate) from Sambucca (with menthol infused hops) is, indeed, a force to be reckoned with.

Of course he also says in the review of Haand Bryggeriet Dark Force Double Extreme Imperial Wheat Stout (and yes, these are all real beers) that he can detect the flavor of Mexican mole. I was almost expecting him to name the village in which it was made and, perhaps, the family who made it.

And, now that I think of it, I grew up in Minnesota and I couldn't begin to tell you what the difference between the taste of a spruce and a pine might be. In fact, I am pretty sure a spruce is a type of pine. Maybe he was trying to differentiate between two different types of pines. That man's palate is, indeed, remarkable.


paula said...

I sure wouldnt want to French kiss this guy.

Larry said...
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