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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Introducing the Sour-o-meter

This is pretty self-explanatory, but since this seems to be The Year of the Belgian [TM], I thought it would be instructive to have a standard against which to judge the relative sourness of a beer. (And now that I see that the print is tiny on this version, we may call it a beta and come up with a slightly easier-to-read version.) Behold:


  1. Sally says "the Duchesse isn't sour." Perhaps Liefman's and the Duchesse should swap places. I will await your judgment/advice with interest.

  2. I think its hard to say (Duchesse vs. Liefmans). Ask me on two different days and you might get two different asnwers. To me, it seems like there are other characteristics of sourness in a beer (lactic, acetic, funky, etc) that are likely to effect one's perception of the degree of sourness in a very subjective way. And of course as was pointed out earlier, environmental factors (such as temperature) can effect the perception of sourness as well. :-)

  3. I agree with Sally, the Duchesse isn't sour… it smells sour, but it tastes mildly sweet (and funky, and it's been pretty consistent the 2-3 times I've tried it). It's not one of my favorites straight, but I enjoy the Echt Kriekenbier a great deal.

    Sadly I didn't get to try Liefman's Kriek at PIB (on draft? How did I miss that?! Maybe I didn't have enough tickets left… or maybe I was too busy hunting down Framboise), and I've never had Berlinner Weisse - nor the Cantillon Bruocsella (though I have tried their Geuze… by far the sourest beer I've ever had) - but the Rodenbach Grand Cru is right up my alley; it was the first beer I had at PIB last year, and worth the price of admission all by itself… I ran out to Belmont Station the following weekend (my first time there, just in time for Puckerfest) and picked up a bottle, then proceeded to sit on it for about 9 months. When I finally cracked it open, I was only expecting to make it through about half the bottle that evening (sour isn't something I would want to plow through)… but it wasn't nearly as sour as I remembered; in fact, its oakeyness transcended many of its other flavors - to the point where it very closely (from my 2-month-old recollection at the time) resembled the Scaldis Prestige (at a quarter the price!). Shortly thereafter I picked up another bottle and have it laying down this time… I hope to open that one a little sooner, and maybe get a little corkiness in there as well… :) Good times.