Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what? | TigerDroppings.com

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SlowFlowPro
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Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


so i was looking up information on an oft-forgotten favorite beer of mine (Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzen) and i was reading reviews on beer advocate. it's utterly hilarious how these highly technical reviews use so many different words to describe a single product

quote:

Smell is very malty, with lager yeast apparent and a touch of canned corn (though the bottle states it was brewed within accordance of the Reinheitsgebot).


quote:

Aroma is mild but pleasant, smelling of raisins, caramel, and faint floral hops. A hint of alcohol is present in the nose as well.

Flavor is absolutely massive for an Oktoberfest, with the aforementioned raisins and caramel manifesting in a big way. There is also a vague, cherry-like sourness in the finish that doesn't quite mesh with the rest.


quote:

Smells of some darker roasted grain with very slight chocolate, but very weak


quote:

Sweet malt in the aroma. Some yeast. And a slight honey note.


quote:

The nose is slightly nutty.


quote:

Aromas of freshly milled grain.


quote:

The nose is definitely a bit dull. I know this style isn't necessarily supposed to have the most bombastic aroma, but it really is barely there


quote:

Smell: Grass, bubblegum, and sweet tobacco.


LINK

reminds me of this old San Francisco Gate article i love to bring up in "wine tasting" discussions

Here, kitty kitty / Wine critics love cat pee, but hate wet dog. We explain why. (Link goes to page 3 with quote, but it's an article about words describing wine)

quote:

Professor Hildegard Heymann, who took over Davis' sensory evaluation research in 2003, says, "Taste buds can detect only bitter, sour, salty and sweet, and a fifth taste, umami. The palate can also detect astringency, viscosity, heat and cold; everything else we perceive comes from our sense of smell. The aroma wheel is useful for what it is, yet not every descriptor is on it."


quote:

Wine critics and others have embellished Noble's UC Davis vocabulary in an attempt to be more precise in their descriptions. Many reviewers enjoy the mental stimulation of crafting clever comments. Others delight in writing what amount to doctoral dissertations. Some try to appeal to a certain type of wine drinker. Language and phrasing varies throughout the world.

quote:


To show how different wine descriptions can be, we took one of The Chronicle's current favorite Merlots, the 2002 Pride Mountain Vineyards Napa/Sonoma Merlot ($52), and compared Chronicle taster W. Blake Gray's notes with those from two other important wine publications, plus the winery's own description. Everyone loved the Merlot, yet said so in different ways.

The San Francisco Chronicle (Feb. 24, 2005) -- "Aromas of blackberry, violet, milk chocolate, orange peel and coffee. Juicy and complex on the palate, with blueberry, violet, coffee and milk chocolate. Tobacco flavor increases with air. Soft but recognizable tannins; medium-long finish."

Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine (March 2005) -- 92 points out of 100. "... this deep and complete wine combines lots of fancy oak with fruit that has both the succulence of flatland grapes as well as some of the structure that comes from its mountain-top home. It is rich in creme brulee character and mixes the ripe cherry fruit of Merlot with the brightness of fresh cranberries in a friendly, open set of flavors ..."

Robert M. Parker Jr./The Wine Advocate (Feb. 28, 2005) -- 90 points out of 100. "... elegant, with wonderfully sweet black cherry fruit intermixed with a hint of mocha, white chocolate and some background sappy wood notes. Its beautiful integration of acidity and tannin make for an elegant, polished and stunning Merlot ...."

Pride winemaker Bob Foley's notes -- "... this cuvee reveals thoroughly ripe blackberry aromas and flavors with a seductively rich mid palate. Troncais oak cooperage contributes a balanced oak profile reminiscent of roasted espresso beans."


however, i disagree with the conclusion of the article

quote:

Blackberry and blueberry versus ripe cherry and cranberry versus black cherry ... milk chocolate versus white chocolate versus no chocolate ... coffee versus mocha versus roasted espresso beans -- one wine, varied descriptions. It's part of the intrigue of tasting wine.

i don't know how much is legitimate intrigue and how much is people trying to pawn themselves off as experts. what's so intriguing about creating a system that you basically can just make shite up at all points along the way? that's not intriguing, unless you want to call all deception intriguing , imho







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VOR
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


I was under the impression that your view is that taste (whether food, wine, beer)is an illusion and that it doesn't matter.





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s14suspense
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


Yeah I didn't read all that stuff about wine but it really is awesome what grain yeast hops and the act of fermentation can come up with. All of those smells and tastes are common in beer.





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Rohan2Reed
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


quote:

i don't know how much is legitimate intrigue and how much is people trying to pawn themselves off as experts.


I'm sure there is some of that going on, but my experience with food, wine, beer, etc. is that what someone "tastes" is 75% legitimately what the dish or drink is flavored with, 20% personal interpretation (everyone's palate is different .. thus they may identify or associated certain flavors with different things) and 5% is complete made-up bull shite.

Personally, you seem to have an agenda against faux experts and see that it is a ubiquitous problem .. but the type of BS you dislike really isn't very prominent in everyday life.






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OBUDan
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


There's definitely a swanky expert vibe to the way a lot of people talk about finer alcohols.

I have very little ability to discern flavors, I just know what I like, and what I don't.






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SlowFlowPro
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


quote:

I was under the impression that your view is that taste (whether food, wine, beer)is an illusion and that it doesn't matter.

it's not that it doesn't matter, it's that it's false and mostly based on outside influences. read one of the quoted areas: our actual tasting ability is very limited, we fill in the rest of the blanks in our mind

sometimes it's not even intentional. you can serve the exact same food to the exact same group of people and the name of the restaurant will determine how they perceive the taste. there's actually an experiment that does just this






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SlowFlowPro
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


quote:

There's definitely a swanky expert vibe to the way a lot of people talk about finer alcohols.

from the article:

quote:

The beginner admires the glass and says, "Pretty tasty and it's got a good kick."

The intermediate says, "Soft and fruity. Nice nose."

The advanced taster: "Ripe, well-balanced with an excellent balance of flavors and dense, chewy tannins."

The wine geek: "Olive and earth notes accent a plum and raspberry character. A concentrated finish with firm tannins that wrap around the ripe berry flavor. Needs another 10 years' cellaring."







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OBUDan
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


Exactly.

I drink quite a bit of beer of all different varieties and I can pull out some very obvious traits, but I'm nowhere near the person that sits there and talks about the juniper and what type of grain, and how the process it was made by really draws out those flavors.






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SlowFlowPro
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


quote:

Personally, you seem to have an agenda against faux experts and see that it is a ubiquitous problem

obviously this is a problem. who supports snake oil salesmen from any industry?

but there is often a deeper issue with that i detest, and that's the arrogant/elitism that spawns this particular industry. that's more of an OT/poli board thread, though

quote:

but the type of BS you dislike really isn't very prominent in everyday life.

it's not my life goal or anything






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SlowFlowPro
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


quote:

I drink quite a bit of beer of all different varieties and I can pull out some very obvious traits,

yeah me too

in particular, i just like to know what style of beer it is, after i drink it. today, it's to avoid beers like st pauli's girl, which sucks dick, imho. it tastes like heineken...and now i know they're both lagers

so i will avoid lagers, if i'm sober enough to remember

*ETA: on second review they're all pale lagers, so my google search was pointless



This post was edited on 12/30 at 5:06 pm


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s14suspense
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


There was a study about beers with "nut" in the name and number of times a reviewer mentioned a nutty flavor. None of these beers have nuts in them, they're usually some sort of brown ale, but it was significantly higher than other brown ales without "nut" in their title.





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OBUDan
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


To me, it just doesn't seem like anything you could learn intuitively. You'd have to be trained, it seems.





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urinetrouble
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


quote:

cat pee


I immediately know an IPA won't disappoint whenever I get that nice cat pee aroma upon opening.







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SlowFlowPro
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


quote:

You'd have to be trained, it seems.

and they are in france, and their expertise has been shown to be fraudulent many times

They couldn't even taste the difference in white and red wine

quote:

In 2001, Frederic Brochet conducted two experiments at the University of Bordeaux.

In one experiment, he got 54 oenology (the study of wine tasting and wine making) undergraduates together and had them taste one glass of red wine and one glass of white wine. He had them describe each wine in as much detail as their expertise would allow. What he didn't tell them was both were the same wine. He just dyed the white one red. In the other experiment, he asked the experts to rate two different bottles of red wine. One was very expensive, the other was cheap. Again, he tricked them. This time he had put the cheap wine in both bottles. So what were the results?

The tasters in the first experiment, the one with the dyed wine, described the sorts of berries and grapes and tannins they could detect in the red wine just as if it really was red. Every single one, all 54, could not tell it was white. In the second experiment, the one with the switched labels, the subjects went on and on about the cheap wine in the expensive bottle. They called it complex and rounded. They called the same wine in the cheap bottle weak and flat.






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coolpapaboze
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


I think pulling more than a couple of flavors out of a wine/beer is horse shite. I've been collecting wine for about fifteen years and I still don't get all that bull shite. My wine rating system is basically: Wine good, wine bad. Most of the wine collector friends I have are the same way. I used to think I was just a shitty taster, but eventually came to the conclusion that most of those people going on and on about all the different flavors in a given wine are full of shite.





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SlowFlowPro
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


i really do hope societal evolution produces more of you and less of them





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OBUDan
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


Yep, that's my taste system for beer as well.





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Walt OReilly
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


bump

you spent too much time on this for it not to get 2 pages






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SlowFlowPro
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?








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Robot Santa
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re: Taste Reviews: How do you know what is what?


quote:

I think pulling more than a couple of flavors out of a wine/beer is horse shite. I've been collecting wine for about fifteen years and I still don't get all that bull shite. My wine rating system is basically: Wine good, wine bad. Most of the wine collector friends I have are the same way. I used to think I was just a shitty taster, but eventually came to the conclusion that most of those people going on and on about all the different flavors in a given wine are full of shite.



Definitely. With beer I can pick out a few like coffee/chocolate in dark beer, various citrus flavors in IPAs, etc. With wine it's pretty much the same way. These people who claim to be able to pick out a dozen different flavors are probably pulling 7 or 8 of them out of their asses.






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