Prud’homme Beer Specialist, session 5

A draught case study test. AND off-flavours.

Not my night. I did not do well on the draught case study; I was so focused on finishing the chemistry course for my Niagara College application that I forgot about it until Tuesday afternoon. It really is too late to try and cram at that point. Sigh. I’m so glad that I’m almost done trying to learn a year-long course in two months. It will be nice to get my life back.

And what can be said about the off-flavours? It’s not like anyone ever says they enjoyed making their taste buds unhappy. It was very educational though. I know that the sensory evaluation is the one part that I working hardest to learn, and it was good to set the tastes and smells of worse-case scenarios in my head for reference. The smell of skunky and the taste of DMS will never leave me. It was a bad night to have sushi beforehand though – I had to stop at Shopper’s on the way home to get something to soothe my strained digestive system.

There was some beer tasting done as well, thankfully before the off-flavours. Two things stood out – the marked difference between a beer in a bottle and the same beer in a can (the Pilsner Urquel below) and how the cleanliness of a glass can completely change the experience. During one of the tastings, everyone was going on about sweet malt notes they were picking up in the aroma; me, all I got was iron and blood.  I thought I was losing it until I checked against Hank’s glass and smelled the same appetizing aromas that everyone was describing.

Sensory Evaluation

Style - Pilsner, Cans vs. BottlesPilsner Urquell, 4.4% - bottlePilsner Urquell, 4.4% - can
Appearanceclear, light straw, light head that fades quicklyclear, light straw, head takes a bit longer to dissipate.
Aromacrisp, maltmetallic
Tastemalt, slight bitterness lingersfaint biscuit, hops
Finishmore impact & carbonation than canlow impact, watery, smooth
Style - BelgianMill St. Belgian Wit, 5%Cheval Blanc, Belgian wheat, 5%
Appearancepale lemon, cloudy, slight headcloudy, lemon meringue
Aromalemon, bubble gum, cloves, coriandermetallic - copper, bubble gum, cloves
Tasteherbal, lemon, pear, spiced apple, more spice than fruit
Finishfruit forward, soft, fizzylonger, thicker mouthfeel
Style - Paulaner, 5.5%Denison Weisbier, 5.3%
Appearancecloudy, apricot, lots of cream-coloured headcloudy, dark lemon
Aromabanana, bubble gum, clovejuicy fruit, spice
Tastesweet biscuit, spicebready, cracker
Finishdoesn't linger, fizzy, smooth mouthfeelfinishes dry, coriander lingers

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