I got skunked on this beer, guys and dolls. It’s been quite a while since I tried this beer, so I was looking forward to getting a chance to reassess it. But something pernicious happened–more about that in a moment.
Upon pouring the beer, I saw a light copper body and a stable head. It was very bubbly in the glass, which made it look like a shimmering glass of liquid delight. So far so good.
Then I stuck my nose to the glass, and the trouble began. Somehow or some way, the beer had gained a skunky aroma. It wasn’t anything more than a Heineken or Cervesa might be, but it wasn’t what the beer was supposed to smell like. This happened one of two ways. First, it could happen through the processing of the beer. The production of MBT (3-methyl-2-butende-1-thiol) can happen when light infiltrates the beer in the processes of brewing, packaging, or a few other ways. The second way that this compound comes about is in the bottle. Basically, light degrades the bitterness that comes from hops (in the form of iso-a-acids). More than likely, this happened when light came through the bottle over time.
It’s sad when this happens to a beer, but the beer was not lost forever, so I’ll tell you a little more about it. First, the Cascade hops were not altogether lost on the nose, and I imagine that they would have been much greater had light not altered the chemical composition of the hops. But there was still a grapefruit and piney aroma put off by the hops. There were also caramel and grains on the nose.
The cascades came through much better in the mouth than on the nose. Surprisingly, the beer did not taste skunky and the hops kept some of their character. Caramel and grains (especially on the finish) pushed their way through. And the finish was long and somewhat dry.
This is the review I’ve given for this beer that had deteriorated (but not fully). I’m counting on everyone else to offer up a review that does justice to the beer as it was intended. Let us know what you think.