The mere mention of fortified wine may summon imagery of young adults with bottles of MD 20/20, Thunderbird or even Scotsmac (Wikipedia – fortified wine, 2010), however, there is a much classier side to fortified wines with, perhaps the classiest being port. Alongside this classy beverage have grown a number of somewhat interesting and somewhat bizarre behaviours, also known as ‘port-iquette’ (for an amusing overview, see Intowine, 2010). The history of port production stretches back to the 17th century and strict protocols surround its making, aging and naming.
Taylor’s is a 300 year old producer of most types of port, but they are also investing in the future of port production by devising ‘Port-Toes’ to replicate the manual treading of grapes in an automated manner (Taylor’s, 2010). Additionally, Taylor’s have a Port Professor working for them who provides notes on sampling their beverages, judging their ages, decanting tips and hints on matching port to food (Taylor’s, 2010)
This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Taylor’s 20 year old Tawny Port including, but not limited to, aroma, flavour, colour and satisfaction.
Glasses of Taylor’s 20 year old Tawny Port were purchased in a restaurant for NZ$23 each. The samples were delivered by wait staff and were determined to be between 16 to 18oC. Aroma was evaluated by smelling the port. Flavour was analysed by tasting the port and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed. The glass was held up to a standardized light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered from the Taylor’s website.
Results for Taylor’s 20 year old Tawny Port are shown in table 1 below.
Table 1. Characteristics of Taylor’s 20 year old Tawny Port.
|Aroma||Rich, dried fruit with honey and a smidgen of vanilla prompts a researcher to exclaim that “it smells like Christmas”, although the researcher did not distinguish between their preconceived ideas of Christmas and that port was a part of that, or whether it actually tasted like Christmas itself|
|Flavour||Mellow, but substantial amounts of raisiny prunes slide effortlessly onto the tongue and linger to reveal an undertone of honey|
|Colour||An orangey-yellowish-brown synonymous with ‘tawny’ port|
|Satisfaction||It is hard to imagine a finer way to finish a meal than with port|
|Vessel Design||A matt-black bottle, embossed with the 4XX crest of Taylor’s and swathed in a classic white label with a big ‘20’ on it|
The bizarre behaviours of the “port classes” may on first inspection appear to be the foibles of posh, eccentric people with far too much time on their hands. However, beverages of this quality seem to almost demand rituals and reverence.
The easy-drinking of Taylor’s 20 year old Tawny Port could lead people to conclude that the beverage holds mysterious therapeutic properties in the way that “the British Prime Minister, Pitt the Younger when a boy, was given port for gout. He began at the age of 14 (1773) with a bottle a day” (Wikipedia – port, 2010). Truly not a bad medicine at all.
Figure 1. Coopers Best Extra Stout
Coopers Brewery, based in Adelaide, South Australia, offers complete beer solutions with both homebrew kits and recipes as well as pre-prepared bottled or draught beer (Coopers, 2010). Coopers make purchasing easy for their clientele by colour-coding their bottled products to avoid confusion. One of their pre-prepared bottled products is Best Extra Stout, a stronger 6.3% alc. vol. stout which is identified by theorangey-yellow colour on the label. Coopers Brewery is an exception among large contemporary breweries in that it is still owned and run by several Cooper family members.
This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Coopers Best Extra Stout including, but not limited to, aroma, flavour, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.
A 750 ml bottle of Coopers Best Extra Stout was obtained from a local supermarket for NZ$3.99. The sample was refrigerated to 4oC. The cap of the bottle was removed under controlled conditions using a bottle cap leveraging device. The contents of the bottle were decanted into clean glass vessels. Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beer. Flavour was analysed by tasting the beer and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed. The glass was held up to a standardized light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.
Results for Coopers Best Extra Stout are shown in table 1 below.
Table 1. Characteristics of Coopers Best Extra Stout.
|Aroma||Juicy prunes steeped in licoricey chocolate with an finish of caramel and a hint of espresso|
|Flavour||Substantial fizziness is quickly interrupted by considerable bitterness with an almost smokey undertone and a recollection of leather, with a burnt-like coffee aftertaste|
|Colour||Deepest brown with a splash of red culminating in an almost black pour. The final pour provides a view of a personal, micro-universe in the bottom of the glass as thousands of yeasty ‘stars’ pepper the black ‘void’ of space … where no one can hear you scream. A feeling of omnipotence is difficult to avoid. Unfortunately, the ‘stars’ soon coalesce to form a beige sludge, perhaps providing evidence of the Big Crunch and the ultimate fate of our universe|
|Satisfaction||A beer to share over good conversation, probably in the cooler months. The carbonation detracts slightly from the drinking pleasure|
|Vessel Design||An choppy, brown bottle, embossed with the brand name and adorned with a no-nonsense black, white and yellow label (see figure 1)|
|Head||A fizzy caramel-coloured head steadily diminishes over 192 seconds to leave a thin coating of tiny bubbles on the surface|
The beer was tasty, but the analysis revealed questions about the fate of the universe. The yeasty precipitate appeared to model the Big Crunch (Wikipedia, 2010), however, it is beyond the scope of this study to determine the final outcome of the universe. Luckily, since contraction of the universe may not even start for another 10 or so billion years (new scientist, 2002), it seems that there are plenty of opportunities to investigate this phenomenon through beer-related research.
Figure 1. Pirate Beer
A note to all you scurvy knaves: Due t’ Halloween festivities, this week’s article will be dressed in a pirate costume complete with a wooden leg, a hook for a hand and a scruffy parrot on its shoulder. Gar, Where can I find a bottle o’rum? (All pirate-talk translations be provided by the landlubbers at talklikeapirateday).
Arrr, think o’ Dutch beers and brands such as Heineken, Amstel and Oranjeboom sprin’ t’ mind. Howe’er, thar be plenty o’ other less-well known beers t’ be had. United Dutch Breweries boast an extensive range o’ beers includin’ Weidmann Lager, Phoenix Strong Lager, Three Horses Dark Malt Beverage and Pirate Beer (UDB products, 2010). Pirate Beer is an 8.5% alc. vol. strong lager originally from the Breda Brewery.. A pence for an old man o’de sea?
Aye, pirates seem t’ have a tenuous connection with beer and a more common association with rum feels both more traditional and comfortable. Little information is available from either Breda Brewery or UDB, and this may be due t’ the questionable link between the product and brand mentioned previously. Gaarrr! They should be keel hauled!
Aye, this experiment was designed t’ investigate numerous characteristics o’ Pirate Beer includin’, but not limited to, aroma, flavour, colour, satisfaction and vessel design. Yarrgh!
Aye, a 500 ml can o’ Pirate Beer was obtained from a local supermarket for NZdoubloons3.99. The can was refrigerated t’ 4oC before the integrity o’ the can was breached under controlled conditions usin’ the supplied puncturin’ device. The contents o’ the can war decanted int’ a clean glass vessel. Aroma was evaluated by smellin’ the beer. Flavour was analysed by tastin’ the beer and discussin’ it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed. Aye, me parrot concurs.
Ahoy, results for Pirate Beer be shown in table 1 below. Ye’ll ne’er get me buried booty!
Table 1. Characteristics of Pirate Beer
|Aroma||Aye, sweet caramelly and fruity on the nose with an almost cider-like quality with a suggestion o’ ash tray lin’erin’ in the surroundin’s. Overall, the aroma be faint|
|Flavour||Cloyin’ with a pungent lacquer aftertaste. The heinous taste o’ the beverage caused the researchers t’ abort the experiment and dispose o’ the sample responsibly. Garrr!|
|Colour||A deep yellow colour, bordering on orange|
|Satisfaction||The researchers struggled t’ identify a situation which would befit imbibing such an offensive brew|
|Vessel Design||The can be illustra’ed with a clichéd pirate image, replete with parrot, wooden leg, cutlass, tricorn, eye patch and a cannon in t’ background (see figure 1)|
|Head||A disappointin’ white foam emerges upon pourin’, but recedes to almost nothin’ within 39 seconds. Yarrgh!|
Aye, havin’ sampled Pirate Beer, the researchers now understand why it is not a prominent Dutch beverage. Pirate Beer succeeded in offendin’ on almost all scales. The researchers war reluctant t’ award drinkability scores or 1 because it is not inconceivable that thar be worse be’erages a’ailable. Ye’ll ne’er get me buried booty!
Aye, it is possible that, if pirates had consumed Pirate Beer, this could be the reason behind their frequent use o’ strange noises such as Yarrgh and Garrr and the incorrect use o’ the verb ‘be’. Howe’er, it is beyond the scope o’ this study t’ confirm this hypothesis. Gar, Where can I find a bottle o’rum?
Figure 1. Asahi Black
Asahi Breweries control Japanese beer consumption with a staggering 40% of the market share (Wikipedia, 2010). Asahi have been producing beer for well over 100 years and have recently started dabbling in beer styles beyond their usual Super Dry offering (Asahi products, 2010). One member of this diversifying range of beverages is Asahi Black (黒生, Kuronama), a 5% alc. vol. “Munich-Type” black lager (Asahi kuronama, 2010).
The English version of the website contains useful information, however, it is the Japanese language website which provides a host of information for the bored imbiber. Aside from the usual downloadable wallpapers, there are additional delights such as “after 9 stories”, history of black lager and black lager cocktail recipes (Asahi kuronama, 2010).
This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Asahi Black including, but not limited to, aroma, flavour, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.
A 350 ml can of Asahi Black was obtained from a specialist Japanese bottle store for NZ$3.80. The can was refrigerated to 4oC before the integrity of the can was breached under controlled conditions using the supplied puncturing device. The contents of the can were decanted into a clean glass vessel. Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beer. Flavour was analysed by tasting the beer and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed. The glass was held up to a standardised light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.
Results for Asahi Black are shown in table 1 below.
Table 1. Characteristics of Asahi Black
|Aroma||Presents a strong roasted malty nose with a chocolatey undercurrent mixed with buckwheat groats and Kiwi brand shoe polish. A slight hint of sweet smoke hides in the background|
|Flavour||First taste is overpowered by considerable fizziness. Once prepared for the carbonation onslaught, the flavour is low on the tongue with bitterness reminiscent of coffee or dark chocolate. A remainder of burnt caramel lingers long after the liquor has been swallowed|
|Colour||Deep shade of brown resembling an iced long black (Americano) coffee with the ice removed, or even a globally renowned cola beverage|
|Satisfaction||Surprisingly drinkable, however the excessive carbonation guarantees that bloatation would determine the final quantity the drinker is able to consume|
|Vessel Design||A gold, black and red can with an interesting crossover of English and Japanese informing of the beverage’s German origins (see figure 1)|
|Head||A fizzy cream-coloured head dissipated within 54 seconds|
The overriding carbonation of Asahi Black tainted the drinking experience and resulted in an uncomfortable, distended-stomach feeling for over 90 minutes after the single can had been finished. It is beyond the scope of the current study to evaluate the performance of Asahi Black when incorporated into the suggested cocktails such as “Fruit Original” or “Moon Stone” (Asahi kuronama, 2010).
Finally, the researchers were left with a nagging question about the paradox which arises from the naming of the product. Asahi translates to rising sun, but when coupled with ‘black’ an uncomfortable illogicality of the rising sun delivering blackness occurs. However, rumination surrounding this troublesome absurdity was frequently interrupted by severe bouts of eructation.
Figure 1. Ozeki Nama Chozou
Japan, home of cherry blossom, sumo, bizarre animation characters and raw fish, has also perfected the production of rice wine, or sake. The production of sake dates back at least 1500 years in its modern form and possibly a further 2000 years before that as kuchikami no sake (“mouth-chewed sake”) (Wikipedia, 2010) and it is often used in spiritual rituals (eHow, 2010). The production of sake is distinct from that of wine or beer in that a mold is utilised to break down the starch into fermentable sugars (Wikipedia, 2010). Sake is basically categorised by the amount that the rice is polished before fermenting (sake-world, 2010). The polishing process removes proteins and oils from the outside of the grain leaving fewer impurities (Wikipedia, 2010).
Ozeki have been producing sake since 1711 and has come a long way to their current “24-hour unmanned operation of any process is fully automated, streamlined with a lot of manpower and time significantly” (Ozeki, 2010). Ozeki products can be seen in convenience stores throughout Japan, including the ubiquitous, but ever so handy ワンカップ (Wankappu or One Cup) which is a convenient cup of sake without the inconvenience of a bottle shaped vessel (Ozeki One Cup, 2010). Two Ozeki products available in New Zealand are Nama Chozou (13.5% alc. vol.) and Junmai Tatewaki Samurai Sake (13% alc. vol.).
This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Ozeki Nama Chozou and Ozeki Junmai Tatewaki Samurai Sake including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.
300 ml bottles of Ozeki Nama Chozou and Ozeki Samurai Sake were obtained from a specialist Japanese liquor store for NZ$9.80 and NZ$10.20 respectively. The bottles were refrigerated to 4oC before the caps of the bottles were removed under controlled conditions. Approximately 20 ml of each sample were decanted into sake cups. Aroma was evaluated by smelling the sake. Flavour was analysed by tasting the beer and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed. Colour was assessed by looking at the liquor and aesthetic aspects of the vessels were considered.
Results for Ozeki Nama Chozou and Ozeki Samurai Sake are shown in table 1 below.
Table 1. Characteristics of Ozeki Nama Chozou and Ozeki Samurai Sake.
|Characteristic||Nama Chozou-shu||Junmai Tatewaki – Samurai Sake|
|Aroma||Sweet, creamy scent with an insinuation of rhubarb, calling to mind memories of rhubarb and custard flavoured boiled sweets which have been delicately rubbed with Cheshire cheese||Fainter bouquet of yoghurt which has been liberally sprinkled with vanilla-infused crumble topping|
|Flavour||A complex mash-up of fresh figs, marzipan, fresh almonds, custard apple (cherimoya) and raisins||Offers freshly cut persimmons, sunflower seeds and green melons draped over cold rice pudding|
|Colour||Clear, colourless liquor||Clear, colourless liquor|
|Satisfaction||An easy-drinking, smooth beverage which could easily accompany light meals||A drier sake which would compliment heavier meals but would also be at home alongside sushi, sashimi or salad|
|Vessel Design||A frosted-look label with loads of kanji characters adorns a plain, colourless bottle (see figure 1)||A deep blue label with white and gold kanji characters and a black and white image of a samurai warrior (see figure 2)|
Figure 2. Ozeki Junmai Tatewaki Samurai Sake
Sake is a poorly understood beverage in the western world, and it can present flavour profiles as complex as wine. Hangovers are often reported by inexperienced sake drinkers, however with alcohol levels similar to wine and being served in small cups, these reports may be based on myth, however, it is beyond the scope of the current study to corroborate these claims.
During the sampling of the beverages, no far-eastern experiences were noted by either the researcher or the research assistant. No Zen moments were detected, no flashbacks to riding the shinkansen (bullet train) were noted and no windswept moments on Mount Fuji while purchasing a hot can of coffee from a vending machine were perceived. However, both of the beverages did make a nice accompaniment to soba noodle soup.
It may or may not be true that “20 years after becoming drunk. Delicious drink is an appropriate amount”, and the researchers suspect this may contain a hidden code, which is yet to be cracked (Ozeki, 2010).
Figure 1. Shepherd Neame Spitfire
English beers are as varied and numerous as the accents encountered on a tiki tour around the country. Shepherd Neame contribute to the plethora of beverages with brews such as Bishop’s Finger, Canterbury Jack, 4-4-2 and Spitfire. Spitfire is a relative newcomer to “Britain’s Oldest Brewer” (Shepherd Neame website, 2010), having been introduced in 1990 to commemorate the Battle of Britain 50 years earlier (Spitfire website, 2010). Spitfire is a 4.5% alc. vol. Kentish Ale
The marketing of Spitfire Kentish ale appears to rely strongly on Britain’s patriotic sensibilities harking back to the Second World War, indeed naming itself “The Bottle of Britain” (Spitfire website, 2010). The website has a wartime feel and ads show images of unfortunate German soldiers and brave, Dad’s Army style photos of plucky British soldiers (Spitfire ads, 2010)
This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Shepherd Neame Spitfire including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.
A 500 ml bottle of Shepherd Neame Spitfire was obtained from a local bottle store for NZ$7.50. The bottle was refrigerated to 4oC, then allowed to warm to 7oC before the cap of the bottle was removed under controlled conditions using a bottle cap leveraging device. The contents of the bottle were decanted into a clean glass vessel. Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beer. Flavour was analysed by tasting the beer and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed. The glass was held up to a standardised light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.
Results for Shepherd Neame Spitfire are shown in table 1 below.
Table 1. Characteristics of Shepherd Neame Spitfire
|Aroma||Dried lime peel from zingy hops with a smattering of toffee and an undertone of shoe polish and a note of extremely dry dust on unpolished wooden shelves|
|Flavour||Bold and substantial bitey bitterness with vigourous citrusey and floral flavourings which linger long after the liquor has been swallowed. The bitterness is slightly offset with a hint of caramel and toffee|
|Colour||A pale chestnut brown|
|Satisfaction||Because the sample was not heavy, it could certainly be enjoyed year-round and would also make a solid session beer|
|Vessel Design||A stout, white glass bottle is draped with a red, white and blue label in true English colours (see figure 1). The vessel also sports a label commemorating The Battle of Britain (see figure 2)|
|Head||A persistent head upon pouring remained until through the photo process (see figure 1) and after the first taste (over 517 seconds after pouring). Remnants of the head remained to the bottom of the bottom of the glass|
Figure 2. The Battle of Britain label
While Old Blighty may be a very long distance from New Zealand (and our soldiers died defending the Empire), Shepherd Neame Spitfire travels remarkably well. The researchers agreed that if they were travelling past the bottle store where the sample was purchased, it would be probable that they would stop by and pick up another bottle or two. It is beyond the scope of the current study to ascertain whether Spitfire is truly “The Bottle of Britain” from such a remote location. The researchers resisted all urges to say (in the thickest, old-school BBC accent) “That’s one in the eye for you, Fritz”, or any other ridiculous wartime references.
Figure 1. Magners Irish Cider
Ireland may not spring to mind as a hotbed of cider production, but it has been produced there for years and producers have even received preferential tax treatment (Wikipedia, 2010). Magners have been brewing cider in South Tipperary since 1935 and now produce beverages including Magners Irish Cider, a 4.5% alc./vol. brewed from, among other varieties, Yarlington Mill, Medaille d’Or and Brown Snout (Magners Guide to Cider, 2010).
Cider started emerging in Roman records as early as 55 BC (Drinkfocus, 2010) and the Magners website offers additional background information which suggests that:
During the 14th century, children were baptised in cider – it was cleaner than water – and in the 18th century part of a farm labourers wages were paid in cider. By the year 1800, cider was said to be ‘the’ cure for stomach upset, rheumatic disease and various other diseases (Magners website, 2010).
This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Magners Irish Cider including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.
A 568 ml bottle (see figure 1) of Magners Irish Cider was obtained from a local supermarket for NZ$4.99. The bottle was placed in a refrigerator to cool to 4 oC. The cap of the bottle was removed under controlled conditions using a bottle cap leveraging device. The contents of the bottle were decanted into clean glass vessels. Aroma was evaluated by smelling the liquor. Flavour was analysed by tasting the fluid and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed. The glass was held up to a standardized light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.
The results of Magners Irish Cider are shown in table 1 below.
Table 1. Characteristics of Magners Irish Cider.
|Aroma||Sweet, pineappley-peary fruitiness suggestive of fruit candy, possibly boiled sweets. Very strongly brings images of Leicester University Student Union Bar in the early 1990s to mind|
|Flavour||Initially, incredibly sugary sweet flavour, which is followed by a sourer, vaguely vinegary trace. Sugariness leaves the lips sticky upon drying. A large quantity of effervescence leads to rapid expulsion of voluminous gas|
|Colour||Strong, clear, orange colour, suspiciously similar to Original Lucozade|
|Satisfaction||The satisfaction is tempered by the extreme sweetness of the product.|
|Vessel Design||A classic brown bottle adorned with a fairly uncomplicated green, yellow, red, black and white label (see figure 1)|
|Head||A soda water-like cluster of bubbles rise rapidly upon decantation to disappear almost instantaneously|
The sweetness of Magners Irish Cider detracts somewhat from drinking pleasure, however, it is possible that intensely sweet drinks are to some people’s liking. Although both are cider, Magners Irish Cider is far removed from the more traditional scrumpy potions which are available from barns throughout south-east England, served up by merry farmers with ruddy cheeks and bulbous noses. The test subject was initially going to be awarded a drinkability score of 3, however, since it has come from Tipperary, and as you know, that’s a long way, it was awarded a bonus point for effort. It is beyond the scope of the present study to ascertain whether Magners Irish Cider would be attractive to the Goth community.
Figure 1. Budĕjovický Budvar
Breweries from the Czech Republic city of České Budějovice started producing the original Budweiser beer in 1785, and Budĕjovický Budvar is one of those breweries (Wikipedia, 2010). The naming of the beer as Budweiser (which, in fact, originates from the city in the Czech Republic) has been the cause of many a legal wrangling between the Czech breweries and Anheuser-Busch, USA, over trademark rights (Wikipedia, 2010). Budĕjovický Budvar is a premium strength (5.0% alc. vol.).
The Budĕjovický Budvar brewery boasts a host of interesting attractions for brewery tourists, including a Brewing Pan, an Enjoy Centre, and, most intriguingly, the Stargate. The Stargate presents you with the possibility of “being suspended above a beer river. This river flows to metropolises worldwide that have been conquered by our unique lager” in a Ghengis Khan – Willy Wonkaesque manner (Budvar website, 2010).
This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Budĕjovický Budvar Beer including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.
A six pack of 0.33 litre bottles of Budĕjovický Budvar was obtained from a Countdown supermarket in Napier for NZ$14.99. By the time the bottles had been transported to the laboratory, they had heated up to room temperature. Five of the bottles were placed in a refrigerator to cool them to 4 oC. The cap of the sixth bottle was removed under controlled conditions using a bottle cap leveraging device. The contents of the bottle were decanted into clean glass vessels containing between 8 and 10 small cubes of ice. Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beer. Flavour was analysed by tasting the beer and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed. The glass was held up to a standardized light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.
The results of Budĕjovický Budvar are shown in table 1 below.
Table 1. Characteristics of Budĕjovický Budvar.
|Aroma||Floral hoppy burst which hints at a reminder of fruit salad dressed with citrus|
|Flavour||A tsunami of hoppyness assaults the senses with zingy, floral, citrusy, bitter tastes give way to a sweeter aftertaste with a suggestion of rolling tobacco|
|Colour||A strong yellow, bordering on the pale orange|
|Satisfaction||A proven performer in a range of conditions. Budĕjovický Budvar would be acceptable in all seasons, but would be particularly pleasurable in a beer garden on a hot, sticky summers evening. Budĕjovický Budvar has also confirmed its versatility by being suitable when faced with, perhaps the most testing of beer conditions, Vietnam-style, ice-in-glass cooling|
|Vessel Design||Gold, red, white and black label with some jolly knights shown subtly in silver behind the brand name. A gold foil adorned with a ‘wax’ seal tops a standard green bottle with a fancy ‘B’ in a shield on the shoulder (see figure 1)|
|Head||A fine, fizzy white head disappeared rapidly, possibly due to the presence of ice|
Budĕjovický Budvar is a pleasing beer which can be enjoyed straight from the refrigerator or even over ice. It is a cruel coincidence that Budweiser from the Czech Republic, and which is a very fine brew, shares the same name as the primary fare from Anheuser-Busch and it is beyond the scope of this study to evaluate the relative merits of each of these beers. Despite the shared brand name, Budĕjovický Budvar has something that Anheuser-Busch doesn’t have, and that is a Stargate with a river of beer. What more could a thirsty research scientist ask for?
Figure 1. Schöfferhofer Weizen
Germany, one of the heavyweights of global beer production, is home to around 1300 breweries and the famous Reinheitsgebot or purity order which regulates ingredients that can be used in beer production (Wikipedia, 2010). Among this bewildering choice of beverages is the trickily named Schöfferhofer Weizen, brewed in Frankfurt, a lesser known wheat beer, or hefeweizen which weighs in at 5.0% alcohol by volume. Judging by commercials, the target audience of Schöfferhofer Weizen appears to be heterosexual males in their thirties who are into nostalgic things such a toy cars (youtube, 2010), and who also have fancy bachelor pads littered with gadgets and Polaroid photos (schoefferhofer website, 2010).
This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Schöfferhofer Weizen beer including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.
A 500 ml bottle of Schöfferhofer Weizen was obtained from a local bottle store for NZ$4.50. The bottle was opened under controlled conditions using a bottle cap leveraging device. The contents of the bottle were decanted into clean glass vessels. Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beer. Flavour was analysed by tasting the liquor and discussing it with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed. The glass was held up to a standardized light to evaluate the colour and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.
The results for Schöfferhofer Weizen are shown in table 1 below.
Table 1. Characteristics of Schöfferhofer Weizen
|Aroma||Fresh pears smeared with a sugary butter mixture|
|Flavour||Small, fizzy bubbles carry a creamy, bready sweet flavour which yields to a zingy bitter hoppy essence. A constant undertone of red apples and green pears stirs up memories of scrumping fruit and being chased off of land by angry farmers|
|Colour||A pleasant, pale, hazy pineapple yellow|
|Satisfaction||A definite summer drink, possibly best enjoyed in a field on a picnic blanket|
|Vessel Design||Bright orange dominates the label with smatterings of black, white and gold, on a classic brown beer bottle (see figure 1)|
|Head||A think creamy head rears up upon pouring. The froth thins to leave a persistent film of fine, white bubbles|
English language information about Schöfferhofer Weizen is conspicuously absent from the internet and so it is difficult to validate any of the claims made by the brewers. However, as the research team contains a mid-thirties heterosexual male, we can confirm that both the beer and the advertising materials appealed to at least one member of the team. We are led to the conclusion that the company’s marketing strategy has been very well thought through, although the commercials have led the team member to develop a strong desire to have considerably more gadgets around his accommodation.
Readers of this journal may be interested to note that drinkability ratings have been tabulated to provide fast and easy access to the ratings of beverages. The information has been shown as a summary of all of the beverages reviewed in the journal as well as summaries of beverage classes i.e. beer, wine and distilled beverages. This information can be found through the ‘drinkability‘ link, located at the top right of the main page.
The Editorial Team at JADS International hopes that this summarisation of drinkability provides a valuable service to those in need of information at a glance.