Archive for July, 2010

Figure 1. Jinro Chamisul Original

Introduction

Korea has a long and proud heritage of making alcoholic beverages, called soju (소주), from rice, but in recent years, rice has been substituted by other starchy products such as potato, sweet potato, tapioca, wheat or barley (Wikipedia, 2010).  Jinro (진로), a distiller in South Korea, was founded in 1924 and is the world’s largest manufacturer of soju.  Jinro’s soju products are sold under the name Chamisul (참 이슬), which, according to Wikipedia (2010) means “real dew”.  The English version of the Jinro website elucidates the method, by which Jinro Chamisul Original (20.1% ABV) is processed, and that the use of “affluent minerals” and the “bamboo charcoal refinement method” results in “a clean taste while boasts biorhythmic cells by providing pure minerals [sic]”.

Aim

This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Jinro Chamisul Original soju including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

A 360 ml bottle of Jinro Chamisul Original soju was sampled from a local bottle store for NZ$8.50.  The bottle was refrigerated for four hours prior to opening to ensure the temperature of the sample did not exceed 6oC.  The bottle cap was removed under controlled conditions.  The contents of the bottle were decanted into a clean shot glass and two small tumblers.  The sample in the shot glass was designated as the control.  Mango juice was added to the first of the other samples (sample 1) and cranberry juice was added to the second other sample (sample 2).  The juices were added in ratios of 3 parts juice to 1 part soju.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the control.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the control and samples 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 of the liquor, and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.

Results

The results for Jinro Chamisul Original soju are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Jinro Chamisul Original soju

Characteristic Result
Aroma Industrially distilled spirit with a sweet undertone
Flavour Control: Complex, fruity notes that intensify in sweetness after time

Sample 1: Reminiscent of mango juice with harsh alcohol added

Sample 2: Strong, sour berry notes with alcoholic hints

Colour Control: Clear

Sample 1: Thick, orangey-yellow liquid

Sample 2: Clear and deep red

Satisfaction Control: Strong alcohol content makes it difficult to appreciate the true flavours of the product

Sample 1: Much better than the control

Sample 2: Sour berry and unforgiving alcohol results in a nasty aftertaste

Vessel Design The label (see figure 1) is cream and green and exhibits an image of bamboo, doubtlessly relating to the bamboo charcoal filtration method used in the production.  The front label has an image of the company frog which is cream at room temperature and turns blue when cold (see figures 2 and 3 respectively)
Drinkability Control: 3

Sample 1: 5

Sample 2: 2

Figure 2. Jinro frog at room temperature

Figure 3. Jinro frog at 6 Celsius

Conclusion

Jinro Chamisul Original soju has displayed adaptability by improving on the control sample due to addition of foreign substances in sample 1.  It is not recommended that the product is utilized in close proximity to cranberry juice due to severe interference of flavours.  “Biorhythmic cells” may have contributed to this adjustment in flavour, but it is beyond the scope of the current study to confirm this hypothesis.  The highlight of the Jinro Chamisul Original soju experience was mixing fruit juices with the product in an attempt to enhance the drinkability and trying to make the temperature-sensitive frog label change colour.

References

http://english.jinro.com/product/product_domestic.asp

http://www.jinro.com/product/product_01.asp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soju

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Figure 1. Horoyoi Shiroi Sawaa

Introduction

Suntory, a Japanese beverage company known for its gritty whiskey and premium malt beer, introduced its first “liqueur” to the domestic market on March 9th (Tuesday), 2010. Christened “Horoyoi Shiroi Sawaa” (ほろよい白いサワー) (literal translation: Slightly tipsy white sour), this mildly alcoholic beverage (3.0%ABV) is advertised as “horo-amai, horo-umai” (slightly sweet, slightly delicious). It is currently being sold in supermarkets and convenience stores in 350ml recyclable aluminum cans for 141 yen (tax included). Television commercials (as seen on website) lead researchers to believe this product is marketed to melancholy women and effeminate men who wish to drink alone without the inconvenience of inebriation.

Aim

This experiment attempted to discern various aspects of Horoyoi Shiroi Sawaa including aroma, flavor, color, satisfaction, vessel design and drinkability and to perhaps discover the elusive appeal of low-alcohol, fizzy, sour-milk drinks.

Method

Materials collected for experiment included: one can of said product (see figure 1) for testing, one effeminate man as researcher, one pencil and two scraps of paper for record keeping as well as one sake cup made of faux Edo-style hand-blown glass for receptacle. The liqueur was kept in the coldest part of refrigerator (approx. 4 degrees Celsius) until just before tasting. About 30ml of liquid was poured into glass cup. Researcher wafted the emanation with his left hand breathing in twice. Notes on aroma were recorded. Product was then tasted, notes recorded, tasted again, more notes recorded, then remains were poured down drain. Can was rinsed and disposed of properly with other recyclables.

Results

Results for Horoyoi Shiroi Sawaa are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics for Horoyoi Shiroi Sawaa

Characteristic Result
Aroma First whiff was sharp and quite nearly reached a level of piney citrus not unlike that of some better-known toilet cleaners. The second, deeper inhalation brought promises of fresh cream, white cake-icing and meringue.
Flavor Subtle yet surprisingly complex. Upon first acquaintance, a striking saccharinity jarred the palate, but quickly gave way to a pleasant yoghurty twang. Aftertaste, however, left entire tongue wrecked – likened to gargling a chemical peel. Slight build-up of phlegm at back of throat, possibly caused by allergic reaction, dissipated soon after researcher drank 200ml of water.
Color One part lassi, ten parts soda.
Satisfaction Blend of chemical sweeteners annihilate potentially refreshing libation. No effect from alcohol was observed.
Vessel design White background with text and image in soothing shades of blue. A smattering of polka dots invoke the drink’s slight fizziness. Six type faces and four scripts will addle any reader long before the alcohol will.
Drinkability 2

Conclusion

Although intoxication is guaranteed to be averted, this experiment shows Suntory’s failure in providing a low-alcohol liquid refreshment that pleases effeminate men. Further research is necessary to conclude whether despondent females find it palatable.

References

http://www.suntory.co.jp/news/2010/10639.html

http://www.suntory.co.jp/rtd/horoyoi/

http://www.suntory.com/

Gosser Beer

Figure 1. Gosser Beer

Introduction

Austria evokes images of mountains, Mozart and The Sound of Music, but it is not globally renowned for its beer varieties and production, which may suggest that Gosser’s claim that Gosser Beer is ‘Austria’s finest beer’ may lack substance in the beverage world.  Gosser Beer (Gösser Bier) is a premium-strength (5.2% vol.) lager brewed by Brau Union Österreich in Graz, south-eastern Austria (see Gosser website for further information).  Other beers in the Gosser range include NaturRadler and Gösser Dark.  Gosser Beer is available in 0.33 and 0.5 litre cans and bottles.  The Gosser website is full of beautiful images of natural vistas which leads them to claim that ‘Gösser[‘s] … highest quality, purest nature and living brewing tradition conventionalize Gösser a myth with legendary character’, whatever that means.

Aim

This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Gosser Beer including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

A 0.5 litre bottle (see figure 1)  of Gosser Beer was obtained from a local supermarket.  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

The results for Gosser Beer are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Gosser Beer

Characteristic Result
Aroma Reminiscent of ‘old beer’, perhaps experienced the day after the beer was poured, a hint of citrus with a notes of cigarette ash
Flavour Initially, significant malty flavours which are replaced by a tangy hoppiness
Colour Similar to apple juice yellow which has had no more than 1 medium-sized ice cube melted in it
Satisfaction Served below 6oC, it would provide considerable refreshment on a day which exceeds 24cC
Vessel Design 0.5 litre bottle sits comfortably in the hand.  The label is an unfussy ,lustrous, dark green, gold and white design with classic European elegance
Head A thin , gassy head which disappeared after 156 seconds
Drinkability 6

Conclusion

It is beyond the scope of this experiment to confirm Gosser’s claim that their product is ‘Austria’s finest beer’ (Gosser Beer bottle label, 2010), however, the results indicate that Gosser was certainly inoffensive to the researchers and would be an above average choice on a hot summer’s day when in need of beverage based refreshment.  It is even conceivable that Maria and Captain Von Trapp may have shared a Gosser before fleeing their humble abode.  The highlight of the Gosser experience was the complementary green glass bottle and lustrous green label.

References

Gosser Beer bottle label (2010)

http://www.brauunioninternational.com/default_e.asp

http://www.goesser.com/

Figure 1. Arsenalnoe Strong

Introduction

Arsenalnoe Strong (АРСЕНАЛЬНОЕ КРЕПКОЕ) has only recently arrived on the shelves of New Zealand supermarkets, although this emergence may have occurred earlier in other locations.  Arsenalnoe is a Strong lager-style beer (7.0% ABV) produced by the Baltika breweries in various locations throughout Russia (see Baltika website) and is available in sizes ranging from 0.5 litres to 2.5 litres.  Other beers in the Arsenalnoe range include Gold, Traditional, Classic and Live.  Although the Baltika website provides interesting information about the company’s products, the Arsenalnoe website exhibits an alarming array of information relating to guns and tips on selecting “travel” axes and saws.  Arsenalnoe beers claim to be beers which are “beer with a male character, is brewed for real men who value honour, strength, patriotism, family, Motherland”.

Aim

This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Arsenalnoe Strong beer including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

A 1 litre can of Arsenalnoe Strong (see figure 1) was obtained from a local supermarket.  The top of the can was cleaned under running tap water and opened under controlled conditions.  The contents of the can 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

The results for Arsenalnoe Strong are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Arsenalnoe Strong

Characteristic Result
Aroma Slightly floral and malty
Flavour Floral with a ‘fuzzy’ feel at the back of your throat.  Not malty, not hoppy – run-of-the-mill
Colour Deep hay with a slightly cloudy tinge
Satisfaction Substantial alcohol content ensures rapid progression towards insobriety
Vessel Design Intimidating 1 litre can with pleasing Cyrillic script and a no-nonsense logo.  The printed ‘rivets’ suggest an industrial background and reinforces its manlyness
Head Forms a ‘fizzy’ head, which disappears within 2 minutes
Drinkability 4

Conclusion

It is clear from the results that Arsenalnoe Strong does indeed have a male character (mainly due to its strength), but could also be enjoyed by females.  The beer has an uncomplicated flavor which would neither excite nor offend the palate.  The highlight of the Arsenalnoe Strong experience, except for the alcohol content, would be the can which could make an interesting talking point for guests stuck for conversation.

References

http://eng.baltika.ru/brand/0/4/arsenalnoe.html

http://guns.arsenalnoe.ru/main.html

Disclaimer:  The researcher and research collaborator do not condone the use of firearms in any situation.