Archive for August, 2010

Figure 1. Wyndham Estate Bin 444 Cabernet Sauvignon

Introduction

Wyndham Estates, located in the renowned Hunter Valley of NSW, Australia, pride themselves on the intensity of their wines (see Wyndham estate website, 2010).  They classify their cheaper wines by “Bin” followed by a triple digit number, which designates the grape varietal.  Cabernet sauvignon, the grape that makes in Bin 444, is “one of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties”, and has apparently only existed since the 17th century when a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc varietals occurred (Wikipedia, 2010).

The Wyndham Estate website (2010) shows images of large marsupials wandering amongst the vines.  It is unclear whether the beasts are browsing on the grass between the rows of vines, helping themselves to the ripe fruit, or attempting to steal a few bottles of product, stowed safely in their pouches while sproinging away at high speed.

Aim

This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of Wyndham Estate Bin 444 2007 wine including, but not limited to, aroma, flavour, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

A 750 ml bottle of Wyndham Estate Bin 444 2007 was obtained from a local supermarket for NZ$11.99.  The bottle was opened under controlled conditions.  Approximately 100 ml of liquid was poured into clean glass vessels.  The contents of the can were decanted into clean glass vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the liquor.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the wine 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 Wyndham Estate Bin 444 2007 are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Wyndham Estate Bin 444 2007.

Characteristic Result
Aroma Summer fruit pudding with a suggestion of charred woodiness.  Similar to  those Japanese fruit candies which are wrapped in rice paper you can eat
Flavour Chunky with obvious tannins and slightly tart and bitter, but not unpleasant.  A conglomeration of red, summery fruits finished off with a splash of black pepper
Colour Deep ruby red
Satisfaction Suitable for chilly evenings while watching cooking shows on TV
Vessel Design Uncomplicated black, cream, red and gold label wrapped around a classically shaped, green wine bottle.
Legs The glass was vigorously swirled, the liquor began to form distinct rivulets after 19 seconds
Drinkability 6

Conclusion

Wyndham Estate Bin 444 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon does comply with the company mandate of producing wines “for people who want more intensity and sensation from their wine experience” (Wyndham website, 2010).

Having assessed the characteristics of the beverage, a more urgent line of inquiry needs to be addressed, that being the question of how a large marsupial which had stolen a bottle of wine would gain access to the liquor contained within the bottle.  Fortunately, Wydham Estate Bin 444 is secured by the use of a twist off cap.  However, with their crap forearms, twist caps could still provide problematic for the marsupial.  It is postulated that, through past experience being passed down through the generations of marsupials, they may collaborate to achieve the desired outcome.  However, it is beyond the scope of this study to confirm this hypothesis.

References

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

http://wyndhamestate.com/Wyndham.html#/Home/

Advertisements

Figure 1. Kingfisher Premium

Introduction

Kingfisher beer dominates the Indian beer market with a range of products including Kingfisher Premium, Strong, Ultra, Blue, Red and Bohemia (Wikipedia, 2010), and it’s parent company, United Breweries, has been producing beer since 1915 (see United Breweries website, 2010).  In addition to being loved by the Indian public, Kingfisher beers also appear to be loved by judges at international beer exhibitions as they have won no less than six international awards.  It is possibly this popularity that has led Kingfisher to adopt the slogan “The king of good times” (see Kingfisherworld website, 2010).

The target audience of Kingfisher beers is clearly aimed at young, wealthy males as the website displays cornerstones of maleness in swimsuit calendars, a model search, sponsoring a soccer team and a Formula 1 motor racing team.

Aim

This experiment was designed to compare numerous characteristics of Kingfisher Premium with Kingfisher Strong beer including, but not limited to, aroma, flavour, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.

Method

Six 330 ml bottles of Kingfisher Premium (5.0% alc/vol) and a single 650 ml bottle of Kingfisher Strong (less than 8% alc/vol) were obtained from a local bottle store for NZ$12.00 and NZ$8.00 respectively.  The beers were chilled to approximately 6 degree C.  The stoppers were removed under controlled conditions and the contents were decanted into clean glass vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the beers.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the beers and discussing them with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glasses were held up to a standardized light to evaluate colour, and aesthetic aspects of the vessels were considered.

Results

The results for Kingfisher Premium and Kingfisher Strong are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Kingfisher Premium and Kingfisher Strong.

Characteristic Kingfisher Premium Kingfisher Strong
Aroma Significant citrusy and appley hoppy odour with a smidgen of white grapes Clean fresh scent reminiscent of lying in a field of wheat which has been drying in the searing heat of a late spring day
Flavour Initially, bitter and slightly floral hops rush onto the taste buds and linger pleasantly high on the palate.  This is complemented by an underlying malty sweetness. Slightly sharp taste that bites down the sides of your tongue finishing with the aromatic taste of lemon. Cumbersome flavourings become a little muddled.  Leaves the palate tasting as if spearmint chewing gum has been taken 10 minutes prior
Colour Deep yellow, reminiscent of a pale caramel Clear amber liquor similar to apricot infused honey
Satisfaction A premier candidate to accompany almost any Indian curry, particularly nice with papad Palatable, but high alcohol content could leave the consumer with impaired faculties
Vessel Design Uncomplicated white, red and gold label with an image of a kingfisher (see figure 1) Maroon, gold and white label induces imagery of a Victorian bordello or the flocked wallpaper seen in Indian restaurants across England in the 1990s (see figure 2)
Head An effervescent fizz produces a thin white veneer on the surface which disappears completely within 29 seconds A thin white spume rapidly disperses exposing the beer beneath within 36 seconds
Drinkability 7 6

Figure 2. Kingfisher Strong

Conclusion

This comparative study has uncovered several interesting features of Kingfisher Premium and Kingfisher Strong.  Firstly, both beers consisted of considerable amounts of flavour which directly led to substantial satisfaction.  Secondly, Kingfisher Premium appears to be a good candidate for a session beer, perhaps best consumed in the early evening on a balcony, while Kingfisher strong would not be unpleasant shared with friends and accompanying a meal.  Finally, the inextricable link between Kingfisher, India and curry could not be avoided by the researchers and the consumption of the samples was accompanied by palak paneer and dahl makhani with garlic naan.  It is beyond the scope of this study to evaluate whether the presence of curry influenced the experience of consuming the beverages, but it all went down without complaint.  When considering the outcome of these two heavyweights of the beverage world locked in a fight to the death – the agility and zippyness of Premium against the raw strength of, erm, Strong – the beer left standing at the end would probably be Premium, albeit with a bloodied nose and a broken limb or two and perhaps a large patch of hair missing, gripped in the dying hand of Strong.

References

http://www.kingfisherworld.com/index.aspx

http://www.theubgroup.com/index.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingfisher_(beer)

Figure 1. Harbin Beer

Introduction

The production of beer-like beverages in China has a long history dating back to around 7000 BC (Wikipedia, 2010), although rice and wheat has often been used in place of barley.  This information questions the claim by Harbin Brewery, which was founded in 1900 AD, that it produces “the earliest beer brewed in China”, creating a 9000 year discrepancy (Harbin Beer label, 2010).   Harbin Beer (哈尔滨啤酒) is a weaker (3.6% vol.) lager-style beer made from “water, malt, rice, hops” (Harbin Beer label, 2010).  Harbin produces several types of beers including Hapi, Hapi Golden, Hatepi Heart Beer 10o and Harbin Wheat King 10o (ratebeer, 2010).

Aim

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

Method

A 610 ml bottle of Harbin Beer was obtained from a local bottle store for NZ$4.50.  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 Harbin Beer are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Harbin Beer

Characteristic Result
Aroma Sweet scented, like freshly bailed hay, with floral, hoppy undertones
Flavour Watery, with a distinct lack of flavouring.  Inoffensive aftertaste due to the almost complete absence of tastebud stimulation
Colour Pale yellow, evoking memories of a visit to the doctor’s to produce a sample
Satisfaction Having consumed the beverage, researchers were found wanting (beer with real flavour)
Vessel Design A crudely embossed, large green bottle adorned with a mainly white, gold and green label (see figure 1). Three gold “medals” at the bottom of the label promise award-winning achievement, but on closer inspection informs that it is “the earliest beer brewed in China” (see figure 2)
Head A thin fluffy head dissipates in 54 seconds
Drinkability 4

Figure 2. Harbin Beer ‘Medals’

Conclusion

Harbin Beer managed to underwhelm the researchers in the majority of tests.  This disappointment led to a protracted discussion as to whether the remaining liquid should be consumed or discarded.  The presence of rice in the ingredients may explain the final product being almost completely devoid of flavour.  The over-riding deduction from the analysis is that Harbin Beer is disappointing, and the almost complete nonexistence of flavours means that it will only be purchased again if nothing else is available.

References

Harbin Beer bottle label (2010)

http://www.ratebeer.com/brewers/harbin-beer-company-anheuser-busch/2951/

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

Figure 1. De Kuyper Kirsch

Introduction

Holland, renowned for its cheese, flatness and wooden shoes, is home to De Kuyper Royal Distillers, the producers of those garishly-coloured, fruity liqueurs found in parents’ drinks cabinets around the world, often seen with a sugary crust around the cap (www.dekuyper.com, 2010).  De Kuyper started trading in 1695 and remains a family business to this day, and currently produces “over 70 different products”, most of which are extremely vividly coloured (www.dekuypercompany.com, 2010), in fact, colouration appears to be a large part of their marketing as their product range is displayed with corresponding colour of each liquor (www.dekuyper.com/liqueurs/, 2010).

The origins of kirsch, a colourless fruit brandy, are a little hazy, but production utilises a “double-distillation of morello cherries … including their stones”, and “about 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of cherries go into the making of a 750 ml bottle of Kirsch” (Wikipedia.org, 2010).  Perhaps the most well-known use of kirsch is as an essential ingredient in traditional Swiss cheese fondue recipes, but is also used in cocktails such as the Lady Finger (Wikipedia.org, 2010).

Aim

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

Method

A 500 ml sample of De Kuyper Kirsch was collected from a local bottle store for NZ$36.00.  The bottle cap was removed under controlled conditions.  15 ml samples were decanted into clean ceramic vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the sample.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the samples and discussing results with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The bottle 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 De Kuyper Kirsch are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of De Kuyper Kirsch

Characteristic Result
Aroma Strong scent of nail varnish remover with a suggestion of sweetened almonds verging on the marzipanesque
Flavour After the initial, harsh alcoholic burn has dissipated, synthetic  cherry flavour comes to the fore which recedes leaving a distant fruity aftertaste
Colour Clear, colourless liquid
Satisfaction Drunk as an undiluted spirit (40% vol.), satisfaction is limited by the subject’s ability to resist the urge to dilute the spirit with an alternative substance such as orange juice or carbonated lemon beverages
Vessel Design Tall, sleek, elegant, clear glass bottle which is adorned with a simple, two-colour label in cream and maroon (see figure 1)
Drinkability 3

Conclusion

The study revealed that, while cherries are generally regarded as delicious, after double-distillation much of this delectability disappears in De Kuyper Kirsch.   Furthermore, De Kuyper Kisrch is somewat disappointing in that it lacks the vibrant colours of other beverages made by the distillery.  While it is beyond the scope of this study to evaluate the best use of De Kuyper Kirsch, the researchers suspect that Swiss cheese fondues may be the most efficient (and tasty) method of disguising the harsh alcoholic burn associated with consumption of the undiluted liquor.

References

http://www.dekuyper.com/

http://www.dekuyper.com/liqueurs/

http://www.dekuypercompany.com/

http://www.freedrinkrecipes.com/cocktails-drinks-recipes/ladyfinger-drink-recipe.html

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

Figure 1. Indo no Aooni

Introduction

Although Nagano prefecture’s Yahou Brewing company adeptly touts its wares through a contemporary and trendy website, its expertly crafted ales need no advertisement – they should sell on taste alone. “Indo no Aooni” (インドの青鬼) (Indian Blue Demon) is an IPA sold only in finer liquor shops and upscale Tokyo supermarkets at 280yen per 350ml can. This high-alcohol undertaking (7.0%ABV) is made of only two ingredients (malt and hops) and claims to be same recipe controversial London brewer George Hodgson invented in the late 18th century.

Aim

This experiment attempted to discern various aspects of Indo no Aooni including aroma, flavor, color, satisfaction, vessel design and drinkability.

Method

Materials collected for experiment included: one can of said product for testing, one thirsty researcher, one iPhone for record keeping as well as one room temperature pint-sized glass. Product was kept at approx. 6 degrees Celsius in refrigerator then allowed to sit and warm up to 8 degrees just before tasting. Entire contents were poured into glass and head was measured. Researcher used own larger-than-average proboscis to determine qualities of aroma. Notes were recorded using iPhone Speed Text application. Product was tasted, notes recorded, then remains were quickly disposed of via researcher’s gullet. Can was rinsed and kept on researcher’s desk as reminder to buy more upon leaving laboratory.

Results

The results for Indo no Aooni are shown in table 1 below (italicized portions were taken directly from researcher’s notes and unedited).

Table 1. Characteristics of Indo no Aooni

Characteristic Result
Aroma You are pulled through space and time to rural Flanders in the mid 1500’s. Wandering across a soft landscape of bright green fields of ripening hops, there stands a moss-covered stone monastery whose great oaken doors are unclosed, welcoming visitors. As you pass into the bright courtyard, there is a jolly abbot stirring an enormous vat of wort. You salivate as a light breeze delivers the yeasty smell of rising bread from a nearby window in the monks’ bakery. You feel the warmth of the oven on your face and the sun’s rays on your back.
Flavor Round as the rear-end of a Bavarian grandmother. It mercilessly bites and gallops up into the nose. A sweet reward and a slap of yeast, but a clean bitterness that slides to the sides and back of tongue. Leaves the palate refreshed and begging for more! The foam yields to the lips a delightful stickiness likened to a honeycomb kiss.
Color Rooibos tea steeped for 3 mintues.
Satisfaction All aspects top quality. “Magical” ingredients led to researcher being in danger of losing objectivity nearly jeopardizing experiment.

Researcher recorded a “Buzz” (slight intoxication) and “general well-being feelt [sic]” after ingesting only 150ml of product. High-alcohol content and an unfilled digestive system are ostensibly cause of said reaction.

Vessel design Indigo background with text and image in bone-white (see figure 1). A demon’s fanged grin stands out, expertly configured to be curious balance of both totemic and “manga” design.
Head Upon pouring, reached a towering 4.4cm forming large bubbles at bottom and small thick ones at top. Within 45 seconds reduced to 2.1cm and began to resemble cream. Still had 0.8cm after two minutes and at 3 minutes, one small dollop of foam (0.1cm) remained on side of glass.
Drinkability 8

Conclusion

Virtues of this IPA are not wholly doubted, however, researcher’s unorthodox recordings and accelerated inebriation led vetting team to doubt specifications of experiment. An immediate repeat experiment to confirm findings is proposed as soon as additional supplies of Indo no Aooni are located and purchased.

References

http://www.yonasato.com/main.html

http://www.craftbeers.jp/Aooni-India.html

http://www.craftbeers.jp/Yahhorbluing.html

http://zythophile.wordpress.com/false-ale-quotes/myth-4-george-hodgson-invented-ipa-to-survive-the-long-trip-to-india/

http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/cgi-bin/wwwjdic.cgi?1C