Archive for September, 2010

Magners Irish Cider

Figure 1. Magners Irish Cider

Introduction

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).

Aim

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

Method

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.

Results

The results of Magners Irish Cider are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Magners Irish Cider.

Characteristic Result
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
Drinkability 4

Conclusion

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.

References

http://www.drinkfocus.com/articles/apple-cider/history-of-cider.php

http://www.magners.com/about-us/guide-step2.asp

http://www.magners.com/about-us/guide-step4.asp

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

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Figure 1. Budĕjovický Budvar

Introduction

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).

Aim

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

Method

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.

Results

The results of Budĕjovický Budvar are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Budĕjovický Budvar.

Characteristic Result
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
Drinkability 8

Conclusion

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?

References

http://budweiser-budvar.cz/en/o-nas/predstaveni.html

http://budweiser-budvar.cz/en/navstevnicke-centrum/multimedialni-expozice/stargate.html

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

Figure 1. Schöfferhofer Weizen

Introduction

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).

Aim

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

Method

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.

Results

The results for Schöfferhofer Weizen are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Schöfferhofer Weizen

Characteristic Result
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
Drinkability 7.5

Conclusion

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.

References

http://www.oetker-group.com/oetker-gruppe/html/default/deut-734j73.en.html

http://www.schoefferhofer.de/

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgDybrzo0Vs

Drinkability

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.

Figure 1. Sala Vivé Semi Seco

Introduction

Dolores Sala Vivé co-founded Freixenet in Spain with her husband Pedro Ferrer Bosch.  The winery history claims that the sparkling wine was made in homage to her, the “Grande Dame of Sparkling Wine” (salavive website, 2010). The winery itself is in the Mexican state of Querétaro (see salavive website for more information, 2010) and was constructed at the beginning of 1980. Drawing on the experience and tradition gained at the Spanish sparkler producer, Freixenet, the Mexican winery has added an excellent location, featuring a claim for some of the “best geo-climactic characteristics for producing quality sparkling wine 2,000 meters above sea level with unusual and extreme conditions for the maturation of the grape (25ºC during the day and 0ºC at night)” (salavive website, 2010).  Confirmation of these claims is beyond the scope of this present research.

Aim

This experiment, conducted by two researchers, was designed to investigate the characteristics of  the Sala Vivé Semi Seco sparkling wine and to follow up on and corroborate earlier research (unpublished).  Researchers in this experiment investigated aroma, flavor, color, vessel design, bubbles and overall drinkability, culminating their experiment with a satisfaction evaluation.

Method

A 750 ml bottle of Sala Vivé was obtained as a gift from a wedding reception.  The bottle was chilled for 24 hours to a temperature of 3 degrees centigrade (producer recommends 6 to 8 degrees) and opened under controlled conditions: removal of the plastic covering and cage, tipping the bottle to a 45 degree angle and pulling the cork while rotating the bottle but not the cork.  Approximately 75 ml of liquid was poured into clean glass vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the wine.  Flavor and other attributes (see Aim above) were analyzed by tasting the wine and discussing it amongst the research team at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The glass was held up to outdoor lighting to evaluate the color, and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered. The experiment was considered to be concluded when the bottle had been drunk.

Results

The results for Sala Vivé Semi Seco are shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of Sala Vivé Semi Seco.

Characteristic Result
Aroma Strong wood/cork with stale breath
Flavor Sweet with hints of shampoo, and conditioner finish. Label (in Japanese) suggests flavors of apple and pear. This research suggests that another conclusion could be drawn and cannot confirm the fruit elements in the flavor.
Color Conventional sparkling blanc de blanc wine color where if 1 is pale and 5 very yellow, this wine would be a 4.
Satisfaction Might do to replace some beers (Bud?) on a hot afternoon.  Perhaps not.
Vessel Design The picture of Granny Sala Vivé crowns an otherwise conventional label (see figure 1)
Bubbles The bubbles did not overfoam or fade.
Drinkability The researchers could not complete the experiment, choosing to refresh their palates with a different wine before the bottle was finished.  As the wine increased in temperature – from the 3degrees C on opening to the 6 to 8 degrees recommended by the producer, the desire to continue the experiment on the part of the research team declined dramatically.  While the subject wine was willing (and able) to continue the experiment, the research team was unable to pursue it to the set conclusion.

The average of scores given to this wine by the research team was 2.

Conclusion

The research team assigned to do the follow up research on Sala Vivé has confirmed that initial investigation (unpublished results).  This study itself, however, might have been tainted by exposure to the previous research on the wine subject.  The Rosenthal Effect (Wikipedia, 2010) might have come into play, leading the team in this inquiry to expect the wine to fail to live up to sparkling wine standards (established through extensive previous research experiments).  The wine under investigation in this experiment thus might have fallen to the low expectations of the researchers.

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_wine#Wine_producing_areas_and_vintages_in_Mexico

http://salavive.com/svi_ha_e.htm

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