For the longest time, the only fancy beer I even knew of was Delirium Tremens. I liked the white bottle, I liked the name (it was only later [read: two seconds ago] that I realized the name truly meant: Delirium tremens is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that involves sudden and severe mental or neurological changes), and I really liked the elephant on the bottle.
And I didn’t know what it would taste like because it was expensive and I was a college student who was more interested in throwing back cans of PBR than I was in thinking serious thoughts about things like beer or the future or neurological changes resulting from alcohol withdrawal. Luckily, times changed.
During the sale of the CENTURY at A Southern Season beer, of all things, was discounted (I know, I freaked out too!) I did what any self-respecting beer lover would do: I grabbed a discounted bottle of the beer I’d been longing to try for years.
I saved it for a lovely evening with some friends, the weather was right, the sun was setting (but very very slowly) and the bottle was chilled. The stage was set:
I pried out the cork, imagining this as the TRUE champagne of beers (Miller High Life be damned!) I even found an appropriate glass (not difficult with an entire shelf full of glassware.)
The color was lovely, an amberish gold that just glittered in the sun.
The smell? Citruses, definitely. Is that an aroma of banana bread? It just may be!
The taste…. well here’s where the great expectations came into play. This Belgian Pale Ale from Brouwerij Huyghe in Belgium was too fruity for me (and that’s saying something!) That faint smell of banana bread…. that was definitely in the taste. There were lemony flavors and some spiciness as I sipped it but my mouth was not celebrating with the party I’d expected. Perhaps it’s because I hate Blue Moon’s Pale Moon (or really, anything Blue Moon does) and I couldn’t help but feel reminded of it as I sipped. Maybe it was just that my tastes have been leaning lately towards IPAs or powerful stouts/porters with something else fancy going on. Or there’s always the chance that it just wasn’t meant to be.
I was bummed that this expensive beer (a little over $10 when it was on sale, though that is for the big-girl bottle) had tasted worse than a $3 Bell’s Two Hearted (which I used to consider “SUPER EXPENSIVE!”)
I think that, like a raccoon, I was drawn to the shiny colors and bright animals on the bottle, the off-white mottled color, the novelty of a cork on beer. And, unlike a raccoon, I was rewarded with a beer that simply didn’t live up to my great expectations (AH!! I said the name of the post IN THE POST! If you’re playing the “food, sweat, and beers” drinking game You have to drink now!!)
Oh well. Didn’t stop me from drinking the rest of it. But I think, in the future, I’d rather spend my $10-13 on a tasty 6-pack.
SPEAKING of which, if you haven’t read Alan Shaw’s article on the profits made from selling beers in bigger bottles (and hoodwinking innocent drinkers like ME!) Check it out: There are big profits in bigger beer bottles.
I’d like to thank him for doing the math that I simply can’t bother doing. Mind = rocked. Expectations…. not so much. But hey, you live and learn.
College football, anyone?
Have you ever been sorely disappointed by a beer (or wine or food) you were really looking forward to, especially due to hype and a high price tag?