I’ve read quite a few tasting notes and beer reviews over the last six months of revisiting alcoholism. I’ve drank around 250 beers and just over 100 different varieties, how do I know this? I have logged most of what I have drank on untappd, and between you and me non of them taste like grapefruit. Why am I going on about grapefruit beer then?
Well, constantly I find my self reading the back of a bottle, reading some on-line tasting notes, reading someone’s review and time after time grapefruit gets mentioned when the beer contains citrus tasting hops. Grapefruit seems to be the go to fruit in these situations and I wonder if the person writing the review goes through a process similar to this…
Hmmm, this beer tastes and smells slightly like citrus, it’s not lemon, certainly not lime, no chance it’s orange, what other citrus fruits are there? Oh yeah, grapefruit. That’s it, this beer tastes like grapefruit. The next time they pick up a heavily hopped beer, grapefruit is the first thing they think before even tasting it.
Come on, when was the last time you had grapefruit, who even likes them? I know I don’t, and when it is mentioned what type of grapefruit are they talking about? Grapefruit is a hybrid, they can taste sweet like an orange or tart like a lemon. So what type of grapefruit are people talking about? There are so many more citrus fruits to choose from, just check these out. I’d like to see a review that says tastes like an ugli fruit or a pomelo. Ultimately citrus hops have their own flavour that can be described with varying uses of bitter, tart, sweet and citrus without having to resort to grapefruit even if it does taste like grapefruit and I’m being a bit of a dick.
The other thing that bugs me about reading reviews is the random stuff people mention beer tastes like and then others agree. Tastes like the tears of a mongoose after a cobra attack or some other such nonsense that clearly only Edward Grylls might have actually tasted.
The whole thing reminds me of the time Stefan Gates added food colouring to white wine then a bunch of idiots described the taste as red. You can watch the stupidity here. There is another experiment by Frederic Brochet who apparently put a mid range wine in two bottles, one expensive and one cheap and got a similar stupid response. Some remarks on that one here.
I’m clearly not a fan of the tasting note, and people telling me what something tastes like, what is fantastic and what is crap. I like to go in with an open mind. Next time you’re in a pub let your mate decide what beer you’re going to drink and don’t ask them what it is till you have drank it. You might just find that beer that’s been praised more than Allah doesn’t live up to the hype after all, and please, forget about grapefruit.