Tastes Like…

A lot of people have questions about how to properly taste beers and other alcohols. There is a specific skill to it – it requires a learned palate and much application. Below is a handy chart to help you get started in picking out the different flavours offered by different (mostly) beers.

Bundy and Coke (Diesel w/ or w/o speedhumps) – A flavour best described as adolescence, pre-diabetes, poorly handled emotions transitioning into unrestrained violence, and your prettiest cousin. Notes of caramel. Best served in the deepest recesses of your slightly shame-tinted memories. If you grew up outside of Queensland, especially in a rural area in Victoria, see also; Cougar, Woodstock, Jim Beam, Jack Daniels

                Carlton Draught – tastes like late Victorian adolescence. Reminiscent of early uni, with hints of your first pub, parma specials and subtle, persistent elements of your earliest triumphs and regrets. Best served in cheap jugs, or straight out of the bottle. See also: VB and Melbourne Bitter.

                Coopers Green (Pale) – Tastes like uni; strong notes of gigs at Old Bar, Bar Open and Public Bar. May contain delicate tones of First Real Relationship. Best served out of an ostentatiously rolled bottle, or on tap.

                Coopers Red (Sparkling) – tastes like early onset alcoholism, strong yeasty flavour of middle-to-late uni, surprisingly bad decisions. Best served out of an ostentatiously rolled bottle, or on tap.

                Fosters – tastes like London, with the faintest suggestion of EU or US. Difficult to actually obtain here in Australia. Light, gassy – redolent of late-night kebab and slightly shameful repeat visits to the off-license.

                Hahn Superdry – tastes like someone once described beer to a wellspring of musty, depressed water. Best served far, far away from you.

                Little Creatures Pale Ale – aroma of new horizons, rich mouthfeel, deep nostalgia. Best served from now-difficult-to-find half litre bottles.

                Melbourne Bitter – Slightly metallic flavour profile of cold iron and irony. Light, easy drinking – almost interchangeable with other CUB products, yet is surprisingly passable, perhaps due to lower presence of general mankiness. Often served in tall bottles at surprisingly trendy venues with repurposed-found-object furniture.

Mountain Goat (multiple styles) – Delightful to the palate, bold, original, yet fading to accessible lager. Very subtle, very delicate yet lingering note of bitterness. For best results, serve direct from the brewery, on tap or from Rarebreeds; for core-range bottles and cans, upend abruptly directly into a wide mouthed sink.

                Shots – See tequila, vodka, whisky, or the sticky-sweet decoctions with the ‘hilarious’ innuendo based names. Usually strong tastes of sweetness, licorice or herbs. Pairs well with instant regret, fleeting good times followed by blackouts, shocking hangovers, and morning-after mystery shame. Aroma and afterpalate is of lingering vomit. Best served in the distant mists of antiquity when you were a student, and no later.

                Stolen wine – tastes like early adolescence. Best mixed with raspberry lemonade and served in a large plastic Space Jam cup.

That Foreign Lager You Like – Delicately rose-hued from the tint in your glasses, tastes like any other lager – perhaps a touch lighter, Evocative of your time living or travelling in Germany/Japan/the UK/USA/The Netherlands etc.

                Tooheys (multiple styles) – See Carlton Draught, VB, Melbourne Bitter – Substitute NSW context for Vic.

                VB – tastes like rusty metal, fightblood, classic advertising and cold. Conjures memories of at least a decade. Best served straight from the grenade in a stubby holder, to someone else.

                XXXX Gold – tastes like the ghost of a beer. Weak presence in the fore, fading to complete disappearance in the back palate. Refreshing, if confusingly absent. Best served exclusively on a sticky 40°+ degree afternoon.

5 thoughts on “Tastes Like…

  1. Good post, Victorian.

    “Old Bar, Bar Open and Public Bar”. Ah, inner north Melbourne stomping grounds. In my first months of arriving in Melbourne, I frequented those places. I remember being excited at the Bar Open because they were playing good music (Led Zeppelin, I believe), something unheard of in Brisbane, where they serve “diesel” on tap. I was also happy that I didn’t have to wear leather shoes or a button up shirt to go out. Kids, spend your early adult years in Melbourne, not Brisbane.


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