Are You Tasting the Pith? - 7th August 05
ABSTRACT: Two different packings (glass and can) of an unknown Baltic lager (Cesu) were evaluated for (a) taste and (b) difference in flavour brought about by different containers
HYPOTHESIS: The hypothesis is two pronged; (a) Cesu will be preferable to most mainsteam commodity lagers; (b) bottled Cesu will be preferable to canned
METHOD: One standard 50cl stock keepin gunit of each closure was chilled overnight in a fridge. It was allowed to stand for 10 minutes before opening, as it was a bit chilly, possible masking the flavours. The containers were opened, and approximately 10cl was slopped clumsily into a glass
RESULTS: Visually, both samples (and I use this word with reference to the colour of the beer) were similar, but the canned Cesu appeared to have a slight haze. Nosing reveals a marked difference; the canned sample has a sweet, worty nose, with a classic sweetcorn aroma(dimethyl sulfide/DMS), whereas the bottle has a more subdued DMS notes, overlaid with a little fusty hoppiness. On the palate, can taint is quite apparent in the first sample, whereas the second sample is free from taint. This is perhaps the kindest thing that can be said about either of the samples, as both are sadly a little lean on the flavour front. Repeated swilling and sluicing reveals little other than wort.
CONCLUSIONS: Referring to the hypothesis, we have learnt that (a) Cesu is in no way preferable to almost any other beer I have ever drunk,although in this instance it did have the saving grace of being cold, and (b) it is worse in a can than a bottle, if that is possible. No doubt some people will regard this as the best beer in the world, ever. However, rigorous test have reveled this to be some way short of nothing special, and perhaps one to be avoided.
I was hoping to end with a joke about how more research is needed, but sadly, too much has already been done
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