Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Field Guide to Beer Tastings, Part IV

The "Expert"

Description: If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, then this guy is lethal. Projecting an air of confidence and a louder-than-average Cliff knows all, Cliff drinks allvoice -- whose volume only increases in direct proportion to his alcoholic intake -- the "Expert" issues his pronouncements on beer as if he were handing down stone tablets from Mt. Sinai. The problem is that, somewhere around the time of his, well, first pronouncement, it's clear he has no idea what he is talking about and, worse, that he has no idea he has no idea. Somehow he's picked up a few tasters' terms -- such as phenolic, estery, tart, malty -- which just coincidentally seem to apply to every beer he tries, tempting you to say, in your best Inigo Montoya voice, "You keep using that word. I donna think it means what you think it means."

Typical comment: "This tastes a bit phenolic, but its estery maltiness suggests a seriously high IBU count."

Previous entries: Part I, Part II, Part III.