Daily beer project

Beer #6: Carlsberg

Posted in Imports, Macrobrews by dailybeerproject on January 19, 2010

Like the hefeweizen, the Carlsberg didn’t really do anything for me. In fact, I enjoyed it less than the hefeweizen, because although the flavor was mild and simple, it still seemed nearly as bitter as the Guiness. My brother said he thinks beer is an acquired taste because you eventually get to the point that you don’t notice the bitterness.

I wonder if my brother is a supertaster like I am. No, I’m not making this whole supertaster thing up. I first found out about it when I read the book “You: The Owner’s Manual.” Apparently about 25% of the population are supertasters (or overtasters according to Drs. Oz and Roizen). If you’ve never heard of this phenomenon, there’s an easy test to determine what kind of a taster you are: take 4 ounces of water and mix in a packet (1 teaspoon) of sweet ‘n low or other saccharine product. If it just tastes bitter to you, you’re a supertaster. If it’s just sweet, you’re an undertaster (my wife is in this category). If it’s sweet but has a bit of a bitter aftertaste, you’re in the middle 50% of “normal” tasters.

Discovering this helped me figure out why I never really liked brussels sprouts, spinach, and a lot of other vegetables. It probably also explains why beer tastes so bitter to me.

What I haven’t ever read are any accounts of people who overcome this hypersensitivity to bitterness. We’ll see over the next 24 days if I do. It’s going better, but despite the early successes, I still wouldn’t say I like beer. I could drink it in a social context, which is better than when I started, but the point is to come to enjoy beer, not just tolerate it.

Carlsberg was the last beer in the first six pack. Based on reader recommendations, I’ve got the next six in the queue. They are:

  1. Hoegaarden Belgian White
  2. Stella Artois
  3. Spaten Optimator
  4. Becks
  5. Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale or Newcastle (or maybe both since it’ll be Saturday)
  6. Sapporo

Several of these were recommended specifically for their lack of bitterness. We’ll see if I can find the magical, not-bitter-but-still-compelling taste I am hoping for. Also note that I’m going to try and work in a chance to try something on tap here before long, in which case the batting order may get changed.

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One Response

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  1. […] It was good but not great. It’s smooth, but I thought it had a slightly bitter finish (supertaster acting up again). Nevertheless it had a refreshing flavor, and if I’m ever watching football […]


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