Daily beer project

Beers #18 & 19: Wasatch White Label and Polygamy Porter

Posted in American Craft Beer, Utah Beer, Wasatch Beers by dailybeerproject on February 1, 2010

I had these beers on different days, but I’d had the Polygamy Porter before I wrote about the White Label and didn’t want to write separate posts. I don’t imagine it makes any difference if you were going to read both anyway.

Anyhow, the Wasatch White Label once and for all confirmed that my bitterness sensitivity is to the alcohol. Although darker beers can exacerbate the bitterness, the alcohol is what’s most unpleasant. I’ve never noticed much if any bitterness in any of the other white beers I’ve had until this one. All the other white beers, though, had alcohol levels of 4-5%. This one is 6% abv and was a bit on the bitter side.

It did, however, give me hope that I’ll come to embrace the bitterness, as BradK suggested, because while it was bitter, I didn’t dislike it. It wasn’t nearly as pleasant as a strong wine, but I can see myself coming to like the stronger alcohol flavor in beer (I quite like it in wine) at some point. Until then, I’m happy to have our “non-intoxicating” local beers.

If the White Label didn’t confirm that the alcohol is behind the bitterness, the Polygamy Porter did. Like the Cherney Bock at Bohemian, it was dark and rich and would be described by non-supertasters as a bitter beer. To me, however, it was bitter but not in an unpleasant way–just the malty bitterness of dark-roasted grain. The first few sips seemed a bit much, but as I progressed, I enjoyed it more and more. Like the higher-alcohol content beers, I can also see myself coming to like darker beers over time. You’ll know I’ve come full circle when I’m drinking Spaten Optimator for fun.

Summary thoughts: I feel like I’m coming to a point not where I do and don’t like certain beers, but where I like them all to some degree, just some more than others. If I didn’t have the no repeat rule, I’d go back and try some I’ve liked previously as well as some I didn’t (I’m especially anxious to give Sam Adams another try). Never fear, eleven days hence when the project officially ends, I’m not going to discontinue the blog entirely. I’m planning to keep it going, but not with the same formula (and likely not the same frequency). I’ll post reviews of beers I do and don’t like, redo reviews of beers I tried as part of this project, and likely also mention wines or whatever else I try and have a strong enough opinion of to write a post about.

As an aside, I had a friend mention that he liked the idea of this project, but if he were to do it, he’d do wine rather than beer. I told him that I could see why, but the point was to try to come to like beer, and I already liked wine (I’ve only had one wine that I genuinely disliked–a riesling–which is not to say that I like them all equally). Not to mention, a new bottle of wine every day would get expensive fast.

I’m finished with local beer week, going one day longer than the six planned after my detour to Bohemian on Friday. For the next set, I’m going to try a couple regional selections as well as some beers that are readily available at the grocery store. I’ll get lagers back into the rotation, I’m going north and south of the border, and also trying a “light beer” for the first time. Here’s the lineup, which may get bumped if I try to work in more opportunities to try local beers on tap.

  1. Mexican night: Corona and Tecate (I’m forgoing the no accoutrements rule to add lime wedges to these.)
  2. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  3. Sam Adams Light
  4. Big Sky Powder Hound Winter Ale
  5. Kokanee
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One Response

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  1. Alex/Watcher said, on February 1, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I love Sierra Nevada PA. A bit like Full Suspension, though maybe slightly less hoppy. And if I might suggest a 3rd Mexican beer- Negro Modelo (the dark). Tecate is another good camping beer (comes in cans.) Don’t care for Corona.

    Interesting you don’t like Riesling; many wine-drinkers don’t. But it’s sweetness makes it appealing to many non-regular wine-drinkers. I don’t drink it often, but enjoy it with fish.


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