As a taster, it’s important to know that compared with sour or salty, bitterness is slow to affect our palates. The first two are very simple chemical phenomena and require only the simplest of cellular mechanisms to fire off their signals to the brain. Bitterness, like sweetness and umami, requires an intermediate molecule, something called a G-coupled protein. It takes a little longer to do its thing, and this time dimension of tasting is something that you always need to pay attention to.
"Tasting notes: As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, I'm accustomed to IPAs so hoppy that they attempt to kick your teeth out on the first sip, and keep on fighting for the rest of the drink. In contrast, the Icky IPA is refreshingly crisp with a sly nudge of hops underlain with a tongue-twist of citrus. This is a pale ale to sip and savour, not a masochistic endurance contest with barely-concealed whimpering winces. Apparently I'm not the only one who appreciates the relative gentleness of this IPA: the Icky is their best-selling beer." [more inside]
Last month, Beverage Industry published their 2014 US Beer Category Report, and Dylan Matthews at Vox.com has compiled the numbers into their favorite thing: charts! There's a few interesting details, but the biggest one is that not only is Bud Light one out of every five beers purchased in America, but sells more than all import, craft, cider and malt beverage sales combined.
But as whisky scientists point out, it’s not really like that. Water has no influence on malt whisky flavour; barley can come from anywhere, provided that it delivers satisfactory spirit yield; and, in many cases, the newly made spirit is taken by tanker from its beautiful, peaceful, lonely distillery surroundings within a couple of weeks of distillation. It’s then aged in uglier, less peaceful but more logistically sensible locations in central Scotland.Flavour in malt whisky is attributable to the malt specification, to brewing and distilling practices and to wood-ageing regimes [more inside]
Designer James Gilpin has "started a project which turns the sugar-rich urine of elderly diabetics into a high-end single malt whisky."
Mmmm, beeeer: ratebeer.com The World's Worst Beers, Best Beers - 2007, find the top beers by category or region. Emphasis on craft brews. (See also the previously mentioned BeerAdvocate.com) Happy Friday, everyone!