Our beer tasting ritual has evolved.
It used to be a fairly simple affair, as laid out by Michael Jackson in his 500 beers:
- put on lucky underpants
- turn twice around an oak tree in the midday sun
- cross ourselves
- swirl beer
- sniff beer
- sip beer
- rub chin in contemplation.
Now we’ve added “take a proper big gulp” to the itinerary.
Sipping is fine, but some beers just don’t seem to come through when tasted that way. It’s like there’s a hole in the flavour. But take a really big gulp and suddenly, you’ve got nectar.
Unfortunately, it’s not always weak session bitters which benefit from this approach. Strong so-called sipping beers are often no such thing. Seven per cent Westmalle Dubbel tastes better when swigged, for example.