Is it possible to untangle the experience of drinking a beer from the expectation of how it will taste?
Here’s what we think are the spectrum of reactions to the experience of tasting beer without reference to expectation:
- Instantly in top ten
But we very rarely taste beers blind, and so, as well as their objective ‘enjoyability’, we also find ourselves assessing to what extent a beer has met our expectations.
We expected Innis & Gunn Bourbon Stout to be disgusting but actually found it drinkable. We described it on Twitter, however, as ‘surprisingly enjoyable‘: the surprise added to the overall pleasure of the experience, even if the beer itself isn’t something we’d buy again. (Is that what’s going on here, too?)
On the flipside, there are breweries and beers surrounded by so much hype that they can only be a disappointment, even if the product itself is, objectively speaking, in the green zone on our scale. For example, if we’re promised a ‘metric fuck-ton’ of hops but only get a 0.65 fuck-tons, we might feel let down, even if that’s actually more than enough.