Let me describe a feeling. A feeling I know you’ve had. That feeling when you eat something or you drink something and straight away you know what it tastes like. You know what it tastes like because it tastes like something you’ve had before, probably something you’ve had loads of times before.
There may be great depth and character to that thing you’re eating or that thing you’re drinking, but because that one flavour jumped out at you, all the others fade into the background, all the others are irrelevant. That one thing that you picked out involuntarily is something you recognise straight away, it’s something you know, something you know until you’re asked: “what does that taste like to you”. And then, at that precise moment, your mind goes blank and the words leave you’re tongue, you know what it is because you’ve had it a hundred times before, but can you name it when asked? Of course you can’t.
And then the feeling I’m describing arrives, right when it all suddenly comes to you. Wet grass! That smells exactly like wet grass. Strawberry jam! That tastes exactly like strawberry jam. And the people around you nod in unison and the air fills with a chorus of “ohhh yeah”, “so it does”, and that all important “you’re dead right, I’d never have guessed that, but now you say it ....”.
What a sweet feeling that is.
Well, the other day I drank De Dolle Oerbier and had exactly one of those moments. Never has a beer tasted more like three specific ingredients to me.
It’s rich and deep, mahogany and cherry wood; complex and complicated, I found it challenging and hard work. It’s sweet and bitter at the same time, sour, acetic, tart, full of raw alcohol and woody, grizzly unripened red fruits.
Whatever. Let that all go in one ear and out the other. Drink this beer and draw a line under: cranberry, port and balsamic vinegar. Try it, you’ll see.