What's the best way to describe a beer to other beer lovers? In the recent Beer Review Generator post, I expressed my skepticism about beer reviews in the current style of "appearance - nose - palate - mouthfeel - finish". Although they are endlessly fun to read, I claim that such reviews convey little information to a reader about whether he or she would like the beer. In the comments to that post, I proposed an experiment to try and prove or disprove my point. I presented two positive reviews of well-known beers -- edited for clarity and brevity, as the officious editors at the Oregonian like to say -- and asked which beers or even which styles were being described. The answers are hidden behind the button below, so if you want to play my guessing game, there's still time to click on over to the reviews.
The reviews are from two prolific reviewers on Beer Advocate, one of whom is one of the BA-founding Alström Brothers. I tried to play fair by picking reviews from knowledgeable sources, who liked the beer they were writing about. I picked the first review thinking that a reasonably sophisticated beer snob could easily call the style; the second review seems more challenging but not impossible. Only two brave readers -- Anónimo and Brett -- published their guesses on the earlier post, and they did pretty well. Ready for the answers?
Since only two people took part, I don't have much evidence whether my skepticism is justified or not. Are wine-talk beer reviews the best way to communicate how good or bad a beer is, and whether a reader will like it or not? How did you do on the quiz?