Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Diary: A really stupid review of Mahr's Christmas Bock reminds me why I avoid ratings sites.

Pretty soon Saturnalia will be here.

That's when NABC's Pizzeria & Public House taps a variety of guest beers loosely connected by seasonal, holiday themes. The point of the exercise is to survey the many different ways that a beer can be seasonal.

One of them is Mahr's Christmas Bock, brewed in Bamberg, Germany.

While I'm no longer the guest beer buyer, I always enjoy researching the choices Eric Gray makes for such events. As such, here's a recent RateBeer review of Mahr's Christmas Bock.

Couldn’t find anything special about this beer. It’s a middle of the road Bock. The aroma and the taste made me believe that this beer was just a little off. It was not as dark as I’m used to from a bock and had a giant head that took forever to go down. It might have went bad sitting on the shelf. There wasn’t really any of the spices pr flavors that I associate with most Christmas beers in the states. But that may just be because it’s not a beer brewed in the states.

Mind you, I haven't tasted this beer for a while. But here's what I know.

  • If it's a Heller Bock, it isn't supposed to be altogether as dark as (for instance) a Doppelbock. That's because the word "Heller" means ... pale.
  • A giant head is a hallmark of German lager beer.
  • The reason Mahr's Christmas Bock is not redolent of spices has nothing to do with where it is brewed, but owes to the simple fact that a Bock is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE SPICED in the first place.

There you have it. Complete and comprehensive dumbassery, contributing to a "score" from which newbies will draw a conclusion, probably mistaken, as to the quality of a beer.

And this is why I should never read beer reviews.

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