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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * February 23, 2004 * Sulphur-y taste in real ale < Previous Next >

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John McGrann (66.216.155.48)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 02:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just got back from a week in England, and while I was there, had a chance to hit a legitimate pub. I went right for the cask ales. I can't even remember what I had, but the first one had a distinct sulphur aroma. Not right away when I put the glass to my mouth, but usually as I was taking the last of each sip. The others I tried didn't have this at all. I searched Google later to see what I could learn, and this is apparently a not-undesirable quality in English bitter. For me, I almost couldn't finish the beer, I just powered it down and moved on to the next one.

What creates this, and have any of you experienced the same thing and found it remotely appealing? I consider myself pretty open minded, and there are very few beers I actually dislike, but this one definitely qualifies.
 

Wykowski (209.222.26.27)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 02:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I found that some yeasts leave sulphur aromas, but they disipate with age,,,perhaps you had a very fresh beer
 

Beerboy (81.136.168.48)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 03:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If it was Marston's Pedigree, it is a very sulphury beer partly due to the water and the brewing process. I hate it. Other sources could be yeast by products. Whatever I don't see it as a desirable element of a beer.It's a shame that you didn't like the beer. Did you have any beer here you did like?
 

John McGrann (66.216.155.48)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 07:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yeah, Marstons, that sounds familiar. Do some people really like that stuff? I found a couple websites that refer favorably to this suphur quality, but I just don't get it.

The same pub had an IPA that was pretty good, and one other that I didn't buy for myself that I liked most of all. But then we had to leave in a hurry and I didn't get to see what it was. Unfortuately our visit was limited by the fact that we were there visiting my sister and her 6 week old baby, and weren't really able to hit the pubs.

I did manage to pick up a 3-pack (by the way, I love those kind of quirky little things about the UK) of Theakston Old Peculier that I liked a lot. And I took advantage of the fact that I was (relatively speaking) a stones throw from Belgium and purchased a few bottles of beers I can't often find here in Amish Country, Pennsylvania: Rochefort 8, Leffe, and Duvel. Mmmmm, tasty.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 07:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

John, Leffe and Duvel are not that uncommon in North America. You should be able to find either if you take a drive to the Harrisburg or Philly areas. The Rochefort beers are less common (and frankly, better). I'm in Ontario, but two local restaurants here have Leffe blond on tap. It's not my favorite Belgian by any means, but it's more than pleasant enough.
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 08:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hmmm...I buy Marston's Pedigree in bottles here in Montana all the time, and have never noticed a sulphury taste or aroma. Maybe its a draft beer thing? I love the maltiness and fruity yeast flavors that the bottled version has.

I'm guessing its a green beer thing? I took a sample two nights ago of a 4-day old 1.042 ale whose gravity had dropped to 1.021, fermenting with WLP002 English Ale yeast. It tasted quite sulfury. Normally I don't taste much sulfur in green ales, but do almost always in green lagers.
 

John McGrann (66.216.133.24)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 01:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

chumley, what I read on a couple beer review sites suggests that it's a draft (or draught) thing.

Bill, that's probably true, and I know there's a great bar in Philly (Monks) that has a tremendous selection of Belgians. My biggest problem is that they're certainly not on tap in Lancaster, and the only way to get them with PA's arcane beer distribution system is to buy a full case. Most of the Belgians I've seen in distributors run $50-$75/case. That's a bit steep for me, especially for beers I've never tasted, so I look for opportunities to buy them as singles.

Unfortunately for me and my bank account, that Rochefort was quite good, and if I can talk the distributor into getting a case for me, I may have to spring for it, then ration them out sparingly.
 

Beerboy (81.136.168.48)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 01:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's definitely a 'draught' thing. The bottled pedigree is different to the cask version and is one of the rare occasions where I'd say the bottled is better. I once accidently knocked over a pint of pedigree and it stank like pure egg. Not for me.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 02:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

John, I forgot about the laws in PA forcing you to buy a case at a time. I'm not so far (somewhat more than two hours) from Erie. I know people there drive to New York State to buy beer.

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