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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tasting 3.5 Year Old Budweiser

So Passover is coming up and my wife says to me, "Are you finally going to get rid of the old cans of Budweiser you keep saving for beer-can chicken? They must be stale by now". As I am sure you know, beer is chametz, and as such, must be consumed, destroyed, or sold to a non-Jew before Passover.

In the past, I had "sold" the Budweiser ceremonially by putting it in with our other non-discarded grain products. I could never drink the stuff, being a certified Beer Snob, and somehow I kept forgetting to use it to make beer-can chicken. Every time I needed beer for chicken, I reached for whatever I was drinking at the time.

So, as a zymurgilogical* experiment, I decided to crack open and consume one of my Budweiser cans, which according to the handy "born-on date" stamp, was 3.5 years old. It had been stored on the floor of my basement, in a plastic crate, at a near constant temperature of about 70 degrees.

Here are my observations:

The pour:
Fizzy, lots of head. Good straw color, perfectly clear. Fierce bubble formation (dirty glass?)
Hardly any smell at all. Slight notes of rice. Surprisingly, no metallic odor.
Hardly any. The good news is that the can did not impart any noticeable flavor to the beer (I think the cans are plastic coated these days). Any trace of hops that was in the original beer, which would have been very little, is now completely gone. The stuff tasted just a little bit more beer-like than Zima. There is a hint of malt, some sweet rice, and a bunch of carbonation. Lots of mouth fizz.
Slight rice sweetness. Very little aftertaste.

Overall, I was surprised and pleased with the results of my experiment, and I can offer this conclusion: if you don't like beer that tastes too much like beer, cellar some Bud for a few years to take the edge off. Serve cold, with a slice of lemon.

The other can was used to make beer-bread.

*Zymurgy is the science of beer.

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