Friday, 17 February 2012

The worst beer I've ever had

Name the best beer you've ever had, now. Right, what is it? Still thinking aren't you.

I asked myself the same question a while ago predominantly because I could name the worst beer I'd ever had without hesitation. I didn't need to think about it, I knew it. I could still taste the damn thing.

The worst beer I'd ever had was called Macbeth by a Scottish brewery called Deeside and it was at best undrinkable. It was two years ago and I was in a bar called The Grill in Aberdeen on Union St. I had never had a Deeside beer before but I liked the pump clip and it wasn't Duechars, so I ordered a half. I left 9 10th's of it and all I remember is a hideous sugary liquid that should never have been called beer.

I've had a lot of beer since then. I've had plenty of beer I didn't really like but nothing provided a flavour that instantly transported me back to The Grill. Until last Wednesday.

The offending product this time was called Titan and apparently it is an 'Imperial Stout'. It is brewed by a small Scottish brewery called, erm, Deeside.

When I saw that the brewery who had made the worst beer I'd ever had had produced an Imperial Stout (on balance probably my favourite style of beer) I was intrigued. I'd avoided Deeside beers since that first experience but this I had to try. I waited several days for it to come on, and armed with some friends we pottered down. I was genuinely excited. I was excited because an Imperial Stout, whilst not being the easiest style to totally nail is a pretty difficult style to make a complete and utter balls of. How good or bad could it possibly be, it's a big stout! You don't see too many on cask in these parts and at 9% I had visions of Highland's Orkney Porter. I thought I knew what to expect, I was wrong.

Disappointed doesn't come close. It isn't an Imperial Stout, it's sort of ruby red in colour. It had that same repulsive sugary flavour that dominated the Macbeth. No chocolate notes, no roasted bitterness, no viscosity, no depth. Just a fairly thin mess of sugar. It smelt and tasted of burnt strawberries. It was, as one of my friends commented, revolting.

I feel a little bad because may be Deeside make some great beers and I've just been really unlucky. My overwhelming feeling however is that a beer like that should never find it's way in to anyone's bar. The brewer must have tasted it so I can only surmise that one of two things happened. 1. Christ it's bad but we need to sell it, or 2. Christ that's good, let's get selling. I'm not sure which is more worrying.

It has provided myself and my 3 friends with an experience we will never forget. It is by far the worst 'beer' I have ever tasted.

In the interest of balance we shared a Marble Decadence about half an hour later. Divine!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Chris,

    I am sorry to here of your experiences with Deeside Ale, whilst I cant comment on your pint in the Grill, I bought the brewery January 2012. What you experienced was Old Scotch Ale 9% brewed by the previous owner. That had been mistakenly sent rather than our Imperial Stout.

    We have some imperial stout bottled up and if you were willing to give us a go again!

    I hope I could change your views in (new) Deeside Brewery. If you PM me your details to I will get some things sent in the post.