My strong negative reaction to Victor yesterday was, as I said, very surprising. I have loved every other beer Allagash makes and have no intention of stopping my deep and rewarding relationship with that brewery. But after the beer went down the sink, I was thinking how the flavours I responded to were so similar to ones that I think I have rejected before. Four years ago, I noted how I disliked the flavours of the beers by Creemore Springs. There was something in the Victor that actually reminded me of Creemore Bock, an organic sourish smoke-ish taste that is neither exactly sour or smoky. There may have been a hint of it in Dogfish Golden Shower as well, though my notes don't exactly say it. It is not the wet cardboard flavour that is indicative of one sort of badly made or over the hill beer so much as a damp grain thing that reminds me of a old barn but without the poo of the barnyard.
It's a husky flavour that I come across from time to time in well made pale lagers which makes me turn away while others are merrily kicking them back. Here's the thing: I wonder sometimes if this really isn't about the beer but something in the nature of my own personal taste function. Frankly, I will eat anything - sushi, blue cheese, weird root vegetables and, yes, haggis. The very idea of haggis and mashed boiled turnip is actually something that gets my mouth watering as, after all, we Scots have a cuisine that is based on a dare. But this particular taste is line nails on the chalkboard to me. Just the recollection of it can make me a touch nauseous. It's not about whether the food or drink is well made or not a matter of preferring other tastes to this one. It is like a toggle switch flips when this taste is present and you may as well be asking me to sip bug repellent. Sadly, Victor was the strongest example of this I have met yet.
So, a long way of saying, is there anyone else who has the same reaction? Is there something you literally cannot stomach for no apparent reason?