Sometimes it may be nothing more than personal preference but what does the dedicated beer nerd do when you don't like a classic?
I bring the glass to my nose and slowly inhale, breathing her in. The first thing I think is, “This beer smells like balsamic vinegar.” Uh oh. I can also detect notes of tart fruit, like raspberry, but because balsamic won the race to my brain, this simply makes me think of raspberry vinaigrette. Not a good omen. Taking the first sip, the salad dressing theme continues, and I shudder a bit as the beer passes my tonsils, remembering when my mother told me never to drink salad dressing - its not good for the constitution. I half expect my stomach to seize up when the balsamic brew hits, but thankfully it doesn’t. Instead, the Kraft-crafted flavor fades, giving way to an unpleasant sourness, reminiscent of the smell of old beer bottles sealed in a plastic bag and left out in the sun. This is a disaster.
That is one of my favorite beers being described. Duchesse de Bourgogne. I get a giggle whenever I see it - picked up a few in Quebec this week. Don't think I have ever mentioned Polish cherry wine when reviewing any other beer. But that is me. I am sure it is fine that others have adverse reactions to any particular thing. After all, people have a right to their own beer. Presumably that also means they have the freedom from beer they don't care for.
But are some tastes so classic that they have to be acknowledged and praised, the lack of interest in them being considered a personal quirk if not failing? I mean "classic" in its early Jacksonian sense of an archetype, the beer around which a style can be generated through veneration and duplication. Stan described the list of all time classic classics back in 2009. Duchesse is not on it. But, oddly, Marston’s Pedigree is. I think I have the right to not like Marston’s Pedigree. Certainly enough of a right to make it not a classic in my eyes - but perhaps that is only in its current incarnation. Is the Duchesse denier any different that me?