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Jun 4, 2009 08:02 PM

Most Overrated Beer?

I'm a huge craft beer fan, and I'm particularly fond of American micro brews. Sometimes though, I think they are a little too "explosive". I had the Founder's Breakfast Stout a few weeks ago, and I have to say, I didn't think it lived up to the hype. It was better than almost anything out there, but to me, it was a little bit overdone on some of the flavors (way too much espresso, almost burnt). Westvleteren 8 also comes to mind (really good, but if I was blindfolded, would I have thought it was the top 20 in the world?).

Anyway, does anyone else feel that way about some highly rated beers?

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    1. Actually, I feel compelled to defend the Breakfast Stout. I love good coffee and good stouts, and Breakfast Stout is the best coffee-infused stout I've ever tasted. In most other brews of this style, the coffee flavors taste as if they are derived from weak or stale coffee. In the Founders' brew, the coffee flavors are good -- and they meld beautifully with the dark malt (and, IIRC, there's some chocolate in there too).

      1. The KBS lived up to the hype. One of the best beers I have ever had on draught.
        A beer for me that did not is the DFH 120min.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Diego Sanchez

          I'm an IPA guy and DFH 120 is over the top even for me. As is Dale's Pale Ale (it's hopalicious!).

          With all the choices we have these days at all price points, the thing that amazes me is how beers like Heineken, which used to be a "premium" back when there were far less choices, still commands an above average price in today's market.

          1. re: Diego Sanchez

            I agree with that, DFH 120 min and the WW Stout are almost closer to cordials, which is good but not what I want in a beer.

          2. Perhaps you should have named this thread BEERS I JUST DONT GET rather than MOST OVERRATED as that description is bound to cause feathers to ruffle as the WORST BEER thread has done lately.

            That being said we all have some things that seem to be very popular or held in great esteem by many others that we just dont find nearly as enchanting. Whether its music (Im sorry but Bruce Springsteen just does nothing for me), Movies (why is everyone saying this latest Star Trek movie is so great?) or Beer. And for me, the beer everyone else seems to worship that I just dont get is Fat Tire. Sorry. Tastes fine but whats all the fuss about? Yet beer heads act like its the second coming of Jesus Ale. Why?

            And since Ive gone there Id like to also add that Disney World is boring, Steven King is a hack and apple pie is a mediocre dessert...

            There. Have I skewered enough sacred cows for one day?

            7 Replies
            1. re: Insidious Rex

              I've yet to meet anyone I'd consider a serious beer geek who likes Fat Tire, and I know a huge number of serious beer geeks. The Fat Tire worship I've seen mainly comes from people who I consider more casual beer fans: they know that macro lagers are bland and uninteresting, but they still like a sweeter, less assertive beer.

              I agree with most of your other comments (esp. re: Star Trek, totally baffling), except the apple pie one. A well-executed apple pie is absurdly good - unfortunately it's also really hard to come by.

              1. re: Josh

                My grandfather (who died in 1990) made THAT apple pie. Apples were firm and tart but the juice of the pie was a sweet contrast. Crust was flakey and bumpy with solid apple under every curve. I miss my grandfather.

                1. re: Josh

                  Fat Tire didn't used to be insipid, back when Jeff L. was still brewing it in his basement. It was quite hoppy and balanced back then. The marketing decision to remove most of the hops and change Fat Tire into a craft beer that people who don't like beer will still drink was brilliant for New Belgium -- just look at the amazing beer factory they've built with the profits.

                  Fortunately, New Belgium still makes some good brews. I vote Fat Tire as by far the most overrated beer, at least by sales volume.

                  1. re: danbob

                    Unfortunately for Fat Tire, I tried it after having had Widmer's and Anderson Valley's Amber Ales.

                2. re: Insidious Rex

                  Agred, New Belgium is a bit overrated. Although I hear good things about their Abbey style.

                  1. re: ohdaylay

                    Their Abbey is solid, as is what I'm assuming to be their take on a sour ale, La Folie. Their Wit, however, is one of the worst beers I've ever encountered.

                  2. re: Insidious Rex

                    Hands down, Fat Tire is the most overrated beer.

                  3. "Westvleteren 8 also comes to mind (really good, but if I was blindfolded, would I have thought it was the top 20 in the world?)."

                    What beers would you rate in the top 20 in the world?


                    12 Replies
                    1. re: Chinon00

                      I'd be interested to know this too, as Westvleteren 8 is my favorite beer in the world.

                        1. re: Josh

                          Yes. While the 12 is an exceptional beer and probably in my top 5 or so, I've enjoyed the 8 more than any other beer I've ever had. Just a matter of personal taste. Can't go wrong with either.

                        2. re: Whisper

                          Let me make clear that the West 8 is awesome, maybe I was just expecting perfection, which is why I was curious. I hope I'm not ruffling too many feathers, I'm honestly just curious. Anyway, top 20, not necessarily in order:
                          1. Boon Oude Geuze Mariage Parfait
                          2. Goose Island Night Stalker
                          3. Gulden Draak
                          4. Harviestoun Old Engine Oil (Barrel Aged)
                          5. Smisje Wostyntje (Mustard Ale)
                          6. Hoppin Frog BORIS The Crusher
                          7. Rochefort Trappistes 10
                          8. Three Floyds Dreadnaught Imperial IPA
                          9. Three Floyds Oak Aged BlackHeart English IPA
                          10. Van Den Bossche Buffalo Belgian Stout
                          11. BeerMania Mea Culpa
                          12. Deschutes The Dissident
                          13. Bells Expedition Stout
                          14. Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout
                          15. Chimay Blue
                          16. Dark Horse Fore Smoked Stout
                          17. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
                          18. Struise Pannepot
                          19. St Feuillien Brune
                          20. Hales Red Menace Big Amber Ale

                          1. re: Shaggy

                            That's one hell of a nice list, the ones I know anyway.

                            1. re: Shaggy

                              Chimay Bleu over Westvleteren 8? I respectfully disagree.

                              1. re: juantanamera

                                I knew I should have left that one off. I have to be honest though, it is always excellent, it ages well, and it didn't cost me 20 Euro.

                                1. re: Shaggy

                                  I do agree on Chimay Bleu aging well - a friend shared an older bottle with me once, about five or six years old if I recall, and I found some really interesting flavors in it that I don't normally find in a fresher bottle. I don't dislike any of the Chimay beers, I just prefer some other examples of similar styles. Perhaps I am also a bit biased because I've had the Chimay so many times, but only get to try Westvleteren beers on rare occasions. I'll admit I'm not immune to the hype!

                                  1. re: juantanamera

                                    Yeah it ages amazingly. Another one that ages quite well is Trader Joe's Holiday Ale. It's made by Unibroue. I had a 4 year old one recently and it had mellowed impressively. Surprisingly good stuff, esp. for such a low price.

                                  2. re: Shaggy

                                    I recently, with great excitement, opened my treasured bottle of Russian River Consecration and found it very good but not quite among my favorite sours. To me, the fruit was a bit too dominant and the lambic-like characteristics a bit muted. I still enjoyed it quite a bit, but considering the reviews this beer has been receiving I was a bit let down. Certainly not the most overrated, but not quite as good as I had hoped.

                                    1. re: juantanamera

                                      If you haven't already, try the Mariage Parfait, it's really sour and amazingly good, sounds like it might match what you're describing. If you can get your hands on an aged bottle, even better.

                                      1. re: juantanamera

                                        Man I loved Consecration. Toasted my engagement with it, in fact. I like that it's a bit more fruity/winey, with less dominant lambic flavors. I view it as a unique beer, not belonging to any one particular style.