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Dec 22, 2011 04:11 AM

Beer/liqueur tasting, throwaway glasses what is best type and source

Hope this question is not too foody fastidious, but we are having a tasting of several vintages of the Swiss/Austrian seasonal beer Samichlaus and a couple of different versions of our homemade cranberry infused vodka.

The Samichlaus,the most alcoholic beer known to man, has to be tasted in small doses, on advice of our lawyers and also because the stuff is so hard to find and costly. goes without saying for the cranberry.

As providing our own glasses for each round for everyone is impossible, what would people suggest in the throwaway category, both types and sources for purchase there of and where to find them.

Rental is possible but space consuming, and space will be filled to brim with people. Throwaway also will minimize the beer hall aroma that will naturally occur.

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  1. 2 oz plastic souffle cups will work great. Any rest. supply store will have them

    1 Reply
    1. re: Locutus

      Thanks. have found that the paper supply place at
      3390 Washington St. Boston, MA 02130
      has those cups.
      and if iparty has every plastic beverage holder "known to man" as advised below, it's waaay closer.

    2. Give me the address and time and I'll be in the cups.

      1. >Samichlaus,the most alcoholic beer known to man

        14% is high, don't get me wrong. But there are there are at least 40 beers with a higher ABV, including Millennium, Utopia, and Triple Bock by Sam Adams, and 120 minute IPA, Raison d'Extra, Fort and Worldwide Stout from Dogfish Head. I believe the current record is held by a Scottish brewery, Brewdog with their "Sink the Bismarck" @ 41%....

        1 Reply
        1. re: okra

          Thanks for the correction and inspiration. I confess to not doing my homework on this one. Lesson learned. hyperbole to be avoided even or especially on a board where so many are so expert.
          However, my mistake is my gain. I have been warned that one of our guests so like the high ABV stuff that it would be to wise to have some complementary beer than can be chugged. And now I have a list of things to try before New Years Day.

        2. I believe Samiclause is the lager with the highest ABV but it's not even close to being "the most alcoholic beer". Regardless is tastes like cough syrup and is very poorly balanced. I suggest serving it in very wide vessels to let it breath @ 55-58 degrees. It's a sipper so treat it like a cognac . The best place to find multiple versions of plastic wear is iParty. They have everything from flutes to martini glasses. The 5oz tumblers would work best for the beer.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Unfoodie

            Bingo. Just the advice sought. if I can bother you for more explicit directions, breath in the glass not the bottle is what I am understanding. Any thought on how long?
            As for cough syrup vs. heavenly, my introduction came from Terrasig, a science blogger
            who devotes his Friday blog to spirits. And he was quoting, "the king himself, the late Michael Jackson" who wrote: " Of the world's super-strong lagers, Samichlaus was the most complex and satisfying. It had a reddish chestnut colour; a brandyish aroma; a firm, oily, body; creamy and cherryish flavours; and a warming, spicy, peppery, finish... Samichlaus was first made in 1980, when Hürlimann decided to pit its super-yeast against other techniques being used to produce very strong lagers across the German border. The Swiss still seem faintly embarrassed about having entered this unofficial competition, which they saw simply as a bit of fun......I had my first Samichlaus of the season in an unlikely place: the fashionable restaurant and "juice bar" Nosmo King, in Manhattan. The juice of the barley was served as an accompaniment to a chocolate dessert. My companion, Florence Fabricant, food and wine writer of The New York Times, felt that no fermented grape could have accompanied the chocolate so well. I was inclined to agree, but had to test her resolve. "Not even a Madeira?" I ventured. "Not even a Malmsey," she responded".


            1. re: bsrh

              I respect Michael Jackson for everything he's done for beer geeks and spirits nerds world over but I don't always match his palate. For me the alcohol was way to prevalent in Samichlaus. Huge amounts of alcohol sweetness with loads of caramel malt give it almost a cloying finish yet it's surprisingly spicy mid palate. The alcohol burn is definitely there so it must be respected as a sipper. I'd be curious to hear which vintage of the vertical tasting was most pleasurable. I'd hope the alcoholic undertones would diminish over time (5-10 year) but at the same time hop oils are usually most effected by age. Bitterness vs sweetness is where the g-spot lies.

              As for serving in plastic (snifters or tulips would be best for glass) I'd pour 2oz to 3oz samples in a 5oz clear plastic tumbler (iParty, I've used them many times) and let breath between sips. One of the funnest and most rewarding experiences is to see how oxidation and temperature change the flavor profile of a certain beer. Chill it to @ 45 degrees and converse about the changes as you let the beer sit between sips. Be sure to cleanse your pallet between vintages. Provide bitter chocolate, saltines and soda water as well as coffee beans to clear the olfactories.

              The most important thing to remember is to have fun and use everyone's individual tastes to stimulate conversation!

              1. re: Unfoodie

                Thanks for spending the time and effort on educating this newcomer to beer tasting and, furthermore, for help her taste a beer that is, fair to say, not one of your favorites.

                Sorry to be so late in answering. I will be printing out your remarks to go along with the initial enthusiastic ones of 2007 with the M Jackson quote and the notes on a recent tasting of Sami at the brewery, which follows.

                Is there a chart/template/standard list of qualities that we should follow, because --here is the confession--I have never read Jackson !

                All this occurs on New Years day, so there is no rush in answering and if your own holiday feasting keeps you from answering at all, I will understand.


                1. re: bsrh

                  The Holy Grail of beer websites.

                  I'm not a big fan of reading tasting notes before actually tasting something. I'd like to suggest that you don't share reviews of the beer prior to tasting. I think telling some one what they should taste disrupts initial interpretations of flavors.

                  Standards are personal so what's good is what YOU like. I personally can't stand the taste of diacetyl (a natural by product of the fermentation process) while other people embrace the sweet/buttery flavor and aroma it imparts (think Bass Ale on draught). Some brewers purposely infect their beer with funky yeast strains which is also a love/hate thing.

                  I think confining styles to a singular benchmark opens the door to snobbery. There's
                  room for geekery but snobbery is unacceptable.

                  The late Michael Jackson was a master of malt and pen. He is largely responsible for legitimizing beer as a respectable drink in an age when it was viewed as, and marketed like, an adult soda. His relentless research put history and process behind every beer by creating a story of time and place which prior to him had only been seen behind fine wines and spirits. His elegant descriptions of each brew only furthered the notion that fine beer could match or surpass the intricate flavors of fine wines and spirits. Most importantly (please remember this when conducting your tasting) he never took it too seriously.

                  I'm about to unleash some amazingly big beers on a crowd of novice beer palates and I can't wait to see and hear their reactions. Considering they'll all be drink Bud It'll be educational for both me and them. First up will be Boulevard Brewing's BBQ (Bourbon Barrel aged Quad weighing in at 11.5% abv). I'm expecting a beautiful marriage of sweet dark fruits and toasted vanilla. Then I'll hit them with Saint Louis Brewery's Shafly Reserve 2008 Barleywine-Style Ale aged on oak chips and I honestly have no idea what to expect as American Barleywines all tend to be quite different.

                  The Unfoodie
                  *flexes beer muscles*

          2. Before settling on disposables, please consider Peterson Party Center for rented glasses.

            We did this recently for a holiday party and it was perfect. We picked them up in Winchester and returned them (dirty). They also do delivery and retrieval, though we wanted to cut costs.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Area Man

              thanks, you have made me reconsider. There is an AA rental (formerly Belmont, Waverly Oaks, now in watertown ),and I will give them a call.Winchester is a long haul for us.