Picking the Right Beer for Jill: The Results are In

You might recall a few weeks ago we called upon the BW&B braintrust (you guys and gals) to help us come up with a few beers to recommend to my friend Jill.  She’s a big wine lover and was interested in trying some of the bigger, more complex beers that I go on and on about.

After much debate and deliberation, the three beers I presented to Jill and her fiancee PJ were Otter Creek QVH, Ommegang’s Three Philosophers, and New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk.  If you’re interested in why these beers were chosen, click here to read my reasoning (or lack there of) behind each selection.

I just received Jill and PJ’s feedback and was a little surprised really entertained by what they shared…Here’s what Jill had to say about each beer:

After a few glasses of each this is what we came up with

3 Philosophers

  • we think it looked like cream soda but didn’t have a creamy head.
  • PJ said it smelled a bit hoppy
  • Jill said it smelled slightly fruity
  • we both thought it felt flat like no carbonation at all
  • it tasted a little cherryish in our mouths with a bitter aftertaste
  • PJ likes that it doesn’t taste too heavy but didn’t like the after taste
  • Jill felt like I was drinking 2 different beers b/c the initial taste and aftertaste are so different
  • PJ says you can taste the alcohol and the flavor of the beer at the same time but can distinguish both flavors… kinda like when you can smell someones b.o. under their deodorant
  • we both felt this to be a good all year round beer and we would give it a B

Dragons Milk

  • this beer had a much creamier head than 3 philosophers but it disappeared quickly
  • it looks really thick kind of like a glass of jager
  • we felt it smelled a little like firewood
  • PJ says it has a more enjoyable taste than look
  • Jill says it almost taste like a glass of wine…the oak barrels perhaps???
  • mild bitter-sweet aftertaste
  • Jill detects a subtle dark chocolate flavor
  • we think this is a good winter beer and overall think it deserves a B

Quercus Vitis Humulus

  • small foamy head
  • looks and smells like a bass or newcastle
  • unexpected big flavor on contact but suprisingly no real aftertaste
  • PJ thinks it tastes and smells like a light version of our favorite beer “hazed and infused”
  • we agree that of all three this is what we would most want and expect out of a beer
  • we think this is a great summer beer
  • the name sux so that gets a big fat F! and b/c this was our 3rd bottle we couldn’t even say it! haha but overall we give it an A!

Thank you so much for including us in your little social experiment. we had sooo much fun!!

So there you have it.  I feel pretty good about the results, as we averaged a little over a “B” – good work everybody!  And thanks to Jill and her fiancée for taking the time to taste the beers and share their thoughts.  I hope this leads to many happy trips down aisle together.  The beer aisle that is (you’re only supposed to go down the other one once).

I love PJ’s analogy about deodorant, and I also think it’s hilarious that the beer I really didn’t like at all, the QVH, was their favorite, and the Dragon’s Milk (which I adore) smells like firewood to PJ.   I guess there’s no accounting for taste, or at least mine. But you guys probably already knew that.

Thanks again to everyone who shared their opinions, expertise and time to help make this experiment so much fun.

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Categories: Beer, Lifestyle, review


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24 Comments on “Picking the Right Beer for Jill: The Results are In”

  1. Kevin M
    June 21, 2010 at 11:59 am #


    It’s great how they like three completely different beers. What’s really interesting to me, though, is how they really enjoy drinking such big, bold beers, all of them pretty high in alcohol, too.

    Jill, if you read this, thinking that the 3 Philosophers tasted like two different beers was the right idea. It’s actually a blend of two different brews, a “Quad” and a “Kriek.”

    • June 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

      It’s pretty cool to see folks who aren’t beer nerds creating insightful reviews like these. It shows just how accessible beer is to folks – you don’t need a pedigree to enjoy it and share your opinions. Beer is for everybody. I think the fact that they detected the blended origin of the Three Philosophers is very cool.

      • Don
        June 21, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

        But not how they compared it to BO. This is possibly my favorite Belgian beer, and they compare it to smelling some sweaty guy’s armpit? But yet they still gave it a B…Hmmm. Curious.

        • June 21, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

          Some people like the musky scent of man hidden beneath the civilized veneer of Speed Stick. I mean, or so I hear…

  2. June 21, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    Yay! They liked my QVH! Sorry, Jim 🙂

    • June 21, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

      I was so happy for you, Stevie! I felt vindicated for you, even though I was the person who thought you were wrong. I feel like I should go to the mirror and yell “in your face, Jim!!” for you.

      • June 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm #

        HA! I sense some snarky-ness there, my friend! Just goes to show you- never trust a man to know a lady’s tastes! 🙂 Just kidding- I can’t wait to try me some Dragon’s Milk now! Sounds perfect for my Rauch/Imperial Stout loving tastebuds.

        PS- I wouldn’t yell “in your face, Jim!” That’s just mean! I’d just stand there with my eyebrow raised and an all-knowing stare that says, “Who ‘da man?”

        • June 21, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

          Ha ha. Well I’ll just settle on giving myself mildly disappointed looks when I walk past the mirror then. And no snarkiness was intended. I was actually pumped at your victory.

  3. Don
    June 21, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    I have to laugh, a little. I thought for sure she would love the Three Philosophers. Jim, you were convinced that they would fall head over heals for the Dragon’s milk like you did (me too for that matter). You thought the QVH was gross, and based on your description I would never buy it either. Yet they proved us both wrong, and loved the QVH, and thought my suggestion reminded them of BO, and your suggestion smelled like a campfire. Go figure!

    • Kevin M
      June 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

      Don, expect some QVH in the mail hahaha…

      I even thought it was funny that they couldn’t pronounce it! Nobody can! I think next year’s QVH will actually say QVH on the label. At least that’s one rumor I heard…

  4. June 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    Nice work and thanks for playing along Jill and PJ! Fun for them … and us.

    I feel vindicated that they thought Three Philosophers smelled like “B.O.” I think I used the word “funk” in the original post comments. If you’ve tasted you’re share of beers, you’d know it as a good funk, but I totally see where someone could get armpit from that beer.

    • June 21, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

      I believe they were talking about how the taste of alcohol wasn’t completely masked by the flavor of the beer, not the beer actually smelling of BO. But it did put PJ in a body odor state of mind, so you saying “I totally see where someone could get armpit from that beer” (which is classic, BTW) probably isn’t that far off.

      • June 21, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

        O.K., O.K. Jim, guess I totally misread that one. But there is a funkiness to that brew.

        I think Don needs to find a couple of craft-beer-newbie friends and do an Idaho version of this. Does Don have friends? J/K Don! ;^D

      • June 21, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

        Hmm…let me think…does Don have friends…uhhh…well there was that one guy who came over…no…that was a process server…ahhh…there was the fella who drove him to the airport one time…but I think that was a taxi…

        I’ll have to get back to you on this one, Chad.

        • Don
          June 21, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

          I have friends, but with friends like you Chad who needs enemies? I need to pick up another. I just remember it was big and bold, and I liked every sip of it!

      • June 21, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

        How cute – you guys are frenemies!

      • June 22, 2010 at 11:25 am #

        I’d like to get another bottle of it too, Don. I did pick up a few Ommegang brews up at Brewforia on Friday. Rick has the Witte in and the Abby double. I had the Abby, and it was quite good. He didn’t have any Three Philosophers, though. :^/

        • Don
          June 22, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

          For me Chad, it was one of those beers that I had a certain expectation about, and it completely defied my expectation. I was thinking it would be a lighter belgian with a predominant yeast flavor like so many of them are. But it was fruity and roasty and very big, and that belgian yeast flavor wasn’t the most predominant flavor, and it was a complete joy. Next time I see it I’m picking a bottle up.

  5. June 22, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    If nothing else happened from your experiment, at least good beer is appreciated by wine people. Thanks for sharing this with all of us. I love a good conversion experiment.

    • June 22, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

      I think it was cool how they weren’t afraid to jump in and describe what they tasted, what it made them think of, and what they liked and didn’t like. I think a wine site might be more intimidating, but because it’s beer, it’s okay to say what you think and not worry about being judged by aficionados. I hope they keep exploring.

    • June 24, 2010 at 10:23 am #

      I was wine people before I was beer people. Obviously I’m a complete convert now! Proof it can happen. People into wine are used to describing what’s in their glass. At least reading about it in that way and often actually discussing it. I was anyway. I’m not to surprised that Jill and PJ got right into the reviewing when it came to beer. Glad they were such good sports!

      • June 24, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

        Are you still wine people Chad, or mostly beer, or 50/50? I’m curious to know what the split is for someone coming into craft beer from the world of wine.

      • June 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

        Mostly beer. Probably still have a few glasses a month. Usually at a restaurant that doesn’t have good beer. I’d have more wine if I could. Two things happened. I started getting an allergic reaction to random wines—and regardless of the wine, more than one glass now sends me into a sneezefest. Also, Wirestone, my employer, isn’t much into wine drinking. Drink all the beer or hard stuff you want. But walk through the halls with a glass of pinot and your pinky in the air and you get quite a bit of ribbing.

  6. June 25, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    FYI Don, Brewforia just put some Three Philosophers on the shelf. Enjoy!

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