December 21, 2012
The Tasting Panel (who are they?)
The Tasting Panel.
We use people at Mikkeller.
This is a short story of how it's done and whom we force to drink beer.
As you have all read before on this blog, we have a panel of pro tasting people. And we kindly ask them to assist us in tasting some of our products. This we do to ensure the high quality of Mikkeller beers (and spirits) continues to be as high as we aim for. These pro tasters give us very valuable info and suggestions for brews, adjustments and new ideas.
For some months now this team has been exploring the best lager in the world, the Mikkeller American Dream. This has been done over time to evaluate the development of this hoppy lager. What does it taste like totally fresh, how does it change, does it change? I will leave this cliffhanger blowing in the wind; there are lots of stats to show you, lots of different tastes and aromas to describe this beer and its development. That deserves a full blog entry on its own. To be continued
But who are they, the people we use?
First we have Lasse:
An old friend of Mikkeller. He is the good looking guy, blond hair, charming dude. The pretty boy of the team. Lasse has been drinking and describing beers for many, many years. Lasse has dined at fine places (being the charlatan he is) and Lasse knows good tastes in both beer and food. He is outgoing, shouts at gatherings when he is pleased or unpleased. What I can’t tell you about Lasse is, that he really likes to be used, he has family at home that can’t give him this satisfaction. Masochist? I didn’t say that. No, seriously, Lasse is member of the Mikkeller family, here he can live out his passions, and we are lucky he does so.
Next in Line is Kim.
Kim has always dreamt of being a brewer himself. Instead he became a chef. Now he’s working at one of the best restaurants in Denmark, Mielcke & Hurtigkarl. Kim is actually a top chef, we suspect the future will bring fame to this rising star in the Danish and international culinary world. But at the Mikkeller office he is just being used to open oysters when the Tasting Panel is gathered. But Kim also knows a lot of tastes and is eloquent when describing them. Kim’s reference for tasting and describing includes herbs, wort, crepes, saffron, umami, younameit.
The real beer geek of the team is Theis.
Theis has been a rater since he was born. He is now somewhere between 30 and 50 years old - just to say Theis has a huge mental library of beers (of all time). If he has not tasted is (because it was sold out or burnt in monastery 1000 years ago) Theis still knows what it tasted like. Theis has read about beers, he keeps on reading and exploring while continuously tasting thousands of beers annually. Theis is the lexica of the team. He can tell us what any beer we taste is somewhat similar to, or why it is not similar to anything at all. And Theis does the stats; he gives us the data for measuring and exploring beers over time.
The last person in the team is the Queen of Sweden. (QofS)
She travels incognito to Copenhagen now and then for sharing her great knowledge on beers and booze.
I can’t reveal that she really is (or if she is not) the Queen of Sweden, please keep this secret for now. QofS has worked in bars, she is a sommelier and she is cool. She is busy doing royal stuff, but her presence at the Mikkeller office is highly appreciated. QofS knows how to taste things (and beers and spirits…) the right way. She kindly demonstrates and explains how and where we feel/taste/smell at certain times in a drinking process. Very interesting and valuable stuff when doing what we do.
We will keep you all informed of what’s going on in the Tasting Panel. This is actually serious business.
(Please don’t ask for signatures, don’t start to cry when meeting these famous people in the public. They are just humans like you and I)
Happy Holidays all!