I know sometimes it is hard to keep your thoughts together on all the beers you've tried over time. Each beer hits you a different way based on your mood, your surroundings, what you're eating with it, etc. I know that even though I write on the KC Beer Blog, I only write about a fraction of the beers I consume and I don't keep track of what I thought about various beers anyplace but on the blog.
Last week when we did the blind porter tasting, we each just wrote notes on a little piece of notepad paper. I was intrigued when the guys from 33beers.com emailed me about their little beer notebook or as they call it, beer sketchbook. They offered me a couple of free books to use and I took them up on it. They definitely would have come in handy when we did our tasting.
I got my 33 beer sketchbook in the mail today and made my first entry for Phin & Matt's Extraordinary Ale from Southern Tier. If you can read my writing (I doubt you can) you will see that I don't think much of it. In my view, if you're going to call your beer an extraordinary ale, it better at least be better than ordinary. Phin and Matt apparently have different thoughts. I covered all of the relevant information in the log book including 2 and 1/2 stars.
I don't really like rating beers with a star system or on a 100 scale. I prefer to compare them to movies, porn stars or athletes. But, many people like numerical scales, c'est la vie. I don't foresee me ever noting a beer's original gravity or terminal gravity either. What I do like is the flavor wheel in the bottom right corner. In the wheel you note such things as hoppy, malty, floral, spicy, etc. on a 1 to 4 scale and then connect the dots and you get a pretty little picture. Phin & Matt's little picture looks like Texas, the Coors Light one they use as an example looks like Alaska. I really don't think I'm going to be happy until I find the Finland of beers.
The little booklet fits easily in a jeans pocket and is made from recycled paper and soy ink (if that sort of thing interests you). Each book gives you room to log 33 beers, hence the name. You can get 3 of them for $10 or 1 for $4. If you think you want to keep track of the beers you drink, I can think of many worse ways to do it and you can start your own Quixotic quest to find the Slovakia of beers. In KC, you can only order the books from the 33 Beers website.