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At A Loss For Words? Here Are 5 Bizarre Words To Help Describe Your Beer

Tasting different flavours or detecting new aromas is always exciting. But as with everything else in life, the experience is never truly complete until we can express our feelings in words. 

With the wide variety of flavoured beers being introduced in the market today, it is high time we expand our beer vocabulary.  

Here is a lowdown on some of the top bizarre words invented and used by beer brewers and enthusiasts to describe various beer flavours and aromas. 

1. Skunked

Skunked, as the name suggests, is used to describe an “off” flavour of the beer that gives out a sulphuric (or skunky) aroma. The displeasing flavour, as well as aroma, are the results of a reaction between the hops’ sulphur compounds and the alpha acids under the influence of light. Alternately known as “lightstruck”; beer stored in blue, green, and clear bottles are more at risk of getting “skunked”. 

2. Horseblankety

The term “horseblankety” is used to describe a beer’s earthy, musty, or hay-like flavours. These flavours are common in beers like lambics and saisons that have been spontaneously fermented. It is usually used to describe a horse-like aroma, a smell you usually catch when visiting barns.

3. Zippy

Zippy is used to describe beers with high carbonization. Champagne-like or prickly are other terms used to describe such beers.

4. Catty

Catty is used to describe the musty, ammonia-like aroma that beer gives off after it undergoes oxidisation. 


Unlike the previous words, linalool is used to describe the pleasant floral aroma in beer. The floral or peach-like aroma is due to a terpene alcohol chemical that naturally occurs in various herbs and flowers, especially hops.

Which one of these was your favourite word and how difficult did you find it to pronounce? With a little practice, you can easily use these as great conversation starters the next time you’re out getting yourself a drink! 

17 December 2019
Editorial-Brewer World