I’m happy to introduce Adventures of the 35 Year Old (Alcohol) Virgin. Since I personally had my first beer at 15 years old I was fascinated by Ben’s premise – “At 35 years old, I had never tasted, tried or drank an alcoholic drink of any kind. During 2012 that all changes drink by drink.” You can read more about the background here. For the first Vol. on PoP – AV will tackle Bud Light. If you have a drink you think he should try let us know in the comments. Follow all of his adventures here.
At first it was so much nicer than I expected it to be, almost enjoyable. But by the fourth sip I wanted to be f’ing done. I wanted a Sprite.
So the evening was all set. Joe and I headed over to our weekly dinner at our cousin’s Chris & Natalie and they were prepared to make dinner for my first beer—a classic starter beer—Bud Light. We had rustic grilled cheeses with several different cheeses to choose from, spinach, bacon and a few choice breads. And there was homemade tomato soup and some salad.
But I’m guessing you’re still stuck on “Bud Light”. Yes, yes, I know.
Let me quickly explain.
This journey, this Adventure, is a process. I will be trying at least 25+ beers on this little experiment during 2012 and so for me, it made sense to start with one of the most popular and common beers available to kick off my beer experience.
I had no regrets in my choosing, while many of you had several before I even had my first sip. And now I know why.
Continues after the jump.
In contrast to my recent experience with champagne, I liked the first sip or two of the beer. It wasn’t dry. It was crisp and watery, kinda light and tangy. It even had this kinda—try to follow me—floral quality that reminded me of how older potpourri smells: musky, light, flowery, dusty.
I should note that my husband and cousins were kind stupid brave romantic enough to each share a frosted mug’s worth of Bud Light with me for this first drink.
They thought my “floral” mention was comical in both explanation and reality. But I’m sticking to what my palate was telling me.
Maybe it was the beechwood chips placed in the ageing vessel which, according to Anheuser-Busch, creates a smoother taste during the lagering. Hey, a virgin does his research.
Anyway, by the fourth or fifth sip I was picking up other notes. Sour notes, muskier notes. Sweat sock, limp wet leather, bits of dried old fruit rind qualities that with every subsequent sip was grossing me out.
I should mention that while I am a virgin to drinking alcohol. I am not however, a virgin to being around it while others drink it. That is to say, I have heard many a friend and family member cry “this beer tastes like ass” when drinking Bud Light or any of the others in this category.
[remember to casually mention that I might know what ass tastes like, so that in this rare occasion I might have a point of reference. Addition note: do not forget a well crafted sentence or two suggesting I’m joking. Family and friends might read this and find that uncomfortable.]
By the middle of the journey to the bottom of the glass, I wanted to quit. I had no reason to quit. I promised myself that unless it made me physically ill, I would finish every first drink, but this was clearly a test of my resolve. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll see that I did a little chronicling of last night’s tasting to that conclusion.
I will say that I had two different grilled cheeses. One with havarti & sharp cheddar and one with swiss & sharp cheddar. The h&c sandwich and beer was much nicer than the s&c with beer. The mixture of the beer and quality swiss was almost intolerable. And honestly, that was fun to discover.
So I didn’t love this first beer. And look, I’m not shocked. As I’m sure neither are you. That said, I’m really, truly loving this adventure. I had my doubts. But even not liking some of the drinks, I’m exploring tastes and qualities I’ve absolutely never experienced before in my 35 years.
And that’s exciting as hell.
So onward! Next up will be a classic vodka drink tonight at a friend’s Russian Christmas party—blog to follow on Sunday. And (drum roll please) in preparation for a bigger announcement/blog tie-in news coming up mid next week, I’m planning a happy hour with friends of Tuesday to try yet another new first drink adventure.
So yes, my first beer, devoid of Spuds MaKenzie, Bud Light Girls or even three crazy frogs, but it’s one I can confidently say that I’ll never forget.