Ask Adam: Can I Save Skunked Beer?


Ask Adam
1 minute Read

Ask Adam: Can I Save Skunked Beer?

Send all questions to: advice@vinepair.com

Is there any way to save skunked beer?
Unfortunately, no. Skunked beer is caused by a specific chemical reaction that is due to the beer’s exposure to light. (It’s not a result of taking it in and out of the fridge, as some believe.) Once that chemical reaction occurs, there’s not much you can do besides trying to avoid bottles that are clear or green and therefore more likely to produce a skunky beer — which probably now explains why Heineken can sometimes taste a bit off.

Is all Scotch peated?
While most people associate Scotch with the smoky flavor of peat, Scotch does not have to have this peat flavor in order to be Scotch. To make Scotch, you need malt, and in order to brew that malt, you first need to dry the grain.

Here’s the deal: In the north of Scotland there was a plethora of dry peat and not a lot of wood, so the easiest way to dry the malt and make delicious Scotch was by laying it out over warm, smoking peat. Peat smokes more aggressively than almost any substance out there, making the flavor pretty impossible to distill out of the whisky.

In the south of the country, that was not the case. Southern Scotland was historically more industrialized than the northern part of the country, and that meant they had access to coal. This fuel warmed and dried the malt without adding a smoky flavor. Nowadays, while modernization makes coal and other non-smoking heat sources available all over the country, peat is still used in the north thanks to tradition and the fact that now people expect smoky scotch from this part of the country. But if you prefer something without so much smoke, look to the lowlands.

What do I do if the server accidentally leaves the bottle of wine I ordered off the bill?

Tell them! Seriously, while we all like the accidental freebie, people make mistakes, especially in the crazed restaurant environment. Someone leaving your bottle of wine off the bill is not a nice comp, it’s an accident and if you don’t say something, you’re liable to get them in trouble. While it’s always nice to unexpectedly pay less than you intended, you ordered the wine fully expecting it to be on your bill, so do the ethical thing and pay for it.

Send all questions to: advice@vinepair.com

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