In moving a bunch of stuff here at home, I happened upon a stack of old wall calendars, the kind people used to tack to their wall before the advent of the PDA, iCal, and what-have-you. For giggles, I flipped to today’s date, the year 1989. I almost wish I hadn’t. Y’see, I cherished the memory of the bike ride I went on up a grueling mile-long, 20-percent grade hill. Climbing it wasn’t the impressive part; it’s that I had a bike computer and I remember hitting 55.5 MPH on the way down the steep, curvy road.
According to my own records, I only hit 46.
Forty-six is still speedy, but it’s no 55.5. I do the same thing with beers sometimes. I talk up how amazing I remember a particular beer tasted, and then when I get to try it again, it’s not all I’d hyped it up to be. Usually it’s an IPA that’s not as hoppy as I recall, probably because our collective palates have shifted upward as have beer’s Bitterness Units. Sometimes the recipe could’ve changed on me but the label doesn’t inform me of this. Just last week a cherished pumpkin beer tasted too boozy, like the bottle was topped off with vodka or white lightning and fell lower in my mental rankings.
The gradation of the hill, incidentally, does hit 20 percent at one point but is mostly 15 percent.
Have you ever tried an otherworldly beer and then had the opportunity to taste it again years later and it didn’t live up to your expectation? Is it better to set the record straight or would you have preferred reminiscing about how great you erroneously remembered it being?