"Cattiness" a good thing?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Hop-Droppen-Roll, Jan 20, 2014.

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  1. Hop-Droppen-Roll

    Hop-Droppen-Roll Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2013 Minnesota

    I recently read a VERY positive review of Alaskan's Hopothermia from draft magazine that used the adjective 'cattiness'. I did a little googling and now I'm curious why the writer (I know, we've been discussing the nature of beer writers lately) would use the term in such a positive light.

    What are your thoughts on 'catty' hop flavors?
     
  2. Loganyoung

    Loganyoung Initiate (0) Jul 16, 2011 Georgia

    None offensive way for cat piss I suppose?
     
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  3. TheBeerAlmanac

    TheBeerAlmanac Savant (945) Mar 3, 2011 Kentucky
    Trader

    Did the beer have a petty rivalry with another beer?
     
  4. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,556) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    Catty flavors are offensive to the nose. They smell pungent and that is polite. I have found that the flavor is not affected and I have never tasted "cat pee" in a beer. However, when this scent dominates the nose it is extremely off putting to me personally. If you combine it with other sharp scents like onion . . . EW!
     
  5. markdrinksbeer

    markdrinksbeer Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2013 Massachusetts

    How was the term cattiness used? can you copy and paste it here?
     
  6. markdrinksbeer

    markdrinksbeer Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2013 Massachusetts

    Sounds similar to a few reviews of Victory Hop Ranch.
     
  7. rgordon

    rgordon Savant (967) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Someone will chime in with the chemical truth to the cat pee aromatics. We've discussed this on occasion and it's very real. What is offensive to one person may not be to another. Sometimes really alluring aromatics are not far from offensive. We are all very different while being pretty damned similar. Years ago, in New Zealand, several vintners I know well would describe the local sauvingnon blanc as being "cat pee on a leaf". The other day, I had a Lagunitas Sucks draft and it pitched a strong cat pee aroma that disappeared quickly. I remember the same smell from childhood from the boxwoods in front of our house.
     
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  8. socon67

    socon67 Poo-Bah (1,801) Jun 18, 2010 New York

    I think I'll pass on a beer with an aroma of cat urine.
     
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  9. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,340) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Trader

    Citra hops especially are noted for a catty or musky aroma and flavor. Some people liken it to cat piss. I can see where they could get that, but I don't percieve it as such. Simcoe brings some of the same muskiness to its beers, however I can't attest to that peresonally. I brew at home and usually use copious amounts of citra, it reminds me of the bastard child from some weed and a mango. If you were to get your hands on some zombie dust or anything that is primarily citra hopped, preferably in the boil and not just as a dryhop, you will get an idea of what is so great about the cattiness.
     
  10. RBassSFHOPit2ME

    RBassSFHOPit2ME Initiate (0) Mar 1, 2009 California

    The only way I can relate to the description is through the abundant experience I've had with marijuana. "Dank" "Cat Piss Dank" "Fruity Dank" Sticky icky Dank". These beer descriptors all being me back to that time, so none is off-putting to me. Except for onion & garlic forward hop descriptors.
     
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  11. blivingston1985

    blivingston1985 Aspirant (279) Jan 7, 2010 North Carolina

    Generally speaking cattiness is regarded with negativity. I associate is most with sauvignon blanc, as stated by rgordon,
    . Especially with the New Zealand and South American SB. I often enjoy it and think it is a sign of a wine that is great for cooking. It isn't an inherently good or bad thing. All depends on how it is playing off of the other elements in the beverage.
     
  12. BEERschlitz

    BEERschlitz Zealot (539) Oct 13, 2013 Michigan
    Trader

    If lagunitas sucks smells like cat piss then I'm cheesing my effing brains out.
     
  13. Dope

    Dope Poo-Bah (2,524) Oct 5, 2010 Massachusetts

    Don't knock it till you've tried it.

    Dope
     
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  14. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,556) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    I have to admit that the simoce hops has a succulence and verging sweetness that could be catty if the beer gets too warm so perhaps that is the same fro many of the hop varieties. I have noticed the potential for catty aromas much more than actual cat pee scents.
     
  15. joelwlcx

    joelwlcx Aspirant (219) Apr 23, 2007 Minnesota

    Sometimes bad smells smell good.
     
    BrettHead, djl9701, bushycook and 5 others like this.
  16. markdrinksbeer

    markdrinksbeer Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2013 Massachusetts

    I honestly don't know what that means.
     
  17. Travcofarms

    Travcofarms Initiate (0) Dec 7, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Me too, tough habit to break!!
     
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  18. Greywulfken

    Greywulfken Poo-Bah (4,684) Aug 25, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    Thankfully, can't say I've ever had a "cat piss moment" while drinking a beer.

    Terrible descriptor, when/if its supposed to be honest/complimentary.
     
  19. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,457) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Some are not sensitive to the compound that gives the cat pee aroma, others are. Some times I pick it up at hi levels. My wife gets it in low levels.

    US hops are known for it, as are the ones from AU and NZ. European hops are free of it. Has to do with soil and what they use for anti-fungal soil treatments.

    The highest levels are in Simcoe followed by Citra.
     
  20. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado

    Very positive review with a somewhat negative adjective. Alaskan Beer. Hmmmm. A mystery to me. But if I were at all curious, I'd contact the publication to find out if they have any contact info for the author or simply send the publication a letter expressing my confusion and requesting clarification.
     
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  21. rgordon

    rgordon Savant (967) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Thanks. And as I mentioned above the cat pee smell in the Sucks was fleeting. I'm not a scientist- but I play one on the internet- but there were three of us, two caught the aroma , one didn't. I suppose different people can/do smell the same thing differently.
     
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  22. Tut

    Tut Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    Everyone is making the wrong comparison. It's not cat piss. Strong hop odor can smell very much like male cat spray. I've often thought a great name to call the worst of those beers would be Cat Spray IPA. :sunglasses:

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/958/whats-up-with-cat-spray

    The spray is different from urine and much more pungent.
     
    #22 Tut, Jan 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  23. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,457) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    We all have differing aroma thresholds for different compounds. People can be hypertensive to a compound like Diacetyl, and the next person can be blind to it.

    This is why there are 2 or more people when a beer is judged at a competition or put through a sensory panel at a brewery.
     
  24. Das_Reh

    Das_Reh Disciple (325) Mar 25, 2013 Florida

    From what I've heard, the chemical compound that is responsible for the cat-piss aroma is detectable to only a small percentage of folks, and most people perceive the smell as piney. Some people have a lower threshold than others when it comes to detecting aromas, and a piney IPA is cat-pissy to them if there are enough of the volatiles. For regular folks, the compound would have to be present in higher concentrations to detect cat-piss odors.
     
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  25. Hop-Droppen-Roll

    Hop-Droppen-Roll Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2013 Minnesota

    something to the effect of 'just enough cattiness to make you say 'wow!'
     
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  26. jivex5k

    jivex5k Initiate (0) Apr 13, 2011 Florida

    I love cat piss IPAs for some reason.
    Scoundrel from Funky Buddha smelled like cat piss....tasted amazing though.
    I don't know, I like the smell for some reason. Best not to explore why I suppose.
     
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  27. Hop-Droppen-Roll

    Hop-Droppen-Roll Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2013 Minnesota

    he's referencing a HILARIOUS episode of South Park
     
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  28. markdrinksbeer

    markdrinksbeer Initiate (0) Nov 14, 2013 Massachusetts

    oh. I wont get the reference then.
     
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  29. ChuckHardslab

    ChuckHardslab Disciple (336) Jan 25, 2012 Texas

    I have never tasted "cat pee" at all, the smell was enough to keep me from trying it :slight_smile:
     
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  30. rgordon

    rgordon Savant (967) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Cat Spray IPA! Made my day.
     
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  31. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,457) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    References? Just interested. I know it can be detected at extremely low levels, around 1 part per trillion. In some beers I get pine and tropical at lower levels, but in others I get the cat pee if the level is too high. At a talk by Stan Hieronymus he talked of some Japanese research that showed women more often got it as cat pee, men as pine and tropical. The same compound is in some wines, a compound in the grape must is bio transformed to the cat pee aroma.
     
  32. Shroud0fdoom

    Shroud0fdoom Poo-Bah (1,599) Oct 31, 2013 Maryland

    Agreed! I've smelled some weed that could be likened to Cat Spray. So in turn, this "Cattiness" could be someone who hasn't smelled dense pungent Marijuana, but has smelled male cat spray. So hence the writer likens the aroma as "Cattiness".
     
  33. joelwlcx

    joelwlcx Aspirant (219) Apr 23, 2007 Minnesota

    As others have alluded to, I just call those beers dank. If you want to smell beers that are very "catty", as well as horse blanket, feet, poop, and my personal favorite: petting zoo, try some non blended lambics.
     
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  34. sweetwaterman

    sweetwaterman Initiate (0) Jan 27, 2005 North Carolina

    Cat piss is a classic tasting note for Pinot Grigio wine.

    It can be ok when used well, I guess. I mean "barnyard" doesn't sound too appealing as well, but people love it in Brett beers.
     
  35. Ilovelampandbeer

    Ilovelampandbeer Initiate (0) Aug 25, 2013 New York

    i was thinking the same...i got so much onion from that damn brew it was insane...slightly loved it though
     
  36. TickleMeTony

    TickleMeTony Initiate (198) Sep 18, 2013 Colorado

    You don't get cheesed? You're a square.
     
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  37. BEERschlitz

    BEERschlitz Zealot (539) Oct 13, 2013 Michigan
    Trader

    I just sniffed a Lagunitas Sucks real hard... I'm battling in Nippopolis right now.
     
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  38. rgordon

    rgordon Savant (967) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Sounds more like Greek yogurt than cheese!
     
  39. Hop-Droppen-Roll

    Hop-Droppen-Roll Initiate (0) Nov 5, 2013 Minnesota

    I guess I could detect something akin to the odor in question, but it's soooo faint, that if anything, it compliments the immense sweet, piney, tropical notes. That sweetness has to be offset by something or it wouldn't be interesting.
     
  40. Ridder

    Ridder Initiate (164) Nov 30, 2013 Minnesota

    As a newer member to the craft beer scene, I sometimes struggle with how to describe certain scents and smells. I love the "hoppy beer smell" but never use the cat angle. I grew up on a farm and still, I don't go that route. Dank, wet, earthy, etc.

    I guess I just don't need my descriptor to be that accurate.
     
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