"Cattiness" a good thing?

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Stugotzo

    Stugotzo Initiate (0) Jun 13, 2012 Florida

    Hop Fight!!!
    djl9701 and SFACRKnight like this.
  2. stella77artois

    stella77artois Devotee (485) Nov 4, 2010 New York

    I think you described "cattiness" almost perfectly! I brew with Citra as well, and really enjoy beers that are brewed with it. Yes, some of them have a "cat piss-like" aroma. But to me, it's not offensive. Tough to describe. It is similar to cat piss, but fruitier, I guess? That's the beauty of craft beer. Everyone tastes/smells a little differently (example - my friend picks up a ton of pine and mint from my Citra Pale Ale, while I pick up none), what's a great brew to some might not be to others.

    Somewhat off topic; when my female cat was a kitten, she'd always come over to me when I cracked a hoppy beer (especially if it were the citrusy/catty aroma-giving), and smell it. Every time. I'm assuming she smelled something catty as well. She doesn't do this as she's gotten older, but I thought that was interesting. And just recently, when I was brewing my first homebrew, I was drying some Cascade hops (I don't notice any cattyiness in this variety, but they're fruity) in an upstairs spare room. Whenever I opened the door, both of my cats would appear out of nowhere. They would just sniff the hell out of the hops for as long as I'd leave them there. There was a thread a while back relating to cats and hops, weird and funny stuff.
  3. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,084) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    Cat Nip IPA! We grow catnip and my young Walker Hound likes it more than my cats. It smells kinda like weed, but they all do like to play with it.
    TWITA, djl9701 and stella77artois like this.
  4. Harnkus

    Harnkus Initiate (0) Oct 31, 2013 New York

    When I use that term I am under the impression that everything is at once everything and nothing at all. Don't call it a comeback. I've been here for beers
  5. Tut

    Tut Initiate (173) Sep 23, 2004 New York

    I've had enough male cats over the years to be highly aware of the difference. The smell of spray is much stronger, and never fades. It very much smells like many over hopped beers. Occasionally I'll be at a bar and the guy next to me orders a really strong one. Sometimes I'll casually mention that it smells just like cat spray. If they know that odor, it's all over. Once the association is made, they can't get it out of their head. It's a riot watching them try to enjoy their beer when it keeps reminding them of cat spray.

    I know it's kind of mean, but sometimes I can't resist. :stuck_out_tongue:
  6. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,084) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I had a neighbor male cat once claim my car as his territory- left the darned window open. I know that smell well. Recently, when I had that Lagunitas Sucks draft mentioned somewhere above, I remarked upon the quickly fleeting cat pee/spray aromatics, to which a fellow just down the bar just knitted his brow and said, "well, I still like it and it smells like beer to me." He looked at me kinda funny after that. I was about to die laughing but kept my shit together.
    Hop-Droppen-Roll and Tut like this.
  7. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (7,542) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland

    The so called "cat pee" scent is reminiscent in varying degrees of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and sometimes Nelson Sauvignon grapes, varietals that are associated often with German and New Zealand white wines.

    It's translated also in the beer world as some people describe certain beers that have that hop profile as well depending on the hop varietal that is used.

    The thing is some people notice it and some people don't in both beverages. Everybody has different senses of smell and tolerances.

    I personally never smell it, or describe it that way, they tend to come out more floral and fruity sometimes earthy to me, both in wine and beer, so I tend to enjoy it. Still looking for the cat pee bomb but haven't come across it, but it is in the back of my head when checking out certain drink

    That being said, I know cat piss. I have two great cats and smell that stuff every friggin day... If a beverage smelled like that to me personally, I really wouldn't touch it since it's not a pleasant experience for myself. But don't seem to have that problem :wink:
    Tut likes this.
  8. MooseBoose

    MooseBoose Devotee (414) Jun 6, 2007 Wisconsin

    I find some hoppy beers descibed as piney to almost trend to the cedar side of smells, and my wife thinks all those beers smell like BO. Different people smell different things.

    I believe only 50 some % of the population can smell asparagus urine. If you eat asaparagus and don't know what I am talking about, you can't smell it. If you do, it is unmistakeable. And no, I do not think it would be a good smell in a beer. :slight_smile:
  9. MusicaleMike

    MusicaleMike Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2008 Pennsylvania

    That's mercaptan, and it is definitely not a good smell in beer...that's known as "skunked beer."
    Kevinpitts likes this.
  10. BigMike

    BigMike Meyvn (1,226) May 8, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Weyerbacher Double Simcoe has huge cat piss qualities.

  11. teledeluxe

    teledeluxe Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2013 Illinois

    Holy crap! Not everyone can smell that? Crazy. I'd like to see a venn diagram showing the overlap of people who can smell asparagus pee and catty citra. I smell both.
    Hop-Droppen-Roll likes this.
  12. Hop-Droppen-Roll

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

    Apparently I smell neither.
  13. Dracarys

    Dracarys Initiate (0) May 28, 2013 Alabama

    Make it up like everyone else. Ex: "cattiness."
  14. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,772) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    He's got it all wrong, certain people don't get asparagus pee and a certain percentage do.
  15. mugs1789

    mugs1789 Initiate (176) Dec 6, 2005 Maryland

    Yet 'horsiness' is used for some wild fermented brews without negativity.
  16. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,831) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    No, the smell of skunked beer is mercaptin, cat pee is 4MMP. You can look it up. Skunk ordor vs cat. Edit - asperic acid is what you smell after eating asparagus, and the is not skunk or catty.

    The percent that don't get asperic acid in urine is in the 20-25% range. The rest of us get it.
  17. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,084) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    I haven't heard "barnyard cat blanket" yet, but it's due.
    2beerdogs likes this.
  18. TBYoung

    TBYoung Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2013 Pennsylvania

    mercaptin is the skunk beer aroma/taste its also used as an oderant in nautral gas and propane so leaks can be detected
  19. Hop-Droppen-Roll

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

    All of our cats came from 'the barn', maybe that's why I like IPAs.
  20. readyski

    readyski Aspirant (277) Jun 4, 2005 California

    As they say, there's only two things that smell like cat piss, and one of them is cat piss!
  21. sisterthelonious

    sisterthelonious Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2013 Wisconsin

    Have any of us actually ever tasted cat piss? Maybe it tastes awesome.
  22. Preluderl

    Preluderl Zealot (504) Sep 27, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Sucks smells like straight cat pee to me. I actually got one once at a bar, some guy bumped into me and I spilled some on my sleeve. Like an hour later a friend asked me if one of my cats had peed on my shirt or something.
  23. Hop-Droppen-Roll

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

    Good luck explaining to THAT person that craft > BMC :grinning:
    MooseBoose likes this.
  24. MooseBoose

    MooseBoose Devotee (414) Jun 6, 2007 Wisconsin

    Apparently we are both right, or wrong. And no one really knows the exact percentages.


    No studies I can find on the cat pee smell however.
  25. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (5,228) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    I get it from some IPAs, but not all, and not all the ones others may claim. I do tend to notice it in Citra IPAs, as well as some "dank" IPAs (those are not mutually exclusive categories). However, as with others, there is nothing about the flavor that I would describe as "cat piss." I also do not consider dank and cat pee to be the same aroma; a beer might have a pungent "green" odor without that sharp cat smell. To me, anyway.

    Some beers certainly have it stronger than others, I might add. I also do not always get it, or in the same strength, from a second bottle (or draught) of the same beer.

    "Cat-like" might be better than "cat pee," as it's not ammonia that it smells like. "Catty" is right out!

    I've never had it overwhelm my ability to enjoy a beer, but it's not an aroma that I like.

    Beers where I've had a noticeable experience with this scent:
    -Citra Mantra (but not strong)
    -Hop Ranch
    -Another One (again, not strong)
    -Double Citra (maybe the strongest!)
    -Sucks (not too strong)
    -RuinTen (I think it may have been my first experience with the smell, but my review doesn't specify)

    Funny enough, no one told me Citra is supposed to smell this way; it's just a trend I noticed. Going back through my beer reviews, though, Citra is a remarkably consistent theme.
  26. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,089) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    Confusing matters, some versions of the officially recognized (by the Master Brewers Assoc. of America and other brewers' groups) "Beer Flavor Wheel" list "Catty" as a defect, under "Oxidized, Stale, Musty". Giving it the "0810" designation on some wheels, using Systematic Beer Flavor Terminology.

    Of course, the Flavor Wheel pre-dates the development of many of these newer hop strains, and is always being updated and available in many different versions. "Catty" is often noted as being the non-technical term for the off-flavor known as "ribes" or "blackcurrent".

    In the past I've also read that, in the UK, "catty" is sometimes used as a synonym for "skunky" for light struck beer (supposedly because there are no skunks the British Isles?).
    #66 jesskidden, Jan 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  27. MusicaleMike

    MusicaleMike Initiate (0) Mar 17, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I wasn't arguing, as your edit suggests you figured out already, that skunk=cat pee. I was arguing that the chemical compound known as mercaptan (or methanethiol) is primarily responsible for skunked beer and "asparagus pee." Mercaptan is the one of the byproducts of metabolizing asparagus (and can be found in skunk spray), which contains high concentrations of aspartic acid and may be the precursor to "asparagus pee," though it has not been determined as of yet.

    To be clear, the chemical compound which causes "skunky" beer is 3-MBT (3-Methyl-2-Butene-1-Thiol), produced mainly by the breakdown of isohumulones from UV light. SO, we were both incorrect in saying mercaptan is the chemical compound responsible for "skunked" beer. It is almost identical though, and is contained within, right? (methane...thiol...methyl...butene...thiol...)

    As for the perception of "asparagus pee," that range varies depending on which study you look at. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3002398/)
    2beerdogs and connecticutpoet like this.
  28. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,831) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Thanks for the link and pointing out that mercaptan is also related to the apspartic acid/ asparagus pee smell. In the link they say it smells like cooked cabbage, which is usually a descriptor for DMS in beer.
    2beerdogs likes this.
  29. CatfishClark

    CatfishClark Initiate (0) Dec 1, 2008 Texas

    I love cat-pissy beers. Actual cat piss, not so much. But cat-pissy beers, yes please! Weird, I know...it's a fine line, I suppose...
    connecticutpoet likes this.
  30. StLeasy

    StLeasy Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2013 Illinois

    There's a strain "papaya" that smells just like its name (a lot like mangoes), and I bet (hope) that eventually someone will breed a hop very high in mycrene (mango flavor)

    I really enjoy the catty flavors of Simcoe (Drinking a Schlafly AIPA for that matter :stuck_out_tongue:), Citra, and Mosaic. I also like that the aroma seems to keep better than some.
  31. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (749) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    Founder's Mosaic Promise is the most sublime catty, savory, and oniony beer I've had...gonna have to try and replicate.
  32. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,680) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

  33. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Meyvn (1,392) Jul 2, 2014 New Jersey

    Based on comments above, im guessing its that cat piss smell. And it turns me off a beer so fast. I have 5 cats and ill never be used to the smell when they piss in the corner or my car tires.
    matcris and Shroud0fdoom like this.
  34. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (749) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    Only one I've had was today and it was brewed on 3/1/16...best 5.5% smash beer I think I've had.
    Jack, had one today and was mesmerized by the flavors I described...bottled on 3/1/16...cheers
  35. SFNC

    SFNC Zealot (523) Apr 7, 2013 North Carolina

    I Heart Cat Piss Beer!
  36. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,680) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Barry, I would advise you to obtain the Mosaic hop crop that Founders obtained for the 3/1/16 batch if you truly want to replicate this beer. IMO if you obtained the Mosaic hop crop that Founders used to brew the previous batch I referenced you would obtain a very differing result.

    Best of luck on your quest!

  37. Zorro

    Zorro Poo-Bah (4,897) Dec 25, 2003 California

    Another word you can use to describe it is "Willow Tree."
  38. Zorro

    Zorro Poo-Bah (4,897) Dec 25, 2003 California

    Nah yer Lion. :slight_smile:
    SFNC and Kevinpitts like this.
  39. hophugger

    hophugger Poo-Bah (2,320) Mar 5, 2014 Virginia

    Catty flavors (skunky, off putting, dank) flavors are sometimes desirable to ne in a killer IPA. They kind of add a little goodness and complexity to the aroma and to the beer overall, IMO.......
  40. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poo-Bah (2,526) Jan 31, 2005 California
    Society Trader

    When I get it...major negative. Strong onion is a downer too. But a little weedy dank is good.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.