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The Belgian Mare Says Hello!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Horse Blanket

A short time ago, I was reading some beer reviews in a national magazine. In one of the reviews, the statement was made that the subject beer had a "warm and pleasing horse blanket aroma and flavor". I have seem similar statements many times over the years. While this particular reviewer meant their statement as a compliment, it set me to thinking.

I have a long association with horses, currently I own three, and it has never crossed my mind to taste their blankets. In fact I cannot imagine it would be very pleasant at all. Ever see what the water looks like after washing one of those things? This leads me to believe that those who created and continue to propagate this description have never been particularly intimate with a real horse blanket.

Yet why does the description of beer as having horse blanket aroma/taste continue to be used? My best guess is that it was used once and became a catch phrase and, like most catch phrases, became so over used that it lost any association with its origin. No literal meaning remains.

These days the "horse blanket" description is most used in reference to Guinness, which to me tastes nothing like a what I would imagine a horse blanket to taste like. I wonder if the first beer so described really did taste like a horse blanket. If it did, I would bet that is why no one remembers it.

Would you really want to taste my blanket?


  1. I've seen that description quite a few times myself, but mostly for saisons or Belgian farmhouse ales - spontaneously fermented beers - and often tied to the word "funky." I never thought a "funky horse-blanket" taste sounded appealing, but something about the exotic, out of the ordinary description always made me want to try those beers. It's like putting a farm in a bottle. I remember tasting an oak-aged wee heavy once and thinking, "This really tastes like damp, rotting oak leaves... but it's damn good!" People and their imaginations... what're you gonna do?

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  2. Haha I agree this term is baffling. I found this post after searching for "horse blanket flavor" after seeing it used in a beer review on the facebook Beerseek application. There was a guy who was rating beers 10/10 while giving them descriptions like "barnyard aroma" and "horse blanket".

  3. Have either of you guys ever used kensington horse blankets? I haven't decided what kind of blankets I want to get for my horses, but the ones they have are getting all worn out.

  4. Like it or not I think that some Brett beers do have a fecal smell to them, or bile, or sweaty armpit, stinky feet, etc. horse blankets It can definitely be interpreted that way, and I am not sure there are better descriptors out there.

  5. I`ve read so many articles about blankets I could scream. the average tells me no blankets for heavy coated horse blankets because it flattens the part that insulates. I do put them in when windy or wet. But NO blankets.Lots of hay and water . I`m not sure if it`s right.