Everyone hates to see bland and non-descriptive beer descriptions such as "hoppy" or "malty" (see Mark's post here for a great analysis) but there is sometimes a danger it can go the other way. Superlative descriptors and elaborate adjectives seem to do the rounds, I don't blame people for using them...maybe they've seen it used somewhere else and decide to shoe horn it into their descriptions or perhaps tehy've always used them but only recently become noticable. Here are my top 10 to avoid:
1. Unctuous: used in reviews to describe something moreish and silky, a better description would be to go for texture.
2. Hop Sack (dusty or otherwise): used by Zak Avery in his 500 beers book, how many regular beer drinkers know what a hop sack smells like? Is it just a slightly musty fresh hop smell, or amixture of hops and hessian? Or do they use plastic sacks these days?
3. Funky (to describe a Brett fermented beer): funky means a bad smell, perhaps some people find the aroma unpleasant but surely if the descriptions of horse-blanket and mouth-puckering sour weren't enough to put people off then this would? Or is it a conspiracy to keep lambics for beer-geeks?
4. "In my top # beers" be honest, you don't have a fixed x number of beers that are your favourite, let the review speak for itself and leave the summing up for the end of the year
I failed in my task to find a top ten, perhaps there aren't as many words as I'd thought, or maybe I haven't been remembering well enough! I open up the floor to other contributions and please leave the clichés and flowery language to the world of wine!
Of course it would be remiss of me to not include a disclaimer, as I'm sure I may have been (or possibly will be) guilty of using any and all of these at some point. Blame the beer.