Apparently, beer sitting in a shipwreck for 170 years tastes about as skunky as you’d expect. Just as the scientists who smelled the funk off of a brew fitting that description in 2010. When they popped one open and took a whiff, the funk rivaled a middle school boys’ locker room.
The bigger question was if that was how the stuff was supposed to taste. That bore investigation. This the point in my research posts where the scientists torment some mice for answers. Not this time. Sorry to disappoint you.
In this case, the research team ran electrical fields through the expired booze to figure out what the hell it probably tasted like. One was probably a fruitier beer with sweet apple and rose hints while the other favored hops. They were probably more sour than what we’re used to, though. Brewers back then lacked a technique to hold off bacteria that produces acid in the mashes.