Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Blind Tasting Reveal Time!

For the last five Fridays I've been featuring unnamed blind taste tested session beers, and now it's time to reveal which one was which. Did I guess any correct? And more importantly, which one did I and the rest of the group think was the best?

Beer #1 - We all enjoyed this one, it had a good grapefruit note to it and a solid amount of bitterness. I scored it a 71, compared to the group score of 67.25, and I took a guess, based on the grapefruity profile and high IBU level that this was the Stone Go-To IPA... it turns out that beer #1 was... the Founders All Day IPA! I'm 0/1 so far, but I've been drinking a lot of All Day IPA this football season, so I'm glad to know I scored it well even drinking blind.

Beer #2 - Another good one, but we all scored this one a little lower than Beer #1. I had it at a 67, compared to the group score of 64.5. My guess for this one was the Terrapin RecreationAle, being the only "pale ale" in the group of IPAs... and I was right! That makes 1/2 so far, but three more to go.

Beer #3 - This was the first of two that we didn't enjoy much, with a pungent and funky flavor that didn't hold up to the hops in the first two brews.  I scored it a 50, and it had a group average of 53.75.  I guessed at the Southern Tier Farmer's Tan, mostly because it was one that I didn't know much about and hadn't tried before. Beer #3 actually was... the Sierra Nevada Nooner. This was a bit of a surprise, I really expected better from the good people at Sierra Nevada.

Beer #4 - This is the one we all agreed was the best of the 5, with powerful grapefruit hop bitterness throughout. I scored it a 77, and it had a group average of 71.25. My guess was that this was the Founders All Day IPA, but we now know that that beer was #1, so I'm down to 1/4, and Beer #4, the winner of the day, was actually the Stone Go-To IPA. So, congrats to Stone Brewing! 

Beer #5 - And that leaves Beer #5, one that I thought was a little on the sweet side and a little boring.  It scored a 55 on my sheet, and a 57.5 with the group.  Process of elimination leads to the Southern Tier Farmer's Tan, but I had incorrectly guessed that this was the Sierra Nevada, leaving me 1/5 on the day.  

Most important though, our blind taste test ranks:
1. Stone Go-To IPA (71.25)
2. Founders All Day IPA (67.25)
3. Terrapin RecreationAle (64.5) 
4. Southern Tier Farmer's Tan (57.5)
5. Sierra Nevada Nooner (53.75) 

I'm not surprised that we picked Stone #1, but I am a little surprised at Sierra Nevada bringing up the rear. That's why we tasted them blind though, to eliminate that prejudice and judge solely on the beer. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Feature Beer Friday! - Blind Session Tasting #5

We've made it to the last of the 5-part blind session beer tasting, check back soon for the big reveal and more thoughts on all five beers. As part of the Me & My Big Mouth recording a few months ago, the 4 reviewers listed below decided that we should take on a blind taste test of five session ales.  All were either session IPAs or APAs, but the main point was that we were going to try them all blind, offer up our reviews, and even take a guess as to which beer was which.

The five on the table, arranged so we didn't know which was which by Teresa Day of I Eat BR, were the Stone Go To IPA, Founders All Day IPA, Terrapin RecreationAle, Sierra Nevada Nooner, and Southern Tier Farmer's Tan.

Up now, blind taste test #5...

Reviewers: Eric Ducote (BR Beer Scene), Brenton Day (The Ale Runner), Chuck Pierce (Me And My Big Mouth), and Buddy Ethridge.

Serving: Presented in a Chattanooga Brewing Company pint glass.

Appearance: Clearish, deep amber, probably the darkest of the session beers.

Aroma:
 Bubblegum fruitiness. 


Taste: Sweet and fruity... where are the hops?

Mouthfeel:
 Nothing bad, but nothing good either.

Overall: I found this one to be pretty boring overall, and it scored a 55 with me, for the second lowest score of the group
. I wasn't certain what this one was, but the only one left was Sierra Nevada... I would expect better things from them, but we ended up with two beers that disappointed (#3 and #5) and none of these breweries should be putting out disappointing beer.


Check back on Tuesday for the blind tasting reveal!

Overall Rating: 57.5
My Rating: 55

Friday, October 10, 2014

Feature Beer Friday! - Blind Session Tasting #4

And now it's time for part 4, the second to last in the Feature Beer Friday! blind session beer tasting. As part of the Me & My Big Mouth recording a few months ago, the 4 reviewers listed below decided that we should take on a blind taste test of five session ales.  All were either session IPAs or APAs, but the main point was that we were going to try them all blind, offer up our reviews, and even take a guess as to which beer was which.

The five on the table, arranged so we didn't know which was which by Teresa Day of I Eat BR, were the Stone Go To IPA, Founders All Day IPA, Terrapin RecreationAle, Sierra Nevada Nooner, and Southern Tier Farmer's Tan.

Up now, blind taste test #4...

Reviewers: Eric Ducote (BR Beer Scene), Brenton Day (The Ale Runner), Chuck Pierce (Me And My Big Mouth), and Buddy Ethridge.

Serving: Presented in a Bulldog pint glass.

Appearance: Light amber color, pretty typical for an IPA.

Aroma:
 Strong grapefruit aroma, really very nice. 


Taste: Grapefruit rind bitterness. This beer is heavy on the grapefruit flavors for sure!

Mouthfeel:
 More grapefruit, and that's not a bad thing.

Overall: We all really enjoyed this one, and I ended up scoring it 6 points higher than Session Beer #1 for the highest score yet. My guess was that this was the Founders All Day IPA, but whichever one it ends up being, it's a beer I'll be on the lookout for in the future
.

Overall Rating: 71.25
My Rating: 77

Friday, October 3, 2014

Feature Beer Friday! - Blind Session Tasting #3

Welcome to part 3 of this 5-part blind tasting series... as part of the Me & My Big Mouth recording a few months ago, the 4 reviewers listed below decided that we should take on a blind taste test of five session ales.  All were either session IPAs or APAs, but the main point was that we were going to try them all blind, offer up our reviews, and even take a guess as to which beer was which.

The five on the table, arranged so we didn't know which was which by Teresa Day of I Eat BR, were the Stone Go To IPA, Founders All Day IPA, Terrapin RecreationAle, Sierra Nevada Nooner, and Southern Tier Farmer's Tan.

Up now, blind taste test #3...

Reviewers: Eric Ducote (BR Beer Scene), Brenton Day (The Ale Runner), Chuck Pierce (Me And My Big Mouth), and Buddy Ethridge.

Serving: Presented in an Abita Brewing pint glass.

Appearance: Very clear, bubbly, with a bit of an orange hue.

Aroma:
 Pungent and funky. 


Taste: Weak, not a lot of flavor going on in this one. 

Mouthfeel:
 Lingering funkiness, not much bitter at all.

Overall: I was not a big fan of this one at all compared to the first two, although it scored above 50 for us
.  My initial guess was that this was the Southern Tier Farmer's Tan, but that could certainly be wrong... check back in a few weeks to find out.

Overall Rating: 53.75
My Rating: 50

Friday, September 26, 2014

Feature Beer Friday! - Blind Session Tasting #2

This Feature Beer Friday! and the next 3 following it are going to take on a bit of a different feel... as part of the Me & My Big Mouth recording a few months ago, the 4 reviewers listed below decided that we should take on a blind taste test of five session ales.  All were either session IPAs or APAs, but the main point was that we were going to try them all blind, offer up our reviews, and even take a guess as to which beer was which.

The five on the table, arranged so we didn't know which was which by Teresa Day of I Eat BR, were the Stone Go To IPA, Founders All Day IPA, Terrapin RecreationAle, Sierra Nevada Nooner, and Southern Tier Farmer's Tan.

Up now, blind taste test #2...

Reviewers: Eric Ducote (BR Beer Scene), Brenton Day (The Ale Runner), Chuck Pierce (Me And My Big Mouth), and Buddy Ethridge.

Serving: Presented in a NOLA Brewing pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy, a lighter tone than beer #1.

Aroma:
 More faint than #1, with the malt coming through a little stronger. Brenton also noted it as less hoppy than the first offering. 


Taste: More bitter than the aroma would indicate, closer to #1 on the taste profile than the aroma, but still a little more on the balanced side. 

Mouthfeel:
 Lingering bitterness, but more full than the first beer.

Overall: I didn't like this one quite as much as Session Beer #1, and the scores across the board reflected a similar opinion. Still, it was a very respectable offering and one I'd drink again
. My guess was that this was the Terrapin RecreationAle, which is why it was a little less hoppy than what I guessed was the Stone Go To IPA in glass #1. We had also recently tried the Terrapin offering in a non-blind taste test, where I scored it a 78.  This one received a little lower marks, so if it is the same beer, it just goes to show how varied scores can be and perception can be, especially tasting blind and comparing to other similar beers.

Overall Rating: 64.5
My Rating: 67

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Louisiana Craft Brewers Week Continues...

We are now getting into the real "meat" of Craft Brewers Week. I hope some of you made it out the last few nights to try the Gnarly Barley / Chafunkta collaboration or a few sour beers from Tin Roof, but if not, there is still plenty more craft beer week to go!

Tonight will be one of the biggest events, the Louisiana Craft Brewers Bash at The Irish House in New Orleans.  I'll be there for sure, and also hopefully will be making a stop at Avenue Pub to try some Parish stouts and I'm sure the plenty of other good stuff they'll have on tap. 

If you can't make it to New Orleans tonight, then I'd highly recommend an afternoon trip on Sunday to the "Make Pour Decisions" party at NOLA Brewing where they plan on rolling out 18 (yes, EIGHT-TEEN) beers for the event. If you can't make it to New Orleans at all, there will be a couple of chances to catch Abita's pumpkin and peach SOS in Baton Rouge.

Happy drinking!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Louisiana Craft Brewers Week Is Here!

So, it's here, one of the best beer weeks in the state, Louisiana Craft Brewers Week! I posted last week about a full lineup of events in the BR/Northshore/NOLA area, but here's the link to that again.

For tonight though, you have two opportunities to check out the Gnarly Barley / Chafunkta collaboration brew in Baton Rouge! The beer details have been announced, and it's an 8% Black IPA named "Black Tooth Grin." The beer will be tapped at the Chimes East at 5 PM, and at The Pelican House at 8 PM. These will be the only Baton Rouge events featuring the beer, and it's likely to move fast. 

Also, be sure to get your ticket for the Louisiana Brewers Bash at The Irish House in New Orleans this Wednesday.  Nine breweries from Louisiana will be featured with two special beers each. I'm really looking forward to this one.

(Yes, I know this is last year's logo... but I don't think a new one was put out?)