Tag Archives: DIPA

Blind taste test

Brewforia hosted a tasting today that was a bit unconventional. For a small fee, you could sample a few ounces each of 6 Imperial or “Double” IPAs and score them on several standard beer judging categories. Aroma, taste, appearance etc. The idea was to gather a cross section of beer lovers’ opinions and preferences on this high profile beer style on without knowing before which beers they were exactly. Kind of a way to cut through the hype and see if the highly rated brews that have some what of a snob appeal a d cult following match up when the tasters are not staring at the bottle label the whole time. For instance, could you pick out “Pliny the Elder” for example, in a blind line up, or are you just so swayed by the hype that if somone gave you any other decent big IPA and told you that’s what it is, would your taste buds concur with the conclusions you have already made. This is the only true way.
All 6 samples were served in tulip glasses and were quite cold. A scoring sheet was provided with 1-10 check boxes for some of the categories and 1-20 on a couple others. A 100 point maximum was possible.
I must say I surprised myself on how underwhelmed I was in general with all of them. Now I thought of myself as fairly knowledgeable on these big hoppy beers but I was progressively more and more disappointed as I tasted each one hoping to find at least a couple that I loved.
Most had a very sharp harsh papery bitterness that I knew was the 80+ IBUs rearing their ugly head, but I didn’t get much of that if hop flavor from most of them. 1 stood out from the rest to me, being flavorful as well as bitter and it turned out to be a local brewery just 50 miles away.
Beer Valley “Leafer Madness” was my favorite and it also turned out to be the aggregate favorite of the 20+ participants in this little taste test, beating out such heavy weights as Stone’s “Ruination” and Dog Fish Head’s “120 min IPA”
I suppose the point was proved, hype and reputation play a part in our “objective” opinions And this unofficial and unscientific experiment should lend at east a little support and vindication for the little guys in this competitive arena of “Craft Beer”