Friday, April 22, 2016

Left Turn - Double IPA Blind Tasting Results

Okay.  So one of the primary reasons I started this blog was so I could post double IPA blind tasting results.  These are fairly unscientific, but fun.

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After 10 tastings, it's time for a summary...

These beers were tested (in very rough ranking order):
COAST Boyking
Fiddlehead 2nd Fiddle
Odell Myrcenary
Firestone Walker Double Jack
AleSmith Double IPA
Westbrook Two Claw
Upper Pass Cloud Drop
Prairie Phantasmagoria
Alaskan Hopothermia
Frost Beer Works Slush
Russian River Pliny the Elder
Alchemist Heady Topper
Alchemist Focal Banger
Lawson's Sip of Sunshine
18th Street ZERO Discipline
Southern Barrel Slippery Slope 
Southern Tier 2xIPA 
Stone Ruination 2.0
Second Fiddle Mastermind
Alchemist Crusher
Shmaltz She Brew
Shmaltz Wishbone
Firestone Walker Leo vs. Ursus Fortem
Foley Brothers Fair Maiden
Foley Brothers Pieces of Eight
Benford Problem Solver
Westbrook Three Claw

Tied for the top, without questions:
COAST Boyking
Fiddlehead 2nd Fiddle
Odell Myrcenary

Serious Contenders:
Firestone Walker Double Jack
Alaskan Hopothermia
Prairie Phantasmagoria
Westbrook Two Claw
AleSmith Double IPA
Upper Pass Cloud Drop

Awesome, but not best ever:
Russian River Pliny the Elder
Alchemist Heady Topper and Focal Banger
Lawson Sip of Sunshine
Frost Slush

Bottom Dwellers:
Three Claw...boring
FW Fortem...bleh
Shmaltz She Brew and Wishbone

None of the beers tested were bad, and the top ranks of every tasting were super close every time.
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I will keep up to date:

Test 1:
Alchemist Heady Topper (Waterbury, VT)
Fiddlehead Second Fiddle (Shelburne, VT)

3 tasters

2nd Fiddle wins 3 to 0

Test 2:
Fiddlehead Second Fiddle (Shelburne, VT)
Coast BoyKing (North Charleston, SC)
Southern Tier 2xIPA (Lakewood, NY)
Stone Ruination 2.0 (San Marcos, CA)

4 tasters

2 tasters had Second Fiddle #1, BoyKing #2
2 tasters had Boyking #1, 2nd Fiddle #2

Test 3:
Coast Boyking (North Charleston, SC)
Russian River Pliny the Elder (Santa Rosa, CA)

3 tasters

Boyking wins 3 to 0

Test 4
just for the hell of it,
All Alchemist ipa's...

Heady Topper H
Focal Banger F
Crusher C

4 tasters...

0 consensus

Favorite...C,F,H,H
Second... H,C,C,F
Last...F,H,F,C

Test 5:
Pitting Lawsons Sip of Sunshine against the reigning champions...

COAST BoyKing
Fiddlehead Second Fiddle
Lawson's Sip of Sunshine

5 tasters
4 of 5 had Lawson's last, though all but one loved it - this is a battle of heavyweights after all.
2 had Boyking 1 2nd Fiddle 2
3 had 2nd Fiddle #1, 2 of whom had Boyking #2

2nd Fiddle a slight edge, but we're going to call it still a tie because one of the tasters was an unreliable IPA hater.

We will see what happens when we put the 2 against some west coast and denver big boys in the fall.

Test 6:

Odell Myrcenary
COAST BoyKing
Fiddlehead 2nd Fiddle
Foley Brothers Fair Maiden

4 tasters
A little all over the place...
3 of 4 had Myrcenary as best (one had 3rd)
Boyking was a solid 2nd
Second Fiddle was a little skunked - might have kept too long.
Fair Maiden was solid last place

Test 7:

COAST BoyKing
Fiddlehead 2nd Fiddle
Foley Brothers Pieces of Eight
Firestone Walker Double Jack
Alaskan Hopothermia

5 tasters
2nd fiddle a solid #1
Double Jack #2
Maybe Alaskan 3rd, Boyking 4th...maybe vice versa
Foley Brothers Last

Test 8:
Second Fiddle
18th Street ZERO Discipline
Prairie Phantasmagoria
Westbrook Three Claw

2nd Fiddle was solid winner again
Prairie was close 2nd, but was different in a good, but non double IPA way.  Three claw was boring.

Test 9:
Second Fiddle
Westbrook Two Claw
3 Floyd's Warmullet

Warmullet was a disappointment but okay.  Many people had a rough time deciding between 2nd Fiddle and Two Claw, but finally decided 2nd Fiddle was the winner.  Almost included Two Claw in the clear winners category, but will wait until we can compare to Boyking and a few others.  2nd Fiddle has beaten dozens of contenders, Two Claw has been in on me one tasting.

Test 10:
Second Fiddle
Firestone Walker Fortem
Frost Beer Works Slush

Second Fiddle dominated again.  Slush was good.  Fortem was meh.

Test 11:
Second Fiddle
Southern Barrel
Shmaltz She Brew
Shmaltz Wishbone
AleSmith Double IPA
Upper Pass Cloud Drop
Benford Problem Solver

The surprise was problem solver coming in last.  AleSmith, Second Fiddle and Cloud Drop were a virtual tie for the top.

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