Tuesday, May 5, 2015

IPA Blind Tasting

Last month, a website called Paste presented a list of 116 American IPAs, ranked based on a blind tasting of all the beers.  I liked the fairness of the methodology but do not fully agree with all the results, but since I have not tasted most of the listed IPAs, my opinion could be wrong.  Paste only ranked the top fifty beers, and chose to list beers 51 to 116 in random order, but we all know Redhook's Longhammer IPA must have anchored the bottom at 116.  The top beer was White Rajah IPA, from Ohio's The Brew Kettle (yeah, I had never heard of The Brew Kettle either).  Coming in at third was Ballast Point's Grapefruit Sculpin, the highest rated San Diego beer.  I like this distinctive beer but prefer regular Sculpin, which placed 20th.   Other San Diego beers in the top fifty include Stone's new Delicious IPA (6), Alesmith IPA (23), and Port Brewing's Wipeout IPA (48).  Stone IPA and Coronado's Islander IPA were the only other San Diego beers on the list and they did not make the top fifty.    In a blind tasting of IPAs, I hope I would have had the ability to place Stone IPA and Russian River's Blind Pig in the top fifty.


Mark said...

Wow, PA fares poorly here, only 1 beer on the list (and a lackluster one at that). I guess our best stuff is draft only (Tired Hands, Selin's Grove, Forest & Main, etc...) but you'd think it would be simple enough to line up a Hop Devil. Seems they were relying on breweries to send them beer though, and PA beer laws are pretty draconian, so perhaps that explains it.

Really surprised that Blind Pig didn't make the top 50, and I really hope I'd be up to the task of ranking it well...

Beer Rover said...

I agree that the testers relied on brewers providing samples, which excluded some good draft-only breweries. Even with the methodology to ensure blind tasting, it is still impacted by personal biases. I guess it's hard to eliminate that. I'm still scratching my head on Blind Pig and Stone IPA.

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