Blind Taste of Ohio IPAs from The Brew Review Crew
A few weeks back we got in a discussion with the guys from The Brew Review Crew on Twitter. One thing led to another, and they proposed that both of our blogs do some kind of a collaboration. That sounded like a great idea — but what?
We’re in San Diego, they’re in Ohio, and after kicking a few ideas around we collectively agreed on a blind beer tasting of Ohio and California beers. But why not kick it up a notch and do all IPAs? So we sent them four San Diego top contenders (more on that in a future post), and received a care package of their local / regional choices in return. We decided on all single American IPAs, not doubles or triples, not spiked with Brett, or the ever-so-popular fruit infused varietals.
We were really looking forward to trying what Brew Review Crew handpicked, especially as a solid sample set of what an India Pale Ale is all about from another region in America. Not to sound “coastist”, but you always hear the stereotype that India Pale Ales get less hop forward and maltier the further you head east.
After drinking these ales, they were definitely a touch maltier and inherently more balanced than what we typically find here in San Diego. We had a great time doing this blind tasting, and thank The BRC for proposing this fun event. We’d love to do this again sometime, guys!
Ohio IPA Images
Our Blind Tasting of Ohio IPAs
Both parties shipped the beers out concealed in numbered brown paper bags, as pictured above.
With our handy Blind Tasting Note Sheet, we both drank 6 oz pours of each beer blind to decide which was the winner. After that we went back through to take some photographs, and write about each beer in further detail with another 6oz pour.
Here’s the results of the Ohio IPA blind tasting:
- The Brew Kettle — White Raja: 2.5/5
Specs: 6.8%, 70 IBUs
In retrospect, things did not get off to a good start, since our first beer of the flight ended up being our least favorite. Obviously we had never tried White Raja before, but in its defense it was starting to show signs of heading downhill, and would have loved to taste it in its prime. It poured a cloudy orange color, with an earthy and straw-like aroma, underneath some banana. This was a malty IPA with an orange peel finish.
- Madtree Brewing Company — PsycHOPathy: 3.5/5
Specs: 6.9%, 70 IBUs
This beer was Sara’s second favorite, and Mike’s third. Its aroma was very pleasing with mild grain, peach, and pineapple. PsycHOPathy was the closest to a West Coast style IPA in this tasting from its bright golden body and crisp dry finish, which Sara really gravitated to. On the delicate side, it offered mellow yet juicy flavors of citrus and tangerine.
- Fat Head’s Brewery — Head Hunter IPA: 4/5
Specs: 7.5%, 87 IBUs
Our unanimous favorite of the flight. It was hazy copper in appearance, with a tall stack of foam that sheeted the whole glass. Head Hunter offered a malty aroma, but plenty of orange citrus leaked through. There was a very nice balance to this beer, yet it was also the most hop forward ale of the bunch, with lasting orange and tangerine bitterness in the finish.
- Rhinegeist Brewery — Truth IPA: 3.5/5
Specs: 7.2%, 75 IBUs
This beer was Mike’s second favorite, and Sara’s third. Truth featured a slight grainy aroma, and was mild on the palate as well. It was quite tasty, but didn’t have as much of a hop presence as you would expect in an IPA — more like a pale ale. It did have 75 IBUs, so maybe it just hid them well. Primarily floral up front, with damp pine needles or spruce in the finish.