In lieu of the normal training session activities that I normally give my panel on Thursday mornings, I decided to switch it up a bit today and present them a number of IPAs to judge. Each one was purchased from a local grocery store or specialty beer/wine store, and was tasted blind by the panel of 11 tasters. I asked them to throw out any term or descriptor they could think of, and when we finished with that I went around the room and asked them express their preference for each sample on a 1-10 scale (10 being the best beer they’ve ever had). Below are the terms that were used for each sample, as well as the average rating and the range of ratings given for that sample. I’m assembling them here in order of “worst” to “best”.
21st Amendment Brew Free or Die IPA, 12oz cans, packaging info: 1010 0904 (9:04am on 10th day of 2011??)
Rating: 2.45/10 (range: 1-4)
Deschutes Hop Henge, 22oz, packaging info: Best by 6/16/11
Rating: 2.82/10 (1-5)
Alaskan Pilot-Series Imperial IPA, 22oz, packaging info: Best by 8/12/11
Rating: 3.64/10 (3-5)
Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA, 22oz, packaging info: Bottled 1/19/11
Rating: 4.27-10 (2-7)
Dogfish Head 90min IPA, 12oz bottle, no packaging info
Rating: 5.45/10 (4-7)
Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA, 22oz, packaging info: Bottled 3/5/11
Rating: 6.27/10 (4-9)
AND THE NUMBER ONE RATED IPA (from this set, anyway)…
New Belgium Ranger IPA, 12oz cans, packaging info: Canned 3/20/11
Rating: 7/10 (6-8)
So there you have it. I’ll probably do this again with more IPAs in the future, and will definitely do this again with different styles. In fact, I have some of this data for various pilsners from last night, but there were only two of us tasting, so I’ll keep that data to myself for now.
Things that surprised me about this session:
-I’ve always enjoyed the Hop Henge from Deschutes (mentioned it a couple times here), so I’m surprised it landed so far down the list
-How yummy Firestone Walker’s Union Jack was (hadn’t had it before)
-How prolific the panel was with coming up with terms and descriptors. They had a great time with this one.
[edit: added age info]