Blind Tasting: Breakfast Stout Edition

4 Mar

I had a nice beer weekend the last couple of days. I actually brewed on both days this weekend.

Saturday was a wheat ale with Steen’s cane syrup along the lines of Parish Canebrake. This one will be served to the runners of the Equinox 50K, 25K and 10 mile trail races on March 23rd. It should be a refreshing spring beer.

And Sunday was my peanut butter chocolate stout, which is for the Zapp’s International Beer Fest in Baton Rouge on April 6th.

Saturday was pretty chilly, so it was perfect stout weather. I got an idea to do a blind tasting of a few breakfast stouts that I had on hand. With my wife’s help (she poured each of the three beers into different glasses, then brought them outside to me), I was able to taste three different breakfast stouts without a label to judge them by.

Beer #1 had a mild coffee aroma that was pleasing. The taste also had a coffee and chocolate flavor, and the finish was slightly boozy.

Beer #2 had a huge fresh ground coffee bean aroma, and the taste was much of the same. I am not a coffee drinker (mainly because I really dislike hot drinks), but this one was so full of flavor and the robust aroma was perfect. This was my favorite of the bunch.

Beer #3 had little coffee aroma and tasted to me, like a typical smooth stout with some slight chocolate flavors. Perhaps it was due to the huge coffee aroma and flavor of Beer #2, but I just didn’t get much out of this one, at least coffee-wise.

So what were the 3 beers? See below:

Beer #1 – Founders Breakfast Stout
Beer #2 – Terrapin Wake-n-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout
Beer #3 – Santa Fe Imperial Java Stout

I went 0 for 3 in picking which beer was which, but it had been a while since I had tried any of them. Even so, I’m not sure I could have ID’d them correctly anyway. But what I did discover was that it is very interesting to try a few beers of a similar style together, but without labels to help me judge them. I was somewhat surprised by how much more I enjoyed the Terrapin over the Founders. The Founders was really good, but the Terrapin really took the coffee to another level. And I’ve enjoyed the coffee flavor of the Santa Fe in the past, but it just didn’t hold up to the other two.

I plan to do something similar with some other beers of the same style. My thoughts immediately jump to Belgian Quads and Double IPA’s. I’m sure I can come up with some others as well.

Anyway, the blind tasting was very eye opening, and I look forward to doing it more often. And I’d definitely recommend you give it a shot if you can as well.

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2 Responses to “Blind Tasting: Breakfast Stout Edition”

  1. Scott Higgins March 4, 2013 at 11:44 AM #

    I love Founders beers but I agree that the Terrapin wins out on this version of a Stout. Lot’s of depth in Oatmeal Imperial. Great beer.

    • The Ale Runner March 4, 2013 at 11:53 AM #

      It really was a great way to judge beers of similar styles without any preconceived notions or favoritism by brewery. Can’t wait to try it again with other styles.

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