On the heels of the taste test I did between Founders All Day IPA and Stone Go To IPA a couple weeks back, yesterday I was able to partake in a blind taste test between several session IPAs. I had a few friends over, including Chuck P from the Me & My Big Mouth Radio/Podcast, Eric from BR Beer Scene and my buddy, Buddy. We had recorded a radio show doing reviews of various beers, then started recording a podcast. This proved to be a good opportunity to break out 5 different session IPAs to do a blind tasting.
The session IPAs we tasted were, in no particular order, Founders All Day IPA, Southern Tier Farmer’s Tan, Sierra Nevada Nooner (only available in the 4-Way IPA sampler pack), Terrapin RecreationAle, and Stone Go To IPA.
The beers were poured by my dear wife in the kitchen and brought to us on the patio where we were recording. We tasted 5 different beers, and recorded scores for them based on appearance (15 points), aroma (25 points), flavor/taste (40 points) and mouthfeel (20 points).
My score sheets are with Eric to be used in a future Feature Beer Friday column, so I’m going from memory here. However, two of the beers stood out among the five as the clear leaders, and it was pretty unanimous. The Founders All Day IPA edged the Stone Go To IPA out by a hair in my scoring. The Go To IPA had the best aroma by far of all the beers we tried. In fact, the high scores in the aroma category are what carried this beer to such a high overall finish. The initial flavor had a bit of a grapefruit rind bitterness on the first few sips, and it lost some points there. After those few sips, it seemed to dissipate, or I just got used to it. The Founders All Day IPA had a nice aroma and was just an overall good beer from start to finish.
Both of those beers stood out from the pack, and surprisingly, the Sierra Nevada Nooner was the least enjoyable of the five. That was also unanimous. The Terrapin and Southern Tier offerings were good and I could easily drink them, but for my money, I’ll stick to the Stone Go To IPA and Founders All Day IPA. If the Founders All Day IPA had the aroma of the Stone Go To IPA, I’d have my perfect session IPA.
The blind taste test is something I need to do more of, as it really helps eliminate any bias you have towards or against a certain brewery. I’m looking forward to trying this with different styles.
Make sure you keep tabs on the BR Beer Scene blog for the full reviews of these beers as well as a multitude of others that we did yesterday.