Today I hosted round one of the Oregon IPA Invitational blind taste test challenge. I brought bottles of some of the biggest breweries in the state: Bridgeport, Full Sail, Widmer Brothers, and Deschutes. Sarah poured six 6 oz. servings for my brothers, my dad, and I. In the end they all had opinions along with my sisters, and everyone else in tasting distance.
Our first beer was a very classic IPA, earthy, orange peel. The beer coated the tongue and left a healthy bitterness. It was the immediate favorite.
Beer number two was an instant change. It was completely different. The bitterness was more like old coffee and stuck around a bit longer. Compared to beer one, it fell flat. No citrus or pine notes, just bitter.
Number three was the lightest tasting beer in the group. It was not very bitter with a hint of citrus. It had the texture of soapy water and left a greasy feeling on my tongue. It was better than number two, but trailed number one.
Our last beer was polarizing. Even just sniffing it people started talking about fields of green and fresh soil. The taste brought to mind basil and mint. Veronica said it would be perfect for a warm summer evening. Others panned it outright. I liked the basil personally, but it is a bit unorthodox.
Beer one was Deschutes Brewing’s Inversion IPA, and it won the gold with a heavy margin. Just as I suspected. Beer two was Full Sail’s IPA, and came in third with a few ranking it second or fourth. Beer three was from Bridgeport which won the silver medal. A pretty solid beer. The last beer was obviously the Spiced IPA from Widmer Brothers. I liked it, but it came in last.
The next part of Widmer Brothers Rotator series is this Spiced IPA. There is a nice grapefruit note in the nose, not much spice in there. The taste is dominated by the citrus hops and a bitter end. That might be the tea, or it could just be the hops. It’s hard to taste the difference. There is a nice piney aftertaste. I guess the spices are lost in the middle there. Between the citrus and the pine is a hint of pepper. I don’t taste the anise or other spices.