Herb / Spice / Fruit / Experimental / Historical
Blind Beer Tasting
Joanne, Kerri, and Mark await their first sips!
Owen Ogletree (director of Brewtopia Events LLC) gathered together Joanne Maki, Mark King, Kerri Allen, Gail Graves, and Dean Graves on November 22, 2003 in Colbert, Georgia for a tasting/evaluation of some very unique and unusual beers. This beer sampling was done as a blind tasting where no one was aware of the brands that were being served. Beers were informally commented upon and ranked according to Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guidelines. (Brief BJCP descriptions are shown below.) First, second, third places, and honorable mentions were awarded to the beers we felt represented their individual styles in extraordinary fashion. Because of the excellent quality of each of these beers, it was very difficult to decide on awards (this explains our two honorable mentions). Drop Owen an email to share your comments and opinions.
Commercial Beers -- Blind Tasting Comments...
More beer destinations on our Brewtopia Events webpage...
SPECIALTY, EXPERIMENTAL, HISTORICAL BEERAny ale or lager beer brewed using unusual techniques (hot rocks, etc.), unique fermentables (such as maple syrup, honey, etc.), unique adjuncts (oats, rye, potatoes, etc.), low alcohol, combinations of fruits and spices/herbs/vegetables, or historical beers (Entire, IPA with Brettanomyces, Louvain Peeterman, etc.). Experimental beers that do not otherwise meet the other established style categories may be entered here.
SPICE/HERB/FRUIT/VEGETABLE BEEROverall balance is the key to presenting a well-made spice, herb, fruit or vegetable (SHFV) beer. The SHFV should complement the original style and not overwhelm it. The brewer should recognize that some combinations of base beer styles and SHFVs work well together while others do not make for harmonious combinations. The best SHFV beers are made with real spices, herbs, fruit, and/or vegetables (not extracts or artificial flavorings), and these ingredients should be apparent in aroma, flavor, and sometimes in the appearance.
Two Druids Gruit Ale
Traquair Jacobite Ale
Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale
Sweetwater Festive Ale 2003
Sweetwater Brewing Co. – Atlanta, GA, USA
Aroma: Piney and spicy with coffee hints. There are also cherry and almond notes in the nose.
Appearance: Almost black with ruby hints and nice tan foam.
Flavor: Woody and slightly burnt/roasty in flavor. Mineral-like and malty with hints of complexity -- spice, juniper, chocolate. This tastes a bit like a regular, dry Porter. Would be better with more holiday spice character.
Ancient ale with barley, honey, white muscat grapes, and saffron.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – Milton, DE, USA
Aroma: Mild aromas of muscat grapes and honey.
Appearance: Clear and golden in color -- quite beautiful.
Flavor: Honey, flowers, sugar -- a bit cloying. This tastes quite strong in alcohol and is full-bodied. Not very complex or spicy in flavor. This beer is very mead-like with a thick mouthfeel. Could use more dryness and spice-like complexity.
Grant's Mandarin Hefeweizen
Beer with malted wheat, cascade hops, and mandarin orange
Yakima Brewing & Malting Co. – Yakima, WA, USA
Aroma: Mandarin oranges and wheat. Very appealing and unique aroma.
Appearance: Golden and quite clear.
Flavor: More thin than the aroma would lead one to believe. There is a wheaty flavor with hints of orange peel and grapefruit. The flavor starts out citrusy and ends dry and bitter. There is a light mouthfeel that is reminiscent of a Belgian Wit. Could use more wheat and more orange. A very drinkable, refreshing ale.
© 2003 Brewtopia Events LLC