Friday, February 13, 2015

Irish IPAs - Poker School Blind Tasting

So it was my turn to host Poker, and I decided to mix it up by MCing a blind tasting of four Irish IPAs. I attempted to pick four similar Pale Ales, in terms of style, abv etc. This wasn't a selection of my favourites, btw. Of late I have been loving White Hag IPA, and Herself has been guzzling the classic Brewdog Punk IPA.

Anyhoo, after we had been playing for a couple of hours I brought out the beers, in unmarked plastic (?) cups to Alan, Josie, Brian and Paud. The scores are below, although I was obviously not tasting blind...

Beer1 Beer2 Beer3 Beer4
Alan 6 5 6 9
Josie 7 5 6 7
Brian 8 6 7 6
Paud 7 5 6 8
YHB 7 6 7 5

Total 28 21 25 30

There were some interesting comments too..

Beer 1 - "Flowers", "Fruity", "Pleasant"
Beer 2 - "Excrement", "Doesn't smell as good", "More Bitter. Less pleasant after taste"
Beer 3 - "Flowers", "Better than last one"
Beer 4 - "Mild taste of seamen" (sic), "Tastes like lager", "Sweetly interesting", "Bland"

So here are the beers revealed:

Beer 1: Black's Kinsale Pale Ale 5.0% abv
Beer 2: Trouble Brewing Sabotage India Pale Ale 5.5% abv
Beer 3: Galway Bay Full Sail IPA  5.8% abv
Beer 4: O'Hara's Irish Pale Ale 5.2% abv

The last comment is mine. After the bold flavours of beers 2 & 3, I found Beer 4 a bit lacking. And I really like O'Hara's, especially on draught, and although it did win, it would have fared better (with me) if it had come up before 2 &3. I liked the Black's IPA (as always) and the Galway Bay, which I tend to only drink when I am in Against The Grain but is pretty solid in bottles.

As for the Poker, I finished "up" on the night, courtesy of four bullets in the last hand, if you can't be good, be lucky.

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