Monday, July 5, 2010

2010 4th of JulIPA Challenge

Have a hoppy 4th of July? We sure did at the Abqbeergeek compound. Pictured here are the nine selected IPAs for this year's event. Last year we did thirteen beers, but felt that was a bit too many so cut it back this year. Here's how it worked: it was a blind tasting of the all the beers by the oh-so sophisticated-palated participants. Beers were judged on a scale from 1-5 overall. I didn't bother with different judging for color, smell, mouthfeel. That's just too much for me to calculate when all is said and done. Besides, IPAs range in color from straw to caramel to black, so it turns into a what's your favorite color contest. And mouthfeel? That sounds dirty.

What you don't see in this picture is anyone eating the burgers I bought for the event. That's because I picked the cheapest, gnarliest burgers to grill (Flanders brand)and it turns out one of the main ingredients is beef hearts. Not to mention the color of the meat ranged from straw to caramel to black. And don't even ask me about the mouthfeel.

Let's get to the results. I can't take the thought of another hearty meal. I do have to say in advance that last year's number 4, Turtle Mountain IPA, is not represented this year. Sorry. My one friend who lives near there could not make it this year, and I was too busy pouring beer from bottles into growlers. You try filling 18 growlers and cooking up Flander heart and driving to Rio Rancho.
9. Abita Jockamo IPA: 2.2
I judged this way higher than the other drinkers. I know it isn't a coveted IPA but i liked it.
8. Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA, 2.9
This is a popular IPA but I think it varies in batches from good to just bitter tasting.
7. New Belgium Ranger IPA, 3.2
Not too surprised at this ranking.People like or hate Ranger.
6. Il Vicino Wet Mountain IPA, 3.3
Well, that's too bad. Local Il Vicino doesn't fare that well this year. I gave it a 4.1.
5. Ska Modus Hoperandi, 3.6
Modus is very popular in town right now, but I feel it could be just a little less malty.
4. Chama River Jackalope IPA, 3.7
Wow, last year's winner goes down. And i wasn't the biggest fan initially because it need time to warm and open up. Some may not have waited long enough to rate it.
3. Moylan's IPA, 3.8
Two people gave this a 4.75, which I thought was too high. it had the best finish of all the beers.
2. Odell IPA, 3.9
The inaugural IPA Challenge winner. This may have been the favorite smelling beer, though I don't know how you could judge the smell when barbecued beef hearts are competing with hops.
1. Marble IPA , 4.3
Local favorite comes through with the big win! Every year, one IPA stands out to me in our challenge, and this one made me look in the mirror and say, "ARRRGGGHHH! I HATE MYSELF!"
Wait, that is a different issue I have. This was the one that rose above the rest, and I gave it a 4.8. great smell that did not disappoint in the mouthfeel. A great local success story gets another notch in its belt. Congratulations to the hard working crew over at Marble Brewery!


Reid Rivenburgh said...

Sounds like a good time. I don't get to a lot of the local places regularly, but I always put Marble behind Chama. Maybe it's just my tastes. I should give Marble another try, I guess.

If you haven't tried it yet, you should get over to Chama for their Big Lebrewski. It's a great double IPA that's strong enough to wash the taste of those Ned Flanders burgers out of your mouth.

ABQbeergeek said...

Yeah, that Big Lebrewski is great! And I normally agree with you about Chama, but this batch of Marble was just better than the rest.

endometria said...

I know this sites all about the beer, but it's the extraneous stuff I love best. The range on colour of you beefheart burgers. Great stuff...