ipa_taste_test - 2

#13: Guinness Nitro IPA

I was actually looking forward to this one since I’ve had nitro brews before that have been really creamy and delicious (I’m thinking of you, Nitro Dale’s Pale Ale). However, this particular Nitro IPA from Guinness really didn’t do it for any of our reviewers.

On the one hand, reviewers enjoyed the creamy head, the smooth (but flat) mouth feel, and caramel / toffee notes. On the other hand, some said it was low on hops and had a rubbery, dry, latex glove-like aftertaste. Paul hit it right on the head when he said this beer has an “English pub malty” flavor. Not exactly what we’re looking for in an IPA.

#12: Abita Wrought Iron IPA

Abita beer is brewed in Louisiana and is known (at least regionally) for their Purple Haze raspberry pilsner / wheat beer. Their IPA? Not so much. Aaron wrote that it wasn’t a bad beer, but not an IPA (a conclusion that all of us drew on at least one beer during the tasting). There were definite notes of fruit, but a couple of us said the fruit taste seemed almost artificial, like JujyFruits or at the very least, dried fruit. More than one reviewer noted the beer tasted sweet in a good way.

However, notes of soy sauce and a stinky aftertaste didn’t do much to buoy this IPA in our rankings.

#11: Founders All Day IPA

Founders, out of Grand Rapids, MI has a loyal following in the midwest and beyond, so I was excited to include their All Day IPA in our test. To be fair, this is a session IPA so it has the lowest ABV of all the IPAs in our test, and it was the first beer we tasted. I actually finished off the rest of the six pack in the week after our test and really enjoyed this beer, though for whatever reason it didn’t poll well during our taste test.

Almost all of us noted the beer appeared slightly cloudy or turbid, and that the beer tasted fresh and bubbly. Some noted a bitter aftertaste and a slightly malty flavor. Overall, no one thought it was a bad beer, just that it was a little generic and boring.

# Comments

  • mlombar17

    Wicked Weed “Pernicious” is the best IPA I’ve ever had. Brewed in Asheville, NC. Ballast Point Grapefuit Sculpin (San Diego) is a close second in my book.

    • Aaron Chamberlain

      Good call on the Wicked Weed. I went there over NYE and was very impressed.

  • SilverHeiHei

    Rhinegeist Truth (Cincinnati, OH) is easily better than any beer on this list. Upland Dragonfly (Bloomington, IN) is another amazing brew and let’s not forget Brewery Vivant’s W.I.P.A. Snappa (Grand Rapids, MI). This seems like a pretty weak list…

  • Aaron Chamberlain

    My INSERT NAME OF LOCAL BREWERY WITH EXTREMELY LIMITED DISTRIBUTION OF THEIR PRODUCTS is way better than any of the other beers on this list. If more than 10 people have access to a beer, it obviously cannot be any good.

    • Greg Heil

      If a beer is distributed AT ALL, it can’t be worth drinking… local brew pubs with beer only available on draft are the only places I go to drink. +10 for homebrews that aren’t available for sale whatsoever.

      (…just make sure you don’t look in my fridge)

  • k2rider

    I’m not a beer drinker but this was a very well written article. The comments so far, not so much. People saying that “X” beer is absolutely better than 12 others in a BLIND taste test is silly.

    • finerbiner

      The list of beers chosen for the test was poor. There could be no quality conclusion that comes from bad data.

    • Jeff Barber

      I think our data and methodology is good, it’s just that our results are limited to the beers we tested. Since Singletracks has such a geographically diverse audience, our intention was to pick several IPAs that are readily available from breweries with wide distribution. If there is some super fresh, local IPA available or your buddy has a recommendation–get that one! If not, I suggest snagging one of the top 5 on our list and you’ll probably be satisfied.

      Maybe this doesn’t need to be said but everyone’s tastes are different so there’s no real conclusion that can be drawn from ANY taste test, even if it includes every beer ever and the panel has thousands of people on it. The result will always be an average of peoples’ tastes, not an individual’s specific preference.

    • Dave A

      Jeff… have to agree w finerbiner above …. none of these IPA’s would make the top 50 in a US wide test [ your readership ], you need a better beer distribution store in your area/or more work/research on RateBeer.com [ average of peoples tastes …. ] …. no Stone, no Green Flash, no reps from northeast; Neshaminey Creek, Otto’s, Lost Abby, etc …. or Midwest….. and on and on ….

      Got my attention…. just missed the mark !!

    • Jeff Barber

      Haha Dave, I thought about just writing an article listing the top 10 IPAs according to RateBeer.com, but what’s the fun in that? 🙂 Also, the whole (tongue-in-cheek) premise of this test is that mountain bikers have specific IPA tastes which need to be studied.

  • bicycle640

    Faves available in the bay area:
    Racer 5 from Bear Republic
    Drakes IPA and Pale Ale
    Sierra Nevada Pale and Hop Hunter IPA
    Stone Brewing IPA and Pale
    …Usually i like chocolate milk post-ride though…

  • brad362

    Thank you Larry Hart. What is it about IPAs that people love? When did bitter become a good thing?
    Remember the “bitter beer” commercial? Now that’s considered a compliment.
    A good Imperial Stout or Porter. THAT’S beer with taste.

  • Krigloch

    Love both of those from New Belgium. But I prefer the Rampant, damn it’s good!

  • BBelfield

    I would say you all had flawed taste buds, but the number 1 pick was absolutely correct among that list.

  • m@frit

    Not a fan of IPAs. Not sure why anyone would want anything so bitter.

    Give me a nice, ridiculously strong Belgian any time.

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