#3: Terrapin Hopsecutioner (tie)
We saved this beer for last in our taste test since it has the highest alcohol content at 7.3%. This is another favorite Tuesday night selection at Fellini’s pizza restaurant, our usual after-ride hangout. I personally rated this one my favorite, noting the sweet raisin and roasted, nutty flavors underneath the fragrant hops. Aaron and Wrightson, however, didn’t really care for this beer, noting bitter, harsh hops, but also a bit too much malt.
Readers will note that we have a three-way tie for third place among our panel of mountain bikers. If we use Wrightson as a tie-breaker (remember, he wasn’t tasting blind), Hopsecutioner comes in fifth place, Pinner takes fourth, and Hoplanta grabs third (see below).
#3: Oscar Blues Pinner Throwback IPA
Oscar Blues is another Colorado brewery with deep MTB connections, and the brewery’s Dale’s Pale Ale scored near the top of our list of mountain bikers’ favorite beers in last year’s survey. (I’m a big, big fan of the brewery’s Old Chub beer, though it’ll probably be a long time before we put together a blind taste test of Scottish Ales. Bummer.)
Pinner is a basically a session IPA at 4.9% ABV, which the brewery says makes this beer “crushable.” Some noted that this smelled like a traditional IPA, while one person said it had a somewhat bland and watery taste. Eric noted malty overtones, while I thought it tasted dry and herbal. I say it’s a great choice–especially if you’re having more than one beer!
#3: Red Brick Hoplanta
To be totally fair, this test took place here in Atlanta but remember, this was a blind taste test. Red Brick is a local brewery and it’s possible we enjoyed it because it tasted familiar. Or, it could have been one of the freshest beers we tasted since it didn’t have far to travel. This is also a Tuesday night ride draft pick we’ve imbibed fairly regularly.
Reviewers said this beer tasted like a true IPA with a floral / orange aroma. I thought it tasted piney and bitter and Aaron correctly guessed it was an American / West Coast IPA. If you’re in the Southeast and have a chance to try Hoplanta, do it!
Drumroll please… the top two IPAs are next!