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ipa_taste_test - 4

#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!

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# 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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