Dateline 06/20/2012, by Radon86
Blind Taste Test - Alaskan IPA vs Pennsylvania Overlook IPA vs Real Ale Lost Gold IPA
This test pits 3 American IPAs against one another in a blind taste test. The results, as it turns out, were not too surprising given their ratings here at beertripper.com.
These three beers were very close to the same color, although they were slightly different in shade. In fact the biggest difference in appearance may have been that one was cloudy, one was crystal clear while one was sort of in between.
Alaskan IPA - The beer that turned out to be Alaskan IPA was the beer that was obviously the clearest. This beer was the one that was a medium shade in between the other two beers, although the difference in color was minor. This beer's mouth-feel was thinner than the other two and its flavor was probably the least complex being made up of some straightforward grapefruit-y hops.
Pennsylvania Overlook IPA - The beer that turned out to be Pennsylvania Overlook IPA was the lightest in color of the three beers in this test and it was also the cloudiest. This beer was citrus-y and ultimately probably had the most complex hop component of the three beers in this test. It was also a bit dry and lingering (surprising when you consider my review of this beer states pretty much the exact opposite). In addition, this brew was the most bitter of the 3 beers in this test.
Real Ale Lost Gold IPA - The beer that turned out to be Real Ale Lost Gold IPA had the darkest color of any of the beers in this test, but just by a hair. It was the brew that was second in cloudiness. Ultimately, Lost Gold IPA seemed to be the beer that let in the most malt flavor (albeit not much) and was the least dry. It's probably for those reasons that it seemed to be the smoothest of the three beers in this test.
So, which beer did I like the best,... Real Ale Lost Gold IPA; but it was a close run thing, at least between the top two beers. The beer I liked the least was Alaskan IPA, it quickly fell out of the race, primarily, in my opinion, due to it's comparatively weak mouth-feel and lack of complexity. It should be noted though that it did have hop flavor and bitterness, so if you like that in a beer that is also thin mouth-feel wise, then I expect you'd like Alaskan IPA more than I did. Ultimately it came down to Pennsylvania Overlook IPA and Real Ale Lost Gold IPA, and I must say, I think this is a case where depending on my mood, I may have chosen differently. The Overlook IPA definitely had the more complex hop flavor in my opinion, and this is going to sound wrong when talking about American IPA's, but it had the lighter hop flavors. Don't get me wrong, they were bitter, in fact Overlook IPA was the most bitter, which is probably what ultimately put Lost Gold IPA ahead in my book. But by lighter hop flavors I mean the citrus and floral type as compared with the piney or seriously grapefruity type. So in the end, I think its relative smoothness is what put Real Ale Lost Gold IPA ahead. Both Pennsylvania Overlook IPA and Real Ale Lost Gold IPA had nice mouth-feel's, but Lost Gold was smoother. (Remember though, it was also less complex (at least hopwise) and so, hey, your mileage may vary. Hell, in this case my mileage may vary depending on my mood.) Just remember, as always, the best beer is the beer you like best.
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