Dateline 08/08/2012, by Radon86
Blind Taste Test - Alaskan White vs New Belgium Mothership Wit vs Southern Star Walloon
This test pits three beers against one another in a blind taste test. These three beers are technically two different styles, (Witbier and Saison) but I thought their flavors might be similar so I decided to find out how similar by cobbling together this test. The results actually surprised me in a couple different ways making for what is actually the most unusual Blind Taste Test I've ever done.
All three of these beers were different colors, two were similar in being yellowish orange while one was noticeably lighter being a whitish yellow.
New Belgium Mothership Wit - The beer that turned out to be New Belgium Mothership Wit was the beer that was noticeably lighter in color than the other two. Its flavor skewed noticeably clovey.
Alaskan White - The beer that turned out to be Alaskan White was the beer that turned out to be in-between the other two beers color-wise but was easily closest in color to the beer that turned out to be Southern Star Walloon. This beer was the least cloudy of the 3. There was a slight citrus flavor to this brew and it had a banana finish. Very easy drinking.
Southern Star Walloon - The beer that turned out to be Southern Star Walloon was the darkest of the three beers in this test. It may also have been cloudiest, by a hair, over Mothership Wit. This beer was ever so slightly fruity with lots of clove flavor. It was a little earthy.
This test had such unexpected results. First, the reason for the test was upon reviewing Southern Star Walloon, (a Saison beer) I thought it tasted like a bizarre Witbier. So, I constructed this test to pit two Witbiers against Southern Star Walloon, ostensibly to show how wrong I was. Well, as it turns out, the two beers that tasted the most alike in this test turned out to be New Belgium Mothership Wit and Southern Star Walloon. With Alaskan White tasting much different than the other two. This surprised me considering, allegedly Mothership Wit and Alaskan White are both Witbiers, while Walloon the lone example here of a Saison. The reason Mothership and Walloon tasted more similar to each other than Alaskan White was clearly the clove factor, which Alaskan White did not seem to share. In fact, Alaskan White ended each sip with a flavor the other two didn't seem to have which was banana and Alaskan White certainly had the fruitiest flavor. The other thing that really surprised me,... first off I should mention that I actually dislike doing these three beer blind taste tests as it really isn't any fun drinking three beers virtually simultaneously and I rarely like a beer better in one of these tests than I do drinking it alone, and I certainly can't remember ever enjoying all three beers better when consuming them in one of these tests as compared with consuming them alone. However, in this test, I actually really liked each beer more than I had when I had consumed them during my beer reviews for each beer; not only that I believe I liked all three of these beers better here than I ever had drinking them on their own. So, the question then becomes why? All I can think of, is that I was drinking them in an order determined by color and as it turned out that was Mothership Wit, Alaskan White & Walloon. Well, in that order, I'd get hit by clove, then it'd get washed away by some sweet banana, which then got washed away once again by an earthy clove. So, strangely enough I think this test ended up balancing out the beers.
So which one did I like the best,... In all honesty, I enjoyed them all the same. Yet another surprise. However, I hate ending with such a wishy washy answer, so if forced to choose which one I liked best, the answer would be Alaskan White. I think the reason had to do with its position as the only beer in this test that didn't lean clovey, so it was sort of a sweet refreshing rinse. The beer I would pick as my next favorite in this test would be Southern Star Walloon. The reason would be that it was obviously more complex than the other clovey entry here, Mothership Wit, and actually more complex than Alaskan White as well. Which leaves New Belgium's Mothership Wit bringing up the rear. I'd put Mothership last as it seemed the most one dimensional of the three beers in this test. But, as I said, the difference in my enjoyment of these three beers was shockingly slim, especially considering these weren't three beers that all tasted alike, like 3 American Macro Lagers. I can't help but think that the order in which I consumed them, really helped solidify how I felt about them. In other words, I really think that if I would have say consumed each sip in a different order like say, Alaskan White then Walloon then Mothership Wit, that I would not have liked them in the same order I ultimately picked them here. Alas, we'll never know for sure unless I test them again, while consuming them in a different order. At any rate, always remember, the best beer is the beer you like best.
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