Dateline 07/05/2012, by Radon86
Blind Taste Test - Magic Hat Elder Betty vs Bayou Teche LA 31 Grenade vs Shock Top Raspberry Wheat
This test pits three beers against one another in a blind taste test. These three beers although apparently of three different styles, they all are beers that presumably have a fruit flavor. The results were mildly surprising in that the beer actually catagorized as a Fruit/Vegetable beer was not even close to being the beer with the most fruit flavor. (Although, that turned out to be a good thing.)
Although these beers were all close in color being an orange-ish-yellow, it wasn't too hard to distinguish which was the darkest and which was the lightest.
Shock Top Raspberry Wheat - The beer that turned out to be Shock Top Raspberry Wheat was the beer that was the lightest in color. This beer was also hand's down, the beer with the most 'fruit' flavor. It really wasn't even close in that respect. Interestingly, I have Shock Top Raspberry Wheat listed as an American Pale Wheat Ale, which it may be, but it certainly has tons of fruit flavor. It was very smooth and easy drinking. But also very fruity, to the point that it seemed artificial.
Magic Hat Elder Betty - The beer that turned out to be Magic Hat Elder Betty was the darkest of the three beers as well as the most cloudy. This beer had a fruit smell, but in flavor, the fruit-i-ness was much less clear. The flavor was a lot like an American Pale Wheat Ale, but also had some dirtiness to it, that I didn't care for. This beer also seemed rather shallow flavorwise.
Bayou Teche LA 31 Grenade - The beer that turned out to be Bayou Teche LA 31 Grenade was subtle and smooth. The fruit flavor was much more subdued than that of the beer that turned out to be Shock Top Raspberry Wheat. Unlike the beer that turned out to be Magic Hat Elder Betty, I didn't pick up any dirty flavors.
So, which beer did I like the best,... For me it was Bayou Teche LA 31 Grenade and it really wasn't close. It should be noted that ultimately I'm not a big fruit beer guy, so perhaps the reason I liked Grenade over Shock Top Raspberry Wheat was its much more subtle approach to fruit flavor. Its superiority, in my eyes, to the beer that turned out to be Magic Hat Elder Betty comes from the fact that Elder Betty had a bit of a dirty flavor happening that Grenade just didn't have, and perhaps because of that Grenade was smoother as well. As for the brew I liked next best, it would have to be Shock Top Raspberry Wheat. Ultimately, I didn't really enjoy either of the remaining two beers, but would have chosen Raspberry Wheat over Elder Betty due to its smoothness. Despite the strong Raspberry flavor, it does go down easy, so as long as you don't hate raspberries, it is drinkable. The reason Elder Betty ended up on the bottom for me came down to the dirty flavor. It was the only beer in this test with a dirtiness and in lighter beers like these, that seems to really catch my attention, and not in a good way. The most interesting fact to me, is that as far as I can see, the only one of these beers listed as a Fruit/Vegetable beer was Bayou Teche LA 31 Grenade, but it certainly wasn't the beer packing the most fruit flavor. That honor goes to Shock Top Raspberry Wheat. For my money, all three of these beers are Fruit/Vegetable beers. Because of that, I really think one's fondness for these beers will vary even more widely than they would for beers with a more 'normal' beer-ish flavor profile. At any rate, always remember, the best beer is the beer you like best.
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