Dateline 06/11/2012, by Radon86
Blind Taste Test - Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale vs Bayou Teche LA 31 Biere Pale vs Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale
This test pits three American Pale Ales against one another in a blind taste test. The results were a first in that although they had differences, I really ultimately, enjoyed each one the same amount, which had not really happened before, especially if you cut out American Macro Lager tests and Light Lager tests.
One of these beers was noticeably lighter, cloudier and had more head than the others. The remaining two beers were very close in color being a caramel reddish brown.
Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale - The beer that turned out to be Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale was the beer that was lightest in color. It was also probably technically the one that was lightest in flavor, however strangely enough it had the fullest and therefore best mouth-feel. This beer had the most citrus flavor of any of the beers in this test which became more and more noticeable as the test went on. This beer definitely got better as it warmed. It was dry, but not the driest of the three.
Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale - The beer that turned out to be Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale was as it turns out the darkest of the three beers. However it was a very close call and so is in no way significantly darker than the beer that turned out to be Biere Pale. This beer distinguished itself by having a obvious although faint strange fruitiness or perhaps even metallic-i-ness, definitely twangy. It sounds bad, but actually made the beer distinctive and I'd have to say added a pleasant quality to the beer. Strangely enough, it was also the smoothest of the 3 beers probably because it lacked a significant dryness, which was pleasant.
Bayou Teche LA 31 Biere Pale - The beer that turned out to be Bayou Teche LA 31 Biere Pale was very close to Wild Hare Pale Ale in color, being less dark by just a hair. In flavor, it actually seemed to be the most balanced giving a decent caramel maltiness as well as some hard to ignore hoppage. Although the most balanced, this beer was also the most dry which brought it down a bit for me, especially as the test wore on. This beer probably had the fullest flavor of the three, but ironically was the least uniquely flavored of the three.
So, which beer did I like the best,... Well, this test technically was a wash. At first though, it was clear I liked the beer that turned out to be Bayou Teche LA 31 Biere Pale the best. As things warmed up though the more memorable flavors of Mirror Pond (citrus) and Wild Hare Pale (strange fruitiness) really endeared themselves to me. Biere Pale probably won those first moments due to its balanced and fairly full flavored nature. However as the test wore on, I found myself appreciating the other two beers in this test more and more, and liking Biere Pale's astringent dry finish less and less. I actually looked forward to sipping each brew. It was a close run thing in the beginning, and by the end, honestly, it was neck and neck. Each beer I savored but in a different way, I liked Biere Pale's malt, Mirror Pond's Citrus and the best thing about Wild Hare was actually that it wasn't near as dry as the other too, I guess you could say it was refreshingly un-dry, plus it had that pleasant odd twang. I suppose if you forced me to choose them in the order I liked them, it would be Bayou Teche LA 31 Biere Pale, Shiner Wild Hare Pale Ale and Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale. But, really, I basically liked them all the same, which as mentioned at the top, has got to be a first for three beers that are not American Macro Lagers or Light Lagers. At any rate, always remember, the best beer is the beer you like best.
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