Dateline 05/24/2012, by Radon86
Blind Taste Test - Wyld vs Maui Big Swell IPA vs Alaskan IPA
This test pits 2 American IPAs vs 1 American Pale Ale. The results were a little surprising.
These three beers were virtually the same color, which was a bit of a surprise. The big difference between them visually was clarity, one of these beers was crystal clear, while the other two were cloudy. In addition, one had a huge head.
Alaskan IPA - The beer that turned out to be Alaskan IPA was the beer that was obviously the clearest. The flavor of this beer was predominately grapefruity hops. It was a bit watery and in fact, its mouth-feel was what most set this beer apart from the other two, in that the other two were obviously fuller, while this beer was comparatively watery.
Wyld Organic Extra Pale Ale - The beer that turned out to be Wyld Organic Extra Pale Ale was technically probably the lightest in color, although the three beers were pretty bloody close color-wise and it had by far the largest head. This beer ultimately had the lightest flavor but it was very smooth and not near as dry as the other two beers. In this type of test, it was probably unfair to have an American Pale Ale like Wyld go up against two American IPA's as it was obvious this beer was less hoppy (as it should be). This beer however had a great mouth-feel.
Maui Big Swell IPA - The beer that turned out to be Maui Big Swell IPA absolutely had the strongest flavor of the three beers in this taste test. Technically, it was probably the darkest of the 3 beers, but just by a hair. Its hop flavor skewed towards the piney. It was definitely the most bitter of three beers and so ultimately maybe the least smooth of the three. It's mouth-feel was great though, although it fell short of the beer that turned out to be Wyld in that respect.
So, which beer did I like the best,... This was actually a close run thing, closer than I thought it would be considering Wyld was so highly rated at beertripper compared to Maui Big Swell IPA and Alaskan IPA. However, ultimately, I liked Maui Big Swell IPA the best. It should be noted that I think the format of this test, drinking three beers essentially simultaneously, probably aided Maui Big Swell IPA as it was clearly the strongest in flavor. And for Maui Big Swell, it has lots of flavor and a nice full-ish mouth-feel. The beer I liked next best, in this test, was Wyld Organic Extra Pale Ale. What set it apart was the smooth flavor as well as the excellent mouth-feel. In fact, if for some reason I didn't factor in mouth-feel, (and I don't know how I could do that) I think for sure Wyld would have ended up my least favorite of these three. So, for Alaskan IPA, it really wasn't its flavor that caused it to end up my least favorite, it was mouth-feel. The other two beers in this test, blew Alaskan IPA out of the water when it came to mouth-feel. Even though the results didn't match the beertripper ratings, I don't think I'm going to change any ratings as the pairing of an American Pale Ale with two American IPA's was probably a bit unfair. Just remember though, as always, the best beer is the beer you like best.
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