Brewtopia Events LLC

Blind Tasting:
Ales and Lagers

Our 50th Blind Tasting!

L-R: Thel Melton, Jeff Rapp and Martha DeHart

Lari Cowgill and Kerri Allen
Lari and Kerri were present at our first blind tasting back in 1999!

Owen Ogletree (director of Brewtopia Events LLC) gathered together fellow beer lovers Thel Melton, Jeff Rapp, Martha DeHart, Lari Cowgill, Kerri Allen and Sachin Patel on May 16, 2007 at Copper Creek Brewing Company in Athens, GA to sample and comment on several mixed styles of ales and lagers from commercial and craft breweries from around the world.  This sampling was done as a "best of show" blind tasting where no one was aware of the brands that were being served.  Products were informally commented upon and ranked according to Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guidelines.  First, second, third places, and honorable mentions were awarded to the products we felt represented their individual styles in extraordinary fashion.  Drop Owen an email to share your comments and opinions.
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More Blind Beer

Beer Guides to Cities
Around the World



HeBrew Bittersweet Lennys R.I.P.A
Smaltz Brewing Company - Saratoga Springs, NY, USA
Imperial IPA

Aroma: Fruity, plum, raisin, hops, toffee.  Malt notes are complex.
Appearance: Medium dark reddish/copper.  Light carbonation.
Flavor: Spicy, citrusy, bold hop flavor and bitterness.  Toffee, dark fruit malt notes with a touch of sweetness and alcohol warmth.  A delicious beer with a big body - not cloying at all.  Rich and complex.

Fat Dog Imperial Oatmeal Stout
Stoudts Brewing Company - Adamstown, PA, USA
Specialty Beer
Aroma: Roasty, cocoa notes.  Slight dark fruit hints.  Clean, dark malt nose dominates.
Appearance: Black in color with a dark tan layer of foam on top.
Flavor: Chocolate notes, slightly sweet with a hint of roasted malt, toasted grain and alcohol.  Dark malts are complex in flavor with licorice notes.  There is a nice hop background (tastes like UK hops).  A bold and beautiful dark ale.

Saphir Bock
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown, PA, USA
Helles Bock with single varietal Saphir hop (Hallertau hybrid)

Aroma: Toast, bread and hints of smoke, honey and sweet malt.
Appearance: Clear.  White foam.  Deep gold color with hints of copper.
Flavor: Strong, pleasing flavors of German malt.  Malt flavors are complex.  Finish has a nice malt / hop balance with a hint of alcohol.  The noble hop character of this beer is very elegant.  Delicious mouthfeel.

14'er ESB
Avery Brewing Company - Boulder, CO, USA
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Aroma: NW American hops, perfumy wood notes, hints of fruity esters.
Appearance: Attractive layer of white foam.  Light copper color.
Flavor: Tastes very dry-hopped.  Blend of US and UK hops is very nice.  There is also a very pleasing malt presence and balance.  A well-made ESB.

Prickly Wit
Real Ale Brewing Company - Blanco, TX, USA
Specialty Beer - Imperial Belgian White with prickly pear puree

Aroma: Coriander, spice, fruity orange notes, hints of clove. 
Appearance: Dark gold with a light stand of white foam.
Flavor: Orange notes - slightly sweet.  Phenolic hints, slightly spicy from coriander.  Good, medium mouthfeel - very fruity flavors.

Thomas Hooker Helles
Thomas Hooker Ales & Lagers - Bloomfield, CT, USA
Munich Helles
Aroma: Paint, fruit, apple, acetaldehyde, ethyl acetate.
Appearance: White foam, very clear golden color.  Perfect appearance.
Flavor: Sour, phenolic, apple, oxidation, plastic.  This bottle was obviously infected.  Need to try this beer again in the future.

Cains Dark Mild
Cains Brewery - Liverpool, UK
Mild Ale

Aroma: Cocoa, smoke hint, sherry note.
Appearance: Dark brown in color, opaque.  Light tan head.
Flavor: Very drinkable, with sweet caramel and hints of black malt.  There is a tiny bit of coffee and toffee in the flavor with a hint of molasses.  Hops are hardly noticeable (as appropriate for this style).

Baltika 7
Baltika Brewer - St. Petersburg, Russia
Premium American-Style Lager

Aroma: Mild, light malt, grain notes with a hint of hops and honey.
Appearance: Light gold in color with attractive white head.  Very clear.
Flavor: Honey hints.  Nice malt notes that make the lager slightly sweet.  There is a hint of butter in the finish.  It has a nice body for the style.  There are German influences in malt and hops.  Good beer, but perhaps too complex for this style?

Moosbacher Schwarze Weisse
Scheuerer Brewery - Bavaria, Germany
Aroma: Buttermilk, malt vinegar, acetic acid, butter.
Appearance: Clear in appearance.  Brown in color.  Light foam for style.
Flavor: Infected.  Sour banana, light caramel.  All pleasant notes are covered by infection.  Try this beer again in the future.

Saranac Pale Ale
Matt Brewing Company - Utica, NY, USA
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Aroma: Hop and clove-like phenol hints with a bit of oxidation.  Vanilla notes.
Appearance: Copper color with light foam.  Very attractive.
Flavor: Fruity, malty with a hint of paper.  Mild flavors (too mild for style).  Body is medium/light.  Water seems to have a complex mineraly note.

Victory Hop Devil
Victory Brewing Company -
Downingtown, PA, USA
American IPA 
Aroma: Citrus, grapefruit, wood, tea.  Aromas are a bit light for style.
Appearance: Light copper in color.  Good clarity.  Medium carbonation.
Flavor: Grapefruit hop flavor.  Nice balance in bittering and aroma hops.  Malt is nice.  Toffee hints are present behind the hops.  There are also vanilla undertones.

Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale
Tommyknocker Brewery - Idaho Springs, CO, USA
Specialty Beer - nut brown ale with maple syrup
Aroma: Sour veggies, soy, vinegar notes.
Appearance: Brown color with light head.
Flavor: All the background flavors are covered by sour / acetic acid notes.  Slightly infected bottle.  No maple flavors are apparent.

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