Brewtopia Events
Mixed Styles 6
Blind Beer Tasting
Beer Evaluators 
(LtoR): Johnnie Sutherland, Dan Hall, Dean Graves,
and Thel Melton (Lari Cowgill not pictured)
Photo by Owen Ogletree
Owen Ogletree (director of Brewtopia Events LLC) gathered together some of his fellow beer enthusiasts on June 18, 2003 at Athens' Steam Company Pub to sample and comment on several mixed styles of ales and lagers.  This beer sampling was done as a blind tasting where no one was aware of the brands that were being served.  Beers were informally commented upon and ranked according to Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) style guidelines.  First, second, third places, and honorable mention were awarded to the beers we felt represented their individual styles in extraordinary fashion.  Drop Owen an email to share your comments and opinions.

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Commercial Beers -- Blind Tasting Comments...

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Athens Steam Company Pub was gracious enough to host our evaluation of these beers.  Visit the pub soon for a fine selection of beer and delicious food.

Athens Steam Company Pub
(in the Foundry Park Inn and Spa complex)
295 E. Dougherty St.
Athens, GA
phone: 706-549-7020

Steam Co. Pub

Cabezon Stout 
Dry Stout 
Cabezon Brewing Company, Albuquerque, NM, USA 
Aroma: Roasty, malty, coffee-like with low hop aroma.  Smells like coffee with cream and a hint of chocolate.  Nice.
Appearance: Dark black in color.  Hints of ruby in the light.
Flavor: Coffee-like, dry, roast malt tones, good bitterness, fruity, creamy (but with a dry finish).  This is a luxurious Dry Stout that is right on style.  This beer was almost unanimous for first place.  Good job.

Goliath Ale 
Special or Best Bitter 
Wychwood Brewery, Witney, Oxfordshire, UK 
Aroma: Malt aroma with fruit and plums.  Very elegant, yet mild aroma.
Appearance: Dark gold and clear with light carbonation.
Flavor: Plums, slight cherry, fruity with a good balance of malt and English hops.  Light in body -- an appealing session ale.  Makes you want to have another.

Berkshire Springs Stock Ale 
Strong Bitter / English Pale Ale 
MDI, La Crosse, WI, USA 
Aroma: Fruit, rich malt, spicy/woody hops.  The aroma is nice, but mild.
Appearance: Copper in color with an attractive, clear appearance.  Good carbonation for style.
Flavor: Big malt and hop character for style.  Well balanced.  Hints of caramel, toffee, and fruit. This is a complex ale with a good depth of hops and malt -- delicious.

Thurn and Taxis Weissbier 
Bavarian Weizen
Thurn and Taxis Brewery, Regensburg, Germany 
Aroma: Banana, clove, mild spice.
Appearance: Golden, glowing, cloudy -- excellent and on-style.
Flavor: Mild flavors of wheat, clove, and citrus.  Very refreshing and pleasant, but could be a bit more complex, rich, and three dimensional.

Lev Lion Export Lager Beer 
Bohemian Pilsner 
Mestansky Pivovar Havlickuv Brewery, Czech Republic 
Aroma: Spicy hop aroma that is also very floral.  Malt is present and well-balanced with Czech hops.
Appearance: Clear and golden in color.
Flavor: Crisp, malty, low sulfur undertones.  Clean (not fruity) with an elegant hop flavor and bitterness.  Very good for style.

Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale 
Strong Bitter / English Pale Ale 
Black Sheep Brewery, Masham, Yorkshire, UK 
Aroma: Fruity, plummy, woody -- with hints of caramel.
Appearance: Light brown in color with dark red highlights.  Clear and attractive.
Flavor: Malt, alcohol, fruit, toffee, caramel.  This ale has a big malt component.  This is a rich ale for style.  Very fruity as it warms.  Hops are in the background.

Cabezon Kristall Weizen 
Bavarian Krystal Weizen 
Cabezon Brewing Company, Albuquerque, NM, USA 
Aroma: Phenolic, plastic-like, spicy.  Banana undertones are present.  Overall aroma is very light.
Appearance: Clear and golden.
Flavor: Mild and a bit watery.  There are butter and vegetal notes.  Flavor is also very mild.  Should be refreshing with more wheat character.

Elfego Bock 
Traditional Bock 
Rio Grande Brewing Company, Albuquerque, NM, USA 
Aroma: Smells like buttered nuts.  Has a nice, mild aroma.
Appearance: Dark amber and clear.  Very pleasant appearance with nice head retention.
Flavor: Moderate butter notes are not good for style.  Tastes like pecan ice cream.  There are undertones of hazelnut, roast, and moderate sweetness in the finish.  This is a very appealing beer, but has some character that is not appropriate for the style.

Abita English Ale 
(Bottled as "Symposium Ale" for the 2003 Craft Brewers Conference)
Special or Best Bitter
Abita Brewing Company, Abita Springs, LA, USA
Aroma: Malty, hoppy, and citrusy with slight hints of phenol.
Appearance: Clear, medium gold in color, beautiful.
Flavor: Slight malt with nice hops.  Good hop flavor and aroma.  Is there a tiny band-aid (phenolic) flavor?  Otherwise, this is a good version of a Best Bitter.

Northumbrian Brown Ale
Northern English Brown Ale
Federation Brewery, Gateshead, UK 
Aroma: Light nuts.  Slight fruit.  Malty.
Appearance: Clear with a dark amber color.  There is good carbonation and a stable head.
Flavor: Sweet and malty with some honey notes.  There are also hints of caramel and fruit (esters).  This beer is somewhat two-dimensional with a sweetness that dominates the profile.  Smooth and mild, but needs more of a dry finish.

Grant's IPA 
India Pale Ale
Yakima Brewing and Malting Company, Yakima, WA, USA
Aroma: Apple-like, fruit, resiny American hops.
Appearance: White foam with a clear, light golden color on the pale end of the style.
Flavor: Dry aftertaste that needs a touch more malt to balance the hops.  There is a bit of astringency in the aftertaste.  Piney/citrusy American hops make this beer very dry.  More malt would be helpful.

Black Hawk Stout 
Dry Stout 
Mendocino Brewing Company, Saratoga Springs, NY, USA
Aroma: Light aroma with a mild fruity character.  Should have more roasty aromas.
Appearance: Jet black in color -- attractive.  Has a creamy, brown head.
Flavor: Some tart/sour hints (ok for style).  Very dry with a clean, abrupt finish.  Needs more coffee/roasted malt flavor.  Does not taste like rich, dark malt.  Flavors are mild, but pleasant.

Mexicali Rogue Ale
Spice / Herb / Vegetable Beer (with smoked chipotle peppers) 
Rogue Ales, Newport, OR, USA
Aroma: Malt and NW American hops.  Very mild aroma with little or no chili notes.
Appearance: Golden and clear with a very white foam.
Flavor: Malt and NW hops (citrus, pine resin) dominate flavor.  There is a hint of smoke and a black pepper-like tingle in the finish.  There is only a hint of chili and smoke.  The chipotle character is very much in the background.

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