A couple days ago I finished round 1 of these barleywine blind tasting challenges, pitting Anchor Old Foghorn against Sierra Nevada Bigfoot: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/927977
Tonite I did a blind tasting of the winner of the prior tasting (Old Foghorn) against another venerable American Barleywine: the 2013 North Coast Old Stock Ale. The actual tasting notes and results follow:
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2013? Old Foghorn vs. 2013 North Coast Old Stock: Barleywine blind tasting Dec. 17, 2013
BW1: Really nice creamy texture…. Semi-sticky. Lingering mild caramel notes…. Very little dry-side impressions. Overall quite positive first sip. If anything a bit on the subtle non-dramatic but “solid” side.
BW2: A little more full-flavored. Not necessarily better-flavored. There’s a smoky quality to the initial sweet flavor… It’s this smokiness that gives it the fuller first impression…. Overall quite nice;.
Second sip of BW2: There's a minor dryness underlying that smoky impression…
Tasting 2 followed by 1: … definitely leaning towards 1. Seems a bit more rich caramel. By direct contrast the sour/dry notes of 2 are more apparent…
Tasting 1 followed by 2: slightly prefer 1 for the great creamy texture and solid caramel. Not sure how much the caramel of 1 bleeds into 2 tasting then so soon back to back so tasting 2 first then 1 is a more authentic comparison, IMO.
Winner: 1. Excellent overall. Would definitely buy this. Compared to 1, 2 is fair / respectable, but not sure I’d buy it based on this tasting.
1: Old Foghorn!!!
2: N.C. Old Stock…
Well, the Shadow’s palate if nothing else is consistent. Foghorn easily won the prior taste-off with Bigfoot, and more narrowly, yet clearly, won this taste-off vs. NCOS.
To be continued….