Last Saturday had a chance to slip over to a favorite micro-bar and try a nice range of 6 pale ales on tap. Set up a couple sampler flights, not tasted blind.
The candidates: Stone Ruination Regular 2.0, Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter, Stone Ruination Double-Dry Hopped, Stone Ruin-Ten, Deschutes Fresh Squeezed, and Boulevard Calling.
Results of tasting: Flight One Semi-Finals
Ruination Double-Dry: nice. bittersweet. Smooth semi-rich texture. Not overwhelmingly bitter.
Sierra Hop Hunter: Slight skunkiess... more lingering dryness. Nothing notable, just a mouthful of dryness
Ruination 2.0: Okay, but definitely prefer the double-dry hopped version above... it's richer with wider flavor range.
Ruin-Ten: Flavor is okay, just lacks brightness and flavor not distinguished.
Clear winner of flight one: Stone Ruination Double-Dry Hopped... bartender says this is the "only keg in the State". Very glad I happened to drop in when it was tapped.
Results of tasting: Flight Two Semi-Finals
Deschutes Fresh Squeezed: Bright, sort of a non-complex singular taste
Boulevard Calling IPA: Delicious. A bit foamy. Complex, sweet, fruity, mild bitters.
Clear winner of flight two: Calling IPA.... Beats DFS mainly on basis of complexity.
Results of tasting: Flight Three, Finals: Ruination Double-Dry vs. Boulevard Calling
After a few sips there's no contest... Calling IPA is the winner here... it's a matter of Calling's complexity vs. RD-D's more pronounced bitterness. Calling is just a more imaginative brew. Superb on tap.
I'm a bit surprised by this, when I first tasted Calling in the bottle it was great, but some blind tastings had it falling behind other stalwarts... However on tap it blew everything away at this tasting.
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