+
Beer, Cider, & Sake

Search for Everyday-Drinking Pale Ales

TombstoneShadow | Apr 4, 201409:27 PM     76

In super-beers, my tastes tend to run to monster IPA's, imperials, doubles, etc. But the drawback is these can run 8 - 9 - 10% ABV or higher. One bottle of them and you're tipping, two is like 4 of anything else... so is there a great "everyday" IPA out there with lower ABV?

Criteria for tonite's blind tasting: ABV <7%, Ratebeer > 90. Candidates are:
Deschutes Red Chair (6.2% ABV)
Stone Go-To (4.5%)
Boulevard Pop-Up (4.3%)
Deschutes Fresh Squeezed (6.4%)
Nectar Ales Nectar IPA (6.7%)
Lagunitas IPA (6.2%)

All beers were tasted blind: I knew the 6 identities ahead of time, but not which was in which glass... Actual tasting notes follow:

FLIGHT ONE
1: Pleasant up-front flavor, hint of citrusy sweetness...
2: Skunky up-front taste. Out at first sip.
3: Effervescent texture (overly so), light on flavor. Ineffectual.
4: Interesting. A bit drier than #1 at first, but seems well made... still sort of singular mild bitterness, doesn't evolve.
5: Nice, mild carmelly initial flavor, opens to mildly bitter hoppy bouquet
6: Similar comments to #45: well made, non-complex, mildly on the bitter side.

FLIGHT TWO:
Beers 1, 4, 5, and 6 move on to next flight of tasting

1: Mildly luscious up front... some lip-smacking flavor evolution
4: Juyst sharply bitter vs. #1. This wouldn't be a steady go-to IPA for my palate
5: Nice citrusy up-front flavor. Pleasant relief from the singularity of #4
6: Now this is dry, but not as much so as 4

FINAL FLIGHT
Beers 1, 5, and 6 move to the final round of this taste-off

1: I could definitely go-to with this... complex, nothing not to like, some hint of sweetness amongst the bitters.
5: Nothing not to like, but 1 just is overall more interesting
6: Seems sort of nice but bland.

A final sip of #1 seals it.

RESULTS: 1 is the ONLY one of these 6 beers that meets with my palate for an everyday "non-imperial" pale ale with great flavor.

DRUMROLL to reveal the winner, I honestly have no idea which beer this is.... Deschutes Fresh Squeezed!! I note that in prior random tastings this beer has also fared well. It's just excellent and the only one of these 6 that will move on in this "everyday" competition.

Revealing identities of the other beers: 2 (Lagunitas IPA), 3 (Deschutes Red chair), 4 ( Stone go-to), 5 (Nectar IPA), 6 (Boulevard Pop-up). Interesting to note that hands-down the driest beer of this bunch was the Stone. Sorry but I just don't crave the Stone PA style.. it's singular to a fault IMO.

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

6 Ways to Make Your Smoothies Taste Totally Amazing
How To

6 Ways to Make Your Smoothies Taste Totally Amazing

by Gretchen Lidicker | If you want make the best smoothie of all time, take these easy tips and tricks to heart. Too sweet...

Make Your Blender Clean Itself
CHOW Tip

Make Your Blender Clean Itself

by Chowhound Editors | Do you hate cleaning your blender because you have to take it apart and scrub around those sharp blades...

Lettuce Tell You, Grilled Romaine Is Fantastic
How To

Lettuce Tell You, Grilled Romaine Is Fantastic

by Julie Boor | If you haven't tried it yet, grilled romaine lettuce is surprisingly delicious—here's what you need...

Squash Your Beef: Smashburgers Are Juicy, Crisp Perfection (If You Make Them Right)
How To

Squash Your Beef: Smashburgers Are Juicy, Crisp Perfection (If You Make Them Right)

by David Klein | A grilled hamburger is always great, but you don't need to take it outside for perfect results. Learn...

Trending Discussions

1

00 flour... uses?

Updated 5 hours ago 4 comments
2

Saucepan Advice

Updated 12 hours ago 13 comments

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.