Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 California IPA Tournament: Round 1, Heats 3-6

Heat 3: 
Black Diamond Jagged Edge (Concord), $8.89/6-pack, 7.3% ABV, 17.51 NSP, 8 points
Russian River Blind Pig (Santa Rosa), $4.90/500mL, 6.1% ABV, 6.43 NSP, 10 points
Mad River Jamaica Sunset (Blue Lake), $9.99/6-pack, 7.0% ABV, 14.92 NSP, 12 points

Andy: 1) Mad River; 2) Black Diamond; 3) Russian River
Brendan: 1) Mad River; 2) Black Diamond; 3) Russian River
Brent: 1) Mad River; 2) Russian River; 
3) Black Diamond
Matt: 1) Russian River; 2) Mad River; 
3) Black Diamond
Samer: 1) Russian River; 2) Black Diamond; 3) Mad River

First somewhat-upset of the tourney, as Blind Pig places; Andy, self-professed Blind Pig lover, panned it.  I disagreed wholeheartedly, putting Blind Pig first by a mile.  Samer spent most of this heat talking about genitalia, both male and female.

Heat 4:
Alesmith (San Diego), $5.19/22 oz, 7.25% ABV, 9.08 NSP, 15 points
Anderson Valley Hop Ottin' (Boonville), $9.99/6-pack, 7.0% ABV, 14.92 NSP, 7 points
Blue Frog (Fairfield), $4.29/22oz, 7.0% ABV, 10.61 NSP, 8 points

Andy: 1) Alesmith; 2) Blue Frog; 
3) Anderson Valley
Brendan: 1) Alesmith; 2) Anderson Valley; 3) Blue Frog
Brent: 1) Alesmith; 2) Blue Frog; 
3) Anderson Valley
Matt: 1) Alesmith; 2) Anderson Valley; 3) Blue Frog
Samer: 1) Alesmith, 2) Blue Frog; 
3) Anderson Valley

Beer Advocate and RateBeer-beloved Hop Ottin' goes down.  No idea what the fuss is about, it tasted kind of watery and boring.  Alesmith ran away with this one, no contest.  Andy started moaning when he tasted it, and wrongly identified it as Blind Pig...which, as Heat 3 showed, he doesn't actually like anyway.  Samer thought Alesmith was Stone, Brendan thought it was Knee Deep...so far, Non-Snob is 0-fer on blind-IDing IPAs.

Heat 5: 
Coronado Islander (San Diego), $10.49/6-pack, 7.0% ABV, 14.21 NSP, 8 points
Sierra Nevada Torpedo (Chico), $8.99/6-pack, 7.2% ABV, 17.06 NSP, 13 points
Mission (San Diego), $4.99/22oz, 6.8% ABV, 8.86 NSP, 9 points

Andy: 1) Sierra Nevada; 2) Mission; 
3) Coronado
Brendan: 1) Sierra Nevada; 2) Mission; 3) Coronado
Brent: 1) Sierra Nevada; 2) Coronado; 
3) Mission
Matt: 1) Coronado; 2) Mission; 3) Sierra Nevada
Samer: 1) Sierra Nevada; 2) Mission; 
3) Coronado

No big surprise that Sierra won this one fairly handily.   Not much in the way of taster commentary either.  I didn't find a lot to distinguish these quality-wise (though I did agree that Sierra was the best), somewhat unexpectedly, even though they differed greatly in color and pine/citrus flavors (Mission seemed more citrusy, the other two more piny).  

Heat 6:
Stone (San Marcos), $10.29/6-pack, 6.9% ABV, 14.28 NSP, 5 points
Left Coast Trestles (San Clemente), $4.99/22oz, 6.8% ABV, 8.86 NSP, 12 points
Drake's (San Leandro), $9.49/6-pack, 7.0% ABV, 15.71 NSP, 13 points

Andy: 1) Drake's; 2) Left Coast; 3) Stone
Brendan: 1) Drake's; 2) Left Coast; 
3) Stone
Brent: 1) Drake's; 2) Left Coast; 
3) Stone
Matt: 1) Left Coast; 2) Drake's; 3) Stone
Samer: 1) Left Coast; 2) Drake's; 
3) Stone

First major upset as Stone goes down, and goes down hard.  Brendan actually said "Don't let me drink this again." Samer noted a sulfurous component, as did I (more on that below).  Andy misidentified Left Coast as Green Flash, and Brendan said Drake's was 21st Amendment.  So that's 0-9 or so on the guesses now.  I thought Left Coast outpaced Drake's by a nose due to a slightly more potent citrus character.

As for Stone- we've all had a shitload of this beer, and it didn't taste right at all, sulfury and skunky.  It's kind of hard to believe that it's possible to get un-fresh Stone in San Diego, but that was definitely the case here (the issue will pop up again later on).  Good thing ASP tournaments are double-elimination, eh?  So Stone will have a chance to redeem itself.

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